Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flowers on Linen

I recently received a request from Marianna for a special pincushion. Its for a daughter's birthday. I love birthdays.

I am one of those people who think handmade presents are the best. So I had to give this pincushion some extra attention.
She ordered my Design Your Own Pincushion in Linen with a different flower in each section. I loved this idea!!!
Here it is. I hope she loves it.

I normally stitch lavender flowers around an embroidered button. (See my tutorial on how to create a button without a kit.)
Just in case you don't recognize the flowers I stitched here they are. (clockwise from the top).
Daisy, hydrangea, delphinium, roses, gerbara daisy, lavender, geranium and the lovely hollyhock.

I have been thinking about creating a pattern. Let me know if you would be interested in that.
When I create patterns I tend to leave a lot to the stitcher. I would hate to see someone try to imitate me. We all stitch differently. That is the beauty of the human hand.
Even when we try to recreate someone else's pattern we find it just never quite looks like the original. That is your creative spirit fighting to break free. Something deep inside of us longs to express a song only we can sing.

So, you may need to wait for a pattern. I'm hoping you'll wing it and come up with your own masterpiece. In fact, I encourage it!

Here are a few more images for Marianna.

Marianna- Thank you for allowing me to create something special for you. It was truly my absolute pleasure! I hope your daughter loves it.

Note: As of September 2016 this pincushion has appeared on over 9 thousand Pinterest boards. Wow! I am grateful for all who share my work. Without your generous spirit and support, my shop on Etsy would just not be as successful and my blog as popular. I love to share my work with the world. What a gift for me!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My February CQJP Challenge Block

I must have spring fever because lately I am drawn to bold, bright, brilliant color. Fun fuchsia, citrus lime, sunny yellow, oh my! I can't get enough!
I created this block late last month. This was a hard one to let go, but it went to Robin's pincushion collection. Its in a great home!

I had so much fun with this block. I was actually working on two blocks simultaneously. I often have a few things going at once. I think helps me to keep an open mind to change and possibility.
Because these blocks are so small, its no problem to cut a variety of fabrics out just to see how they work. I bring out my box of trims and vintage textiles. I drag out my button bags, my bead stash and my embroidery flosses and even a bit of jewelery.

The hardest thing about crazy quilting is that the design potential is endless. Add color, print, textiles, embroidery stitches and it gets to feel overwhelming.
A good place to start is with a simple beginning and an open mind.

Here is a crazy quilt pear I created for Susan. Another collector of mine who, like Robin and others, make this business of creating a joyful one.
As you can see, more is best and usually the only thing that stops me from adding more things is that I run out of room!

I hope you give crazy quilting a try. If you love to embroidery, this is a great project. All the little spaces and seams give you a chance to try out some new stitches. You don't need a lot of goodies. I've seen some beautiful blocks with only a few buttons or trims. The idea is to let your imagination play.
I think the prettiest blocks stay in one color family whether the fabrics are solid or printed. If you can set one limit, the task is a bit less daunting.

Above all else, remember that its supposed to be fun. Your only real job is to nurture your creative spirit and let it soar.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sweet Strawberries

Here is my newest strawberry. I love it!

I received an order from Connie and she wondered if I ever did dogs. Well, as a painter, I created many pet portraits. These days I think of thread as paint strokes, so why not? I really loved how it turned out. Its plump and sweet and I hope it does her 4 little terriers justice. I love my customers. Without them, I would never find out what I can do.

Here are some of my other favorites strawberries-

Its no secret that I love making these little beauties.

Each berry seems to be a blank canvas. The fabric and customer lead me to new ideas. When ordering, the customer chooses from an assortment of red and pink fabrics. They let me know if they would like them embroidered or beaded and the rest is history. All are filled with emery. A layer of batting gives them a soft look.

Here is a lovely comment I received from Tracey. She's ordered 6 from me this year! "These are just so lovely I have no words. Each one is unique and obviously made with love. Having trouble deciding which to keep and which to give!"
If you want to know why I love making my pincushions- the answer is definitely my customers! They are amazingly wonderful and they give me so many ideas and so much encouragement.

I find these strawberries to be so useful. I have a bunch of them around my working areas. They are so handy. The emery makes sharpening my needles easy. Often, when I buy pin backs they have little burrs on the end. When using the pins on delicate fabrics, a burr would be a disaster. I simply slide the end into a strawberry and move it back and forth. The burr is slowly and gently worn off so the pin glides safely into clothing no matter how delicate the fabric.

