Inspire Me!

Quilts and projects that inspire us!

Time Flips: June Calendar

Remember back in April when the weather report was like a bad horror movie? And we wondered if the time for  sunshine and warmth would ever come – and stay? Well, it’s time!

 

Stitch quickly, beach time beckons!

simple sketch lines are easy to follow

 

maybe you will make your straw reeeeeally long or add a lemon slice

 

Rays of sunshine and warm sand – that’s summer!

 

Here’s what you need for your June FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ tan, small piece of white, small piece of yellow, scraps of turquoise and brown

Embroidery thread: dark brown, turquoise, yellow

Embroidery stitches: blanket, stem

PATTERN DOWNLOAD

 

Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

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Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Wonderful Wool | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Time Flips: May Calendar

 

Ready for some May flowers?

Have I mentioned how excited I am by my little calendar hanger? AND it flips!

 

You start with this …

How about a trellis, too? And a little vine …

The French knots really bring the vine to life!

And add a flower pot — with some flowers!

 

Dietz suggested that the Y became a flower pot. My creativity was blanked out for a minute and he came to the rescue.

 

The flowers combine a few straight stitches in between the daisy stitches and a French knot in the middle.

When you get this far, all you need is a backing brought around to the front to make a border.

When all your gardening efforts are finished, you will have this:

Here’s what you need for your May FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ cream, scraps of brown, rust, green

Embroidery thread: brown, green, rust, pink, lavender

Embroidery stitches: blanket, daisy, stem, French knots, running

PATTERN DOWNLOAD

Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

Better get to stitching, we are almost finished with April! May is around the corner!

 

PS – Happy May birthday, Sister!

Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Wonderful Wool | Leave a comment

Small but Mighty!

I’ve had the some of the grand-kids for a visit recently and I can testify to the fact the “though they are small, they are mighty”!  Mighty mess makers!  We didn’t get much sewing done, but we did mend the “blankey” and hem one pair of pants and fix some favorite pjs.  Those mighty kids made their own pizza, helped Grandpa deliver a calf, and played with cousins.  For being so small they have a mighty hold on my heart!

ONLY 5 of the 12

Now they are back at home and my house is much quieter.  I need a small but mighty sewing challenge to accomplish something quickly.  Break out the picture panels and all those small squares we were cutting last year.  I know you’re asking how can those be quick & easy? So here’s the next sew along.

Panel of Winnie & scraps to match

Sew Along #3

Mix 2 1/2″ squares that the colors coordinate with the panel for a patchwork look.  I’m using pastels because of the color in the panel.  I started with a few 5″ squares just for a solid read and contrast in size.

Larger spacers

Design board which I probably won’t follow. 🙂

Assembly line sew the 2 1/2″ squares into rows that match the width of your panel.  Press in alternate directions for matching corners. Trim or square up “early & often”. Make a least 3-4 rows. This is an exercise in MAKING myself be random.  You could spend a life time moving 2 1/2″ squares around.  Just sew!

“Wooden” border not my wood floor. 🙂

I split my panel into two quilts make it a rectangle but still added squares AND get two for the price of one, but you could just add more (or fewer) rows to the top and bottom.  I like the idea of custom sizing to what you need/have so I’m not giving required measurements. I’m using a basic crib size.

A quick and simple way to finish up a quilt top.  Same idea would work for place mats with a focus picture and edges of small (but mighty) squares.  What is your favorite/mighty way to use small squares?

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Time Flips: April Calendar

Springtime and wool might not seem to go together. But I think this little April calendar page will convince you otherwise.

Butterflies and tulips – now, that says SPRING!

This little butterfly and tulip calendar page will go together so quickly! You can count on having a dose of springtime inside even though the weather is still very fickle outside.

I had the backing on the project when I realized it was missing the details on the tulip. It’s never too late to add a couple more stitches!

 

There are French knots at the end of the antennae.

 

At my house every season has it’s own tea pot!

 

Do you remember that little wire piece on the flip hanger that I thought might be unnecessary? I’ve discovered that it helps keep the calendar “pages” hanging straight – especially if the wool background is from a lighter weight wool.

