Thursday, December 10, 2009

We Have a Mouse

We have a mouse
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
Our sweet little Sugar Lump tried to eat the gingerbread house. While visiting, our little guy and Sug made the house with Grandma Cookie's guidance. Apparently, all the frosting goodness was too much temptation for her two year old tongue. She took a nibble off the front gable, well, a chunk.

Hope your decorating is fun or funny as in my case!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Black and White Quilt

Black and White Quilt
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
For our big girl for Christmas. . . got the quilting done yesterday and now need to bind it. Can't wait for her to see it. The charms are from Joann's and I used some black swirl I had on hand. . . and of course the back and white cotton. Love the patterns and think I will quilt it on the diagonal to support that pattern. When I finish, I'll post the whole thing. Oh, how I love presents:).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Modern Winter Quilt

Modern winter quilt
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
I love all the bright colors in this one and how the white blocks and the linen border showcase all the hues. How to quilt it though? I love it so much, I'm thinking I should send it out, but maybe I can do something simple that would keep it lovely. If you have ideas, please do share them with me.

Hope you are enjoying the cheer of this season. We spent a lovely evening with kiddos and friends last night. The food, the decorations and the fun of conversation have me in the spirit! Happy Holidays:).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Tree Quilt

Tree Quilt 2
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
I had some scraps left from Candyland Christmas so I thought I would try a large version of my tree block. It turned into a nice lap quilt. I freehanded the little snowflakes that quilt the white space. They do the job, but I'm not sure I'm in love with it. More practice would solve the problem, I'm sure.

Hope you're getting into the mood of the season and getting your projects for gifts finished.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Snowy Houses

Snowy Houses
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
As if I needed this distraction. With a pile of projects to finish, I played in th middle of the night. These little houses are cute, but I have no idea where they will live. Why they were so important to make when I have quilting and binding on four big projects left to do, I'm not sure. When I get those bigger pieces finished, I'll show you them. For now, these little houses and the tree that needs trimming downstairs are making me quite happy. Hope you're making things that bring you some extra joy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Purple Knit Cowel

Originally uploaded by hmsohly
Orange Flower Sketchbook provides all varieties of crafting inspiration. This oversized cowel is based upon her simple ribbed cowel. My sweet mother was kind enough to model for me. I think our big girlie will enjoy this for Christmas. Now, if I can just get her quilt top and back ironed, sandwiched, quilted and bound. Ahhh. If that were the only project on the list.

This cowel was super easy! Using a #15 needle, I cast on 80 stiches. I followed OFS's stitch pattern---knit three, pearl through the back stitch one and repeat. I did knit it in circular, but you could knit it flat and seam it as easily.

Hope you're staying warm.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Fun Kiddo Winter Banner

Living in the Pacific Northwest, having some extra little projects for the kids is super helpful on our rainy days. I purchase little things as I find them and then plot how the kids can use them. I sewed two little muslin banners--really just finished the edges and made a pocket that would hold a piece of wood to stabilize the banner. I let the kids choose the felt stickers and arrange them as they liked on their banners. Then they went to work peeling the adhesive and placing their snowflakes.
The felt stickers make the banners look so pretty and more complex than the work the kids did. They were both proud. One is hanging and one is ready to send to grandparents as a gift. If you need some rainy day fun, this project might just fit for your family.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Peacock Feather Pillow

Peacock Feather Pillow
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
The last item that I sketched and stitched for the livingroom. I think I'm done for a while in there. With tjust three stitches, stem, back-stitch and french knot, this came together quickly, dispite the size--it is a rather long pillow. Again, I encourage you to sketch your own images and stitch them. You might be surprised by how well you like them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gail Pan BOM Done

Gail Pan BOM Done
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
I love this. I mean, I LOVE this. Somewhere as I stitched, I had a notion that it would be a gift. Now, I believe it will be a gift to me:). My husband says I never make anything for myself, but this time, I did.

If you haven't seen her work, you can find her here. What a sweet thing to offer up free stitchies for us. The flicker pool for this project is pretty amazing--many different interpretations.

You could completely get this pretty quilt done by the holidays. . . just keep that stitching in your bag as you do your errands and then suddenly, you are here--all done and hanging so sweetly. Happy Holidays, a little early. I have a wall hanging idea for the little kiddos to do. . . I'll get that posted soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cheater Chargers--A tutorial

My mother and Sister-in-law always set beautiful tables. They have a vareity of table linens, decorations, candles, etc. Since this is definitely not the season for additonal expenses for table decor, I wanted to inexpensively add some color to go under my pretty dishes. Off to the closet I went and found a remnant of quilted holiday happiness. With stripes on one side and pretty trees on the other, I got to work. You won't believe how fast these went together.
First, I cut 13 inch circles.
Second, I pinned and sewed the bias tape around the perimeter.

