Sunday, March 28, 2010

More time to sew!

 Ever had one of those days when you just want more time to sew but you know you are going to need to get dinner on the table at some point?  Around here at the Fresh Thread studio that means it's time for Pizza Fondue!   This easy to make meal is a quick pantry pleaser that my kids never tire of!

1 loaf Italian bread cut into bit sized cubes, or even easier.. pita bread cut inot wedges!  (lightly drizzle with garlic butter and toast till just crisp)

1 jar pasta sauce
1/2 cup cream or 1/2 and 1/2
2 cups shreaded cheese

Pizza dipping extras... peperoni, green  pepper slices etc....

In a pan heat sauce and then add cream and cheese, stir till melted.  Transfer into Foundue pot and use bamboo picks to dip in the bread cubes or pita that you have lightly crisped.  Serve with a big salad!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rare Bird

Today was rather chilly here in Chattanooga but it did not stop the sighting of this rare bird! With scraps from the charm pack that I am using for the Quilted Coaster Class I created this little wall hanging with one of the designs  from an upcoming collection. 

This new collection will be a departure from the many in-the-hoop projects I have done in the past but  am really excited about it.  Inspired by primitve art with a dash of childhood whimsy and color thrown in for the bargain.. they are feeling quite right for Spring!  What do you think??

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Catch me if you can!

 Wow... only a few days into Spring and already my calender is starting to look very full! You can catch me a Chattanooga Sewing teaching about the fine art of In-the-Hoop pojects with my new floral quilted coaster. This class will be on the 30th of April at 10 am

April 10th finds me hosting a sew-&-go field trip to the ever wonderful Sew Bee it quilt shop in Ringold GA.

Of course I can't forget the American Embroidery Conference towards the end of April and will giving away lots of collections  to those I catch wearing the official Fresh Thread embroidered pin ( post up the 1st of April) while I am there.

May has me teaching multiple classes in differnt venues.. And as  scary as it is to say for those who plan on  Handmade Holiday it's time to start sewing!  If pot holders are in your future I will teaching a class on them and using Insulbrite for all sorts of creative heat proof projects. 

Towards the end of May I will be back at Chattanooga Sewing to have even more in the hoop fun with my soon to be released  Hair clip and holder project!

Can't wait to see you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A New Man in my Life....

 It's true.. I have a new man in my life... but I think it's ok with my husband since it's just Dr. Kracker and his highly wonderful Pumpkin Seed Cheddar Flatbreads.  These are wonderful but not for those with dental issues.. these flatbreads are all about the crunch!  This is my current midafternoon snack of choice while working in my studio.. 1 flat bread and a nice little hunk of St. Andre cheese...   I get my Kracker fix  at my local Fresh Market , which is also where I get my cheese. 

So Maddie.... what does this have to do with sewing? I hear you asking... well nothing really.. it's just so good I wanted to share!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Little House Keeping

Thank you to everyone who expressed an interest in the Fast Frames they are now sold.

PLEASE NOTE!... after an all out tear through my studio I found the other two hoops!  This is now a complete 7 in 1 x-change set!
as seen here  on the Fast Frames site
Due to family obligations and health issues I am no longer going to be doing client work ( no worries.. I am still going to be doing design work!)  but since my pledge for the new year is to get rid of what I don't use it's time for my Fast Frames to find a new home! 

I had thought that I had the 7 piece system.. but for the life of me these are the pieces I can find  so this is what I am going to put up for sale. 

This is the arm frame with 7 frames that lock onto it that I have used on my PR620 machine. This set has had VERY light use but some of the hoops are marked for center with Sharpie marker.  I no longer have the instructions but you can get them at the FF website.

Asking price $225 OBO + shipping
Got an offer?... send it my way!

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We have Winners!

How cute are these???   Well guess what?

You have each WON a pair of  Embroidery Broidery Scissors with your
own custom Scissor-leash attached!
Just  leave a response here and then drop me a note at and I will get them in the mail to you ASAP!

As a note.. these are some of my favoirte little scissors and I have a pair at each of my machines!  If you did not win and you want some of your own call my darling friends at SEW BEE IT Quilt shop and I am sure that they would be happy to sell you a pair!

