Puffy Fabric Flowers

It probably goes without saying, but you know I’m going to say it anyway.  Weddings generally involve a lot of flowers.  Especially outdoor summer weddings.  We had flowers EVERYWHERE.  Real, fabric, burlap, whatever we could turn into a flower-ish shape, we did.  One of my favorites was the cute puffy fabric version we used on the sign I showed you last week.  Fortunately, with a few basic materials, they’re also a breeze to make.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 1

All you need is this pattern, some fabric, a little polyester stuffing and a big button.

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Cut out ten petals for each flower you intend to make.  Pin two petals with right sides of the fabric together.  Stitch around the curved edge, 1/4” from the raw edge, leaving the straight edge open.  Repeat for the other four petals.

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Turn the petals right side out and press.

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Add a small amount of stuffing to the inside of each petal.  You don’t want them stuffed tightly, just enough to give them a little fluff.

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Pinch a petal so the seams are touching each other at the bottom.  Using a needle and knotted thread, stitch through both seams. 

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Without knotting or cutting the thread, do the same with the next petal.  Repeat until all five petals are on the thread. 

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Stitch back through the first petal again, creating a loop.

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Pull the thread tightly to gather all the petals together.  Knot the thread, but don’t cut it.  Flatten all the raw edges together in the center and stitch through the center a few times to hold them in place.  You really just want to make sure they’ll be under your button.

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I really like the look of the split petal version.

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Stitch the button to the center.  You could also glue it, but I found stitching it through all the layers added to the dimension of the flower.

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Now you can sew or glue these to whatever needs a little puffy flower perk-up!

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One Lifetime Sign

I mentioned last week that I had a few components of the bathroom my husband built for the wedding that I wanted to share with you before I show the whole thing.  This sign is one of them. 

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 1

We had a blank wall at the back, so I decided to make a sign to fill the space.  I had a bunch of burlap-looking canvases I found at a sidewalk sale that were the perfect size.

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 2

I read that in order to make vinyl letters stick to these, you should give them a few coats of Mod Podge.  Nope, nope, nope.  It left me with a rough surface that the vinyl hopped off of like it was on fire.  On to plan B. 

I taped off lines using blue painter’s tape and painted between them.  I was afraid the paint wouldn’t stick either, but I had no problem with it. 

My husband cut a piece of wood for me, and I got to try out my new toy – a wood burning tool.  That thing is so much fun.  I made a few signs for the wedding with it, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use it again ever since.  To make this one, I just printed the phrase out on the computer, traced it onto the wood using carbon paper, and burned the letters.  Bonus points if you know where this quote is from!

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 3

I hot glued the wood onto the canvas.  My daughter suggested the upholstery tacks in the corners, which I thought added a nice detail.  The flower was one I had made while I was experimenting with a pattern, and I’m glad it found a home.  This sign was perfect for its spot, and it’s even better in the newlyweds’ home.

One Lifetime Sign - Crafty Staci 4

Join me next Wednesday, and I’ll show you how I made that puffy flower, along with a couple of variations!

Halloween Spider in a Jar

Materials for this project were provided by Tombow.  The project idea, opinions and mistakes are all me.

I do not like waiting for things to dry.  Paint, glue, my hair…if it needs a little time to get there I have no patience for it.  That’s why I jumped at the chance to try this Tombow Xtreme Adhesive.  No dry time, you just swipe it on and you’re done.  My kind of glue.  The only big question was what was I going to use it on?

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 1

I’ll start by telling you that my first idea was a fail on an unphotographable level.  It wasn’t the glue, it was me.  However, attempt number two more than made up for it.  And I have a jump start on Halloween decorating!

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 2

To make this creepy little display, I used:

  • mossy twigs from outside my house
  • baker’s twine
  • spider web in a bag
  • wood letters
  • scrapbook paper
  • jar
  • battery tea light candle
  • magnet
  • a spider, instructions here
  • Tombow Xtreme adhesive

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 3

The wood letters were plain black, so I traced them on the scrapbook paper and glued the paper to the front.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 4

To create the jar scape, I started by breaking up some of the twigs to make a base for the bottom of the jar.

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I pulled some thin strips of spider web and wrapped them loosely around some taller twigs.  I pushed them into the jar, leaving the ends of the web draped over the outside edge.

