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blog hop // modern folk embroidery book

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

I'm so happy to be a stop in the Modern Folk Embroidery blog hop! From the moment I saw this book, I was eager to take in all of the stitching, and very thankful to receive a digital copy for review. Folk-style artwork is so charming to me, but not always my thing. So making it a little more modern and doing it with embroidery? Perfect!

One of the things that appeals to me the most about this book is the projects create opportunities to use stitches that I don't use too often. Most of the patterns I design work best with back stitch, french knots, and a few other basics. Modern Folk Embroidery, however, uses all the stitches that you've wanted to try, but haven't quite found a good use for yet.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

Truth be told, I didn't venture too far into new stitches for my first project, but I did find a new favorite. More on that soon. First, let's take a look inside...

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

The photos are beautiful. Everything feels modern and colorful, filled with the busy details often found in folk styling, but simple at the same time. And who can resist a gorgeous photo of scrumptious supplies?

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

And then there are the projects. Honestly, I want to make so many things in this book. The circle pillow above is one of my favorites, but there are very few that I would pass by. Which is what you want to see in a book, right?

One thing I do want to note is that the book cover says there are 30 projects, but it's really more like 15 plus variations. That shouldn't make you think that this has half the content, however, because there's still so much treasure coming.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

I mentioned that Modern Folk Embroidery presents ways to use fun and unique stitches, and it also gives illustrated instructions and variations for those stitches. This is where it starts to get interesting, because the author, Nancy Nicholson, shows so many ways to change up the stitches you already know.

For all of the embroidery I've done through the years, I've never seen so many ways to customize running stitch, and that's just one example.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review
Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

And then there's the ways that you can combine all those stitches. Throughout the book, there are illustrations of stitch designs. Sometimes they are connected with a specific project, but other times they are just there to introduce a section. And they are a priceless component of Modern Folk Embroidery. Use them as a guide for the projects in this book, or to get your creative juices flowing on other things.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

There are plenty of photos of each project, usually with good detail shots, but the step-by-steps are shown with illustration, which I love. That said, they aren't a substitute for the written instructions.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review
Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

This tote and the floral brooches were a few more of my favorite projects, but I went with a flower brooch to start.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

I made the large round flower, but dropped the leaf. I also adapted the stitches slightly, and again, this is one of the great things about the projects. You can easily adjust the stitches and colors to suit your needs.

One thing I wasn't going to change was the use of the stitch around the edge: Eskimo Laced Running Stitch. It's new to me and I heart it so much!

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

The garland and ornaments use a similar construction method to the brooches, and I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that they use a basic craft supply in a super smart way. They are next on my list, and sure to show up around my house this Christmas.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

For a peek at a few more pages in Modern Folk Embroidery, take a look right here. You can also find it on Amazon to take a look inside and pre-order. Then be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the #ModernFolkEmbroidery Blog Hop!

Monday, October 17th - SewandSo
Wednesday, October 19th – Wild Olive (you're here!)
Thursday, October 20th – Kate & Rose
Friday, October 21st - Lilipopo
Monday, October 24th – Anna Scott Embroidery
Wednesday, October 26th – Carina Crafts

printable // kawaii apple coloring picture

Apple Coloring Picture

For those of you who are enjoying the coloring craze, or for those with kids who might need some quiet time, I thought it would be a good time to share a free printable page. I had thought about doing one with all kinds of fall things, but decided to go with apples. They're still fall, right? And even though it's mid-October, we'll still be enjoying apples for a while.

The decision for apples happened when I started to plan a little gathering, with apples as the theme. But let me back up just a bit.

This summer I volunteered to help out one week in the middle school ministry at my church. I did so hesitantly, but thought it would be good to serve. By the end of the service, I was starting to think I should help more, and soon after that I signed up to be a small group leader for girls in 6th grade.

What I thought would be about an hour and a half of my life has turned into every Sunday plus extra things. And I love it. I love the girls I'm working with and the time we spend together.

One of those extra things is what I'm calling an Apple Gala, which is really just a fancy way of saying "let's get together and make caramel apple bowls (like a sundae, but with apples instead of ice cream), play games, and have fun. It seemed appropriate to make a coloring picture in my Wild Olive style.

That's also why there's a verse on the picture, and the verse is actually a prayer, asking God to "keep me as the apple of your eye." Truth: I had to look up what this phrase "apple of your eye" really means. If you're like me and aren't 100% sure, it's this: the apple of the eye is another way of saying the pupil of the eye. It's the most sensitive part, and therefore it's precious and the part you would protect the most.

