Handmade Christmas Victorian Santa Stockings

More Victorian – My sister’s town does a Dickens Christmas event (which I think must be so cool!). Used their “proper names” to go along with the times. I might try to make the exact same set for myself for next year – Love them!

Osnaburg (poor man’s linen, a sturdy 100% cotton) is the base, heavy duty cut away is the stabilizer, Sulky embroidery the threads. Stitching the fabric to stabilizer around the design before embroidering (on my machine it’s “fix”) is something I highly recommend.  You remove the basting stitch when it’s done. The designs are from Embroidery Library  (Victorian Santa and Victorian reindeer 1); the lettering for the name is from my machine (Husqvarna Viking).

Pieces were stocking front and back, cuff, lining front and back. (There are oodles of free stocking patterns on the web if you need one). An upholstery weight micro suede (faux suede) is the cuff with a light Christmas cotton the lining (I didn’t want anything that might show through the osnaburg, light color and light design deliberate for the lining).

Using both red and burgundy lets them tie together their new home color and their existing holiday reds. You’ll note I didn’t want a seam along the “front” stocking edge of the cuff, but used one long piece to wrap around.

Stitched the top inside edge of both the stocking (right sides together) and lining (right sides together), then stitched the cuff (right sides together) to the lining and the cuff to the stocking (right sides together).

Fold lengthwise with right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving a gap large enough for your hand on one of the lining sides. You can see my gap on the calf back.

Pull the stocking through the gap to get it right side out. (Stitchers – are you admiring my collection of embroidery threads in their handy, closable (read dust proof) cases that I pick up on sale (or with coupon) at Joann you get a glimpse of in hte background?)

Then push the lining down into the stocking and allow the cuff to fold  a bit into the lining side as well.

I leave the heavy duty stabilizer in so they’ll hand nicely when empty. I also didn’t stitch the gap in the lining closed – it might be easier a few years from now to press them inside out. If these were for children, I would’ve stitched the gap closed. Next time I’d flare out the stitching for the cuff a tad.

Finger smooth and press the cuff, use an iron to smooth and lightly press the stocking now that it’s right side out. Wrap.

Hoping you’re all having a lovely holiday season! A free stocking pattern is here at Moda Bakeshop. This post is participating in Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou and Metamorphis Monday.

Handcrafted Christmas – Printed Linen Towels

It’s crunch time for crafters and bakers. Have my elf hat on and been busily working and creating these past few weeks – just haven’t written about it here. Packages must arrive and be opened before I can post about them. :-)  First up – decorated holiday towels. I love my embroidery, but some images can take as long as 6 to 8 hours to stitch out (egads), printing to fabric goes much faster. It’s not quite as durable in the long run – but for decorative items will last years (and if you’re wanting to print on a shirt for your child – well, one season with washing plus their growth isn’t bad).

1.    Grab some linen or linen blend fabric, preshrink.

2.   Hem for a towel. (See Loving Linen post for measurements, suppliers, complete details plus care of linen information).

3.   Sew a decorative stitch at hem.

4.   Select an image (web search for copyright free images or check out what folks are posting at Pinterest). I manipulate my images plus text in PowerPoint to place on an 8 ½ X 11 page as I work in PowerPoint a great deal. This particular set used the June Taylor prepared for printing fabric but I have used others.

5.   Print to prepared fabric sheet

6.   Fix image per directions (iron a lot, wet, iron some more).

    a.   Had one sheet run at the wet stage, they all bleed a bit. I iron and let sit overnight before the wet step now.

7.   Stitch your image to the towel.

8.   Create a Merry Christmas patch, fringe around patch and stitch patch to towel. Actually, I glued the patches on with Aleene’s Ok to Wash it Glue and I’m a tad worried as I’ve noticed a few items I glued with this came apart shortly after. Will stitch in the future.

