As my days have been full lately, I've needed to blog a little less, but if you don't see a new post from me here (or anywhere online!), it simply means that things are happening in the background. My crafty creative work usually occupies most of my time these days, but right now I'm in the middle of a gigantic graphic design project, and in just a few days, I'm heading to New York City with my sister for a mini-vacation meet-up with friends.
Of course, in the midst of all of that, I'm staying busy with the crafty creative work too! The other day I shared a never-started project from days gone by, but I thought I might show you a glimpse of what I'm working on right now.
Above you see what is supposed to be in my shop already. It's a new pattern for Christmas, and I'm nearly, nearly done stitching it!
These EPP diamonds are part of my great big Sprockets quilt that I may never finish, but I keep on making the pieces. I plan on taking them to NYC to stitch along the way, so I've been prepping them to this point.
My editorial calendar says that I should be sharing a tutorial using some of these pieces today. It'll have to come in November. My editor says that I should be sending her some of these other felt pieces in their finished form very soon. A new book contribution is underway, and I really need to hustle!
I stitched this for a gift, and while the embroidery is done, I still need to hoop it nicely for the recipient. I'll share the pattern here next week after I gift it! Another gift is in the works too, but I'm not even gonna show a peek of that one.
And finally, there are these semi-vintage supplies that I just found. They haven't been opened yet, so I'm not sure that they count as a work-in-progress, but in my head, I've already started making something!
If you've shared a recent work-in-progress, share a link in the comments!
By Mollie Johanson at Wednesday, October 29, 2014
When you are a maker, you are in a constant loop of starting new projects, working on existing projects, and finishing projects. The reality of this loop, however, is that some projects get left behind. Show me a maker, and I'll show you their unfinished makes. Well, maybe...often they are hidden away!
I come from generations of makers and somehow many of the things they were making have passed down to me. As if I don't have enough of these unfinished objects of my own! Some are treasures, some feel like burdens, and some are too good to get rid of even if you don't know what you'll do with them.
This stamped tablecloth is the latter. And because I love irony, note that this is sealed in its package and the title of the design is "Progress."
I've decided to leave it sealed for now, but look closely at the stamping and fabric. The edges of the cloth are simply overlock. No fancy hem! And the fabric isn't all that great either. It was made for easy washing so you could use the piece you had just spent all the time stitching.
The size is 60 x 104 inches, and according to the back, it would use a total of 44 skeins of floss in two colors. Just think of how many cross stitches that would be
I actually really like the design on this, but I'm not sure that I'll ever start it, let alone finish it. Apparently my relative had the same feeling.
Do you have any old projects waiting to be finished?
My sister works at a preschool where she teaches 4-year-olds in transitional Kindergarten. This week I got to go and be an extra set of hands at their fall musical, which meant handing out props, and making sure they walked out at the right time...so fun! Her kids are all sooooo cute, and it reminded me that I made something for her classroom that your kids or grandkids might like too!
These autumn leaf lacing cards can be printed on card stock and punched with a standard or 1/8-inch hole punch. (If you want them to last longer, you may want to laminate them. For lacing, I like to use yarn with a bead tied to one end so it can be used without tying it to the card. At the other end, be sure to wrap some tape so it can be threaded through the holes easily.
For more lacing fun, be sure to check out the weather lacing cards I made earlier this year!
When I hear mention of embroidery, I usually think of the kind of embroidery that I do. You know, cotton floss, a pattern to outline or perhaps fill in, and stitches like back stitch, stem stitch, satin stitch, french knot, and lazy daisy. That is embroidery, but in a broader sense, embroidery covers lots of different kinds of stitching, using lots of different materials and stitches.
If you enjoy one form of embroidery, it doesn't mean you'll like all forms, but I do think it's a very good thing to explore various methods. Not only will it expand your general embroidery knowledge, but it might just lead you to something you love. Something with which you can do amazing things!
Ribbon embroidery is one of the varieties of stitching that I've started learning more about, and Craftsy's Embroidering with Ribbon Class has certainly helped me in this. It's a great way to get started, to move beyond a handful of ribbon embroidery stitches, or to help improve your technique. And you can even enter to win this class!
