Thursday

Project Deconstruct with Prairie Paints by Tweetle Dee

 We are freshly back from our southern classes and our super fun Fresh Living segment on KUTV this morning where we were able to give a sneak peek of our new paint line...yes, I said paints!  We have been working on this for about a year now and are so excited to have our colors ready and trials finished and now we get to share them with you.  


We looked into paint suppliers to help us with our barn quilt needs, which anyone who has taken one of my classes knows you need a thick paint with optimal coverage & a paint that works well with distressing and finishing techniques to allow the natural beauty of the wood to come out and enhance the good stuff!  

Prairie Paints by Tweetle Dee are chalk and clay based paints in our signature colors.  We use these colors in all of our barn quilts, and furniture that we repurpose.  So many of you have asked over the past few years for our colors because you want to the aged look that we custom mix.  Now with Prairie Paints you will be able to get our colors exactly the way we finish them from the beginning.   Our line will release June 1st!


While we were in the south we stopped into a small antiques shop and found a darling chair that would be perfect to paint and show a few techniques for how to deconstruct a piece of furniture.  It was sturdy and comfortable and just the right size to sneak into my van along with a chicken nesting box that I was not going to leave behind!


Along the way we were going to deconstruct it, but the huge tornadoes going across the south made it a little difficult to work a chair, so we began yesterday morning by removing the upholstery (carefully)!  Whenever you deconstruct a piece you want to peel back the layers softly to let out the underneath beauty without destroying it.  So, my favorite tools for removing fabric is a thin screwdriver and plyers.



It takes a little patience, but it isn't hard at all.  In fact, pulling nails and staples is relaxing!  Underneath the cover fabric, we found this beautiful mesh of ticking tape and tufted threads.  I knew I wanted to keep them!  So, we trimmed off everything else and left the back in tack...no pun intended!


If you go to Kutv Fresh Living you can watch today's segment where I showed a few tips on how to remove fabric and fill holes.   You can use simple painters fill in the holes you want covered.  Some holes are fine to leave showing as they lend character to the piece, but there will be hundreds of holes.  So you will want to fill some of them.  Let the putty dry and then lightly sand.

Once it is sanded, then you can choose your favorite Prairie Paint color and paint away.  For our Deconstructed Chair, we used the Milk House White.  It is the softest warm white and looks like fresh cream.  (You will want to drink it!)  A couple of coats, let dry, and lightly sand the edges, seal with our finishing oil and you are ready to cover with lined or whatever specialty fabrics you want.


The fabrics we choose were drop cloth linen and a feed sack burlap piece that I found in one of our local antique shops.  We hand stitches the cushion leaving the burlap and springs visible on the bottom and used a staple gun to secure the feed sack to the back.  We choose to cover the staples with thick twine like we did on the sofa (see previous posts).


I hope to bump into you at all the antique shops and flea markets looking for fabulous pieces to turn from old and dusty to farmhouse darling!  Enter to win a crate of our new Prairie Paints by Tweetle Dee by going to our Facebook or Instagram page and commenting on your favorite color.  Then, tag or share with a friend.  The winner will be announced on Monday!




Monday

Hippity Hoppity Spring Shop Sale

 This is the week of our annual Hippity Hoppity Spring Shop Sale!  There is so much new here which echoes the new flowers, chicks and fun on the mountain.  We have new barn quilts, patterns, kits and...oh that new Rosalyn's Garden Ribbon Embroidery!  This week save 20% on all orders in The Shop.    



Garden Blessings Barn Quilt



Rosalyn's Garden Ribbon Embroidery Kit


All Seasons Garden Angel



Little Thistle Wildflower Embroidery Kit



Dutch Girl Barn Quilt


Pretty Poppy Barn Quilt Set

We are busting out the spring colors and want to share them with you.  Go to The Shop and choose your favorite things whether they be thread or paint....ready to love or one of our DIY kits for you to make yourself!  Have a Hippity Hoppity Spring week!

Thursday

Flourish Wildflower - Peony

Wait!  March isn't over yet is it?  Oh heavens no!  It can't be over without the Flourish Wildflower March release!  If you haven't heard, we had a new baby in the family and a lot of out of town family here to celebrate so I am a little behind on getting this gorgeous flower out to you.  Believe me, it is worth the wait.

