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pattern // a poppy to remember

Poppy Embroidery Pattern

While driving through my neighborhood, I spotted some beautiful poppies growing in an even more beautiful garden. I've never tried growing poppies, although I did draw a tiny poppy embroidery pattern for the 50 States Stitching Club. Seeing those poppies, however, made me want to make a new poppy pattern.

As I started drawing what is at least inspired by poppies, I also remembered that this flower is often connected with Memorial Day. And it's nearly Memorial Day, so I guess I was inspired at just the right time!

I think this pattern would look great in a hoop, but it would also be beautiful stitched as a sachet or a little pin cushion. For the centers, I'm picturing pistil stitch. If you'd rather, straight stitches and french knots would also work.

Happy stitching!

printable // floral watercolor cards

Watercolor Flower Cards

Need a last minute card for Mother's Day, but you'd like something more special than what you'd buy at Target? Or maybe you just can't handle paying the same amount for a piece of cardstock as you would for a Frapuccino? It's not that mom isn't worth it, but if you mom is like mine, she's rather have the coffee. Enter the DIY Floral Watercolor Card

It's part printable, part unique piece of art. Kids can even get involved with the painting!

Plus, the printable file includes a few other versions so you can make cards like this for other occasions too.

Watercolor Flower Cards

You will need:

A blank card - 4.25in x 5.5in when folded
Plain paper - 24lb. is best
Washi tape
Watercolor paint
Small to medium flower-shaped craft punch - any style works
Embroidery floss

Watercolor Flower Cards PDF

Watercolor Flower Cards

Print page one of the PDF on regular paper. This is the print guide. Tape the blank card within the lines on guide. You only need a few tabs, and it's most important to have them on the end where the paper feeds into the printer.

Watercolor Flower Cards

Send the page through the printer again, making sure that you have the page going the correct direction. Print the card page that you want.

Remove the card from the page, peeling the tape off carefully.

TIP: If you don't have blank cards, you can print page one on card stock, then run it through again for the printed message. Cut out the rectangle and fold it in half to create your own card.

Watercolor Flower Cards

Paint a page of regular paper with watercolors. It doesn't have to be anything special, just scribble some colors on there.

I made some blobs of color, then added rings around those, filled in areas, dotted some extra colors around, and just had fun. I think it helps to work with similar colors in groupings, blending the colors and creating a rainbow of sorts. You can also limit yourself to just 3 or 4 colors.

Let the page dry completely, or help it along with a hair dryer.

TIP: If you don't want to paint your own watercolor base, there are free resources for printable watercolor backgrounds online, such as these from Angie Makes.

Watercolor Flower Cards

Use the flower punch to make watercolor flowers. Slide the punch around to find a cropping that you like.

Watercolor Flower Cards
Watercolor Flower Cards

Sometimes the coloring you like won't be centered or it will be hard to reach. Grab a pair of scissors and trim down the edges so you can get the punch where you want it.

Watercolor Flower Cards

Make a bunch of flowers. You won't need all of them for one card, but having a good selection gives you options.

Watercolor Flower Cards

To give your flowers more dimension, you can fold them a little between the petals.

Watercolor Flower Cards

Now it's time to start arranging the flowers to find a layout you like. Try different colors, placements, and numbers of flowers?

Watercolor Flower Cards
Watercolor Flower Cards
Watercolor Flower Cards

I opted for the simplicity of just three flowers. I also wanted to make sure that none of the flowers go over the edges, as this card needs to fit in an envelope.

You may want to grab your phone and snap a photo of your layout before you start assembling.

Watercolor Flower Cards

Thread your needle with three strands of embroidery floss and knot the other end. Start stitching the flowers to the front of the card. Use straight stitches that meet in the middle to make a little star.

They don't need to be perfect for even! Just avoid making extra holes in the paper. And when you're done with one flower, tie it off with a knot and start the next.

Watercolor Flower Cards

If you're like me, you may want to add a little something extra to your flowers. Because a kawaii Mother's Day is a good thing.

Watercolor Flower Cards

Isn't that pretty...AND cute? All that's left now is to write a little note inside, wishing mom a happy Mother's Day and thanking her for all she does.

Watercolor Flower Cards

And since flowers this pretty aren't exclusive to moms, the PDF has "thank you" and "congrats" pages as well. And the best thing is, no two cards will ever be exactly the same!

Happy crafting!

organizing embroidery floss without bobbins

Complete DMC Floss Set in Cases

I love embroidery floss. I love making color palettes, I love taking pictures of it, and I love playing with the pretty skeins. I don't love putting floss on bobbins. Don't get me wrong, I love floss on bobbins and I'm jealous of the folks I know who have all of their threads organized that way. It's just not for me.

