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  • One-Of-A-Kind Fall Leaf Pincushions

    Now that it’s officially Fall, I can’t wait for the leaves to start changing colors.

    In the meantime, I’ve developed a yen to bring a little of the season in the house with some handmade Fall Leaf Pincushions. I consulted with Anne and Becky, the clever ladies in our design department, and here’s how to recreate the One-Of-A-Kind Pincushions that they came up with:

    Felt Leaf Pincushion

    You’ll need:
    • a leaf
    • two colors of green felt
    • gold, rust, lt green, & brown embroidery floss
    • embroidery needle
    • fiberfill
    • a real acorn cap
    • a felt ball
    • craft glue

    Use 3 strands of floss for all stitching.
    1. Find a leaf that makes you happy.

    2. Trace around leaf to make a Leaf Front/Back Pattern.
    3. Trace around the inside of the Leaf Front/Back Pattern to create a Center Pattern.
    4. Using Leaf Front/Back Pattern, cut Leaf Front and Leaf Back from darker green felt.
    5. Using Center Pattern, cut one Center from lighter green felt.
    6. Pin Center to Leaf Front and use gold running stitches to sew in place.

    7. Use rust stem stitches to freehand veins in Center and stem.
    8. Use lt green running stitches to sew Leaf Front to Leaf Back, leaving a small opening for stuffing. Stuff and close opening.
    9. Sew around the edge of the Leaf with brown whipstitches, leaving a long end of floss at the stem end.

    10. Thread long end of floss through acorn cap and felt ball. Glue ball in cap. Knot floss and trim end.

    Fabric Leaf Pincushion

    You’ll need:
    • a leaf
    • stripe & solid fabric
    • pinking shears
    • brown embroidery floss
    • embroidery needle
    • fusible web
    • brown rick rack
    • fiberfill
    • sewing machine & brown thread

    1. Find a leaf you like.

    2. Trace around leaf to make a Leaf Pattern.
    3. Using Leaf Pattern, cut Leaf from solid fabric.
    4. Based on the size of your Leaf, decide how big you want your pincushion to be and draw an appropriately sized square for a Top/Bottom Pattern.
    5. Cut Top from stripe fabric and Bottom from solid fabric.
    6. Follow package directions and use fusible web to adhere Leaf to Top.

    7. Machine stitch edges of Leaf to Top and create Leaf veins. Add accents to Leaf veins with one strand of brown floss.
    8. Stack Front and Back with right sides together and rick rack sandwiched in between. Sew Front and Back together, leaving an opening for turning. Turn, stuff, and sew opening closed.

  • August 1 Leisure Arts Newsletter—Something For Everybody!

    Just in case you missed it, here’s all the news that went out in our August 1 Issue of the Leisure Arts Newsletter: We've got something for everybody!

    First, we need to do a little light housekeeping before we get to the good stuff! We’re asking all subscribers to the Leisure Arts Newsletter to update their subscription preferences! Let us know what categories you’re interested in (knit, crochet, cross stitch…), so that we can better share the info that you’re interested in. Just click HERE to select your interest categories and update your preferences. We’ll give you a FREE DOWNLOAD of Celebrating Cookies (normally $7.48) just for updating!
    Now for the good stuff…Take a look at all your new options for creativity!!! You could get an early start on Halloween with our new duct tape craft pattern book, discover crocheting in the round, create pretty embroidered wool pillows, sew simple dresses for your fav little girls, or even go a little wild adding some quilted color to your life! Plus, we’ve got an absolutely adorable free Knook Piggy amigurumi project for you this month from designer Amy Gaines!
    And Deals…We’ve got 10% off on everything Knit, free shipping on orders $25 and over from our site, buy a book/get its download free, and more!
    For more bargains, browse all the different skill categories in our Current Promotions list. For more info about what’s happening at Leisure Arts, our Facebook page and Everyday Life at Leisure daily blog always have the latest news, so bookmark those sites and visit often.

