Woodlandbook_lanaThe editors of Mollie Makes, all those beautiful and fun creations from bloggers and crafters all over the world (pretty much) have assembled a series of adorable books on different topics. Amongst others, there is an embroidery book, a crochet book, a christmas book, and one featuring woodland creatures which I got my hands on a few weeks ago.

The Mollie Makes books are geared towards beginners. The focus is to inspire us to make and create and to teach basic techniques in the process.acorn

Of this, the Mollie Makes series does a REALLY good job; The illustrations and instructions are clear. The projects are simple and require simple supplies. Most of the projects, including their quilts and embroidery projects can be completed in a few hours.

Mollie Makes truly democratizes the crafting process and maintains a cool and funky taste level.  Still they manage to maintain respect and appreciation for traditional techniques. It is actually quite impressive.

I can think of a ton of people from my 10 year old step daughter Kylie, my 16 year old babysitter Anna, to my 60+ year old aunt who may get a kick out of any of these books and dig out their crochet pins, embroidery needles, paper scissor etc.applique

Woodland_amigurumiI own two of the Mollie Makes series books: Embroidery and Woodland Friends. I love both of them. I consider myself an advanced needleworker, but I still felt attracted to several of the projects in both books. They seemed fun, inviting, and super cute. Kind of therapeutic, especially after completing some rather involved projects lately.

The other night I woke up around 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep. BuddhaFuzz (the queen cat) and I lumbered down into my sewing room and did something I had wanted to try out for quite a while: Aurifil Lana for counted thread embroidery.

I dug out some 32-count hand dyed linen and my precious collection of Aurifil Lana and chose a little project from Woodland Friends. The Aurifil Lana stitched up over all expectations. Not having used it for cross-stitching before I was worried that the wool would weaken and thin from all the pulling through fabric but it held up extremely well. The wool lends a fuzzy and warm look to the embroidery.lana

Encouraged by the success with the Aurifil Lana on the little Acorn, I tried Aurifil 12wt cotton Mako on the squirrel. First I tried to stitch on 28-count linen but the stitches didn’t cover the linen well enough so I switched to 32-count linen. The Aurifil 12wt stitched really well and eliminated the need for two strands of floss in the needle. It stitches similarly to a #8 pearl cotton but I has a softer and more refined look and lays nicely in the linen.

The other cool thing about using Aurifil 12wt Mako is that it makes stitching SO much easier for my kids. Both of them enjoy a little cross-stitching here and there but struggling with separating the strands of their embroidery floss. Substitute with Aurifil 12wt Mako…and that problem is solved.

I finished the little Forest Creatures hand-warmers by filling them with rice (microwave to heat). I used an ultra cute fabric with forest creatures and gold trees on the back (Brambleberry Ridge  by Violet Craft for Michael Miller).

Presto! I have two cute hand warmers that I have to send to somebody who lives in a cold place!Finished

The Mollie Makes  series books are available from Interweave/F&W

Mollie Makes: Embroidery

By the Editors of Mollie Makes

Interweave/F+W; $19.99

Mollie-Makes-Embroidery---jacket-art[1]

Mollie Makes: Woodland Friends

By the Editors of Mollie Makes

Interweave/F+W; $12.95

If you want to play with Aurifil Lana or Aurifil 12wt Cotton Mako, I suggest you ask your local quilt store first. If they don’t carry Aurifil, there are several stores online that do:

http://www.allthatthread.com

http://www.followthatthread.com

http://www.hawthornethreads.com

http://www.fatquartershop.com

Have fun Stitching!
Felicia

 

 

 

 

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