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8 wild olive posts you shouldn't miss

Snowflake Cushion

As you may know, I have the great honor of creating patterns, projects, and printables for other sites, and sometimes for books and magazines. And while I try to share links to those things on social media, I want to make sure that you don't miss these posts!

The first is probably the most Wild Olive of the bunch. The snowflake cushion I made for Hello Bee is appliquéd, but the snowflake is cut pretty much the same way you cut a paper snowflake. It might sound silly, but I was really excited to find that this process works!

Straw Snowflakes

Keeping with the snow theme, and also for Hello Bee, you can find these printable cards for making snowflakes with straws. They are a matching activity that has a bunch of educational skills worked in there.

Embroidered Heart Garland

To prepare for Valentine's Day, over at Embroidery.About.com you can make this stitched heart banner. It's uses big stitches, so you can still make one in time for February 14. But of course, you could make this in other colors (maybe a rainbow!) and keep it up all year.

Tiny Heart Stitch

I also tend to think that stitching tiny hearts is a year-round good thing for embroidery. I've made some using a different technique, but this new way has won my heart!

Stitch Combinations

Speaking of using stitches in new ways, I recently shared a few ways to combine embroidery stitches to create new looks that make beautiful borders. They are all really easy, but definitely look more complicated, simply by layering a few favorites.

Simple Monogram Patterns

If you like customizing things or are looking for a way to add a touch of handmade to a gift, why not try a monogram? I was inspired by a free font, but designed these simple script patterns for easy stitching. They are just the letters, but you can fancy them up with flowers or other embellishment.

Squid Flingers

Jump over to Handmade Charlotte to make these felt squid flingers. When my brothers and sister started playing Splatoon and I saw how cute it was, I HAD to make a squid project. And I'll tell ya...this is one of my favorite projects I've made lately!

Shrink Plastic Mittens

And finally, I pulled out the Shrinky Dinks and created a hanging garland of mittens for Handmade Charlotte. They are lots of fun to color and watch shrink. But I should also let you know that the free mitten designs you can download there would also be excellent embroidery patterns. Just sayin'...

So there you have it. A quick round-up of posts I've written for sites that aren't Wild Olive. And I've already been working on the next batch for February, so keep your eyes open for more things coming!

calendar // old hearts for a new february

So...these calendars are usually posted on the 1st of the month or sooner. But I was a little tired after last week's Stitch Love Party, and then I got kinda excited about yesterday's necklace tutorial. So I'm a bit behind, but thankfully there's an extra day this month.

So let's do this!

Ah, February! I love a month filled with red and pink and plenty of hearts! To make old new this month, I pulled out a calendar design from 2012. The speech bubble heart is one of my favorites of all time, so I couldn't resist using it again.

Add them to your computer, handheld devices, and printer. Or scroll down to tack one to your wall!

For iPhone 6+, choose the iPad version. To use the iPhone and iPad versions, click the link for the wallpaper you want. When it opens, touch and hold the image until it pops up with the option to save. After you've saved the image, go to your settings, choose wallpaper, then find the image you've just saved.

2016 February Print Calendar

You can also download and print a February calendar PDF. The printable version comes out best if you do them on card stock, I think. It's perfect for getting in a bit of coloring. Because who says hearts should only be pink or red?

project // wooden hexagon heart necklace

Hexagon Heart Necklace

Sometimes you find a supply or material and you just have to figure out a project to go with it. Because it's that perfect and awesome. That's what happened when I found these wooden hexagon pieces with hearts cut out of them. They're actually stickers, and I may have purchased way more than I really need, so you may see more things besides this necklace. But we'll start with this!

If you have a laser cutter, you could cut out these hexagons and hearts. But since I don't have one, and I'm guessing most of my readers don't either, there's an alternative: Go to Target.

You'll find these wooden stickers by the Handmade Modern craft supplies at Target. Each pack has 18 of these shapes, plus a few half hexagons, and the hearts that fill these shapes. They would also be fun for making cards and who knows what else. I'll be playing with them more!

