Embroidery Hoop Sewing Tutorial: Hot Air Balloon Design Using Fabric Yo Yos – Perfect Nursery Decoration/Baby Gift

I love using fabric yo yos on a project, they are great fun to make, add texture to a design and are perfect for using up scrap fabrics.

I have put together a little how to make fabric yo yo tutorial so you can see how to make lots of yo yos for this and future projects.

I received some amazing Peter Rabbit fabric from The Craft Cotton Company which I knew would be perfect for a nursery make/baby gift. I have been wanting to make a nursery themed embroidery hoop for a while now so decided to combine the fabric and some fabric yo yos to make a hot air balloon themed embroidery hoop.

This would also make a great cushion, or wall hanging if you don’t want to use an embroidery hoop. You could always use buttons for the balloon top instead of yo yos, or do a mix of both.

You can find this tutorial along with lots of others over on The Craft Cotton Company blog.

Fabric gifted by The Craft Cotton Company.

Hot Air Ballon Embroidery Hoop Nursery Decoration

Materials:

  • Peter Rabbit fat quarter set by The Craft Cotton Company.
  • Paper.
  • Pencil.
  • Scissors.
  • Compass/some thing round with a 5cm and 7cm diameter to make the fabric yo yo template.
  • Needle.
  • Thread.
  • Embroidery thread in 2 shades of brown.
  • Embroidery hoop (25cm).
  • Felt to cover the back of the hoop.

Making the hot air balloon

  • Choose one of the fat quarters the form the background fabric. Place into the embroidery hoop.
  • Using the lighter brown thread sew a basket shape onto the fabric using long running stitches.
  • Fill in the basket shape using long stitches.
  • Using the darker thread, weave in and out of the long stitches to create the basket effect.
  • Make a paper template for the fabric yo yos using the compass/something circular to create two sizes of yo yo 5cm and 7cm in diameter.
  • Using the template cut out the fabric yo yos, with 9 large (7cm) and 5 small (5cm).
  • Fold in the edge of the yo yo by 0.5cm and sew around, pull together and sew to secure (more details on how to make a fabric yo yo can be found on this fabric yo yo how to).
  • Sew 4 long lines to create the balloon ropes.
  • Sew on the yo yos to make the balloon shape.
  • Cut away the excess fabric from around the hoop leaving 10cm remaining.
  • Sew around the edge and pull to close, sew to secure.
  • Cut a piece of felt big enough to cover the gap. Place over the gap and sew to secure.
  • Create a hanging loop using the embroidery thread.

Sewing Tutorial: Solar System Embroidery Hoop Decoration

This Solar System themed embroidery hoop makes the perfect decoration for a space themed room and would be a great gift for any space fans out there.

I received the Outer Space fat quarters set by The Craft Cotton Company and soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for some sort of wall decoration, I have already made a space themed wall hanging previously so decided to do something a little bit different and make an embroidery hoop decoration with a solar system pattern.

I opted to use the star pattern fat quarter from the fat quarter pack but it was a tough choice as the quarters with planet details one would also look good – might have to make another one using that at some point!

Fabrics gifted by The Craft Cotton Company.

This would also make a great cushion, you could make a round one or a square. If making a square one – instead of sewing the planet names around in a circle you could sew them around the square edge.

Solar System Embroidery Hoop:

Materials:

  • Felt – in various colours for the planets/sun.
  • Felt – to form a backing piece for the hoop.
  • Embroidery hoop.
  • Scissors.
  • Fabric for the background – I used the star detailed fat quarter from the Outer Space fat quarter set by The Craft Cotton Company.
  • Needle.
  • Thread.
  • Ribbon to create loop at top of the hoop.

Assembly:

  • Cut out 8 planets from the different felt colours, and one large semi circle for the sun.
  • Choose a fat quarter from the set and place into the embroidery hoop.
  • Sew on the sun and planets.
  • Sew on details to the planets.
  • Using French Knots add in an asteroid belt.
  • Sew the names of each of the planets around the edge of the hoop.
  • Leaving a 5cm gap cut around the edge of the hoop.
  • Sew around the edge then pull to close the fabric around the back of the hoop.
  • Cut a circle of felt to cover the back of the hoop, then sew to secure.
  • Create a loop at the top of the hoop using thread/ribbon.

Mini Oscar The Octopus Crochet Pattern

After making my giant Oscar the crochet octopus I always had it in mind that I would also make a mini version, its taken a while to get him made but finally following on from my mini Sidney the crochet squid I have got my mini Oscar the octopus completed!.

I also have a Giant squid pattern available too.

I opted to make my mini Oscar the octopus in a purple, but you could make him in any colour you like, use a colour changing yarn (like the original Oscar the octopus) or even use multiple colours and make this a scrap busting project.

Mini Oscar The Octopus Crochet Pattern

Materials

  • 2 x 100g ball of DK wool in your chosen colour/colours.
  • 1 x 25g ball white wool.
  • 1 x 25g ball black wool.
  • Toy stuffing.
  • 4.5mm crochet hook.
  • Scissors.
  • Stitch Marker.
  • Darning needle.

