big news + book giveaway!

Salty Oat (and the rest of my family!) is moving to Washington, DC, the home of the other famous salty oat cookie! Lots of packing, planning, and traveling will be happening in the upcoming weeks, so you may notice things are a bit quiet in the shop. But have no fear! I will continue to check in and report on some recent craft projects and the progress of our move, and I've scheduled a few posts (full of lots of pretty pictures) to keep you entertained while I'm on the road and in the air. 

In the meantime, as I prepare for our move to the East Coast, I've started to go through our house, looking for things that we no longer need and can donate to charities around town. One thing I came across on my shelf was an extra copy of A Rainbow of Stitches, one of my favorite sources for contemporary cross-stitch and embroidery patterns (this project was made using a pattern from the book). I thought you, my dear readers, might find the book useful, and so, I've decided to give my extra copy away. 

For a chance to win, either become a follower of this blog and let me know in the comments (or let me know if you already are a follower) or leave a comment and share your favorite thing about DC, whether it's a restaurant to try, a must-see craft store, or a fabulous museum. Please be sure to include your e-mail address in your comment so that I may contact you if you win. 

There is one entry per person. Comments will close at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 5, and a winner will be chosen at random and announced on Tuesday, July 6. This giveaway is open to international readers. 

*Full disclosure: There's a small coffee stain on the top of the book (it adds character!), but it's otherwise brand-new and full of lovely patterns.


sewing project: bias tape bag

On Tuesday night, I came across this tutorial for a bias tape bag on Prudent Baby, and decided to try it out.

In under two hours, I had an adorable, reversible bag. I used recently thrifted polka dot fabric for one side, and Japanese fabric featuring sheep for the other. The light blue bias tape is handmade and leftover from the quilt that I made for my parents for Christmas.

I was hoping to use the bag as a new lunch tote, but sadly, it was too shallow for my needs. (I seem to have a history of making too-small lunch bags.) I may attempt to make another, deeper one soon.


noah's ark

During a recent thrifting excursion, I fell in love with this fluorescent crewelwork Noah's ark and snatched it up for the excellent price of $2.50.

Lovely giraffes set against a beautifully stitched green and blue roof.

Some friends for Curtis.

The stitching is pretty amazing (I love the clouds and the elephants!) and I now need to decide how to frame the piece. Stretcher or frame? Any tips or suggestions?


recent shop updates

Since opening up my Etsy shop a few weeks ago, I've been busy stitching up goodies to fill my "shelves." Today, I thought I'd share some of the items I've been working on. 

I love the cross-stitch patterns of andwabisabi (I featured Grace's work here back in November), so some of my newest shop items are wall hangings I've stitched up using andwabisabi patterns.

I've also been making one-inch cross-stitch pinback buttons, featuring a semicolon and hearts

And I've also been working on a number of custom pinback buttons for my lovely customers, using various colors of floss and aida cloth. I love seeing what color combos people come up with!

In the next few weeks, I'll also be adding embroidered napkins and quilted placemat sets to the shop. In the meantime, you can find a large selection of buttons--letters and even math symbols!--and vintage sheet cocktail napkins at The WonderCraft, here in Austin.


rainbow of stitches contest

On Sunday, it was announced that my embroidered doily was the winner of the white category in Feeling Stitchy's Rainbow of Stitches Contest--wow! Being new to embroidery, I'm so honored and flattered to be in the company of so many talented stitchers.

My doily is now in the running for the grand prize, and if you have a moment, I recommend checking out all of the finalists and voting for your favorite one. Voting closes at 12:00 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, June 16, so be sure to get your vote in before then. And thank you, everyone, for all of your lovely comments here and over on Feeling Stitchy and Flickr!


sewing project: handkerchief invitation pillow

A few months ago, a friend commissioned me to make a wedding gift for her friend, Annette. The gift was a pillow featuring Annette's wedding invitation, which had been brilliantly printed on a handkerchief.

Using fabrics that my friend had selected, I sewed together a button-back cover (this tutorial came in very handy) to fit over a fourteen-by-fourteen-inch pillow form. Since my machine is ancient, I borrowed a friend's machine to make the buttonholes.

I sewed the handkerchief to the pillowcase by hand, using embroidery floss that matched the yellow stitching around the edges of the handkerchief. I also embellished a few of the invitation's pink and purple flowers, using isolated chain stitches (my favorite part!).

It was fun doing a commissioned project, and after spending so much time with the invitation, I loved seeing pictures of the actual event--Annette's amazing-looking and craft-filled wedding (which can be seen here).



quilting project: hourglass quilt

Shoshone Point, South Rim of the Grand Canyon
Site of our friends' wedding

A few weekends ago, the husband and I flew into Las Vegas and drove out to the Grand Canyon to attend the wedding of two of our friends. The wedding was lovely (the Grand Canyon is a pretty spectacular backdrop for a wedding ceremony), and when we returned, I finished making the couple's wedding gift, which I gave to them this past weekend. 

Using Red Pepper Quilts' tutorial for an Hourglass Quilt (this is the second quilt I've made using one of her tutorials; here's the first), I created a lap quilt from scrap, thrifted, and new fabric. I decided to stick with a blue palette, which is both my favorite color for quilts and the couple's wedding color.

After about an hour of standing in the fabric store, holding the quilt top up against all of the cotton fabrics I could find, I eventually decided on a muslin for the back. The quilt is tied with navy pearl cotton and bound with navy bias tape.

On the back, I embroidered the couple's name and wedding date, and included a Salty Oat button.


pincushion swap: what i received

So in exchange for the succulent pincushion I sent my swap partner Ina, she sent me an absolutely ginormus patchwork pincushion (it's about four inches tall and seven inches in diameter!).

The huge pincushion was actually the second one she made for me; the first was the tiny one pictured above, which Ina also included in my package, along with some pins, buttons, and ribbons.

Both of the pincushions are beautifully pieced together, and I especially love the buttons sewn around the top edge.


embroidery project: sparrow

For a dear friend's birthday last week, I stitched up one of Jenny Hart's bluebirds (the transfer is available in Embroidered Effects). The pattern reminded me a lot of the sparrow necklace that my friend often wears, so I knew it was the perfect motif for her gift.

Inspired by my friend's living room, which is filled with yellow accents, I used gray embroidery floss and a vintage yellow napkin that my mom sent to me after cleaning out one of her linen drawers. I used a chain stitch for the entire piece.