5th Anniversary Celebration Wrap-Up

Three giveaways, three new sewing projects and lots of reminiscing filled the last month and helped me start off year six with a bang.  I had so much fun, and I hope you did too.  I’m so grateful for the very sweet, motivating and constructive comments on all of those posts.  You had some fantastic ideas, and I’ll be integrating many them into this space over the next year.  You are amazing.

I’ve already heard back from the winners of each of the giveaways and their prizes are on the way.  Mary won the Uncommon Goods gift certificate, and has plans to use their beer and coffee kitchen towels as center panels in her quilts.  What a great idea!

Coffee Kitchen Towel from Uncommon Goods 

Christi will be receiving the Kitchen Set, which includes the Mug Hot Pads and Quilt-as-You-Go Table Runner.  Hopefully it will warm her up over there in North Carolina.  If I could have figured out how to send her a little of the sunshine we’ve been enjoying here lately it would be on its way too.

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary Giveaway - Kitchen Set

The DIY Set, which includes the Alphabet Block Pincushion, will be arriving at Elizabeth’s doorstep in a few days.  You can find her writing about her adventures with her adorable boys over at Elpalchica.  Check out her Batman projects – you know we’re big fans over here!

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary DIY Set Giveaway

I’d also like to send out one last BIG thank you to my giveaway sponsors!

Uncommon Goods

Tuttle Publishing

Craft Warehouse

And also my deepest thanks to all of you who took the time to read and comment.  Here’s to our next 5 years together!  3325582-org [Converted]

Book Review: Cut Out and Keep–Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects

This book was provided to me for review by Laurence King Publishing Ltd.  All opinions are my own.

I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of Cut Out and Keep’s Crafty Superstars a couple of years ago.  I was very familiar with their long-running craft community, and it was a huge honor for me.  When I found out they had published Cut Out and Keep – Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!

Cut Out and Keep Book Review by Crafty Staci

The authors, Kat Morley and Tom Waddington, are the duo behind the website and authors of the book.  They are from Scotland, and had never visited the United States before.  They set aside 8 months and traveled all over the country, visiting all 50 states.  I’m so completely jealous.

Cut Out and Keep Book Intro

Besides the fun travel photos and experiences throughout the book, each state is represented by a craft tutorial.  The flavor of each state is reflected in its project.  One nice consideration by the authors is that many of the same crafting materials are used for multiple projects, so you can make lots of them without buying different supplies.

The book happens to start off in my neighborhood:  the Pacific coast.

Cut Out and Keep Book - Pacific Coast

It’s funny to see a snapshot of your own state through the eyes of newcomers.  I wasn’t surprised to see Voodoo Doughnuts and Powell’s Bookstore make the must-see list, but I liked the fact that the Oregon Caves were mentioned over the usual Multnomah Falls or Crater Lake.

And the Sasquatch Slipper Boots to represent us here in Oregon?  Well, it’s hard to argue with that one.

Cut Out and Keep Book - Oregon

I like the way the project instructions are laid out.  There’s a small photo for each step, making it much easier to understand if you’re a visual person like me.  On a side note, if you hope over to Cut Out and Keep, you’ll find the full instructions for this License Plate Notebook!

Cut Out and Keep - License Plate Notebook

There are a broad range of difficulty levels represented, so there’s something for everyone here.  There are even a few recipes thrown in.

Cut Out and Keep Book Bunting

I was glad to see the projects listed by region in the front of the book, then broken down into project category in the back.  It makes searching very efficient.

Cut Out and Keep Book Project Index

My husband and I are hoping to eventually visit every state ourselves.  We’re up to a little over a third of the way through the list, so we have a good chunk of them left to go.  Reading this book just made me want to reach that goal that much more.  In the meantime, thanks to Cat and Tom, I can craft my way across the country!

Cut Out and Keep Book Back Cover

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I hope you were all able to get your entries in for my anniversary giveaways.  Entries are closed now, and I’ll be notifying the winners today!

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Alphabet Block Pincushion

I’ve been wanting to make a new pincushion for a few years now.  I know, a basic pincushion is about as simple as it gets, so what was the hold up?  I wanted something different.  Something I hadn’t already seen out there with pins sticking out of it.  I starting thinking about what kinds of shapes would lend themselves to pin stickery, and I’m not sure how I got from there to here, but I’m happy with the results.  Do you want to know how to make one?

