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Old MacDonald Had a Farm

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As a teacher there are many reasons to use puppets both inside and outside of the classroom. Some of these include attracting and capturing the attention of children. They help stimulate the imagination. Puppets are an excellent teaching method as they are both visual and interactive.

I decided that it would be fun to create Old MacDonald’s farm out of finger puppets, and in honor of my friend Anna “Hillbilly” VonWart, I decided that a goat would be first.

I started with a sketch.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

I cut out the sketch and traced onto the felt.

I cut out some of the basic shapes that made up the goats face out of contrasting felt. I used dark blue for the stripe down the forehead, the nose area, and the beard.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

Next I cut out the goats horns from a golden color.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

I used some extra colors (maroon) for the nostril area.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

Then I began to stitch around the beard, nose, and stripe on the goats head. Also up along the sides.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

To make the eyes I used 4 ply thickness of embroidery floss, made a knot and then sewed over to the left, over to the right and continued until the eye was as large as wanted it to be. Tied off.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

I continued up and around the goat, inserting the horns, and continued down the other side.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

All in all he turned out quite well.

New Finger Puppet farm animals from Twisty Stitches

My next animals will include sheep, chickens, and cows. Hopefully I will soon have a menagerie of animals (sheep finger puppet, goat finger puppet, chicken finger puppet, cow finger puppet) for my students to enjoy.

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$5 off Orders at Twisty Stitches in June

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Twisty Stitches is offering $5 off your entire order in June for all orders of $25+. *

*Use the Coupon Code: JUNE5OFF to get your discount.

Browse our store for that unique hand-crafted gift item or place a Custom Order today. We ran out of the Bears Oh My! because they are very popular at the Dallas Georgia Farmer’s Market. We have just finished sewing 12 new bears (some with button eyes and some with felt eyes). Get them while they are hot!

Cold Pressed Soap Coming Soon!

We have been very busy making batch after batch of handmade soap. We are in the process of labeling the soap and snapping some great pictures for the website. Our soap is made using the cold-pressed method. We have about 10 different soap choices from goat milk + honey, lavender (which is a favorite at the farmer’s market this year for us), lilac, citrus scents, as well as some unscented but equally colorful soaps for people with sensitive skin. Look for our soaps very soon on the website.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the shipping discount in June!

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Twisty Stitches Featured Vendor

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LeAnn Benton of Twisty Stitches is a new vendor at The Dallas Farmer’s Market in Dallas, GA this year.

Leann sells handmade soap and candles in a variety of scents. In addition, unscented varieties are available for more delicate skin types. Also there are some wonderful goat milk soap coming soon. Expect more varieties in the weeks to come.

Additionally Leann has sewn items for sale including : baby quilts, wall hangings, Tablet shoulder bags for your electronic tablets and readers, table toppers, quilted potholders and hand sewn teddy bears. Finally there are cowboy and cowgirl cookie mix in a jar, and tile coasters.

There is surely something for everyone at Twisty Stitches so stop by The Dallas Farmer’s Market in Dallas, GA and pick up something for yourself or as gift for that special someone.

Twisty Stitches at The Dallas GA Farmer's Market Twisty Stitches at The Dallas GA Farmer's Market Twisty Stitches at The Dallas GA Farmer's Market Twisty Stitches at The Dallas GA Farmer's Market Twisty Stitches at The Dallas GA Farmer's Market Twisty Stitches at The Dallas GA Farmer's Market

Sometimes Mondays are The Ones That We Dread

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Sometimes Mondays are the ones that we dread. You know, the ones where we get up late. You spill coffee on your favorite blouse (if you even get coffee). You forget a report, a document, or a paper you need to turn in for work, school, or… I could go on and on. We have all had those days and we know what they ate like. You can fill in your own example of your less than stellar Monday. Mine is currently underway, so I take a deep breath and think back to my Saturday.

Saturday was fantastic. On Saturday I had a great day. Around noon I went to an appliqué class at my local quilt shop (Stitch ‘N Quilt). If you remember I wanted to take an appliqué class because there were a couple of quilts that I wanted to make which had beautiful appliqué borders. Also during my Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop, at one of the shops they had appliqué’s their name on a pennant hung inside.
So when I saw that a class was offered, I signed up.

