Marshmallow Snowmen

My husband and I went to a concert last night so a friend came over to babysit.  He gets the prize for  best babysitter, because he came prepared to do a fun food project!  He had a bag of marshmallows, a tube of black icing, Jelly Bellys, Airheads, and pretzel sticks   Add in one excited 6 year old and you get these adorable snowmen!

Marshmallow Snowmen

Marshmallow Snowmen

The pretzels are used to hold the marshmallows together and also for the arms.  A Jelly Belly is used for the nose, and you can cut them in half to make eyes or buttons.  A strip of airhead makes a delicious scarf.  The final touch is putting on buttons with just a drop of black icing.  I can’t wait to make these myself.  Thanks for the idea Jim.

Keep it thimble!

 

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Wool Duck Ornament by Jen

My friend Jen just sent me photos of this adorable duck ornament she made for her child’s teacher.

Wool Duck Ornament by Jen

Wool Duck Ornament by Jen

I asked Jen to tell me about her process:

“Sure!  I made it from this pattern http://noseynest.blogspot.com/2008/06/lucky-ducky-freebie.html but I turned it inside out to hide the seams.  I like the look of hidden seams better, but it made his head so small!  Wasn’t thinking about that when I changed it though.  It’s just on regular wool felt, and before sewing it together I used embroidery thread to stitch on the decorative stitches.

Detail of Wing on Wool Duck Ornament

Detail of Wing on Wool Duck Ornament

I used a straight stitch for the downy body, fly stitches for the feathers on the wings, buttonhole stiches to outline the wings and  french knots, outline stich and backstitch for the beak.  Oh and fly stitch, laisy daisy and outline and french knot for the heart patch.

Detail on Wool Duck Ornament

Detail on Wool Duck Ornament

Then I turned it inside out, stitched it, and stuffed it.  It turned out a little wonky, to be honest, but I like the stitching effect and the cute little heart with holly berries. ”

Thanks for sharing, Jen! Keep it Thimble!

Chilly the Snowman

Remember the snowman makedo’s I posted about?  Well, here is a full snowman!  I had all the stuffed white balls sitting on my craft table and my son took three of them, stacked them on top of each other, and said he would like me to make him a snowman.  Why didn’t I think of that?

Chilly the Snowman

Chilly the Snowman

Chilly the Snowman lives in warm weather, and the only thing cold about him is his name.  He wears the scarf to make a fashion statement.

To turn this into a full snowman, I hot glued the head and body segments together.  I hot glued the buttons (really to save time since it dries to so fast), used a strip of flannel for the scarf, and got two twigs from the yard for the arms.  He has some balancing issues, but I found a small wooden ring to use as a stand and now he won’t tip over.

Keep it Thimble!

 

Here Comes Santa Claus!

I had a class with Liberty Rose yesterday and we made this Santa Claus pillow.   The face is embroidered with one strand of floss and a silver floss was used to get the twinkles in his eye.  When the face and other parts were stitched down, a bit of stuffing was added to make him “pop” off the background.  I added the “ho, ho, ho” on the side since he wasn’t quite centered by himself.

Ho ho ho! Santa Claus Pillow

What Christmas projects are you trying to finish up before the holidays?

Keep it thimble!

Christmas Decorations – Elf Hat and Shoes

This is a cute little project of an Elf Hat and Shoes.  The shoe pattern is from Country Whims and the Hat pattern is courtesy of a class with Liberty Rose.  They turned out pretty cute and look great in the hallway, almost like the Elf stopped for a visit and took off his shoes and hat off at the front door.

Elf Hat and Shoes

Elf Hat and Shoes

Keep it Thimble!

Tis the Season – Frosty the Snowman

Now that it’s finally December, I can start posting Christmas things!  I had a crazy idea about posting something everyday in December as a sort of holiday countdown, but the reality of doing that is a different story.

Frosty the Snowman Makedo

Frosty the Snowman Makedos

Last year I planned to make a bunch of these cute little Frosty make-dos; they were all cut out, the heads were sewn, the candlesticks were prepped, but I just didn’t manage to finish them.  This year I completed 12 of them and they are being sold at a local shop.  I think they turned out pretty cute!

My favorite part is the carrot nose that sticks out.  Some of the carrots turned out a bit crooked, which give the face a lot of character.  I made one snow woman because a customer requested both a man and woman.  She has on ear muffs and a different face.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of her before she went to her new home!