    Editor's Corner: Stick or Treat (5929)
    This Halloween, use the powerful magic of Duck Tape® to mutate into a horrifying swamp creature! Or follow our simple instructions to become a hair-raising zombie nurse or any of 11 fun or fiendish characters. Costumes include Be a Giant Roll of Duct Tape, Skeleton Bride, Hippie, Pirate, Punker, Duck, Swamp Monster, Zombie Nurse, Princess, Sassy Witch, and Ghoulish Greeter. Duck Tape® casts its awesome spell on pumpkins, too. And you can conjure your own cool accessories like masks, treat bags, and candy buckets. Want the eeriest house in the neighborhood? Put a gruesome guy or a giant spider in your front yard. Read more…

    Our August Free Project is this adorable LITTLE PIG TO KNOOK!
    Amy Gaines has a knack for making little animals in knit and crochet, and this cute pig free project is something she whipped up while playing around with the Knook, the tool from Leisure Arts that lets you knit with a crochet hook. Don’t you just love that little face! Check out Amy’s Leisure Arts knit and crochet pattern books: Little Knitted CreaturesCute Little Animals, and More Cute Little Animals and visit her on Facebook to see more of her delightful amigurumi designs!
    And while you’re online, take a look at all of our Knook tools, pattern books, and downloads! Just click HERE!

    In the Spotlight: Crochet, Embroidery, Sewing, & Quilts!
    Take a look all some of our new pattern book releases for crochet, embroidery, sewing, and quilting. There's a little something for everybody!

    Crocheting in Circles (5602) You can accomplish something marvelous by crocheting in circles! All ten of these amazing accessories include crocheting in rounds. The Encircled Wrap is accented by more than a dozen disc-shaped motifs, and more big dots add color to the Orange Pop Purse. Crocheting in the round also gives shape to a fashionable Josephine hat, Retro Rocket Market Bag, E-Reader Sweater, Bluebonnet Beret, Running in Circles Slippers, Fingerless Mitts, A Bushel and a Peck Scarf, and Cozy Toes Tube Slippers. Read more…

    Cozy Wool Applique Pillows (5647) What's more refreshing than a sunny day on the farm? Creating country landscapes with wool appliques and embroidery, of course! Seven farmland scenes invite your admiration on six pillows and a box lid. Just for fun, designer Elizabeth Angus also included an eighth design—a pillow featuring pretty heart appliques. Read more…

    Quick and Easy Dresses to Sew (5786) It's so sweet to see a baby, toddler, or girl in a pretty dress, especially when you've sewn that dress yourself. With these designs by Laurie Malm, you can quickly make an entire wardrobe of little warm-weather dresses! Most are as simple as sewing plain seams and cuffs or ruffles, while using binding to finish the armholes and shoulder ties. For an older girl, there's also a handy little bag that's so adorable when made to match her dress. Read more…

    Quilt Blocks Go Wild! (5652) Take a tame, familiar quilt block and unleash it to create a fresh, modern look. Eleanor Levie and five quilters famous for innovation put their spins on well-loved classics. Gorgeous photos make you gaga for wonky hearts, skewed nine-patches, a crazy-quilted star, split Log Cabins, a basket gone bonkers, and more. Guided by easy how-to’s and more than 120 step-by-step photos, even beginning quilters can make super-cool pillows, quilts, wall hangings, and bags. Read more…

    Be sure to check on current promotions at as new promotions will be added on a regular basis. Below are a few we are currently running.

    • Buy the Book & Get the Digital Free: Learn something new from our best-selling I Can’t Believe series of instructional books! All it takes is a little practice to master a new skill, and we’ll make it easy for you with our Buy the Book & Get its Digital version free deal! Just purchase the physical version of one of our select I Can’t Believe how-to books at regular price, and we’ll give you the digital download for free!
    • Stock your Knit library with our 10% off all Knit products promotion from now through August 15!
    • Get Free Shipping sitewide on orders $25 and over! No same day shipping. Contiguous USA only. Limited time offer!

