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visit your favorite spots with the about the town stitching club

We ended the Out in Nature Stitching Club last week and we're not wasting any time...we're gonna start stitching About the Town!

Last year I finished off one stitching club and then ended up waiting over six months to release the next one. Not so this time! The intention with this series of clubs was to have them run one after the other, with only a few weeks between them. And I'm back on that schedule. Yay!

About the Town Stitching Club

This is the third in my Exploring Your World Stitching Club series. We started Around the House, then went Out in Nature, and now we're stitching About the Town. Think of this collection of embroidery patterns as representing your favorite places to visit in your town.

These places are better than running errands because they're the places you go to that bring sparks of joy: a cup of coffee, a good book, freshly cut fabric, and more!

About the Town Stitching Club

This club is part embroidery and part English paper paper piecing (EPP). The result is a hexagon-shaped embroidered mini quilt that is almost entirely stitched by hand.

As always, embroidery is at the heart of the project. This club features six sets of tiny embroidery patterns representing favorite shops and spots you might visit while you're about the town. I like staying home, but if I were to spend a day with a friend in my town, we'd go to all the places these patterns feature. Each week's pattern is made up of three tiny designs, so you actually get 18 tiny motifs.

About the Town Stitching Club
About the Town Stitching Club
About the Town Stitching Club

The About the Town Stitching Club begins on July 11, and club members will receive an email with a new pattern or set of instructions each Tuesday for the 8 weeks. If you sign up after the club starts, you'll still have access to all of the emails and files that have already been sent.

As mentioned, this is part of a series. Which means that if you end up signing up for all four parts, you can combine all of the Exploring Your World patterns into one large quilt using EPP templates. (You'll receive the pattern for that during the club.)

About the Town Stitching Club

This kind of project is so much fun to do in groups, so tell your friends and then plan some gatherings so you can all stitch About the Town together!

Don't have friends who stitch? This is also a great way to meet people from around the world who are stitching along! You can do that by sharing your progress online with the hashtag #AboutTheTownStitchingClub (and then interact with others doing the same!).

About the Town Stitching Club

Sign-ups are officially open now, and they'll remain open throughout the club so you can join anytime. However, the introductory price of $5.00 is only available until the club starts! (That's the total price you'll pay for the entire 8-week club!) Once July 11 comes, the price will go up to $8.00.

About the Town Stitching Club: $5.00
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NOTE: If you are outside of the US or Canada, please visit my Etsy shop to sign up.

When you sign up you will receive a PDF containing a list of supplies, templates, and some instructions to get you started.

If you have any questions, please ask them here and I'll answer right in the comments. Or, feel free to email me (molliejohanson at gmail) or reach out via social media.

Let's stitch about the town!

PS: As with the other clubs in this series, each weekly email will contain prayer points for those who like to pray while they stitch. If that's not your thing, don't worry...it's small and easy to skip.

project // felt pineapple welcome banner

Pineapple Welcome Banner

The pineapple has been used as a symbol of hospitality for some time. So although this tropical fruit is enjoying an extended trend these days, it's important to keep around as we welcome people into our lives and homes.

Hospitality is defined as "the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers." This act of love changes lives, and I'd like to think that just having a welcome banner that we see everyday will remind us to be welcoming and hospitable. Even if it isn't within our homes (though that's a beautiful thing), we can welcome guests, visitors, and strangers into our lives.

To make your own felt welcome banner (with a kawaii pineapple, because that's my thing!), it's easy and fairly quick. Grab your supplies (I used Benzie wool blend felt), and start making and welcoming!

Pineapple - 8x10in each of two shades of yellow
Letters - about 10x2.5in
Pineapple top - 6x6in of green
Backing felt - 12x18in
Embroidery floss
Crochet thread for hanging
12in Skewer

Freezer Paper
Pen or Pencil
Craft/Fabric glue
Needle with a large eye
Rotary cutter, mat & ruler (optional, but helpful)
Hole punch


Pineapple Welcome Banner

Print out the pattern pages and trace the main pineapple shape onto freezer paper. From a darker shade of yellow felt, cut out the oval shape. Iron the freezer paper pattern to the lighter yellow felt.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Cut out the around the pineapple and cut through all of the lines, keeping the layout intact. This becomes a bit like a puzzle with very similar pieces, and while you can move some of them around, it's just as easy to set them out in order.

