Today is a big day for Jerusalem Greer, because her new book, At Home in This Life: Finding Peace at the Crossroads of Unraveled Dreams and Beautiful Surprises, officially releases.
I met Jerusalem in December, after enjoying her first book, A Homemade Life: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together. Soon after we met, she invited me to design some embroidery patterns that would be part of her At Home in This Life Curated Collection. Naturally, I said yes!
There are so many talented creators who contributed to the collection and I was honored to be part of this.
The first pattern I made was part of a pre-sale bonus package she offered, and it's now in my shop. You've seen it here before in my most recent embroidery framing tutorial, but here's a reminder:
Make Yourself at Home in This Life. I really do need these words to keep me knowing that God has given me this life and that I don't need to wish or whine my way out of it. (I should say, I love my life and my work and my family...it's just different from what I expected it would be at this point.)
Next I designed a collection of Prayer & Encouragement Word patterns. There are seven words, each in two styles and sizes, and they are perfect for using with the prayer flag project in Jerusalem's book. One set of the words have my Wild Olive happy objects with them and the other set is a scripty, hand-lettered style.
When I made my set of prayer flags, I used a combination of the word styles, and mixed and matched bits of new and vintage florals, linen, and precious pieces of Liberty fabric. Making this was a delight, and they now hang over my bed (in the place where a different Jerusalem Greer garland hung at Christmas time!).
Of course, these words can be embroidered on lots of things for many reasons. They'd make beautiful pillows, quilts, cards, and more.
To see the entire At Home in This Life Curated Collection, visit JerusalemGreer.com. You can also order an autographed copy of At Home in This Life at her site or in my Etsy Shop.
Congratulations, Jerusalem and thank you so much for inviting me to create patterns for making us all at home!
By Mollie Johanson at Tuesday, May 23, 2017
While driving through my neighborhood, I spotted some beautiful poppies growing in an even more beautiful garden. I've never tried growing poppies, although I did draw a tiny poppy embroidery pattern for the 50 States Stitching Club. Seeing those poppies, however, made me want to make a new poppy pattern.
As I started drawing what is at least inspired by poppies, I also remembered that this flower is often connected with Memorial Day. And it's nearly Memorial Day, so I guess I was inspired at just the right time!
I think this pattern would look great in a hoop, but it would also be beautiful stitched as a sachet or a little pin cushion. For the centers, I'm picturing pistil stitch. If you'd rather, straight stitches and french knots would also work.
Need a last minute card for Mother's Day, but you'd like something more special than what you'd buy at Target? Or maybe you just can't handle paying the same amount for a piece of cardstock as you would for a Frapuccino? It's not that mom isn't worth it, but if you mom is like mine, she's rather have the coffee. Enter the DIY Floral Watercolor Card
It's part printable, part unique piece of art. Kids can even get involved with the painting!
Plus, the printable file includes a few other versions so you can make cards like this for other occasions too.
You will need:
A blank card - 4.25in x 5.5in when folded
Plain paper - 24lb. is best
Small to medium flower-shaped craft punch - any style works
Watercolor Flower Cards PDF
Print page one of the PDF on regular paper. This is the print guide. Tape the blank card within the lines on guide. You only need a few tabs, and it's most important to have them on the end where the paper feeds into the printer.
Send the page through the printer again, making sure that you have the page going the correct direction. Print the card page that you want.
Remove the card from the page, peeling the tape off carefully.
TIP: If you don't have blank cards, you can print page one on card stock, then run it through again for the printed message. Cut out the rectangle and fold it in half to create your own card.
Paint a page of regular paper with watercolors. It doesn't have to be anything special, just scribble some colors on there.
I made some blobs of color, then added rings around those, filled in areas, dotted some extra colors around, and just had fun. I think it helps to work with similar colors in groupings, blending the colors and creating a rainbow of sorts. You can also limit yourself to just 3 or 4 colors.
Let the page dry completely, or help it along with a hair dryer.
TIP: If you don't want to paint your own watercolor base, there are free resources for printable watercolor backgrounds online, such as these from Angie Makes.
Use the flower punch to make watercolor flowers. Slide the punch around to find a cropping that you like.
Sometimes the coloring you like won't be centered or it will be hard to reach. Grab a pair of scissors and trim down the edges so you can get the punch where you want it.
