Couchside sewing caddy

I put a lot of pins and needles in our couch’s armrest, and it doesn’t seem fair to the poor thing. We do celebrate its birthday, after all, and it is just rude to be poking it all the time. So I made a little pincushion and sewing caddy to keep all my sewing and cross stitching supplies in one place, and out of the cushions.

A photograph of a sewing caddy with pockets and a pincushion hanging over the arm of a couch. There are pins stuck in the pincushion, and a pair of scissors and pens in the pockets.

a photo of a quilted sewing caddy with a pincushion and pockets. Inside the pockets are embroidery thread, small scissors, and pens.

I roughly followed this tutorial that I found on a blog called During Quiet Time, with some extra inspiration from Poppyprint’s rendition of this armrest pincushion.

The thing I like most about this is the big pocket for holding bags of embroidery floss while I cross stitch. No more will they be strewn all over the table next to the couch!

Pictures of the work in progress, and notes on what I changed from the original tutorial, are under the cut.

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Filed under 2017, Finished Projects, Sewing, Sewing/Quilts, Tutorials

WIP Wednesday: Helix Nebula #2

With just a week left in #30for30crafting, it looks like I am going to meet my goal of finishing the first page of my Helix Nebula cross stitch.

nebula-2

Incidentally, it is nigh impossible to photograph this thing because of how much black is in it. Unless the light is just right, it looks like a big dark blob.

nebula-1

But I’ve only got a few big sections and all those scattered stitches left to go to finish up the first page! At the current rate, I could probably finish the entire thing in less than a year. Even though it’s as large as the X-Files project, because there’s so many different colors and shapes, so it keeps it interesting.

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WIP Wednesday: Helix Nebula #1

Happy Wednesday everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I last did a work-in-progress Wednesday post, but I’ve started a big new project and I’m gearing up for May’s #30for30crafting challenge, so I thought today would be a good day to start posting my WIPs again!

Introducing my latest cross stitch project, the Helix Nebula:

picture of white fabric in an embroidery hoop, partially covered in cross stitch

This is just (part) of page one (out of 12).
picture of a cross stitch pattern with completed sections marked wiht blue highlighter

The finished piece is going to be as big as my X-Files cross stitch, 270 stitches tall and 234 stitches wide on 18 count Aida (that’s 63,180 total stitches). It uses a lot of colors. Not sure exactly how many but this is my box with threads just for the project (and there’s about 6 more that I have out on my worktable and not in the box):

a cardboard shoe box full of small plastic zip-top baggies with embroidery thread

The pattern is self-made, based on this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX).

composite image of the Helix Nebula

As you can see, I’m still working on the outer edges and haven’t made it to the nebula yet. Here’s a close up.

N4LRG

Lots of confetti stitches!

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Finished Project: Water is Life

Happy Friday everyone, I’m back with another politically-minded embroidery project.

A photo of an embroidery hoop on a green background. The words "water is life" are embroidered in blue and surrounded by concentric circles embroidered in various shades of blue.

This one is done with three strands of floss in different shades of blue on what I think is cotton (it’s a random fabric from my stash). I intended the concentric circles to represent ripples on the surface of water. I also learned that I can’t freehand draw very even circles.

The finished hoop is available for purchase in my Etsy store. If you like this project, consider donating to Earthworks or Charity:Water, which both work to provide clean and safe drinking water to people throughout the world.

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No Ban No Wall Embroidery Hoop

Following up on my No Ban No Wall cross stitch pattern from a while back, I decided to get back into freeform embroidery and make something similar. I stitched this on some loose-woven linen from my fabric stash with cotton embroidery floss.

picture of wooden embroidery hoop with embroidered brick pattern and the words "no ban no wall"There’s nothing quite like stabbing something a bunch of times to sublimate rage at the state of the world. I stitched this in late February, mostly while watching old (pre-election) episodes of Last Week Tonight. Who knew I would have nostalgia for the summer of 2016?

This completed hoop is available in my Etsy shop.

 

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Filed under 2017, Embroidery, Finished Projects

Kitty Committee Continued: Orange Tabby

I finished another installment in my Kitty Committee series: the orange tabby. I’m not quite as happy with the colors on the orange tabby as I was with the other kitties, but it’s still pretty cute.

a cross stitched hoop showing an orange striped tabby cat

This orange kitty is available in my Etsy shop as a completed hoop and as a DIY pattern.

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Free Pattern Friday: No Ban No Wall

It’s been far too long since I posted anything for free pattern Friday, but I’m back with a vengeance this week, with the first in a series of resistance-minded cross stitch patterns.

a round cross stitch pattern with red brick-pattern background and black text that reads 'no ban no wall'

Click here to download the PDF from Craftsy. The pattern download includes both a full-color and a black and white version of the chart.

Although you can download it for free, if you enjoyed this chart, I encourage you to show your appreciation by donating to the American Civil Liberties UnionBorder Angels, or the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Keep fighting & keep stitching.

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Finished Project: Everything’s Coming up Milhouse!

Second finished project of the year! This one has been on my to-do list probably 100 times longer than it actually took to complete it.

milhouse-finished

It’s Milhouse! I framed him up in a 5 by 9 inch wooden hoop painted gold. The pattern is self-made and available on Craftsy. The finished hoop itself is destined to be a gift.

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Finished Project: Snow golem & fire wolf needlefelted bag

snow-golem-whole-better

Here it is, my first finished project of 2017 — and it certainly took me long enough! I made it my New Year’s resolution to finish this Adventure Time inspired needle felting project. All I had to do was felt the fire pup; I kept putting it off because I was intimidated by how small he is. And yet, it turned out great!

firepup-detail

snow-golem-detail

I made it into a bag and lined with this cotton Adventure Time print from Joann Fabrics.

lining-fabric

It’s just the right size for a couple of books or to hold sewing projects, except I don’t really want to use it in case it gets dirty. My husband wants to frame it, but if we put it behind glass, he couldn’t pet the soft felting all the time.

In other news, summer can’t come soon enough, because when the sun barely gets 23 degrees into the sky and it’s always overcast or actively raining, it is impossible to take decent pictures — even if you turn on every single light in the apartment.

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Finished Project: Chanukah mini-quilt

Last year when my dad visited us for Chanukah, we used a piece of cardboard under the menorah to protect the table from wax drips. This year, I thought maybe we could be a little classier and use something nicer than diverted recycling, so I made this star of David mini quilt to put under the menorah.

finished-chanukah-mat

This was my first attempt at paper piecing, which I had read a lot about and still only vaguely understood. The pattern is from Leisure Arts’ 1,000 Any-Size Quilt Blocks, which gives a brief tutorial on how to paper piece, but I think it’s really a technique that needs to be done to be understood. The 60 degree angles were a little hard to wrap my head around at first, but once you figure it out, paper piecing is great. I love the tidy seams and matching points on the triangles.

I made the mini quilt with Modern Background Paper & Ink Collections from Fresh Modern Fabrics on Etsy for the star, and Robert Kaufman Blueprint Basics #14539 in Indigo for the background & backing.

And here it is in action, with fancy beeswax candles from Big Dipper Waxworks (I’m really excited about these).

menorah-and-mat

Chag sameach (happy holiday), everyone!

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Filed under 2016, Sewing/Quilts