Wednesday, December 26, 2012

And the Winner is....

Congratulations Gayle!

You are the Winner of my Christmas Giveaway!

I first want to apologize for the delay in announcing the winner. Not only did we have a blizzard last week- 18 inches of snow and ice, but the flu came to visit as a very unwelcome holiday guest. I was lucky not to catch it, but I ended up in town to rescue my little grand daughter from her poor sick parents. Needless to say, there was still a quilt to finish and last minute holiday shopping to do. My blog was pushed lower on my list of "must do"s. To be honest, I had in the back of my brain that I was to announce the winner today. I was so embarrassed to see that I am days behind. Please forgive me. I am not one of those people who manage to balance a heavy load without a few things falling to the ground now and then. My heart...well...its always full of best intentions.

Let me tell you a bit about the winner. Gayle not only makes quilts, she also hooks primitive rugs! I love the name of her blog- The Middle Sister. I happen to be in the middle of 7 siblings and can certainly relate!

Here is a picture of her Orange Peel Quilt. So pretty!

I also found this wonderful work in progress... an alphabet quilt.

Here are a few examples of her rug hooking treasures.

I love how she was inspired by the crow sculpture when she created this pretty pillow!

Gayle is a member of the Utah Rug and Fiber Guild and the Wool Snippets Group. Click on their names to learn more and see more of Gayle's work.

Thanks again to all for entering my giveaway! Watch my blog to enter the next one!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Very White Christmas!

Well, here in the Midwest you learn to love the snow. I adore it even when we get 8 inches of it in one day! Because of the windy, blizzard conditions there are areas where the drifts are 2-3 feet high!
This is what it looked like about noon yesterday.

We live on a very steep hill, in the tallest building on the top floor, so the views yesterday were amazing. Driving...well lets just say that hill is crazy to climb even on a good day. I had to get out and shovel 3 times before I finally hit the crest and was able to park. Whew!

As the night went on and the snow kept falling, it became more beautiful by the minute.

My balcony filled with snow. Huge piles of snow teetered on a 3 inch wide railing. With the lights on, it looked surreal.
It funny how snow can make everything feel new and different. Here it is trying to sneak through the fencing.

Its finally over and time to get back out to the real world. I love big snow days like these. It feels like you are covered in a big white blanket, trapped inside with time to catch up and snuggle with you sweetie. It brings back so many happy memories of snow days as a little girl. My family of 7 kids all piled onto a toboggan. We laughed all the way down the hill, holding on to each others waists for dear life. Then we all grabbed the rope to pull it back to the top, as one. Snow has given me some of my most treasured memories. Now its here again to bless our Christmas and add just a bit more sparkle and magic to my favorite time of the year.

Keep scrolling down----
Enter my Christmas giveaway and win the Elegant Tomato beautiful pincushion!
To all who have entered, good luck! I can't wait to visit your blogs and I hope you come back often to see what is happening here on Fiberluscious!

Oh, I nearly forgot! I have a holiday sale going on till December 31st! Use this coupon code for 10% everything in my Fiberluscious Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Giveaway!

Enter My Christmas 2012 Giveaway!

I know how busy we all are right now. Like me, you are probably working on a quilt for a loved one, shopping, stocking your shops, making cookies and generally having a "Type A (for artist) Christmas season. We are a generous bunch. Its not enough to go out and buy an ornament, we have to make it. No snuggies for us, we have to find the perfect fleece to make a custom cozy throw.

You deserve a special gift just for you. You earned it.
That's where I come in.
I'm giving away another pincushion! This one is one of my newest designs.
The Elegant Tomato

Created with a rich, red velvet in soft cotton.
Hand embroidered with silk embroidery floss in a shimmery silver pearl color.
A big, beautiful rhinestone button is set off with tiny rhinestones.
Filled with new polyester fiberfill. Includes a pocket of emery which weights the bottom, keeping your pincushion stable and ready to use.

Simple, elegant and oh so special...just like you.
The winner will be chosen on December 23rd.
To enter, simply leave a comment below with your blog address and contact info.

I'll post the tutorial just after the holidays for anyone who didn't win, but can't do without their very own. You can always head over to my Etsy shop and pick one up. Let me know and I'll create a custom listing for you.

