And the Winner Is…

Thanks to everyone who entered the Giveaway for the Cupcake Pin Cushion!  Winner is announced at the end of this post.  Several of you commented that it was hard to spot the error since the picture of the corrected one was rotated – thus making it hard to compared the two.  Of course, I did that on purpose to make it a bit more challenging!  See the picture below for the solution.

Solution for Fixing

As you can see, I had three squares that weren’t in the correct place.  This caused the small triangles in the upper middle to be mismatched with their appropriate color.  The squares were ripped out and re-sewn, as that that seemed the easiest and quickest way to correct it.  See below for the corrected version.  Note, I have rotated it so that it is easier to compare the two.

Update:  Just realized I mis-labeled Square 3.  Square three should be the square in the lower left corner.  That one needs to be rotated so the purple triangle matches up correctly with the main design.  Luckily I did this correctly when I actually fixed the quilt!

Fixed Table Topper

There were a total of 7 comments on the Giveaway post.  A random number generator from Random.org was used to select the winner.

Cupcake Pincushion Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Emily Breclaw of The Caffeinated Quilter, who posted the third comment!

Keep it Thimble!

Giveaway – Can You Spot the Mistake?

I’ve been working on a table topper from the Summer 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects that features both piecing and applique.  The background pieces were cut out a few weeks ago and I spent the past week piecing them together.  I felt really triumphant when I completed it on Saturday.  The plans was to start work on the applique part on Sunday.  However, after looking at it closely, I spotted a mistake….

Can you spot the mistake?

I felt I could live with it, but after sleeping on it I decided I couldn’t!  I spent a few hours Sunday fixing it, but it was worth it.  Below is the corrected background.  The applique work can wait until next weekend.

Corrected background.

Just for fun, let’s turn this into a giveaway.  The prize is a cute little cupcake pincushion (color may vary).

Figure 6 - Finished Cupcake
Giveaway Prize – Cupcake Pincushion

Post a comment below with what you think mistake is and how you would fix it.   All comments will be included in the drawing (even the ones that don’t have the correct answer).    Deadline for comments is Sunday, August 5th.   Winner will be notified via email and announced on the blog.

Keep it Thimble!

It’s never too early for Halloween

My pumpkin obsessed son already has me working on things for Halloween!  Threads that Bind has a very cute pattern called Pumpkin Farm that makes five  stuffed jack-o-lanterns.  My son saw the pattern and insisted that I buy it.  Now he is expecting me to make him one new pumpkin each day for the next week.

Crack the Pumpkin

“Crack” is the first pumpkin to be finished (although it will probably take a few more weeks to finish all five) and he turned out pretty cute.  This is made with a very easy reverse applique process and only took about an hour to make.  Since I know these pumpkins will get a lot of attention from my son (ie, he will eat, sleep, and play with them), I went ahead and used the cheaper wool felt blend for it.  I don’t really care for this type of felt, it doesn’t look as nice and it pills quite easily.  However, for a kid’s project, it’s just the ticket.

Keep it Thimble!

Still Here!

Just a quick post today.  It’s been a buy few weeks and I’ve gotten behind on my posts.  However, I do have a few fun projects I’m working on and will be able to post them later this month. There will also be a new tutorial – think Christmas – and some fun activities planned for my Blogiversary (3 years on July 23rd).  Check back soon!

Keep it Thimble!

Hand Embroidered Robot Matryoshka Doll

My son loves looking through all my craft books when he is hanging out in my sewing room.  There is a small section on crochet, especially how to crochet amigurumi and other fun little toys.    A few days ago, he saw a picture of a crocheted robot matryoshka doll in a book called “Crobots” and fell in love with it.

Hand-stitched Robot Matryoshka Doll

I don’t know how to crochet – although I plan to learn one day, but agreed to make a “softie” version out of some red scrap fabric.  He wanted his doll to be at least a foot high, which is much larger than the one in the book.  We drew up a pattern for the body and face, and I got to work on stitching it all together.  It turned out pretty close to what was in the book – even down to the special robot antenna on top of her head.

Making this took about 2 hours,  since there is so much hand embroidery on the face and body.  I hope he doesn’t want me to create a full set of stacking dolls for him in the other sizes.

Keep it Thimble!

 

Double Whammy – Iron Maiden and Sewing Expo

As usual, it’s been busy at Keep It Thimble this week! But this week had not one, but two special events that I have been anticipating for a long time.

