Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“Showers Bring Flowers” New Penny Rug Pattern For Spring!

A huge thank you to all who gave suggestions for the pattern name.

When I initially came up with the idea for this design, I wanted it to look like the rain was creating the flowers so “Showers Bring Flowers” describes this design perfectly for me.  The reader named Allenz is the winner of the very first “Showers Bring Flowers” pattern, hot off the printing press.

Allenz, I have no way to reach you so please email me with your name and address and I’ll mail your pattern out to you!


“Showers Bring Flowers” finished size is 11” x 26”.  This is shown made with wool, but woolfelt may be used instead if you wish to save on expense. 

Also, to save on the wool expense, cotton fabric can be used for the backing!

The rain showers are just a simple running stitch.  All other stitches that are used are the blanket stitch, french knots, whip stitch and stem stitches. 

100_4910 I used green for the umbrellas, but I think any color would work instead.  I initially wanted to use dusty muted colors for the flowers, but when I tried these bright flowers against the black wool, the colors seemed just perfect, but that choice is up to you too.  You might like this better with softer, muted colors instead.

The pre-sale special price for this new spring pattern is $8.50 which includes the shipping cost.  This price is for US and those very special Canadian customers.  International customers: contact me for the price of additional postage … usually less than $1.00 extra.

I hope to have the pattern orders ready to mail out tomorrow (Thursday), but Friday for sure.

This special price is good until Sunday night (Jan 30). After that date, the price will go to it’s regular price of $9.50.

To purchase, simply click the Paypal button over there on the left sidebar.  If you wish to pay by check, just email me and I’ll give you my mailing address.


Happy Day everyone!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Printer Problem Postponements

I know I’ve been quiet.  I’ve was hoping to have my newest finished design ready to show yesterday and start taking orders for patterns today, but due to some printer technical difficulties, I’m way off schedule.

Our printer, who has been a loyal and dedicated servant over the years, has suddenly decided to have a meltdown.

It started with paper jams. 

Once I figured out how to stop the paper jams, Printer then harassed me with printing everything crooked.

Needless to say, I don’t have the pattern ready to send out to the printers because my own printer will not properly spit out a good copy to use.

I spent hours, yes precious HOURS yesterday, fighting with printer. 

I do have a quick picture of the finished penny rug to show …but I won’t even go into how my camera is in it’s PMS mood. This isn’t a good picture to introduce a new design, but it’s the best I can do for now.

Just know that tomorrow, I’ll have better pictures that will show the details that this picture is lacking.

100_4905 Also tomorrow, I should have printer problems resolved to be able to start up pattern sales for it.  *Crosses fingers*.

I do have a winning name for this design now. 

Much thanks to those of you who helped with the name.  Later today, I’ll notify the winner and then announce it officially tomorrow.


Happy Day everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Sneak Peak For Spring and a Contest!

I know, I KNOW, it’s only January!  We’re in the middle of winter and Spring seems soooo far away.

But for me, I have to get myself thinking Spring, because it’s time to get those new spring designs out there so that YOU can start thinking Spring.

Here’s my latest, newest design for Spring….

100_4900 You can see it’s still in the stitching stage.  I will attach those little flowers and then figure out what kind of tongues I will attach on the ends. 

It’s going to be a beauty! 

I have a really cute Easter design that I’ll work on after this one.

I know I should be working on the Easter one, but when I sketched this one out, I was just too excited to get this one started so I put the Easter one aside. 

Here’s the initial sketch/doodle of the design as it came into my head ..

100_4903 This is just a little 3” x 4” piece of scrap paper.  I tend to grab whatever is closest to me to draw on when an idea comes into my head.

So even though I’m working on this really cute Easter design, I kept thinking about this quick sketch and wondering/pondering if I could actually get the rain to look like rain using stitches.

It kept bugging me until I finally decided to just do it because otherwise my heart would not be in the cute Easter design simply because I rushed through it just so that I could work on the umbrella design.

It’s tough to not make myself insane so as much as I hate to put work aside, unfinished, I knew I had to in this case.

Ok, so here’s the contest ….

I need a name for this penny rug table runner.  I do have one in mind, but it would be nice to hear some suggestions from you readers.

So, take a close look at this new but unfinished design and if a clever name comes into your head, let me know!  Either leave the name suggestion in the comments or email me at

If I use the name that you’ve suggested,  you’ll get the pattern, free!

There’s no real deadline other than when the time comes for me to print this pattern, probably next week, I’ll have to make the decision.


Happy Day everyone!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Buttons, Sheep and Football

This past weekend was full of hockey and football and craziness.

