Monthly Archives: October 2011

Five Little Pumpkins revisited

October 31st 2011
The last of the little pumpkins have rolled out of sight and as the silver clouds cover the moon, the new and improved version is not quite what I had planned. While I fantasized about using rickrack, googly eyes and all sorts of embellishments, I ended up using the sewing machine more than anything.
I changed the yellow crescent moon to a full white moon with a bat silhouette across it, with red glass beads for eyes that don’t appear on this picture.

The pumpkins have different shapes as do real ones and I added stitching to mark the line indentations that characterize the big orange fruit.  It’s really the best part but is difficult to distinguish and appreciate unless you are up close.  I used felt again for the features, but in yellow to mimic the candle’s glow on the jack-o-lantern.  I also added tiny glass beads to accent the eyes. I tried the googly eye but didn’t really like the look.

For the felt fence, I outlined it in brown stitch; I used the free motion feature so I could add knots and irregularities as real wood would have. I wanted to use Rick-Rack for the top of the fence but it was a soft wave look that didn’t quite give the fence the look I wanted.

And for the cat, I hand sewed his whiskers, added a pink pom-pom nose and green eyes.

Conclusion: The Five Little Pumpkins Felt Activity is larger and more detailed than the original but not necessarily more embellished as I had hoped. Still, I am happy with how it turned out and the kids were marveled!



There was an old lady made out of felt!

October 28th 2011

This series of The old lady who swallowed a… has really filled, if not satisfied, all sorts of appetites. Touché for the author, Lucille Colandro, who’s making money, but like all series, some stories are better than others. 

Click photo to purchase

For her Halloween version There was an old lady who swallowed a bat ,  I made a large felt version using the firm felt variety in large 12 x 18 sheets.  I used the illustrations from the book and looked at “each” piece of the character in terms of shape: the nose, head, wing, mouth, etc… This makes it easier to reproduce so it looks just like the illustration. Then I embellished some parts with fabric puff paint in the little bottles (3 inches) that you can squeeze. I also used yarn and jewels. 
These types of flannel stories are great for class activities, as games (what comes next) or as a Halloween Party entertainment. You can use a large flannel board, or just hold the character you are telling about, or have children line up holding up each character as it comes up in the story.

May I have your vote?

October 25th 2011

Hey Readers,

May I just say how encouraged I am that everyday there are a few more page views.  Thanks so much for popping back in regularly to take a peek at what’s new. I promise new crafts are coming! I want to make sure I have enough quality pictures that you can appreciate. 

Please vote on the top right hand side so I can keep this blog going with crafts or posts that interest you. Please leave a comment or email me  if there is something you want to see, or you have an idea and you are not sure how to make it concrete. I would be glad to help!

Here are some of my craft books, the collection has grown since this photo, now I also have craft magazines. I started with Christmas Crafts books by Mary Engelbreit just because I love the colors in her artwork.  Then it just took off and I have been collecting all sorts of craft books, anything I want to learn or improve my skills on: Watercolor, felt, Scandinavian Style, quilting, sewing, gardening, kitchen remodeling. I also have some poetry, nursery rhymes and great picture books.  Illustrations are great to pull craft ideas from; plus, I am a librarian I love books, and look at how nice they look just by the color of the spines!

Five Little Pumpkins

October 24th 2011
Finger plays are great activities to do with little ones. Interestingly enough, I find that the older kids also love them because it brings back “warm fuzzies” from when they were “little.”  It’s really fun to act silly and watch the children giggle and laugh and enjoy something as simple as a song or finger play. Five Little Pumpkins is a very popular one for this time of year.  The words may vary slightly, but the five little pumpkins always roll out of sight!
Using flannel boards and felt for such activities make great visuals that really help keep the kids focused and engaged. And felt, the craft store acrylic kind, is also a very easy medium to use:

Everything is removable. I start with laying the black,
then the fence, the moon as the kids try to figure out
 what it is then they see the pumpkins.

1)     It doesn’t fray or unravel
2)     Comes in various consistencies, soft or firm
3)     In various sizes
a.     By the yard
b.     By the sheet
4)     In packs or individual
5)     Sticky back
6)     With glitter, etc…
Today I am sharing my ratty old flannel version of Five Little Pumpkins so we can compare it to my new and improved, embellished version which is yet to be revealed!  For the old one I just used soft felt, even for the features. No bells. No whistles. (But the kids still love it) 

Quilted Trick or Treat

October 15th 2011
I think the color orange shouts “look at me,” it’s like when someone sneaks up behind you and startles you –but you are happy to see them.  Combining a color scheme in a design takes a lot of thinking, especially when I am also figuring out the design.  And while I have heard it said that quilting is time consuming, I think the planning takes the most time, it’s so much math!!  The truth is, as a beginning quilter, I have yet to follow a pattern. I have “invented” my handful of projects on my own because I thought is was easier, what was I thinking? 

Size about
12 x 36 inches

This was my big Summer Craft for 2009 and it was my second quilting project,  they get a little bigger as my skills and confidence improve.  Each quilt usually has some new technique I haven’t tried before. I have really taught myself, by reading all types of books on quilting that I have bought over the last few of years, subscribing to these magazines, and examining quilts more closely. I wanted to learn how to do real quilting, not the kind I did when the kids were babies, although those were noble efforts.  I made this one for my friend, who is the Cat Guardian Angel in the neighborhood.

First, I started with a charm pack (about 30 precut 5 inch squares) the collection was “Spooktacular” by Sanae for Moda Fabrics (sorry no longer available).  For me the design and color schemes really play off each other. Seeing the colors and patterns laid out, almost sorts itself out in my mind with automatic deletions and combinations that work well together. Below are the three main blocks of the design, everything else became a border element.
For the top square, I cut out the shape of a cat face, ironed it on with fusible interfacing, same for ears and nose. The eyes are buttons, the whiskers and mouth are stitched.  I just quilted in shadow/echo fashion around the outline of the cat.

For the bottom square, I cut out a Frankenstein face by making a green rectangle and a small black rectangle piece at the top for hair and sideburns. I used black Ric-Rac for the spiked hair effect.  : ) I love that part! I stitched the scar with a special embroidery stitch from my new sewing machine, Audrey. Buttons for eyes and nose, scrap mouth stitched over with a blanket stitch.
For the center, that was just black and white, I spelled out trick or treat in contrasting colors and patterns from the charm pack. I ironed them on, using fusible interfacing and sewing a zig-zag stitch around each letter, see photo on right. The quilting pattern for this block, if you will notice, is a spider web pattern.
My friend hangs this on her door, inside or out, for Halloween. I think the best feature is that it’s washable in case sticky fingers come in contact with it.