Book Review: Make It Sew Modern

Make it Sew Modern book cover

Make It Sew Modern: Gather, Twist, Pleat, Texture (Martingale) is the new book from Vanessa Christenson of V and Co.

Vanessa has never been afraid to share her love of texture in sewing projects, as shown through her popular tutorials and patterns. The book teaches readers how to use basic cotton fabrics and transform them into cozy wearables and home decor.

Make it Sew Modern book contents

The book is organized by technique, with five to six projects in each of four sections: ruffles, twisting, gathering and pleats. The projects are straight out of a high-end home catalog, yet they can be achieved with simple techniques. Many can be sewn up in a couple hours or less!

Make it Sew Modern book pillow

The Throw Pillow with Frosting is a classic design incorporating ruffles that just goes to show how plain, white fabric can have so much depth when used in the right ways. So often, I’m drawn to fabric because of its print or color, but this book really shows a creative use of neutral fabrics in a way that’s fresh and vibrant.

Make it Sew Modern book - decorative balls

By twisting fabric, even non-sewing crafters can get in on the action.

Make it Sew Modern book - tote bag

Although many of the patterns are twists on the same idea (totes, pillows, flowers or scarves), Vanessa’s style is clean, fresh and inviting to any level of sewing artist.

Make it Sew Modern book - pleated edge quilt

I’m especially enamored with the Everyday Quilt and its clever pleated binding. The two-tone quilt is a rich and elegant taste of the unexpected. Couldn’t you just picture it showing up at Blue Ivy Carter’s doorstep?

Make it Sew Modern book - Vanessa Christenson

I’ve followed Vanessa’s popular blog for a while now, and this book is really a great snapshot of her creative energy. And better yet, she’s very real and down to earth, and talks a lot about balancing her creative business with her family. If you’d like to check out Vanessa’s book for yourself, it’s available on Amazon.

We’re also giving away a copy to one lucky winner in our sew along, which starts tomorrow. Check it out!

Pleated Boxes Pillow: Sew Along

Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along Large

Craft Buds is excited to announce our very first sew along! Introducing the Pleated Boxes Pillow, which comes with a free downloadable PDF pattern.

The sew along lasts just over three weeks. With an estimated 2.5 to 3 hours of total sewing time, you can whip up a cheery throw pillow to brighten up your living room, guest bed or any place that needs a little sunshine!


Very few supplies are needed to make this project, which is designed to use up your scraps. To sew along with us, you’ll need:

  • 8 assorted fabric strips, 2” wide and 12” long
  • ½ yard of solid background fabric
  • ½ yard of inexpensive muslin fabric, like an upcycled sheet
  • 8-10 oz. synthetic fiber fill
  • Rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and cutting mat
  • Thread, sewing pins and iron

When finished, the filled pillow cover measures 17″ long x 12″ tall x 6″ wide, the perfect size for a chair or couch accent.

The downloadable pattern will tell you all you need to know to make this pillow, and we’ll also guide you step-by-step throughout the sew along, with extra photos to help guide you along the way. Feel free to work at your own pace, and we’ll all meet back up to share our finished work at the end of the sew along. You can do it!



As a little incentive to get you sewing along, 5 random winners will each take home a prize for linking up their finished pillow to our Flickr group by March 23. If you don’t use Flickr, we’ll also post a linkup here on the blog March 16-23, so you can link up a photo of your finished pillow.

1 winner: A stack of Flea Market Fancy fat quarters from my pre-order!

(Will update with photo)

1 winner: Make it Sew Modern book by Vanessa Christenson
1 winner:
$20 store credit to Lindsay Sews on Etsy

Make it Sew Modern book cover Lindsay Sews on Etsy

1 winner: Glass Half Full PDF pattern
+ pattern of your choice from Create Hope Designs
1 winner: Aurifil Thread Sample Pack (5 spools total)

Glass Half Full - Quilt Pattern Aurifil Thread

March marks our one-year blogiversary, and we’d be so excited to have you join us for the sew along. Enjoy the free pattern, and we’ll see you back in about a week!

Grab a button!

Craft Buds Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along


Book Review + Giveaway: Marking the Date

I haven’t mentioned on the blog yet, but I’m currently expecting our second child in May! We’ve been trying to explain the countdown to our son but he doesn’t completely understand the passing of days and time quite yet. So when I heard about this Marking the Date calendar book I thought it would be perfect for him!


