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stitch-love-along // round one

#StitchLoveAlong

I'm so very excited to officially kick off the Wild Olive Stitch-Love-Along!

Faith, Becca, and I have been organizing a stitch-along to go with my book Stitch Love, and we'd love for you to join us! The Stitch-Love-Along begins today, but if you don't have the book yet, this first round is pretty easy to make, so if you want to pick up a copy, you'll still have time.

Round 1 // August 4-18
Stitch a Pocket Pal (any Stitch Love embroidery motif with the Pocket Pal project on page 53)

Round 2 // August 18-September 1
Make an Animal (choose a project that creates an animal...examples to come!)

Round 3 // September 1-15
Stitch a Critter (embroider any Stitch Love motif on a handmade item...ideas to come!)

At the end of each round everyone who participates will receive a free Stitch Love pattern designed just for that round of the Stitch-Love-Along!

Pocket Pal Shirt Project

This round is to stitch a pocket pal! I love this project and its flexibility. It's also a good way to get your feet wet for the Stitch-Love-Along, or even for embroidery.

To participate in this round, look to page 53 in Stitch Love, choose your favorite motif from the book to stitch in a pocket, and get started!

Share your progress on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or your own blog. This is all about stitching along together and sharing with each other, so be sure to tag your posts #StitchLoveAlong. We all want to see your materials, your process, and of course...the finished project!

Details for getting the special round one pattern will come when the round is done.

Pocket Pal Idea

I mentioned that this project is flexible, and here's the tip about this. You don't have to make a shirt, although shirt pockets are adorable with a friend popping out! Just about any pocket will do, and soooo many of the embroidery patterns will work with this.

Pocket Pal Tote

For mine, I'm using a pre-made tote bag. I grabbed some fabric and trim so that I can customize it a little...I'm thinking slightly girly for me! And I'll let you follow along on social media to see what I start stitching!

If you have any questions, just ask Becca, Faith, or me. We tend to be most active on Instagram, but anywhere you track us down will get you an answer.

We can't wait to see what you're stitching in your pocket! Ready? Let's Stitch Love!

thread bits // fabric bits

Thread Bits // Fabric Bits

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a frugal sort of gal. I don't like unnecessary spending* and waste. This can make for interesting crafting.

The other day I starting working on some new English paper piecing and as I was trimming my hexagons, diamonds and rhombuses, bits of fabric starting appearing. The little pieces that I was cutting away were sitting there on the table, looking like they were ready to be discarded.

Or were they?

Thread Bits // Fabric Bits

These tiny bits are too tiny to use in anything normal, so throwing them away wouldn't truly be unnecessary waste. But I couldn't help but think that I needed to keep them. Honestly, this can be a problem for me...keeping things that I don't use.

So I want to use them.

Someone recently told me that she often keeps pieces like this and uses them for stuffing. So smart! Some folks collage them to make handmade cards. I love that too! I can even picture saving up more of them to sew into a itty bitty garland.

I do EPP often enough that I could probably try all of these. Oh goodie...more reasons to save up scraps!

How would you put these fabric bits to use?

*Buying new fabric is always necessary spending. It just is.

calendar // print & post for august



Okay, seriously. How can it be August? August means summer is going to be over soon! It also means that I'm going to play with an EPP shape that I've never tried before: Tumblers. These trapezoids really do look like little plastic cups, which is perfect for end of summer parties, right?

I'd like to think that I'm not sure where the days have gone, but I know that I've been busy, busy. In addition to the things you've seen around here, I've also created a few posts for Handmade Charlotte and Hello Bee. See them here:


After that quick look back, now let's look ahead to a new month with new wallpapers for your computer, tablet, or phone!


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.

To PRINT a calendar page (with a place for notes), download the August 2015 calendar page PDF. The dates are lighter print so you can write over them if you want, or let your little ones trace over the numbers for practice!

Cheers to an awesome August!

pattern // you are my lucky star

You Are My Lucky Star


Have you seen the movie "Singing in the Rain"? One of the songs from the movie that I love is "You are My Lucky Star." It's such a beautiful song and when I was thinking about stars for this month, I thought it would make a sweet pattern.

And I NEEDED to have a pattern to share with you today because it's World Embroidery Day! A day dedicated to my favorite craft? The only thing that could come close would be World EPP Day.

So grab some fabric, a hoop, a needle, and your favorite colors of floss and start stitching and celebrating!

new spoonflower fabric // hexagon tinies

Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection

The more that my 10-year-old sister gets into crafting, the more she takes notice of the things that I work on. The other day she discovered that making things is actually my job (as in, I get paid to do this!). Then yesterday she looked at the new fabric I just ordered.

My sister: Why does this fabric have faces on it?
Me: Because I designed it.
My sister: How did you do that?