The Flourish Wildflower for March is the Peony.  Yes, they grow in the wild and are so beautiful in our tended gardens too.  Did you know the meaning of the Peony is luck?  Yes, like in good fortune and all things yummy to life.  So, I choose the Peony not only because it is one of my favorite flowers with all its pink ruffly gorgeousness, but it represented what we all hope for in March...a little luck!


Wild Peony Flourish Wildflower - March

This may be one of the easiest flowers to embroider too.  I will be posting a You Tube Video shortly with a how to use floss to "paint" a flower so follow the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel and watch for the video.  In the meantime, print off the peony flower by right clicking on the photo and select the print option.  Size it as you wish and transfer it onto your fabric.


Wild Peony Pattern by Tweetle Dee

I have had a few of you ask what fabric I used for the monthly Flourish background.  I used a light weight chambray that I found at the fabric section at Joann's.  It wasn't expensive and is light weight enough to stitch through and to transfer the design to.  You will want three pinks that are similar in color and tone for this flower and a light yellow for the french knot centers.



Wild Peony Pattern Download

After transferring the image to your fabric, use a light brown to Stem Stitch the stem.  Use two greens and the Woven Leaf Stitch to complete the leaves.  See the You Tube Channel for how to's on each of these stitches.  

To complete the flower I began straight Satin Stitching the darkest color onto petals and then added the medium pink and then the light for shading.  It is a random technique much like watercolor painting.  You add a little here and there to create the effect.  The lines on the petal drawing are to indicate the direction of the stitches.


I hope you enjoy this gorgeous flower and the fun of painting with thread!  Go watch the video for sure and remember a little luck comes with each stitch!


Friday

DIY Wool Mobiles - Fresh Living

Today on Fresh Living we talked about how to make DIY Wool Mobiles!  Typically these hanging pieces of art are used to decorate baby nurseries, but they are perfect for older "children" of all ages.  My favorite part of designing these mobiles was creating the theme for each one.  


The first thing you will want to do is come up with a concept, whether it is baby moons or a fairy garden, or a woodland theme, you will want an idea of what you want theme you are going for before you head to your craft shop.  


The materials are very basic for this project.  You need to begin with a hoop to hang your items from.  I used basic wood embroidery hoops (the inside hoop) for the base for all three of these mobiles.  The Woodland Mobile is made with an oval embroidery hoop, cut in half that we drilled small holes into and strung together.


You will also want string to hang it from the ceiling and also to hang your items from.  You can use any decorative string like.  For the Moon Mobile and the Woodland Mobile I used bakers string that I found in the scrapbook section of Hobby Lobby.  For the Fairy Flower Mobile, I used heavy embroidery thread in green of course, to look like a part of the vines.

To suspend your hoop, tie four equal lengths of sting to the 12, 3, 6 & 9 positions of your hoop.  Bring all of the pieces up to the top.  Lie the hoop on a flat surface and make sure your strings are equal and the hoop in flat.  Tie a knot in the top of the four strings and loop the knot over and tie again to create a loop to hang it by.  If you want a string in the middle of your hoop to hang something from, cut a long length of string and add it to the four suspension strings when making the knot.  


The other elements of the mobiles are totally up to your imagination.  I used wool felt, wool balls, pre-cut wood pieces, pom-poms, and cotton poofs....oh and a few little bees and butterflies.  You could hang whatever you like.  I do recommend using light weight items so your mobile isn't too heavy and will move in the air.  All of the items on these three mobiles were purchased at Hobby Lobby for under $24.00.


The templates for the flowers, leaves, mountains, stars, and moon will be available in my weekly newsletter on Monday.  To subscribe to the newsletter, go to the top of my blog sidebar and join our mailing list!  

I hope you enjoyed today's Fresh Living and got a little inspiration for how to make these one of a kind pieces.  They would make fabulous baby gifts and of course your older little ones too!

Monday

USU Textile and Clothing Conference

This past week I was so thrilled to be the keynote speaker and teacher at the USU Textile and Clothing Conference held at Thanksgiving Point.  This is my second year teaching at this conference and I love it.  What is unique about this conference is that it is for teachers who want to learn new techniques and ideas on how to help their students use their creativity in building future businesses.  Seriously though, is there anything better than helping those who help our youth?  I can't think of much more than that!