Hexagon Heart Necklace

Here's what you'll need:

Hexagon Heart Wooden Stickers
Fabric - 2 x 2 inches
Felt - 2 x 2 inches
Fusible Web - 2 x 2 inches
Thin Ribbon - 1 yard
Craft Glue

Hexagon Heart Necklace

Choose a square of fabric that has a design you want showing through the heart. Small designs are best. This fabric is from Paperie designed by Amy Sinibaldi.

Iron the fusible web to the back of the fabric, then peel off the paper.

Hexagon Heart Necklace

Iron and fuse the fabric to the felt.

Hexagon Heart Necklace

Consider how long you want your necklace to be. I wanted it fairly long, so I left the ribbon at 36 inches, but you can adjust this to suit your style.

Stick the ends of the ribbon to the back of the hexagon at the top. Because the wood piece is a sticker, they'll hold in place. Add a bit of craft glue around the hexagon, including across the ribbon.

Hexagon Heart Necklace

Press the hexagon onto the fabric with your desired design showing through the heart. If any glue seeps into the heart area, wipe it away before it dries too much. A toothpick works well for this.

Hexagon Heart Necklace
Hexagon Heart Necklace

When the glue starts to set up, cut away the excess fabric and felt so that it is even with the edge of the wood.

Hexagon Heart Necklace
Hexagon Heart Necklace

And you've got an easy necklace! I love that it's a hexagon, as well as the fact that it can show off a sweet little fabric.

Now, truth be told, I don't know how well this will hold up over time. Will the ribbon stay if it get's a sharp tug? Time will tell. But Since this didn't require a huge time or supply investment, I'm willing to take the risk and enjoy it as long as possible.

I hope you are able to find these wonderful little wood stickers and make some fun things with them!

stitch love party // a baby kappa pattern to end the party

Stitch Love Baby Kappa pattern

When you start seeing imaginary animals, it probably means that it's time to end a party right? Well, this particular creature has been a long time coming. This creature is a kappa.

Kappas are Japanese mythical creatures, and when I was working on the section of mythical, or perhaps...legendary animals in Stitch Love, I wanted something from Japan. But Japan has some seriously freaky creatures. Even the ones that are cute come with mean or even terrifying stories.

But I loved the kappa anyway and somewhere I have sketches that never became official patterns. I sort of forgot about it.

And then Heather suggested that the #StitchLoveParty needed a kappa, and I was once again all excited for this turtle-frog-duck-bird with a puddle of water on its head.

So often they are scary or ugly (although there are some kawaii cute ones too, including characters in Animal Crossing), and I wanted mine to be as cute as possible. And what could be cuter than a baby kappa? Nothing! (Except maybe a bunny sea slug.) Thanks, Heather!

If you suggested a pattern that I didn't make for the party, either a) the animal is already in the book (for example, a penguin!), b) I have a pattern for that animal in my shop (like the narwal!), or I just ran out of time (I still have sugar glider sketches waiting to become patterns!). But thank you to everyone who offered up ideas!

And now, it's time to end this party. Phew! It's late! Thanks for coming, and travel home safe, folks. And keep on stitching!

stitch love party // stitch love book giveaway

Bunny Sea Slug Embroidery

Okay, party pals...we're getting close to the end of this party, and I'm gonna send you home soon. But not quite yet. There is still another gift, and one last party favor.

But first, how do you like my finished bunny sea slug stitching? I'm quite smitten with it, and now I just have to decide what to make it into. I've considered a few options, but I'll sleep on it for now.

Now, if this were my brother's birthday, he would be going crazy that there was still a gift yet unopened so late in the day. We better get on with the presents...

Stitch Love Walk-Through

The last big gift is a copy of Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small! I'll happily sign it for the winner too. Enter below through Rafflecopter. And international entries are welcome too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck friends! And don't forget your one last party favor coming in the next post!

stitch love party // a floral frame pattern for your animals


Now it's time for some serious late-night partying. But if you leave early or fall asleep, I promise we won't make fun of you. The good thing about a blog party is that it stays in place so you can visit again when you're wide awake!

