By Jove, I Think She’s Got it!

Appliqué has been my quilting nemesis for years.  My stitches always show and the thread really tends to stand out.  

Because I have been so frustrated, and not very patient, I usually just opt to embrace the visible stitches and use my sewing machine with either a small hem stitch or go all out and use a buttonhole stitch with contrasting thread.

I am not at all against machine appliqué, in fact I am a big fan of the speed and consistency of the stitches.  BUT  (I’m sure you knew that was coming) I really WANT to be proficient at appliqué.  I feel that any really good quilter should know how to needle turn.

Well this is it.  This is the quilt where I learn the appliqué ways!  I started out with my usual try to take a small stitch, but the stitches still show technique.   Ugh!  No matter how hard I tried, those stitches showed!

Then I looked at the back and had a brilliant thought—


I said to my myself, ” look at those tiny pinpricks. Why can’t they be on the front?”   Wait a minute–why can’t they?  I know, I know, I’m very slow to the rodeo with this one!   I think everyone else had this figured out long ago.  Where have I been?!


This time I entered my quilt top completely next to where I came out on the last stitch. Do you see where I put the arrow in the above picture?


Here it is again.  The picture on the left shows what I WAS doing. I was entering the fabric a few stitches ABOVE where I came out on the last stitch.  The totally correct awesome way is once again to go back down RIGHT NEXT to where I came out of the fabric on the last stitch.


Look at how pretty that looks!  You can BARELY see the stitches at all!❤️❤️. The back has the long stitches and I’m ok with that:)

I should be quite the proficient when I am done with this Down the Rabbit Hole quilt.  In fact for the next few days I am really going to be stitching and stitching on these leaves!  There are about 50 of them!


Yep,  I think I will have the hang of it for sure by the time I’m done with them:)

Now I have to get the curves a little smoother, but I will get there!  No one is going to be looking that close except me and you:)!

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope my appliqué journey helps any of you who are new to appliqué:)

Life is SWEET!

Down the Rabbit Hole Appliqué Preparation 

Good Morning!  Im glad to be home and back to some bit of normalcy.  The best part of being home is spending a bit of time in my sewing room.   I have been loving some of the fun techniques I am learning in my Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt by Sarah Fielke

I need to be more careful about second guessing how to do things on this quilt.  For instance, I used my normal sew around the circle with fusible web technique.  It is a very good way to make a fusible circle that can be found here.  But I will show you in a minute that should have waited.


Dont they look pretty?


I gathered my 1/4″ bias tape that I made last time I posted about this quilt.  I put a few drops of glue on the back and glued it down around my psychedelic Rabbit Hole. 

Then I ironed my beautiful circles down .  I LOVE it! –But there was an even easier way to make perfect circles.

In section 3 of Sarah’s directions, she introduced me to a new way to make circles for applique.  I know the “Magic Circle” for Crochet. Now I know a magic circle technique for quilting too!❤️❤️

  • First, I gathered my perfect circles templates and took out the circles that were the right size for the pattern. But really a piece of cardboard cut into a circle would work as well.
  • Then I took out my kitchen aluminum foil and cut some squares that were bigger than the circles I was making.  
  • I cut my fabric into circles that were 1/4″ larger than my template circle, but next time I am going to cut them 1/2″ larger for added adjustment.

  • I followed Sarah’s instructions and placed the foil down first, then the fabric with the right side down, followed by the template
  • It was easy to then fold the foil and fabric over the template to make these little foil circles
  • I took the circles to my ironing board and pressed them with my iron.  The foil was very hot so I waited a bit to let them cool:)
  • When I opened my little foil package, there was my pretty little ironed circle!  Easy, easy, easy!!

Can you see why I wish I would have waited on my larger circles?   The interface method worked, but this way was even faster and easier!  

I am so excited to start my hand appliqué.  I  am always tempted to use my machine, but I really WANT to become a proficient hand appliquer.  I will never get there unless I keep trying.