Need a last minute gift?
I would also be happy to send a gift certificate for a few of the most popular pincushions in my shop.
I have them in $20 Tomato Pincushion

$35 for Embroidered Flowers on Linen, (your choice of flower)

or for the $48.00 Crazy Patch Pincushion

It comes in many styles from an apple, pear, round or a custom design. All gift certificates will be made to order in any color you choose. You can even purchase an item of similar value from my shop such as another style of pincushion or a felt or flower brooch.

Order one and print it yourself for giving on Christmas day!

I hope you all enjoy your Christmas preparations. I love them. I just wish I could ignore my budget and give and give till there isn't any giving left to give.

My son called me last night and said he wish he had more money to spend on gifts for his young daughter. That brought me back to the days when my young family struggled to meet the bills, mortgage and still do the Santa thing with unlimited flourish and generosity. But as we talked, I reminded him that it isn't about the gifts at all. Its about the memories and traditions we build for our young family. The messy kitchen as we made sugar cookies that were never perfect, but incredibly beautiful and tasty. It was decorating the tree with all of their ornaments we made through out the years. It was putting out a plate for Santa with a big glass of milk. It was never about money. We ended our chat laughing and sighing. He promised to put his heart and head into thinking of the memories he wants to make with Brooke. I think we both felt incredibly rich for having each other. That is all that matters in the long run.

Hope your holidays are filled with warm family memories and unending laughter and happy tears of joy!

Copy and Paste this button onto your blog and get 15% off your next purchase in my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious
If you promote me on your blog, I'll send you a coupon code for 15%off your next purchase from my Etsy shop!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Challenges for 2013!

Happy holidays to you all. Its never to late to dream of new creations and to get motivated to learn and hone important skills. I love creating for that very reason. Anything is possible! Really, I mean it.

Quilt Block by Martha G. from Oklahoma. See it here.

Growing as an artist of any kind is a journey. Once you see it that way, its just a matter or putting one foot in front of another until you find yourself where you want to be.

I've been teaching myself embroidery for many years. The last 5 years have been a personal mission to learn new things and to gobble up all the inspiration I can find.

Crazy Quilt by Margreet deR from the Netherlands. See it here.

This next year, I'll be joining the Crazy Quilt Journal Page 2013 blog challenge. Click on the badge to the right to visit their blog. Each month a new block must be submitted. Even with my schedule, I know this is something I want to achieve so I will.

Here is my first submission! Its round, I know. It won't go on a quilt. It will become a pincushion inspired by Robin, a collector of mine.

Love how it turned out!

I hope you all will join me in this challenge, even if just to enjoy the scenery on this blog. I'm sure if you are on Pinterest, you've already stumbled onto many of the blocks other have submitted.

Block created by Linda from Australia.

Officially, registration is closed as of last week, but she will take new entries until the end of this month here. So if you are stitcher- come with me! Lets make something amazing together.

Friday, December 14, 2012

More Holiday Cheer!
The adorable snowmen above are from Amy Powers Inspire Company. She even has a tutorial for these cuties. Check it out here.

I really have a thing for snow peoples. I live in the midwest and I believe it's mandatory. We just had 3 inches of the most beautiful snow on my birthday this past Sunday. I woke to what looked like diamonds shimmering from every branch. The snow fell all day. It was fluffy and wet, which makes the best snowball snow ever.

Here is a Snowman which you can buy in a kit or simply a pattern from one of the best shops on Etsy. Cheswick Co.

I have been ordering my emery from Cathy all year and she is the best. Her work was recently featured in the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Gifts Magazine. She deserves every success. She's on vacation this week but you can visit her blog here and soon I hope you stop by her shop here.
Here is the kit I still have to get to for my oldest. I give him and his beautiful wife a snowman ornament each year. I guess I better get sewing!

This is another tradition I want to start, especially with my grand daughter Brooke. I got this image on Pinterest. It comes from the Family Farmers Blogspot but unfortunately, can't link thru Pinterest and I can't find it with Google.
Any hoo... the idea is that you write down your child's Christmas list on paper and stick it into an ornament with the date.

This idea is from Christy Robbins. blog. She cut her wedding invitation in strips, curled them and put them in an ornament.

I would love to put my family's dreams, accomplishments and wishes in a ball each year. All those pretty ornaments will someday be a record of your family's traditions. How wonderful is that?

Each year, I dream of creating the most amazing gingerbread house in the world! Alas, I barely get a few dozen cookies made. But this one is worth sharing. Its from With Love and Confection.

I have found that graham crackers make for a quick substitute. add some squeezy frosting and some M&Ms and I can avoid feeling too quilty.