Place the pieces on the solid, darker pineapple piece, leaving a small gap between them. Start at the center and work out. You'll find that there are a few small pieces around the edge that aren't needed and a few pieces that overlap the edge.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Peel off the freezer paper. Use a few dots of glue at the points of the diamond shapes to hold them down on the pineapple shape. Let the glue dry.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Using all six strands of floss, embroider the face with french knots and back stitch. Stitch and X in the middle of each diamond shape, adjusting the size and placement as needed for the smaller edge pieces.

All of this stitching will be going through both layers of felt, so make sure that your Xs stay within the solid pineapple shape. The stitches are both decorative and functional to help hold the layers together.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Flip the pineapple over and trim away the extra pieces that are overlapping the edge.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Fold the 12x18in piece of backing felt in half the long way. Use a ruler and angle it from the outside corner to 3 inches from the edge on the folded side. Cut with a rotary cutter to form the shaped bottom of the banner. You can also mark this and cut it with scissors.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Use a hole punch to make six evenly spaced holes along the top edge of the banner. The outer holes should be about 1 inch in from the sides. My holes are a little too close to the edges, so DON'T make yours look exactly the same as mine!

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Trace the letters onto freezer paper, iron it to felt, cut out the letter shapes, and peel away the freezer paper. I left the center in my O, but you can cut that out if you wish.

Trace two of the pineapple tops onto freezer paper, iron them to green felt, cut out the shapes, and peel away the freezer paper.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Lay all of the elements out on the banner backing. The green tops will overlap each other and go behind the pineapple. You can curve the line of letters or place them on a straight line.

This is more so you know where all of the pieces will go. Pull them all off, except for the green tops.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Stitch the pineapple tops down with long straight stitches.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Put the main part of the pineapple back in place. You can add a few dots of glue or use pins to hold it while you stitch it down. Use three strands and running stitch around the edge.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Place the letters on the banner again and stitch them down with running stitch down the center of the letters. You can use matching or contrasting thread for this.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Trim the end off of the wooden skewer and slide it through the holes at the top of the banner. Tie a loop of string around the skewer so it's ready to hang.

Pineapple Welcome Banner

Hang your new banner on your front door or near the entrance to your home to welcome visitors!

Happy Crafting!

printable // pineapple of my eye wall art

Pineapple Of My Eye Print

On a recent visit to Anthropologie I spotted a towel that said "you're the pineapple of my eye" and while it's a little cheesy, it's also super cute. Since I'm comfortable with a mix of cheesy and cute, I decided to make a little printable with the phrase.

You may remember that I previously shared an "apple of my eye" coloring picture, and I love the meaning of that saying. It's about protecting something precious. Does a pineapple fit into that? Maybe not. But pineapples!

My youngest sister is ready for pineapples to go away, but I'm not. Not to mention, since I put this tropical fruit in the paws of my guinea pigs on the June calendar, I'm declaring it pineapple month on Wild Olive.

For now, download your printable wall art, trim the 5x7 rectangle, and tape it to your wall or place it in a frame. Enjoy!

help for the challenges of working at home

in the works...

When people ask me what I do for a living, I take a deep breath and then attempt to describe my work. What I do doesn't fit into a tidy little box with a one-word title. In fact, I've stumbled over this many, many times. But now, this is what I say:

I create content for blogs, books, and magazines that have a focus on crafts and sewing. I also have an Etsy shop where I sell patterns that I design.

It's not a full description of all that I do, but it gets people curious. Inevitably, we reach this question: "And you can make a living doing that?" The answer to that can get even more complicated, but the reality is that however all of my work and circumstances come together so that I can make it work to work at home. Which brings me to this...

I've shared things from Ultimate Bundles here before, and I felt like the Ultimate Work-at-Home Bundle was one that you would want to see. Because maybe, just maybe, you're thinking of working from home to supplement family income or to build an empire. Certainly it's a bundle that I wish I had when I started building up all that I do.

Whether you're single, married, living with alone or with a crowd, working at home or working for yourself presents unique challenges. Telling people what I do is a small thing, but managing my time and handling finances are a whole other thing! Finding assistance for these challenges all in one place is so helpful.

Like everything from Ultimate Bundles, this is a large collection of resources for a steal of a price. It can almost be overwhelming to think about using everything, and that's because it would take you ages to use everything! Instead, it's better to look at what they have to offer and start with a few that would be the most beneficial to you.

