Finishing Ideas for Handcrafts

Bah, Humbug!

October 13, 2009

Not really.  I love humbugs, those sweet stuffed smalls.  They remind me of biscornus – you can use them as an ornament, a pin cushion, a scissors fob or what ever your little heart desires.  They can be tiny, or as big as you want to make one!

Construction is really simple.

A Little Humbug Tutorial

A Little Humbug Tutorial

And now that you’ve learned how to make a Humbug, how about some sample charts?

First, a little geometric, kind of Quaker-y influenced:

Humbug Geometric 1Can’t you see those red stitches replaced by red beads?

Or how about a traditional style pattern?

Humbug Birds and Hearts 1And because, after all, it is me – a Butterfly chart:

Humbug Butterflys 1These all will finish at approximately 3 X 3 inches on 14 count or 28 count, stitched over 2.  All pics are clickable to see a larger view.  Then use your browsers back button to return to this page.

As always, I’d love to hear from you.  And if you stitch one of my charts, won’t you please send me a picture?


Posted in freebie, smalls

Floss Wallet

September 20, 2009

I’ve been working on this idea for a while.  I love the little zip-loc bags to keep my floss in, and I normally use a ring to keep all the little baggies for a project together.  But what’s the use of being a cross-stitcher if you can’t make a little useful item, right?

TIP: When combining cross stitch and fabric – pick your fabric first – then choose your floss.  It’s much easier to find the right floss colors to use with a fabric – not so easy to find fabric to match an existing cross stitched project.

The chart I used for this project is Petit Abécédaire aux Fleurs.

1. Cut two pieces of fabric 7 x 11 inches for the inside and outside of the Floss Wallet.  9-2009 192
2. Cut one piece of fabric 7 x 6 inches (for frame lining).
3. Cut two pieces of fabric 4 x 7 inches for two pockets.  Fold under a ½ inch hem on each pocket, apply lace trim to the right side, if desired. 9-2009 193
4. Top stitch the lace in place, catching the hem as you go. 9-2009 194
5. Pin the pockets to either end of the lining (inside) fabric, right sides up.  If you want to make a divided pocket, fold the lining in half lengthwise and mark the center. 9-2009 195
6. Top stitch the center line (the pencil is pointing to the top stitching). 9-2009 196
7.  Find the center of the 7 x 6 inch piece of fabric and mark it on the wrong side.  9-2009 197
8. Measure the cross stitched piece to determine the size opening you need. 9-2009 198
9. Mark the opening size on the wrong side of the 7 x 6 inch piece of fabric, centering on your mark.  I wanted to have curved corners, so I used the handle of my rotary cutter to mark curves at each corner.  9-2009 199
10. Lay the 7 x 6 inch fabric, right sides together, on one end of the 7 x 11 outside piece, matching the corners.  Pin securely (I believe in using straight pins – they give you 300 hundred in that little box for a reason, right?).  9-2009 200
11. Stitch on the marked line.  Cut out the center, leaving about ¼ inch seam allowance, and clip the inside curves nearly to the stitching.  9-2009 201
12. Turn the lining thru the center to the wrong side.  Press the seam flat.  Lay the opening over your stitched piece and center it in the opening.  9-2009 202
13. Trim the stitched fabric to match your fabric and pin around the edges thru all three layers.  9-2009 203
14. Forgot about cutting a tab – cut a scrap of fabric about 6 x 1-1/2 inches – fold in half lengthwise and stitch the long sides.  9-2009 204
15. I again used the handle of my rotary cutter to mark a curve on the folded end of the tab and stitched along that curved line.  Trim the seam and clip the curve.  9-2009 205Turn the tab right side out.
16. Lay the front piece down right side up.  Lay the lining piece on top of it right side down.  Put the tab in between the two pieces at the center of the short end, matching the raw edges.   Sew a ½ inch seam along the two long ends and across the short end where the tab is.  Trim the seam and clip the corners (sorry, the photos of these steps didn’t come out – I didn’t realize my camera batteies were nearly dead.)
17. Cut two pieces of iron on quilt batting 5-¾ inches by 10 inches.  Cut out four holes 1 inch in from the sides and about ½ inch from the center (to allow for grommets) .  Iron the batting to each of the wrong sides.  9-2009 206
18. Be sure to use a pressing cloth to iron the batting in place.  This is what happens if you get impatient and don’t use a cloth. 9-2009 207
19. Turn the wallet right side out.  Mark the positions of the four grommets. Don’t apply the grommets yet! 9-2009 208
20. Cut two pieces of thin cardboard, each 6 inches by 4-1/4 inches.9-2009 209
21. Slide one piece of cardboard inside the wallet between front and back batting, all the way to the end.  Apply the four grommets.  9-2009 210And yes, that’s a Crop-o-dile peeking in from the edge of the photo!
22. Slide the second piece of cardboard inside the wallet and push down to the grommets. 9-2009 211

