Monday, December 28, 2009

Family Time - Potato cakes

I always love the time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most of the family visit and we do some fun activities. As a child I remember my mom making my grandmothers recipe for piping hot potato cakes for my sister Wendy and I dripping with butter and just the right amount of salt. While my mom and dad were visiting they made Kelly, Aimee and I the same wonderful treat. We gorged ourselves on a mound of potato cakes and it was worth every calorie. Potato Cakes 4oz self raising flour 1 pound cold mash potatoes 2oz butter 1 tsp salt 1 egg yolk Mix all ingredients together. Beat until a firm ball is formed. Roll out 1/2" thick and cut into round cakes. Place on floured board before cooking on a hot plate. Brown on both sides. Serve warm with butter. Cherish special times with family and friends Sue

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas! I hope each one of you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year. Take care Sue

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Challenge Quilts

A little while ago Nancy from the Primitive Folk art Quilting Yahoo group asked me to draw up a tree for a challenge piece for her group. She challenged them to be creative and make the piece into something they would love to own. I am sure you will agree they all did a fabulous job! The winner - Betty's - Bower Bird Tree is embellished with stitchery and beads. She won this neat little book that Nancy stitched. Lynn's tote made from wool. Embellished with rick rack, buttons and embroidery. Juliann's fun tree. I love the funky piecing that surrounds this piece. Dorothy's is covered with charms, happy flowers and fun birds. Denise's Backyard Friends. Doesn't this make you want to spend time in Denise's backyard! I love all the different birds. Debbie's is really fun. I am so into owls and just find her interpretation of these wonderful birds really appealing. I love her use of beads and ribbons as well. Sandy's Tote is very appealing. Wouldn't you love to put a small knitting project in this one. She has embellished the back as well as the front of her tote. Well done to each of you! I hope to be a part of another challenge in the future. Keep stitching Sue

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Web Posting

I have just posted new threads and yummy fabrics. These hand dyed #8 Valdani threads are my favorite for stitching on wool as they are so smooth to stitch and variegate gradually. They are available in 15 different color packs. I also add so different heishi bead packs as well as new ribbons. If you have not tried these 24wt 100% silk threads to embellish with you are missing out. They are fabulous and add just enough luster to add wonderful interest to your pieces. I am also very excited as we have the whole line of Denyse Schmidt's NEW fabric line 'Hope Valley' we are offering them as fat and 1/2 yard bundles as well as individually. The colors are fresh and work well with our wool colors. Who can resist these great owl fabrics by Alexander Henry! Aimee and I have already made a great book bag for her to use at college and plan to make an apron this holiday break. We also offer many kits, hand made jewelry and gift certificates for those on your Christmas list. Keep Stitching and keep creating Sue

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ali Strebel Designs Workshop

My last workshop for the year was for my good friend Alice in Dayton, Ohio. I taught my Altered Texture Class. I was amazed at the wonderful results. Many of my friends who attend our 'Workt by Hand' workshop were in the class.
We used many new fibers making unique flowers adding texture and dimension to each piece.
We also used many different stitches to add texture around the edges.
This covered button was a really fun idea for the center of a flower. Some also used antique fabrics to made a fun flower base.
Also different fabrics and stitches were used to embellish leaves. I love these variegated threads that change color when you stitch. They do the work for you!
Here is the bullion stitch and fly stitch using different threads.
I also love the layering of fabrics on this leaf to add dimension.
One of my favorite fabrics to applique with are our hand dyed silk velvets dyed by my sister Wendy. We have 38 colors on the website to choose from. They add a luxurious texture when appliqued on wool.
Many of the students had fun making wonderful stems. Some used mini pom pom ribbons, wool with stitches over them, velvet rick rack and patterned ribbons.
I always get so excited to see what my students come up with. I get many new ideas to work into my own designs. I am so looking forward to starting new projects in 2010. I wish my fingers could stitch as quickly as my mind works!
We have had such a mild fall here in North East Ohio but I think this week things are about to change. They are predicting a large winter storm here later this week so I can't wait to curl up in my chair and stitch. This is my favorite thing to do!
Take care

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Class in my Studio

One Saturday in November a group of enthusiastic quilters came to do a private workshop in my studio. What a creative day we had sewing and creating. Each student picked a project from one of my kits and busily got to work putting their own touch on their piece. Some did large pincushions and others worked on smaller pieces. I was amazed at how much each student accomplished. The Good Wives Pineapple Pin Keeper and the Blackbird Pin keeper are finished with hand made tin pieces which are made by a local tinsmith. These definitely add a fun touch to these pieces. We filled these with lavender and play sand. The Saffron Needle Roll is also fun to do with a mixture of fabrics and embellishments. This piece is the Sew Your Seeds needle Roll which was in the October Issue of American patchwork and Quilting. It incorporated couching, beading and the use of textural fabrics. All these projects are available as patterns or kits on my website. They make wonderful gifts as well as quick and easy projects to do with friends. We have just received lots of new fabrics which will be posted on the website shortly. I can definitely see a new project in my future. Take care Keep Stitching Sue

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving - Teaching in Harlingen, TX

I am so thankful for all the wonderful people I have met over the passed few years and for the life building opportunities that have come my way. Traveling this wonderful planet has really opened my eyes and enriched my life. I am also thankful for all our loyal customers. Special thanks to family and friends and a huge big thanks to Michelle and Cathy. I recently spent a few days in Harlingen, TX teaching. I taught an embellishment class which was filled with enthusiastic stitchers. Each chose a small project and we covered basic wool applique and embellishments. They enjoyed learning about using hand dyed velvet and couching threads. Many did my ever popular 'Early Pincushion' pattern which covers beading and couching as well as great finishing techniques. We used many different fibers to couch then added stitchery and beads. I also encourage my students to use my patterns as a starting point for their own creativity. Here one of the students changed the dog to look like her own and added roving by needle felting to add texture. I stayed with Jan. She made me feel very at home and we spent one day at the Gulf coast. We sampled great fresh seafood and she also drove me around town to show me these wonderful murals. Harlingen has many murals in town I especially loved these which were all painted with dots. What a fabulous quilt this would make! Today our house will be filled creatively with good company, fine food, wine and handwork. Enjoy this wonderful day with your family and friends. Take care Sue