All posts by annwood

ghost kitties : a new tutorial and notes from the forest

boo! sew up a batch of friendly cat ghosts

They are sweet and silly and  I’ve made you a tutorial and everything. It’s super easy and quick  to do and you probably already have everything you need to make them.  Sew by hand or machine. This is also a perfect pattern for using freezer paper if you have it. Trace the template onto your freezer paper and iron it on (shiny side down). You can stitch around with the freezer paper still attached. And you can use the freezer paper template multiple times.  For the demonstration below I’m using a plain paper pattern.

More on the ghost kitties in a moment….


notes from the forest

mark making with stamps and paint on newsprint in progress

In other news I’ve just come back from the Squam Art Retreat in New Hampshire.  A glorious time  was had by all. Maybe mostly me. I so needed the change of pace and some time to play and experiment and listen to the loons and the wind in the pines. The group energy is wild and motivating. I came home with lots of percolating ideas.  The class (taught by myself and Autumn Song) was a day of creative play that began with mark making. The rest of the day is top secret…

And you never know who you might bump into in that big pine forest….

The dastardly owl and sleepy very nice mice and little  wire bed by Mary B. So sweet!


make a cat ghost doll

download the pattern

You will also need:

  • cotton fabric
  • a basic sewing kit
  • chopstick or similar
  • stuffing – I like wool
  • buttons
  • embroidery thread for the features

1.  Download and cut out the template.  Pin it to a double layer of fabric (right sides together) and trace with a pencil or disappearing marker. Mark the space for the opening indicated on the pattern.

2. Remove the paper pattern and re-pin the fabric (use lots of pins).  Cut out around the seam line with 1/4 inch seam allowance.

3.  Stitch the seam by hand or machine.  Clip tiny wedges into the seam allowance around the curves. Clip close to the seam but be careful not to snip it. Clip off the tips at the ears and tail and remove a little of the seam allowance. Reducing the bulk at the points will make them turn out more easily.

back to the cats in just a moment:

It has been a priority here for years to create high quality and fun free patterns (there are tons) like the ghosty cats on an ad free site. There are not very many of those left and it is becoming increasingly difficult. In an effort to keep the free awesomeness flowing I’ve created an opportunity for you to support and show some love to my free pattern library.

support the ann wood handmade free pattern library with a happy donation

Support free patterns like ghosty cats with a happy donation. 

Click here to add your support.

 

back to the cat spectres:

4. Turn it right side out. Use a chopstick to push out the small parts.Gentle pressure and a twisting motion will help push the tips all the way out.

5. Place the pattern over your right side out cat and use a pencil to poke through the paper to make guide dots for the simple features.

6. Stuff -I’m using this wool stuffing.  Add a little at a time and be careful not to block narrow parts.

Read More

fall project ideas, sew a scrap quilt on a foundation plus a spooky read

quilt blocks made with vintage scraps

Happy National Sewing Month to those who celebrate. I’m not even making that up, it’s a real thing since 1982. My big fall project is a scrap quilt. I’ve never gotten a quilt across the official finish line. I’ve made a couple tops that ended up as duvet covers which doesn’t really count.

lovely old quilt

This is one of those past efforts (in 2016 Brooklyn).

This time there is a do-able plan and a legit quilt is gonna happen. The kind you run into at flea markets, soft, homespun and scrappy but sturdy enough to really use.

quilt blocks made with vintage scraps

sew a scrap quilt on a foundation

It’s going to be sewn one block at a time to foundation fabric (lightweight muslin).

What I love about this plan:

  • The square muslin “container” inspires me.
  • The one block at a time thing makes it feel doable. I can babystep my way through it.
  • The foundation gives the very scrappy  scraps extra stability and makes the blocks easy to deal with.

There will eventually be a schedule for how many blocks per week but I’m messing with the process for a while to experiment my way towards what I want.

The muslin blocks are 10 inch squares. I don’t know exactly what the finish size is yet – I’ll figure that out after I have 50 or so blocks to play with. I will keep you updated on all the scrap quilt developments as they happen.

The foundation method is stitching scraps to the muslin. I’m using an improv process, no planning ahead, just grabbing scraps and stitching them on. That’s the kind of “make do” utilitarian and vintage feeling quilt I’m looking for. I think the quilting will be super simple and oldschool too, I’m leaning in the direction of yarn knots.