    • Get Summer Sizzlin’ Savings on our Cookbook Bundle including 6 Family Living Classics—Sizzlers Cookbook, Microwave Cooking, Cakes and Cookies, Sandwiches and Wraps – Vegetarian, Snacks for Children- Vegetarian and Chicken Snacks and Soups—Salads, Too. Regularly priced $1.00 each, get them all now for the low price of $3.99 for all 6! Offer ends August 15!
    • Mary Engelbreit products on sale at 50% off the original retail price. Click here to see all of our products in this category.
    • We have select products marked at 40% off the original retail price in the following categories: CrochetCross StitchKnittingPaintingPaper CraftingQuilting and Sewing.
    • Select DVD products on sale at up to 50% off the original retail price -View Products
    • Clearance Products: These products have been placed on clearance and greatly discounted from the original retail price. Click here to see all of our products in this category.

  • Embroidery, Wool & Applique — The Perfect Combo

    Embroidery, wool and applique — Elizabeth Angus’ new pattern book's got all three going for it plus some wonderfully wooly creations! I love the line in the book description—“whimsical woolgathering at its very best!” I so totally agree! See for yourself…
    Cozy Wool Applique Pillows
    What's more refreshing than a sunny day on the farm? Creating country landscapes with wool applique and embroidery, of course! Seven farmland scenes invite your admiration on six pillows and a box lid. Just for fun, designer Elizabeth Angus also included an eighth design—a pillow featuring pretty heart appliques. Each project is embroidered with pearl cotton and sometimes a little silk ribbon. Some of the designs invite you to add a few buttons for cute-and-cozy details. All of these wooly creations are so heartwarming to see, you'll want to scatter them around the house. Why not place one of the smaller pillows in your sewing room to use as an oversize pincushion? This is whimsical woolgathering at its very best!
    Little Heart Farm

    Ready for Harvest and Home of the Giant Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Valley

    Pumpkin Hill Road, Sheep on a Hill, and Sheep in the Meadow (I think Sheep on a Hill is my favorite!)

    Meet The Designer: Elizabeth Angus!
    When Elizabeth Angus isn’t outdoors admiring the beauty of nature or working in her flower and vegetable gardens, she’s busy indoors with her needle and thread. She started working with patchwork when her two children, Robby and Julianne, were young. Elizabeth and her husband of 40 years recently moved to Idaho. The devoted quilter and embroiderer shares her life at
    Get your copy of Elizabeth’s pretty, pretty embroidery pattern book, Cozy Wool Applique Pillows, today! And while you’re visiting our site, check out her first Leisure Arts quilt pattern book—
    Just Add Flowers!
    Big, beautiful blooms are popping up on these nature-themed quilts, and each one is so sweet to sew! The seasonal quilt designs by Elizabeth Angus combine traditional and fun paper piecing techniques. Their applique designs are added using simple needle-turn hand-stitching or blanket-stitch machine applique. The blossoms are easy to create by sewing and turning their petals. It’s also a breeze to add gathered circles for the centers. The quilts range in size from wall hanging to lap throw, so you can decorate your home in pretty flowers all year! Each accented with 3-dimensional flowers, 6 pieced quilts with seasonal themes include Gentle Snow, Springtime, Summer Breeze, Autumn Leaves, 15 Pumpkins, and Cowboy Christmas.
  • Embroidery Designs for Redwork or Not...

    I love the traditional, nostalgic look of classic redwork embroidery, and I’m feeling the need to play with embroidery stitches and for some serious application of needle to fabric (plus I need to make a couple of gifts), so I’m shopping the Leisure Arts redwork pattern books for inspiration. Wanna look, too?

    Cherished Redwork for Baby
    Create handmade treasures for Baby that are sure to become cherished keepsakes! Redwork embroidery is easily learned and lovely to behold on a wall hanging, quilt, pillow, and two bibs. Iron-on transfers are included.

