Friday, December 31, 2010

Not Reviewing my 2010

Am I the only person that does not like "year in review news"? The news wasn't all that tasty the first time around. At the end of the year, when I have extra cookie pounds on, a messy house, decorations to put away, and a big to-do list of things that got put off over the holidays, I am forced to re-live the news of 2010. It is hard to get excited about a new year when the year you wanted to get excited about last year wasn't all that great. All that aside, I AM excited about the new year, and don't want to waste any energy on reviewing the last. So, what am I excited about? Lots of things, not necessarily in this order: A new venture with some of my patterns, a new studio and a bigger cabin, a trip to Las Vegas for a daughter Cindy's 40th birthday, remodel of son Peter's house, fun with grandchildren and children at the cabin, sewing retreats with sewing friends, and continuing to keep you updated with what I create through this blog. The Red Chair is the perfect spot to visit with you every night. Tonight the fire is turned on - it is NASTY out! Perfectly awful night for New Year's Eve, unless, of course, you have skates on and protective clothing. I have on my red flannel jammies, sipping some orange juice and champagne, watching daughter Barb and husband Carl watch an action movie. My children got me Netflix for a year, so I may just find a chick flick on the computer and relax. It wouldn't be a special day if I didn't give you a wool felt coaster! This one is influenced by the Pottery Barn Noel sign and the post office Love stamp - find a previous post to get the history. Speaking of history and the post office - it has been announced that starting in 2011 stamps will no longer have the denomination on them. All stamps will be forever stamps. Just think about that for a moment. A piece of history is gone! Sad. But, I looked ahead at the stamps for 2011 and there are some pretty cool ones that will be out there! See, another thing to look forward to. Happiest of years to you. Let's stay in touch. Jerilynn

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shiny Fun

These glass tile pendants are fun and easy to make. You just need a sister that is a little obsessed with finding good graphics and you need to know where to order the supplies. I happen to have the sister and the good sources. Annie Howes has wonderful hand made glass tiles, a tutorial, chains, and other supplies you will need. I like printing out images on presentation paper. The weight seems to be good - regular paper is too flimsy. Once you get the stuff, they are ridiculously easy to make. I like wearing multiples on a longer chain around my neck. The tiles above are the Christmassy ones I have - they will soon be put away with the other seasonal gems. I keep the glass tile pendants in a little glass bowl on my dresser. They look like shiny pieces of candy! If you live nearby, give me a call, and we can have a crafting session. Jerilynn

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Toasty Toes

Solmate socks are the socks I talked about in a previous blog. The are the ones in the picture with the bright blue toe and the red/orange toe. The socks are mis-matched on purpose...aren't they just the best? As I told you (I think), when I went back to the coffee shop to see what was on sale after Christmas, I was hoping that I would see a "sale" sign on the socks. Nope. What is fun about these socks, aside from the mis-matchy-ness, is that in the kids size, they are packaged in a set of five. What a great idea! None of the socks match, and you get five. Go ahead, washing machine. Eat away. But, my sister did buy me a pair of them, even not on sale. Good deal for me. But wait, Jerisew! This blog is about "creating". Well, look in the picture. The pair of mis-matched socks near the top are hand-knit by yours truly. I didn't match the colors. To be honest, I tried, but couldn't figure out how to do that with the sock yarn I had. So, I decided to just throw caution to the wind and knit. I think they turned out pretty good, and I guess I was just a bit ahead of the Solmate trend. Maybe not. Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Collection of Homemade Potholders

Think of potholders as very small quilts or scarves. You can knit a colorful potholder in an evening using two strands of a cotton dishcloth yarn and the lowly garter stitch. For the one in the picture, I used a red strand and a variegated strand. Cast on as many as you want width-wise and bind off when it looks like you can grab a cookie sheet without burning your hands. The snowman potholder is hand-appliqued. No, I usually don't do such timing consuming stitching, but this was for a model for a class on potholders and it was one of the ones I taught. It is from a great book, 101 Potholders. It has a layer of cotton batting and a layer of Insul-bright. The Insul-bright can turn most any ordinary fabric into a heat/cold insulating product. I like having a chunk of it on hand to make a quick potholder or two. No need to buy those store bought icky ones! The last potholder is made from the back part of an old pair of jeans. But, you already knew that. Anyway, the denim, plus a layer of cotton batting, and a layer of the Isul-bright, makes a very heat resistant potholder. I suppose I could stick my hand in the pocket to get a better grip, but I just usually grab the cookie sheet quickly and place it to cool. Don't you have some yucky potholders that need to be replaced? Start the new year with some cute ones! Jerilynn

Monday, December 27, 2010

Duck! Another Coaster!