The first one was the kick-off concert for the Iron Maiden U.S. Tour in Charlotte, NC.  My husband is a HUGE fan and I got him tickets to this for his birthday.  We left Thursday afternoon and arrived in Charlotte just in time to see the Opening Act – none other than Alice Cooper.  Fittingly, he ended his set with the classic song “School’s Out for the Summer.”

Iron Maiden – Charlotte, NC

Iron Maiden took the stage at 9pm sharp and rocked out for 2 solid hours without a break.  For a bunch of dudes in their mid-fifties, it’s amazing how much energy they have.  This tour was a retrospective of their music, so they played a lot of fan favorites.  The stage show featured  amazing pyrotechnics, a 10 foot tall Eddie, a phantom organist, a feast of other visual sights and sounds, and of course Bruce Dickson dancing and running all over the stage.  Definitely worth the price of admission.

Sewing Expo – Raleigh Convention Center

We got home very late that night, but I was able to catch a few hours sleep before my next exciting event – the Sewing Expo at the Raleigh convention center!  I have been waiting for years for the Sewing Expo to come to Raleigh and so I was thrilled when I found out it was going to be here in June.

Sharon (aka Liberty Rose) at Primitive Gatherings Booth
Sharon (aka Liberty Rose) at Primitive Gatherings Booth

The expo featured several local vendors and some from places as far away as Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.  My favorite booth, hands down, was Lisa Bonegan’s “Primitive Gatherings” – packed to the brim with wool applique projects, wool, and patterns.  And can you see who is in the picture I took at the booth – Ms. Sharon Stewart herself (aka, Liberty Rose).  I caught her in the act of making a “few” purchases.

House Blocks @ Sewing Expo

The expo also featured a ton of quilting, sewing, and applique classes.  Sadly, I didn’t have time to take any classes, but I plan to do so the next time it is in town.   They also had a quilt show feature Quilts of Valor and several quilts from various McCall’s contest.  My favorite display was the “There’s No Place Like Home” one which featured about 100 different blocks shaped like a houses.  I thought this was a cute idea I might try for some type of online quilting activity.  What do you think?

Keep it Thimble!

A Tale of Three Professional Totes

June has been a busy month for me, so the blogging has taken a backseat to my real world job.  However, I have been busy sewing – which is great!  Regular readers will know how much I love the Professional Tote pattern by Creative Thimble.  I have made a lot of these totes and I truly consider it to be the perfect bag!

Professional Tote – California Girl Fabrics

My son finished school about two weeks ago and I wanted to make a special gift for his teachers.  The Professional Tote immediately came to mind.  I knew that one teacher liked green and the other blue, and that they seemed to favor more modern prints, which lead me to select fabrics from California Girl (designed by Fig Tree) and Ruby (designed by Bonnie and Camillle) for their bags.

Professional Tote – Ruby Fabrics

I loved the fabrics so much, I decided to make one for myself too.  Even though I have made this pattern a ton, I only have one professional tote that I use (for the beach).  and it would be nice to have one for work purposes.  The center zippered divider is the perfect size for carrying my iPad.

Professional Tote – Ruby Fabrics

Needless to say, while I did have all the supplies bought well in advance, I didn’t actually cut them out and sew them together until two days before.  However, the sewing goes pretty fast since I am so familiar with the pattern.  Of course, mine (the gray one) was put on hold until the following weekend so that I could get finish the ones for the teachers.  I took them in at lunch on the last day, and I could tell the teachers were thrilled with them – and that always feel good when people like your work!

What gifts have you made that really hit the mark?

Keep it Thimble!

Recipe – Classic Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberries have a special place in my heart – not only are they delicious, but they also remind me of summers picking strawberries with my Grandpa. His sister lived on a farm, and every morning he would take my brother and me to the farm to pick a bushel of berries.

Yum! Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Most of them would be sold at the farm’s roadside stand (I believe we were paid .25 cents for each quart we picked), but he always brought at least one basket of fresh berries back home. My grandmother would spend the summer making homemade strawberry jam, strawberry pies, and of course strawberry shortcake. I never got tired of eating strawberries, but I sure did get sick of picking them!

Picking Berries

In the spirit of family tradition, I introduced my son to the joy of picking strawberries. Of course, we only picked for about 20 minutes – not 2 hours :). He really enjoyed it, and was happy when I poured some of my berries in his bucket so he could have more than me (the things we do for our kids). We picked about 10 quarts and only paid 6 dollars, definitely a bargain.

