19 posts categorized "Pattern Design"


Lullaby Lamb Fabric Kits

Hi, there!  It's another beautiful day here in Texas - just a little too hot, still!  But I know it's going to improve soon.  I read Susan Branch's blog and she has pictures of beautiful, colored leaves and COOLER temperatures, so I know it will happen here eventually.

In the Spring I always try to encourage those to the north that it's warming, flowers are blooming, trees are leafing . . . . so they know it's on its way.  Now it's time for the reverse, and I know it will take a little time for the cool to reach us a-l-l-l-l the way down here, so it helps me be patient to know it's on the way!

MEANTIME, we've been stitching and cutting and packaging and photographing.  And now we have something to show you - the first of our Fabric Kits are ready for you to buy!  

Our Lullaby Lamb Fabric Kits!!  We think these are so cute!  Not only is this the most darling baby/children's quilt, but you can have it in the cutest little basket ever!  What do you think?

Lullaby Lamb Kit - Girls' Version

That's Beatrix and she's trying to tell you all about the Girls' Version; she's very enthusiastic!  I'll translate.  But first, maybe you'd like to see the Boys' Version.

Lullaby Lamb Kit - Boys' Version

 Oh, yes, here's Harry tying to tell us all about the Boys'!  Maybe I'll just tell you about the little baskets and we'll go back to Beatrix & Harry in a second.

The baskets are made of sheet metal and VERY sturdy!  I just love their wheels (stationary), and there are touches of glitter and sparkle all over.  One butterfly sits on the pull handle and the other one on top of the basket handle, looking like little jewels!  They are about 12" x 4" x 12".  After you make your quilt, you can fill them with a baby bath set, some darling little clothes, or so many other things.  Give it filled as a gift itself, or it can accompany your Lullaby Lamb Quilt filled with receiving blankets!  Now wouldn't that make someone smile!  Or maybe you'd like to keep it yourself!

Here you can see them when they're not chock full of fabric . . . . 

The Girls' kit can come in all 3, but the Boys' kit will be in either light purple or yellow.  There is a limited supply.  When they're gone, the kits will be packaged differently, but still not in a plastic bag, if we can help it!  Looking for alternatives now, because we know these won't last long!  



Here's a little closer view of the basket.  If you click on the photo, you can see a larger version, and you can see how cute the wheels are!









Now you can see the little butterflies with their sparkle!







The original Lullaby Lamb quilt, pictured on the cover of the pattern.  Of course the fabrics you'll be getting are just out, so it will look a little different, but still in keeping with ours.  We believe you'll be pleased!  Notice the bell & ribbon bow (not included) . . . a simple touch, but makes a wonderful presentation!

Now I'll translate what Beatrix was trying to tell us!  


The Celebration fabrics for the Girls' Kit, starting with the outer border fabric on the left, pinks for chenille, lavender for lamb head, etc., white background & white border squares and 3 extra fabrics for inner border squares; binding varies but from the same fabrics.  With this outer border from Bunny Hill Designs, your little chenilled lamb will be surrounded by . . . . cute little lambs!

You'll also receive 1 skein pink floss for face details, 1 skein pearl cotton to tie the middle of each curlycue in the chenille, and of course, the Lullaby Lamb pattern.  Purchase from the Website!



Here's the original Lullaby Lamb Quilt in blue for all our darling little boys!  Notice the bell & ribbon bow again. Nice finish!  Just like lambs in a meadow!

You'll be receiving fabrics from the Celebration line from Bunny Hill Designs from Moda Fabrics, just as with the girls' version. They have an up-to-date look, but still a traditional feel.  

Yes, of course, Harry, I'll tell them everything you said!


Celebration fabrics for Boys' Kit, starting with the outer border on the left, red gingham for both binding & inner border squares, white background square & white border squares, dark & light blue for chenille body, extra fabrics in yellow & green gingham (this also for nose/feet) for border squares, and light blue for head, etc., and light & dark blue double for border squares, too.  Love that red gingham binding!  Doesn't it sound baby boy perfect?!  For a little boy, too!

You'll also have 1 skein dark blue floss for face embroidery, 1 skein dark blue pearl cotton to tie each curlycue in lamb chenille, and of course the Lullaby Lamb pattern.

 Here's a closeup of the chenille in the Lamb body.  It is compact and interesting, isn't it?  And it FEELS wonderful!  Little ones love it's softness!

This one's been washed just 3 or 4 times because it's a sample quilt.  But my youngest granddaughter had this quilt as a baby quilt and it's been washed quite a number of times, without any differemce in the look.  This stands up very well to little ones!  

Beatrix wants me to remind you that both versions of the Kit include the pattern and are shipped in a cellophane bag, so the contents stay together until it arrives at your house!

Between Beatrix, Harry and me, I think that more than covers it!  Go to the Website to purchase these! 

