Friday Favorites–Stuffed

I don’t know if I’m just noticing them right now, or if there really is an unusual number of stuffed creatures being sewn out there.  I was even in the fabric store the other day when I woman came in with a stuffed bear she had made that was so cute everyone stopped what they were doing to admire it.  So, whether it’s my imagination or everyone else’s, we’re talking stuffed today.

Stuffed - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites 

This Stuffed Fox from Stitched by Crystal looks like it would be pretty easy to make, especially since it’s made from fleece.  I love that he’s wearing a little scarf.

Stuffed Fox from Stitched by Crystal

My son would have loved this Pillow Fight Shield from Busily Spinning Momma.  I’m sure he and his sister would have put its ability to the test.

Me and my Scottish roots think I need this DIY Nessie from We Lived Happily Ever After.

Nessie Pattern by We Lived Happily Ever After

This stuffed ambulance from Ric Rac would be adorable anyway, but the personalized windshield makes it even better.

Personalized Ambulance by Ric Rac

I think this is the third sock-based project I’ve featured from Craft Passion, but this little dragon was just too cute to leave out.

Sock Dragon by Craft Passion

A Stuffed Snail isn’t something you see every day, but Cook Clean Craft made him seem more sweet than slimy.

Stuffed Snail by Cook Clean Craft

This Boom Box Pillow from I’m Feelin’ Crafty actually plays music!

Boombox by I'm Feelin' Crafty

This Stuffed Giraffe pattern from DIYFluffies on Etsy reminds me of one my daughter had when she was little.

Giraffe Plush Toy by DIYFluffies on Etsy

What do you do with a bunch of colorful, orphaned socks?  Make this Mismatched Sock Snake from Grosgrain.

Mismatched Sock Snake by Grosgrain

This Flying Squirrel from Wild Olive looks like a perfect balance between cuteness and mischief.

Flying Squirrel by Wild Olive

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!

Friday Favorites – Winter

I don’t think winter gets its due.  It gets all lumped in with Christmas, when really it’s only just getting started by the time the holidays are over.  If we’re going to get freezing weather where I live it’s much more likely to happen in January than before.  Dashing through the snow doesn’t involve reindeer or Santa.  So, I’m here to give winter the moment in the spotlight that it deserves.

Winter Crafts - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I don’t know if I’m brave enough to let anyone actually use this Indoor Snowball Fight from Sew Can Do inside the house, but it’s so cute and fun I think I could be won over.

Indoor Snowball Fight Set from Sew Can Do

You could certainly use this Reading and Knitting Pillow from Sew Happy Geek any time of the year, but am I the only one that gets more reading and hand-crafts done when it’s too cold to go outside?

Reading and Knitting Pillow from Sew Happy Geek

Evenings find me under a blanket this time of year.  If I had this Family Blanket from Rae Gun Ramblings I could let someone under there with me.

Family Blanket from Rae Gun Ramblings

Has your family been struck down by The Bug yet?  My husband and I were both knocked flat by it before Thanksgiving and we’re still waiting for the cough to completely disappear.  I’m thinking these Homemade Vaporizing Shower Cubes from Smart School House would still be a good idea, even months later.

Homemade Vaporizing Shower Cubes from Smart Schoolhouse

This Get Well Soon Tissue Box Cover from So Sew Easy would be a great gift to take to a sick friend.  There’s a little pocket on the side to add some tea and cough drops. 

Tissue Box Cover from So Sew Easy

I love soup in the winter.  And I love pickles.  I’m intrigued by this Dill Pickle Soup from Noble Pig.  I’m going to have to make a small batch and try it out.

Dill Pickle Soup from Noble Pig

I feel about hot apple cider the way some people feel about coffee.  I love the smell, but the taste – nope.  However, this Apple Cider Hot Toddy from Cookie and Kate has me wanting to give it another chance.

Apple Cider Hot Toddy from Cookie and Kate

When I was a kid one of my cousins got married in the winter and the girls had faux fur muffs instead of bouquets.  I thought it was so pretty.  Apparently it’s a trend that has returned and Etsy seller sewudesigns has many to choose from.

Faux Fur Muff from sewudesigns on Etsy

Nothing is worse than trying to keep warm in January with a bitter chill blowing under your door.  Well, nothing except flattened Mickey.  This Wonderful World Draft Stopper from caitlinsdad on Instructables definitely requires a good sense of humor.

Wonderful World Draft Stopper from caitlinsdad on Instructables

One of my favorite things about winter is boots, but you can get tired of looking at the same pairs over and over all season.  Dress them up with these DIY Faux Fur Boot Sweaters from The Renegade Seamstress on eHow.

