A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown
Any day spent sewing, is a good day. ~Author Unknown
I love sewing and have plenty of material witnesses. ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Valentines Apron Swap

I know, Christmas just ended but apron makers always think ahead and it's time to think about my next apron swap, yep! Valentines day is only 7 weeks away! Between sewing time, shipping time and such, it is time to post and plan! This swap will work just like the fall and Christmas swaps, you will be assigned a apron partner where you will make a themed apron for each other, and include some sweet tuckins too since it is the day for love. If you'd like to join us just leave a comment here with your email addy, I'll gather names and make a list. On Jan. 14th, I'll partner us up and notify you of your apron swapper, you will in turn email each other for mailing info. and likes or dislikes. Shipping date is set for Feb.1.
So, give your machine a little rest over the holidays and if you'd like to gain a Valentines apron, sign up on THIS post only before Jan. 14th, 2011. Hope to see those who joined me in the last two, as well as any newbies who missed out or ones who just love aprons, like us!

Spinning into the night

Hello there - hope you all had a safe and fun Christmas with those you like the best.

There was a little sewing on Christmas Eve before the festivities began and these have now been delivered to Jindi's mum.

Spinning into the night - mug rug using the Mosaic2 pinwheel block and a matching mug cosy.

A little Christmas wall hanging ready for next years celebrations using a free design from Gail Pan, if you go by her blog she has a new free design for 2010.

Happy creating in the New Year


Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Gift To You

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the Pins & Needles Land
Each stitcher was working on her last project at hand.
There were knitters, crocheters, apron and Annie sewers and quilters too!
All knew the clock was ticking ...
and they still had plenty to do!

Now those gals from Down Under, Mistea, Jindi, Vanessa and Khris were leading the band,
Ever so mindful that for them Christmas Day would soon be at hand!

When up in the Northland there arose such a clatter,
Every stitcher from Washington to New York sprang up to see what was the matter!
OH. they all cried with relief, it's just Nadine, Kay, Denise, and Sherry,
All working to made their Christmas merry!

But way down in Georgia it was quiet as a mouse,
As Doris sat crocheting in a brightly lit house.
Gizzy was sound asleep, so cozy and warm,
As he dreamed of doggie treats on Christmas Morn.

On the cold Kansas prairie the north wind was blowing,
Maybe by Christmas it would be snowing!
But that didn't damper Auntie's machine, it was whirring!
And what about Miss Pitty? Oh, she wasn't stirring.

Over in the Ozarks, Sue was still apron making,
Of course that is only when she wasn't baking!
And then there was Angie , feverishly working on her Prims,
But meeting her deadline was looking rather "grims".

And back up in Indiana, Brenda still has not gone to bed,
She's staying up drawing Annie patterns that are swirling in her head!

In the states of Texas and Florida, Jennifer and Robin were so relieved to see
That all of their gifts were finished, wrapped and under the tree!

And Cynthia in Virginia is done with her rug,
You know, it's the latest craze, the one to hold her mug!

Across the Big Pond is rughooking Heather,
I wonder if her studio is as quiet as a feather?

So to all of my ♥kindred spirit stitchin' Sisters♥ ~
Are you all crazy, out of your head??
Enough of your stitchin'!!! NOW ~ get off to bed!!!!! LOL!!!! :)

A Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you!!!!!!
Love and Hugz,

After Christmas Give A-Way

After Christmas Give A-Way

I've never hosted a give a-way before and thought it might be fun for my first one to be an after Christmas special.

The give a-way is pictured here; it is a brand new pattern that has not yet been added to my product line or to my website. The winner will receive the finished doll and her beloved pooch.

If you would like to be included in the drawing for this cute little Annie and her pooch, simply send me an email with your name and address to - lilliemaescrafts@yahoo.com.

But....visit this page first so you will have a complete understanding of the give a-way.

Give A-Way Terms

The drawing will be conducted on February 1, 2011.

