The Fletcher Home – Custom Cross Stitch

Even though I just recently returned to cross stitching I decided to tackle creating my own cross stitch designs. I love the process of starting with a blank page and filing in one box at a time to slowly create a beautiful image!

I have been looking at many cross stitched houses and want to design a few of my own. I got the idea to design one that looks like my Mom and Dad’s house! I wanted it to be a surprise for my Mom, but I soon realized I needed to enlist my Dad’s help. He snapped a few pics of their house and sent them to me. With those pics, and several more I dug up, I set about designing a replica of the house.

Along the way I ran into a few struggles, mostly involving getting the roofline, sidewalk, and shrubs right. I had to make a few creative changes so the overall design looks right.

*Get your FREE copy of the PDF pattern below!*

After charting everything I needed to decide on a fabric to use. I ended up going with tea/coffee dyed Aida. I wanted the fabric to have some sort of color, but not actually be colorful.

I started stitching at the corner of the house, starting with the stonework. There is stonework around the corners and lower edge of the house. We all know stones are made of many different shades and colors. It’s not even that each stone is a different color, but there are multiple colors within each stone. I wanted to find a way to show that in my stitching. In the end I did a lot of color mixing. Instead of stitching with two threads of the same color, I used two different color threads. I stitched in various places within the stonework area then switched to two different colors of thread. By the end I had a really unique look

I did a similar process with the hydrangea bushes. I wanted them to really stand out and look like flowers so I mixed several shades of blue, purple, and white. To make them have more dimension (since they are in front of the house) I stitched an X and a half for each. The X that every cross stitch square is filled with, then one extra time over top.

Mom and Dad’s house before the hydrangeas were in full bloom.

I couldn’t figure out a good way to show the larger base at the top and bottom of the pillars. In the end I did three rows of top stitching on each.

I charted the house to have the sidewalk out front, but decided to leave it off the finished design.

After cross stitching the house I needed to quickly figure out the finishing. My mom was coming to visit and I wanted it to be done before she arrived! I ended up selecting a whitewashed wood piece and a wooden home sign from the craft section at Wal-Mart.

I grabbed a few scraps of fabric from my stash (one that looks like denim and one dark red dot similar to the door color). I happened to have these rare earth magnets on hand and a random bit of metal in my toolbox. I didn’t want to glue the fabric directly onto the wood in case it didn’t bond well enough, so instead I glued the magnet to the wood and the metal to the cross stitched piece.

The piece still looked a little unfinished, so I pulled my Accuquilt Go Cutting Machine out and cut several flower pieces out of felt. I put them together and they were the perfect embellishment and exactly the finishing touch I needed.

You can watch the entire finishing process HERE!

https://youtu.be/hqNogz4F3As

If you’re interested in stitching your own version of the Fletcher Home you can! My mom gave me permission to share the PDF pattern.

*Click HERE for the FREE PDF pattern!*

I hope you enjoy seeing my cross stitch design and finishing! If you stitch your own version I would LOVE to see it! Please share pics using #StitchedWithWhitney and #TheFletcherHome

Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Whitney

*Amazon links are affiliate*

Log Cabin Block | Sampler Sew Along

Sampler Sew Along - Block of the Month Quilt Series

It’s FINALLY time for the twelfth block tutorial in the Whitney Sews Sampler Sew Along!  Haven’t heard about it yet?!?  Each month I’ll be sharing a step by step tutorial to make a traditional quilt block as well as how to sew the blocks together to create a sampler style quilt that finishes in a great lap quilt/baby quilt size. This week I’m sharing a tutorial for the Log Cabin quilt block.

I share the step-by-step instructions for sewing the Log Cabin Block HERE!

Don’t forget to share a pic of your finished block with #SamplerSewAlong so we all see it!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

-Whitney-

Flosstube #1

A couple of weeks ago I shared how I recently got back into cross stitching (after a VERY long hiatus). I am having such a blast stitching that I wanted to jump on the Flosstube band wagon.

Flosstube is the part of youTube dedicated to cross stitch (and other stitching). People usually share their stitching WIPs (works in progress), finishes, hauls, etc.

In my first flosstube video I am chit chating about getting back into cross stitching and what I’ve been working on. You can watch my flosstube video HERE!

And YES my next video WILL be a sewing tutorial! I have been sticking with my goal to post when I have content I want to share and am happy to work on. For a while that didn’t include many sewing tutorials, but just this week I filmed a long overdue tutorial that I hope you will enjoy.

