Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Makers

Do you have someone in your life who’s creative – besides yourself, of course?  Do you ever want to give them a handmade gift, but don’t want it to be something they could just make for themselves?  Give them something they can use while they’re being creative!  I’m here today with some ideas for people who sew, scrapbook, knit and crochet.  Don’t be afraid to craft for a crafter!

Gifts to Make for Makers - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

No seamstress goes without somewhere to put her pins.  Make her this cute Mini Cupcake Pincushion Ring from Obsessively Stitching with an equally tiny number of supplies.

Mini Cupcake Pincushion Ring from Obsessively Stitching

I love the fact that this Pincushion and Thread Catcher from Sew Mama Sew could be used by the sewing machine or draped over a couch arm.

Pincushion and Thread Catcher from Sew Mama Sew

I have two sewing machines, and neither of them has anything prettier than their plastic travel cases to cover them.  Any sewing machine driver would appreciate this Sewing Machine Cozy from Notes from the Patch.

Sewing Machine Cozy from Notes from the Patch

I love the colorful look of displayed thread spools.  Why not go all the way and make them into art, like this project from Grey Luster Girl.

Framed Thread Holder from Grey Luster Girl

I only recently remembered how handy pattern weights can be.  Remind someone in your life remember with this tutorial from Tea Rose Home.

Pattern Weights from Tea Rose Home

This Needle Book from Domestic Doozie would be helpful for someone who sews, an embroiderer or a cross-stitcher.

Needle Book from Domestic Doozie

The Stir is calling this a growth chart, but wouldn’t this make a great craft studio decoration?

DIY Growth Chart from The Stir

Thistlewood Farms used this Pegboard Box for gift wrapping supplies, but I think this could be a great organizer for a scrapbooking fan.

Peg Board Box from Thistlewood Farms

This Crochet Hook Holder from Future Girl is not only functional, but would be cute hanging in a craft room.

Crochet Hook Holder from Future Girl

With a little wood skill, this Bamboo Yarn Bowl from Instructables user dtextor would be a great gift for a knitter or crochetist.

Bamboo Yarn Bowl from dtextor on Instructables

Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

It’s been a very long time since I attended a sewing show.  In fact, it’s probably been more than 10 years.  When I saw that Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was making it’s Portland debut, I decided maybe it was time to give it another go. Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

I got my daughter on board with the Knit! part, but I was a little skeptical that the $10 per person entry fee, plus parking, was going to be worth it.  That seemed a little steep considering I knew it was going to be full of vendors also wanting a peek into my wallet.  I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.  We ended up spending over three hours there!

There were two sides to the show:  display pieces and vendors.  We started on the display side, which was set up like a museum.  The first thing we came to was a Community Garden.  It was a fabric tree covered in flowers made by attendees.  They offered to let us make some to add, but we were anxious to see what was ahead.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 3

There were some truly amazing works of art.  They started with those made of yarn, like this crochet piece from local Jo Hamilton, representing the city of Portland.

Quilt Knit Stitch - Crafty Staci 2

This quilt, called Gathering Hearty Roses, was made by a group of four quilters from Japan who have been creating together for 20 years.  Aiko Miyata, Norimi Tashiro, Nobuko Kotani and Reiko Terui each made one of the hearts, then put them together.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 4

I couldn’t get a photo that would do justice to Scarlett’s Crimson by Philippa Naylor from the U.K.  She drafted the pattern, then used piecing, quilting and applique to create this beauty.  She was inspired by 1950’s couture ball gowns.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 5

I love the color and style of Indian Summer Sunset by Shirley Gisi from Colorado.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 6

Jane Sassaman was inspired to make Illinois Album by the rural areas of her own state.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 7

Cindy Hickok, from Texas, had several 3D pieces made with machine embroidery, but my favorite was See the U.S.A.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 8

Alice’s Kitchen by Miki Murakami of Japan was a real eye-catcher.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 9