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Next in was Spidey himself.  I bent his legs to hook onto the twigs so he wouldn’t fall to the bottom.

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I added glue just inside the rim of the jar in four or five places and stuck the web ends I’d left out to it.  That way, I could control where the webbing ended up and make sure it stayed there.

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I had intended to use glue on this next step, but found I didn’t need it.  However, if yours doesn’t work like mine did, simply glue the magnet to the candle.  Just make sure you can still access the switch.

How to Create a Hanging Light Inside a Mason Jar - Crafty Staci

To decorate the lid a bit, I swiped on glue in a few places, then wrapped it with baker’s twine…

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..and glued a circle of scrapbook paper to the top.

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You can download the tag and pattern to cut the outer part here.  Which, of course, I glued together.

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I tied it to the jar with another bit of baker’s twine.

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Not quite as creepy as when you have to catch an eight-legged intruder in your house in order to “set him free.”

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Unless you want it to be…mwahh-ha-ha!

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Thanks, Tombow, for letting me play with your awesome glue!

Knotted Knit Bathroom Rug

As you know by now, since I haven’t stopped talking about it yet, my daughter’s wedding was held in the small field between our house and our little red barn.  Because we were holding the whole thing outdoors, one of our first considerations was a bathroom.

We looked into renting a port-a-potty style, but frankly nothing about those says wedding.  We saw some beautiful trailer-style restrooms to rent at a bridal show, but they would have obliterated our budget.  Being the handy guy he is, my husband decided to build one onto the back of our barn.  He ended up using mostly repurposed or left over supplies, and the whole thing cost us about $300.  On top of that, it was adorable.  I’m not going to show you the entire thing yet, because I’d like to share some of the things we made to go into it before the big reveal.  I’m starting with this unassuming but foot-friendly little rug.

Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 1

I made each of the bridesmaids and the flower girl grey knit robes, and a white one for the bride, so they would have something to wear while they got ready.  Making six robes left me with lots of scraps, so I used those to make this.  You could also cut up t-shirts. 

I cut strips that were about 1” wide and 6” long.  If my notes are correct (forgive me, a lot was going on) I ended up with 1092 grey and 185 white.  I didn’t use all of them.  I’d recommend counting the holes to get a good estimate of how many you’ll need.

Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 2

For the base I used the same type of mesh used for latch hook rugs.  You can buy it by the yard at the fabric store.  I cut mine 16 by 24”.  I happened to have some of this on hand, so this project cost me nothing out of pocket!

Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 3

To bind the edges, I cut strips of knit that were 2” wide by the length of each side, plus a few inches.  Starting with the short sides, I overlapped the strip so it was covering the edge and stitched through all three layers on the sewing machine.

Knotted Knit Rug - Crafty Staci 4

For the long sides I did the same, only I turned the ends under about 1/2”.

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The corners should overlap.

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I used a pointy stick to push the ends of the small strips up through the holes from the bottom.

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Both ends should come up through adjacent holes.

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I only tied these once, rather than a square knot, because I found it was too bulky otherwise.  The knit holds well and none of them have come untied.

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I skipped a row of the mesh so only one strip of fabric is in each hole.  I also skipped a row when starting the next.  Again, it was too bulky if I didn’t.  This is what the back ends up looking like.

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Because of its size this rug is pretty heavy, but it’s great to stand on because it’s so thick.  It held in place well on the wood floor of the bathroom at the wedding, but slides around a bit on some tile.  The newlyweds are still using it in the bathroom at their new apartment!

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Kissing Bell

I’m still trying to locate some photos of many of the things we made for the wedding.  We were so busy that day, and the days leading up to it, we didn’t get a chance to take pictures.  Unfortunately, I’m starting to think some of it will have to live on in our memories and I won’t be able to share it all here.  While I wait it out a little longer, I thought I’d tell you about a fun thing we did that was a hit with the not-quite-tall-enough-for-a-rollercoaster crowd.

Kissing Bell - Crafty Staci 1

At a wedding, guests will often tap their glass with their fork to make that clinking noise as a signal the bride and groom should share a kiss.  At the last wedding we attended before my daughter’s the newlyweds were driven a bit bonkers with glass-clinking.  But because we were using mason jars and those silver-looking plastic forks, that wasn’t going to be an option.  I wasn’t about to let them off the hook though.

