I’m Laura, owner of Appleberry Cottage. I love to share my primitive stitchery, primitive punch needle, hand crafted folk art, and heirloom crocheted baby afghans with you.
When I'm not crafting, I'm mom to 4 kids: Andrew, Matt, Rachel (17 yrs old), and James (12 yrs old).
Yesterday I went to pick up my new toy! I saw an ad on craigslist for a sewing machine, and the person was nice enough to hold it for a week until the weather cleared up. It was a gorgeous day to take a drive north of the border ~ to Wisconsin, that is. I am now the excited owner of a previously loved Husqvarna Viking Lily 550 sewing machine! I had to sit and figure out how to use it last night. My old Bernette didn't have electronics, buttons, or anything fancy. It took some reading the manual, testing, and experimenting, but I figured out how to thread, wind the bobbin, and do some stitches. I still need to figure out the programming of multiple stitches. I am amazed at how smoothly it sews. I tried going from 2 to 8 layers of cotton fabrics ~ not a problem for this machine. My son even commented on how quietly it ran. Now to finish the log cabin quilt I started. I don't think I will be hand quilting it ~ I'll be using my new Viking!
On the way back home, had to stop at the Mars Cheese Castle. When I was younger, it was just a store front. It's now an actual castle. Inside is chesee ~ lots and lots of cheese. Bought some butterkase cheese and a loaf of cheese bread from their bakery. Yum!
I'm off to play with my new toy! If anyone has any links for ideas of combining decorative stitches for borders, please let me know. ~*~ Laura ~*~
I have this newly finished punch needle Santa listed on Ebay. The listing ends on Friday ~ just in time to get it in the mail for Christmas.
The one on the left is the item on Ebay. The Santa on the right is the same pattern that I did last year (for myself). It's a pattern ~Winter Night ~ that my daughter and I created. (she drew, I revised it, and then selected colors, floss, and punched it) The one on the right I did the background sky with Valdani hand dyed thread. It had shades of soft black and grey. I punched doing an outline around the trees, moon, and Santa. The piece on the left the sky was punched using DMC floss. I don't like using just plain colors (too flat looking). I blended 2 strands of black, with 1 strand of a brownish grey. It give a different look ~ more of a tweed. But, it's a fun way to get an overdyed look without using overdyed floss. I did the trees the same way (but using lots of different combinations of green/tan), as well as the snow. So, if you're doing punch needle, I hope this inspires you to try experimenting! ~*~ Laura ~*~
I have 12 snow angel ornies that are for sale * mixed media. I will sell them individually, so that you can choose how many you would like. They are sewn from cotton batting, have hand sewn beaded eyes and buttons. Each has a hand stitched carrot nose, blushed cheeks, and rusty wire arms and halo. The scarf is an over dyed plaid cotton flannel. The wings are paper glued to card stock, and aged with walnut ink to appear like an antique dictionary. All the wings are on the "snow" page of the dictionary. A clear fish line hanger is attached to each. I will wrap each ornie in a cello bag tied with curling ribbon ~ ready for gift giving!
I have the link to paypal below. If you prefer to contact me first and have me send an invoice, I would be happy to do that. Shipping will be via USPS.
Another update ~ all sold!
My quilt is all pin basted together. I'm planning on hand quilting it, and just got some thread yesterday.
My youngest is the newest kid in the family to get braces. Just the top so far. The bottom ones to come at a later time.
Just finished listed a whole lot of stuff on Ebay. One of the items is this set of 3 snowmen with stars.
I also listed a set of 3 of these snow angel ornies. I still have the other 3. If you are interested in a set of 3, email me at appleberrycottage.hotmail.com . They are $4.25 each plus shipping. Made from cotton batting, hand sewn beads for buttons and eyes, hand stitched nose, rusty wire arms and halo, and a "dictionary page" (aged with walnut ink) wings. Each snow angel has been lightly aged with walnut ink. Each has a clear fish line hanger.
My 1/4" quilting foot arrived. But, it did work on my machine ~ an old Bernette 330. It snapped on, just like any other foot, but my machine kept unthreading while it was on (yep, I was using good thread). After some observing it while it was unthreading, I noticed the needle slightly hit the back of the foot, but not enough to make a noise or break the needle. Determined to make it work, I used dremel type tool to make the hole in the foot larger. It now works! How did I ever survive without one of these feet? It's SO much easier to get even seams with this foot. Guess my old Bernette is too old to have too many new feet.
I finished piecing the top, but still need to add borders. The pattern calls for just one border, but I might add another one.
