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thread bits // trimming threads

ThreadBits_TrimmingThreads

As I was sewing and piecing and quilting and sewing some more, I finally found myself trying to get into a good habit. When I reached the end of a seam and cut the threads from the sewing machine, I went back. I went back to the start of the seam and I trimmed the threads. Both cuts were using the built in thread-trimmer on the sewing machine.

Getting into that rhythm saved me so much time, and I don't know why I didn't start doing it sooner. It's these little things that make the difference when sewing. And this one produced a very happy pile of thread bits.


Can you believe that the 4th of July is less than a week away? I thought you might like to stitch a little firecracker for the holiday. You could stitch a festive necklace to wear for the holiday!

pattern // hexagon tinies lemonade pitcher


Have you been enjoying a good weekend? I went to a parade this afternoon with my family, and it was really a great day. Perfect for sipping or stitching some lemonade. And that's what I'm going to leave you with for today! Some stitchable, sippable lemonade!

lovely hexagons

More hexagons in the wild. #EllisIsland #latergram

It has been a great month of hexagons around here. Of course, it's not over yet and this delightful shape cannot be contained to a single month. But I've been collecting some fun extra hexagon projects over on a new-ish Pinterest board. I'm especially looking for things that aren't just English paper piecing. You can find the board right over here.


If you've been collecting the Hexagon Tinies all month, you may have noticed that along the way there are some designs that go together. Like this flashlight that kinda goes along with the canteen and the marshmallows...it's a camping theme!

Have a great Saturday, friends!

pattern // hexagon tinies balloon animal dog


I'm getting later and later on these daily posts with the Hexagon Tinies! Yikes! But so far every day in June has had a new little pattern...and I'm NOT gonna mess it up.

Today you get a little balloon dog. I've never really been a big fan of balloons, but I always thought it was so cool when someone was twisting balloon animals and they did that thing where the little puff appears on the dog's tail. That was pure magic to me as a child! Of course, I had to add that to my embroidery pattern.

Also, I realize that the face on this doggy might seem strange to some. I wrestled with it, and in the end, I went with the face on the dog's belly. If it just isn't your thing, leave it off...or put a face on his head. The choice is up to you!

epp template // happy cactus english paper piecing

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing


I love using English paper piecing to make large panels of piecing, but also for smaller designs that can be appliquéd. Last year I made some fruity placemats using this technique, and now I've got a little cactus design for you!

This happy little gal (yes, I've decided that she's a she) is made up primarily from hexagons, and goes together pretty quickly. You can stitch the finished cactus onto a placemat like the fruit, add it to a tote bag, or even make a mini quilt. Mine is becoming a mini table runner.

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

My cactus is a sort of minty green color, with terra cotta for it's pot base, and a pink for the flower. I can imagine this looking great in all sorts of colors. Grab a mix that you like, and mix up the sections as much or as little as you like.

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

Download the Happy Cactus PDF

Print the template on card stock and cut the pieces apart. Attach the templates to your fabric, then trim and baste the pieces using your favorite method.

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

Join the cactus in two sections, following the layout shown here, which is also in the PDF.

The diamonds and half-hexagons will have little flags that poke out. You can see them showing at the top of the flower. You can tack them down at the back as you stitch.

If you want a face on your cactus (why wouldn't you?), remove the paper hexagon and embroider the face with two knot stitches (french or colonial) and a scallop stitch.

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

Center the bottom of the cactus on the top of the pot with right sides together. The edges and seams won't line up; the cactus will just be in the middle of the wide part of the half-hexagon. Join these two sections together.

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

Give the cactus a pressing with your iron, then remove the paper templates. Now you can appliqué.

To help hold the cactus as you stitch it down...and to hold it some after, cut some strips of paper-backed fusible interfacing. Iron them along the seam allowance on the back of the cactus.

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

Peel off the paper on the interfacing, then iron the cactus to your backing fabric.

I still hadn't tacked down those flower flaps yet, so I took care of that in the next step: stitching around the appliqué.

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

Stitch around the flower and the pot with running stitch (or use a blind appliqué or machine stitch). Any bits of fabric or threads that are sticking out should be tucked under as you stitch.

To give the cactus a bit of spikiness, use straight stitches running perpendicular to the edges of the green cactus. You could also use blanket stitch!

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

Now your cactus is ready for whatever else you might want to make it into!

Happy Cactus English Paper Piecing

I'm adding some strips to the ends of this lightweight denim to make a mini table runner. I've been sharing my progress on Instagram (come follow me!), and tagging my pics #CactusEPP

If you make one, I hope you share your work!


And let's not forget today's free Hexagon Tinies pattern! Why a pickle, you ask? Well, I already shared a cactus, and without the needles stitched on today's project...I fear it might look like a mutant pickle!

pattern // hexagon tinies wagon


You're a girl, or maybe a wagon...filled up with pancakes.

