Little Quilts

Today I am quilting the last border on the church quilt. It is a really pretty day and I hope to spend time on the porch. I am planning to stitch tiny little quilts next. I have started a autumn flying geese and I hope to complete it. Next I would like to used traditional Lancaster County, PA. colors and try to create some of their beautiful patterns in miniature. Long ago I made a sunshine and shadow wall quilt and incorporated their Amish star quilting pattern. On the border I used a hearts and a vine pattern. I will take a photo for you. In 1976 when I first started quilting I attended a quilt show in Wayne, PA. I had the fortune to meet the creator of ARDCO templates. I truly enjoy hand work, these templates are made to accurately mark the cutting and the sewing line. Joy! Even if I only have a small scrap, I can be sure it will be usable by testing with the template. If you google these templates are still available. Most folks today and most books also use rotary cutting techniques in place of templates. So you have a choice. There are several things about creating with fabric that really bring me enjoyment. First is the creativity. Many of the patterns for quilt blocks are historical. The name of the quilt block can even tell a story like king David’s crown or Road to Oklahoma, but the quilt you create will be unlike anyone else has ever made. The fabric you choose, the setting of the blocks, sashing, and borders all make it unique. Please do not be imitated by all the photos of prize wining quilts. Go ahead and express yourself. Remember, only God is perfect. Some of my quilts, well, they kinda of run uphill or downhill, truly. But I had hours of pleasure and prayers creating what I hoped would bless another. It does not have to be hand sewing, but I encourage you to express yourself creatively. It is good for your mind, your heart and your spirit. God wants us to love each other. Sewing has given me a way to touch another. What creative activity do you enjoy that you could use to bless another? God bless, Trudy

Spring Blessings

The completed flowers

I have lots to share with you. As you can tell from the photos, I have been happily stitching. I will start with the wreath on the font door. I bought the twig wreath at a thrift shop. I wrapped it with some lace. Since our anniversary is coming up, I used the strand of pearls and gold ribbon from the crown made for our fiftieth anniversary. Some baby’s breath and forget-me-knots from my wedding flowers. The pretty cross was a gift. The little cross stitch heart I made has two wedding rings and our Initials.

Joy! Next I found some old cushion covers and took them apart and made seat cushions for my porch rockers. I cut my geraniums that had overwintered in the kitchen. Putting the cuttings in some of my bottles with a little plant food and they all rooted. I filled my 3 window boxes with fresh potting soil and the cuttings. I set them on the porch. I found a white rabbit pillow that I made last year. I next took some scraps left over from the church quilt and made a strip pieced heart. I appliqued the heart to a white pillow. I had enough fabric to make a square table topper. The last piece was not big enough so I sewed a border to each side and made a rectangle table topper for the small table by the front door. The cost was to purchase some potting soil for my window boxes. JOY! By the front door is a flower pot of spring bulbs. These were planted last fall and I am so happy to see this touch of spring! For the small entrance table I brought out my apple bird house from the kitchen.

Lastly, the very first pictures show how I made a fabric daffodil. The library offered a class on making flowers from fabric. I took pictures for you as I went along. Patrick picked a flower from the garden for inspiration. I wanted a smaller circle so I traced a little tea cup. I cut out five circles which I folded into triangles. Knot a long piece of thread and sew a running stitch through each triangle base. Use the same thread for all the petals. When you pull on the two threads they will gather. Knot the thread. The next part was my own idea. I cut a rectangle, gathered it then sewed the two ends together to form the center if the flower. If you want a yellow daffodil, use yellow for the petals and make the rectangle a little wider. This will create the trumpet. I made leaves from green scraps. The secret here is to make the base of the leaf wide enough so you can turn the leaf to the right side. Sew the center to the petals then sew the leaves. A circle of felt tidies up the back stitches and lastly sew on a little pin. These make nice thinking of you gifts.

I want to share with you that it is possible to do a lot if you play with ideas. If you do not have fabric, visit the thrift shop. I have used men’s shirts to create with. Think about lace or buttons you could salvage from other things. Table cloths are another fabric source if they are cotton. Even if there are stains, you can use the good parts. It really is fun. The only caution I share is not to go overboard. Use what you have so there will be room in your scrap basket. Happy Spring!

Blessings and Hugs,

Trudy

Spring Home Touches

“Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Forsythia is pure undiluted, untouched joy.”
A. M. Lindburg

February draws to a close and my thoughts turn to adding touches of Spring to my home. In the kitchen I changed my table cloth to a blue fabric with yellow roses. I placed my favorite blue bottle in the window with the forsythia flowers. My valences and sink curtain are blue gingham.
I plan to use the old milk glass bud vase with the small branches from the back yard as a carrot tree as Easter nears. I made blue and yellow patchwork potholders. My tray has a piece of blue cloth with a blue and
white doily on top. These are covered with a plastic piece cut to cover the
inside of the tray. I found a picture of a nest with little blue eggs and put it
on the shelf Patrick made for me. I found a dear little bird at the thrift shop
and placed him in front of the nest. I hung a Miss Indy quilt. I will take a
picture so you can see. Miss Indy told me that the little stitched pansy was
her signature. I am thrilled to have one of her quilts.