Every day we put a new sticker on the calendar. The book is great because my son gets to carry it around and open it up each day as he waits for baby and it’s his own special project. He’s 2 1/2 so the passing of time is still a bit hazy for him but this book gives him a physical activity to mark each day. It helps him understand that it’s something we do once each day until the baby arrives so he now has a better idea of how long he has to wait.


There are over 500 stickers included for just normal days and for special days like birthdays, trips, and holidays. The book includes 12 months of the year so you could use it for major events like a baby’s arrival or a deployed family member coming home, or you could countdown to birthdays, trips, people visiting or whatever’s happening in your life! There’s even enough stickers for your kid to put some on his shirt, which my son especially enjoyed.



At the Before I Forget website, you can purchase this calendar book or put together a personalized 1 page calendar with all the birthdays and anniversaries of your family for that year. And on this post, you have the opportunity to win one of the books pictured above!

To enter: One entry per person. Just leave a comment below! We’d love to hear what you would use the book for. Open to US and Canada through Friday, February 24 and the winner will be announced on this post on Saturday.

Congratulations to Kristy, comment #3 chosen by! Kristy runs a fabulous blog called Hopeful Threads, check it out!

Book Review: Stash Happy Felt

Stash Happy Felt book cover

Stash Happy Felt by Amanda Carestio (Lark Crafts) is a treasury of cute, functional projects all made with felt and thread. Picking up on the sewing trend of working with high-quality wool felt and even upcycled felted sweaters, this book features the work of multiple contributors.  From the leaf-accented French press cozy on the cover to the other 29 projects inside, the handmade goods range from home decor to gifts, organizers and wearables.

Stash Happy Felt, carnation decorations

With full-color photographs of each project and helpful illustrations, this book reads like a magazine and has projects suitable for beginners, like the “Carnation Decorations,” “Scrap Story Bookmark” and “Scrap Coasters.” For these and many projects in the book, only a basic hand-sewing kit is required!

Others, like the “Whale Pincushion” and “Trees Please Sewing Machine Cozy,” require the use of a sewing machine. The book’s three-dimensional sewing projects and clever bags like the “Retro Clutch” will keep intermediate sewists challenged.

Stash Happy Felt, whale pincushion

Extra touches like the felt-embellished sewing pins and sweet embroidery and applique make the projects in this book uniquely adorable. Author and Lark Crafts editor Amanda Carestio contributes some fresh and functional projects to the book, joined by Lark Crafts authors Cathy Gaubert, Aimee Ray and Cynthia Shaffer among others.

Stash Happy Felt, trees please sewing machine cover

Most projects in the book, like the “Felt-Framed Portraits” below, have coordinating templates that can be photocopied from a handy appendix at the back of the book. This is one of my favorite features of Lark Crafts books, because there are no pattern pieces to keep straight, and the templates are always accessible with a photocopier. For patterns that do not need to be enlarged, you can also trace with a pencil and paper before transferring the patterns to felt.

Stash Happy Felt, framed portraits

There are at least five projects in this book that I would love to make, and the techniques for making felt flowers, hand-stitching and applique can easily be applied to your own creations beyond what is featured in the book. In fact, there are many projects in here that are perfect for those who are just getting started with sewing. If felt is just not your thing, you could even make some adjustments to the patterns and use fabric and interfacing to recreate some of the accessories and organizers. Visit the Lark Crafts blog or see them on Facebook for the latest releases.

Looking for the Aurifil Thread Giveaway?

Charm Swap Update + Aurifil Giveaway

Polka Dot Charms, Received!

The fabric for the polka dot charm swap has all been mailed! If you participated in the swap, keep an eye out for these beautiful charms to arrive in the mail!

We owe a huge thanks to Peg and Becca at Sew Fresh Fabrics for cutting and sorting this rainbow of charms. As always, feel free to post photos of your charms or projects you make with them in the Craft Buds Flickr group.

Aurifil Thread


Have you ever used Aurifil thread? It’s known for being strong and silky, and a dream to sew with. We have an assorted Aurifil thread pack to give away to five lucky winners!

To enter this giveaway, you must use the Rafflecopter form below. (App may not work with smartphones, so try a regular browser if you are having problems.) Giveaways open worldwide through Friday at midnight. Good luck!

Winners have been notified, and are listed below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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