Before I go, I just have to send all of my prayers and healing thoughts to the families in Sandy Hook Connecticut. I called my boys and spent the day with my grand daughter. I take these events to heart and it feels like mine hurts today. I hope you all kiss and hug them extra tight this year. Lets hope and pray for their healing and for a nations healing, so these things stop happening.

Happy holidays once again. I hope to add a few more of my favorite things before the big day arrives. I'm most definitely a holiday lover and often feel that I was one of Santa's elves in a past life.

Ho ho ho!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Image by Katie Daisy from The Wheatfield on Etsy
Christmas has hit my shop and I am so grateful to be so busy. Unfortunately, I've neglected my blog but you all have been on my mind. I've been so blessed to get to know many talented and creative artists, bloggers and fiber lovers such as myself. Its been an awesome year.

I just want to pop in and share some of the projects I still hope to make before Santa comes. He's got it easy at my apartment. He can just slide off our roof as we are in the Penthouse here on the 3rd floor here in beautiful West Bend, Wisconsin.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. I wish you all lots of love, warmth and goodness this Christmas. I hope we all remember when its time to pack up the fabric and snuggle up with your loved ones, (always a challenge with me) even though I have the best family and the most loving hubby a woman could ask for.

So grab a cup of hot cocoa. Don't fret if its not in a fabulous mug with a fresh sprig of mint and a stick of cinnamon. Its all good! Put on your fuzziest slipper socks and enjoy!

I love ornaments. I adore snowglobes. I crave cocoa. Here are a few ornaments that meet all three of my desires.

Poor little Snowman....

(Found on Pinterest- Original source unidentified-sorry!)

You must take a trip to She has so many adorable creative ideas. Here is a super gift idea for a lover of cocoa. She combined a little ornament snowglobe, a cup, lots of festive trim and a tutorial to put it all together!

36 Avenue is another holiday treat! I adore bottle brush trees. Here is an idea I finally have all the materials for. I just need the time to put one together. How sweet is this? She has lots of ideas you may want to try.

The last of my glass ornament loves. This one is from Studio DYI. You will really love this site. So many wonderful things to see and do!

Before I go, I want to send you to Cloth and Thread. The softie above and the next few images are from her site. I love her style and her work would be a wonderful gift for the little one in your life.

I found this little vintage gem on her site too. Hope she doesn't mind that I shared it with you!

More to come. I have work to do!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fabulous Fiberluscious Pear Tutorial

I hope you enjoyed the patterns and tutorials of some of my favorite fiber artists. Since I've been promising my own tutorial, I didn't want to disappoint. Having an order for one of my crazy quilt pears made it easier. I made a simple pear which is currently available in my Etsy shop.

Lets get started.
Step one is to find fabrics that you like. You can do a single print, or as I have here, 5 different fabric prints. My crazy quilt version has over 15 batik colors and patterns! Its up to you. This is where you bring your creative signature to life!

Here are the tools and materials you will need:
Fabrics, pins, polyester fiberfill, scissors, sewing machine, needle and thread, stem materials. I used a raffia covered wire. I have also used a natural bark covered wire. If you can't find these, use a soft, bendable wire and cover it with paper and glue. I found my wire at the local garden store in their craft section.

You will also need emery or a material to weigh down your pear. You can also use crushed walnut shells or you can use gravel or sand. You only need about 3-4 Tablespoons.

If you plan on embellishing your pear, you will need embroidery floss and a crewel needle.

Here are the materials I will be using to create a crazy quilt pear. To make one like it, just piece many fabrics together and then cut out your pattern pieces. You will also need perle cotton embroidery thread and assorted laces and embellishments along with about 20 hours of embroidery stitching to bring it to life.

I think it's so worth it in the end...

Note: I am sad to say that the above pear is no longer available for special order. Its just too hard to stitch. If you have ever tried embroidery through a few layers of batik cotton you will understand. It takes a pliers! I have developed a replacement for this pear which I like quite a bit. It takes a bit to make but can be ordered with delivery in 3-4 weeks.

1.Lets choose your fabrics! I choose 5 flower print fabrics. I love their soft vintage feel. Don't forget to choose a fabric for your leaf.

Take your main pattern piece, (watch for my pdf pattern file tomorrow). From your 5 chosen fabrics, cut one piece from each print. Cut 2 pieces from your leaf fabric. This image is from my "How to Draft your Own Pattern Tutorial". I basically turned that pattern upside down to create my pear.