Alphabet Block Pincushion by Crafty Staci

You’ll need:

  • 2” square block of foam
  • 6 pieces of wood print fabric cut 2 1/2” square
  • 6 pieces of fusible fleece cut 2 1/4” square
  • 4 pieces of stitch witchery or Wonder Under cut 2 1/2” square
  • 4 pieces of felt 2 1/2” square
  • Craft thread
  • These letters and numbers (the font is Cooper Black)

I tried this first with regular stuffing and ended up with less of a block than a ball, so I switched to foam.  Some foam is springier than others, so you might want to try a pin-stab test before you choose one.

Lightly trace a number onto the front of one fabric square.  Iron a square of fleece onto the back.  Stitch the number on with craft thread, using the embroidery stitch of your choice.  I used a simple back stitch.

Trace the frame and reversed letters onto the paper side of the stitch witchery.  This flat light table my husband gave me for Christmas is AMAZING.  It’s not even a quarter of an inch thick.

Tracing letters on light table - Crafty Staci

Iron the letters onto the felt squares. 

Letters ironed onto felt - Crafty Staci

Cut out the letters and the inside of the frames.  I found it was easier if I cut the inside of the frames first, then the inside of the letters (like the D), then the outside of the letters.

Cut out felt letters - Crafty Staci

Peel off the paper and iron the frames and letters onto four of the remaining fabric squares.

Felt letters ironed onto fabric - Crafty Staci

Add some decorative stitches to the letters to hold them to the fabric.

Number and letters stitched - Crafty Staci

Iron the fusible fleece onto all five remaining fabric pieces (the four with letters and one blank).

Attach fusible fleece - Crafty Staci

Pin the number and one of the letters with right sides together and the tops of the characters pointing the same direction.  Stitch together with a 1/4” seam, beginning and stopping 1/4” from each end.

First seam - Crafty Staci

Do the same with the opposite letter, but with the bottom of the number and top of the letter pointing the same way.  Be sure to continue leaving 1/4” open at both ends of each seam.

Second seam - Crafty Staci

Add the two side letters with the tops of the letters closest to the number.  Add the blank square to the bottom of one of the letters.

All sides sewn on - Crafty Staci

Stitching one seam at a time, pull the sides of two letters together, with right sides facing each other.  Begin the seam where the two previous seams meet at the top (which should be 1/4” from the corner) and end it 1/4” from the bottom. Repeat for all four sides and the top.

Side and top seams sewn - Crafty Staci

Fold the edge of the open flap under 1/4” and press.  Do the same with its matching side on the cube.  This will make it easier at the end when you’ll be hand stitching that seam closed.

Fold edges under - Crafty Staci

Stitch the two sides as you did all the others.

Sewing side seams - Crafty Staci

Carefully clip the corners to reduce bulk.  Turn the cube right side out through the opening.  Push out the corners with something pointy.

Cube turned right side out - Crafty Staci

Compress the foam cube and push it into the opening.  Use your fingers and/or your pointy tool to align the corners and straighten the sides. 

Adding foam cube - Crafty Staci

Pull the two folded edges together and hand stitch closed.

Hand stitching final seam - Crafty Staci

Just add pins, and you’re finished.

Alphabet Block Pincushion from Crafty Staci

I made one of these that has already found its place next to my sewing machine.  The other one is part of the DIY Set I’m giving away on March 9th to one lucky reader.  If you haven’t had a chance to enter, be sure to head over and do it before midnight on March 8th!

Alphabet Block Pincushion - Crafty Staci

5th Anniversary Giveaway–DIY Set

Here we are, at the last of the three big giveaways celebrating my 5th anniversary here at Crafty Staci.  If you missed the first two, you still have time to enter.  Visit the Uncommon Goods Giveaway and the Kitchen Set Giveaway and get your entry in by Sunday evening.

Crafty Staci 5th Anniversary Celebration

I’d like to thank Tuttle Publishing for the fun book included in today’s giveaway package!

My goal for this blog is to encourage readers to make and/or enjoy handmade things.  It’s always fun for me to show you things I’ve made, but I’d love for you to create as well.  That’s where this week’s giveaway set comes in.

