Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Crewel and Raggedy Christmas! PART 1

Hi everyone! 
     I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! It came and went so quickly. Did you receive any handmade gifts this year? I LOVE gifting and receiving Handmade gifts! I am super excited to finally be able to share two of the Handmade gifts I made this year! AND both of these were a "FIRST" for me! A Crewel Project and a Rag Quilt Project! 
   Crewel is so much fun!  A few years ago I picked up an Aunt Martha's Hot Iron Transfer embroidery kit and a piece of linen. This particular "Deer"  embroidery was perfect for my daughter. I used to tell her a bedtime story that was based on a real life experience I had when I was little. It involved a little lost girl and a young deer that helped her to find her way home again. 

Yeah, rather ambitious for a first time project. And it is huge. 12x15 inches! I started out thinking, ok this says embroidery on the package, so I'll embroider it. I started in the right bottom corner of the grass. Fast forward 2 years and I am still on the right bottom corner of the grass :)! This was August 2017 and I wanted to finish before Christmas! 
  I've worked embroidery before but have always been drawn to Crewel work. I remember watching Erica Wilson many years ago  on television! 

  I found Erica Wilson's You tube Channel and Phillipa Turnbull also on you tube. I think I watched every single video they have on you tube. SO MUCH HELP. I also found a facebook group dedicated to Crewel!   Again so much help and the members are very helpful and encouraging! 
 Crewel utilizes the same stitches as embroidery but is usually worked with Wool. I dug out what Appleton Wool I had on hand, ordered quite a few more and went to work. I came across this Crewel Stitch explanation piece which was handy to have on hand. I also dug out my Embroidery books and lo, and behold I also have a few Crewel books. I have no recollection of when or where I purchased them.

I stitched over the grass area that I worked with floss using the wool and worked my way up the tree.

Please don't laugh. The grass is horrendous. I ran out of yarn several times and just used what I had. But mainly I had not learned "Soft Shading" which is what was needed on the grass. 
I also bought a Scroll frame from Hobby Lobby. I had used a regular embroidery hoop while working on the grass. 

 My daughter has an Autumnal color scheme throughout most of her house with a few touches of teal and purples. I experimented and had alot of fun with the leaves and flowers! 

Finally the dreaded moment ! The Deer! I dug through my browns, beiges and rusts. I even added a little Aurifil Wool. I debated whether to start with his nose or hind leg. I asked the group on facebook and it was pretty much a tie on where everyone suggested I start. I decided to start with the nose.
I switched to a sit down round hoop to stitch the deer. I ordered this set from Phillipa Turnbulls "The Crewel Work Company. 

I also used Glad Press n Seal to cover the entire piece. This helps keep it clean and you just cut away the area you want to work on. 

 I watched Phillipa Turbulls "Soft Shading" video several times and jumped in. 

I love his little expression and his nose held high in the air! As I gained confidence I worked several needles at once loaded with different shades of brown, creams and rust. I think there are a total of 12 different wools in the deer including the Antlers, his cute little nose and spots. 

What a difference practice makes. I am soooo glad I saved the Deer until last. I finished the stitching on December 9, 2017. WOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!

And then , I realized that I would have to "BLOCK" the piece. Same as in Knitting etc....  I think I stared at it for a week until I got up the nerve to block it. I used a cork bulletin board and a TON of pushpins starting on the middle of each side and worked back and forth from each side pulling the linen taunt.  I then lightly sprayed it using a spray bottle and water. I forgot to get a picture of this process because I was a basket case at this point worrying about whether or not the threads would bleed. I left it to dry until morning.  But what a difference Blocking makes.

So clean, flat and crisp! I thought about going back and reworking the grass, but decided I would leave it as is, full of all my learning mistakes. I took it to Hobby Lobby to have it framed.

 I included a little excerpt from my fairy tale. This was (FINALLY) such a fun project. I gave up on it so many times but I am really happy with the way it finished. And my daughter loved it so much and was very surprised at Christmas! 
 I don't have alot of time for Crewel work , but I have already picked out my next project! :)! 

