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pattern // charming hot air balloon house embroidery design

Charming Hot Air Balloon House Stitching Pattern

This is not the first hot air balloon embroidery pattern that I've designed, nor will it be the last. But it is the first one designed to have someone live inside it. And I like that. It's the perfect addition to a little embroidered neighborhood of kawaii houses (and shops!)

As with all my Kawaii Crossing patterns, this is free for you in the PDF there are two sizes, along with color suggestions. I don't have stitches listed in the PDF, but you can use your favorite stitches here. I do have a few lines on there that are thicker, and I suggest using either more strands or a thicker stitch like chain stitch for those.

I didn't embroider this version, but I did stitch the felt applique version, and you can get some ideas for stitching from that.

Charming Hot Air Balloon House Stitching Pattern

You can see how I used chain stitch for the ladder and lamp post, and I went for one long stitch for the ropes holding the basket and tying the balloon house down. Would I typically suggest super long stitches like this? No. But it absolutely works here!

You can use the free embroidery pattern to make yours with felt, or for those who support me via Ko-Fi, I created a version that's all ready for applique. Yay!

pattern // charming hot air balloon cross stitch

Charming Hot Air Balloon House Cross Stitch Chart

Who wants to be the first to cross stitch this Charming Hot Air Balloon House? I think it may be you! My newest free pattern is ready for you to download and I can't wait to see this one all finished. (I've been working on making the applique version this month, but this one is tempting me too!)

When I introduced this month's house, I mentioned a toy that I loved called Charmkins. These little people figures were charms that you could wear on a bracelet or necklace, as well as attach to elements on the toys. For example, there was a windmill which had hooks for the Charmkins. They were so cute, and definitely formational for me and my style.

At some point, they had a little pamphlet or ad on the back of a box showing a hot air balloon. I was smitten.

Alas, it was apparently only a proto-type, and they never widely released it. I wanted it so bad, and remember that as long as those toys existed, my mom would always check for it. I've seen mention of the elusive Charmkins hot air balloon online, and recently saw someone who was selling what is believed to be a figure shown with the prototype. It's a sheep, and even as an adult it makes me want it all the more.

Instead, I designed this Kawaii Crossing house, and I think we can all agree that a sheep lives here. And when this sheep's house isn't tethered, it flies over the fields where all the other sheep live.

calendar // charming hot air balloon house wallpaper

For June we're going up, up, and away in a Kawaii Crossing hot air balloon house! Naturally, we're starting with some calendar wallpapers sized for all your digital devices.

This house is basically like a tree house without the tree. You step up a ladder to reach the door that's the balloon part. Now, I didn't give this any windows, other than the one in the door, but I'd like to think that there's a skylight up top that you just can't see.

There's a very special reason why I went with this house, but before I tell you the connection, grab a free wallpaper:

Just like the last few houses, this was inspired by one of my childhood memories: Charmkins. I loved those little toys and if you're a child of the 80s, you may remember them. You may NOT necessarily remember a hot air balloon, and that's exactly why I chose it for this.

To make this fun, I'd love to hear from you. First, do you know what Charmkins are? Did you play with them as a kid? And Next, do you know the significance of the hot air balloon? I'll share more when I post the matching pattern!

pattern // sweet strawberry house cross stitch

Sweet Strawberry House Cross Stitch

Get yourself ready to stitch the cutest little strawberry basket house you have ever seen! This free cross stitch chart is super easy and fun to stitch. And, while it's the perfect addition to the town of Kawaii Crossing (and it's growing collection of houses and shops), I find it to be adorable all on its own.

Pop it into a 3-inch embroidery hoop or trim it down and attach it to a card! Personally, I think it would be nice as a patch or pin, so that's what I'll be aiming to do.

Sweet Strawberry House Cross Stitch

Now, when you zoom in close, you may notice that one of the eyes is a little, well, wobbly. Does this bother me that I didn't get that French knot just right even though I've stitched thousands of them? Yes, of course. Am I undoing it to fix it? No, I am not.

Because it's JUST FINE to have imperfections in your work.

