Tuesday, June 16, 2020

One Heart, One World

What a turmoil our nation is in these days, and rightly so. With the death/murder of George Floyd and investigation into other cases of racism and social injustice, maybe this will be a wake-up call and things will finally change for the better. I have to believe that it will, as the old CSN song goes, "It's been a long time coming". I remember the civil rights movement of the 60's, I was very young, but I remember the interstate getting shut down then, protests and such, I thought things had changed. But it seems to have gotten worse lately...or maybe the inequality and racism is just finally being exposed? I pray that this will be a positive change, and that our children will grow up to be more loving and accepting of everyone regardless of their skin color, sex or beliefs. As it's been pointed out, children aren't born to hate; it's up to us to teach them otherwise.

I'm trying to help out in my own humble way with this simple project I'm titling "One Heart, One World", a name suggested by Becky Bucci (thank you Becky!) The pattern is available as a free printable project sheet at the bottom of my Classes page on my web-site. You'll need to save it to your preferred device and print from there, checking the size. Mine finishes at 8-1/2" x 11", but you can make it any size you like. This could even be used as a teaching tool for your children, they can just color in the page you print! I used Woolfelt in various skin tone shades for my heart and hands with orange and yellow for the flames, which calls to mind a phoenix rising from the ashes. (You could also use cotton or batik fabric, but you would need to add fusible web to the back.) I used Valdani mulberry silk floss for the orange radiating warmth around the heart in long, straight stitches. I love the warm luster the silk floss adds, and the way it catches the light, adding a degree of variation to the finished look. I used a size 12 perle cotton in black for the decorative stitches in the heart, hands and flames.
I used a variety of stitches such as cross-stitch, herringbone, blanket-stitch, whip-stitch, and primitive-stitch. Really, any stitch will work, whatever you like to do and comes easily for you!

Here are the basic supplies you'll need:
* Black Woolfelt for the background, 9" x 12" square
* Small pieces of Woolfelt for the heart, hands and flames; I used skin-tone shades, orange, & yellow
* Perle cotton/silk floss, or embroidery floss (see my note above)
* Embroidery needle
* Scissors
* Pins
* Optional: freezer paper, iron, light box (or sunny window), rotary cutter with ruler and mat.
* Sewing machine if you prefer doing the decorative stitches by machine
* And of course the paper pattern, found at the bottom of my Classes page under Freebies!

The first thing you'll do after printing out the pattern is to trace the hands and flames onto the paper side of freezer paper or another piece of paper, or you can cut them from the one you printed. (If using cotton fabric, trace them onto the paper side of fusible web.) I like to use freezer paper to cut out my Woolfelt for a crisp, clean cut: just trace the design components to the paper side, cut around the traced designs leaving a narrow margin around the outside line, use a low-temp iron to iron to your Woolfelt, and cut out designs on the traced lines. Be sure to remove the paper backing before pinning these to your background.

You'll want to cut out 2 hands using paper, freezer paper, or fusible web. Also, cut out the flames, cutting the full size for the orange flame, and just the smaller one for the yellow flame. For the heart, go ahead and cut the heart out from your printed pattern, keeping both the heart and background intact. Then you can lay small pieces of your Woolfelt colors in your cutout to audition color placement. Or if you like the colors shown, I used the following shades for my heart (starting at upper left and going counter-clockwise): Beach Sand, Light Brown, Camel, Suntan, Hay Bale, and Cinnamon (Peat Moss would also look good here.) I left it open in the center to show the black background. Or you can use more colorful pieces if you prefer - how about rainbow colored? It's your art piece, feel free to use whatever hues you like!
So obviously I had already cut out my pieces and started stitching them to the background, but I did audition mine beforehand, I just didn't take a picture. But you get the idea - cut out the heart, use the background as a "stencil window" to audition colors.

Once you've chosen your color palette and placement, you can trace the heart sections onto the freezer paper and cut them out as described above. Then pin them to the background, making sure to leave room for the hands and flames at the bottom; you can use your printed pattern as a placement guide. Now you're ready to stitch away! You can also cut a solid black heart and pin the heart sections to that to do the decorative inner stitches, it's a bit easier to handle, and yes, that's how I did mine.

Once you have your heart stitched, primitive-stitch or whip-stitch it to the background around the outer edge. A primitive stitch is just a random whip-stitch with a wonky quirky uneven look! The whip-stitch around the hands. Next use a tiny cross-stitch to attach the yellow flame just to the orange flame, then pin these below the hands and use a whip-stitch to sew to the background. At this point you have a couple of options: if your piece is going to be a simple wall hanging, journal cover etc, go ahead and sew all the way around if you'd like. I left the top of mine open as a pocket of sorts to hold little "blessings" to give or receive every day. I printed out these word my small group helped me brainstorm when we were pondering what "love is", cut them out, and tucked them into my fiery pocket. Then when I receive or give a blessing throughout the day, such as encouragement, praise or the like, I can pull that word out and tuck it into my radiating love stitches around my heart! If you're helping a young person make this project, this would be a valuable lesson to be positive an share love with others!

