Book Review – Stitch Love

Book Review - Stitch Love from Hugs are Fun

I have been eagerly awaiting Stitch Love from Mollie Johanson since I first heard about it months ago! Mollie is the amazingly talented lady behind Wild Olive and someone I am pleased to call my friend. The other weekend Mollie and I went out to breakfast and she gave me a copy of her book and it is so unbelievably adorable, I immediately knew I needed to make a project for Evie.

Whale Purse from Stitch Love | Hugs are Fun

Evie picked this super cute whale purse which was perfect, I’ve been wanting to make her a purse for awhile. Whenever we go on a walk she always picks up treasures that I end up having to put in my pocket. The purse in the book is a wristlet but I knew that it would be more useful to Evie with a longer strap so I made it a cross body bag instead.

Whale Purse from Stitch Love | Hugs are Fun

Every day since she picked out the whale Evie has asked if it’s ready yet. When she came downstairs to find out it finally was, she was beyond excited.

Whale Purse from Stitch Love | Hugs are Fun

I might have made the strap a little too long. I offered to shorten it and Evie refused saying it was perfect and she loves it and it’s just like a diaper bag.

Book Review - Stitch Love from Hugs are Fun

At first Evie said she wanted this amazing guinea pig plush and I was pretty disappointed when she changed her mind and wanted the whale purse instead. Seriously, how cute is this guy?

Book Review - Stitch Love from Hugs are Fun

Stitch Love contains 25 projects and over 100 embroidery motifs, it’s seriously jam packed with cuteness. Mollie did a great job coming up with a really unique and fun assortment of projects that can be easily customized. There are plushes, clothes, a quilt, ornaments, toys… really too many things to name! Some of the projects are embroidered with the motifs included in the book, but most are projects turning the designs into actual objects like this yeti.

Book Review - Stitch Love from Hugs are Fun

This mouse furoshiki cloth is one of my favorite project ideas that Mollie came up with! Furoshiki is a Japanese wrapping cloth that can be used as an eco friendly substitute to wrapping paper. Well Mollie had the brilliant idea to make this mouse customizable to different holidays! Valentine’s Day? No problem, give him a heart and cupid wings. There’s birthday, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, and an American flag for the 4th of July. I love the idea of making a variety of these cloths for any situation that might arise!

Book Review - Stitch Love from Hugs are Fun

Book Review - Stitch Love from Hugs are Fun

While all the projects are super fun and amazing, where Mollie has always truly shined are her embroidery patterns. There is such an incredible variety of animals and they are all organized by region. There are plenty of real creatures, but I just love the addition of fantasy creatures and dinosaurs. Mollie also snuck some fantasy creatures into different categories, notice the mermaid and Nessie on the sea page?

Every time I think I’ve decided which animal is my favorite, I notice another one and change my mind. Mollie did such an amazing job with this book and I am just so excited for her!

Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small: Cute Kitties and Cows and Cubs and More…and a Yeti is available on Amazon and published by Lark Crafts.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Plastic Canvas Valentine’s Box Pattern & Tutorial

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

I’ll be honest, I never really considered the serious crafting possibilities of plastic canvas until Diane from CraftyPod opened my eyes. Last year she organized the plastic canvas blog hop that I made baby blocks for and I’ve been wanting to experiment more with it ever since.

I had this idea for making a heart box for Valentine’s Day but I was struggling with getting the shape right. I emailed Diane and she suggested sticking with 45 degree angles when working with plastic canvas and that helped immensely! I have a pattern for the box at the end of the post.

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

The pattern has three different box sizes, I did the middle size. I put the paper underneath the plastic canvas and just traced the pattern on it with Sharpie. Make sure you get the lines as close to the grid as possible and that the angles of the heart are cut diagonally right between the squares. Cut out the heart carefully. Whichever size you pick, make another heart that is one grid square bigger on each side for the lid.

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

You can use any stitch to cover your heart and any color configuration, I just used a tent stitch using leftover pink yarn I had.

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

I lined my heart up against the canvas and traced the width for each edge piece. For the lid I made it three squares high and the base of the box is eight. You can make the box as deep as you want by adjusting the amount of rows.

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

Diane has an amazing series of videos on YouTube dealing with everything you need to know about working with plastic canvas and I referenced them many times while making this! It’s all pretty self explanatory except for one thing. Because of the angle of the plastic canvas, there are actually two rows of stitches that are exposed along the edge. To deal with this, I simply alternated which row I was going into while I was joining.

I did two stitches in each hole on the trim to make sure it was really covered, especially on the corners. There were a few times where the number of stitches on the two pieces I was joining didn’t seem to add up, but I just did an extra stitch in one of the holes and it all worked out.

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

Now this next part is 100% optional. Since the interior of the box is visible (and if you’re like me, that’s not the prettiest sight) you can add a lining. Now, you could do the inside edges too, but I just cut a heart to place at the bottom of the box and inside the lid because I’m lazy like that.