I considering putting a small bell at each guests’ spot.  I also thought about just putting one larger bell in the center of each table.  As I mentioned last week, we had lots of kids in attendance, so I was afraid every parent there would hate me by the end of the night.  Instead, we decided to go with one bell, and it worked out perfectly!

I made this sign using my vinyl cutting machine and some of the leftover grey vinyl from the glasses.

Kissing Bell - Crafty Staci 2

After a little searching, I found this bell on Amazon.  I was surprised at how good the quality was, especially for the price, and I’m pretty sure you can hear this thing ringing for miles.

Kissing Bell - Crafty Staci 3

We hung it just above adult eye level to make it a little tougher for the kids to overuse it.  It was adorable to watch two little brothers we know try to help each other reach it.  We also added the “2 rings per customer please” to the sign to help with the ones who were a little older.  Believe it or not, it worked, and I’m pretty sure everyone who wanted a shot at ringing it found a way.

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We liked the bell so much, we hung it on one of the cedar posts by our front door after the wedding.  Without the kissing sign, of course.

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As if these two needed any encouragement.

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Hot and Cold Pillowcase

I love Oregon, but I find this time of year a little frustrating.  Don’t get me wrong, there are things I love about fall, like apples, pumpkins and boots.  Oh, the boots.  But the inconsistency in the temperature drives me a little nuts.  One minute I’m freezing, the next I’m roasting.  When you live here, you learn to dress in layers.  But nighttime is a little harder to solve.  This project was made to help a friend in the hospital who wanted something soft by his face, but I think I’ve found an easy solution to my freezer/oven problem.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 1

This is a basic pillowcase, but the secret is using woven cotton fabric on one side and super-soft Minky, or other soft fleece, on the other.  If you’re too warm, flip it to the cotton side for instant cooling.  If you’re trying to warm up, the fleece is the side you want.

To make this, you’ll need 14” of woven cotton fabric, 14” of fleece, 12” of woven cotton for the cuff and 3” of woven cotton for the accent.  The fleece will probably be wider than the cotton (54” vs 42”), so you’ll need to cut it to the same size so each piece is 14 by 42”.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 2

Sew two of the 42” sides together with wrong sides together and a slightly less than 1/4” seam.  Turn the pieces so the right sides are together and press the seam on the cotton fabric side.  Stitch again with a slightly larger than 1/4” seam.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 3

What you should have at that point is a piece that measures 27” long and 42” wide with a French seam running down the middle.  Set that piece aside for a moment. 

Fold your 3” accent piece in half with wrong sides together and press.

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Take your cuff piece and lay it face up on your workspace.  Mine is a little deceiving here because I happened to find a piece that was printed with two different colors.  You could certainly piece two prints together if you’d like a different color on each side of your pillow, but what’s shown here is just one piece.

Lay the accent piece on top, lining up the raw edges.  As you can see on the right, they may not match up on the end.  That’s okay – we’ll deal with it shortly.

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Lay the cotton/fleece piece on top of that with the right side down and raw edge matching the others.  If you did piece the cuff, make sure to match up the seams of both pieces. 

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Starting from the bottom edge, carefully roll up the cotton/fleece until it’s past the center of the cuff but not all the way to the top edge.

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Fold the bottom edge of the cuff up and over the roll and match the raw edge to the raw edges at the top.  Pin in place.

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Stitch 1/4” from the raw edge all the way across.  Pull the roll from the inside out one end to turn everything right side out.

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I’d recommend checking your seam to make sure you caught all the layers in it before turning.  The fleece is a little slippery and you don’t want to end up with this hot mess.

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Cut off the accent, cuff and body to match the shortest of the three.

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Line up the edges with wrong sides together and stitch a scant 1/4” seam down the side and across the bottom.  I always go way under 1/4”, just make sure you’re catching both layers.

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Turn the pillowcase wrong side out.  Press the seam on the cotton side.  Stitch a bit over 1/4” from each edge.

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Turn the pillowcase right side out and press the seams one last time on the cotton side.

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I’m ready now, Autumn.  Bring it on.

