Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Stockings Were Hung

T'was the day after Christmas and all through the house,
Not a present I've opened or crumbs for a mouse,
Can gain my attention 'til I announce with much care,
The numbers of Winners who are waiting out there!

Christmas Stocking Hang Out 2012

Pardon my bad poetry.  I couldn't find a quote that fit this post.  LOL  Just trying to stick to the theme for the last time.  It is with fond and happy memories that I will be moving on after my first Linky Party.  I'm sure some of you think it is about time!

I think the event was a Grand Success!  Thank you! Thank you!  Thank you!  to all that joined in to leave a link, publicize it and/or just join in the commenting!  I'm sure there are many other blogs that get more traffic on their linky parties but I am pleased with the response I've had to this one.  I am giving some thought to doing another one soon.  

If you haven't had the time to visit all the LINKS yet I hope you will.  There is a wide assortment of stockings to view and 2 wonderful tutorials linked up too! Pat at  Scrapatches did one that had a cuff and Penny at Sew Simple Life did one with charm squares.  Thank you very much ladies for writing such helpful posts!

Now, I'm sure that you are waiting with baited breathe to hear who the winners are.  The three winners who added links are:  Mary, Judy and Denise.

The following five wonderful people who left comments are winners:  #82, #25, #31, #68 and #52.  Congrats to Deb, Amy, Rosemary, Melinda & Bonnie!  

Winners have all been notified by email.  I'll be getting prizes in the mail when I get the addresses from you.

I've been thinking of running the Christmas Stocking Hang Out again next year.  What do you think?  Should I do it again or try one with a different theme like Tree Skirts or Christmas Quilts?  Leave me a comment about what you think or what was your favorite Christmas Stocking on the Hang Out.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a Mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that Mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.
Cecil Frances Alexander

Merry Christmas

May you have a Wonderful
 and Blessed Day!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Crazy Quilted Stockings Beginnings

From small beginnings come great things. 


Thank You! Thank You! for making the



My guests left and I have time for one more post.  This is one that I should have done a little earlier but I didn't have the pictures made until Saturday.  Perhaps I whetted your appetite for them and now you want to try making one or two.  If that is true I have a few tips and a several that are in process.  These are some I started as teaching samples and have not yet finished.

One thing I learned along the way was to start with a foundation slightly larger than the finished stocking.  This is true whether you are Crazy Quilting or even when Strip or String Piecing.  The process on either a muslin or batting foundation can shrink or distort the shape of the stocking.  This will be obvious when you try to join it to the backing (ask me how I know).  In order to prevent this problem start with the enlarged foundation, do your piecing and then cut it to the pattern shape and size.

If you have added any hand stitching or embellishments make sure the knots or back stitching will not be cut off or damaged when trimming.  You don't want your hard work to come unraveled.  Any beading that is would fall under the presser foot when sewing should be added AFTER the seams are sewn.

Stocking Front

Detail Shot

Here machine and hand are used. 

More piecing to do on this one.

Started with a distorted hexagon.

Heavy Piece of Fabric is the focus of this one.

This is the back side of the top piece.

There are no rules.  You can see I have mixed all kinds of fabrics.  Embellishments can be done by hand or machine.  Lace, trims, buttons, appliques, charms, beads, silk ribbons, jewelry bits... any or all or none can be used.

Let me state that I am NOT an expert Crazy Quilter!  There are many bloggers on the web who do absolutely wonderful work that I can't hold a candle to.  Look around at them and join their groups if you like it.  I just want to have fun with the techniques and I think Christmas Stockings are a fun place to play with them.

I'll announce the WINNERS on the 26th.  I seem to have other plans for the 25th.  LOL


Sunday, December 23, 2012

2013 NewFO Challenge

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. 
Henry David Thoreau


Barbara over at Catpatches is having a link up of the 2013 NewFo Challenge. Since I am apparently not able to actually finish hardly anything I may as well plod along creating more projects to clutter up my studio.  It's a good excuse as any to cut up perfectly good fabric into small pieces.  

