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project // happy cloud rainbow hoop

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

What could be happier than a little kawaii cloud sitting on a rainbow? How about a 3D felt cloud?

When I saw these wool felt pom poms in the shape of clouds, I had to get one and come up with a fun way to use it. And while this is a simple project, it has quickly become one of my favorites. Choosing a limited rainbow palette for the stripes was really enjoyable, and I personally find chain stitch to be so relaxing. But it's the puffy little cloud that really gets me.

I think it's unexpected to have this cloud held on to the front of a hoop. And it was just $3.00! Well worth it to make this into something special.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

7-inch Embroidery Hoop
Vanishing Ink Pen
Embroidery Floss in a Rainbow of 5 Colors, plus black (I used DMC 3855, 3824, 3326, 209, 3805, and 310)
Embroidery Needle
Wool Felt Cloud Pom Pom (Found at Benzie Design)

Rainbow Stripes Pattern PDF

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Place the fabric in your hoop and use your ruler to mark five parallel lines 3/8 (1cm) apart. The pattern page has these lines if it's easier for you to trace them.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Embroider the five lines with six strands and chain stitch. You don't really need to stitch the entire lines because the cloud will cover the center section, but it's easier to stitch the full line. That gives you a bit of room to move the cloud around if you want.

TIP: If you have trouble threading all six strands, I recently shared a tip for using tape to help!

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Use the vanishing ink pen to draw a little face on the cloud.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Thread six strands of black embroidery floss through your needle and tie a knot at the other end. Bring the needle through the cloud coming up through one of the marked eyes. Make a french knot, going back down through the cloud.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Stitch the mouth with a scallop stitch, then stitch another french knot eye. This face is just like all the other faces I use in my embroidery. The only difference is that we're stitching through this three dimensional felt cloud.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Secure the end of the thread with a knot on the back of the cloud. By the way, as I was stitching my face, I pulled the stitches just tight enough to sort of indent the felt. It makes the cloud puff around the face. You don't have to make yours this way, but I think it's cute!

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Place the cloud on the hoop. I centered mine, but you can find a spot that looks right to you.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Thread a needle and tie a knot at the other end (I used a color similar to my fabric, but it won't show, so anything will do!). Working on the back of the hoop, go through the fabric and dip the needle into the back of the cloud. It helps to use your finger or thumb to press the fabric and cloud to bring the needle back up.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Take a few large stitches around the back of the cloud. You don't need very many, but cloud should feel secure when you give it a little wiggle.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

The stitches shouldn't be visible from the front or side. Secure the end of the thread with a knot.

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

Gather the fabric on the back of the hoop, finishing as you'd like. And your happy cloud rainbow hoop art is finished!

Happy Cloud Rainbow Hoop

I love clouds and rainbows, but this one is especially delightful to me. I love the simplicity of the rainbow stitching, and I especially love the cloud. It's so different from typical embroidery! Maybe I need to try some more felt pom poms for other hoop art projects!

pattern // congrats grad!

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation Bonus Pattern

My new book Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation is available now, and to celebrate, I'm sharing a bonus pattern with all of you! This simple "Congrats Grad!" design is a nice little extra that you can use alone or in combination with the patterns in the book.

There are lots of cross stitch charts to work with in Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation, and they're designed to be easily customizable. That means you'll find borders, graduates, mini motifs that represent lots of educational topics, and of course, several alphabets. Something that you won't find, however, is any pre-designed words (numbers, yes, but not really words!). That's so folks of any language could easily work with the patterns.

But I wanted to have some kind of congratulatory message that wasn't just a DIY from the alphabets. So I made one as a bonus!

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation Bonus Pattern

This pattern is quick to stitch when you want to make a card similar to the one that's in the book. Which is what I've done here! You can really use any of the designs, including this bonus chart, to make a cross stitch card.

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation Bonus Pattern

The background color looks a little yellow on this because, well, it's attached to yellow paper! But we'll ignore that.

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation Bonus Pattern

Once you have the card made, add an envelope and you're ready to give this to your favorite grad!

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation Bonus Pattern

The greeting card project in Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation is based off of the mylar number balloons that you see at graduation parties, but done in cross stitch of course. And in addition to the 2024 chart that's included (we planned ahead with the dates in the book!) I have tips on how to use the XL number charts to make any of them look like this style.

For the card chart, I also included a simple border and some custom elements like initials and a little graduation cap. The "Congrats Grad!" pattern is just the wording, but you could certainly add a border or other mini motifs.

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation Bonus Pattern

The colors in the chart are the same as what you'll find in the book. In fact, they're the same ones that are in the Celebration Streamers border that you can see on the cover, as well as on page 42. It would be a perfect pairing! I'm thinking, streamer border, congrats message, a smiling graduate, and a year to really mark the occasion.