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Kids’ Wedding Coloring Book

We knew there would be lots of little ones in attendance at my daughter’s wedding.  She really wanted to include them, but we were a little worried they might get bored.  We bounced around ideas like some yard games, but they really couldn’t do that during the ceremony.  We found a couple of cute kids’ coloring books for weddings on Pinterest, and once we decided to seat everyone at tables for the ceremony, we knew that would be a perfect way to keep the young crowd entertained.

Kids Wedding Coloring Book - Crafty Staci

My talented niece Keely drew the photo for the front to represent Codi and John.  I love the way it turned out! 

Kids Wedding Coloring Book - Crafty Staci 1

I made a word search using wedding and Codi and John-specific words for the first page on the inside, using this website from Discovery.  I probably should have used fewer words because the letters were pretty small, but I figured it would be a good challenge for the slightly older kids.

Kids Wedding Coloring Book - Crafty Staci 2

The next page was just a simple cupcake outline, since that’s what we were serving at the reception, that could be decorated however the artist chose.

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Following the cupcake was my favorite page, Wedding Guest Bingo.  I was kinda busy at the reception, so I don’t know how the kids did on this, but it was fun to make.

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The Wedding Mad Libs was a tricky one, because you don’t want the participant to see where the words are going when they choose them.  I went with a brief description and lines for the words on one page…

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…and the Mad Lib itself to fill in on the next.

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I found this fun website that has mazes for all the letters of the alphabet in both upper and lowercase, so I chose an S for the newlyweds’ last name.  I also added their little heads to show the start and finish points.

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The back of the book had a spot for the artist to write his or her name, but I was stumped for a while on what else to add there.  It finally occurred to me it would be fun to decorate the getaway car!  They were taking my daughter’s Kia Soul, so I found a photo and traced it to create the cartoon car.

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It would have been easy enough to just lay these on the tables, but we really wanted to take it a step farther.  We put each book in a yellow bag and added a box of crayons, a small lollipop and a couple of glow stick bracelets for when it got dark later.  I made labels with each kid’s name on them and a second label for the bottom with their table number so whoever put them out would know where each one should go.

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It was kind of nice to have that pop of yellow scattered around on the tables.

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These bags were a big hit with the kids at the wedding, and none of them were left behind afterward.  I’m pretty sure those coloring books saved a parent or two’s sanity, if only for a few minutes!

Hanging Mason Jar Votive Lanterns

My daughter’s now-husband was a typical groom when it came to the wedding planning.  He was happy to be there, but didn’t have many things he was opinionated about.  Because of that, when he did express a desire to have something we tried to make it happen.  These little lanterns just happened to be one of those things.

Hanging Mason Jar Votive Lanterns - Crafty Staci 1

This is a project the bride and groom took on themselves and had finished in no time.  I wish I could show you a photo of the two of them working away at it, but I failed to take any.  If I could go back and do it over, that’s the one thing I would change.  More photos.

Anyway, to make these, remove the lids from the jars.  Lay the ring top down on a piece of wood and find a large nail.

Hanging Mason Jar Votive Lanterns - Crafty Staci 2

Make two marks directly across from each other and hammer the nail through at those points to create holes.

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Cut a length of wire that will allow the jar to hang at whatever height you choose, plus a couple of inches extra on each end.  Feed the wire up through the hole and twist it around itself.

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Repeat on the other side and twist back onto the jar.  Add a candle and it’s ready to go.

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We went with all battery-operated candles for the wedding for three reasons.  The first, and most important, is that we knew there would be a lot of little kids in attendance and we didn’t want any of them getting burned.  Second, we didn’t want to burn the forest surrounding our house down.   That one was pretty important too.  The last reason was convenience.  We were able to turn the candles on while decorating earlier in the day. 

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As it started to get dark, all of the candles started to gradually become more obvious because they were already lit.  It created a pretty glow as the evening progressed.

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If you don’t happen to have any of our above issues, these would also be lovely with a real candle.  Come to think of it, these would make a great wedding favor for your guests too.  Chalk one up for the groom!