23. You may have noticed that I had applied a snap closure.  Unfortunately, after I applied it, I tried it out, and it wouldn’t snap!  So I had to pry off the snap, and sew on a button instead.  9-2009 212I made a matching button hole in the tab.
Fold under the raw edges on the open end 1/4 inch, and whipstitch it closed.  I used matching floss.  (You can barely see the pins holding the opening closed in the above photo).

24. Here’s the inside of the wallet, with a packet of needles in one pocket and my scissors in the other.  9-2009 213
25. And the inside with some floss baggies on the rings (which went thru the grommets).  These are the flosses I’m using for a current project (shh – it’s a secret!) 9-2009 214
26. The back of the outside, showing the tab buttoned.  9-2009 215
27. And the front.  9-2009 216
28. Here it is standing up, so you can see some of my mess scattered around the table – lol!  9-2009 218

And here is the chart I’m planning to use for my next wallet.  BAPIf you’d like to use this chart, feel free to take a copy for your personal use – and please send me a photo of your project!

Your comments, questions and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for visiting today!

Snowman Love Part 3

September 8, 2009
Leave a Comment

At Long Last – Snowman Love is Finis!

I included a specialty stitch – I used Turkey Work for the fringe on the little snow people’s scarves.

Turkey Work is really easy.  If you’ve never done it, don’t be afraid.  Start with a back stitch,

Snowman Love 159

take a loop, and back into the next hole (I use a straight pin to keep my loops from pulling thru),  Snowman Love 160

then repeat.Snowman Love 163

Just continue taking a back stitch and then a loop, following the contours of the scarf and moving the straight pin as needed.  BTW, I work from right to left, but it doesn’t matter – whichever way is more comfortable for you.  Before you know it, you’ll have a whole row of Turkey Work.Snowman Love 168a

You can cut the loops, if you want to, but I prefer the loops.

Continue the Turkey Work on the snow lady’s scarf.Snowman Love 169

One last 3-D touch – a pom-pom for the snow lady’s hat!Snowman Love 170a

I haven’t actually attached the pom-pom yet – I won’t do that until near the end of finishing.

Prep the ornament by washing and pressing – be careful not to crush down the Turkey Work!

I’m making a tuck frame for this ornie.  To make the backing, I use a used dryer sheet (or in this case, two dryer sheets)Snowman Love 180

I made a paper pattern of the shape I wanted, and cut out the front and back of the ornie.Snowman Love 181

That circle in the middle is the exact size I want for the opening of my tuck frame, so I can sew along the opening without removing the paper pattern.

Cut out the center leaving a small seam allowance,Snowman Love 182

clip along the curve nearly to your stitching,Snowman Love 183

and turn the dryer sheet lining to the inside.Snowman Love 184

Pin the front frame to the backing piece, right sides together.  Don’t forget to put in a hanger!  I’m using a pretty piece of ribbon.  Snowman Love 185Sew along the outside edges, and trim the seam close to your stitching.Snowman Love 187

Turn everything out to the right side, and press it well.

Back your ornament with iron on interfacing (I use a fusible low loft batting designed for quilting) and trim to fit the Tuck frame.Snowman Love 188

The white line is from my chalk pencil – I forgot to brush it off before I took this pic – lol!

Now attach the pom-pom to the snowlady’s hat (use the long stings left from making the pom threaded thru your needle and stitched from the front of the ornament to the back  Snowman Love 189– tie a square knot on the back to secure.  Sorry the pic is so blurry – you can tell it’s getting late!

Insert the ornie into the tuck frame – and Ta-Da!  Snowman Love 190

If you want more detailed info on making a tuck frame you can check here.

Well, what do you think?  I’d love to get your comments on my little ornament.










Betcha thought I forgot that I promised to publish the chart for you!1 lol

Well, I didn’t.