As a brief aside, since we're talking about colors, the colors and general chart sizes are consistent with those that I created in Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! That means if you're stitching for someone who would like a vine border for example (it would be great for an ivy-league graduate), you can easily work in that element from Bundle of Joy with the designs in Graduation. Fancy, right? If you know someone of any age who is graduating soon, I hope you check out Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation and make them something super special!

wallpaper // rainbow stickers for march

Who is up for a March refresh on their wallpapers? These digital backgrounds feature a happy cloud with a rainbow. They're styled as stickers on handwriting paper, which, I don't know about you, but I kinda love having those guidelines to keep things tidy. Could we bring that back for adults?

It's maybe a little early in the weather season for real rainbows to be showing up, at least where I live, but I think that just means I'm more ready for them. Adding a rainbow to screen seems even more necessary when you're trying to endure the end of winter. Plus, I'm always ready for a rainbow anything!

There are three sizes of the basic rainbow wallpaper, as well as a Month Marker that is square and says March. Feel free to upload it to your IG feed or use it when organizing your photos (I'd love a tag if you do that!). Even though I realize that saying that on March 3 is probably less helpful.

Along with my love of rainbows, I was inspired to make this particular design by a very cool "pom-pom" from Benzie Design. I have plans to make something with their little wool cloud. It's actually bigger than you think at first, and I think that using it to make something stitchy but also 3-dimensional will be a fun challenge.

printable: floss bobbin thread organizer

Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

Over the years, I've crafted many ways to store and organize embroidery floss. Sometimes I think that I like the process of making these even more than using them. The one that has stuck for me the longest is sorting the skeins in small containers sorting them based on the DMC color card. You can see that here. But that's storing my threads in an organized way.

But when it comes to keeping embroidery floss organized while actually working on a project, I'm usually pretty horrible about it. I typically have little nests of thread in a project bag, which you'll see later in this post. And that's despite the fact that I designed these embroidery floss bobbin thread organizers ten (yes TEN!) years ago.

These are based off of similar cards you can buy as well as some simple handmade ones, and even the acrylic or wood variety. My printable is based on the thread bobbins I've made in the past, but bigger and made for holding a bunch of threads and labeling them too! As I've been doing more cross stitch, it's been especially helpful because I'm pulling off single strands, as opposed to using three strands like I usually do with embroidery. I'm still new to using this, but now I don't have messy wads of floss to sort through!

Want to print your own and give them a try?

Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

I have two versions of these available. One has four colors (red, yellow, green, and blue), and then for those who support me on Ko-Fi, there's a version with an additional four colors (pink, orange, teal, and purple).


Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

Print the page on heavy card stock (or you could mount it onto thin cardboard using my stronger card method), then trim the bobbins.

Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

Punch holes along the sides. If you want, you can also punch a hole in the top so you can keep all of your bobbins on a ring.

Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

Now, grab those nests of embroidery floss (or if you're smart, use these organizers from the beginning so you don't have this problem).

Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards
Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

When you start a project, or as you're working, place the cut strands through the hole and secure with a cow hitch (yes, that's what that "knot" is called!)). You can write the color numbers next to each loop if you want, and even add your project name at the top. No more guessing, especially when you have colors that are close to each other!

Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

If you look closely, you'll see that when I ended up with an extra thread, I added it in with the matching color. It's a handy way to keep alllll the threads tidy.

Oh, and if you want to know an easy way to remove a thread to use it, check out my YouTube short showing me trying this for the first time!

Thread Bobbin Printable Floss Organizer Cards

When I'm not using the floss, I just wrap the hanging threads around the card like you see here!

Before I sign this off, I want to highlight my Ko-Fi page. There are several ways to support me there, including what I call the tip jar so you can drop something in and get bonus files from time to time (like the full rainbow of floss organizers!). But my Ko-Fi Klatsch is the best value, while really helping me do what I do. That monthly membership includes all the bonus files, plus exclusive patterns, video calls, discounts, and new release patterns, depending on the tier. I'd love it if you took a look.

And now, happy stitching!

cross stitch celebrations // graduation

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation It may sound a little early, but right now is the time to start planning handmade graduation gifts. And I have a new book to help you with that! Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation is my latest book and it's ready to help you create fun and special presents for the grad in your life.

Even though I've talked about this book on social media and in my newsletter, this is its first time showing up here on my blog. How did I manage to wait so long? I don't know the answer, but I do know that I'm very excited and so proud of how everything turned out. The actual release date is still about a month away, and more fun will come to the blog then, but I wanted to share a little about what's inside and some of the thought that went into making it.

