Why I don’t make animal crafts anymore

If you’ve ever met me in person, there’s a 99.5% chance that either I’ve a knitting project in my bag — or — I’m knitting AND talking at the same time.

My hands are nonstop (my husband says better my hands than my jabber mouth) – either knitting, crocheting, hand-embroidery, typing, photographing, cooking or eating. But mostly knitting – because I can knit and create fun things like hand-made socks, sweaters and scarves.

Recently, I’ve begun quilting. I’m blaming my latest obsession on my mother-in-law, who is an avid, award-winning quilter. She lives in Buffalo, and for Christmas, we bought her a used Bernina (like the Rolls Royce of sewing machines) to keep down here and use on her visits.

I had NO interest in quilting whatsoever until I test-drove the Bernina after Christmas.

WOW. No wonder brand-new machines cost as much as a used car. I had no idea that sewing on a machine didn’t involve cursing, ripping out every 13 stitches and frustration. I had been sewing on my ratty old cheapy machine and hated sewing. No wonder.

Anyways, I’ve signed up for just about every single Craftsy quilting course and have made friends with my local quilting shops. The guest cottage is now MY sewing cottage. (No more guests! Unless you’re my MIL or here to sew with me!)

I’ve even gotten the boys to sew – Nathan is in the middle of making a quilt on his vintage 1951 Singer Featherweight sewing machine on a custom table:


Andrew quilted a cover for my his Kindle. He stayed up until almost midnight sewing on my F!(%!)(#$! Juki sewing machine (more on that another post)


As for my progress – not bad. Sometimes the crafting goes really well:


That’s a Quilt-As-You-Go bag from Craftsy, taught by Tara Rebman. I highly, highly recommend this class! Love her as a teacher and the project is fun.

Sometimes the sewing goes really wrong.


I think I sewed the teddy bear’s head on BACKWARDS.

This isn’t the first animal mis-hap I’ve had. Here’s a little monkey that I was crocheting.

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No matter how many times I tried, the poor little monkey was all crooked and wonky. And phallic.


And every time I’d start over, the tail would look more and more phallic.


Despite my non-talent in sculpting animals, I’m forging ahead. I’ve made 4 quilts in the past 2 months and can’t wait to share more.


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Comments 17

  1. Ivy T

    I think it is great your boys are into crafting. What age did you start introducing them to knitting/sewing/etc.?

    1. SteamyKitchen

      We started a long time ago! The boys learned to knit a as soon as they could hold a pencil. But they really don’t like how slow knitting is – sewing is more their speed.

  2. Kel

    Love that! My mom is a quilt instructor — check out Judy Neimeyer quilts and see if you like them. She has perfected the paper piecing method.

    My mom taught my husband how to sew. He now makes quilts. Cannot wait to hear about your sons!

  3. thteminx

    Ha! Fix the phallic tail by putting a bit of pipe cleaner in it when you stuff the monkey (oh, doesn’t that sound like a euphemism?!) and then bend it into an appropriate monkey-tail shape. 🙂

  4. Bash Hueglin

    Those XXX-rated animals made me laugh out loud first thing in the morning. I guess my mind is perpetually in the gutter. But I am sure there is a market for them in the right kind of shop on the wrong end of town. The last thing they would seem to need is wire in them as they seem to be more than enough all on their own.

  5. Barb

    Two of you have me laughing so hard I have tears rolling, LOL! I can’t help you with crochet, but I can recommend a Bernina. Any vintage, but if you found an old 1130 you would think you had struck the jackpot. Dealers still offer me what I paid for it in 1988 because it is such a great machine! I wouldn’t give it up for the world!

  6. Monica Eggleton

    Oh sweet Jaden, I love the teddy bear! Truly, the best mistake possible, such a conversation piece. I have taken a couple Craftsy classes, just yesterday I did a class to make pizza. Quilting has been high on my list for years, and just got a Craftsy class to start for real. (If by chance you don’t want to fix that bear, please keep me in mind. I do think it’s wonderfully fun.)

  7. kentuckylady717

    Your kids are so cute and kudos to them for knowing how to use a sewing machine….I learned on one similar to this one, only it was a singer treadle sewing machine, was my grandma’s and I loved to sew on it….

  8. Margeparge

    Hi! That is great that your boys like sewing-I had hopes that my two girls would be sewers and crafters like me, but although I have taught them, they haven’t maintained an interest. By the time I was 13, I was making clothes for myself. I have a 1988 Bernina Sport 801 and I adore it!! I grew up sewing on my mother’s Singer and it was awful. The dealer is always trying to get me to trade up to a computerized machine and I steadfastly refuse. I think I am the opposite of you-my mother lives outside Buffalo and my MIL lives 30 miles west of Orlando 🙂

  9. Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen

    Hahahaha! Thanks for the chuckle! I absolutely loved this post and it’s going to keep me laughing all day! I’m all to familiar with when craft projects go wrong – so I completely feel your pain, Jaden!

  10. Mary

    I’m sorry Jaden, but I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time! Loved your monkey attempts.

  11. Angel

    I just read your duck eggs hatching post, your fish sperm post, and this one, and I can’t stop laughing.

  12. Cathy

    I SO needed the big laugh you just gave me with the monkey!! It makes me feel so much better about some of my craft fails and swearing at sewing machines 🙂

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