So one of the things that I wanted to do is make a way to easily use patterns from Stitch Love to make embroidered hoop art. Just stitching a single animal on a pouch or pocket works, but placing that same animal alone in a hoop doesn't always look right.

So I made a little floral frame to use with your favorite motif from the book! Above you can see how the skunk would look if you nestle him in just at the top of the flowers. I'd plan on stitching the flowers right over his feet.

But you can do this another way too!


For this one I'm going to take the frame and the Easter Bunny and make them work together.


This one is almost more like a portrait in a frame. So, I basically cut off the bottom of the bunny pattern, but I did it so that only the parts covered by the flowers are removed. I left a little gap between the flowers and the bunny and basket, but you can stitch whatever design you're using right up to the flowers.

Just Trace the frame first, then add the animal of your choice, tracing only the part you want to show.

It will work with lots and lots of animals from the book, and from the #StitchLoveParty! And of course, the frame can be used for other things too.

Enjoy! And come back soon for a bit more fun!

stitch love party // it's cake time!


It isn't a party without cake, am I right? And this party, celebrating one year of Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small needed a cake that is also a super cute animal.

No matter how many adorable creatures I see, kitties will always be my favorite. So a kitty cake was the right choice here. I was inspired by Coco Cake Land for this, but went with paper decorations for a faster option.

Enjoy a slice!

We're gonna take a cake break, but then I'll be back with more posts to party into the wee hours! See you soon!

stitch love party // sampler turtle at about.com

Stitch Love Free Pattern at About.com

As many of you know, in addition to creating nearly everything here at Wild Olive, I am also the embroidery expert at About.com. Which means that I get to share lots and lots of embroidery-related things over there too.

Today, as part of the #StitchLoveParty, I shared a bit about my book AND I've got a free pattern for you too. I've done a couple turtles along the way (and there's a turtle-ish pattern still coming here at Wild Olive later today), but this one is a little different.

The shell of the turtle has some designs that are perfect for using as a sampler. Just select your favorite stitches, or some that you'd like to practice, and start working on a stunning shell for our turtle friend!

Head to Embroidery.About.com to check it out!

stitch love party // buggy buddy sample giveaway


Since today is kind of like a birthday party for Stitch Love, there should be gifts, right? I mean, free patterns are like the party favors, but I think we need an actual present or two!

So how about a couple of the projects I made for the book?! These buggy buddies would love to live at someone else's house (although I think they've enjoyed living here too). There are two prizes here, so there will be two lucky winners!


The first gift is this Lovely Ladybug Bag Tag. The front is all hand embroidered (by me!) and on the back you can slide in your contact information or a label for whatever you're tagging.


The second present is the Fluttery Butterfly pencil topper (with a matching orange pencil!). This is also stitched by me, and it has just a bit of flutteriness as you write. And yes, I did just make up a new word there.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter above with Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends next Wednesday, and it's open to all. Yes, that means international too. Good luck, friends!

And so that everyone gets a buggy buddy, although it's not truly a bug, download a pattern for a banana slug (by request!) below.

stitch love party // savannah friends patterns at hugs are fun


Parties are better with friends, right? Right. So I asked my friend Becca if she would like to Stitch Love with us too, and she said yes!

Becca stitched and sewed this sweet zippered pouch with a lion cub. And on the reverse, well...I'll let you visit Hugs are Fun to see the awesome that's going on. She has turned into a zipper pouch and patchwork machine lately!

While you're at Hugs are Fun you'll be able to download a set of three savannah animals: a zebra, an ostrich, and the lion cub. Each with a gleeful look on its face (Becca turned the eyes on the lion so he's sleepy...cute!).

Party small talk: Have you played the app Neko Atsume? It's all about cats, and I'm fairly certain that it influenced my drawing of this little lion!

stitch love party // sea friends patterns

Stitch Love Sea Friends Pattern

When I was working on Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small, choosing animals and creatures to include was not easy. There are just so many, and as it was I was pushing it for space in the pages. And then after it was all done (I actually finished all of the stitching a full year before it came out), of course I learned of other animals I wish I had included.

This pattern is one of those animals. It's a bunny sea slug, and you can see what the real deal looks like here.

