Last year I wrote a review of Laura Wilson's book Flip Dolls and Other Toys and was very pleased with what I saw. At the time, I didn't make anything from the book, but saw a few easy projects that I thought I could tackle. Recently, Laura contacted me again to see if I'd be interested in being part of her Flip Dolls Pattern Hop...which meant making one of the flip dolls. You know...from the section of the book that terrified me just a little.
For some unknown reason, I said yes, and I found myself making a butterfly. Or maybe it's a caterpillar. Wait...it's a flip doll, so it's both!
I chose this particular project because it was a perfect fit for a month filled with butterfly blog posts. Of course, I HAD to give this caterpillar a signature Wild Olive face. And how about those pom pom feet? Aren't they so sweet?
The metamorphosis happens on the underside of this bug's belly. The change from caterpillar to butterfly is fast and easy (going back to caterpillar takes a bit of folding to keep things looking pretty).
And with the wings all spread out, this beautiful butterfly is ready to soar! I couldn't help giving her hexagon wings to match the artwork I created for the calendar. I made them using traditional English paper piecing and attached them to the felt wing piece using Fabri-Tac. The adhesive is strong, flexible, and there aren't any stitches showing on the back!
Seriously, I'm not sure what I was afraid of with this. There were a few times that I had to pause and think through the instructions, but obviously, it came together, and I'm very happy with the result. Suddenly I feel the need to make a whole bunch more!
If you have Flip Dolls and Other Toys, and have made something from the book, post about it and share the link in the gallery below. The first five flip dolls you see are all part of the Pattern Hop, and each one has a giveaway too!
Speaking of giveaway, I'm so pleased that I get to giveaway a copy of Flip Dolls and Other Toys to one lucky reader! Enter below using the Rafflecopter entry form. (There are a few ways for you to enter...why not do all of them?)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks, Laura! And thanks for setting up this Pattern Hop...I'm so excited to see all of the Flip Dolls that come to be!
Happy Earth Day, friends! I can hardly believe that it has been five years since I designed this pattern of the made with love earth. It remains my most popular image on Flickr by a long shot. But just in case you haven't seen it and are wanting to stitch this reminder of our wonderfully created world, just click the image above to go to Flickr where you can download it as a JPG.
Once upon a time I stitched this design for a friend, and alas...this is the only photo I have of my work. But I remember where this was taken, how delicious the coffee was, and the good company too!
Often when I work on projects for other people, blogs, publishers, etc., I'm not really supposed to show any of what I'm working on. But this is the start of something of which I can at least show a peek. These 1-inch hexagons will be a panel that I'll combine with that linen and hopefully it will all come out as planned. It needs to, because I have to get this done soon. Am I worried that I may miss my deadline? Perhaps, but I still love this work so I think I'll comfort myself with some hexagon making...
I really like making headbands, especially when I can customize them for holidays and even outfits that I have planned. The headband I'm sharing today fits both of those special uses. But let's back up just a little.
The butterfly theme that keeps showing up in my projects and posts (yes, there are plenty more fluttery friends coming!) was chosen because butterflies are so perfect for Easter time. They go through a kind of death that leads to new life. Forget the eggs, bunnies, candies and whatnot (although I do love those things!). Easter is about death and resurrection and life. For that, I'm forever grateful.
To keep a reminder of that on my mind, I thought I'd keep the butterfly on my head. The end result definitely looks more like something a child would wear, but since I volunteer with the kids at my church, I think it will be perfect to wear on Easter Sunday!
Here's what you need:
Fabric (I'm using 5 Happy Go Lucky charm squares)
Headband (the cheap kind from the $1 store cause less headband headache!)
Needle and thread
Kanzashi Butterfly Template PDF
By the way, this is called a Kanzashi Butterfly because it uses the Japanese technique of kanzashi. Sort of. I'm basically experimenting with this idea and going with what I like and not being formal about it. Mmmkay?
For a layered butterfly like mine, cut out 2 large hexagons, 2 medium hexagons, and 2 small hexagons.
If you don't want the small, extra wing pieces on top, omit the small hexagons. Or, if you want to make a smaller butterfly without the extra wing pieces, omit the large hexagons.
Take one of your largest hexagon pieces and fold it in half as shown.
Fold the point at one end of the fold down to the next point on the hexagon, but do this so it creates a valley.
Repeat this fold on the other side and you should end up with a little shape like this.
Using your needle and thread, stitch with loose running stitch along the three raw edges of the folded shape.
Pull the thread to gather it tight, then secure it with a knot (but don't clip the thread off!).
Repeat the folding and stitching process with the medium hexagon. You'll use the same thread that's attached to your first wing piece.
Tighten the gathering on the wing and tie it off. Now, make another set of wing pieces just like the first.