If your’e into a more organized process and result you can find a great tutorial for sewing a string quilt on a foundation here.

Before beginning I washed the muslin and scraps. To start, cut your foundation squares and pin a scrap, place another over it (right sides together) and stitch a seam (¼ inch seam allowance)

Fold the fabric over and press. Place another scrap over it and repeat until your muslin block is covered.

Flip the square over and trim the edges. This step is weirdly satisfying. Put the cut offs back in the scrap pile if they’re big enough.

The first couple squares I made over the weekend are sewn by hand but the plan is to mostly machine sew. I already like it.

table with vintage paper back and patchwork pouches

the spooky read

My friend Katy and I read a spooky vintage book every year. This years selection is “The Other” Thomas Tryon. We both love a scary novel, preferably written in the 70’s and preferably made into a film in the same decade and preferably a vintage copy with old book smell. Previous titles include Burnt Offerings and Rosemary’s Baby. This one is a winner on all counts.  I got it on Ebay for 6 bucks.

4 fall project ideas

It’s the perfect time to make a crow! This beautifully stitched example  was made from the crow sewing pattern by super talented stitch club member Kari M. If your crow needs a hat find a free template and diy for a paper hat here.

making sharp applique points

Bat Applique –  or “batlique” Get the free template and diy instructions here. They are especially cool stitched to vintage linens. And you’ll learn how to make super pointy applique points.

owl ornaments made from scraps

Owl Ornaments – these little owls are a perfect fall scrap project

Mini Tetra Sachet’s – Make little sachet’s with the tetra tutorial. I’m using all sorts of herbs from the garden and throwing in some cloves too. I’m all about a seasonal smell.

little hand stitched squirrel

Forest Folk Sewing Pattern – it’s time to make the squirrels! I sure do love to put a scarf on somebody little…

colorful handmade pirate birds with fancy bicorne hats (you should make one)

this is why we can’t have nice things – beware of scammers

Important note regarding pirates! Not the fun kind. I sell patterns here, ann wood handmade, and also on Etsy. Nowhere else. Shady websites steal images from me and other small pattern designers. One of those sites is currently pumping out lots of Facebook and Instagram ads for sewing patterns. It’s a bait and switch scam – anyone who purchases from them gets nothing or close to nothing. I and other designers have reported them to their webhost and Meta (facebook and instagram). So far there has been no action taken by the host. Meta has removed the ads but not deactivated the ad account so be aware.

Incidentally International “Talk Like A Pirate Day” also lands in September – the 19th.  Find the template for the little bicornes here.

What’s your national sewing month project? Will you join me in making a scrap quilt? Are you in the mood for a scary book? Let us know in the comments. Happy National sewing Month to you!

make scrap fabric patchwork : recreational piecing

Plants and patchwork make me happy, I can’t get enough of either of them.

The process has an energetic phase and a meditative phase. The energetic phase is grabbing a bunch of scraps and piecing them together quickly. I find my results are most satisfying when I don’t over think this part. Join a couple pieces, iron your seams open, cut it up and join them again. Repeat until it’s as patchworky as you’d like. I make a pretty big mess when I do this.

baskets of scrap fabric being ironed and pieced together randomly.

Pro Tip: Load your machine with gray thread- it works for most fabric colors. Also keep your stitch pretty small. If you’re going to cut your patchwork up to make stuff it won’t easily fall apart before you assemble your project.

This quick paced piecing always gets my wheels turning. The resulting patchwork is a great start for all sorts of projects.

get the pattern button

patchwork project  ideas:

woebegone pines

scrappy trees 

needle books

mushrooms

It’s also a great way to start your 100 day stitch book pages 

patchwork cut into little square and rectangles on a cutting mat

Lately I have felt a strong spiritual directive to make some simple little pouches. That’s what got me thinking about patchwork this week. The next step was to cut my shapes.

That’s where the meditative phase begins. Before I start to assemble the pouches I’ll add hand stitching and patches. I want these tiny bags to feel layered and worked, the patchwork is a huge head start in that direction.

