April 22, 2021

Tiny Treasures - Pipkin

 Looking for clever ways to use the embroidery designs from my Tiny Treasures book?
How about making a thimble pipkin (pip)?  
The large one measures 3 1/2" x 5" 
and the smaller one measures 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" (shown below)

*The thimble pip has three sides and is fully lined. It's 
made using a process similar to English paper piecing.

SUPPLIES: (per pip)
• embroidery background fabric -
 8" x 18" each exterior and lining fabrics
• Valdani 12wt pearl cotton (colors listed in the book)
• cording -  ties 14"  /  decorative trim 16"
The cording used in the samples was created using 6 strands of DMC floss
lightweight batting 5" x 12"
• glue (household like Elmers)
• firm material to make the forms - 10" x 12"
I used plastic from a plastic file folder.  A milk jug or clamshell plastic (like fruit comes in) works well too.  The other option is to use card stock like a cereal box.
Print the template page HERE
  The large and the small pip both have two sizes to trace - the outside and the lining of each. The smaller templates are for the lining sections.
Trace the templates onto the firm material you will be using for the forms and cut them out. 
You will need 3 of each size(outside and lining) per pip. 

Spread a layer of glue on one side of the 3 larger pieces.
Glue the batting to these pieces, let them dry then cut the batting to the same size as the plastic. 

The larger template can fit a combination of embroidery designs or a single design, it's up to you!  I wanted to show you how you can take parts of a couple different designs to come up with a new design.  The larger design uses part of design #1 and #19 from the Tiny Treasures book.
This was stitched on Moda Mochi Linen unbleached.

The first thing you need to do is cut a piece of embroidery background fabric 6" x 8"

Trace the larger template using a NON-permanent marking tool.  I like to use the Pilot FriXion pen which disappears with the heat of an iron.
I folded the fabric in half both lengthwise and crosswise to find the center.  I traced the #19 scissors design to the center. Then I  used my best 2nd-grade printing and added my initials about 1/2" tall on either side of the scissors. Finally, I added a #1 wreath section to each side.  
Stitch up the designs following the directions in the Tiny Treasures book. 
 I decided to stitch my initials in the Valdani Black Sea color.

When the embroidery is complete, press the piece from the wrong side.
Using a lightbox or a window place the finished embroidery on top of the batting covered large template, centered.  Use a little glue to hold the fabric to the batting.

Cut the fabric leaving about 1/2" - 3/4" extra all around.  Trim across the points a bit, but not too close. Clip the outer edges keeping them well away from the template.

Using a glue stick, fold the extra fabric to the back of the template and hold it in place with binding clips until it dries.

Repeat with all 3 sides of the exterior.

Next, glue the smaller template pieces to the wrong side of the lining fabric - just enough to hold the two together.  Cut out the fabric leaving 1/4" extra fabric all the way around.  Clip and trim like you did for the exterior pieces.  Using a glue stick, fold the fabric to the backside of the templates.  Hold in place with binding clips until it's dried.

Now it's time to line the exterior pieces with the lining pieces.

Add a drop of glue and binding clips to hold the exterior and lining pieces together.
Stitch the lining to the exterior.
Repeat with all three sections.

Now it's time to sew the three sections together!  This can be a bit tricky, but very doable.
Start by sewing the bottom of the front piece to one side of the bottom section.
It's a good idea to double up your thread as you will be pulling this tight.

Continue by sewing the other side of the bottom section to the back section.
The final seams will be going up from the bottom section 1/2" toward the top.  Secure this seam quite well. (See the photo below)

Next, we'll add the cording to give the pip a nice finished look.

I made this cording using a Kreinik Customer Corder and a matching DMC floss.
I made a video tutorial for making the cording that might be helpful.  You can find the video here -

Start by slipping one of the knotted ends of the cording to the inside of the pip at the edge of the opening and stitch it in place. Using 1 strand of the floss, whipstitch the cording over the seam line.  Go around one side of the bottom and up the other side.  Fold the cording over onto itself
leaving a 1/4" past the opening.  Tuck this folded end to the inside of the pip and stitch in place.  Whipstitch the cording back over itself on this short side until you get to the bottom and then continue covering the other bottom seam.

Make two knots 1/2" apart at the center of the cording that will be used for the ties.  Cut between the knots to form two pieces of cording, knots at both ends (see last photos).
Place one end of a tie to the top, front of the pip, centered.  Hand stitch this knotted end to the front of the pip securely.  I sewed mine in place taking my stitches right through the knot.
Repeat with the other tie on the back of the pip. 