My plans to finish two projects this month went out the window when I began having knee problems which has made the trip down the stairs to my studio become a very real possibility of a fall.  Since I would rather not have things go from bad to worse I have been confined upstairs with no sewing machine or projects in hand.  When I send my husband down to fetch items for me I have to remember exactly where they are and all the needed elements.  I will be working on a solution to this and hopefully not hearing bad news from an MRI next week.

I am a notions junkie.  When I had my shop (and even before) I had to try new rulers, tools and notions to keep up with the industry and offer new ideas for quilting.  Since I don't need to buy any more fabric (since I have such a large stash) when I do stray into quilt shops or shows I still by the new tools that come on the market.

I actually made a list several months ago of the expensive templates and tools that I have bought and have not used.  Tell me I'm not the only one to do this. I thought it might be a good goal to try and actually use some of these expensive objects in 2013.  

I actually began with the latest one I purchased last month when I cut out the Christmas tumblers quilt.  This month at the charity quilting meeting I used the Accu-quilt Studio cutter to cut out another tumbler quilt.  I will be able to compare the ease of construction with these to sets of blocks.  Again I would prefer to be able to play at the design wall with them but I think that the charity quilt could be figured out on EQ7 because it has a limited number of fabrics.  Maybe I can get a sewing machine upstairs after Christmas and get something done!

Templates and Patterns to be Used:  Progress Noted in Blue
  1.  Tumbler by Marti Michell - Cut Out
  2. Accu-quilt Studio Tumbler Die - Cut Out
  3. Wheel of Mystery
  4. Strips & Curves  9" Basic Set by Quiltscapes
  5. Strips & Curves Set II
  6. Strips & Curves Flowing Ribbons, 8" Block
  7. Strips & Curves Advanced Set; 3", 6" & 9" Blocks
  8. Strips & Curves Mini Beg & Borrow Set, 6" Block
  9. Storm at Sea Template by Marti Michell
  10. Kaleidoscope Ruler by Marti Michell
  11. 60 degree Triangle Ruler by Marti Michell
  12. Radiant Suns Pattern
  13. "S" Curve Triangle Block by Waterfall Quilts
  14. Leaves Galore Templates, 3 sizes
  15. Rapid Fire Hunter's Star, Large & Small
  16. X Blocks, 7 1/2" by Quilt Queen Designs
  17. Wonder Cut Ruler
  18. 10 degree Wedge Ruler
  19. 120 degree Angle Ruler
  20. Fat Cats 12" 30 degree Ruler
  21. 30 degree Triangle Ruler
  22. Tall Triangle Ruler
  23. Tri-Mate Ruler
  24. Apple Core
  25. Half Clam Shell Template, 8"
  26. Ax-Head, 4"
  27. Swirls, 8"
  28. Cracker, 2" x 3"
  29. Boondoggle Ruler
  30. Curved Slotted Ruler by Karla Alexander
  31. Colorado Log Cabin

So here's to Castles  Quilts in the Air for next year! Now to put foundations under them!

Do you think I should do some tutorials on them as I use them?  Let me know if you would be interested in seeing some and which ones in particular you are interested in.  Maybe you can give me some motivation.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crazy Quilted Stockings

Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human. 

Anthony Robbins

If you are looking for the

to add your stockings or a chance to win Prizes
Join the FUN!
Linky is open through
December 24

I thought I would give you a closer look at my Crazy Quilted Stockings.  Now I suppose it would be a little more logical to talk about the simpler stockings first but I had the pictures done of these so they are what I'll talk about.  If you are thinking of making some this will give you a few days to get it done before Christmas.  The easy ones can be done on Christmas Eve if needed.  It really doesn't take too long to do any of the ones I've made unless you add a lot of hand work like embroidery, beading, applique or such. Cross stitch is another matter and I don't know how to knit.