I realized I should have traced the heart before it was joined, so bear with me. I traced the box and of course the felt was too big to fit, so I just kept cutting off little bits of each edge until it fit. Not the most precise way to approach it, but it worked! Again, if you have the foresight, tracing the heart before hand will make this step easier!

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

A little bit of hot glue and you’re good to go!

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

This is a perfect little gift box to fill with Valentine’s Day treats! Evie was very excited when she opened the box and found it was full of heart candy!

Plastic Canvas Valentine's Box Pattern & Tutorial from Hugs are Fun

Have you worked with plastic canvas before? I definitely plan on experimenting more with it!

Download the PDF here – Plastic Canvas Valentine’s Heart Box Pattern

There are more free patterns to download here, and patterns to purchase here at my Etsy.

Gifts I Made – Embroidered Felt Mandalas

Gifts I Made - Embroidered Felt Mandalas from Hugs are Fun

Several people received these embroidered felt mandalas for Christmas this year, made with this tutorial from Wendi at Shiny Happy World.

Gifts I Made - Embroidered Felt Mandalas from Hugs are Fun

For the larger one I used this Sulky 12 wt. cotton “Petites” thread and I really enjoyed working with it. Combine that with Benzie wool blend felt and it was really great to stitch with! Wendi was also the one that let me know about the existence of this thread, it’s really great. The thread can’t be split but it’s much thinner than DMC thread, it’s the equivalent of two strands. It’s really nice to just be able to cut it and stitch without worrying about splitting the thread!!

Gifts I Made - Embroidered Felt Mandalas from Hugs are Fun

This little mandala was done with DMC floss and I really love the colors and how it turned out.

These mandalas are so fun to stitch, I love the freedom of working without a pattern. It was hard to give these away, I want to make a series of different sizes to keep for myself!

A Local Quilt Shop – The Notions Nook

notionsnook

Over the holidays I was in my hometown of Rockford, Illinois and I stopped by the quilt shop Notions Nook.

fabric

It’s a pretty tiny shop but has a lot of really great stuff! They have a lot of 30s reproduction fabric which I immediately zeroed in on.

fatquarters

I couldn’t resist this buy 5, get 1 free fat quarter sale and I picked up a little rainbow of fabrics.

hexagonpillow

patterns

quilt

The woman working was super nice and it was just a great shopping experience all around!

fabricibought

Besides the six fat quarters, I also got a couple 1/8 yards and a yard each of the pink and blue fabrics. They were on clearance for $3.50 a yard, but you had to get at least a full yard. How could I resist that?

If you find yourself in Rockford, definitely take a trip to Notions Nook, it’s a great little shop!

WIP Finish! – Astronaut Cross Stitch

Astronaut Cross Stitch from Hugs are Fun
One of my 2015 goals is to finish some WIPs. I left it kind of open ended with no specific number, but when I went and made a list I realized just how many projects I have going on. I counted 15, but I’m sure there are a few others that I’m forgetting about.
Astronaut Cross Stitch from Hugs are Fun
I set the loose goal of finishing one WIP a month, which I think is definitely realistic. I’ve already finished my first project of the year and I feel really silly that it was cast aside for so long. The last time I blogged about the Astronaut cross stitch flash card was in February of last year, so it’s been sitting for almost an entire year. Once I picked it back up it only took me a few hours to finish it, I really didn’t have much left on it.
Astronaut Cross Stitch from Hugs are Fun
This has also resparked my interest in making more of these space flash cards. The astronaut brings the total up to 5, only 21 more to go! I also set a tentative goal of completing one space cross stitch a month, we’ll see how that goes! i

A Secret Santa Swap – What I Sent

A Secret Santa Swap - What I Sent from Hugs are Fun
The amazing ladies at &stitches did a Secret Santa swap and I had the pleasure to make something for Nicole from Follow the White Bunny. I was really excited about the exchange but also very nervous because I didn’t want to send a disappointing package!

A Secret Santa Swap - What I Sent from Hugs are Fun

I knew I wanted to do something with cross stitching (it is a stitching blog after all!) but I also wanted to make something more than just a hoop to hang up. I went and picked out fabrics based on the colors that Nicole said she liked and I made a Flower POW Mug Rug from CraftyPod’s pattern and a hexagon zipper pouch. I used water soluble canvas to stitch a polar bear from Stitch the Halls (which I wrote a review of here.)

A Secret Santa Swap - What I Sent from Hugs are Fun

I am not the most masterful at sewing but I really love how the pouch turned out. I made it bigger so that it could transport embroidery projects and I think I need to make a few for myself!

A Secret Santa Swap - What I Sent from Hugs are Fun

One of the questions I asked everyone was if there was anything from the US that they can’t find in Europe, most of the team is in the UK and Nicole is in the Netherlands Apparently the only M&M flavors they have are plain and peanut, so I went on a mission to find as many as I could! I found birthday cake, peanut butter, pretzel, Mega (which I think are just bigger), and dark chocolate mint.

Did you do any Secret Santa swaps this year?