So—Here I go Down the Rabbit Hole!  

Thank you for dropping by and reading about my creative adventures.  I hope you have a SWEET day:)

Road Trip Eye Candy

It’s road trippin’ time!  I just love a good road trip❤️❤️.  My DH and I are going up to help my #1 son move to school.  It’s what parents do, right?  

I love driving through Arizona and Utah in August.  The weather is a little cooler and the rains have come.  It is picturesque at every turn.


My favorite part is the view of the Grand Canyon from the Highway 89.  The land is cracked for miles and miles.   

It is GRAND indeed!   I like to stop for a minute and drink in the beauty and majesty.  

And as if that isn’t enough, the other side of the highway is nestled into these tall, smooth, red rocks.  If only I were a rock climber like my son! 

I know, I know,  we are all gaining spiritual weight with so much beauty, but wait, the dessert is still to come!


Lake Powell is just a little bit further down the road!  Can you believe it?!  I am truly happy today.  

Of course a happy road trip would not be complete unless I had some fun hand work to keep my hands busy.

I am on the last few blocks of my Stardust Melodies Afghan.  I will definitely have them all done by the end of the trip.  Oh yea!!



Driving in the car also teaches new techniques because necessity is the mother of invention.


I forgot my stitch markers at home, so I have learned that a hair clip  works GREAT!  In fact it is easier to use because as the name implies, it just clips on.  How cool is that?  Its TOTALLY TIPSTER:)!


Road trips really help me get caught up on projects. But best of all, I get to sit by my cute husband and enjoy his company.  SWEET!!❤️


I hope all of your life roads are leading to happy places filled with people you love:).  

Thank you joining me on my road trip today!

Granny Star Potholders Pattern and Tutorial

I love buying yarn and fabric on a trip and then coming home and stitching  something up to always remind me of the fun times we had on our adventures.  Maybe you do too!

I bought this bright and crazy “Hippie” yarn at Mendels on Haight Street in San Francisco.  I love the groovy colors!   For my memory project,  I designed a set of  easy, fun potholders.   Here is the pattern if you would like to stitch up a set of your own .


Granny Square PotholdersPattern designed by Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Materials Needed:

  • 2 skeins of worsted weight coordinating yarn  (cotton makes the best yarn for Potholders, but I don’t mind a some what toasted yarn pot holder, so I am using acrylic)
  • Size G or 4.5mm hook
  • Large eyed yarn needle
  • Scissors 
  • 8 stitch markers 

These instructions have you change colors at the end of  Round 4 but you can change the colors on as many rounds as you like. Just use the same technique 

Instructions:

Make two squares for each pot holder.

Start by making a magic circle.

Round 1 – Working in magic circle, Ch 3, counts as first dc, 2 dc, ch 2, *3 dc, ch2, repeat from* 2 more times, close your magic circle, join with a sl stitch to the 3rd chain of the beg. Ch3. 

  You now have 4 cluster stitches and 4 ch2 corners.

Round 2 – Ch3, counts as first dc, dc in next 2 st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, 

*dc in next 3 st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3.  You now have 7dc on each side

Round 3 – Ch3, dc in next 4st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 7st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 2st, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3. You now have 11dc on each side

Round 4 – Ch3, dc in next 6st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 11st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 4st, Change color– to change color, cut the main color leaving a 6″ tail, insert your hook into the the 3rd ch of the beg ch3, pull the new color through and PUL the hanging yarns tight on the back (You now have 15dc on each side)

Round 5- Ch3, dc in next 8st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 15st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 6st, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3. (You now have 19dc on each side)

Round 6– Ch3, dc in next 10st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, *dc in next 19st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch 2 sp, repeat from * 2 more times, dc in next 8st, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of the beg. ch3, cut yarn leaving a 6″ tail and pull through to finish. (You should have 23dc on each side)


On the back side of the square, thread a yarn tail into a large eyed needle and weave the tail in by sewing up a few stitches and back down a few stitches two or three times. Cut the thread close to the square. Weave in all of the yarn tails.

