Saturday

Twelve Days of Giving - Christmas Eve Delivery

The best part of the holidays is the gift of giving & we have been so blessed this year by all of you that we wanted to give each of you a gift.  If you are following me on Facebook or Instagram you know we have been giving away one gift each day, but today's gift is for everyone!  I wanted to share the free download for our Christmas Eve Delivery Pillow which also comes with the template for our Holly and Ivy Pillow.  We wish you the happiest of holidays and happy stitching! 

It's time to begin decking the halls and one of my favorite quick projects for adding a big pop of color and warmth are wool appliqued pillows.  If you can cut, glue and go up and down with a needle you can make these!  I have three patterns for you, Swiss Cross, Holly and Ivy, and Christmas Eve Special Delivery.



DIY Wool Christmas Pillows

I have three patterns for you to choose from...or you can make all three!  For these pillows you will need - 
  • 1 yard of wool felt per pillow
  • 16 " pillow form
  • scraps of wool 
  • pom poms for the wreath pillow
  • needle and embroidery hoop
  • scissors
  • fabric marker for tracing
  • embroidery floss to match your wool
  • Aleen's No-Sew Fabric Glue
  • free downloadable pattern from TD Christmas Wool Pillow Pattern Templates

Christmas Eve Delivery Wool Applique Pillow

The first step to making these pillows is of course to gather your wool scraps and cut out the pieces.  I use a fabric marker to trace out my pattern on the wool.  If you are tracing a directional piece such as the truck you will need to trace it in reverse so the most colorful side of the wool shows.  To get the template pieces for these three pillows click on the link above.

Once your templates are cut out you need to place them on the pillow cover.  To make the pillow cover cut a wide strip of the wool 17" wide by 36" long.  This will make a envelope style pillow cover with no need for a zipper or button.  This type of pillow cover works especially great for heavy fabrics such as wool.  Lay your pillow form in the middle of the strip to see where your front borders will be and mark with pins. 


Now it's time to adhere your wool scraps to the pillow front.  Turn your pillow cover right side up and center your design pieces in the marked off front square according to the pattern.  Turn the pieces wrong side up and glue a small strip of Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue about 1/4" from the edges and glue onto the pillow background where it belongs. Lightly press into the fabric and let dry.  Continue with the rest of the pieces.


To stitch down the edges of the wool felt pieces, you take a coordinating embroidery floss and stitch a simple tack stitch all the way around.  Your stitches should be about a half inch apart.  Tack down all the edges.  Now let's make the pillow....


To make the pillow cover cut a wide strip of the wool 17" wide by 36" long.  This will make a envelope style pillow cover with no need for a zipper or button.  This type of pillow cover works especially great for heavy fabrics such as wool.  



Fold the left over fabric over the back and pin or clip down wrong sides out.  You can either hand-stitch the sides together or use your trusty sewing machine to make a running stitch up the sides about a 1/4 inch from the edge.  Sew all the way up both sides and turn right side out.  Your pillow cover is now done!  Stuff with your pillow form and fluff.


To make the wreath pillow you will need a 1/4 yard of two different green wool scraps to give a contrast.  Once the front square of my pillow cover was marked, I found a small round salad plate and marked a circle to use as a template for my leaves.  After cutting all of the leaves out, I took them to my sewing machine and using a bright green thread, I stitched a vein into each one.  Then I layered them in different directions and glued them down.  I glued the pom-poms on with Aileen's Fabric Glue as well.


In total these three pillows (Swiss Cross, Holly and Ivy, and Christmas Eve Delivery) took about two hours to put together.  I had my kiddos help glue the pieces on and stitch down the edges.  I like getting them involved with decorating for the holidays.  If you have any questions about these pillows, send me an email and I'll be happy to answer them!  

I hope you have a fun stitching these together and go follow the Twelve Days of Giving on Instagram and Facebook for even more fun and giveaways.  Happy Holidays!!!



Thursday

Happy National Hot Cocoa Day

A few years ago I had a winter wedding for my son and you can't have a winter wedding without a hot cocoa bar.  As I was searching for something fun to add to the bar,  I found a recipe for a rich fudgy treat called Hot-Cocoa on a Stick.  Turns out it was so easy to make and made the richest hot chocolate I'd ever had.  (Ok...I admit I added more than one "stick" to my cup, but that's how I like it!) 

It's basically a thick rich square of chocolate, like a piece of smooth rich fudge and after playing around with several different kinds of recipes...I have found my favorite. I love the plain chocolate, but you can change it up by adding different flavorings such as hazelnut, mint, or irish cream.  However you like your hot cocoa...there is a Hot Cocoa on a Stick for you!


