Project Idea: Motif Bags

I've recently been sucked into the world of craft swaps, and I'm always looking for a little extra something to send along with whatever project is specified in the swap. Buying extras is an option, but being able to whip up a quick little something by hand is always better in my mind. When we decided in include the little burlap sweet bags in our Camping at Midnight box, I knew they'd be a great base for such a little gift.

Small projects like this are also a great way to use up left-over bits of thread and those little pieces of fabric that, if you are like me, you have a hard time throwing away.

To start, you'll need:

  • A small burlap or plain fabric bag - I like ones with drawstrings
  • A scrap of stitching fabric - our model uses the 32 count Midnight Tryst Opal linen from Handdyed Fabrics by Stephanie from the Camping at Midnight box
  • Floss - our model used less than a yard of Classic Colorworks' Toasted Marshmellow from the Camping at Midnight box
  • Iron-on interfacing - I used mid-weight, since it is what I already have on hand, but I think just about any weight would work.
  • (Optional) sewing thread that matches your fabric, if you'd like the stitches sewing the motif onto the bag to be invisible. Since the burlap has a rustic quality to it, I wanted my stitches to show so I used more Toasted Marshmellow.
  • A motif chart - our model uses one of the charts in Summer House Stitche Workes' Postcards From the Heart Series. You could also use a piece of a larger chart, or design a little something yourself!

After you stitch your design, cut a piece of the iron-on interfacing that is one inch wider and one inch longer than your stitched design. (For example, if your stitched piece is 1.5 inches by 2 inches, cut a piece of interfacing 2.5 by 3 inches big.) Center the interfacing onto the back of your stitching and iron down. 

Next you are going to trim your motif into it's final shape. For my bag, I wanted something on the rustic side, so after I trimmed the outer sections to 4 threads from the stitching, I made is roughly oval-shaped. If you'd like something a little more "finished"-looking, move out 4 fabric threads from your stitching and use nun stitch to outline it before you start trimming. 

To stitch your motif to the bag, use a simple running stitch. The interfacing will give you something to stitch into to even if you are very near the edge of your stitching fabric and it starts to fray.

Now fill your bag with little goodies and send it on it's way!

We'd love to see what you are stitching up with your StitchyBox goodies! If you are posting them to social media, please include the hashtag #stitchybox, or even better, leave us a comment with a link to your project below. Happy Stitching!

Fresh Blooms Project Idea: Love the Spring (Shakespeare's Peddler)

I thought we'd start our Fresh Blooms project series with a timely celebration of spring - check out our version of Love the Spring by Shakespeare's Peddler:

This sampler makes use of most of the threads included in the Fresh Blooms box: Aunt Marie's Violet (Classic Colorworks), Buttercup (WDW), Carnation (Petite Mulberry Collection - Dragonflylotus Designs), Colorwash 558 and DMC 3053. Stitched on 40 count Bashful linen from Picture This Plus, we used one strand of thread throughout, with the exception of the Colorwash, which needed 2 strands for adequate coverage.

Love the Spring is an older chart from Shakespeare's Peddler, but is still listed on several online needlework shops including Silver Needle. With a stitch count of 97x169, this chart would not fit on Fat 16ths from the Big Picture box, but would be a great choice for those who selected a Fat 8th, or for Detail Oriented Box subscribers. 

Check back next week when we give you a quick project idea for the bamboo hexagon frame!

Christmas Cabin Project Idea: Nikyscreations' A B Christmas tree

Since this was a Christmas-themed box, of course I had to select something ornament-sized for our first project! This was an easy stitch that only took a few hours to complete.

Chart Source: Nikyscreations A B Christmas (Candy Cane Stitchers FB group); Materials Source: Christmas Cabin Mini-Box

Chart Source: Nikyscreations A B Christmas (Candy Cane Stitchers FB group); Materials Source: Christmas Cabin Mini-Box

To get this chart, you'll need to join the Candy Cane Stitchers group on Facebook. All the previous releases can be found in the Files section of the group once your membership request is accepted. And while you are over on Facebook, be sure to check out the Star-Spangled Stitchers and Pumpkin Seed Stitchers groups - run by the same admin team, they feature monthly free charts with patriotic and Halloween themes respectively.

To stitch this project you'll need (all found in the Christmas Cabin box):

  • Conifer fabric from Picture This Plus - there are no partial stitches in this chart, so you can use Aida, lugana or linen. Our model was stitched on 14 count Aida
  • DMC 6-strand cotton floss, #B5200
  • Classic Colorworks silk floss, Tulip
  • Dragonflylotus Designs Mulberry Collection floss, Walnut

The substitution I used for this chart is pretty straight-forward - the only color change I made was switching the green tree for a white one. If you wanted to use additional colors in your project, you could always stitch the various birds in alternating colors.

Even straight-forward projects offer opportunities for personalization, however. Take a look at my two red birds. While stitching the bird on the left, I just worked back and forth, row by row, and let the color variation fall where it may. After seeing what I ended up with (lovely, but nothing real exciting), I purposefully stitched the right side bird by following the curve of the bird's breast with the lighter part of the thread, and then filling in the rest with the darker sections. While it's not a huge difference, I do really love how that right-side bird turned out!

Have you started stitching with your Christmas Cabin box yet? We'd love to see your projects! Leave us a comment here, and when you post photos to social media be sure to use the #SBChristmasCabin and #StitchyBox hashtags!

Check back next week, when we'll talk about ideas for the quilting fabric you found in your box, and the initials E. P and P.