We moved on to the vendor side, which seemed to go on forever.  One the first booths we stepped into remained one of our favorites.  We even went back to it at the end to buy a book and chat with the author, Kay MacKenzie.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 10

You can visit Kay at her book website and applique blog.  She had so many cute things, but the Studio sign, which is in the above book, is the first thing I want to make.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 11

There were a few trends we spotted while we shopped.  Wool felt projects were everywhere.  Bertie’s Year, from Bonnie Sullivan, was a particularly fun set of patterns.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 12

Another prevalent theme was super-tiny quilts.  It really made me want to give one a try.  Imagine how happy we were when we walked by the Moda Bakeshop booth and they handed us each of us a sweet pack of 2 1/2” squares!

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 13

You know how much I love to rip out a seam, but after holding this seam ripper from Lumenaris in my hand, I had to have one.  This thing is the perfect size and weight.  I’ve already used it, and I’m very happy to add it to my tool box.

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! - Crafty Staci 14

Overall, Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was a fun afternoon.  My daughter was hoping for more knitting and crochet patterns, but she enjoyed admiring the yarn.  I’m hoping the show returns next year!

Buttoned Neck Warmer

I recently discovered my yarn impediment skipped a generation.  I bravely gave my daughter a knitting book and a skein of yarn for Christmas.  I fully expected it to go into a storage box, never to be seen again.  But then something magical happened.  She dug out the knitting needles and, barely glancing at the book, started on a scarf.  I keep expecting it to disappear, but she kept at it.  She started carrying it out of the house with her and telling me stories of teaching a friend to knit too.  They visited craft stores and a local yarn shop together.  She finished that scarf and has barely left the house without wearing it since…

Read More

Friday Favorites - Gingham

I smell a spring trend coming.  Maybe it’s me, but everywhere I look lately, there’s gingham.  It could be that I just want an excuse to need it.  I don’t know how, I don’t know where, but there will be gingham in my house before autumn makes its appearance. There is a difference between gingham and buffalo plaid.  Something to do with the number of colors and/or scale.  I’m calling it all gingham today.  Try and stop me.

When I was a kid, I learned how to cross stitch on a piece of gingham.  The squares were the perfect canvas, and the effect was cute.  This Smocking with Gingham from Martha Stewart works a bit the same way.


These Gingham Stars from A Spoonful of Sugar were originally meant for Christmas, but I don’t see why they have to be restricted to the holidays.

Gingham Stars 5    .jpg

Gingham on the wall sounds a little overwhelming, but the subtle way Southern Living pulls if off is beautiful.


How about edible gingham?  These Easy Gingham Cookies from Glorious Treats are adorable.

Gingham cookies

The bit of gingham peeking out from the invitation envelopes on The Wedding Post of Arkansas is just right.

gingham - frolic

If you want to go full-on gingham, check out this Gingham Birthday Party from Kara’s Party Ideas.


Or, for just a little gingham at your party, try this Vintage Summer Gingham Bunting from A Pretty Cool Life.


Although I rarely paint my nails, I love all the creative options that are out there now, like The Gingham Accent Nail from The Beauty Department.


I would so happily wear this Gingham Scarf with Scalloped Edge from Make My Day Creative.


I have a big dining room table my husband built for me a few years ago.  The top is beautiful wood, and I try to protect it.  I want to make a thin quilt to use as a table cloth, but hadn’t found a pattern I was in love with yet.  I think the search is over because this quilt from Crazy Mom Quilts would be absolutely perfect.


Fun fact:  I typed the word “gingham” about a thousand times while I was writing this and did not once spell it correctly on my first try.  Not even just now.


flickr  In other news, I've partnered with Natural Parents Network to launch their new Flickr pool.  Just click the camera over there <------  Be sure to check them out and enter for your chance to win this:

coffee sleeve and lens cap pocket - Crafty Staci

Friday Favorites–Pink

I have a tumultuous relationship with the color pink.  One day we’re best buds, the next I don’t want it anywhere near me.  It doesn’t help that my daughter doesn’t like it.  At.  All.  It’s unavoidable as Valentine’s Day rolls in though, and I love a good pink craft in February as much as anyone.