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The first thing we did after arriving at the class was to set up our machine. Next we received a handout from our instructor which we went over. We talked about the different kinds of appliqué. Some are raw edge, needle turn, and invisible. We were doing raw edge in our class.

Next we went over some of the fusible products to choose from. Some are wonder under, steam a seam, and heat n’ bond. I purchased steam a seam to use. Our instructor cautioned us to not crease the fusible, and to keep it away from humidity, both of which can cause the glue to separate.

Next she explained that when we trace a design in the paper side of he fusible, the image is reversed when it is placed on the background fabric. This is important to remember when dealing with letters, and when items on your design need to face in a certain direction. Some designers give you the pattern with the image already reversed so check closely. Trace each part of your image separately on the paper side of the fusible.

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You should leave a little distance between the traced image and the drawn design. If you leave an allowance it will make ting the image from the appliqué fabric much easier. Once your image is fused, then trim exactly to the pencil line.

The handout and the instructor went on to discuss needle and thread, stabilizers, and specialty feet. (* Get an open toe foot.) I didn’t have time to order one before my class and I really wish I had.  After going over the information from the handout she had us do some practice stitches.

If you remember from a previous post I was having issues with my machine. As of late it wasn’t changing stitches and it seemed to have a short of some kind. Well the short issue hasn’t shown up again lately, and my instructor flipped a dial on my machine that regulated the stitch length (she moved it from zero). It was my duh moment! I hadn’t realized that’s what the setting had been on. So that was taken care of. For me the class paid for itself right there.

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We started off doing test stitches. This allowed us to see what our stitches looked like. We change the stitch for example Zig zag. We adjusted the length, length, and tension to one. We made several stitches then we went to two and sewed some stitches and then on to three, etc. After we were done we chose the settings we liked best for our appliqué project. I chose the zig zag stitch, my width was 3 and my length was 3. I think my tension was 2.   After that we were set loose ton practice “for real “.

I sketched out a quick S. reversed it and transferred it to my fusible paper. Trimmed it a bit leaving a 1/4 inch to the edge, and transferred it to my blue batik cloth. Then trim the image out to he pencil line. Next peel off the paper and attach it to the background cloth you are using. Press it with an iron and then voila you are done! It was really quite easy.

photo (3)Now I only have the time issues to deal with so I can create my TWISTY STITCHES banner.

Another Week, Another Quilt, Another Giveaway Winner

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Congrats to Brita who was the winner of the contest. Check out the post and all of the beautiful quilts from See How We Sew.
Also, don’t forget to check out my blog here on WordPress.com as well as my official blog at http://twistystitches.biz. You can find an online store there with all of the items that I create myself. I would appreciate a visit and a Follow or Like so I know people are enjoying what I’m doing.
Take care,
LeAnn from Twisty Stitches

See How We Sew

Another week, another quilt. Yeah, I’m slowing down and looking for a break from the quilt-making frenzy after this. I’ve got a deadline though, a serious deadline to finish this next quilt. My sister-in-law Laurence is coming from France for her daughter’s bridal shower here in the U.S. and I’m making her a quilt for a milestone birthday she celebrated recently. I was going to take it to Europe for the wedding, but as she’s heading my way . .  . might as well use her arrival as my finishing goal.  I’ll probably have to stitch on the faced binding as we drive to the shower.

Book-J:  Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott

I picked up Jelly Roll Quilts by the Lintotts, an English mother/daughter duo,  at Back Porch Fabric last fall. Gail Abeloe, the shop owner, had a colorful sample quilt from the book in the shop when I visited. Gotta admit, I’m a sucker for quilts…

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Bears Oh My Project

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About a year ago I found this adorable bear pattern on the internet.  View the original pin on my Twisty Stitches Pinterest.com dashboard.

Basically I chose the project because it was super cute. Some parts of it didn’t look too complex and it was a project that I felt I could successfully complete (with a few of my own modifications).

Let me first talk about the eyes. The eyes on the project bear are beautiful. Deep blue outlined with white. The instructions were well done. They were broken down into steps and stitches to use to reproduce those eyes. However I know my skill level and my patience level with embroidery type projects, and I opted to make simple button eyes.

The bear on the left is one that I made last year, and the one on the right is one I made a few nights ago so I could take you through the steps. They are still cute and homemade just not as complex.

Step 1

First off I traced the bear pattern on to my felt pieces, one for the front and one for the back. I used contrasting colors: light for the bear and dark for the details or vice versa. The details include the inside of the ears, the paws, and his legs. I didn’t use a specific pattern for those shapes I just cut out a small piece in the same shape as those shown on the original bear and trimmed them till they fit well.

Step 2

On the bear(s) I started at the ears and worked my way down to the button eyes, the triangle shape nose (with rounded corners).

Step 3

I stitched the mouth, went to the arm and leg details. After he was completed with his details I sandwiched him to his backing and then stitched him all the way around.

Step 4

I left a small opening at the bottom to put in the stuffing.

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After he was stuffed to my satisfaction I closed him up and he makes bear number 2 in my collection.

Step 6

I would like to make a whole family of these bears in all sizes and colors but there are so many other art projects out there to try. So we will see if my bear family grows as time permits.

As always, you can help promote my blog by clicking on the Like buttons at the bottom of this post.

Atlanta 2013 Quilt Shop Hop

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Well our day started off as a success. Our trip took us near Charlies (a small store off of 166). I love stopping there when I get a chance so I can grab one of their fantastic Southern Biscuits. I chose the Sausage and Egg and Christopher had Bacon and Cheese. Let me tell you they were great and the lady that made the biscuits was very nice.

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Yum-Yum!  Feeling good and ready to shop.

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Our first stop was Quilts and Fixins, in Jonesboro Georgia.

http://www.quiltsandfixins.org/

I was super excited as this was our first store and I forgot to take photos. I got my passport stamped. Entered the drawing for the shops prize which was a large wooden thread holder. I remember buying a couple of patterns. Everything was bright and cheerful and it was a great first stop.

2nd stop was

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Intown Quilters in Decateur Georgia.

http://www.intownquilters.com/

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This was a nice store. Really cheerful. I liked the penant hanging from the ceiling with their shop name spelled out. I would like to do something like that in my office. Plus it would give me a chance to work on my applique skills. Hmmmm. Sounds like a to do blog project.

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They had some cute Doctor Seuss themed cloth with a variety of items made from it. This bag was really cute and quite simple.

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This store carried a really good selection of patterns for all kinds of projects. (I especially liked their clothing ones and their purse patterns.) I really had to control myself. I think that this shop had a quilt in their window that I really liked. The cloth had squares that could cut out and it looked like vintage valentines. They had cut them out and assembled them with other valentine theme material and made a really cool wall hanging. I remember taking a picture but facing the sunshine in the window you couldn’t see the quilt.

On the road again.

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Our next stop was Little Quilts in Marietta Georgia.

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http://www.littlequilts.com/

This was the shop we stopped at a week or so ago when we were in the area. I really liked this shop. One thing they had was this cloth that looked liked vintage seed packets. They were assembled into a wall hanging. This store has some cute doctor Seuss cloth, patterns, purses, books, cloth. The space is a little tight but it is just crammed full of awesome things.The ladies are always super nice and it is a pleasure shopping there.

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Next stop was Tiny Stitches in Marietta Georgia.

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http://tinystitches.com

One thing that I liked at this store was their game quilt. It had checkers, tic tac toe, a bean bag toss, and a couple of others. I also liked their I spy quilt and the small quilt made with Nancy Drew book covers.

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Lots and lots of themed cloth that kids would love. (And adults too!)

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Almost done only 2 more stops.

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The next shop was one of my favorites. Red Hen Fabrics in Marietta Georgia.

http://www.redhenfabrics.com/

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This shop had a lot of cloth. All kinds of patterns and colors and themes. They had a lot of panels as well. I liked the snowman Christmas panel. I don’t know how I missed buying that one for the store. The presents and gingerbread cookie table runner was super cute. Only problem I have never appliqued. Again I am going to have to work on that. Rudolph was super cute. He is made with pinwheels. They tilted them and changed colors to make him. Very clever.

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The final shop on our tour was

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This shop is the closest to me as it is in Mableton Georgia.

http://www.stitchnquiltt.com/

They have a very nice shop filled with beautiful cloth. Lots of projects on display.

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All in all I feel that the Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop was a successful. In a lot of ways it was like a professional conference. I visited a lot of shops, saw a lot of projects, got some good deals, met a lot of my fellow quilters, and I came back home ready to create.  Visit my website at http://TwistyStitches.biz to see the photos that we took.