Monday, July 31, 2017

Crocheted Bookworms


I have to admit, I love my Kindle. But sometimes I like to read a real book with paper pages, and for that I need a bookmark--preferably one that's handmade.

My grandmother made crocheted "bookworms" like these back in the 1970s. I relied on my memory to re-create her design to make these cute little guys. I'm not sure if my grandmother used pompoms on her bookworms, but I couldn't resist!


This project perfect for using up scraps from your yarn stash. (As you can see, I'm down to my last yards of magenta.) The instructions are simple, and each bookworm takes just minutes to make. I used worst-weight yarn and a size G hook, but you can experiment with whatever supplies you have on hand. Here's the pattern:

Chain 60, place a marker, and then chain 43 more stitches. Make 3 double crochets in the third chain from the hook and in each stitch across, until you reach the marker. Remove the marker, 1 half-double crochet in the chain stitch that was marked, make 1 single crochet in the next chain, slip-stitch in the next chain, and fasten off.

When you adjust the double crochets so they spiral, your bookworm should look like the one in the photo above.


Make a pompom for each bookworm and tie it to the tail, then weave in any loose strands of yarn. See how easy that was? And kind of addicting, right? If you get carried away and make more bookmarks than you need, you can use them as gifts for your favorite human bookworms.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Seashell Hoop Picture


I haven't been to the beach yet this summer, but I do have lots of shells around the house to put me in a seaside state of mind. I also like to create beach-inspired needlework designs, like this scallop shell hoop art. The materials and skills required for this project are minimal. You'll need tan felt, embroidery floss, background fabric, a bit of fiberfill, and an embroidery hoop, of course. If you can hand-sew and use scissors, you can follow these easy instructions.


First, print out the scallop shell pattern to the size you like. Next, cut the seashell shape from felt (I used WoolFelt from National Nonwovens in champagne). 

Trace the pattern and the inner lines onto a piece of white tissue paper and pin it over the felt shell. Using two strands of embroidery floss and split stitch, follow the lines on the pattern, stitching through the tissue paper and felt. I used DMC six-strand embroidery floss in light tan (437) and very light desert sand (3774), but you can use any colors that complement your felt. 

When the embroidery is complete, gently gear away the tissue paper to reveal your stitching. You may have to use tweezers or a needle to coax every bit of paper out of the stitches. 


Now it's applique time! Place your background fabric in the embroidery hoop and secure it firmly. Position the embroidered shell in the center and sew it in place, using small applique stitches and stuffing the shell lightly with fiberfill as you go.


Trim the fabric and finish the back of the hoop as desired, and your seashell hoop art is ready for hanging.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Red, White & Blue Roundup

Happy Fourth of July week, everyone! Like many of you, I'm in party mode this week. So while I'm busy cooking up some treats for my family's Independence Day gatherings, I thought I'd round up some previous blog projects that celebrate the Red, White, and Blue. Click on the title of each project to visit its original blog post. Until next time, have a safe and sunny week!

Seaside Stars & Stripes Cross-Stitch


Fourth of July Napkin Ties
Red, White & Blue Op-Art Pin
Pom-Pom Flip-Flops and Necklace
Red, White & Blue Beanbags