Monday, March 27, 2017

Felt Easter Peeps Basket

I'm not sure what I liked better about the Easter basket I got every year as a child--the chocolate bunny inside or the fluffy pom-pom peep that was tied to the handle. I never outgrew those little yellow peeps. I have a flock of peeps that come out every year with my Easter decorations. Last year, my love for Easter peeps inspired me to make this little felt basket.

The supplies are pretty basic--wool-blend felt in bright yellow, blue, and chartreuse; white jumbo rick-rack; and buttons from my sewing basket. To give the basket some fun texture, I snipped slits on the wings to give them a feathery look, and I added a border of fringed grass around the bottom. This design was featured in the 2016 Spring issue of Craft Ideas magazine. Click here  to go see the instructions and patterns on the magazine's website.

I admit, this basket is too small (just 4 1/2 inches tall) to hold a big chocolate rabbit, but you can fill it with colored eggs, foil-covered chocolates, or marshmallow peeps.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Flowers Cross-Stitch

It's snowing here in Pennsylvania as I write this blog post, so any bulbs that had started to sprout in my garden are now covered in a few inches of fluffy flakes. While I wait out this temporary setback to the arrival of spring, I thought I'd share a cross-stitch project that might help chase winter away.

One of my favorite things about cross-stitch is that it requires so few instructions. If you have a chart and a color key, you can just go ahead and transfer a design from paper to fabric stitch by stitch. You can substitute colors if you like, and you can even stitch on different types of fabric to create different sizes and effects.

This spring flowers design, which was originally published in Craft Ideas magazine, features a geometric trellis pattern of irises, tulips, and daffodils stitched with eight shades of DMC embroidery floss. (I'm not a math person, but I do appreciate geometry and symmetry in my needlework.) I stitched the model shown above on 18-count Aida, which created a design area of about 4 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. If you use 14-count Aida, your pictured will be about 6 by 7 inches. You could also stitch it on linen or another even-weave. Experiment with different fabrics to find out which work best for you.

If you'd like to give the Spring Flowers design a try, click here to download and print the chart and floss key. As I said, cross-stitch requires little instruction. Just follow the chart and start stitching!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Felt Celtic Pins

St. Patrick's Day doesn't last just a day anymore--it's a month-long celebration complete with parades, dinners, and wearing of the green. When I was in grade school, I used to push the limits of my Catholic school's dress code with green accessories, right down to green shoelaces and nail polish. Although I'll still wear green beads and a plastic leprechaun hat during my family's annual St. Patrick's Day dinner, I have developed an appreciation for more subdued Irish-themed accessories. Sometimes, I even make my own.

These appliqued Celtic pins are sewn from green and gold felt and embellished with simple embroidery. I admit, the pieces are pretty tiny, but I think the end result makes the patient snipping and stitching worthwhile. The pins were featured in the 2016 Spring issue of Craft Ideas magazine. Click here to go to the instructions and patterns on their website.

Looking for other St. Patrick's Day projects? Check out these cross-stitch designs--Shamrock and Thistle Pins and Irish Flag--which I featured previously on the blog. Click on the link below each photo below to se the original blog post.

Shamrock & Thistle Cross-Stitch Pins

Cross-Stitched Irish Flag