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I received the sweetest gift in the mail last week.

It’s from a friend of my parents, someone I also consider a friend — Janet Smith.

Janet is a special person in my life. Janet is a retired nurse, and when she was a new nurse, back in the 60′s, I was the first baby she helped deliver!

Janet and her husband, Ron, (and Janet’s sister Betty) are all accomplished musicians as well.

Janet’s mother-in-law, Bessie Smith, was my Sunday School teacher at the small country church we attended when I was a little girl.

Janet says she loves quilts, but does not like to make them! However, she has other seemingly unlimited talents, because the gift is even more special as it was handmade by Janet herself! It’s a beautiful set of note cards that she made:Janetsnotecards

Janet said that the Hazel’s “mending” ones reminded her of me and my mother. Aren’t they just so cute?

She sent me “extras to use”, but they’re so pretty I don’t know about that! They’ll have to be saved for very special people . . .

Thank you so much, Janet, for the sweet, thoughtful, and beautiful gift — I consider it a treasure!

Here it is! The final embroidery block! Woohoo!

I never dreamed I’d drag this out as long as I have, but 2013 was quite a year! The year of UN-organization around here. With moving twice back towards the beginning, I lost a lot of the pieces and parts of this project, so I’ve done a lot of digging and sorting to get back on track — very slowly . . .

And all my plans to get it wrapped up sooner just kept falling through. But here it is — the final embroidery block!

Here’s my plain version:Block6Plain

And here’s the fancy version:Block6fancy

For my plain version this time, I again reduced the block size, this time by 25%, to make a 9″ finished embroidery block. You’ll see why when the bonus project comes out a bit later. I also used two colors of thread on this one, and only used 2 strands of floss. If you’re doing it full-sized, you will probably want to use three strands of floss. This time, I used four stitches: Outline Stitch, Back Stitch, Straight Stitch, and French Knots (see links below for help with these stitches).

For the fancy version, again I used 8 thread colors, matched to the fabrics I’m making my quilt out of. You’ll need at least 1 skein of each color and possibly more of the greens for this block. I used three strands for this block as well.

Here are close-up photos of each section, so that hopefully, you can see the stitches a bit better. If you click on each photo, it will appear in a larger version (or at least it’s supposed to . . .).

Here’s section 1:Section1F

Section 2:Section2F

Section 3:Section3F

And section 4:Section4F

Stitches that I used in the fancy block are as follows:

Outline Stitch

French Knots

Satin Stitch

Blanket Stitch

Backstitch

Cross Stitch

Chain Stitch

Running Stitch

Straight Stitch

Lazy Daisy Stitch

If you click on the name of each stitch, it links to a post or video on how to do that particular stitch, just in case you need to refer to them.

And always remember, you do not have to use the same stitches and fills that I did. Shop around on the stitch sites, pick something new and unusual to try, but no matter what, do what you feel comfortable with.

On the printed pattern, you will see black lines and red lines, just like every time. If you’re doing the plain version, you’ll only need the black lines.

If you’re doing the fancy version, you may also need some of the red lines. It’s possible that you won’t need to actually trace the red lines, but just refer to them for placement as you’re doing your fills. It’s up to you and how comfortable you feel sewing without the lines.

Here’s the download: Hazel’s Summer Wildflowers, Block 6

For more information, you can refer back to the post for Block 1 for links to how to trace off your block pattern onto the fabric or for the embroidery lesson sites.

Sometime next week, I’ll post the instructions for the pieced block that goes with these to make the quilt, so check back soon. And right after that, finishing instructions for your quilt — can you believe it? We’ll be done!

I’d love to feature any blocks you have finished, so don’t be shy — send me some pictures!

Oh, and there’s one more bonus project coming up soon, and lots more news about what’s next for the diary project . . . there WILL be a lot happening around here this year — you’ll want to stay tuned!

I’m here today to highlight a participant from the very first Hazel’s Diary Quilt-Along, the 1951 Quilt.

