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91  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Decorative Stitching Adventures using the BERNINA 350PE on: May 15, 2012 10:17:44 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

Decorative Stitching Adventures using the BERNINA 350PE

When I got the BERNINA 350 Patchwork Edition out of the box, the very first thing I did was try out the decorative stitches.  They immediately reminded me of the stitches in a crazy quilt, which I've always admired, so I decided to try it out.  I have a lot of black, white, and gray fabrics.  I knew they would make a good background for my experiment so I stitched up a random crazy quilt block onto a piece of white cotton fabric that measured 14 by 16 inches.

The BERNINA's stitch pattern reference card had a LOT of stitches I wanted to try.  Luckily, I had a lot of seams that needed embellishment!  

I loaded some bright red thread into the machine, selected the stitch number I wanted to play with and started sewing.  Here's what the first pass looked like.  Delightful!

Each pattern was more fun than the last!  

Here it is finished, a successful experiment.  Now I have a lovely piece of crazy quilted fabric, what shall I do with it?  I've been meaning to make one of those dish drying mats, so that's the plan.

I rounded off the corners.

Then I pinned the decorated side onto a white terrycloth towel and sewed around the edges with a 1/4 inch seam.  I made sure to leave a few inches open along one of the sides so it could be turned rightside out.  After trimming away the excess terrycloth, I turned it rightside out and handstitched the opening shut.  

Clipped the corners...

And done!  

I loved this project.  It was fun to play with the different stitches and I'm so happy with the functional finished product!
92  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / A Quick Way To Brighten Your Kitchen using the BERNINA 350PE on: May 15, 2012 10:17:05 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

A Quick Way To Brighten Your Kitchen using the BERNINA 350PE

Two of my favorite things are cooking and sewing patchwork projects.  I have a serious stash of food related fabrics and needed something to brighten up my kitchen so this patchwork embellished kitchen towel was born.  

I had a plain white waffle kitchen towel I got at WalMart. It measures 15 inches across. I started doing the math on how many prints I could fit in and decided if the patches were 1.5 inches across, that would work nicely.  That meant I needed 10 different food fabrics.  Did I have enough in my stash of scraps?  You bet (and then some)!  Cheesy  Since each piece would get a 1/4 inch seam, I cut the prints 2 inches wide and settled on 3 inches for the height.  Go ahead and wash your towel before you get started, in case it shrinks.

The BERNINA 350 Patchwork Edition has an optional expanded work surface.  It slides right in and pops in place, giving you a larger area to sew piecework.  I started by placing the first two prints right side together then sewing up the 3 inch sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I pressed the seam open, grabbed the next print and sewed that one on.

Here's the last piece being sewn on.  It came together really fast!  

I decided that red ric rac would make an excellent accent to the patchwork piece.  This is jumbo sized ric rac and my first time working with it.  I pinned it to the right side of the patchwork.  

Then I just sewed straight down the center of the ric rac.  It was really easy to keep it centered, using the BERNINA's pressure foot as a guide.  Here's a side view showing how straight down the center the seam was.  

Once it's sewed on, just turn it under and press.  How easy and how fancy looking!

I pinned the patchwork strip to the towel about 5 inches up from the bottom.  The extra 1/4 inch of fabric on both end pieces (the blueberries and the blackberries) got tucked under and pinned in place.  I didn't want the stitching to be obvious from the back of the towel so I kept the bobbin thread white when I switched the top thread to a vibrant red. The patchwork was secured to the towel with a straight stitch along all four sides.  

I love how this quick project turned out and plan to make bunches more.

Packaged with some homemade soap and strawberry preserves in a handmade pottery bowl, it makes the perfect hostess gift!

93  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Virginia Farmgirl Meets Quality, Innovation & Swiss Tradition in the BERNINA 350 on: May 15, 2012 10:16:17 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

Virginia Farmgirl Meets Quality, Innovation & Swiss Tradition in the BERNINA 350

Hi, I'm Connie, known around Craftster as MissingWillow.  I'm a retired engineer and fire investigator who's now enjoying a hobby farm in the mountains of Virginia with my hubby and a mess of critters.  I'm a vendor at the local farmer's market selling our lamb, fleece, honey, goat's milk soap, eggs, veggies and sewn crafts (yes, I actually do live in Craftsterland!).