Main body:

Round 1: Make a magic ring, ch1, 4sc into ring.

Round 2: 2sc into each stitch (8).

Round 3: *2sc into next sc, sc into next stitch. Repeat from * around (12).

Round 4: *2sc into next sc, sc into next two stitches. Repeat from * around (16).

Round 5: sc around.

Round 6: *2sc into next sc, sc into next three stitches. Repeat from * around (20).

Round 7: *2sc into next sc, sc into next four stitches. Repeat from * around (24).

Round 8: sc around.

Round 9: 6sc, (2sc into next sc, sc into next two stitches) six times (30).

Rounds 10-11: sc around.

Round 12: *2sc into next sc, sc into next five stitches. Repeat from * around (35).

Round 13: *2sc into next sc, sc into next six stitches. Repeat from * around (40).

Round 14: *2sc into next sc, sc into next seven stitches. Repeat from * around (45).

Round 15: sc around.

Round 16: 13sc, (2sc into next sc, sc into next three stitches) eight times (53)

Rounds 17-19: sc around.

Round 20: (sc2tog, sc into next seven stitches) five times, sc2tog, 6sc (47).

Rounds 21-23: sc around.

Round 24: 12sc, (sc2tog, sc into next three stitches) seven times (40).

Rounds 25-28: sc around.

Round 29: *sc2tog, sc into next six stitches. Repeat from *around (35).

Round 30: sc around.

Round 31: *sc2tog, sc into next five stitches. Repeat from *around (30).

Round 32: sc around.

Round 33: 10sc, turn leaving the remaining stitches unworked.

Row 1: ch1 (doesn’t count as a stitch) sc2tog, 6sc, sc2tog (8).

Row 2: ch1 (doesn’t count as a stitch) sc along row.

Row 3: ch1 (doesn’t count as a stitch) sc2tog, 4sc, sc2tog (6).

Row 4: ch1 (doesn’t count as a stitch) sc along row.

Next, sc down the side (into the row ends) (5 sc), sc around (20sc) and up the other side (5sc). Don’t sc along the top edge. Don’t fasten off.

Leg 1:

Stuff legs as you go.

Continuing from row 4 of the body, 2sc into the next 3 stitches, ch4, ss into 1st sc, making a round of 10sc (10sc).

Rounds 1-32: sc around.

Round 33: (sc2tog, sc into next 3 stitches) twice (8).

Round 34: (sc2tog, sc into next 2 stitches) twice (6).

Round 35: (sc2tog, sc into next stitch) twice (3).

Round 36: sc2tog, sc into next stitch (2).

Fasten off.

Leg 2:

Fasten on into stitch to the left of leg 1.

Repeat rows 1-36 of Leg 1.

Fasten off.

Legs 3-8:

Skip 1 stitch after the previous leg, fasten on into the next stitch.

2sc into the next 4 stitches, ch2, ss into stitch at the start making a round fo 10sc (10sc).

Repeat rows 1-36 of leg 1.

Fasten off.

Base infill piece:

Make a magic ring, ch1, 6sc into ring.

Round 1: 2sc into each sc (12).

Round 2: 2sc into next sc, sc into next stitch (18).

Round 3: 2sc into next sc, sc into next two stitches (24).

Round 4: 2sc into next sc, sc into next three stitches (30).

Round 5: 2sc into next sc, sc into next four stitches (36).

Round 6: 8sc, turn leaving remmaing stitches unworked (8).

Row 1: ch1 (doesn’t count as a stitch) sc2tog, 4sc, sc2tog (6sc).

Fasten off.

Eyes – Make 2:

Make a magic ring, ch1, 5sc into ring.

Round 1: 2sc into each sc (10).

Fasten off.

Eyelids – Make 2:

ch8, sc into 2nd ch from hook, sc along row (7).

Row 1: ch1 (doesn’t count as a stitch) sc2tog, 3sc, sc2tog.

Fasten off.

  • Sew closed tops of tentacles.
  • Stuff main body and sew on the base infill piece.
  • Sew eyes onto the main body.
  • Sew pupils onto the eyes.
  • Sew on eyelids along the top edge of the eyes.
  • Sew circles in white onto the tentacles for the suckers.

Crochet How To Guide: Interlocking Block Stitch/ Plaid Stitch

Interlocking block stitch/Plaid stitch is a great stitch to use for blankets, cushions and hats/scarves – you can use as many or as few colours as you wish and come up with some really cool patterns.

I have some patterns which use this stitch including a Plaid effect hat with pom pom and Plaid effect fingerless gloves.

Interlocking block stitch/plaid stitch tutorial:

Notes:

  • Change colour on the last yo of the final stitch of the row.

Starting row:

For the first row you need to ch the length of stitches you require, and as the interlocking block/plaid stitch works in 2 blocks of 3 you need to make sure your starting ch length is dividable by 6. Once you have your ch length add on 5 extra stitches (this will create the first tr/dc stitch of the row, and a block of 3tr/dc to make sure you end the row on a set of 3tr/dc).

For example: if your starting ch was 30ch stitches long, add an extra 5 stitches to make 35ch stitches in total.

