Project: Cactus Pillow

I have had my eye on cactus lately. So, I thought it would be fun to get the stitch lab to do some too. I wanted to make one that was fun for them. Here is the pattern so you can make one too.
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Project Cactus Pillow

Supplies

  • fleece
  • embroidery floss
  • embroidery needle
  • fiber fill
  • regular thread

Directions
1. Draw out your pattern for your cactus.
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Mine is 20″ tall and 8″ across. Cut two of these from the fleece.

2. Take the piece that is going to be the top and sew on the “cactus needles”. Thread the needle with a long piece of embroidery floss. (do not tie a knot) Take a tiny stitch and pull the thread through until about 1.5 inches are left. While the needle is still threaded, tie a knot in the two ends. Then cut the two ends off equally.
This picture is the moment before the knot is tied.
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Scatter the “needles” around the front face of the cactus randomly.
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3. Lay the two fleece pieces so that you have right sides together (the needles are facing in). Sew together on three sides leaving the bottom open.

4. Cut a circle to fit the bottom of your cactus (don’t forget seam allowance) For this size, the bottom circle is 5.5 inches across. Pin the bottom into place and sew 3/4 of the way around. Turn the whole operation inside out and stuff with fiber fill. Stick lots of stuffing into the arms to make them full so that they stand up and do not fall over.
When you have enough stuffing in it, you will just tuck the flat bottom in, pin it in place, and sew with the invisible stitch. (the fleece is friendly, so the stitches will absorb into the fluff.)

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This pillow is super easy. It is a GREAT beginner project. Have fun!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

 

Most Popular Project from 2015

It’s that time of year where we look back at all the projects we shared to see what you all liked best! Here are the top projects from 2015 based on page views.

1. Mitten Garland Advent Calendar
Mitten Garland Advent Calendar Hanging
2. Mermaid Fleece Snuggler
16010808687_e32d6e025b_b
3. Hearts and Dala Mittens
Hearts and Dalas Mittens
4. Striped Linen Stitch Cowl
Striped Linen Stitch Cowl
5. Austria Mitten
Austria Mittens
6. Dalek Mittens
Dalek Mittens
7. Snow Bunny Hat
Snow Bunny Hat
8. Pretty Paper Posies
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #1 - Pretty Paper Posies
9. Black & White & Red All Over Mittens
Black & White & Red All Over Mittens
10. French Knot Burst Pillow
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knot Burst Pillow

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

74 Christmas Ornament Tutorials

Wednesday we shared a wrap-up of our latest twenty-four ornament tutorials, but we know you want more. Here are seventy-four more tutorials to cover your tree with handmade goodness.74ChristmasOrnaments
Row 1: Felt Gnome, Salt Dough Snowflakes, Wreath Photo Ornaments, Tiny Toques
Row 2: More Tiny Toques, Wooden Star, Knit Christmas Balls, Felt Rocking Horse
Row 3: Mini Mittens, Gnomes, Snow-Covered Initial, Santa Peg Doll
Row 4: Knit Snowman, Little Snow People, Tiny Sweater, Pom Pom Santa
Row 5: Patterned Reindeer, Felt Owls, Little Wooden Angel, Knit Stars
Row 6: Snowball, Button Initial, Knit Candy Cane, Glittered Cardinal
Row 7: Burlap and Button Heart, Glitter Owl
Row 8: Knit Teddy Bear, Felt Gingerbread House, Mid Century Modern Starburst, Wooden Tree
Row 9: Shooting Star, Peg Doll Elves, Acorn Star, Glitter Initial Ball
Row 10: Rustic Angel, Knit Snow Owl, 3D Crocheted Snowflake, Knit Tree
Row 11: Wooden Slat Star, Skiing Santa, Penguin Peg Doll, Burlap and Berries Christmas Ball
Row 12: Snowflake Button Wreath, Glitter Lightbulb, Needlefelted Deer, Octopus Topped Christmas Ball
Row 13: Recycled Sweater Santa, “Antique Silver” Icicles, Pinecone Elf, Snow Bird
Row 14: Tin Bird, Paper Lantern, Victorian Cone, Laufabrauð
Row 15: Papercut 3D Angel, Spiderweb, Dove Wreath, Cut Felt Star
Row 16: Felt Apple, Santa Lucia and Star Boy, Glittered Shell, Burlap Rose
Row 17: Holly Wreath, “Faberge” Egg , Straw Star, Felt Fish
Row 18: Cut Heart, Pooping Log, Golden Pig, Jeżyk
Row 19: Krampus, Paper Paról, Origami Swan, Knit Elf

