Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pretty Things!

 This is what it looks like when you buy one yard of lots of silk ribbons!! Luckily, with the little bears, one yard goes a long way!!
 These wonderful threads are Valdani - Pearl Cotton 12. The group in the  box are called "Muddy Monet Collection." Isn't that perfect?! I've found that this brand and size crochets beautiful giving a soft finish and the colors are gently muted and varied within each spool.
 I found wonderful ribbon flowers in brilliant hues.

 Fabulous silk fabric to go with the ribbons.

And tiny, tiny buttons in lovely shades for all the seasons.

So here are a few of the vendors that I bought from at the quilt show:

Quilter's Fancy - Cortland, Ohio - If you ever watched Simply Quilts on HGTV, you'll remember the owner Cindy who appeared on the show with her ribbon flowers. I bought that beautiful ribbon, the buttons, and flowers from Cindy today!

Antie Ju's Quilt Shoppe - online and at shows only. I bought the box of Muddy Money threads and some other display items you'll see later from Julie. You might have to click a couple of times to get to that site.

Country Keepsakes - Rome, PA - if you've ever wanted silk dupioni and didn't want to buy a whole yard, check here. They also carry anglina, hand dyd fabrics, and misty fuse. I just noticed that they have a list of the shows they attend, so you might be able to find them at a show near you!

I had a fabulous time visiting (twice!) the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show. Many of the things quilters use in their craft are just perfect for the teddy bear world! Can't wait until next year!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Field Trip!!

 The Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show in Hampton, Virginia, was my destination yesterday! I met my dear friend Sarah there and we spent the afternoon shopping at the stalls of vendors from all over the country and enjoying the wonderful quilts on display. I though I would share some of them with you!

 There were delightful ladies wearing white gloves who would turn the quilts for you so you could get a look at the back - often as wonderful as the work on the front!

I'll add some photos soon of the lovely threads and silk fabric I bought at the show plus the web sites of those I shopped with too! If you've never been to one of these shows, find one! They are held throughout the US and are well worth attending!

Friday, February 17, 2012


A package of laces and trims arrived yesterday and they just took my breath away!! I ordered them from online photos, but they were so much lovelier than I expected. One good thing - and there are so many good things - about making small bears is that a yard of trim goes a long way!! These are from Martha Pulen's website - - which has the most fabulous heirloom quality goods. I first saw her on PBS shows years ago making heirloom sewing so easy to understand. Her magazine - Sew Beautiful - is a delight even if you don't sew. I just wish you could see these trims in person - and hope you'll check back to see how they show up in little outfits for my bears!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Will You Be My Valentine??

"What the world needs now, is Love, Sweet Love!"

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jason!

It's not often one has the privilege of sharing a grown up son's or daughter's birthday, but I have been very lucky lately. I traveled to Pittsburgh to be with Kim on her birthday in December and to Maryland this past week to help Jason celebrate his special day. Amongst the gifts I took along for Jas was the kitty pictured above - my very first attempt an Amigurumi animal. Jason loved it - but that's his job as a wonderful son!

We had a great time on his special day - February 8th - shopping, seeing a movie, and enjoying a feast at PF Chang's Chinese restaurant. During the day, I had a special surprise! Jason's early valentine gift for me was a trip to the Build a Bear Workshop where he made a special friend just for me! The photo above shows him giving the little bear an "air bath" to fluff him up! If you've never been to one of these wonderful stores, you should give yourself a treat! The young ladies working there were just marvelous and we had a grand time! We both got to put a little heart into the bear and Jason recorded a special message which I can listen to each time I press the bear's paw. So do plan a visit! Age is no barrier!! 

Our family favorite part of birthdays is the cake! Sam got a taste!

and so did Max!! But they refused to wear party hats.

So here's where all the information came for Jason's Amineko! Ami means crochet and neko means cat in Japanese. This delightful book by the author Nekoyama is such fun and the photos of her aminekos will keep you in stitches! I hope you'll try to make an amineko too! I'm thinking a small one next - make with crochet thread!!

I had a great time on this visit! Spending time with one's children is one of the grandest treats of life!!


And here's the inspiration for my color choices for the crocheted kitty!! Don't you think he looks like Sam??I'm not sure Sam would enjoy wearing a blue and white stripped shirt though.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's Make This Hat Pincushion!

This is not intended to teach you how to crochet, but rather to offer a suggestion for turning a little hat into a tiny gift of a pincushion. I have found so many helpful videos on YouTube and know that you will find just the basic instructions there for any technique you could need. Do email me at the address listed on this page  and put "hat pincushion" in the subject line if I can clarify anything for you.

Making little hats, or any size for that matter, can be very simple. Beginning with a "magic circle" (you can find lovely videos on YouTube for this) make 6 single crochets into the circle. After pulling the circle snug, make successive rounds by adding 6 additional single crochets to each round until the crown of the hat is as wide as you wish it to be. Single crochet into each of the stitches you've created to make the crown as deep as you want and then add the brim. There are many YouTube videos for making flowers - so add a brim using one of these groups of stitches.
The thread I'm using here is called Lizbeth - size 10 - in Peacock Blues. The crochet hook is size 5 /1.90mm.
Once the hat is completed, crochet another piece just as you began the hat - making the circle the same size as the bottom opening.

Using either single crochet or slip stitch, join the flat circle to the opening.

Just before you get all the way round, add stuffing of your choice to create the filler for the pin cushion. Then, finish closing up the opening. Now all you have to do is add some trims - tiny flowers and ribbons - and box it up to give it to a special friend!!

Here's a seasonal variation using embroidery floss for the crown of the hat and a fluffy white thread for a trim. I've used crystals for an accent.

I always have special friends in my workroom! Rocky, my kitty with "thumbs," loves relaxing on my Snuggie!!