9.   Wrap and send to a lucky gift recipient – isn’t this the cutest addition to a Victorian themed Christmas kitchen?

This post is participating in Sundays in My City. Most posters there are incredible photographers, it’s a fun Linky to visit. I’m also sharing at Rednesday, Today’s Creative Blog, Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios, Linda at Coastal Charm, Beyond the Picket Fence

Labels for the Holiday Mix in a Jar Recipes

Well, like many of you I am swamped with the hours spent at work, holiday gift creating and shopping plus trying to get the home decorated, cards mailed and the blog kept up (whew, tired just thinking about it).  I’ve been promising more on wrap for food gifts and am taking a moment to toss up a PDF file you can download of holiday labels for the recipes in a jar I’ve posted. I’ve added a blank label page as well. They fit easily on any regular mason jar. Ever pragmatic, I prefer the label right on the jar as I’ve received jar gifts (bean soups from the kiddies in kindergarten) where the jar and the tag became separated.  I want the instructions stuck on as the vast majority of my gift recipients truly prefer pragmatism as well.

 A square or circle of cloth or paper over the lid could be the finishing touch instead of a bow. If you want to use the blank labels as lid toppers, just print at 125% – any bigger and you won’t see the label on the jar. For labels on the jars just print at 100%. Stuck on the ribbon for the photo – but in the basket I’m planning full of things, I’d trim the ties up a bit maybe use a deep purple for contrast. I won’t truly decide finishing touches until I have all the items together with the “vessel”.

The pumpkin muffins will be packaged the mix, the small can of pumpkin (I used a purchased cello bag for in the photos above and below) plus a cello bag with the molasses in a 4 ounce jam jar and a packet of cream cheese.  I’ll also include some sourdough in a jam jar with a mix for multigrain or gingerbread waffles and maple syrup (chosen recipe to come), plus the oatmeal tea loaves with the oatmeal mix jars of those as well. So many folks I know work oodles and oodles of hours per week and take off over the holidays. One of the joys of that time is being able to enjoy leisurely breakfasts. So the brunch baskets are always a treat. If I were giving the muffins with extras alone or a two mix jars – a simple hand sewn stocking (or purchased) would be a perfect holder.

I simply used the paper I normally run through my HP printer (Costco or Office Depot stock). Cardstock might be too hard to wrap easily; this label mirrors the Classico sauce label in that it wraps the jar ever so slightly. Brush the back with Modge Podge or something similar and place it on your jar. Really press the edges but be careful not to rub with your fingertip over the indented lettering if your choice of jar has that. I simply used the flat part of an extended finger to smooth and press over that area. I deliberately chose to use regular print, not photo quality and no spraying clear gloss or Modge Podge over the top as I like the handmade non-glossy look and feel of the jars.

The photos are mine on the labels with photos, clip art courtesy of Microsoft Office Clipart download for the labels with clip art. I’ve put links to the recipe on the labels, as with the muffins you’ll find the dry ingredients aren’t included should the recipient want to replicate them. There simply wasn’t enough room. I only ask that if you post your gift with my labels to your blog, you note labels courtesy of http://coedraiocht.wordpress.com  and link to the download on my site – do not copy and upload the PDF files to your site. Of course, don’t sell the labels or add the labels to a collection to sell.  I don’t sell items; I’m simply sharing what I’ve created for my own gifts.  All 3 pages of labels are in the one PDF file.

Jar Mix Label  

This post is participating in linky parties noted below.

Personalizing Gifts: Embroidered Holiday Towels

I do quite a few personalized gifts with my embroidery sewing machine. An easy to follow tutorial for machine embroidering on terrycloth is here at Embroidery Library.  Using a pack of the white Martex hand towels from Costco, I coordinate colors and themes with the bath, kitchen and holiday theme of the gift recipients.

These towels are Retro Christmas Design from Embroidery Library. I’ve debated about adding trim or embroidery to the band but prefer that for folks who grab that towel they have the bottom edge to use.

These were a gift last year for friends who’s holiday decorating colors center on turquoise.  The font is standard with my Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz machine. The snowflakes include Embroidery Designs  Sew Man Star Snowflake, Pinnacle Embroidery Snowflake, and one of the snowflakes is Great Notions  Snowflakes edited to an individual design I could place them where I chose.

These are the microfiber towels you can pick up that are a bit shorter than regular dishtowels. They have a lined border  (to keep the weight similar to the rest of the towel) with a  fabric border from my stash. The design is again the Great Notions Snowflakes from Embroidery Designs –  this time the design “as is”.

This last one didn’t come up as perfectly as I’d like, but to be used as a large basket napkin for a friend who raises chickens it should still do the trick. The fabric is Joann huck toweling, the rik rak Wrights  and the embroidery design Embroidery Library ‘s  Christmas Chickens with the wording of Merry Christmas added by me.