Row 1: tr/dc into the 3rd ch from the hook, this gives you the first tr/dc of the row using the extra 2ch stitches added at the start. Next tr/dc into the next 2 stitches, giving you your first block of 3. *ch3, skip 3 stitches, then tr/dc into the next 3 stitches. Repeat from *along the row.

Main Rows:

Row 2: ch1 (doesn’t count as a stitch) sc, ch3, skip 2, 3tr/dc – one into each stitch two rows below *ch3, skip 3, 3tr/dc – one into each stitch two rows below. Repeat from * along row, until 3 stitches remain (the 2tr/dc and ch3 at start of previous row), ch3, skip 2, sc into top of ch3 at start of previous row.

Row 3: ch3 (counts as a stitch) 2tr/dc – one into each stitch two rows below, ch3, skip 3, *3tr/dc – one into each stitch two rows below, ch3, skip 3. Repeat from * along row, until 3 stitches remain, 2tr/dc – one into each stitch two rows below, tr/dc into final stitch (sc from start of previous row).

  • Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you reach the size of blanket you require.
  • Fasten off, Fasten off all loose ends.

How To: Make A Pom Pom

I often get asked how to make a Pom Pom when you don’t have a Pom Pom maker, or if you don’t have a Pom Pom maker for the size you are wanting so I have put together a how to make pom poms in any size.

How to: Make a pom pom

Materials:

  • Wool in your chosen colour(s).
  • Cardboard.
  • Compass/something circular that is the size pom pom you are wanting, and a smaller circular item to draw a smaller circle.
  • Scissors.
  • Darning needle.
  • Pencil.

Step 1: Making the cardboard circles.

  • If using your compass: set it to span half the diameter of the circle you are wanting, then draw 2 circles onto the cardboard. Next make the span of the compass smaller and draw a smaller circle in the middle of the larger circle.
  • If using a circular object, draw around this object to get your circle, then draw around the smaller object for the middle circle.
  • Cut out the two circles and then cut out the smaller middle circle.
  • Stack the two circles together.

Step 2: Wrapping the wool.

  • Using your chosen wool colour: cut a long strand of wool and thread it onto the darning needle, hold the tail end of the wool and wrap the wool around the card board template.
  • Continue to wrap the wool all the way around the cardboard circle – using the darning needle will make it easier towards the end when the middle circle starts to fill up. If you run out of wool, cut another strand and continue, holding the tail of the wool and wrapping around the cardboard.
  • Keep wrapping the wool around until the circle is completely covered and the middle smaller circle is full of wool.

Step 3: Cutting the wool.

  • Cut around the edge of the circle, lining the scissors up in the gap between the two pieces of cardboard.

Step 4: Securing the wool.

  • Cut a piece of wool 20cm long and tie it around the middle of the pom pom in between the two cardboard circles. Tie a knot to secure it, then cut the longer length so it is the same length as the wool in the pom pom.
  • Remove the 2 cardboard circles (you may need to cut them off).

Finished!

Notes:

  • You can make a multicoloured pom pom just by using different wool colours while wrapping the wool around.
  • You can make pumpkin themed pom poms by wrapping green wool only around the top middle section of the cardboard circle, and wrapping orange wool around the rest of the circle.
  • If you want to display some pom poms you can make a ew in different sizes, attach them to fabric and display them in an embroidery hoop.

Crochet How To: The Granny Square, Step By Step Guide

How To Make The Granny Square

Definitely one of my favourite things to make, a Granny square can be used for all sorts of crochet projects, from blankets to cushions to table mats. I often use these on my Minecraft makes as they are perfect for creating the block effect needed.

A giant granny square is a perfect ‘quick make’ blanket – to make one just keep continuing the rounds, change the colour each round or every couple of rounds to add a bit of detail.

How To Make A Basic Granny Square:

To Start:

  • ch5, then slip stitch into the first ch to make a round.

Round 1:

  • ch3, then complete 2 trb into the round, *ch2, then complete 3trb into the round, repeat from * twice more, ch2 then slip stitch into the top of the ch3 at the start.

Round 2:

  • ch3, then complete 2 trb into the corner space, * ch2, then complete 3trb into the corner space, ch2 then 3trb into the same corner space. Repeat from * twice more.
  • Then ch2, 3trb into the corner space, ch2 then slip stitch to the top of the 3ch at the start.

Round 3:

  • ch3, then complete 2trb into the corner space.
  • *ch2, then complete 3trb into the ch2 space, ch2, then complete 3trb into the corner space, ch2 then complete 3trb into the same corner space. Repeat from *twice more.
  • Then ch2 3trb into the 2ch space, ch2 then complete 3trb into the corner space, ch2 then slip stitch into the top of the 3ch at the start.

Round 4:

  • ch3, then complete 2trb into the corner space.
  • *ch2, then complete 3trb into the ch2 space, ch2, then complete 3trb into the next ch2 space, then complete 3trb into the corner space, ch2 then complete 3trb into the same corner space. Repeat from *twice more.
  • Then ch2 3trb into the 2ch space, ch2, 3trb into next 2ch space, ch2 then complete 3trb into the corner space, ch2 then slip stitch into the top of the 3ch at the start.