Adventures in Cricut-ing

This week I’ve been procrastinating on a bigger project by working on several smaller, not-super-important-to-get-finished-right-away projects!!!

There are lots of features that I haven’t touched yet with my Cricut Maker and so this was the week to try two of them: writing with a washable fabric marker and using the bonded fabric blade to cut Heat n Bond-ed fabric.

Both were a success!

First of all, the washable fabric pen. I wanted to have several lines of text printed on fabric that I will then embroider. In Design Space, I was able to customize the text (by the way, the new feature to curve text is amazing!)

If you look super closely, you’ll see that I lost an i because I didn’t realize it wasn’t attached when I hit Go! That is easily fixable and will remind me next time to check what is printing before I actually print it!

I was also worried that the fabric pen would somehow bleed on the fabric and my words wouldn’t be clear, but that didn’t happen and they are crisp and clear and ready to stitch!

Here’s my Instagram story showing my first try!

 

So then on to the bonded fabric blade. I wanted to cut several flowers for this collage hoop:

Normally, I sketch out what I want to cut on Heat n Bond and then iron it to the fabric and cut from there. So this time I wanted to see if it would be any quicker to set-up a bunch of flower shapes in Design Space and then cut them all at once.

Using the bonded fabric blade, I ironed the Heat n Bond to the fabric and then placed the fabric face down (heat n bond side up) and cut my flowers.

I even timed my efforts to see how quickly these would cut! (1 minute and 7 seconds, in case you were wondering!!)

So there you have it! Now I should probably stop procrastinating and get on with my other projects!


This post does contain affiliate links. It also contains lots of opinions, all of which are mine!

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!

Boho Stitch Along. Week 3

To catch up, you can check out each week of the Boho Stitch Along right here!


Before I show you what I’ve been working on for my Boho Stitch Along this week, I wanted to share my upcoming classes for the summer! If you’ll be on the East Coast from June-September, you just might be able to catch a Boho Embroidery class!

Here is my summer schedule:

June 16, 2018: Finch Knitting and Sewing Studio, Leesburg, VA

July 6, 2018: (Just for TEENS!), Pennington Quilt Works, Pennington, NJ

July 6, 2018: Pennington Quilt Works, Pennington NJ

August 5, 2018: Sew Inspired Quilt Shop & Studio, Simsbury, CT

August 11, 2018: Alewives Fabrics, Damariscotta, ME

September 29, 2018: The Old Country Store, Lancaster, PA


So this week, besides a mad cleaning of my studio (more on that below), I focused on the center medallion of my project.

Using a combination of straight stitches and beads, I have almost completed this medallion!

The center of the center is a small mirror that I attached with a variation of the Shisha Stitch (I cover this stitch in my upcoming book!)

For next week, I plan on finishing up the center and then moving on to the feathers above the center medallion.

I’ll also be stitching some projects for Quilt Market and so i’m not sure how much i’ll be able to tackle…maybe it’s overly ambitious to think i’ll be moving onto the feathers! We’ll just have to see what the week brings!

The thread that I love to use for beading and embroidery is from Sulky and is called Sulky Petites. It is a 12 wt thread, which is about the thickness of 2 strands of a dividable floss would be. I love the variety of colors that it comes in and I can always find a match to the beads and fabric that i’m working with!

The beads that I used on the center are size 11 seed beads and are smaller than the size 8 beads that I used on the words “Magpie Dreams” from last week. I find my beads online and my favorite shop is Fusion Beads.

The adorable bird needle minder is from Alison Glass.


I have a tiny stitching studio in my home and the size forces me to constantly stay on top of how organized my projects are! When I finished writing my second book in the Fall, I transitioned right into Quilt Con prep and then in the February, attended Quilt Con. Before I knew it, Spring had arrived and I had a lot of chaos to deal with in my studio.

This week I decided I needed to tackle my space before starting on the next big project. Today finds me feeling much more organized and with room to breathe and work in my area!

I was also super excited to set up my brand new Daylight Company Slim Line LED Table Lamp. I have great afternoon lighting in my space, but morning and evening is a different story! I’ve been working with an Ott-Lite bulb in an ordinary desk lamp from Target. I have gone through 3 different Ott-Lites, each covered by warranties, and this bulb has been temporary solution until I found a lamp that I loved and that wouldn’t die on me when I needed it most!

Enter the Slim Line LED Table Lamp. I finished the Great Studio Clean-Up of 2018 yesterday and that was when my new lamp arrived. Hello perfect timing!

By last night, I was all set up and wanted to document just how awesome the light is and how i’ve probably been killing my eyes with my previous lamp!

Here’s the before (notice the Ott-Lite bulb sticks out further than the lamp shade?!):

And just look at the after with my new Daylight Company lamp!

