Jingle Bell Stitch Along


Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!  unknown

Come join my Jingle Bell stitch along which begins today and will continue on the 25th of each month through November. I will be showing and talking about techniques which are found in the projects throughout my book, Handmade Christmas Cheer, use this link if you wish to get the book. I will sign and deliver it to you. (not in person). I will not talk so much about the construction of the projects, you can use the book for that. Attention will be focused on techniques and inside tips for these and other projects you may wish to work on. Let’s get started.


Crayon tinting has been around for decades. I remember my Grandmother had some embroidered tea towels that were crayon tinted. I love the work of Meg Hawkey/Crabapple Hill Studios and her artistry using this technique. It’s east, cheap and works up quickly. Here are two projects in my book that use color tinting for embroidery. 

Jolly Holly editedSm. Tree Skirt

Long Winters Nap 201-96_B1313_3rds.inddSheet


Box of Crayons (I still love a new box of crayons..I’m childish like that!) A sharpener is a good idea too.

Templates for the design you wish to embroider.

Pencil or .05 Pigma Pen (I like the cinnamon brown color)

Embroidery needles or Milliners Needles

Fabric for stitching your project. Tip: cut the fabric slightly larger (about an inch all the way around) to allow for the fabric to draw up a bin while stitching.

A light source. I love me some light box. I recently got an led pad..Holey Moley you can see it glow from the surface of the moon!

Optional: Woven fusible inner facing. I like the brand from Staple Sewing Arts. Watch my website I will be adding this to my favorite products in the next few days. This is ironed on the backside of your embroidery. It adds an element of stability and also helps hide stray thread ends. 

Floss I used Cosmo variegated  green #CSV8024, two strands. This can also be purchased from Crabapple Hill studios. I used a lot too! For the remainder of the embroidery I used 2 strands of whatever floss I had in my stash red, yellow, blue green and gray for the sockets. 

Color Tinting

1. If you choose to use a woven fusible inner facing iron the glue/shinny side to the backside of the embroidery fabric. 

2. Using a light source, trace your embroidery motifs on to the front of the embroidery fabric.

Tinting Collage 1-4

3. Color the areas to be color tinted with a very heavy coat of white crayon be careful to stay inside the lines of the bulbs and sockets. Coloring in a white heavy coat will fill in the tiny holes from the woven fabric you are embroidering. Then color with your colored crayons over the white making areas of darker color and lighter color to give a softer blended, shadowy and highlighted appearance. SPECIAL NOTE: When I made the Jolly Holly small table tree skirt I decided to NOT color the base of the designs in white. I went straight to the green and colored that very heavily. This gave me a bolder look for my holly. I really liked it too!

After all areas have been colored, take pieceTinting Collage 3s of clean paper towels and place it over each motif. Press with a hot iron. Then move the paper towel to a clean spot on the towel and press again. Do this several times (you would be surprised at how fast this goes) until no more color is showing on the towel. Your project is heat set!


4. Embroider away! I will talk in depth about Embroidery  next month. If you are familiar with embroidery I like to use a stem stitch (see diagram). The smaller the stitches the better your project will look.

5. Complete your project according to directions in the pattern. If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section of this post I will answer so that the whole group can see! Let me hear from you anyway. LOVE ME SOME COMMENTS.

See you on August 25.  





2015-09-19 18.23.12

That was the day she promised herself to live more from intention and less from habit.

A. Rubin

I am turning a new page in my personal, professional and life in general. This includes blogging and all forms of social media. I used to love my blog, facebook and Instagram (I have a Twitter account which remains tweetless), I loved sharing the many twists and turns of life with cyber friends. It became a conflict in my cyber life that I could never share projects that I was working on. I always felt a self imposed pressure to hide my sewing and make my cyber stuff such a business thing! I don’t know when that happened but it did.  I am done with that. I want to write and share  all things I enjoy. If, in the process of sharing  new designs someone decides to duplicate my work (that is nice talk for getting knocked off, copied, etc.) then SO BE IT. It is probably going to happen anyway (and has)! 