Make a bunch of flowers. You won't need all of them for one card, but having a good selection gives you options.
To give your flowers more dimension, you can fold them a little between the petals.
Now it's time to start arranging the flowers to find a layout you like. Try different colors, placements, and numbers of flowers?
I opted for the simplicity of just three flowers. I also wanted to make sure that none of the flowers go over the edges, as this card needs to fit in an envelope.
You may want to grab your phone and snap a photo of your layout before you start assembling.
Thread your needle with three strands of embroidery floss and knot the other end. Start stitching the flowers to the front of the card. Use straight stitches that meet in the middle to make a little star.
They don't need to be perfect for even! Just avoid making extra holes in the paper. And when you're done with one flower, tie it off with a knot and start the next.
If you're like me, you may want to add a little something extra to your flowers. Because a kawaii Mother's Day is a good thing.
Isn't that pretty...AND cute? All that's left now is to write a little note inside, wishing mom a happy Mother's Day and thanking her for all she does.
And since flowers this pretty aren't exclusive to moms, the PDF has "thank you" and "congrats" pages as well. And the best thing is, no two cards will ever be exactly the same!
I love embroidery floss. I love making color palettes, I love taking pictures of it, and I love playing with the pretty skeins. I don't love putting floss on bobbins. Don't get me wrong, I love floss on bobbins and I'm jealous of the folks I know who have all of their threads organized that way. It's just not for me.
Especially because I love having skeins of floss to photograph (these were taken with an iPad, so forgive the quality, please!). In fact, sometimes people ask me how I manage to have such perfect skeins in my pictures. The secret is that I have duplicate skeins that I never use (or at least I try really hard not to).
Having all these skeins of floss everywhere rarely looks organized, but after seeing someone use photo boxes to store their floss, I thought I'd give it a try.
So, this is a complete set of DMC colors, minus their most recent addition of colors, which doesn't have an official location yet. There are 17 boxes in all. And this set is going to remain intact so I always have the colors available for photos and color reference.
The colors in the boxes sort of correspond with the color of the box, but not quite as closely as I would have liked.
Each box contains 20-26 skeins, except for the larger clear box that's labeled 17-19. That one has neutrals, and contains closer to 60 skeins. I might be pushing it on capacity for that, but we'll see.
For the main method of organization, I looked to the DMC color card. See, I like seeing things grouped by color, rather than number. But sometimes that makes it tricky to find things. Since the color card is set up more by color than number, I knew it would help me out big time.
Each box, therefore, represents a column on the card.
If I look at the colors on the card, I can see the column and box where I'll find that skein. If I know the number I'm looking for, I can also use the index, which tells me the column/box.
Within the boxes, the skeins are in loose order (I laid them out in order then carefully scooped them up to place them in the box). But even if they are way out of order, I'm only looking through about 2 dozen skeins to find what I'm looking for.
For now, each box has a numbered sticky note on top. This way, if I want to change my system, it's easy to do that.
16 colorful cases, plus one extra case makes a complete set with easy to find skeins!
And because these are intended for photo storage, they even came with an outer case that holds all of the 16 smaller boxes. I found this at Michaels, by the way. And I already went back to get a second set so that I can now set up another one with all of the floss that I actually use. Hopefully everything fits!
Technically, this isn't a sponsored post, but I want to send mega thanks to DMC for generously sending me embroidery floss from time to time.
When Star Wars Day comes around (that's May the Fourth for those unfamiliar), I like to share some kind of Star Wars creation. Because I just love combining a bit of classic sci-fi with some DIY. And so this time around, I'm here with a pattern to make a soft C-3PO figure with metallic felt.
Metallic felt, you say? Yes indeed. It looks like metallic vinyl or even leather, but this is all felt.
My idea for this project started with the felt stormtrooper doll (inspired by Rogue One), which I made earlier this year. I realized that the construction would work well for a droid like C-3PO. And then I remembered that I had some gold metallic iron-on material from Benzie Felt. This was the perfect opportunity to try it out!
This IS the droid you're looking for!
You will need:
Golden wool blend felt (I'm using Benzie Felt in Ginger)
Gold metallic iron-on (optional, but it does make him look more authentic)
Dark gray or black wool blend felt
Embroidery floss - golden yellow, black, light gray, red, blue
Iron and press cloth
Tracing paper and pen
Chopstick or thin paintbrush
C-3PO Plush Pattern PDF
Follow Benzie's instructions for ironing the metallic gold material to the felt. She recommends working with smaller pieces, which I did. To do this, I estimated some small sections based on the pattern pieces.
