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July 4th

  • It’s Flag Day!

    Hope you’re having a great Flag Day!

    Are you feeling particularly patriotic?

    Has it dawned on you that the 4th of July is coming soon?

    Have you picked a project to work on during the summer holiday season?

    Maybe I can inspire you!

    Have you been to the Leisure Arts Library? It’s the place to find instant printable digital downloadable patterns for some of our Leisure Arts designs that are no longer in print. Plus it’s also the place to go if you want a patriotic-themed pattern that you can get started working on right now!

    We got wonderfully red, white, and blue designs in crochet, cross stitch, plastic canvas, and more on! Check out some of my favorites:

    All American Crochet Afghan Pattern

    All American Plastic Canvas Tissue Box Cover Pattern

    American Bear Crochet Pattern

    American Eagle Cross Stitch Pattern

    Let Freedom Ring Cross Stitch Pattern

    Patriotic Patchwork Table Runner Craft Pattern

    Roly-Poly Uncle Sam Cross Stitch Pattern

    Uncle Sam Ivy Bowl Paint Pattern

    Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue!

  • Red, White, & Blue Summer Sweets!

    With Flag Day and the 4th of July on the horizon, there’s going to be a lot of eating going on, so it’s time to start thinking about fun summer food that you can take to these events. You could always settle for the old standbys, the potato salad, baked beans, hot dog buns, and chips, or challenge yourself to be responsible for the summer sweets!

    If desserts are your favorite part of the meal, I’ve got some book recommendations for you that feature some really yummy patriotic-themed treats:

    Get yourself a copy of Family Living Hooray For Cookouts! Besides having 100 recipes for everything from casual to classic and sweet to savory, this little book has recipes for this incredible looking Patriotic Dessert featuring fresh strawberries and blueberries plus our Patriotic Cake that gets its all-American flair from red and blue fruit-flavored gelatins.

    For July 4th or any patriotic occasion, provide a plateful of crunchy Patriotic Toffee from Celebrating Candy! It’s topped with red, white, and blue candy coating!

    Red, white, and blue non-pareils give patriotic pizzazz to our Star-Spangled Cookies from Celebrating Cookies.

    Watermelon and summer celebrations just go together. For a fun twist on a favorite flavor, whip up a batch of these Watermelon Slices from Celebrating Cookies.

    Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue! These Patriotic Ribbons from Celebrating Cookies, Book 2, are simply layers of tinted dough enhanced with ground pecans!

    Now, I need a cookie. Anybody got a cookie? Everybody should have a cookie to start off Monday morning...

  • Patriotic Quilt, Cross Stitch, & Crochet Inspiration

    Looking to indulge in a little patriotic-themed creativity in preparation for or in celebration of Flag Day, July 4th, a new July baby, or your favorite soldier? Well, of course, I’ve got design suggestions:

    Take Quilted Pride in Your Country!

    I love this America The Beautiful wall hanging to quilt from Seasons & Reasons to Celebrate by Tracy MacKay! From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans—all in fabric!

    Designer Debbie Mumm’s Homecomings book has a whole patriotic quilty/crafty section called Independence Day Celebrations. It features a Liberty Lap Quilt, Sand Candles, Americana Wall Quilt, Nine-Patch Pillow, Lone Star Pillows, Americana Door Banner, Patriotic Flowerpot, and a Star Spangled Pillow. (And as a special bonus, check out our free instant download version of Debbie’s Nine-Patch Pillow pattern from Homecomings!)

    Or how about a great Tried & True Birthday Stars Table Runner from the pages of the Best of Fons & Porter Tabletop Quilts?

    Crochet Your Patriotism!

    Celebrate the flag with this Stars and Stripes afghan by Anne Halliday from our Afghan Lover’s Collection. It‘s worked in strips, so it makes a nice take-along project.

    Want a whole pattern book full of patriotic afghan designs? Give American Pride Afghans by Kay Meadors a try.

    Somebody expecting a new baby in July? Here‘s a couple of red, white, and blue baby afghans to crochet:

    This one’s from A Year of Baby Afghans, Book 4, design by Becky Stevens.

    And this one’s from A Year of Baby Afghans, Book 5. It’s another great design by Anne Halliday.

    Celebrate Freedom in Cross Stitch!

    If you’d like a simple cross stitch piece that would work up in no time, check out Freedom from Stamp ’N Stitch Holidays. You just stamp the stars and stripes, cross stitch the word, frame it, and you’re done!

