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!

Craft Remix: Kiss Bags

This month marks the fifth anniversary of my blog.  I have all kinds of fun and exciting events coming up to celebrate, but today I want to talk about a project I did way back in the beginning.  In fact, it was one of the first tutorials I wrote.  Don’t just me too harshly here, but it was this Lip Shaped Bag.

Lip Shaped Bag - Crafty Staci

Gotta love the combination of the dark wood banquet table and flash.  I’m no photographer, but I like to think I’ve improved some since then.  Since this was a project I shared back when I had fewer people reading this than were in the coffee shop I was at this morning, I never felt like this cute little thing got the attention it deserved.

Lip Makeup Bag by Crafty Staci

I was planning to sew this again and take better photos.  But rather than a remake, I decided on more of an inspired-by.  The original was a makeup bag, and now it’s the mama bear in this family.

Set of three Lip Bags by Crafty Staci

I started with the baby version on the right.  It’s just big enough for a tube of lip balm or hand sanitizer. 

Lip Mini Bag Pattern by Crafty Staci

In a first for me, I somehow lost every single photo I took during the process.  I guess the fact that I made it five years before that happened is something to be happy about.  So, since I have two to share here and it will help keep this post from getting too long, I’ve typed up the instructions and included them with the pattern.

Mini Kiss Bag - Crafty Staci

Fortunately, I made the handbag a different day, so all my photos from that one survived.  Hurray!

Kiss Handbag Free Pattern from Crafty Staci

While I made the smaller bags from ordinary cotton, I wanted the handbag to be more durable so it could survive the everyday beating they tend to get.  Not just mine, right?  I happened to have some red duck cloth on hand, but you could also use denim or a heavy home dec fabric.  I kinda wished I had some of that red leather left for this.  You’ll also need fabric for the lining, which can be a little lighter weight.  I used a medium weight home dec.  I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be floppy, so I added a layer of iron-on heavy craft interfacing, but that would be optional and probably unnecessary if your fabric is stiff enough on its own.  The last item on the supply list is a white 9” zipper.

Cut out the pattern and piece it together, matching the dotted lines.  Cut out two of the lip shape from the outer fabric and two from the lining.  Cut one of the zipper facing from the outer fabric and one from the lining.  Cut two of the loop from the outer fabric.

Pieces for Kiss Bag - Crafty Staci

Iron the interfacing to the back of the fabric if you’re using it.  Draw the rectangle shown on the zipper facing onto back of the fabric pieces.

Zipper Facing - Crafty Staci

Pin the zipper facing to the bag with right sides together where it’s shown on the bag pattern.  Stitch around the rectangle you drew on previously.  Do the same with the lining.  Cut along the lines shown on pattern – down the center of the rectangle with a clip to each corner.

Applying zipper facing to kiss bag - Crafty Staci

Turn the facing to the inside and press on both the outside and lining.

Turning facing - Crafty Staci

Lay the lining piece right side down.  Center the zipper over the opening, face up. 

Zipper step one - Crafty Staci

Add the outer piece on top, right side up.  I’m not usually a fan of basting, just because I hate to have to remove it later, but you really want all three layers to stay in place while you’re sewing and this is a little thick for pins.  Some large hand stitches will do the trick.

Zipper step two - Crafty Staci

Stitch around the zipper, close to the fold.  When I flipped mine over a small section of the lining didn’t get caught in the stitching, so I added a second row about 1/8” from the first.  Remove the basting.

Zipper step three - Crafty Staci

Lay the remaining lining piece face up.  Pin the lining piece attached to the zipper on top with right sides together.  Keeping the outer piece out of the way, stitch around the lining pieces with a 3/8” seam.  Clip the corners.  The larger seam is to make sure the lining is a bit smaller and will fit easily inside the bag.

Sewing lining - Crafty Staci

Trim the seam. 

Trimming seam - Crafty Staci

Fold the loop pieces in half and press.  Turn both edges in to meet the fold and press again.  Stitch close to the side with two folds.  Fold with the two raw ends together and stitch very close to that edge to make a loop.

Lay the remaining outer piece face up and pin the outer piece with the zipper attached to it with right sides together.  Slip one loop between the two layers on both sides where the pattern indicates with the raw edges even and the loop to the inside.  Stitch with a 1/4” seam, keeping the lining out of the seam and leaving at least 3” open for turning.  You may want to leave an even larger open if your fabric is very stiff.  Stitch again over the loop ends for reinforcement.

Stitching the outer bag - Crafty Staci

Turn the bag right side out through the opening.  Press, turning the opening in 1/4”. 

Press turning in opening - Crafty Staci

Hand stitch the opening closed.  Use carabineers or jump rings to attach your strap of choice to the loops.

Attaching strap - Crafty Staci

This isn’t a big bag, but it will certainly hold the basic necessities.  You know, like your phone and lipstick.

Kiss Bag from Crafty Staci

Or the baby Kiss Bag.  Nom nom.

Kiss Handbag and Lip Mini Bag - Crafty Staci

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Kiss Handbag by Crafty Staci

It was fun to go back and reimagine something from the early days, so this might not be the last craft remix you see from me!

Book Review: Wrapping with Fabric

I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.  They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own.

I’ve used fabric as gift wrap in the past, but it didn’t match the beauty of the options shown in Wrapping with Fabric:  Your Complete Guide to Furoshiki, the Japanese Art of Wrapping by Etsuko Yamada.  Not only is using fabric to wrap friendly to the environment, but there are more options and wrapping styles than I could have imagined.  Making a furoshiki goes beyond just taking a piece of fabric and wrapping it around an item, but is easy enough that anyone can do it.

Wrapping with Fabric Book Review by Crafty Staci

Following the table of contents is a page showing a small photo of each project in the book.  It’s fun to see everything together like that.

Wrapping with Fabric options - Crafty Staci

You’re greeted with a taste of what types of things can be wrapped with a furoshiki, the shapes that can be used, the fabric options and even decorative ways the top can be finished.

Wrapping with Fabric . Crafty Staci

The most important part of the wrap is the knot or knots.  If not tied correctly it will come undone and ruin the entire furoshiki.  Fortunately, it’s easy to learn and the book illustrates the technique well.

Book Review Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

Each method of wrapping is covered thoroughly with step-by-step instructions and photos.  The dual sided wrap used makes a lovely knot on top of the Errand Wrapping.

Reviewing Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

Oddly shaped items are addressed as well, like this Roll Wrapping.

Book Review - Wrapping with Fabric - Crafty Staci

The Bottle Wrapping would be great for gifting a bottle of wine.  The recipient could either send the furoshiki on to the next person, or use it as a small tablecloth.

Review of Wrapping with Fabric by Crafty Staci

I love the idea of the furoshiki bags.  They’re pretty, stylish and functional but can be untied and used in other ways.  I would happily take this Shoulder Bag shopping.

Wrapping with Fabric Book Review - Crafty Staci

I can’t even tell you how many fun wrapping options there are in this book.  A picnic basket that folds out to a little picnic blanket, book covers, bouquet holders and plant wraps.  You can even update your pillows with this Cushion Cover.

Wrapping with Fabric Review by Crafty Staci

There are ten common sizes for furoshiki wraps.  Each is covered here, in addition to the size and fabric type noted at the bottom of each project.

Wrapping with Fabric furoshiki sizes - Crafty Staci

There’s an extensive history of furoshiki, along with a description of how they are used in modern culture.  The lined shopping basket shown here is something just about anyone could use.

Wrapping with Fabric - Reviewed by Crafty Staci

Wrapping with Fabric introduced me to a craft I didn’t even know existed and I’m excited to try it myself.  Tuttle Publishing also wants one of you to experience it, so look for an exciting announcement on February 11th!

Wedding Guest Book Quilt

Remember when guest books at weddings used to be simple things?  There was a book and a pen with a feather on it.  Or not.  But it wasn’t complicated.  These days, there’s a little pressure to have something unique and creative for guests to sign when they arrive.  We went through LOTS of different ideas before finally landing on the one that appeared at my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding.

Guest book table with quilt sign - Crafty Staci

We cut 9” squares from home décor fabric (so it would be a little sturdier than quilting cotton) and provided fine-tip permanent markers for guests to write with.  Guests got pretty creative with it, with a few following the chevron pattern with their writing.  It gave them plenty of space to leave advice, notes and good wishes.  The plan was to sew the squares together after the wedding to make a quilt.