Optional flower:  Make one for each pot holder

Round 1 – Make a magic circle. Ch 1, does not count as a st, 16sc in the circle, join to the first sc. Close the magic circle by pulling on the back thread.  


Round 2- ch6, counts as dc and 3ch, *sk next st, dc, ch3, repeat around., join with a sl sr to the 3rd ch of beg ch st. You will have 8 posts and 8 ch3 spaces.

Round 3- sl st into ch3 sp, ch1, *(sc, dc, 2trc, dc, sc) in ch 3 sp, sk next post dc st, repeat from * around. Join with a sl st and fasten off  leaving a 24″ tail. You will have 8 petals.  

Weave the magic circle tail thread into the back of the flower.

Thread the long 24″ tail thread onto your needle. Place your flower in the center of your granny square.  Sew a small st in the valley and the tip of each petal to attach the flower to the square. Weave the remaining thread into the back to finish off.
Constructing Your Pot Holder– 

Block your squares by pinning the squares the same size and steam with an iron. DO NOT PRESS OR TOUCH THE IRON TO THE YARN!   You want it to look fresh and pretty for gift giving or for a photo shoot:)

Put the put holders together with the back sides together. Place one square at a diagonal and the other straight like a square.–place a stitch marker in the 6th dc from the corner of each square and connect them in the “valley” of the star. Place a stitch marker in all of the valleys. There will be 8 markers holding your two blocks together.

–with the color of your choice, attach your yarn in any stitch marker stitch. Place your hook through both the top square and bottom square stitches and pull a loop through. Be sure to leave a 6″ tail on the back to weave in at the end.

–ch1, sc in the same valley st, *sc in next 5st, 3sc in the corner chain, sc in the marked stitch going through BOTH squares, sc in the next 5st of the BOTTOM square, 3sc in the corner chain sp, sc in next 5 st, sc in in the next marked st going through both squares, repeat from * around, join with a slip st to the beg sc and fasten off leaving a 6″ tail. Weave in your tails.


Finished!   Far out and Groovy!!  But if you use soft, light colors the words, Fresh and SWEET, might be more appropriate:)


Here are the fronts of my two pot holders.


And here are the backs.  I absolutely LOVE them!  I am sure I will get years of use out of them.  And each time I use them, I will have happy memories of my trip to San Francisco!


I hope you will give this pattern a try.  If you do, please let me know how it goes;).  Until next time!!

It’s a So Lucky Scarf!

I just LOVE my happy new Lucky Scarf!   I don’t win contests very often, in fact, I never win so this is a true happy day:). 

I entered Linda’s @ kellysdiy one year blogaversary and won a prize!  I am the Lucky winner of this beautiful scarf made by the marvelous Tina over at Kristabella’s Hodgepodge:). 


My package came in and I opened it with happy anticipation.  Inside was this beautiful pink and gray granny square Lucky Scarf!   It smelled so soft and SWEET.  I don’t know what kind of perfume Tina sprayed my scarf with, but I need some!


Just look at the perfect stitching.  Isn’t it just gorgeous?!    I really can’t wait for the cooler months of winter to get here so I can wear it.  


Even in August in Arizona it looks so very, very cute!  Thank you so much Tina:).   It is a very SWEET day indeed!

Scrap Happy Needle Case

Hello and Happy Tuesday!   Today is a fun day because it is Kate’s Scrap Happy round up day:).  For my Scrappy project I would like to share with you my beautiful  Scrap Happy needle case. 

I  am part of a shoebox swap Christmas gift exchange. I have been getting ready all year.   My swap friend said she needed a needle case.   Sew…I made her one!  Isn’t it cute?

