Being Creative with Needle and Thread

I spent an afternoon sewing. Some projects were boring such as hemming curtains but there were some other more creative projects I thought I would share with you.

Halloween is quickly approaching so it was time to finish this design I had completed last winter. I knew I wanted to finish it off into a pillow to add a bit of holiday décor in the living room. I found a cute piece of candy corn fabric that was perfect to add to the back.

I had a small piece of the candy corn fabric leftover and knew I could use it for something other than storing for another opportunity when inspiration might come.  It didn’t take long before my granddaughter, who loves pretty things in her hair, came to mind. I decided to make her a bow for her hair.

If you want to make one here’s an easy tutorial even a beginner could master. I didn’t do mine exactly the same as my fabric was a different size.  The nice thing about these tutorials is you can modify them to fit your needs.  To finish off the bow you can add a barrette, bobby pin or like I did a pony tail band.  I simply stitched the band on after assembling the bow. I also stitched the pleads in place behind the center band and then stitched the band to the bow which is hidden under the hair band.  My reason was simple, it would be easy to have the band slip off-center when putting in the hair.


Next I had to undo a bit of sewing I did a few years ago.  I believe in handing down clothes from one child to another, even from one family to another.  When my oldest grandson outgrew a nice hooded jacket I passed it to my younger granddaughter. Her mother was not pleased and asked why I would give a boy’s jacket to a girl.  I added a bit of detail to the jacket and gave it back. This time both mom and daughter loved it.


The yellow band around the pocket (I also used it to add detail to the edge of the hood) came from an old top that was ready for the rag basket.  The purple fabric was a small scrap I had on hand. I simply cut two hearts and appliqued them to the front of the pockets.   You can see that after nearly four years the hearts have taken a bit of a beating.

Mom brought me the jacket and asked what we could do this time to pass it down to Little Guy. She decided she liked the yellow trim and wanted to leave that. I carefully removed the hearts so as not to damage the pockets. You can’t even tell there had ever been anything there.


I didn’t get a chance to make this jacket over because his mother found a set of iron-on appliques she wanted to use but here’s you can see the yellow trim framing the hood on Little Guy.

Back to Halloween.  My granddaughter spotted Halloween cross stitch patterns in a magazine and asked me to make one for her and then found one she thought her brother would like.  This is why I have a pile of projects waiting to be finished, there’s always something new that “needs” my attention.

I finished the witch and then (after showing the design to  her brother and getting a positive reaction) I got busy on the design she’d picked out for him.


Before I began I told their mother I didn’t mind making these for them but wasn’t sure what to do with them when they were done.  She mentioned she didn’t have bags for them to go trick-or-treating.

If I were going to make, or buy, bags for the children I wanted them well-made to hold up for several years, and my first thought was a long shoulder strap to free their hands while trick-or-treating.  I spotted these well-made denim bags and while not exactly what I had in mind, the straps are too short to put over their shoulders, they were the right size.

I picked up two. I showed them to the kids and their mother to see what they thought. Mom liked them but my granddaughter had to add her personal request. Instead of simply attaching the witch design to the front she wanted hers to be a pocket. Easy enough to do so request was granted.

Mom thought a pocket on Little Guy’s bag was a bad idea. She was afraid he would try to rip the design off. No pocket for him but it still came out cute.

Two happy children.

Now it was time to move on to more mundane sewing projects.  Do you remember this bench?


I had fabric leftover from recovering the cushion.  The colors were perfect to go with the girls room. Here’s a look at the girls’ room. Yes the beds are currently stripped and the mirror on the wall is crooked and needs fixed (my daughter-in-law I’m learning has problems with hanging art and mirrors level) but you can see how it’s come together.

More on the girls’ room later but you can see I kept the intense pink they wanted on the ceiling instead of the walls.  Doing this allowed me to keep the walls white and add the pops of color in the accessories without the room being overbearing.

Anyway, while the girls each have a pillow on the beds for sleeping a pretty throw pillow would add more color to the bedding which I kept simple.

The turquoise matches the turquoise in the curtains and with all the white in the room this small pop of black won’t detract from the light airy feeling I was going for.

I had enough fabric to make two more pillows to sell, they sold right away.  I made enough from the sale of the pillows that it offset the cost of the entire bench project and then some.