I'm not going to do a tutorial on Crazy Quilting.  There are plenty of them on the web already.  I might do one for next Christmas or something.  I'm going to just show a few close ups of the two I've done and talk about what I did.  I have a few more in progress that I'll try to get to later.

Gold & Neutrals Crazy Quilted Stocking

Trims used are: 

  1. Lace Appliques sewn on by machine with invisible thread
  2. Various Buttons
  3. Various Laces & Trims, White, Gold and Ecru
  4. Glass Snowflake Charm
  5. Hand Beaded Snowflake (pictured below)

Wonky Beaded Snowflake

Fabrics used include cotton prints, satin, shantung, upholstery weight brocade, gold lame`, moire.

Heel & Toe accented with Gold Trim

I played with the fancy machine stitches and metallic, rayon and invisible threads.  Adding the fancy stitching and trims as the crazy piecing is done buries the thread tails and trim ends which cuts down on raveling.

Stocking Back

The back is more of the decorator fabric brocade.  It has an Oriental look to it.  I inserted a twisted rayon cord piping at the top and added a 5/8 inch wide gold metallic grograin ribbon for the hanger which is nice and sturdy.  The lining is white satin.

If you want these fancy fabrics a good place to get them is the remnant bin.  It doesn't take but a little bit to crazy quilt.  A half yard will easily back a couple of stockings and the trimmings can be used in the piecing.

A Special Stocking

This one is special because the green fabric and lace flowers are from the fabrics I made the outfit I wore to my oldest son's wedding.  All the other fabrics are cotton except for a little black velvet and a small triangle of white satin.

I cut a full fan from the fabric to start and gave it seven sides.  I used some pearl chain beading and used it as an accent on the fans.  I stitched in on using a cording foot and a zig zag stitch with invisible thread.  If you come up with an angle you can't work with remember that is what the trims can be used for.  See the little bit of silver lace above to the left of the green button.  It is hiding an edge that wasn't cooperating in the piecing.

I played a with the fancy stitches and a few threads again and added just a few trims.

Two matching fans were just perfect for the heel and toe.  They had to be appliqued on because of the curves.  Pearl beading was added for accents.

The back is a metallic printed cotton.  The lining a black polyester lining fabric.  The gold metallic ribbon worked well for the hanger again.

I did add batting to both the back and front of these.  There is no actual quilting on either of these stockings.  The crazy quilt piecing was done on a muslin foundation.  

  1. Incorporate bits of fabrics and trims that hold special memories.
  2. Shop the remnant bin for fancy fabrics.
  3. Play with the fancy stitches on your machine and fancy threads.
  4. Add trims, laces and stitches as you piece to cover edges and thread tails.
  5. Add batting to both sides to balance the stocking. 
  6. There are no rules, do what looks good to you.  I've seen just fabric used with no trims or accents that look good.  
  7. It takes a larger number of fabrics than you think it will to avoid having the same fabrics wind up against each other.  Color and/or value variation is a big help.
  8. Avoid working with pieces of fabric that are too small or too large.
  9. Try not to have the seams of the piecing fall too close to the seam of the stocking.  The extra bulk makes the curves harder to turn out smoothly.
  10. Note where ridged trims are when sewing the stocking together (i.e. the pearl beading in the one above) sew up to them and then hand turn the wheel and/or raise the presser foot to get over/past them.  If needed reinforce those spots with a few hand stitches.

So that's the tale of these two crazies.  Want to try to get a little crazy too?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Stocking Basics

Not all of us have to possess earthshaking talent.  Just common sense and love will do. 

Myrtle Auvil

If you are looking for the


to add your stockings or a chance to win Prizes

Join the FUN!
Linky is open through
December 24

Today I thought I'd share a few of the common sense things to remember about Christmas Stockings. Sometimes it is the simplest things that we forget to do that cause the most frustration.  Most things in life are learned by trial and error so guess how I learned these things.  LOL  May your path be made easier by learning what NOT TO DO.

