Create A Pretty Hoop Art Project

Jen from One Thimble Sewing E-Zine recently approached me to guest post on the One Thimble Blog. And because she’s such a lovely, kind-hearted gal who goes out of her way to help others, I was happy to help her out! We decided that I’d share a hoop art project, explaining how to create art work using a timber embroidery hoop. What do you think?

* this post includes affiliate links to One Thimble magazine

Molly and Mama hoop art tutorial for One Thimble

The gorgeous toadstool in this project is created using the Fairywood Cottage and Wood Fairy appliqué pattern made by Robyn of Obbie Dobbie for Issue 6 of One Thimble. You can purchase the pattern as a ‘stand-alone’ but if you pick up Issue 6, you’ll find it, and a whole host of amazing patterns, sewing articles, inspiration and ideas. Can you tell I’m a One Thimble fan?

And just as a quick aside, don’t you love my little Sonny Angel figurine pictured with the hoop art? Have you seen them? They’re a bit of a craze at the moment! I received this little koala right after I released the ‘Katie Koala’ pattern. That was such a strange coincidence. But I digress….

Fairywood Cottage Pattern by Obbie Dobbie

I love the bright colours used in the image for this appliqué pattern. But I wanted to try something a bit different so I created the toadstool in pretty peaches and golds, and used linen fabric for the back ground. Robyn from Obbie Dobbie gives great instructions for hand stitching in her pattern. And I do find blanket stitch embroidery so relaxing and therapeutic (it’s a wonderful “couch craft’). But I was on a tight deadline, so I chose to machine blanket stitch instead. I think the finish still looks neat though?

If you’d like to know more about how I put it together, you can read more over on the One Thimble blog. I explain how to secure your project in the hoop (whether it be embroidery, appliqué, cross stitch, etc). Then also how to back your project so it’s nice and neat. A circle of felt stitched on the back gives such a neat finish, don’t you think?

Molly and Mama hoop art back

For more hoop art project ideas, you might like to check out this tutorial HERE. I used a cute pineapple embroidery template to stitch up this wall art. And I’ve explained a couple of ways to finish the back, if you’re after an easier alternative to adding felt.

Hand Embroider a simple Hoop Art Project by Molly and Mama

I just love that the old timber hoop has been reinvented and can be used for more than just a tool for neat hand embroidery! What’s your favourite craft to work in a hoop? I’d love to see it. For more applique and embroidery inspiration, you can check out my Pinterest boards. I’m slightly obsessed! Slightly…

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.wordpress.com

We’re all set for Easter!

Whilst I love to do a lot of sewing and craft for Easter, I also really enjoy decorating. Mostly because my kids LOVE it too! They get such a kick out of decorating for all the different holidays. And it’s so lovely seeing their enthusiasm.

Molly and Mama decorates for Easter 2015

Here’s some photos of the decorating we’ve been doing at home. These pretties have been collected over many years. The kids also have a huge collection of home made bunnies, chicks, cards, garlands and more. But they like to decorate their rooms with those.

Molly and Mama decorates for Easter 2015

These images are of our entry hall, but we seem to have Easter things all over the house. If I’m like this at Easter, you can imagine what Christmas is like in our house!

Molly and Mama decorates for Easter 2015

My daughter is in her first year at school and her teacher is already asking why she’s so taken with celebrating all the holidays and special days. She started the year making Valentine’s for everyone, then she moved on to Saint Patrick’s Day pretties. Now she’s enlisted my help in the classroom to create Easter baskets and other goodies. I feel sorry for her teacher! I think I might be to blame for my daughter’s obsession though!

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My mum keeps reminding me that kids are only kids for such a short time. It won’t be long before I’m dragging out the decorations and the kids are rolling their eyes and complaining that it’s all too babyish! So while I can, I’ll continue to decorate, craft and create!

Molly and Mama decorates for Easter 2015

I really love the range of beautiful things that are available in stores these days. Even ten years ago, it was hard to find nice Easter decorations! I’ve also handmade a lot of Easter goodies in the past; many for gifts and many for the kids. And we continue to create new things every year.

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Family has also gifted me some very precious pieces, and it’s nice to treasure them too! How beautiful is this scrappy bunny appliqué quilt? I recently participated in a doll’s quilt swap and this adorable quilt showed up in my letter box. You can imagine my excitement. It’s made by Ylana, from bunny and stitch. It’ll be treasured by me, and my bunny loving five year old too! So pretty!