Vicki's quilt 1

As for my personal life changes. I am slowing down a bit and not over scheduling myself. My eldest daughter has 3 precious children and I want to be present in their lives. My youngest daughter recently got engaged and we are in full wedding planning mode. OH LAWDY!!!  We are all so excited to have a new Son in Love! Get ready for some sharing on that front. My husband is still working but is slowing that down a bit. So we get more time together as well. It’s all gooood.

2015-09-19 18.23.12

I am still loving travel and teaching at guilds and shops. This works out because we can schedule ahead and make plans. The husband, AKA Earl de Schlep travels with me.  My love of teaching and being in the classroom began with teaching children and now teaching quilting! I am sooo blessed. The title TEACHER is a title I most adore. (after wife, mother and Grandy).


So here I am. Loving my life, family, sewing, designing, reading, cooking and people! Come join me. Leave me a comment now and again. That sure does keep a blogger motivated to share and write.On Friday I have an announcement about a special event on the 25th of each month..hmm may have something to do with a Holiday..

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Baby Bliss

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Congrats

I drew the numbers from the Random Number Generator this morning. Forgot how to transfer the proof to my blog. (Lawdy I am rusty). You will have to trust me on this one. Her are the Five Winners. Kim is signing Book Plates for me to stick in your books so I will delay mailing them until I receive the book plates from Kimmy Poo. I will keep in touch to let you know they have shipped by putting a reply to your entry on this blog post.

Winners…come on down!!!!

#28 Julie B.

#26 Debbie F.

#14 Sue K.

#15 Kristie McK

#12 Susan

Congratulations to our winners. I will be back with new blogs and all kinds of goodies.



Baby Bliss = Joy Rising!

PicMonkey Collage

This post is dedicated to Kim Diehl

1 Universe, 9 planets, 204 countries, 809 islands, 7 seas and I had the privilege of meeting YOU. 

It’s time to celebrate my newest book on my blog. The blog that has been quiet for some time now. I hope you will join me and celebrate this book that has so much meaning for me. The biggest of course is the joint celebration and writing of the book. Kim and I became Grandmothers together. As if that wasn’t spectacular enough Martingale is publishing our collaboration of projects in one fantastic book! This book and the fun we had together has given me a friend for life… Miz Diehl, I will remain forever grateful.

Baby Cover

Our book is fun and packed  full of projects for ANYONE who wants to make a special gift for baby. The opportunities for gift giving and nursery decorating are endless. Plus Kim and I get to show off our GRANDS!

 I will keep this post short because after all  it IS a give a way and that is the gift from me to those of you reading my post.

PicMonkey Collage

Give a way rules. Put a comment on THIS POST. I will count the comments on Wednesday, June 29th and post the winners on Thursday June 30th 10 am EST.  So what am I giving away? In honor of Kim’s Grands Miss Norah and Miss Ruby and my Grands Master Owen, Walker and Miss Jane I will give away 5 books! I will sign the books and forge Kim’s signature but don’t tell her. I am in Atalanta and she is in Idaho, the books are in this office.

Follow me on Facebook:



  I would love it if you would follow my blog. I have been away for a while and want to renew my blog and share my sewing world, cooking, travel and other zany twists and turns that living a blessed life brings. Come join me.

What a wonderful LIFE!

Fabrics for Sampler

Blessings are everywhere. Take time to enjoy them. Daily Dose

Joyfully blogging and sewing with much to share. Let me show you what is going on in my sewing life. 

THE SPLENDID SAMPLER! If you are a quilter and haven’t heard about or are considering jumping in to get started with the sampler let me help you out. It is MOST DEFINATELY  want to be a part of this group. Get started and join over 17,000 other quilters on facebook and The Splendid Sampler web site. Use my links to get you there..Hold on before you go. I want to show you how neat my fabric is that I am using on my blocks.

