Friday

Tissue Paper Pumpkins - Fresh Living

This is my first blog post since the fires came to our mountain home.  We are so thankful to be back in our home, with all of our neighbors and friends close by.  If you follow me on Instagram you know the story of how close these fierce flames came and how the prayers of many changed hearts and allowed us all to see a true miracle.   I will write more about it soon.  


We missed a four weeks of fall in our home with the evacuations and are getting caught up on our pumpkin addictions.  One of the prettiest pumpkins in our home is the collection of Tissue Paper Pumpkins.  I love these pumpkins because they are low cost to make, and are so pretty with the variety of prints and colors.  They look like hand painted pumpkins you would purchase in a high-end boutique....but you made them for dollars.

To make these Tissue Paper Pumpkins you will need:

Plastic Pumpkins
White Chalk Paint
Knife
Patterned Tissue Paper
Mode Podge
Chip Brushes
Scissors
Glue Gun
Disposable Table Covering


I purchased my plastic pumpkins on discount at our local dollar store.  Some of them had solid stems which I cut off using a knife.  Some of the smaller ones had stems that would pop off with hand pressure.  Either way, you will want to remove the stem and set it aside until later.



If there was any stem coloring on the pumpkin body or if I used a orange pumpkin, I painted it white with Chalk Paint.  You want a white surface so the tissue paper pattern shows well.

Let's talk tissue paper while your paint is drying.  I love beautiful patterns and colors and especially in delicate papers.  The tissue papers I purchased from Amazon were part of a wildflower collection in the previous link.  You can find any kind of patterned tissue paper, however, you do pay for quality when you pay a little more.  Meaning, the colors do not bleed and the paper is a little thicker which works great for this craft.


Fold the paper into a square and cut the open edge in a curve to create a circle.  Lay the circle over the top of the pumpkin and make sure it reaches about 3/4 of the way down the pumpkin.  The smaller the pumpkin the smaller the circle.  The larger the pumpkin the larger the circle will be.  Cut two circles.  


Using Modge Podge Matte and a chip brush, lightly coat the top of the pumpkin down about 3/4 of the way.  Carefully place the tissue paper circle over the top of the coated pumpkin and begin smoothing and folding the paper to the pumpkin.


Make folds or tucks where the ridges are on the pumpkin and lightly press the paper down to the surface.  Go all the way around pressing the paper down.  



At this point you will tip the pumpkin upside down and repeat the coating of the pumpkin down to the edge of the top piece.  Take your second tissue paper circle and eyeball the size from the point of the fold and the bottom of the pumpkin to the edge of the top piece that is already glued on.  Trim in a curve to create a smaller circle.


Place this smaller circle down on the bottom and fold and smooth it out as you did to the top piece.  Once it is stuck down.  Coat the entire tissue paper covered pumpkin in Modge Podge to seal the paper.  Let dry for 4 to 5 hours.  Using hot glue, adhere the stem to the top of the pumpkin and let dry.


These gorgeous pumpkins can be used in floral arrangements, on candle sticks, in baskets, etc.  Anywhere you want a fall touch of color.  Keep them up throughout the holiday season...I know I will!


You can watch the KUTV Fresh Living segment today at 1:00 PM to see how these are made.  I hope you enjoy this project.  It takes a gentle touch, but no mistaking these pumpkins are tough but pretty and will last for years to come.

Thursday

Kaleidoscope of Fabrics Quilt

One of my favorite quilts of all time was this super simple Kaleidoscope of Fabrics Quilt that I made with my daughter.  She loved boho florals and did not want them cut up into little pieces.  All she wanted was them framed so each block print stood out.  Most of us have a collection of prints we just can't think of cutting up, and this simple and quick quilt if the perfect pattern to show case them.  It is also a super simple quilt for beginners!


 This quilt only took two hours to make (minus the shopping and machine quilting)...and is so easy that anyone could make it.  It is a throw size (64 x 85)...perfect for a bench, couch, or corner of a bed.

Materials

12 fat quarters
1 3/4 of fabric for sashing (borders)
5 yards for the back &
3/4 for the binding
Cotton batting (twin size)
Thread, rotary cutter, mat, ruler, iron

Instructions

1.  Trim all of the fat quarters to 18 inches square using you rotary cutter, mat and ruler.  Press.

2.  To make the sashing (in-between borders), cut 15 strips of fabric 3 1/2 inches wide.  Then cut across four of the strips to make eight pieces that are 3 1/2 x 18 inches wide.

