mark your calendar

good things are in the works.


We had such a beautiful weekend... we all went for a road trip out to a friend's apple orchard on a bluff overlooking Lake Pepin. It was beyond dreamy. A long car ride with beautiful views of hills, changing leaves, and the mighty Mississip, a sleeping baby in the back seat, and a trunk full of Apples. I can't think of anything better. Can't wait to make apple sauce, baby food for Claude, and the Onion Apple Casserole in the Joy of Cooking ... any other suggestions?


cutting out a few new bears!

I'm starting to work on a few bears for the Silver Bella Event I'll be teaching at in November. I love to have all my pieces cut out and sewn up far before I need them... it makes things go really quick when I'm in the last mad dash before an event or update. Happily all my pieces are sewn and on their way to getting ready for me to begin "finishing" for the Halloween update next month. I'm excited to start working on all the fun stuff but I'm waiting for a day when I'm feeling Bright and Well Rested before I dive in.


New Wedding Cake Topper... Seriously!

I recently sent this cake topper off to a couple who are getting married very soon. She asked me to make her a puppy and bunny cake topper- to honor their pet names for one and other.
(how sweet!?)



With so little time in the studio each week, I have to do a lot of planning to figure out how to best use those little bits of time and make sure I schedule everything I want done for the fall and winter... That's what I'm working on today. Whew, it's tricky business when my brain is so sleep deprived. I have to keep blinking my eyes open... or maybe that's just the op effect of all these dots. Either way I'm feeling a little on the crazy side today. Coffee, maybe Coffee will do the trick.


How To: Fall Pin Cushion

I love making these simple Pin Cushions. They're perfect as a token of affection for a special seamstress in your life or (even better) for yourself. They're quick and easy enough to whip up and you'll be surprised by how durable and useful they are... I always need a place to hold my pins and needles!

Start out with two colors of wool felt. I prefer 100% wool to the wool blend because it holds up SO much better - and what good is a pin cushion if it's not going to wear well?!

Cut one circle out of each color. Any size will do but I like to start out with something around 5-6" in diameter. Fold the circle in half and cut it into two halves... fold each half again and quarter the pieces.

Sew the same edge of each of the four quarters together so you have four halves.
I lay them out this way to insure I sew the correct edge- because there is no "right" side to felt it's easy to make an error in this step.

Pin the four halves together with the seams turned in
opposite directions (so they'll lay nice and flat). Sew across.

Pin the two circles together with the seams turned in the
opposite direction. I like to make them with the colors alternating or with them lined up - Either way it will look great (see samples for both versions).

Sew the circles together leaving an opening for stuffing. Turn.

Stuffing options: If you're planning on using this pin cushion, stuffing it with sand is the way to go. Fine sand like that used for sandblasting can be really nice and will continue to sharpen your needles with each poke but, it can also weaken the seams causing your pin cushion to spring a leak. I often opt for play sand (used for sand boxes). It's clean and the slightly larger granules are not quite as hard on your seams but alternatively not quite as good for your needles. Trade offs.
If you're planning on using the pin cushion more for show but still want it have utility, opt for a mix of excelsior and sand. This is the route I usually take. It's the best of both worlds- Heavy enough to feel substantial while being easy to work with.

I never stuff pin cushions with fiberfill or cotton. While it's so easy to use unfortunately it binds inside the pin cushion in a way that will not allow your pins and needles to push in with ease... now that's just no good. Who wants a non-functioning pin cushion?

With embroidery floss add all of your embellishments.

Making small decorative stitches around the center seam of the pin cushion also reinforces the strength of the seam. You can vary this look by employing any type of stitch you like.

You can add lots of embellishments to these basic forms. I love to add little felt pom poms, small cut circles, buttons, running stitches etc. ... there is no right way: Have fun!

Wool Felt:
Purl Soho sells small bundles

Hardware Stores


American Moss by Fiberex
is sold at most craft stores like Micheals


on the work table...

I'm working away here. While I'm not sure how or more specifically how many pieces I'll be able to get done for what is usually my BIG Halloween and Winter Holiday Updates, I'm making plans and trying to get it all together- Stay tuned for all the details!


I forgot...

I made these summer Chicks a few weeks ago... the photo has been here waiting to be posted- so finally here they are! I hope to work on a few Halloweenie chicks... I think they would be so sweet in black. hmmmm. Could be great!


work work working (again)!

Yesterday Claude was off with his Papa for the whole (ohhh my!) day, and I had my first day back in the studio for more than a few hours. It felt great to get into the flow of working again, instead of the few stolen moments of unfocused work I've been getting- I have to admit, I'm really enjoying my days lately. I spend lots of time with Claude and learning how to get things "done" with a new little baby is a challenge I'm up for. He's good company (tehee) and when I get to work it's all that much sweeter. What is it people talk about-children bring a new depth to life??? I'd have to agree-

Well in all that good working mojo, I finished a couple of pieces which will be sent off to Earth Angels Toys later this week... I'll be sure to post when they do- so you can get on the horn with Jen Oconnor to procure one of these sweetpeas.