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pattern // september's jar of apple jelly

2019 September Jam of the Month Embroidery Pattern

Who is ready to stitch some apple jelly? I know I am! Well, actually, I already stitched the apple jelly embroidery pattern today. Obviously, because I was ready!

Most of these have kept to the absolute basics, with only my three go-to stitches: back stitch, French knot, and scallop stitch (a fly stitch variation). For this one, I used those and a few more. Most things are back stitch. Here are the others:

Face: French knots and scallop stitch
Ridges at the top of the lid: straight stitch
Thick line at the bottom of the lid: chain stitch
Scallops around the tag: scallop stitch (note that these lines aren't on the pattern, I just stitched)
Bow loops: lazy daisy

They're still simple stitches, but they do get a little layered up around the top of the tag!

I hope you have as fun stitching this one as I did! Oh, one other thing. I used a darker shade of gray for my lid (169 instead of 168) because I'm working on light gray fabric. Use what you like best for yours!

But now I have a question for you. This month's design was a toss-up for me. Apple jelly or apple butter. Which one is your favorite?

trying out wood block printing

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

On the latest episode of the Very Serious Crafts Podcast, I talked about trying out woodblock printing for the first time. But not wanting my experience to be wasted, I decided to take a few photos so you could see the process too!

The back story here is that my sister went to India this summer. While she was there she saw and experienced so much, learning a lot along the way. She also visited Jaipur, an area known for woodblock printing. Like, intricately printed, amazing fabrics that are truly special.

Now, maybe I should have asked her to bring me some fabric, but I have a ton of fabric and she was looking to pack light, even on the way home. So I requested some small wooden printing blocks. And she found me these!

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

A souvenir that you can also craft with is my kind of souvenir, so I couldn't wait to try them out. And you get to see what that looked like step by step. Here we go!

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

I grabbed some metallic gold block printing ink and a brayer that I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago. And a paper plate. I have no idea if that was a bad idea or not, but I had it and I avoided a lot of clean up.

If you've ever changed a diaper, you know that the color is unfortunate, but it dries pretty, so let's move on.

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

The ink rolled onto the stamp easily, and all that was left to do was print. So I did!

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

And this was my first result!

Haha! Not exactly the success I was looking for. And I did get a little worried. But I also remembered from carving rubber stamps and foam block printing that first prints often come out wrong. Let's try this again...

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

With a bit more ink on there, the second print came out better. At this point, I also started to think that pre-washing my fabric might have helped. Whatever...I just wanted to try this thing! Print number three was even better.

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

So I added a few extra elements and I'm hoping to make this into a mini pincushion. We shall see.

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

For fun, I decided to try the rest of the stamps and make a design. And I plan on doing more!

On my next try, I'll pre-wash the fabric and perhaps choose another color with more contrast. I may even buy different ink to see how that goes. But can I just say that this was a fun experience? It may not have been the biggest success, but it certainly wasn't a fail.

If you want to give woodblock printing a go, you can find these little gems lots of places online, usually for a few dollars each (or less if you or someone you know is visiting India!). Many thanks to my sister for bringing me home something beautiful and crafty!

calendar // september's apple jelly

I maaaaaayyy be in denial that September is here. But since people keep talking about September things, I figured I had better just go with it and finally make and post the new calendar wallpaper...with Apple Jelly!

Each new Jam of the Month Club design is always my favorite, and that's true this time around too. I mean, seriously...just look at those little tags? I think they may be inspiring a printable for this month.

But now, so I don't fall behind on even more things this month, let's jump to the wallpapers!

Very Serious Crafts: S2E17

And since September means thinking about making things for fall, why not listen to the latest episode of Very Serious Crafts? A new episode is coming sooooooon!!!

pattern // august's jar of peach jam

2019 August Jam of the Month EmbroideryPattern

I could not wait to stitch this month's free peach jam embroidery pattern! This latest pattern in the Jam of the Month Stitching Club was calling to me with its pretty colors and kawaii peach. It look me a little longer to get it finished, but it's actually stitched for you to see!

The golden peach jam color (both in this pattern and in real jam) feels like a jewel to me. Almost like the better version of topaz, which is my birthstone, which was also last year's free stitching club.

But let's get to this latest pattern!