Really loving the cross stitch program on the Bernina V6. Super, super easy! Now that Christmas is over, I am starting to think spring. I supposed I should do some Valentine or St. Pat's stuff first, but this little quacker just caught my fancy. The idea came from a dish towel that my sister bought me from the Coffee Grounds. We went there to get a coffee and were hoping their cute Christmas towels were on sale. Hmm, nope, no reductions. So, we had a coffee (our choices weren't the best tasting) and then looked around. I got another pair of cute socks - thanks, Sandy! - and the duck towel. They also had some word pictures, with the letters made out of pictures of things that look like the letter. I am sure you have seen the idea around. Anyway, I am thinking that I might make some kind of word for above the cupboards when I take down the NOEL from Christmas. Not sure what word or words I am going to for ideas, here, folks. Jerilynn

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Start of a New Project

As I have said before, I love woolfelt and I love machine stitches. I am starting some new projects for some pattern ideas and this is one of the squares I did today. I am liking the slightly 0ff-red color of the felt, and I also like the cream thread for the stitching. I am hoping the project will end up looking Scandinavian. All the squares will be different and I have three done so far. It is great fun using the swirly and twirly designs, and also great fun to try to make it be as square as possible and have the stitches look good. It is hard to do, but I am giving myself permission to just have fun with this and not worry about things that are just a bit off. Because this project is built square by square, if I really mess up one of the squares, it is no big deal - I just won't use that one in the final project! Fun way to start the year. Jerilynn

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It was a Good Christmas

Round one of three rounds. It was quieter than our usual holiday. Only two of six of our kids could be here, and only the youngest of our six grandkids. My dad and mom and sister were here. We had a nice meal, a few festive drinks, and some rounds of Bananagrams, Up and Down the River, and Texas Hold-em. I even got a nap in today. We have round two starting this Wednesday, and then the final round is the weekend after New Year's. I think I will be ready for some relaxing sewing after all of the celebrating. Benjamin, youngest grandson, kept us entertained and thought this whole Christmas thing was just a hoot! Jerilynn

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My First Magazine Christmas Tree

That tree was really fun to make! The only problem is that I bought a can of opal spray glitter and it doesn't really show up too sparkly. I think I may have to do the spray and glue and shake on glitter thing. I did an O Magazine and it got to be a big much toward the end. I may pick a less thick magazine next time. The other thing I would do is turn the magazine over and start folding from the back. From my catalog days, I know that the right hand page is usually the "hot" page and I noticed that most of the very colorful ads were on that side. And that is the side that gets folded under. I am sure this doesn't make sense, but once you do one, you will know what I mean. There really is a bunch of stuff that is still on my to-do list, but I think I will just scratch some items off and pretend they got done. Tomorrow starts three weekends in a row of family visits, food and fun. I think I need to relax and store up some energy. I may not blog tomorrow night. I made an extra big batch of daiquiri slush, and I just may have to have one or two. If that is the case, and I don't get to visit with you until the next day, I wish for you a very Merry Christmas. And I want to thank you for visiting my blog. Let's hope 2011 is a better year for those who struggled with 2010. And let's hope there are lots of fun new things to create and share. God Bless! Jerilynn

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Made All These Snowmen Ornaments

That is not true. I shouldn't lie, especially three days before Christmas. My friend Joani and her daughter make a snowman ornament every year for their friends and family and I am very fortunate that I fall into the friends column! I decided this year to make a Joani snowman layered decorative display. Don't you think they look really cute in this glass bowl? The picture doesn't show all the great ornaments in the back, just take my word for it. The place mat that it is on is two layers of Woolfelt with big white rick rack in between. Today I finished the rest of the little labeled felt pockets and started to make a magazine tree, ala Martha Stewart. The video instruction is here. I got three pages folded and realized that I had a million things to do and making a magazine Christmas tree was not on the list. I should go to the lower level and retrieve the started tree and relax in my Red Chair. Or, I could just relax in my Red Chair. Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sweet Packets!

This was a Label Crew project from Sweetwater . Once a month they send labels and a project sheet to make something with the labels. This project is a quick card/cash/gift case. Cut a rectangle of...WOOLFELT, add a little Velcro, iron on then stitch the label. Poof. Instant cute little packet. I've got it down to 6 minutes per packet. Not bad. I have twelve more to make. Made in the shade. Jerilynn

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wash the Dishes with Holiday Cheer (acutally, Joy)

Thank goodness my Christmas dishcloths are still in pretty good shape. I haven't been knitting them so far this season. They seem, however, to go "bad" all at once. I used to have piles of knit dishcloths in a basket and then pawned them off on the kids whenever they walked in the door. It wasn't until after youngest child threatened a dishcloth rehab stint that I decided I better cool the knitting for a bit. I am sure next year the current cloths will look a bit sad and I will have better ideas for designs and colors. We went up to the cabin today to unload the second level. The roof will be removed next week so that the new bedroom level can be tied in. I forgot to bring my camera, but it is coming along. Doesn't seem real. Still no water up there yet, so we can't stay. Now that all the second floor stuff/furniture is on the main level, there wouldn't be anyplace for us to stay, anyway! We will have to wait a few more weeks. Jerilynn

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Snowman Coasters

This coaster set turned out pretty good. I designed the happy snow guy in the Bernina V6 software using the cross stitch program. It was so easy - if you can draw a picture, you can do cross stitch. The software puts little "x"'s in for your drawing. Very cool. I thought that two simple cross stitch snowflakes would look nice in the set. This is for a relative that collects snowmen stuff. I think she will like this! The back is dark grey. My friend Meg suggested that the back felt is put on after the main design is stitched. Brilliant! I don't have any thread trimming to do for the main design. Once that is all stitched, I just place a piece of the backing color under the hoop and press the final border. It works very good! Today was a busy day in the kitchen, too. We made a triple batch of thumbprint cookies, a batch of no bake chocolate cookies, and I made a batch of date nut pinwheel cookies. My mom used to make the date cookies years ago and we both just had a taste for them. The recipe was a bit putzy. I would tell you if they taste good but I am still really full from dinner. We had two-for-one coupons for Culvers for burgers and sundaes, and you know I just can't pass up a good deal! But, I am super full! I think I need a coupon for a gym or something. Jerilynn

