Happy Easter Bunny Pillow

Another craft I’ve taken up recently is punch needle. This is another easy project type for a beginner! There are also a lot of kits you can get for starter projects. This project is not from a kit, though. I just made it up as I went along!

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Back in February 2020, before we had a clue all of our lives were about to change dramatically, my kiddo and I took a punchneedle class at Wyldwood Creative with Andie Solar of Myra & Jean. Now I say it’s a fun easy craft project. Andie was a good teacher, but she does some amazing art that I haven’t been able to figure out and that does not look easy!

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After the class I had the punch needle tool I needed and a random stack of yarn. I ordered some monks cloth and set to work on my bunny project! I changed the length of the punch needle to be longer for the tail! One tip I learned in the class was to not go in straight lines, to get a more organic feel and to not see the ‘lines.’

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Once I was done, I finished the back with a layer of thin fusible interfacing.

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For the back I upcycled two pillowcases by using the contrasting hem of the pillowcases. And I added a hidden zipper! Surprise!

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When I was trying to figure out how to sew the front and back together, I found two schools of thought. Some tutorials said to use a zipper foot and sew right up to the punch needle edge. The other side said that you don’t need to do that and to just use a regular foot and to sew over the edge of the punch needle edge. I went with option 2. I got two perfect edges and two not so perfect edges… Next time, I’m using the zipper foot method to see if it helps get a better edge!

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Have you tried punch needle??? It’s really quite fun and relaxing!

Disposable- An Upcycled Quilt

Or as they say on Project Runway, an Unconventional Challenge.

Not too long ago I saw a call for the UW Recycling Trash Art Contest. As soon as I saw the call, I knew what I wanted to do. I had to make a quilt from all the disposable masks.

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When the pandemic hit, I made a ton of masks. I HATE the nature of the disposable masks. I’m that person that also hates to buy anything that is individually wrapped. No single servings pre-packaged for our lunches. And the same with the masks, no one time use in this house. Then I went to work in a hospital and the disposal masks are required as a way to slow the spread of Covid. But honestly, it makes me cringe to see all these disposable masks strewn about the streets. In addition to the disposable masks I also used a neighbor’s worn out scrubs and disposable gloves. Not a single bit of new fabric was harmed in the making of this quilt!

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For the round blocks I used my used masks and my neighbor’s scrubs. I cut the masks in half and made a quick template for the outer piece. The problem I realized with these materials is that the masks melt if you try to iron them. So, no ironing the seam allowances!

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I made this block out of my husband’s masks, the neighbor’s scrubs and a disposable glove. I love the secondary shapes the masks make. In the end, as much as I love this block, I didn’t love it as part of the quilt, so it ended up being left out of the quilt.

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And the half square triangle blocks made with disposable masks and disposable gloves. I sewed together two masks and cut out about a 5.5″ square and sewed the two together around the edge. Then cut down the middle to get 4 HSTs. Or course, no ironing here either!

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The quilting inside these masks represents the germs bouncing around inside the masks, but not being shared with those around me. The circular quilting around the masks represents the germs staying on the outside, another reason we wear the masks. I quilted the circular blocks first, then the mask blocks. It was a pure, happy accident how this quilting came together in the corner.

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One of the questions for the Trash Art contest was to explain how this art piece is relevant to my personal and/or UW campus waste? 

This quilt is relevant to my personal experience in so many ways!  For the last 10 years I have worked as an architect in the healthcare industry in local hospitals, including UWMC and Harborview. I have always grappled with the irony of all the disposable items used in healthcare to keep our patients safe and healthy versus the amount waste these same items make in order to also keep our patients safe and healthy. When I transitioned to an employee at UWMC last year, I had to give up my handmade, washable face masks for the disposable one time use masks. Every day on my walk to work, I pass mask after mask disposed of on the ground of the UW campus. This quilt is literally made of my own personal, disposable trash being upcycled into a work of art.

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And the back….

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I used the last ‘larger’ piece of the scrubs on the back. And in good upcycling fashion, I just happened to have these blue and white striped sheets in my stash waiting to be used.

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ok, maybe I didn’t tell the truth… I did use one small piece of new fabric. The label is new. The binding is, again, worn out scrubs.

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I had this idea to take these pictures hanging on the side of a building next to a dumpster. That situation didn’t exist where I thought it did. But my husband spotted this recycling dumpster and it was perfect for my photo shoot. It did make it a little hard to get the color perfect in the pictures though.

