Thursday, August 27, 2020

A New Pattern—Floral Box Toppers

We are excited to show you one of our latest patterns—Floral Box Toppers! Four designs that combine, wool, cotton, and embroidery to make flowers that can grace the top of a small box or tin.

This project came about because I (Kara) had a lot of flea and tick collar tins that I had been saving. The collars were packaged in plastic inside of the tin, so I had no fear of the chemicals being a problem. The tins were a nice size and it seemed like I should be able to use them in some way. I love to mix wool and cotton and thought that flowers would be a great way to do that—and then of course, embellish them with embroidery. While I used these tins, any box that is 4 3/4 " or larger would work well. Because these patterns are relatively small, it is easy to whip a few up in a short amount of time, and they will make great gifts. They could even be used to hold a gift! 

Pictures always help me when I am following a pattern, so when you make your own boxes, you can look at this post for some pointers. Here are some images of how Flower 2 in the pattern is put together.

Trace around template
Cut out just inside of the drawn line.

Use same template to cut out wool and
trace cutouts.
If you cut carefully, you will have wool hearts!

Center cotton and wool on background.
Staple or fuse in place and it is ready to stitch.

Once you have stitched your wool down, the embroidery fun begins. The pattern tells you what stitch goes where, but feel free to get creative and add the stitches you like.

The actual assembly is pretty straight forward and the directions are included in the pattern  I used an acid-free glue stick to adhere my pieces to the tins and found that it was more than adequate. The process for covering the bottom of the tin is the same as for the top, and the instructions in the pattern describe that as well. When adhering the fabric to the tin or box, you will need to do a little smoothing of the gathers. On a round tin, you just need to smooth them out evenly, whereas on a square tin or box you can pleat the fullness at each corner. Your boxes might not be the same as the ones shown, but the process for covering them will be the same.

I used velvet ribbon on the round boxes because it helped camouflage the bunchiness of the gathers. On the square box where the sides were smoother, I used seam binding. Whatever trim you use, it just needs to hide the raw edges of your fabric.

I measured the side of the tin so that I know how much seam allowance 
to cut, and then I added a bit more. You can always trim later.

All cut out and ready to put on my tin

Glued and trimmed

Velvet trim to hide the raw edges

Pleated corner on a square box

The sides of the finished boxes.

You can purchase the pattern on our website listed below in either digital or printed form. We hope that you find making these boxes as fun as we did. I have a lot of tins left, and I've already started picking out color combinations. They are a great way to use some small pieces of wool that you have laying around.

What will your boxes look like?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Hopeful Bluebird Extras!

Our Hopeful Bluebird project began at a time when we were all dealing with what it was like to stay home for our safety. We were thrilled that so many of you joined our Facebook group and created our small wall-hanging that would welcome our friends and family back into our homes after the lockdown. Since we had such a good time with the wall-hanging, we thought we should continue the fun with some other projects using our Hopeful Bluebird pattern. (You can read more about the original project by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.)

Throughout the next couple of months, we will be offering free patterns to our Hopeful Bluebird Facebook group members with a series of four sewing smalls that use the Hopeful Bluebird appliqué parts. All the appliqué will come from our pattern, which is for sale on our website if you don't already have it. These projects will give you a lot of bang for your buck with just one pattern! The projects will be for members only and will include the instructions for how to make each item. All you have to do to join the Facebook group is just ask! Our first project is a scissor fob that uses the star-shaped flowers from the pattern. This little project is so easy to do, you will want to make extras for your friends!

With beads

If you have the pattern already, just head to the Facebook group to download your instructions. Easy peasy! If you don't have the pattern, all you have to do is go to our website listed below and purchase the pattern—either printed or digital. Then head to the Facebook group, request to be a member, and you will be able to participate in the group and be notified when the next project comes along. Here is a sneak peek of the next project!

Can you guess what the next project might be?

Each month we will post the new pattern in the group, along with some how-to pictures, and maybe a few surprise offerings! It is such an encouraging group that we thought it would be fun to keep it going with a few more ways that you can use the original pattern. We would love to have you join us if you haven't already, and for those who are already members, we are thrilled that we get to keep this little group going!

You can now purchase the Hopeful Bluebird Sewing Smalls Printed Pattern along with the wool kits using the link below.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Academy of Appliqué Web Address Correction

We appear to be having some issues with the links on our blog so the correct address for the Academy of Appliqué is below. You can copy and paste the link directly into your browser and we are sorry for the inconvenience!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

All About the Academy!