Especially because I love having skeins of floss to photograph (these were taken with an iPad, so forgive the quality, please!). In fact, sometimes people ask me how I manage to have such perfect skeins in my pictures. The secret is that I have duplicate skeins that I never use (or at least I try really hard not to).

Having all these skeins of floss everywhere rarely looks organized, but after seeing someone use photo boxes to store their floss, I thought I'd give it a try.

Complete DMC Floss Set in Cases

So, this is a complete set of DMC colors, minus their most recent addition of colors, which doesn't have an official location yet. There are 17 boxes in all. And this set is going to remain intact so I always have the colors available for photos and color reference.

The colors in the boxes sort of correspond with the color of the box, but not quite as closely as I would have liked.

Each box contains 20-26 skeins, except for the larger clear box that's labeled 17-19. That one has neutrals, and contains closer to 60 skeins. I might be pushing it on capacity for that, but we'll see.

Complete DMC Floss Set in Cases

For the main method of organization, I looked to the DMC color card. See, I like seeing things grouped by color, rather than number. But sometimes that makes it tricky to find things. Since the color card is set up more by color than number, I knew it would help me out big time.

Each box, therefore, represents a column on the card.

Complete DMC Floss Set in Cases

If I look at the colors on the card, I can see the column and box where I'll find that skein. If I know the number I'm looking for, I can also use the index, which tells me the column/box.

Within the boxes, the skeins are in loose order (I laid them out in order then carefully scooped them up to place them in the box). But even if they are way out of order, I'm only looking through about 2 dozen skeins to find what I'm looking for.

Complete DMC Floss Set in Cases

For now, each box has a numbered sticky note on top. This way, if I want to change my system, it's easy to do that.

Complete DMC Floss Set in Cases

16 colorful cases, plus one extra case makes a complete set with easy to find skeins!

Complete DMC Floss Set in Cases

And because these are intended for photo storage, they even came with an outer case that holds all of the 16 smaller boxes. I found this at Michaels, by the way. And I already went back to get a second set so that I can now set up another one with all of the floss that I actually use. Hopefully everything fits!

Technically, this isn't a sponsored post, but I want to send mega thanks to DMC for generously sending me embroidery floss from time to time.

project // metallic felt c-3po plush figure

C-3PO Plush

When Star Wars Day comes around (that's May the Fourth for those unfamiliar), I like to share some kind of Star Wars creation. Because I just love combining a bit of classic sci-fi with some DIY. And so this time around, I'm here with a pattern to make a soft C-3PO figure with metallic felt.

Metallic felt, you say? Yes indeed. It looks like metallic vinyl or even leather, but this is all felt.

My idea for this project started with the felt stormtrooper doll (inspired by Rogue One), which I made earlier this year. I realized that the construction would work well for a droid like C-3PO. And then I remembered that I had some gold metallic iron-on material from Benzie Felt. This was the perfect opportunity to try it out!

This IS the droid you're looking for!

C-3PO Plush

You will need:

Golden wool blend felt (I'm using Benzie Felt in Ginger)
Gold metallic iron-on (optional, but it does make him look more authentic)
Dark gray or black wool blend felt
Embroidery floss - golden yellow, black, light gray, red, blue
Iron and press cloth
Removable tape
Tracing paper and pen
Embroidery needle
Chopstick or thin paintbrush

C-3PO Plush Pattern PDF

C-3PO Plush

Follow Benzie's instructions for ironing the metallic gold material to the felt. She recommends working with smaller pieces, which I did. To do this, I estimated some small sections based on the pattern pieces.

You'll know that it's fused to the felt when the texture changes from shiny to more leather-like. Peel away the clear protective layer.

C-3PO Plush

When cutting the pattern pieces, you can't use pins to hold the templates to the metallic felt, as they'll leave holes that will be visible. Instead, attach the paper templates to the surface of the felt with rolls of removable tape.

Cut all of the pieces shown above from metallic gold.

C-3PO Plush

Cut all of the pieces shown above from non-metallic golden felt. Note that the torso piece here has the rounded section squared off, but it's easier to assemble if you leave the rounded section as it is on the pattern piece.

Basically, these are all duplicates of the metallic pieces, but you won't need to cut hand pieces from this.

You also need to cut two connection pieces for the neck (the square-ish piece) and the stomach (the piece with the lines on it), as well as the two shoulder connectors (squares with one rounded edge).

C-3PO Plush
C-3PO Plush

Embroider the details on the metallic pieces, using the tracing paper method.