Also, if you look closely you'll see two colors of yellow for the basket. It's a lot more subtle that then chart will suggest, and if you want to see the basket weaving more, I'd suggest a darker yellow than DMC 743. But the similar shades make it more like a texture.

Also, while we're talking cross stitch (and embroidery a bit with those French knots), I uploaded a new video to YouTube showing how I start my cross stitch without a knot. I use this for embroidery sometimes too! It's so easy and if you've never seen or tried this method, you need to. It'll change your stitching life.

Sweet Strawberry House Cross Stitch

Okay, that's enough of all that. Let's get you this new free pattern!

If you'd like to stitch the other houses in this series, you'll find them by looking through the house posts from this year. You can also find the full shops chart from last year (set up in rows with streets!) in this post. Fun fact, I still haven't finished stitching that. Oh, and if you like the little streets that the shops are on, the houses all fit in the same spaces as the shops. You just need to fill in gaps with grass. Here's a link to the almost blank streets you can use!

printable // berry sweet strawberry coloring page

You're Berry Sweet Strawberry Coloring Picture

What's better than biting into a fresh, sweet strawberry? Coloring one of course! In this case, you can color a bunch of very happy berries with this free printable coloring page.

Now, before we get to the download link, I need to share something that may be slightly morbid. Because let's face it...these strawberries have faces on them. That gives them personalities. And then we're supposed to eat them? No. In fact, I think that may be why they're so happy. The berries with gleeful looks on them have leapt free from the berry basket and those left behind are, well, there for the taking. Does them not having faces make them easier to eat? I do think so and maybe that means I've chosen to save the lives of some berries and not the others simply by how I drew them.

Clearly I have some deep thoughts about strawberries.

Before I take this any further, let's move along to your actual download. Because I know you're ready to start coloring some strawberries!

If you or your little ones take some time to color this, tag me on Instagram (I'm @molliejohanson) and I'll share it for all to see!

pattern // sweet strawberry house embroidery pattern

Sweet Strawberry House Embroidery Pattern

It's time for this month's free embroidery pattern: the sweet strawberry house!

As I've made these Kawaii Crossing homes, I have always tried to picture who lives in them. And I'm not sure if I've shared this or if it's just been in my head, but they all happen to be animals or people dressed as animals. This time around, I was inspired by Strawberry Shortcake (even though one version of her house was an actual strawberry, not a basket), so I can definitely picture her cat Custard living here. But like, she's wearing a cute outfit and she walks on her hind legs and shops in the little stores I made last year.

Yes, my brain really does work this way.

Okay, so before I reveal too much that may scare you away, let's get to this pattern, okay?


As I've been doing each month, I also created a version of the pattern that you can use to stitch it up with felt applique. It's available exclusively to those who support me on Ko-Fi, and when you unlock that post, you'll see what these felt colors are all about...but you can probably picture it already!

project // strawberry scissor case

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Do your embroidery scissors need a bit of extra protection? Sew this strawberry scissor case and your embroidery snips will look cute as they stay safe. Of course, a case like this also protects your projects from your scissors. No points poking at any stitches!

I've made other scissor cases before, but I thought that making one shaped like a happy strawberry would be fun. I was right! Mine came out...let's say...organic. And that's just fine, because sewing small things with curves doesn't need to be something to fret over.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

The scissors that I made this for are tiny. Just 2.75" tall, and if you search for tiny embroidery scissors, you'll find these and others that would easily fit in this strawberry. My pair came with a little sheath, which I lost, so this will come in handy. If you have larger scissors, you can definitely enlarge the pattern.

Here's what you need:

Pink or red fabric
Scrap of green felt
Black and white embroidery floss
Sew on Snap
Basic sewing tools


Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Cut out the template pieces and check to be sure that your embroidery scissors will fit in the strawberry. Allow at least .5 inches around the edges. Mine has a little more room than that.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Cut out four strawberry pieces from pink or red fabric and one stem piece from green felt.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Embroider the seeds and face on one strawberry piece. I used six strands of thread for this, working the seeds and eyes with french knots and a scallop stitch for the mouth. If these elude you, here's a video that may be helpful!

