Thursday, June 10, 2021

Snowflake


 It's been hotter than Hades here lately, we're not used to this kind of heat in June. This is more like mid July- August weather. I have been spending a lot of time inside, only to venture out to water the plants and flowerpots. I'm babying my little veggie starts and so far I've only lost one whimpy tomato plant. While trying to keep cool in the house I worked on a chilly little snowman mug rug. It's quick, it's cute.... perfect if you want to get a jump on some Christmas stocking stuffers. I used fabric from my fabric scraps, there's some Tula, some Hoffman, some Marcus fabrics and some fabrics that I couldn't identify. I know that you can find just the perfect fabric to make your very own Snowflake Mug Rug, we all have our collection of fabrics in our sewing rooms! So here's how I made mine....

The pattern can be found in my Etsy Shop and also on the Quilt Doodle Website. It's available as a PDF download. So dig thru your stash and find the fabrics and colors you would like to use and print up the pattern. 


Then trace all the pieces onto the paper side of your fusible web. 


I like to group together shapes with the same fabric. Then following the manufacturer's directions iron onto the back side of the fabric and cut the shapes out. Remember we trace everything in reverse.

After you get everything cut out, peel off the paper backing and lay in place following the layout page of the pattern.


After I have everything fused in place I layer the backing, batting and mug rug top together to make a quilt sandwich.  I like to do my buttonhole stitching thru all three layers because then I quilt it all at the same time. I used white thread to stitch around the snowman's head and the snowflake. I used a dark brown to stitch around everything else. After I did all of my applique I then quilted the background with a lazy wavy stitch to look like 'wind'. At this point I would then square up my mug rug and straighten the edges. Then I would attach the binding using your favorite method.

Using a dark brown pearl cotton from Valdani Thread I then make the snowman's eyes and mouth using French knots. I use the pattern placement sheet for placement of the French knots. If you look closely you can see that I penciled in on the fabric where I would stitch each little knot.

~ Snowflake Mug Rug ~

Snowflake Mug Rug is cute grouped with 'Hello Birdie' and 'Sing for Me' mug rugs. I hope you have a nice cool spot to sit and stitch. One project done a ka-zillion more ideas to work on. LOL!!! I can't wait to show you the next little project I have in store for you. 

Happy quilting,


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Woodland Squirrel, June's Block

 

Happy June! It's been a busy weekend so I apologize for the delayed posting. Our weekend was packed with yardwork, birthday celebrations, a trip to the cemetery and a trip to a veteran's memorial. We could have used one more day in our long weekend since we didn't get to planting the garden yet. My tomato starts have outgrown their pots and are screaming to get outside! I hope to get the garden planted within the next couple of days. I hope that you had a relaxing long weekend too!

Let's get to this month's block. It's an adorable squirrel. The pattern can be found on the Quilt Doodle Website as a FREE PDF download this month. So go on over to the website and download and print your pattern so that you don't miss out on it. Hint: download the monthly patterns and print them up even if you don't have time to make the block. Keep all of the patterns together in a folder for when you are ready to make the Woodland BOM 2021 quilt.

I've decided to make my squirrel white/cream.  I used to have an albino squirrel visit my bird feeders over the years. I haven't seen him this year but neighbors have reported seeing him so I know he's still around. Your squirrel can be gray, brown even red if you'd like. Have fun and make this little critter your own. Let's get started....
Out of the cream flannel, cut a 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" square for your block background.

For the applique you will need a green, red and I am using white for the squirrel's body. Your squirrel can be brown, gray or even red.


Trace the applique shapes onto the paper side of your fusible web. Iron it onto the wrong side of your fabric following the manufactures directions.



Cut the design shapes out. I like to use my applique scissors from OLFA.

Place the pieces onto the background block following the layout page from the pattern. Remember to peel off the paper backing. I have been known to forget this step and then wonder why it's not fusing in place! Iron your pieces in place following the manufactures directions for the fusible web that you are using.


When we first started this quilt back in January, I mentioned that you keep track of what stitch you are using to stitch around the raw edges. I keep referring back to this picture which shows what buttonhole stitch I am using along with the stitch width and length. It's so easy just to snap a picture with you phone so that you have it for reference.