Reds from deep red to pinks with a shirting or small print as a background. I may use some tan as well. I love that when people post their fabrics they fold them all neat and pretty. Here are mine friends. I hope you will welcome me back to blog land and know that I will alwasy be……..


Fabrics for Sampler

Cheers! Pat

A Bit of a problem!

Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows flowers not thunder. -Rumi

My third tutorial was supposed to be yesterday..a bit of an issue arose. I took a fall and broke my wrist. The right hand! Needless to say, other than the pain and firm knowledge that my left hand is worthless..I am ok.

Doing a good tutorial will have to wait. I can’t photograph the sewing and typing is a bit of a problem. I will post as I can and hopefully figure this out. The cast will be on my arm for 4-6 weeks. I feel like the pain will ease up a bit and maybe I can get back to my tutorials.

Hang on friends I will be back. #this is awful



Be thankful and contentment will follow. -unknown


Diana Salmon

Now for my story….I am typing this post with my brand new lovely blue cast on my right arm! I took a tumble in the kitchen protecting my grandson from reaching to touch a hot oven door. Broken wrist…pain…found out my left hand is good for NUTHIN!

I enjoyed reviewing Jackie’s book, I hope you will all come back for a visit to my blog. Great things are happening here. Well there needs to be 6 weeks of cast wearing going on first. Ouch!

Pat (I can’t type with one hand either)

PS Diana get in touch with me and I will make sure your e-book is sent to you!


SPLASH OF COLOR by Jackie Kunkel


Hello all you wonderful blog hoppers. I am Pat Wys  designer and more importantly friend of Jackie Kunkel. I have known Jackie for several year as we met at market. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to participate in this blog hop and welcome Jackie and her new book. Jackie joins a very special family of authors at Martingale Co. Welcome Jackie your book is amazing!


As I have been looking and reading Jackie’s masterpiece book it occurred to me that this book really IS JACKIE!!!



HAPPY! Jackie always greets people with a joyful and infectious smile. So happy. Just like this table runner and place mat. What a happy table setting. Yup just like Jackie.  From-Splash-of-Color


I swear Jackie doesn’t sleep. She has the same amount of hours in her day as I do. She gets so much done and makes it look easy. This book has a huge amount of instruction and ways to make these projects doable. Directions are clear clear and well done. The mark of a teacher who is organized! Her writing made me want to paper piece. ALERT THE MEDIA! Jackie hooked me!



The premise of the book , black and white quilts enhanced with a splash of bright color is genius and is beautifully carried out through the whole book. Jackie takes us on a journey and teaches us how to use this concept to create amazing quilts.



Jackie is a teacher. You can tell as you read Splash of Color  that she wants us to learn and become better quilters. Jackie adds tons of tips and she uses “teachable moments” throughout the  book.  She also gives us alternate color ways for the projects.A BONUS!


DO NOT MISS a chance to add this book to your own library of books.

Leave me a comment and I will chose one lucky winner to receive an e book copy of Splash of Color. I will chose a winner Tuesday 9/29.

Joins Jackie’s Facebook and Blog to have more chances for a win!

Here is the remaining list of blog hop stops!

Sunday, September 27
Sharon McConnell – Color Girl Quilts
Monday, September 28
Julie Sefton – Me and My Quilts – Exploring the Possibilities
Tuesday, September 29
Caroline Critchfield – Sew Can She
Amy Ellis – Amy’s Creative Side


Welcome Christmas Quilt Tutorial

Hexie tool and marks

Life is a series of tiny miracles. Notice them. unknown

Welcome to the second tutorial for my newest book Handmade Christmas Cheer. This Tuesday we will talk about the show stopping quilt I named Welcome Christmas.” What spells Christmas more than a wreath on the door. Better yet a wreath quilt!!!