I live in Steeler country, you see.  In Steeler country on a Steeler football day, if you aren’t wearing a black & gold football jersey, you are an outcast.

On a Steeler football day, like this past Saturday, if you need to go to the grocery store to purchase a gallon of milk, make sure you allow plenty of time because parking places are difficult to find and the checkout lines are impossibly long.  That’s because everyone is doing their junk food shopping right before the game.

The best time to go shopping is DURING the football game because the stores are empty.  You won’t miss the events of the game though because instead of music, the game is turned on loud so that everyone can hear what is happening.

This particular Saturday was worse than usual though.  That’s because the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Steelers, and Pitt Basketball were all playing the same day. 

Going into that grocery store was like going to the game.  It was a celebratory, exciting atmosphere, packed full of black & gold jersey clad fans buying their food to gorge on while watching a day full of sports.

I was a bit frazzled after leaving the store.

I don’t know how far away from Pittsburgh one has to go before getting out of Steeler country, but we live about 20 miles away and it’s pretty ridiculous.   This next week will be pure craziness everywhere and if the Steelers win and make it to the Super Bowl, it will only get worse.   

That is part of living in the Steeler nation though.  Simply put;  If you live here and don’t like football, then you shouldn’t live here.

So while we watched hockey and multiple playoff football games this weekend, I was able to get some stitching done.

My newest pattern, “Love For Ewes” is shown made with woolen wheels.

It looks quite nice with woolen wheels but I wanted to show how nice it looks using buttons for the wheels instead …

100_4872 I have quite an extensive collection of buttons, so it was pretty easy to find sets of 8 buttons to use for this. 

You can see that I’ve stacked the buttons to create the wheels.

Just one large button would work nicely too, but I like the look of stacked buttons.  Different colors or even a larger sized bottom button would look just as nice so think outside the box with this.

100_4868 Here’s a close up of the wheels.

and here’s a picture of the woolen wheels ….

100_4839croppedYou can see, both ways look really nice, it’s just up to you and your button collection to decide which way you want yours to look.

There used to be a time when women would snip all the buttons off of old clothing before they were discarded.  Most women back then had a collection of buttons.

Oh, the button collections I have found at estate sales!  Beautiful buttons of all sizes and shapes and colors.  I love them all so much that sometimes I find it difficult to actually use them on my finished things that I plan to sell.

How many times have I snipped buttons off of old clothes before I’ve discarded them?  Umm …. Zero!

Does anyone do that anymore??

Should I be saving the buttons from my old clothing so that my daughters may pass them down to the next generations to use?

hahaha … that just made me laugh.  My daughters would chuck those buttons into the trash so fast after I was gone and then make fun of me while they did it!


Happy Day everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recycle That X-Ray Film---->Pattern Templates!<----


For those of you who guessed that I use the X-Ray film for my pattern templates, you’re right!

I learned about using plastic for my templates looong ago while taking a quilting class at my local quilt shop.

The bad thing about those large sheets of quilting template plastic is that they become expensive if you need to use a lot of it.  Which I do.

About 4 years ago, I was about ready to throw out a large envelope of Rachel’s x-rays of her thumb. It then occurred to me that the film was almost the same as that expensive quilting template plastic sheets that I buy at Joanns for something like $3 a sheet.

That’s how it started. 

I use it for the background scallop shapes for the penny rugs and for any of my pattern pieces that require multiple numbers of the same shape to be cut. 

Here’s an example:


This is one of the hearts from my newest pattern “Love for Ewes”

You can see, I need to cut 12 of these hearts (6 for the front and 6 to be used for the backing)

If it were just a few hearts to be cut, I wouldn’t bother to make a template for it.  I just place a piece of freezer paper over the shape and trace it to get the required number.

Since I need 12, that’s a lot of tracing …and it’s important that these shapes are all exactly the same.  When tracing that many, it’s difficult to get them all exact.

So, I trace the heart one time onto a piece of freezer paper …


I rough cut around this traced shape.  Using a glue stick, I glue the shape onto my sheet of x-ray film….


I just need to cut this out.   I always label it with the name of the pattern that it comes from….


Now my template is all ready to use!  Simply lay it on your freezer paper and trace around it as many times as needed.


It saves so much time and the shapes are all exact.

If you don’t have old x-rays laying around, start asking around ..your relatives or friends, someone probably has some …or you could try using other things for your templates.  The plastic lids from throw away containers like Cool Whip bowls work well for small templates.

The bad thing about using x-ray films is that sometimes you might see something on them that you don’t want to see…..

