Sunday, June 6, 2021

Nature's Calling fabric commemorates 2020 toilet paper shortage

Do you remember the TP [toilet paper] shortage/hoarding of 2020? Have you seen the Nature's Calling fabric collection from Northcott Fabrics? If you want some of these fabrics, you better get off the pot and go to your local quilt shop now! ... lest you get caught with your pants down.

Pillowcases using the toilet paper print from the Nature's Calling collection from Northcott.

Nature's Calling fabric collection

The Nature's Calling fabric collection is making people laugh... or smile, anyway. Last year, when I was previewing the collection with my clients, I heard aaaaalll the stories... as shop owners and their associates reminisced their memories and experiences with outhouses.

Prints from the "Nature's Calling" collection.
The full collection is comprised of 8 different prints (some not shown above).

There were stories and comments such as:

  • "My grandparents had one of these."
  • "I remember when we/they got indoor plumbing."
  • having to "go" in the middle of the night... or when it was cold outside.
  • if the wind was blowing the wrong direction.
  • the 2-holer!
  • After a time, outhouses had to be relocated because the hole was "full." People could tell the previous locations of these structures by the flowering bushes planted in their place.
  • And there's the ever-popular book, "40 Yards Away" by Willie MakeIt and Betty Wont.

Making my toilet paper pillowcases

I decided to "commemorate the occasion" by making pillowcases for L. These are the extra long, king-size pillowcases. I use the burrito pillowcase construction method and with this toilet paper print being non-directional, it's a fabric-efficient project and an easy sew.

Toilet paper pillowcases using a print from Nature's Calling fabric collection.

The pillowcase cuff dilemma

While at my LQS [local quilt shop], making the choice of fabric for the body of the pillowcases was simple—like poop through a goose—the toilet paper print! But the cuff fabric? Hmmmm...

I didn't go full-tilt with the outhouse theme, so opted for a Canvas blender [Northcott Fabrics]. Canvas has a beautiful color range, a subtle pattern, and is a gender-neutral design. But what color would be appropriate for toilet paper pillowcases??

  • brown? (eeewww!)
  • yellow? (ugh, not)
  • red? (gosh, no!)
  • green? (uuuuhhh...)
  • how 'bout blue?
I went with Canvas indigo. (Please don't tell me any TP/blue connotations I hadn't thought of.)

Selvedges from Nature's Calling and Canvas indigo.

Commemorating the 2020 TP shortage

So, if you're looking for a easy project, one that is useful and functional, a humorous gift, or something to make you smile, run to your local quilt shop and scoop up (or stock up!) on fabrics from Nature's Calling. There are 8 different prints in the collection, coordinating blenders, and patterns for additional projects, too. Visit your local quilt or fabric shop. 

After the year we've been through, we all need a little levity in our lives! 

Here are lists of shops that purchased the collection in my sales territory:

Alabama         Kentucky        Tennessee        West Virginia

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day 2021

Remembering and honoring the fallen who served our country. Our freedom does not come for free.

Red, white and blue hexagons.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A needle book for EPP

When I rediscovered English paper piecing [EPP] during the 2020 pandemic lockdown, I began following several EPPers and EPP stitch-alongs on Instagram. I picked up several handy tips and was amazed by the clever piecing these EPP experts shared on line. I was also in awe of the beautiful, handmade needle books they showed. A needle book was destined for my EPP future!

The pieces of my new needle book are waiting to be assembled.

Needle book progress

This weekend I decided to work on my Needle Book and I've made great progress: 

  • a zipper is installed,
  • four pockets are appliqu├ęd,
  • several wool felt squares are hand stitched into place.

A few kinks still need to be worked out: 

  • how to assemble the signatures (saddle stitching or coptic binding??),
  • how to attach the book cover to the signatures, 
  • and I need to devise some kind of closure for the book.

I know I'll get a lot of use out of this needle book, so I hope this will be a Make Nine finish very soon!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Slow Stitching Mindfulness

"Hand stitching is for people who like to be busy,
but busy in a calm and relaxing way."

I saw this quote on social media recently. Those of us who enjoy handwork can identify! With that, I thought I'd inventory and share my current hand stitching WIPs [work in progress].
Seed stitches with perle cotton on a garment-to-be.

Mix-It top
I'm using the rice stitch or seed stitch to add color and pattern to a new Mix-It top [The Sewing Workshop patterns]. The base fabric is from the Denim Studio by Art Gallery Fabrics. It is a nice weight for hand stitching and needles well. I do use an embroidery hoop for this work.

Hand seed stitches on a cotton from the Denim Studio by Art Gallery Fabrics.

Big Stitch quilting
The Sandy Creek print from M&S Textiles Australia is perfect for adding colorful accents of 8wt Eleganza perle cotton [WonderFil Specialty Threads]. I've combined free-motion quilting by machine with big stitch hand quilting.

Big stitch quilting.

By echoing the lines of this Sandhill print [M&S Textiles Australia], no marking is required! Gotta love the organic patterns in this fabric collection!

Big stitch quilting.

Hand embroidery
Just a little more embroidery to do on this Bee Kind canvas tote bag panel [Northcott Fabrics]. I also have the September Morning panel waiting in the queue. You'll love stitching through this canvas substrate.

Hand embroidery on a canvas tote panel.

Visible Mending

This is a visible mending upcycling project—the proverbial Boyfriend Shirt

8 wt. perle cotton for stitched embellishments and visible mending.

Paper piecing
I'm still enjoying my 100 Day Project of focus cutting three-quarter inch hexagons. 

English paper piecing.

Threads for hand stitching projects
The threads I've used for these hand stitching projects include:

8wt perle cotton by WonderFil Specialty Threads.

If you haven't tried Valdani Wool Thread (100% virgin Merino wool) for embroidery, I suggest you give it a needle. These threads were recommended by my friend, Vicki McCarty at Calico Patch Designs. This thread has a lovely loft and springy-ness that comes with being a wool fiber. The stitches sit higher from the canvas, giving the work more dimension. The variegated colors are especially appealing.

6 strand embroidery floss and Valdani Wool Thread for hand embroidery.

The weather is beautiful here today. I just have to decide which mindful stitching project to take outdoors with me.

Combining free-motion machine quilting with big stitch quilting.

Enjoy a little bit of nature—whether outdoors or on your stitching projects.

Garden blooms.

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