 A Rooster! I lost my little Bantie"Woosti earlier this year.
 I had Woosti for at least 12 years and he wasn't a chick when I got him so I am not really sure how old he was! He used to meet me at the car when I pulled up in the yard. I know that sounds crazy but he was the sweetest little pet and he followed me all over the farm. He was such a brave little guy and I miss his funny daily antics. 
I found a really nice free Rooster Crewel project on Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread blog.

I think this would make a really cute version of my "Woosti". I plan to stitch it with colors resembling Woosti. I love the Crewel flowers too. 
  Have you ever done any Crewel work? I would love to hear about it! 
I will come back this weekend with Part 2 of my "A Crewel and Raggedy Christmas" and share my very first Rag Quilt Project!
Happy Stitching everyone!
Thank you for stopping by!
 Welcome to all my new friends and followers!
xoxoxox Jan
PS: Craftsy Year End Clearance sale going on now! Up to 70 % off! Be sure to check it out! Click here! xo jan

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas from the Farm!!!

Joy, Peace and Prosperity would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Quilt Keepsake Ornament tutorial

Happy Holidays everyone! I would like to share with you a fun, quick and easy ornament to make for youself or a friend. Last Christmas I gifted one of my very best friends a Quilt Book so we could pick out a quilt and make it together! We both love Civil War Reproduction prints. I chose History Repeated by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle.

There are so many gorgeous quilts in this book. We finally decided that we both wanted to make the
Carolina Lily quilt (top left corner of book and begins on page 63). Debbie lives in South Carolina so this was a fun choice. We then decided as we made our own blocks that we would make two of each and swap!
 As we worked the blocks , we realized that we would have a 2 1/2" Half square triangle leftover from every block we made. I set those aside not sure what I wanted to make with them.

 I decided that this year I would take those scraps and make an ornament for Debbie's tree. I have seen alot of those Clear Ball ornaments that people have been putting their quilt scraps and slivers into. I love Debbie dearly and loved our project so I thought it would be fun to put Hearts into her ornament!
 So let's get started.
1. I used Steam a Seam 2 . It is double stick fusible web. I wanted my hearts to have fabric on both sides.

2. Peel the backing paper off one of the sheets and layout your Half Square triangles. It is a little sticky so they will stick to the paper.

 3. Choose a backing fabric. ( I chose Red for my hearts) Cut your backing fabric a little larger than your sheet of HST's.

4. Peel the backing off the back of the sheet of half square triangles. Center the HST's sheet over the backing fabric WRONG sides together and press according to manufacturers directions.

5. Cut apart each row and then each square.

6. Fold the HST's on the seam line. You will get a two sided design and because they are folded they will stand up and not just lay flat in the bottom of your ornament

7.  Cut out Heart shapes!

8. You can get a Large Heart from one end and a small heart from the other. And since they are opposites, you will get opposite designs!  I tried to use my pinking shears but they were too dull.

9.  Remove the top of your ornament and start adding your Hearts! I used a 3 1/2" Clear Ornament from Hobby Lobby.

10.  Replace your Ornament top, add a ribbon for hanging and a Project tag!

Now it is ready for gifting and enjoying. It is really fun to shake up and see the different Hearts made of our favorite fabrics from our project together! Debbie received her ornament yesterday and loves it! 
Did you have a favorite project this year? I have another ornament I am planning on making from a hand piecing project! 
I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy tutorial!
Happy Holidays dear friends! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas planned for you and yours !
xo Jan

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Wonderland 2017!

Hi everyone! This past week we received a beautiful snowfall . I think we got around 5 inches. I love Winter and especially snowfalls like this! Very powdery! 

Snow laden pine boughs abound!

 Riley wasn't the least bit happy about the snow. He really wanted to go see what the little Sparrows were chirping about but I couldn't budge him off the back porch. 

All the little Brown -eyed Susan's had an up-do of snowy hats! And the wire fence around my kitchen garden held onto the snow as long as it could!

The Canadian Geese decided they better get it together and leave for a while.

Preacher loves the snow! He is the newest addition to our family. Someone threw him out at our neighborhood church. He stayed there for 7 seven days . Hubby would stop and feed him every morning and night. He eventually followed him to the house. Now he is my best buddy and lets us know anytime ANYTHING moves, pips or squeaks! He talks alot and he would bark every time we drove past the church. That earned him the name of "Preacher". 