Do you sew?







  1. Wow, have you ever been busy. The Halloween bags with your embroidered designs are just the cutest thing.
    When my daughter was in high school she and her friend convinced me that they needed experience in painting to be ready for solo life and they painted a wall to wall bookshelf in her room that same shade of pink your granddaughters chose. It was … stunning (and not in a good way!). She loved it. As I’m sure your granddaughters do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always busy, Cynthia, but at least I can’t complain of boredom. 🙂

      Wow an entire wall in that bright pink that would be too much even for me. , The ceiling was one thing but at least it reflects and bounces the light around the room. So what did you end up doing with the pink bookcases when your girls outgrew them?


  2. I LOVE your Halloween cross stitch work. You do phenomenal work. You do such wonderful work. There is so much heart in your work including the work you do for the grandchildren. As long as the kids are loving what you do, it’s perfect. You do things with them in mind and they must know how much love is going into every project you do for them. I love how you redid the little jacket to give it more life. You are the best grandma ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Marlene. The kids love to ask me to either make things for them or help them make something they have in their mind to create. I definitely need to hide the patterns for a while to work on a project for myself now and then. 🙂

      The jacket was fun as it gave me the opportunity to be creative without a pattern which as you know I mostly work with patterns designed by others.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just a quick note here, Lois. I have still six of your posts to catch up with; not sure when i’ll have time. Love all the things you make and do and I second Marlene’s comment that you are the best grandma ever. My grandkids live on the coast. I saw them last autumn on my way to Tacoma and not for seven years before then. So not enough time for true bonding, although I am definitely bonded to them. You are fortunate to see yours so often.

    As to the pink, I once lived in a building that had been a bakery and before that a boat-builder’s workshop. There was a large room sort of L-shaped and a rectangular room that I slept in. All the windows and doors were at different heights. I ran some painters’ tape at angles to make a sort of border that went across the top of all the openings, then painted up to the line. I spent a couple of hours at the paint store getting exactly the right colour. (‘That’s almost it, now add two drops of dark red. No, not quite, let’s try a drop of yellow.’ and so on . . .) All I can say to describe it is that it was a sort of neon salmon. The large window faced west. As I finished painting, the sun was going down and shone in the window, turning the room into a good semblance of the inside of a fire-coal. Well, for a few minutes I thought that, finally, I might have gone too far. But I’m a colour lover. Once I had made a bed and set up my block and board shelves of books and hung my paintings (not done by me, belonging to me), including one that my husband had done in oil pastels of a huge whale (that one is all medium to dark blues and is quite large), the room was stunning! And I mean that in a good way lol. But not many people would enjoy it as I did. I do get that. And while I love colour, I also like to have a calming room, with white walls and the colour coming in the accessories. As an introvert, I need both stimulation and calmness. I hope tone day to have a home where I can indulge both.

    I love your trick and treat bags; also your cushions. Do you sell them online or at a shop? A great idea, I think. And, before I go, that turquoise bench is so perfect. I love looking at it.

    Love and Light to you, Lois. ~ Linne


    • Hi Linne, some how I missed your comment until now. So sorry.

      I can’t even imagine not being able to see my children or grandchildren for years at a time. It would break my heart but I know you aren’t the only one who has to live to accept being far from family. I do hope circumstances change and you get to see them more often soon.

      I love your story of your neon salmon room and have had my share of bright rooms over the years. In my “old age” I’ve mellowed and finally with this house painted my first white walls. 🙂 It was shocking to my children. While most of the rooms have white walls my bedroom I needed to be cozy and give the feeling of providing comfort so while the wainscot and trim are white the walls are a deep grey that’s almost black. I love it but I know it wouldn’t be for everyone, just like your neon salmon walls.

      I too hope you have a home again that you can make your own as you are so creative it would be a blessing for you.

      As one who loves color my turquoise bench would probably feel right at home with you. 🙂

      I hope you are doing well, Linne. Take care of yourself.


  4. Lois your cross-stitching work is beautiful, and loved the finished projects and bow.. The girls I am sure will love their new look bedroom too..
    Those bags a brilliant idea.. And I am sure there will be some delighted children come Halloween.. Which is creeping up very fast now..
    Love and warm hugs..
    Sue xxx


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