Psalm 17:8 is asking God for protection. It's asking God to hold you as something precious. And He does.

I hope this coloring page will be a comfort and hope to the girls in my group, and to you as well. And if you'd prefer the version without the verse, that's here for you too.

calendar // old cranky candy corn for a new october

Oh October, I'm glad you're here. Even though I'm a little late to greet you. Some months you just need to flip the calendar page so you can start again. It's been feeling that way more often lately.

I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a month of catching up on all that I missed or messed up last month. We're gonna call this a month of resetting so that November can be amazing.

The Cranky Candy Corn on this month's calendar is from 2008, the first year that I started making calendars. If you look closely, you'll see that when the candy is flipped, the frown turns upside down to make a happier treat. Choose to see them as cranky or cheerful, depending on your mood!

Speaking of candy corn, here are a few posts I created for other sites, starting with a candy corn accessory...

Candy Corn Pin

Check out my post on how to make your own embroidered candy corn pin. It's a pretty quick project, so you have plenty of time to make one (or a bunch) for Halloween.

Leaf Garland

If you have a little more time on your hands, how about making a painted and embroidered leaf garland?

Jacobs Ladder

Craft with your kids by making a Jacob's ladder toy from craft foam. You'll be amazed by how they work, even after you've made one!

Now, onto the calendars for this month!

For iPhone 6+, choose the iPad version. To use the iPhone and iPad versions, click the link for the wallpaper you want. When it opens, touch and hold the image until it pops up with the option to save. After you've saved the image, go to your settings, choose wallpaper, then find the image you've just saved.

You can also download a printable October calendar. Trim it and leave it in black and white, or color it in with all of the candy corn colors and flavors you wish they made!

patterns // kawaii symbols for rosh hashanah

Rosh Hashanah Patterns

Not too long ago I was learning a little more about Jewish new year celebration of Rosh Hashanah, and had this moment where I knew that I was going to draw some embroidery patterns for the occasion. I'm not Jewish, but I love the festivals of the Old Testament.

Making foods with faces is one of my favorite things to draw and stitch, so apples and honey were a natural for me (there's an apple slice in the PDF too!). I also learned that pomegranates are a symbol of this holiday.

And then I had to do a shofar trumpet, even though it's not food. Because I love shofars. And a happy shofar just makes me happy.

If you will be celebrating soon, I wish you a very happy and blessed Rosh Hashanah to you and your family. And even if you're not Jewish, I hope you enjoy stitching a few treats!

project pattern // pumpkin spice latte felt applique

Pumpkin Spice Applique

You know I'm all about the pumpkin spice. I love it so much that I made my brother work at Trader Joe's just to have access to all the pumpkin goodness! (Just kidding...he works there, but it was his own idea and I just reap the pumpkin rewards!) In addition to enjoying this yummy flavor, I'm also all about crafting the PSL. Hence a felt applique!

If you're a sewing purist, you looking at this photo and saying "um, Mollie...that's not an applique." It is true that there's no sewing in this tag you see, but the pattern works how you want it to.

You can make a fast and easy tag with the felt pieces glued in place, you can cut the pieces from fabric with fusible interfacing and then add some machine sewing details, or you can hand stitch these pieces in place. I'll show you how to make the tag, and you can then use the pattern however you'd like!

Pumpkin Spice Applique

You will need:

Orange and white felt
Black embroidery floss
Shipping tag
Craft glue


Pumpkin Spice Applique

Cut out the pieces from felt. Use white for the two lid pieces and cup sleeve and orange for the cup and pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Embroider the face on the pumpkin. I usually just freehand where the face should go and stitch it with french knots and a scallop stitch.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Attach the pieces from the bottom layer up to the top. This goes for whether you are gluing or stitching.

Start with the cup and larger lid piece so they are just touching.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Add the tiny strip of lid piece to cover where the cup and lid meet. Attach the club sleeve and pumpkin last.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

You now have a little PSL!

If you glued like I did, the tag may ripple a bit, or at least have a slight curve to it. Once it dries completely, that will flatten out.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Add a ribbon to the tag, and tie it onto a sweet gift (I recommend a can of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice coffee), hang it as an ornament, or simply tuck it into an autumn display.

Of course, if you're sewing this, it would be great on a mug rug or coaster, a cloth bag, or as part of a mini quilt!