That’s my stitch plan for the weekend – slowly hand stitching this little collection of squares and rectangles. I’ll post some progress in my instagram stories.  And if the pouches are sweet I’ll post a tutorial soon. Stay tuned.

brown paper packages tied with bakers twine and decorated with stamps. Colorful post cards and fabric are tucked into the package.

Happy mail! Lots of mushroom sewing patterns are headed out into the world. Thank you!

Hot off the press! Don’t look directly at it… The Golden Sun Notecard is in the shop now.

What’s your weekend sewing project? Is there recreational patchwork in your future?

Let us know in the comments.

the vacation sewing box, mini stitched mushrooms, and the finished 2023 stitch book

a box filled with hand stitch projects prepared- it's pretty messy

meditative stitching

Simple hand stitching is an ideal activity for percolating ideas. It occupies me but doesn’t require too much brain power and lets my subconscious do its background magic. That background magic is key to everything and there is a lot to percolate! I’m working on new projects to share here and getting ready to head to Squam to teach a workshop all about having ideas…

a box filled with hand stitch projects prepared- it's pretty messy

This box of stitch projects is built for that, a vacation from thinking. Decisions are already made and you can just pull something out and start sewing. My box is lots of mending and mini mushrooms.

a red and white mushroom mad from fabric photographed in nature.

I made the spotted guy from the cut off part of some recently hemmed pants. The soft cotton twill was splattered with bleach first. Now I’ve got a mushroom that matches my pants and I’m positive that’s going to come in handy someday.


finishing the 100 day stitch book

It’s finally assembled! Two big differences for me this year are leaving the edges raw and thinking of the pages in pairs. I loved having a second chance at compositions by treating 2 pages as one image/idea. And I mostly did not work on them consecutively. Especially when I wasn’t 100% happy with what I’d done, putting the idea aside for a bit helped a lot. Checkout the final assembly of the finished pages in the video below.

learn more about the stitch book project here

Don’t see the video? Click here.

plus the mr. socks photo challenge winner!

Congratulations Diane! (@lubydiane on instagram). I love that your mr. socks had a friend on his adventures and all the photos were fantastic. A bundle of scraps will be headed your way! Check out the full reel on instagram. So sweet!

two tiny cat rag dolls posed playfully by a pond

Let’s wind up the summer with another photo challenge

Show us your mushrooms! Are they poisonous? Enchanted? Do they magically appear only when the moon is full? Stitch up a mushroom and take a photo. Please use #annwoodmushroompattern to share on instagram or facebook. Post your photo before the end of September. A panel of esteemed judges (me) will chose the winner of an awesome little bundle of scraps in early September.

a very small indigo capped stitched mushroom captured in the wild

Do you have a travel sewing project? Are you ready for September?!
Are you an over-achiever already working on holiday stuff? Let us know in the comments.

when life gives you lemons make tiny needle books and herb markers

a mini cloth gook fastened with a red string

a very small cotton needlebook with a haret in the center - there is a needle with green thread in it wrapped in a criss cross fashion

And also maybe a sad bulb… 

let’s start with the needle book

It’s super small, just 2 and ½ by 3 inches. And it’s made with template C and the heart from the free needle book tutorial. A couple details are different from the pattern:

  1. I added a layer of cotton batting in the heart and rectangle.
  1. Instead of the loop closure  I used a string with fringed ends. It’s tied around the button and long on one end for wrapping. 

It was fun to make and the size is sweet but most importantly it helped me bust out of inertia. 

Usually, in the early summer, I take a little  time off to travel or just mess around in the garden and swim. This year, instead of that, I got super sick and did a lot of tedious website maintenance work…  Finding my energy and focus on the other side of that and getting back into a working/creative rhythm has been tough. I’ve been firmly stuck in the doldrums, not even a whisper of a breeze to push me out.

a mini cloth gook fastened with a red string

 In a doldrum emergency like this the question to ask myself is : what would I be willing to do. Not what should I do, but what might I possibly, actually, maybe be able to get myself to do.  For me the answer was a tiny needle book. And twig herb markers.

 If you don’t see the video click here.

The little book would make a great gift and I might make a couple for the shop (I’m still in a tiny needle book making place). You can check out the book in the video above. The thread wrapped needle detail is a simple thing that makes it feel extra special.

making stick herb markers

Every year I mean to make them and don’t. They’re super quick and easy, just twigs with the bark shaved off and a fine sharpie. Mine are kind of a mess but that’s in keeping with the current theme here. I love them.  