All the items were sewn with Sulky embroidery threads, 40 weight. I download the majority of the designs in HUS format and need to use my software to convert it to my machine’s VP3 format. My suppliers for designs have changed since I first acquired my machine. I started only using MyEmbroideries as that is what was recommended by my vendor (btw – they have a 75% OFF every design sale though Dec 6th – I’ve not seen this level of sale from them ever). Then added others as I found them. I tend to use Embroidery Library the most given their regular sales and vast selection with Urban Threads and Esque for something a tad different. Moose be Stitchin, Zippy Designz and Embroidery Garden all have great “in the hoop” designs to purchase and download at very reasonable pricing – every one of them has stitched out wonderfully for me. I have a few others I’ve found through Yahoo lists that have many sales and freebies. Do check out their landing pages to see Embroidery Garden’s in the hoop Santa Potholder, MooseBeStitchin’s in the hoop Roller Skate Holiday Stockings and Urban Thread’s Gingerbread ornaments (bitten :-)  ). Many of these folks also have Facebook pages or Flickr groups.

Yahoo groups for instruction or sales that I belong to are; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EmbroideryGarden/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BFC-Creations/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/embroiderynetwork/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MachineEmbroideryAdList/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SudberryEmbroidery/

ttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/digitizewithhus/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CompuSewwithJan/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4D_Professional/

 

No Muffintops

When browsing Williams Sonoma a few season’s back, I’d seen this apron.

I immediately fell in love with the simplicity of it. It can be so easy to go for the cute, busy prints offered for the holidays. But this was subdued and I liked that. It wouldn’t be all matchy matchy with other things I use and it wouldn’t clash.  My friends, relatives and I all prefer the full apron without a cinched waist for the simple reason that none of us have the waist to carry that style off.  Half aprons are cute and fast, but as they say of some in skinny jeans, that would result in a muffintop appearance that is a tad unflattering.  My mom used to call it a “potato sack tied in the middle”. Nomenclature changes but the image is the same. The full apron, although not a miracle maker, can mask all those days not spent at the gym with its simple smooth lines (to a certain degree  :-)  ).

I’d been debating about styles to try out and had also saved this picture of an Anthropologie full apron to try although the Williams Sonoma won out. Again, simple and somewhat subdued was the mood I was in when browsing.

Utilized the same pattern I discuss in Apron Redo and line the apron as illustrated in my Halloween version tutorial. Chose the scoop neck over straight and left the bow off the pocket. The ruffle for this one is not from a pattern. It’s simply a long rectangle about 1 1/3 the bottom length of the apron and about 12 inches high. Fabric was JoAnn. The bias trim is Wrights double wide.

I adore how it came out! It’s exactly what I wanted.  Although I was looking for subdued, my sister’s favorite decorating theme is poinsettia and I found this fabric to use for a gift for her, which was also a hit. The Wrights trim in deep green set it off beautifully.

All of us in the U.S. are pushing to get through our Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday so December holiday projects are just starting to appear, more to come.

This post is participating in the linky parties noted below.

Victory in a Jar

I enjoy writing. My days are spent in business where good business writing is concise, clear, three points, short words, never confuse anyone with multi-syllable words, descriptors are clutter to the message and sentences should be short. This is important with global audiences where English is a second language to many. For my blog, I love the freedom of “stream of consciousness” (sounds more intelligent than run on sentences, doesn’t it?) and like to push myself to remember simple things like adjectives and descriptors. When pondering terms to use for this post, antediluvian is what I settled on. It means “from the time before the biblical flood”. Marvelous word – don’t you think? Why is this post antediluvian? Because this post is about Mix in a Jar recipes.

Why victorious for my title? Because this mix in a jar recipe is sheer bliss once it’s made into a loaf. Victory, found what I needed, settled on my “theme” to work up (baskets, various wrapping ideas and the theme with another recipe in a future post; you may want to subscribe so you don’t miss it J  I will tell you that for folks I know, I like to include a baked version, plus the mix for them to make and enjoy again later ). If there were blog police, I think they should go after anyone who posts mix in a jar recipes and hasn’t actually made and eaten them or has not posted pics of the finished cooked/baked product. I want to know there’s firsthand experience and what I’m gifting isn’t some gummy oily monstrosity once baked. So, I’m Maggie and I approve this recipe.