Undercover Maker’s Mat

I made this one a while back and never shared!

I made this for a swap that I did with the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild back pre-pandemic! I don’t honestly remember too many reasons behind my design choices, but I like it and I think it’s a great gift for your sewing friends and family! It’s a very easy sew! The tutorial is by Lillyella and it’s free on her website here.

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The Undercover Maker’s Mat is intended to do two things, the first being a way to keep your most needed item nearby. I could really use it. I’m always moving my scissors and then not having them when I’m actually sewing… And secondly, it’s a sewing machine cover.

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I also love the little butterflies! Both of these are free patterns from the same Lillyella website, here. She also has awesome sets of hummingbirds and moths. Very cool!

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The pattern also includes a thread catcher that can stand on it’s own or hang from the makers mat itself. I meant to make myself even just one of these thread catchers!

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To make it the sewing machine cover, you just add some ribbons and it ties on the sides of the machine.

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As usual, my typical label picture! ha! I’m not sure why I always add a picture of the label, but I do and now it’s become a habit… As you can see from this label, it’s a slightly older project like I mentioned before.

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A couple of photos of it ‘in action’ under my sewing machine. Since it was a gift, I obviously didn’t use it. Ha! And doesn’t Lulu (the dog) look like she’s saying, ‘That’s not yours and you can’t keep it.’

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Have you ever made one of these? Do you have a sewing friend who would like one for Christmas? There’s still time. It’s really easy to make!

Superhero Teacher Pouches

This year for Teacher Appreciation Week, we made Superhero pouches. Ok, there was no we. It was me…

Does this look familiar? I started using this printed fabric that I designed when the kiddo was in preschool, and I’ve used it every year since. We started with totebags back in 2015…

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What a silly little kid! You can find the tutorial and the printable gift tag here. Then a couple of years ago we made a one hour basket using the same superhero fabric! I designed the fabric when then whole tradition started. You can even order it here from Spoonflower. It’s sized to make the fold over pocket on the totebag.

This year I changed it again and went with quilt as you go pouches!

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I just happened to have a large pile of colorful 7″ zippers, so the pouches became about 5×7 inch pouches. Perfect for holding a gift card. I didn’t add a tag, but I’ll have to come up with something clever for when I do this again next year! Stay tuned!

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The front has a little quilt as you go. Then you turn them over and there’s more quilt as you go! To make the pouches there are a million tutorials out there to use. I went with Sotak Handmade’s QAYG pouch tutorial for a reminder. I’ve made pouches a million times (ok, maybe slightly less than that), but I always like to skim over a tutorial before I do it to make sure I remember how. ha! Not sure why, but I do!

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These are my two favorite backs. The funny thing is, they are QAYG, but I didn’t add any quilting on top on either of these. I did on all the others. So I think it’s funny that my favorites don’t’ have quilting to show. and just like my quilts, sometimes I like the backs better!

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I also order my quilt labels and my ‘everything else’ labels from Spoonflower. The little ones are slightly hard to read. But I’m using them anyway!

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The Teacher’s are Superheros fabric has so many more options than just tote bag pockets. It was fun moving outside the ‘bag’ (Ha! Get it…) and trying something else with the labels. Teacher Appreciation week has passed, but it also works for end of the year thank you gifts and holiday gifts.

Should I make pouches again next year? Or try something new?

Coral (scrap) Pillows!

Ok, are you tired of my pillows yet??? I hope not, because I have one more beachy batch of pillows left to share!

Seahorses, Sailboats and Coral, Oh My! So why am I calling them scrap pillows, you may be wondering… Well, back in the day I used to make a bunch of pillows and handbags and sell them around town at shops here in Seattle. I had a neighbor who worked for a very small company that did upholstery for boats. They would have bags and bags of scraps. Every couple of months I would go pick up a few bags to bring home and sort through. Based on the scraps, these boats they were sewing for are boats I will probably never ever spend time on unless I win the lottery! This fabric was in one of the bags! Just a pile of scraps…

My mom spotted the fabric and took it. When we were downsizing her house, I found it and took it back. I knew she wanted to do something with it, but probably never would. So I took it back and made her pillows.

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I made two square pillows. The unfortunate thing about this fabric, is that you could see the embroidery through the white fabric where is wasn’t behind the coral itself. So, to fix that, I lined the coral fabric with a dark grey fabric behind it. You can’t see any of the threads! For these I used my go to, middle lined with a thin line and then a wider border technique! Just like the seahorse and sailboat pillows!