Good luck everyone and ... have a Very Merry Christmas,


Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Giveaway

I maybe a little pokey this holiday season but I haven't lacked in the spirit of giving! I do much better in giving than receiving, so with that in mind, and to celebrate this last week of rushing, I'm hosting a quick Christmas giveaway on my blog. Now, you won't get it before the holiday but you will have a seasonal apron if you win. So, if you'd like to win a Christmas apron, just leave your answer to the question " What makes you Merry this season" over at Country Pleasures. I'll draw the winner on December 27th and ship your apron for the New Year! From my blog to yours, Merry Christmas and good luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

APP's Christmas MugRug Swap

This is my cute lil' Gingerbread Man mugrug that I received from Ms Nadine
in App's Christmas MugRug Swap
It came complete with a lil' spoon for stirring the tea that can be brewed right in that AWESOME tea mug with the matching quilted mug cozy :)
I got the recipe for those yummy Molasses Cookies AND ... a package of them already made up by sweet Ms Nadine
Am I spoiled, or what????? Yep!! and ... I'm lovin' it!!
Thanks again, Ms Nadine!! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Swaps

Hi everyone found these swaps thought you might like!
to be made and sent for Valentines
Also if you would like to see what I got from the Secret Santa Swap

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mug Rug from Aunt Pitty Pat's blog

Several of the ladies played along in the Mug Rug swap up on my blog.. I thought I would share what my Mug Rugs looked like.. I had more than one Partner for one reason or the other.. and they all loved them :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lillie Mae's Crafts Newsletter for January 2011

Lillie Mae's Crafts Newsletter for January 2011 is now available ~
Click HERE

Five more new FREE patterns and a new E-Book loaded with good stuff!!
Thanks for sharing with us, Ms Brenda!!!! You are amazing♥♥

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Holly Jolly Christmas Quilt

I just realized that I never posted pictures here on Pins & Needles of my
Holly Jolly Christmas Quilt
from last year's APP Swap. So ... here's some pictures of it in the process!

I decided to tie it, so I could add lots of buttons, beads, jingle bells, etc. for embellishments.
Fun stuff!!

Now, I just need more time to get back to it to put the binding on so I can hang it up ...
Think I'll finish it in time to hang it up for this Christmas? Humm ... don't know!
I'm pretty far behind with my Christmas gift making. But ... if I do, I post another picture of it finished ~ I promise :) What about you? Did you finish yours?
Have a wonderful, fun, stitchin' filled week!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas rugs

You know I just could not stop at one.

Here in Oz it is summer when Santa comes and we always see him at the beach. I caught him practising his kite boarding last weekend - there is more than one way to get around.

Just couldn't leave this fabric in Spotty last week - Rudolph's friends are hanging about waiting for their gig.

The Christmas tree - already decorated.

Rudolph and a helper have loaded the sleigh ready to make some deliveries.

Which one would you choose?

Hope your preparations are going well.


Monday, November 22, 2010

My first project from Ravelry

A friend of mine told me about a site called Ravelry that is full of knit and crochet patterns. They have patterns for scarves, gloves, afghans, clothing, and so on. Ravelry is free to join and they have free patterns and ones you can buy. Once you get on the site you can specialize your search. I went for photo's (I have to see a picture before I can make something), crochet and free (I'm broke!) and then picked Fingerless. There are several free patterns. Some of the patterns are really plain and then there are some elegant fingerless gloves on there too.
Check it out!

I made these fingerless gloves while watching tv the other night. They are just single crochets and really easy. (as long as you use markers!) You can make them with or without the thumb and in acrylic or wool. I have several people requesting a pair of these gloves I think these will be gettting made up for Christmas gifts!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Time for tea

Yippee - a little sewing with Nomee today and look - a pretty mug rug.

Anyone for tea and cake.

Have a wonderful week until next time.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kaley and Noah

GOOD MORNING! I am so glad this election is DONE and OVER! I was so tired of the TV ads and all the phone calls. Well not everyone I wanted won, so we will see what will happen in the next 4 years. Sorry I have not posted here in a long while. I have been trying to post and it wont let me. I don't know if its my computer or not. So a lot has happen since I last posted. I became a new grandma in September. My oldest had a baby boy and a big out at that. 10lb12oz. He is doing well and growing every day. Just a blessing. I don't think she will be having anymore any time soon. Well I wanted to pop in and say HI to you all. Thanks for hanging in with me. Take care.