Sunset’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Quick Bread in a Bottle 

My slight variation, substitute some of the white flour with whole wheat and use dried fruit instead of chocolate chips:

Dried Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Quick Bread (or Raisin Walnut)

Layer:

 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries, lightly chopped (or raisins) 

Follow Sunset recipe for wet. For gifts I recommend you add the notation that 1 ½  TBL vinegar added to 1 ½ Cup milk can be substituted for the buttermilk (not everyone you gift may have it handy and although buttermilk would be a smidge better, this will still make a fine loaf). * Since originally posting this, I’ve become a fan of dry buttermilk (once the America’s test kitchen folks gave it their approval, I gave it a go. I now add the buttermilk powder to the dry and the corresponding amount of water to the wet. Follow instructions wiith the brand you get for amounts.

 At first I was very concerned. The batter seemed MUCH looser than most tea breads I make. I was reaching for the flour thinking just another ¼ cup but made myself resist as Sunset is usually pretty reliable. I truly had my doubts when putting these into the oven that they wouldn’t be a bit soggy. No worries – do not give in to the temptation to add flour, it bakes up beautifully.

 

 

As I’m testing out gifts, I thought about making the loaves just a tad easier to wrap by lining the pans with parchment (long side only see photo. I didn’t bother with the pan that was for me). As the cooking sprays come out pretty wet – I usually tip the pans over and let them drain a tad, figure the manufacturer doesn’t want any sticking, thus the heavy hand – I placed the parchment in the wet pan then turned it over so batter side had some of non-stick goo. I also sprinkled the tops with a light dusting of white sugar as I like the little extra crunch it gives the final product.

 

My smaller pans took about 40 minutes (I am in the mountains and seem to have to cook all baked goods a tad longer). 

Jars

I realized I wanted to do another wash of my jars (they’d gotten dusty), so you won’t see mine here. But they are something you can ready ahead of time. A nice add is to check the expiration on the flours you use and note that expiration date on the bottom of your recipe cards.  For jars, I use thoroughly cleaned Classico sauce jars (get the sauce in a 3 pack from Costco).  Yes, linking this post to food sites and I have jars of premade sauce confessed to in it. Just mush a few olives, capers and caper juice into it and it transforms. So, the jars – I like that the Kerr regular lids fit precisely and there are no vendor marks on the jars. You might have to use an adhesive remover to get the labels off. A final run through your hot dishwasher and your jars are probably more sterile than what you buy.  I know some paint and reuse the sauce lids, but new Kerr lids cost virtually nothing and take the package up a notch.

 

Wrap

 Experimenting with wrapping alternatives and found another keeper. These loaves can be boxed in one 8 ½ X 11 sheet of cardstock (U.S. Letter). My example is showing you only the cardstock “plain” (having guests for U.S. Thanksgiving and am not dragging out the Christmas stuff yet). Crafters reading this post will realize the decorating ideas are endless – they include paint (simply sponge or wash your holiday colors over the paper and let dry), rubber stamping, pen and ink, decoupaged tissue, composing whatever combo you like and running your sheet through your printer, purchased cardstock or downloadable sheet images. I used a heavier cardstock and scored all lines using a clean pan as my guide. No tape – the ribbon at the end holds it together. Plan to make and print round labels for the tops (something original like “From Maggie’s Kitchen” in holiday hues). I’ve scanned the folded one so that I can work the pattern in my design programs.

         

 Special thank you to ‘SnoWhite’ for featuring this post on her blog.

This post is participating in the linky parties noted below.

Loving Linen

Making your own linen guest towels is pretty fast and easy if you sew anything at all. And that’s splendid as I love linen. Love the look, love the feel, love working with it.

I know I’ve mentioned that I often rely on Napkins Online from eBay rather than sewing out mitered cornered napkins – but hey  – at about $1.50 each it’s worth it if I have a bunch (sets of 12) to make given I like the whole mitered corner thing. Four or 6 double sided napkins with cute rik rak, aka the Halloween ones I discussed with tutorials here, yield very satisfying high speed results. Linen mitered corner napkins in larger numbers lose their appeal quickly.  Not so the linen towels. You’re not burning your fingertips trying to press and miter really small hems. And, two make a very nice gift. Keep your regular bath towels out but make 2 guest towels in coordinating colors to place over them for your holiday of choice.

Pretty much, I pick up my linen at JoAnn on sale. The folks over at Martha Stewart Living had recommended Gray Line Fabrics in one of their articles and I keep them bookmarked in case I need a color I can’t find locally. They have a wonderful selection and reasonable prices.

 

I simply cut rectangles 25 inches by 15 inches. First press the hems – I like to use a stiff piece of cardboard as a guide, for those in the U.S. priority mail envelopes have a nice edge to help with straight hems. First, press all around less than a ¼ inch. Then make a second pass. Finished side hems are about ¼ inch, back hem about ½ inch and front hem 1 ½ inch. Decorate to your liking. Machine embroider, hand embroider, stitch rick rak, trims or fabric strips across or appliqué with either iron on or stitching. The one thing to keep in mind is that linen really only looks good if you iron it while damp – it can be difficult to get crisp looking otherwise.

I’d purchased some linen guest towels here and they’re fine -literally and figuratively (she’s a popular seller). My Nice / Naughty stitching actually poked a hole through the purchased towel when stitching out the poinsettia (i.e. the fine notation). For my handcrafted linen towels I use a bit sturdier linen so I have more design choice in machine embroidery I’ve used JoAnn’s 100% linen (note the linked linen is 53 inches wide), not a handkerchief linen which would be too fine. You could go with linen look (55% linen, 45% rayon) or craft some very inexpensively using “poor man’s linen”, osnaburg (100% cotton), if you prefer. I’ve decided I like my handcrafted better then the “for sale hemstitch”. If you like the look of hemstitch but want to make towels, check out the fancy stitches on your machine. You may find you like an airy, feathering stitch along the hemline just as well.

 Always prewash and dry (low if linen, high for cottons). If you machine stitch items that later shrink, you’ll end up with something that’s only good as a rag – it will never look good again (picture a scrunched up embroidery design that never flattens out). For this reason be careful when purchasing items to embroider. I’d bought some cotton waffle weave that shrank terribly. I was a tad forewarned as the site said wash cool lay flat – but I don’t know anyone I could gift waffle weave cotton dish towels who would not throw them in the washer and dryer so I bought a few as an experiment. I was surprised to find someone was actually selling cotton dishtowels that couldn’t go in the dryer to crafters as embroidery blanks. They are now with my rags, luckily I didn’t embroider with them first. I can understand with linen, but cotton waffle weave? I only hope crafters reselling these didn’t lose their reputation and customers. Not pre-washing keeps that crisp, new look. But it can bite you later. Always pre-wash. Starch after if you like and want a crisp new look. (aside: I did email the seller, saying the warning was there so I didn’t want a refund but it wasn’t big and could cost customers – I noticed they came off the site’s offerings).

I use various shades of linen above are 2 in the “natural” look. The runner they are sitting on is linen yardage from Ikea (seemed to be a summer product only).

The Dove towel stitched out beautifully. The Peace on the right I’d edited by removing the dove and added the word peace. My machine then had problems stitching it out (no stop from green to red on 2 of the poinsettias that you can see). When machine embroidery fouls up – it can be nasty. Nests of threads knotted together on the underside, can poke big holes, and worse. My first machine had a ton of problems (and these puppies can be expensive). The retailer finally swapped it for a different new one and it’s been clear sailing since, but at first it was way too finicky and unpredictable.

The designs on the towels I’m displaying are: Embroidery Library Watercolor Maple Leaves and Embroidery Library Victorian Christmas Dove. I usually edit the colors to suit me better. The Nice, Naughty I’d put together with my font program. I have so many small holiday designs I’m not sure where those particular poinsettia and mistletoe came from.

If you don’t want to “sew your own” Dharma trading has very reasonably priced linen runners (and  Napkins Online has linen cotton blend runners). For something different in hand embroidery designs, check out Sublime Stitching or Urban Threads. Using trims, fabrics and appliqué on your guest towels is as limitless as your imagination.

This post is participating in the linky parties noted below.

