Friday Roundup - Craft edition

© Cheese Curds and Kimchi / pattern info HERE
My mother knew magic. I was positive. Because it was a magical thing to turn a bolt of material into clothing with a few snips here and there, some thread, and a flimsy paper pattern. Mom was (and is) an amazing seamstress who can make anything. Seriously. Any. Thing.

Now, I wish that I could say that I inherited a tiny bit of my mother's magical ability, but the sad truth is, it was just too intimidating to compete with a wizard of that caliber. I knew my foundling abilities were not magical at all, so I dragged my feet every time she offered to do a project together, instead, preferring watch her work. She made it look so easy and fast. When I tried, it was frustrating and slow.

So my mom helped me to find my own magic. We'd be in her tiny sewing room, surrounded by fabric, trays of thread, and pattern pieces. She'd rummage in a drawer and pull out something for my sister and I to try, likely to keep us occupied so she could finish whatever she was working on. Mom had an exiting array of things in those drawers--spools of ribbons, rhinestones, buttons. Each time she pulled something from the drawer it was like a craft adventure!

Once she pounded 4 nails to the top of a wooden spool. She showed us how to wind yarn around each nail and maneuver the stitches. And it seemed like magic when that yarn reappeared out of the bottom of the spool, each loop tied together to make a knitted i-cord. Not sure what I ever did with all that i-cord, probably made necklaces.

Mom had other tricks up her sleeves. She taught us to fold gum wrappers and fit the pieces together to make these crazy zigzag chains, (which we turned into more necklaces).

At the holidays, we decorated lightbulbs and turned them into cute elves (which I still have to this day), turned beads and pipecleaners into snowflakes, and sequins into shimmering icicles.

We created countless woven potholders out of the scraps we collected from her sewing room waste bin.

And one of my favorites was when when she'd bring home reams of this beautiful colored wire from her job at the telephone company. The wire was thin and malleable, and was plastic coated in solids or striped varieties. Mom showed my sister and I how to make a loop, and wrap the wire around itself, creating a beautiful ridged pattern. I spent hours doing that. And I made LOTS of necklaces.

Crafting with my mom are some of my favorite childhood memories. I felt like I too, had magical abilities, turning bits and pieces of things into something special. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and a creative outlet. That probably explains why I continue to craft today.

And I guess I was learning more than just how to make something out of scraps.

I learned that everything has a possibility. Everything can become something else. The world is as big as your imagination.

That's a darned fine lesson to learn from pieces of felt and wire.


© Cheese Curds and Kimchi
Woo woo! Finally finished my niece's Sugar & Spice baby blanket. She had her little Scarlett Rose about a month ago, so I guess technically I blew the deadline on this. But I hope the Little Miss can forgive her old auntie when she snuggles up with her softee. (Pattern info is HERE, and yarn used is Berroco Comfort Baby, fingering weight).

I also finished the first of my Danger Craft toys! She's ridiculously cute (photo, top of page), but I could be a bit biased. (Pattern available HERE. Yarn used is Cascade 220 Superwash). I think I'll try felting the next ones I make.

With those projects done, the next awesome craft project is right around the corner! Here's the top contenders:

image from Sew, Mama, Sew!
At Sew, Mama, Sew! a link to a free pattern! It's a kimono-style jacket, dress, or sleeper...you decide. I can't decide if I'm more in love with the prints or the pattern.

image from Smashed Peas and Carrots
Um...I know I'll probably need to deal with this when the kiddo comes, but I'm a bit of a germ freak. Placing our darling baby's butt on a changing table that has hosted who knows what gives me the creeps. This pattern for a vinyl changing mat made out of a tablecloth seems like a pretty darned genius idea to me! Check out the super duper tutorial at Smashed Peas and Carrots.

image from Heather Bailey-Online
A few super adorable patterns for purchase over at Heather Bailey Online. Check out this trio of pint-sized pachyderms. A must for our boy's collection! The pattern looked pretty feasible to me. They are so cute I'm going to brave an encounter with the sewing machine soon.

image from Heather Bailey-Online
There is also a cute pattern for a soft stacker toy but I think our guy might be too old for this when he comes home?

image from Magpie Patterns
Of course, knitting is my favorite way to craft, so these adorable owls from Magpie Patterns are a must have.

image from flickr

And lastly, here's the next baby blanket that I'm putting on the needles by Jared Flood. I love the non-traditional baby colors. You can find the pattern for the Tweed Baby Blanket at Ravelry.

Off to the yarn shop!


  1. Ok, there is just WAY too much in this post that I love. I LOVE your childhood memories of your mom sewing, and I adore that you found/find her abilities so magical. It's absolutely beautiful.
    And all these free fun patterns? LOOOOOOOVE!!!

  2. i agree with elizabeth! LOVE this post! your mom sounds amazing and it is so cool that you learned so much from her!
    that doll is ADORABLE and the blanket is absolutely beautiful. i love it all!

  3. i LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing the magical abilities of mothers, it reminded me of all the mystical powers my own possessed when i was young.

    love the owls, i vote for those.

  4. I love your magical memories and beautiful craft ideas. Good luck and happy crafting!

  5. Thank you, Honey. I loved all those times with you in my sewing room too. And it sure fills my heart to know that they were important to you too. You have your own special magic to share with your children.
    I love you, Mom

  6. Oh I would have loved to hang out with your mom. Such a cool mom. I'm glad you have such good memories of your childhood. All these pictures are so cute!!!

  7. Your mom sounds so cool! Such wonderful childhood memories!
    I love all the crafty stuff. Now I just wish I had some talent.


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