Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Here's the strawberry stitchery all made up into a needlecase for DD. It's so her with it's varigated thread and the fabrics used. The stitchery came from the December kids issue of Homespun magazine. There are about five designs for strawberries that were made into a baby bunting. The needlecase pattern came from a Hatched and Patched book called The World As It Should Be

The stiffness of the case comes from the heavy interfacing used.

Craft failure
Being an overachiever type, I thought I'd make a drawstring bag, to accessorise the needlecase of course.
Hitch #1
I didn't have a big enough fabric piece for the outer. No problem, I think to myself, I'll just make a piece of fabric big enough. I like it! Improvisation is good but it created extra bulk I think.

Hitch #2
I didn't want to sew a channel for the drawstring and have to cut a slit to thread it and then have to handstitch around the cut.
I made a bias strip for the casing. Now the bag won't pull up well with the cord threaded trough. Too much thickness? Type of cord? I tried several types. It's starting to not be fun, sigh.

The inner circle is sewn on in sections to create pockets. I'm making this up as I go by the way based on a common design that's out there.

Hitch #3
Which was a hitch from half way through the *&*%#*! project.
I had just bought this low lint Aurifil thread for piecing. I had heard great things about it. I had it break in the needle so many times, I was nearly ready to throw it out but being too lazy to change threads, I persisted. I wasn't saving time I can tell you. Anyone had a similar problem with it? I had a new #10 needle in.

I nearly threw it out but decided to sleep on it. I thought I'd unpick the casing and sew the chanel in for a start, then  un-pick some sewing and re-sew with my old thread. Good idea?

Onto more pleasant things thread, this is 35wt varigated Valdani thread which is going to be used for some handquilting on a Kaffe project or two. I ordered it from here with Judy's recomendation. It is 100% cotton, I love it! La la la la la la.!

While in a stitchery mood, I finished off another Cinderberry Stitches block. Slowly but surely, they will all be done one day.

Now I did say I was an over achiever, or is it persistant? I made yet another Christmas cake. Don't worry, they freeze well. I made this mix lighter than the last and cooked it in my old tin. I wanted to make the comparison between using the tin and the cake box.

I lined the tin with cardboard and baking paper then I lined the outside with a rolled up sheet of newspaper tied around. I even put a folded square of tinfoil loosely over the top and cooked at a very low temperature.

Guess what? It burnt around the edges which surprised me. I'm going to use the cake box from now on which didn't require the lining saga and it didn't burn.
The utensil you can see in the bowl is a Danish dough whisk I got from here. It does bread dough and biscuit (cookie) mix with ease.

Off to do my last bit of shopping today, the incentive is that the patchwork shop across the road is starting a sale, I may go there.


alobsiger said...

Oh, dear, Janet! Why do these things seem to happen in such abundance this time of year? And we try to muddle through with a song in our hearts. Most of the time. :-) I'm sorry you had trouble with the Aurifil thread! I've not had any problems and hope that your machine will sleep on it as well and change its mind about the brand. ;-) Those are some LOVELY Valdani threads. I'm always so tempted to add to my collection when I see the pretty colors...but then I save them rather than USE them. Glad tidings!

alobsiger said...

By the way, that strawberry stitchery is SO SWEET! What thread did you stitch with?

ranette said...

Oh my goodness've been very busy!

I used to piece with the Aurifil thread, but switched last year to Presencia 60wt and I LOVE it better. I still use the Aurifil sometimes, but I've had it break as well.

I love the Valdani threads and I have a few in my thread collection :o)

Love the little's just darling and good job on the Fairies block, you will finish one day. Your stitching is always so perfect!

Enjoy the Christmas Cakes!

Julia said...

Oh my goodness Janet...I would have given up!
good for you for keeping at it...the stitchery looks great!
Julia ♥

imquilternity said...

Janet, your needlecase is so sweet! I love it! You get so much done...I'm amazed.

Sue said...

Your stitchery is just beautiful as is all your work! You are so talented.
I have never tried the Valdani thread. May have to give it a whirl. Thanks for sharing!
Blessings this Christmas!

Erin in MI said...

I have made a couple of these draw-string bags. The trick to getting them to draw up smoothly is to use 2 pieces of rat-tail. I know it has a different name, but I don't know what it is! You have to have 2 holes in the channel you're running through, so you run one piece in one hole, all the way around and out the same hole - then the 2nd piece of rat-tail is run through the 2nd hole, all the way around and back out the same 2nd hole (I hope I haven't lost you). You knot each length of rat-tail to itself and when you pull the knots, the bag draws up beautifully!

Good luck!

fabricartist21 said...

Your embroidery is so pretty!!

Calling all bloggers I am having a huge giveaway on my blog and will add a new item everyday until 12/24 Go check it out.

