SMP Craft
5 Mar

Short & Sweet Q & A with Notable Crafter Cat Thomas

 

We caught up with Cat Thomas, trained textile artist, who has a new book out, 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet: Stash Your Sharps in Something Cute and Handmade. For most of Cat’s career, she taught art and design. Now, she’s producing her own designs selling under the name of Baban Cat on sites such as Etsy and Folksy and shares her crafting experiences on her Baban Cat blog.

Coronet pincushion crown with beads Flower brooch, cabbageLetter L embroidery hoop

 

 

 

 

 

Cat, what’s your craft?

I knit, crochet and sew. I studied Textile Art so I’ve done a bit of everything in the past. When the children were young I made their dresses and knitwear.

 

What project would you consider an all-time best?

Catbestfull

 

My all time best is an organic cotton blanket. It was crocheted using 80 sunburst motifs and finished with a lovely scalloped edging. I had intended to make it as a cushion cover but got carried away. It now has a lovely new home in Hong Kong.

 

 

What project would you consider an all-time worst?

We all have disasters. Most of mine have been undone and the yarn used for different projects. My first granny square blanket using white organic cotton had the rounds joined in the wrong place. Unnoticable when you’re working but the moment I held it up there was a distinct gap that ran diagonally up one side. Even after blocking it could still be seen. Live and learn!
WhiteBad

What tool or material could you not live without?

Reading glasses! Such close work needs to be seen. I can’t do a thing without my glasses.

 

What’s your hidden talent?

It’s so well hidden I’m not sure it’s there. I’m good at gardening. I grafted a rose that was my father’s favourite so now I have the pleasure of the original and a back up in case anything happens to it.

Learn more about Cat Thomas, her craft, and process at Baban Cat. Her book, 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet: Stash Your Sharps in Something Cute and Handmade is available now for purchase here:

50 Pincushions cover

 

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Check out our new MARCH and APRIL books!

3D_Serger's 3D_75Flowers 3D_Quiltopedia

Tagged with: author, crochet, pincushions
16 Feb

Free Download: The Mary Necklace Project

 

I think I’m ready to start playing with the big kids. I completed my first piece of crochet bead jewelry–this simple bracelet–the pattern taken from Bead Crochet Jewelry: An Inspired Journey Through 27 Designs by mother-daughter team Bert Rachel Freed & Dana Elizabeth Freed.
Beadbracelet
TheMaryNecklaces
Now I feel confident enough to try out something slightly more advanced. I’ve chosen The Mary Necklace. 

Admittedly, I was initially drawn to The Mary Necklace because its name is so similar to mine. But at the end of the day, what made my choice final was the story behind this piece, which involves a nonprofit organization called The Freshman Fifteen that helps select college-bound students transition into college life by providing them with dorm room essentials.

Bert Rachel Freed and Dana Elizabeth Freed write:
“Mary and her daughter Meaghan began studying with us in September 2007. Their goal was to make jewelry they could sell to raise money for their nonprofit organization, The Freshman Fifteen. The Freshman Fifteen assists select college-bound students by providing them with dorm-room essentials. Mary and Meaghan have dedicated endless hours to producing beautiful work, all of which they sell to give 100 percent of the profits to their cause. When their inventory first became saturated, we insisted that Mary make something for herself. I designed this versatile piece that can be worn long or doubled, day into night.”

 

My niece starts university next Fall and this piece would look fabulous on her and I think she’d appreciate the story behind it. I’m pretty slow at crafting jewelry, so I better get started now. When I finish, I’ll be sure to post some pictures.

 

Download The Mary Necklace Project here. It’s FREE! Also, if this free project piques your interest, there are 26 other jewelry projects in Bead Crochet Jewelry, which is available wherever books are sold.

Bead-Crochet-FB-Cover-1

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Praise for Bead Crochet Jewelry:
“This book…has a wealth of information on crocheting with beads. Clear photography makes the techniques accessible to crocheters of all levels.” —Interweave Crochet
“For this mother-daughter designing duo, crochet is always a job well done.” —Crochet Today magazine
“Ready to dive into the world of bead crochet? Let mother-daugher team Bert and Dana Freed lead the way with…27 fully articulated bead crochet designs.” —Beadwork magazine

 

1 Feb

Freebie Friday: Micro-Macramé

Today’s official FREEBIE DOWNLOAD is a micro-macramé bracelet.