It seems like just yesterday that Teri and I (Kara) were showcasing our very first Academy of Appliqué class offerings. It's hard to believe that 5 years ago, we were sharing our Secret Garden and Floral Wreath blocks. For our 2021 class, we are thrilled to be able to show you the first set of blocks in our Village Wanderings Series—Homes.

These quaint houses were inspired by European homes and cottages—specifically from Alsace, France. We fell in love with the old timbered structures and beautiful colors, so we turned them into these four seasonal homes "built" out of wool (or cotton) and embellished with an abundance of embroidery and silk ribbon. 


Wisteria vine

Pansies and candytuft



Rose bush

Gerbera daisies, sweet alyssum, and geraniums

Black-eyed Susans


Chrysanthemums, pansies, and ivy




Holly wreaths



We would love for you to come build houses with us March 4-6, 2021, in Williamsburg, Virginia at the 2021 Academy of Appliqué. Registration opens on Labor Day, September 8, and classes usually fill up quickly. If you want to see our class and others, just click on the link below and it will take you directly to the Academy website. Once there, you will need to click on the Class Catalog link located on the top left, and that will open up the catalog. Our class is the very last one, so keep scrolling until you see our smiling faces!

Full kits—wool, embroidery threads, and ribbon—will be available for purchase in class, or you can bring your own materials. All ribbon and embroidery threads that we used will be available for sale, if you just want to purchase the embellishments you "need" (by which we, of course, mean want), in addition to many of the notions we enjoy using—noted by the starred items on our supply list. We try to create a no-pressure environment in our classroom, and we will work very hard to make sure you walk away with some new skills, as well as some new friends. 

Don't forget sign-ups are on Labor Day, September 8, at 12 noon. We would love to have you join our construction crew next March!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Travels and Updates!

It has been a crazy month in the Through the Needle's Eye world. Thanks to many of you, our Woolen Oak mystery block was a great success! The time leading up to our reveal and the reveal week were incredibly busy, but certainly well worth it. Now that things are slowing down a bit, we thought we would share a little travel inspiration as well as some sneak peeks of what what we have coming up for you on the blog and on our website.
From palaces to nature,
this trip was not lacking in inspiration.
Since Europe has started to open up for travel, my husband and I (Kara) have tried to make the most of it. We have a large European map on our wall with pins for all the places we have visited and we realized that we had not been to many eastern European countries while we have been over here. I planned a rather elaborate road trip that would have us go to three countries for the first time, along with a few stops in Germany and Austria. As always when I travel, I am often looking for inspiration for our stitching designs.  

Our trip began in Germany and then continued in a very large loop through the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and then ending on a small, glacial lake in Austria. Please enjoy just some of the things I found inspiring on this road trip.

A beautiful, historical timeline made completely of Meissen porcelain tiles.

Stunning appliqué on the inside of a Turkish tent.

Appliqué close-up

These amazing, porcelain flowers decorated a 6 foot vase!

These lilies were on the grounds of Ksiaz Castle in Poland. 
I had never seen this color before.

Can you see a quilting pattern in this ceiling?

The bouquets in this wallpaper would be lovely done in appliqué.

Inspiration can be found in simple things—like a pillow at your hotel!

Ceiling decorations that could be translated into quilt borders.

This makes me want to stitch some bluebells and ferns.

Some mountain heather would be fun to stitch as well.

If I made a landscape quilt of this picture, it would be called "Sunrise on Gosausee

Now that I am back from the road and Teri has very ably managed all the details of our Woolen Oak block, it is time to get back to work on some of our upcoming projects that we will be sharing with you in the very near future.  Soon we will be showing you what we will be doing for next year's Academy of Appliqué, and then we will be introducing some brand new patterns!

A little embroidery from just one of the four projects that will be available
at the 2021 Academy of Appliqué, in Williamsburg, Virginia

While we won't be teaching our Baltimore Fraktur at Baltimore on the Prairie this year
because of COVID, we will be introducing the pattern on our website in the coming months.

This, along with four other patterns, will be coming to the website soon!

These little guys will be part of a project that we can't wait to show you!!!

Travel plans this year for many have had to be cancelled or postponed. I feel very fortunate that my husband and I have been able to see some of the beauty that Europe has to offer, and I hope that you have enjoyed some of our travels as well—my designing mind was whirling with ideas and inspirations for future projects. 

We also hope that your interest has been piqued with some sneak peeks of what we have in store for you and that you will check back next week to see our Academy reveal. Again, it's not too late to join the Woolen Oak Mystery Stitch-A-Long. You can head to the Woolen Oak Facebook page to join and you can find our Harvest Basket block, seen below, on our website. There are still 2 more blocks that will be revealed so their is definitely time to join in the fun!

Stay safe and keep stitching!