Bowls, Glasses and Kitchen Towels

Everyone, I assume, has their weak spots. Some have more than a few weak spots. I happen to like bowls, glasses, and kitchen towels. Especially kitchen towels that I have "decorated" in some way. This towel has some quirky trees embroidered on, then I added "jingle, jingle..." with my sewing machine, and a couple of decorative stitches rows. To make it even more festive, I added a border of poms! What is there not to love about this? Am I the only one to empty their towel drawer and fill it with Christmas kitchen towels in early December? And then be sad when it is time to put the holiday stuff away? Of course I have some knit dishcloths, too, that are in the spirit. I went to the Coffee Grounds store today located in Eau Claire, WI, and saw some a wonderful assortment of towels...very tempting, but I always feel that since I can decorate/make these things that I should not give in to really cute store-bought designs. Not that I want to ask for anything, but, Santa, if you are listening, a couple of the towels in that store would look really nice with the whole new countertop thing we have going on over here. Plus, while I was in the store, I was admiring some REALLY cute socks! Another lady was also oohing and aahhing over the assortment of fun colors. We somewhat bonded over the decision of whether or not to ditch our previous Christmas buying plans and just buy a bunch of these fun socks, or whether we should just acknowledge their cuteness and move on. I suggested she buy a pair for me and I would buy a pair for her. After a chuckle, we parted. I didn't get her name, she didn't get mine. A movie is in there somewhere. Jerilynn

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thanks to Pottery Barn and Robert Indiana

From Wikipedia: "Robert Indiana's iconic work LOVE was first created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964 and later was included on an eight-cent United States Postal Service postage stamp in 1973, the first of their regular series of "love stamps." Sculptural versions of the image have been installed at numerous American and international locations." One such installations was just down the street from where I used to stay in New York City. I think somewhere I even have a younger, thinner picture of myself standing in front of that statue. So, when I opened the late fall Pottery Barn catalog and saw their Noel wall art, I instantly wanted it! But, $149.00. Ouch. I marked the page, but knew this wasn't one item that would ever get ordered. The wreath I have over the fireplace is not looking to fun anymore, and I thought that darn Noel sign from Pottery Barn would just look great. Guess what? Sold out! Whew. That was close. Then I started to do some research on it and found this tutorial here. Ha! I can make my own. The letters are on the workbench, ready to get painted. They just might not get done this year, but it will be fun to have a new project for next Christmas. In the meantime, however, I thought the Noel configuration would make a quirky coaster. Opened up the Bernina V6 software, and a few quick moves later, the coaster design was done. I have sewn several out and they really are pretty fun. You could say I LOVE them. Jerilynn

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stockings Done!

I made a list of the things I still need to make before next weekend and I was a little surprised to see how long it was. I previously was feeling pretty good about being on top of things, but the last week has thrown me some loops and I guess I got a bit behind. Plus, all the cookies we made a couple of weeks ago are all gone. One of the dangers of baking early, I guess. One thing I got done today was the rest of the Christmas stockings for Peter and Katie. They moved into their new-to-them house yesterday, so I thought I better get the stockings done right away. I added hot-fix pearls to the snowmen and some crystals to the angel. The bone has some slightly reflective stones, too. I think they turned out good - we will see if they are well-received! Thanks to NDL for the suggestion to make Benjamin's stocking a little snowman like his dad's. I have some great coasters to show you, but I will wait until tomorrow - I might have more colors done by then. This weekend is more sewing and more baking. I will try to stay away from the wonderful red Christmas cookie plate once it is full again. Ya, right. jerilynn

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And the Stocking Were Hung....

I made these stockings, or at least the first few about 9 years ago. I was working ultra-full time and wasn't doing much sewing so I made the stockings out of red wool and trimmed them with gold rick-rack and PAINTED on the names with gold sparkle paint. Yep. Painted names. Well, as our 6 children expanded with spouses/significant others, grandchildren, I just kept making more stockings. I knew that they had to be long and narrow - the mantle can hold just so many stocking holders! I had a moment of brilliant foresight when I purchased all the angel stocking holders at Pier One for 75% off! I have two still unused, so after that we will have to double up, I guess. Over the years, people have come and gone. I have even resorted to "picking off" some letters and reusing the stocking for the current person of interest. That paint is good for that. Now that I have been sewing so much again, I feel as if I should make real stockings, with real embroidered names. They would still have to be long and narrow, but they wouldn't look like a craft project gone bad. The only problem that I can foresee is that stitches are harder to take out than peeling off paint. For the record, Carl and I aren't there. I guess we just haven't been that good all year. Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Good Mess of Bonnie Bags