About a year ago was when this new title and all the ideas for the patterns started taking shape. The idea behind the Cross Stitch Celebrations series (which started with Bundle of Joy) is that you can cross stitch all kinds of things to celebrate life's milestones. Graduation is definitely one of those, but while it's in the title, graduation is not the only event celebrated with the more than 35 designs in this book. That's because I wanted to also make it possible to stitch things for lots of things related to education, whether that be kindergarten, high school, university, and even special certifications.

Because the who, what, where, and when of anything graduation related has so many variables, the cross stitch charts are designed to come together in different ways, with different elements.

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation

There are some motifs like graduates in different poses, a traditional hat and diploma, and several that have areas specifically ready to add extra mini designs. So of course, there are a bunch of mini patterns to use for this (or on their own!). I designed celebration borders and borders that have educational motifs. There are also several alphabets and sets of numbers that you can use for honoring the class of...well...any year you want!

And since many folks who are getting started in cross stitch are more hesitant to make changes to patterns, I have tips along the way about how you can combine or edit the charts. Things like making the graduates look like who you're stitching for or adding in custom text and colors. My goal was to make this as fun and approachable as possible!

Along with the charts for the separate elements, there are several projects with step-by-step instuctions and even more ideas beyond those.

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation

One of my favorite projects is this graduation hat. When I graduated, people didn't decorate the tops of their hats like they do now, but I would have LOVED to have made one of these back then. But even if it's not worn for the big day, I think this is a sweet way to remember a graduation. It's also an example of how the borders can be changed.

Graduation caps are square, but the borders are all sized to fit within an 8x10 inch frame. However...many of the borders have repeats that make it easy to add to or remove a section. Which is what I did for the hat!

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation

This is the full Celebration Streamers border. Can you spot what's missing on the hat above?

I also love how different the design looks on the white and black aida fabric. Now imagine changing the color of the streamers and all the other elements!

Obviously, this is just one small glimpse into this project. For more behind the scenes, be sure to watch my Instagram feed, and I'll share more here soon.

The process of designing, stitching, photographing, and writing a book like this is...well...a process. When I finished it, I felt a bit like I was graduating myself. But really, it's more like when you turn in that last assignment. You know that graduation is coming, but you aren't really done. But now, with Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation releasing on March 14, that's my graduation date. That's when the party happens.

For now, you're officially invited!

pattern // national pizza day heart pizza for embroidery and cross stitch

A Pizza My Heart Embroidery Pattern

Did you know that February 9 is National Pizza Day? I think that's worth celebrating with some embroidery, cross stitch, and felt...and maybe also a slice of pizza? But since this is also right before Valentine's Day, I think it's so much more fun if (at least for some of this) there are heart pizzas involved.

At my house we love pizza and have a few favorite kinds, but everyone especially loves it when we make our own from scratch. It's a bit of a process, but it's worth it. And it's so much fun to come up with different flavor and topping combos. One thing I've never tried making though is a pizza in the shape of a heart. I could probably do it though, right? I'll just follow my stitching patterns as a guide!

The design you see above is actually from my pattern set called A Pizza My Heart. It has the title design, several types of pizza, a pizza delivery squirrel, different pizza toppings, and things that go well with pizza. You can find that full pattern in my Etsy shop.

But for today, wouldn't it be pretty great to go to a pizza place and they gave you a free sample? I thought so.

Heart Pizza Embroidery Pattern

If you want to embroider a heart-shaped pizza, I've got you covered! In this free download you get just the pizza shown here that you can stitch onto a card, a pin, napkins, or maybe a pot holder that you always use for pizza night!

I used back stitch for the crust and cheese outlines, and then I made the pepperoni pop by using satin stitch. You could also stitch this with different toppings if you want to get creative!

Heart Pizza Cross Stitch Pattern

But we're not gonna stop at embroidery, because it's cross stitch time! As I've made new pattern sets, I often make them in both embroidery and cross stitch, but I'm not going back and making the matching sets. As in, it's unlikely that I'll be making a Pizza My Heart cross stitch any time soon. However...

One little heart pizza chart can't hurt, right?

This is a fairly small pattern that is going to be quick to stitch and of course you can use this version in the same way you would the embroidery pattern. As a reminder, I recommend back stitching around the eyes to fill them in a little.

Pizza Pal Felt Playset

Finally, in the non-stitching, non-heart pizza area, I have a tutorial for making what I call a Pizza Pal Felt Playset. This is a set of felt pieces that kids (or adults!) can use to decorate a pizza or make all kinds of fun faces. It's so much fun to try out the different kinds of toppings. It may even inspire some homemade pizzas!

