Cherry Pit Hand Warmers Tutorial

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Cherry Pit Hand Warmers

This beginner level sewing project is quick, easy and low cost and would be great for craft sales or little gifts.

Cherry pits are wonderful to use in hand warmers or heat packs because they naturally retain heat and release it slowly.  Their small, round shape helps them to comfortably conform to the shape of your body, and they have a very pleasant light cherry scent.  They can be purchased in bulk, cleaned, dried and ready to use from many sources online.  (I found mine at The Next Door Down on Etsy.)

To make hand warmers:

  • Stack two charm squares (or scraps of fabric cut to 5″ square) right sides together and cut them in half, so that you have two pieces of fabric 2.5″ x 5″.
  • Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance around the outside of the rectangles, leaving an opening along one long side.  (Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches to lock them in place.)
  • Turn right side out and press with a steamy iron.
  • Lightly fill with cherry pits.
  • Sew the opening closed very close to the edge of the fabric.  If you find it’s hard to maneuver under the presser foot, remove a few cherry pits and try again.  You’ll want the cherry pits to be able to move around a little when finished, so don’t over fill.

Cherry Pit Hand Warmers

Mix and match all kinds of fabrics, or make matching sets and tie them up with a little ribbon.  To use, pop them in a microwave for 20-30 seconds.  (Don’t overdo it, scorched cherry pits don’t smell nice.)

The packs are small enough so that they can stay in coat pockets all day without being much in the way, so kids are likely to bring them back home to heat up again before the bus stop wait tomorrow.  If your kids are fidgety like mine (and me!) they’ll probably enjoy the soothing feel of the warm cherry pits rolling around inside the warmers.

Make larger packs with the same method to use as a heating pad, or chill in the freezer to use as an ice pack.


Ink for Kanye





My sister in law gave me a Silhouette Portrait machine and I almost immediately whipped up some vinyl tattoos for my sewing machine, Kanye.  (Kanye earned his name by being harder, better, faster and stronger than my previous machine.)  Buff guys with tats — *swoon!*  The designs I used can all be found in Silhouette’s online store.


Pin Loom


Tiny Loom

A small part of my weekend will be spent getting to know my new pin loom from Purl Soho.  When I ordered this loom,  I pictured it as a quiet craft I could take along on summer vacation, something to keep my hands busy while away from the sewing machine.   How sweet will it be to sit on a cabin balcony, soaking in the view of the Smoky Mountains while weaving tidy little coasters?  (My family simply cannot comprehend my idea of a great vacation, which is why there will also be zip lining.)   Now that the little loom is here though, I’ll probably have a stack of coasters long before vacation.  Anyway!

Have a great weekend!


Quotes Printed on Fabric

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Quotes Printed on Fabric

I thought some quotes might be a nice addition to a work in progress.  I cut a piece of freezer paper to regular printer paper size, 8 1/2″ x 11″, then ironed the waxed side to a piece of canvas and trimmed the canvas to be exactly the size of the paper.  The freezer paper makes it sturdy enough to feed through the printer, I just have to pay attention and make sure I face the paper side up.  My printer curls the sheets through so that fabric needs to face downward in order to get the ink.  Once it’s through the printer, the paper can be peeled right off — ta-da!

Hopefully you’ll see these soon in an upcoming project!


An “Uncork and Create” Date

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Recently my husband and I went on an interesting date to the Uncork and Create studio in downtown Charleston, WV.  My friend Rebecca Recco was our art instructor, which made the class that much more fun.  No artistic ability is needed to attend, thankfully!  We were led step-by-step through the entire process, and Rebecca shared lots of tips along the way.  You can see the example painting of “My Heart is in WV” to the far left, with Rebecca’s in progress work in the middle and Jay’s canvas to the right.  (The paintings on the wall behind are also Rebecca’s.)

Uncork and Create in Progress

Everything you need for the painting is supplied, and class members are encouraged to bring their own wine and snacks.  Our class was filled with couples, families and friends.  I think next time I might like to bring our daughters, too.

Uncork and Create Class

If you’d like to attend, check their calendar to see what paintings are being offered.  You can even arrange parties for fundraising, birthdays or work events.

Uncork and Create Date

We had a great time and plan to go back!


Friendship Cuff Bracelet


Friendship Cuff Bracelet

This friendship cuff bracelet takes me right back to the 80s, but I still love it today!  I made this based on the tutorial at Sew 4 Home, using the recommended flat braid woven ribbons from Simplicity.  The belting used as the base of the bracelet can be purchased here.

They look like the knotted friendship bracelets we made back in high school, but without the time investment.  The entire bracelet probably took about 15 or 20 minutes to make.

I love how the ends fray!  They look even more authentic with the ends undone like fluffy little tassels.

Top 10 Posts of 2011

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10.  Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Mat Quilt

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Play Quilt

This little play mat/quilt was made for my friends Clint and Angela’s boys.  Clint was battling testicular cancer when we came up with this idea.  This post was the hardest one I’ve ever tried to publish, because I didn’t like talking about even the possibility that he might die.  I miss you, Clint.

9.  A Quick, Easy Way to Frame a Bathroom Mirror

Framing a Bathroom Mirror

Velcro.  It’s AMAZING.

8.  Dr. Who Fabrics


Whovians want their fabrics!  I’ll be showing you a TARDIS messenger bag soon, I hope, but here’s a little zipper pouch I made with some of the other fabric.  These are large enough to hold a phone and an iTouch, and I made a little stack of them for my kids and their friends at the start of the school year.

7. One More!

Sunrise over a New Bag

I made three of these bags this year.  I got to keep this one!

6.  Sunglasses Case Tutorial

45/365 Embroidered Glasses Case

When I was fairly new to sewing, I was upset that I couldn’t find a sunglasses case tutorial.  So I made my own.

5. Button Monogram Pillow

Button Monogram Pillow

Easy monogram pillows!

4. Snowball Soap

Snowball Soap

This is a really easy to do with or for kids.  Grate Ivory soap, mix in a bit of water and form into “snowballs”.  They’re even better if you hide a little toy inside!

3.  Mom Knows Best

Kim's Checkerboard Tote

Bags made from the Summer 2011 issue of Stitch magazine, designed by Ayumi Takahashi.  This one was for my best friend Kim, and in the post you can see the one I made for my Mom, too.  I love these bags!

2.  Stencil Painted Headboard

Painted Headboard

I still adore this headboard and am so glad for the time I invested in it!  (But it did take AGES to hand paint on these textured walls!)

1.  52 Reasons I Love Him

52 Reasons I Love You

There are many, many more than 52 reasons why I love him, but I was happy to share of few of them!

Thank you for bothering to read my little craft blog, and Happy New Year!