Valentine’s Day is two weeks away! Whether you consider this a good or bad thing (we’re torn here in the office!), these beautiful bracelets are fun and fairly simple to make. It’s a great gift idea for those jewelry lovers in your life. Get a head start on a gift for your mother, daughter, best friend, co-worker… anyone!

 

Micro-macrame cover

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Tagged with: BeadCrochetJewelry, beading, free project, howtocraft, macrame, smpcraft
8 Nov

Freebie Friday: Great Gift Ideas for the Holidays (5-Book Sweepstakes)!

It’s that time of year when most of us could use a little extra help finding those special holiday gift ideas. Whether you’re a stumped daughter-in-law or thinking of what to give your best friend’s children, we have a treasure trove of DIY fun, fashionable, and yummy projects for just about everyone on your V.I.P. list. Click here and sign up for a chance to win the five books featured here:

HOMEMADE PRESERVES & JAMS by


HomemadePreservesJams

Think hostess gift or holiday party favor: Luscious jams, juicy jellies, tangy curds, tropical marmalades, aromatic chutneys, crunchy pickles, intoxicating cordials.

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MONSTER KNITS FOR LITTLE MONSTERS by Nuriya Khegay

20 Super-Cute Animal-Themed Hat, Bootie, and Mitten Sets to Knit

MonsterKnits

Kids always have the coolest accessories! The most adorable animal-themed hat and mitten sets for babies and toddlers from ages six months to three years. Kids will love them. Parents will covet them.

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SWEET & SIMPLE PATCHWORK GIFTS by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo

25 Charming Projects to Make Using Classic Quilt Motifs

Sweet&SimplePatchwork

Pincushions, potholders, pillows, handbags, coin purses, zippered cases.

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SIMPLE CROCHETING by Erika Knight

A Complete How-T0-Crochet Workshop with 20 Projects

SimpleCrocheting

A laptop case. Want.

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100 BEADED FLOWERS, TRINKETS & CHARMS by Amando Hinson

Perfect little designs to use for gifts, jewelry, and accessories

 100beadedflowers

Miniature beaded versions of cakes and treats, fruit, flowers, fast food, animals, fairies, a tiny tea service, a micro monkey, and a little ladybug.

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Tagged with: Cooking, Crafts, DIY, holiday
26 Apr

Bead Crochet Jewelry at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in NYC!

Mother-daughter team Bert Rachel Freed and Dana Elizabeth Freed signing books and demonstrating from their book at the Kinokuniya book store

Mother-daughter team Bert Rachel Freed and Dana Elizabeth Freed signing books and demonstrating from their book at the Kinokuniya book store

 

For those of you who missed it, the Kinokuniya book store in New York City hosted a wonderful event for our talented Bead Crochet Jewelry authors Bert and Dana Freed this past Saturday,  April 20 Bert and Rachel were on hand to sign copies of their book,teach the techniques to create their delightful array of projects, and of course, show off their beautiful handiwork!

Bead Crochet Jewelry projects

It was a great turnout and we hope everyone who was able to attend was inspired by our super talented authors and their gorgeous jewelry designs! Keep checking our blog to see when one of our authors is at a store near you so you can stop by, say hello, and maybe pick up a new skill!

Bead Crochet event

Author of the Month

This month we sit down for a Q&A with expert sewing machine embroiderer Liz Keegan, author of The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible. Liz launched, compiled, and edits Flair, the U.K.'s only machine embroidery magazine. She also teaches and lectures about machine embroidery. With expert advice about what to look for when buying a new machine and a troubleshooting section for solving common mistakes and problems, Liz's new book will help you get the most of out of your modern sewing machine.


The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible

Project of the Month

Pencil Case






Happy September! It’s officially that time of the year again. It’s back-to-school week here in New York City and we’re reminiscing about all those ‘first days’ of school. A new year means all new supplies, clothes and accessories. So, our Project of the Month is in honor of those who want something different from their pencil cases. We pulled this Pencil Case pattern from Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo because it offers not one but two methods of making the case--one with a zipper and one with a spring clasp!

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