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary DIY Set Giveaway

Those are not six fat quarters, they are half-yard cuts, so that’s THREE YARDS of fabric!  I love the floral print, and I was so in love with that red wood grain I ended up buying a bit of it for myself.  Shhh.

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary Giveaway fabrics

You can’t sew anything without thread, so I’ve included four spools of coordinating Gutermann thread.  It’s my sewing machines’ favorite.  I also threw in a couple of packages of buttons, just in case you need them for whatever fabulous thing (or things) you create from the fabric.

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary Giveaway thread and buttons

Even if you aren’t big on sewing, with this Wrapping with Fabric Book from Tuttle Publishing you can make some amazing things by simply hemming the fabric edges.  In fact, I’m pretty sure some of the wraps could be accomplished without even doing that. 

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary Giveaway Wrapping with Fabric book

I don’t know about you, but my sewing and crafting would not be possible without keeping a list of what I need to do.  I also have a list of what I need to buy next time I’m in a fabric store.  I’ve included this craft room checklist in case you also enjoy the feeling of deep satisfaction in checking off those little boxes.

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary Giveaway checklist

Last, but not least, I couldn’t let this set go without sewing something.  I’ve been wanting to come up with a pincushion for years now, but I didn’t want to do something that someone else already had out there.  I think I’ve finally made something unique, and I love it so, so much.  Come back on Wednesday, and I’ll show you how to make one yourself!

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary Giveaway - Alphabet Block Pincushion

Whew!  Now, how can you win all of this amazing stuff?

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Here’s how to enter:

1st entry: Leave a comment telling me something you’d like to see here on Crafty Staci in the future.  It can be anything your heart desires.

2nd entry: Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or email (right sidebar). Leave a second comment here letting me know.  If you were already following me just leave a comment telling me so (you don’t need to follow somewhere else just to enter).

This giveaway opens on March 2, 2015 and will remain open for entries until midnight Pacific Time on March 8, 2015. I will email the randomly selected winner on March 9th. If I don’t receive a response by midnight on March 15th I will randomly select a new winner.

All three giveaways close this Sunday, so be sure to get your entries in!

Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner

Spending most of my days sewing, I tend to have a lot of fabric scraps.  I have a box of them that will eventually be cut into 2” squares and made into some sort of amazing quilt.  If they’d just take care of that square thing on their own it would go a lot faster, but they seem to be waiting for me.  This batch of scraps didn’t make it into the box though, and instead became this springy table runner.

Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner by Crafty Staci

You have until March 8th to enter to win this, along with the Mug Hot Pads I showed you last week, my Craft Warehouse Design Team apron, some great cookbooks from Tuttle Publishing and a grocery list/menu pad I’ll be sharing here soon.  If you haven’t entered, get over there!  You can also still enter to win the gift certificate from Uncommon Goods.

In the meantime, I’m going to show you how to make this easy table runner.  It’s a great way to use up small pieces of fabric, and they don’t even need to be uniform in size.  In face, I think it’s better if they aren’t. 

To make this, you’ll need to cut a piece of cotton fabric for your backing in the approximate size you’d like your runner.  You may find it shrinks a bit as you sew it together.  You’ll also need a piece of thin batting in the same size.  I went with 12 by 30”.  Cut strips for the front that are slightly longer than the back (14”) and in varying widths.  You’ll need to account for seam allowances, so you’ll probably need more strips than you think. 

Pieces to cut for Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner - Crafty Staci

Lay the backing face down.  Add the batting on top, then pin the two layers together with safety pins.  And pin some more.

Pinning first two layers - Crafty Staci

You don’t want those two layers shifting while you complete the remaining steps.  Another option would be to use fusible fleece, and just iron it onto your backing.

Lay one fabric strip, right side up, in the center of the runner.  Add a second strip on top, right side down, lining up the raw edges on the right.  Pin in place and stitch down the right side with a 1/4” seam.

Sewing down first strips - Crafty Staci

Fold out strip on right and press the seam.

Press first seam - Crafty Staci

Add another strip, face down, even with the edge of the first strip.  Do the same with the second strip.

Adding third and fourth strips - Crafty Staci

Stitch both sides with a 1/4” seam.  Flip them out and press, just like the first two strips.  Continue, adding one strip to each side and removing the safety pins as needed.