    Rather work on a cross stitch design that’ll take a little more effort? Take a look at Old Glory by Kathy Elrod from The Best of Cross Stitch Basics. Our version was worked on 28 ct fabric with Sampler Threads!

    Feeling inspired and all patriotic yet?

  • Portable Knitting Patterns

    To get you knitters ready for all that public creativity you’re going to be participating in (World Wide Knit in Public Day on June 11) and for an on-the-go vacation season, I thought I’d share some ideas for portable, easy take-along knitting projects.

    Grab any Knit Along with Debbie Macomber pattern book. Each one is filled with a variety of designs—especially great little sock, bootie, and scarf projects that will travel easily.

    Get a good hat pattern book, a skein of yarn per hat, and your needles—that’s all you need to bring in your bag. For the book, you might check out Lisa Gentry’s Celebrity Slouchy Beanies to Knit. You can wear the hats you make during your summer adventures and pretend to be a movie star.

    Knit socks! Everybody needs socks…and you can get an early start on your Christmas presents. Leisure Arts has the perfect pattern book to take along—Socks to Go, from our Little Book series. It’s a great smaller, go-anywhere size.

    How about dishcloths? You can never have too many dishcloths! Plus, if you get a copy of Katherine Satterfield’s Holiday Knit Dishcloths, you can get busy knitting the Patriot’s Fanfare and Flying Flag patterns in time to give them away as 4th of July gifties!

    Or find a great basic book like Better Homes and Gardens Knitted Gifts. It features some simply adorable small projects like facecloths, a felted clutch, an exercise mat & matching tote, socks, golf club covers (Father’s Day is coming up), mittens, hats, and more!

  • Little Quilts for Big Occasions

    Congrats to Jane in SC for winning my advance copy of Sandi Colwell’s Little Quilts for Big Occasions! Now, the rest of you can shop for your own!

    Want a peek at the projects? Sandi’s covered all the major occasions with adorable little quilted wall hangings:

    Let Freedom Ring is perfect for upcoming Flag Day and July 4th celebrations!

  • Patriotic Pincushion

    To kick off Memorial Day weekend, I thought I’d share an idea for a Patriotic Pincushion. Years ago, in recognition of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, many of our Leisure Arts employees cross stitched a little design called God Bless America. With a little help from one of my more quilty coworkers, I turned my stitched piece into a wall hanging, but just think how easy this design would be to make as a pincushion!

    No, I didn’t actually have time to stitch the design again myself, but here are the basic pincushion crafting instructions. (Just pretend the big blue X in the how-to photos is the design and know that my version is done in miniature as an example of the technique.):

    1. Download our God Bless America pattern.

    2. Cut two 8" x 8" pieces of 14 count White Aida.

    3. Center and stitch the design on one piece of the Aida.

    4. With wrong sides together, join the two pieces of Aida with backstitches (I used 3 stands of floss) until you’re an inch or so from being done.

    5. Stuff the pincushion with fiberfil and finish backstitching.

    6. Trim off excess threads (I left about 6 threads beyond the backstitches).

    7. Fringe the pincushion edges (I usually leave a couple of unfringed threads between the fringe and the design).

    Just think what a great 4th of July gifty this would make!

  • Fast-To-Finish Cross Stitch

    Maybe you have a long-term cross stitch project in the works—one of those designs destined to become a family heirloom. I’ve got a couple of those going with no end in sight. The busy world we live in with jobs, kids, significant others, etc…doesn’t always leave much time to indulge our creativity. How about some wonderfully wordy cross stitch designs that can be finished in an evening? Does that sound good? Try the Leisure Arts Stamp ’n Stitch technique.

    We’ve combined cross stitch with rubber stamping and a few embellishments (if you want) to create little works of art that you can finish in no time. Just stamp the background, cross stitch a word, add a purchased or custom frame, and you’re done. I love the projects in the supporting publications—Nature, Reflections, and Inspirational. They’re lovely, easily manageable designs that would make great gifts or add a special touch to any home décor.

    There is even a Stamp ’n Stitch book for holidays and one especially for kids. In Holidays, you’ll find 8 extra-quick projects, including designs for New Year’s, Valentine’s, Easter, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Kids will take youngsters step-by-step through the technique to prepare them for making any of the 6 awesome projects with themes like the beach, skateboarding, flowers, friends, sports, and camping.

    Quick & Easy—that’s sometimes what it’s all about!

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