The tiny projects did the trick, somewhere between the needle book and the twig markers  there was a glimmer of motivation and momentum. The wheels are turning again and I’m nurturing that precious momentum

blulb stitched form cotton with a green sprout and sad stitched face

Let’s talk about this guy. He was a bonus project for the zoom botanical class.  I’m considering a sewing pattern or mini class for him.  

How is your summer? Have you hit the doldrums? What’s on your worktable? Do you need a sad bulb in your life? Let us know in the comments.

house fly rag doll : sewing tutorial

simple fly rag dolls that fit in the palm of your hand. Made from cotton scraps with button eyes and simple details. Their expressions are very happy.

Who could be mad at these guys? Sew up some little fly friends, you’ll need a handful of scraps, stuffing and buttons. Pretty much. Their expressions crack me up. And the funny little legs definitely have “flyness”.

The idea for them first turned up in the daily paintings. I love to celebrate the less loved creatures and who is less loved than the dreaded house fly?

little fly dolls in miniature wire beds with vintage cotton mattresses

And why not make them cozy? They fit perfectly in the little wire beds.

let’s make a batch of dear little pests

 

fabric fly doll, on it's back on a windowsill next to a vase.

 

download the template

supplies

  • basic sewing kit
  • embroidery thread  (I’m using dmc perl cotton 12)
  • buttons – 1/4 – 1/2  inch-ish
  • cotton fabric scraps
  • a little stuffing

It’s helpful to read through all the steps before beginning.

1. Pin the body pattern to 2 layers of cotton fabric – right sides together – and cut out 1/4 inch from the edge. With the pattern still attached, stitch around the edge of the paper. Leave open between the marks.

2. Clip the seam allowance at the marks.

3. With the paper pattern still attached fold the edges of the opening over and press.

4. Clip little triangle sections out of the seam allowance – be careful not to clip the seam.

support the ann wood handmade free pattern library with a happy donation 

Support free patterns like happy flies! And keep the awesome free projects flowing.

Click here to add your support.

 

back to the flies…

5. Turn the body right side out. Use a chopstick or similar to push out the curves.

6. Stuff the body and stitch the opening closed with tiny whip stitches.

For adding the details and features you will find this tutorial on how to hide your knots helpful.

 

7. Cut out the stomach patch and stitch in place.

8.  The wings are made from 2 layers of fabric. Pin the wing pattern to a double layer of cotton – wrong sides together – and cut out around the edge of the pattern (do not add seam allowance). Repeat for another wing.

9. Stitch all the way around the edge of both wings with contrasting thread –  about 1/8th inch from the edge.

10.  Stitch buttons close to the edge of the head. I used a half inch button here – you can use 2 or 4 hole buttons.

11. Stitch two straight lines in contrasting thread to finish his simple features.

12. Pin the wings in place. The short side goes in the center with the edges overlapping slightly. Make a few stitches in the center and down the side. Stitch with the same color thread over your previous stitches.

13. Make a knot 4 inches from the end of your leg thread (I used dmc perl cotton #12). Insert the needle into the side seam at the top to the stomach patch.

14. Bring the needle out the other side until the knot catches and make a knot at the seam.

15. Make a knot in the thread and before tightening it use the needle to pull it down the thread util it is 1/2 inch from the body. Tighten the knot.

16.  Trim the leg about 1/2 inch from the knot. Repeat the knot and trimming on the other side.

17. 1/2 inch below the first legs add the next two. For the last two legs Make a knot 4 inches from the end and put the needle in 1/2 inch from the bottom of the body. Bring the thread out the other side until it catches and make a knot at the seam.

18.  Make a knot 1 inch from the body.

19. Trim the leg  3/4 inch from the knot. Repeat the knot and trimming on the other side.

hello fly friend!

Do you know somebody who needs an aggressively friendly fly?  Is there an adorable swarm in your future? Let us know in the comments.

stitching mini tetras from scraps

work table with multi colored mini fabric charms in pyramid shapes

These mini tetra charms are super quick and fun to sew (they are also pretty addictive).  All you need is a tiny scrap and a little stuffing and you are minutes away from a completed charm. I have no real plans/reason for these yet but I love making them. There is something so satisfying about the shape and size and variety of colors together. They are lucky charms or bookmarks (on a longer string) or garlands or jewelry.