When my Grandma Fry made homemade noodles for the holidays, she would look at them all laid out to dry on a clean white dish towel and pronounce them "a good mess of noodles." My friend ordered 3 Big Bottom Bonnie Bags for Christmas gifts, so I made 6 - then she can pick which 3 she wants. After I got them done, I looked them over, and pronounced it a good mess of Big Bottom Bonnie Bags. She's a beader so I am counting on her to add wonderful beaded zipper pulls. I really enjoy making these, and would have liked to keep making more. The fabric combinations are fun to pick out. Sometimes, though, that takes the most time. The sewing together is the easy part! Jerilynn

Monday, December 13, 2010

Countertops and Knobs

When I built the condo, I got to choose what went into it. I was a single lady at the time, so I was careful to stay within the "allowances" the builder gave me for the various items. I went way over budget on the doors - I wanted solid doors and knew that down the road I would update/upgrade carpet and light fixtures, but didn't think I would ever change the doors. So, when it came time to pick out the kitchen counter top I picked a laminate. I looked at the small square samples and picked out what I thought was a nice beige/white shiny laminate. I have always liked shiny - to me that looks clean and bounces light around. Anyway, two days before I was to move in, the counters arrived and...horrors! They had the white and beige, but also huge veins of harvest gold. Ooops. I guess the sample didn't show that! I shed a few tears, but my main squeeze assured me that laminate counters are not expensive to replace. So, I agreed to have the builders put them in. Flash forward 9.5 years. The counters were still in place and I married that nice guy. I wanted to put in a solid surface counter, but balked at the price. Especially since we are doing that cabin addition, it just didn't make sense. Plus, our kitchen is well laid out, but small. A multi thousand dollar counter might just look a bit out of place! We decided to put in a black, high def laminate that had a rounded front, and no back splash - just straight to the wall. We replaced the silver knobs with some black ones. I think we will paint after the holidays, maybe a reddish color. The appliances are still white - black would have been way too much black, and stainless, even though popular, is basically grey. So, talking myself into keeping the white ones, I decided to think they brighten the space. Add a red wall color, it could look pretty good. We might consider tile, but that might look busy. Those old counter tops are just a memory, but I do have to say that they sure didn't show a thing! I think all that harvest gold was a magic color. The black shows crumbs and streaks if you use a soapy cloth. We run a tight ship around here, though, so I think it will be just fine. Plus, I can always get new 9.5 years. Jerilynn

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stocking Number Two

This is the "Mom" stocking of the set. This is probably a very obvious statement. I have a little white thing going on with the two so far, so I want to keep it going. The stocking for Megan, the dog, will be a white bone with some sort of red bow. Don't know for sure what I should put on the stocking for Benjamin. He really seems to be fond of penguins for some reason, so maybe I should go in that direction. That doesn't seem very Christmassy, though. I should have kept the snowman for him, but it is too late for that! What wasn't too late, though, was adding more quilting to the black table runner I made. Every time I walked past the dining room table I thought "cute, but needs more stitching". Enough of that! I pinned it well and did some echo quilting around the shapes. Now when I walk past the runner I think "cute, the stitching looks great!" You just have to listen to your gut sometimes. Jerilynn

New Stockings

Peter and Katie and Benjamin (youngest son, wife, their son) are moving to a new-to-them house next week and the fun thing is that their lower level family room has a great gas fireplace. A request was put out for stockings to hang, one for "Dad", one for "Mom" , one for "Benjamin", and one for "Megan" (the dog). I have two of them done, but need more fabric - I think more is on the way, so they should be done in plenty of time for Santa to fill them up. Ellen (middle daughter) drove up from Madison to help them pack and got to be in our big blizzard today! Some reports say 20"! I believe it. This is very cool. Jerilynn

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Poms and Felt

I bet there are some out there in blogland that remember these Christmas wall hangings. They made the rounds of the craft scene in the early 80's. The red/pink/hot pink/lime/olive theme was popular. But, so was the blue/turquoise/navy/olive/lime theme. The felt wasn't the Jerisew wool felt favorite. It was the good old dime store craft felt. Back then the ball fringe was easier to find. Whenever anyone found a good selection of colors, though, the call tree was started. There was a store in Eau Claire, the Co-op, that usually had all the colors you needed. Iron-on interfacing on the back, and the felt and pom-poms were glued on with Elmer's. Almost 30 years later this creation is still getting pulled out of the Christmas box. Why? Other favorites don't make the cut every year. Did I have the felt disease even back then? I decided to make a "new" one, and even bought some burlap. Ball fringe, however, is a different story. Wow, prices have gone up! Subtle color ways, needed for the overall artistic value aren't available. I did manage to get a few colors. Somehow I hope to tie it all together with the felt colors. I am thinking about sewing the shapes on to the background, which maybe I should make be a linen type fabric. I may be ruining a tradition, though. Better leave it be. Jerilynn

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Runner Out and Buy This Book