Ok, so once you have all your components attached to the background, you're almost done! The last step is to sew the orange radiating warmth of love around the heart with long straight stitches. My rows are about 1/4" - 3/8" apart and the stitches are about 1/2" long. You can make yours smaller if you prefer, I lean towards larger stitches - I'm all about fast 'n easy!

And you're done! I hope you enjoyed making your new loving heart and that it will bring joy and warmth to your heart each time you look at it. Don't forget to sign your project! I embroidered my initials in the lower right corner. Let's fill the world with love not hate - everyone can make a positive difference!


Seems like everything has changed almost overnight, not only here in NC, or the US, but around the world, everything has happened so quickly. When things started shutting down and we first heard about the use of face masks to curb the spread of covid-19, I found a pattern online and made a couple to wear when I ran to the store or post office. Then my small church group decided to make gift baskets for health care providers at our local hospital and I was asked if I might make some face masks to include? I was happy to do that, my dil is a nurse in the intensive care department at her hospital, and was also expecting their first baby and my first grandchild! So I really wanted to do whatever I could to keep them safe and healthy and help "flatten the curve". The next thing I knew I was getting requests from everywhere! I ended up making a couple of hundred face masks, some even for a missionary group in NY. I think the sweetest reward I got was when the leader of the group sent me a video with a very young little girl thanking me for sending "yiddle" (her precious way of saying "little", so adorable!!) face masks, 'cause she was little and her face was little too. That video made all those hours of sewing worth every minute. I hope my small effort helped to save some lives of health care providers and also patients. Here are a few pics of some of the face masks, it was actually fun to get to do some marathon sewing for a while!
 Some of the first ones I made, I like this pattern as you can use either elastic or ties.
 Each face mask has a filter pocket in which a disposable filter can be added, such as a blue shop towel or coffee filter.
 A variety of colors chosen by one health care worker for guys and gals!
For the NY missionaries, I used some fun kids' prints for the little ones. Good thing I had a nice stash of fabrics to choose from!

I actually "killed" my sewing machine with all this marathon sewing! The last night I was trying to finish the kids' masks above, I was so tired but was trying to finish up the last few. When I went to wind a new bobbin there was some loose thread on the spool, and too late I saw a bit of it disappear into the motor of my favorite vintage machine! So right now it's not working very well at all, I'm going to have to take it to a shop. Luckily I have a back-up portable I can use until I get ol' Lucy up and running.

Oh, and I am also the proud grandma of a healthy baby boy! Carter Ray Clontz was born on April 30 and he and his proud mom and dad are doing great. He is so precious, I've seen him once and we hit it off right away! Ok he was only a week old but we got along just fine. I can't wait to go and see him again! Meanwhile my new pattern designs are being inspired by him, check out my "Baby Buddies Blankie" and "Baby Buddies Softies & Backpack" on my Patterns page of my web-site!

MAQF Wool Geode Zipper Necklace Class

Reminiscing on this rainy day about the last show I vended and taught at, the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in VA. I was telling a friend yesterday how refreshing it was to get away from the "real world", we never turned the tv or news on the whole time up there. Who knew a few short weeks later the country would be virtually shut down? But that doesn't mean our creativity has been stopped, if anything it's allowing us to spend more time than ever sewing and making things! Here are a few of the beautiful necklaces my students made in our Wool Geode Zipper Necklace Class, most did not completely finish, but we had a great time and they turned out gorgeous! I know they enjoyed adding the beads from their kits later when they could ponder over colors and placement at home at their leisure.
 I love the asymmetry of this beauty and the artsy wool beads the artist felted, a stunning piece!
 Beautiful wool beads created by this first-time felter, I love her color palette she chose!
 Joyful happy colors in this exquisite piece!
 Such sweet soft colors chosen for this beautiful necklace, and I love the bottom pendant and also the simplicity of this piece!
 Gorgeous ocean hues!
 My favorite colors, and I love those center wool beads she felted, they look like little world globes!
 Beautiful complementary colors!
 Love this necklace and you can see the artist added a bit of bling with some Angelina in her wool beads she felted!
 Love these jewel-tone beauties, so rich in hues!
Judy Donovan joined us for the afternoon session after teaching a class that morning, I love the vivid colors and beads she added to her unique stylish work of art!

All in all we had a great time, and I feel so blessed to have had such wonderful students in this very creative class. I hope they will remember our class with fondness in the times to come, and maybe one day we'll get to do another fun class together!