DIY Faux Fur Boot Sweaters from The Renegade Seamstress on eHow

Friday Favorites–Stuff for New Sewing Machine Owners

A few months ago, I replaced one of my sewing machines with a new one.  My husband and I talked about giving the older machine to our daughter for Christmas, but before we made a decision she threw out some hints that she would LOVE to have it.  Done.  Then shortly before Christmas a friend called to get my help picking out a machine for his wife for Christmas.  Since that makes two people close to me who are new sewing machine owners, and I know there are more of you out there, I’m here to share a few ideas to help you break that baby in.

Stuff for New Sewing Machine Owners - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

She’s all new and shiny.  As much as you love your new machine, you can’t use it all the time, and you don’t want it getting all dusty.  Make this easy Reversible Sewing Machine Cover from Stay-At-Home Artist one of your first projects.

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial from Stay at Home Artist

There are a few things you need to have easily accessible while you’re sewing, like scissors, a seam gauge or the dreaded seam ripper.  Keep it all at hand with this Mini Keeper from Susie’s Sunroom.

Mini Keeper from Susie's Sunroom

This pincushion cube from Riley Blake Designs is an adorable addition to your sewing table.

The Cube Pincushion from Riley Blake Designs

Speaking of sewing tables, you can make your own with these plans from Ana White.  This one is great for smaller spaces because it folds down.

Sewing Table From Ana White

Another cute way to keep your tools organized is this little trailer from Moda Bake Shop.

Sewing Trailer from Moda Bake Shop

Loose threads end up everywhere when I sew.  This Thread Roller from Sewlicious Home Décor would be a good tool to keep nearby. 

DIY Thread Roller from Sewlicious Home Decor

If you’re new to sewing, this Tailor’s Ham from Serger Pepper might look like a foreign object.  These are actually very helpful, especially if you’re trying to iron something with curves that can’t lay flat on your ironing board.

Tailors Ham from Serger Pepper

Knowing the basic stitches is an important part of the sewing journey, and Feather’s Flight has this handy graphic to help you remember what’s what.

Basic Sewing Machine Stitches from Feather's Flights

Even if you’re not new to sewing, you probably want to start out with a simple project so you can get to know your new machine.  This Envelope Pillow from Craftaholics Anonymous is just the ticket.

Envelope Pillow from Craftaholics Anonymous

If you’re ready to show the world how much you heart your new sewing machine, grab yourself one of these Sewing Machine Keychains from Grommt on Etsy.

Sewing Machine Keychain from Grommt on Etsy

Friday Favorites–New Year’s Eve

I’m floored by the fact that we’re about to flip our calendars over to 2015.  I mean, didn’t the 90’s JUST happen?  I remember crossing our fingers on December 31, 1999 and hoping that our giant, dial-up computer would still work when we got up the next morning.  Just so I don’t leave you in suspense, it did – it just reset to 1980.  No one around here is looking to turn back the clock this year though.  We had a lot of big adventures in 2014 and we’re anxious to see what 2015 has to offer.  Our first goal is to stay awake long enough to greet the new year.

New Year's Eve - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I don’t remember ever attending a New Year’s Eve party that required a dress.  We tend to celebrate a little more casually around here.  However, you never know what the future may hold, so I’m keeping this Party Dress DIY from Mark Montano in my file.

Party Dress DIY from Mark Montano

I tried to do a time capsule with my kids on the above mentioned New Year’s Eve of 1999.  I made up the sheets to fill out and put everything in a box – but never filled anything out.  At least, I don’t remember doing it.  I might get a big surprise one of these years.  Anyway, don’t be me – make this make this New Year’s Time Capsule from The Imagination Tree with your kids.  And remember where you put it.

New Year's Time Capsule for Kids from The Imagination Tree

Monsieur and Madame Champagne from Squirrel Picnic would be adorable on your New Year’s Eve buffet.  And no headache the next day!

Monsieur and Madame Champagne Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

I love little snacky food for New Year’s Eve, especially desserts.  These Hot Cocoa Mug Mini Desserts from Bird’s Party would be fun and leave you with room to sample other goodies.

Hot Cocoa Mug Mini Desserts from Birds Party

Whether we like it or not, the new year is when many of us start thinking about making some healthy changes to our eating habits.  These Salted Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Slices from Etc might be a good bridge to get there.

Salted Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Slices from Etc

And how beautiful would a plate be filled with those oranges and these Cherries Dipped in White Chocolate from Simple Provisions?

Cherries Dipped in White Chocolate from Simple Provisions

What’s a party without chips and dip?  Check out the festive way that Caramel Potatoes came up with to serve them.

If you have little ones, sometimes it’s tough keeping them entertained when they’re sugared up and they have that second wind because it’s WAY past their bedtime.  Consider helping them make these New Year Wishing Wands from Baby Centre – maybe before the party starts.