Use golden yellow floss and back stitch for everything but the mouth and the centers of the eyes. Use black floss for those. French knots work well for the eyes. For the mouth, I outlined the tiny rectangle with back stitch, then after removing the tracing paper, I filled it with satin stitch.

But here's the trick: If you poke a hole through the metallic material, the hole stays there. But if you gently press it from the back to the front, you can see where it will come through before it actually makes the hole. Practice on a scrap of material and then work carefully to avoid making unnecessary holes in your droid.

C-3PO Plush

When stitching the small oval, hold it in place over the rounded edge on the torso, stitching through both layers.

Embroider the lines on one of the stomach connector pieces with black, light gray, red, and blue for the wires.

Carefully tear away the tracing paper from all of the embroidered pieces.

C-3PO Plush

Now it's time to start putting all the pieces together.

Hold the two stomach connector pieces together so that the back of the stitching is covered and so the edges all match up. Sandwich these pieces between the two, um, droid underwear pieces.

Stitch around the edge of the droid underwear with running stitch and golden embroidery floss. Use the same technique for checking where to poke the needle through without making holes in the wrong places.

C-3PO Plush

To assemble the arms, layer a metallic piece with a non-metallic piece. Start at the wider end and stitch down one side, place one of the hand pieces between the layers, and continue stitching up to the elbow.

Add some stuffing into the forearm, pushing it into place with a chopstick or a thin paintbrush handle. Continue stitching up to the top, leaving the end open and the thread attached.

C-3PO Plush

Sandwich a metallic and non-metallic cone-shaped felt piece at the elbow and stitch through all the layers.

C-3PO Plush

Add stuffing to the upper arm section.

C-3PO Plush

Place one of the shoulder connectors in the opening, with the curved edge toward the outer edge of the arm, and stitch across the opening with the thread that's still attached.

I found that going back and forth with this means re-threading the needle a bit, but it goes together easier when you stitch and stuff in sections.

Repeat this for the second arm and set them aside.

C-3PO Plush

The process for the legs is almost the same as for the arms, except that the feel are two layers, with the end of the leg sandwiched between them.

C-3PO Plush

Stitch each leg to the bottom of the stomach connector piece. The angled line of the leg should align with the bottom edge of the "droid underwear", with a small gap.

C-3PO Plush

Stitch around the two layers of the head, with the two neck pieces in place between the layers. Add a bit of stuffing inside the head.

C-3PO Plush

Starting at one of the arm sockets on the torso, attach the first arm, stitch along the top edge, securing the neck in place, attaching the second arm and going down one side.

Place the stomach connector between the torso layers and stitch across the bottom. You'll need to gently lift the edge of the oval as you stitch so you don't catch it.

C-3PO Plush

Fill the torso with a bit of stuffing through the gap in the side. Then, stitch it closed.

C-3PO Plush

Now your own etiquette and protocol droid is ready to go!

C-3PO Plush

I'm not gonna lie, working with metallic coated felt is challenging. But it's so good and worth the effort.

C-3PO Plush

I think it's also worth pointing out that you could customize C-3PO to match how he looks in your favorite episode of Star Wars. He could have a metallic silver leg, a red arm, or you might even make a version with him in pieces. (Maybe let Chewy carry him around!)

C-3PO Plush

The joints make him a little stiff, which is good for a droid, right? That means he doesn't sit very well, but he will stand when propped against a wall. I love it!

C-3PO Plush

And now C-3PO joins the other characters and creations in my Star Wars DIY collection!

NOTE: This character is copyright Disney/LucasArts, and I'm only sharing this pattern as fan art. Please do not sell items made with this pattern.

calendar // may flowers (and guinea pigs)

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Guinea pigs. Or at least that's what happened with this month's calendar! There I was, drawing some flowers on my screen and these two adorable little faces just popped up. I think they're looking for a sweet-smelling snack...

Speaking of flowers, I recently shared a few floral-themed posts around the internet. You can craft, stitch, or print your own flowers or accessories to accompany your flowers!

Recycled Can Vases for Hello Bee

At Hello Bee you'll find these mini vases made with cans pulled from the recycling bin. It's a great way to reuse them before they are eventually recycled!

Spring Embroidery Pattern for The Spruce

For my stitching friends, this ode to spring is surrounded by miniature embroidered flowers. The pattern is free at The Spruce, but you'd better stitch it quickly, because summer will be here soon!

Fresh Flower Bouquet Wrap for Handmade Charlotte

Finally, if you want to add something special to a bouquet of flowers, this printable wrap has some watercolor Wild Olive flowers with faces, as well as an encouraging word. Find the free PDF at Handmade Charlotte.

Now, how about adding a May flower guinea pig calendar to your computer, phone or tablet? The sizes should fit most screens.

Happy May to you!