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6 posts from February 2013


Cold But Cozy

It is Cold, Cold, CoId!  See what I mean?

Winter Robin
He's all fluffed up, like me - only I'm inside, not out!

Woke up early this morning and couldn't stop my 'thinker' from going, so just got up.  Turned on my kettle and fixed some tea (coffee just didn't seem right) . . . . .

Mug of tea w/peppermint stick
There's Taylor's tea in there!

. . . . . and I worked on one of my samples for the January Free Pattern.  It's SO CUTE!  I think you'll like it!  And it's siimple enough that you can make a pickup load!  Simple is the cornerstone of our once a month Free Patterns this year, so don't miss any; at the end of the year they'll be up a little longer (I'll warn you), then gone, so download them as we go!  

Cold as it is, I don't want winter to go yet!  I'm not quite ready to let go of my flannel quilt in the recliner, or a cup of Taylor's tea on a cold morning (like now!), or the smell of potato soup or stew on the stove in the afternoon when it's pouring rain (I'd rather have snow, but it's Houston and there's only one chance of that in 25 years!). I am seldom bothered by day after day with clouds or terrible weather.  To me it's just an excuse to do something I love; embroidering, sketching, graphing a new design, reading, watching a movie on my iPad (with my Beats headphones - OH! Just wonderful!).  And I feel all "tucked in" at home.

When we lived in northern England, I was about the only one who didn't have too much trouble with the short winter days.  The sun was "up" about 9:00 a.m. and set a little after 3:00 p.m.  The sun really never got too far above the horizon, so the light wasn't bright, either.  Together with their normal tendency to rainy & cloudy days all year, it could be a challenge!  I needlepointed during long evenings in front of our coal fire and finished three of Kaffe Fassett's beautiful pillows while there!  By the time we were transferred home, though, even I was ready to see some Texas sunshine!  REALLY, REALLY miss England, though!  Part of me is still there.

England house w/wisteria
Is this BEAUTIFUL or what?!?


And how about this?  Every place I set my eyes, there was WONDERFUL!

English village - buff stone
Wouldn't you like to go?


Did you know that Susan Branch is soon to finish a new book about England, full of information & photos, handwritten, and littered with her delightful watercolors and illustration?  You can keep up with her progress right here and enjoy her blog as well;  it's only because I love you that I tell you this . . . SIGH . . . don't forget to come back . . . . . (:>

We're soon to have up the delinquent January Free Pattern, and we're already way ahead on the one for March - they won't be far apart!  And soon!  Plus I'm plannng 3 new quilts, some clever little placemats, an addition to our Tabletop Quilts, a baby quilt, and more!

Be back!  Always Yours!



Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy YOUrself!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  

Hope you're going to do something special today!  If you have a sweetheart, you probably already have something planned, but you don't need a sweetheart to have a great Valentine's!  Enjoy YOUrself!  Plan to do something you really enjoy & don't often make time to do.  One of my favorite things is to curl up in a chair with some popcorn ....m.m.m.m.....and watch a favorite movie - either on the TV or on my iPad.  It's usually one I've seen a million times but love every time I see it!  Watch 2 in a row! Sometimes I like to watch the original movie and then the remake right after it.  Or watch the same one twice - just veg out for once!  Or after work, give yourself some time to work on the quilt you had to put aside a while back - or start that new block of the month you want to have!  Treat yourself!  If you're in the middle of snow & ice right now, staying in may be the only option.  

Here in Houston we've had a cold snap but still have daytime temps in the 60's.  I was surprised to see what's been going on outside while I wasn't looking!  I noticed it while I sat on the patio (south facing) for about an hour (then it got too cold), so I took some pictures for you who are snowbound to let you see what's coming your way! 

Redbud Blooms
The Earliest Redbud Blooms


Yellow Pansies
These yellow Pansies really light things up!


Winter flower pots
A group of winter flower pots to brighten the deck


Azalea blossoms
First Azalea blossoms


Pansy Border
In-ground plantings finally get some sun!


Quince blooms
Quince blossoms are in full swing! The whole bush in covered!


Cyclamen in blue pot
Cyclamen loves our warmer winter, but these got bitten a little by the frost this A.M.


Closeup of Cypress leaves
Cypress leaves can hardly wait to emerge!


Cypress tree leaves closeup
They just caught the sun, which was out most of the day.

 Everything seems in such a hurry to wake up!  So it's made our Valentine's Day a little more special.  Hope these photos have added a little "bright" to your day!  

Sit down and make a few of our little hearts from the February Free Pattern.  It won't take long and all you have to do is go to the website and download the pattern.  Then add one to each place setting at lunch or dinner!