New Year Wishing Wand from Baby Centre

Another fun kid-idea is this Memory Scavenger Hunt from No Time for Flash Cards.  I kinda want to do this myself.  Maybe I can get my husband to hide them for me.

Photo Memory Scavenger Hunt from No Time for Flash Cards

If you’d like to send your guests home with a little something after the party, make some of these New Year Boxes from Mein Lila Park

New Year Box from Mein Lila Park

I don’t ordinarily link from my round-up here to another round-up, but B Lovely Events has so many great ideas for a Neon Glow in the Dark Party that I couldn’t resist.  This was compiled for a Sweet 16, but wouldn’t this be an amazing New Year’s Eve party?

Neon Glow in the Dark Party from B Lovely Events

Friday Favorites–Quick and Easy Gifts to Make

Let’s face it – if you’re still planning on making Christmas gifts they had better be quick and easy, right?  I think I’m done this year, but I always get sucked back in by some cute last-minute idea.  If that happens to you here today I apologize, and we can exchange hot glue scar stories later.

Quick and Easy Gifts to Make - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Fleece is so easy to work with, but sometimes those knots to finish the edge of a blanket aren’t that comfortable.  Pieces by Polly shares an alternative that’s much smoother and can be used on a single layer of fleece.

Braided Fleece Edge Blanket from Pieces by Polly

Brit and Co offers a little different design to the quick crayon candle.

Color Block Candles from Brit and Co

This one might have caught my attention because as our Christmas gift to each other my husband and I are re-doing our bedroom, which I’m over the moon about.  Our soon-to-be organized closet might need these Fabric Covered Hangers from The Sewing Loft.

Fabric Covered Hangers from The Sewing Loft

I can imagine how good this Coffee Sugar Scrub from A Pumpkin and a Princess must smell.

Homemade Coffee Sugar Scrub from A Pumpkin and a Princess

I actually made a couple of these Fabric Tortilla Warmers from The Good Hearted Woman a few months ago.  They’re easy to make and go well with an apron, or in a basket of taco night supplies.

Fabric Tortilla Warmer from The Good Hearted Woman

This Washi Taped Toilet Paper Roll French Knitter from Buzzmills would be fun to make with your kids (or FOR your kids!)

Washi Tape French Knitter from Buzzmills

These Cozy DIY Flannel Scarves from Delia Creates look like you took a lot of time to make them.

Cozy DIY Flannel Scarves from Delia Creates

Edible gifts are sometimes the way to go when you need something quick.  This Spice Cake Mix from I Am Baker could be made in batches for neighbors or family gifts.

Homemade Spice Cake Mix from I Am Baker

These Cream Cheese Mints from Real Women of Philadelphia could also be easily made in bulk.

Cream Cheese Mints from Real Women of Philadelphia

This Snowman Cocoa Gift Set from Reasons to Skip the Housework is pretty simple, but those faces on the marshmallows make it feel a little special.

Snowman Cocoa Gift Set from Reasons to Skip the Housework

Visit me on Monday to see the doozy of a cookie recipe I have to share with you! Smile

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks

I love giving a little something handmade with something store bought.  It makes it just a little more personal and special.  I don’t know how many coffee cup sleeves I’ve given along with a coffee shop gift card or travel cup.  So many, in fact, I think just about everyone I know has one and it’s time for something new.  These bookmarks can be made from fabric scraps, take no time at all and would be great paired with a book or bookstore gift card.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 1

I made about two dozen of these, just using pieces of fabric from my scrap box.  You need two 4” by 4” pieces of iron-on interfacing and three 4” by 4” squares of fabric.  Cut one of the interfacing squares in half diagonally and save one half for your next bookmark.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 2

Iron the triangle of interfacing onto the fabric you want for the corner.  Iron the square of interfacing onto the piece you want to face the front behind the corner.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 3

Fold the fabric with the triangle in half diagonally, where the interfacing edge is, and press.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 4

Lay the square with interfacing on it face up.  Add the triangle on top in the upper right corner.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 5

Lay the other square on top, face down.  Pin.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 6

Stitch around the outer edge with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving 1 – 1 1/2” open at the bottom.  Clip the corners.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 7

Turn right side out and press, turning in the opening.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 8

Stitch all the way around, close to the outer edge.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 9

Slide a gift card inside or slip it onto a book.  This would also make a great little gift all by itself!

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 10

Giveaway Day Winner

Congratulations to my Giveaway Day winner – Sandra!  Here’s her favorite holiday gift:

“This year I made quilted Christmas postcards instead of regular cards. The recipients were really thrilled with them. One niece wants to learn to make them as gifts next year. Love to share ideas with loving family.”

How much do we all wish we knew Sandra right now?  What a great Christmas card idea! 

Sandra’s prize of three Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits is on its way to her today.

December 2014 Giveaway Day prize at Crafty Staci

My deepest thanks to everyone who entered!