Monday, July 17, 2017

Seashell Hoop Picture


I haven't been to the beach yet this summer, but I do have lots of shells around the house to put me in a seaside state of mind. I also like to create beach-inspired needlework designs, like this scallop shell hoop art. The materials and skills required for this project are minimal. You'll need tan felt, embroidery floss, background fabric, a bit of fiberfill, and an embroidery hoop, of course. If you can hand-sew and use scissors, you can follow these easy instructions.


First, print out the scallop shell pattern to the size you like. Next, cut the seashell shape from felt (I used WoolFelt from National Nonwovens in champagne). 

Trace the pattern and the inner lines onto a piece of white tissue paper and pin it over the felt shell. Using two strands of embroidery floss and split stitch, follow the lines on the pattern, stitching through the tissue paper and felt. I used DMC six-strand embroidery floss in light tan (437) and very light desert sand (3774), but you can use any colors that complement your felt. 

When the embroidery is complete, gently gear away the tissue paper to reveal your stitching. You may have to use tweezers or a needle to coax every bit of paper out of the stitches. 


Now it's applique time! Place your background fabric in the embroidery hoop and secure it firmly. Position the embroidered shell in the center and sew it in place, using small applique stitches and stuffing the shell lightly with fiberfill as you go.


Trim the fabric and finish the back of the hoop as desired, and your seashell hoop art is ready for hanging.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Red, White & Blue Roundup

Happy Fourth of July week, everyone! Like many of you, I'm in party mode this week. So while I'm busy cooking up some treats for my family's Independence Day gatherings, I thought I'd round up some previous blog projects that celebrate the Red, White, and Blue. Click on the title of each project to visit its original blog post. Until next time, have a safe and sunny week!

Seaside Stars & Stripes Cross-Stitch


Fourth of July Napkin Ties
Red, White & Blue Op-Art Pin
Pom-Pom Flip-Flops and Necklace
Red, White & Blue Beanbags






Monday, June 26, 2017

Thank You, "Craft Ideas" Magazine


The Summer issue of Craft Ideas magazine just came out, and I'm so happy to see two of my projects featured inside. The pool bag, above, is crocheted in bright colors of easy-care acrylic yarn. You can use it at the pool or beach to hold sunscreen and other essentials, then toss it in the washing machine. The vintage TV photo frame, below, is sewn from wool-blend felt. I used buttons for the control "knobs" and a vinyl sleeve for the screen,which holds a 3" by 5" photo. Look for the issue on your newsstand for complete instructions for these and many other summery projects.


I'm sorry to say that I also have some sad news to report today. The Summer issue is the final issue of Craft Ideas. Formerly known as Crafts 'n Things, the magazine has been in publication since 1975. In those years, Craft Ideas has been a great source for all sorts of craft projects, from sewing and embroidery to painting and jewelry making. (Click here to read the official message from chief editor Molly Goad.) It was an honor to work with the magazine's editors and see some of my designs published on its pages over the past few years. Thank you, Craft Ideas! You will be missed.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Animal Crackers in My Soup Pillow


Does anyone else remember the song Animal Crackers in My Soup? It's very old, but still very sweet. It got stuck in my head somehow a few months ago and inspired me to make this pillow. It's sewn from blue gingham and red polka-dot fabrics and appliqued with lion, tiger, and elephant animal crackers swimming in a bowl of swirly tomato soup.

This project is a bit more complicated than most of my blog posts, so I'm going to explain it in step-by-step instructions.

You'll need:
National Nonwovens WoolFelt: Angel Wings, Strawberry Dream, Champagne
Fabrics: Blue gingham, red polka dot

DMC Embroidery floss: 309 Dark Rose, 422 Light Hazelnut Brown, 702 Kelly Green, 726 Light Topaz, 793 Medium Cornflower Blue, B5200 Snow White

Sewing threads to match fabrics
White baby rickrack
White tissue paper, sewing needle, straight pins
Polyester fiberfill 

Download and print patterns here.

Note: Use 2 strands of floss for embroidery

Cut fabrics:
From Angel Wings WoolFelt: one soup bowl (cut away shaded part indicated on pattern)
From Strawberry Dreams WoolFelt: one soup
From Champagne WoolFelt: one each lion, tiger, elephant
From blue gingham fabric: 11 1/2" square for front, 14" square for back
From red polka-dot fabric: two 14" by 1 3/4" strips; two 11 1/2" by 1 3/4" strips
Cut four 11 1/2" pieces of rickrack


1. Trace the swirly soup pattern onto tissue paper and pin it to the red soup piece. Backstitch along the swirl lines with Dark Rose embroidery floss, stitching through the tissue. When the stitching is complete, gently tear away the tissue paper, using tweezers if necessary. Arrange the animals on the soup and whipstitch them in place with Hazelnut floss. Embroider the details shown on the pattern with Hazelnut floss.


2. Trace lettering and flowers from the soup bowl pattern onto tissue paper and pin the tissue paper over the Angel Wings felt soup bowl. Backstitch the lettering with Cornflower Blue floss. Embroider the flowers with Dark Rose floss and lazy daisy stitch; embroider the leaves with Kelly Green floss and lazy daisy stitches. Add topaz satin stitch centers to each flower.

3. Pin the red soup to the center of the 11 1/2" gingham square and sew it in place along outer edge with running stitch and Dark Rose floss. Pin the soup bowl over the soup and sew around its outer and inner edges with backstitch and Kelly Green floss.

4. Pin the rickrack strips to the gingham square about 1" from each outer edge, as shown on the diagram below. Sew it in place with Snow White floss.

5. Sew a short red polka-dot strip to each side edge of the appliqued gingham square with 1/4" seam allowance. Sew a long polka-dot strip to the top and bottom edges of the gingham piece. Pin the finished pillow front to the 14" gingham square and sew the pieces together with 1/4" seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Clip the corner and turn the pillow right side out. Fill with fiberfill and whipstitch opening closed.

Congratulations--you've finished! I apologize if the Animal Crackers song is stuck in your head now too.