The discussion faded away, but I just know that she is now thinking about what this means for her. I’m fully expecting special fabric requests soon.

All of this to say, I designed some new Spoonflower fabric, and it’s officially available for anyone to purchase. Hooray!

Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection
Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection

The collection came about because I was thinking about how great it would be to have some super cute kawaii low-volume fabric. I never seem to choose low-volume when stash-building, and when I do, it’s usually pretty basic.

Then it occurred to me that I could design my own! So I started with the Hexagon Tinies that I designed in June. And since I entirely agree with Stacey’s Cute Tip that making things rainbow is cute, I chose a rainbow palette.

And there’s some gray in there too for a nice neutral low-volume. The houses are my favorite!

Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection
Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection

I scaled all of the prints so they could be fussy cut to fit on 1-inch hexagons…some will fit smaller hexies! And if you’re going to use prints like these to make EPP hexagons, why not have some of the designs actually be EPP hexagons?

Again, these are each in a single color, but with a rainbow of color choices.

Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection
Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection

And while we’re talking rainbows, I HAD to make the rainbow into a mini collection of its own. The full color version reminds me of fabrics from my childhood.

Is it strange to have single-color rainbows? Maybe. But even if it’s in all blue or yellow or gray, it still looks like a rainbow, and that seemed like it could be useful to me. Actually, on all of the gray prints, I think you could stitch over the lines like a pre-printed pattern.

The samples that I had printed are on Kona cotton, so for the most part, Kona's basic white is the color you have for the fabric…just with a bit of color for the designs. I’m pretty smitten with these swatches!

Hexagon Tinies // Spoonflower Fabric Collection

Now, here’s where I need your help!

If you were to order these fabrics, would you be most likely to…

A) Order fat quarters or yardage of individual prints as needed? (You can already do this!)
B) Order a yard that has a small sample of every print?
C) Order a fat quarter or yardage that has a sample of a particular print (i.e. hexagons)?
D) Order a fat quarter or yardage of a particular color (i.e all the reds)?

I’d love to make it easier for folks to buy more than one design. Buying a yard at $19.00 (and getting several designs), rather than than buying separate fat quarters, is more cost effective for you. But to make special panels available, I need to order them first and I want to have options that you want!


Notes on color: I tried to have these photos come as close to the fabric as possible, but all computer monitors are different. Also, take notice that in the rainbow collection, other than the red, the colors are deeper than the other fabrics while still coordinating.

cute tips from stacey from freshstitches


Welcome to the second installment in the Cute Tips series! Today we get a very colorful tip from a maker who is completely adorable.

Stacey from FreshStitches describes her site as "cute. crafty. fun." and that couldn't be more accurate. She designs the super sweet amigurumi crochet patterns, and on her blog she shares some really great helps for learning crochet and adding new techniques.



Her tip is simple and so much fun to use in crochet or just about anything: Make it rainbow!

Here are a few of her most rainbow creations!




Does this remind you of the rainbows we loved from Lisa Frank while we were growing up? I bet you can put this cute tip to use right away. Thanks, Stacey!

A note to all my bloggy friends: Cute Tips contributors are generously sharing their cutest secrets with us. Be inspired by them, but please, please, please don't try to steal their style! Be your own cute self!

stitch love // six months and a stitchalong

Stitch Love Walk-Through

Today marks six months since my book Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small came out. Six months! I can hardly believe it.

Big thanks to everyone who has already purchased a copy! If you have a moment, I'd love it if you leave a review on Amazon (especially), Barnes & Noble, or elsewhere.

If you don't have a copy yet, you may want one soon, because next week I'll be sharing the details for a stitch-along to go with Stitch Love! A Stitch-Love-Along, perhaps? We'll have three rounds, with each one focusing on a specific type of project, and special gifts for participating. I'm so excited!

@molliejohanson look what they have at Mitsuwa! #stitchlove #mitsuwa

A photo posted by Rebecca (@hugsarefun) on



The first day Stitch Love came out I ran over to my local Barnes & Noble and found a copy to take crazy pictures with. Since then, I check my local JoAnn every time I go, and have still never found it (although yesterday someone spotted it at their JoAnn!). But my favorite "in the wild" Stitch Love moment was when my friend Becca found it at the Japanese book store near us.

Japanese craft books were a huge inspiration for me as I was working on Stitch Love, so having my book on the shelves at the store where I go to grow my collection? Well, that was the best compliment I could receive!

I've been loving (stitch loving?) this journey so much, and I can't wait to see what will come next!

project // embroidered felt stargazing zip pouch

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch


Do zippers intimidate you when sewing? I've sewn them with success, but I still get nervous. This is a zip pouch that is completely the opposite of scary. The zipper is stitched in by hand, so it's practically an extension of the embroidery on the front!

I saw a pouch similar to this once, but it required buying die-cutting templates to cut the pouch. This is something you can embroider with a starscape or your own favorite design...then cut it out and stitch it up. Easy peasy!

