Alewives Fabric Craft Swap

When we were at the Maine Quilts show in July, we stopped by the Alewives Fabric booth.  We loved their stuff!  Loved it!  Well, I went online later to check out their online store, and saw that they had a craft swap coming up in their store on a Friday night.  It looked like a good time, so my friend and I went.  It was a bit of a drive to get there, but so worth it!

The swap was tons of fun and we can’t wait until the next one in December!  It was an old-fashioned Yankee Swap, and I was excited to have possession of Rhea’s Denyse Schmidt-inspired scrappy quilt, even if it was only for a little while.

Here is what I made!  I used Skip to my Lou’s reversible tote bag tutorial to make a little linen tote.  I made the handles a bit longer to make it easier to hang over your shoulder.  I pieced the front piece with some pretty Irish linen that I had in my stash, and some purple quilting pieces, also from my stash.  Then, I used the Sketchy Stitchy Applique tutorial from Bloomin’ Workshop to make these little birds.  I love the little birds!  I used Heat and Bond Lite to attach the birds to the linen, then did the sketchy stitching using some brown thread (don’t forget stabilizer underneath!).  I think brown has a nicer effect than black thread.  Finished it off with some Kona cotton handles in Violet.

Linen bird tote for swap

Linen bird tote for swap

Sketchy Stitchy Applique birds

Sketchy Stitchy Applique birds

Of course, that wasn’t enough for me, so I also made a little stuffed birdie with a thrifted wool sweater.  I needle felted the tail, beak, belly, and the little bits of orange color on the wings.  The pattern for the bird was based off the pattern that Living Crafts magazine had in their winter issue last year (last year, I made them with regular wool felt as Peace Dove bird ornaments for Montessori teacher gifts for the holidays).  And to top it off, I threw in the brand-new (at the time) book from Amanda Blake Soule, Handmade Home.

Felted wool bird

Felted wool bird

It was a great time, and I loved making the items.  And what did I receive in the swap, you might ask?  A totally adorable bag!  I love bags.

My craft swap loot

My craft swap loot

Of course, while I was there, I couldn’t resist shopping in their lovely store.  New post for that.  I can’t wait to show you what I’m going to do with what I bought!!  I’m very excited about it.

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Living Crafts magazine


I just got an email from Living Crafts magazine with a teaser about the subject of their fall issue (on newsstands August 15 – November 15). WOOL! Woo-hoo! Wool hedgehogs (cool), wool pumpkins, wool paintings, an article about wool roving, a resource directory on wool, as well as Elf hats, Gnome hats, crowns for children and mother/daughter cardigans.

How cool does all of that sound? I can’t wait to get it! If you don’t subscribe to this magazine, you should pick up a copy and check it out. It has great projects in it.

Not all crafting is successful

I did mention that I’m a brand new knitter, have never taken a class, etc., right? Okay, because it’s nice to have a reason for my poor little bunny who doesn’t quite look like a bunny. To be honest, I was a bit confused by some of the directions in how to assemble the bunny. Also, it was supposed to be knit with #2 needles, which I couldn’t do since they are so tiny, so I used #4. I’m sure that probably meant that I had to change some of the other instructions, but since I’m such a novice, I didn’t really know how to do that. Oh well. First attempts are always worthwhile! Perfection is not necessary in crafting. I’ll leave perfection to my friends with OCD and to mass manufacturers conforming to ISO standards and whatnot.


He looks much cuter in the pictures than he does in real-life. He’s a bit lopsided. My younger son seems to like him though. It was my first completed knitting project however. Hooray for me! I enjoyed the knitting and actually figured out how to bind off a project, so those are good things. The videos at Knitting Help were excellent.

Knitting little bunnies

I am not a knitter. I’m a wannabe knitter but have never made the effort to learn beyond getting some supplies and trying it out a time or two. So I was looking through my latest issue of Living Crafts magazine (awesome, awesome craft mag!), and saw these adorable little knit bunnies. They looked pretty simple. (Yeah, right.) Well, they are supposed to be knit on size 2 needles. Those are tiny. So, after several failed attempts, I stepped up to size 4, and progress went a little better. I finally have my swatch ready to bind off, and then, you tie it off in different places to make the ears, and sew up the body, do some embroidered eyes, etc., and voila! Of course, I’m having a bit of trouble binding off since I haven’t ever actually done that before. I’ll figure it out. I’m going to check out the “how to” videos at Knitting Help. And, I think I am going to start a class at my LYS (local yarn store). So, hopefully a picture of a bunny with be forthcoming.