I can clearly see every single thread color now!

A special thanks to Sariditty and Daylight Company for this lamp and if you want a coupon to save 20% off of your lamp purchase, use SARIDITTY18 at checkout!

Boho Stitch Along. Week 2.

Last week I began the Boho Stitch Along project that I’m going to take you through step by step so that you can see what is involved in an embroidery project using one piece of fabric. My hope is that you can see how simple this is and you will feel inspired to start your own project!

My first step, which I outlined last week, was to cut out the words “Magpie Dreams” with my Cricut Maker and adhere them to the fabric. The Dritz Spray Adhesive that I use works great for the first part of getting the letters to stick to the fabric, but that method is not a permanent way of adhering the letters. I planned to embroider the letters and whenever I adhere something with a spray, I make sure that I embroider that part first so that it does not begin to peel away from the fabric as I move the hoop around and embroider other sections.

I love the stem stitch for working with curves and adding beads. You can see a close up of my bead work. In some areas I added a bead to every stitch and in other areas I added it to every other stitch. And in some areas I just embroidered with thread. I hadn’t planned on the look that I was going for before I began stitching. I just started adding beads to the stitches to see what I liked!

The hoop that I am working with is 14″ and with a large hoop like this it can be tricky to hold the hoop while also embroidering. Add beads into the mix and you’ll feel like you need an extra pair of hands in no time!

I have typically managed to prop my hoop up on a pillow or a small table but it’s becoming increasingly cumbersome and so I was looking for something that could be my extra pair of hands!

I decided on this Universal Craft Stand after reading lots of reviews. Does anyone else get sucked into amazon reviews like I do?!

Let me just say…this stand is amazing. Seriously. It has a clamp to hold your work, so you are not tied to a fixed hoop size. The clamp is adjustable so I can also use it with my square frames that are thicker. And each section is adjustable, so there are lots of ways to adjust it to make it fit how you need to work!

(This is not an affiliate link…I just really like this stand and want to share it with you!)

So this week i’m going to finish up those words and hopefully start on either the birds or the feathers next week.

Cricut Maker Review

Back in November, I posted about my first time ever using a cutting machine: the Cricut Maker, and the hoop that I created with it. Since then, I’ve been creating other projects, getting better each time (!) and I wanted to share with you what I like about this machine.

Ok, so the Cricut Maker.

I should tell you that I have never used a cutting machine before I used this one. I thought what they could do was cool, but until now, I didn’t see much of a use for them, because the medium that I work in is fabric and thread and not so much paper and that’s what stopped me from exploring them any further.

However, this machine was designed to use a rotary blade that is meant to work with fabric!

With the addition of a knife blade, you can expand your materials to working with not just fabric, but thicker things like leather, balsa wood, chipboard and mat board. And switching to the fine point blade, you can make regular cuts on materials like as iron-on adhesive and vinyl. I absolutely love the the versatility of this machine!

“What’s that…you need a book-character themed costume for Read Across America week at school tomorrow?! Let me just pull out my iron-on adhesive and whip something up!”  Yes, this was an actual conversation from my house! And, yes, it was amazing to quickly use the Design Space app to make last minute Dog Man and Where’s Waldo themed shirts for my kids!

But back to cutting fabric!

The rotary blade does not require you to have your fabric backed with anything like Heat n’ Bond (although, I used that in my first project and it worked just fine!). The mat designed to be used with fabric is sticky, requiring you to simply press your fabric into place with your hands before inserting it into the machine. From there, the machine knows what to do!

But how does it know what to make? Well, using Cricut’s Design Space app, you can either use one of the hundreds of designs available in the library, or you can create your own image and go from there. Are you are quilter or sewer? Well, Cricut has teamed with both Riley Blake and Simplicity to create patterns that are available for your use as well! I love that you can work with the Design Space app both on a laptop or on your iPad/iPhone.

Since the first project that I created in November, I have used this machine a lot. I’ve played with Cricut’s adhesive vinyl to make fancy labels for my beading supplies, the rolls of iron-on material for shirts and tote bags and my rotary blade has been getting a serious work-out with the fabric i’ve been cutting!

I LOVE working with Cricut’s Iron-on and it’s what saved me on that last minute school project I told you about!!

I’m going to share my latest embroidery project with you tomorrow and don’t worry, i’ll even share my behind-the-scenes mess-ups as i’ve been learning my way around the Maker!

What is sharing without getting some of the the nitty gritty behind-the-scenes details, right?!

In the meantime, check out some of the tools I’ve been working with!

I have yet to use this Washable Fabric Pen, but i’m going to try my hand at using it for an embroidery pattern. I’ll post about it here when I finally get through my stack of WIPs!!!