Pumpkin Spice Applique

For those of you who aren't fans of the PSL, I still love you. And you can also use this pattern and customize the sleeve area with another shape or some embroidery. A heart would be perfect for any coffee lover!

How will you use your pumpkin spice latte applique?

around the house mini quilt

Around the House Mini Quilt

This week was the end of the Around the House Stitching Club. I love sending patterns out to so many folks and seeing each person's progress along the way. It's actually quite sad when it's over, but sharing my own finished quilt comes at the end, so that helps. Because I'm really happy with this mini quilt!

I remember someone telling me a few years back that I really needed to learn quilting because it's a perfect pairing with embroidery. She was so right. Especially with English paper piecing, because it's all hand stitching. And it's so nice when it's small because the slowness doesn't mean you won't finish for ages and ages.

Okay, so you could take ages and ages, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it's nice to have a thing you can make within eight weeks, right?

Around the House Mini Quilt
Around the House Mini Quilt

Choosing the designs for this was tricky, as every house is different. Thankfully, club members embraced that and a few decided to alter the patterns so they more closely matched their homes and the way they spend time in each room. Seriously, you need to go look through the photos on Instagram. My favorite laundry basket has a kitty in it, and more than a few folks added some crafty elements to their stitching.

Around the House Mini Quilt

And if you missed joining this club, don't fret. There are two things you can do.

The first is that you can still sign up! Just head to my Etsy shop where you can purchase the entire club as one PDF. It's also available right here on my blog.

The other thing you can do is get ready for the next club. I'll be sharing more information soon, but this time it will take you out of the house for another eight weeks of embroidery and EPP!

making old new // i heart pumpkin spice embroidery pattern

pumpkin spice

You guys, I get so excited when pumpkin spice time comes around each year. I enjoy a variety of pumpkin spice treats (my brother works at Trader Joe's, so you can imagine that we find all the good stuff!), but coffee remains my favorite. Naturally, I made an embroidery pattern declaring my love of the PSL.

This is a pattern that I made a while ago for another website that is longer around. For those who love their pumpkin spice lattes, it was time to bring this freebie back. And I took the opportunity to add a little something as well.

The I Heart Pumpkin Spice pattern remains almost the same (slight face adjustment), but the PDF now has an iced coffee version too.

That's because when it's still warm out, I LOVE Dunkin Donuts' Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee. I get mine with cream and sweetener and it's so yummy. Especially when they are running their happy hour and a large is just 99 cents!

Lest you think that I'm only all about the sugar (okay, so most of the time I am), I will gladly take a cup of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee with nothing added. Any time of the year. As in, I try to always have several cans on hand for those days when no other flavor will do.

Yes, I really do love pumpkin spice coffees this much!

How about you? If you're looking for more pumpkin spice goodness, I have a few more posts that carry that very special tag!

book review // cuter stuff by aranzi aronzo

book review // cuter stuff

If you saw a book that claimed to have Cute Stuff in it, you'd want to look, right? What if it declared that it was filled with Cuter Stuff? Well, you'd pick up that book, find that it was indeed super cute, and then you'd buy it. Full price. This is what happened when I spotted this Aranzi Aronzo book at Barnes & Noble the other day.

A few years back, I picked up the Japanese version of Cute Stuff (before it was translated), and loved it. The sequel to this title is similar to the first and both are true to their names.

book review // cuter stuff
book review // cuter stuff

Each item in the book has a photo, or sometimes several photos, but all of the instructions are illustrated. This was a huge inspiration to me when working on my own book, but I don't think anyone could do it better than the Aranzi Aronzo books. The projects and motifs are cute, but so is the whole process!

Along with the project photos throughout the book, at the back there is a gallery of pictures showing some most of them in use. I love that they are often modeled by stuffed animals designed by the authors!

book review // cuter stuff

And here's a better look at the illustrations. These are from the basics section. Sewing instructions from bunnies? Yes please! This is a good example of why buying the Japanese version of Cute Stuff worked for me. I can't read Japanese, but the illustrations explain so much. A picture is worth 1000 words, right?

book review // cuter stuff

The projects range from magnets to pencil holders to coasters and more, most of which have a useful quality to them. This doggy is just cute, and I'm good with that. I think my sister and I might make one to play with her American Girl dolls.

book review // cuter stuff

Some projects are rather simple, for example, I didn't need a book to show me how to add faces to fruits and vegetables. But you can bet that I'm crazy for this page. Seriously...things are better with faces.