Our family cemetery is here and this is where we found Preacher. My favorite snow picture. 

If you look closely you can see snow falling from the tall pines as the wind blows and the sun warms the branches.

We do not get alot of snow each year, so this was a really welcome change. Maybe we'll have a White Christmas!

Thank you for stopping by friends! I hope things are well in your part of the world!
 Be sure to watch for an upcoming Ornament tutorial here on the blog!

 And if you haven't entered my ETSY shop gift-away you can do so here:
The winner will be announced Friday, December 15, 2017
Happy stitching friends! 
xo Jan

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Gift-away!

I am hosting a little Thank you Gift-away on my  Featherweight Quilt Company facebook page. This sweet tin holds just a few of my favorite things that I would like to share with one lucky winner. This gift-away is open to everyone, everywhere! The winner will be announced December 15th. You must enter on the facebook page here!
  And I just have to share a photo of 2 of my Christmas themed Patchwork of the Crosses. These were sew fun. I am hoping to get them sewn into a table topper before Christmas! 

I am sold out of the Patchwork of the Crosses kits but I do have a few Hexagon kits remaining in the ETSY shop.

This darling hexagon kit includes 12 DIFFERENT prints! You will receive (6)each - 2 1/2" squares of EACH print! That is (72) 2 1/2" fabric squares! Plus you will receive (72) - 1" Hexagon Card stock templates! For a total of a 144 piece kit! These kits make great Secret Santa gifts, Guild swaps and really fun to spend time making these with the Grandchildren! These would be adorable made into hexagon flowers for Christmas Ornaments ( add a bell dangling from the center) , Gift tags, mug rugs, pot holders ..... 
 I love Christmas fabrics for English Paper Piecing! 
Be sure to stop by the facebook page an enter the Giveaway! 
xo Jan

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quilted and Reversible Kitty Hammock Tutorial

Hi Cat lovers! 
 Today I have a really fun and super easy project for your favorite kitty! A Reversible Kitty Hammock! As you can tell, Riley, is already putting his to good use! 
  I made Riley's to fit wooden Dining chairs. You can also make them for end tables etc..  

Here are the supplies that you will need:
1. 2 pieces of Coordinated fabric. I used a fat quarter of "Meow or Never Tomcat Grey Furball" cotton for use during the summertime and one fat quarter of "Lily & Will Revisited" flannel for use during winter. Both are available at the Fat Quarter Shop.
2. Aurifil thread for piecing and quilting. Color 5021 50wt shown.
3. Batting. I used 2 pieces of a thick poly batting for extra softness.
4. Twill tape for ties or make four Ties" from the fabric.( I am using Twill tape from the Fat Quarter Shop) The length will depend on the diameter of your chair/table legs. Mine are 18" each. ( It is better to have them too long than too short.) 

 Measure the distance between the chair/table legs. I used a chair that has a cross bar so the ties will not slip down the chair legs.
Add 4 inches ( for drop)  to your measurement and cut both pieces of fabric and the batting to that size.

Fold your twill/ties in half . Layer fabric right sides together and the batting on top. Fold back the batting and one layer of fabric. Center your Folded ties BETWEEN the FABRICS and extending slightly past the corners.

Pin thru all four layers.  The batting, flannel, twill ties and the cotton print fabric. 

Sew all the way around all 4 sides leaving an opening for turning.I also double stitched over the twill ties.

To turn the hammock right sides out, just reach in and pull the twill ties out through the opening!
How fun and easy!

Push the seam allowances out and press. Quilting gloves makes this really easy! Press all the way around including the seam allowance for the opening.

Top stitch all the way around the edge, closing the opening and reinforcing the corners on the twill tape.

 Quilt however you wish. I simply quilted 2 straight lines through the centers.

 This helps the hammock stay hanging open making it easy for your kitty to climb in. Tie above the chair side rails so the hammock doesn't slide down the legs. If your chair does not have side rails, try using large rubber bands wrapped around the chair legs just below the ties. 

Riley gave his seal of approval! He loves to jump out and grab me and Missy when we walk past! 

Then he curls up and takes a nap! 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I think Riley will need another one or two. Maybe one with cute little mice!
Happy Stitching friends!
Thank you for stopping by!
xo Jan