My first foray into sewing was in Home Economics class in junior high school.  I made a fuzzy red poncho with black pom pom trim.  That was styling!  I got my first sewing machine right after I graduated from college.  I sewed a thing or two for my girls, made a few quilts and a really ugly dress and then work and the fire service got in my way and I didn't pick it up again until I retired a few years ago.  Since then, I've learned I love doing patchwork and have even won a few ribbons for it at the county fair.

I was thrilled when I found out I'd been selected for this round of Master Craftster, which meant I'd be receiving the loan of a BERNINA 350 Patchwork Edition.  It comes with lots of extras, including a slide-on table that expands your work surface as needed.  Winding bobbins is my least favorite thing about sewing and this machine has the easiest, fastest winder I've ever seen.  It makes me happy!  I hope you enjoy seeing the projects my colleagues and I made for this series and thanks to BERNINA and Craftster for the opportunity!

94  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Altered Altoid Tins: Various Themes on: May 08, 2012 09:12:26 AM
For the Craftster meetup last weekend with rackycoo, cackle and Killam Creative, the little swap suggestion was to craft small tins or ATCs for each other based on a theme.  Of course those three are all awesome papercrafters but I decided to suck it up and do my best (at least I'd get something fantastic out of the deal!)  Grin.  I told them to be fair, they'd need to bust out their sewing machines for our next in-person swap!  Cheesy 

Cackle's theme was mermaids.

Rackcoo's theme was child beauty pageants.

Killam Creative's theme was butterflies, you'll find her altoid tin over on the machine embroidery board 
95  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects / Embroidered Altoid Tin Pin Cushion on: May 08, 2012 08:12:34 AM
I met Killam Creative last weekend at a crafty get together, she's an amazing papercrafter and a really fun, artistic person!  We agreed ahead of time to make each other something to swap based on a theme, and the one she chose was butterflies.  Since I'm totally not an amazing papercrafter myself, I decided to make her a machine embroidered butterfly pin cushion out of an altoid tin.  I made a tin-sized pillow from the embroidered fabric, lined it with colorful felt and glued it into an embellished tin.  I was surprised to learn she makes and sells hat pins and collects pin cushions so this ended up being a good fit.  I love happy accidents (and Killam Creative).   Smiley

96  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Wish Necklace on: April 26, 2012 12:52:09 PM
My partner for the international snack swap received yesterday.  Zzdia had a sweet dandelion necklace on her pinterest.  The day I received her partner questionnaire was the same day I had noticed the first dandelion popping up in our yard.  It was fate!  I sealed some of the fluff inside a tiny glass bottle and added a 'wish' charm.  Too cute!

97  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / A Bee Fairy on: April 10, 2012 11:52:27 AM
Here's my attempt at altered art.  We raise bees, so I had a few bee related images in my stash.  The background is a piece of scrapbook paper intended to be used as a family tree.  The lady was originally on the front of a greeting card hugging a stuffed peacock.  Inside it said "What midlife crisis?"   Cheesy I've had her forever and was glad to be able to finally use her. 

98  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Meet Our 1Q2012 Home Sweet Home Featured Member - Redforkhippie! on: April 09, 2012 03:39:39 AM
We've enjoyed seeing her share the amazing mural work she's done over the years.  We're pleased to announce the 1Q2012 Home Sweet Home featured member is Redforkhippie!

Tell us about yourself.

I live in Tulsa, love Route 66, and have spent the past four years teaching high school (English, math and journalism) to support my beekeeping habit. My husband and I live in a near-zero-energy house with two dogs and a cat who thinks he's a dog.

Your 'Will work for coffee' coffeehouse bathroom redo is fantastic!  What was your favorite memory of the creative experience and how much free coffee have you been able to drink so far?

Thanks. I had a lot of fun with it. I think my favorite part of the whole project was when I first started, and the owners had no idea what to expect. I showed them some other murals I'd done, and of course they saw my car, but you know there's no telling what you'll get when some random person walks into your business and says, "Hey, how about I paint your bathroom in exchange for free coffee?" The look on Stevia's face when I finished ragging the walls and started sketching the postcard -- a picture of the famous Blue Whale in Catoosa -- was priceless.