I am asked about this quilt so often! I have to tell you that it is surprisingly easy. The background of the quilt is one piece of fabric cut width of fabric x 60 1/2″. I ripped the selvages off (yes I said rip and I talk about that in the book), and left the length approximately 60 1/2″. You can, of course make the quilt longer and wider if you wish, just add additional background fabric to the left and right sides of the width of fabric piece and add length to all pieces for a larger quilt. I am currently doing just that, making a king size quilt for our bedroom. We will come back to this after learning how to make the wreaths and bows.

There are different methods to hexie construction. English Paper Piecing is extremely popular and I describe this technique on page 10. My preferred method is to make a hexagon template with the 1/4″ seam allowance added (template provided in book template pull out section). I like to use a sandpaper board, a .05 pigma pen, and my 1/4″ angle tool.angle marking tool below. There are many types of this tool by different manufacturers so you should easily find it at your local quilt shop. If not here is a link to one on Amazon.  

Using a small ruler draw the seam allowances on the wrong side of the fabric.


OR make a dot where the seams will intersect at 1/4″.

Hexie tool and marks

Once the lines or dots are made we VERY SIMPLY sew the units together along the line or from dot to dot. There are no papers involved in the process and we are done in a hurry. When sewing take a tiny back stitch two or tree times and then make a running stitch and another tiny back stitch. This method makes sewing the intersection of 3 hexies a snap. The fabric is easily manipulated at the corners of the hexies (remember to do the tiny back stitch each time.)  See page. 10 Handmade Christmas Cheer  for step by step directions. Use the book as a suggested placement guide. I used a very small blanket stitch and invisible thread (.004 nylon monofliment by YLI in clear and smoke)  to stitch the wreaths to the background of the quilt.

There are three sizes of wreaths in this quilt. The large and medium have two rounds of hexies. The smallest has one. The diagrams are on page 9.

After I stitched the hexie wreaths I used my glue pen to lightly glue the outside and inside 1/4″ seam allowances all the way around each wreath. Talk about fast!  I finished  gluing and was ready to place the wreaths on my background piece I made at the beginning of our tutorial. You can place these wreaths any way you wish and can certainly use my quilt and the full color photo on page 8 of

Time to put a bow on it! There are three different sizes of bows and the templates for each are in the pull out templates at the back of the book. (love me some full size pull out templates!) I used a mixture of fabrics. I love the differences in texture and luster. I used wool, cotton, and silk. The wool does not have turned under edges (another time saver). The cotton and silk do have the edges turned under and blanket stitched with the same mono-filament thread. You may use any method of applique that is your preference. It is your quilt! 

 My quilt was long arm quilted by Leisa Wiggley to perfection. I used a contrasting green for the binding.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and will bookmark it for future use. Next week we talk about the front cover stockings. “By the Chimney with Care”. What can I say? WELL! I have much to say about these beauties…and a surprise too. Leave me some comments. I love to hear from you. 

Handmade Christmas Cheer


Purchase the book on my website www.silverthimblequilt.com 


Through my amazing publishers at Martingale: www.shopmartingale.com





Long Winter’s Nap Tutorial

Tinting Collage 3

Very little is needed to make a happy life. -unknown

This post is lengthy and contains tutorials with photos 

Here we are the first day of the first project in my new book Handmade Christmas Cheer. I know you have chosen this book and the projects within because you have an interest or dare I say, love of handwork. I do too, and that is why I am so proud of this book! Tuesday will be our day for talking about the book let’s begin with how I am choosing projects. We will talk about all the projects in the book but the ones that take the most time ( I didn’t say they were difficult did I?!?). I chose Long Winter’s Nap As our first project. If you are going to do a large sheet you have some wonderful hours of stitching ahead. Not difficult but wonderfully time consuming. I love Netflix and books on tape so do you see a pattern here? Give me that needle and thread and I am soooo happy. 

