December. My favorite month of the year. A time to celebrate.
When I was a little girl, I remember believing anything that was good was going to happen to me in December.
That’s not to say that the rest of the year was bad at all, but December! December held my birthday AND Christmas AND snow, and well, that’s quite a bit for one little month to contain without bursting.
December was full of parties, and heavy snowfalls, and treats, and music, and baking. So, so, much baking.
Did I ever tell you about the year I made over 2000 sheets of gingerbread with my Grandfather?
We should talk about that sometime.
Then, I grew up, and married a man who celebrates Hanukkah. And so we celebrate that too.
My December got even more full of twinkle lights and magic.
Celebrate, lovelies. Whatever fills your heart to bursting. Celebrate that.
Cut the following:
(1) 6 1/2” linen square
(2) 6” x 1 1/2” strips
(2) 8” x 1 1/2” strips
Trace letters onto fuse able web, adhere to back of letter fabric, and cut out.
Fold linen square in half both ways and press lightly so you can see the middle lines. Use these as guides to lay out the letters. Iron on, and then stitch around. Square up to 6” square, centering the letters.
Stitch (1) 6” strip to left and right of block. Press toward strips.
Stitch (1) 8” strip to top and bottom of block. Press toward strips.
Using the pattern provided, paper piece (2) side blocks (C & D), and (2) top/bottom blocks (A & B).
Stitch left paper pieced block (D) to the left of center block, making sure the arrows are pointing up. Press toward center.
Stitch right paper pieced block (C) to the right side of center block, making sure arrows are pointing down. Press toward center.Stitch top paper pieced block (A) to top of center, making sure arrows point to the right. Press toward center.
Stitch bottom paper pieced block (B)to bottom of center, making sure arrows point to the left. Press toward center.
Download paper piecing templates and appliqué letters here.
You can’t help but be grateful when surrounded by abundance. But what about when you’re surrounded by sadness? Or heartache? Or loneliness?
Gratitude, to me, is a living, breathing thing. It can literally bring life to barren places. Fill the holes in our emotional buckets.
Counting blessings in the middle of emotional turmoil might be cliche–but I’ve often suspected that cliches are overused for a reason.
Counting blessings in the middle of happiness and wholeness, makes the moment that much sweeter.
And then of course, the act of sharing gratitude–giving thanks–expressing our appreciation to those, divine or otherwise, who have facilitated, is the capstone of it all.
Thank you. I don’t know what makes people come to my little corner of the internet, and be so kind and encouraging–but thank you. I adore sharing a little part of my world with you.
Cut the following:
(1) 7″ square linen
(2) 2” x 6 1/2” strips (navy)
(4) 2” x 9 1/2” strips (green)
(2) 2” x 12 1/2” strips (navy)
Trace the embroidery pattern on the center of the linen square. Stitch as desired. I used a running stitch for the design, and a backstitch for the word.
Square up to 6 1/2” square, centering the embroidery.
Stitch (1) 2” x 6 1/2” strip to each side of embroidered piece, pressing seams toward strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 9 1/2” strip to top and bottom of block, pressing toward green strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 9 1/2” strip to left and right of block, pressing toward green strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 12 1/2” strip to top and bottom of block, pressing toward navy strips.
Download the embroidery pattern, here.
October. The beginning of the magical holiday season, here in my neck of the woods.
As a child, October 1st signaled this thing, this almost tangible shift in the air of anticipation, and surprises, and things out of the ordinary, sure to delight.
As a mama, that’s how I want my children to feel–and I do my darndest to create that magic in our home, in our lives, in our traditions.
We say farewell to the summer with a bonfire at the equinox, and we begin plotting and planning and decorating for the festivities to come.
We create reasons to spend time together, to make and do together.
In the end, much of the magic is created by Mama (and Daddy too) being a little more in the moment, a little more willing to do those things that are less than convenient.
I believe, after all, that we are all Creators, for sure.
Plus, I like the title. Mom: Creator of Magic.
Make some magic, friends.
The instructions on this block are quick and simple, kids.
Use the paper piecing pattern to make 4 quarter blocks. (I made mine with (not very pretty) Y seams, and thought you’d like this way better. :)
Stitch quarter blocks together to make a full block. Press seams open to reduce bulk where you will appliqué.
Trace appliqué words on to fuse able interfacing, adhere to wrong side of fabric, and cut out.
Iron on letters, then stitch around.
Download the paper piecing pattern here.
My favorite flowers are Dahlias–I love the intricate petals, the density of the booms, and the symmetry of nature. Seriously, I could stare at them for hours.
Almost like a mini version of Dahlias, I also love fall mums. Mine start blooming in full right around the end of August, and last until the frost does them in in November or so.
I love how they start blooming right when the other flowers start quitting, giving up because of the slight chill in the air.
That’s how I want to be. I want to bloom, even when things aren’t perfect–in fact, I’d like to bloom because I’ve decided that anytime is the perfect time.
Bloom where (and when) you’re planted, chickadees.
Cut the following:
(5) dresden wedges
(1) of each template echo (A, B, and C)**
(1) 12 1/2” linen square
**You may choose to cut these pieces out using fuse able web, as they will be raw edge appliquéd to the final block. I chose to cut them without webbing to avoid stiffness in the block, and just used temporary fabric glue to affix them prior to sewing. Also–I cut out my “Echo” pieces freehand to match my dresden points and valleys exactly…but I figured telling you to freehand it would probably stress some people out. So, there are templates. If you need to adjust them to match up with your individual wedges, by all means, go ahead. :)
Fold the wedge pieces lengthwise, right sides together.
Stitch along both the top and bottom edge. clip the inside corners, being careful to avoid the stitches.
Turn the pieces right side out, flattening the stitched edges to make a point on both ends. Press.
Stitch the wedge pieces together by putting right sides together along the long edges. Press seams open or to one side.
Temporarily affix or lay out echo pieces on the block.
Begin with Echo C,
then Echo B,
then Echo A.
Place partial dresden on the top. Temporarily glue or pin pieces in place.
Stitch the pieces in place, using a 1/16” topstitch. I chose to do a 2nd stitch on the dresdens, 1/8” away from the first stitches.
Trace (or eyeball :) the swirls coming from the flower, and stitch them using a running stitch.
Trace the word “BLOOM” and stitch using a backstitch.
Download the template pieces and embroidery pattern, here.