Which is why I have really great anxiety about opening up the envelopes of x-rays of my brother-in-law’s body parts. 

Using Rachel’s injured thumb x-rays wasn’t a problem because it’s just her thumb. 

But Mark’s x-rays? 

There are some things that I just. don’t. want. to. see.

Then to make it worse, when he brought them over, he had that “glint” in his eye … you have to know Mark to know that Irish “glint”.   It means that he is looking forward to seeing just how embarrassed I get when I see what those  x-ray body parts are.

He warned me though … telling me to watch for the sheets that are “folded over” implying that extra large film sheets were needed for some…thing.  Ok?  Well, I still haven’t looked at those films but I will have to soon because I’ve used all of Rachel’s thumb x-rays. 

I think perhaps I can spray paint these x-ray films so that I won’t have to see any … thing. 

Or ….. and this evil thought just occurred to me ….

if there is some …"thing” in those x-rays, I’m going to tape the film to a sunny window, take a good picture and ….



Happy Day everyone!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1-11-11 Design Disaster Day!


I just realized that today is an all “1” day.  Perhaps by the time I’m finished writing this the posting time will show 1:11pm.

I think that would make it my lucky day.

Only luck will be able to help me with my latest design disaster!


I thought of this design waaay back in October but I couldn’t use it right away because I thought it would make an excellent Valentine themed candle mat.  I drew a quick picture so that I would remember and I set it aside until last week.

I drew out the design on paper.  ….rough sketch here …

100_4851 It’s two bluebirds with some hearts in between them.  It looks just perfect on paper.  At least to my eye, it looks perfect.

I dyed up the wools that I would need, getting a perfect mottled blue color for the bluebirds.  I matched up the threads to the wools that I would use …


I drew the entire design to size, measured and cut a brand new outside scallop edge to use for the background …

but …

No, I’m not even going to show the picture of what those darned bluebirds turned into once they were stitched down in wool.

Let’s just say that my cute, plump loving bluebirds on paper turned into grossly overweight, evil and scary birds once they were stitched onto a wool background.

I’m going to have to redesign those bluebirds to make them cute.

For now though, I’m going to set it aside.  Actually, I’ll hang the partially finished mat on the wall in the dining room so that I’ll have to look at it.  After a few days of looking, a redesign will come a lot easier.

This doesn’t happen often.  Usually, the ideas in my head turn out even better than I expect, but yes, every so often, I have a blunder design. 

There’s still hope.  The design has so much potential and I don’t usually give up easily.

Expect a cute bluebird pattern for the spring maybe?


So, here’s a little something to think about ….


My brother-in-law, Mark, gave me these three large envelopes that are full of old x-ray film.

Can anyone guess  how I use these old x-ray films and why I’m so absolutely thrilled to get them? 

An obvious hint is that I use the x-ray films with my designs.  :)

Go ahead, try to guess and next time I post, I’ll let you know how I use these.  

It’s a really good helpful tip and if you can get your hands on some old film, it will save you time and $$ with your quilting and appliqué work.

Carol, resist the urge to get attention and glory and DO NOT tell.



Happy Day everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Feed The Birds, Tuppence A Bag

Thanks to all of you who ordered the new pattern
“Love For Ewes”.   The pattern orders went out in the mail early this morning, so expect them early next week.

Do y’all know that Mary Poppins song, “Feed the Birds”? 
I wish bird food was only a tuppence a bag, which, after looking it up, equals about 2 pennies.
I do feed the birds, and it’s no where close to only 2 cents a bag.
This is my view of our birdfeeders from inside the house this morning.
I’m going to bundle up now and go out to fill them both back up, just as I do every single morning.
One feeder is empty, one feeder is half full. 
The birds eat a lot.
I’m not complaining … well, maybe I am a little bit … but I love watching the birds at the feeder during the day.  I can look out my kitchen window and watch them as I wash dishes or play with playdough with the grandson at the kitchen table.
The birds give us both lots of enjoyment so to me at least, the cost of feeding them is worth every tuppence.
But gosh …
The birds eat a LOT.
So far, we’ve gone through 4 50lb bags of seed.  Working on the newest 50lb bag now.
and we still have a lot of winter left.
I will always feed the birds, no matter how much it costs, but I’m thinking that perhaps there should be some kind of government program out there that can help me with the expenses.
We have a welfare program to help the poor people.  What about a welfare program to help the poor birds?
Did you know that the welfare program offers low income people free cell phones with service?  They get lots of assistance from the government to help them get by; free healthcare, public transportation, lunches for their kids at school, etc, etc, etc.
Let’s not get into the goods and bads of the welfare system right now, but I do feel, (tongue in cheek) that I should be able to get some welfare assistance to feed all these birds.
I have thousands of hungry ones depending on me to provide food for them every single day.
Who knows what would happen to them if I stopped feeding them?
Perhaps, they’d all just fall from the sky, dead from starvation?
Is that what our government wants? 
Thousands of birds, suddenly falling from the sky?
We need to write to our congressmen, senators and Pres. Obama to encourage them to create a federal birdseed assistance program.
It’s not like I’m asking for free cell phones for the birds.
If I had birdseed welfare money to provide food for the birds, then I would be able to use my own money to buy me some tattoos, cigs, whiskey, designer handbags, and some MaryJo too.
Ok, I’m starting to get into the bads of the welfare system now, so I’m going to shut up. :)
I love feeding the birds.
but sheesh …..
Those birds eat a lot!

