Squirrel Applique Block

A couple of weeks ago I got a request for a squirrel applique. I realized it has been a while since I added any new applique blocks. Yikes! I really can't believe I haven't included a squirrel sooner. Our backyard is teaming with wildlife... totally encouraged by us. We provide year round water and food for our little friends. In our green belt we have stacks of branches and brush for animals to make their homes. We have birdhouses throughout our yard for nesting. We even certified our garden with The National Wildlife Federation. BTW.. If you are interested in certifying your backyard, check out their program HERE. It is a wonderful nature study to do with your family.

Anyway, back to the squirrels :) Although many people try to keep squirrels out of their feeders, they are welcomed in our yard. Providing them with sunflowers is a small price to pay for the constant entertainment they provide. So, in celebration of our furry friends, I have created a Squirrel Applique Block. As always, it was designed to fit a 6" x 6" block, but it can be reduced or enlarged...Read more

Paper Bag Gnarly Trees

 

 

 

The other night at the Pumpkin Carving Party, my SIL Jennifer, was telling me about these paper bag trees she made with her Brownies. I must have looked like I was lost in the muck and mire because she finally said, "Geeze... just get me a paper bag and I can show you in 5 minutes." Well, she was true to her word. In a matter of minutes not only did she make a gnarly looking paper bag tree, but I felt confident that I could make one, too.

 

I sat down tonight to try to make one. Sure enough, in a matter of minutes, I made a tree. Out popped the camera, and easy peasy... a tutorial. I love it when things are this easy, although it would be a lot easier if all of you were sitting around my dining room table. We'd have a forest in a matter of...Read more

Pixie Knits!

After bath time last night, my barely five year old Pixie brought me a skein of yarn and asked if I could teach her to knit. I think the kids know that the best way to delay bed time around here is with impromptu crafting. I also believe it was encouraged by our history reading yesterday in which our book on colonial life said that children as young as four where taught to knit. Either way, how could I turn down such a sweet request.

Pixie took to it immediately and was probably my fastest student yet. I cast on and demonstrated the first row. After that, in true Pixie fashion of "I can do it" she took the needles from me and was off and knitting all by herself.

It just makes me smile to see the littlest fingers performing beautiful, useful work. If you haven't picked up the needles yet... take some time to explore our Newbie Knitting...Read more

Blanket Stitch Whiz

How would YOU like to become a Blanket Stitch Whiz? One of the most common questions I receive is, "How do you get your stitches so even?" Well, my normal reply is practice, practice, practice, and although that is true, over the years, I have developed some habits that have helped me improve my blanket stitching. And, let's face it, the blanket stitch IS the most important stitch when working with felt. It can be used as decoration, as an edging to prevent the edge from stretching, or as a means of sewing 2 pieces of felt together as a seam. Truly, a worthy stitch to practice :)

In this series, I will be sharing tips on how to make the most of your blanket stitch. Although blanket stitching can be done with yarn, pearl cotton, embroidery floss, or any type of sewing and embroidery thread, for our tutorial, we will be using 6 strand embroidery floss.

So, if you'd like to learn how to make a blanket stitch, or if you are just looking for...Read more

Blanket Stitching - Part 1 - Think Before You Stitch!

Before we even pull out our needles and thread, let's talk a little bit about the purpose and structure of a blanket stitch.

Blanket stitches are often used to finish an edge. The stitch creates an interlocked thread that runs on the edge of the fabric.

Think of a serger sewing machine. Sergers overcast a seam's edge, preventing the seam from fraying, and giving the finished product a neater look. 

When using a blanket stitch on the edge of fabric, you help prevent the fabric from fraying and stretching.

 The sibling of the blanket stitch is the button hole stitch. They are both made in the same manner, but button hole stitches are placed very close together to stop a button hole from fraying and to give additional strength to the hole.

As an added bonus, blanket stitches are also beautiful, and besides protecting the edge of the fabric, the stitch can also be used to embellish a project, to applique one piece of fabric to another, or to actually sew two pieces together creating a seam.

...Read more

Newbie Knitting | Knit & Purl Wash Clothes

To practice knitting and purling I have included 2 wash cloth patterns. These make a great gift when paired with a special bar of soap. When working in stockinette stitch (when you knit one side and purl the other) it helps if you can visualize how the knit side and the purl side should look.

After a couple rows of a pattern it should become pretty obvious if you are on a knit side or a purl side. On the knit side (when you are looking at the stitches on your left needle that you are getting ready to knit) you should see rows of Vs.

When you are working on the purl side you should see offset horizontal lines.