I stitched around all the raw edges of the design. I used a gold/cream variegated thread to stitch around the squirrels body. I wanted a little bit of a contrast to the background fabric so that my albino squirrel would stand out a little more. I used a brown thread to stitch around everything else.

I then stitched French knots using pearl cotton to make the squirrels nose and eyes.

~ Woodland Squirrel ~

I hope that you join me in this years BOM. It's an adorable quilt when it is done. Remember it's a mystery. You will get a new block each month and in December 2021 we will assemble the quilt together. The finished size of the quilt is 65" x 80". Each month the pattern is a free PDF instant download after that it will be available for $2.50 on my website and also in my Etsy shop.  It's not too late to join in on the fun. 

 There's also a Facebook Group, please join and post your progress! It's also fun to see everyone else progress too! I post links and sneak peeks throughout the month so you are to be sure not to miss anything. I hope that you have a wonderful relaxing weekend and find some time to quilt.

Hope that you enjoy making this month's block. I'm off to go and try to get some of my garden planted. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Minnesota!

Happy quilting,
Cindy and Belvedere



Friday, May 14, 2021

Have You Ever Wondered...


 I have often wondered how my flannel quilts that feature my embroidery panels would wash up. Your thinking, "what?".... I know, it's something I should know. I assumed since everything is of high quality and similar fibers, that washing will go well. Many of my quilts are assembled, quilted and then they go live their best life inspiring quilters across the globe. My quilts get to travel to visit guilds, quilt shows and Quilt Market. They appear on Instagram and Facebook, it's many, many years before they are retired and are put on display or used in my own home. So I am confessing, I do not prewash my fabric.... 

Quilts that I make for my family are instantly washed and thrown in the dryer because I love that warm snuggly look of a washed quilt. While sewing the other day I decided to make a little quilt sandwich using a sample of my panel, a scrap of thin cotton batting and a sample of primo plaid flannel from Marcus fabrics. I quilted it densely and then threw it in the wash. I washed it like I would a full sized quilt, in cold water. I then threw it in the dryer... on high.  I'm happy to report, my sample washed and dried beautifully and has that warm snuggly look that I love so well.
Snuggly soft flannel

I love how a quilt looks when it's washed. This snowflake is not embroidered like on many of my quilts.


If you ever question how a fabric is going to fare with washing and drying. I suggest making a mini quilt sandwich and throwing it thru the wash using the backing and batting that you are planning to use. Because ultimately we want our quilts to live their best life and be used and loved.


~ Lost and Found Snowman Quilt ~


Happy Quilting,
Cindy and Belvedere

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Lost and Found Snowman


 I have a new quilt pattern to go with my Bundle Up Panel and the Primo Plaid Ice Blue fabrics from Marcus Fabrics. I worked on it over the winter. It's a cozy quilt... the panel is a great project for traveling and the embroidery can be done at the lake, in front of the TV or during those long car rides. Much of my embroidery was done in front of the TV while watching the Hallmark channel. After I got my stitching done, the quilt itself goes together pretty quickly. I do a lot of chain sewing so it took me a weekend to get all of the blocks completed. The quilt is constructed with two blocks. A pinwheel and a modified 16 patch block. Both are easy to construct. Let me show you how I worked on my Lost and Found Snowman quilt.

(The pattern for this quilt can be found on the Quilt Doodle Website both as a packaged and PDF pattern, Kits are also available) 

Following the pattern I started by cutting out all of the pieces I needed for my blocks. Here are the pieces I need for my modified 16 patch block.

Cutting.... cutting.... still cutting and stacking them shapes by my sewing machine, these are the pieces for the pinwheel blocks.

Following the pattern, I sewed my triangle squares together and then trimmed off all the dog ears. These blocks are for my pinwheel blocks.

~ Pinwheel Block ~


~ Modified 16 Patch Block ~

You will make 14 of each of these blocks.

The most stressful part of this quilt is cutting the panel. I will stress measure once and then measure again before you cut the blocks.

When I fussy cut the 10 1/2" square I like to use this OLFA ruler for lining everything up to cut. Measure once, measure twice, I've been known to check and measure a third time.


The quilt is ready for a good pressing to get ready for quilting.

Lost and Found Snowman quilt has a cozy layout. There is an added checkerboard strip that is added to the top and bottom of the quilt to add some extra charm.