Third, by folding back the raw edge and sewing to the end, the charger is finished.
The fun part is that they are reversible. You can quickly make these! I made our six from cutting to finish in an hour (while addressing the needs of my kiddos). This is a fun idea for the holidays--you could quilt your own and have one side be for fall/Thanksgiving and the other side be for winter/Christmas/Hannakah. I'm thinking we might need these for birthdays, too. They also work as trivets.
Hope you enjoy this idea and make some of your own.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some Holiday Sewing

With the help of some Figgy Pudding and a free embroidery pattern from Gail Pan, I finished up these two projects. Both items are bound to be gifts--so, shhh, please keep my secret. I just had so much fun with the Figgy Pudding patterns and love how the uncut courduroy adds some warmth and richness to the pillow. I have a whole list of things I've got in progress for friends and family. It seems quite possible that I've bitten off more than I can chew. I have a couple more pillows, a wall hanging, some mittens, a couple of quilts. . . maybe some more. We'll see how ambitious I am.
Won't you please share waht you're making as you make your list and get started on holiday sewing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Since my honey got me a memory card with an extraordinary amount of memory for my camera, I have waited too long to get my photos onto the computer. Here are two of the simple quilts I made last spring.

The one for my Dad is done in quilter cottons and pillow cases. I chose the toile because it reminded me of his farm--the sheep, the trees:). It was the first time I dropped the feed dogs and did any free-motion quilting. I need loads of practice, but I thought I could try on the toile trees and the stitching is doing the job stitching does. Is it beautiful? No, but it hides nicely in the foliage:).

The other is the one I entered in Park City Girl's quilt festival--now you can see both sides in-full. I so love the colors and designs in this Hello Betty! I love the big blocks, too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Fabulous Sister-in-Law

More than once, I've mentioned that my brother's wife is an amazing designer. She works as a stationery designer, though she has designed packaging and signage. She could just as easily design interiors, textiles and re-organize your life. I admire her skills and her penchant for order. The company for which she works has a little retail store. If you're in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (or even if you're not--they are on-line) the store is full of paper fun! So many fun gift items and all the perfect things to create invites, love notes, thank yous, etc. If you are thinking about holiday parties or gifties, click on their logo above, or of course, you would walk into the store on Main in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tree Quilt Block Tutorial

tree quilt block 9
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
Admittedly, I'm a quilting novice. You may, very well, find an easier way to do what I've done. These were my steps and I hope you find them helpful. I've just begun a little project I'm calling Blue Christmas and thought I'd share how to make a basic block from it. I think it might make some pretty bits for someone else--pot holders, winter scenes, etc. I hope it is helpful! Here is the link to the photo tutorial at Flickr.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Originally uploaded by hmsohly
My little girl isn't a baby anymore. She is wearing a shirt I made on for her big brother. I love the vintage patterns. I have sweet giraffes and elephants waiting for babies who need something stitched. I've been sewing away. . . too many projects and I need to finish them. I have a couple of gifts finished and others started. Yes, I'm in holiday mode around here. I have a feeling you are, too.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gail Pan WIP

Originally uploaded by hmsohly
Though still not complete, I wanted to share where it is as it comes together. Please excuse the wonkiness of the photo--my little boy did his best:). Gail Pan was kind enough to share her designs. I finished mine a little smaller so it could hang on our wall. I'm just so happy with how it is coming together. The sashing is red print I had left from Candyland Christmas. Each block stiches up very quickly. You could make one as a pillow for your home or a gift, or you could make just your four favorites and create a smaller wall hanging. I'm looking forward to quilting and binding this one.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hello Betty Quilt now at Home

Park City Girl is hosting her second on-line quilt festival. I've been enjoying the work others do and commenting--mostly thanking them for inspiration. Then I thought, I'll help some newcomer feel good. This big block of Hello Betty by Moda is what I sent along for my sister-in-law's birthday. It was simple--use a layer cake to border a big cut of a favorite pattern and you're almost done. The other side has a center made of layer cake blocks and is bordered by brown. What I love is that it is on her couch in her livingroom.