Take a look at a couple sweaters in your closet. The outside (unless it has fancy stitches) will probably have the Vs and the inside will have the horizontal lines. If you are able to see the difference in your sweater being inside out... then you should be able to see what type of stitch you...Read more

Blanket Stitching - Part 2 - Blanket Stitching a Straight Line

Part 1 - Think Before You Stitch - can be found HERE
Part 3 - Corners and Sewing 2 Pieces Together - can be found HERE

I more or less taught myself to blanket stitch by looking and doing. It was after I had been using the blanket stitch for a while, that I went in search of “how to”. Yes, I know, a bit backward! Although my stitches looked the same, I did start and stop differently than the other methods I found, and along the way I had come up with a few tricks that worked for me. I am going to teach you my way of blanket stitching. If it doesn’t work for you, there are other tutorials out there, even quite a few on Youtube.com that might feel more “right”. Crafting is all about experimentation and finding techniques that work for you. So, if you find something you are more comfortable with, feelings won’t be hurt ;)

Because blanket stitching is so important to appliqueing and work with felt, I felt it warrants close examination. Here's what we will be learning:
 
USES

Improptu Giveaway and Challenge

 


EDIT: The giveaway in now closed. The winner will be announced on Wednesday morning, 11/16/11. Thanks for playing. We had an unbelievable amount of entries, and we had fun reading all of them :) Comments are now open on this blog entry.

First off, let me apologize to all you non-geeks out there. You are at a distinct disadvantage in this giveaway. HOWEVER, the geek in me was so tickled today, that it prompted me to want to share my chuckle with those of you that are like minded. So, here goes...

I happened to be married to the most wonderful man on the whole planet. I don't think I am exaggerating here. He brushes my hair each night before I go to sleep, and wakes me each morning with a cup of coffee... in bed! And if that isn't enough to make you green with envy... he loves to go shopping with me. And not just to hardware stores or chains that sell oversized flat screen televisions. No... this man actually enjoys quaint little shops and art fairs. So, today, when I told him I...Read more

A Splash of Color That Sets My Head Reeling!

 

I am a sucker for color. Although my favorite or "comfort color" changes like a kaleidoscope, I always surround myself with color... no beiges or whites for me! Since last winter, I've embraced a brighter colorway than usual. I have been accenting my spring green and golden walls with reds and oranges. It really has stirred up my creative juices. It's hard to be passive when your house is alert and energetic. So, it wasn't surprising to Michelle, when she came over the other day, and saw 1 new placemat and 2 new napkins, and ask, "What are you doing with those?" and I replied, "I have no clue, but aren't the colors spectacular?"

Of course, she agreed. And after just a few sips of coffee, and about 2 minutes of discussion, we had come up with a whole list of things I could do with the placemat and napkins. As a matter of fact, I went back to Pier One the next day, and bought several more of each. We are extremely busy right now, with the holidays coming up and working on our shop, so my one stipulation was that any...Read more

The Hero of Canton... The Man They Call Jayne

First off, we'd like to thank ALL our readers for indulging our silliness, but sometimes silliness over rides sensibilities!

Then, let me say, Tim, Michelle and I were floored by how many people entered this giveaway, and how humorous many of the answers were! We had a blast reading each and every entry, and realized, we are amongst good company :) BTW... we had several incorrect answers, too, and we enjoyed them every bit as much. For that reason, we decided to leave all answers in the random pull.

For those of you that didn't get the reference, here's the explanation... no matter how lame it may sound :)

There was an awesome sci-fi series, Firefly, that was on television for only 1 season during 2002/2003. IMDB gives this description of the series:

"Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small, spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them."

Basically, Firefly was about space cowboys. It was a Joss...Read more

Blanket Stitching - Part 3 - Corners and Sewing 2 Pieces Together


When I first started blanket stitching, my corners were... how shall I put this... unique, interesting, inconsistent... in other words, a mess! Messy is okay for some projects, but I did want my corners to look better and to stay looking good after a project was finished. Time and trial brought me to the point where I was finally satisfied with my corners. Today I will be sharing how to blanket stitch corners and how to sew 2 pieces of felt together. I have a few tips that I hope will help you to improve your stitching :) Before you begin, make sure you have read Part 1 and Part 2, because I will not be re-teaching the techniques from the first two lessons:

Part 1 - Before You Stitch - can be found HERE
Part 2 - Blanket Stitching a Straight Line - can be found HERE

Introduction: Because blanket stitching is so important to appliqueing and work with felt, it warrants close examination. Here's what we will be learning:

USES

  • Stitching on the edge
  • Sewing 2 pieces of fabric together
  • Appliqueing one piece of fabric to another
  • Blanket
  • ...Read more

Simplicity and Libations for the Holidays

We are trying something new this year... and I must admit I'm a little bit nervous. As a family, we decided that we wanted to simplify Christmas and focus on the joy of being together. So, for the first time ever, the adults are not exchanging gifts. Gulp and Yikes! I am not buying my babies gifts! Again, Gulp and Yikes! We can, however, make something small for one another... jars of jam, a tin of shortbread, or in our case, homemade liqueurs.

Actually, there is a reason we went this route. First off... I was going to make a "six pack" of unusual jams and jellies for each family. I had visions of jalapeno jelly, apple butter and tomato jam. Well, summer came and went with nothing to show for it! (Uh, I did get as far as to buy lovely tall canning jars... I'll be ready next year :) Anyway, I needed a Plan B.

My father helped me formulate Plan B. Soon after I was married, my father started making his own Kahlua. A month or two before Christmas, he'd make up a batch, and give a bottle to each family as a gift. He did this for...Read more

Too Excited Not To Share... NOW!