They asked me to speak on how my business began and how we maintain the balance between home and work as well as tips for using creativity to earn a living.  I felt so honored to be asked to speak to a packed room of educators on something I love and feel very blessed to be able to do each day.  

As a side note, I did confess to being one of the worst students ever in school....although I did graduate at the top of my class.  I was so bad at sitting still in class, I drove them all crazy...and may or may not have put a tack or two on my teacher's chair.
 

After the morning of sharing, we broke up to teach my favorite How to Paint a Quilt class using Deco Art fabulous new product So Soft Fabric Paint.  We painted our quilt blocks onto fabric and then finished our frames while paint dried.



After the paint had dried, we had a lesson on Sashiko hand stitching and made darling little quilted hoops while practicing some stitching.  I wore my favorite Sashiko stitched jeans and we all enjoyed our time with needles and thread in hand.  I will be posting tutorials soon for this fun stitching technique on our Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel, so go subscribe if you haven't already!


In the afternoon we had two full classes of our Little Rose Wire Embroidery and loved every second of it!  So many roses and so many colors.  It was amazing to see those who had never embroidered enjoy learning traditional embroidery stitches in a new and fun way.


I have to thank USU for inviting me to spend the day with them!  I truly love sharing and hopefully inspiring other to try new things and embrace the spark of creativity we each have.  

Friday

Little Cabin on the Prairie

Happy March friends.   We have been waiting for this day for quite awhile now,  so excited to share the Moonbeams & Cabin Dreams Block of the Month's first block!  This collection was inspired by my Great Great Grandparent's stories on the plains of the Midwest as they traveled west on the Oregon Trail, served as missionaries to the homesteaders on the plains, and lived their lives in faith and love.


Little Cabin on the Prairie Barn Quilt

I learned their stories from my Grandmother and research into the books and stories published telling their story.  If you didn't know that about me, I too love family history and research.  So, as we travel to workshops and classes we stop along the way and become detectives to learn even more than we could have through the passed on and down stories.  
Their story touched my heart deeply and I felt a deep connection to them.  The tributes recorded of their service to Prairie Homesteaders and Native Americans have inspired me to give more of myself.  

My hope in designing these blocks is that each one and the accompanying story will touch your heart as well.  The first block is the Little Cabin on the Prairie.  It is designed to look like the traditional cabin quilt block, but the inset square is a very fancy Log Cabin quilt block with loads of color!  (Of course, it was designed by me.)  It is a simple pattern to paint and even more to love.

Moonbeams & Cabin Dreams Barn Quilt Collection

We are offering this block as a Ready-To-Hang and Ready-To-Paint barn quilt.  To order the block already painted and sealed for indoor or outdoor use, go to The Shop and place you order.  Optional frame available too!

The Ready-To-Paint Kit comes with a 24" ready to paint barn quilt board, a pattern, instruction, color guide, and the story of the block!  We will be posting a video tutorial on the You Tube Channel for each block where you can watch how to draw and paint the blocks in the collection.


I hope you fall in love with these colorful story blocks.  Even if you choose to paint a few of them and not the entire collection, each and every block is a fabulous barn quilt to enjoy.  Through Monday we have our 30% sale!  Use Code NEWSLETTERFRIENDS to save big on this Little Cabin on the Prairie. 


Thursday

Flourishing Floral Embroidery - Jan & Feb

This is the year to "Flourish" and we are so in love with these Flourish Floral wildflowers!  These are simple traditional embroidery patterns that are free for you to download and enjoy.  Each one has a special meaning and goes with the month it is shared.


If you want to follow along with me as I stitch them, I will share the floss numbers and stitches.  I am stitching mine onto a 18" stained wood quilting hop on chambray.  I divided the circle into 12 "pie" shapes for each flower to nestle in.  In the center I embroidered a Woven Rose and some simple vines to tie the sections together.

The two months I have for you to start are January and February.  The January flower is the Daisy.  The Daisy symbolizes hope, which I think we all need to start off a new year.  Hope for all good things to come our way!  Right?  To download the picture, right click over the image and print.  


Flourish Floral - Daisy & Hope



To transfer onto the fabric, use a Pilot Frixion Pen or a pencil to trace the design to the fabric.  If you need a few pointers go over to the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel and watch the short video on how to transfer a design to fabric.