I hope you enjoy the video and let me know if you cross stitch too!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney

Honey Bee Cross Stitch Finish

Over Christmas I renewed my interest in cross stitching (read my latest post for more on that). Since then I have been stitching like crazy and wanted to share my latest cross stitch finish with you today.

Back when I was originally cross stitching I never knew what to do with my projects after they were completed. I enjoyed the making process, but never did anything with them after they were stitched. The tipping point for getting back into cross stitch was seeing all the beautiful finishes by Priscilla and Chelsea. They don’t just stick things in a frame, they make every singe piece a little work of art!

Honey comb and bee cross stitch finish by Whitney Sews

Before I even started stitching the honey comb and bee design by ringcat I knew EXACTLY how I wanted to finish it!

My sister runs her own store and she incorporated bees (a play off her last name) and hydrangeas (her favorite flower) in her banner design/logo. I used that design as the inspiration for the entire project. It’s supposed to be a surprise gift for her, but I can’t keep secrets….I already sent her photos and it’s no longer a surprise.

As soon as I finished the cross stitch, I ran to the fabric store (with a detour to the hardware store to buy a new washing machine because ours quit working). I picked up a half price faux hydrangea and an unfinished birdhouse at 40% off. I had planned on using a wood slice for the backing, but the birdhouse made me think of honeycomb and I could tuck the flower inside and it’s far better than a wood slice would have been!

At home I dug an old canning jar lid out and grabbed a scrap of yellow fabric from my stash. Plugged in the glue gun and got right to work!

I’ve seen lots of people use sticky board to completed cross stitching projects with, but I didn’t have any. I do however have plenty of used (but clean!) canning jar lids and since it’s a circular design it worked perfectly. A few strips of double sided tape and plenty of hot glue for the back.

Honey comb and bee cross stitch finish by Whitney Sews

I am absolutely in LOVE with this entire piece! It feels so wonderful to not only finish stitching a cross stitch design, but to also complete it in a way that is ready to display. No more cross stitches sitting unloved in a drawer like before!

You can see the entire finishing process in my most recent video.

I’m already planning my next cross stitch projects and can’t wait to start them!

Have you had any project finishes lately?? If so I would love to see them! Feel free to tag me in your project pics on Instagram!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

-Whitney

Renewed Hobby?!?

Last year I heard of all the people picking up new hobbies while staying to home in the pandemic. I kept thinking “there’s no way I can start new hobbies. I don’t even have time to finish my current sewing projects”. But as the year wore on I began thinking how nice it would be to have some ongoing hand sewing projects I could work on while watching movies with my family in the evening. I remembered my mom and I cross stitching in the late 90s/early 2000s and the hobby fell by the wayside for about 15 years. Unbeknownst to me, my mom started cross stitching again and even began dying her own fabric! A couple of days before Christmas she showed me her current cross stitch projects and introduced me flosstube more specifically Priscilla and Chelsea’s channel. We binged a few of their videos in a row (much to my husband and kids’ chagrin). Her excitement and seeing all the beautiful finishes on youTube and Instagram made me realize I NEEDED to renew my hobby and get back into cross stitch!

Mom had some old craft kits she bought on clearance when we were cross stitching the first time around. I dug through those kits and found one to start right away. I spent 3 or 4 evenings on it and the cross stitch bug had bit! I have a renewed hobby and something to work on in the evenings!

My quick Christmas stitch turned out really cute and now I need to figure out the “finishing” I want for it.  One of the really neat things about cross stitch is how people finish out their pieces!  HERE is one beautiful example!

While I think up ideas for finishing that piece…I started a new one!  

Photo by RingCat on etsy.

It is a bee and honeycomb design from RingCat on etsy. 

I know exactly how I want to finish this one!  I’m making it as a surprise gift for my sister (turns out I can’t keep a surprise and I went ahead and told her)  She runs a small business and her store’s logo has a bee and hydrangeas.  So I want to mount the finished design on a larger wood piece with some faux hydrangea flowers.  But first…I have to actually stitch up the design.  

I purchased the PDF design and pulled a piece of cross stitch fabric and flosses from my stash.  They came from miscellaneous craft bags from the thrift store many years ago.  Very few of the threads had the labels so I held them up to the image on my computer until I found colors I thought looked good together.  Are they the exact ones the pattern calls for??  Probably not, but I like them and that’s what counts! The only colors I know for sure are right are the ones used for the bees.

I got the bees stitched up the first night.