There is wonderful new Christmas quilting book out by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks called "Tis the Season. I know, you have plenty of quilting books and don't need any more - well, this one is pretty darn worth it. Lots of fun and colorful projects with great little hints and tips sprinkled throughout the book. I made the Winter Whimsy Wool Runner. The version in the book was on white wool felt, but I thought I would use black to tie into the new black kitchen counter top and the new knobs. Oh, didn't I show you that yet? I guess I better get around to doing that. Anyway, I used black wool felt (once again the picture was taken at night under not-so-great lighting). I decided it needed a little color boost so I bordered it with a red flannel that had black dots. Much fussy cutting later, it looks pretty good. The buttons around the hearts in the middle are old red buttons and the center button is red with a yellow center. In person it looks just right. Just what the dining room needed to be festive. I could add some more old buttons on it - some green ones and some gold ones. What do you think? Jerilynn

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Still Decking the Hall

Hooray for me! I finished the Christmas quilt I started a year or two ago. It is hanging in the stairway from the upper level to the lower level and seems to fit right in. Carl isn't around to help me hang it straight, but I had a couple of good friends hold the ladder for me while I risked my very life. When he gets home I know he will make it look better. I didn't do much quilting on it-in the ditch around the blocks and a slight echo quilting around each applique. I might do some more quilting on it at some point, but the binding is on, so I think that may not be a very good idea! I am not using it on a bed, and it will be up only a month or two each year, so I think that I may just pronounce it "good" and move on. This was a kit I bought a couple of years ago called "Festival of Trees" and it is from a book called Juniper and Mistletoe. The fabrics are flannels and brushed cottons. The folk art look appealed to me. I may use some of the block motifs to make some pillows. It just occurred to me that I don't have many festive pillows. There are some great ones out there in stores, but that just wouldn't be right, would it? Jerilynn

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Bet You are Starting to Worry

Yes, this is another wine bottle cover. This time in the oh-so-favorite-fabric, wool felt. What makes this one special is that is has metallic stitching on it and it says "cheers....cheers."...etc. That doesn't show up too well in the photo, I know. But, what is even more special about it are the jingle bells on the end of the ties. I have been in a jingle bell mood this year. They are looking very cute to me. I saw a bracelet made out of small colored jingle bells strung on a stretchy cord. I would make myself one but I think I may irritate myself. So, I may just tuck that good idea back into my brain filing cabinet to find again some day. I have purchased, however, two different batches of silver bells this season. I hope I can find some kind of creative project to use them in. The wine bottle idea was pretty good, but I think I may be getting tired of making them. Plus the wine is all gone. Jerilynn

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Sweetwater Label

At you can order these big labels personalized with any name you want. Of course, I wanted our name - it would have been silly to pick another, random name. The little colored areas are fabric that has been stitched on. Buy an inexpensive frame, and you have a great Christmas picture! Now to find a good place to hang it. Jerilynn

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More Wine Bottle Bags!

Flannel makes a great wine bottle bag. I found this super cute Christmas print and of course the red with black dot had to come home wiht me, too. Super simple, and very quick to make. It would also be a great gift bag...hmmm, I have said this before. But, it is so true! Gift bags are just waiting for you in your fabric pile. So reusable and green. Or black with white snomen and red accents. Jerilynn

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cross Stitch Coasters

The Bernina V6 digitizing software has a wonderful cross stitch program. It is so simple to use. A grid opens up, you "click" in a square to add an "x" and in no time, you have a cross stitch design. There also is an auto button that will turn a drawing into a cross stitch design. Quite fascinating. Of course I had to make some wool felt coasters using a couple of the designs I made for Christmas. I think they turned out pretty good. I did all of the cross stitching on a single layer of felt, then added a second layer on the back and stitched the straight stitch border. I trimmed around all the edges with a rotary cutter that pinks the edges. Cute. Jerilynn

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Only Changed it a Little

Don't you just love looking up recipes on the internet and seeing the ratings and then reading what they had to say about the recipe and then they say they love it and then they go on to tell you all the things they didn't add or all the different things they added to it and when all is said and done it really isn't the same recipe at all? Yes, me too. Anyway, my wreath is a little like that, but I didn't change it too much from the original. The original is from I saw it and fell in love with it and ordered it right away. It came nice and fast and this morning I had an opportunity to get a little sewing done while our new counter tops were being installed. (yes, I like them a lot!) Anyway, the pattern, very well written by the way, said to wash the canvas to make it soft and then tea dye it and the labels on the twill tape. I decided I wanted more of a Swedish look - whiter and with touches of red (of course). So I kept the canvas a bit stiff, sewed all the words on the twill tape, then used my Bernina 440 to sew on all the red buttons. Then, instead of sewing the front wreath on a back canvas wreath, I decided to use red wool felt. I think it turned out really cute. I have enough canvas and twill tape left over to make another one, but I would need more word labels. Speaking of labels, (same wonderful company) has a label of the month club that is very fun. At the first part of the month they send you some labels and a pattern to use them. The fabric and fixins to make the projects are on their etsy site if you so choose to buy them. This is the company that I order my Jerisew labels from that I sew on the stuff I make. They also did my business cards. Look on their etsy site and you will find tons of very cute stuff. I ordered the Christmas Name Picture when I ordered the wreath kit, so that will be a project I work on soon. Sounds like this is an advertisement for them, and maybe it is. I just love their style. Even if I do change it just a little. Jerilynn

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

There is a great book out there, Button{Ware} by Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction. It has lots of fun projects to make out of buttons - jewelry and clothes. I got inspired, dug through my button collection, bought a bracelet blank, and glued on buttons. I think it turned out pretty cute. It was my first try, I think I can do better next time. Most of the day today I had another Folk Art Clothesline Bag class. I forgot my camera (duh!) but they turned out pretty good. It is so fun to teach that class - people just love it and have so much fun and success and can't wait to make another. Plus, I get paid! Double good. Jerilynn

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa, your cookies are ready!

