Monday, November 23, 2015

Goose a-Laying pattern is now available!

Hopefully in time for your Christmas hand makery, here is the new Goose a-Laying ornament pattern. This is the 6th pattern! I'm halfway through the series now and I'm still loving each one.

Lots of color possibilities. Here are some of my favorites:

And like all the others in this ornament series, they feature the number on the backs.

And this set, like all the ornaments in the 12 Days series, uses a Sulky printable stabilizer to streamline the process. Oh my lands, it really makes the whole thing so quick and easy! No hand-tracing or transferring embroidery patterns! Just print and sew right on the printed lines, as shown in this Gold Ring photo:

YES. Then the stabilizer dissolves away in water.

To download the PDF sewing pattern for Goose a-Laying or any of the other Twelve Days series, visit my Etsy shop or my Craftsy shop

Next year will start with Swan a-Swimming and go from there!

Monday, November 16, 2015

my goose laid an egg

I'm working feverishly to finish writing the Goose a Laying pattern and get samples made so I can release the 6th Twelve Days pattern in plenty of time. It will include this egg! Because what good is a Goose a Laying without an egg?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Vader, you are my daughter

Making a Darth Vader costume for my teen daughter. Like you do.

Trying to avoid paying a ludicrous sum for a badly made male costume that is worn twice at the most. Also avoiding purchasing a badly made female Vader costume that is designed to look like a space hooker. So we bought a cheap mask, cape and light saber and I told her I'd make the T-shirt. Thank goodness for my prodigious ribbon collection. I found that gluing ribbons on to make the details is a lot neater and faster than the freezer paper stencil I had envisioned. I think I'll glue on some felt to make the gray part of the yoke at the top and call it a day. Black jeans, boots and belt and she's good to go. I mean evil. Evil to go.

Are you guys as geeked out about the upcoming Episode 7 as we are? Deep down I think I know it will be a's hard to imagine anything better than Episode 5. But I'm willing to find out.

My other kid wants to be a fox and somehow the entire world has been depleted of orange faux fur. I had some ordered online for a few weeks that's been backordered twice. So I gave up and canceled. I found some small pieces of neon orange at my local Joann (think Troll doll) so I'm going to see what I can do.

What are you making? You'd better get crackin'.

Friday, October 9, 2015

and cards to match

The finishing touch to the very late birthday gifts were these very late handmade cards.

Made from paper, gel pen and felt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

branch and berry applique pillow covers for people I love

Handmade gifts. I sewed these two pillow covers over the course of the last month for beloved people Robyn and Leigh. And they were mailed embarrassingly late for their September birthdays. Sorry, guys.

That's what they look like stuffed with pillows. This grey one is Robyn's, shown flat:

The colors were chosen to match her decor. So if it clashes, Robyn, please feel completely free to never tell me.

While I'm showing Robyn's cover I'll throw in the other handmade item in her package (but not made by me): this pretty embroidered necklace by Skrynka. Natalka is really so friendly and handles custom orders with ease. I got one for myself a few months ago and love it. Her work is so neatly done and I dig the antiqued finish on the chain and settings.

The orangey browny cover is Leigh's, made with her family room in mind:

Covers are much easier to mail than actual pillows, you know. All this goes on the assumption that they already have handy an 18 inch pillow that needs a fall makeover. Fingers crossed, ears plugged.

Both covers were made with the same pattern. I sketched the original design small on paper (I work much better with thumbnail size) and then scanned it and scaled it way up to actual size. I printed it out and traced a cleaner copy over it with freezer paper and punched holes for placement guides.

The fabric is heavyweight canvas. The leaves were appliqu├ęd with a zig zag and the stems were done by many passes of straight stitch machine sewing while I re-watched Dr Who series 5. (My favorite is the first episode. "You're Scottish, fry something." Prisoner zero. Fish custard!) The berries are cut from wool felt and sewn on by hand.

I always wonder when I'm in the middle of sewing these stems if there is a heavier weight of thread that I can use (like jean thread) that wont mess up my machine in the process. I'll have to look into that.

I finished the covers with the envelope backs and piping method from my pillow cover tutorial of yore. Tacky glue sure beats pins.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

early bird/night owl prototype, malware and trust issues

Hey. I've been quiet but busy. My beloved and wonderful mom turned 80! I love her so much. What a lucky kid I am. We had a wonderful girls-only family celebration at the beach and it was a nice getaway from the computer and security problems I've been having lately.

Mean people infected my computer with malware and so I've been dealing with huge waves of malicious emails being sent from my personal email address to everyone I've ever emailed in my whole life and also their dogs. My apologies if you've received any of those. I don't send out patterns or updates via email so please don't click on any of those links that say 'Hey, friend! Go here," or similar. I know y'all are smarter than that, but thought I'd tell you anyway. Apparently after the initial wave they can still send emails that appear to be from me without actually being from me, which is called spoofing. Just trash them.

I've been working with my email provider and I've had to completely wipe my Mac and start from scratch to make sure the boogeymen are gone. It's left me with major trust issues so I can hardly bring myself to get on the internet anymore. And also now after the rebuild of my computer I've been introduced to the nightmare that is the Mac Photos app and I hate hate hate it. Whoever decided it would make a swell replacement for iPhotos needs to be put in the naughty corner with a cone hat. Downloading and formatting those two images up there ^ would have taken about 5 minutes max in iPhotos. It took me about 30 minutes in Photos and there were plenty of creative epithets being hurled around during that time. I hear there's a new one being released today so I hope they've listened to the myriad complaints. Oh, iPhoto, I miss youuuuuuuuu.

Anyhoo. Done with the negative stuff. Cute birds! Let's talk about cute, stuffed birdies. What you see is a tight prototype of the upcoming pattern. There were some minor tweaks made since the original one for my daughter (some I like, some I don't). So a few more little tweaks to come. But it's close.

It's almost October! That's so crazy! Where did you go, September? It seems like time speeds up after August every year. Slow down, fall, I want to savor you. I need pumpkins on my porch! Must go buy pumpkins and mums.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

curated felt color collection for Gold Ring ornaments

Once again, Renae at Benzie Design has put together a handy bundle of felts and flosses that I've chosen for you to use along with the Gold Ring pattern if you'd like to make ornaments similar to the ones shown above. Thank you, Renae! She has an option for just the felt bundle OR the felt bundle along with some matching flosses:

Gold Ring Benzie Felt Colors are:
Ochre, Mustard, Bronze, Copper, Swan, Peacock, Pool, Blue, Flamingo and Magenta

You always need matching flosses when you sew layers together, so having the floss bundle comes in handy and helps build your embroidery stash. Please choose your option (with floss or without floss) from the Benzie Design drop down menu (there are also bundles for the other Twelve Days ornaments in that same listing).

Note: You will also need some additional contrasting flosses to do the decorative embroidery shown in the sample photo. If you purchase the matching floss bundle you will already have some of these colors! Here are the DMC numbers for the decorative embroidery:

Pink/gold/orange ring:
DMC White
DMC 924
DMC 917

Violet blue/gold/light yellow ring:
DMC White
DMC 820*
DMC 920*
DMC 3822*

Turquoise blue/gold ring:
DMC White
DMC 3844
DMC 831*

*These DMC colors are already included in the Benzie bundle.

I've also worked with Benzie to put together a curated bundle of felt for each of the previous Twelve Days patterns and you can find them all under that same Benzie listing in the drop down menu. See these older blog posts for more pictures and details: Partridge & Pear, Turtle Dove, and French Hen, and Colly Bird.

I hope you enjoy your holiday hand sewing! Look for Goose A-Laying this fall.