Originally, these little pips were created to hold thimbles.  I made this one a bit large so it can hold a couple balls of my Valdani thread. 
Pinch the sides together to open it up.  Pretty clever!

When I made the smaller pip I used the cardboard from a cereal box and it worked just as well as the plastic.

I decided to use a decorative stitch to sew the sections together instead of covering the seams with cording.  

1. Take a stitch on the side furthest from you.

2. Take a stitch through the side closest to you, straight across, and bring the needle through the same hole as the previous stitch on the opposite side.

3. Before you pull this stitch tight, thread the needle through the loop.

4. Move along 1/16" and take another stitch on the opposite side.

I also wanted to add a fun stitch to the top edge of the front of the pip.

1. I started with a small stitch perpendicular to the top edge.

2. Before you pull the stitch tight, thread the needle through the loop.
Make the next stitch right next to the previous one.  
This created a lovely little "beaded" look on the edge.  

I still used cording to create the tie. This picture shows the length I made with the two knots close to the middle.  I snipped between the knots to create two pieces of cording.  These were stitched on the small pip the same way as the larger pip.

I hope you enjoyed this project and will give it a try!

Please subscribe to my blog for future projects.  On your computer, the sign up form is on the top right side.  On your phone, please scroll all the way to the bottom and click "view web version"

Happy Stitching!

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March 21, 2021

Tiny Treasures Pincushions


My Tiny Treasures book is loaded with miniature hand embroidery designs.  I thought it would be fun to show you some options for using these stitcheries. 

In this post, I'll show you how I used a single design to create a little hexie pincushion.

The first thing you'll need to do is stitch up one of the embroidery designs and create a 1" hexie with it.
Choose 3 coordinating fabrics.
Create 6  - 1" hexies (3 each of 2 fabrics) for the sides.
Create 1 - 1" hexie for the bottom.

I like to use the Hugs 'n Kisses Iron-On hexie papers.  These are ironed in place and stay there after your stitching is complete.  They are firm enough to hold their shape well while stitching.  If you give them a gentle hand wash when you are finished with your stitching, the fibers loosen and they become quite soft.
Instead of hand basting, I use a Sewline Glue Pen.
For more information about the Iron-On papers and the Glue Pen, please see my previous post.

Start by sewing the 6 hexie sides onto each side of the center embroidered hexie alternating between the two side fabrics.
Add the bottom hexie to one of the 6  side hexies.

Sew the side hexies together. Fold them as you go so that the right sides are on the inside of the pincushion.
Continue sewing until all of the sides are sewn leaving 2 seams open along the bottom.
Baste these 4 sides seams.  
Gently wash in warm water and agitate to soften the fibers if you are using the iron-on papers.  
Turn the pincushion right side out.

You can see how soft-looking they are now that they are washed.

This part is optional, but I think it really finishes it off nicely.
Using 50" of a coordinating DMC floss (all 6 strands), and a Kreinik Custom Corder, I made a 10" length of pretty cording.
*The rule of thumb I use for making cording is to cut a length 5 times the finished length I need.

Using 1 strand of the same floss, whip stitch the cording around the top center hexie leaving a 2" tail at the beginning and end.  Tie a square knot where they meet.  Tie a knot about 1/2" up the tails and trim the ends. 
*This could be done earlier in the process, but I wanted to do it after I washed the project.

Sew up one of the open seams leaving just one seam open.

Now it's time to stuff this beauty.
You can use a soft stuffing material or ground walnut shells.  I love ground walnut shells so I went that route.
Keep in mind you need to use VERY small stitches if you use the ground walnut shells!
A funnel is very helpful when filling pincushions.  Keep pushing it in with your finger and fill it as much as you possibly can.
*I buy my ground walnut shells at my local pet store.  They are used for pet bedding.

Hand stitch the final seam closed.
Remove the basting stitches.

How fun and quick was that!? 
You can also add lavender to the filling to make it a sachet/pincushion.
These would make lovely gifts for your stitching friends.  

Please share your finished projects and tag me - KathySchmitz

I hope you like this project!  I'll share more projects using the embroidery designs from Tiny Treasures in the future!

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February 24, 2021

I'm so excited to share my book Tiny Treasures with you!
I thought it would be helpful for me to show you how I like to trace my patterns, make my hexies, and any other helpful tips I can think of.