Don’t forget to pop back tomorrow for my finished project!

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

Foundation Fabric Blog Tour

I have been on a color wheel kick lately, making a variety of them from my Fractured Color Wheel pattern. When I was asked to make something with the brand new Foundation fabric line, I knew a color wheel would look amazing in these fabrics.

A combination of geometric designs and every rainbow-colored hue, this fabric could not have been more perfect to create my color wheel.

And now for my project!

You know how sometimes you’re walking down unused railroad tracks and you spy a rusty pile of metal wire and you think to yourself, “if only I had a rainbow-colored pillow to rest my head for a minute while I sit here in the sun?”

Then you’re not alone! I had the same exact thought while carrying this pillow down the unused railroad tracks in my neighborhood! Check it out:

If you follow along with me on Instagram, then you’ll know that machine sewing isn’t exactly my forte or my love.  But look what I did…I added a zipper to my pillow cover! This is only the second zipper I have ever sewed…ever…so this is kind of a big deal for me!

The teal and lime green are two of my favorite colors/prints from this line and so I wanted to use both of them in my project!

Here’s a close-up of the embroidered center of my color wheel. It doesn’t get better than beaded triangles!

And if you’re curious what it looked like pre-pillowed and pre-embroidered, check this out:

I just love a good color wheel!

Before you go, check out the full schedule of projects made with Foundation fabric. Enjoy these colors (and patterns and fabrics!) as much as I did!

Foundation Fabric Blog Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, February 6th: Shayla Wolf | Sassafras Lane Designs

Wednesday, February 7th: Giuseppe Ribaudo | Giucy Giuce

Thursday, February 8th: Tara Curtis | Wefty Needle

Friday, February 9th: Nichole Vogelsinger | Wild Boho

Saturday, February 10th: Robin Long | Robin Ruth Design

Sunday, February 11th: Jessie Stern | Jessie Stern Sews

Monday, February 12th: Jessica VanDenburgh | Sew Many Creations

Tuesday, February 13th: Kristy Wolf | Wolf Creek Quilting

Wednesday, February 14th: Sarah Sharp | No Hats in the House

Thursday, February 15th: Nicole Daksiewicz | Modern Handcraft

Friday, February 16th: Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie

Saturday, February 17th: Kaitlyn Howell | Knot and Thread Design

Sunday, February 18th: Sarah Thomas | Sariditty

Monday, February 19th: Jo Westfoot | The Crafty Nomad

Tuesday, February 20th: Shayla Wolf | Recap

Feathers and Flamingos

I’m so excited to share my latest digital patterns with you!

You may have seen me working on several geometric-themed hoops if you follow along on Instagram, namely a Flamingo and several versions of feathers. There was a reason for that…and it is because I have had new patterns in the works!

First off is this fancy Geometric Flamingo:

The pattern includes instructions for both an embroidery-only version (like the top picture) and an appliqué version (like the bottom version).

Next up is  Geometric Feathers:

There are three versions of feathers included in this pattern: a beginner version, an intermediate version and an advanced version. It also includes an embroidery-only version and instructions for all of these as well.

I’m teaching several classes at Quilt Con in Pasadena this month and two of the classes are all about creating a geometric abstraction. These patterns are partly for those who have signed up for the class and have requested ideas on what to make (!) and partly because I love geometric anything and have been having a lot of fun with my feathered theme!

I can’t wait to see what you create with your patterns!

Happy stitching!

Coloring with Thread Book Showcase

Photo courtesy of The Quilting Company 

Late last year, I was excited to work on a stitching project based on a pattern by Tula Pink that was going to be included in her new embroidery book, Coloring with Thread: Stitching a Whimsical World with Hand Embroidery.

Check out that center Octopus hoop in the picture up there (maybe, just maybe, it was stitched by yours truly!)

If you love Tula Pink’s fabric, then, no doubt, you will be excited to get your hands on a book full of her embroidery patterns!

When I was asked to stitch up another pattern from her book as part of the Coloring with Thread blog tour, I couldn’t wait to try Boho-ing up one of her designs: the Double Bunny.

I feel like I need to add this disclaimer before going any further: for my sanity (and yours!), I highly recommend enlarging your chosen patterns before you try this method for yourself. Seriously. Tula Pink designs are gorgeously intricate but cutting so many teeny, tiny fabric pieces might just be enough to push the most patient of fussy cutters to the brink of frustration!

I began with enlarging the Double Bunny pattern.

Enlarging a pattern is incredibly easy if you have an office supply store nearby. Take your pattern in and ask them to make an engineering print in whatever size you need. I enlarged the Double Bunny pattern to 14″ and it fits perfectly in a 14″ hoop.

Once I had my copy of the pattern, I used the techniques outlined in my book, Boho Embroidery to transfer the pattern to a selection of my favorite Tula Pink fabrics.