These are the ones that I would have wanted at the start (and most likely for the long term!):
Crafting a Business 101: The Creative Business Plan
The Accidental Entrepreneur: The Juicy Bits
Project Management for Creatives: Principles to Simplify and Streamline Creative Work
Conquer Cash Flow: Get Paid Faster and Increase Cash Flow
But depending on where you are on your work-at-home journey, you'll find others that are just what you've been looking for. Find the complete list right here. You'll probably find that just one or two products make it worth the price of the bundle, and that all the other items are bonuses!

If you've thought that you might want to start an Etsy shop, become a virtual assistant, freelance in some way, it's worth taking a look at the Ultimate Work-at-Home Bundle. (But hurry, because this is a limited time offer!)

And just as a small disclaimer, I am an affiliate for this bundle (it's part of how I make a living working at home!), but I choose to share this because I respect the work of Ultimate Bundles and I believe their offerings can be a help to you!

Now, because I'm curious...do you work at home? What do you find your biggest challenges to be?

beyond basics // foliage stitch pineapple embroidery

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

I recently learned about foliage stitch, which was new to me. And wanting to give it a try right away, I decided to make an embroidered pineapple. Because we just can't get enough pineapples, right?

My encounter with foliage stitch was on Pinterest and I was smitten. The style of it tells me that it's a needlepoint stitch, but I didn't see many other references to it by this name. So maybe it's called something else? Since the person who posted it called it foliage stitch, I'm going with that.

But since her example was on evenweave and done more like traditional counted thread embroidery, I worked it up my own way. Breaking the rules of embroidery is perfectly fine and worth perfecting. So here's my version of how to work foliage stitch:

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

This stitch is worked within a square turned on the diagonal. If you look closely, you'll see a faintly marked pink square here.

Come up at one side corner and go back down at the bottom corner. Come up at the opposite corner and back down at the bottom corner.

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

We start getting into more breaking the rules territory here. Because in theory, you should make the next row of stitches immediately above the first. But I'm jumping to the middle because it's easier to visually space out the stitches this way. At least, for me it is.

Feel free to stitch these in any order you choose. You can even stitch one side first and then the other side. I did this while stitching my pineapple, as it saves on thread.

So, come up in the middle of one of the top edges, then go down directly in the center of the square. Repeat on the other side.

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

Come up half way between the first stitches and go down half way between them, right on the vertical center. Repeat on the other side.

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

Come up half way between the top corner and the top stitch and go back down on the vertical center between the top corner and the point where the top stitches meet.

This is a little different from the original stitch I saw, because that one only had three sets of these angled stitches. Technically, you could do as many or as few as you wanted, depending on the size you're making these stitches, as well as how dense you want them to look.

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

Finally, finish it off with a vertical stitch from top to bottom. Or bottom to top. Again, it's not vitally important what order you work these stitches.

So now that I've showed how to do foliage stitch, it's time to find a way to use it! I loved the piece that inspired my exploration into the stitch, but is it only for a purely geometric design? My trouble with stitches like this is that they aren't always easy to work into the kinds of patterns I like to make and stitch.

I mean, I LOVE learning new stitches, but I keep going back to the basics because they work for the designs I enjoy. So I started thinking about how this "beyond basics" stitch could make something cute.

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

And a pineapple came to mind! The shape of the stitches works really well for the pattern of a pineapple, and even for the top. Not to mention, this stitch makes it possible to finish this little stitchery in an evening!

I set up a pattern for you, and it comes in two sizes on the page. My finished pineapple is the larger pattern and it fits in a 4in hoop. The stitches are a little long at this size, but it just barely works. I used all six strands of floss, but I think it would very pretty with fewer strands or perle cotton.

As you can see, some of these are half foliage stitches. Also because I kept true to the form of the stitches, some edges of the pineapple are more open. Feel free to finish those off and have more of a border of long stitches around the entire shape.

Foliage Stitch Pineapple Embroidery

Happy pineapple stitching!

calendar // summer-loving guinea pigs

And just like that, it's June. And while I would have happily accepted a bit more May or even April, it seems that Captain Cuddles and Lieutenant Nibbles are ready for summer. They've got their piggy sunglasses and pineapple drinks ready. Before long, I suppose I'll be sporting a similar look!

At least for now, my screens and yours can feature my favorite guinea pigs in their summer garb. Grab your wallpapers here and they should fit most devices.

Before May is too far in the rearview mirror, here are a few posts that I shared elsewhere last month!

