Cricut + Simplicity + wildboho

I wish I could tell you that I love sewing something from a pattern, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m going to tell you that it is one of my least favorite things to do!

What I do like to do, is stray outside of the lines and not have to worry about staying within the confines of a pattern!

So….when I was given the opportunity to work with one of Simplicity’s new patterns for the Cricut Maker, I hesitated and had to work myself up to giving this a try. I already knew that the machine would do much of the work…cutting the pieces, etc, but I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge of following a pattern!

Because I have a soft spot for flowers, this Flower and Arrangement pattern caught my eye and I thought it might make a unique embellishment for a piece of hoop art. So, with reluctance (!),  I accepted the challenge.

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I’m going to walk you through this pattern, step by step, and I’ll give you a little hint about the process…it wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be!

Alright, let’s start this pattern!

Step One: gather your Cricut materials and the Simplicity PDF pattern.

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You will need the fabric mat, the rotary blade for cutting fabric and the washable fabric pen for marking the pattern pieces.

Step Two: gather your fabrics.

The pattern shows you the pieces that make up the flower. You can base your color choices off of that like I did my second time through.

I’ll be honest and tell you that I forgot to print the pattern directions first and so I just randomly picked colors from my pile of fabrics when it told me to insert a new mat!

It all turned out very pretty in the end but I would not recommend that you use my method!!

So, you’ve read through the pattern (well done, you!) and you’ve chosen your fabrics. It’s time to move on to Step Three: Let the machine do the work for you!

The screen shot shows you what you will see in Design Space. From this point on, you will just be putting the correct fabrics on the mats and the machine will do everything else!

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The rotary blade and washable pen are in position and my fabric is ready to be cut!

Check this out: do you see all of those perfect little points that have been cut out? Yup, the machine did that, not me!

Step Four: continue letting the machine do the work! How easy is that?!

You will soon end up with a tidy little pile of cut pieces, just like what you see below!

One suggestion after working through this pattern a few times: when you get to the two round circle pieces, choose a heavier fabric. My first choice was a thinner batik piece of fabric. My second choice was a heavier piece of textured cotton fabric. Finally on my third time cutting the pieces for the pattern, I decided to use a scrap of  wool felt and that was definitely the best choice. The other fabric pieces worked fine, but because this is the piece that you are hand sewing everything on to, you want something fairly sturdy.

I should also warn you that Step Five involves me breaking from the pattern in one other way: I did not use my sewing machine! Nope, not once.

If you follow along with my stitching adventures, you’ll already know that I prefer hand stitching to machine sewing. I wanted to try this entire pattern without the machine, just so that I could tell you that it was possible! And it is!

Your pieces have all been cut and you are ready to turn them into flowers!

This was the only step that slightly confused me and so I wanted to show several pictures to help you out.

You will fold the sides of your rectangular piece in towards the center.

Next you will fold that piece in half.

Grab a needle and some thread (I prefer the Sulky 12wt petites for this step) and stitch a running stitch along the bottom.

Tie a knot and then pull your thread right so that the fabric gathers up nice and makes a little ruffle.

The blue marks and the pattern will show you where each piece is to be stitched on to the circle.

Continue with each piece of fabric, following the directions as to where to attach it to the disc.

Because I (unfortunately) only have two hands, I couldn’t take pictures of how I actually wrapped the rose. That step is mostly self-explanatory and if I was able to figure it out, then you will just fine!

Soon you will have a complete flower!

So, what to do with your flower at this point?

Well, you can leave it completely as is and be done! Stitch a pin back or hair clip onto it and wear it as an accessory!

Or, and you should also know that this is always my go-to option, you can put it in a hoop!

Here is my simple version of the flower and arrangement attached to a fabric that has been stretched in a hoop.

Simple and pretty!

But, why stop there? You could take it one step further and add other embellishments, like the pattern suggests.

Here is my gussied up version! I added wispy bits of lace, gears and buttons.

And because I love to show you options, (and can’t resist Boho-ing up a project!) here is what you can create if you cut a few extra pieces and arrange them to your liking!

Each piece in the above hoop has been cut by my Cricut Maker according to the pattern. I just rearranged pieces and added some embroidery!

And speaking of embroidery, do you see those words?

My absolute favorite feature of using Design Space and my Cricut Maker is that I can create text and have it written directly into fabric with the washable pen!

So many fonts! So much versatility! I cannot gush enough about this function!

Since unboxing my Maker, I have used this function more than anything else. There’s not stopping me…I can add words to anything!

And there you have it..my first Simplicity pattern and I survived and actually went on to make it several times and enjoyed the process!

Now I can breathe a sigh of relief and pass some confidence on to you. Now, go….create something!