  1. If Santa puts chocolate in your family's Christmas Stockings remember to take them down before the fire in the fireplace gets to hot.
  2. After the Christmas Stockings come down make sure the pets don't eat the chocolate or other treats they contain.
  3. Don't expect the younger children to understand they can only have the goodies that are in their stockings.  In their minds unattended treats are to be consumed on site.
  4. If the older children hide their Christmas Stockings from their siblings try to remember to retrieve them when putting Christmas away or they may go missing for a year or so.
  5. Felt and Plush Christmas Stockings probably won't survive the wash that is needed to remove melted candy.  Neither does the glitter glue name.
  6. Santa needs to remember where the Christmas Stocking Stuffers were hidden before spending 4 hours assembling toys.
  7. If you think you can replace the old ratty treasured Christmas Stockings with new ones without any complaints you are naive.
  8. Some children think that they should get custody of their Christmas Stockings when they move out.  This is something to be decided before then.
  9. If you can't find the Christmas Stockings and they don't get hung up one year it's not the end of the world.  Santa can leave candy in a bowl and small presents are fun to hide in the Christmas Tree.  (Just remember to count them and make sure they are all opened.)
  10. If Santa really likes to load up your Christmas Stockings make sure the hanging loop is sturdy enough to carry the weight.  This is really important if there are breakables inside.  One inch wide ribbon works very well and can be very decorative.

What Christmas Stocking Basics have you learned over the years?  
Please add them in the comments so we can all learn what NOT TO DO.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prizes & Winners!

It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you've got to have is faith and discipline when you're not yet a winner. 

Vince Lombardi

I guess you are waiting to hear what I will be giving away to those who participate in the Christmas Stocking Hang Out.  Well I dug around in my inventory boxes and came up with an incredible amount of goodies.  Total value of the prizes is over $125.  Hey, it's Christmas and I guess I got a little carried away.  LOL  Some of you will enjoy my good cheer!

Three - Half yard cuts of Holiday Prints

Books & Patterns with Stockings

The wonderful people who share their Stockings will be in 3 drawings for the 3 items in the center row.  Those of you leave comments about the Christmas Stocking Hang Out will be in drawings for the rest of the Goodies.  Extra chances go to my Followers, Linky Participants and those who spread the word about the Hang Out on their blog, Facebook,Google +  or Twitter.

Comments for the Giveaway should be left on the Christmas Stocking Hang Out Post.

How about a closer look at the Goodies?

Something for the Stitchers

Love the Tree!

Cross Stitch with Applique

A Peak Inside

Really Long Stockings for the Greedy Generous

A Little Wooly Love 

Dove & Partridge

Snowman Love

Stockings, Quilts & More

Free Standing Stocking & Santa Doll

Did you find something you would like to have?  Bet you did!

Now for the Winners of the Quilting Gallery Birthday Giveaway:

The Random Numbers Generator chose & Alessandra.  They have been notified.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Stocking Hang Out

Welcome to the Quilting Lines
Christmas Stocking Hang Out!
December 17 - 24

It's time for my FIRST LINKY PARTY!!!  I'm excited about it and hope it all runs smoothly.  If this is your first time here let me say WELCOME to my blog.  I'd love it if you would take a look around and get to know me.  There is more information About Me on my Side Bar and in some of the Posts I did for Blog Hops this Fall.  I also have a few FREE PATTERNS available that were done for them.

The next week I'm going to be mostly talking about CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS.  I will also be revealing what the PRIZES will be in my next post.  I went through some things in my Studio and came up with a nice assortment of PATTERNS, BOOKS AND FABRIC.  Those who add LINKS to their stockings will be in a drawing for prizes and those who leave COMMENTS will be in another drawing.  I have to announce the WINNERS of the QUILTING GALLERY GIVEAWAY too so I thought I would just make a whole post for the PRIZES.  (This link takes you to the next post for more details about the PRIZES pictured below.)

