Kimara's blog

Apple Tree Applique Block


It's fall and that means a trip... nay... many trips to our local apple orchard. Actually, we are very fortunate, in our area there are several apple orchards and cider mills to choose from. My son Drew, and his wife Meghan, moved to Wisconsin a few years ago and have been searching high and low for a true, honest to goodness working cider mill, with pick your own apples, wagon rides, and hot, freshly made donuts, but have yet to find one. But we have them in abundance... and they're close enough to go to for cider and hot donuts... OFTEN! Which, in and of itself is lovely, but a bit problematic to my thighs! Anyway... I could hardly get through the season without sharing a felt applique apple tree. Last year I discovered the embroidery stitch the Woven Spider Wheel, and have used it often for flowers BUT it totally excels as apples! Make sure to "weave tightly" (I went under 26 spokes) and your apple will take on a lovely 3 dimensional look. (BTW... I added grass as an afterthought using 6 strands of floss and a simple straight stitch. You will not see that on the pattern, but easy enough to add if you'd like.)

I wanted to talk just a little bit about the applique blocks in general. I'm always saying they can be enlarged or reduced to meet your needs, but you might wonder what "needs" can I be referring to. Well... the designs in the applique blocks can be utilized in many ways. For example, I used this applique block as the pattern for my Wooden Apple Orchard. (Which I'll be sharing the pattern and a brief how-to next week.) I didn't even have to change the size. But by enlarging or reducing the pattern, or other small modifications like adding a 1/4" seam allowance, they can be turned into many other things. The applique PATTERNS can be made out of cottons and appliqued on clothing or quilts. They can be cut out of wood. They can be made into stencils for your walls. They can be reduced, and cut out of polymer clay for brooches. You can add a back and stuff them for stuffies. They can become stained glass patterns. There are many applications possible.

To help visualize their uses, we are going to do a series of Christmas projects, using the same design in several different ways. We will be using a pine tree applique block and turning it into table decorations, a garland, a wreath and an apron applique. We will even use it to make Christmas cards. So watch for our new design and its many applications.

In the meantime, the Apple Tree Applique Block pattern can be found HERE or in our FREE Applique Patterns. As always, Enjoy, and happy appley fall!  

Mini Braided Rug Fabric

I've had a few people mention the fabric in the rug and I got an email asking me what fabric I used. I almost always make note of the fabrics I'm using, but for some reason I didn't on this one. I bought the fabric at JoAnns. I got it in their holiday designer section. It is a little heavier, a little nicer, than the regular calicoes. (This is 1 of 2 designs I made into napkins for November.) Anyway, here's what the fabric looks like pre rug. Hope that helps. If anyone knows off hand the designer, please share. I know I could come up with it... just don't have the time today!


Mini Braided Rugs

Having a gnome or dollhouse is a great way to make use of those little pieces of fabric that common sense tells us we should pitch. For example... when making my September Rip and Tear Napkins (yes, I've decided to have a stack of 24 rip and tears for each month of the year) I was left with a 2 yard long, 8" wide piece of fabric. I knew I had to be able to re-purpose this left over piece of fabric for something. Well, as soon as I set the gnome house on the dining room table, I thought... they need new rugs. I knew just what I was going to do! Three rips later, a little braiding, a little tacking, and tah dah, a new rug for the gnome house!

Move ahead 3 hours... Michelle shows up at 7:00 p.m. last night. We were going to discuss the children's science program that starts next week. (The grandbabies, along with 3 other families, will be coming over here for a science club once a week. So, with the wee ones safely in daddy's charge, Michelle came over, sans children, because have you ever noticed you can get more accomplished in half an hour without children around than you can in an entire day with?) Anyway... Michelle picks up the little rug I just made. She's looking at it sideways (observing thickness), she's balancing it in one palm (checking for weight I suppose), then she's giving it multi-directional tugs (testing tensile strength???)

"Hey", she says, "You know what would be cool?"

"NO!!!", I'm thinking, I know what's coming next!

"This would make a great rug under my kitchen table. What do you think?"

"I think you're right...a braided rag rug under your table would look great BUT I CAN'T MAKE IT!!!"

It's not often that I refuse to become Michelle's partner in crime. But I really, really, truly cannot take on a project of that magnitude right now. I barely sleep as it is!!! And I don't often say "No" to my children. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But I do believe this would be the proverbial straw!

"I'm not asking you to. I'm just saying..."

Ah, safe for the moment! Anyway... THIS wee little braided rug won't break anyone's back, and can be thrown together in a couple of hours. Directions for this circular Mini Braided Rug can be found HERE or in our FREE Open Patterns. In a couple of days I'll add instructions for turning it into an oval rug, In the meantime, if you think your gnomes will need a little warmth this fall, not to mention a lovely decorating addition, get braiding! Enjoy!

Hmmm... I'm thinking... make them 3 1/2" - 4" wide and they would make perfect coasters!!!

Mini Pumpkin Patch

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. I'm not sure how ours could have been any better! But with the very last hurrah of summer over, we are ready to roll up our sleeves, and seriously ponder autumn! And what could be more autumn than pumpkins? I crafted these little guys to go in our gnomes' pumpkin patch, but they could just as easily go in a dollhouse, or be tucked here and there around your house.

These little cuties can be made out of calico or felt. I've shown the completed pumpkins in both materials. The wool felt pumpkins will be slightly larger since you do not need to turn under a seam, but for the most realistic pumpkin patch, you'll want a variety of colors and fabrics. These range in size from 1 1/2" - 2" but you can enlarge the pattern and put them together in the same way. The technique is easy and suitable for a beginner crafter. So, if you'd like your own Mini Pumpkin Patch you can find it HERE or in our FREE Open Patterns. Enjoy! 

The Gangs All Here!

Just letting everyone know Michelle and I will be "off" this weekend. All 5 of our children will be home, and there will be much merriment ensuing! Adam, from South Carolina, flew in last night, Drew and his wife Meghan will be driving in today, and our youngest, Mike, and his new girlfriend, Katie, who we'll be meeting for the first time (and we can't wait... Fairy wanted to know what she likes to play and if she has pierced ears? What more do you need to know about someone, right?) will be in tomorrow. We'll be having a big picnic here on Sunday with other family members joining us. (I will point out... instead of cleaning this week like I should have, I was busy crafting... not a surprise to my children, that grew up with a mom easily distracted by creative pursuits!) Anyway... we are looking forward to frolicking fun, and hope your families have an equally enjoyable and safe holiday weekend, and we'll be back on Tuesday.

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