Thursday, August 26, 2021

Potsticker Fun for Fall

This week we introduced our second round of Potstickers for your plants—Fall Fun Potstickers!

These little quick little projects will give your autumn foliage some panache this fall. They go together so quickly and when you buy our kit, all wool, flannel, thread, buttons, and printed patterns are all included—for the low cost of only $19.50! 

When creating these, we really wanted to make something that would be complete so you could take them with you to the doctor, school pick-up, or wherever you go that you might need something easy to stitch. As an added bonus, for buying the kit, you will receive the pumpkin pattern free, along with its sweet little leaf button. 

Each potsticker has its own special charm whether it is the three dimensional sunflower, the beaded wreath around the maple leaf, or the tiny squirrel holding a very tiny acorn charm. All the charms, beads, and buttons are included in the kit.

Primp and pamper your plants this fall with their own decor, and if you want to give them a patriotic feel, you can make the first set, our Patriotic Potstickers.

If you would like to create your own set of Potstickers, click on the link below to pick up your kit!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Academy 2022 Offerings—Part 2

We are so excited about The Academy of Appliqué next year that we can hardly wait! The joy of anticipating a week with stitching friends, old—perhaps we should say experienced—and new always fills us will delight, but this year promises to be something especially wonderful!

Last week, Kara shared two of the blocks we will be teaching in Williamsburg next year. In both sessions, we are offering choices for you, so that you can choose either option, or both. In our first session, we add the Butterfly and Trillium to the Cascading Creek—both blocks from our Woodland Reverie series. Two years ago, we introduced this series with our spring and fall blocks (click HERE to see), but there is much fun to come as we explore the woodlands.

We are stitching each of our Woodland Reverie blocks on both a black background and a neutral one. It is fun to see how the colors behave so differently on the contrasting backgrounds. You have the advantage of seeing how the two colorways compare. This block begins with a basic papercut design for the fern; we use back-basting and will teach that method, but if you have a tried-and-true favorite method, that's always fine with us. Embroidery creates veins on the fern, and we created an appliquéd frame in the center using Dupioni silk to showcase our butterfly.

The trilliums are made with French wired ombré ribbon, and the center sparkles with metallic threads. 

The star of this block is a beautiful butterfly, ready to fly away. His wings are free to flap in the wind, as he is attached only in the center. The fun of discovering the perfect symmetrical fabric to fussy-cut for wings is an adventure in itself!

Many of the techniques used in the Cascading Creek and Butterfly and Trillium overlap, so while you might choose to work on one of them during class, you will be able to accomplish both if you desire.

Our second session will cover the center medallion of our Village Wanderings quilt, as well as the corner blocks, the seasonal trees. Because every village needs trees! We will cover the ribbon skills needed to complete the trees, as well as discuss the embroidery used for the little wool birds.

The bluebird sits in the budding spring tree.

A goldfinch in the leafy summer branches.

The woodpecker helps the turning leaves to fall.

The cardinal perches atop a barren snow-speckled wintry tree.

That is a lot of fun to have in one week!! Remember that registration opens at noon EDT on Labor Day. We don't envy you having to make choices among all the wonderful class offerings this year—there are so many wonderful classes from which to select! Of course, we would LOVE to have you joining the fun in one of our sessions, but whatever class you choose, please do plan to stop by to say hello. We'd love to say hi, or to meet you if we haven't yet had that pleasure. See you in February!!

To see the Academy of Appliqué class catalog, go to

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Academy 2022 Offerings —Part 1

It is hard to believe that it is that wonderful time of year when the Academy of Appliqué class catalog is ready to view, and are we excited about our classes! We will be teaching two classes next year, and this week and next, we will highlight the projects so that you can see more details of each. The first session will be two new Woodland Reverie blocks. You will be able to choose which block to work on in class or both. All the skills for each block will be taught, and some of them will overlap. 

The Cascading Creek  block is the first we will highlight and features a plethora of different skills. With this textured block, you will learn how to create your own cascading creek out of silk, as well as learning how to make dimensional flowers and leaves out of four different types of ribbon. Once you learn these techniques, you will be surprised at how simple it is to create this type of dimension on this and future blocks you might make. Basic embroidery stitches will put the finishing touches on your creation.