I think it would be cute without the white outline, but it adds a little definition. This is also the pattern that I'll be stitching today. As in, I'm #StitchLoveParty-ing right along with you! Expect to see her finished by the end of the day.

Also in this pattern PDF is a sea horse (by special request!) and a tiny adorable octopus (which had a tentative scientific name of octopus adorabilis!). Let's get stitching!

stitch love party // let's get started!


Hey! I'm so glad you're here at my party! What's that? You didn't know there was a party going on? Don't worry...you're still invited!

It's been ages since I've had a blog party, and maybe you've never even heard of one, but basically all day today there will be posts with freebies and other fun stuff. There will even be a few posts that lead you to other places.

And it's all to celebrate that today my book Stitch Love is one year old!

So here's how we'll get this party started. First, plan on visiting Wild Olive throughout the day!

Next, if you have a copy of Stitch Love, grab it and do some stitching today! Or, you can go back and look through all of my Stitch Love posts and find some extra patterns and projects to try. Share your progress on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #StitchLoveParty. (You can share it other ways too, but those are the two that I use.)

Oh, and be sure to grab some snacks. Because a party should have snacks, right?

Okay, I'll be back in a bit with the first free pattern for you!

working with sublime stitching fine tip transfer pens

Sublime Stitching Fine Tip Transfer Pens

When you do a lot of embroidery, I think it's important to have a variety of pattern transfer methods available to you. Even if you have one that works for you most (or all!) of the time, you should know what other options there are and how they work.

You never know when a project may come along where your favorite technique just isn't working, or it may be that in exploring new-to-you techniques you find one that you love even more. To that end, today I'm showing you a tool/method that is still fairly new for me.

Transfer pens have been around for a while, but I've shied away from them. Especially after my transfer pencil experience. You see, transfer pens are mostly permanent. If you mess up the process or don't stitch over the pattern completely, you'll see the markings. And it used to be that you could only get transfer pens with tips that were similar to working with a Crayola marker.

Sublime Stitching Fine Tip Transfer Pens

But then last year Sublime Stitching came out with transfer pens with fine tips. And in a bunch of colors too!

These really do have a fine tip. It's more like working with a Micron pen, and I'll tell ya...I feel 100% better about this than the thicker kind. (Full disclosure: Jenny sent me this pen to try.)

Sublime Stitching Fine Tip Transfer Pens

To use these, you draw or trace your pattern on a separate piece of paper. I used heavy tracing paper, but regular paper works too. Whatever you put on the paper is going to transfer, so if you mess up a line, you probably want to start over (or plan on stitching it that way). That's a little intimidating for tracing large patterns, but we'll come back to that.

Also, whatever you trace will flip when you transfer it, so you need to have your pattern reversed first. Okay, so you don't NEED to reverse every pattern, but if it has words, it's a must. Good news for you? Wild Olive patterns come with patterns pre-flipped for you!

Sublime Stitching Fine Tip Transfer Pens

After the pattern is traced, it's time to transfer. (By the way, Jenny Hart has a great tutorial on her blog for this whole process.)

Iron your fabric, then place the pattern face down on the fabric. Press the pattern for a couple seconds. This is different from ironing, because you really don't want to be moving the iron around like crazy. It will shift the pattern and mess up the transfer.

Sublime Stitching Fine Tip Transfer Pens

And here are my results. At the top of the pattern, the lines are darker, and even a little thicker. I think I must have pressed a little harder at that end. And there's a missing spot which must be where one of the holes in the iron plate landed.

Things like inconsistent transfer due to my own lack of finesse with transfer patterns is one of the reasons I don't use them often. Which of course perpetuates my issues! But really, these are easy to use, and I'm generally happy with the way the transfer came out.

Sublime Stitching Fine Tip Transfer Pens

The real test comes in stitching. Even with the fine tip, I felt like I needed to use six strands of floss to cover my darker, thicker lines. Not that it's a bad thing, because six-strand embroidery looks pretty awesome! But if I needed to use fewer strands, I'd definitely want to press with a lighter touch, or maybe even trace with a lighter touch.