Just ask for Gloria or Martha and tell them that you saw it here!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A rick rack gift

Thanks for all the continued love when it comes to the Rick Rack Napkin tutorial and perfect placement guide.  I know I am a ninny but it makes me so happy when you guys like somthing!

  I guess I have Rick Rack on the brain because I just finished these faux rick rack coasters to go with my napkins! These are quick to make and really cute and clever with the way the thread shading makes it look like real rick rack!  And even better... I am sending them out free to everyone who has ordered the Rick Rack Napkin Tutorial! 

Since my email server will only let me send 10 emails with attachments at a time and per hour ( got to love spam saftey!) this is going to take a bit of time but I am sending the files out in order that the original files were ordered so just hang tight.   Below is a quick written tutorial on how to make the coasters.

Fast Track to Rick Rack Coasters
Hoop  a piece of stabilizer and your chosen fabric in a 4x4 hoop and run the first step.. this will lay down the base and the RR design. Now taking a piece of fabric that you want for the back and a piece of flannel  lay then face down in the hoop with the flannel on top and the fashion fabric face down "kissing" the fabric in the hoop.  Now run the last step which will sew a secure square with an opening.  When done remove the fabric from the hoop and trim close with pinking shears. Turn right side out and give it a firm pressing with a nice shot of steam to boot.  Now slip stitch the opening.. you are now done!.. easy huh???

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tippy tip tip and a treat!

Sorry that I have missed the boat for the last couple of weeks when it's comes to offering tips..but here I am pleading for your forgiveness and offering up a tip  and a treat to say I am sorry. ... This little tip takes nothing more than a length of pretty ribbon and two brads to keep your scissors close at hand.

Just take your length of ribbon ( mine is 20 ish inches) and fold over the end making a loop.. and then secure this by pushing the brad through the ribbon fabric and securing in typical brad fashion. You now have a loop on one end. Do something similar on the other but put the loop around one of the finger holes on the scissors and then secure it. Now figure out where you are want your scissors to stay and use the end up to hook them there... it's that easy! On my old machine pictured above they are hooked to the power cord, on my new machine they are looped over the extra spool pin. Perhaps you would like to hook yours to a drawer handle or other handy place. No matter where you hook it up you can now be sure that your snips will be where you need them!
Now for thre treat.. I have 2 pairs of little scissors complete with leashes  ready to find new homes.  If you would like a chance at one of them please leave your contact information in the comments section below ( click on the word comment to open the window)  I will draw two names this weekend some time!
Good luck!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Here in the Fresh Thread Household we are all about the crafts.. sewing, embroidery, clay, name it and we love it. Alas we don't always have time to do as much as we would like but do try to fit at least some drawing each day. 

Today was a good day, I got plans for a new class at a local sewing shop written up so there was time to play with the ideas from a new book on making wonderful little needle felted animals.  How adorable are these?  Sam (8) made the bunny, Greg (11) made he penguine ( I promise he has eyes and a break..they are also black so I could not get them to show up!) and I (age undisclosed) made the oinker.

If you are interested in needle felting but would like to ease into it with grace I highly reccomend the kits from Wool Pets.  The above creatures are not from her kits since I am personally overrun with colored wool roving but her kits are something to swoon for... just right as an intrduction to the art.  My over the moon favorite is the Sleepy Sheep which I made a couple of years ago when I first got into this relaxing little hobby.

My sons have both done a couple of  differnt wool projects but as a rule this is a craft for adults or children who are very good and careful since the barbed needle that is used can be a real weapon when stabbed into the hand.  But for careful thoughtful children who have a degree of dexterity this can be a wondeful hobby in that it's  neat, quite and does not take up much space.  All of our supplies are in a single hat box.. including the roving!

Feeling the Love.. for Rick Rack!