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Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

It’s been a very long time since I attended a sewing show.  In fact, it’s probably been more than 10 years.  When I saw that Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was making it’s Portland debut, I decided maybe it was time to give it another go.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

I got my daughter on board with the Knit! part, but I was a little skeptical that the $10 per person entry fee, plus parking, was going to be worth it.  That seemed a little steep considering I knew it was going to be full of vendors also wanting a peek into my wallet.  I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.  We ended up spending over three hours there!

There were two sides to the show:  display pieces and vendors.  We started on the display side, which was set up like a museum.  The first thing we came to was a Community Garden.  It was a fabric tree covered in flowers made by attendees.  They offered to let us make some to add, but we were anxious to see what was ahead.

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There were some truly amazing works of art.  They started with those made of yarn, like this crochet piece from local Jo Hamilton, representing the city of Portland.

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This quilt, called Gathering Hearty Roses, was made by a group of four quilters from Japan who have been creating together for 20 years.  Aiko Miyata, Norimi Tashiro, Nobuko Kotani and Reiko Terui each made one of the hearts, then put them together.

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I couldn’t get a photo that would do justice to Scarlett’s Crimson by Philippa Naylor from the U.K.  She drafted the pattern, then used piecing, quilting and applique to create this beauty.  She was inspired by 1950’s couture ball gowns.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 5

I love the color and style of Indian Summer Sunset by Shirley Gisi from Colorado.

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Jane Sassaman was inspired to make Illinois Album by the rural areas of her own state.

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Cindy Hickok, from Texas, had several 3D pieces made with machine embroidery, but my favorite was See the U.S.A.

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Alice’s Kitchen by Miki Murakami of Japan was a real eye-catcher.

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We moved on to the vendor side, which seemed to go on forever.  One the first booths we stepped into remained one of our favorites.  We even went back to it at the end to buy a book and chat with the author, Kay MacKenzie.

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You can visit Kay at her book website and applique blog.  She had so many cute things, but the Studio sign, which is in the above book, is the first thing I want to make.

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There were a few trends we spotted while we shopped.  Wool felt projects were everywhere.  Bertie’s Year, from Bonnie Sullivan, was a particularly fun set of patterns.

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Another prevalent theme was super-tiny quilts.  It really made me want to give one a try.  Imagine how happy we were when we walked by the Moda Bakeshop booth and they handed us each of us a sweet pack of 2 1/2” squares!

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You know how much I love to rip out a seam, but after holding this seam ripper from Lumenaris in my hand, I had to have one.  This thing is the perfect size and weight.  I’ve already used it, and I’m very happy to add it to my tool box.

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Overall, Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was a fun afternoon.  My daughter was hoping for more knitting and crochet patterns, but she enjoyed admiring the yarn.  I’m hoping the show returns next year!

Cedar Log Ring Bearer Box

I don’t remember how it started, whether my son volunteered or my daughter asked, but it came to be that my son, Tucker, was assigned the job of making something for the ring bearer to carry the rings in for the wedding ceremony.  It seemed appropriate since Tucker was the best man and would have to remove them from whatever he came up with in front of a crowd of people. 

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 1

Tucker took all the metals classes his high school had to offer, and threw in wood shop near the end.  His dad is a wood worker, so he had a bit of experience in that area already.  Recently, he’s also taken up leather working, so he didn’t have any trouble coming up with an idea for the ring box.  He spent hours in the school shop, then at home after he graduated, lovingly turning a plain log into an heirloom his sister and new brother-in-law will treasure forever.

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 2

Once he had finished the box, we talked about what should go inside.  He had carefully carved out a rectangular hole, which seemed perfect to fit a pillow into.  He was planning to sew the pillow himself, but time was running short, so I took care of it for him.  I’ll be explaining more about this in a future story, but I made the pillow out of a piece of my cut-up wedding dress and a leather cord.

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 3

The ring bearer, my nephew Greyson, carried that box like a champ.  He’s a little hard to spot in this photo, but it’s the only one I have of him so far.  He was the best ring bearer ever!

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 4

I was a little worried it would be hard for Tucker to unbuckle those leather straps when it was time to hand over the rings.  I should have known better than to think he’d do that to himself.

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 5

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my son work on something with such care for so long as he did this box.  He and his sister are very close, and I know he wanted to make her something special, not only for the wedding, but as a keepsake to remember what a great day it was.  He hit it out of the park.

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