    Happiness and Cheer, Redwork Through the Year
    {Thinkin’ about stitchin’ this Decorate The Tree design from Happiness and Cheer, Redwork Through the Year on a pillow from the Love-Of-My-Life’s aunt!}

    Happiness and Cheer, Redwork Through the Year is a seriously cute collection of redwork embroidery designs that capture all the joy of the holidays and seasons. Designer Dolores Storm of Lakadaisies is winning the hearts of stitchers everywhere with her folk-art portrayals of childhood. These 10 whimsical designs celebrate Halloween, Christmas, Easter, May Day, Thanksgiving, and five more events and occasions youngsters have always adored. Each fun design uses only one or two easy embroidery stitches and can be worked in your favorite floss color -- redwork doesn't have to be red! Our instructions also show you how to give your stitched piece an authentic folk-art look. (Also available as a downloadable eBook!)

    Work & Play, Redwork Through the Day presents 10 whimsical embroidery designs of youngsters romping, playing games, and doing chores. These irresistibly playful designs are from Dolores Storm of, who has been winning the hearts of stitchers everywhere with her folk-art portrayals of childhood. Each fun design uses only one or two easy embroidery stitches. And did you know? Redwork doesn’t have to be red! Use your favorite floss color, and if you want, follow our instructions to use tea or coffee to dye your fabric for an antique folk-art look. 10 designs: Jumping Rope, Driving, Gardening, Ironing, Sewing, Wash A Dish, Along Came a Spider, Fishing, Rocking Baby, and Skating. (Also available as a downloadable eBook!)

    Simple Pleasures in Redwork
    {Wouldn’t this Summer Reigns Wall Hanging make a great house warming present—maybe for my house?}

    Little birds pause to sing or spread their elegant wings in this collection of ten embroidery patterns by Kathy Schmitz. The wall hangings and pillows are just perfect for adding timeless style to your home's decor. Embroider and sew a bluebird shoulder bag to carry your needlework or necessities. Create a graceful bird pincushion or a "bird's nest" folding notions keeper. These heirloom-quality designs will have everyone chirping over your talent and excellent taste! 10 embroidery designs created with a variety of embroidery stitches: Bluebird Nest Shoulder Bag, In My Garden Drawer Sachet, Sing Hanging Sachet, Soar Pincushion, Quill Bird Pillow, Blackbird Sings Wall Hanging, A Bird's Life Pillow, Redbird Sampler Wall Hanging, Ruby's Notions Keeper, and Summer Reigns Wall Hanging. (Also available as a downloadable eBook!)

    The Sunbonnet Sue Primer
    Capture the charm of redwork with these simple embroidery designs of Sunbonnet Sue. The 16 reusable iron-on transfers make it easy to create pillows, towels of the week, aprons, and other nostalgic projects using only four basic embroidery stitches.

    Redwork With a Twist
    Pat Sloan takes traditional redwork embroidery and updates it for today's home. This collection includes seasonal embroidery designs, sometimes in the red embroidery stitches on white background of traditional redwork and sometimes in updated colors to work with the fabulous fabrics available in today's quilt shop. Pat discusses the stitches and a little of the history of redwork. Projects include a sewing set, seasonal wallhanging, quilt, tote, sampler quilt, changeable pillow cover, and hexagon table runner. Everything a quilter needs to know to get started and to finish something beautiful is here in Redwork With a Twist. (Also available as a downloadable eBook!)

    Stitchin’ Retro
    {I may need to stitch up this Shaken, Not Stirred design from Stitchin’ Retro for a wedding shower present!}

    You can create dozens of really easy retro embroidery projects using these 150 iron-on transfers and only five basic stitches: Satin Stitch, Chain Stitch, French Knots, Backstitch, and Lazy Daisy Stitch. Most of the designs were inspired by vintage linens from the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s. From Tiki gods to rock 'n' rollers, this book by Banar Designs is sure to be popular with those longing to go back to earlier times. There are cowboy designs for the little tikes, 1950s aprons for retro entertaining, 50s felines, south of the border images, lots of flower power posies and butterflies, and four stylish alphabets. With the easy-to-follow instructions and stitch diagrams, anyone can learn to be a retro stitcher.

