Kimara's blog

Wooden Apple Orchard Tutorial

To make this apple orchard you will need to use a scroll saw, a dremel and a drill. I am a VERY novice woodworker, and have no tips or suggestions for how to use this equipment. I'm learning as I go, trying to be as careful as possible, but would not even begin to try to teach someone how to do this stuff. I'm having this total tension issue with the saw blades and keep breaking them. But I will get the hang of it, and I will get better.

So, here's the deal on the instructions. (Hmmm... think I'm giving a disclaimer!!!) Basically, I'm giving you the pattern that I designed. I'll tell you what I did, even share some lovely photos, BUT, this is not instructions on how to use the tools. I'm thoroughly enjoying this, and finding it easy, with delightful results. BUT PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

I used pine to make my apple orchard. Many of the wooden toys you buy are made out of hard woods like maple, walnut, cherry, etc. So far I've only worked with pine for several reasons. First, we had some in the garage. (Love raiding Tim's stash!!!) Second, it's a soft wood, and easier to work on for a beginner. Three, it's cheaper than the hard woods, so if you mess up, no great lost. Finally, I love primitive. Many things in my house are made of pine. I don't mind nicks and dings. As a matter of fact, I think it adds to the charm. And since I love the way the orchard looks and feels, I feel very okay with suggesting you use pine if you are a beginner.

So, if you're an experienced woodcrafter, you'll find this project easy peasy. If you're new to the craft, like I am, have fun, be careful, and don't get frustrated. You do not have to be exact or perfect for the end results to be lovely. So, if you want to give it a try... you can find the tutorial for the Wooden Apple Orchard HERE or in our FREE Open Patterns. Enjoy... BUT BE CAREFUL!

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Woven Spider Wheel Stitch

We got a question from one of our readers about the Woven Spider Wheel Stitch. And although the diagram we have in the glossary is the "textbook" picture, I have found a few tricks that make this stitch not only a breeze, but fun! And since this has become one of my all time favorite stitches, and one I use often, I thought I'd take a few minutes and write up instructions of how to successfully make this stitch. So, if you're interested in getting the down and dirty on the Woven Spider Wheel Stitch, check it out HERE. Enjoy!

Apple Tree Applique Block


It's fall and that means a trip... nay... many trips to our local apple orchard. Actually, we are very fortunate, in our area there are several apple orchards and cider mills to choose from. My son Drew, and his wife Meghan, moved to Wisconsin a few years ago and have been searching high and low for a true, honest to goodness working cider mill, with pick your own apples, wagon rides, and hot, freshly made donuts, but have yet to find one. But we have them in abundance... and they're close enough to go to for cider and hot donuts... OFTEN! Which, in and of itself is lovely, but a bit problematic to my thighs! Anyway... I could hardly get through the season without sharing a felt applique apple tree. Last year I discovered the embroidery stitch the Woven Spider Wheel, and have used it often for flowers BUT it totally excels as apples! Make sure to "weave tightly" (I went under 26 spokes) and your apple will take on a lovely 3 dimensional look. (BTW... I added grass as an afterthought using 6 strands of floss and a simple straight stitch. You will not see that on the pattern, but easy enough to add if you'd like.)

I wanted to talk just a little bit about the applique blocks in general. I'm always saying they can be enlarged or reduced to meet your needs, but you might wonder what "needs" can I be referring to. Well... the designs in the applique blocks can be utilized in many ways. For example, I used this applique block as the pattern for my Wooden Apple Orchard. (Which I'll be sharing the pattern and a brief how-to next week.) I didn't even have to change the size. But by enlarging or reducing the pattern, or other small modifications like adding a 1/4" seam allowance, they can be turned into many other things. The applique PATTERNS can be made out of cottons and appliqued on clothing or quilts. They can be cut out of wood. They can be made into stencils for your walls. They can be reduced, and cut out of polymer clay for brooches. You can add a back and stuff them for stuffies. They can become stained glass patterns. There are many applications possible.

To help visualize their uses, we are going to do a series of Christmas projects, using the same design in several different ways. We will be using a pine tree applique block and turning it into table decorations, a garland, a wreath and an apron applique. We will even use it to make Christmas cards. So watch for our new design and its many applications.

In the meantime, the Apple Tree Applique Block pattern can be found HERE or in our FREE Applique Patterns. As always, Enjoy, and happy appley fall!  

Mini Braided Rug Fabric

I've had a few people mention the fabric in the rug and I got an email asking me what fabric I used. I almost always make note of the fabrics I'm using, but for some reason I didn't on this one. I bought the fabric at JoAnns. I got it in their holiday designer section. It is a little heavier, a little nicer, than the regular calicoes. (This is 1 of 2 designs I made into napkins for November.) Anyway, here's what the fabric looks like pre rug. Hope that helps. If anyone knows off hand the designer, please share. I know I could come up with it... just don't have the time today!

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