I love to play with the whole idea of the strawberry. My grandma had a tomato pincushion stuffed with sawdust. There was this little red strawberry on a cord attached the stem of the tomato. I found this image on Wikipedia. They have a little story about how a tomato on your mantle will bring good luck and how this particular pincushion dates back to the Victorian ages. Wow. I love how all this stuff is as wonderful now as it was a hundred years ago!

I've seen so many versions since then. Martha Stewart even revisited the strawberry and offers an easy pattern and tutorial here. My pattern is a bit different. However, these beauties had been created with Martha's pattern.

I added pretty crystals along the body of the strawberry to make a very elegant strawberry. I then added a rhinestone top with a loop for hanging. I added some pretty matching beads to the jump ring of the loop attachment as well. I can't seem to get the rhinestone top anymore and that makes me sad. This was really a pretty design.

Another of my prettier designs is my deluxe strawberry. It comes beaded or embroidered. Its created from a beautiful rose printed fabric. I have to fussy cut each berry so there is a lot of fabric used for each strawberry. That is why they cost a tad more.

I also created some stawberries with wool roving on top of felted wool. I then stitched and beaded them. I love how rich and bright the colors are. Wool is one of my very favorite materials to play with. I'm always inspired by its versatility.

Here are some wool strawberries with a bit of stumpwork.

Speaking of stumpwork. This needle case with stumpwork strawberries was a fun departure from the others.

Why stop at one size? Here is my super sized strawberry! This was too much fun to create! This image shows 3 sizes. The tiny strawberry was a mere 1/2 inches high. The big guy is over 4 1/2 inches tall.

These strawberries can all be purchased in my Etsy Shop. If you don't see one of these versions available, just drop me a convo. Let me know which one you liked and I'll relist it if the materials are available. If you want the standard cotton version you can buy them one at a time here, or save and purchase 3 strawberries. I show a number of fabric choices.

Give one of these sweeties a try. You can find some emery here, at The Cheswick Company. A few other Etsy shops have it as well. Just be sure not to buy very fine emery. It migrates right through the fabric and you'll have a mess on your hands. Cathy's emery is just right.

I'll be back soon, I just picked up some wonderful new fabrics and I can't wait to play with them. New fabric always inspires me!
See you soon and happy sewing!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sunflower Needle Case

Here is my newest needle case fresh off the sewing machine..

I feel in love with the fabric months ago and have been pondering just the right project. In my stash of buttons, I found the perfect carved wooden sunflower button. I did some patchwork, some sketches and nothing seemed to have that certain feeling I feel when I find the perfect place for a special fabric. It just seems to be at home, like it was meant to be.

I bring my embroidery work with me whenever I think I might find some time to work. I am not a good waiter. Having something fun to do makes the wait go so fast. Having a needle case helps me keep track of all my little sharps. There is nothing worse than leaving behind a prickly pin where it end up in someone's toe. Best keep all little pins safely tucked away and accounted for.

Although ribbons are pretty, I find a simple snap makes access easy.

I also like a lot of little spots to hold my pins and needles when I work. A pocket for a few floss bobbins and I'm off. I have a clear make-up case to carry my scissors, my glasses and a big collection of colors in both perle cotton and embroidery floss. You just never know!

If you would like to purchase this needle case, you can find it in my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious.

If you would like a custom case, let me know. I'd be happy to work with you. I have lots of fabric and wool choices. Head on over to my Etsy shop and leave me a "convo".

This isn't a hard project. I don't have a pattern available, but its very straight forward and very customizable. Add a bigger pocket, cotton pages in the needle book,or a bigger pincushion. I think even a new sewer can whip up something simple to call their own. For a quilter, the possibilities are endless.

Hope you give this one a try.

Friday, February 1, 2013

And the Winner Is....Creatology!

The winner of the
Grow Your Blog Giveaway is...


Stick with Me Pin Assortment will be sent as soon as I receive her contact information.

Visit her blog by clicking here
She has an Etsy shop to visit. Just follow the link on her blog.

Here are some creations from Creatology..
From her Etsy Shop, a pretty fabric cuff.

Here is a pretty needlebook from her blog-

To all you entered and did not win, well, I'm so happy to have met you!
I look forward to visiting your blogs often.

My next giveaway will be mid February. I am thinking of hitting my stash and sharing some of my goodies with you all. I seem to have an over abundance of vintage buttons and miles of yarn and fibers in so many fun colors and crazy textures. How about a pile of great fibers, trims and trinkets to create a crazy quilt block?! I know my hubby would love to see some of my stuff go. Men, they just never understand that too much is never enough!

See you soon!