To remember which thread is for what color I cut a small bit of each and taped them onto a labeled notecard.  This was my evening project for a few nights in a row; a pretty quick and easy stitch. I would love to know if you have picked up any new (or renewed) hobbies recently.  Every once in a while I think about trying knitting or crocheting again…but they were SOOOOOO hard for me to do that it is probably better to just hire my friend who is a crocheting wizard to make what I need.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll be sharing how I finish the honeybee piece in a future post.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney

2020 – There Were Some Good Parts…

2020; a year we will definitely never forget! This year we had to adapt, cope, overcome and so much more! Despite all the hard parts, it wasn’t all bad! We also supported, encouraged, and motivated each other to do good things despite the bad.

For my last video of 2020 I wanted to chit chat about some of the good things that happened in 2020 and some of the things I accomplished personally.

In the video I share my highlights (both sewing and personal) from 2020, along with my next big project.

I hope you enjoy the video and share how your 2020 wasn’t all bad in my youTube comments (comments on my website aren’t working at the moment. I hope to get that straightened out later). Until next time, Happy Sewing!

-Whitney

This entry was posted in Blog.

Upcycle With Me – Kids Clothes From Maternity Shirts

Upcycle with me

Would you ever guess these leggings were made from my old maternity shirts?!? Join me today as I upcycle new clothes from old for my daughter.

My daughter Peyton is about to turn 6 years old, is as tall as a 7 year old, and as slim as a 4 year old. This makes it INCREDIBLY hard to find pants that fit her in the waist AND length!

I bought Peyton new Fall/Winter clothes back in August. I had to buy a size up to get long enough pants and immediately took in the waist on every pair. By last month she had already outgrown the length of every one.

In the past few months I’ve been thinking about the current overabundance of textiles and throw away culture it has created. I talked more about it in THIS VIDEO. We have more clothing (specifically cheaply made clothing) available now than ever before. This means clothing is cheaply made and sold at a cheap price encouraging people to buy and buy a lot and when something starts to show wear it is thrown out instead of being mended or repurposed. It is a stark contrast to the make do and mend mentality of the WWII era and prior.

I love hearing stories of how clothing was taken in, let out, patched, redesigned, and even passed down to others. The clothes were made well and made to last. You can see examples of this on Abby Cox’s channel.

But, back to my frustration over ill-fitting store bought clothing, combined with a desire to cut down on textile waste. I was inspired to look through my old maternity clothes and do a bit of upcycling.

I found two coordinating shirts and used them to make a pair of new, perfect fitting, LONG ENOUGH, leggings for Peyton!

Now obviously a maternity shirt alone isn’t enough material for a pair of leggings. So I did a bit of creative piecing giving the leggings contrasting cuffs.

Come along and upcycle with me as I transform two maternity shirts into the perfect leggings! Watch the full video HERE!

I still have an entire box of leftover maternity clothes, so I’m planning even more upcycling projects! Let me know if you are interesting in seeing those as well.

Make sure you’re following me on Instagram for more sewing updates. Until next time, Happy Sewing.

Whitney

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2020

It has become a yearly tradition here on Whitney Sews to share a Handmade Holiday Gift Guide. It’s a video full of ideas for handmade items you can sew and gift this holiday season. Since this is the 10th year of the gift guide I decided to share my top 10 favorite gifting ideas (along with a BONUS idea)!

The guide covers ideas for wearable gifts, reusable gift wrapping, and more. The make times range from 15 minutes to an entire weekend and scraps to several yards of fabric, so there really is something for everyone!

Think of everyone on your Christmas list then watch the video below for handmade gift ideas.

All the links mentioned in the video are found in the video description box on the youTube page.

I would love to see what you end up making! You can share pics with me on Instagram or Facebook (after the holidays so the surprise isn’t spoiled!)

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) and Happy Sewing!

Whitney

Out With the Old, In With the New

It’s a little funny for me to say out with the old about anything. I tend to embrace old things – old sewing machines, old (style) clothing, old books, old technology (until I’m absolutely forced to update), etc. But in this case it truly was time to be done with the old. The old I’m referring to is actually THIS website.

I was using hosting that was beyond out of date and it was causing all sorts of problems with my site. I had to make all the listings in my shop FREE a few months ago because my plugins (including the one my shop is through) were out of date and no longer communicating with paypal. If I updated the plugins my entire site would crash, so cutting paypal out of the equation was the short term fix. Two months ago my daily backup and a few other features quite working. I wasn’t able to post anything new without risking a crash. So it’s been two quite months here on WhitneySews.com.

