Monday, December 5, 2016

Pink Christmas Tree Cross-Stitch

I've always wanted a pink Christmas tree--one with fluffy faux branches, white twinkle lights, and colorful kitschy ornaments. Since I haven't gotten around to indulging my pink tree craving yet, I decided to make a miniature cross-stitch version. (The design is actually worked primarily in backstitch and half cross-stitches. The only full cross-stitches are on the base.)

I stitched my little tree on 18-count white Aida, which creates a finished design size of 1 1/2" by 2 1/2". I used two strands of DMC Light Effects E168 Silver for the base, trunk, and branches. For the "needles," I used three strands of DMC Six-Strand Embroidery Floss in 776 Medium Pink and 605 Very Light Cranberry, alternating the shades along each branch. To add some extra sparkle to the design, I sewed a pink seed bead to the tip of each branch and the top of the tree.

Pink Christmas Tree   ©2016 Kathleen Berlew

Follow the chart above to stitch your own tiny tree. Of course, you can use any colors you like. I think I might make one that's all silver--I'm in a vintage kind of mood these days. I framed my finished tree in a little silver frame at a flea market last year for fifty cents (I can't resist bragging about a bargain), and I think it suits the design perfectly. I may not have room in my house for a full-size pink tree, but I can definitely find a spot for this one.

Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is less than four weeks away--how can that be?! If you plan on making gifts for any of the people on your list, you better start crafting! For this year's edition of my annual gift guide, I've collected eight simple projects that you can whip up in time for the holidays. Whether you cross-stitch, crochet, or sew, you should be able to find a DIY gift that suits your skills. Click on the name of the project below to visit the blog post where it originally appeared.

1. Cross-Stitch Veggie Hoop: This cute little cross-stitch project uses just seven colors of floss, and stitches up in just an hour or two. A great gift for cooks and gardeners.

2. Crochet-Covered Earrings: If you have a ball of yarn, a crochet hook, and a few minutes to spare, you can transform a pair of boring plastic earrings into something fresh and fun.

3. "X-Files" X-Stitch: I designed this cross-stitch hoop to celebrate the return of one of my all-time favorite shows. Stitch one for an "X-Files" fan while they anxiously await season 11.

4. Mini Cross-Stitch Kit: Is there a reluctant crafter on your Christmas list? Encourage their creativity with a DIY kit that you can assemble from an Altoids mint tin and supplies you  have on hand.

5. Appliqued Autumn Leaf Sachet: The pine fragrance of the holiday season doesn't have to go away when the tree comes down. Sew a simple appliqued sachet and fill it with dried pine balsam to enjoy the scent of the forest year-round.

6. Shamrock and Thistle Cross-Stitch Pins: For the Celt on your Christmas list--cross-stitch pins that celebrate the symbols of Ireland and Scotland. 

7. Farmer's Market Tote: The veggies on this tote bag look yummy enough to eat. To simplify this project, I sewed the appliqued panel onto a purchased canvas bag.

8. X-Stitch Paper Heart Accessories: Sweet little hearts cross-stitched on perforated paper make pretty accents for barrettes and hair clips. Perfect for a little girl--and maybe a grownup girl too.

I hope you find a project you like on my 2016 gift guide. If not, you can browse through my blog to see dozens of other designs. Happy holiday crafting!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking this week off from the blog to spend time with my family--and probably eat way too much turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thank you for your continued support KBB Crafts & Stitches!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mini Autumn Treat Bags

I love making little things, which is why you'll find a lot of projects labeled "mini," "tiny," and even "itsy-bitsy" on my blog. This week, as Thanksgiving quickly approaches, I'm sharing a collection of small fall-themed bags that can you can use as part of your table decor. You can tuck some wrapped candy or another treat inside each bag as a thoughtful gift for your guests.

Each felt bag is just 3 inches square and features an applique of a familiar autumn motif--a pumpkin, an apple, an Aspen leaf, and an oak leaf. I used simple embroidery stitches to give the designs a bit of detail and added orange rickrack hanging loops.

These mini treat bags were featured in the Fall 2015 issue of Craft Ideas magazine. Click here to link to the instructions and patterns on the Craft Ideas website.