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The border and back fabric is also fabulous scraps from my neighbor’s shop. It almost looks quilted, but it’s more like a sort of embossed fabric. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but it’s beautiful! The sand dollar just really pops!

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This is an early attempt at an invisible zipper. Not quite there, but it’s close!

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I also made two rectangular pillows. Same coral fabric, but these were longer pieces that I was able to capture these little corally, rose-ish swirls on the edges!

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For these I tried putting on a binding, just like I would a quilt. It turned out nicely. I don’t know if it’s the ‘correct’ way to do it or not, but it went together just fine. And I’ve used this technique again since I made these pillows.

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For these pillows I switched up the back and the zippers! I ran out of large enough pieces of the embossed fabric, so I went with this quilting cotton on the back. This was not scrap fabric, but it went perfectly with the colors of the coral so I couldn’t pass it up! And for the zipper, I did a lapped zipper rather than the invisible zipper. I had to change the zipper since I was doing the binding on the edge. That wuoldn’t have worked with an invisible zipper at the bottom.

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These were very well received by my mom! I hope she is still enjoying them. She did not like me taking the fabric back from her, but I think she made out on top in the end!

And I can’t believe summer is almost over and it’s already September!

 

Doggy Bandana Tutorial- Holiday Edition

Ok, there really isn’t any other edition other than the holiday edition! But you can make these dog bandanas for any occasion you’d like!

They are super simple, reversible and just fit over the collar so that there’s not another thing around the pups neck!

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Oh, and did I mention stinkin’ adorable???

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Here’s the story… I’m kinda obbessed with my dog and follow a lot of big white Great Pyrenees on IG (mine’s a mix, but very much a pyr in her own right!) and I see so many with these cute bandanas. Then the other night, when I was supposed to be making Christmas presents, this whole bandana thing popped in my head as a super easy thing to do. So I made two!

I put the kiddo and pup to bed and took Lulu’s collar. She was soooo not happy about me taking her collar! I don’t know why. And she seemed very happy to have it back the next morning.

I’ll show you how I made mine.

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First step is kinda obvious… You have to cut the pieces out! You can download the pattern here. And cut out two pieces.

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Along the top edge, the squared off edge, sew a French seam. First, sew along the top with a very scant 1/4″ seam, fabrics wrong sides together. Then fold the fabrics over at the seam, now right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam. Easy peasy, but if you would prefer a more detailed French seam tutorial, they are all over the internet.

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Now you are going to sew a 1/4″ hem along the short, straight side. (the sides perpendicular to the French seam. Sorry, not a great photo for this step.) Fold over a 1/4″, then fold over another 1/4″ to hide the edges and stitch.

Then fold over, right sides together, and stitch along the triangle edges.

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Be sure to trim the edges at the point of the bandana to avoid bulk before turning right side out.

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Turn it right side out through the collar holes. Next I marked my stitching line from corner to corner, about 1 1/2″ from the French seam.

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Then topstitch and you’re ready to insert the collar!

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Look at that model pose!

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They really are super cute and quick! Now this one is sized for about a 65/70 pound dog with a 1″ collar. You can resize for a smaller dog and use the same process.

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I ended up giving the reindeer one to her cousin before she had a chance to model that one. I might just have to make another one! A quick and easy sew for a festive pup! Let me know if you have any questions!

 

Harry Potter Pillowcases

Last week was Harry Potter’s birthday and I decided to drag it out a bit with another Harry Potter project. Who doesn’t prefer to celebrate for a week instead of a day, right???

I was at our last quilt retreat and someone was making pillowcases using the ‘Burrito Method.’ Of course, I went home and googled it.

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There are plenty of tutorials on this, so I’m not going to post a full tutorial. I started with using the tutorial from The Seasoned Homemaker. The problem with most of the burrito pillowcase tutorials is that they don’t make their pillowcases using directional prints. And of course, my nature is to not make things easy, so of course, I chose a directional print. The burrito method uses one long piece of fabric for the edge of the pillow, one long piece for the trim and another piece for the main pillowcase. To use a directional print, you have to piece two pieces together to make the main fabric piece.