Bunny doll's quilt by Bunny and Stitch

Do you decorate for Easter too? What’s the weather like in your part of the world at this time of year? Autumn’s setting in here. The nights are cooler and the days are getting shorter. I love that our Easters are like a celebration of the wonderful summer we’ve just had.

Easter at Molly and Mama

I’d love to know about your Easter decorating, traditions and more. What happens in your part of the world? Leave me a comment.

And ENJOY YOUR EASTER! I hope you get to have a nice long break like we do!

Happy chocolate hunting, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.wordpress.com

Appliqué a Bunny - a tutorial for beginners, brought to you by Molly and Mama

Appliqué a Bunny for Easter

The Easter count down is on! What are you making, crafting or creating? It seems that my post on How To Appliqué is my most popular tutorial, so I thought you might like to see an Easter inspired project combining appliqué with fabric yo yo’s!

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial

I love Liberty fabric. And these two prints make such a pretty combination! The cute little yo yo makes a perfect bunny tail! This design is ideal for adorning that special Easter outfit or dress. You could also use it on Easter gift bags, baskets, place mats and more. And it’s super easy. Really! Just gather your supplies, and we’ll get right into it!

FINISHED SIZE – 4″ (10cm) wide and around 4 1/4″ (11cm) tall

YOU WILL NEED

  • a print out of the pattern template
  • scrap of fabric for the bunny at least 4″ (10cm) x 5″ (13cm)
  • similarly sized scrap of paper backed fusible heat bonding web like Vliesofix or Easyfix
  • pen
  • 4″ scrap of fabric to cut for the yo yo
  • garment or backing fabric to attach your appliqué to
  • water soluble or erasable marker
  • sharp scissors
  • needle and thread
  • fine ribbon to make a small bow
  • a heat sealer or cigarette lighter
  • iron and ironing board
  • sewing machine or embroidery needle and floss

Print your bunny template before you start. Be sure you save a copy to your computer too. You can easily change the size of your bunny so that it suits your project. Just adjust your printer settings to reduce or enlarge it.

1. CREATE THE APPLIQUÉ

Trace the bunny template onto the paper side of the heat bonding fusible web. Roughly cut around the outside leaving a small border (as pictured below).

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial

Heat your iron to a hot non-steam setting. Place the fusible web piece onto the wrong side (the back) of your chosen fabric so that your template (on the paper side) is facing you and the webbing is between the paper and the fabric. Fuse the paper to the fabric by running the hot iron over it for a few seconds.

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial

Follow the traced lines to neatly cut our your bunny and then peel off the backing paper.

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial

Position your bunny on your garment or backing fabric with the webbing between the garment and the bunny fabric. Once you are happy with the positioning, use the iron to secure the bunny to the garment. The heat will ‘melt’ the bonding agent to secure your bunny to the garment or fabric. Press down gently for a few seconds and then lift the iron. Don’t rub the iron across the garment as the appliqué may move.

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial

Blanket stitch around the raw edges of the appliqué. You can use the blanket stitch function on your sewing machine to do this. Or you can stitch it by hand. Here’s a quick refresher.

Blanket Stitch by Molly and Mama

Begin stitching near the x on the template. This part will later be covered by the yo yo tail, so you can disguise the beginning and end of your stitching. Secure your stitching well when you come to the end (by back stitching). If you’re hand stitching, use two strands of your embroidery floss. Be sure to see my appliqué tutorial for more tips on the appliqué process.

Now it’s time to start the yo yo for the bunny tail!

2. STITCH THE YO YO

Creating yo yo’s (or suffolk puffs as you may know them) is a quick stitching pastime! They’re simple to make, great for fabric scraps and nice to sew while watching your favourite program (give me a BBC period drama, any day!).

I have written a simple to follow (but detailed) tutorial for yo yo’s HERE. But basically you need to cut out your circle template, and trace around it (with your erasable pen) onto the wrong side of your 4″ piece of fabric for the tail. Then cut out your fabric circle.

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial - make a yo yo

Thread your needle with a long length of cotton. Fold over a scant hem, and sew a running stitch around the outside perimeter of your fabric circle. When you reach the beginning, pull the thread so that the fabric creates a little puff. Flatten it out with your fingers, then secure the yo yo with a few extra stitches. And then keep your cotton intact. We’ll need it to sew the yo yo to the bunny’s behind!

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial - make a yo yo

3. FINISH YOUR BUNNY

Place your yo yo over the bunny’s behind, using the x mark on the template as a guide. Use small invisible stitches to sew your yo yo onto the bunny. Try and ensure the stitches remain within the fabric folds and tucks, so that you cannot see them.