I came across a tutorial years ago on the mairuru blog  (she has lots of great diys) but got around to trying them just lately.

I made charms in two sizes – very mini – using a rectangle 2 ½ by 1 ¼ inches and a larger size using a rectangle 2 by 4 inches.

Cut your rectangles and follow the diy here.

 

tiny fabric pyramid shaped charm - about 1 inch high in my hand

indigo pyramid shaped charm in my hand

You can also make an even larger version for a pincushion or pattern weight.  Start with a rectangle twice as long as wide.

The name, tetra, comes from their shape – tetrahedron- a triangular pyramid. The construction is magical and simple. You can also make little paper packages with pretty much the same technique. Check out this vintage tetra milk carton. So cool, but it apparently did not stand the test of time…

pyramid treat boxes in paper and card stock

I also made the packages in 2 sizes. The smaller size is made using a 4 ½ by 6 inch rectangle and the larger with a 6 by 8 rectangle. If you’re using heavier paper like card stock the larger size is best. For the little one I used kraft paper. a shopping bag is ideal.

*this post contains an affiliate link, meaning if you purchase through the link I get a small commission.

Roll the paper into a tube, overlapping the edges and tape or (glue stick) them. I used washi tape. Double sided tape is also great for the join.

Fold the edge over twice. You can glue or staple or even sew the edge. It also does not need to be folded – you could  trim the edge instead. Put treats or surprises (or little tetra charms inside).

Close the other end with the taped join on the side instead of the middle, fold and staple.

And we gotta talk about the stapler. Who new staples could be so charming? It was a Christmas gift and everything about it is appealing, the box it comes in, the midcentury design and the tiny staples. You can find it here * this is an affiliate link meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

I love the simple little packages! You can find more variations of them and other simple and sweet packaging ideas on my pinterest packaging board.

Will you stitch up some mini tetra charms? Do you love cool packaging? Does a tiny staple make you swoon? Let us know in the comments.

finishing the hundred day stitch book : suddenly a prawn appears

day 99!

There was no plan for a prawn. He just turned up. He was immediately preceded by an octopus. That’s what I love about an improvisational process. Ideas. One thing really does lead to another if you let it. You get somewhere new by starting without knowing, make a mark (in this case a stitch, a patch etc.) and respond to it.

day 99 2023

These undersea friends in hats bubbled up from somewhere mysterious. They inhabit a world that is rich and expansive idea-wise. I’m going to spend time in that world. This is my favorite thing to do in life.

day 95 2023

Daily practice has a serious slog factor. It’s often hard to show up for. Days inevitably get weird and busy and difficult. I’m blown away by how many of you showed up for this. The community as well as instagram and facebook is filled with those efforts. Thousands of stitched pages. The last of the 100 days is tomorrow. Wherever you are in that process congratulations on showing up and thank you for sharing your one of a kind imagination.

support the ann wood handmade free pattern library with a happy donation 

Support the 100 day stitch book project and the always growing free pattern library.

Click here to add your support.

 

 

finishing the book

To finish your book start here.

None of what I’m about to say will make any sense to you unless you’ve reviewed the assembly pages linked above. I started putting my book together yesterday and I’m assembling a little differently this year. It’s going to take forever, tons of hand stitching.

The difference is leaving the page edges raw. I did this in a workshop in France last summer and liked the effect. You can check that out here. (PS if you’d like to join me for France 2024 please use the contact form to message me and I’ll hook you up with more info)

It’s easy to do but the hand stitching on all those pages takes a while. If you’d like raw edges just follow the book assembly instructions and  at step 11 in the slot section you place the wrong sides of the pages together. And again for the tab section in step 9 you place the wrong sides together.

I put together my first two sections (according to the chart) yesterday. Checkout the demo below and then refer to the official instructions.

First you need to number the pages in the order you want them to appear in the book. 1 is the front cover and 20 is the back cover .

Then arrange the numbered pages according to the chart.

Sew the seams for the first two sets of pages (section 1 on the chart).

Press the seams open.

For the raw edge finish place the wrong sides together.

And hand or machine stitch around the edges. The tab and slot edges are not raw – they are folded in and should be whip stitched closed  – just follow the directions here.