This brings me to today’s topic. I share with you an idea to turn a plan pillow cover into a seasonal touch in the room. I stitched a chocolate bunny that I will button to the plain pillow front. I hope to make another topper for my pillow for summer. I will take pictures of the topper as I create it just like I did for the bunny. I will also change my old postcards for antique Easter ones. If you get to an antique flea market look at old postcards that were sent as greetings long ago. Imperfect ones are really affordable and truly delightful. I use the same frame and change them out. If you want one for Halloween that will be more expensive because fewer were sent. I really enjoy collecting them because they are affordable, beautiful and my entire collection fits into one small box. Joy! Have fun and think spring!
God bless, Trudy

  1. Place pattern on paper side of fusible web.
  2. Trace pattern and cut out.
  3. Remove bottom layer of paper and place onto fabric and fuse with iron to wrong side of fabric. Remove paper.
  4. You now are ready to applique by machine or hand and add finishing touches.

Spring touches about our home.

Hand Spinning Wool

Hello. Today I introduce you to my spinning wheels; Jenny and Patience. Mr. Pat bought Jenny for me before we were engaged. My Dad was reading
his evening paper and when we arrive home bringing in the wheel, he hid
his amusement behind the paper. Mr. Pat and my Dad both took me to festivals to learn how to spin. Years later as a young family we participated
in groups recreating the fur trade era. Patrick had a skunk skin hat, Mr. Pat
had buckskins and I wore a prairie dress and poke bonnet. We camped in a
Sioux lodge. Picture if you can an old station wagon with lodge pole pines
on the roof, our gear in burlap sacks, my wheel, and us in our outfits. It made quite a picture I am sure. What a great time we had!
I encourage you to watch a good demonstration of spinning with a hand spindle. The one on yarn.com is great. My drop spindle came from
fibermillbob.com and was very affordable. If you have an old spinning
wheel be sure to oil the old wood. I use lemon oil. Many old wheel are not
complete. If you are considering investing in an old wheel, search for clear
pictures of complete wheels so you will recognize if a part is missing. To be
of use the wheels that you sit at need three bobbins. I was able to find a
woodworker to make Jenny bobbins using her original as a pattern. You
see when you spin, you only spin one strand at a time. I spin two full
bobbins and then put an empty bobbin in and ply the two strands by
spinning counter-clockwise. This makes a yarn that you can knit with or
weave with. Wool is a true miracle fiber and a gift from God.
God bless,
Miss Trudy

Thinking about Love

Today I will share some ideas for showing your love and remind you how very much God loves You! Truly!

“Lift up your face to God.” Job 22:26 Now Job had a quite a face to lift up to
God. It was red, festered, teary, grieving. He had seen sorrow and he got the tee shirt of misery. Yep! His friends were commiserating about his woes. Almighty God heard their moaning and he stepped in to ask Job a question and it was a doozy! Ready, Where were you when I made the world? Kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it? Wow! I have been sharing how much I enjoy my writing books. The last two scripture quotations are written near the photo of me and my dad.
It was our last dance together. “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you.” Isaiah 43: 4. I prayed for my dad. I knew he was in God’s hands and I knew he was going where there would be no more sickness and his bride was waiting with God to welcome him. “Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 I hope these thoughts warm your heart this cold January day.

I have also begun to create my valentines and some pretties for Valentines Day. Patrick took close up photos so you could see what I have been doing.
You know I enjoy crafting with old greeting cards, well I cut out a heart
pattern using the back of a card. Then placing the pattern on the front
I cut out hearts. I made a dozen different cards with glue, paper scissors and the fronts and backs of old cards. Joy!
I also made hearts using cross stitch, another was made with buttons and felt and the last was a hand stitched into a crazy patch heart. I started with scraps of fabric and placed the first piece in the center. I continued to add scraps until the piece was the size I wanted. Do not cut this pieced piece of cloth. Make a pattern a heart and use it to draw on top of the pieced fabric. Now embellish with embroidery, lace and buttons. Mine even has a blue bird pin. Now you cut out the heart shape and cut another piece of fabric using the heart for a pattern. I blanket stitched the two heart pieces wrong sides together. You can then and finished by sewing a pin or a ribbon on the back.
Lastly, I am using a grape vine wreath to create a special anniversary piece
which I will hang on the front door. I promise to take a picture when it is
done.
Oh, here is the web site information for 58,000 e books I was talking about.
https://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/projectgutenberg.org Enjoy!
Blessings and warm hearts,
Trudy

Happy New Year!