The class is taught by Mary Jo Hiney, who has been stitching since she was three years old and who clearly loves this art form. She talks about the options for materials, and gives recommendations for what to use and why. And I love the stitch library that she helps you build so that you can see what the stitches look like in their different forms and with different ribbons.
Throughout the class, Mary Jo demonstrates base stitches, plus variations on on those. What's great about this is that you can learn one thing, but then change it in a ton of ways. If you've done the kind of embroidery I mentioned earlier, you'll find that some of your favorite stitches will be used in ribbon embroidery, although the technique is different. I even found myself wondering if I might apply her extra adaptations in other kinds of stitching too.
When I've done ribbon embroidery before, one of the things I found happening was something called a sunk stitch. This happens when you pull the ribbon through the fabric too much, and basically wreck the stitch. You can imagine my relief when the instructor said how normal that was, and how to work over your stitches. I also learned that I had been starting my ribbon embroidery the wrong way, and what the better knot was to use!
Embroidering with Ribbon has over three-hours of high-definition video, and along with the stitch instructions, you also see how to make some finished projects using your new skills. Some Craftsy classes have projects included as PDFs, but with this one, you get to see more of the step-by-step on video. This is helpful, because making a covered box or picture frame can be tricky!
Ribbon embroidery has a very different look from what I normally stitch, but it's so very elegant. And I happen to know that just by choosing different colors of materials and combining your stitches in unique ways, you can also make it fun and funky.
And what's really great is that Craftsy is giving away a free registration for Embroidering with Ribbon! If you win, you'll get this fantastic video-based class with full access to the patterns, discussions, and more...for life. But the giveaway is only open for one week, so don't wait!
If you're already a Craftsy member, simply click the link above to sign in and enter. If you're not a member yet, click to sign up and then enter. It only takes a moment!
Good luck, and thanks to Craftsy for this wonderful giveaway!
This post was sponsored by Craftsy, but the words and thoughts are all mine.
Halloween is going to be here before we know it, but that doesn't mean that we've run out of time for spooky crafting. In fact, my own lack of time is what made this into a no-sew project, and I pretty much love it. My werewolf embroidery pattern has been enlarged and transformed into a piece of hoop art that can be put together in no time.
After I finished my furry friend, I realized that it reminded me of the amazing Star Wars hoop art by Love and a Sandwich. And while I wasn't trying to imitate her work, I was no doubt influenced. If you haven't see her pieces, go check them out!
Now, let's make some felt artwork!
Here's what you need:
8-inch embroidery hoop
background fabric (you can use one piece, or strips as I did)
brown and tan felt
blank and white felt scraps
12mm safety eyes (optional)
crop-o-dile (optional, but helpful for the safety eyes)
Werewolf Hoop Art Pattern PDF
You can use one piece of fabric as your background, or, for more texture, tear a few pieces of fabric into strips that are 3-5 inches wide. Tearing adds the frayed edges that remind me of werewolf clothes!
Lay them across the bottom of your embroidery hoop, then tighten the top piece over them. You may need to pull the edges a bit to get them laying flat.
Cut out the head from brown felt. Position it on the hoop so the bottom is extending past the hoop by about 1/2". Spread fabric glue on the back of the head, but not on the section that extends over the edge. You don't really need a lot, just be sure to get around the edges, and a little through the center.
Flip the hoop over and press it from the back. Make sure it sticks and is flat without messing up the fabric tension. This is especially important if you have the layered strips for the background.
Cut out the ear and face pieces from tan felt, the teeth from white felt, and the nose from black felt. If you're not using safety eyes, you can cut the eyes from black felt too. Glue them all in place.
After the glue has had time to dry, remove the fabric from the hoop. If you're using safety eyes, make a small hole at the center of each eye shown on the template. You'll need to go through all of the layers, which is where a Crop-o-dile Big Bite helps immensely. Sharp scissors or an awl should also work for you.
Insert the eyes through the holes and add the locking ring to the back.
Place the fabric back in the hoop again, and this time, push the top hoop over the felt to hold it in place. Now you can finish off the back of your hoop however you'd like. The simplest option is to just trim the fabric down and leave it showing with a bit of fray. Or, read about more ideas for preparing your hoop for hanging.