For the extra wing layer, take the smallest hexagon piece and fold it as with the other hexagons, but this time, bring the fold point down only half way between the hexagon points.
Stitch the raw edges with really big stitches, then pull to gather and tie it off. Repeat for the second piece.
Join the two-part wings together with a few stitches at the top and bottom, then tack the extra wing layer on top. You could do this with the fabric glue, but I like the security of stitching.
Cut two felt ovals and one felt strip.
Place a little glue at each end of one of the ovals, but leave the middle free of glue. This will be important because your headband will eventually need to slide through here. Press the second oval on top of the first.
Glue the butterfly down onto the felt oval base. This time, you'll want the glue in the middle, but not on the ends.
And let's just pause to relish in the amazement that is Fabri-Tac. I never thought I'd be a fabric glue kinda gal, but I totally am for projects like this!
Check that the felt strip is the right length for covering your butterfly body. If you eliminated the extra pieces or used only the medium and small pieces, you may need to shorten this piece.
Add some glue to each end of the felt strip.
Stick the ends of the felt piece down onto the oval base, covering the raw edges of the wings.
After everything has dried, slide the headband through the oval base. It's all ready to wear!
Of course, you can very easily change this into a pin instead of a headband. Just attach a pinback to one of the oval pieces before you glue it together!
I'm so excited to have this to wear on Sunday! It matches the skirt that I'll be wearing, and I'm sure that the preschoolers that I work with will love it too.
May you have a very blessed Easter, celebrating the risen Savior!
Hey Friends! Today I'm blogging over at the Dear Stella blog, where you'll find the free clothing patterns I created to go with their Wee Gallery Dress Me fabric! If you've been following along this week, you know how much I enjoyed the opportunity to work with them and their super soft and lovely fabric. I'll see you over there!
By Mollie Johanson at Thursday, April 17, 2014
Once I got my hands on the new Dress Me fabric from Dear Stella, I couldn't stop at just one project. In fact, even though I've only made two projects with this print, I have several more I'd like to try in time, because there are just so many possibilities. Nicole found a great way to use it in a big way!
When you look at a big piece of this fabric, you'll see that it kind of runs in columns of animals. Taking my cue from that, I created this pillow that has a strip of stitched sweeties that really pop with the black that surrounds them. To make your own, here's what you need:
Dear Stella Dress Me fabric
12-inch pillow form
Rotary cutter and mat
The clothing patterns I used for my embroidered panel are free for you on the Dear Stella blog!
Start by choosing three of the animals in a column that you want on your pillow. Embroider some clothes on them.
Cut the embroidered area into a strip that is 4 inches wide by 15 inches tall. Cut a piece of black fabric that is also 4 x 15 inches, and another black piece that is 8 x 15 inches.
Pin and sew these three strips together so that the embroidery is in the middle. I used 3/8-inch seams.
Do pay attention to which direction your animals seem to be facing. The kitty is looking to the left, so I positioned the embroidered strip on the right. However, if the animals you choose are looking the other way, you may want to shift the center panel to the left side.
Cut a 15-inch square of batting and black fabric and make a quilt sandwich so that the batting is between the fabric layers. Pin the layers together.
Use a white pencil to mark vertical lines for quilting. You'll want lines right on either side of the stitched panel, then more that are evenly spaced on the black areas. Mine are 2 inches apart, but you can change this to suit your taste and patience!
With black embroidery thread or perle cotton, quilt the lines with running stitch. Or, if you'd rather, machine quilt the black areas.
When all of the quilting is finished, square up the pillow front and trim it down to 14 inches square. You could start with it this size, but sometimes the quilting alters the size, and it's better to trim it than wish you had more wiggle room!
Cut two pieces of black fabric that are 14 x 10 inches. On each, fold and press one long edge down by 1/2 inch, then fold and press it again. Sew this folded hem. These two pieces will form the envelope back for your pillow cover.
Lay your pillow front face up, then place one of the back pieces on top so the raw edges match up with the top and sides of the pillow front, and so that the "right" side of the hem is face down. Place the second back piece on top of this so that the hemmed edge overlaps with the first back piece. Pin around the edges.
Sew around all four sides. I like to back stitch on areas where the back pieces are hemmed because these will have the most stress when inserting the pillow form. You don't want anything ripping!
Carefully trim the corners, then turn the cover right side out. Slide your pillow form in, and get it all smoothly situated inside.
This pillow makes me so happy! Especially that piggy. My sister has always had a fondness for pigs, and when you see one that's throwing confetti in the air, you can't help but smile. Of course, they're all adorable animals!
Be sure to check out the entire Wild fabric line by Wee Gallery for Dear Stella, and if you make anything from the fabrics, share it and tag your photos with #dearstella so we can see!
Special thanks to Dear Stella for the fun fabric I've been stitching with!