Susanne contacted me a few days ago to let me know she had finally finished her quilt.

And it’s fabulous! I’m always so thrilled to see yet another colorway and someone else’s take on the pattern, and Susanne used a wonderful zebra print in her quilt — along with all the bright colors in her blocks, it just zings . . .

Susanne blogged about her quilt, and you can go read all about it and see some more pictures by clicking HERE.

And thank you so much, Susanne, for sharing the post and pictures with us — your quilt is beautiful!

Kitchen Towels

Here’s a quick project that you can make using the plain version of one of your embroidery blocks.

Some cute and easy kitchen towels!Kitchentowels

I used the embroidery pattern for Block 5, the plain version, in one color, for my tea towels, which you can find by clicking HERE.

Simply reduce the pattern to the size that you want (I used 50%), and trace it on to a pre-made towel, and stitch it out.PlainBlock5

I just happened to have on hand these two vintage red and white-striped towels, and they were perfect for my project. You can purchase pre-made kitchen towels in lots of styles and colors, or you can get fabric you love and make your own and then stitch on the design.

When I finally get my kitchen finished, my colors will be red and white, so I think these will go perfectly and look really cute in my new kitchen!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a finish to show you from a previous quilt-along participant, and I hope to get Block 6 posted within the week.

OK, so posting Block 4 did NOT get me back on track, but I really want to wrap this up by mid-December, so I’d best get on the stick, right? So finally, today, I’m back with Block 5. Only one more block to go, then I’ll post the piecing and assembly instructions. I know you’re all anxious to get finished!

Here’s my plain version of Block 5:PlainBlock5

And here’s my fancy one:FancyBlock5

For my plain version this time, I again reduced the block size by half, to make a 6″ finished embroidery block. You’ll see why when I post the bonus project a bit later. I still used just one color of thread, but since it was smaller, I only used 2 strands of floss (and I think 1 skein will be enough). If you’re doing it full-sized, you will probably want to use three strands of floss, and may need two skeins. This time, I used three stitches: Outline Stitch, Back Stitch, and French Knots (see links below for help with these stitches).

For the fancy version, again I used 8 thread colors, matched to the fabrics I’m making my quilt out of. You’ll need at least 1 skein of each color and possibly more of the greens for this block. I used three strands for this block as well.

Once again, I’m showing some close-up photos of each section, so that hopefully, you can see the stitches a bit better. If you click on each photo, it will appear in a larger version (or at least it’s supposed to . . .).

Here’s section 1:Section1cu

Section 2:Section2cu

Section 3:Section3cu

And section 4:Section4cu

Stitches that I used in the fancy block are as follows:

Outline Stitch

French Knots

Satin Stitch

Blanket Stitch

Backstitch

Cross Stitch

Running Stitch

Straight Stitch

Lazy Daisy Stitch

If you click on the name of each stitch, it links to a post or video on how to do that particular stitch, just in case you need to refer to them.

And always remember, you do not have to use the same stitches and fills that I did. Shop around on the stitch sites, pick something new and unusual to try, but no matter what, do what you feel comfortable with.

On the printed pattern, you will see black lines and red lines, just like every time. If you’re doing the plain version, you’ll only need the black lines.

If you’re doing the fancy version, you may also need some of the red lines. It’s possible that you won’t need to actually trace the red lines, but just refer to them for placement as you’re doing your fills. It’s up to you and how comfortable you feel sewing without the lines.

Here’s the download: Hazel’s Summer Wildflowers, Block 5

For more information, you can refer back to the post for Block 1 for links to how to trace off your block pattern onto the fabric or for the embroidery lesson sites.

And I’ll be back later with the bonus project for Block 5. Thanks to everyone for waiting so patiently for me — I’m ashamed of myself that I’ve drug it out this long. Enjoy! Oh, and as always, send me pictures . . .

