Recently my mother gave me an old matchbox that she found in her garage...a beautiful sturdy box made from what looks like thin ply wood:
When I was little an empty matchbox was a favourite addition to my craft stash...and although matchboxes aren't quite as sturdy as they used to be, they're still lots of fun...so I thought that I'd post a round up of 10 matchbox crafts you can make with your kids:
If you live in Sydney and are looking for a fun school holiday activity for your kids, you might be interested in a hand-sewing workshop I will be giving at the Object Gallery in Surry Hills.
The workshop is for kids 7 years old and up. It's on April 24 from 11:00-12:30 and costs $25. They'll learn how to sew their own mini-cushions. Bookings online here...and don't forget to check out all the other fun workshops being held at the gallery.
When I was 14 I went to Mexico...actually we were on our way to Vienna but the first part of the trip took us by boat to Genoa via the Panama Canal...I remember being fascinated by a kind of reverse appliqué that the women were selling near the port in Acapulco...they placed layers of different coloured fabric on top of each other and cut through the layers to let the different colours show through depending on which layer they cut down to. The mola below matches my memories pretty well:
Anyway, here's a tutorial for a cushion I make in my classes based on a simplified version of this idea. I've used two 16" X 16" squares of pink felt for the cushion...a 6" X 6" square of white felt for the reverse appliqué window...and a 3" X 3" square of light pink felt to make the heart...girls in my classes LOVE pinks...but use whatever colours appeal to you. Other things you'll need: stuffing, pony beads for the fringes, and of course, needles, thread and pins.
Draw an 8” square on the
pink felt. This is going to be your sewing line when you sew the cushion together. I like to use a white wax pencil (called a chinagraph over here in Australia and in the UK) but ordinary soft pencils like 2B's work just as well as long as the colour you've chosen for your felt isn't too dark. Now draw a heart inside the square and cut it out as above.
Pin your square of white felt under
the cut-out heart shape and sew into place.
Cut a heart from the light pink felt. Pin and sew into place.
It’s a good idea to trim
the excess white felt from the back of your work.
Place your work on top of the remaining 16" square of pink felt. Pin and sew together along the line that you drew with the pencil.
Remember: don't sew right around this
line…leave a gap of about 3” to put the stuffing in before you sew the gap
Cut fringes all around
the cushion. Add pony beads.
And that's it.
A Very Simple Fringed Felt Reverse Appliqué Beaded Heart Cushion:
School holidays are here again in Australia and my holiday workshops and students have been a welcome change of pace from the book of sewing projects I've been working on for the past 5 months...just sent a finished draft of the text off to the publisher...still busy tweeking templates to get everything right.
Anyway, I really just wanted to post something...it's been so long...these are my "Eggplant girls" from the first holiday workshop of winter...I can't claim this as original...stuffed animal and vegetable softies have been around in very similar forms for...well...forever...but the girls with their Mr. Eggplants all look so happy I couldn't resist a group photo:
...been having lots of fun lately setting up my etsy shop...always thought it would be interesting to make some of my projects into do-it-yourself-kits but I never got around to doing it...well I have now...thought I'd start with Sunny...he's a happy enough fellow and easy to make... you can visit the shop by clicking on the Etsy logo on my sidebar.
...and I almost forgot: to "celebrate" the grand opening of my etsy shop I'm giving away a "Sunny kit"...all you have to do to be-in-it-to-win-it is to write a comment telling me one thing that makes you happy...I'll choose the winner on December 7th and will post the kit to anywhere in the world...
Edited to add: And the winner is Luciana...I let my daughters choose...they liked Luciana's comment about "her daughters smiling"...so congratulations...Sunny will be on his way to you soon.
I have been designing and teaching craft and hand sewing projects to children for the past 20 years. I love to quilt, crochet, cook and of course sew.
Why Coloured Buttons?
The German Jewish poetess Else Lasker-Schüler used to say that whether she was arranging coloured buttons or whether she was writing poems, it was all really one and the same. I always liked that comment. I think a lot of what I do is like that. When I'm making a quilt or beading a necklace I'm doing the same sort of thing - it's like writing a poem, it's just not a poem with words.