For my inspiration I used a pattern from Nana Company that can be found here. I didn’t really follow her instructions as much as I just kind of looked at them for inspiration. It measures 7″x4″.

I sewed my tiny 1 1/2″  scraps to make the front.  I  drew a free hand Needles on it and stitched it using an easy back stitch with double the thread.

The back is just a single piece of fabric with quilting and a button closure:). But the really fun part is the inside.

I made a little pocket to hold scissors and needle threaders:).  The pages are made from a soft, yummy wool.

Each page has a bit of lace for embellishment.  Isn’t it pretty?  

I found this lace as I was rummaging through my ribbon and lace scrap drawer for embellishments.  I knew it would be perfect!

I cut around the flowers and then sprayed them on the back with Scotch permanent fabric adhesive.  I did this on top of a paper towel to keep my table clean.  Then I glued them to the wool page.  Easy!!

I just loved making this SWEET little needle case!  I think I might have to make another for me:)

I hope you have a Happy Scrappy Day!

Down the Rabbit Hole at Last!

I am FINALLY starting my Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt by Sarah Fielke.  This is a monthly Quilt Along program that started back in January.  At first I thought I didn’t need another Quilt Along and I really don’t.  Also, I wasn’t overly enthused by this sketch of the quilt.

I mean, really it looks kind of plain in its sketched form.   Sarah is quilting along with us so there isn’t even a picture of the finished Quilt yet.  But as the months got going and beautiful pictures started coming up on my Instagram account, I knew I had to join along.  

I ordered the program back in April, but life has happened and the Long Time Gone, Splendid Sampler, and Delilah quilts were already going.  But now things are calming down, and I am heading Down the Rabbit Hole at last!

I was excited to try out my wedge cutting skills and start my Rabbit Hole center.

I sewed the wedges into four arcs and then joined them to make one wild circle

Isn’t it so cool?  Now you see why I HAD to join along. 

It is so SWEET!!   

Next I started working on my 1/4″ bias tape.  Yep, you heard me right, 1/4″!  Luckily I have a 1/4″ bias tape maker.


Have you used one of these before?  They are great!  I have several in different sizes. I have a totally Tipster Tip for these that I will share with you later this week:)


I folded my fabric to make a bias edge and cut 1/2″ bias strips.  They were so small!

  1. I brought the strip to the ironing board
  2. I stared feeding my strip into the bias tool with the right side facing down
  3. On the bottom of the tool is a slot to pull the fabric down
  4. With a pin I pulled the fabric out

Now that isn’t too hard is it?

Now for the fun part:)

  1. Pin the fabric to the board with the right side facing down.  Do this at the far end of the board so you have lots of room to press.
  2. Place the tip of your iron right against the tool and start to slowly pull the tool against the fabric.  Move the iron along with the tool.
  3. Yea!  A beautiful 1/4″ piece of bias tape. Easy!!

And, what did I do with this teeny bias tape?  Here is a sneak peak!  

I can’t wait to share it with you!  But it is going to have to wait until later though because tomorrow is Scrap Happy day:)!

Until then I hope your day is filled with SWEET creative adventures:)

Fantastic Bake Along- Whole Grain Bread!

Don’t you just love the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven?  It makes a house smell so homey and full of love.   This is how my house felt this week, full of homemade bread and love❤️


I just love Baking Along each month with all of you, my online friends.  This month Kathy over at Sewing Etc. gave us the recipe for this delicious bread.  If you would like to make some yourself, it can be found here.

The dough was easy to make.  I doubled the recipe so I could have an extra loaf to give to my son and his pretty wife.

But I think the recipe really needs to be doubled for  the size of loaves that my family likes.  So… darn it, I had to make more! Lol:). 


This time I  doubled the recipe twice to make four loaves!  (I am having a lot of company this weekend and will be needing the bread)  These loaves came out just the way we like our bread with the top peaking over the edge about an inch or so:)


My daughter in law was over and grabbed her loaf right away, but I still had plenty left to snap a few photos of.  