We have other kits coming soon, so bookmark or subscribe for the latest updates - kits are limited!  

As Always Yours,


P.S. Harry wants you to know that he and Beatrix will be back, along with some of their friends, to introduce future baby & seasonal items!


Something New!

Such a beautiful day here!  We ate breakfast outside in downtown Houston and didn't want to leave! 

Always, right in the middle of August, there is this subtle change that takes place. Have you noticed it, too?  It's still hot, dry, but we just b-e-g-I-n to see some mild fronts find their way al-l-l-l the way down here again.  As gradually as they leave in the spring, they return in the fall. Even though I talk about it coming (as if talking about its' coming might relieve some of the heat of July) and expect it to happen, I'm always surprised when it arrives!

Last week when Wilma was cutting fabric and I was writing patterns, trying to keep ahead of her, I remembered something I'd been wanting to try.  So later that afternoon I had the studio to myself and a cutting table all my own and thought I'd give it a try. This is an idea that Mary Jo Yackley showed me one time when I took a quilt top for her to quilt (she quilts all my models & personal quilts - not that I have many personal ones any more what with Daisy & Dell - and she's Te-e-e-e-riffic!).  Anyway, she said she wouldn't mind if I shared it with you.  So that afternoon I gave it a try - see what you think . . . . .

Bag finished
A Bag for Your Quilt!

OK.  I won't make you guess - it's a bag for your quilt! :)  You can make one for every quilt!      And the fabric on the bag is one of the fabrics used in the quilt!  Isn't her idea great!?  Now I'll never have to look to know what's in there, AND it is protected from light, dust & contact with acidy surfaces by perfect, breathable, cotton fabric. 

I'll have a new pattern out in the fall for the quilt rolled up inside this one! 

Here's how the bottom end looks . . . .

  Bag end

It's just a big yoyo!  And really easy to do. This took me about 2 minutes by hand. I'll show you how a little later!

Here's the top end  . . . . .

Bag top

Just a simple casing with a ribbon to gather it over the top of the quilt.  Since the casing is wider than the ribbon, you don't even have to run it through at the end. Just lay it in the fold as you're stitching the casing and when it's done, just tie a bow!  I loved that because I can never seem to find a safety pin when I need one!

This is just a prototype, and I'll want to improve a couple details. But it only took me 30 minutes to finish from the time I had the idea!  A little measuring . . . a little cutting . . . a little stitching.

Bag empty

After I folded the quilt in half lengthwise & rolled it up, I was able to use the wof (width of fabric) for its length, so it only took about 5/8 yd. Though it fit just fine (pins and all because the binding was pinned on) I would want a little more "wiggle" room on others, so maybe 3/4 yd would have been better.

Yes, it's NEW, but as soon as it's "New & IMPROVED", I'll show you how to measure and finish one for any quilt you may have.

It's good talking with you again, and remember I'm . . .

Always Yours,



Coming Soon! Fabric Kits!

Hello to everyone!  It's Friday!  And though I work in some way or another all the time (including doodling, thinking up a new design while loading the dishwasher, taking notes about things that inspire me, . . .), I'm declaring a 'lite' day today!  Lite Frid'y!  How about you?

As you can see below we have been working at some fun things - cutting up fabric for kits!  It's so exciting to design, plan, order, receive, unpack, cut, fold & package all this beautiful fabric.  We have several kits planned, so I'll show you as we go along (Hint:  they will not all be from our own designs).  Some will be up on the website fairly soon and others a little later.

All of us agree that packaging makes all the difference, so we're avoiding the usual kit in a plastic bag.  We're betting you'll enjoy something different - in most cases reusable - and that it'll make you smile, oooh & aaah!  So keep checking back!

We started with this . . . . .



And after a bunch of others like it, we began to have this . . . . .



And some more like this . . . . .


We have all this to work with for 2 NEW patterns . . . . .



And this, too . . . .


How darling it that little lamb?!  With that in mind, you won't be surprised when I say that we will have both boys' and girls' baby quilt kits from our Lullaby Lamb pattern.  This is Anne Sutton's Celebration fabric line from Moda.  Just as soon as we can get it cut, it will be online!

For now that's it - but much more for later!




April Free Bird Pattern is Here!

Have you been to the website?  What's keeping you?  The new Free pattern is there waiting for you!  These fun, funny, funky little birds will put a smile on your face!  Like their sister patterns, they're fast & easy, and use the same supplies as the previous ones.  OK, so close your eyes - don't peek! - and I'll show you . . . . . .

April free pattern - bird samples photo
Two little April Birds waiting for the rest of the flock!

They're made with batting sandwiched between fabric for both body and wing, eye is fused in place and the beak, topknot (rick rack or pompom trim) & hanger are sewn in with one outside line of stitching. It's superfast!  Buttons make them even cuter.   And their legs are just poked through the body.  They dangle and move!