3.  Cut three of the long strips in half and sew five of the half pieces to the ends of five strips to make  five strips that are 3 1/2 x 59 inches long.

4.  Cut one more strip in half and sew each half-piece to the ends of two strips to make the side borders.

5.  Press all of the strips.

6.  Lay out all of the 18" squares on a floor or large surface in the pattern you would like.  

7.  Using a 1/4" seam, sew one 18" long sashing strip to the side of the top left block square (right sides together).  Press.

8.  With right sides together again...sew the next block square to the other side of the 18" strip.  Press.

9.  Continue this process until all four of your rows are stitched together.

10.  Then you will take the top row and carefully pin one of the 59" long strips to the bottom of the row (right sides together) and using a 1/4" inch seam, stitch it together.  Press. 

11.  Sew the row together using the remaining 59" sashing strips.

12.  After the rows are sewn together you will pin the top border and bottom border to the top and bottom rows and sew together.  Press.

13.  Lay out the remaining two long strips onto the quilt top and pin to the top (right sides together).  Make sure the seams in the border strips are laying where you want them to.  Trim off any of then excess border...and stitch together.  Press.  Hurrah...you quilt top if now done!!!

14.  Measure the baking fabric and seam it together to cover the edges of the top of the quilt.  Make sure you leave 3 to four inches all the way around for your machine quilter to use in her quilting process.  

15.  Iron the top, and back using a spray starch for a little stiffness.  This will help the quilter as well.

To finish the quilt either machine quilt it or enjoy the process of slow stitching it together.   I had a dear friend quilt mine with an all over floral pattern that matched the flowers in the block squares.  A special polka-dot block had a heart stitched into it.  

16.  Once you have it quilted, you will want to bind it.  Cut eight strips 2 1/2 inches wide for your binding.  You can find instructional videos on binding techniques on the web....maybe I will need to make one myself.


This darling quilt was made with love for your daughter and has been shared with her family and friends on picnic, beaches visits, and whenever a warm "hug" from home was needed.  It was so easy to make it is the perfect quilt to make as a gift.  So find your favorite collection of fat quarters and start sewing your own Kaleidoscope of fabrics into a quilt of your own.

Happy Barn Quilt Anniversary

Today is kind of a special day here at Tweetle Dee.  It is our three year Barn Quilt Anniversary!  Three years of painting and teaching this folk art beauty, and many, many others.  We totaled our barn quilts that we have painted and it is over 3 thousand!!!!  That doesn't count all of the supplies and patterns that have gone to our amazing crafting people.
To say we feel very blessed is an understatement!  

Our First Published Barn Quilt & Elsie and Ollie
To celebrate we are giving you the special code to our Anniversary Sale for the rest of August!  Shhh...it is BQAnniversary.  Don't pass it on, no wait....pass it on!!!  We want everyone to celebrate this month!!!  

 The First Tweetle Dee Barn Quilt

So, get yourself a big glass of punch (or Spiked Diet Coke) and a cupcake and celebrate this anniversary with us!  Seriously, we are so grateful to all of you for the love and support these past few years.  We cherish the friendships we have made along the way and look forward to many more of these experiences as we continue to grow.  



Our All Time Best Selling Barn Quilt - The Texas Star

So remember BQAnniversary is the code and we are celebrating until the end of the month!  We love you all.  xoxo Abby & Mike



Wednesday

Barn Quilt Pumpkins




Our newest collections of pumpkins are in The Shop and oh man are they so cute!  You all know how much we love fall and the rich colors of the season, and these pumpkins fill my pumpkin dreams right up.  There are three different patterns, the Sawtooth, Rhodie, and the Checkered Star.  Each of them come with a barn nail stem loaded with berries and bows.


Barn Quilt Pumpkin Collection



Checkered Star Barn Quilt Pumpkin




Sawtooth Barn Quilt Pumpkin



Rhodie Star Barn Quilt Pumpkin

We are having a holiday pre-sale in The Shop through Monday with every holiday item in the shop 20% off!  Use code Holiday20 at checkout.  Our Barn Quilt Pumpkins are ready to go and we can't wait to share them with you.  It's pumpkin time!!!


Monday

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Oh heavens, it's National Ice Cream month and we had to celebrate with a birthday last night by making our family's Chocolate Chip recipe and a big scoop of ice cream!  This cookie recipe has been passed down in our family and is my go to when I need to make either a ton of cookies or really large ones.  It has this magical quality of being perfectly firm on the outside and soft on the inside...and they never fall apart!  They are the perfect cookies for placing a big scoop of your favorite ice cream on!!!

Lyke Family Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups oats
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tbl. baking powder
2 tbl. baking soda
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 8 oz. chocolate candy bar, grated
3 cups of chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter with sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla to mixture and beat well.  Grind oats in blender until powdery.  Stir in flour, oats, salt, baking powder and soda into batter gradually.  Add chocolate chips and grated chocolate into batter.  Add nuts if desired.  

Form batter into golfball-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minuets.   Take out of oven and let rest on hot tray until cooled.  

We have a new young friend staying with us  for a while who is from Australia and he said that they never had cake for birthdays, but they had a big tub of ice cream...with candles!  So we made up these big cookies and sang happy birthday to him with a huge scoop of chocolate chip goodness.  

You can make these ahead and place the ice cream in between the cookies and place in the freezer until it's time to serve them.  This recipe made about 24 ice cream sandwiches!  Seriously...it was the best for a summer birthday night in the garden.

Friday

Belle Prairie Botanical Embroidery Collection

Be still my heart!  I am so in love with the Belle Prairie Collection and the meaning behind all of the flowers that I can't wait to share them with you.  We designed the Belle Prairie Barn Quilt with each block having a flower that was on the prairie.  When we were traveling last year through my grandmother's beloved prairie's we found a garden that had a plaque listing the wildflowers of the prairie and how they were given between friends and loved ones in times of joy and sorrow.  

I was so moved by this garden and our time there on my ancestors land that we decided to make 2018 our Belle Prairie year and one of my favorite parts of this collection are the Botanical Embroidery patterns and kits!



I drew these patterns to look like the old wall paper botanical drawings my grandparents had in their library.  I wanted a black background to resemble the style of the old black paper photo albums that we would collect and press wildflowers into.  I used a variety of flosses for the stitching to give it an aged non-commercial look and kept the stitches farily simple like the strokes of a pencil.





I have six more in the works for a total of twelve, and a spectacular collaboration garden embroidery pattern that will be out very soon.  My goal is to create a new Belle Prairie Botanical Quilt for fall.  Of course the pattern and kits will be in The Shop as soon as they are finished.  

These first six patterns and kits are in The Shop now!!!  They can be purchased as stand alone patterns or in kits.  The white frames are also available.  Everything in our shop is 30% off through Monday as our Summer Sale winds down.  Use code SUMMER to get the discount.  

I hope you love these as much as we do.  I walk into my sewing room everyday and look at the wall with them on it and sigh...like I'm somehow transported to that magical evening on the prairie.  I wish I could take you all there with me!!!



Monday

BeaUtahful Map DIY Project

One of our favorite DIY Projects has been our fabric map of the United States and our Utah State Map!  With all the places we travel it means even more as we see the collage of colorful fabrics come together.  We live in a great place, the entire country is filled with beauty and our little state of Utah celebrates its beginnings tomorrow.  Here in Utah we often say BEA-Utahful to describe out state so I am re-posting this project as a free download for anyone who wants a quick and fun project to celebrate where we live.


Materials to Gather

Wood Board Cut to Desired Size
Matte Finish Modge Podge (Lots of it)
Foam Brushes
Background Fabric to Cover the Board
Lots of Fabric Scraps for the different States


The first thing I did was Modge Podge some old burlap onto the front of the wood and I let that sit for 24 hours.  It hardens up the fabric and dried clear.  

(To print the map template right click on the image 
and save to take to your local copy store.)
Next I took the map of the USA to my copy store and had them blow it up to the size I needed to fit my board.  It was pretty cheap.  I recommend getting two copies.  One to cut the states out of and one to reference during the project.  It's especially helpful when you get the the itty bitty states.  I had them print one on card stock so it would be easy to cut apart and trace around.

Next I took my a sharpie marker (light colored) and traced the outline of the US map onto the burlap covered board to make sure I had the outer states in just the right place.



Once my outer line was traced, I started cutting out the states.  I did them one at a time starting with Texas. I traced the individual states onto scarps of fabric using the Frixon pen from Pilot.  I LOVE this pen for anything on fabric because it disappears with heat and gives you a great fine line.  

When you cut out the states, it is helpful to cut 1/8 inch larger than the state template.  This allows for a little overlap and play just in case your lines don't perfectly line up.

Once your state is cut out, dab a generous amount of Modge Podge on the background fabric where the state will go and lay your state on top.  Smooth it out with your fingers or the brush and then gently brush over the fabric state with more Modge Podge.  This will glue the state to the background and seal it too.

When you are finished with all your states...seal it off with one final coat of Modge Podge and it is ready to hang!


For those of us that live in Utah, I put together a pattern to celebrate our state...especially since this week is our state holiday!  Just print out the template...use the same techniques to adhere the fabrics to the backing of a 8" x 10" frame insert and walla...you have a state map too.  It took me about 30 minutes to finish this project...so it's totally possible to finish before the celebrating begins!


(To print the map template right click on the image 
and save to take to your local copy store.)


These projects were super fun to do with my family and I hope you have been inspired to raid your fabric stash too and have a little summer fun with your kiddos too.  Happy 24th BeaUtahful!!!!  We love you xoxo

Friday

Walking Tacos - Fresh Living

We just arrived back from Minnesota where we were introduced to one of their cultural favorite foods, the Walking Taco.  In our neck of the woods we call them "Wacos"  because we love combining cool names, which is exactly what these tacos are...all good things in a simple fabulous main dish!

A Walking Taco or Waco is a deconstructed taco that is eaten out of a container.  For our Fresh Living segment we used simple chip bags as the outer shell or container, but I have seen all kinds of disposable paper containers used.  Don't you just love a food with no rules?


You can use lots of different meats and toppings, and make them as fancy or as simple as you like.  I've seen them made up for weddings as fish tacos or for game nights with a chill bar complete with tons of toppings.  You can be as creative as you want.  When we ate them in Minneapolis they served them with beef taco meat and it was delicious!!!  I love lean meats so I am going to share my two favorites, Mexican One-Pot Chicken or South of the Border Turkey Skillet.  

 But first, here are the steps for making a fabulous "Waco"...

  • Choose a bag of chips and cut the bag open across the side to create a pocket.
  • Crunch the chips into nice bite size pieces.
  • Add your choice of taco meats.  
  • Layer with cheese, lettuce, cilantro, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, or any other toppings you love.
  • Squeeze a little lime wedge over the top.
  • Add a plastic fork...and go!


Mexican One Pot Chicken

2 to 3 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken
Large Jar of Salsa of your Choice
1 Can of Pinto or Kidney Beans
1 Can of Corn
1 Can of Coke
1/2 Teas. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs.Taco Seasoning
1 Teas. Ground Cumin
A Bunch of Cilantro, Chopped
2 Limes


Place chicken to the slow cooker.   Add the salsa, beans, corn, and half a can of coke and seasonings.  Set slow cooker of high and let cook for 4 to 6 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Using two forks, pull the meat apart into shredded pieces and stir the mixture together.  Add the fresh cilantro and squeeze the juice of the limes over the top.

This recipe is so very simple in a slow cooker.  If you don't have a slow cooker you can combine all of the ingredients in a roaster oven or dutch oven and cook over low heat until chicken if tender and ready to pull apart.  

This is my favorite chicken to make for large parties, camping, or weekly dinners.  It feed a ton and is fabulous in Mexican style salads, on top of flat tortillas, or in tacos!  With one scoop you get your beans, corn, and sauce.  It is fabulous.


 South of the Border Turkey Skillet


2 to 3 Lbs of Fresh Ground Turkey
Olive Oil
1 Can of Corn
1 Can of Kidney Beans
2 Limes
1 Large Onion Chopped
 2 Cups of Pico de Gaio
A Bunch of Cilantro, Chopped
Taco Seasoning

Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet.  Add the chopped onion, ground turkey and taco seasoning.  Saute until onions are beginning to heat through or turn translucent.  Add the Pico, corn, and beans.  Finish cooking all the ingredients together until the meat is done.  Add the lime juice and cilantro and toss together. 

It is ready to serve.  This is a great meat for someone who really loves the texture of ground meats in their tacos but wants a lighter option...and wow is it fabulous!
Now that I have shared my two favorite meats for tacos, and you know you can use all kinds of chips (Doritos are our favorites)  you can add all the toppings you want and have your Walking Taco ready to go.  The best part of this meal is it's simplicity from beginning to end.  The meats are made ahead, the toppings set out and the clean up is super easy with everything being tossed in the trash.  No plates needed.  

We hope you enjoy this Mid-West favorite as much as we did and catch the Fresh Living segment by following the link.  Enjoy!