The first step I take is to make a copy of the designs onto the paper side of a piece of freezer paper.  The freezer paper is available in 8 1/2" x 11" sheets which feed smoothly through an inkjet printer. *NEVER USE A LASER PRINTER WITH FREEZER PAPER.
Simply place the pattern page from the book onto the scan bed of the inkjet printer.  Load the freezer paper so it will print on the paper side and make a copy.
The one thing I will point out is this will give you a finished design in REVERSE of the original.  This really doesn't make a difference with most of the designs, however, there are a few designs with letters or numbers which are directional so this method won't work for those designs.
You can find a pack of 10 freezer paper sheets HERE.

Cut the designs apart keeping the pattern number attached for reference.

12 designs fit nicely on a piece of fabric 12" x 14".
Space the designs about 1 1/2" - 2" apart.
Iron them onto the WRONG side of your fabric using a DRY iron.  The wax side of the freezer paper will melt a bit and adhere to the fabric.

Using a lightbox or a window trace the designs AND the pattern number. This will be helpful when referencing the stitch and color guide in the book.
I used a Pilot FriXion pen to trace the designs.  The lines will disappear with the heat of an iron when the embroidery is complete. 


Remove the freezer paper and stitch up the designs following the stitch and color guide in the book.

Press the finished embroidery on the wrong side.
Using a fussy cut 1" hexagon template, trace around the outside of the hexie template.
I found this template I love on Etsy at - Hey Hexie!
She has a huge assortment of sizes.  I went with the 1" hexagon with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Cut the hexagon out.  I use my favorite micro-serrated KAI scissors.
The tiny teeth grip the fabric and make cutting small pieces a snap.  They are also great for cutting applique shapes out of wool too.

Place a 1" hexagon EPP paper on the wrong side, centered.  I LOVE using the 
Hugs 'n Kisses Iron-On EPP papers.  They work great!  No need to remove them in the end.  After a gentle hand wash the fibers break down and soften nicely.
Iron the paper in place (centered). Of course, you can always use regular 1" EPP papers too.

Basting is always an option, but I prefer to use the Sewline Glue Pen.  Works like magic!
Make a glue line on one edge.

Fold over and repeat with the next side.

And now you have your first Tiny Treasures hexie!

If you plan on making the 16" x 20" My Favorites framed piece as shown at the top of the post, you will need 65 of the hexies and 99 1" triangle hexies.  Both Iron-On EPP papers can be found on my website under 
Fabric, Thread, Notions, Kits - Notions
I'll go over piecing this together in a later post.

Make sure you subscribe to my blog so that you don't miss the fun projects I will be sharing using the designs from the Tiny Treasures book!  

Happy Stitching!


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October 26, 2020

Snowdrift Table Runner - finishing directions!

All of your snowflakes are in place and it's time to wrap this project up.

I hope you have had a fun time stitching up these snowflakes with me.  
May this stitchery be a treasure to add to your winter table decor for years to come!

Step 1
Trim away the excess wool leaving about 3/8" extra past the edge of the snowflakes.  This will be hidden by the trim so if your cutting isn't perfect that's OK!  Take a close look at mine and you'll feel better.

Step 2
We will now use the rest of the Sulky12wt thread and the chenille yarn to trim around the table runner.  

Leave a 1" tail when you start your whipstitches.  You will overlap the two ends about 1/2", trimming away the extra chenille trim, and secure them in place with whip stitches.

A whipstitch is a very easy stitch.  Simply stitch through the wool wrapping the thread over the chenille trim. The nice thing about this chenille trim is that it's so fluffy the thread is hidden easily!

Download these directions here -
Snowdrift Table Runner

I hope you have enjoyed stitching up this table runner with me!  I hope to see pictures of your finished table runners adorning your winter table. 

Thank you so much for your support throughout the years.  I feel very
lucky to share my creations with you.
Most Sincerely,
Kathy Schmitz

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October 19, 2020

Snowdrift Table Runner - snowflake #12


Snowman joke -
Who is Frosty's favorite Aunt?
Aunt Artica!

 Snowflake #12

Using simple stitches and a bead, these a little snowflakes stitch up fast.

If you look closely at my snowflake it's pretty obvious that my stitches are not uniform and that's perfectly OK!  Nothing in nature is perfect so my stitching isn't either.  There isn't a need to trace the design.  These are simple enough to eyeball.  If you feel you need a little help, you can use a Pilot FriXion pen which will disappear with the heat of an iron or another type of temporary marking tool. 

Click HERE to download the snowflake pattern

Next week will be the final post for the Snowdrift table runner!  I will show you how to finish up this wintery project.  I can't believe how fast this stitch along has gone!

Please visit the previous blog posts for the initial instructions, the supply list, and the previous snowflake patterns.

Share a close up of your snowflake on Instagram with #SnowdriftTableRunner and tag me!
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