Tag: Crafts (Page 2 of 2)

Let It Snow Woolie

A little wool, a little thread… and a cozy little candle with wool applique.

Okay, so you’ll also need a needle, scissors, some fusible, a hair elastic and a button, but you get the idea. Simple, sweet and cozy for a snow flurry kind of day!

I used the snowflake Accuquilt die for this quick applique. Makes a sweet gift.

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O Holy Night

Manger Scene Wool Applique


Here is a sweet wool applique manger scene for you!

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Christmas blessings to you each day of the year!


Do ya wanna build a snowman?

Make a snowman today!

Come on, let’s go and play! You can build a snowman today with Mr. Snowman Punch Needle!

Put down your lists and have-tos.

Make a snowman yours today!

First of all, no shovel is needed for this little guy – and very few supplies!

Just grab one tiny 3-inch canvas, your punching supplies and some yummy threads to make yourself a little, friendly snowman.

Get details and the Mr. Snowman Punch Needle PDF download HERE.

Mr. Snowman Punch Needle
Mr. Snowman Punch Needle

Also, you’ll find a link for a How-To tutorial!

In addition to this little guy working up super-fast, he adds some needlework texture to your winter decor! (See Textures of Christmastime) My guy likes to sit in front of my “Winter Blessings” quilt (pattern by Shabby Fabrics) hanging in my dining room but he’d be darling on a window sill!

Alternatively, you can draw your favorite snowman. What’s great about punch needle is the simpler, the better. So think back to how you would draw a snowman as a kid-then punch away!

Winter Blessings Quilt Pattern by Shabby Fabrics
Winter Blessings Quilt
Pattern by Shabby Fabrics
Do ya wanna build a snowman?

A side note.

A few years ago, my girls dressed as Anna and Elsa and sang for the Salvation Army ringer outside our mall. It was cold, but they had a great time, surprised lots of little ones by being there, and brought in a few more dollars for the Salvation Army.

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

It also made for a great Christmas card that year!

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

Remember to be prepared for the winter days ahead and check your emergency supplies, like water, batteries, thread, treadle machine oil (in case you lose electricity), and chocolate!

Most of all, enjoy your quilting journey!

Image of Quilt
Noelle is made with BOTH beautiful sides of one Christmas floral!

Shop Quilt Patterns HERE

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A Christmas Passed.

All of a sudden your Christmas Traditions aren’t traditions anymore!

In a moment (it seems) our family has grown up and Christmas Traditions aren’t the norm anymore.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Note: since I first wrote this post in 2016, there have been many wonderful changes to our Christmas experiences. I’ll update that towards the end. But as you’ll read the original post, I was lamenting the changes of that time – not realizing that change can be exciting and good:

It happens in a flash. They tell you it will. You know it will. You even know at the time that it is…and then, all of a sudden, you know it DID. Therefore, it seems, Christmas traditions evolve.

Family dynamics change. All of those years of anticipation and child-like joy about the holidays are over. (They actually had been for several years.) I think I was just pretending and hanging on to them as long as I could.

I am a traditional kind of gal who loves to recreate the same experiences every year, like:

  • new jammies on Christmas Eve
  • the same Christmas Eve dinner
  • Saint Lucia bread on Christmas morning
  • attending the same candlelight service
  • listening to the same Christmas music each year
  • watching Christmas movies

Now, for the first time in thirteen years, neither of my girls will be singing for our Christmas Eve service at church. They won’t be here on Christmas Eve.

Image of Christmas Craft
Popsicle stick Advent toys I made
23 years ago. I still put them out every year.

This Christmas Eve it will be just us and the baby in the manger. No cooking all day, keeping it warm while hurrying to and from the first service, home to have Christmas dinner with family and rush back to church for the candlelight performance. No prayers in the pews for healthy voices and calm nerves. It’s just us this year for Christmas Eve.

Traditional changes.

I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about. You’ve been there! Maybe you have a new round of grand-kiddos to share the excitement?

Change happens and so do Christmas traditions. I mean, let’s face it, my Saint Lucia bread hadn’t risen right since we moved to our new house, ten years ago! It actually became a tradition to laugh about the candle-lit flatbread with gooey orange icing and dried cranberries we had every Christmas morning!

The St. Lucia wake-up:

Our girls would sleep in their white American Girl pioneer gowns and bonnets. In the wee morning hours they would put crowns on their heads, tiptoe into the kitchen and make us a treat. They would wake us with singing, a chocolate-y coffee-like drink, and Christmas cookies on a tray. It was sweet, if not so tasty!