Bond, James Bond

Thought I’d post about a few miscellaneous machine embroidery projects. For those without an embroidery machine but with a basic understanding of sewing and an imagination for adding your own embroidery, appliqués or image transfer designs – this post will still have some ideas for you.  I’d mentioned early on in this blog that I’d been searching out non-vendor blogs related to machine embroidery and coming up empty. So, I’m on a mission to highlight a few more projects.  The starring role today goes to Milo.  Sis takes care of mom (monumental task) and likes dressing her pooch, so sis gets the goods she likes from lil ol’ seamstress me.

This first design is an “in the hoop” project from Moose Be Stitchin.  It’s a casing for the collar with a simple triangular bib, embroidered “buttons” and a bow tie you hand stitch on.  Very easy, fast, oh so cute on and pretty much easy for the pooch to wear.  We call it “Bond, James Bond”.

This shot is a sewn and not embroidered at all (in case some of you stitchers are still with me) dog bandana with Happy Birthday embroidered kitchen towel (it does match the apron sis also received). The Happy Birthday design is Embroidery Library (you’ll see their name popping up a lot as they have good pricing and consistent sales with fantastic pricing  – if you’re an embroiderer, sign up for their Christmas Club plus Happy Hour Fridays to get truly tempting prices coming to your inbox).

As long as I’m discussing Embroidery Library, here are cupcake napkins that go with the whole birthday/cupcake theme for sis. I prefer cotton or linen hemstitch (I get mine on eBay from Napkins Online) but sis has her hands full and requires no-iron polyester.  The cotton and linen, though lovely, must be ironed when damp to look good. I’d sewn some solid ones to decorate, but at $1.50 each decided I’d rather start with the eBay hemstitched ones then toil with my iron and machine carefully making mitered corner napkins.

Another, “probably easy to replicate with a tad of thought” project is the Zippy Designz duster made from your fleece scraps (fits 99cent store duster or Swifter handles).  Don’t want to step on Carolyn at Zippy’s toes so won’t give pics or details, but you just need 3 rows of stitching to hold this together and you have a green, washable, re-usable duster that gets in crooks, crannies and all around those books. I’ve whipped up a bunch. They also make pretty good cat toys if your kitties chase your dusting activities the way mine do (not the vase, no … L).

With fall holiday season opening up to full swing, it’s time to bake those warm goodies to share at gatherings with friends and family. I was always finding myself rushing off with casseroles or baked goods fresh from the oven, wrapped in towels to not burn me or the car seat. Time for the age old classic – a casserole cover.  Now some lovely patterns call for such a nice handle – Beware.  I know someone who actually carried the casserole by the handle, which, of course tipped, swayed and dumped said casserole on the pavement (they were lucky it didn’t happen inside the car, eeewwww). Save yourself and appointed casserole carrying helpers the temptation of using that handle. A simple slide-in case that you carry is the best all around bet and simpler to sew.

 

Embroidery Library showcased a project (here) where the stitcher simply took two quilted placements, sewed them together leaving one end open and placed a nice big button and buttonhole on the open end. I like the look of the scalloped placemat edges. You don’t have to add a design with some of the lovely patterned placemats available. I made an extra large case for my extra large casserole by simply starting with some cotton pre-quilted solid fabric. The design is lettering is from my Husqvarna Viking Topaz with an edited combo of Embroidery Library’s border from their chocolate pack and Embroidery Design.com’s Machine Embroidery Designs cupcake.  (Embroidery Designs.com carries multiple vendors).  I made the bias trim from fabric in my stash.  Always make an easily washable casserole cover as some drips/spills and food smudges should be expected. I’ve picked up a bunch of placemats with these on my Christmas to do list.  No worries – I haven’t yet hooked gift exchanging friends and family to this blog just so I can write about the crafting here without ruining any surprises. Those of you who do stitch can imagine how fast the placemat version of these carriers goes together.  Besides, how better to showcase those fancy buttons you pick up at quilt shows or create from Fimo?

I’ll close with another doggie project.  This for close friends who acquired a Rottweiler while living in South Africa. They are now crazy about her. Their gift was pillow covers in their guest room colors. My friend helped me pick the right Rottweiler design (this is Embroidery Library but Embroidery Designs.com has a bunch, a lot of their obviously males) and match the thread colors to her dog so this would be personalized and correct.

With Christmas wish lists begun, if any of you have questions about machine embroidery –I’ll be happy to answer what I can.