Note from CJ ~
Allison, I'm sorry you had trouble trying to post this! I just saw it in drafts and thought I'd post it for you. Glad to hear from you!♥

Monday, November 1, 2010

Christmas Apron Swap

Welcome sweet November! I was gonna wait a bit before starting this swap, but after reading about so many Christmas swaps already in progress, I thought I had better get on the ball! The official start to the holidays has already begun for crafters and apron makers! So if you'd like to make and receive a handmade apron for Christmas baking and entertaining just leave your name and email addy on my blog post about this swap. You will be assigned a partner but to keep it in the true Christmas spirit, we will be surprising our partners, no requests will be taken to preferences like half or full aprons, or themes. This is a gift giving swap, tuck ins are encouraged to add to the element of surprise! I'll close this swap on Nov. 15 with shipping due Nov. 30th so we all have our gifted aprons in time for Christmas wearing. I always try to pair us up close by to help with shipping but everyone is welcome to join us, the more the merrier! So, if you'd like to give and receive, sign up and get busy making your Christmas apron and finding sweet tuck ins, no need to wait for your partner, keeping this swap easy and no stressing! Let's start November off sewing!

Note from CJ ~
The Christmas Apron Swap is being hosted by Sue from Country Pleasures. Please go directly to her blog to sign up ~ click HERE for the link.
Thank you!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lillie Mae's Crafts December Newsletter

Hi Everybody,

Here's Lillie Mae's December newsletter complete with 3 new patterns and, as a bonus, an "Annie Speaks; Annie Journal." Curious???...check it out.
To download newsletter, either click on the link in the title above or click on the pictures.
Blessings everyone,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lillie Mae's Crafts Newsletter for November

Ooopppsss!!! I forgot to tell you about LillieMae's November Newsletter being out, uh ... that was a few weeks ago! So sorry!! Run over and check out the cute new Autumn Annie patterns that Ms Brenda has for us!!:) Pictured above is Topsy-Turvy Pilgrim & Indian Doll. Isn't that cute! I remember making a topsy-turvy doll for my daughter when she was young. It was Little Red Riding Hood, the Grandma, and the Wolf all in one, Fun! :) Go check out the new patterns ~
Lillie Mae's Crafts November Newsletter

~ ScareCrow Annie & Pumpkins ~

Thank you once again sweet Ms Brenda for some more AWESOME Annie patterns!!!
You are a real sweetheart♥ to share your talents with us!!:)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off the hook and in the hoop

Just getting around to posting here on Pins and Needles after so
long of reading what everyone else is crafting. Just as a way of introduction, my name is Denise and I enjoy doing all sorts of crafting! I found P&N through my sweet friend Cathy. I love to sew and quilt, crochet, cross stitch and do embroidery.
I have been working on a baby blanket for my new grandbaby due in December. We don't know whether it is boy or girl so I used variegated baby yarn. I guess you can't see the pattern very well. It is called bobbles and crosses and turned out to be much easier than I thought it would. :)

After I finished the blanket I thought it might be nice to cross stitch a family tree for baby. So that is what I am working on now. It is still in progress as you can see and the only thing that will be left undone is the baby's name and such.

I am purposing to get many of my UFP's done. I am sorting and making a list. Then I shall take them one at a time so I will always have something to keep my hands busy!
Wishing you all a wonderful day of working with your pins and needles!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New fun stuff made at APP's house ;)

Blocks that APP made for her Halloween Block swap. I think they turned out pretty darn Spookable!

These blocks were made by raw edge applique with blanket stitching around the edges.

This is a smart looking little tote made for my friend Nadine. I have to tell you ladies that I had all the fabric patch-worked together. Ms Nadine did most of the sew to finish this little tote up. I did hand embroidery and patch work on this cute little sewing tote.

This is a tote that was made for APP's Halloween tote swap.. The matching Frankie is a good example of the Mug Rug that we are going to be making in APP's next swap :)

APP always has Annie's in different stages of Dress or lack there of :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Crumb Catcher Christmas

Everyone knows Nadine and I have been on Vacation ;) We have chatted about a lot of awesome new sewing ideas.. one of the ideas is a new craze that is sweeping the Cyber world of blogs and we would like to share this with you in swap form... Mug Rugs.