Write a note on the back with a Micron permanent pen in a contrasting color!  If the fabric design lends itself to it, just write around the designs.  Then add a little Bird to a Birthday gift!

April free bird pattern photo - doorknob

Make them bright like we did or in a soft color for a baby gift!  Make a baby quilt or tote bag for a shower and make one of these from the same fabrics to add to the outside of the package as a keepsake.  There's an optional tail, too, in the pattern!

  April bird free pattern pic nest

This one looks right at home in this Easter Basket!  Can you see his dangly legs?  As in the Bunny pattern last month, you can trace the pattern from the opposite side and some of your Birds will be going the other direction.  You can download it from the website or download right here  April Bird Pattern, and no waiting!

We're working on a new qult design using Moda's PB&J fabric by Basic Grey!  We think you'll like it, so keep an eye out right here.  Meantime we'll post the next Free pattern in time for May, with more right here in between!




March Free Bunny Pattern is Here!

Such SWEET little Bunnies!  Look at those fluffy tails!  Perfect in Someone's Easter Basket!

March free Bunny - 3 samples
Tails & Ribbons & Bows! Oh, My!

The left one is wool with a tail of wool fiber, the others are regular cotton with cotton floss tails.  We used a Clover pompom maker of 1" and another one of 1 3/8" sizes.  These are really handy! But you can make a tail from just winding fiber around a couple of your fingers, or anything else that's the right size; just so you can slip it off and tie.  You can see that the floss tails have a finer look and the one on the left from the heavier wool fiber is coarser.  It's variegated and makes a beautiful combination of colors!  

Another way to get a speckled tail is to just use 2 different colors, using one about 1/3 of the other.  Wind it along with the main one, so you have the color throughout instead of all in one place when it's finished!  Try pink, gray or white with a little brown.

Single bunny detail
Machine stitching along the embroidery gives a quilted look.

If you don't want a pompom tail, use a 1" button OR make a yo-yo and fasten to Bunny with a small button in the center.  Use a combination of these on several Bunnies, so they're all different!

 Since you're going to make a whole basketful of these sweeties, you'll want to turn the pattern over and trace so some of them face the opposite way.  AND make some with wool on one side and cotton on the other.  OR you could even embroider both sides and make them double-sided (mirror the pattern for the opposite side, match up embroiderd lines on front & back, and pin to machine stitch next to them). Sooooo would you make 2 pompom tails (?) or use a button on one side with a pompom on the other and sew them both on at the same time??

Oh!  I guess you'll be needing the pattern!  You can go to the website and download, or do it right here (we won't make you wait) March Bunny Pattern.

Bunny on doorknob
Your fabric & ribbon choices can change it from a sophisticated to a cottage-y look!

Handmade for Family & Friends!

We'll be back soon with the April Pattern!  It's a little more whimsical, but just as cute!  Meantime, we'll be Show & Telling you about everything that's happening.  In fact, we're going to Tucson again next week for a short time off and will have some pictures of that amazing area!  Will of course be writing the blog from there (depending on how the wind blows :) - connections can be spotty!) so can also show you some of the handpainted canvases I'll be needlepointing while I'm there!

Yours Always,



January Free Pattern is Here!

Have you been to the website?  What are you waiting for? The January free pattern is there (the one that was delayed, of course)!  It is so cute, you'll think it worth the wait!  And you'll be ahead on your Christmas giving/packaging for next year!

 Here are the 3 samples we made . . . . . .

Jan green snowman small Jan blue snowman small Jan Free Red Snowman - small

Don't they look Happy-Go-Lucky?!  They are because they know that though they're Flaky, they're also Darling!  Don't you agree?

You can click right here January Snowman  and download the pattern, too!  

There are many ways to make these different, so you can make a bunch of them . . . . . is that right(?) . . a gaggle of geese, a flock of birds,  a herd of horses . . a bunch of snowmen , , , Hmmm.  How about a treeful of these cuties!?  You may notice that the first Snowman has embroidered arms, but it's a little difficult to see the twig arms on the other two.  They were fun to do; I just snapped twigs from my quince and one of the yaupons, let them dry inside a day, then cut to size.  Just glued them in place with white craft glue in between the back and batting, then waited overnight to dry.  If you'll add a little glue between the front and batting at that point, too, you won't have to stitch the top to batting at the end.  It's not possible to stitch all the way through after you've glued because, although it's flexible, it's too hard for a needle, and you don't need to anyway - it's NOT coming open!  A little dab'll do 'ya!

Change the buttons.  Make them different shapes and colors, as we have above.  It would be fun to have one that used different colors for the body buttons!  We'll do that, too, because we're going to make a bunch (there's that term again) to hang on our tree at Market, so our Singing Ornaments have a few extra friends!