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Advent Calendar Project ’15 Wrap-Up

Well, we did it another year with 24 handmade ornaments! Let’s take a look back.
acp15mosaic
Row 1 – Cross Stitched Locket, Drawer Knob Mushrooms, Jute Heart, Burlap Owl
Row 2 – Wooden Words, Jute Snowflake, Wrapped Wire Wreath, Jute Tree
Row 3 – Snowflake Fairy Peg Doll, Wooly Sheep, Birdhouse, Cross Stitched Wood Slice
Row 4 – Knit Robot, Jute and Pearl Ball, Hedgehog, State Map
Row 5 – Felt Elf, Two Hearts, Tiny Wooden Toboggan, Salt Dough Gingerbread Man
Row 6 – Plaid Star , Tiny Wooden Sled, Textured “Antique” Silver Star, Fur-Covered Ornaments

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Minnesota State Fair 2015

Labor Day Weekend is over and the Minnesota State Fair is done for another year. It was a great year for entries in Creative Activities and I took lots of pictures to share with you. (For things I could find on Ravelry, I link back to the project page so you can get more information.)

First, for those of you who don’t follow us on Facebook or Instagram, my Hearts and Dalas Mittens took home their share of ribbons.
Minnesota State Fair Winnings 2015
I won First Premium in Mittens, Color Pattern, the 3 Kittens NeedleArts Award for Best Use of Color and Texture in Mittens and the Minnesota Knitters Guild Award for Best Mittens. Talk about a thrill!
Minnesota State Fair 2015
I did not win the Sweepstakes for Best Knit Item in the fair, this beautiful shawl by Flanknits took that honor.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
I was blown away by this amazing sweater by Twinsetellen, such gorgeous fine work! People looking at it around me insisted there was no way it was hand knit! She also won for this incredibly detailed baby sweater.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
Here’s some of the winners in socks and hats.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
There seemed to be so many entries this year they had a hard time displaying them all. In the lightweight shawl category there were forty-two entries and in my color work mitten category there were twenty-five!
I had to pull myself away from the knitting because there were so many other things to look at. In crochet there was this amazing set of Lord of the Rings characters.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
This garden made me think I should enter my knit fantasy garden next year.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
This cute crocheted baking set by Threadbare Bakery that was in line behind me on entry drop-off day, took home three ribbons.
MN State Fair Creative Activities Entry Day
I absolutely loved these little animal dolls. I can’t believe they only took second place. They really show me I need to up my game if I want to enter my elf dolls next year.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
This was first place in the doll category. Lots of work, though I find clowns a bit scary sometimes.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
On to quilts. This one just blew me away! The quilting was actually “simple,” just little squares, but oh-so-precise. Then look at that embroidery! It has the crisp, modern look I love.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
And how fun is this quilt?! A giant game of Risk.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
The theme for this year’s Quilt on a Stick was Grandstand performers. The winner paid homage to Kiss. Love the chains and hair. The entries in this category are always fun.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
Doctor Who was a popular theme, here in glass art and seed art.
Minnesota State Fair 2015 Minnesota State Fair 2015
I’m always so impressed by the projects by school age kids in the Education and 4-H buildings, some of them put the adult entries to shame. This ornate, detailed dollhouse was made by and 8th grader.
Minnesota State Fair 2015 Minnesota State Fair 2015
How about this felt food sewn up by a 4th grader?!
Minnesota State Fair 2015
Over in the Agricultural Building, people got really creative with their seed art and scarecrows. It’s a nice call-back to the origins of the Fair.
Minnesota State Fair 2015 Minnesota State Fair 2015
Minnesota State Fair 2015 Minnesota State Fair 2015
Finally, over in Fine Arts, there was this amazing sculpture of dresses knit from wire.
Minnesota State Fair 2015
Look at the detail on this right down to a little collar!
Minnesota State Fair 2015
Every year I’m so impressed by the skill and creativity of my fellow Minnesotans. It’s also got me thinking about my entries for next year!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Advent Calendar Project ’15 – Week 12