Fabrics provided by:

Flaurie and Finch (Blossom Batiks)

Andover Fabrics (Alison Glass Mariner Cloth and Golden Hour)

Threads I used:

Sulky 12 Wt Petites

Sue Spargo Eleganza


 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Clover Fabric Yo-Yo Maker

I have been working on a series of Boho Crazy Hoops, which are inspired by crazy quilts and incorporate loads of texture. Part of that texture is in the form of fabric yo-yos, which are addictively fun to make.

After posting pictures of these yo-yos, i’ve been asked a lot how to make them, so, without further ado, here are the super-simple-step-by-step-fabric-yo-yo instructions for you!

Supplies needed:

  • Clover Round Yo-Yo Maker (for this sample, I have used the Large size)
  • Sulky 12 Wt Petites thread (or similar weight thread, this one is about the weight of 2 strands of embroidery floss)
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Fabric (in this example, I used a shiny, slippery, metallic-y fabric…I suggest starting with something nice and simple like a cotton weight fabric!!)

Now that you have your supplies, you are ready to make some yo-yos!

Separate the Clover yo-yo maker and sandwich the fabric in between the layers of the maker. You’ll notice on the directions that it tells you to line up these lines with the little notches on the other side. That is important!

This is the backside of the fabric and the backside of the yo-yo maker.

See the little notches around the outside edge? Those are what will line up with the lines on the other side of the disk. This is the front side of the maker and fabric and it is what you will be looking at while you stitch.

Trim your fabric, leaving about 1/2″ of fabric all the way around.

Here’s a close up of the thread. This is the thread that I use for all of my beadwork and yo-yo making! I love that it comes on a spool and that I don’t have to divide threads before stitching.

It’s time to get stitching!

Thread your needle and knot the end of your thread.

Bring your needle and thread up through the right side of a slot (it doesn’t matter which slot you start with) and then take the needle and thread down on left side of the slot)

Continue this all the way around until you have stitched in each slot. When you stitch your way around and you have arrived back at the first slot on the yo-yo maker, you are going to stitch that one again.

It’s time to take your fabric out of the yo-yo maker. Just pop the sections apart and gently pull your fabric off of the disk.

With your needle and thread still attached, you are going to pull the fabric tight and you’ll see that it starts to bunch up. Continue doing this until you have a lovely little yo-yo shape.

You will need to adjust the fabric yo-yo until it looks symmetrical all the way around.

When it looks good to you, tie off your stitch. I like to make a small stitch and knot it, just to make sure the yo-yo is secure and won’t come apart. Trim your thread and you have made your first yo-yo!

Wasn’t that fun?! Now picture making these to coordinate with fabrics that you are embroidering!

Thread Round-Up

As someone who works with lots of threads and always on the lookout for new colors and textures to try, it is one of my favorite questions when I am asked: “what threads do you recommend?”

So here’s a quick thread round-up for you if you are thinking of starting an embroidery project and want to try something new!


Hands down, my favorite everyday embroidery thread is Eleganza Perle Cotton. A collaboration with Wonderfil Specialty Thread, these colors from Sue Spargo are rich and saturated and match any project I am working on.

In the picture below, you will notice that size 5 is slightly thicker than size 8. With Perle Cotton, you do not need to separate threads, like you might typically do with regular floss. This is meant to be used directly off the spool, which might partially be why I like it so much!

You also get a lot of thread for your money with these spools! The size 5 comes in 40 yard spools and the size 8 comes in 70 yard spools.

This Dala Perle Cotton also comes from Sue Spargo, only this one is hand-dyed in small batches by her daughter, Kelly. The colors in these variegated threads are also incredible!

If you are used to using thinner threads but want to add a bit more texture to your work, I suggest giving this particular brand a try. It is easy to work with, does not need to be separated and also adds lovely visibility to your stitches. And notice the twist in the threads? That adds to the texture of your work and gives it a bit of shine. If you are going to be spending lots of time adding your embroidery to a project, you definitely want those stitches to stand out, right?!

Have you ever worked with wool yarn or thread in your embroidery? If you haven’t, these are my two favorite brands of wool yarn to use in my hand stitched projects.

On the left is Koigu Needlepoint Yarn which I picked up on a recent trip to Purl Soho in NYC. It comes in 11 yard hanks and is the weight of a fingering yarn. It does not need to be separated like regular embroidery floss. I have found that even though it looks thicker, it threads through Milliner’s Needles easily and I haven’t had any problems using it in my embroidery.

The Ellana wool thread on the spool is from Sue Spargo. Compared to the spools of Eleganza Perle cotton, this thread is thinner and wispier. I like to use it double stranded, but if you are looking to add delicate texture, then you can certainly use it as a single strand. This also comes 70 yards to a spool and the color selection cannot be beat! I could seriously find a use for every single color in this collection!!!

My favorite threads for adding beads to my work are these Sulky Petites and Sulky Blendables. When compared to a DMC type floss, these are the weight of 2-strands of floss. Each spool is 50 yards. I like using these to add beads because the colors are subtle enough to blend with my work and I rarely have problems with the thread tangling. This is a nice, lightweight addition to my embroidery toolbox!