As a side note, one of my favorite ways to enjoy peach jam is on a wafflewich. I don't know where I originally learned this yummy sandwich recipe, but it's easy, fun, and tasty. Here's the summary:

1. Toast two toaster waffles, then butter one side of each.

2. Spread one waffle with peach jam and the other with honey mustard.

3. Add turkey or ham and your favorite cheese (I love cheddar or provologne).

4. Heat on a griddle until the waffles start to brown and crisp and the cheese gets melty.

Yum! (This is also tasty with raspberry jam, but we're all about the peaches this month!)

project // felt kawaii emoji peach keyring

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Know what would be perfectly peachy? Adorning your keychain with a fuzzy felt peach! Since this month's Jam of the Month is peach jam, I thought it would be fun to make a little felt peach with a kawaii face. And a keyring seemed the perfect way to use this fruity friend!

Now, I know that in the world of emojis, a peach can be, um...questionable. But I'm choosing to make this a very sweet and innocent peach. Your own keyring can represent whatever you choose. Ha!

You might also be thinking that felt for a keychain could be a bad choice. You'd be wrong, just like I was years ago. I bought the book Cute Stuff by Aronzi Aronzo, and it showed how to make felt keychains. I figured I was making an item that wouldn't last long, but it was cute for now. No joke, my mom used that embroidered felt keychain for YEARS. Yes, it looked worn, but it held on. So don't be afraid to make this little gal.

Now, be a peach and grab some felt so you can get started!

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Here's what you need:

Wool Blend Felt in Peach and Green
Peach and Black Embroidery Floss
Pink or Red Crayons


Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Use the pattern to cut out two peach pieces and a rectangle from peach felt. Cut out one leaf from green felt.

I like to use freezer paper to accurately cut out my pieces, but you can use a regular paper pattern.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Use three strands of black embroidery floss to stitch the face on one peach shape. You can freehand this if you want, or trace the face on tracing paper (or the freezer paper), then stitch through the paper and tear it away when you're done.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Use a crayon to lightly add peachy cheeks if you want to make your peach extra kawaii. Be sure to test this on a scrap of peach felt first.

I didn't love the way the pink looked on its own, so I added a bit of red over it.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Place the two peach pieces together and stitch around the outside, starting near the bottom. Use three strands of peach embroidery floss.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

When you get near the top, pause your peach stitching. Fold the felt rectangle over the keyring and place it between the layers. Place the leaf over that. Be sure that they are tucked down between the layers enough to catch them when you continue stitching.

Stitch through all the layers at the top of the peach. Try to get several stitches through the leaf and the tab of felt. If you need to, you can even go back and add stitches in between the running stitches.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

When you get near the bottom, pause again. This time add a tiny bit of stuffing in the peach. It doesn't take much!

Finish stitching to close it up, and you're done!

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

This little peach is ready to hold your keys or just hang out on a zipper pull or tote bag handle. You could even add a tiny crown to make it a princess peach (any Mario fans reading this?)!

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

I also just had a realization. You could use this to hold your spare key. That way it would help you get out of a peach jam!

pattern // peach jam cross stitch chart

August Jam of the Month Cross Stitch

Special delivery for all my Jam of the Month Club cross stitchers! This month you get your free cross stitch chart before the embroidery pattern comes out. Just because.

I'm absolutely crazy about this peach jam and the colors in it. If you're stitching these as individual designs or the ever-filling shelves, I think you'll love this bright and cheery jar too.

August Jam of the Month Cross Stitch

Cross stitch has been creeping into my design work more and more and I'm not mad about it. The only thing is just that I'm really slow about the actual stitching. It's why I'm thrilled that Cross Stitch Crazy has speedy stitchers to help with that part. You can see their amazing work in these two recent patterns I made for issues 258 and 259.

Designs for Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine
Designs for Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine

Meanwhile, I'm working on another Halloween chart that I'm stitching myself to share elsewhere and this is as far as I've gotten in three evenings:

Halloween Stitching

I think I had better get busy if I want to finish in time! How about you? Are you a fast or slow stitcher? And if you're speedy, what's your secret?

calendar // august's peach jam

At this very moment, there is a bag of "Georgia Fuzzies" sitting on my kitchen counter. I'm not sure who decided to give fruit such adorable names, but I'm so glad they did. The Georgia Fuzzies peaches won't be turning into peach jam this time around, but that's okay because I already have kawaii cute jars drawn up for this month. Obviously, illustrations and patterns aren't as tasty as the real deal, but they are super sweet.