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

You will need:

Wool or wool blend felt
Embroidery floss
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper
Cotton fabric
Fusible interfacing
6-inch zipper

Stargazing Zip Pouch PDF Template

Note: Be sure to print the pattern at 100% so that the zipper will fit the opening. Measure the 1-inch test square to check for accuracy.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch
DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Print or trace the starry embroidery design onto Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper, then attach it to the felt so you can stitch through it. Embroider the stars and constellation with three strands of embroidery floss. I used french knots, straight stitches, running stitch, and the star stitch featured in this tutorial from Hands Occupied.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Soak away the Fabri-Solvy or tear away the tissue paper. If you're soaking it, remember that wool and wool blend felt will shrink in hot water. I used barely warm water and mine still shrunk just a bit. Blasting it with cool water was a better option.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Iron the fusible interfacing to the cotton fabric that will be your lining. Then iron it to the back of your embroidered felt. I like using paper-backed fusible interfacing, so that's what you see here. If yours doesn't have a paper back, you'll iron it to both pieces in one step.

Adding the "lining" will cover and protect the back of your stitching, which will keep it pretty longer.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Cut out the paper pattern, pin it to the embroidered felt, then cut out the shape.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Pin the zipper into the cut out opening.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Stitch around the zipper with running stitch. Take care to get a stitch or two into each side of the ends.

If hand sewing isn't your thing, you can do this part with a sewing machine. If you use matching thread for sewing, you can go back and add some hand stitched details just for cuteness' sake.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Trim the zipper ends so they are at least 1/4 inch in from the edges.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Fold the pouch in half and pin or clip the edges so they are aligned.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Stitch around the edge with running stitch. Again, you can do this on a sewing machine if you'd prefer.

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Check that everything is secure and that your knots are hidden between the layers, and your pouch is finished!

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

The pouch is large enough to hold pens and a small note pad...

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch
DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch
DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

...or even some stitching supplies!

DIY Stargazing Zip Pouch

Of course, necessities like a phone, keys, and cash are always good for a little pouch.

Stitch one or stitch a bunch...use the star patterns or your favorite embroidery motif. You could make yours plain or add some felt applique. You could even reverse the pouch so that the felt is on the inside and the fabric is on the outside. So many ways to customize!

What will you keep in your pouch?

project // embroidered planner clips

Stitched Planner Clips


I love planners and paper and stationery of all kinds. However, I buy them and never use them. Okay, so I use them a bit, but never like I should or want to. Certainly not like the people who are making their planners cute. Seriously, do a search for "make your planner cute" and you'll see what I mean.

When it comes to planners, I do some of my planning on Google Calendar, I check in on the family calendar my mom keeps, and the rest of the time I fly by the seat of my pants. Most of the time this works for me. It's just not too cute. (Why can't you add emoji to Google Calendar?!?!)

For now, I'm going to add some little clips to my notebook, and be happy with making that a little cuter. You can make some of these embroidered clips too...they're fast, and you can stitch any tiny design you like!

Stitched Planner Clips

You will need:

Wool blend felt
Embroidery floss
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper
Large paper clip
Fabric glue

Stitched Planner Clips

Trace or print your chosen embroidery pattern onto Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper, then stitch through the material and felt.

The little kitty I'm using is part of a larger pattern from Amy Sinibali's book Sweetly Stitched Handmades. Any small pattern will do!

Stitched Planner Clips

Cut around the embroidery, leaving some room so you don't get too close to those stitches. If you used Fabri-Solvy, soak it away, and if you used tissue paper tear away the tissue.

Cut a second piece of felt to match the shape of the embroidered piece. Keep track of which side needs to be up to match up with the front piece.

Stitched Planner Clips

Apply a layer of fabric glue over the plain piece of felt, then lay the non-clipping side of the jumbo paper clip in the glue.

Stitched Planner Clips

Smooth the embroidered piece onto the glue and allow it to fully dry.

Stitched Planner Clips

Now your clip is ready to add onto your planner, your journal, your sketchbook, etc. (I am entirely smitten with this kitten and its eyes in two sizes!)

Stitched Planner Clips
Stitched Planner Clips

Your clip will mark your spot and hold groups of pages together! Or you know...you could use it like you would a normal paper clip!

Stitched Planner Clips
Stitched Planner Clips

I recently came across this fishy clip that seems really familiar to me. Like, maybe it was mine when I was a kid? It's not unusual for bits and bobs like this to magically appear at just the right time.

Fishy does look incredibly happy for an animal that is so close to another animal that might eat him. I'm guessing that they've become friends and all will be well. I hope.

Stitched Planner Clips

I see many more stitched clips in my future. They are quick to stitch and put together, and they're such a fun extra to send to a friend!