Photo from Patchwork Pottery's Flickr Photostream.

APP's Christmas Swap will be .. make your partner a fun and exciting Christmas Mug Rug. What is a Mug Rug??? After looking on the internet.. we have discovered it is hard to find Christmas photos of mug rugs to share with you. But we have a link for other types of Mug Rugs. http://www.flickr.com/groups/1533394@N22/ :)

The required size for our swap will be a 6”x10” or equivalent. It can be square, round, star, or any shape your creative brain comes up with. The Rug must be big enough for two Christmas Sugar Cookies, and a nice sized mug for a hot drink ;) (APP loves White Almond Hot Chocolate hint hint hint.)

Embellish your Mug Rug anyway you like.. but it must be coffee mug friendly. Must be able to sit without falling over from too much egg nog ;) Mug must sit flat on Rug… lol

Additional content for your swap will be:

One Christmas Coffee Mug (Micro safe)

One Hot Beverage packet (Cocoa, Spiced Cider, Gourmet Coffee, or Tea)

One Favorite Cookie Recipe

One Candy Cane (For stirring)

Sign ups start today and end on November 6th.. Partners will be assigned shortly thereafter.

Swaps must be at your partner's house no later than December 11th. Please start your project as soon as you sign up so they will be completed on time. You don't have to have an assigned partner to start your project. If you can't meet this dead line.. please please don't sign up... This is a very important fun swap this time of year.

NO ONE likes a Flaker.. Please be on time!!!

Santa is checking his naughty and nice list.. so be sure to get your swap out on time.. so your partner doesn't get coal ;)

Additional info:
Please package your swap in a box and wrap your mug in bubble wrap... so it will arrive safely ;)
International Swappers welcome but please be mindful of the cost for shipping!

E-mail APP the following Info: auntpittypatsfun@yahoo.com




Phone Number

International Yes/No

If you're a first time swapper please read the following: Swap Etiquette

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Colourful Christmas

My Christmas quilt top is all done and sure to brighten this Christmas season.

As Jindi's mum and I participated in the Holly Jolly block swap as a team we made 12 blocks each and received 12 back.

I love that this quilt top only has blocks made by the other swappers.

Border fabrics found in the stash, some of them are the ones I used to make my blocks to send. The stripe has all the colours to match the blocks and has been sitting in the stash for the past year waiting patiently for a home. Perfect.

Have a fantastic Wednesday, I'm sure hoping mine is!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Holly Jolly Top

My Holly Jolly top....

It is so big...and so beautiful!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shoop-Shoop Bags - The Tutorial

Today, as promised, Aunt Pitty Pat and I are going to show you how to make Shoop-Shoop Bags. What are Shoop-Shoop Bags and how did they get their name? 
Well, many, many years ago, I was making some wall-pockety things to hold Christmas cards. I made a LOT of them to give as gifts that year. The pattern called for a large strip of fashion fabric, backing fabric, and cotton batting, cut crosswise and then trimmed to an exact size. At the end of my wall-pocktey thing extravaganza, I found I had a REALLY BIG stack of leftover pieces, approximately 7 1/4" by 10 1/2" from those crosswise strips. What to do with them? I folded them in half...and thought about it...and thought some more. They were all Christmas fabrics, so that made their potential use a bit narrow as well. As it happened, I had purchased my first Christmas gift the day before and had the receipt sitting nearby. The wheels started turning (and smoke was coming off the top of my head!). Ah hah! I had a plan! 

I stacked the outer, backing, and batting fabrics right sides together and slipped in a couple pieces of folded heavy ribbon. I sewed around the edges, leaving an opening for turning. After clipping and turning, I applied some Velcro on each end, then folded the whole mess in half and sewed up the sides, which also closed the opening I had left for turning. I grabbed that receipt and stuck it inside! I tucked my new, cute little bag into my purse and thought "One gift down, and umpteen more to go...and if something doesn't work out and needs to be returned, I know EXACTLY where to find the receipt!"
Well, after I showed a coworker my clever plan, everyone wanted one. I cranked them out and gave them away. Christmas came and went, and I decided to make some non-holiday-themed wall-pockety things. The leftovers from those got made up into the little bags and were used to store my and my coworkers' cash, makeup, and other goodies. One coworker, upon receiving hers, sat there pulling on the ribbon tabs to open and close the bag several times. She said "The Velcro sounds like it's saying Shoop-Shoop!" After that, we all started calling them Shoop-Shoop Bags. Such a simple thing, and I've seen little bags that are similar, but none that have the "handles" which make them so easy to use. I love challenging projects, but sometimes you just want a project that is quick, easy, and useful that you can assembly-line produce, with no hand sewing. This fits the bill!