This was my second quilt. I love that while I was basting it, my daughter found a marker and left her own little impression. Quilting has taught me to embrace imperfections. I'm certain, many manage the perfection required of the intricate patterns, but I'm better with the charm or the strip. I do my best and I make it with love. I know my mother would be tearing out pieces that I let stay. Her work would be perfect. Her quilts would be amazing. My quilts are the best I can do right now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fake Applique Pillow or Is a Fat Quarter Considered a Scrap?

Last week I noticed a tear in one of our familyroom accent pillows. It was an Ikea cover we've had for a few years, and though I still liked it, I was ready for something new. I had purchased a fat quarter of something yummy and thought--yes, this could work out there. Here is what I did.

Cut an 18" square of the fat quarter and the cotton batting scrap I had on hand.

Pin baste the fabric to the batting.

Using my walking foot, I outlined each circle.
With quilting the pillow front complete, I cut two 11" x 18" uncut courduroy pieces from scrap. I finished the long enge of piece by double-folding a 1/2" and sewing with a straight stitch. On the other, I attached the balance of the fat quarter so the back of the pillow would have some to the front design. I finished the edge of the patterned piece in the same way--double-folding 1/2" and sewing with a straight stitch.
By placing the latter piece right-side together with the quilted piece and the other back piece overlapping the first piece, you can make a pocket pillow cover. Now pin all items in place. Sew the perimeter of the cover together. I double-stitched the overlapping back pieces to provide more stability. Turn the right-side out and insert a pillow. WE LOVE THIS! I think I need to make two more:).

More Scrappy Bookmarks

To show you how quickly these come together, here are some bookmarks in red, blue and cream. Making them is a little like eating potato chips or sewing nine-patch blocks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Scrappy Bookmarks

Somehow I developed a special love for bookmarks. I don't have a collection or anything like that. Still, I admire them. Certainly, it stems from I know Anna Maria Horner shows a wonderful way to make bookmarks that have embroidered borders. If your scraps are bigger than mine, her tutorial is wonderful.

To make mine, you'll need scraps that are between 4 an 5 inches wide. Sew them together into a length that suits a bookmark. If you have big hard cover books, longer is great. If you have smaller paperbacks, shorter is better. Add to the scraps, a piece of stiff interfacing and a piece of ribbon if you like. Now let's put it together.
1. Cut your scraps to size.

2. Seam your scraps together.

3. Fold in half, match seams and sew the the length.

4. Turn your tube right-side out.

5. Cut interfacing to fit your tube size.

6. Insert into tube and cut to size so you can finish the ends.

7. Add a ribbon, if you like, by cutting a length, folding it in half and pinning it inside the top of the tube with 1/4 inch turned in to finish the edge. Turn the bottom edge in 1/4 inch to finish that edge.
Sew around the permimeter of the bookmark to finish it.

You can make a pile of these quickly and they are great gifts or additions to book gifts.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Stem Stiching and French Knots

While at Paper Zone, I saw a stamp that I just loved. My mother had always had a thing or Queen Anne's Lace. The stamp reminded me of that sweet cluster of flowers. When I got home, I sketched up three stems on some tea stained muslin I had. With a stem stitch and so many french knots, I didn't count, I had this sweet pillow for my living room.

If you feel drawn to something, please feel confident in your ability to sketch it and make it.

Hope you are finding inspiration for your own crafty fun.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Figgy Pudding by Moda Fun

The colors in the Moda's Figgy Pudding line are rich and warm. With a charm pack in hand, I just had to play. I'll write up a little pattern for this soon, but for now, here is a look at a WIP. The charms are in the middle with some red sashing as ribbon for the gift. White, brown and one of the Figgy Pudding prints make the borders for it. We'll see how quickly I work, but maybe it will be done by next week. The "get ready for holiday giving bug" has definitely bit me. Making things for those I love is so joyful. With the chilly are now here in the Northwest, time inside seems much more reasonable.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Quilt for Grandma

gma quilt
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
My Grandma Margaret loves little hands. She traces the hands of babies and compares them with those of her babies. Now she will have three of her great-grand babies hands to keep her cozy. She loves blue and these prints are lovely, little, vintage things. If your grandma needs something to wrap up in for a gift, this may be the perfect thing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nine-Patch-a-Day. . . Finally Done.

gpa quilt
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
It has been done for a while, I just didn't get a photo together. My sweet mother and father were here helping me this week. Mom was kind enough to help me get a photo. Thanks to Crazy Mama Quilts for this inspiration. I would definitely make another one. Just a little at a time. . . and it came together so quickly. It really motivated me to try some more quilting techniques. I hope the rest of you are getting ready for fall. We've planted most of the bulbs, done the pruning and are getting ready for nights by the fire pit. Who doesn't love sweatshirt weather with a warm fire?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Knitting and Sewing. . . in Preparation

Since as of next Monday, I'll be on waivers as far as any right hand use is concerned, I've been wrapping up some projects. I've finished a blanket and a quilt (photos to follow this week) and have knit up a variety of things for little people I love.
Here is our Sugar Lump in one of the hats. I'm an impatient knitter, so I worked up this little hat with chunky yarn, size 11 needles and a twisted drop stitch. Super fast! I find the larger needles bother my hands less, too.