Hot Cocoa on a Stick

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
One 14 ounce Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 Cups of Dark or Milk Chocolate Chips
4 Ounce Bar of Unsweetened Chocolate , Shaved
Vanilla or Flavoring of Choice
Wooden Sticks or Lollipop Sticks
8" x 8" Pan Lined with Parchment Paper

Heat the cream and sweetened condensed milk in a pan over medium heat stirring occasionally until it begins steaming.  Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes, then place back on the medium to low heat and whisk until the chocolate is completely smooth and silky.  Add flavoring of your choice.

Pour chocolate into parchment lined pan.  Spread as level as possible and let sit for 10 to 12 hours.

Remove chocolate from pan and place upside down on a cutting board.  Using a long thin knife cut the chocolate blocks into 1" square pieces.  Tip - Heat the knife in hot water and dry before every few cuts to get a smooth line.  

To finish off your Hot Cocoa on a Stick, add marshmallows, Swedish pearl sugar, crushed peppermints, candies or any other treat you like in your cocoa.  Add a stick or wooden spoon to the top and dust the bottom of each piece with a little cocoa powder.   I like to place the squares in mini-cupcake wrappers to keep them protected. 

These Hot Cocoa on a Stick squares make great gifts too.  Just wrap them in cellophane bags and tie off with a ribbon and they are ready to go.  This recipe makes 36 squares.

To use your hot cocoa on a stick, heat warm milk and cream at a ratio of 3 to 1 and stir until melted!  One stick will be good for 6 to 8 ounces of hot cocoa. You can make these treats ahead of time and refrigerate for up to two weeks.  

To top off the perfect cup of cocoa you have to have whipped cream and marshmallows and why settle for store bought marshmallows when you can make your own.  There are a lot of things I skimp on but homemade marshmallows are too easy and yummy...and fun to make with kids.  I am sharing the Barefoot Contessa Homemade Marshmallows recipe.  I promise they are worth it!


May your holiday be cups be overflowing with chocolate cheer!!!

Tuesday

Evergreen Wreath Wire Embroidery

Our newest Wire Box Embroidery is here!  We are so in love with this little Evergreen Wreath stitched onto our smallest frame.  It is so simple and sweet!  For the first time ever in Tweetle Dee history we are offering already stitched hoops.  Yes, this means you can purchase one of these already made and ready to love.


We also have kits for these little wreaths which include, the frame, wool yarn, sparkly floss, scissors, needles, and instructions as well as links to our Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel where you can watch how to stitch on our wire embroidery frames.  

To make this even sweeter, our Holiday Sale is going through December 1st with 25% off all orders with code HOLIDAY.   We have you covered whether you want to order on already to love or want to stitch one or two up yourself.  We hope you love these little bits of holiday greenery that will never fade.



Friday

In All Things Give Thanks

New to Our Shop today is our sweet little hoop-art embroidery pattern called In All Things Give Thanks.  It is a fun little 5 " hoop with lots of color, charm and easy stitches.  Our sample was stitched on an old piece of cloth from my husband's grandmother's stash.  It can be stitches on colored cotton or linen.


I love the combination of x's and dashes which make up this little piece that has a big message for all of us!  In All Things Give Thanks...no matter what you are going through, where you are in life, or how bad things seem to be there is always something to give thanks for.  What is such a sweet gift is that when we give thanks even in the most trying times, our hearts heal a little and it's like we are given more than we received.  

I hope you enjoy stitching this little darling.  The pattern is in the shop and through November 11th everything in The Shop is 20% off with discount code: Holiday.  Have a wonderful fall weekend and express thanks for something awesome in your life too!  


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!  Being on the plains with the grasses blowing and the flowers tucked between their amber blades, I felt for a brief moment that connection to my past, with the women of that land.   My grandmother told stories of it's beauty, which I never quite understood being from the gorgeous rolling hills of upstate New York.  That evening on the plains, I felt it and understood why their friendships and dedications to each other and family was such a gift to them and to me.


Forget Me Knot
Remembrance

Behind me was the cemetery where my great-grandparents and their parents were buried.  In front of me was the land they homesteaded on faith and prayers, with not much else to call their own.  You could tell it was there land being from New York, because is a sea of nothing but grasses as far as your eyes could stretch, their plat was surrounded by large green trees.  It was their hope, planting trees.  Trees take forever to grow, almost as if they planted them for us to know they once loved that flat piece of land.  

I stayed on that dirt road until the sun went down and the crickets began to sing.  Years of stories came alive and will stay in my heart.  These twelve flowers were all they had to give each other as the nearest florist was hundreds of miles away in the big city.  Each with a cherished meaning and a simple beauty.

I designed 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 fairly simple like the strokes of a pencil.



Queen Anne's Lace 
Devotion


Rue Anomie
I'm Sorry


Wild Clover
Faith, Hope, Love & a Little Luck


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 with all twelve prints.  

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, but until then I share the Belle Prairie Flowers from one friend to another.
 
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