So it’ll be a quiet Christmas Eve, but a beautiful one, I know. There’s nothing like singing Silent Night by candlelight in our filled, beautiful church. Then on Christmas Day, our oldest will fly in from New York, the youngest and her boyfriend will pick her up at the airport, drive a few hours and our celebration with family will begin. We will have a new menu, new music, and some new people…and I think some new jammies will still be in order!

Christmas Traditions
One year they sang outside the mall for the Salvation Army ringers at Elsa and Anna.
Image of Paige in Christmas Traditions
Paige performed in Miracle on 34th Street in Rochester, NY
Image of Jacq in Christmas show
Jacquelyn performed for Myer Dinner Theatre’s Christmas show.

UPDATE: It’s 2020 and boy, have things changed! I’ve loosened up a lot on our traditions and this year is like no other! Our girls are 28 and 24. AND we have a son-in-law! A few constants in our Christmas experience are family gatherngs, carols, hymns, Silent Night by candlelight, adult jammies and celebrating the Christ-child born to save us all. And Christmas quilts…

Image of Noelle Quilt
Noelle Quilt Pattern

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Sweet Pumpkin Applique

Sweet pumpkin is in the air!

Autumn brings the best of pumpkin to our senses. You might have already enjoyed your favorite seasonal coffees. Maybe you’ve lit some sweet-scented candles. Are you anticipating that first bite of sweet pumpkin pie?

It’s true, this time of year, pumpkin touches almost all our senses. Now you can add the cozy touch of wool and the unique look of the combination of plaid, lace, and burlap to make your fall seasonal experience complete!

Here is the Sweet Pumpkin Applique pillow.

Sweet Pumpkin
Sweet Pumpkin Applique

First, download the free template here.

Use the template for your own pumpkin project or make the pillow as shown.

Sweet Pumpkin Applique

Accent Pillow Size: 12 x 17 inches

First, trace the template designs onto the paper side of fusible. Cut loosely around each. Press onto back of wool. Cut on lines.

Next, baste one 12-inch piece of 2 1/2-inch lace onto the left edge of 6 1/2 x 12-inch burlap. Pin, right sides together, one 11 x 12 inch plaid fabric and burlap together; stitch.

Then place applique pieces from back to front in order as listed and numbered: Pumpkin, Stem, Leaf, Small Sunflower Center (slip petal ends beneath center), Large Sunflower Center (slip petal ends 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 beneath center; add petals 10 and 11 on top). Press to fuse pieces in place.

Hand stitch the wool applique using the blanket stitch and/or running stitch. I suggest these Valdani threads, size 8: Pumpkin: Easter; Stem: PT4; Leaf: P11 Aged Black; Sunflowers: P5.

Sweet Pumpkin Closeup

When handwork is complete, align and pin 12 x 17-inch backing with top, right sides together. Mark a 4-inch area for turning on fabric end of pillow. Machine stitch. Trim corners and turn. Use fingers to gently push out corners in burlap. Fill with small tuffs of polyester fill. Turn ends of opening inward and stitch.

Lastly, add a decorative blanket stitch (optional) across the end with a thick thread to make a nice edge.

 Looking ahead to Christmas cheer, here’s JOYFUL, made with BOTH beautiful sides of fabric!

Image of MERRY
MERRY Quilt Pattern

Shop easily-use the blue Easy-Link Blue SHOP buttons HERE!

Through the Chicken Wire…

Look through the chicken wire at the local fair for quilts and punch needle.


Vintage Fun Cross-stitch by Nancy Kester, Quilted by Karla Kiefner

There are county fairs all over our beautiful country each year–this one just happens to be in the Show-Me state.

The district fair is where you can show off your talent for growing plants, making quilts, raising livestock, crashing cars, grooming little ones (baby contests), singing, creating recipes, rooster crowing, showing livestock, hen clucking, antique-tractor pulling, barrel racing, juggling, doing magic tricks, and eating of things which are fried!

Not all things shown at the fair are kept out of reach, but many small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and poultry, as well as hand-made items like small quilts, embroidery, tatting, and crochet, are kept from wandering hands by the prolific use of chicken wire.


Sunflower Tile Punch Needle Embroidery

For over 155 years, people have gathered at this fair to eat, socialize, and kick back, and share the product of their skills. There are concerts and contests almost every night.  We (and our faithful friends and family) have spent many a year cheering our hearts out at the Heartland Idol contest in which our daughter was determined to compete. Plus, there’s the Little Miss SEMO Karaoke contest, pageants, mother/daughter look-alike contests, and a field full of carnival rides and games.

The fair kicks off with a parade through town, ending at the fairgrounds and even the local schools often schedule half-days during the fair so the kids can enjoy the fun.