Delicious Hand-picked Strawberries

And of course we had strawberry shortcake for dessert that night. In my opinion, you can’t beat the Bisquick shortcake recipe. I grew up on it and it still tastes the best to me! You have to use Original (full fat) Bisquick for the tastiest result, although I have made it with the reduced fat kind and it still tastes good. You also have to use REAL whipped cream. I like to add about 1/4 cup of powered sugar to my whipped cream to give it a hint of sweetness.

Classic Strawberry Shortcake
(original recipe from Betty Crocker website)

  • 1 quart (4 cups) strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick® mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

1. Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, mix strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.
2. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 tablespoons sugar and the butter until soft dough forms. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by 6 spoonfuls.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
4. Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries and whipped cream.

What are some summer desserts you like to eat?

Keep it Thimble!

Tutorial – A Triple Threat – Teacher Gift, Tissue Holder, Stashbuster

School will be out in 15 days (!), and it’s time to think about end of the year teacher gifts.    Teachers always appreciate a gift card, but it’s also nice to make them a little something just so the gift is more personal.  I was trying to think of something fun and easy, since my son has lots of teachers, and then I remembered the good old travel tissue holder!  You can tuck the gift card in the opening, tie a pretty bow around it, and it is the perfect teacher gift.

Tissue Covers

There are a lot of tutorials online on how to make these, so I figured it would be fun to share some of them with you and show you my finished results.  For mine, I used a tutorial posted at Melinda’s Quilts, ETC (http://melinful.blogspot.com/2010/01/travel-tissue-cover-tutorial.html).  The reason I liked this one is because it just uses two pieces of fabric (exterior and lining) and is sewn in a way that makes its own trim on the edges of the opening.  It literally took me 10 minutes to cut out the fabric and sew it together.

Press Seam Open

After sewing the tube, I used my point presser and centered the seam on the top part so that the seam could be pressed open (see above).

Pinked Raw Edges

In addition, the raw edges were cut with pinking shears to prevent them from raveling.  This gives nice finished edge and you don’t have to mess with bias tape.

Back of Tissue Holder – Fussy Cut

Lastly, on one of the covers I fussy cut the fabric so that the floral motif was centered on the back of the tissue holder.   Also, these are great stashbusters – you only need 2 scraps of fabric less than 8″ square for each one (and a packet of travel tissues from Target).

Here are some links to some other tutorials:

  1. Sew Much 2 Luv has a fun tutorial that uses 4 scraps of fabrics.
  2. The Distracted Domestic has a tutorial that is a variant on the method Sew Much 2 Luv uses – but it uses just one strip of fabric.
  3. Whimwham at Craftstylish posted a tutorial that shows you how to add some fancy machine embroidery on the front.  This is a great way to personalize the gift.
  4. Craftapalooza at Whipup discusses her LAB technique for making these.  She uses trim around the opening for a nice contrast.

What are your ideas for teacher gifts?  I’m always on the hunt for more fun and easy projects.

Keep it Thimble!

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and an extra special hug and kiss to my dear mom!  I meant to get this posted yesterday, but time just gets away.  I also noticed it’s been two weeks since my last post – shame on me!

Mother’s Day Card from my son

Here is what I had waiting for me when I woke up on Sunday morning.  On the other side of the card my son had drawn the entire lifecycle of a butterfly from the egg – too cute!

Dearest Dolls, Ken Davies, 1954

I’ve found some great picture at the thrift stores recently.  The first one is a print from 1954 by Ken Davies called “Dearest Dolls”.  From a bit of research, it seems as if this was a print commissioned by Family Circle magazine.  This is painted in what is known as trompe-l’œil–painting something so realistic as to make it appear like it is actually a three dimensional object.  All of his subjects involve some form of Americana and after looking at his website, I wish I could have a whole houseful of his paintings!

Cross Stitch, Pam Jersey, 1975

Here is another treasure I found, stitched by Pam Jersey in 1975.  Her name is signed on the back of the frame.  I’d like to get this cleaned, blocked, and re-framed and am tempted to find some vintage floss and stitch her name and date on the front.  What do you think – is that cheating?  This is going in my downstairs bathroom.

Cross Stitch Sampler, maker unknown

Finally, here is an old-fashioned cross-stitched sampler, no idea of the date or who made it.  I figure it must be at least from the 60’s or 70’s…any ideas?  This is a good reminder that you must always sign and date your work.  You have no idea who might find it years later and really appreciate it.

Keep it thimble!