Now I figure it out!

 

Here’s what you need for your April FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ yellow, scraps of lavender, purple, pink, black

Embroidery thread: lavender, yellow, dark green, pink, black

Embroidery stitches: blanket, stem, daisy, French knot

Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

PATTERN DOWNLOAD

Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Wonderful Wool | Leave a comment

Layer cakes in HD versus HC

DH at rest during calving season

My very own DH (dear hubby) has been out with the new baby calves that are coming fast and furiously, even in the COLD weather.  It is necessary to check them every couple of hours all through the night.  He slides in occasionally to thaw out and cat-nap in front of the large screen HD television.  Sitting along side one night, I mentioned I was working on an HC quilt.  He “kindly” let me know that I probably meant HD.  I clarified by saying that the HC made it HD.  He finally opened both eyes, just so he could raise an eyebrow.

I said that high contrast quilts make for high definition.  He thought that was about as funny as stepping on one of my pins.  But I just attributed his lack of humor to lack of sleep.

Let’s talk about HC quilts which are best for all those 10″ squares we pre-cut from the scrap pile last year. I usually like high contrast quilts anyway but they seem especially important with scrap quilts.  Here are some tips to get you sewing.

  • In these ideas it is best to use a light piece and a dark piece, saving the mediums for later.  I know that it may all seem relative to what fabric is laid next to it.  But if you question, “Is this a medium?”, then that’s the one you want to leave out.  Think gray scale and then go to either end.
  • Use an assortment but keep them coordinated within the block.  Say, a light pink and a dark pink.  A tan and a chocolate brown.  You get the picture?  In high definition?
  • As mentioned before, these scraps may not always  be straight of grain so square it up early and often!
  • It won’t take long to have enough for a LARGE quilt, so know what your end goal is.  Place mats can wait for the smaller squares.

Sew Along #2

There’s probably a real name for this one (criss-cross, cross over, King’s X, ric-rac) but I just liked it for the 10″ squares.  SO FAST!

Layer 2-10″ squares (a light & a dark) with the light on top. (The Martelli yellow board is a great cutting mat but looks a little weird with these colors in HD!) 

1 light & 1 dark; light on top

Make 3 – 2 1/2″ cuts vertically. I just pealed the first layer back so you could see the direction.

Cut both layers one time

Make 1 – 2 1/2″ cut horizontally through both layers.  My Martelli skinny-mini ruler is covering what I’m cutting in the above photo.  Remove the light strips and layer or line up to cut one more 2 1/2″ section. Sorry, I switched blocks as I forgot to photo the other one at this stage.

Cut 4 light, longer strips once more

Do a layout according to finished block and assembly line sew into strip sections of the block.  The scrappy blocks are so different you won’t mix them up.  But remember you are going to have TWO finished blocks from each fabric pair.

When you begin to join the strips together remember that there are more vertical seams (taking up the seam allowances) that there are horizontal seams, so your block will NOT be square.

1 from the top & 1 from the bottom

Here’s the part about trim early and often.  Start your seams at the point of the pins in the photo leaving the excess in a trimming spot.  One is at the top and one is at the bottom. Sorry the yellow pin is so hard to see, but the excess purple isn’t hard to see.

Trim then join center

Trim each pair of strips to 8 1/2″ then join the center seam.  Re-square entire clock.

Square it up!

Here’s a completed version but her method involved complete yardages of fabric.

Now there’s some high contrast that even sleep deprived hubby can see in high definition.  I have one more option for you. It’s even faster!  You don’t even have to change the channel.  My inspiration came from here

Criss-cross

and you can find a youtube video here.

 

Here’s option #2:

Chose 2-10″ squares, one light and one dark. Layer together.

1 light & 1 dark

Lay opposing corners on the 45 degree angel line of your cutting mat. Cut 1″ away from that 45 degree line on both sides.

45 degree angle

Should come out looking like this (the lighter one is on the bottom, but the order doesn’t matter).

Do the switcheroo

Fold each piece in half to find center and mark with a pin, or iron, or finger press (remember they are bias cuts so don’t stretch).