If you can tell me what that song lyric is from, we could be best friends. This little wagon isn't filled up with pancakes, but is is something that I love to see bumping up and down on the sidewalk in front of my house. Red is traditional, but you can stitch this little design with whatever color you like!

printable // weekly hexagon planner

Hexagon Planner


How do you like to plan your week? What things do you plan? How detailed do you get?

I like a plan, but a flexible one. I like planning my blog posts in Google Calendar so I can change them around as needed. When I have things to do (which is forever and always!), I like planning on small pieces of paper that get thrown away when the work is done. And our biggest planning challenge around here is for meals. The meal plan needs to be changeable and reusable.

To address all of these sorts of things, I made a rainbow hexagon planner page. It is just seven lines...one for each day of the week. Use it for whatever you like to plan.

I'll probably end up laminating mine and use it for meal planning. That way I can wipe it off and use it again the following week. Another way to create a wipe-off planner is in a frame with glass in it, or with write & wipe pockets (which they have in the Target Dollar Spot right now!)

Grab the PDF for the full page or half-size hexagon planner.


And since we're on a planner theme...how about a little calendar Hexagon Tinies pattern today? You could even stitch this to go on your personal planner!

how to place and print multiple patterns using google docs

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns


I've mentioned before that I'm a little thrifty. If I have just one pattern to print, I get a little irritated, because I don't want to use a whole piece of paper for one pattern. I'd much rather place several patterns on a page and use less paper. It's just smart.

When I'm creating patterns, I make them in Adobe Illustrator, so usually that's how I make groups of patterns. But that's not something everyone can do, so today I'll show you an easy and free way to place and print multiple patterns.

Like so many things, there are a bunch of ways to do this. I'm showing how to do this in Google Docs (part of Google Drive), because it's totally free with a Google account (which is also free!). This same process will work in Microsoft Word. By the way, I've chosen to use Docs instead of Google Drawings because it has rulers, which you really need.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

First, go to Google Drive, and start a new Google Docs. Click new, then click Google Docs in the dropdown.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

As long as you're online, your work will automatically be saved, however, you might want to name your document so you can find it easily later. Up at the top left it starts out as "Untitled Document". Click that and it will pop up a box where you can name it something good.

Now you're ready to add your first pattern. In the top menu, click on Insert, then click Image.

If you've saved the Hexagon Tinies patterns to your computer (or any other individual patterns), you'll upload them one by one. Google Docs gives you the option to add your images other ways, like with a web link, but I'm not going to go into detail on that here.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

When the pattern appears in the document, it will probably be quite large. The Hexagon Tinies patterns are sized this way so you can resize them without losing image quality. They're also designed to fit on 1-inch hexagons, and for that, the square frame should be two inches.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

Scroll down to the bottom of the image, click the image, then click and hold the lower right corner image anchor. Drag the corner up to the left to resize the image, and keep an eye on the ruler. Drag it until the blue outline is on the 2-inch mark. It doesn't need to be too precise.

Of course, you can make these or other patterns any size you want. Just click and drag!

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

This first pattern is all set, and now you can add another pattern.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

Just like before, click Insert, then Image, and choose your next pattern. It appears below your first pattern, but don't worry about that.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

Click and drag the lower right corner up to the 2-inch mark.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

And practically like magic, it moves itself up next to the first pattern! With these 2-inch wide designs you can fit three patterns across, and then it will star magically adding to the next row of patterns.

Placing & Printing Multiple Patterns

Add as many patterns as you want to a page. And actually, since this is a document, you can have multiple pages, and they'll add themselves on as you fill the pages. Very handy! Now you can print your page (at 100%!) and use less paper.

Again, there are lots of ways to accomplish this sort of thing, but this way is easy and free. Plus, with Google Drive, you'll always have access to your pattern page...no matter where you are!

By the way, you can also place images from other sources this way. For example, if you want to use only one pattern from a PDF page, you can screen capture the single pattern and insert that into your document. Would that be helpful for a future post?


And here's the ice pop that was featured in this little how-to. It's a bit like a patriotic bomb pop, but you can make it any colors you like!

Happy pattern printing!

pattern // hexagon tinies life ring


Happy Father's Day to you! I'm thinking that many of my Wild Olive friends are celebrating with their dads and/or husbands today. I'm keeping it quick today.

Last week's sailboat gets a companion life ring. Gotta be safe, right? Happy stitching!

pattern // a hexagon tinies sleepy kitty for your caturday

Quilty Goodness!

Do you have a kitty that likes to curl up on your craftiness? Our family kitty swipes my hexagons, attacks my embroidery floss, lays on my fabric, and tries to eat my sequins. Nothing is safe, and I can't decide if she likes crafts, or if she just wants to be a nuisance. Perhaps both?

Anyhow...Saturday is Caturday, so enjoy this pic of my pesky cat, and then stitch a sweet sleepy kitty!