Every Friday for the twenty-four weeks leading up to December 1st, we will be making a handmade Christmas ornament. Follow along and make them all or pick and chose your favorites.

This week was a doing some cross stitching into wood, so get out those power tools.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
Actually, if you are comfortable with a drill this is quite the easy project. The main thing is being careful with your planning so all your holes are pretty evenly spaced. (Mine could have been a touch better, but I still like it.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
You can find birch slices in all different sizes in most craft stores these days. You want some that are on the larger size, 2″ – 3″ for this project. I’ve even seen them with jute hanging loops already on them, though that added a lot to the cost, when I can drill a hole and put jute through it myself.

Cross Stitched Wood Slice Ornament

Supplies

  • wood slice
  • paper
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • tapestry needle
  • drill
  • small drill bit (I used 1/16″)
  • sandpaper (optional)
  • polyurethane
  • embroidery floss (I used metallic red)
  • pliers
  • 10″ jute twine or thin ribbon for hanging
  • glue (optional)

1. Figure out the design for your initial, I suggest you keep it pretty simple. You can find lots of cross stitch alphabets online.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
Using a ruler draw out a graph the size you want your stitches to be. Keep in mind you can’t have them do small that you can’t drill out the holes because they are too close together. Mine were 3/8″ x 3/8″. I probably could have gone down to 1/4″. Draw in your X’s.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
2. Use the needle to poke holes in the paper where you will need each of your holes to be drilled, the ends of each stitch.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
Place upside down (so it will be the right direction on the front) on the back of the wood slice and use a pencil to mark each of those holes. (I actually did this on the front on my slide and when I drilled I ended up getting marks I didn’t want from the drill. So, do what I say, not what I did.)

3. Carefully drill a hole through at each mark. Use the smallest drill bit you can that still allows your needle to go through.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
Drill a hole at the top of the wood slice for the hanging ribbon. You may want to use a bigger drill bit here, but I didn’t bother.

When finished, sand if necessary.

(If you want to seal the wood do so now, but be very careful not to fill the holes you just drilled.)

4. Cut a piece of embroidery floss and knot one end. I used all six strands in the floss to do my ornament. Using the tapestry needle cross stitch your design onto the wood slice. Make sure the thread lays evenly and tightly on the wood with each stitch. I had to go back and fix a few strands after this picture.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
Knot off at the end.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12 Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
(Ignore the mess on the back of mine, it was a pinterest fail, but I didn’t want to waste the birch slice.)

I found it was tight to pull the needle through in the holes I had to go through more than once. Pliers made it much easier to grip the needle and pull it in those spots.

5. I like to make sure my embroidery floss knots stay knotted, especially with the metallic floss, so I put a little glue on them.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
6. Thread a single strand of jute twine or thin ribbon through the hole you made for hanging. Knot it against the wood slice. Then tie the ends together to form a hanging loop.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12 Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 12
Knotting it first against the wood will give you a loop that is the right directions for hanging. (I hate when loops make an ornament hand sideways!)

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Advent Calendar Project ’15 – Week 1

Every Friday for the twenty-four weeks leading up to December 1st, we will be making a handmade Christmas ornament. Follow along and make them all or pick and chose your favorites.