All the Snowmen above are made from wool - so nice to work with and they feel good in your hand, but you should try some with regular cottons or a combination.  We'll be doing that, too, with more samples!  Try using some blush on a Q-tip or the end of your little finger to make the cheeks, if you don't want to embroider them, just embroider an outline of the circle instead of filling it in, etc.  And if you don't have the carrot nose, just trace the nose and embroider it, instead.

Earmuff buttons are stitched to the allowance, so you can see his face.  The 'wire' is either actual 22 gauge craft wire, which comes in a rainbow of colors, or DMC's memory 'thread' which is a thread-covered wire, also in many colors!  They both work great, so you could get some of both and just choose the color that works best from either one!  We used both!

In spite of the CUTE details, they're fast and fun to make!  And as you can see, so cute hanging on the tree.  How cute would they be on someone's package, or on the dinner table as a napkin ring?

We're about to bring you the March pattern, so better get started on these right now!  Have fun!

Always yours,



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!



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,






Valentines & Kits Coming!

It's been a most beautiful day here today. Really cold yesterday, overcast &  W I N D Y!  But today was sunny and 74.  I worked on our free February pattern for only a little bit when my O&O called and we met for lunch at one of our favorite places, Beck's.  It's a yuppie hamburger-to-steak place where you can sit outside on a deck under great old live oak and post oak trees. I love that and it was just warm enough today!  Yay! 

Did just a little bit of shopping on the way home and found the most beautiful napkins for Spring, what do you think?  I bet I can do something with these, yes?

Williams Sonoma Bunny Napkins
Darling Bunny Napkins



Beautiful embroidery!

Yes, these are from Williams Sonoma.  Their beautiful table linens are cotton and linen, so they look & feel wonderful!  These napkins come in white, as well, and belong with a gorgeous jacqurd tablecloth.  I thought you might like to see them all here.  Beautiful things are food for the soul!

And I bought the cutest little Bunny - a stuffed animal, of course!  Can you just imagine what Jake would think of the real thing?!?!  He's a hunting dog, so let's just NOT imagine!  (Don't worry, the only thing he really hunts is lizards in the backyard). 


Stuffed Bunny full on cutting table
Look how he holds his hands! Isn't that darling?

And he's planted himself right on the cutting table, where all the Valentine busy-ness is going on!  By the way, see that rotary cutter on the right - the lock is on guaranteed - do you know where your rotary cutter is?


Stuffed Bunny closeup 1
Just look at that face!

Stuffed Bunny closeup 2
And those eyes! Who could resist?!

Which is exactly why I bought one for me and one for someone's Easter basket!

This little bunny will have a life in front of the camera, surrounded by his own kind!  (That means he'll be on blogs, websites and social media, surrounded by other stuffed animals & soft quilting projects, looking adorable!).  Easter things are everywhere, it seems like all of a sudden.  But then someone reminded me how early Easter is this year, March 31!  Hence the bunny! 

I'm always looking for things I think you'll like to see in photos, sometimes just by themselves and other times with the things made from my designs.  I'm picky - it has to be something I love, and I know will look beautiful, or is cute or funky, and be the 'glue' that makes things work together.  I like nothing better than to put a smile on your face or touch your heartstrings!  So I keep my eyes open. 

Sometimes I run across something I just love and have a sense or knowing that it's perfect and I should get it.  But my practicality kicks in, and I think "Oh, but I don't have a specific idea for that, what will I do with it?", so I walk away to think about it awhile.  Then I realize the "knowing" I had was right, I go back to get it, and it's gone!  Some of those things I still think about.  So I've learned not to argue with it, and just get it the first time; and most every time it turns out to be a great decision!  Do you ever do that?

Almost have ready the February free pattern, and samples, and photos for the website, and photos for the blog, and kits, etc. etc.  The pattern graphics are finally finished, Sue does that, and it was a real struggle for her because her computer crashed and she had to wipe the drive and reload everything!  Then she had follow-up trouble with email & printers and was trying to do Daisy & Dell's complicated things from her phone - can you imagine?!?!?  But the samples are all made, and I'm working on staging photos for the blog, so you'll have some inspiration!  (Oh, and Sue IS getting things worked out, thank you for your concern!)  And I haven't forgotten January; even though its going to be late, it'll still be fun to do and you'll want to add it to your collection for the year!  

So sometime THIS WEEKEND I'll have up some great stuff for you to look at and do!  So check back!

Now must get back to those photos - and KITS!!  (and I might just have some Conversation Hearts!!)





Very Valentine!

We're working on a Free Project that will be up on the website soon on the Free For You page!  It will feature a simple, easy, quick, fun-to-do project which will span the year with a different one each month!  And we'll have a little kit to go with each one.  We're hurrying so we can get January's to you before the month is gone - can you believe it's passing so FAST?!?!?  And we want to get February's to you a little early, too.

We're thinking about Valentines, our other favorite holiday (I bet you couldn't guess our Free February Project will be all about that)!  But meantime, take a look at one of our most beautiful quilts, Embellished Hearts, perfect for the season!  The quilt has everything - regular embroidery, ribbon embroidery, applique & embellishment - it includes a darling little envelope, which you can actually open, with a tiny Valentine inside!