It is always a bit sad when it is time to tuck away Christmas. This year was not nearly as sad because I planned ahead for the changes I wanted to make. I took pictures of some of the things I have done and will share them with you. It is very important to me that you understand that this was done without my leaving home and using things I had.

First this fall I made new living room curtains from sheets. I had some blue gingham and made tie-backs.

curtians

I had a finished a snowman quilt and hung it from the shelf Patrick made.

nowman quilt

My wedgewood dishes are blue and white. Patrick worked cleaning out an old house and he choose these dishes for me as payment. Joy! I put light blue candles in my grandmom’s wooden candle holders. I placed my pieced tree and a hand carved bird in front of my tree.

couch and quilts

I placed a quilt that has lots of blue in it on the back of the sofa. The cover on the sofa is a painter’s drop cloth.

Drop cloths come in three sizes, and each time they are washed they get softer. My coffee table and the quilt ladder were made locally and very affordable.

coffee table

To finish I did a walk through to be sure there was no clutter. In the kitchen I left my shelf with my snowman up and put a blue and white tablecloth and blue gingham valences in the kitchen. The cloth and valences are home stitched. I sew neat old white buttons on the valence hems.

snowman shelf

The little pair of gloves hanging from the snow shelf were Patrick’s when he was little. My mom got them for him. Can you find little Patrick on the shelf?

Here is a view of my kitchen.

See if you can use what you have and make small changes that make you smile. I made the casing for my snowman hanging and hung it on the front door to say welcome.

Patrick's Snowman
Patrick’s snowman

I hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun!

With very best wishes for blessings in the new year, Trudy


Machine Piecing With Fabric Strips

Friday, December 14, 2018

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Machine Piecing with Fabric Strips
I enjoy sewing very much and I am a happy scrap saver. I have a pretty box just for scraps.  In this box are often strips left over from other sewing projects.

Today I will show some ways these strips can be used to create a variety of items. The first item is a pillow cover. I used red and white strips, a piece of batting and left over
muslin to make a pillow top and an envelope back. To create the diagonal pieced top
I laid the first strip centered diagonally on top of the batting square. The batting was precut to the size I wanted the pillow top to be. Now lay the next fabric strip on top of the first with right sides together. Now, sew down the length of the strips allowing a ¼ inch seam allowance. Finger press the second strip to the right side. Continue adding strips to both sides of the center strip until the piece is the size you want. I added borders by sewing white strips to the two sides and then to the top and bottom.

To create a pillow back you need to cut two pieces of fabric that are the same width as the pillow top, but 2/3 the length. Press the length pieces to make a hem ¼ inch across the top of each piece and sew. Now to assemble. Lay the pillow top, face up. Lay the two backing pieces with the hem sides in the middle of the pillow top wrong side up. The hems will overlap each other near the center of the pillow back.  Now, sew 5/8” Inside all four sides of the pillow. You will be sewing through the top, bating, and the back two pieces. Trim each corner and turn right side out. Insert a pillow form to complete your pillow.

I made the table runner the same way as the pillow top. First cut your backing the length and width you want the runner to be.  Cut a piece of batting to fit. Lay the batting on the top of the backing with the backing wrong side up. I began adding strips from the middle out to each side. I trimmed the completed top and then using strips I bound the edges.

The heart was pieced onto a piece of muslin. I started in the center adding strips to each side.  When the muslin was covered, I used the heart templet I made out of cardboard to cut the pieced piece into the shape of a heart. This can now be backed and sewn to create a heart ornament or it could be appliqued onto something.

Lastly the little tree. This will be a framed in a 5×7 picture frame. Cut the muslin base this size. Now you can strip piece sewing as directed above or you can fold a small seam allowance to one side of the second piece and put glue on this. Glue the folded side to the center piece. Continue adding glued strips from the center out till the muslin base is covered.  I went to www.firstpalette.com and found a tree templet.  I printed this out onto cardstock. I centered the tree measuring the cardboard to make it fit the 5×7 frame.  I poked a hole in the center of the tree with my paper cutting scissors and cut away the tree shape. This I then placed on top of the pieced work.  It is now ready to frame.

Hope you enjoy piecing with strips of fabric.
God Bless, Trudy

Children’s Art

 

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What happens when we create?   Using our imagination and manipulating materials gives us sensory input. We make decisions about color, placement and scale.  There is a lot of  learning going on!  If we allow ourselves freedom of expression we will have fun.  This will reinforce our enjoyment of the experience. This is true for children and adults.  Coloring within the the lines is learning self-control.  It is not self-expression.  As a preschool teacher I wanted to provide the children with materials and time to experience with their senses.  Some of their work was simply discovery.  In the class room, I would take the children’s completed easel art to make butterflies by cutting out the butterfly shape from the art then gluing a black paper insect body to the center. These flights of fancy hanging from the ceiling delighted the children.

The encouragement to create and the space to make mistakes is learning.  What ever the medium: paint, fabric, fibers or threads, art is expressed through the burning light of our self expression, what ever our age.