I'm hoping to get my Gail Pan Bom last block stitched this week and get a couple more things made. I'll get some photos up for fun. Hope you enjoyed a nice holiday weekend and that you're ready to greet the fall.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Originally uploaded by hmsohly
Another piece to connect to Sew Mama Sew's hand sewing month. My mother stitched this piece for my brother when he was little. Actually, I think she stitched it for my father and for her. It is a good reminder for all parents of busy little critters.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Carpal Tunnel

carpal tunnel
Originally uploaded by venetia27
I've ignored this problem for far too long. So she says, as she types. Today is the day to schedule the first surgery. I'm completely bummed that I'll be out of stitching, knitting comission for a while. First the right, then the left and hopefully all will be amazingly better. I guess I'll just have to admire things and dream of what I'll do later--when it will be easier:).

Isn't thie work on this piece beautiful? Flicker's venetia27 posted this creation. Fits my thoughts today and it is lovely.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vintage Daisies

A few years ago, I was shopping in an antique store in Eureka, Wisconsin--just outside a town called Luck. I found some yummy shoe clips and then was drawn to the linens. The little towel in the photo had to go home with me. Actually, it needed to make a home with my brother and his wife. My Sister-in-Law, the amazing designer I've mentioned before, had painted their powder room a yummy brown. I just knew this little piece would fit her sensibilities. It still lives in that room. I love that I was able to find something she would love. The color selections on this little towel are so modern and it is certainly at least fifty-years-old. Happy hand stitching.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mason Jar

Mason Jar
Originally uploaded by Ankou
Green living is constantly on the mind. . . with little ones, we're worried about our carbon footprint. The mason jar is one way I'm making an effort in the kitchen. I find that I'm using more jars and fewer ziploc bags, less plastic wrap. . . you get the picture. I'm compiling a list of green crafting ideas--so many out there. When I get it together, I'll share it. Until then, I'll keep sharing the ways we are living green at our house. I'd love to hear what you do at your home.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

House HSH
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
The sketch for this little embroidery was inspired by my husband's childhood home. His parents live in a three story brick home with a huge side yard. Our kiddos love to visit because of the trips down the laundry chute, the stairs that go up one side of the house and down the other and all the fun photos of Daddy. Hope you're stitching up something fun. I'm working on block 8 of Gail Pan's Christmas Bom

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Favorite Embroidery Piece

While visiting my parents, I finally took a photo of my favorite hand-work my mother did while I was tiny. This hangs in their hallway, right outside my bedroom and links my memory to the lake house where mom stitched it and I was a wee one. I love the colors, the perfection of her stitches and that it is 35 years old. I hope you enjoy this piece, too. The good folks at Sew Mama Sew are featuring hand sewing this month. Maybe we should all share some of our favorites. Let's see what we can find.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Variation on a Cocoon

Oh, how I wish I had a friend with a baby to cozy into this little bowl. So here is my version of the Baby Bowl. My photographer friend, Christine, was so sweet when she received these little knit goodies. This one works up super fast!


1 skein of something soft and yummy

Size 11 16" circular needles

Yarn needle

Cast on 60 stitches loosely with your prefered method

Place stitch marker and join

Row 1: Knit all stitches

Row 2 - 6: Knit all stitches twisted drop stitch (tds)

Row 7: Knit 8, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 8 - 12 Knit all stitches twisted drop stitch

Row 13: Knit 7, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 14: Knit all stitches twisted drop stitch

Row 15: Knit 6, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 16: Knit all stitches tds

Row 17: Knit 5, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 18: Knit all stitches tds

Row 19: Knit 4, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 20: Knit 3, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 21: Knit 2, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 22: Knit 1, k2tog to end of round using tds

Row 23: K2tog to end leaving you with six stitches remaining

Cut an 8" tail and thread it through the final six stitches.

Weave in ends and trim.

Have fun--this knits up super fast!