I’m finally back with the bonus project for Block 4. Can you even believe it?

This time, I chose to reduce the size of my embroidered block and use it as a pocket on an apron. An apron made from a tea towel, which only makes it even easier.Apronfinished

Here’s what you’ll need to make your apron:

1 tea towel that measures 20″ x 28″ (that’s the standard size — you can use a bigger one if you want)

1/2 yard of coordinating fabric

10″ square of white fabric for pocket lining

And a finished embroidery block. To make the block the right size, simply reduce the block pattern to 50% of the original size.

Trace it onto an 8″ or 10″ background square to do the embroidery. Then trim the finished embroidery piece to 6 1/2″ square instead of the normal 12 1/2″.

You can find the pattern for Block 4 HERE.

Let’s get started . . .

I’m going to outline some of the process here, then send you to another tutorial to finish the apron, just because I already have that tutorial, so it saves me having to re-write everything.

First, we’ll prepare and attach the pocket to the apron front.

From your coordinating fabric, cut:

2 strips 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

2 strips 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

From the white pocket lining fabric, cut:

1 square 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

Sew a 6 1/2″ strip to the top of the embroidered block, and one to the bottom. Press seams toward the strips.

Then sew the 8 1/2″ strips to the sides of the embroidered block, again pressing seams toward the strips.

Position the embroidered piece right sides together with the white lining piece, and pin them together.

I somehow missed getting pictures of this part, but since it’s fairly straightforward, I know you’ll get it just by looking at the next picture anyway, so forgive me. Let’s move on . . .

Stitch all the way around the outer edge with a 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening for turning the piece right side out, preferably on the side that will be the bottom of your pocket.pocketlined

Clip the corners and turn the pocket right side out and press.

Pin the pocket in place in the center of the apron (or in whichever position you wish your pocket to be). There’s no need to close the hole in the pocket piece, because it will get caught in the seam as you stitch the pocket to the apron front.pocketpinned

Topstitch around the side and bottom edges of the pocket to attach it to the apron.pocketattached

Next, we’ll add the ruffle to the bottom.

From your coordinating fabric, cut a strip 4″ x width of fabric (WOF).

Press under 1/4″ on the two short sides and one long side.rufflepressed

Turn under again and topstitch the fold to hem the ruffle piece.rufflestitched

Next, turn the top raw edge of the ruffle down, right sides together, 1/4″, and press.rufflefold

Using strong thread, and a large running stitch by hand, sew a line of loose stitches across the top edge through both layers. This will be your pull string for the gathers.rufflepullstring

Find the center point of the ruffle piece and mark it with a pin.

Find the center point of the apron bottom and mark it with a pin.

Place the apron right side down on your work surface, and place the ruffle piece right side down on top of it, overlapping the top edge of the ruffle with the hemmed edge of the towel. (Both wrong sides will be UP.) Pin the center points together.

Pin the ruffle piece in place at each end of the apron front.

Now use the pull string to gather the ruffle to fit the apron front, working with one half at a time. Pin the gathers in place. rufflegathered

Stitch along the folded edge of the ruffle to attach it to the apron front.ruffleattached

Now you have your apron front ready to finish. Click HERE to go to the tutorial for the instructions on making and attaching the ties strings and waistband.

And that should finish up your apron. I’ll be back in a few days with Block 5. I know I’ve been lax about posting the blocks for this quilt-along, but since they’re so involved, several of you have said it’s given you time to catch up and keep up. However, I’d like to wrap the whole thing up pretty soon, because there are some other exciting things coming along for the diary project, so stay tuned!

July 31, 1953

Tonite was Shirley’s birthday party at Macon Lake. Me, Dale, Damon & boys went. Afterwards we went to Louies & danced. Had so much fun. Dale & I got her a Brownie camera. Bunch was there.

So Shirley got her party, and the whole crew made it there for the festivities. Glad they had fun. I wonder if Shirley still has her Brownie camera?

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