So...getting back to larger designs. If I were doing a giant pattern, or something with lots of detail, trying to trace the entire thing by hand and not messing it up at all would make me so nervous. In that situation, I'd want something like a water-soluble pen so the markings vanish. Or even better, water-soluble stabilizer which can be printed on, avoiding the tracing entirely.

But all that said, this is a REALLY great way to use one pattern on a page of motifs without wasting a page of Sulky stabilizer. And tracing a pattern out of a book would be another perfect use for a pen like this.

Yep...I'll be pulling this out more often. How about you? Have you used these? Do you have any thoughts or tips to share?

PS: The pattern you see here is part of a new set coming very soon to the Wild Olive shop!

stitch love // more critter sketching and a party

Stitch Love Critter Sketches

It's hard to believe, but we're coming up on the first anniversary of when Stitch Love was released! A month ago I thought how fun it would be to have a little party locally and invite folks to come stitch with me. Time got away from me, so instead of getting together in person, I was hoping you'd join me for a virtual party?

The best part about this is that everyone can come!

Next Wednesday, January 27th, be sure to be here for some free patterns, a giveaway or two, and maybe other fun things. I've been sketching new patterns just for this event! (Okay, so event might be a stretch, but I promise fun stuff...)

I'm telling you now so you can plan accordingly. And make some snacks to share.

Oh, and if you have any critters you'd like to see (that weren't in Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small), let me know and they might make an appearance!

vintage book review // easy embroidery by lis paludan

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

I love the excitement of getting a new embroidery book, even when that book is old. Sometimes I get so excited about finding one new old book that I get into an ordering frenzy finding even more. And then I have a little stack of them that I forget to write about.

I'm kind of okay with that this time around, however, because it all works with my plan. If I want to talk about making old new again, what could be more perfect than working with a vintage embroidery book?

Vintage books are wonderful resources for finding ideas because they contain projects that you haven't seen in years and years. Making them with a fresh spin is such a good way to make old new.

In the case of Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan (ISBN 0800823583), it doesn't even take all that much effort to make the 1970s designs seem like they've been newly designed. They are all a complete delight.

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan
Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

Because this book was published in a time when color printing was more costly, many of the pages in here are in black and white. But the information, illustrations, and photos are still really useful and helpful. But there also plenty of full color pages so you can get a good sense for the projects and ideas.

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan
Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

As the title suggests, this is an embroidery book for beginners (kids through adults, although many of the examples have a very kid-friendly feel). There is really good explanation of materials, stitches, and techniques.

I especially love the encouragement to explore the techniques and create your own designs. The author even gives some instruction for how to create patterns with different methods. I know that both kids and adults can benefit from this time of help! And it's this type of content that should encourage you to see if you can track down a copy of Easy Embroidery.

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

Do you just love this tiger? It reminds me of a child's drawing, but the full-size pattern is in the back of the book. Actually, all of the patterns that are included are full-size. What a great thing to have!

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan
Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

Above are two examples of appliqué embroidery. If you look closely, the top one is a little...ahem...questionable. I'm gonna chalk that up to this being a book that was originally published in Denmark in 1970. Maybe? I don't know. But I do love the style of the appliqué.

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

And then there's a section on pompoms. What? They're so cute, but I still haven't figured out why they're in a book on embroidery.

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

The instructions are given in in brief paragraphs, and many of them describe projects that aren't pictured in the book, other than those tiny illustrations. Granted, they are fairly simple, but it really does make you appreciate how craft books are these days.

Maybe I need to try making a few of these with some step-by-step photos? I already have one of the embroideries in here that I want to recreate with my own spin. I'm definitely up for making old new with this book.

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan
Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

This chicken is one of my favorite projects in the book. It's such a fun way to incorporate embroidery into another item, just by filling the shape with some circles of stitches. And how about those chicks?

Perhaps you might try something similar?

Easy Embroidery by Lis Paludan

I'll end with something that represents my style, something that combines paint and embroidery. A sun with a face!

Now that I've pulled Easy Embroidery off my shelf again, I can't wait to try updating a few of these vintage designs!