You'll know that it's fused to the felt when the texture changes from shiny to more leather-like. Peel away the clear protective layer.
When cutting the pattern pieces, you can't use pins to hold the templates to the metallic felt, as they'll leave holes that will be visible. Instead, attach the paper templates to the surface of the felt with rolls of removable tape.
Cut all of the pieces shown above from metallic gold.
Cut all of the pieces shown above from non-metallic golden felt. Note that the torso piece here has the rounded section squared off, but it's easier to assemble if you leave the rounded section as it is on the pattern piece.
Basically, these are all duplicates of the metallic pieces, but you won't need to cut hand pieces from this.
You also need to cut two connection pieces for the neck (the square-ish piece) and the stomach (the piece with the lines on it), as well as the two shoulder connectors (squares with one rounded edge).
Embroider the details on the metallic pieces, using the tracing paper method.
Use golden yellow floss and back stitch for everything but the mouth and the centers of the eyes. Use black floss for those. French knots work well for the eyes. For the mouth, I outlined the tiny rectangle with back stitch, then after removing the tracing paper, I filled it with satin stitch.
But here's the trick: If you poke a hole through the metallic material, the hole stays there. But if you gently press it from the back to the front, you can see where it will come through before it actually makes the hole. Practice on a scrap of material and then work carefully to avoid making unnecessary holes in your droid.
When stitching the small oval, hold it in place over the rounded edge on the torso, stitching through both layers.
Embroider the lines on one of the stomach connector pieces with black, light gray, red, and blue for the wires.
Carefully tear away the tracing paper from all of the embroidered pieces.
Now it's time to start putting all the pieces together.
Hold the two stomach connector pieces together so that the back of the stitching is covered and so the edges all match up. Sandwich these pieces between the two, um, droid underwear pieces.
Stitch around the edge of the droid underwear with running stitch and golden embroidery floss. Use the same technique for checking where to poke the needle through without making holes in the wrong places.
To assemble the arms, layer a metallic piece with a non-metallic piece. Start at the wider end and stitch down one side, place one of the hand pieces between the layers, and continue stitching up to the elbow.
Add some stuffing into the forearm, pushing it into place with a chopstick or a thin paintbrush handle. Continue stitching up to the top, leaving the end open and the thread attached.
Sandwich a metallic and non-metallic cone-shaped felt piece at the elbow and stitch through all the layers.
Add stuffing to the upper arm section.
Place one of the shoulder connectors in the opening, with the curved edge toward the outer edge of the arm, and stitch across the opening with the thread that's still attached.
I found that going back and forth with this means re-threading the needle a bit, but it goes together easier when you stitch and stuff in sections.
Repeat this for the second arm and set them aside.
The process for the legs is almost the same as for the arms, except that the feel are two layers, with the end of the leg sandwiched between them.
Stitch each leg to the bottom of the stomach connector piece. The angled line of the leg should align with the bottom edge of the "droid underwear", with a small gap.
Stitch around the two layers of the head, with the two neck pieces in place between the layers. Add a bit of stuffing inside the head.
Starting at one of the arm sockets on the torso, attach the first arm, stitch along the top edge, securing the neck in place, attaching the second arm and going down one side.
Place the stomach connector between the torso layers and stitch across the bottom. You'll need to gently lift the edge of the oval as you stitch so you don't catch it.
Fill the torso with a bit of stuffing through the gap in the side. Then, stitch it closed.
Now your own etiquette and protocol droid is ready to go!
I'm not gonna lie, working with metallic coated felt is challenging. But it's so good and worth the effort.
I think it's also worth pointing out that you could customize C-3PO to match how he looks in your favorite episode of Star Wars. He could have a metallic silver leg, a red arm, or you might even make a version with him in pieces. (Maybe let Chewy carry him around!)
The joints make him a little stiff, which is good for a droid, right? That means he doesn't sit very well, but he will stand when propped against a wall. I love it!
And now C-3PO joins the other characters and creations in my Star Wars DIY collection!
NOTE: This character is copyright Disney/LucasArts, and I'm only sharing this pattern as fan art. Please do not sell items made with this pattern.