While using the jelly roll, some of the pieces were cut off pattern. This one shows the brown/ecru print. I used the 1/4" seam, but the fabric print is over 1/2" off from one side to another. There's not enough leftover fabric to use, so I'm just going to have to leave it as is. I think for any patterned fabric I will use my own cut fabric so that I can be cut on grain/pattern in the future.
I'm keeping mental notes of things that would be nice in a new machine. One is the quilting foot. But, my machine gets stuck when going from 2 layers of fabric to 6 (when going over seams). It would be nice to get one of the feet that combines the 1/4" seams with an even feed. I didn't even know they made them, until I wanted to combine the 2 feet that I have. I started looking at machine accys online, and found they make what I wanted.
The next decision will be to machine quilt or hand quilt. I am not an expert at the free motion machine quilting. I love to look of hand quilting, but don't know what pattern to quilt. I think I'll hit the library for some books for ideas.
I went to my local quilt shop yesterday and chose some Moda fabric for the quilt. I found this Moda jelly roll in shades of blue, brown, and cream. The red fabric is for the center blocks and stars.
The cutting took no time at all, since the 2 1/2 strips were already cut. The hardest part was diving the fabric into dark/lights. Then laying out the 16 squares and using different fabrics in each square. I tried to vary large and small prints, and get different colors in each. Since the jelly roll had all different fabrics, it's going to be a very scrappy looking quilt.
I haven't sewn a quilt in quite a few years. I've always tried to get even edges, but haven't succeeded. So, I just ordered a new 1/4" quilt foot for my sewing machine. For $6, it's worth a try. Now to wait for it to arrive in the mail this week. :)
I dyed up some wool in a pumpkin color to use in my mat.
The photo makes it look more spotted than it is. I'm not sure I like some of the darker navy in the plaid. I haven't finished the edges yet, so there's still time to re-hook certain sections if I decide to get ambitious.
A quick photo of the back.
I think my next project will be a quilt. I haven't done one in a long time. My youngest boy wants a log cabin pattern. Ok, he really didn't say log cabin pattern, but a quilt with the squares going around. I found this pattern with hidden stars. No to find some red, tan, and blue fabrics ~ the colors he chose.
Last night I was at the computer when I heard the whoosh of a hot air balloon. I ran outside and got this photo from the driveway. The weather has been SO perfect around here ~ great night for a balloon ride.
It's Christmas in July! I listed some holiday items last Sunday evening on Ebay. Hop on over to my listings to check them out. I have the set of 3 Santa ornies, this candle mat below, as well as some baby afghans.
I started a small fall pumpkin mat. I just finished the background today. Just need more orange wool to finish the pumpkin. It's 8x8, so it's a small, beginner mat. I might try selling a couple patterns or kits on Ebay. But first, I have to get this one done.
Earlier in the week I completed this snowman pillow. I had the wool stitchery front sitting in a drawer, and just didn't know how I wanted to finish it.
Then I saw this piece of black plaid wool in my stash, and it caught my eye. Perfect for the backing of a pillow! I used some primitive stitching on the edges, and stuffed it with wool snippets.
The next project to complete are these cross stitch pieces. I'm thinking of making them into mini pillows ~ similar to the one above.
I haven't bought a sewing machine (no money ~another unexpected car repair~ gotta love older vehicles!). I did start looking on Ebay to see what used ones sell for. That got me into Joann's to look at new Viking machines. Gee, if I bought a new machine for myself, my old one could go to my sister. (she doesn't sew much) Guess I better save up~ the ones I like are $$$ !
I've finished several items during the 4th of July weekend. I created and finished a set of 3 snow angel bowl fillers. The wings are an aged Let it Snow music sheet.
I've been working on many snow angel ornies. 30 of them are for an order. The remaining 6 will be up for auction. The wings on these are an aged dictionary copy (with the page for "snow", of course)
I finished another baby afghan in white. The ivory one I finished a while ago. They will be on Ebay in the future.
I almost finished a set of 3 Santa wool applique ornies. I need to add the hemp cord hanger, then add some mica flakes to add a vintage sparkle. Yet another future Ebay item.
Since I had a long weekend (yipee!) I went to the Kane County Flea Market. It was crowded, and hot. I had fun browsing, but really wasn't looking for anything in particular. I went to have fun looking. I did manage to find some skeleton keys ~ already rusted. :) They will be nice for hanging on punch needle projects.
I still have a few unfinished projects that I would like to complete. Seems like once I get one done, I want to get more completed.