Here's what you need:
  • 7 1/4" x 10 1/2" pieces of outer fabric, lining, and cotton batting such as Warm & Natural or Warm & White (or a couple layers of cotton flannel)
  • 5" piece of 3/4" wide hook-and-loop tape, such as Velcro
  • 5" piece of 1" or wider grosgrain ribbon, or a 1" x 5" piece of Ultrasuede, cut in half to make two 1" x 2 1/2" pieces
  • Thread, sewing machine, pins and basic sewing supplies
I prefer the Ultrasuede for the tabs, but didn't bring any with me to Ta Town, so I'm showing the grosgrain ribbon for this tutorial. I'd advise not using other ribbon because it just won't hold up. The Ultrasuede is really ideal, but not nearly as widely available as the grosgrain, which you can find almost anyplace ribbon is sold.

Here are the lining and batting pieces, cut and ready for sewing. I think the outer piece was hiding under the lining in this pic...
Find the center of each short end of either the outer or lining fabric and mark with a pin. Fold the ribbon pieces in half (remember, you cut them in half to make two 1" x 2 1/2" pieces) and pin them on the short ends, raw edges together - use two pins for each to keep them in place so they don't skew sideways. (Also, you may notice in the pic below that in this case, I've used a "one-way design" fabric, so I cut two pieces, 7 1/4" x 5 1/2" and seamed them to make a 7 1/4" x 10 1/2" piece with the design going in opposite directions.)
 Sandwich the batting on the back, and the lining on top, right sides together, and pin everything together to hold in place.
Starting near a corner, on a long side, sew all the way around with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2" opening.
Clip the corners - clip across the corner, then again at a steeper angle for best results:
Turn the bag out through the opening and use your favorite device to pull the corners out nicely. I love a Bamboo Point Turner and Creaser for this job.  You'll want nice, sharp corners on your bags. Here are a few I assembly-line sewed, ready for the next step:

On the inside, center the hook and the loop pieces of Velcro on each short end, close to the edge, and stitch all around, being careful not to catch/shred your thread when sewing the hook part.
Fold the bag in half, insides together. The Velcro will hold it closed and in place for sewing the sides. I always sew more than one at this point - it's much easier to butt one up against the previous one, since the bags are slightly thick - sewing from one to the next helps keep the presser foot level and moving smoothly. Backstitch on both ends to make the bag secure, since it will get a lot of stress when pulling it open. The opening you left will be closed automagically during this step - no handsewing!!!
It's that easy - you're done! You can add embellishments such as fabric flowers, fabric yo-yos, hot-fix crystals, etc. Now get thee to thy sewing machines and start making Shoop-Shoop Bags! Give them to your friends and say "Use this bag as THE ONE PLACE for all your receipts when buying your Christmas gifts! They'll all be in one place if you need to return something!" But don't forget to keep one for yourself! Then, make some more in non-Christmas fabrics to give and use for other stuff. Personally, I keep my cash - both bills and change - in one, and makeup in another. I recently had a friend pull one out of her purse to pay her lunch tab...I about gagged! It was so old and nasty looking! I told her "That's just soooooo WRONG! I shall make you a new one!" And the next time we had lunch, I had a pretty new one for her, but she wouldn't give up the old one - ugh...I wanted to burn it! So, give them a try and let me know how you like them :-) This really is my original design from about 20 years ago - as I said above, I've seen some similar, but not with both the Velcro and the tabs for easier opening. But I like to spread the joy, so feel free to make as many as you want :-)

Also, you may notice the very cool "fabric Ric-Rac" embellishment on some of the bags - here's the link to the tutorial for that - REALLY easy to do and it's just fabulous! I made some at the size recommended, then experimented with narrower versions. Zig-Zag Pillow