    Well, what do you think? Lots of cool pattern books to choose from, huh? You know what the really cool thing is about redwork embroidery? The really cool thing is that just because it’s called “redwork” doesn’t mean you actually have to use red floss. You can make every design you stitch your own! I may need to do some “greenwork”!

  • BOGO Download Event

    Here’s that update I was babbling about in my last post!
    It’s Buy 1 Get 1 Free Weekend at—June 15-17 only! Buy one of our select digital download ePatterns or eBooks and get a second of equal or lesser value free!
    We’ve got something for everybody in this BOGO Event: plastic canvas, embroidery, crafts, cross stitch, paper crafts, knit, crochet and quilt. It’s a great opportunity for a good deal on affordable, portable ePatterns and eBooks from Leisure Arts! Don’t miss it!
    Happy downloading!
    Wanna know more about digital downloads from Leisure Arts? Click on over and read, “What do I need to read a digital download and how?” for all the details!
  • Quotes to Create With…

    I collect sayings, quotes, wisdom—whatever you like to call those supposedly profound lines that profess to contain a kernel of truth in only a few words. They’re great to use on paper projects like cards, scrapbook pages, ATCs, or collage. They can be embroidered or cross stitched on fabric. And I’ve painted them on all sorts of surfaces. Check out some of my favs:

    • Dance as if no one were watching! Sing as if no one were listening! And live each day as if it were your last!

    • A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.

    • Half of life is just showing up…

    • And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

    • Life is rather like a tin of sardines, and we’re all looking for the key.

    • Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.

    • Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

    • To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.

    • Life is “trying things to see if they work.”

    • If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

    • Time flies when you don’t know what you're doing.

    • People who snore always fall asleep first.

    • Don’t marry someone you can live with—marry the person you cannot live without.

    • If an article is attractive, or useful, or inexpensive, they'll stop making it tomorrow; if it's all three, they stopped making it yesterday.

    • Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe, and he’ll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it, and he'll have to touch it to be sure.

    • The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.

    Do you have any cool quotes that you really like? Please share!

    (The photo images are from Mary Engelbreit’s Home Creations—12 designs to cross stitch. Learn more about Home Creations and our other Mary Engelbreit pattern books and products on! They’re all on sale!)

  • Recycled Linen Pincushion Project

    As I wander my way through flea markets, auctions, estate sales, and other great junky locations, I’m always running up on vintage embroidered linens, but I wouldn’t ever let myself have them because I wasn’t sure what to do with them, plus they are often just a little bit too worn to display…but thanks to our designer friend Becky, I now have the perfect project for vintage linens—Recycled Linen Pincushions!

    Just think what great little keepsakes you could make from this pattern using the tattered family treasures from the attic!

    All you need is:


    • acrylic paint & brush
    • wooden frame
    • heavy cardstock
    • embroidered linen
    • tape or glue
    • fiberfill


    1. Paint frame and allow to dry completely.

    2. Cut an oval of cardstock the same size as the opening in the back of your frame.

    3. Leaving about 1/2" of extra fabric around the pattern, use cardstock oval as a pattern and cut out an oval from embroidered linen with your design in the center.

    4. Leaving an opening for stuffing, tape or glue extra fabric edges to back of cardstock.
    5. Stuff and tape or glue opening closed.
    6. Place pincushion in frame.


    I love the little embroidered flower basket that Becky chose for this project. It makes this pincushion perfect for an Easter present!

  • Mary Engelbreit Pillow Patterns & Book Sale!

    All Leisure Arts Mary Engelbreit pattern books are on sale at 50% off regular retail price, so I’m shopping the sale for a whimsical pillow design to add to my guest bedroom décor.

    Loving this Toile Basket pillow from Home Creations to cross stitch! (That it’s made with shades of green, of course, gets my attention!)