But, I’m VERY HAPPY to announce that my site is now up to date! A lot of money and many phone calls later things are up and running as they should! Hopefully you won’t even notice much of a change other than smoother, faster loading and the little lock symbol on the address bar showing my site is safe and secure. Over the next few weeks/months I hope to make a few more updates and changes that will continue to improve the function of the site.

Now that you’ve read all that boring website stuff, I wanted to share some of the things you may have missed while I was unable to post here on my site.

First up is my Instagram page. I have been challenging myself to share beautiful, curated photos showing off my handmade projects and thrifted style. My long term goal on Instagram is to reach 10,000 followers. That is when Instagram allows links to be included in stories which would make promoting new videos and linking to favorite supplies a lot easier. If you aren’t following me in Instagram I would love for you to click HERE and give me a follow!

So, what I’ve been up to…during October I had the idea to recreate the Urban Outfitters ghost pillow.

It is adorable and super easy to DIY. I made my version using only items left from other projects. The faux sherpa was a thrifted pullover I had used to make a costume for Skyler and one sleeve of the original shirt was left over. The backing fleece was a scrap left from my Totoro Kigurumi. The black felt came from making the girls’ poodle skirt costumes. Even the stuffing was left over from my days of making custom memory bears.

You can watch my ghost pillow video HERE and see just how easy and cute it is!

After that I jumped right into another project that uses only repurposed materials. My youngest daughter had a cute cat shirt she loved, but it was way to short for her to keep wearing. I knew I had to come up with a way to refashion it for her. I had pinafores on the brain, so that’s the direction I went.

I used her shirt and a thrifted curtain to make an ADORABLE pinafore dress! The dress turned out EXACTLY how I wanted and Skyler is so happy with it and wears it often. You can watch the making of vlog HERE!

In the video I talk about the idea of make do and mend which was a phrase that really represented the WWII era. Because of textile shortages people were forced to make do with what they had and find ways to mend or repurpose things to work as long as possible. We obviously do NOT have a textile shortage in this day and age, we have the opposite problem! There are so many cheap and cheaply made clothes available and when they fall apart it’s easier to toss or donate and buy more cheap clothes than to repurpose or mend them.

I decided to challenge myself to make do and mend what I own. Does that mean I’m never going to buy new clothing or fabric ever again?? No. But before running to the store to buy something new I’m going to take an honest look at what I have. Is there something I already own that can be repaired or mended? Can I repurpose another item into something new? Could I find what I need at a second hand store? If all of those answers are no that is when I will invest in a new item.

So when I got the idea to make a hooded neck warmer (a variation of my original neck warmer tutorial) I began to think of ways to use what I already had. Six years ago I worked at a thrift store and while I was there I thrifted some faux fur fabric. I had some left in my stash. I also had a cozy hounds tooth fabric I thrifted a several months back. I put the two fabrics next to each other and they looked good together so that’s what I used. The hooded neck warmer turned out really great and I don’t think I could have picked fabrics at the store that worked together so perfectly!

You can watch the hooded neck warmer tutorial HERE and learn how to make your own!

Wow, that was a lot to share! I hope you enjoyed hearing my updates and will check out any of the videos you may have missed. I pray that you are all doing well and staying safe! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney

Tote Bag with HUGE Pockets

sewing tutorial by Whitney Sews

Pockets. POCKETS. POCKETS!! They are definitely the most requested part of any tote bag tutorial I create. This week I am fulfilling that request with a big tote bag, complete with two LARGE, ROOMY pockets and two regular size pockets inside. You can learn how to make your own tote bag with huge pockets using the step by step video tutorial and PDF linked down below.

While designing the bag I thought it would be fun to show off two different fabrics on the outside of the bag. I chose a large scale print and a much smaller print for mine. Then inside are all those wonderful pockets!

I call this my All Day Tote because it’s large enough to hold all the supplies and activities I might want to take for a whole day out of the house with my kids (and it may or may not take a whole day to make too).

There is a PDF to accompany this tutorial and it is currently FREE! Actually all my PDFs are FREE right now! I was having trouble with PayPal and decided to bypass PayPal by not charging for my patterns until further notice. So head over to my shop and pick up any PDFs you’ve been wanting to try. To help me out please keep sharing my videos, pinning my posts, and leaving comments on youTube. Those things really are a huge help in getting my tutorials in front of more people.

You can find the PDF for this tote HERE.

And the video tutorial right HERE!

I hope you will make your own version of the All Day Tote and share a pic with my on Instagram or Facebook! If you are interested in even more tote bag projects you can find my playlist full of them HERE! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney