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!

 

My Mom’s Hidden Bluework Talent

Although my mom doesn’t sew, she’s always up for going to the quilt shop with me to look at fabric.  She enjoys seeing the patterns, colors, and imagining all the fantastic projects I can make with them.  She tends to favor batiks and more modern looking styles, while I definitely prefer the reproduction and vintage fabrics.   So between us, we cover the  gamut of tastes.

Bluework Hand Embroidered Top

In June we went to her local quilt shop (which is called Granny’s – great name!) and she saw bluework panel based on vintage designs.  To my surprise, she bought in and said she was going to embroider each of the blocks.  When she was done, she would give to me and I could turn it into a quilt.  I joked that she had to do one square a week so it would be done by October.  We didn’t discuss a time frame for when I would have to get the quilt part done :).

 

Bluework Close-up

I received a package in the mail a few weeks ago, and it contained all her embroidered squares!  As you can see, she did a beautiful job, and some of the designs are quite intricate.  Now that I know she has this hidden talent, I plan to ask her to finish up some of my embroidery projects!

Bluework Close-up

As far as the quilt goes, I am going to cut the blue border from the blocks and use something else for the setting.   For the corner stones, I plan to do some blue and white four-patch blocks, and may do a blue and white sashing as well.  Mom has really set the bar high on this one – but on quality and on how quickly it can be done.

Keep it Thimble!

 

 

Fall Projects

I still owe you a report on my trip to Alaska and the quilt shops, and you will get that before the end of the year.  However, I have been busy working on some fall projects and should have lots to show and tell in the next month or so.

Fall Fabric Covered Box

Here’s a cute fabric covered box that I made from a class I took at Liberty Rose.  Sharon thought of this idea and taught it as a class.  This is one of my favorite projects because it only takes a 2 or so hours to complete from start to finish.  When done, it looks like something store-bought!

Project Storage Idea – Sara Lee Bakery Case

I found this Sara Lee Bakery Display at the local antique store.  It’s the perfect place to store all my works in progress.  As you can see, I have quite a few projects going on right now.  Most of these are 75% complete and will be done in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

Keep it thimble!

Before and After – Chair Pincushion

September is National Sewing Month.  Let the sewing begin!  I hope to get back on a more regular schedule with my posts.  Things are calming down to a dull roar around here, so I should be able to post more often.

Here’s a little before and after project I did this week.  What do you think?  I found this chair at the thrift store for 50 cents.  It seemed so sad sitting on the shelf, so I rescued it.

Pincushion Chair – Before

I painted it and made new cushions with the same fabric I used on my sewing machine cover.  I think it turned out pretty cute!  Now I just need to load it up with sewing notions.

Pincushion Chair – After!

Keep it Thimble!

 

Christmas Trimmings

Only 128 more days until Christmas!  Normally at this time of the year, I am thinking about Halloween and working on fall projects, but let’s take a quick detour to Christmas today.  I have a whole stack of UFOs sitting near my work table, and I am slowly working through them.  Today I finished up some wool Christmas ornaments that I started 2 years ago!

Wool Ornaments

This is the “Trimmings” pattern from Wooden Spool Designs (ppst – the pattern is on sale at her website).  It’s a great way to use up wool scraps.  They also make lovely gift tags and teacher gifts.

Keep it Thimble!

A Little Inspiration….

Wow, the summer is almost gone and I still have so much I wanted to accomplish.   However, I had a great summer so I’m not complaining.  I promise to get back to more regular posts this fall.  Everyone deserves a summer break, don’t they?

In order to get inspired for writing up some new patterns and tutorials, I decided I needed a little inspiration.  The sewing room is looking a bit drab because I haven’t made the curtains yet (which will be in a very vintage and cheery looking Minnick and Simpson fabric).  So I decided to create a sewing machine cozy!

Sewing Machine Cozy

The tutorial is from Strawberry Patches and I figured this would be the best way to bring in a dash of cheer and inspiration to the room.  Once the cover was completed, it seemed like it was missing something, so I decided to applique my favorite sewing slogan on it – and voila! –  a constant and fun reminder of how to approach life.

For the applique, I used Steam a Seam 2, which is double-sided fusible web.  I cut out the letters, fused them on, and then did a basic zigzag stitch around the edges to hold them in place.   I love how it turned out!

Keep it Thimble!