Just like last year I’m a little happy and a little sad this is over.  Daily commitment is hard but once again It was so worth it.  How about you?  Are you assembling your book? Did you have a favorite  page?  Let us know in the comments.

first ever zoom workshop, fabric boats and the last 3 stitch book pages

textile seed pods

There’s a lot of news! The first ever zoom workshop,  fabric boat progress, the next art work update, a new notecard,  plus we are down to the last 3 stitch book pages and, by popular demand , the cardboard house measurements.

zoom workshop

Let’s start with the zoom. We’ll be making seedpods! The workshop is hosted online by my friends at French General. You can find all the details and sign up here.

The seedpod is one of my favorite classes to teach and I’ve done it in person many times here and in France. This will be my first zoom! With hopefully lots more to follow. You’ll learn a bunch about soft sculpture and the result is pretty spectacular.

click here for info and registration 

Checkout some workshop seedpods below:

textile seed pods

 

the cardboard house

The cardboard house was made without any real planning and not that much measuring… It’s wonky and a bit uneven. There will not be a tutorial or pattern for it but there is a post with building tips and because lots of people have asked I’ve added the approximate measurements below. I hope that helps and good luck with your cardboard house!

  • measurements are in inches:
  • across bottom – 11.5
  • ceiling/floor – 13.25
  • wall height – 9.5
  • roof – 13
  • and the depth is – 8.75

uppercase magazine


This week’s newsletter was sponsored by uppercase magazine. UPPERCASE is an always gorgeous quarterly print magazine for the creative and curious. The newest issue is all about surface pattern design, featuring the portfolios of 100 artists plus in-depth features with cover artist and fabric designer Anna Maria Horner as well as designers e bond, Kitty McCall, Mirth Studios and more. I’m a huge fan of Janine and uppercase was a contributor to the stitch illo volume.

* BECOME A NEWSLETTER SPONSOR

Do you have a product or service the more than 24000 readers of the ann wood handmade newsletter would be happy to hear about? One carefully curated sponsorship opportunity per newsletter is available. Email for more info.

the fabric sailboat sew-along

I haven’t made a fabric sailboat in quite a while and had to follow my own directions closely. I’m happy to report they are excellent. My parts are nearly assembled and the hull is taking shape. The hulls are made from fabric and batting over cereal box cardboard. I’m always amazed at what graceful shapes a simple cardboard armature can make.

While the mast is drying in place I’m working on sails and flags. Next week I’ll make a passenger. I’m leaning towards wobblers… The sweet boats below are made by readers – 1. Terry Wilson and 2. Lindsey Bass. So adorable! if you’re making a fabric sailboat please use #annwoodregatta to share.

 

a couple more studio notes

The next art update is 4/20 at noon eastern time, you can sign up for an email notification here. Lot’s of small paintings and depending on the kiln situation there might be a couple new story bottles. And there’s a new notecard available now – peaceful moon.

the last three stitch book pages

Only three left?! It’s day 85 today, 4/14. Lot’s of people have already started assembling their books. I’m waiting until the very end to decide my page order. I know what pages I want to display together but have not decided on the overall lay out. In the last stitch book blog post on 4/29 I’ll do a demo of the alternative page joining method (raw page edges exposed) but if you’re anxious to get started the short explanation is follow these steps until step 11 . Instead of right sides together place the wrong sides together and then stitch around the edge.

What’s on your work table this spring? Are you a fan of zoom workshops? Are you assembling your stitch book? Let us know in the comments and happy garden season!

exciting developments in tiny curtain hardware for the cardboard doll house

What’s more luxurious than a little wood stove in your bedroom on a cold spring morning? #lifegoals  There has been major work on the cardboard house for the tiny doll. Decisions have been made and actions have been taken.

doll house made from corrugated cardboard with diy furniture

miniature curtains

The big news is an exciting development in tiny curtain hardware, such a break through, let’s start with that. The original plan was to just tack up little bits of fabric and lace but the idea of hardware and removable rods would not leave me alone.

The twig solution is just right for a cardboard house and super easy to do. All you need are some twigs and hot glue. Snip off sections with a little limb and glue to the wall.

Stitch or tie on fabric or weave a little twig through the lace.

