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!

First Week of the Spoon Challenge!

First Week of the Spoon Challenge! by Hugs are Fun

One of my goals for 2014 has been to draw more. I haven’t been amazing about it, but the Spoonflower challenge is helping!

They have been emailing drawing prompts every weekday in August and I wanted to share what I’ve done for the first week.

Cacti
First Week of the Spoon Challenge! by Hugs are Fun

Mountain
First Week of the Spoon Challenge! by Hugs are Fun

Tree
First Week of the Spoon Challenge! by Hugs are Fun

Landscape
First Week of the Spoon Challenge! by Hugs are Fun

River
First Week of the Spoon Challenge! by Hugs are Fun

If you are over on Instagram, check out all the great sketches under the #spoonchallenge hashtag!

An English Paper Piecing Experiment

An English Paper Piecing Experiment by Hugs are Fun
The last thing I need is a new project, but I just couldn’t resist! My friend Jessica sent me a photo of an English paper pieced quilt where the hexagons were made of triangles. I immediately fell in love with the idea and had to try it right away.

The photo used solid fabrics, but I wanted to use prints, I have so many scraps from the hexagon quilt I’m making.
An English Paper Piecing Experiment by Hugs are Fun
I don’t love basting the triangles as much. I’m not sure if it’s because of the size (each side is 3″) but I was having trouble keeping the edges tight enough when I was basting them.

I am extremely happy with it though, I love the way it looks. I think I might slowly start working on making more of these hexagons for a quilt, all of them using different colors. I have far too many projects to finish first, but I do think it’ll be pretty fabulous when I finally have the time to focus on this one!

Have you seen any projects lately that you just had to try out immediately?

A Local Quilt Shop Trip – Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

The other day I was looking at the Cotton & Steel website and saw that a quilt shop nearby carried their fabrics. I have loved looking at the photos online and really wanted to see the fabrics in person, so yesterday morning I headed over to Quilters Quest to check them out.

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

I brought Evie and Mira along, we stopped by on our way to the zoo. Evie wasn’t thrilled about the pit stop and it didn’t help that they were testing the fire alarm. There was also an enormous St. Bernard (Evie is terrified of dogs) and so I spent the majority of the trip browsing with Mira strapped to my front in the Ergo and Evie hanging on my back covering her ears. Despite this, I absolutely loved this place!

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

They didn’t have the Cotton & Steel line in yet, it won’t be in until September, but I don’t mind taking another trip there when it’s in! The selection was fantastic, they had so many amazing fabrics, I just wanted them all!

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

They had quite a few Heather Ross fabrics which are even more amazing in person than the photos I’ve seen online! They also had some of the Penguin & Fish Critter Patch line.

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

I didn’t get any scraps, but I was really excited to see the scrap bucket! Since the majority of fabric I use is for english paper piecing, I use such small amounts.  I want to get as much variety as possible so scraps are fantastic! I will definitely be taking a closer look next time I go!

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

I was totally overwhelmed by all the amazing fabrics and the incredible selection. Coupled by the less than ideal browsing situation of two small children and fire alarm testing, I didn’t get to look around as much as I would have liked. I did pick out a small stack of fabrics and got 1/8 of a yard of each of them. I plan on making hexies with them all, but I might also plan another smaller project to use bigger pieces to better show off the lovely prints!

A Local Quilt Shop Trip - Quilters Quest in Woodridge, IL

If you are in the Chicago suburbs, definitely stop by Quilters Quest in Woodridge, it’s worth a trip!