Guest book pens - Crafty Staci

We happened to find a quilt in the perfect colors to use as the table cover – no I didn’t make it.  Because we wanted to save it from any stray ink, and to give guests a hard, flat surface to write on, my husband cut a piece of wood to lay across the front.

Guest book quilt - Crafty Staci

Rather than stack the squares up somewhere, we wanted to display them during the event, so we hung jute cord behind the table and decorated some clothespins with washi tape.

Hanging quilt squares - Crafty Staci

We had the escort cards for seating right next to the guest book table to make it easier for guests and my lovely nieces and my nephew’s girlfriend who served as our guest book attendants.

Escort cards - Crafty Staci

We didn’t really have a plan for what we were going to do with gifts until a couple of days before the wedding.  It turns out a picnic table works beautifully to display the gifts at different heights.

Gift table - Crafty Staci

Back to the guest book table – my big project was the sign.  I cross stitched the words onto burlap in an embroidery hoop using this free software.  Then I added a layer of batting behind the burlap and stitched together some felt squares and cut it to fit the embroidery hoop.  I glued that to cover the back, since it could be seen from some angles.  I added a few twisted rosettes, which I learned how to make here, and found a picture frame easel to hold it.

Please Sign Our Guest Quilt Cross Stitch - Crafty Staci

You might be wondering at this point how that quilt is coming along.  Well, the mistake we made was not letting guests know that they needed to stay away from the edge of the fabric while they were writing on it.  After the wedding we realized that much of the writing would be hidden, even with the tiniest of seam allowances.  All was not lost though, as I just finished putting all the squares into a memory book where the bride and groom can still read them and remember everyone who shared their amazing day.

My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!

Fleece Ice Scraper Mitt

We have had a serious lack of winter weather this year.  My husband and I were at the beach last week, and it was mostly sunny and in the mid to high 50s.  What?  I shouldn’t be complaining, but this is January in Oregon and it just isn’t right.  I don’t really like to be cold, but I do like to look at it through the windows of my nice, warm house.  I probably won’t even get to use my toasty new ice scrapper mitt this year.

Fleece Ice Scraper Mitt by Crafty Staci

Enough of my whining.  I’m sure there are many of you out there who can use one of these this year and they’re easy to make, so let’s get started.  You’ll need some fleece, an ice scraper (I bought mine at the dollar store), this pattern and some heavy craft floss.

Ice Scraper Mitt supplies - Crafty Staci

Cut two on the fold, as indicated on the top of the pattern.

Pattern pieces for ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Fold each piece with the right sides together and stitch 1/4” from the bottom edge.

Bottom seam on ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Turn right side out and roll the seam between your fingers to flatten it out.  Top stitch 1/4” from the seam.

Topstitching on ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Pin the two pieces together with the outsides facing each other – in my case that’s Woody and Buzz.  Make sure you use lots of pins to keep all four layers together.  My stitching didn’t catch one layer on my first try, and removing stitches from fleece is no fun at all.  Stitch down both sides, leaving the top folds and the bottom seam open.

Side seams stitched on ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Turn right side out.  Clip the seam at each bottom corner so it pokes out less. 

Ice scraper mitt turned right side out - Crafty Staci

Insert the handle of your ice scraper into the hole at the top.  You can use it this way, if you don’t mind having to put it together every time you want to use it. 

Ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

I wanted the mitt and scraper attached to each other.  Mark the spot on the scraper where it’s inserted into the mitt as far as it will go.  The shape of your scraper will be a factor in where your holes will have to go.  Try to find flat spots that are about 1/4 – 1/2” from the top edge of the mitt.  Drill holes.

Drilling holes for ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Insert the scraper back into the mitt and sew through the holes using heavy craft floss, catching both sides of the mitt each time.  A large needle is helpful here.

Stitching scraper to mitt - Crafty Staci

Knot the thread under the fleece.  The nice thing about these large stitches is that if the plastic scraper happens to break, you can just clip them and install a new one.

Stitches attaching mitt and scraper - Crafty Staci

Now you can just reach inside, grab the handle and rid your window of all that ice while your hand stays warm and dry.

Ice scraper handle inside mitt - Crafty Staci

If you’re concerned at about this fitting large hands, I had my son try it on and he has some GIANT paws.  He had no trouble getting it on, and his hand fit completely inside.

Ice Scraper Mitt fits guy hands too - Crafty Staci

Bring on the cold!