Framed Over Barn Quilts

You know how there are just some days that you are super duper excited and you can't hold it in?  Well, today is one of those for me!  I am so excited to share with you the first three of our "framed over" barn quilt and a brand new design, the Blue Belle Wildflower Barn Quilt!


Blue Belle Wildflower Barn Quilt


We got the idea to frame our solid wood planked barn quilts while teaching our Summer Tweetle Dee Workshop, when one of our students asked if we could frame their 44" barn quilt before they left.  Of course we could since the shop is right there and we love doing new things.  Well friends, the results were amazing!!!  So, we decided then and there to begin framing over many of our most popular barn quilts.  They took a great design to vavoom!!!


 Swiss Cross Barn Quilt

We have the brand new Blue Belle Wildflower Barn Quilt, the Framed Over Texas Star and our favorite Swiss Cross available in The SHOP with limited quantities.  Each piece is hand drawn on our signature solid wood planks, each color is hand painted and perfectly distressed and then the boards is sealed, signed, and dated.  No two are ever alike!


Framed Over Texas Star

Aren't they gorgeous?  Seriously amazing!  To make this new release even better, we are extending our Summer Sale through the end of July with 30% off all orders.  After the 30th we will be closing the shop for some big changes coming to Tweetle Dee which we are sooo excited about and you will be too!  I promise.  So, don't miss this sale!!!  We added many of our favorite fall barn quilts as well, which is awesome, right?  

Remember to use code SUMMER and we hope you grab these before they are gone!  Have a great weekend and see you in LA this week for a bunch of classes!


Tuesday

Tis a Gift to Be Free Hoop Art Pattern

Happy 4th of July!  I can't believe we are already celebrating the red, white and blue.  This is one of my favorite holidays because of the family celebrations I remember with our family on the farm in New York.  We would get together at the cottage on the lake and swim or fish...a little canoeing happened too.  A great picnic with potato salad (my favorite), rhubarb pie, and Grandma Brown's baked beans (thick and sweet).  We finished the night with fireworks over the water and a drive to the town firework show.  Lots of laughter and tons of fireflies....oh summer!
Those memories of my summers at the lake with family are about as simple as you could imagine.  I think if we could film them in the Kodachrome colors they would be called pure Americana.  I feel lucky and very blessed to have the heritage I have and to remember my ancestors who came as pilgrims, Palentines's and immigrants to this country because they had a hope of something better for themselves and their posterity.   It was their gift to us that we can be free.  

I created this hoop-art embroidery Tis a Gift to Be Free as a free downloadable pattern for you to stitch an enjoy.  The words come from an old Shaker hymn, which happens to be one of my favorite songs to play and sing.   The materials for this project are super simple to pick up.

Tis a Gift to be Free Hoop-Art Embroidery Pattern

 8 or 9" Wood Embroidery Hoop
10" Square of Chambray Blue Fabric
10" Square of Cotton Batting
DMC Floss 
Needle
Scissors 
Frixion Pen or Sulky Paper Sulvy

1.  Click on image below and enlarge to the size you want.  Print on home printer on paper or if you are using the Sulky Paper Sulvy, print the design off onto the paper.  

2.  Transfer design onto fabric using a Frixion Pen and a light table OR trim the Sulky Paper sheet to the desired size and stick to fabric.

3.  Layer the fabric onto the cotton batting and place in hoop.  Remember to tighten the screws and stretch the fabric to be "drum tight".

4.  Begin Stitching...

       Ecru - Back Stitch all lettering.  Star Stitch three stars.
       #3820 - Back Stitch flagpole, star, beehive, and Cross Stitch x's inside hive.
       #321 - Back Stitch lines on flag.  Star Stitch two stars.
       #799 - Back Stitch square inside flag and Cross Stitch "stars" inside.  Star                            stitch three stars.

5.  If using the Sulky Paper Sulvy, lightly rinse transfer away with cool water.  Let dry.  If using a Frixion pen, steam the lines off and let cool.

6.  Stretch back into hoop and enjoy!  Remember we now have our Hoop Art Box Frames that would be darling to display this stitch in.  

We wish you all a happy 4th of July and to celebrate we are giving FREE SHIPPING on all order through July 10th in Our Shop!  Use code FREEGIFT and everything you order has free shipping...seriously,  even the big babies!  We hope you have a great time with your family and friends and thank your stars for the gift of freedom.  Happy Independence Day!!!

 
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