Usually the day after Thanksgiving we have a huge cookies making day that spills over to Saturday. I can't even tell you how many cookies or how many different varieties we make. This year, however, it didn't happen. For various reasons, we didn't have much of a crowd, and Friday the ovens stayed cold. This just isn't a good thing - we need cookies! So, last night and today, Carl and I made three different types of cookies: thumbprint cookies (Carl's favorite), no-bake chocolate cookies (my favorite), and sugar cookies (everybody loves those). I am sure we will have to make more. After all, it is only December 1 and the cookies go fast. I have a couple of new recipes I would like to try. Somehow the old favorites just get to the top of the list. Jerilynn

Finding Knitting Needles

My double pointed needles were always not where I wanted to find them. Plus, after I did find them, I then had to find my measuring tool to find out what size they were. Bother. I decided to make a roll divider for them out of ....Wool Felt. Strangely for me, I didn't make it out of a
bright color or make it very decorated. Just simple. What I did do, however, is come up with an idea to identify what size the needles are. I just sewed a 2" strip of vinyl to the top of the pocket closing up the bottom, but leaving the top open for labels. When I stitched the dividing lines, it also formed the little see-through pocket. I didn't put the needles in numerical order because I just made the needle pockets random sizes. So, I just stuck in the needles where they fit the best. I have room for expansion at the end of the roll. To tie the roll I used some ribbon that looks like a measuring tape. Us knitters know how handy that will be, right? Another thing that bugged me about knitting needles is that it is getting harder and harder to read what size my bamboo needles are - they must be printing the numbers on smaller and lighter. Anyway, I decided to use a tiny permanent marker and just mark on the end of the needles what size it was. I have the single point needles in a vase and can easily read the size and find the needles I need. Last week I separated my yarns by type so now I have NO reason not to knit up something cute. Hopefully, I won't buy more needles that I already have but can't find. Jerilynn

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Could Be More Fun Than Ball Fringe and Wool Felt?

I made this pillow last December and found it in the Christmas boxes and was so happy to see it! It is made from a pattern by Lily Anna Stitches. I didn't do the applique by hand - each little cut-out, though is stitched in place with a tiny machine blanket stitch. For the snowflakes, I used some decorative stitches. A Bernina Webinar blog a few weeks ago showed how to make snowflakes on the Bernina 830 embroidery machine. They can be designed also in Bernina V6 software. But, since I have been in a machine stitches mood lately, I think it would be fun to play with the decorative stitches and see what fun snowflakes I can make. Like real snowflakes, I am sure each one will be unique. Not sure what I am going to put them on, yet, but if I find something interesting to do with them, I will let you know. The button picture at the top is a close-up on one of three button closures on the back of the pillow. The buttons are antique and each one is slightly different, just like snowflakes. Jerilynn

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Halls are Decked!

This year it took us four hours. Last year it took two. Carl said I definitely put more stuff out and around this year, so I am sure that accounts for the extra time. I saw wonky NOEL letters in a shot of a room in the Pottery Barn catalogue. Looked everywhere to see if it was for sale, but couldn't find it. So, I drew up the letters, Carl cut them out and painted them. They actually look quite cute up on top of the kitchen cabinets. I have been having quite a time trying to figure out what to put up there. The stuff I had up there was looking a bit tired, so I took it all down - maybe after Christmas I will have a good idea. In the meantime, the letters look great! Thanks, Carl! I just feel all Christmassy this year. Don't know why, but I enjoyed decking our halls very much today. Even got a few good ideas to try to make in the sewing room. Falalalala. Jerilynn

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Snowman on the Wine Bottle Bag in 3D

The snowman applique on the wine bag was a big hit with the littlest grandson. It wasn't all that much fun to play with, though, so today I thought I would make the applique 3D, no glasses needed. Not too hard to do, at all. I just made the bottom of the snowman a little flatter and a little wider. I measured the bottom and doubled it and drafter an oval. I used 4 layers of brown felt for the arms, with a narrow zig zag down the middle to keep them together. A little stuffing later, he was complete. He looked right at home outside today, but tonight he is not melty at all on a little side table by the Red Chair. So, now I am thinking it needs company...maybe a stuffed Christmas Tree. a Reindeer, a Santa? Wouldn't it be just so adorable to give someone the Snowman for Christmas in the Snowman Gift Bag (formerly known as the Snowman Wine Bag) ? Two gifts in one, and I get to keep the wine. Perfect. Jerilynn