I'm really into the colors for this month's calendar, and I hope you enjoy them too. They're still screaming "summer", which is nice when back-to-school comes early for so many. At least we can hold onto some of the summer bits!

Now, whether you're heading back to school, sending kids off for first days of school, enjoying the last days of summer, or all those things, spread some peach jam fun on your favorite digital device!

Oh, and for a bit of extra fun that I made in the last month or so, and that you really shouldn't miss, check out these projects on other sites. I used some of my favorite colors of Benzie felt for these!

Seashell Embroidery and Applique Pattern

Summer Seashells Pattern for embroidery and applique at The Spruce Crafts.

Sloth Pencil Toppers

Pastel Sloth Pencil Toppers at Handmade Charlotte.

What are you planning to make in August?

pattern // strawberry rhubarb cross stitch chart

Cross Stitch Supplies

Who has their cross stitch supplies ready? I hope you do, because I have a Strawberry Rhubarb Jam cross stitch chart for you! And just like all the Jam of the Month patterns, this is a free cross stitch pattern/stitching club. Will it always be free? I'm not sure. But it is right now.

When I'm making embroidery patterns, I love adding some fun angles in the design. If you know anything about cross stitch, and if you're excited about this pattern, you probably do, then you know that slight angles don't always work so well on a grid. At least on a small grid!

This was definitely one of those designs where, because of the size, I needed to make the fruit a little less jaunty than on the embroidery version. It may not be something you ever think about, but I find these kinds of things interesting. It makes it fun to see how I can take my designs in different directions, even when they are mostly the same!

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Cross Stitch Pattern

If you're just finding my Jam of the Month patterns for the first time, well...welcome! And thanks! Each month this year I'm releasing a free cross stitch design for a jar of jam, marmalade, etc. They come as individual charts, but you can also make them into a large shelf filled with the jars. You can grab both versions above.

And whether you're new or have been stitching along the whole time, you know I want to see your stitches. Tag me on Instagram (I'm @molliejohanson) or use the hashtag #wildolivestitchingclub.

Oh, and if you want to support my work, I'd love it if you tell your friends about my patterns, share my posts on social media, or buy me a coffee via the link in my sidebar (because I pretty much run on coffee and Jesus!).

pattern // july's jar of strawberry rhubarb jam

2019 July Jam of the Month Club Embroidery Pattern

My latest Jam of the Month Club embroidery pattern is printed out and attached to my fabric, and I have full intentions of starting the stitching. But I know me and I know you, and I don't want this to wait any longer. Even just a day or two.

And so rather than delaying this post more, I'm sharing the newest free Wild Olive Stitching Club pattern today! With my still unstitched sample!

Like all of the previous jars, I'll be using back stitch for the majority of the design, with my favorite stitches for faces. But I'm also going to use chain stitch for the thick line that is the jar seal. I think that will look perfect there.

And in case you missed it, all these jam jars I'm (we're!) stitching will come together in a mini quilt that looks like shelves. I'm equally behind on my EPP for that too, but I'm hoping to carve out some time for progress soon. Because I've seen lots of great progress from folks on Instagram at the #wildolivestitchingclub hashtag!

Okay, now I'm off to try and do some stitching. Not for this just yet, but for something else fun. Why must there be so many projects that I'm excited about?

calendar // july's strawberry rhubarb jam wallpapers

July, July...halfway through the year! It's hard to believe it. But I've been excited for the July calendar wallpaper because I decided to make this jam of the month strawberry rhubarb.

My grandpa always grew rhubarb in the garden and so I have fond memories of all the rhubarb recipes my grandma would make. This seemed like a fitting way to honor Nanny (and Papa!) within this year of canned jams.

So grab a calendar for your favorite device and enjoy this taste of summer!

S2E13: Nightmare Yarn, Garment Making, and When Crafting Doesn't Help

And while we're checking in for a new month, I thought I should share the latest Very Serious Crafts Podcast episode with you! Season 2, episode 13 just dropped today and it's even a strawberry rhubarb kind of color...

Head to Very Serious Crafts to download and listen!