Let’s get started: 

Chose the background fabric for your embroidery mine was White Bleached, Bella Solid by Moda # 9900 285.  Moda makes a Bleached White and White Bleached note the difference.

Measure and cut your background embroidery fabric  6½” x the width of the sheet + 2″.

I like to use a backing for my embroidery pieces. Muslin works fine but I really like to use  WOVEN fusible inner facing. My favorite brand is by Staple Sewing Aids.  Pellon makes a good product as well. These products are very light weight and prevent  shadowing or threads showing through from the back to  the front. They also prevent distortion of the fabric.  The bonus is tiny bit of body as well without affecting my ability to make small stitches. Cut the same length as the above embroidery background fabric.

I find it useful to use a light box to transfer my embroidery motifs to the front of the background fabric. My designs are broken into 2 sections 10″ each which can be turned and flipped to make a continuous line. This means you have 4 10″ sections or 40″ before repeating  the pattern. Trace the pattern so that it is stitched a bit OVER each end, you can  easily cut or adjust this later. Stitching the words I have provided are completely optional. (but pretty cute huh?)

What do I use to write with as I transfer the designs? My preference is to use a .05 Micron Pen in brown. Remember this is permanent so be careful. My stitchery will cover the drawn lines, no problem. Other choices are a wash off blue marker by Clover, or the FriXion Pens which disappear with heat from your iron (or in my case, in Atlanta if left in the car during the Summer).  Lots of choices out there, chances to experiment and find out what works for you.

Embroidery Tools Collage

Let’s talk thread! I am asked ALL THE TIME what my preference for thread would be. I will say that in the world of embroidery I like floss over a cotton. As for brand of floss (a deep well)  I honestly love Cosmo and Aurifil floss. However my choice of floss is determined by one factor, COLOR. I will choose Cosmo, Aurifil, DMC, Weeks etc. if the color is right then brand is a secondary consideration. Perhaps one exception is that I love the Cosmo Seasons floss for variegated work. The color changes more frequently with this floss.  The pine boughs in this project are Cosmo # 8034. You can get the thread right here  The Christmas lights are outlined and then accented with  metallic thread. Two strands are used throughout the project. 

Size 24 Chenille needle. I like a chenille needle over an embroidery needle because the point is sharper. I cannot live without my Clover needle threader for embroidery. See picture collage above.

Let’s sew. Stitch with or without a hoop, whichever is most effective for YOU. I write about this in my book on page 87.  I use a Stem Stitch throughout the whole project. The diagrams for Stem Stitch are on page 91 of my book. Remember to keep your stitches small and even and your work will be beautiful. Keep the tail of the working thread consistently above the needle or below. Back Stitch is easier and a little more forgiving and is described on page 90. Again this is your choice there is no right or wrong.

After you have stitched the pine boughs and words it is time to color tint and stitch the outlined bulbs and bubble bulbs and their sockets. Follow the book and notes on how to do this super easy and fast technique. I have included a pictorial of a bulb I drew for this blog. Save your coloring and outlining of the light bulbs until the end to avoid too much handling. Color tinting has been around for decades! Believe me the color does not wash out. My Grandmother had tea towels that were colored with embroidery and she washed them a zillion times.  It really kicks your embroidery up a notch too! I outlined the bulbs and then stitched x’s with metallic floss 2 strands for a tiny bit of sparkle. 

Tinting Collage 1-4Tinting Collage 3

After you have finished the project it is time to attach the embroidery header to the body of the sheet. Honestly the best descriptions, diagrams and tips are in the book (and this blog tutorial is already quite long). Read “Finish up” on page 19. It is really easy and works up quite quickly. After you are all done…..send me photos.

PS. Don’t forget all the same practices work for the pillow cases in case you want a smaller project for gifting! You guessed it THE BOOK pgs. 22-25!

See you next Tuesday for the Welcome Christmas stunning quilt. A big show stopper!

Purchase the book on my website www.silverthimblequilt.com

Martingale: www.shopmartingale.com