Several strips added - Crafty Staci

Stop when the batting is completely covered.  Trim the edges so they are even with the backing and batting.

Trim front to match back - Crafty Staci

To finish the edge, I cut binding strips from one of the fabrics.  Because of the direction I had to cut them, based on the fabric I had available, if I stitched them into one long strip the diagonal lines were going to go in two different directions.  Instead, I bound one edge at a time, starting with the long edges and folding the ends of the binding in 1/4”.

Binding the long edges - Crafty Staci

After those sides were finished I added binding on the short edges so the lines would all run in the same direction.

Binding the short edges - Crafty Staci

That’s it.  No additional quilting is necessary, because all the layers are bound together between each strip, as you can see on the also-usable back.

Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner back - Crafty Staci

I have to admit, I really loved how this little runner brightened up the table, and it’s going to be tough to give it up.  That’s how much I appreciate you guys!

Quilt-As-You-Go Table Runner from Crafty Staci

5th Anniversary Giveaway–Kitchen Set

Welcome to the second of the three giveaways to celebrate my 5th blog anniversary!

Crafty-Staci-5th-Anniversary-Celebration_thumb.png

Hopefully you had a chance to enter last week’s giveaway – if not, pop over before March 8th.  I’m excited about this week, because I made lots of what you can win today.  I owe a big thanks to Craft Warehouse for the cute apron pattern and fabric, and Tuttle Publishing for the beautiful cookbooks included in today’s package.

Crafty Staci's 5th Anniversary Giveaway - Kitchen Set

You know I cracked the cover on these cookbooks when they arrived from Tuttle Publishing.  You really want these – trust me.

Cookbooks from Tuttle Publishing - Crafty Staci

You might recognize the reversible Chatterbox Apron from my Craft Warehouse Design Team project.  This fabric is so cheerful, and I’ve been anxious to make more things to match.

Apron for Craft Warehouse - Crafty Staci

The Mug Hot Pads are the first in my newest series.

Mug Hot Pads - Crafty Staci

I’ll show you how to make this quilt-as-you-go table runner on Wednesday.

Quilt As You Go Table Runner - Crafty Staci

I’ll be sharing this printable shopping list and menu pad soon.  To make life easier, each shopping list page is followed by a menu planning page.

Shopping List and Menu Pad - Crafty Staci

All this can be yours!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Here’s how to enter:

1st entry: Leave a comment telling me your all-time favorite project from my blog.

2nd entry: Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or email (right sidebar). Leave a second comment here letting me know.

This giveaway opens on February 23, 2015 and will remain open for entries until midnight Pacific Time on March 8, 2015. I will email the randomly selected winner on March 9th. If I don’t receive a response by midnight on March 15th I will randomly select a new winner.

Crafty Staci 5th Anniversary Celebration

Good luck everybody!

Hot Pad of the Month–February Mug

I love a good series.  There’s something about a set of anything that coordinates that gets my attention.  The Coffee Sleeve of the Month series I finished up last spring was so much fun for me.  It’s generally a healthy obsession…generally.  If, for instance, a fabric pattern comes in twelve colors and I own eleven of them I will never sleep again.  Rather than dwell on my personality disorders, lets talk about the new series I’m starting today!

February Hot Pad of the Month - Mug - Crafty Staci

This idea started, like many of mine do, with a page full of scribbling.  I wanted to make a mug-shaped hot pad, but soon my page was filled with other hot pads using the same shape as the cup, but with entirely different themes.  Then I wrote months next to the seasonal shapes, and pretty soon I had a calendar full – and then some.  I can’t wait to show you all of them, but for now, let’s talk about how to make that mug.

You’ll need this pattern, pieced together using the dotted line to match up the two sides.  You could cut the handle from one side before taping them together so you don’t have to trace it into another piece of paper.  Cut two of the mug and handle from cotton fabric, one of each from Insul-Bright and one of just the mug from cotton or cotton blend batting.  If you’d like the accent strip you’ll need to cut a cotton fabric strip 2” by 8 1/2”.

Mug Hot Pad pieces - Crafty Staci

Fold the long edges of the accent strip under 1/4” on each side and press.  Pin it in place on the front of the mug, 2” from the top edge.  Stitch along both edges.