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial

Secure your stitching well at the back. You’ll want to make sure the yo yo is well attached, especially if you’re creating a garment to be worn by little ones.

You can add a pretty bow if you like too. Just tie a bow with fine satin ribbon. Heat seal the ends so they don’t fray. You can do this by quickly running the flame from a lighter along the cut edge of the ribbon. This will melt the fibres together and prevent from unravelling in the wash. Then use small invisible stitches to secure the bow the bunny.

VOILÀ! You’re all done!

Molly and Mama Bunny Appliqué Tutorial

If you’re looking for some more Easter sewing ideas, I’ve created a nice little round up of Easter inspired patterns from Aussie designers. And of course, I’ve also included the ‘Beatrice Bunny’ pattern. She’s an Easter favourite!

Beatrice Bunny pattern by Molly and MamaYou might also like the little felt bunny tutorial that I wrote for Tickle the Imagination magazine HEREEasy Felt Bunny Tutorial by Molly and Mama

Pop by my Easter board on Pinterest for more beautiful ideas too! Happy creating and have fun. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas!

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.wordpress.com

Easter Sewing Ideas from Aussie Designers

It happens to me every year! Easter is upon us and I still haven’t decided what to sew the kids, let alone organise patterns, supplies and materials. So I thought I would put together a quick list of some of my favourite options for sewing this Easter. These patterns are quick and easy, and will make wonderful gifts for loved ones, big and small! And as an added bonus, they are all from Australian designers. Because as much as I love our global marketplace, I also really love to showcase the talent from home! I hope you find something that inspires you!

I had to kick off the list with one of my very own patterns. She’s a favourite of mine! The Molly and Mama ‘Beatrice Bunny’ appliqué template is perfect for adorning Easter clothes, baskets, and gift bags. Easy to sew, with lots of photos, you’ll love this PDF printable pattern!

Beatrice Bunny pattern by Molly and Mama I know that Beatrice Bunny would look awfully cute appliquéd on one of Jen’s lovely dress patterns from Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. I really love the Bow Peep dress pattern. And you can even buy the matching Dolly dress pattern too. Imagine how cute that could be? Bow Peep Dress by Ainslee Fox Handmade

Jessica from Flosstyle has just released her BUNNY BUCKET pattern, which includes a bunny bucket, gift bag and bunny crown. I can see this working beautifully with a new Easter outfit!

Bunny Bucket Pattern from Flosstyle

Jodie from Ric Rac has an Easter inspired softie pattern in her store. The Love Somebunny Creative Card is absolutely adorable! A perfect addition to an Easter gift!

Love Somebunny Pattern from Ric Rac

And if you’re looking for something different to dress your little miss in for Easter, then Stephanie from Felicity Sewing Patterns has the answer. This lovely Petal reversible dress pattern is sized from 6 months to 8 years! And the Easter bunny applique template is included. I thought it might be useful for all you Northern Hemisphere readers still coming out of Winter. It looks great for layering!

Easter dress from Felicity Sewing Patterns

The Sweet Scallops pattern from Melly & Me is perfect for creating a special Easter basket that can be used year after year. I’d love to make one with Easter bunny fabric and pop some appliqué on the side!

Sweet Scallops by Melly & Me Feeling inspired for Easter now? I hope so. And I hope this lovely list helps! Let me know what you’re stitching!! Feel free to share over on Facebook. Happy sewing, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.wordpress.com 

Win an Art e-Course Scholarship from Shiny Happy Art

My lovely friend Anna Bartlett has offered Molly and Mama readers the chance to WIN one of two scholarships to her new ’15 Flowers’ e-course at Shiny Happy Art. They’re valued at $120 AU each! All you have to do is enter HERE!

Anna is a wonderfully talented artist who creates shiny, happy art (so her business is very aptly named). When you look at her work, you just want to smile! She lives nearby, so I have been lucky enough to attend a couple of the ‘Paint Along’ sessions she hosts in her studio. I love the way she teaches and the I love the artwork I have produced in her class. She has always wanted to make her painting courses accessible to those that don’t live in our part of the world. And now she has a stunning course available called ‘15 Flowers‘. I’m so excited for her!

Anna Bartlett's '15 Flowers' e-course

Because we crafty people like to support each other, she asked me to help spread the word about her new course and offer my readers two scholarships to ’15 flowers’. Because I’m such a believer in what she does and I love her style and teaching methods, I was more than happy to agree. It’s not something I normally do, but in this case I couldn’t resist. I would LOVE to win this and I am so excited to think that two of you will win a scholarship! If you’re here reading this, then you’ll probably be interested in this too!