Keep it thimble!

Stuffed Animal: Horned Nerite Snail

Here’s an unusual project I did over the weekend with my son – a stuffed Horned Nerite Snail.  This is a real snail that tends to live in brackish water.

Inspiration for Stuffed Horned Nerite Snail

My son learned about them from a virtual aquarium game he has, and wanted to make one.  Since we had to work with scraps from my stash, our color choices were limited which explained the electric orange color for the shell.

Stuffed Horned Nerite Snail

It took about an hour to make it.  My son did the original design and selected the fabrics.  He also drew the face.  As a special bonus, he drew the templates and wrote his own directions for the pattern on a very wrinkled piece of newspaper. The templates were too small to actually use, so I made my own with his careful oversight.  Next on the agenda is to make the snail a pair of pajamas, again based on my son’s design.

Keep it Thimble!

Farmers Market Wool Mat

I finally finished this project!  It a very colorful wool table topper for my kitchen table.  The pattern originally appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects, but it was a tote bag.  Liberty Rose had a great idea to turn it into a table topper, which has a lot less stitching.

Farmers Market Mat

I love the bright colors and it will look perfect in the kitchen!  My son really wanted me to add a pumpkin this, but I was able to talk him out of it.  Since I already had the bright orange carrots, I thought a pumpkin might be a bit much.  What do you think?

Keep it Thimble!

The Straight Stitch – What to do with extra fabric?

Dear Keep it Thimble,

I inherited an armful of fabric from a local quilter who passed away and it has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years. She had a tendency toward traditional fabrics and patterns; I don’t share that. I don’t know what to do with this. Keep it until I find a use for it?  give it away? I am afraid that the minute I give it away I will find a use for it. And I feel badly since this fabric was a gift from her husband, who wanted other quilters to have it.

But I have little storage space and this stuff is taking up badly needed space…I favor bright colors, batiks, polka dots, not flowers.  Any suggestions?

Susan

What should I do with extra/unwanted fabric?

Hi Susan,

Thanks for writing.  If you haven’t found a use for it yet, and you know you don’t really care for it, it’s unlikely you will find something to do with it in the next few years.  Since it sounds like you can use the space, you want to explore ways you can either give away the fabric with a clear conscience, or at least swap it out for fabric that is more to your liking.

One idea would be have a fabric swap where you invite some friends over to swap out pieces from your stash.  This doesn’t solve the storage issue, but maybe it will make it easier to part with the fabric that you aren’t too crazy about and be assured that this fabric is going home with someone who wants it and has a plan for it.

Another idea is to use the fabric to sew up some quilt for charity.   There are always organizations that can use these quilts and this might be a nice use for the fabric since you don’t plan to use it for personal projects.  Here’s a link to a list of charities you can check out:

http://www.quiltersworld.com/makeadifference.php

You could also donate the fabric to a local quilt guild.  They can use it to make quilts for charity and will make sure it gets put to good use.    Another option, less altruistic, is to have a quilter’s yard sale to get rid of the fabric.  I’ve done this twice in the past and have had great success.  Depending on the quality and age of the fabric, you could get $2 – $5 yard, which can add up quickly.

Hope this helps.  Keep it thimble!

Heather

 

Halloween Pillow

One more day until the candy bonanza!  My son already went trick or treating at two events this weekend, so we already have a good start.  His plan for Wednesday is to stay out until he fills an entire grocery bag with candy.

 

Halloween Pillow with Ruffle

In between all the Halloween stuff, I made this Halloween pillow from some scraps leftover from another project (to be posted in a few weeks).  I used the scraps to make the patchwork squares, and then made them into a simple nine-patch block by using an orange fat quarter.

Ruffler Foot

I was originally going to put pom-pom trim around the pillow, but I figured this was a good opportunity to teach myself how to a the ruffler foot.  As you can see from the picture, ruffler foots are kind of scary (thus, perfect for Halloween) and intimidating.  I didn’t even know how to attach it!  Thanks to the internet, I was able to find a few videos that explained the process and I was on my way.  Once the foot is attached, it really is quite easy to use.  Soon I had 3 yards of ruffled material in no time flat.

I was going to stuff it with Fiberfill but then decided to splurge and get a pillow form instead. Using it makes a huge difference in the shape and finished look of the pillow.  The back has an envelope opening so you can slip the pillow form in and out in case you need to wash it.

I see a pillow-making tutorial in the future….

Keep it Thimble!