If anyone has connections for obtaining a used sewing machine, please let me know. I have an old Bernette 330, which still works. My sister lost her sewing machine, and all supplies in a flood last week. I started looking on Ebay to see what used Bernettes, Viking, Pfaff machines go for. She doesn't need anything fancy, just a basic machine.
Well, a finished hooked pumpkin mat. I bound the edges using strips of the background wool.
A birthday party for my dad and my youngest, James.
James got a Tribble for his birthday. And the fur trapper hat (I know ~ perfect for summer!)
Some senior portrait proofs.
I thought I would be able to sleep in a bit this summer, as I don't have to get up for school (just my job). But, Andrew took a summer job working landscaping. He has to be there at 7am. Since we only have 2 vehicles, I drive him to work.
I haven't time to do much crafting, but need to make some time to make some items. I have an idea of a few Christmas in July items to put on Ebay. We'll see how much I get done.
I finished hooking my little pumpkin mat! It measures 11 3/4" x 8", and was done in a #6 cut. (I figured a 6 would be easier for beginners to start with) The colors are more muted in person, but I had to use a flash to get a quick photo. For the wing, I ended up choosing a black/brown/with a hint of blue wool texture. It blends in, but yet is different from the body. Much nicer than the gray wing I had first hooked. (I really like having a stash of wool for those situations) Now to decide how to finish it. Cording? What color to whip stitch over the cording? Add a hooked border of 1-2 rows around the edges to set it off more? I'll have to play around and see what I like.
Well, it's been a couple months since I last blogged. I'm still working full time, which is really a change for me. It's been harder than I thought to go from an overactive/sensory kindergarten classroom to a very quiet office. Then add learning a new job, more computer skills, etc. Let's say it's been challenging. There have been days where I have second thoughts about changing jobs ( I loved being a kindergarten aide, it just didn't pay), until I get a paycheck every 2 weeks. Somehow that paycheck really helps.
I have been working on a small hooked mat for the fall. I will be teaching a beginning/introduction to rug hooking in the fall. I drew up this pumpkin and decided to see what it looks like. I'm still playing around with the wing of the bird. The grey is too light. I don't know if I'll keep the wing, or take it out. I tried to keep the design simple, not a lot of colors/wool to buy for the students. If you have any thoughts, please let me know. Is it to challenging for a beginner? Trying to work around the curves? Although I found it was easier to bind an oval compared to a small square mat.
I did manage to crochet a baby afghan and sell it on Ebay in the past month. I'm almost finished with another one, but in ivory. It's so easy to transport, so I can work on it at lunch.
Last week I made a ruffled scarf for Rachel. It's made from Sachey yarn. It would be fun to make in them in school colors for the fall.
In April, Andrew had his Eagle Court of Honor, where he received his Eagle Scout Award. We originally thought that maybe we would have 40-50 people. Nope. We had over 80 people come to see him get his award!
Last weekend Rachel and I went to do a little geocaching. We're new to it, so it takes us a while to navigate and locate the cache. Along the way, she spotted this little garden snake on the path.
We did manage to find the cache in the dead tree. It's a fun activity, especially before all the bugs come out in the summer.
I'll try to update more often. (hey, I don't get paid to blog, so there's no incentive!) I do try to read and browse other blogs. I still have to have my craft eye candy. :)
What have I been up to? Well, I've been slowly working on my newest rug. I started the leaves first. I'm not sure that I like them, especially the bottom ones. A little too zig zaggy for me. I might try to round them more like the upper left one. Of course, the flash seems to really hi-light the colors, as they aren't this bright. I'll keep working on it, get to a few more sections, as see how I like it. At least it's easy to re-hook.
Last weekend I had the honor or attending a harpsicord recital. He was nominated for a Grammy for his latest CD this year. I went to school from kindergarten through high school with him. It's fun to see where life leads others.
My life will be taking a different direction this week. Two weeks ago I received a job offer. I'll be working full time, as in 40 hours a week. (something I haven't done in 18 years) I, sadly, had to put my notice in at school. Friday was my last day. I start my new job as a customer service representative on Monday. I hope I like it and can quickly learn a new business. I'm also happy that I get to leave the kids at school with a new aide that I recommended, and was just hired.
I'm wondering if I'll be able to do any crafting during lunch time. I'll get an hour for lunch at the new job. It's right by the mall, which can be dangerous. But, I might be able to relax and stitch something. I'll have to look for a small, quiet project to put in my purse this week. I know punch needle could drive others crazy with the sound, and rug hooking is too big to bring along. Maybe some cross stitch or a penny rug? Hmmmm... I'll have to search through my piles of supplies to see what I have!