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 19

Welcome back for Week no. 19! If you are just beginning a piece for the #BohoSAL, check out my previous posts here. And if you are new to embroidery and want to learn the basics, check out my embroidery book, Boho Embroidery for everything you need to get started!


My stitch Along piece this week is a hoop that I am making as a gift for one of my boy’s teachers…a little late for teacher appreciation week, but it will be done soon!

How cool is this fabric from Free Spirit Fabrics from the line, “Neptune and the Mermaid”?!

There’s a story behind this one, though…

I saw this fabulous fabric online and just had to buy it immediately (from Circa 15 Fabric Studio). When I buy fabrics, I don’t typically buy large quantities…usually a fat quarter or a 1/2 yard works for most of my projects. Not checking the size of this octopus, I quickly added a 1/4 yard to my cart and then added a few other things and then checked out.

I couldn’t wait to open the fabric when it arrived. Sadly, I realized that, with this particular fabric, I should have ordered a larger cut because I didn’t get one complete octopus. SO…if you like this one and want a complete octopus, don’t make my mistake and think you can get by with a 1/4 yard!


Here’s how I’ve made lemonade out of my lemon-ish purchase! I’ve been using the Lion Brand bonbons and seed beads to add swirly octopus legs around the flowers on the fabric.

I think it’s a pretty good fix, right?!


And speaking of Octopi (because we were, right?!), here’s another one I’ve been stitching. This one required lots and lots and LOTS of fussy cutting and another Free Spirit Fabric this one from Heather Bailey‘s “Hello Love” line. You’ll be seeing lots more from this one as I finish it off to send to Sue Spargo for Quilt Market this week!

Speaking of purchases (because we were, right?!), look at this beautiful trim! I have no particular project in mind for these, but I saw them and knew I had to have them for something!

And speaking of Quilt Market (because we were, right?!) Here’s a detail shot of one of the hoops i’ve been making for Robert Kaufman’s booth with the upcoming Jennifer Sampou “Shimmer On” fabrics (coming out in August).

Remember how I told you I love these Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Petites? Well, this is what I love them for…they are brilliant for adding beads to my embroidery! They do not break (like when I tried to use just plain sewing machine thread) and you don’t have to separate threads (like when you use floss).

I’ll post more pics of these hoops around Quilt Market time!

And speaking of sneak peeks (because we were, right?!) Here’s a peek at a mini quilt made with my Fractured Color Wheel Embroidery Pattern. I used some of my favorite Anna Maria Horner fabrics combined with so beautiful You and Me batiks. My mom (even though she told me not to give her any credit!) did the quilting and binding and everything else for me!) It turned out better than I was picturing!! How about that butterfly in the center?!

So that’s this week all wrapped up! Hopefully your week was less jumbly and jam-packed than mine was (!) and that you have plenty of time for stitching in the coming week!

Happy stitching!

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 16

Welcome back for Week no. 16! If you are just beginning a piece for the #BohoSAL, check out my previous posts here. And if you are new to embroidery and want to learn the basics, check out my embroidery book, Boho Embroidery for everything you need to get started!


Well, the stomach bug has hit our house hard this week, which means I did a whole lot of cleaning and disinfecting and then some more cleaning and disinfecting and not as much stitching as I had hoped!!!

I did have wits enough to put together this Tula Pink piece that is slightly larger than I normally work with, though, and I am considering it my Boho Stitch Along piece for the week!

This citron color is from Tula Pink’s Prince Charming line, which might just be one of my  all-time favorites…I still have decent cuts of all of the color ways from this one! I also added elements from AcaciaBumble and Slow and Steady.

I found this lap embroidery hoop for a whopping $2.50 at the thrift store and picked it up even though I wasn’t sure if I would like using it. Let me tell you….I definitely like this hoop! For large pieces of embroidery, it is so handy to not have to hold the hoop while i’m stitching. I feel like I can stitch faster than if I were wrangling a large 14″ hoop while trying to stitch!


In non-Boho Stitch Along related posts, I want to tell you about a new (to me) thread that I have been using for the past week or so. Sulky sent me a few things to try out and these Cotton Petites were among the samples.

I am always game to try a new thread and I discovered that these threads work really great when I am adding beads to my embroidery. In the past, whenever I added beads, I just used sewing machine thread because I wanted something thin that wouldn’t take away from the embroidery. I would inevitably have to deal with tangles and it just never worked great. So when Sulky sent me this, a lightbulb went off and I was excited to use it with beads.

Each spool has about 50 yards and is the thickness of about 2 strands of floss, but you don’t have to separate it…you heard me right! You can use it directly from the spool!!! I love when I can use a thread that doesn’t need to be separated because it lets me stitch more and work less!!

I haven’t seen these in any craft stores that are local to me, but you can check them out at Sulky and they come in both solid and variegated (or bendable) colors.


Have a great week stitching!!

-nichole