The stitches for the Daisy are the Stem Stitch, Satin Stitch and French Knot.  All of these stitches are on the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel.


The Flourishing Floral Wildflower for February is the Bachelor Button which symbolizes love.  I loved the story of this flower where it was worn by bachelors who were looking for love or who had found a sweetheart and were in the courting phase.  If the flower drooped then the relationship was losing life.  I found it amusing to think of a town of young men walking around wearing this flower hoping to find love.


Flourish Floral - Bachelor Buttons & Love
The stitches for this flower are the Stem Stitch, the Satin Stitch and a large Lazy Daisy.  I used Wonderfill's Eleganza twisted floss for these petals to give them extra fullness with the Lazy Daisy being so large.  If you can't locate some of those yummy flosses, you can use a full six strands of DMC or a Pearl Cotton #8.

I hope you enjoy this stitching journey with us this year and please share your embroideries with us by tagging me at @tweetledeedesignco on Instagram. Happy Stitching!

Wednesday

Garden Blessings

Our newest barn quilt Garden's Blessing was inspired by the traditional North Carolina Lily quilt block which I have loved since I began quilting.  The flowers bursting up from the ground or flowing out of a basket, however it is sewn it is so pretty with colors and flowers.  How can you not love it!


It is now available in our shop with three sizes with an optional frame, sealed for outdoor use and ready to inspire your gardens to burst with tons of blooms.  Custom colors are available with an email to us.  We love painting custom signs.  We named it Garden Blessings to remember the beauty of each bloom and we know you will love it hanging at your home or farm.

Tuesday

Deconstructed Farmhouse Sofa

We have so much fun this week with our Deconstructed Sofa project!  We found it on a whim trip to our local antiques shop while we were looking for a small piece of furniture to paint our with our new line of Tweetle Dee Paints, and instead we came home with an incredible antique sofa for $35.00.  It was solid wood and so well constructed that we knew it would be as beautiful under the fabric as it was above.


Both of us have reupholstered furniture before, but never had we taken a piece apart with the plan to leave it half ripped apart.  The trend for Deconstructed Furniture is huge on the farmhouse decor scene and for good reason.  With the clean lines of the wood frames and inner pieces of leather, burlap, linen, ticking, etc. you see the beauty of the piece in a new way.


The best way to begin is to just rip into it!  Seriously rip into it.  We felt across the top and looked for a good spot to cut.  Because the top fabric was in such good condition we decided to not take it off.  We would cover over it with the drop cloth fabric, so no need to take it off.  We removed all the rest slowly...slowly!  I used a screwdriver and a set of pliers to pry a thousand or more staples and nails out of solid hard wood.  Sometimes we just had to feel across it to see if you missed one, which gave us both a few slivers.


Once the wood was cleared of everything, we sanded it and filled some of the holes with drywall plaster.  We love using that for fill on antique pieces because it leaves a small mark showing the wear and not a perfect finish, which you want in a re-purposed antique piece!  We sanded the rough fill off and painted the wood with our Tweetle Dee Vintage White Chalk Paint and loved how well it covered.  

After paint we sanded and chipped some of the paint away to show the wood in places where time would have worn it off.  My biggest pet peeve in distressing is when a someone distresses a piece in places that they would not have worn.  You want a piece to look like to was worn and well loved NOT just hammered and chipped on purpose. 

One of our secrets is to use Acetone over your distressing to smooth out the paint.  It makes the transition from paint to wood soft.  Use a soft clean cloth and wipe a little of it on and rub slightly to wear down the rough edges.













We purchased two large drop cloths and about four yards of burlap.  Using an electric stapler we tacked in the burlap and pieces of linen through the gaps where the original fabric had gone.  We covered raw edges with sisal rope, tacking it in as well.  The beauty of this piece is the hand stitching along the outer seams.  We wanted it to show so using an upholstery needle and twine, we hand stitched the piece in places where the seams showed and across the front edge. Then we hand stitched the drop cloth to the seat cushions with little stitches showing.   


We loved this project so much that we are going to tackle our leather sofa and chaise lounger next!  It will take a few weeks before we can post pictures as we have orders and a few workshops coming up...but it will be soon.  If you live in the Wasatch Front and have a piece you want deconstructed and recovered, shoot us an email and we will see what we can do for you!
 
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