Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What Shall I Make Today? Little Light Ornies!

Wanting to make some last-minute decorations?
Here's a super quick and easy idea.
(I don't know if this is original or if I saw a version someplace--can't remember things like I used to!)
You'll need a battery-operated tea-light, an old jar lid, a rusty star, and some rusty wire.
Punch two holes in opposite sides of the lid.
I found the easiest way to do this was to tighten the lid in a vise and hammer a nail into it.
You'll also need to hammer a nail into the star to make a hole.
I found the white tea-lights at Michael's.
Since I prefer the grungy look, I painted the top and sides with black acrylic paint.
Before it dries, sprinkle with a mixture of ground instant coffee and cinnamon.
When dry, paint it with modge-podge (but not the bulb!)
Cut a length of rusty wire and insert one end into the hole in the lid.
Wrap the end around itself.
Thread the star onto the wire and bend the wire to hold it in place at the top.
Insert the other end of the wire into the other hole and wrap that end around itself.
Tear a little strip of homespun and tie it around the wire at the bottom.
Place the tea-light in the center of the lid.
Fill the area around it with bits of moss, berries, whatever you like.
That's it! 
Won't these look pretty nestled among my Santas on the mantle?
Or as little center-pieces on my Christmas table?
You could also give them away as party favours,
thread a tag with a guest's name on it onto the wire for a place setting,
or hang them on your tree.
Have fun!

Friday, November 23, 2012

What Shall I Make Today? A Burlap Wreath!

I love burlap wreaths but the patterns all seemed too complicated for me. So here's a simpler version. All you need is a prim star about 5" big, a roll of burlap (I got mine at Michael's) and a wire hoop (mine's an old garden one, minus the legs).
Start by opening the hoop and threading the center of the burlap onto one end of the hoop, from the back.
Leave a couple of inches and reinsert the hoop into the burlap.
Leave a couple of inches and push the hoop through to the top of the burlap.
Leave another couple of inches and reinsert the hoop into the burlap from the top.
You get the idea.
After you've woven the burlap roll onto the hoop, reclasp the ends with the star in between, to keep it in place.
Slip stitch the ends of the burlap together with some matching thread.
Tie a few bits of fabric or twine around the hoop every so often, to keep the burlap evenly distributed.
If you like, you can add a homespun bow at the top or just leave it as is.
And there you have it!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Wonderful Vintage Market

After months of planning and preparation, The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market weekend was here! Here's a "before" photo of my booth.
So much stuff to sell--so little space!
Hubby Ben has a true talent for finding just what I need to display my wares.
He discovered this tree branch and it fit perfectly into the corner.
Here's the "after" photo of my booth, and yes,
we did manage to fit everything into it!
By the end of the show, we'd said good-bye to our vintage steam-trunk.
We'd picked it up in Pennsylvania when we were first married in 1976 and it's been a part of our lives ever since.
But now it's found a place in another home and the new owner promised me she'd treasure it, just as we had.
A few close-ups of my booth...the calm before the storm.

Thanks so much to hubby Ben for all your help...
maybe we've found our retirement careers!
At 5:00 pm the doors opened...two hours later, 600 people had walked through the barns!
Saturday was another full day of selling and then it was over.
Thank you Leah and Barb for organizing this wonderful event
and thanks to all of you who attended!
They promise there'll be another one in June, 2013, so I'd better start replenishing my stock!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I've been gearing up for next week's Vintage Market in nearby Maple Ridge, BC. I hope lots of you can make it out--it's going to be amazing!
In addition to lots of vintage items, I'm filling my booth with Christmas hand-mades.
Here's my Vintage Santa ornie.
For those of you who can't make it, I've downloaded a sampling of my handmade wares into my General Store.  If you click on the logo on the right, the link will take you to Christmas 2012.  And if you want to order anything, just let me know!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Shall I Make Today? Creepy Cobweb Coasters!

Here's a last-minute Halloween decorating idea for you!
Draw lines like this on a piece of graph paper.
My finished design will be 4 1/2" square so the cross-lines are at 2 1/4".
Make little marks at 3/4" down and across from each corner.
Draw an arc between the lines on the top half of the diagram, like this:
Fold the paper in half and cut out along the arcs.
Unfold the paper and pin to a double layer of muslin, with a piece of batting underneath.
Make sure to leave about 1/2" around the shape.
Sew around the shape, leaving one arc open.
Remove the piece from the machine and cut out 1/4" outside the stitching.
Cut straight across the points.

Turn the piece right side out through the opening.
Use a chopstick or other pointy thing to get into the points.
Hand-stitch the opening closed.
Place the piece between 2 single layers of cheesecloth.
Machine-stitch with contrasting thread across the shape from point to point,
making sure to intersect in the center.
After you've stitched the 4 lines across the piece,
move your needle about 1/2" toward the center.
Following the arcs, stitch around the shape.
When you get back to the beginning,
move your needle another 1/2" toward the center
and stitch again around the shape, following the arcs.
Repeat once more and remove from the machine.
Trim any long threads and the cheesecloth loosely around the shape.
If you like, you can brush some stiffener onto both sides of the shape and let dry.
Your creepy cobweb coasters are finished!
If you want, you can loop a length of thread through a point and hang them around your house.
Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Great Weekend for a Quilt Show

This past week was grey, dreary, and rainy on the west coast--perfect weather to attend a quilt show, I think. I was a vendor at the Piecemakers Guild show in Chilliwack, BC, a show I've done for several years now.  Here are a few pictures of my booth in the Merchants' Mall:
And here are some pictures of my favourite quilts in the show.
I LOVE the machine quilting on this one!
Isn't it gorgeous?
The quilting designs are original, done by Darlene Epp.
This 76" square "Barn raising Log Cabin" quilt by Sandra Lounsbury is all pieced with 1" wide strips.
Another quilt by Sandra Lounsbury, measuring 90" x 102", each block about 4" square, constructed during her commute to work each day.  Now there's a good use of travel time!
Another quilt by Darlene Epp.  This one is paper-pieced and took over a year to create. 
A mystery quilt created by Lisa van den Brink.
I love the colours she chose.
I forgot to get the name of the creator of this masterpiece.
I'm always amazed by anyone who has the talent to make so many precise points!!
And finally, this 36" x 61" quilt by Ursula Yeo, called "60 Little Houses".
Isn't it charming?
With all the work involved in preparing for a show, I often find myself thinking, "Maybe I'm getting too old for this."  But when I'm there and get to meet amazing, talented women like these and get to see their beautiful creations, I'm reminded again of why I love quilting.
Thanks, Piecemakers, for including me in your wonderful show!