Tiny Ghost

 The Pocket Pal pattern from Sewing School makes a perfect tiny ghost that fits in your pocket.   Boo!

Little Pumpkins

 It's been a few years since we made these little stuffed pumpkins in Sewing Club and I'm so glad we made them again.   They lend themselves to great interpretation and are doable for all skill levels.  Click on the link for the tutorial.

Toddler Jack-O-Hoops

What a cute lil' pumpkin head!

At Toddler Sewing Club, we made these adorable Jack-O-Hoops.  Modeled after the ones we made last year, I just changed up the materials to make them toddler-friendly.
 Materials Needed:
*Embroidery Hoop - about 8 inches (really, any size is fine, but this is what we used)
*Foam sheets (you can also purchase these individually at craft stores)
*Orange burlap
*Plastic needles
*Lacing strings (you could also use yarn here, but I like how the lacings strings make it hard to unthread the needle)
*Green ribbon for "stem"
To prep the project, put the burlap into the embroidery hoop and then trim the excess fabric around the back.  Next, cut out a bunch of fun mouth, eyes, and nose shapes from the foam pieces.  Punch at least 2 holes in each piece.  I used a standard hand hole punch and had no problems with this.  Older kids can make their own face shapes.
Before sewing on the face, I encouraged the kids to make a lot of different funny faces with the shapes. We talked about our ears, eyes, noses, mouth, and hair.  They had fun identifying the parts and making faces.  Once the perfect face was chosen, we started to sew!
 Parents helped by holding the shapes in place while the toddler did the sewing.  Older kids were more independent.  I love the look of concentration on these little sewers!
To finish it up, poke a length of ribbon (about 2 feet) through the metal fixings on the hoop and knot at the top.  A perfect stem!

Pumpkin Craft Roundup

Do you spot the Jack-O-Hoop in the bottom row?  This awesome line-up of pumpkin-themed crafts for kids is featured on ParentMap's online magazine.  So excited to be part of this crafty roundup and can't wait to try my hand at a few of them too!

Yarn Craft: God's Eye

 Here at Sewing School HQ we are lucky to be the recipient of a lot of wonderful donations, including a ton of yarn.  The box above is only a fraction of our stash!  While we love love love receiving crafty materials, it can be a little overwhelming.  What do you do when you have too much yarn?  Give  your students a yarn challenge, of course!
The big hit of the afternoon was the God's Eye, or at least versions of them.  Here's a good kid-friendly tutorial. 
 With some popsicle sticks and a bunch of yarn, you can quickly make a slew of these!
I would also like to note that this is the calmest our Sewing Club has been in awhile, lots of crafters thinking and winding yarn.
Others chose to use the yarn in less expected ways such as fringe for this "Super Awesome Tent."

Dishtowel Aprons

We made these super quick and fun dishtowel aprons in Sewing Club.  They are a riff on the Get to Work Apron in Sewing School, but can be handsewn in about an hour.

Dishtowel - really any size will work here
At least 1 yard of 3/4 or 1-inch wide ribbon
Handsewing kit or machine
Fun embellishments like ric-rac, ribbon, buttons, fabric markers, etc.

To help the young sewers and ensure success, I presewed a length of ribbon to the top of the dishtowels by machine.  You can either sew about 1and 1/2 yards across the top of the towel or sew 1/2 yard to each side of the top of a towel.  I wish I had taken a detail shot of this, but you can figure it out by looking at the photos in the post.  This way, I was sure that the ties would hold and the kids could concentrate on decorating their aprons.

You can make these aprons long with a little patchwork pocket, but everyone wanted the "Get to Work" style.  To make those, fold the bottom of the dishtowel up to about 2 inches or so below the top of the towel.
Next, draw lines with chalk to mark the pockets you want.  Sew up the lines using a running stitch or with a machine.  This is where the kid is in charge.  They thought about what they would put in the pockets and how the aprons could be used.
 These ric-rac lines are just too clever!  The kids had fun using ric-rac, ribbons, and fabric markers to embellish their aprons.

I'm sure these little sewers will have fun with their new aprons!

Kids' Halloween Stitch-N-Snack

Kids' Halloween Stitch-N-Snack
October 26, 1:30-3:30pm
Sew Memphis
$30 includes all materials and a treat!

Join Amie Plumley and Libby Shannon, Sewing Club teacher at Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal School, as they spend the morning teaching crafty tricks and sharing Halloween treats!

Boys and girls will enjoy stitching spooky disguises, making boooooooootiful pumpkin bags, and decorating (and munching on) ghoulish goodies!

This event is geared toward children kindergarten-aged and up. Adults may attend with younger children. Each adult/child pair needs only to sign up for one spot. All materials (including refreshments!) are included in the class fee.

Art Techniques for Quilt Designs Blog Party!

I am thrilled to be part of Carrie Bloomston's blog party to celebrate her new DVD Art Techniques for Quilt Designs.  You can enter to win a copy of the DVD on her blog Such Designs.

Carrie and I met via the web after Sewing School just came out.  She posted about making My Very Own Skirt with some sweet girls and I was thrilled to not only have her support, but to see the cute skirts.   Fast forward a few years and Carrie has exploded onto the scene with an awesome fabric line, patterns, a DVD, and a soon-to-be-released book that I'm sure you'll hear me rave about soon.  Carrie is one of those people that inspires.

While I was excited to watch the DVD, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I am quick to say, "I'm not an artist."  I mean, really, most of my students draw MUCH better than me.  There is a reason why I sew with kids, folks!  Anyway, the video starts off with these amazing mini-art lessons.  It's like having art school in your living room.  My kids sat down with me and were into watching her show to make a quick sketch and get the gesture of an object.

Next, she shows how she takes her ideas and inspiration and transforms them into a one-of-a-kind art quilt like her Nest Quilt.  Carrie's approach is super supportive and encouraging.  Plus, you'll learn helpful tips like using glue stick instead of pins.  Hmm...maybe even I can draw and make design my own quilts!

The video is broken down into several segments that make it easy to watch over time and offers ideas for practice and time for trying new things.  Also, Carrie is so friendly and real.  While I've never met her in person, she's exactly how I expected her to be.

So, if I haven't raved enough and you want to hear more, check out the other blog party posts around the web and make sure to check with Carrie at Such Designs so that you can enter to win a copy of the DVD. Hurry along, the giveaway ends October 4.

1.  Erica Sage
 2. Brooke Sellmann
3.  Stephanie Denton
4. Claudia Gomez
6. Karen Lepage
7. Verena Ehrhardt
8. Amie Plumley
9. Krista Fleckenstein 
10. Jessica Godfrey
11. Tia Curtis
15. Angela Tackett
16. Kristin Schwarze
17. Christen Barber

Toddler Sewing Club

Halloween Toddler Sew for 2's and 3's
Tuesday, October 7, 9am
Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal School, Memphis, TN
free fun for you and your child 
 I am super excited to turn make these fun Jack-O-Hoops with little ones.  Hope you can join me for some fun!
Not able to make the toddler sew?  I'll be posting a tutorial after the workshop.

Apple Pillow

This week in Sewing Club, we celebrated fall and Johnny Appleseed's birthday with a cute apple pillow.
The pattern is actually the Apple Pincushion from Sewing School enlarged on a photocopier by 250%. It ended up being about the size of a standard piece of paper.   I love being able to use a familiar pattern in a new way!  We made ours with cotton fabric and used felt for the stem and leaf.  Just follow the directions for the Apple Pincushion to make the pillow.
 Love this granny smith pillow!
 To add to the fun, we had an apple tasting with four different kinds of apples.  Gala won hands down!

Happy fall sewing!