*this post contains an affiliate link highlighted and marked with an asterisk

bedroom walls and floor

The upstairs walls got one more coat of paint in warm white and a border with a carved rubber stamp. I made the downstairs and upstairs stamps with this easy block kit (*this is an affiliate link – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link). It really is easy and I want to make lot’s more.

There is a closer look at the stamped downstairs walls here.

The bedroom floor needed to be super simple and playful in scale. The removable cardboard floor  is painted a reddish brown and simple planks were added with darker colored pencil.

wood stove and hearth pad

The wood stove for the bedroom needed a hearth. It’s a matte board (on the wall) and a half circle of foam core for the floor. The stones are made using this tutorial. The little stove (made with this DIY) also got a roaring fire. Cut the door on three sides with an xacto knife and bend it open. I painted the inside black and orange and yellow tissue paper was added.

It’s the coziest room ever. I want to live in it.

Checkout the miss thistle society for more tiny world tutorials. Are there twig curtain brackets in your future? Are you working on a world for somebody tiny? Let us know in the comments.

the sailboat sew-along and the 100 day stitch book – homestretch

owl and sailboat

April is regatta month! The sailboat sew-along begins tomorrow. Get the pattern here. To participate just make your boat in April and post your progress photos in the stitch club community, on instagram or the in facebook sew-along group using this hashtag: #annwoodregatta . There will be a blog post on the 14th. Shoot for having the boat pieces ready to be assembled by then.  We’ll talk more about passengers and embellishments then too.

owl and sailboat

The little owl (smallest size) and merry wobblers make perfect passengers for the fabric boat.

owl and sailboat

merry wobbler

the hundred day stitch book

Page 14! was finished on Thursday and we are on the first day of page 15 as of today (3/31) This is the homestretch.

A couple frequently asked questions:

Do I start my pages with a plan?

Mostly no. Occasionally there is a color combination or shape I want to work with  but it is mostly an improvisational process, one thing leads to another. For me that’s the whole point – start without knowing, experiment, let go of outcome.

I just heard about the book. Can I start now?

Absolutely! And feel free to share your progress. Lot’s of people are working faster or slower or just getting started. You can find all the details for beginning here.

You can checkout pages from thousands of participants in the stitch club community, in the facebook sew-along group and on instagram #annwodstitchbook.

 

cardinals and other reader projects and the 17th anniversary of the blog

A lot of what I do in life starts with “I wonder what happens if I do this…” That’s how this blog started 17 years ago and that’s what keeps it going. Curiosity, imagination and the joy in making things remain the driving forces here.

doll house with tiny dishes in a green wood plate rack on the wall. The house is made from cardboard and has a rustic feel.

Some things that got invented in the 17th year of the blog experiment:

sew-alongs and the winning cardinal

We had our first ever sew-along in October – the crow followed by the owl and currently the cardinal sew-along.  The cardinals are made from the songbird sewing pattern with these alterations. Let’s start with the winner of the cardinal sew-along.

It was hard to choose! The cardinal sew-along winner is @flora.twigg (I’ll dm you regarding your prize- a bundle of fabulous scraps spanning continents and centuries!)

Check out more awesome cardinals and other projects made by readers below.  I’ve added links to the maker wherever possible, you will find a pinterest level of rabbit hole fun exploring them. If you see your photo but I missed your link please let me know – I’m happy to add it.

This is not a real mushroom! Wow. It was made with the mushroom sewing pattern and  stitched by @ana.montesdemiguel

1. @littlepostcards   2. Mary Kelly   3. and 4. annika.   5. @astitchwhimsy. 6. @peaceandcraft    7. Nancy    8. @Elisabew

crow by @jillthereckless

1. @kezwilson.3       2.@sarahblankstudios.     3.@revedesouris       4. @lucindawalkerart     5. @smith_cuts_sews     6. @tumblingblocks      7. @jo_broz

owl by Terry Wilson

community

The most significant milestone of the 17th year is the stitch club community.  The glorious pink owl by Terry Wilson was posted in the owl sew-along. Currently over 3000 creative members are sharing their work, trying stuff and finding friends.

Thanks so much for showing up and happy anniversary!

PS – I’m rolling around ideas for an april sew-along – how about sailboats for a spring regatta? Let us know in the comments and a happy March to you!