Happy day everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

“Love For Ewes” New Pattern Design!



Ok ladies, unless you’re Serbian, it’s time to put those Christmas decorations away and start thinking about decorating for Valentines Day.

I’m here to help you with that!   …Or rather, the “Love For Ewes” pattern is here to help you with that!



This measures 12” wide by about 25” long. 

Now before you say, “I don’t have enough table space to use this”, keep in mind that this type of long penny rug looks absolutely beautiful when hung over the back of a couch or my favorite, a rocking chair.

The picture shows this with wool wheels but if you have enough, buttons look nice for wheels too. 


This one has a wool backing, but it can be easily done with some homespun cotton backing instead to save on wool.

The pattern is being printed today, so I expect to be able to mail orders out Friday morning.

The special pre-order price is $8.50 which includes shipping cost. (this price is for US and those adorable Canadians only.)  International customers; postage will be a small additional cost, just ask).

To order, just click over there on the Paypal button below the picture on the left.  If you wish to pay by check, just email me at and I’ll send you my mailing address info.


I will be selling a finished one on Ebay soon, so if you wish to purchase a finished one, just watch the blog for the notice of the listing.



Happy Day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gotta Love Them Sheeps

Happy New Year everyone!

I have to say thank you to all of you ladies who offered suggestions to help me find the missing Barbie ornament. 
Even though I’m not Catholic, prayers even went out to St. Anthony to help me find it.   Actually, my husband was born and raised a Catholic, so I put him in charge of contacting St. Anthony. But still, no ornament to be found. 
I’ve given up and plan to order a new one online this week.  But thank ya’ll anyway.  The suggestions were much appreciated.  

I love sheep.  I love making sheep.  I’ve made a LOT of sheep over the years just because they are my favorite animals to make.
Here is a peek at my newest design ….
100_4795 I had hoped to finish it last night but it will be finished today.
This one is similar to my “Love Ewes” design ….
100_3287 But different!  I used buttons for the wheels on the “Love Ewes” design.  Some customers have trouble finding that many buttons of the same size to use.  So on this new design, I wanted to show that wool wheels can be just as cute as real buttons.
I hope to get the time soon to make another using real buttons just so the difference can be seen.
Anyway, this should be ready to sell as a pattern tomorrow so be sure to come back to see the finished pictures of it.

My love for sheep started a looong time ago and THIS pattern is what started it ….
100_4798 It’s a design from Woolsworth called Woolen Love Table Rug.
I originally made this back in the early 2000s as a sample for the lady that I worked for to use at her quilt shows.  I liked it so much that I made one for myself, only in greens instead of blue.100_4797  And it’s still hanging in my dining room.
It takes a lot of love for me to get the time to make something just for myself, especially when the lady that I worked for kept me so busy stitching every day. 
Another inspiration for me was this vintage potholder …
100_4796 I’ve no idea how old this potholder is.  I found it in a kitchen drawer in my mother-in-laws house after she passed away.
I keep this hanging at the side of my fridge.  This potholder inspired me to create a few candle mats to sell.  Like this one ….
000_1250 And this Spring one …..
Pictures 106 Gosh, how I loved this last one! 
My intentions at the time was to make seasonal mats with the sheep and I remember getting a good response to that idea when I mentioned it in my blog.  But I got off track and never really took it any further than this Valentine and the Spring sheep candle mats.
I don’t know if I will continue it but I do know that you will see more sheep from me in the future.  And you probably will see another version of this spring mat too, simply because it’s just so darn cute, I have to make it into a pattern to sell.

So this new year will bring more new patterns ….  more pansies and more sheep are guaranteed. 
Keep watch for new things and I’ll be back tomorrow with my newest pattern design ready to sell.

Happy Day everyone!