And even though this doesn't have templates for making a heart-shaped pizza pal, you absolutely could cut out a heart and make heart sauce and cheese. I think it would be so cute!

Go check out the pattern, tutorial, and accompanying printable.

Whether it's National Pizza Day or a very pizza-focused Valentine's Day, I hope you enjoy making these fun foods!

wallpaper // valentine stickers for february

It's February and that means a fresh new (pink!) wallpaper for you and your devices! Like the ones I made for January, this new set of designs is not February 2023 specific, but it's still perfect for this month. But I also added a new version that does say February. I'll get to that.

First, this design, and really the style that I'm using throughout the year. I'm pulling from my youth and the pastel filled notebooks that I loved. Did you have spiral bound books of pink lined paper? I loved those. And I still have some composition books with other colors of both lined and gridded paper. They make me happy.

The other element on these of course is the art, which I styled after stickers. One of the fun facts about me is that I RARELY stick stickers on anything. This is also a holdout from my childhood, and so sticking these digital stickers on things is lots of fun for me.

Okay, so now back to the version of this month's wallpaper that says February. One of the ways that folks often use my wallpapers is not as a background or lockscreen, but as what is called a "month marker" on Instagram. These are shared in one's feed to help you divide your photos and see at a glance when things were uploaded. I've used them this way myself!

So I made three sizes of the basic Valentine wallpaper, and then I also made a Month Marker that is square, has larger art, and also says February. Feel free to upload it to your IG feed or use it when organizing your photos (I'd love a tag if you do that!)

Have a lovely February, friends!

project // kawaii chocolate box felt pin

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Do love chocolate? Then why not stitch up a sweet box of chocolates that you can wear for Valentine's Day or beyond! This simple felt pin is an easy project to make and hard not to resist. If only it actually smelled like chocolate! (Maybe I should work on that...)

Truth be told, I don't always love big boxes of chocolates because so many of them have fillings that I don't like. Thankfully I have a big family and everyone typically shares and finds things to enjoy. But I think that these heart-shaped boxes of sweet goodness are always super cute and so I had to design my own version.

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

This isn't the first time that I've made something related to Valentine's chocolates. A few years ago I created an embroidered EPP mini quilt that made a chocolate box, plus I've had a few other things deep in the archives.

Most recently I designed a set of Hearts Day felt ornaments that have a bunch of Valentine's Day motifs, and this box of chocolates was originally going to be one of them. But then I swapped it out for something else and decided to make it a little pin to share here! That said, you could definitely use this to make an ornament to match that set, or you could use patterns in that set to make a pin.

All of the felt for this project and for the ornaments is available from Benzie Design. Several of the colors I used in this are in the felt palette for the ornaments, with the addition of two chocolatey shades of brown.

You will need:

Wool blend felt in white, fuchsia, pink, brown, and latte
Embroidery floss in colors to match, plus black
5mm scallop shears (optional, but so cute!)
Freezer paper
Pin back


Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Cut out one large fuchsia heart, one scalloped large white heart (see below!), three white rounded squares, and three chocolates from the pink and browns. You can also make these chocolates other flavors or make the rounded squares brown like some chocolate boxes...this would be perfect if you want some white chocolate in your box!

When I cut out my felt pieces, I like to use freezer paper for more accurate shapes. You can find my top tips for that here.

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Freezer paper templates are reusable, so after cutting out the large fuchsia heart, you can iron it onto the white felt. Use a scallop shears to cut out around the heart. (Mine are no-longer-produced Fiskars, but Benzie also sells these and they are great!)

Just cut around the outside of the template to make the scallops extend around the edge. Take extra care at the indent and point to try and keep the scallops matching up as smooth as possible.

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Embroider the faces on the little pieces of chocolate. I stitch these with three strands of black embroidery floss and I make two French knots and a scallop stitch.

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Sew the pin back onto the middle of the white scalloped heart. You can just stitch around each side and through each of the holes two times.

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Next, stitch down all of the pieces onto the fuchsia heart. To do this, use two strands of embroidery floss that match the color of the felt for the top piece you're stitching. Applique the felt with a tiny whip stitch.

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Stitch the appliqued heart onto the heart with the pin back. Do this the same way you stitched all the other pieces!

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial
Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

Now your pin is all finished and ready to wear! It's perfect on a coat or jacket, but would also be adorable on a backpack or project bag.

Felt Chocolate Box Pin Tutorial

I just love that this has not one, but THREE little happy chocolates with faces! I did consider adding some extra embroidery decoration to the chocolates, which you could do. It would also be cute to make this with fused fabric applique instead of felt. But I'm always team felt!

Now the biggest question you have to ask yourself is what flavor chocolates will you add to your kawaii chocolate box pin?