Dang! I had no idea there were so many RickRack lovers out there!.. I can't wait to see the fun napkins you all turn out. I have heard tell of a lot of vintage rickrack being pulled out and being pressed into service after long waits in notion stashes around the country. I feel honored!
A couple of years ago I scored the mother load of vintage rick rack.. it had obviously belonged to a little old lady who loved to sew and possibly had an addiction to buying sewing notions. There were packages that were wrapped in paper that had 5cents printed on them!.. There was way cool 1960's trim in colors that only the 60's could have given us and then some regrettable 1980's rick rack with metallic threads in it that I am not sure I will ever use! All in all it was 50+ packages of rickrack plus cording, buttons and a few mystery sewing notions all for the most reasonable price of $2! ( and yes I squeeled like a school girl, hugged the bag to my chest and did a little dance... but I am silly like that!)

I have had the best time with the stuff.. but my supply is dwindling and I cruise ebay like an addict looking for a fix and scope out all local thrift shops still hoping for another such score.. but perhaps it's was just a once in a sewing life time sort of thing.

If you want to use some of your vintage stash or would like to put some bright and cheery new rick rack on your own napkins do feel free to pop by and check out my new tutorial and embroidery positioning guide in the shop

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rick Rack Goodness

Oh joy!  The Dainty Rick Rack Napkin Tutorial and Embrodiery placement file is ready and for sale in the Fresh Thread Shop

This project is just so much fun and the rickrack... well what can you say... who does not like rickrack?  If you get your act in gear you can have a whole bunch of these done and use them to set a charming Easter table! 

For five itty bitty dollars you get a printable full color step by step tutorial that makes creating the napkins easy as 1-2-3!  You also get a custom embroidery placment tutorial file that you will use in your embroidery software to get perfectly correct placment of any monogram you wish!.

Easy, Fast and  Fun!
What more could you ask for?

In the sample above I used a vintage sheet to make this groovy napkin with orange sherbert rickrack and a tone on tone monogram.  I totally see myself using these with a glass of Ice Tea and a snack while sitting in the front porch this Spring... care to join me?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Luggage Fob Freebie

With Spring and Summer travel right around the corner who do you know that could use a little help identifying their luggage at the airport?  This little tag is fast and it's free! It uses just the smallest amout of scrap fabric and stitches up in a jiffy.

You can find the free file

And the instructions go like this:
Gather your 4 inch hoop, 2 sheets of HEAVY cut away stabilizer and some nifty scrap fabric

Hoop up the two layers of stabilizer and  1 piece of the fabric and run the first step of the file. It will sew out MINE!

Next, laydown another piece of super cute fabric.. but put it FACE DOWN in the hoop. Now run the outline step in a color to match your fabric.

Pop the whole thing out of the hoop and trim with pinking shears

Turn the whole thing right side out, using a blunt tool ( I use a long paint brush) to gently push out the corners. give it a good pressing and then top stitch using a 1/4 foot. Now punch a hole and set a grommet ( for this I use my Crop a Dile Big Bite )  Thread on some ribbon... how easy was that!  now go make another one! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jumping out of the Hoop

As wonderful as embroidery is there are many times when I desire to jump out of the hoop with a project and this is one of them. This is the first of 8 dainty tea-napkins that I am working on for this Spring. With little more than a Layer Cake Pack * and some rick rack you can make these charming napkins all your own!

Of course there is no reason why you can't add a beautiful monogram to each of these before you sew them up... so don't think that I have jumped off the embroidery ship completely!

The Dainty Tea-Napkin Tutorial will be ready for purchase some time this week. It will be full color, step by step and easy as pie! Can't you just imagine a sweet small snack on a late Spring afternoon.. a bit of tea, a nice visit with a good friend while you sit on the front porch... yes indeed.. these napkins are going to get a good work-out this season.. I can just feel it!
*P.s. A Layer Cake Pack is a pack of 42ish 10x10 squares of fabric from one fabric collection. This gives you oodles of mix and match options for napkins so cute it will make your head spin!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jumping in the time machine

So today we take a little jaunt in the time machine back to about a year ago when I made this uber cute dainty bag. Actually I made quite a few of these as very well received gifts and am thinking about doing some more of them but this time with a monogram on the front.

This pattern was inspired by my grandmother who use to coordinate every part of her outfit and each outfit with all accessories was hung together in her closet. This was of total fascination to me and I remember it with awe to this day.

Based on what I remember of her hanger dainty bag I placed a zipper at the bottom of mine to hold items that I wear specifically with certain items. It's a fun nod to yesteryear and makes me think of grandma each time!