As Always, Yours with Hearts & Hugs!



Free Heart Pattern Photos

 Hi, All!  I promised this photo yesterday, so here is the Heart Garland in a more standard style.  I really like it!  (And it's out of Jake's reach; he's a very curious poochie.)  Since the fabric strips are tied together, it's easy to shorten by just removing a few.  It would be pretty hung in lots of places!  I was thinking I'd move it (carefully) to my library and just set books on the ends to hold in place.  Or maybe in front of the dining room windows!

Heart Garland


Hearts Garland
I like this one the best! How about you?

This one is probably in Jake's reach though; but I think I'll leave it and hope he doesn't notice!  Dangerous . . . I could lose the candle holders, too . . . Hmmmm . . . . .


Here are the packaged Kits so you can see the contents.

Hearts packaged 1


I noticed that quite a few of you have already downloaded the Free Heart Pattern!  Have fun!  And remember, a Heart is great for decor, on packaging, or as a gift anytime!  Hint:  It slips into a gift card envelope very easily - just a little extra postage and you've sent a card with the gift, too, in just an envelope!

Hope your day so far has been great!  And filled with quilting, handwork or whatever puts a smile on your face!

 Always Yours,



February Free Pattern & Kits

So did you go to the website to download the pattern?  And the Kits page to order some of the kits?  Don't delay, the stock is limited!

I made the samples you see myself!  It had been so long since I'd done anything at my machine, I just had an overwhelming sense of satisfaction at the idea of making something myself. You know, hands-on!  Sure, I'm always doing things related to making something . . . drawing or designing or computer work or writing for a pattern, blog, website (or making a list of things to do or write).  But not actually doing it; Wilma usually puts everything together (and so beautifully!).  So it was really fun . . . Hmmmm . . . I think I'll have to do that again.  I really would like to finish some of those UFO's I've got put away!

But back to the present!  It was no wonder it was fun because these little Hearts are really Easy to do, meaning Fast & Fun!  I made 2 Kits worth, so you can see from the photos that makes a nice group for just about anything you'd want to do.  If you want to give some away, you might want another Kit (each one makes 9 Hearts).

So while you're making out your Valentine list, I'll show you just a few ideas to get your inspiration going.  Here's the whole gang!  See the 9?  They're made from the very same fabrics that are in the Kit; there are 81 combinations possible . . . well, practically there are 72, because you wouldn't use the same color for the small heart as for the large.  But I digress.:) 

Free February 2013 Hearts from Kit
I love the Gray in the color group!

The Kit contains the Flirt fabric by Sandy Gervais from Moda.  Isn't it pretty? 

Hearts on french doors
You could even hang one on the front door outside on Valentine's Day!

These are only hung for the photo and the idea.  If I actually left them there, Jake would think they looked good enough to eat!  They'll fit over a round knob, too.

Feb. Heart Garland
A 'wandering' garland is still eye-catching!

The garland has 2 Kits worth of hearts, except for 2 (I know you're counting & finding only 16).  One I saved to use in the next idea, and the other one got lost in the ET photo (I'll show you in a minute) & didn't make it into this one; otherwise, there should be 18!  

I like the random look, but later I'll show you how it looks in the standard style, which I think I'll like best.  The hearts are hung on 2 1/2" strips cut from the same heart fabrics.  Then they're just tied together and strung across the candle holders.  The hearts are attached with miniature clothespins.  With fewer strips, it would have a less random look.  So you would just adjust the strips for the place you want to use it!

Single Heart closeup





Here's a close closeup!  I used a .01 sepia colored Micron pen to trace with but you can't see the line when you stitch over it.

These edges were cut with pinking shears, but you could use a different design on any decorative edge scissors.











Valentine tree display



Here is another photo of a Valentine tree covered with the same hearts!  This is the one I referred to as the ET photo.  There's lots going on here, but I thought you'd have fun taking a look!

The tree is temporarily anchored in a vintage McCoy pottery flower pot.  Can you see the stepped down 'skirt' design?  Beautiful!  And that color!!!

The Flirt fabric has a light coral-ly shade to the reds and pinks in that collection, but it mixes beautifully with the truer pinks and reds around it.







One last idea and I'll call it quits!  (But it's been fun looking at the photos, hasn't it?  Just like this little book with all it's pictures!)  


Heart bookmark - cover of book
'Never Too Little to Love' book with our Heart Bookmark!


I just loved this idea!  You can do this easily with some of the hearts in the Kit.  You should make the ribbon 13" to 15" long.  If you have a specific book in mind, measure the length of the spine and add 2" at each end (4" total).  You'll need the 2" so the heart can hang over the edge of the cover and not get caught in the pages or under the book!  Instead of attaching the small heart to the large one with the button, just add the button to the large one at one end of the ribbon and stitch the ribbon to the small one at the other end.  Now you can give the Heart Bookmark with a book.  What a special gift!

This children's book by Jeanne Willis & Jan Fearnley is simply adorable!  Take a look inside:

Inside book w/Heart bookmark

See the hearts on the right page - and our Bookmark is perfect.  The end of the story is very sweet!

End of book with Heart bookmark

For ages 1 & up (all the way to me!).  The pages are heavier because of the format of the book.


Heart Bookmark w/iPad


So here's the end of our Heart blog!  There are other ideas for them that come to mind, but I'll leave that to your imagination!

So try some . . . have fun . . . . give some & put a smile on someone's face!

That's what it's all about!

Back Tomorrow!



Free Pattern is Here!

Hi, Everyone!  Just wanted to leave you a quick note to say that the FREE FEBRUARY HEART PATTERN IS ON THE WEBSITE, just not here on the blog yet!  Will have pictures up here tomorrow.

Meantime, go to the website and download the Free pattern and then over to the Kits page (it's under Fabric Kits) and take a look at the Kit for it!  It's so pretty!  You'll want to consider getting 2 or 3 of them, because these Hearts are so-o-o-o fast to make and there are so-o-o-o many things to do with them (which is what I want to show & tell you about tomorrow)!  We will get them out to you the same day if you order before 3:00 p.m. and next morning if it's after 3:00, because it's pretty close to Valentine's!

Gotta Go!  But back tomorrow with more!




A Few Of My Favorite Things

A couple weeks ago I received an ad in the mail for Vera Bradley (I love her so-many things!).  On the back were these darling little coin purses, and they were shaped like HEARTS!  They were available 'while supplies last' . . . . THAT did it!  I had to have some, so I went straight to my iPad and got online . . . . but . . . . no little heart purses . . . I looked everywhere, but nothing.  So back to the kitchen to look at the ad.  There it was - I was so excited to have them that I didn't read the next part about them being available in two weeks. Crumble.  I'd have to wait.

There are just some things I'm unreasonably attracted to - anything with flowers, anything with hearts, boxes of all kinds, and everything Christmas, and . . .!  And if there is a combination of my unreasonable things, like heart boxes, well . . . . there's just no stopping me.  See what I mean?

Heart boxes - paper
Only a few of my paper boxes

Most of these boxes were purchased while we lived in England. The box on the left side that looks like it's split down the middle vertically, really is.  It's hinged at the bottom point, so to open it you have to pull it left and right at the top of the heart!  I think I'm most taken with the large heart at the back, an antique hat box, which I found at a kind of antique boutique in Fredericksburg, Texas, in the Texas Hill Country, not too far from here.  It's one of our favorite places.  I'll have to take you there sometime with my camera.  You'll be an armchair traveler; I think you'd enjoy it!

Heart boxes - sheet metal
Some sheet metal boxes

These are so fun!  The small ones are about 2.5" across, just to give you an idea of their relative size.  The one on the front right has a chalkboard top where you can write a name or a Valentine wish!  Very much like a Conversation Heart!  One of them says "With Love" on the inside.  Wouldn't they make darling kit packaging?!

Sometimes I've ended up with two of the same thing!  Haven't you done that?  You see one somewhere and then later you see the same thing again not remembering it's already at home tucked safely away for its next display day, and again you've got the same feeling - just got to have it!   And then . . . . well . . sometimes, I confess, I get two the first time, just because!

(Actually in the top photo, see the box on the left side with the rose on it, right against the large hat box at the back?  It's actually sitting on top of another one that's exactly the same!)

So I'm hoping to hit your spot - and your heart - with our Free Pattern & Kit for Valentine's.  Will upload everything sometime tomorrow afternoon.  Just wanted to update you.  When it's up, you'll find the pattern on our website on the 'Free For You' page & the Kit on the 'Kits' page.  Just click the website button here on the left sidebar to get started!  We'll get the kits right out to you!  You can make these in a jiffy - and they're great for so many occasions - not just Valentine's!

See you tomorrow!

Always Yours,





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Glad you've stopped by to see what's happening at Daisy & Dell! Make yourself at home! As often as we can, we'll show and tell you about the studio, fabric lines, blocks of the month, kits, free projects, plans for future designs, projects in progress, booth photos, everyday happenings… just anything we think will strike your fancy! We love hearing from you, so feel free to comment, ask a question, send us your photos, or tell me, Pat Bruce, what's going on with YOU! .

— Pat