Silk ribbon, bias silk ribbon, seam binding, French ombré wired ribbon, and wool roving are used to create your flowers and leaves. Embroidery with a variety of fibers add depth and that final detail to make your block complete.

Our second offering will be the final installment in our Village Wanderings project. A seaside chapel, loosely based on an ancient church on a Scottish isle, graces the center of our village life quilt. From the meandering path filled with flowers to the mullioned windows, embroidery takes center stage in this wool and silk medallion. Wool roving makes an appearance in the fluffy clouds, and the whole scene is framed in an oval of silk ribbon blooms. 

This center medallion along with the seasonal trees (which Teri will talk about next week) will complete our walk through the village. We will have complete kits for the houses and shops, so if you are joining our wander for the first time, we will have everything you need to finish this quilt.

Teri and I didn't realize that we had sent Barbara an old bio, but this will be our sixth year teaching at the Academy, and we are now both on the same side of the pond. The Academy is one of our favorite places, and we both fell in love with appliqué many years ago because of it. Wanting every student to experience success, our teaching style is an encouraging “don’t panic, it’s organic” approach that focuses on enjoying the process while learning new skills. We would love to have you join us next year in either class! 

Stay tuned next week to see the highlights of the other parts of our classes and if you have any questions for us before the Labor Day at noon sign-up, please let us know.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Once Upon an Ornament

Everyone loves a fairy tale. Most of us can probably name a favorite or two, which elicit memories from our childhood. These timeless tales have entertained and taught lessons to generations, and many have similar versions in cultures around the world. I (Teri) loved them as a child, read them to my children, taught them in my 4th and 5th grade classrooms, and now share them with my grandchildren. Our mutual love of these stories is one of the things that brought Kara and me together as designers, when we created our Fairy Tale Album. This set of Fairy Tale Ornaments is a perfect way to charm the young ones in your life and share those "happily-ever-after" stories with them. The ornaments can even spark their interest in telling those stories. (I'll take off my teacher hat now...)

Several years ago, we introduced the first few ornaments of this series and shared them on our blog. We continued creating ornaments to complete our set, but they somehow got pushed to the back of the shelf. We are now pleased to present the complete pattern set for our Fairy Tale Ornaments. Initially, we posted detailed how-to tutorials for each of the first five ornaments, which will be linked below. For the rest of the ornaments in the set, you will already have the skills to assemble them, but we will give you some links to blog posts we have written over the years that will help you will specific stitches. 

We have printed patterns on our website, as well as digital PDF downloadable patterns. Patterns include color photos, placement patterns, instructions, and templates for each of the twelve ornaments. We did them on a black wool background, but they could easily be appliquéd onto cotton, homespun, or flannel. And as always, embroidery adds the detail to bring the stories to life.

This project is a great stash-buster, as most of the pieces are fairly small. Use what you have, be creative, and have fun with them—while you are making them, as well as when you share them! We prepared them to hang on a tree, but you can use them in any fashion you desire. Of course, we think they are perfect for young and old alike. 

Once Upon a Time (Click HERE for tutorial.)

Cinderella's Slipper (Click HERE for tutorial.)

Sleeping Beauty's Spinning Wheel
(Click HERE for tutorial.)

Little Red Riding Hood (Click HERE for tutorial.)

Snow White's Dwarf (Click HERE for tutorial.)

The Crown (Fairy tales often have royalty.)
(Click HERE for spiral trellis tutorial.)

Beauty's Rose

The Beast's Castle

(Click HERE for pekinese stitch tutorial.)

The Little Mermaid

The Nightingale

The Ugly Duckling

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast are all traditional fairy tales, which can be found in various versions all around the world. The last four—Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, and The Ugly Duckling—are stories written by Hans Christian Andersen, from Denmark. Do you have a favorite fairy tale? Is it one of these—or should we continue creating? Let us know!

Shop HERE: