Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Emma and the (Mama's) Milk of Human Kindness

Six months ago today, Emma Kwasnica started a milky revolution. Using Facebook as a platform to connect mothers with extra breast milk to families in need of donor milk, Emma created the Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network. This network is now run by more than 280 volunteer administrators, overseeing 130  Facebook pages, representing more than 50 countries.  

I made this Mama's Milk carton and breastfeeding symbol cookie as a thank you to Emma. Her tireless dedication to ensuring that all babies have access to mama's milk, even if that milk comes from anther mother, has changed lives and helped families all over the world. 

For more information about the Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network, please visit:

You can also find HM4HB on Facebook:

To find your local HM4HB chapter, check out:

For my local Nevada friends, you can find the HM4HB page for Nevada here:

For a heart warming story of milk sharing, please read about baby Joshua:  

To make your own Mama's Milk carton, the tutorial can be found here: 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review and Giveaway Time with Too Blessed To Be Stressed!

Amanda at Too Blessed To Be Stressed was kind enough to review my Sesame Chicken Stir Fry felt food set and allow me to host an Etsy shop giveaway on her blog. Amanda's children all have varying degrees of food allergies, so I wanted to create a food set that looked like something her kids could actually eat (alas, a melty grilled cheese can be out of the question if you have a dairy or gluten intolerance). I was very inspired by a real food recipe on Amanda's blog for Sesame Chicken with Bok Choy and Red Bell Pepper and I wanted to incorporate some of that deliciousness into a felt food set. 

So, to read Amanda's review and enter to win a $20 Mama's Felt Cafe Etsy shop gift certificate, please click HERE! The contest is open until Thursday, May 5th at 11:59 pm EST.

To learn how to make those sweet green pea pods, check out the tutorial.

Happy Felt Fooding!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Three Peas In A Pod

A couple weeks ago I made a Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry for Amanda to review over at Too Blessed To Be Stressed. Meanwhile, I thought I would do a tutorial for the pea pods I made for the set and throw in a few fun variations (including my favorite, Jingle Peas) for all your felt pea pod making needs. 

The Ingredients:

-3 pea pods in dark green felt. I cut mine folded and made a taper at the end. Unfolded here, they are lemon shaped. Each pod is about 3.5 inches long and about an inch wide when folded.

-6 strips of light green felt for the peas. These are about 3 inches long and a half inch wide.

-3 small bells for Jingle Peas

-Embroidery Floss to match

The Recipe: 

We are going to start by making our peas first. Start by tightly rolling up a strip of the light green felt. Stop when you get about an inch from the end.

Then, squish the rolled over portion in half so that it has a rounder shape.

Sew a few stitches through the center of the squished rolled part so that it stays in place. 

Leaving your thread and needle still attached, fold over the remaining flap over the sewn squished rolled part (that makes sense, right?).

Now, make a running stitch all the way around the open end and pull tightly to pucker and knot off to secure.

Next, sew the end of the flap down, working towards the remaining open end of the pea.

Sewn another set of running stitches on last side,

 and pull tightly to close up the pea. 

Now, repeat this process with the five other strips of light green felt so there are 6 felt peas. 

Now, it is on to pea pods. For the first pod, work from the tapered corner and whip stitch the pod shut with three felt peas inside. This is a good way to make the pods if you have a child who would mouth the small peas.

Next come the Jingle Peas! Instead of the felt peas, sew the pod shut with three bells on the inside. These musical veggies will be a hit with little ones. 

For our last pea pod, we'll leave the pod mostly open so the peas can come in and out. Starting at the taper, sew the pod together for about an inch. Then, whip stitch just one side of the felt until you get an inch from the other end. Then sew the last inch with the felt together. 

Lastly, whip stitch through the other side of the pea pod until you reach the point where the felt meets so the entire pod is stitched. 

Ta-da! Now we have a completed pea pod with removable peas. Time to add the peas to our playset. . .


Happy Felt Fooding!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month--Who Knew?

Apparently, April is National Grilled Cheese Month. Who knew there was a month devoted to a fried sandwich? After spending several minutes drooling over Martha Stewart's Grown-Up Grilled Cheese at 8 in the morning, I decided maybe the grilled cheese sandwich was due for some recognition. Since my recent giveaway winner Sheena had wanted to see a felt food tomato soup and grilled cheese lunch set, now seemed like as good a time as any to celebrate some felty, cheesy goodness. 

The Ingredients:

-4 cream felt triangle bread pieces. The two short sides are 4 inches and the long side is 4.75 inches long
-1 cheese felt piece. I wanted my cheese to maintain a gooey look, so I cut the 4 inch triangles like the bread on a folded piece of felt and left the long side on the fold.
-2 tan felt crust pieces, 9 inches long by a half inch wide 
-Embroidery Floss to match
-Stuffing for the bread pieces

The Recipe:

First, let's sew the cheese. Line up the edges and whip stitch the cheese piece closed. The folded edge will be the melted cheese peeking out of the bread.

Next, we move on to the bread. Sew the two cream felt pieces together on the long side of the triangle.

Now we need to sew on the crust. I wanted the sandwich to look like it had been cut in half. To get this effect, we need to taper the end of the crust piece. I measured about 1.25 inches down the end of my crust and drew a triangle.

Then, I cut the triangle so that one end of the crust piece has a tapered edge. 

Working from the tip of the taper, sew the crust piece on to one side of the bread. 

When you turn the corner of the bread piece, you will want to taper the end of the other side of the crust. The nine inches we cut for the crust will be a little long, so trim the crust so that it is even with the end of the bread. Then measure down the same 1.25 inches from the end of crust piece and cut the tapered triangle just like the other end. 

Finish sewing the rest of the crust to the end of the bread. 

Now add stuffing between the two cream bread pieces. I used some organic cotton batting I found on sale at the craft store. Batting can be great for stuffing bread, pancakes and other foods that are mostly flat but should be stuffed evenly. 

Then, finish sewing the crust piece to the second side of the bread. Follow this same process for making the second slice of bread. 

There you have it! A cheesy felt food lunch for your little cook to grill up. 

Happy Felt Fooding!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday--Mama's Milk and Bodily Integrity

Last week, March 28- April 2, was Genital Integrity Awareness Week. On March 30, 1997, female circumcision was made illegal in the United States. Unfortunately, almost a decade and a half later, American boys are still not protected from genital cutting, despite this gender inequality being unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. I spent the week sewing 7 sets of my Mama's Milk Cartons and Activism Cookies. These sets are going to be at the Peaceful Parenting booth at the Child & Baby Expo of Iowa on April 9th. I hope these toys will raise a bit of awareness for expo goers and others. I feel very strongly that everyone should have a right to their whole, intact body from birth. 

For more information on genital integrity, please check out these links:

For more information on breastfeeding and circumcision, please see: 


Monday, April 4, 2011

Hippity, Hoppity, Easter's On It's Way--Let's Celebrate With a Felt Egg Tutorial

Ah, it's April. Finally, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the trees in my front yard are showing hints of new leaves. Time to start thinking about Easter Baskets! Admittedly, last year my son's basket was mostly filled with candy that I ate. This year, I made these fun oversized (about 9 inches tall) eggs, which will be considerably fewer calories than all that Easter candy. These eggs are great for Baby's First Easter and beyond!

The Ingredients: 

-4 egg shaped felt pieces, two white and two bright green, front and back for each egg
-Assorted sized circles in various colors for white egg
-Two bunny appliques (see below), one for both sides of the egg, 12 pieces of grass from dark green felt (about 2.5-3 inches tall) and 12 little felt eggs for the green bunny egg
-Embroidery Floss to match
-Stuffing and two bells

The Recipe: 

Thanks to the internet, you almost never have to reinvent the wheel, or the egg in our case. I couldn't draw an egg free hand if my life depended on it, but I sure can trace a image of an egg as a pattern. I found the image that I used for my egg on a stained glass pattern site. I saved the image and opened it in MS Paint, reduced it to 75% and printed it out. You could work with the image as is, too. It will just be a bit bigger than mine. 

Once you have your egg pieces cut, let's move on to the bunny applique. I found the bunny image with a quick clip art search. That particular bunny translates to an applique really well as the pieces are big and easily traceable on felt. You will want to print out three copies of the bunny image. 

With the first bunny image, cut out the ears, head, hand and feet. 

With the second bunny image, we want to make the belly pattern piece. Since the images looks like the bunny's hand is behind his foot, I drew in where the arm and the bottom of the belly would be if the feet weren't in the way. With the third bunny image, cut out all of the pink parts--ear lining and the pads of the bunny's feet. Now we have a pattern for all parts of the bunny. Trace and cut all the white and pink bunny parts. When you trace the pattern for the bunny, remember to flip your pattern over so that your trace marks will be on the back of the felt and the felt bunny will look the same as the original (otherwise you will have a mirror image). 

Next comes the bunny's face. A well lit window is your friend. I placed the felt head over the pattern on the window and was easily able to see the pattern underneath. Do this for both your bunny head pieces.

Cover the face tracing with black embroidery floss, save for the nose, which is filled in with pink. The eyes are French Knots. 

Next, sew on the pink pieces to the ears and feet for both bunnies. I kept this simple with a few running stitches. Now the appliques are ready to go on the egg!

Start with the body first. Tuck the waving hand slightly under the body piece and make sure to sew through the belly and the hand when going around. Again, these are quick and easy running stitches. 

Next comes first foot. Be sure to leave a little of the arm peeking out behind the foot like the original image. 

Now, sew on the second foot.

Now, sew on the head, but be careful to stop before you get to the top.

Add the ears underneath the head and be sure to catch all the pieces when you sew around. Be sure to attach the ears to the egg once the head is sewn. 

Our first bunny is on the egg! 

Now repeat bunny's placement with the second side of the egg.

Next comes the grass. I left the ends of the grass free and only sewed about half way up, using back stitches for some extra strength. 

Add grass to the other side of the bunny. 

Next come the bunny's Easter eggs. I did orange, yellow and blue but you can use any colors you wish. 

I attached each little egg with an "X" stitch. 

The blue egg is the last one! Now repeat all that grass and egg placement fun on the second side of the egg.

Our bunny egg is almost done! Whip stitch the two egg sides together and stuff. I added a bell with the stuffing so the egg would have a musical jingle. 

The bunny egg is now complete! The polka dot egg will be a breeze after the detail of the bunny egg. 

Start by sewing your various sized polka dots to one side of the egg,

  and then to the other side.  

I tried to place my dots at roughly the same spot on both sides of the egg so that they mirror each other. 

Whip stitch the white egg closed, add stuffing and another bell. 

Our polka dot egg is done! See, wasn't that easy? 

Now you are ready to stuff some Easter Baskets!

Happy Felt Fooding!



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