Add your Linky at the bottom of this post.  

Leave comments on this post for the Giveaway!

Three - Half yard Cuts of Fabric

Plus Books and Patterns

I have made a number of Christmas Stockings over the years.  I've taught a number of classes on how to make them too.  I will be sharing some of techniques in the coming week as well as linking to some tutorials by other bloggers.

The first Christmas Stockings that I made were just from fabric panels.  We have used them for many years and I will share some of them later.  The first class I taught on Christmas Stockings was on making them with string piecing and the quilt as you go method.  Here's one.

Then I got a little more creative and started making some Crazy Quilted Stockings.  Here is pictures two of them.  I'll be sharing more about how these are made later in the week.

Now let's see what some of your stockings look like!  You may link up to THREE different stocking pictures or to a blog post that has multiple pictures.  Please provide a link back to this page in your post.  Please visit as many of the links as possible and comment on each one.

1- Leave a comment about the Christmas Stocking Hang Out here to be in drawings for the Goodies.  

2- Extra chances go to my Followers, new or old, leave a comment if you are one.

3- Linky Participants get an extra chance. 

4+ - Those who spread the word about the Hang Out on their blog, Facebook, Google +  or Twitter can leave a comment on what they did.

I'm linking to a few parties to spread the word:   Freemotion by the RiverQuilt StorySew Much Ado

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Are You Ready to Hang Out?

Friendship is a precious gift. To give at Christmas time. 
 A Cherished gift, a treasured gift that lasts through all time. 


December 17 - 24

Do you have your Christmas Stockings hanging up yet?  Are getting them made at the top of your 'to do' list this week?  Do you use the same ones that you've had for years?

Whatever the case, snap some pictures and get ready to share them with all your blogland friends!
Linky party opens tomorrow!  Get your post ready to share!

There will be prize drawings for those who participate and one for those who comment too!  If you want to offer prizes on your blog with your post that's OK too!  

Tutorials are on the schedule to be shared.  If you have one you would like to share (old or new) let me know and I'll be sure to include you.

Let's share the JOY of CHRISTMAS and 
make some new friends this next week!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Log Cabin Quilts

Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!  
Amanda Bradley

I got an email from Eric Woolf the Online Media Coordinator for Fons and Porter magazine  asking if I would be interested in doing a review of an ebook that they have put together.  I said sure!

My Watercolor Log Cabin

Log Cabin Quilts are easy to make and good for beginners too!  I have made several different ones over the years.  One of them is on my UFO List for this year. (No, I don't want to talk about that list or my lack of progress. LOL)  

Back to the ebook.  This book is full of colorful pictures and great information about making Log Cabin Quilts.  It also has some great size charts so if you are interested in making different size blocks from the ones featured it is easy to do.

Different kinds of Log Cabin blocks are covered: Traditional, Court House Steps and Chevron (Off Center).  Binding with piping and Trapunto Bobbin Work are also explained.

If you think you might want to make a Log Cabin quilt then this is an excellent FREE reference book for you to have.  You can download it here:   You will be asked for your email address and will be put on the Fons & Porter newsletter list.

If you haven't entered to giveaway on my previous post make sure you do this weekend.  I'll announce the WINNERS on Monday. 

The CHRISTMAS STOCKING HANG OUT Linky Party starts Monday.  I hope you will join in on the FUN!  I have some guest tutorials to share, hopefully some of my own too!  I'm also planning a few GIVEAWAYS for participants and followers.  In addition to celebrating the Holiday Season I am celebrating hitting 15,000 pageviews this weekend and having over 150 followers!!!  

I know this is really small compared to the stats the some of you have but I think it is nice to celebrate milestones in life.  This weekend my family is celebrating my youngest son's birthday and his completion of college.  This week we have been rudely reminded of how precious each day is with our loved ones.  So let's go out and enjoy today just because we can!

What are you going to celebrate or 
rejoice in this weekend?  

Please Share it in the comments.

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