Snowman Love bw

Here it is, in two versions, color and black/white symbols, so you can take the one you want!

Snowman Love Color

Please, if you stitch one of my designs, send me a picture.

Oh yes, and all the usual legal stuff – don’t claim  my work as your own, you may stitch my design for yourself or as a gift, if you want to sell a finished piece, please be polite and ask my permission and give me credit for the design, don’t post thecharts on another site, but feel free to post a link to my blog, ya-da-ya-da, etc.

Posted in freebie, ornaments

Home Made Gifts

December 2, 2008

This was inspired by Sandra, and after asking her permission, I worked up this chart:

Home Made Gifts
Home Made Gifts

Thanks, Sandra!

I had hoped to get this stitched before publishing – but it’s not to be – eye surgery is seriously messing with my stitching time.  So, if you are inspired to stitch, please send me a pic – pretty please with sugar on top.
  BTW, my daughter’s comments were fun: “What did you do to my hair?!” and “We’re all grown now – no one would want us!”
Up next – some ornament finishing ideas – thanks to Annie Bebop for reminding me.
Bye for now.

Posted in freebie

Freebie Link

August 1, 2008
1 Comment

If you haven’t checked out Club Point de Croix get over there soon!  It’s a great source of free patterns (each day a new freebie is posted, and it remains free for five days!), as well as patterns for which you must earn points (points are easy to come by).  I stopped in today, and highly recommend  Le p’tit sac  (there are three more adorable animals in the chart) and Oursons marins.  You can click on the link in the right hand column, or if you prefer the page translated to English, click here: Club Point de Croix.

OK – I know this is not a finishing idea – but they have great charts, and you’ve got to stitch something before you can finish it, right?

Please let me know what you think of this site.  Thanks!

Posted in freebie

One Last Hurrah from the Monkeys

July 15, 2008

It occurs to me that some might like the entire Monkey Alphabet in a PC Stitch file.

Or that some might like just the monkeys in a PC Stitch file so they can use them on their own alphabet or perhaps in another setting (the observant may have noted that there were 26 different monkeys – the differences might have been small, but each was different!).

So, for a short time (I haven’t decided yet for how long), leave a comment telling me which you would like – the alphabet, just the monkeys, or both – and I will email the PC Stitch Standard file(s) to you. All the usual legal copy write stuff – please acknowledge my work, don’t post the patterns elsewhere (direct your friends to this site, please, so they can get their own copy), or claim them as your own. You may stitch the monkeys for yourself, for gifts, or charitable works, but if you want to sell a stitched piece containing them, please ask my permission (I’m pretty easy-going, but I value politeness – lol!) And if you do stitch one or more – I’d love a picture!

Posted in freebie

It’s the end of the Monkeys :-( W X Y Z

July 5, 2008
Leave a Comment

Here are the last letters for the monkey alphabet. It’s kind of sad having them come to an end ;-(

Please, if you stitch any of these letters, send me a picture – I’ll happily post it!

Without further ado – The Monkey Alphabet – W X Y Z:

Posted in freebie

Almost Done – The Monkeys are Winding Down – S T U V

June 29, 2008
Leave a Comment

The end is in sight – here are four more monkey letters!

BTW, the slight delay in posting this week is because I have been caring for my MIL following her total knee replacement.   The surgery went well, but she went home too early (her choice) and didn’t tell us she had no one to come stay with her during her at-home convalescence. She ended up hospitalized again with pneumonia.  She’s an 83-year-old in generally good health, but stubborn does not begin to describe her!  DH and I practically kidnapped her when she was released on the 24th, so that we can help her get back on her feet.  We hope to have her back in her own home shortly.  We take her to the doctor’s tomorrow for an x-ray to check on her recovery from pneumonia and to her surgeon later in the week to have her knee checked, and then we will see.  Do pray for all of us, please!

Posted in freebie

M N O P Q R Hey, Hey It’s the Monkeys

June 20, 2008
Leave a Comment

Are you old enough that this title means something to you? Yeah, me too – lol!

It’s bonus week – six letters for the price of four (and you can’t beat the price!)


Posted in freebie

I J K L – The Monkeys are Playing Again!

June 14, 2008

No, I did not get the finishing done on my Altoid tin last weekend.  As soon as I do, I promise I will post the directions.

But here are the next four letters of the Monkey Alphabet – Enjoy!

Posted in freebie
Next Page »