Attaching accent strip - Crafty Staci

To assemble the handle, layer the pieces with the Insul-Bright first, with the two fabric pieces on top, right sides together.  Stitch around the outer and inner curves, 1/4” from the edge.  Leave the two short edges open.

Sewing the handle - Crafty Staci

Clip the curves.  Pin a safety pin to the seam.  Push the pin into the handle.

Turning handle - Crafty Staci

Lead the pin all the way through and out the other side to turn right side out.

Turned handle - Crafty Staci

Press the seams.  Top stitch close to the seams on both sides.

Finished handle - Crafty Staci

To prepare the mug for stitching, lay the Insul-Bright out with the shinier side up.  Lay the front mug, right side up, over that.  Add the handle, with the loop to the inside and the top 1 1/2” from the top of the mug.

Layering pieces - Crafty Staci

Lay the back, face down, over the top.  Add the batting, and carefully pin all the layers in place.  Stitch around the outside edge, leaving a 3” opening at the bottom.

Stitching outside edge - Crafty Staci

Clip the corners and turn right side out.  Press, turning in the opening.  Stitch close to the edge all the way around the mug.

Top stitching outside edge - Crafty Staci

You’ll want to add a bit of quilting to keep the layers from shifting.  I went with lines coming from the top and converging at the bottom center of the mug.  Knowing I couldn’t be consistent without some guidelines, I drew the lines on with a pen that can be erased with a bit of water.

Drawing guidelines for quilting - Crafty Staci

It was just a matter of stitching along those lines.  You could go with straight lines if you’re more comfortable with that.

Quilting lines - Crafty Staci

These are really easy, and would make a fantastic housewarming gift!

Mug Hot Pads - Crafty Staci

Are you ready for eleven other variations of this cute hot pad?

Mug Hot Pad - Crafty Staci

Remember when I told you there will be three giveaways for my 5th anniversary?  These two hot pads will be part of the Kitchen Set Giveaway that begins next Monday, so be sure to come back to enter.  You can still enter the giveaway that started this week for a $50 gift certificate to Uncommon Goods!

Friday Favorites–Be My Valentine

Valentine’s Day is probably one of the biggest crafting holidays on the calendar.  There are so many ideas out there it feels like floating in a sea of pink and red.  And yet, I seem to usually find myself scrambling at the last minute.  Not this year – welcome to planning ahead (a little) with me!

Be My Valentine - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I don’t so much love the hang-it-on-the-door-and-run suggestion here, but the idea of having Valentine Pennie Pockets, like these from Moda Bake Shop is a winner.

Valentine Pennie Pockets from Moda Bake Shop

Every Day Cheer has a great printable card you can edit to show the number the days that applies in your situation, along with a link to a calculator to help you figure that out.  It’s kinda fun to play with!

Printable Valentine Card from Every Day Cheer

I’m fairly certain I couldn’t make these Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hearts by 1 Fine Cookie quite as pretty as she did, but I’ll best they’d taste good enough to make up for it.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hearts from 1 Fine Cookie

Even though these are called Man Approved Valentines, from Dating Divas, I know lots of people they would be perfect for who aren’t, myself included!

Man Approved Valentines from The Dating Divas

How fun would Mad Lib Valentines be?  Check out these from Design Mom.

MadLib Valentines from Design Mom

These gumball machine Valentines from Meet the Dubiens are adorable.

Valentine I Chews You from Meet the Dubiens

These Valentine Heart Straws from The Things She Makes could be slid onto all kinds of things.  Click through to see them on breakfast silverware.

Valentine Heart Straws from The Things She Makes

My son’s new favorite movie is definitely Guardians of the Galaxy.  I might have to make him this I am Groot Card from Spellbinders.

I am Groot Card from Spellbinders

Are you looking for a healthier, but still tasty, Valentine this year?  Check out these sweet Love Bug Fruit Cups from The NY Melrose Family.

Love Bug Fruit Cups from The NY Melrose Family

For an extra-special Valentine’s Day gift, you’ve got to see this Custom Tree Carving Love Quilt from Quiltbarnidaho on Etsy.  Beautiful!

Baby Crib Custom Tree Carving Quilt from Quiiltbarnidaho on Etsy

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!