And off we go with our first ornament of 2015!
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 1
I really like the look of little needlework projects frames in embroidery hoops. I was wondering how I could get a similar look in a Christmas ornament. The smallest embroidery hoop I could find was 4″ and I wanted something smaller. I thought perhaps the jewelry aisle would be the answer and it was.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 1
What I ended up finding was this “story locket,” a locket with glass at the front and back. I got mine at Joann, but it looks like Michael’s, Amazon and Walmart all sell it as well. It was just the tiny size I wanted, 1″ and I like that is opened up.You could also do something very similar with a small picture frame.

As I was making this, I realized it would be a great gift for newlyweds. You could stitch their first initials with a plus sign on the front and put a small picture of them on the back. What a great personalized Christmas ornament.

Cross Stitched Locket Ornament

Supplies:

  • locket or something similar with a glass front.
  • 18 count cross stitch fabric
  • metallic embroidery floss
  • embroidery needle
  • scissors
  • decorative paper like scrapbook paper
  • glue
  • ribbon

1. Use graph paper or excel to chart out your pattern, keeping in mind the size of the opening you have available. Here is the chart I made.
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It was the perfect size for my 1″ opening.

2. Cross stitch the pattern onto your fabric using the metallic floss. I used one strand of floss doubled over. Because this is such a small thing to stitch, I didn’t bother with a hoop.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 1
Metallic floss can be a pain the in neck to work with because it snag and unravels. Weelittlestitches has a nice post with tips to make it easier. I used them for this and it was a breeze.

3. Once you have finished stitching, cut the design out so it is slightly bigger than the inside of your locket.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 1
It is always best to err on the side of bigger. I free-handed this but really should have used a compass.

4. If your locket or frame has an open back you’ll want something to back your embroidery. I chose I piece of red decorative scrapbooking paper. I think a photo would be great too. Cut a circle the same size at the stitched piece.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 1
Glue the stitched fabric to the paper. This will also help keep your fabric from fraying.

5. Trim the fabric/paper piece a little at a time until it fits snugly in the locket.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 1
And here it is from the back.
Advent Calendar Project '15 - Week 1

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft ’15 Challenge #10 – Embroidery Embellished Tunic

For this Iron Craft challenge we had to make something with the letter “E” as our inspiration. I was getting ready to head out on vacation for most of the challenge period, so I needed something I could whip out quickly. Luckily, that answer was hanging right in my closet, a plain black tunic from Old Navy that I thought could stand a little embellishing.

Iron Craft '15 Challenge #10 - Embroidery Embellished Tunic
Wearing my “new” tunic at the Painted Desert on vacation.

My secret santa this passed Christmas gave me the book Scandinavian Stitch Craft, since time was short, I chose a simple flower pattern from it. I used dressmakers tracing paper to draw the design on the shirt on once side of the slit in the yoke.

Iron Craft '15 Challenge #10 - Embroidered Embellish Tunic Iron Craft '15 Challenge #10 - Embroidered Embellish Tunic
Then I debated color. I originally though I wanted to go bright red, but when I was looking at my floss colors with the shirt I thought a dark grey with just a pop of red might be striking. I really like how it is almost tone on tone.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #10 - Embroidered Embellish Tunic
The stitching went quickly, this was done in one afternoon. I used stem stitch for the stem, split stitch for the leaves and satin stitch for the flower, all just using two strand of floss. Two French knots really gave the flowers a finished look.

I was going to do a mirror image of the flowers on the other side of the slit, but decided I liked it on one side better. Matt said one side make it look a little more modern and a little less peasant. I think that little bit of embroidery adds a lot to the shirt. It’ll probably be on high rotation all summer.

I really like taking something inexpensive and basic and personalizing it. What about you, have you taken anything for a store and turned it into your own lately?