book review // cuter stuff

One thing I really appreciate in Cuter Stuff is that you don't absolutely need a sewing machine. They tell you when you can use one, but nearly everything works with hand sewing. Even a panda zipper pouch!

book review // cuter stuff

Most projects have a distinct Aranzi Aronzo style to them, but a few feel more generic. They are all still super cute, and I'm looking forward to making these felt flowers. Speaking of felt, that is the most common material you'll use for the Cuter Stuff in this book. Love that!

book review // cuter stuff
book review // cuter stuff

Working with felt is one of my favorite materials, and seeing easy ways to work with it is good for me. There are several projects that use the collection of felt applique motifs in the book, including hiragana. Just seeing these kinds of ideas is helpful, because it will get you thinking about new ways to use favorite patterns.

Cuter Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo is simple and good for kids or beginners, as well as for those who just need a dose of cute inspiration. Look for it at your local bookseller or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

calendar // a past psl for a present september

September is a good month for one very important reason: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. It's kind of a staple around here each year, and this September can be no different.

That said, I could probably stand to have a do-over for August. An unexpected blogging break and other things meant that I only created five posts here. And that just bugs me. At least a new month can be a new start of sorts.

Though I only posted five times at Wild Olive, I did manage to write a bunch for the other blogs I work with. Here are a few of those posts:

Felt Art Frame

For Hello Bee, I shared this felt frame to hold your child's artwork. It would also make a great DIY gift for kids to make for grandparents or friends!

Crayon Wrappers

At Handmade Charlotte you can print customized crayon wrappers or give them the wild Olive treatment. Because crayons are better with faces.

Happy Crayons Embroidery Pattern

Speaking of crayons with faces, this free embroidery pattern is available at About.com. Who doesn't want to stitch some dancing crayons!

Easy DIY Pillow

For when you have some embroidery but aren't quite sure what to do with it, why not make a pillow? The sewing on this is SUPER easy!

Tassel Scissor Charm

And finally, also at About.com, you can add some flair to your embroidery scissors with a tassel charm made from embroidery floss.

Oh, and all through August, my Around the House Stitching Club has been stitching along. We're not quite done yet, but you can see what folks have been making. All their progress makes me feel like I'm doing even more than I actually am, so stitching club members deserve a special shout-out for that!

Now, let's officially jump into September! Grab yourself a PSL calendar and perhaps an actual PSL too!

Download the 2560x1440 Wallpaper.
Download the 1920x1280 Wallpaper.
Download the 1280x800 Wallpaper.
Download the iPhone Wallpaper.
Download the iPad Wallpaper.

For your home screen or for keeping up through the entire PSL season, these have the PSL mugs, but no calendar. Side note, the rows of mugs are absolutely inspired by the rows of dancing beer steins in Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast.

Download the iPhone PSL Wallpaper.
Download the iPad PSL Wallpaper.

For iPhone 6+, choose the iPad version. To use the iPhone and iPad versions, click the link for the wallpaper you want. When it opens, touch and hold the image until it pops up with the option to save. After you've saved the image, go to your settings, choose wallpaper, then find the image you've just saved.

You can also download a printable September calendar. Trim it and leave it in black and white, or enjoy a bit of coloring!

All of this talk really has me ready for a grande pumpkin spice latte, skim with whipped (my typical order!).

flashback friday // button posts from days gone by

Button Buddies embroidery project

When you write a blog for long time, posts from the past can sink to the bottom and become hard to find, which is why it's nice to look at a few from the past. Since this month's old calendar made new is button-themed, I thought it might be fun to connect you with a few older button blog posts.

The hedgehog button embroidery above is from the same month as the original button calendar I made. It's part of a free downloadable PDF mini workshop that includes six animal patterns and instructions for use.

Button Ring

Do you have a pretty button that you want to use in a special way? How about turning it into a ring? That's what I did with this button I purchased at Liberty of London.


I have this thing for vintage craft supplies, and the packaging on these vintage buttons is pretty amazing. Since these belonged to a family member, it's also fun to think about what the buttons were intended for or the potential someone saw in them.

25 Crafts of Christmas // Buttons

If you're starting to think about Christmas (this is the best time!), you might want to make a few holly brooches with button berries!

yoyo pin

And one more pin project. This one looks a little winter/Christmas, but it works with any tiny embroidery pattern. This is kind of the ultimate, because you make your own button to start, then use that to make something new!

What are your favorite button projects?