Modern Postcard Swap


Back in August I signed up for a modern postcard swap. You sew a little tiny quilt like postcard, and send it through the post with a regular letter stamp! While I have not received any postcards yet, I thought I’d share the postcards I shipped out about a month ago.
I used printable fabric that runs right through an inkjet printer to print the back side with addresses. I added a few of my illustrations since I was printing them out. For the post card fronts I made the little quilts and quilted them as I normally would, but with a thick stabilizer. Then I made a stack with the printed back fabric, another layer of thick stabilizer, and the quilted top layer. I used quilting spray glue to hold them all in place and then did a zigzag stitch around the outer edge to keep it all together. They worked up quickly!
They were so much fun to make that I think I need to make some more for my pen pals. The bee pattern is a free pattern by Badskirt which can be found here.

Painted Halloween Pumpkins DIY

Here is a little walk-through for the painted pumpkin ornaments I made. They are very easy, so I feel a little silly calling it a DIY, but maybe reading through the whole process will be helpful to some.
The main supply for this project is foam pumpkins and gourds. I found mine in the Fall section of Walmart. The small sizes were 97¢ each and the large one which I used as a tree topper was $5. I love all the various shapes and sizes they come in. I have seen foam pumpkins elsewhere, lots of craft supply shops carry them, and they are sometimes sold grouped in a bag. The noses came from Michael’s craft store. I found them in the aisle with some of their floral Christmas picks. I picked up two sizes but perfered the larger size. The small ones would be great if you have smaller foam pumpkins.
You’ll also need craft paint, paint brushes, and if you’d like them to be ornaments you’ll need string and a big needle. I used some black elastic I got on clearance at Joann Fabrics, but string will go through the rubbery stems a lot easier.
I think the key with painting these fellas is to just go for it. Free hand some various eye shapes and let them dry. Even though I used a high quality craft paint I still found I had to go over my eyes a second time. Once my eyes were dry I liked to go ahead and snip off a berry leaving a stem of wire that was about 1/2 inch long. Since the pumpkins are foam you can just push the nose in place with the wire, no need to even glue it there. The mouths only took one coat of paint, and then I added the blacks to the eyes.
Once all that paint has dried you can just dab on little teeth and highlights in the eyes. I didn’t worry so much about making any of the faces perfect, and even ones I didn’t like so much while painting look really great when they are all grouped together on the tree. So try not to stress about painting them. Most of all just enjoy yourself, and have fun! I especially liked painting the grumpy ones.
You can even add leaves and tendrils to the top of your pumpkins and gourds just by pushing the wired areas in the foam like the nose. My berries came with a few leaves so I used those. If you’d like to make a tree topper like I did, just paint the large pumpkin the same way and then use a knife to carve a small deep hole into the bottom. Since they are foam it cuts really easily. I then just pushed the pumpkin down onto the top of my tree and it stays put perfectly.

July Crafternoon


You may have noticed a lack of crafternoon posts on the blog, when previously they were blogged about every month. Before the Summer started I decided to take a break from hosting and asked the crafternoon ladies to pick a month and host at their house (on a voluntary basis of course!). While it’s been really nice to take a break, I missed our monthly get togethers and I think it was a lot harder then anticipated for everyone. We had a March & April crafternoon, but then no crafternoons until the end of July (photos above) The last photo is the white elephant gift I put together with a little nun bag I stitched up. Jessee hosted a sewing crafternoon at her house. I made gluten free lemon scones and a coconut bread that I never got a photo of. I think I was actually the only person who sewed anything, but I love working on my english paper piecing while hanging out with such wonderful company!

Our crafternoon family had a very sudden loss at the beginning of July when our friend Crystal and her young daughter passed away unexpectedly in an accident at their home. I think it made us all realize how much our little rag-tag group of crafternooners means to each of us. We all met up soon after and held a midcentury potluck in her honor, something Crystal would of really loved. There was even pickle dip because she absolutely loved pickles. The loss of Crystal has made me want to double my effort in getting crafternoon going again. These monthly meet-ups are some times the only time I get to see most of these wonderful ladies and I don’t want to let months slip by before connecting with them. So far we have a September crafternoon scheduled at my friend Jillian’s, and then October here at my house. I am really excited about getting the crafternoon gang back together each month.

Dyeing Yarn With Kool-Aid

B and I decided to do some yarn dyeing with kool-aid for fun the other day. He isn’t very interested in the idea of making anything out of the yarn himself. I even tried to entice him with weaving or friendship bracelets, but he thought the dyeing would be fun and I will take my crafty-time with him wherever I can get it.
Here is how we dyed our wool yarns…
You need 100% wool yarn, I got my wool skeins from YarnUndyedUSA but you can use the cheapest yarn you can find from major craft stores (with those 40% off coupons) it just has to be 100% wool. Next it needs to be in a skein (also called a hank), not ball. If you buy from a place like YarnUndyed it will come in skein, but if you have a ball from the craft shop you can follow instructions here to turn it into a skein. You’ll want to tie a few pieces of scrap yarn around the skein spaced out (3-4) to keep each area secure so it doesn’t become tangled.
You’ll also need packs of unsweetened kool-aid (the store brand works fine too, it just cannot contain sugar or sugar alternatives, they would leave your wool a sticky mess)
1. First I laid out some brown paper to protect the table, kool-aid is non toxic and you can wipe it up, but it can stain. Newspaper works great too. Then I laid down some wax paper because that is what I had on hand, you can use plastic wrap too.
2. Next I soaked each yarn gently in warm water, till the water seemed to really soak in. Then a couple of gentle squeezes so the water wasn’t dripping everywhere.
3. Then have fun with the kool-aid. You can sprinkle it, turn your yarn over, add more, add less etc. The more colors you add and the more you handle your yarn, the more the colors will mix and muddy.
4. We carefully rolled up the wax paper and placed it down inside a microwave safe bowl. I added water to cover the yarn and microwaved for about 2-3 minutes until the water is a murky grey free of all color. The citric acid in the kool-aid when heated adheres the food dye to the wool, so once the water is clear you know its set. The yarn will be very hot. Let sit in water cooling until you can handle it safely. If you want to ensure that none of your colors blend and bleed together you can use a microwave steamer basket set over a bowl of water in the microwave instead, but you may have to cook it a bit longer. I try not to move the yarn around too much and we didn’t have too much muddying.
5. Rinse your yarn gently, do not ring, or agitate the wool too much or some of your yarn could felt. Then just hang to dry.
There are tons of great recourses and info on dyeing yarn with kool-aid, food coloring, and Easter egg dye here. It really is so much fun and inexpensive to experiment with!

Sew Together Bag

A few weeks back my friend Katie and her son came to stay for the weekend. On Sunday we decided we should do some sort of sewing project together and Katie was talking about how she needed a new makeup bag. I’ve made the Sew Together bag once before, but it was on my old machine and I ended up giving it away, so it seemed a good time to try another.
I don’t have any photos of Katie’s bag except here on Instagram because I took these photos later, but she did such a great job! While I think Katie does enjoy sewing, I’m pretty sure she was cursing me for making her attempt such an involved bag. In the end though you could tell she was super proud and had a new makeup carrying case for her next trip!
I love my bag and still have not decided exactly what I want to keep in it, which probably means I need a new special project just to store in my bag.
Sew Together bag pattern
Kim Kight’s Lucky Strikes fabric for Cotton & Steel (this is what I used on my bag, I love these fabrics so much!)