Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

Category: crafts

Cross-over Quilting Tools

Like many of us quilters, space is at a premium, so when I find a tool or machine that has multiple uses, I get excited about it!

Let’s face it, we can’t make everyone a quilt every time we need a gift! That’s why I like to use my Brother Scan N Cut, which I mostly bought for quilting purposes, to also make unique non-quilted  gifts.

Click HERE for a review of  the monogrammed baby quilt I made using a phone app and the Scan N Cut:

Click HERE to see the old Italian proverb made with Scan N Cut in this Italian Row-by-Row quilt.

The Scan N Cut project I’d like to share with you today is one I made for Christmas last year – and it requires a short story…

Each year, we gather at my husband’s family farm before Christmas. We all traipse into the fields and watch as the chosen tree is cut down. The (now grown) grand-kids decorate the tree while the older grown-ups visit. Before opening gifts and eating, everyone gathers around the very long dining table while our mother-in-law leads us on the piano in Christmas carols. It’s sounds all cozy and Hallmark-y, right?

Then comes the finale, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”! Except for two assigned parts, we all do the motions for each of the days. The assigned parts? The three brothers are “Lords a Leapin'” for which they do what is supposed to be a leaping type of movement (they take this role very seriously) and any new boyfriend or girlfriend brought to the party is the “goose” for “Geese a Layin'”. This involves squatting, twisting, and flapping movements.

Image of Kiefner Brothers Leaping

Fabulous Photo by Black Kiefner

Now, there is a year-long push for new geese–so each single grandchild has a bit of pressure to find a goose to bring for Christmas! Both of our daughters will say their geese have been somewhat traumatized by Kiefner Christmas!

What does this have to do with Scan N Cut? I came up with this gift idea last year using vinyl and paint on glass in a barn wood frame. The painting was very easy, just dabbing layers of green and white in the general shape of a tree (the only tricky part was that the paint is on the back of the glass so you want to paint the foreground first). Placing the letters was easy once I figured out to use a rotary mat under my glass to line everything up.  I ended up making a few variations for other families and I think they were all well-received. Image of Hanging Picture

If you’ve wondered about using a Scan N Cut for quilting, this would be a great time of year to check them out – dealers are having sales and you need something to put on your wish list, right? (I have no affiliation with Brother or any dealers, I just like to share with you the things I like!)

Check out these Christmas items in my Etsy Shop (Click Here).Image of Poinsettia Quilt

Image of JOY QuiltImage of Blue Christmas Tree Quilt

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

Make a cute punch needle snowman today!

Come on, let’s go and play!

Put down your lists and have-tos.

Make a snowman yours today!

Even if you don’t like winter or snow, you can’t deny this guy is pretty cute and no shovel needed!

Grab one 3-inch canvas, your punching supplies and some yummy threads to make yourself a little winter punch-needle snowman.

Mr. Snowman Punch Needle

Mr. Snowman Punch Needle

This little guy works up super-fast and adds some needlework texture to your winter decor. My guy likes to sit in front of my “Winter Blessings” quilt (pattern by Shabby Fabrics) hanging in my dining room but he’d be darling on a window sill!

Go to my “How to Punch Needle” page to learn to do basic punching technique.

Draw your favorite snowman. What’s great about punch needle is the simpler, the better. So think back to how you would draw a snowman as a kid-then punch away!

Winter Blessings Quilt Pattern by Shabby Fabrics

Winter Blessings Quilt
Pattern by Shabby Fabrics

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

A few years ago, my girls dressed as Anna and Elsa and sang for the Salvation Army ringer outside our mall. It was cold, but they had a great time, surprised lots of little ones by being there, and brought in a few more dollars for the Salvation Army.

Do ya wanna build a snowman?It also made for a great Christmas card that year!

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

Remember to be prepared for the winter days ahead and check your emergency supplies, like water, batteries, thread, treadle machine oil (in case you lose electricity), and chocolate!

How about you share your snowman, punched or real, when winter hits? Tell me about your wintery projects!

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A Christmas Passed.

All of a sudden your family has grown up and the holidays are different!

It happens in a flash. They tell you it will. You know it will. You even know at the time that it is…and then, all of a sudden, you know it DID.

Your children have grown up. All of those years of anticipation and child-like joy about the holidays are over–actually have been for a number of years. You were just pretending they weren’t.

I’m sure you’ve figured out that “you” is me. With daughters at 24 and 20, you’d think I’d have dealt with this change sooner, but I think I was just trying to hang on as long as possible–to every “tradition” like new jammies for them to wear, eating the same dinner every Christmas Eve, eating Saint Lucia bread every Christmas morning, listening to the same Christmas music each year…

Now, for the first time in thirteen years, neither of my girls will be singing for our Christmas Eve service at church.

The Angel with Mary and Joseph

Popsicle stick Advent toys I made 23 years ago. I still put them out every year.

Neither of them will even be here. This Christmas Eve it will be just us and the baby in the manger. No cooking all day, keeping it warm while hurrying to and from the first service, home to have Christmas dinner with family and rush back to church for the candlelight performance. No prayers in the pews for healthy voices and calm nerves. It’s just us for Christmas Eve.

I’m sure many of my quilting friends now what I’m talking about, have been there, and maybe have the new round of grand-kiddos to share the excitement.

Change happens. There’s no denying it, not forever, anyway. When I think about our traditions now, I’m not so afraid to try something new. It’s still Christmas. What’s important has never changed and never will. Maybe I can focus on “new traditions” (oxymoron?) that place more meaning on the real reason we celebrate and let go of some of those time-intensive have-to’s. I mean, let’s face it, my Saint Lucia bread hasn’t risen right since we moved to our new house, ten years ago!

Jacquelyn in her Kirsten gown.

Jacquelyn in her Kirsten gown.

But it had become a tradition to laugh about the candle-lit flatbread with gooey orange icing and dried cranberries we were eating every Christmas morning!

So our girls would sleep in their white gowns and early in the morning they’d put crowns on their heads, tiptoe into the kitchen and make us something that looked like chocolate coffee and bring us a tray of goodies to “surprise” us Christmas morning, sorta like Kirsten (their American Girl) did.

The original cheetah, Paige, playing with the manger scene with Casey.

The original cheetah, Paige, playing with the manger scene with Casey.

Some years they’d have a song and dance made up–some years they’d just wing it. But it was always fun, if maybe not so tasty!

The flying cheetah--or the cheetah angel?

The flying cheetah–or the cheetah angel?

The little things!

The little things!

An ornament we made as gifts one year.

An ornament we made as gifts one year.

How did we not know she'd be an opera singer?

How did we not know she’d be an opera singer?

So it’ll be a quiet Christmas Eve, but a beautiful one, I know. There’s nothing like singing Silent Night by candlelight in our filled, beautiful church. Then on Christmas Day, our oldest will fly in from New York, the youngest and her boyfriend will pick her up at the airport, drive a few hours and our celebration with family will begin. We will have a new menu, new music, and some new people…and I think some new jammies will be in order!A Christmas Passed.Sign up to get an email when a new post goes live (about once a week).

Tell me about your Christmas traditions and ones you recommend starting!