Here’s what I ended up with once I ironed all of the fabric pieces in place.

Using Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails yarns and the Stem Stitch, I outlined all of the pieces. You can see what a difference it makes when each piece has been outlined:

And then I just kept on embroidering! I added sequins and beads and finished it up just in the nick of time so that I could share it with all of you! Here’s how it looks all stitched up:

And how about some up close and personal detail shots, because it’s all about the details!

The sequins make these feel like Disco Bunnies, don’t they?!

And there you have it!

If you want to try your hand at an embroidery project like this, here are the specialty Threads and beads that I used:

This yarn is really fun to embroider with….I mean, check out those colors! You can find these “Unicorn Tails” at Mad Tosh.

If you’ve been following along for awhile now, you already know how much I love the Eleganza Perle Cotton from Sue Spargo and Wonderfil Specialty Threads! I used the size #8 and in some cases doubled it up so that my stitches stood out next to the Unicorn Tails. I could have just used a size #5 or #3, which are both thicker, except I was gifted this box of threads and the colors matched perfectly!

Another one of my favorite threads (especially to use when working with beads and sequins) is Sulky Petites. These threads are approximately the weight of 2-strands of a floss like DMC that gets separated, except you can use these right off the spool without separating strands.

And speaking of beads, my favorite seed bead source is Fusion Beads. (How about that neon pink?!) I used size 8 seed beads for this project.

And if all of this seems completely overwhelming and you just want to stitch a pattern, look how completely different this project can be if it is simply embroidered using the Tula Pink color guides and her pattern from the book!

photo courtesy of The Quilting Company and stitched by Elise Baek

Please be sure to check out all of the other amazing embroidery projects on this Book Showcase!

Here’s the full schedule:

Monday, November 27th — The Quilting Company

Tuesday, November 28th — Minki Kim, Minki’s Worktable

Wednesday, November 29th — Nichole Vogelsinger, Wildboho

Thursday, November 30th — Amanda Carestio, Sew Daily

Friday, December 1st — Nydia Kehnle, Nydia Kehnle Design

Monday, December 4th — Sharon Burgess, Lilabelle Lane Creations

Tuesday, December 5th — Cindy Guch, Raspberry Sunshine

Wednesday, December 6th — Sandi Sawa Hazlewood, Crafty Planner

Thursday, December 7th — Wynn Tann, zakkaArt

Friday, December 8th — Elise Baek, Elise & Emelie

Monday, December 11th — Ann Blalock, Coats & Clark Sewing Secrets

Tuesday, December 12th — Sara Lawson, Sew Sweetness  * Watch the Facebook Live video at 7pm CST

Wednesday, December 13th — Nancy Jewell, Free Spirit Fabrics

Thursday, December 14th —Annette Allison Millard, The Sewful Life

Friday, December 15th — Brenna Riley Gates, The Quilting Company

Cricut Maker

Recently, I discovered the brand new Maker machine from Cricut and I can’t wait to tell you how easy it was to make this hoop with the machine!

If i’m being completely transparent, i’d have to say that I never even looked at Cricut machines for my own use, because my focus is on fabric crafting rather than paper crafting and I thought Cricut machines were just for paper. Well, not so with the Maker machine…yes it can cut paper but also fabric, vinyl and even thin wood!

I was sold!

So, I received and unboxed my machine, set it up and then sat down to learn how to use Cricut’s Design Space app for the iPad (which can also be used on your computer and that’s actually where I set up my first project).

Since this was going to be my very first project ever, I wanted to keep it simple in case I really messed it up!!

I chose images from the design library: a pair of scissors and a swirly ribbon. This video shows a snippet of what the cutting process looks like:

I have the fabric backed with Heat ‘n Bond and that is being held in place on the pink Cricut adhesive fabric mat.

Once the cuts were made, I had three separate pieces that I then assembled onto my background fabric.

And then my favorite part, of course, the embroidery!

The fabrics that I used are from Alison Glass.

The threads that I used are Eleganza from Sue Spargo. This is the size 8 thread, but I doubled it up for stitching this piece.

And finally, I am asked all the time about the beads that I use…these are size 8 Japanese seed beads from Fusion Beads.

I stitched it up and have the perfect hoop for my stitching studio space! (say that three times fast!)

I’m thrilled with how simple it was to use the Maker machine and how quickly I was able to put together all of the pieces for this project. I’m thinking that for my next project, I might use my own design for a hoop. So, stay tuned, i’ll be sure to share it with you here!

And in the meantime, you can check out how others have been using their machines on Cricut’s Instagram page!


The Maker machine and supplies have been provided to me by Cricut. The opinions, photos and videos above have been provided by me.