Fingerprint Portrait Keychain

Father's Day will be here before long, and this keychain is a project that you can make with your kids as a gift for dad. The fingerprint portraits are fun and easy, and you'll find the tutorial at Hello Bee.

Fathers Day Fry Box

Need some fries to go with that shake? Err...wait...no. Need a card to go with that gift? Yeah, that's better! Head to Handmade Charlotte to find this printable french fry card that you can customize with all of the things you love about your dad!

Summer Border & Corner Patterns

Get ready for summer with embroidered borders and corners! These free patterns at The Spruce come in three styles and they're perfect for stitching along the edge of your picnic linens.

T-Shirt Embroidery

Or if you want to add some of those summer borders to the hem of a t-shirt, you'll also find my post on how to embroider on tees and other stretchy fabrics over on The Spruce. There are a few stabilizer methods to choose from, so you can find your favorite!

Happy June Crafting to you!

how to use every scrap of sulky sticky fabri-solvy

Sulky Saving

If you follow me on Instagram, you frequently see me stitching projects with Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy. It's my favorite method for pattern transfer onto nearly any material and I use it a TON. Although I do sometimes just trace with a pencil for small, easy designs, I love that you can print the patterns directly onto the Fabri-Solvy. Especially for more detailed patterns.

But when you print a pattern onto a sheet, there's almost always extra Fabri-Solvy that you don't use. I shared one way that I save on these sheets, but I have another way that I make sure as many scraps get used as possible. Someone else shared this idea with me, so I can't take credit, but I'm very happy to share it with you!

All around the edge of the photo above, you see my many scrap pieces. Every time I print a larger pattern, that requires that I start with a full sheet, I trim these piece off and save them.

When I have a smaller pattern to print, I start by printing the pattern(s) on regular paper. Next, I trim piece(s) of Fabri-Solvy to fit the pattern(s), with some extra room.

Then I tape the piece(s) over the printed pattern(s), making sure that the tape doesn't go over where the pattern is. This is why it's important to have some extra room around the edges.

Finally, the page goes through the printer once again, with the paper feeding through in the same direction as the first time so the patterns line up with the Fabri-Solvy. And I always print in draft mode so there's less ink.

And all those bit of Fabri-Solvy get used instead of trashed!

Note: I'm not affiliated with Sulky in any way, I just LOVE their product. However, the link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you choose to order via that link, it helps support this site!

get ready to make yourself at home in this life

At Home in This LIfe Book

Today is a big day for Jerusalem Greer, because her new book, At Home in This Life: Finding Peace at the Crossroads of Unraveled Dreams and Beautiful Surprises, officially releases.

I met Jerusalem in December, after enjoying her first book, A Homemade Life: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together. Soon after we met, she invited me to design some embroidery patterns that would be part of her At Home in This Life Curated Collection. Naturally, I said yes!

At Home in This LIfe Curated Collection

There are so many talented creators who contributed to the collection and I was honored to be part of this.

The first pattern I made was part of a pre-sale bonus package she offered, and it's now in my shop. You've seen it here before in my most recent embroidery framing tutorial, but here's a reminder:

At Home in This Life

Make Yourself at Home in This Life. I really do need these words to keep me knowing that God has given me this life and that I don't need to wish or whine my way out of it. (I should say, I love my life and my work and my family...it's just different from what I expected it would be at this point.)

Prayer Flag Embroidery Patterns

Next I designed a collection of Prayer & Encouragement Word patterns. There are seven words, each in two styles and sizes, and they are perfect for using with the prayer flag project in Jerusalem's book. One set of the words have my Wild Olive happy objects with them and the other set is a scripty, hand-lettered style.

Prayer Flag Embroidery Patterns
Prayer Flag Embroidery Patterns

When I made my set of prayer flags, I used a combination of the word styles, and mixed and matched bits of new and vintage florals, linen, and precious pieces of Liberty fabric. Making this was a delight, and they now hang over my bed (in the place where a different Jerusalem Greer garland hung at Christmas time!).

Prayer Flag Embroidery Patterns
Prayer Flag Embroidery Patterns
Prayer Flag Embroidery Patterns

Of course, these words can be embroidered on lots of things for many reasons. They'd make beautiful pillows, quilts, cards, and more.

At Home in This LIfe Book

To see the entire At Home in This Life Curated Collection, visit JerusalemGreer.com. You can also order an autographed copy of At Home in This Life at her site or in my Etsy Shop.

Congratulations, Jerusalem and thank you so much for inviting me to create patterns for making us all at home!