I love the idea of this Giant Paper Rose from Green Wedding Shoes as a bridal bouquet.  I know the word whimsical is overused when it comes to crafts, but in this case it just fits – in a good way.


There is nothing more enticing than a recipe that only uses a couple of inexpensive ingredients.  Except fudge.  Strawberry 2 Ingredient Fudge from Cookies and Cups.  Oh yeah, that’s happening.


I like the unique pocket structure on this Paulie Pocket Top from Lladybird.


Even my daughter might be won over by these pink Geberas from Oddknit.

A little paint and an inexpensive vase and you could have a Little Miss Pinky Vase like this one from C.W. Frosting.


This Watermark Tee from Ucreate would be a fun kid craft, but I wouldn’t mind wearing this one myself.


The pattern for this girliest of girly pink crowns can be found at Stitch 11.


And every princess needs a Wind Wand, like this one from An Everyday Story.


I want to have a party, just so I have an excuse to make these Paper Lanterns from Living on the Crafty Side of Life.


Speaking of parties, it doesn’t get any more pink than this Pinkalicious Birthday Party from Seven Thirty Three.


That did it.  Now I’m in a cotton candy pink mood.

Knitting Knobby Necklace

If you’re not familiar with what a knitting knobby is, maybe you know it by another name, such as corking, Bizzy Lizzy, spool knitter, knitting mushroom, Knitting Nancy or French Knitting.  If none of those ring a bell, I might be sounding a little crazy by now.  But this is a craft that has been around for a very long time, and if you didn’t try it as a kid, it’s never too late…

Read More

Knitted Neck Warmer Fail

If you’ve read more than about two of my posts, you know I admire yarn crafts from afar.  Usually.  I do own a set of knitting looms, which I occasionally get brave enough to use.  I’ve made a few scarves and one sad little dishcloth.  When I get in the mood to try yarn, it keeps me from wasting a skein or two on a mess of a project.  Again, usually.

Before the last of the winter weather has passed here, I need to tell you about my attempt at a neck warmer.  I’ve seen these everywhere and loved them.  It seemed simple enough, especially with a loom.  Knit a circle.  How hard could that be?  This is what I was going for, without the pom-poms (pattern from the LionBrand yarn website):

Neckwarmer 1

This is what I ended up with.  Pom-poms would be an improvement.

Neckwarmer 2

You may be looking at this and thinking “That’s not so bad!”  First of all, thank you.  Second, this is just what it looks like laying down.  Here it is bunched up a little like it would be around a neck.

Neckwarmer 3

Again, not terrible, except for that little yarn end on the right.  One of the many things I don’t understand about knitting is what to do with the ends.  Anyway, I love the yarn and the color pattern, but that top edge is as big as it gets.  It will not stretch.  At all.  If my head were the same size as my neck I’d be all my dog, Max.

Neckwarmer 4

Don’t feel too sorry for his humiliation here.  Because my neck warmer failed, I decided to make a regular scarf out of the same yarn.  Max saw the “ball” sitting on the arm of the couch and decided he needed to play with it.  He managed to unravel the scarf and string the whole mess ALL over our house.

If you have any experience with knitting looms, I’d love to know how you knit the thing off without restricting the stretchiness of that last row.  I can actually get this over my head if I try really hard, but then it looks like I’m wearing a funnel.  Now you know why there’s no photo here of me wearing it.  I had to maintain a little dignity.

If I were to try this again, I’d go with a version like this one from Loop Knits - a flat piece that buttons together in the front.

Neckwarmer 5

I know, Max.  I’m sad about it too.

Neckwarmer 6