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

17 Projects for Summer

This weekend is the unofficial first weekend of Summer here in the States, so we thought it was a perfect time to remind you of some of the great summery projects in our archives.
summer
1. Leave the Sand at the Beach Bag (A net bottom lets the sand fall right through.)
2. Marimekko Inspired Sneakers (Bright flowers and white tennies are so summer!)
3. Stars and Striped Bunting
4. Polka Dot Paper Lanterns (Made from empty toilet paper rolls!)
5. Princess Towel Dress for Belle and Cinderella
6. Embroidered Woven Placemat (Dressed up dollar store finds.)
7. Shark Hooded Towel (Scare everyone else off the beach.)
8. Waterproof Picnic Blanket (No wet bums here!)
9. Embroidered Shoes (Give those plain slip-ons some personality.)
10. Crocheted Stone Tablecloth Weight (Keeps the cloth on the table even in the wind.)
11. Knit Starfish (For when you can’t be at the beach.)
12. Knit Fish (To keep the starfish company.)
13. Metal Flower Fairy Lights (Made from disposable baking sheets.)
14. Stars & Stripes Rope Wreath
15. Stegosaurus Hooded Towel
16. Knit Octopus (To join your starfish and fish.)
17. Stars and Stripes Table Runner

We hope you have a safe Memorial Day weekend that kicks off a fabulous summer!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft ’15 Challenge #8 – French Knot Burst Pillow

For this challenge we were to make something for our home. I had bought some beautiful grey wool at Faribault Woolen Mills and my husband suggested I use to make an embroidered throw pillow. I had seen some different versions of French knot bursts online and that I thought would be a really cool design on a pillow. Plus, I had yarn in the right shades to do it.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
I love the way it turned out, but let me tell you this was a lot of work. I don’t even want to think about how many French knots I made. It also wasn’t as mindless as I thought it would be, I really spent time thinking about how the colors should blend together to get the look I wanted.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
It’s a little tricky to do a tutorial for this, but I took pictures along the way with each color and have some tips on how I did it. (Click on any picture in the tutorial to see it bigger.)

French Knot Burst Pillow

This is a really basic pillow, so I am not going to go into a ton of detail about sewing it together. I’m concentrating here more on the embroidery. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a pillow. You could do a wall hanging or anything that you would want to put a lot of embroidery on.

Supplies:

  • fabric – I used a light blanket wool. It was really easy to embroider, but not such an open weave that stitches came right through
  • fingering yarn in four colors – I used Knit Picks Palette in Black, Ash, Silver and Finnley Heather. I used yarn to get a bigger knot.
  • large eye needle – big enough to thread your yarn through
  • scissors
  • embroidery hoop (optional) – I didn’t use one, but you might find it useful.
  • thread to match fabric
  • sewing machine (optioanl)
  • hand sewing needle

1. Cut out the two of pieces fabric for your pillow (or whatever you are making). My pillow insert was 19″ square and since I like a well stuffed pillow I cut my fabric also 19″.

2. Decide where you want your burst to be on the front piece of fabric. I wanted mine off center.

A few notes about the French knotting. I did all single knots (one wrap around the needle). Try not to pull the yarn too tightly between knots especially as they get farther apart as the will pucker the fabric. I had a little puckering, but I pressed the back of the piece with a little steam and most of it went away.

Starting with the darkest color, use single French knots to make the center circle of the burst. Getting a good circle can be tricky, so you may want to draw one on your fabric as a guide. Because I didn’t want the lighter color of the fabric to show through, I made the knots close together.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
Continue making knots around the circle, but spacing them out farther as you go.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
3. Switch to next darkest color. Start filling in the gaps you left in the darker color. As you get farther from the center start leaving spaces farther and farther apart similar to what you did with the other color. Each color should go out farther than the color before it.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
In this picture I had already started with the third color, but you get the idea.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
4. Now, use the next lightest color. This time I did not fill in all the spaces between it and the color before. I’m starting to make the circle “burst.”
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
Once again, keep work around the circle making the stitches further apart as you get farther from the center.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow

Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow
5. Finally, use the lightest color.
Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow

Iron Craft '15 Challenge #8 - French Knit Burst Pillow

6. Press if needed. Pin the front and back pieces of the pillow together right sides facing. Sew three sides together. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right side out. Slip pillow insert in. Hand stitch fourth side shut.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish