Cranberry Creativity

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I have just completed these additions to a set of dinner napkins I made as a Christmas gift last year.

Cranberry wreath- Dancing Threads

Cranberry wreath Dancing Threads

This cranberry wreath design is one I fortunately picked up  from a site which is no longer available.  The digitizer, Dancing Threads now markets her designs here, but this design is not among her current collection.  I keep checking back, hoping to see any other “cranberry inspired” designs as they are perfect for gift-giving to friends involved in the cranberry industry!

And while we’re on the subject of cranberries and Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share a “traditional” favorite:

Cranberry nut bread

Classic Cranberry Nut Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).

PER SERVING (1 slice): Cal. 211, Fat Cal. 54, Protein 3grams, Carb. 37grams, Fat 6grams, Chol. 18mg., Sodium 313mg.

The recipe can be found here, along with many others…

Before I forget, you still have time to leave a comment on my last post if you would like to win some “crafty patterns” in the Craft Pattern Pyramid!

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Pattern Pyramid- The Crafty Edition

sewingclip

A few weeks ago, Susan of Moonthirty hosted the Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid, and in addition,initiated a Craft Pyramid of non-garment patterns to share after downsizing her pattern collection. A pretty nifty idea…

Well, I took the bait…and won!

So on Wednesday,this wonderful package arrived.

Pattern Pyramid

Ahhh, so many choices.


Finally I decided on this one.

Choice

I see many possibilities for mixing fabrics & machine embroidery here!!

Now it’s your turn!

After adding my patterns to the mix, I will be happy to choose two lucky readers who will each receive at least ten randomly selected patterns from the entire collection.

Final offer

Here are the details which I have modified slightly:

THE RULES

    • Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by 11:50 PM EDT (USA)on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. BUT you must have an active blog and be willing to post world-wide.
    • I will randomly select 2 winners.
    • I will post a selection of patterns (at least 10) to each winner. The winners will pick a pattern(s) to keep for themselves, then host their own giveaway. They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to that person, who will pick a pattern for themselves, host their own giveaway, etc.…

THE SMALL PRINT

    • We are taking it on trust that all pattern pieces are there.
    • Your selection of patterns will be picked at random – please don’t contact me asking for specific patterns.
    • If you’re a winner, please consider making a donation to a charity or cause in your community. Local food pantrys are always in need of food non-perishable food items, or gift cards that can be distributed for the purchase of perishable items. Shelters and Social Service agencies welcome toiletries, diapers, new socks, underwear, hats and mittens for all age groups. Other ideas: scarves/turbans for cancer patients, lap quilts for nursing home residents, towels and blankets for pet shelters.
    • patterns have been contributed in the spirit of the generosity of the sewing community.
    • Please engage in a timely fashion, launching your own giveaways soon after receiving a parcel.

Please help to spread the word and let the fun continue!

Are You Ready for Soccer?

I have a special birthday party to attend next week. The Birthday Boy, born on 9/9/09, will proudly tell you that “I’m growing-up. I’m going to be four”

Well, I don’t know where those four years have gone, but I’ve had a collection of embroidery designs for longer than that begging to be used…

Twist.my.arm.

I hunted for these on Ebay after seeing a sweater using several of the designs in Sew News. I was lucky to have found the collection, as it is no longer available from a dealer.

Getting to work!

  • I purchased a Lands’ End scherpa-lined hoodie
  • changed the hair color in the design from black to “blonde”
  • reduced the design density from 11,000 stitches to 9000.

Changing the hair color required “zooming-in” on the design and viewing a simulation of the stitch-out on the computer. As I watched the player, I was able to insert a new color, and then resume the black thread color. Getting the stops in the right place is important, so that a yellow outline on the soccer player and a yellow soccer ball can be avoided!

Hooping the hoodie:

As I mentioned, this sweatshirt has a hood, and a scherpa lining. Ideally sweatshirts should be “hooped”, but because of the sleeve, hood and bulkiness of this project I did the following:

  • affixed a cutaway mesh stabilizer to the inside of the sweatshirt (scherpa) using a spray adhesive
  • hooped a washaway sticky stabilizer, scored it and peeled the topping away to expose the “sticky”
  • taped my printed design template to the hoodie and centered it in the hoop

Cutaway stabilizers are recommended for embroidering on knits so that the stitches don’t wobble and distort during the stitching and the design is well-supported on the garment.

At the Machine:

Attach the hoop and “fine-tune” so the needle penetrates at the center of the design. Baste around the design, if your machine does this, so that the garment & stabilizer are attached.  I recorded the coordinates of the center after adjusting, just in case. I’m living dangerously and did not do a test stitch-out…

Some people leave their machines to embroider by themselves, unsupervised.

Some people use baby monitors to listen for problems in “Embroideryland.”

I am not in either of those camps. I watch like a hawk. I hold my breath (sometimes, like today) so that I can hear the clunking of a bird’s nest in-the-making, or watch the innocent needle falling out from the vibration, or having to re-thread after a thread break. All of these things happened today.

After tending to these hiccups, I came close to needing the initially recorded coordinates having found it necessary to remove the hoop from the machine while performing minor surgery (during the final color block, of course!)

Ninety minutes after sitting at the machine, we have success.

  • trim jump stitches
  • trim stabilizer
  • press & admire

Ayden will be ready for soccer.

Laptop Satchel

One of my favorite machine embroidery designers is Kara Sutton of Kreations by Kara.

Occasionally, I find myself wandering over to her site …(ok, maybe more often than occasionally).

Anyway, while I was there one time, the most beautiful collection of Dandelions just jumped into my shopping cart! Amazing. It all happened so quickly!

Deciding on a suitable project to showcase these designs took much longer…

Laptop Satchel#1

I found the perfect canvas for my embroidery with this Laptop Satchel pattern from Vanilla House designs.

The satchel interior features a divided pocket and an additional zippered pocket for holding keys, phone, pens etc., alongside your computer and other documents. It makes a great gift too.

I had so much fun making one, that I had to make another!

Laptop Satchel #2

The first one I donated to a silent auction family benefit. It's always a good feeling being able to turn your hobby into something to help others.

The second satchel was my daughter's choice.

Lets see, now…I have a “few” more designs from Kreations by Kara, but I do not yet have one of these satchels. Hmm, I wonder what I can do about that??

 

Avoiding the Hot Seat

My car has leather seats. Needless to say, recent high temperatures and humidity have made the whole “being-in-the-car” experience a little uncomfortable, shall we say?

I have been looking for a simple solution in the way of a seat cover and adapted this idea (Click the link on that page to get the PDF directions)

Instead of using fabric, I substituted a bath towel (30.5″x52″).

Next, I interfaced the contrasting patch fabric and centered it on the towel approximately 8″ from one of the ends.

I did not add any further fastenings or ties to hold the cover in place on the seat, as I didn’t feel it necessary.  As a result,  the towel does need to be “arranged and re-arranged” upon getting in and out of the car. Not a big deal. 🙂

A big plus to me in addition to the fact that these seat covers are easy to put on and off, is that they can be easily used outside of the car for impromptu picnic or bleacher sitting and easily laundered. (Yay)

I noticed lots of other sewing ideas on the Husqvarna-Viking site. I think I’ll go back and look around a little more. How about you?