Find your centers

Sew the LIGHT center strip to the two DARK triangles and the DARK center strip to the two LIGHT triangles. Square each of the inserted corners to 9 1/2″

Square it up!

Ta-Da!  You will be finished with either of these two quilts before the next blog post comes out.

2 for work of 1

Which is your favorite? I can see them put together in cross over pattern or the first option set on point or…and I’ll be thinking about those medium tones that felt so left out of the HC quilts.  Or maybe moving on to those strips that are left in the drawer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Fight the Chaos Fridays, Inspire Me! | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Time Flips: February Calendar

My heart just flips over this little sweetheart of a wool calendar! I know that is WAAAY too much Valentine talk for one sentence!

But, seriously, Sister. I’m excited to show you that this calendar actually flips! And it’s really quick and easy to make it work!

Just use pearl cotton or 6 strands of embroidery thread to make loops on the back side of the calendar.

 

The loops fit through the opening between the wires of the flip hanger.

 

The trick is to make sure the loops are the correct distance apart.

 

Put the January calendar in place first so that it will flip to the back of the February calendar.

 

And February is ready to set next to a box of chocolates!

 

Here’s what you need for your February FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ Pink, scraps of pink

Embroidery thread: white, pink, burgundy

Embroidery stitches: outline, running stitch, adapted daisy (put two close together and then stitch them together to form a heart.

PATTERN DOWNLOAD

Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

It case it helps, here are a few close ups of the stitches.

Here’s a close up of the adapted daisy stitch that makes our Sisters Heart stitch.

 

The little falling hearts are attached with the adapted daisy stitch (i.e. Sisters Heart stitch).

 

You can use a running stitch or a blanket stitch on the leaning hearts.

 

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Time Flips – Calendar Tips

Yes, my friends, the wool calendar really can flip. Right now it doesn’t need to flip because there is only one month on it. But, it can flip! Because WE found a flipping stand! [insert happy dance!]

Excuse me a minute while I have a little celebration with Colorado Sister via Skype.

It’s a real flip stand!

I discovered Bless My Stitches, a wonderful quilt shop in Murphy, North Carolina. And Karen, the shop owner, was so helpful when I asked about stands. She pointed me toward her source, Ackfeld Handcrafted Wire. Their website is HERE.

Ackfeld Handcrafted Wire

 

Takes up much less room than the red stand I first started with

 

The web site recommended this second little clip piece. I’m not sure that it is entirely necessary. But for some pieces it will be good to have.

 

Magic stock number: 31522 Magic stock number: 30702

Now when we post the February calendar pattern I’ll show you how to make it flip!  Can’t show you the flipping without showing you the new pattern. So, patience, my dears.

Categories: Inspire Me!, Shops and Vendors we love, Wonderful Wool | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Time Flies (or in this case it flips) January Calendar

When I saw the cutest flip calendar on an old Teresa Collins scrapbook advertisement I was inspired!

 

January Flip Calendar

 

The Skype call to the Colorado Sister went like this – “We should do a flip calendar in wool!”

She immediately agreed. “Yes, WE should! You get right on that, dearie.”

So WE did get right on that. Out came the sketch pad. The first letters of each month have to be the focal point and represent the seasons. Then we will use lots of different embroidery stitches – even some new ones so that our skill level increases. And we might even add buttons if it strikes our fancy.

One flip calendar coming up: January – snowman and …

Pencil Sketch for January

February – hearts, then August – honey bees … I’m the random sister remember … July – the ideas came quickly.

And then I got stuck a few times – so back to phone conference with Colorado Sister … and I even got some suggestions from Dietz. That’s a sweet little May flowerpot. Thanks, Mr!

Those are little white buttons! and some silver threac

 

Skype call from the Colorado Sister – “Loving the progress. Did you find a flipping hanger for the flip calendar?”

*****”Oh, you are going to love it! I found a perfect stand.”

“Great! We should include the source for that stand when we post the project.”

*****”Well, that may be a problem since I found it at an estate sale. I’ll send you a picture.”

“WE may need to keep looking.” (I deserved that eye roll.)

*****”Did you see the picture? The stand is red!”

“It’s a very cute red stand, sister. Can the calendars flip on it?”

*****”Well,no. But they can hang on it if we use a little clothesline.”

“WE might need to keep looking. I’m thinking if we are doing a flip calendar, we need to have a flip stand for it. A flip calendar needs to FLIP!”

Have you noticed that life is harder for detail people?

A red stand – from an estate sale.

 

*****”I have an idea… If they can’t find a red stand at an estate sale, they can use a hanger to display it.”

“Cute idea! But, we still need a flip stand!”

Option 2: a hanger

Here’s what you need for your January FLIP calendar:

Wool background: 8″ x 6″ Navy blue felted wool

Embroidery thread: white, black, light blue, orange, silver

Embroidery stitches: blanket stitch, French knots, outline stitch

PATTERN DOWNLOAD

 

Pattern is available here for FREE for a limited time. The entire collection will be available soon in one pattern on our Etsy store

Now, I know some of you (just like the Colorado Sister) are starting to wonder when this Flip Calendar is going to start flipping. Patience, my dear, patience.

Because, just between you and me, I did find a wonderful source for a flipping holder! And the next post I will give you that. In the meantime, you can start choosing and cutting and stitching that delightful wool.

Better get started. Time is flying – I mean flipping!

 

Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches, Wonderful Wool | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Making our list and you’re on it!

 

The waiting is over
the bundle is here
Full of ideas
to bring us good cheer!

We are loving this bundle! And our Christmas gift list looks a little something like this:

Sister #1: She loves color as long as it’s black and white, so….  “Color In Quilting” is the perfect fit

For Sister #2

Mother-in-law: She already has our Mother’s Medallion  book  so I’ll be ordering another pattern instead.

Her favorite gift so far!

This sweet Christmas dinner set is one she can have completed by next year.

Christmas 2018

 

Make that five copies!

Guild Sisters:  Patchwork Planner  X 5 ;

maybe I can use the “DIY Block Design” for the next guild class I teach.  Wait, that’s shopping for me again isn’t it?!

Next guild class???

Sister, another idea is to share with non-quilters. There are some amazing gifts to share with friends who have other fiber preferences: crocheters and cross stitchers and knitters – and weavers! You know, those who use other kinds of needles and threads like…

Applique Helen: Lovely Liberty Cushion: A Needleturn Applique Project

Improving her skills.

Seamstress Mavis : Art Caddy Tote  and also 10 Simple Sewing Projects for the Home: Even If You Only Know How to Sew a Straight Line

Seamstress Heaven!

Embroidery Anne: 23 Easy-to-Make Christmas Ornaments: Three eBooks in One!

One for each grandchild.

We will soon complete our Christmas gift list.  And you know you’re on it because we’re giving YOU the best gift of all–a link to help you with your own gift list all in one place.

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Bundle Up…Winter’s on its way!

We have discussed the differences of the sisters (climate, travel, locations, etc.) but we truly try to focus on the “sameness” we share.  Sister #1 is now pointing out to me the “differences” in our language usage and insisting that “sameness” is probably not a real word.  Sister #2 keeps typing.

 

One of our primary sameness-es is our love of family

“They are the crazy ones!”

Plus a few more!

and the next sameness is to our love of quilts, textiles and handmade items.

Handmade laces add dimension to this pieced Round Robin quilt.

Another sameness is our love of holidays because it brings those two loves together in a quilt for the family!

Ready for holiday company.

Our next Sisters at Heart adventure brings LOTS of our sameness-es (by now you think it is a real word, too, right?)  together in a holiday bundle of gifts for everyone.  We’re happy to included in an “Ultimate Bundle” of gift giving ideas which we’ll share from our family to yours on Cyber Monday! (Our Mother’s Medallion e-book is included in this “Handmade with Love” super bundle!)  And for the early bird….check out our FB page for a link to the pre-launch giveaways which start today, November 17!

We’re making our family Christmas list (and checking it twice!) and it appears to all be in one place!  Super savings! Super gifts! One stop shopping?  Now that’s an idea both sisters can really bundle up with.

 

 

 

 

 

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