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Place the embroidered piece with one of the other strawberry pieces, right sides together. Sandwich the stem between them so the flat edge aligns with the top of the strawberry. Pin the layers together. Pin the other two strawberry pieces together as well.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Sew around the two strawberry pieces, leaving an opening for turning. Clip the curves so there's less bulk.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Turn the strawberrys right side out, open the seams, and press them with an iron. Sew the openings closed with ladder stitch.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Hand sew one side of a snap to the top of each strawberry piece, making sure that they line up with each other. Sew only through the one layer of fabric so the stitches don't show.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Hold the two strawberry pieces together. I found it helpful to go ahead and snap them together.

Use three strands of white embroidery floss and stitch a line of running stitch across the top of the front piece only. This is just for decoration.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Continue stitching down the side and around the bottom, but this time stitch through all the layers.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

When you reach the point where you started stitching across the top, change to now only stitch across the top of the back layer. This way the front and back look the same.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

Slip your scissors inside and the snap the case closed to keep those snips safe in their strawberry home!

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

It's the happiest kawaii strawberry scissor case you've ever seen! Okay, so it may be the only kawaii strawberry scissor case you've ever seen, but let's not quibble over details.

Strawberry Scissor Case Sewing Tutorial

I realized that I happen to also have a pair of vintage embroidery scissors that are the same size as the gold pair, so they may just have to share this case. Unless of course I think of another design to make for the others!

Thes are especially good for me to have because I ALWAYS ALWAYS drop my scissors. Maybe this way they'll have a chance of keeping their points pointy.

project // ahsoka tano neck pillow

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Star Wars Day is upon us (May the 4th!) and I'm so happy to share my latest project inspired by this series of films and now television shows: the Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow. This pillow is a little silly, but also practical, and sewing with fleece is pretty forgiving. As with many of the Star Wars projects I've made, this was a gift for my brother, who you get to enjoy modeling his present.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Now, let me tell you a little about the process that led to this. It was coming up on my brother's birthday and I knew that I needed to figure out what to make him. Because Ahsoka Tano (SPOILER!) made an appearance in the latest season of The Mandalorian and it was announced that she would be getting her own series, this former Jedi Padawan was my obvious choice. I usually make stuffed figures, and I was mentally processing what that would look like here, when my other brother suggested a neck pillow.

Instantly I pictured it and am so thankful for his brilliant idea!

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

What I love about this is that while it's definitely designed to be worn around the neck, you can also wear it on top of your head to look like Ahsoka! I mean, why wouldn't you? Haha!

As you can see, this corfortably fits an adult male, but it's also suitable for teens. You could probably shrink the pattern if you wanted a much smaller version for little kids, but I'm not sure it would be necessary for elementary ages.

Are you ready to make your very own Ahsoka Tano neck pillow so you can relax and watch your favorite Star Wars episodes? I know you are!

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

You will need:

Paper and Tape
Anti-Pill Fleece in Light Gray (or white), Blue, and Brown
Basic Sewing Tools (including a sewing machine)


A Note About Fleece: You only need a small amount of each color, as you'll see in the pattern pieces. However, because of the stretch, if you're buying fleece by the yard, you need to purchase 2/5 yard of the gray and 1/8 yard of the others. If you have fleece on hand, it's helpful to know that the largest gray piece is approximately 8-1/2 x 13 inches with the long side NOT stretching.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Print the two pages of the pattern at 100%. Tape the pages together so the edges meet. There will be a gap in the printing, but that's okay.

Also, you'll see that the final version is a little different than what's in the photos. I added a line to show which direction the fabric stretch should go.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Cut all the pieces apart.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Pin the pieces to the felt and cut them out, adding a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

You need two each of the pieces cut on the fold, and four each of the others (two regular and two mirrored). Remember as you cut these that fleece does have a right and wrong side.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

With right sides together, pin the top of the brown piece to the bottom of the Gray 1 piece. Start at the middle and pin towards the edge.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

When you finish pinning both sides, it should look like this. Sew this seam with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Next, pin and sew the Blue 1 and Blue 2 pieces onto Gray 1. Always remember to pin and sew with right sides together.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Continue adding pieces, alternating between the gray and blue until you've make the entire shape. Sew a second piece just like this one.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Pin the front and back pieces together. Sew around the edges, leaving a section of the brown open for stuffing. Back stitch at the beginning and end!

Try to match up the stripes/seams, but don't worry about that too much. It's more important to ensure that you are sewing across those seams and you don't have any gaps. Before you turn the pillow right side out, check that all the seams are intact.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Turn the pillow right side out and start stuffing it. Start at the bottom of the head tails (yes, that's officially what these are called!) and fill the pillow so that it's fairly firm. Add the stuffing in small bits so that it doesn't get lumpy.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Sew the opening closed with a needle and thread, using ladder stitch. The fabric stretches, so just take your stitches each about 1/4 inch from the fabric edge.

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

And now you have an Ahsoka Tano neck pillow! I kinda love it and it was hard to give this away to my brother. In fact, my sister asked me to make one for her too. It hasn't happened yet, but it may still...

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

Now, my brother doesn't live near me anymore, so I had to mail this off to him and wait to see and hear his reaction. My sister-in-law took these fantastic photos and they're basically recreations of the quick text photos I got when he opened the box. He is silly like this always and I'm not really sure what these are necessarily about, but aparently...

Ahsoka Tano Neck Pillow DIY

...he felt that this was a big secret? Haha!

At any rate, I hope that you have as much fun making this as I did and as much fun using and wearing this as my brother!

If you loved this project and want to support my work, you can do so by buying me a coffee through Ko-fi. But I do love making and sharing these with you, so there's no pressure!

Finally, many thanks to Hannah Johanson for taking these photos of my brother and her new husband. I promise we warned her about what she was getting into when marrying him.

calendar // sweet strawberry house wallpaper

It's officially May and that means a new Kawaii Crossing calendar, this time with a sweet strawberry house! And that means a month of strawberry fun (plus a few other things, of course). I'm so ready for it!

When I started this set of little homes for my little town, I didn't expect to go on a nostalgia spree, but once I started, I couldn't stop. March's house reminded of the Smurfs, April was Care Bears, and obviously this time we have Strawberry Shortcake. Have I already started adjusting my plans for the month's ahead so things fit with childhood favorites? Yes. Yes, I have.

But let's get this month going with a new wallpaper for the device of your choice!

Strawberry Basket Beanbag Game

To lead us into some strawberry goodness, I would like to draw your attention to this sweet little beanbag toss game that I designed for Hello Bee. These are like the classic strawberry pincushions, but bigger and filled with beans. I still love them!

pattern // colorful cloud house embroidery design

Colorful Cloud House Embroidery Pattern

Are you ready for another rainbow? I just HAD to embroider this month's free Colorful Cloud House embroidery pattern. And now you can stitch it too! I promise it will bring back all the Care Bears vibes as you work on this.

Colorful Cloud House Embroidery Pattern

Just like all the patterns in this series, the free PDF includes a tiny version (which is what I stitched) and a larger version (which would be adorable on a banner like you see here!). And to be honest, an even larger version would be pretty great. Yeah, I think you should consider making this large enough to become a Kawaii Crossing cloud house pillow.

Colorful Cloud House Embroidery Pattern

I decided to stitch mine on light blue fabric so that it has a sky feeling. And even though it essentially makes the cloud blue, I think it still works. For the rainbow, I think it would also look really cute if you stitch the lines with chain stitch so that it's more solid. Since the rest of mine was thinner lines, I went for consistency.

Want to use these designs as felt applique? The ready-to-cut pattern for stitching these with felt pieces is available to those who've supported me recently on Ko-Fi. I will say, This uses fewer felt pieces with still plenty of embroidery. (For example, I think the rainbow is best embroidered, rather than tryind to cut fiddly strips...and the perfect time to use chain stitch!). As always, you're of course free to figure these out on your own. But it's always appreciated when you support me in this way!

Colorful Cloud House Embroidery Pattern

If you stitch this or any of the Kawaii Crossing designs, I'd love to see! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@molliejohanson).