Thimbleanna said...

Boy Janet -- you've been busy! Your embroideries are beautiful -- just beautiful! And funny that you show that dough whisk -- I was just looking at one last night in a catalog, trying to decide if I'd like it. It just has such an interesting design to it! Isn't it fun to experiement with cooking and find out what works best? I love doing that!

Linda said...

I've never had a problem with Aurifil thread. Could it be a tension adjustment that's needed? I use Aurifill exclusively, for machine-piecing, domestic machine-quilting (award-winning, I might add), and even use it for hand-applique. Yes, it's the 50-weight, 2-ply on an orange spool, just like the one you've shown. I hope this was just a fluke spool - Ha, maybe spun on a Friday?! - and another Aurifil spool works better for you.

Nedra said...

Yes, you are an over achiever, but we are the lucky recipients to see your beautiful work. Lucky DD, who will be getting the needle case.
You know, I'm a little partial to MasterPiece by Superior Threads to piece with. It's a 50 weight and 100% cotton.

Janet said...

I think the needle case you made is fabulous! You make so many beautiful things. Too bad the drawstring bag was so frusterating to make - good for you to stay at it.

Amelia said...

Oh I had a laugh when I read you post! Perhaps a dud spool of thread??? Try attaching O rings on the outside of the bag and thread the cord though that...good luck =)

Miriam said...

You live across the road from a patchwork shop!!!!

I hope you enjoy the Christmas cake.
I love the Cinderberry stitches block.
I am going to look to see if i can find any Valdani thread here. thank you for the recommendation.
Lovely needle case.
I have only ever used Aurifil thread for hand piecing.

Cathy said...

Yes, an over achiever you are and you make incredible things!! Love the stitchery xo

Crispy said...

Oh Janet, I'm so sorry your had to use bad words while working on your projects (the use of these words has helped me many times LOL). The needlecase did turn out quite lovely and those Valdani threads are beautiful. Here's hoping for a much more productive day today :0)


*karendianne. said...

Oh my but that cake looks good and the utensil is so neat. I don't cook but I want on! You're Cinderberry Stitches block is beautiful. As for craft failure... I enjoyed every bit of the story if only because it's something we can all relate to and thus, binds us in a lovely way. Which doesn't surprise me since you're a very real, grounded, cool person to know!

Warmly, *karendianne. who thinks the needlecase is just fantastic. Didn't want to leave that out. :)

Lori said...

I gave up just reading your post!!! Sometimes you have to walk away for a bit and rethink things. We can always learn something from "crafts gone wrong."

I love the little needleholder.

QuiltedSimple said...

I laughed while reading your post - what a trying time! I love the needlebook. As for the cake - even if it's burned you can send it my way - everyone eats anything here:) have fun shopping

Wendy said...

I think I would have given up completely. You are persistent for sure. I love the strawberry needle case.

Doris said...

Gasp! DO NOT throw out the Aurifil, it is a favorite of many of us...perhaps your machine just doesn't care for it. Some brands of threads just don't work with certain machines. My Pfaff loves Aurifil!

The needle case is just too darling...lucky D!

I'm so motivated by everything you seem to be getting done!

Sharon said...

Janet, sorry to hear about your thread issues, I've used Aurifil 50 WT for longarming and it's been beautiful. Maybe a bad spool? Love your stitch project, Cinderberrys, you sure have your fingers in lots of projects! Thanks for sharing

Carrie P. said...

The strawberry needlecase is so sweet. Your DD will love it.
Hope you can figure out the bag. I would have given up a long time ago.

Corrie said...

uh oh! not good when things go wrong, I get so frustrated!

love your stitching!


Barb said...

The needle case is too sweet!
I haven't had too many problems with the Aurifil myself, but sometimes it doesn't seem to stay in the machine threads correctly. I do love the presencia thread but it has to ordered, which I often forget to do.
The cake sounds yummy!

Kaaren said...

Your Christmas cake brings back memories when I used to make 6 at a time for family and friends. I haven't done that in years and occasionally I get the urge to make some again.

Your needlecase is just darling, Janet. Your daughter is going to love it.

I must check into those Valdani threads. They look very interesting and the colors are wonderful.

Meredith said...

I have never used Aurifil. Thank you sharing your experiences -all of them. I am interested in the thread you will be using for hand quilting your Kaffee quilt. I have a Kaffee quilt top just about done and was unsure of hand quilting it because it is so very dark I thought my stitches would not be seen. I used to piece by machine with mettler and switched to Alex Anderson's thread line from Superior. I have the new superior hand quilting thread to try. Maybe in the new year.

Robin said...

Ooo... the variegated thread just looks yummy! And the needlecase is darling. I love how you incorporated the little stitchery. I've not tried Aurifil except for handstitching (and it was just okay for me). Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience.