Archive for the ‘Other craftiness’ Category


I’ve been sewing long enough that I don’t really think much about the actual mechanics of  line up the fabric – lower the pressure foot – back stitch etc. Until I look down and think “huh”

sewing hst quilt blocks

There’s something strange about discovering something that you yourself have been doing – like the fact that I never realized I line up my HST blocks on the opposite side of my presser foot from every other seam I sew.  Anyone else ever have these moments? Or is it just me?

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Happy New Year! (I can still say ‘happy new year’ three post’s into 2011, right?)

Continuing my not-terribly-regular series of sifting through my long list of bookmarked tutorials, and passing them along to you.

In honor of new year’s resolutions to get organized…

… a tutorial to sew Simple Fabric boxes from One Crafty Mumma

…  a  weighted pincushion/organizer tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman/Oh Fransson via Sew Mama Sew:

… and, one that’s not sewing related, but I think I may need to implement this winter: Meal planning magnets (including printable PDF) by Amy from The Red Chair Blog via Tatertots and Jello

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Continuing my effort to pass my list of “some day I’ll make that” tutorials off to all of you.


I use cloth napkins: they feel  so civilized, and green, and I haven’t had to buy paper ones in years. I have a more than sufficient supply, but that doesn’t stop me from accumulating designs for more, and for napkin rings to go around them.


Fringed napkins from Purl Bee

Embroidered napkins from Design*Sponge


Reversible Napkin Rings from Craft

Autumn napkin rings from Heather Bailey




Happy crafting – and eating!

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Holiday cards

Now that we’re officially in the pre-Christmas season, I made more of my patchwork cards

handmade christmas cards red pachwork cards

These ones are all red and white patchwork – I like a card that’s festive, but versatile enough for all the different people and holidays I send them too.

And I made enough to put some on sale in my shop


modern handmade patchwork red and white cards

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I’m thinking of a new project, and I’d like your input.

Some background: I have a file full of photos of gorgeous local produce, I’ve played around with quality print-on-demand photobooks , and while I use a planner every day, I tend to make my own.

This year, I’m thinking of having a photo-filled planner printed with my locavore (local food) photo series.  Then I started thinking, you know, this might be a nice gift, and then I started thinking. Hmm, maybe I could put a few in my etsy shop, too.

Here’s a mock up of what a basic 2 page spread could look like (although, I already think I may move the photo) For this layout the book would be approximately 8.5 inches tall, by 5.5 inches wide, with a week on each two-page spread. Photos to reflect the harvest of that time of year (at least, here in New England)  so asparagus in the spring, apples in the fall etc. Probably some pages with larger photos and month or year at a glance calendars. Maybe a harvest calendar and resources for local food movements in the back,  just ’cause I can. Photos and design by me, printed at a local, independent, worker-owned shop with a soft cover  and coil binding (a heavy duty plastic version of the wire spiral binding you had on school note-books) so it lays flat.

handmade weekly planner/calendar with photo series of local food

MockUp of one week's page

I have a tendency to get excited about a new project and run headlong into it, but before I go and design and print a bunch of books, I’d like some feedback (really, honest suggestions and opinions appreciated).

If you use a planner/agenda/datebook, is it this sort of planner, that’s prioritizing design/appearance/photos, or the  ones that are super-functional with a block for every hour and a plain cover? how do you like it formatted? what size do you prefer? what extras do you like (year at a glance? month at a glance? pages for ____?) What would you change about the mock-up? Vegetables – am I the only one that wants to look at these?  And, about how much would you pay for a planner like that?

Any and all answers appreciated. Leave a comment here, or send me an email if you prefer at pioneervalleygirl [at] gmail [doc] com.

I’ll save the names of everyone who responds by 10/31/10 (you don’t have to answer all those questions – just give me your opinion) and will pull one name and send you a copy of the final product.

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Kitchen Spoons

I live on the top floor of a big old Victorian-era house. Sadly, it doesn’t have the gingerbread, turrets and wrap around porches  that would immediately bring to mind it’s origins. What it does have, at least, my part of it, is odd little nooks and unexpected layouts, which I find charming.

This is one of my favorite of them, an odd corner of my kitchen just the right size for a pretty little got-it-from-a-yardsale-and-painted-white table and chair. I have a dining area with a full size table and enough chairs for guests, but this is my spot to sit and drink my first cup of coffee in the morning.

But anyways, what I thought I’d show you is one of my favorite, unexpected decorations: spoons.

The same blend of utility, beauty and crastsmanship that I love about quilts, I love in alot of vintage items (um, see shelf with antique bottles, my pyrex mixing bowls, my favorite blue and white teacups and the extra pieces of my petalwear dish set). Around here, you can get silver and silver-plate spoons for a dollar or so a piece at flea markets.  A couple of these have marks that date them to a 100+ years ago (for a dollar!)

Anyways, a few dollars, a few spoons with pretty decorations and an “A” monogram for my first name,  and an easy craft project, and I have a display. The dark blue backings are just painted pieces of styrofoam (it occurred to me later I could have wrapped the foam in fabric), and the the spoons are held in place by straightpins like an old butterfly display or something. You could glue, but I wanted the option to take them down so I could polish them occasionally if they got too tarnished, or scrap it all together if I got bored.

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A Gift for YoYo’s mama

Yoyo the puppy wasn’t the only one who got a handmade present this weekend. His human got a voile scarf.

handmade cotton voile scarf - valori wells nest fabric in orange

I’m a little late to the party, but I LOVE this cotton voile. I made myself one of these scarves a couple weeks ago, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite things. I was already a fan of Valori Wells’ Nest fabric, but the texture of the voile is just gorgeous.

This is also an amazingly easy project for the results – just a few straight seams.

handmade gift - orange cotton voile scarf

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