    Like the whole black and white thing going on with this embroidered Four-Square Pillow from The Art of Embroidery!

    I’ve never done needle felting before, but I’m kind of tempted to try learning how to do it with these pillows from Artistic Needle Felting

    Or I could bribe a sewing buddy to make this pretty Appliqued Sheet Set for me from Sew, So Cute! (I can just picture The Cat…The Black Cat…lounging right where that dog is in the photo!)

    What do you think? Which would you pick?

    And while you’re here, be sure to check out all of the pattern books in the Mary Engelbreit Sale!

  • Fav Mary Engelbreit Things…

    Since all of our Leisure Arts Mary Engelbreit books are on sale, I’ve been going through them trying to decide if there’s anything I want to make, and, now, I can’t decide where to start first ’cause they’re filled with so many fun ideas. Here are a few of my favorite Mary Engelbreit things so far:

    From The Art of Embroidery

    I been looking for something wonderful to use to display my milk glass collection on, and I think I’ve found it in this pretty Table Runner embroidered on black cotton fabric with white stem stitches and French Knots. It’s just one of the 29 projects to embroider in The Art of Embroidery.

    From Treasured Keepsakes

    Love these simple Put Your Heart In It stones. They’re just spray painted and stamped. (This project will put to good use all of the rocks the kids have brought home with them over the years!). Plus Treasured Keepsakes offers up 11 additional ways to treasure your memories.

    From Home Creations

    This Seasons of Life shadowbox is right up my alley! I’ve got vintage crochet hooks, old wooden thread spools, and lots of bottles and buttons in my collections. I really like the little leafy cross stitch design, and there are 11 more designs to create in almost no time in Home Creations.

    From Very “Mary" Stationery

    A friend just had a baby, and I need to make her a card. I’m thinking about a New Baby Matchbook Card. This Very “Mary” Stationery book is pretty cool ’cause it comes with 19 inspirational projects for birthdays, housewarming, babies, parties, and more, along with a CD filled with an endless supply of Mary Engelbreit artwork.

    What do you think? Which one should I start on first?

  • Wordy Wednesday: Teach Yourself to Make Biscornu

    If you follow the Everyday Life at Leisure blog at all, you know I’ve got a thing for pincushions, so you know I’m thrilled to be able to announce that the book I’ve been waiting for (the ultimate pincushion book) has finally been released—Teach Yourself To Make Biscornu by Bobbie Watts! I can’t wait to dig into the instructions and learn for myself!

    Some of you are probably wondering just what a biscornu is. Well, according to the book—

    A biscornu is a little eight-sided pillow that gets its name from a French word meaning “quirky.” It can be used as a pincushion, ornament, scissor fob, sachet, or just about anything you can think to do with a tiny cushion. A basic biscornu is composed of two fabric squares that are stacked, with the top square askew, and then sewn together.

    Besides teaching you how to make a biscornu, this great book also shows you how to make your biscornu beautiful. Bobbie’s biscornu feature several different embroidery techniques (a great way to learn new stitches) and are embellished with tassels, cords, and organza pom-poms.

    Take a look at the 9 projects included in Teach Yourself to Make Biscornu:


    Bright Gem

    Orange Gem


    Green Garden

    Blue Pearls

    Stripes of Pink

    Crimson Flower

    Variegated Lattice

    Meet The Designer!
    Bobbie Watts lives in the Australian state of Tasmania, which is an island in the south. “This is the most beautiful place,” Bobbie says. “There is so much here to inspire the textile designer. Living on a hill with both land and sea views, I started designing in an attempt to capture my beautiful surroundings. … I am the founder of our local embroidery guild, which is now a branch of the Tasmanian Embroidery Guild. I’m also a member of some fiber arts groups. I teach, judge, and curate. Mainly, I work in design and contribute to most of the related magazines in Australia and in some international publications. I also have works in several galleries. … I like to use geometric shapes in my designs with a variety of techniques, threads, and stitches.”

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