 

I do not normally post on the weekend, but this morning I came across this pattern for a beautiful pair of mittens (which can be found HERE):

 

 

 

and was dying to find out if my local yarn shop carried this yarn/color. (It is Crystal Palace - Mini Mochi, #101 - Intense Rainbow.)

I was the first one at their shop this morning, and YAY... they had the yarn! I plan to knit up a pair for myself (Is that wrong? Always feels wrong somehow to knit for myself!) When done, I will create a scarf to match. (They have a hat to match, which can be found HERE, but for the most part, women in our family don't look smashing in hats, so we tend to save wearing them for the most inhospitable weather when we are willing to ignore appearance for warmth!) Anyway... it will require tons of will power not to get my needles out... but I have a busy day ...and miles to go before I knit, ...and miles to go before I...Read more

A Wonderful Sarah' Silk Giveaway! YAY!

 

 

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced Monday, November 28. Good luck to all :)

A few weeks ago we had a lovely new sponsor quietly join our family... Sarah's Silk. Actually, Sarah isn't new to Wee Folk Art. She hosted a wonderful giveaway last spring. But now, she has a permanent spot on our blog, so whenever you are HERE, you are just one button push away from visiting her wonderful shop :)

Very often interviews are done to introduce sponsors. Since we already did that in the spring (you can read about that HERE), we thought we would do something a little different. Sarah sent us one of her Starry Night Silk Scapes to test drive. We had 3 very eager guinea pigs! Below are a few of the ways they incorporated the silk scape into their play...  

Indoors... by draping it over their play stand, they created a lovely reading nook. That night they read books under the stars, using flashlights to read by. Camping indoors... totally awesome :)

...Read more

W.I.P. Rainbow Mitts

I've managed to get in a few late night hours knitting my rainbow mittens. Size two needles do not make for quick knitting! This mitts are knitted in the round, and I can't say I'm a huge fan of purling in the round. I'm all thumbs :) Despite that, the yarn is so wonderful, and the colors so happy, it's hard not to enjoy every stitch!

The pattern and yarn info can be found HERE. What are you working on now?

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Cardinal Applique Block

 

Several weeks ago a reader asked me for a applique block for a cardinal. I finally got it done :) Although we have cardinals in our backyard year round, they look their loveliest in the winter world. Here, we have a male cardinal perched in a tree. I'm sure he has his eye on his mate which is always close by. BTW... although it is very hard to see in this photo, his eye is made up of 4 black seed beads. In person, the light makes his eyes twinkle, just like a real cardinal :)

Our cardinal was designed to fit a 6" x 6" block, but can be enlarged or reduced to meet your needs. The pattern for the cardinal can be found HERE. Enjoy!

 Read more

Christmas Crafts

Today marks the first Sunday of Advent. It seems that no matter how far away Christmas may seem throughout the year, those last 4 weeks fly by. Although I'm sure all of you know that we keep a pictorial gallery of our past crafts, it can be accessed by hitting to Freebie button at the top of the page or in the right column, I thought it would be fun to pull our Christmas Crafts to the front page. Yikes! I had no idea how long the list had become! Of course, these are just projects specifically for Christmas. For gift giving ideas, we would have to highlight everything in our galleries!

So, below is a list of Christmas projects, with direct links. There is still time to get many projects made... whether they are for the home or for gift giving. I was at JoAnn's late last night, getting some fabric to make a few more Easy Cotton Shawls. Judging by the line at the fabric cutting counter, LOTS and LOTS of people feel like they have plenty of time yet to craft :) Also, I've included a link to the Advent Celebration...Read more

Sarah's Silk Starry Night Silk Scape Giveaway

 


 

 

First off, we again would like the thank Sarah, from Sarah's Silks, for this lovely giveaway. Obviously, there are many imaginative ways for your wee one's to play with this beautiful Starry Night Silk Scape. Wish we were able to send 1 to everyone :)

Now, on to the winner:

 

 

I love the idea of a play silk a month!
The starry night silk is gorgeous as well!
xoxo
~ joey ~

Congratulations, Joey! Just email us at weefolkart@yahoo.com with your home address, and we will send it along to Sarah's Silk, and you'll have your new Starry Night Silk Scape in time for the holidays! You have 1 week to contact us or a new winner will be drawn.

Thanks, again, Sarah, for sponsoring this wonderful giveaway. We are so delighted you are now apart of the Wee Folk Art family!...Read more

Easy Peasy Napkin Apron

Even if you possess the most rudimentary sewing skills, this project will be a breeze for you. Just in time for the holidays, this is perhaps the simplest apron you'll ever make! Let the kids wear them for cookie making or wrap them up as gifts for all the wee ones in your life. Because you begin with a finished square napkin (mine was a 21" x 21" napkin from Pier One), there's no cutting out or turning under seams. It is a one size fits most children. I love this design because the apron covers the child all the way to the neck. Too often aprons hang down in front allowing food stuff to fall behind the apron defeating their purpose. This apron is really so fast to make, it will probably take you longer to read this tutorial than actually make the apron ;)

Start out by picking a spectacular napkin!

Then, pick a corner... any corner. Turn the corner down on a diagonal so...Read more