There are instructions for the quilt, of course, plus instructions, stitch diagrams & beautiful, detailed drawings for each of the 5 embellished hearts, showing the position of all embroidery, embellishment and applique.  Includes a list of silk ribbon from The Thread Gatherer or you can substitute your own! 

If you start now, you can hang it for Valentine's Day next year!

Embellished Hearts quilt pic larger
Embellished Hearts Quilt

The resolution isn't the best on this full photo, but you can see the quilt layout.  Can you see the bows formed in the corner blocks?

Embellished Hearts - Ruffled Heart full heart
Ruffled Heart

Embellished Hearts - Scalloped Heart full heart
Scalloped Heart


Embellished Hearts - Starry Heart full heart
Starry Heart


Embellished Hearts - Feathered Heart full heart
Ruffled Heart


Embellished Hearts - Envelope Heart full heart
Envelope Heart

See the darling little Valentine?  It fits perfectly in the Envelope!  The piece of fabric is fussy-cut to get the little rose in the corner and the writing is traced with a Micron pen - how easy!

Embellished Hearats - Starry Heart closeup
Starry Heart closeup of ribbon embroidery
Starry Heart Xtra closeup L side
Starry Heart closeup of left side

See all the beads buried in the ribbon?  It gives it just a perfect sparkle!  And you could do the same with sequins or other embellishment items.  In the Ruffled Heart above, I used a number of my Grandma Daisy's buttons I found in a box of hers.

Starry Heart xtra closeup R side
Starry Heart closeup of right side

 If you've never done ribbon embroidery before, don't let that stop you!  The instructions and stitch diagrams will tell you everything to do.  And even though it doesn't look like it, ribbon embroidery is very forgiving!  Practice the roses on a scrap piece just to make yourself feel better first.  These are formed all on the top of the fabric, anyway, so it's easy to start over; besides, you can see how easy it is to cover anything you want to!  And it ALWAYS looks beautiful! 

I made this quilt for one of my wedding anniversaries!  We got married the day before Valentine's Day because the church was already taken for the day itself.  So the quilt works for everything!  You can order the pattern on the website.

Thanks for being patient to let these photos load!  I got a wonderful D3200 Nikon camera for Christmas - just so I could show you great closeups like these.  The DS100 I had used for so long simply wasn't giving the resolution needed - that's how things have changed!  Now it looks like there may be more resolution than I actually need for photos to load on the page quickly - but that's a change in the right direction! 

Back with more later!  Always!



Ribbons, Trims and Embellishments

Have been working on the last 2 ornaments before market (only 2 weeks now!).  By Monday should have the first finished sample for each one; then will take a photo, then to the graphic designer for a cover, then off to the printer - they can probably ship to me just in time!  Oh, yes, and show YOU!  Whew!  Now to finish these last 2 patterns - that's part of my weekend.  Will give you a peek at the samples on Monday or Tuesday!

These little ornaments can be done exactly as you see them on the cover - or you can leave out details - or add your own to ours.  We've done three or four of each one, choosing different combinations of fabrics & threads & embellishments.  Depending on what you choose, they can really look different!  

I've had a great time going through my ribbons, trims and embellishments!  In fact, I even went to my local craft store and picked up some decorations for miniature trees - Oh, so cute!  So you'll soon see some of these on our little ornaments!

Great Flakes! alternate sample
Great Flakes! Singing Christmas Ornament

I really think you'll enjoy putting these together!  And anyone you want to give them to will be glad you enjoyed it.  I just loved this wonderful sequin-y, ruffled trim!  Have been thinking about stocking some trims and ribbons, unique & traditional, and selling them by the yard.  Would you be interested?

We've used the Embellishment Kit, which includes all the buttons you see, plus the sparkly fiber.  Very handy!  Wish you could hear the music it plays from the Sound Card in the back!  I promise to figure that out and let you listen soon.

Back in a bit!  Always Yours!





Tree-mendous Ornament - Last of 3

Glad to see you're here for our last installment to make this little ornament! 

Since yesterday, we have smoothed a piece of cut-to-to-fit batting against the front side, stuffed our ornament, with the Sound Card inside the pocket for a good fit, and stitched the opening at the bottom closed.  

Anticipating a few questions, I'll say that the batting protects the fibers that end up on the back side from stitching, so they don't get pulled & tugged during stuffing AND it prevents a lumpy look on the front from the fiberfill - it gives it a little sturdiness, too.

A word about the Sound Card.  We always put it in the pocket before stuffing the ornament, because you don't want it too tight (or too loose), so you can easily remove it if you want to (like to change the recording - yes, you can do that, more later), and if it's in the pocket, you know exactly how to stuff it.