One of my favorite places at the SEMO District Fair is inside the Arena building where the quilts and other hand-work are displayed, along with a touching display which honor our local men and women of our military who gave their all, along-side our guild’s display of  Quilts of Valor. My second fave is the Trinity Men’s Club stand where many of our church members work diligently each year, including my friend, Nancy, who stitched the Vintage Fun quilt shown above.


My Bella Piastrella takes a blue ribbon.

Of course, its always fun to win a little something–a ribbon from the fair makes the effort more fun and the promise of a smidgen of cash ($23 this year) to come in the mail makes it all the more sweet.

So next time a fair opens up near your town, take the time to check it out. Check out the barrel races or the strolling magician and treat yourself to a good ole fried turkey leg–and remember, go see what you can see…through the chicken wire.


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It’s a Bear Out There!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Bear paw prints, claw marks and scat!

How does this bear paw experience turn into stitchery? Read on to see the quilt block and punch needle embroidery inspired by our visitor

That is a bear out there.

Have you ever seen a certain quilt or pattern and you think, “No, I’m not going to make that.” Then, all of a sudden, something happens and you’re thinking, “I’ve got to make that quilt.”?

Our neighborhood has suddenly become a flurry of excitement. We don’t live in the country, really. We certainly don’t live in bear country! I didn’t think so, anyway. But after pondering a these odd markings on our cedar play set, we aren’t so sure anymore.

Bear markings?

This takes a bit of bear paw sleuthing.

At first, we thought it was anything but a bear.

But soon the neighbors and I are sharing our experiences and findings daily.

We visit each other’s yards to look at “evidence”. Next, we learned the lingo (scat).

Collecting evidence in the neighborhood.

This was actually a bonding time for some of our neighbors! We got to know each other a little better through the clues left by our new guest.

Calling in the bear paw experts.

Furthermore, we sent photos of the clues to the local experts. While they hesitate to say for certain it’s a black bear, but they did say it’s either a black bear or a large dog. Following that, they said they wouldn’t know why a dog would make these markings.

Game Cam time.

Finally, my husband was convinced enough to commandeer a Game Cam from deer camp. The waiting game began. The markings on our playset are near our crabapple tree so the neighborhood “experts” are waiting for the fruit to ripen and our bear to be caught–well, red-pawed?

More scratches!

Quilt time.

Pertaining to the bear, this brings to my first point, about a quilt block I never intended to make. Bear Paw. Suddenly, this block appeals to me on a very personal level. Plus, it’d be a great barn quilt to mark the area, kinda like our mysterious friend did.

Its a Kevin Bacon thing.

So here is my first partial block. Of course, my bear likes Kaffe!

Image of partial bear paw quilt block
Bear Paw by the Pool

Never to stop at one, I might as well make a little punch needle bear paw.

image of bear paw punch needle
Bear Paw Mini Punch Needle

It’s going to take me a bit longer to make that barn quilt—maybe we should get a picture of the guy to make sure he’s not a giant raccoon or something!

You know it makes sense, really. Creative Bee…quilting bee…bees make honey…in a Kevin Bacon kind of way, we really should have a bear living here!

Image of bear paw quilt block
Bear Paw Quilt Top

Visit my shop on Etsy for more than 50 quilt patterns that use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric!

Want a great treat recipe called Bear Droppings? Find it here:  One Sweet Retreat

Read about prepping for retreats at Quilt Retreat Checklists and Quilt Retreat Take-alongs.

How to Put a Little Punch in Your Summer

Here’s a beachy punch needle design:

Creative Bee Studios

A Bit of Summer

Punch, in this case, is not a drink generally served at wedding and baby showers. I’m talking about sweet little punch needle-ette (new word)–tiny punch needle you can wear.

Small projects like this can be punched in one warm summer’s evening. Sit on the deck, the front porch swing, or in the coolest seat in your home and punch yourself a sweet little treat.

I wear my punched design as a necklace but you can also make key fobs or rings–even earrings. I have found various hardware at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s in the jewelry-making sections. There are even greater hardware options online.


Re-purposing Hardware for Punch Needle

The most important tip I have is to measure the inside diameter of your holder carefully and be sure your weaver’s cloth is secure and taut before you draw the outer perimeter onto your cloth.


The stretched diameter was larger than the pattern. Always hoop first, then draw on your design.


See this little bee? I drew the outer circle the correct size to fit its holder, but when I tightened my cloth in my hoop, the circle grew. I didn’t realize my mistake until I had completed the punch and realized it was too large for my holder. This little bee is now waiting for a new hive to come along.


For general instructions and a punch needle supply list, see my Punch Needle page.

Happy summer punching!


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