Monday, September 26, 2016

My Designs in "Make It Yourself" Magazine

So excited to see my designs in the Fall/Winter issue of Make It Yourself magazine! Those are my felt Penguin Gift Bags on the cover.

And below is my Night Owl felt applique picture. Look for the issue on newsstands now--it's filled with Autumn, Halloween, Christmas, and holiday projects for all kinds of crafters.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Appliqued Autumn Leaf Sachet

I am a great believer in the power of aromatherapy. I haven't studied the topic scientifically, and I'm not an expert on the use of essential oils. I just know that certain scents have an amazing effect on my mood. Citrus energizes me, lavender calms me, and cinnamon gives me a feeling of warmth. If you follow my blog, you know that pine is another of my favorite scents--and not just for Christmas. I use the cozy, homey aroma of pine balsam year-round. As you may have guessed, this appliqued autumn leaf sachet filled with pine balsam. It's easy to sew from wool-blend felt and embroidery floss.

To start, cut two 4-inch squares from orange and sage green wool-blend felt. Cut a simple leaf shape from gold felt and whip-stitch it to the orange piece with two strands of sage green embroidery floss. Use stem stitch to create a stem at the base of the leaf. With orange and gold embroidery floss, backstitch veins on the leaf.

When the applique and embroidery are complete, pin the orange and sage green squares of felt together, wrong sides facing. Sew the pieces together using gold embroidery floss and blanket stitch. Leave an opening so you can fill the sachet.

Fill the sachet with dry pine balsam, which you can find at craft stores or online vendors. (Be careful not to "over stuff" the sachet, or it will be hard to stitch it closed.) Stitch the opening closed with blanket stitch, and your appliqued autumn leaf sachet is finished! Tuck it in a basket or on a shelf to give a room a woodsy scent and a touch of autumn color.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Craft Roundup

The official start of fall may still be a few weeks away, but fall crafting season has definitely arrived. It's time to pull out your gorgeous gold, orange, and brown fabrics and felt and start stitching up some autumn accessories. This week, I've collected six fall favorite projects that I featured on my blog last year. Just clink on the title of each project to go to the original post and instructions.

Tiny Pine Pillows--Super-simple pine sachets are sewn from camp blanket-print fabric and filled with pine balsam.

Squirrel and Crow Napkin Ties--Dress up an autumn table with napkin ties hand-sewn from felt and ribbon.

Acorn Treat Bag--An assortment of earthy buttons adorns the cap of a felt acorn bag that can hold treats for kids or grownups.

Oak Leaf Name Tags--Personalize embroidered felt oak leaves with hand-lettered vellum overlays.

Fall Patchwork Pillow--A patchwork pillow pieced from fun fall fabrics is a perfect project for beginning stitchers.

Oak Branch Cross-Stitch Pin--Cross-stitch a simple oak leaf and acorn design and mount it in a pin setting to create fall art you can wear.

Happy Fall! And happy stitching!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Easy Footstool Makeover

Have you ever had a project that you keep putting off? For one reason or another, you can't find the time to tackle it or you have other projects you'd rather work on. I have had many, but this little footstool wins the prize. I've been procrastinating about giving it a makeover if for years. Now that I've finally finished, I can only ask myself--Why did I wait so long?

I bought the footstool at a local discount store ages ago. It was perfect for stashing sewing supplies, and it was small enough to tuck under a chair. It wasn't this sad looking when it was new, but with each passing month, it became more obvious that it needed help. Luckily, it only needed a face-lift--not major surgery.

I didn't spend a penny on the makeover materials. I just chose a paint color (from the many cans stored in the basement) and a coordinating fabric (from my extensive stash) and got to work. First, I removed the padded lid and hardware and gave the wooden base a light sanding. One coat of primer and three coats of pale gray eggshell paint gave the stool a fresh new look.

When it came to re-covering the lid, I at first thought about removing the original fabric. I quickly talked myself out of that idea, which would undoubtedly involved a lot of time and frustration. Instead, I just measured my fabric so it wrapped around the lid with plenty of overlap, and then used a heavy-duty stapler to fasten the fabric edges on the lid's underside. I stapled a piece of gray felt onto underside of the lid to conceal the raw fabric edges. For the final step, I re-attached the hinges. Ta-da! The project that I had put off for years took me only a few hours to complete--and isn't it adorable? Make me think I should start tackling some of my other "procrastination projects."