Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Partners In Crime"

Christmas shopping needing to be completed, my mother and her closest friend Mrs. R decided they would combine their efforts with a trip to the Mall.  Mrs. R had a slight "My children are better than your children." attitude. She hesitantly left her son with his Partner in Crime, my brother John as they had been banned from Montgomery Wards for life the previous Christmas. They were only eight!

Not ones to miss an opportunity to eye spy their gifts, the boys hid themselves in the trunk of the car, a screwdriver handy to let themselves out once at the Mall.  It worked like a charm; but the mothers were very slow shoppers, and the boys were bored and hungry. Money for the food court soon gone, the boys returned to the car only to discover their mothers had already left!

With not a dime between them they had no choice but to make a collect call from the payphone in the Mall. "Hi, Mom. Can you come and get us?" "Get you? Where are you??? At the Mall!!!!"

Partners in Crime, brothers at heart, the two boys could not be kept apart.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Dash-Away All" Penny Rug

  I love holiday baking and thought a penny rug would be the perfect way to capture these memories. Can you see my cookie jar is waiting for my Reindeer Sugar Cookies? He is traced from a cookie cutter I have used for years!

Supplies: 1/2yd white felt, 1/4yd red felt, 1 piece tan felt, 1 piece aqua felt, 2 skeins white floss, 1 skein red, 1 skein aqua, black. Large scissors, small pointed, pinking sheers. Button hole stitch, outline stitch, basting stitches. Print pattern to fit standard copy paper size.

STEP 1. Using circle pattern or 15" plate, trace on back of white felt. Place scallop pieces ABUTTING traced line, trace 19 scallops around circle. Repeat on second half of felt for back piece. Cut out.

STEP 2. Trace rooftops flipping pattern over at fold line. Cut out. With small pointed scissors snip windows and doorways if desired. (Snow on roofs uses pinking sheers, one long piece cut to size)
STEP 3. Using long running stitch, baste rooftops 1/2 inch above scallops allowing room for snowflake circles. Use 2 strands red floss, button hole stitch to attach. (Don't be afraid to gather felt in hand. Turn piece in hand as needed to stitch. Go slow, don't become frustrated!) Snow is attached with tiny single stitches, 1 thread, white)

STEP 4. Following natural curve of rooftops, lightly pencil mark same 1/2" from scallops to create complete circle. Use 3 strands red, outline stitch.

STEP 5. Use one strand white floss, long running stitch to create curve to write "dash-away all" about 1" from red circle edge. Use pencil to write words. Two strands red floss, outline stitch. NOTE: DON'T worry if your letters or spacing aren't perfect. This is why there is a "dash" and little blue snowflakes to "even things out". I call this "CHARM"!!!

STEP 6. Cut 1 tan, 1 white reindeer same size. Slightly trim white reindeer to create icing appearance. Button hole stitch icing to cookie 2 strand white. Apply nose with small tacking stitches, eye can be a bead or black satin stitch. Baste reindeer in place with LONG running stitches 1 strand white floss. SMALL running stitch cookie to background with 1 strand white very close to white felt edge.
STEP 7. Button stitch blue snowflakes where needed to please your eye (or cover any mistakes!) Snowflakes, 2 strands white through all layers.

Step 8. Sew snowflakes on each circle, 3 strands white.
Step 9. Button stitch circles in place, 2 strands aqua. ALMOST DONE!!!
Step 10. Baste finished top to bottom piece matching scallops. Baste together using long running stitches, 2 strands white. Button stitch around all edges, 3 strands white. NOTE:( I also used 2 strands white small running stitches just next to rooftops and red outline of circle to give stability. Optional) Remove all basting stitches. Iron lightly on back of penny rug.