You can pop over HERE to enter. It’s very simple, just add your name and email address and hit submit. Our two winners will be drawn on Monday 23rd March 2015, so don’t delay!

I love painting and drawing but I wouldn’t say I was confident in my ability. Anna’s courses are so wonderful because they help you reconnect with your inner artist. They encourage you to enhance your own style. Anna makes art easy. She shows you that everyone has an inner artist and everyone can create beauty. And with some practise and expert guidance, you can really create something amazing.

Anna Bartlett's 15 Flowers e-course at Shiny Happy Art

The ’15 Flowers’ course teaches you to draw, paint and visually create fifteen beautiful individual flowers. But the skills learnt can be transferred across all your arty ventures! If the course sounds interesting but you’re not sure it’s for you, feel free to watch one of the lessons online! There’s a whole link to the course invitation and sample lesson HERE.

Good luck in the draw. I really sincerely hope you win, because this course will be truly inspiring! And remember, the course goes live on April 6th 2015, so you can head over to Shiny Happy Art and enrol even if you’re not the lucky winner.

Thanks for supporting Molly and Mama and my friends. We’re only here because of you. So thank you truly for your encouragement and support. It really means a lot!

***UPDATE*** This competition has now closed and Anna Bartlett has drawn two winners. Congratulations to Michelle Stower and Jean Fink! Anna will contact you using the email address you provided. I know you’ll really enjoy this course! Thanks everyone, for your participation!

Have a wonderful day, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.wordpress.com

Make a Four Leaf Clover by Molly and Mama

Lucky Projects for Saint Patrick’s Day

There’s a few free tutorials on the Molly and Mama blog for some shamrock inspired craftiness! And with St Patrick’s Day not far away, you’ve got just enough time to create one of them (or a few)! You’ll need to make the basic felt four leaf clover and then use it for the clip or pin cushion projects.

Sew a Four Leaf Clover with Molly and Mama

You can create a clover inspired hair clip that looks pretty enough to be worn all year ’round. Follow the tutorial HERE.

Make a shamrock hair clip - a tutorial by Molly and Mama

You can also use the same process to create a pin cushion top. The full tutorial can be seen HERE.  I love this colour combination. Pink and green is my favourite!

The lucky shamrock pin cushion by Molly and Mama

And if you’re a lover of pin cushions, you could also stitch up this pretty piece I created last year. It’s made with fabric scraps and vintage trims. So sweet! Pop over HERE to find out more.

Lucky Pin Cushion Tutorial by Molly and Mama

Have fun with these projects. Feel free to share any of your creations on the Molly and Mama Facebook Page. I’d LOVE to see them!

I hope you have a lucky day on the 17th of March!

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.wordpress.com

Birthday Sale at Molly and Mama

Finish It Friday and Save 38%!

Is it Friday again? This has been such a busy, but productive week! It’s my birthday on the weekend and I’m celebrating turing 38 years young with a big PATTERN SALE! This doesn’t happen often, but I really wanted to thank all my lovely followers and supporters with a special weekend discount.

Use the coupon code BIRTHDAY in my ETSY PATTERN STORE to save 38% OFF ALL PATTERNS. That’s on applique templates and softie / pin cushion patterns. Such a great deal. But the offer ends on the 9th March, so no dilly dallying!

Molly and Mama Patterns

You could get organised for Easter with the Beatrice Bunny applique pattern. She’s a great addition to an Easter wardrobe or sewing project!

Beatrice Bunny pattern by Molly and Mama

I’m also quite partial to the Sleepy Cloud pattern. I used the cloud outline as an applique template for making this sweet little doll’s quilt. This was my ‘Finish it Friday’ project last week. It was created as part of a quilt swap, and was posted off this week. I can’t wait to see what I receive back. Who doesn’t love surprises?

Cloud Quilt by Molly and Mama

Oh, and I made a sweet new pin cushion. This idea has been in the sketch book a LONG time. So I’m so pleased to see her finally come to life! I’m toying with making a pattern for this lovely lady if people are interested. Let me know what you think!

Primrose Flower Friend Pin Cushion by Molly and Mama

I’m yet to name her, so if you have a great idea, pop over to the Molly and Mama facebook page. I’d love to see you there, and to hear your ideas!

Thanks again for your continued support of my little biz. It gives me such a buzz to wake up in the morning and know that I can spend time doing what I love. And I have you to thank for that. So this weekend, when I’m celebrating my birthday, I’ll toast a glass of bubbles to you. THANK YOU!

Happy weekend, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama http://www.MollyandMama.wordpress.com

Birthday Sale at Molly and Mama