I sliced into a nice hot loaf and slathered it with SWEET butter.  I was patient and took this yummy photo, but then that slice disappeared into my belly as quick as I could put my camera down! 

It has been a wonderful Bake Along.  I am excited to see and hear about how the other bakers did with their bread this week.  

I hope you feel inspired to make your own delicious bread at home this week. We would love to have you join along next month for our next baking adventure;)

Delilah Quilt Along – North Star Block

It seems like forever since my last Delilah Block set has come in the mail!  I have been patiently waiting while watching and drooling over the beautiful finished blocks of others popping up on Instagram and Facebook.  Finally, here at the beginning of August the July North Star block came in!  

I was so  excited to open my package and see the pretty fabrics and new templates.   Ooooh aren’t they pretty?:)

The hardest part of these blocks is always the cutting.  I always breathe deep as I hope that the color combinations I choose are going on look good. 


Cutting with these templates gives the same sharp points as I would get if I were paper piecing.  But, yea! I’m not!:). There is hardly any waste of fabric and everything just sews together so easily.  Three triangles make a larger triangle.


And two pieced triangles sewn together make a square.


Put four of those squares together, and you get this beautiful North Star.  No trimming seams or tearing away paper either:).   Now we’re talkin’!

I made 5 beautiful North Star blocks and loved each one of them.❤️. I don’t think there could even be a bad color combination on this block:)


If you like this block and would like to join in, there might be a few openings online somewhere.   You can look for the Delilah Template of the Month by Jen Kingwell,  but rumor has it that all of the spaces are filled.  If you can’t find an opening,  don’t worry, I hear that there will be a book coming out next year.  SWEET!  I will definitely be buying it:)!

Thank you for stopping by and following along on my quilting and creative journeys.

Fantastic Bake Along – Whole Grain Bread


Hello hello!  It is Bake Along Time!   Isnt this just the best week of the month?  If you have never joined in one of our Bake Alongs , I hope you will heat up the oven, put on your apron, and join in the fun!


This month’s star baker is Kathy @Sewing Etc.  Kathy is a real from scratch type cook.  She grows her own fresh ingredients in her garden and uses eggs from her own chickens.  She is a Wonder Woman!!

Kathy would like us to make Whole Grain Bread this month.   Oh yum!  I love how the house smells as bread is cooking❤️!  


Here is the recipe:

Whole Grain Bread –  makes 1 loaf

Recipe by Kathy Reeves @Sewing Etc

Bread Machine Instructions–   Use the dough setting. Add the ingredients in this order

  • 8 oz. tepid water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons wheat bran
  • 2 Tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons flax seed
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 ¼ cup white flour
  • 1 package or 2 ½ teaspoons yeast

Punch down the dough, roll into a rectangle, and roll up from the short end like a jelly roll, pinching the ends and edge to seal. Place, seams side down in a greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise in war, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until done. Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.

Hand Mixing Instructions-

In a large bowl mix very warm water (105 degrees), butter, honey and salt until dissolved. Add yeast, set aside for 5 minutes to proof.
Stir in wheat bran, wheat germ, flax seed and whole wheat flour.

Stir in enough white flour to make a soft dough, then turn out and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. You will probably use all of the white flour as you knead for 8-10 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise about one hour.
Punch down the dough, roll into a rectangle, and roll up from the short end like a jelly roll, pinching the ends and edge to seal. Place, seams side down in a greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise in war, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until done. Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.

**How do you know when the bread is done? Knock on the loaf, and if it sounds hollow, it is done or nearly there! 


Doesn’t that sound delicious?!   It’s going to be a Fantastic Bake Along for sure:)

Here are the links to bakers who have joined along in past Bake alongs and who have said they want to join in this week’s Bake Along:)

I am so excited to taste a piece of this SWEET, warm, whole wheat bread! I hope you will join along:)