~ Lost and Found Snowman Quilt ~
When finished this quilt is a nice size for snuggling under. The quilt measures 66" x 76". The quilt is based on a 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" block (with seam allowance). I used the Primo Plaid Ice Blue flannels from Marcus Fabrics for mine and backed the quilt with the gray semi solid also from Marcus Fabrics. The backing is a cotton fabric. When I work with the Primo Plaids I use a thin cotton batting with a cotton fabric backing. This quilt will be super warm! By using the thin batting it makes quilting it so much easier. This rule of thumb also holds true if you are doing the Bundle Up BOM thru your local quilt shop.

If you would like to make a Lost and Found Snowman Quilt, I have kits available which include everything you need for the quilt top along with the panel and pattern. Embroidery floss and backing are not included. If you want to use your own fabric, or purchase the Primo Plaid flannel on your own the pattern is available on my website as a packaged pattern or PDF download. I also have the Bundle Up Snowman Panel available too if you prefer to purchase it separately. Hope you are having a great day and find some time to do some stitching!

Happy Quilting,
Cindy and Belvedere

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Woodland Cardinals

 

Happy May!  It's my birthday month! (yes, I do celebrate all month long) to celebrate early I ordered a couple of new birdfeeders online. Happy birthday to me! Now onto this month's block which features a couple of feathered friends. I have cardinals visit my birdfeeders year round so it seemed fitting to include them on the Woodland Holiday BOM. The cardinals visit my feeders usually in pairs and I enjoy watching them thru my kitchen windows. 

Woodland Cardinals is a fun design to applique, the PDF pattern is available on the website. Remember the PDF pattern is free for the month that it is out. As soon as a monthly pattern is available, the older patterns will be available at a cost of $2.50 each. The skunk pattern from last month is no longer available for free. So go on over the the website and download your pattern. This month we will only be working on the cardinal design. So if you bought the quilt kit, we will only be using the cream primo plaid and the fat quarters. Let's get started...

From the cream primo plaid, cut a 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" square for the cardinal block.

Trace all of the design shapes onto the paper side of your fusible web.

Roughly cut out the shapes and pair with the fabrics that you have chosen for the design. Following the manufacturers directions, iron onto the back/wrong side of your fabric.


Then cut all of the shapes out. I like to use my Olfa applique scissors for this. 

Following the placement design page from the pattern, peel the paper off the back of the applique shapes and layer them in place of the cream background square. Iron in place following the manufacturer's directions.


I am using a white thread to machine stitch the raw edges of the snow. I'm using brown thread to stitch around everything else.

When we first started this quilt back in January, I mentioned that you keep track of what stitch you are using to stitch around the raw edges. I keep referring back to this picture which shows what buttonhole stitch I am using along with the stitch width and length. It's so easy just to snap a picture with you phone so that you have it for reference.

Using a #12 black pearl cotton thread, I embroider the cardinals eyes using French knots.

~ Woodland Cardinals ~
I hope that you enjoy making this month's block! Don't forget to feed the birds and take some time to watch them. I enjoy listening to them sing in the mornings as I sip on my coffee. 

I hope that you join me in this years BOM. It's an adorable quilt when it is done. Remember it's a mystery. You will get a new block each month and in December 2021 we will assemble the quilt together. The finished size of the quilt is 65" x 80". Each month the pattern is a free PDF instant download after that it will be available for $2.50 on my website and also in my Etsy shop. I have a limited number of Woodland Holiday fabric kits in my Etsy and on the website. It's not too late to order one!

 There's also a Facebook Group, please join and post your progress! It's also fun to see everyone else progress too! I post links and sneak peeks throughout the month so you are to be sure not to miss anything. I hope that you have a wonderful relaxing weekend and find some time to quilt.

Happy quilting,
Cindy and Belvedere



Monday, April 19, 2021

Embroidery 101 - Chain Stitch


I have a new panel available in Quilt Shops now! It's called Bundle Up. The Bundle Up BOM is available thru participating quilt shops. If you google it you will find shops selling it as a packaged kit.

Today I want to focus on the Bundle Up and snowflake sections of the panel...