If you'd like, tear a strip of fabric and add a hanger, and perhaps a little bow too. I like how it softens it and adds extra detail.
But really, the beady eyes are my favorite part about this. They shine and add some dimension, and it makes me think about how much fun it would be to use these in other hoop art. Hmmm...I might have to work on that.
Happy Halloween Crafting!
I thought I'd take a quick look back at a few Halloween projects that I've shared here. Maybe you've seen them before, or maybe not! They're not-so-scary to get done before Halloween...I promise!
Click the name of the project to see the full post. Oh, and the "Pin It" button will allow you to pin the original post so that you can find the full tutorials when you're ready to start crafting!
"The pumpkins were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that the Great Pumpkin soon would be there."
That's how that poem goes, right?
For those of you who are new to Wild Olive, let me start this by introducing my family. I'm the oldest of six kids and my youngest sister is 9 years old. We love holidays and generally enjoy a bit of silliness.
In the last few years, we've started talking more about the Great Pumpkin (you know, as in, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown). We've left notes out in yard near where the pumpkins were growing, and other such things. My little brothers and sister know that it's all in jest, and they love it!
So this year, my little sis said that I should make some pumpkin "stockings" so we could hang them on the mantle. It was just too fun to pass up! Read on for the pattern and DIY, as well as some fun ways to use this, even if you aren't inviting the Great Pumpkin to your house.
You will need:
1/4 yard orange fabric (or two pieces if you would like contrasting lining)
1/4 yard mid-weight fusible interfacing
15-inch piece of ribbon
2 buttons (I used leaves, but plain ones will do!)
needle and thread
Pumpkin Stocking PDF Pattern
A note on fabric: I was making six of these, so I bought six cuts, then staggered the fabrics for the linings, so I got contrast without waste. Also, if your fabric store doesn't always give you straight, full cuts, you may want to be safe and get 1/3 yard, as you will need a full 1/4 for this.
Iron the fusible interfacing onto the back of your outside fabric. The width of the interfacing will be just enough for the shapes to be cut.
Using the templates and adding a 1/4-inch seam allowance, cut two outside pieces and two lining pieces.
Pin an outside piece to a lining piece with right sides together. Sew across the top edge. Repeat for the other pieces.
Now, place the sewn pieces right sides together, so that the lining matches the lining and the outside matches the outside. Sew around the shape, leaving an opening in the lining section. You can see where I pinned the opposite direction to make sure I didn't sew it closed. Also, you'll want to back stitch at the start and stop, since you'll be turning this right side out.
Clip the curves, and carefully snip the indent. Just don't cut through any stitches!
Turn the pumpkin right side out and smooth the curves. You'll notice that on the sides where the shapes meet, it's a little puckered. Don't worry, that will go away soon.
Stitch the opening in the lining closed. I used ladder stitch, but whip stitch works too.
Push the lining into the pouch and again, smooth everything out. Give it a nice ironing too, because it will be wrinkly from turning it.
Trim the ends of your ribbon piece and sew it on at the two edges of the opening. You can stitch through all of the layers, the ribbon, and the buttons at one time using three strands of orange embroidery floss.
Cut out the face pieces from black felt and use fabric glue to attach them.
You could stitch these on before you start sewing the bag together, but remember...I had six to make. Glue sped things up, and it looks nice and neat!
Hey! Your pumpkin stocking is finished! Now, I realize that your family may not be quite as quirky as we are, so instead of hanging these by your fireplace, consider these options:
Halloween purse for your little girl
Trick-or-treat pouch for your little one in a stroller
Super special gift bag
But come on. You've gotta admit that a row of pumpkins on your mantle would be pretty sweet, right?
I've heard that the Great Pumpkin will be filling these with each person's favorite candy treat (because you never seem to get enough of your favorite while trick-or-treating). However, they would be perfect as a way to give kids healthy treats, let kids with food allergies have some special treats, or even some fun little non-sweet treats!
I'm hoping for Almond Joys in my pumpkin...what would you be wishing for from the Great Pumpkin?