April 18

Make A Keyboard Kitty!

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Looking for a Mother’s Day gift idea you can make yourself? How about this sweet Keyboard Cat from Urban Threads? The tutorial takes you step-by-step through making your keyboard wrist rest. They use two separate hand embroidery patterns (available for purchase, $1 each) to embellish the cat’s face (the glasses) and the front of the wrist rest (ehem . . . what I would say is the kitty’s posterior) with the words “I’m adorkable”.  It’s a fun and simple project that is bound to be a hit with anyone, especially hard-working moms.  The hand embroidery and stitching on this one is pretty simple, and I’d say it’s safe for any beginner to tackle. Plus, you could use just about any combination of fabric color and thread color too.

Go forth and conquer, stitchers!

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April 11

Paper Piecing in a Flash

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Designer Michelle Thompson has come up with another amazing paper piecing pattern for quilters, this one featuring everyone’s favorite speedster, the Flash. You can find the pattern on Fandom in Stitches, along with dozens more superhero and pop culture paper piecing patterns. I think what makes Michelle Thompson’s patterns so striking is her use of decorative stitching to enhance the details (take a look at all the line work–it’s all satin stitching done by machine!). This pattern is definitely not for the faint of heart, so if you’re new to paper piecing, I’d suggest looking for something with fewer pieces to start with.  You can find all sorts of ideas and even tutorials on Fandom in Stitches.  Go forth and conquer, quilters!

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September 21

Join the Zompocalypse by Making Your Own Zombie Plushie!

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I just spent the weekend selling my handmade goodies at TopCon, a small pop-culture convention in Topeka, KS. One of the guests, Mike Mundy, was a zombie on The Walking Dead, so there was a lot of zombies hanging around this weekend.  All those undead inspired me to share this great tutorial on making your own zombie plushie on the blog Heidi Boyd.  This tutorial offers more inspiration than actual techniques, but if you’re familiar with basic hand sewing skills, you’ll have no problem making your little Zombie Plushie friend to hunt down brains with.  You could even mix it up a bit and use different colored fleece, felt scraps, and embroidery floss.  The tutorial offers up a great, basic starting point for your imagination to take over.  Be sure to share your adventures in zombie making with us!

August 31

Make Your Own Felt Sugar Skull Sachets

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I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the colorful and ornate look of sugar skulls. So when I saw this fun tutorial and pattern by Rachel on the blog Adventures in Making, I knew I needed to share it.  The tutorial has a downloadable template and step-by-step instructions, complete with plenty of pictures, so you can make your own lovely sugar skull sachet. There are even instructions on making your own sachet mix to go inside the felt sugar skull.  Wouldn’t this make a fun gift?

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August 22

Artist’s Risqué Embroidery Is Not Like What Grandma Makes

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Alaina Varrone, aka SpidersPaw, is an embroidery artist unlike any you’ve seen before. The self-taught Connecticut native has a style all her own, and it’s far more T and A, than flowers and bunny rabbits.

Though her work does feature a lot of big bums and plunging cleavage, it’s more than just provocative. The detail, vivid characters, skillful execution, and acute sense of humor mean Varrone’s pieces do more than titillate. They scintillate.

Born to a self-proclaimed “family of weirdos and storytellers,” Varrone draws much of her inspiration from history’s oddities and eccentric characters, and she uses embroidery as a means to explore that inspiration.

Though some pieces are on the tamer side, featuring girls in bikinis and rear-ends galore, other’s are not quite so PG. Varrone’s creations are, in some cases, incredibly graphic, but due to the artistry involved, they are perhaps less pornographic and more beautiful. It is amazing how much feeling can be expressed with a simple needle and thread.

August 3

Make Your Own Tardis Charging Station

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As Fall approaches, it’s a great time to get organized, and what better way to clean up the clutter than with your very own Tardis Phone Charging Station!  Check out this lovely  tutorial by Haley Pierson-Cox from the blog The Zen of Making (published in its entirely on Make.com)! She’s got step-by-step photos and even a downloadable PDF pattern to get you started.  I imagine it would be pretty simple to size this cute little Tardis up or down to custom fit your own phone or iPod. Plus, the use of plastic canvas helps ensure all your stitching is even and looks fantastic (so no worries if you believe you can’t hand sew!).

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