As I mentioned in my previous post,I like to use pearl cotton from Valdani. I typically use #12 or #8 thread. You can also embroider using 3 strands of DMC floss. I like to use a small needle to embroider with. I feel like needles are a personal preference. I also recommend a needle threader and an Ott Lite (or other good lighting) You will also need an embroidery hoop. I have hoops in various sizes. Again, using a hoop or not using a hoop is a personal preference. I have also been known to not use a hoop while stitching. When I work with my panels, I line the panel with an iron on interfacing on the back side. I then stitch along the edges using my sewing machine to hold the interfacing in place.


I felt I needed a bolder look on a couple sections on the Bundle Up panel. On the larger snowflake blocks the lines are thicker and harder to cover with embroidery so I needed a bolder stitch to cover the lines. To achieve this a chain stitch works nicely. 

As you can see on this snowflake, I used a chain stitch and a #12 Valdani variegated thread. I used a 'star stitch' to embroider the large dots on the snowflake design.

For the Bundle Up I use a #8 gray variegated thread to stitch a continuous chain stitch. I overlap the stitch in places. I love how the chain stitch reminds me of knitting. It's a cozy stitch for a winter themed design.

You can see how a thicker thread really makes the Bundle Up stand out on the panel. You can also use a double strand of the #12 pearl cotton too.

As you can see, you don't need to learn a ton of stitches to be able to embroider the Bundle Up panel. The Bundle Up panel featuring the Lost and Found Snowman can be found on my Website and Etsy Store. I also have the Blue Ribbon Panel and Woodland Getaway panels available on my Website and in my Etsy Store. I also have Valdani Pearl Cotton and thread kits available.

Happy quilting!
Cindy and Belvedere

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Embroidery 101

As many as you know, I have a couple of panels available thru Marcus Fabrics. They are fun to work with and embellish. So I thought I would talk about embroidery over the next couple days. Growing up, one of the first needlework projects mom started me on was embroidery. I remember mom had a small 'how to' book she let me use that listed a bunch of embroidery stitches. I remember working on a kit that had flowers that was done all in crewel work. Many different stitches using a lightweight wool yarn to stitch with and a big needle. 

I have a new panel available in Quilt Shops now! It's called Bundle Up. The Bundle Up BOM is available thru participating quilt shops. If you google it you will find shops selling it as a packaged kit.


I like to use pearl cotton from Valdani. I typically use #12 or #8 thread. You can also embroider using 3 strands of DMC floss. I like to use a small needle to embroider with. I feel like needles are a personal preference. I also recommend a needle threader and an Ott Lite (or other good lighting) I'm of an age that I'm blind as a bat as soon as the sun goes down so I love my Ott Lite. You will also need an embroidery hoop. I have hoops in various sizes. Again, using a hoop or not using a hoop is a personal preference. I have also been known to not use a hoop while stitching. When I work with my panels, I line the panel with an iron on interfacing on the back side. I then stitch along the edges using my sewing machine to hold the interfacing in place.


 My three favorite stitches are the French Knot, Backstitch and Lazy Daisy. These were also the first stitches I learned when I was a little girl. Let me show you how I used these stitches on my Bundle Up Panel.

I used french knots on the tips of the snowflakes. I wrap the thread around my needle 3 times.  For a smaller knot you can wrap the thread 1-2 times and for a larger knot you can wrap the thread 5-6 times. Another way to get a larger knot, if you want a bolder look is to double your thread.


I'm in love with this sweet little bunny... the bunny block is all done in a backstitch.... I like to use variegated thread while I'm stitching. It adds extra interest and depth.



Instead of using a backstitch, I stitched a single lazy daisy to give my snowflakes a lacy look. The snowflake picture I used for the French Knot picture also features some lazy daisy stitching.

As you can see, you don't need to learn a ton of stitches to be able to embroider one of my fabric panels. I love to embroider in front of the TV watching the Hallmark Channel. It's a relaxing way to spend an afternoon when you need a break. I'll be posting more stitch ideas over the next few days. The Bundle Up panel featuring the Lost and Found Snowman can be found on my Website and Etsy Store. I also have the Blue Ribbon Panel and Woodland Getaway panels available on my Website and in my Etsy Store. I also have Valdani Pearl Cotton and thread kits available.

Happy quilting!
Cindy and Belvedere