Treemendous Ornament
Tree-mendous Ornament Finished


Here's the glittery trim we picked!  it's hard to see all its glitz in the photo, but it goes well with the whole ornament.  The sequins are glittery, the beads are glittery and even the pink and green fabrics are shiny and sparkly!

At the bottom, the trim is well attached, but this trim is tubular and webby, so I'll use some Fray Check to keep those ends in place.

On yours, you'll have an extra 1/4" at top & bottom for your buttons; this one was a prototype, but exact to the pattern in every other way.

Hope you got something from this!  It's a BEAUTIFUL fall day here, so I think I'll get a cup of coffee, sit on the back patio and enjoy it!  How about you?




Tree-mendous Ornament Part 2 of 3

Hi, again!  Back to finish up the next-to-last post of the Tree-mendous Ornament with you!  

It's the 1st already!  Now it will seem like a blur untl the end of the year!  You, too?  So let's finish while we still have a minute or two.

Back for Treemendous Ornament
We've cut the back & the pocket for the Sound Card.

If you purchase the Gift Package, which includes the Sound Card, you'll need the pocket.  There is a Gift Package for each ornament.  It always includes the beautiful Heirloom storage/gift box and the Sound Card, with a pre-recorded clip from a Christmas carol or song.  You can record anything you want on the Sound Card  - it's easy and instructions come with it, more later.  Also, many of the ornaments have embellishment packets, which can be included, but you always get the first two.

Seam on pocket
First 1/4" seam on Sound Pocket



Turn under 1/4" on the upper edge of the Sound Pocket.  

We pressed it first to make it easier to stitch. 











Upper hem sound pocket
Second 1/2" seam on Sound Pocket



Now turn that same edge under again 1/2".

You can see the finished hem in the photo.










Sound pocket to back
Sew Sound Pocket to Back



Place the Sound Pocket against the back.

Wrong side of pocket goes against right side of back - in other words, both are right sides up, as you can see in the picture.

Pin and stitch to the outside of the seam line (you don't want this stitching to show when it's turned) just to hold them together while you assemble it all.  You could just pin everything together at once just before you sew, but as my British watercolor instructorm Janet Thackery, used to say, "It's a little fiddley".

Match the bottom edges, as you see.



back/sound pocket unit
Finished back with sound pocket





There's the pocket/back unit, and you can see the inside of the pocket.










Sound pocket/card
Sound Pocket with Sound Card







The Sound Card fits nicely inside!










Hanging ribbon on front
Hanging Ribbon on front



Whatever you choose for a hanger, it will go on top of the front.  Position the ends according to the pattern for the Ornament you are making; this one is 1/4" inside the top corners.

Stitch across the ends to the outside of the seam line just to hold in place.

Hint:  Place each end of the Ribbon face down the same way, so your hanger will look nice.  Avoid a twist in it.

For this Ornament, we've chosen a trim that must be sewn on by hand.  But most of the time, you'll have a trim to put on along the edge; so the trim goes face down first, outside edge of trim pointing to the inside of the front, against the right side of front, then the ribbon over it.  The order matters - this way will place the Ribbon Hanger behind the trim when the Ornament is turned.

Front to Ornament Back
Assembling the Ornament "sandwich"

Now place the front and back right sides together.  

Pin and stitch together, starting along the bottom edge (remember you need to leave about a 3" opening to turn with) and sew around the ornament to the bottom edge on the other side. 

 I like to stitch with the top up for two reasons: 1) I can make sure the open seams are stitched flat, and 2) since the trim & hanger were stitched to this side to hold them in place, I can see it and stitch just to the inside of this stitching, so it won't show when turned. 

Treemendous turned Ornament
Turned Ornament





Turn your ornament and pull out the corners and edges.

At the bottom, I used the tip of my iron to press a 1/4" seam across the opening on both front & back (you can see where I pinned it for the photo).  It makes it easier to hand stitch the opening shut later.









 It looks a little unfinished because it is!  Normally you would see the trim around the edge at this point, and all you'd have left is to stuff it, but since ours is to be handsewn on, there are still 2 steps left. And it will have such a cute trim - one of the glitzy ones in the Trims photo a few days ago.  Can you guess which one?

I'll be back later to show you!  Since that post will be fairly late, you may not see it until tomorrow, though.  So until then . . . .



It's a Digital World so Make an Ornament

We're just not letting up around here!

When I was busy in the "before" days, you'd hear me complain about running around everywhere, need to stay home, use too much gas.

Now it's my neck & shoulders hurt, my fingers are cramping and my eyes are tired!  This is it in a nutshell . . . . Digital Devices.  Computers, phones, iPods, iPads, MP3s, game players  . . . . . forgive me if I forgot your favorite!  Any one of them is enough to cause the listed symptoms, but most of us have multiples of these - plenty enough to do the trick.  We're always anticipating a new release, eager to toss aside the last 'amazement'.  Who would ever have imagined an antique or collectible called Atari?  And what about all those computers?  They're actually thought of as 'classic' and are known by make, model and year  . . . .  just like a car!

They're a necessity now.  

I'm hunched over them all the time.  My sewing machine (more computer then machine), my iMac, laptop, PC, iPad (like right now), iPhone,  . . . . . I could go on, but my fingers are cramping.  I needed an antidote.

So I got to thinking that some good, old-fashioned handwork (like embroidery & embellishment) would be just the thing.  So instead of handing off Ornament samples to be hand-stitched by someone else, I kept one group for myself.

And guess what?

I was hunched over!

My neck & shoulders hurt, my fingers were cramping, and my eyes were tired.

 I've really GOT to get out more!



OK.  So now you've probably figured out that I'm trying to distract you because I promised to finish-up the Tree-mendous Ornament yesterday and I'm LATE!  My fiberfill was hiding in the closet, but have it now and will post the finish later today.  See you in a bit!

Yours Always,




Making a "Tree-mendous" Ornament

Yesterday when you stopped by it was raining, then turned to mostly sprinkles.  But today it's starting to actually rain!  Yay!  It made a great day to curl up with a needle and work on my newest Ornament, Tree-mendous.

I couldn't take pictures of the embellishment process, but I'll explain below and THEN I'll Show & Tell you for the rest of it.  So grab your hat, this is kinda long, but I think you'll find it interesting, with a lot of tips & even a mini tutorial - here we go . . . . 

Treemendous tutorial photo #1

If you look back at this post photo a couple days ago, you can see that this is made from the choices on the right side of the photo.

Just Pieced:  It's so easy to do this one - just piece and embellish!  The pattern talks you through each step; putting the tree rows together, then piecing the front by adding the background rows in-between.  It would probably be best to quilt this one, but we didn't have time, so our samples for Quilt Market will not have any quilting. 

Now for Embellishment:  First I added the 3/16" buttons that you see above because the colors worked so well and I thought a variation in size would add interest.  I was really looking forward to using the little packages of sequins in the post photo (they were so darling), but when I added them to the lower tier of the tree last night, they just seemed distracting.  So I pulled out some of these little tiny (when I say tiny - these are probably 3/32"!), round sequins in pink, blue, gold and green, with beads to mostly match, and it worked!

I always say there's never enough embellishment, but I also know it's time to stop when it begins to take away from the look.  In this case I couldn't even get started, so simplifying was the answer. 

Here's a Tip:  As I stitched the sequins & beads on, I never cut my thread because the distance was SO small, but I knotted behind each one.  That's how I was able to remove the distracting (if cute) sequins without disturbing the rest.  And it saved me a lot of time not to have to remove them ALL.

Buttons for the Tree Trunk:  I found some buttons in decreasing sizes and the right colors.  They overlap the branches a little, but it makes everything look connected.

Fibers for the Button Embellishment:  The fibers used to sew the buttons on are an embellishment!  They are fairly thick in the needle and I had to use a large-eyed chenille needle (chenille needles are just a tapestry needle with a sharp point and like tapestry needles, they come with large eyes).  You may need to use an awl to start a hole in the fabric for each stitch depending on the fibers you choose, but mine worked fine with a little patient tugging.  As long as the fiber group will fit through the button holes, it will work.  Leave about 4" of tail to tie a square knot.  You may find it easier to do this if you sew the button on first with a single strand of sewing thread, once through the holes, just to hold it in place.

If you have Buttons with just 2 holes, turn them to the horizontal and go down from the top through one hole and come up through the other one.  

If your Buttons have 4 holes, you can just ignore the 2 vertical ones, or you can sew on this way:  Down from top through right horizontal hole, up through lower vertical hole, down again through the top vertical hole, then up through the left horizontal hole.  This leaves your tails so the knot will lie on the horizontal, which looks prettier!  Now it's time to tie the knot!

Square Knots are wonderful and will even keep pearl cotton from coming untied!  The reason it works is that the loops in the knot actually tighten on each other with movement, making it perfect for tied quilts & these buttons!  Here's a mini tutorial to help you learn to tie them.  Unfortunately, practice makes perfect!

Square knot tutorial 1



For this application, the 2 ends are on top of the button.  Another time the ends might be coming around something, but you would still have 2 ends to work with.

Get a length of something larger, like cord or rope and follow along so you can see what happens.






Square Knot tutorial 2

 Think about tying your shoes.  It's pretty much the same; it just matters which shoelace goes around the other one.  

In fact, this is a great knot for double tying your shoes - someone will have to wrestle you to get these babies untied!

The right side goes over the left on top, and then goes underneath it, which forms a loop.  Click on the image to enlarge it, so you can see better.

Square Knot tutorial 3



Now just pull the ends to tighten.

You're ready for the second loop.





Square Knot tutorial 4



This time the left side goes over the top of the right side, then back under it, forming another loop.

Click on the photo to see it up close.





Square Knot tutorial 5


Now pulls the ends to tighten.

You're DONE!

See how pretty it looks? 





Back to finishing the Ornament.

Tree-mendous finished buttons

Now to finish the ornament front, just trim the fibers a little past the edge of the button, as far as seems good to you.  I tried to fray some of them a little, just to make it more interesting - Don't worry, that knot is going to hold them!

Tree-mendous finished front


Here's the finished front!  Isn't it pretty?!?  You could do so many things on these trees - I was thinking about those little, teeny strings of miniature light bulbs that craft stores sell.  Wouldn't they be cute couched on top of the boughs?

So when you get to finish one for yourself, this is the point where you treat yourself to a cup of coffee (((((or a milkshake? shhhh))))) and take a few minutes to admire your work!

Tomorrow I'll be back to finish it, Sound Card and all!

Always Yours,




New Singing Ornament Patterns

We're rolling right along, but not gathering any moss!  Finished writing the pattern for our next Christmas Singing Ornament and chose fabrics and some embellishments for 3 of them.  

I gave them all to Wilma to put together and test the pattern.  That is the usual process.   Right now, she has the makings for 3 sets of different samples!  They're all in different stages of completion, but it's close enough to Quilt Market that we have to think about how much time it takes to print the patterns.  We need to get started!

So Wilma is doing just one of each of them first, so we can have a finished sample to take a picture of for the cover - that's what starts the printing process.  But I'll tell you more about that later.   First here's a picture of a couple of the choices that went to Wilma earlier:


If I tell you that the name of the pattern is 'Tree-mendous!', can you guess what it's about?  Yes, it's the second tree of three!  But this one is completely different - AND a breeze to put together!  

What do you think of our embellishments?  Aren't they great?  I especially love those little sequins!  Won't they be perfect with pastel seed beads to hold them on?

I can hardly wait to see the finished ornament!  It's kind of like choosing something online that you want after going through all the different possibilities - then, when you make up your mind, put it in the shopping cart and pay for it, you really want it right now - but you've got to wait on the shipping!  That's where I am now - waiting on the finishing!

On to the next ornament pattern - it's all about Santa!

As Always - Yours,



Trimming the Ornaments

Hi, There!  Hope you're having rain, or if you've already had rain, hope you're enjoying your sunshine!  It's just so dry everywhere, you know?

We ourselves have had rain & now have sunshine.  And I realized I'd RUN OUT of trims for our little Christmas Ornaments - how could I have done that?!?  Then my One & Only said he'd take me where I needed to go; so we went.  

Oh!!! It was like being in a toy store.  It took me a couple hours and two different places, but I found some goodies!  These will be on the Singing Ornaments to come - I'll show them to you as they're finished.  Thought you'd like a look at a few of the trims now . . . .


These are SO fun!  And you'll see them between now and market (and then between market and Christmas) on more finished ornaments!

Don't you just love that lower left one with the little beaded edge swag?  And how about the beautiful pleated one next to it - and the gorgeous faux cord to the right?!?  These could Trim the Tree.  (That's a thought . . . maybe after market.)
We are thinking creatively and will use the glittery slinky ones, too.  And I don't know if you can tell it, but the red & white striped one at the top of the photo is little candy canes.  I'm not sure how we'll use it, but it's too adorable to leave in the package!

I'm not above gathering a regular ribbon down one side and using that, either, so I really have lots of possibilities.  You could even use an old standby and gather a length of fabric, hem the other edge, and use that - I think it would look great . . . . . Hmmmm . . . . that's a GOOD idea . . . believe I'll do that, too, and show you the result - OK?

Later, and I'll be the same . . .

Always Yours,



Whistle While We Work

AND we're singing, too!  To the tunes of our little Christmas Ornaments!  Every few days now we get the samples for a new one!  They're darling!  I mentioned we're having 3 or 4 made of each one to show Market attendees just how cute & pretty they can be all done up in different fabrics - and all dolled up with beads & sparkly fibers & buttons & ribbons & . . . . . . . . well, you get the idea!  

Just to help  you imagine them,  I wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of what's on hand at the moment . . . . .

Trio of Snowy Tree ornaments

Just think of all the different ways you could do these little trees!  

A Handmade Gift

Something to Treasure

One of a Kind

It's fun to listen to the different Christmas carols play on different ornaments!  With just the press of a button, you can hear the recorded carol, OR with just the press of another button, you can record your own message - or singing, if you prefer --- of course, I want you to feel confident knowing that you can playback and re-record if you want . . . just a thought about that singing!

We have one available on the website now, Great Flakes!, so you can read all about it & about the things that go with it.  Embellishment kits will be available to make these easy for you to do and . . . . . Frustration Free!

When I get new samples it makes me whistle and it doesn't seem much like work!

As Always Yours!



Visit Our Store

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