Friday, November 26, 2010

Special Order Coaster

I don't get a lot of Etsy sales, so when I do get a sale, it is pretty exciting. I was contacted a bit ago by someone who wanted initial coasters. At that time, my machine was in the shop for repair, so I had to respond and say that I could do initials, but it would be a while. Well, machine is back, working great, and I finally got back to the very patient lady and designed a very plain initial coaster she liked. The above image is just a mock-up: her initials have been not revealed to protect her! I sent her a sample coaster and I just heard back that she liked it. Yay! Now to get into production. In the meantime, I got another Etsy order today! I will work on that order tomorrow and order the color of felt the initial coaster customer wants and get those out to her right away! In the meantime, tonight I helped Ellen, home for Thanksgiving, with her wine bottle bags and her Quick Card Cases. We watched/listened to the entire first season of Pushing Daisies while we were sewing. What a great show! I was sad to look up the series and find out that it was only on for two seasons. I am definitely going to watch the rest of the shows. It was very fun and sweet. We watched Benjamin today for a few hours and he discovered the wine bottle snowman on the table. He wanted to play with it, but when I took the wine bottle out and put it on the floor, he started to cry! I think it was scary. After a bit, when I made the snowman play patty-cake with the little mitten hands, Benjamin thought the little snowman was harmless and fun. I think I am going to try to make a little stuffed man for Benjamin to play with. Jerilynn

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Cute Guy to Take to a Party

I have been in the wine bag frame of mind since my weekend sewing visit to Madison at Ellen's house. I though it would be fun to combine the wine bag tie and a design element. A scarf on a snowman came to mind. I sketched it out and this is what I came up with. It is just a single layer of wool felt with a few appliques sewn on. The arms are a double layer so they stand out pretty well on their own. He is looking pretty cute on my table - I may have trouble giving him away. Guess I will need to make more! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you didn't overeat and had fun with your family and friends. Jerilynn

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cool Hat!

Fun hat finished for Benjamin. What it lacks in heavy yarn warmthness it makes up in fun color stripieness. Let me know if you want pattern/yarn detail. I am in the Red Chair and am too tired to get up to get the pattern name or the yarn I used. Sad. The pattern also has a little thumb-less mitten pattern to go along with the hat. I have enough yarn left, so maybe tomorrow after I throw in the turkey and the etc. I can do a little knitting. It is going to be a small crowd tomorrow. Not our usual bunch of people. I am still making all the usual and traditional dishes, though, at least the traditional ones for us. Most unusual would be the homemade egg noodles cooked in chicken broth. They thicken up and just taste so yummy with the turkey. Add some fresh cranberry fluff, sausage stuffing, corn pudding, potatoes, rolls, and green bean casserole, some various got a big dinner. Yummmm Jerilynn

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NOEL Coasters

I thought it would be a good idea to design a set of coasters that said NOEL. People can tell what drink is their drink by what letter coaster they used. If they are lucky enough to have a name that matches one of the letters, well, that is good, too! I used the Bernina V6 software. I first designed the little holly leaf and a swirly stem. By copying, pasting, turning, mirroring, I managed to make a holly border. I then made a tiny circle, and duplicated them here and there for berries. I put a good-looking letter in the middle, outlined the satin stitch, and framed the whole thing with a blanket stitch. Once again, the picture is taken indoors, at night. I am sure they would look lots better in the sunlight. But, I think they look great in person. You will have to believe me. I think I may post these for sale on my Etsy site. I will try to get a better picture first. On the cabin addition: the basement walls are done, and the garage walls are poured. It really looks great!! Our petition to get a variance went through. What that means is that the sewing studio can be on top the existing structure, which is two feet too close to the neighbor. But, the neighbor doesn't mind, and putting the studio on the existing walls makes it much more structurally sound. We picked out what windows we want, both for the new addition, and to replace the old windows that are a bit drafty. They can be tilted down to wash from the inside - I love that feature! This will be an exciting season! Speaking of Season: when the kids were little we always joked that we were going to send a Christmas card out without Ellen's picture. We would then title the card, No El. Jerilynn

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reusable Wine Gift Bag Tutorial

This weekend in Madison, my daughter and I worked on a way to make a fast but cute reusable wine gift bag. The above photo is a picture of the ones Ellen made and also some of her Quick Card Cases she has done. Fun, huh? You can sorta tell from the photo that each bag has two side, and each side has sewn-in ties that are the fabric of the other side. I should take a picture of the bag on a real bottle so that you can see how great they look. They are pretty easy and quick to make. You will need two fat quarters of two fabrics. Layer the fabrics right sides together and press. Cut out two 11" x 16" rectangles from each fat quarter (I cut the rectangles from the layered fabric.) Cut two long strips from the remaining fabric that are 1" x 22". You will have barely any fabric left - maybe just shavings from squaring things up. Sew the top edge (the bag is 11" wide and 16" tall, so the top edge is one of the 11" edges) , right sides together, one color of rectangle to the second color. Press seam open and then press the two halves together, right sides out, creating a nice sharp top sewn edge. Press under 1/4" on one bottom edge of one of the colors. Open sewn unit and fold lengthwise, matching the top seam. Sew across the bottom of the color that didn't get pressed under, up the long sides, and end at the bottom of the second color, leaving the bottom open for turning. Turn right side out, tuck pressed bottom edges in, and machine stitch closed close to folded edge. Tuck one color inside the other color and marvel at how nice that pre-pressed top seam looks. Take two of the long strips (1" x 22"), one of each color. Fold in half, stitch a scant 1/4" seam. Using a Fast Turn tool, turn tie inside out. (I really don't know how you can turn those tiny ties without a Fast Turn tool. I suppose you could use ribbon here - might be cute). Repeat for second color. Position ties 4.25" down from top seam on the side seam, one on each side. Carefully pin in place and stitch both in place at the same time. I try to line up the stitching with the side seam so it doesn't show. Trim the raw edges of the ties at an angle and tie in a single knot close to the end. The unused ties of the "lining" color just tuck inside until they are called to duty when turned that side out. Throw in a wine bottle, and tie in a bow. Or, use for any type of long gift. This technique can be used for any sized bag, really. At Hancock Fabric in Madison they had a gift/decor area and they had a black wine bottle shape that opened up to reveal a set of wine tools. Very sharp! Wouldn't that make a great gift when placed in a hand made wine bottle fabric gift bag? Jerilynn

