Beluga Cross Stitch Pattern!

Beluga Cross Stitch Pattern by Hugs are Fun

Every month Mollie from Wild Olive picks an animal and releases a free embroidery pattern and other projects focused on that animal. This month is a beluga whale and she asked me to create a cross stitch pattern!

You can head over to Wild Olive to download a PDF of the baby beluga cross stitch.

Beluga Cross Stitch Pattern by Hugs are Fun

I also created a pattern with both a mama and baby beluga that I have for sale on Etsy.

Beluga Cross Stitch Pattern by Hugs are Fun

I haven’t been cross stitching as much lately and it felt nice to get back to it. Both with Saturn for the LED project and the belugas.

And I’ll be back next Friday with another free pattern for Free Pattern Friday. Any requests?

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap – What I Sent

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap - What I Sent by Hugs are Fun
Last week I showed off the amazing package I got for the ice cream pencil case swap and now I can finally show what I sent!

I sent a package to Julia all the way in Germany. She listed her favorite flavors as mint chocolate chip, chocolate, and vanilla.
Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap - What I Sent by Hugs are Fun
I really struggled to find fabric the right shade of mint, so many seemed too blue or too green. I found a few fabrics that fit the bill and I made some hexagons. I also used water soluble canvas to cross stitch little ice cream cones onto brown fabric.
Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap - What I Sent by Hugs are Fun
I decided to make it out of felt and got a chocolate ice cream colored wool felt. I am not the most confident sewer but I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, I managed to get the zipper in by myself!
Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap - What I Sent by Hugs are Fun
I also sent a bunch of other goodies. I tend to overcompensate for my stitching skills with sending other things along so that the recipient hopefully won’t be disappointed! I found some buttons with ice cream cones, ice cream cone pens, ice cream cone erasers, ice cream cone stamp, and a ice cream parlor mix of Jelly Bellys. I also included some ice cream colored lace zippers, ric rack, and embroidery floss.

I had so much fun with this swap and thankfully Julia seemed to be happy with what she received!

Guest Blog – Stitching with LEDs

Stitching with LEDs by Hugs are Fun

I have a guest post as part of the &stitches Summer Bloggin’ series. I posted about the process of stitching with LEDs, it was a very interesting experience!

So head over to &stitches to read it!

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap!

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap! at Hugs are Fun
You might have noticed that I really, really love doing swaps. I keep saying I don’t have time for them or that I’m going to take a break, and I always end up signing up for more. I’m actually signed up for two more in the next couple months, I just can’t help myself!

The most recent swap I participated in was an ice cream themed one to send a pencil case. Each participant gave their favorite ice cream flavors (I can’t remember what I even said, I know green tea was on the list!) and sent their partner a package with a handmade pencil case and other ice cream related goodies. My partner hasn’t gotten her package yet (it had a long way to travel!) so I’m not going to show that off yet. But I got my package in the mail the other day and I could not have been more excited.

The hexagon pencil case is absolutely perfect! The stitched leaves on it add such a great detail and texture, and the colors of the hexagons work so well together. I always use patterned fabrics, but this pouch makes me think I need to experiment with the simplicity of solids.

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap! at Hugs are Fun
Evie claimed the ice cream cone eraser for herself. All the little extras in the package are also great! I love the leaf note pads and the pencils are super cute too. The postcard is from IKEA and I want to frame it, it reminds me of some of the geometric cross stitches I’ve done.

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap! at Hugs are Fun
I couldn’t even get a photo with everything in it together, Evie was too excited to open it all. She was a little disappointed when she found out that ice cream cone only contained a washcloth, but then she started using it as a blanket for her toys.

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap! at Hugs are Fun

I love the mug rug and the amazing stitched leaves on it.

Ice Cream Pencil Case Swap! at Hugs are Fun

And how cute is this little zipper charm? And that little ice cream tag? I love it all!

Instagram is full of so many amazing swaps, it’s hard to restrain myself from signing up for all of them! Is there a swap addiction recovery group I can join? Does anyone else have trouble saying no to swaps?

Book Review – Mollie Makes: Embroidery

Book Review - Mollie Makes: Embroidery by Hugs are Fun
Mollie Makes is a well known name in the craft community, and there’s a good reason for it. Mollie Makes constantly produces original and high quality content.

Book Review - Mollie Makes: Embroidery by Hugs are Fun
How cute is this kitty cat tea cozy by Samantha Stas?

I have all the other Mollie Makes books (I reviewed the Woodland Friends and Christmas books) and they are all really fantastic. But when I saw that they were releasing an embroidery book, I was thrilled! It does not disappoint at all, it quickly shot it’s way to the top of my favorite embroidery books list.

Book Review - Mollie Makes: Embroidery by Hugs are Fun
I loved this silk ribbon embroidered by Mollie from Wild Olive. I had never heard of ribbon embroidery before, but it is beautiful! And I love how she still brought in her signature face!

Mollie Makes Embroidery is full of a great selection of projects using a wide variety of techniques. Cross stitch, silk ribbon embroidery, crewel, Bargello, plus a ton of others. One of the things I’ve always loved about Mollie Makes books is that they present finished projects, not just a pattern. There are so many unique ideas for ways to use your embroideries.

Book Review - Mollie Makes: Embroidery by Hugs are Fun
Carina’s Russian dolls wall hanging is beautiful and I really love the pom-pom fringe!

I love how the project listings are laid out, all the information is clearly listed including all the stitches used in each project. Each project also features an “Embroidery Story” from the project creator, which I really enjoyed reading.

Book Review - Mollie Makes: Embroidery by Hugs are Fun
I was so excited to see so many familiar embroiderers like Nicole from Follow the White Bunny. Her cat and bears are so sweet and make such a lovely cloud pillow!

Besides the fantastic selection of projects, the book also serves as an amazing embroidery stitch resource. The technique section offers so much information on all of the different materials needed for embroidery as well as diagrams of all the different stitches used in the book. I am confident that I will continually pull out this book to look up how to do embroidery stitches, it is such a great resource.

Book Review - Mollie Makes: Embroidery by Hugs are Fun
Book Review - Mollie Makes: Embroidery by Hugs are Fun

I am extremely impressed with the quality of Mollie Makes Embroidery. I knew it would be a great book, but it far exceeds my expectations! I expected to find beautiful photos and great project ideas, but in addition there is so much more! This book would make an amazing gift for beginner and expert embroiders alike.

Mollie Makes: Embroidery
By the Editors of Mollie Makes
Interweave/F+W; $19.99

A Rainbow of Hexagons

A Rainbow of Hexagons by Hugs are Fun
I’ve been slowly accumulating hexagons for my giant rainbow quilt. This is the first quilt I’m making and I decided to be extremely ambitious. I upgraded to a queen size and I need about 1000 more hexagons. Basting the hexagons isn’t the big deal for me, it’s the joining. I find it extremely tedious, but I do love the satisfaction of seeing the project grow.
A Rainbow of Hexagons by Hugs are Fun
I am joining in small batches to make the project more manageable to work on. I thinkI did my math right on how many rows I need, but just to be safe I’m not joining everything together yet. I am only joining two colors at a time, so if necessary I can add additional colors to either side.

Once I have the amount of rows I’ve figured out, I will lay it out over a queen sized blanket and compare. I am so excited to see how this project all comes together, I am really loving the colors and the variation of prints.

Today was the deadline on a big, secret project I’ve been working on. Unfortunately it will have to stay a secret for a few more months. But fortunately, I will have more time to work on other projects again!