I didn't keep track of my time very well, but I'm estimating the whole project took between 40 and 50 hours of actual work. I was averaging somewhere around a cappuccino an hour, so I've probably sucked down the better end of four gallons of coffee over the course of the project.

Do you have a another favorite mural or decorative feature that you've painted?

I've done tons of painting projects, but my favorite would have to be one I did in Depew, Okla., in 2005. I didn't really set out to paint murals there. I was chairman of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association's historic preservation committee, and we were trying to keep the city from tearing down some historic buildings that had fallen into disrepair. The original goal was just to clean up the buildings, replace the boards that were over the windows, and paint them white or something to make them look a little better. I was covering a big piece of plywood with white paint when I remembered seeing some trompe l'oeil panes painted on boarded-up windows in St. Louis when I was little. I ran inside and asked the owner if she'd mind if I painted a giant stained-glass Route 66 shield on the plywood. While I was working on it, the mayor's developmentally disabled son came along and wanted to help. One thing led to another, and pretty soon the whole thing spun wildly out of control, as my projects have a way of doing. Before the summer was out, we had every kid in Depew out there, doing a sort of paint-by-numbers thing. The mayor and the owner of the building, who are both very artistic themselves, ran with the idea and did some more murals on other windows around town, and they made a special window with all the kids' names on it. It was really great to see everybody come together like that for the benefit of the community.

Have you stopped embellishing your 'Love the one you're with' Honda and does it get a lot of attention when you drive it around town?

I'm mostly finished with the exterior, although I need to redo the hood because it's faded out again. The interior remains a work in progress. I'm starting to run out of real estate on the dashboard, so I've started gluing stuff all over the ceiling, and the button collection continues to grow. Every time I take something from a geocache, it goes in the car.

What is your favorite Craftster project that someone else has posted?

I'm not a huge Whovian, but TARDIS and Dalek-themed projects always crack me up, and I'm a total sucker for sock monkeys. I got on Craftster shortly after the sock monkey challenge a few years ago, and I still laugh every time I think about the Mr. T monkey somebody entered in that. There was also a pretty sweet Cthulhu sock monkey on here a while back, and the most amazing thing I've ever seen was a 15-foot-tall sock monkey stuffed with styrofoam peanuts. I remain in complete and utter awe of that monkey.

Where else on Craftster would we find your projects?

Let's see ... Miscellaneous Topics; Toys, Dolls and Playthings; More Art, Less Craft; Purses, Bags, Wallets; Clothing; and probably several others that I have since forgotten.

99  COOKING / Dessert / Cooking Challenge - Sweet Easter and Spring Treats Open for Entries Thru 4/15/12 on: April 08, 2012 03:10:35 AM

All of you fabulous bakers, it's time for a cooking challenge!  The subject is Sweet Easter and Spring Treats.  You can make dessert, chocolates, cookies, a bunny cake, cupcakes, Easter basket goodies - anything sweet that celebrates Spring.  

The Rules:

-This challenge is open to all Craftster members.

-You must be posting your 2012 goodies, prior years are not eligible.

-Your entry must be sweet, not savory.

-Each participant may enter just once.

-This contest is open for entries through midnight Sunday, April 15th.  Select NEW TOPIC in the upper right of this page - http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?board=447.0.  Send TroubleT or MissingWillow a PM if you have any questions or difficulties posting.

-Voting will be open from April 15-22, 2012

The winner of this challenge will be able to select a prize from us at Craftster.org -- any one item from our online shop at http://www.shop.craftster.org/
100  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Patchwork Project Bag on: March 30, 2012 07:09:25 AM
Here's another patchwork bag I made for loves2experiment in the Invite Your Partner swap.  This one is meant to be a knitting project bag, but could be used for most anything.

I had fun selecting fabric from my scrap basket!

The other side. 

I love this fabric in the lining.  I got it on sale at a quilt shop.  It reminds me of halloween for some reason. 
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