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sewing in Madison, Wisconsin

Greetings from the capitol of Wisconsin! I am at my daughter, Ellen's, house for a sewing weekend with her and her friend, Heather. We did a little shopping yesterday and then came home to a big turkey breast that had been cooking in the oven, a yummy salad, and a couple glasses of wine. We started up the sewing machines and got to work. Both Ellen and Heather went to design school at Harrington in Chicago and are create sorts. And, both are participating in Holiday Fairs the first weekend in December, so they both are in production mode. Heather is taking screen printing classes in Illinois, so her projects are screen printed. Her candy cane swirl red pillow is really cute. Ellen is in a sale with a couple of other women here in Madison. So far she is making Quick Card Cases (what??? You don't have that pattern yet?). Her fabric choices are great! I think today she might make some two sided wine bottle fabric bags. We went through several design samples before we settled on one that is easy to make, reversible, and cute. I will try to get a quick tutorial up on the blog. I worked on a new shape for the Big Bottom Bonnie Bag. What do you think? For some reason my computer did not like her wireless router. I tried all the tricks I could think of....that is why these posts are late. I will try to catch you up with the pictures of what we did. I am home again, tired, but have a happy heart. Jerilynn

Friday, November 19, 2010

Big Bottom Bonnie Bag in.....Wool Felt!

As I talked about in an earlier post, I am having fun using the stitches on my machine to make felt squares. Previously, I had designed this type of stitching using digitizing software and then sewing them out on my embroidery machine. I challenged myself to use just the stitches in my sewing machine and am finding out that this is tons of fun! Using different threads is fun, too, and I have been using a lot of King Tut variegated thread from Superior Threads. The above pocket is sewn out using shades of green. The stitches do not have to line up perfectly in the corners...I give you permission just to play with designs and threads and have fun. I also like the zipper that I used. I ordered the Brastique YKK zipper from Ghees. I love the zipper pull and also the "steampunk" finish of the zipper. I am going to be on the lookout for more colors and a bit longer length. I used a charcoal grey wool felt on the outside, and lined it with a red. It is very soft and fits perfectly in the bag that I made (can't tell you too much about that right now...secret stuff!) Go buy some wool felt somewhere - Sew Complete in Eau Claire, WI, carries a bunch of colors, and you can order it on line at Wool Felt Central. Cut the squares into 5" and draw a diagonal chalk line from corner to corner to help keep your stitched squares square. I usually stitch the first one out about 5/8" from the edge and keep making smaller squares. Once you are all done, give it a good steam press and trim to 4.5". Stitch on to another square for a cute coaster or a fun pocket on a Bonnie Bag. What??? You don't have a Bonnie Bag pattern? Where have you been? Let me know and I will gladly sell you one! Jerilynn

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Did I Ever Tell You That I Like Wool Felt?

Well, yes, maybe I have mentioned it before. I taught a Folkart Clothesline Tote class this afternoon and tonight so I didn't have much of a chance to day to make anything and take a picture of it. I did make 7 layer bars for the students, so I suppose I could show you a picture of those. But, what I did take a picture of is one of our coasters. Our last name initial is an "L" and is in the corners. Our first name initials are bigger in the middle of each side. I used an interesting font, and I think the overall look is more like a design rather than a coaster with initials. It is so satisfying to make these little 4.5" squares. Just use a double layer of wool felt, stitch something on it, and, Viola! coasters. You can slip one in a birthday card and you won't have to add extra postage. For more ideas visit my Etsy shop, You certainly can order some coasters, but they are cheaper to just to make them yourself. Jerilynn

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This is the Very Last Blog about Bathrooms

I promise. This is the last blog about bathrooms. Shower curtains are just so darn easy to make, though! When I found out that the banyan leaf outdoor fabric also came in white AND it was on sale...well, I just had to buy some to make a shower curtain for the downstairs bath. This was a full size curtain, however, so I had to buy 4 yards. I have some leftover, but so far I haven't found anything to use it for. I digitized some of the leaves on the Bernina V6 software for matching towels. This bath isn't a "theme" - just lots of color. Strange, though, is that I have used shower curtains two different times to make regular curtains for windows. They weren't the plastic curtains, just interesting fabric. So, I do fabric for shower curtains, and shower curtains for fabric. Grass is always greener. Jerilynn