I like to play with the order of my fabrics until I find a pleasing combination. Using a water soluble marker, number your pattern pieces 1 through 5.

Then, with the same marker, I make a little dot at the tip of each pattern piece. it should be 1/4" of an inch down from the tip, right in the center. This is where all of your seams will meet. Do not sew past that dot.

The next step is to sew your pattern pieces together in order from 1-5.
Lay them out, right sides together and add a pin or two. When lining up you pattern pieces to sew, match the dots on both ends. Insert the sewing machine needle right into that mark to begin sewing. This allows you to have beautiful seams on the top and bottom of your apple or pear or any round patchwork. You cannot chain stitch this pattern.

I think it is helpful to press your seams open as you sew. You will want to add stay-stitching to the 2 outside edges before sewing the pear closed. This becomes very helpful when you close your final seams later.

Once you have your stay stitching sewn, sew the last seam. Leave a 2-3 inch opening for turning. The opening should be in the lower middle half of the seam, not on one of the ends. This makes it easier to close your opening neatly.

Reach in and "pop" the two ends of your patchwork. If you don't know what that means, its a technique often used in Dresden piecing. Before turning right side out, take the seams at the end of your pear and give them a bit of a twist. Then flatten the seams so they fan out and lay flat nicely. I don't have an image for this just yet. If you have ever watched Fons and Porter on PBS, they get really excited demonstrating how to "pop" a converging seam. If you don't get it, don't worry.

Turn your pear right sides out.
You will need to create a muslin pocket with emery or another weighted materials such as crushed walnut shells or even sand. I just joined two round pieces together, filled them with emery and closed the seam. I pinched the top of the circle together and stitched it together so the bottom of the pocket is nice and round and full.

For more information on emery, go to my post, "Magical Emery".
Insert your emery pocket into the bottom of the pear.

Using little wads of polyester fiberfill, begin filling your pear. Be sure to pack it tightly, especially in the top section and around the emery pocket. Once you think you have enough in there, add more. Examine your pear from every angle and fill any indentations. I use a stylus stick or the eraser end of a pencil to poke it into every little space. This gives your pear a beautiful shape and makes it very useful as a pincushion.

Close the opening up by hand. If you would like to know how to close your stuffed items with a nearly invisible seam, go to my tutorial on The Classic pincushion. Here is a quick look at how I baste the edges down first. I then take tiny stitches from one side to the next to close the seam.

At this point, I added embroidery stitches along each seam. Embroidery is kind of "my thing". Its my special touch and it identifies me among other artists doing the ssme thing. I totally recommend that you get a "thing". It will make you proud.

Back to the the final stages.
Create a leaf for your pear. I have a few versions but I put them together the same way.
Cut out your pattern. If you choose to embroider veins on your leaf, now is the time to add your stitches. Pin the pieces together. Sew around both ends but leave a 1 inch opening on one of the sides. I use a pinking shears to trim the outer selvages or you can clip the corners.

Turn right side out and stuff.

Close up the opening.

Next add the stem. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of this. Its simple. Clip the very end off of the skinniest part of the leaf. Insert the wire. In pushing the wire in, the end of the fabric will turn under. If not, use a tweezer to coax the raw edge under. Sew the fabric tightly closed around the stem.
Here are two different leaves with the stem inserted.

Take a longer piece of covered wire. This will be the main stem. Join both stems together. I find it helpful to use floral tape to join them. I also find it helpful to take a bit of white glue to the raffia at each end. Let it dry so the ends of the wire are stiff and easy to poke into the pear later.

You will need to create an opening in the pear to accept your stems. I use a large yarn needle. If the top of your pear is completely closed, you may need to use a stitch ripper to loose the top stitches. Then take a pen or pencil and dig it deep into the hole you've created. You need to make way for the stem.

Now carefully insert your stems into the top of the pear.

Once in, arrange the leaf so it droops down. Give the longer stem a bit of a funky twist. You can also cut it shorter if you prefer.
You are done!

After looking at other pear tutorials, I realize how I tend to complicate my pieces with all kinds of special features and new techniques. I really don't apologize for that. In fact, I like putting something extra into the things I do.

My husband often checks the kitchen cabinet for the box of "love" I add to my dishes. He says I cook like no other. Not that I'm an expert at cooking or sewing. I just really care deeply about creating good, beautiful, sturdy, useful things.

I hope that my legacy is that I put a lot of me into this world and that the mark I left is a good one.

Have fun and be wonderful in your mark making!