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The tutorial I used uses a 27″ by 40″ piece for the main fabric. For directional fabric you need to cut (2) 27″ by 20 3/4″ pieces. Then sew these together using a French seam tutorial. I made mine with a 1/4 inch seam and then a 1/2″ seam. Then I have a 40″ long piece of fabric for the main fabric.

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I love the mix of fabrics on this! I made 6 sets of pillows because this method is so easy! One set for the kiddo and two sets for two best friends. I did end up with some scraps and almost gave them away, but I held on t them and got to use them in the pouch I shared earlier this week.

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Have you used the burrito method? I really love it. It makes It so easy to make pillowcases!

 

Haley’s Seahorse- A Kid Designed, Momma Made Project

One thing I love to do, besides quilting, is make stuffies from kid’s drawings. One of my best friends daughters loves seahorses, so when we found out we’d be in town for her birthday, I knew I wanted to make her something. And she just happened to have a drawing she had made of a seahorse!

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So I made a stuffie!

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This one was a little easier than some of the others I’ve made, but still fun. I just happened to have the seahorse fabric is my stash. And, I also just happened to have the fleece that matched the seahorse fabric. (Is that a sign that I may have too much in my stash?

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I really wanted to get the eyes right and the baby. I don’t understand the eyes really, but she drew them that way for a reason. Even her parents commented that I had done the eyes right. So the shape meant something to her.

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It’s a rough life for baby seahorses out there. As cute as this one was, it had a rough life and didn’t last long in this world. Unfortunately, she disappeared within a couple of days. In hindsight, I should have attached the baby with a ribbon or something. Lessons learned!

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When I gave Haley the present, I included the picture of it that she had drawn in the bag. The first thing she pulled out was this bad computer print of her drawing. She was kinda confused as to why I was giving her her drawing for her birthday. She realized there was more in the bag,  and I wish I had a picture of her face when she pulled this guy out of the bag. Her eyes were huge, her mouth fell open and she exclaimed, This is my drawing! that made it all worth it!

 

Seattle Modern Quilt Giving Quiltcon Quilt for 2019

With three years of giving quilts under my belt as one of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Giving Committee co-chairs, I think this is my favorite giving quilt! OK, I love it! Really love it! Like want to steal it kinda love it….

 

Introducing our quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge, The Last Hurrah! If you’re at QuiltCon right now, be sure to take an up close look at our quilt!

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The basic layout of our QuiltCon Charity quilt was inspired by an antique quilt made of hand pieces diamonds from our guild President, Matt Macomber’s, antique quilt collection. From this quilt layout, I designed the layout colored diamonds, white on white diamonds and the solid diamonds.

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For our quilt we jumped right in and embraced the Modern Quilt Guild small piecing challenge. Between the two of us Seattle MQG Giving Committee Chairs, Debbie Jeske and myself, 18 yards of fabric was cut into 1 inch by 6 inch strips! We shared those strips with the guild in little baggies of 18 pieces each. Guild members sewed them back together into 185 rectangles. Then the Giving Committee Chairs cut the rectangles into diamonds and pieced them into hexagons! I love explaining this process to non quilters and watching their blank expressions as I tell them, ‘We cut up the fabric, then sewed it back together and then we cut it again and then sewed it back together again…. ‘

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There are a lot of great things about QuiltCon, but one of best things is meeting new people and online friends. We designed the quilt based on a particular size diamond. Instead of using paper as a template to cut 309 diamonds, we wanted a plastic template and we remembered taking a class at last year’s QuiltCon with a woman who owns a company that makes acrylic templates! So we still had her card and looked her up online and ordered our 5″x8″ custom templates ordered from MakeATX!

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My co-chair Debbie pieced half of the hexagons and I did the other half. The quilt plays on a very traditional quilt design, but makes it modern. The diamonds are pieced into a group of 12 to make an 18″ hexagon. The placement of each of the striped pieces and solid pieces are laid out to break out of the hexagon to blur the lines between hexagons and stars and where one hexagon starts and stops. I love how it looks in the end, but I did confuse myself once or twice when piecing the top together!

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The amazing quilting was also done by Matt with a mix of machine and hand quilting. Again, he drew from his antique quilt for the quilting inspiration. And a special thanks to Kathleen for putting the finishing touches by binding the quilt!

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With the design taking inspiration from the antique quilt, the color inspiration from the MQG, and the design goal of small piecing, we created a truly modern quilt.

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You may have noticed the name of this one…. The Last Hurrah! This one really is our last hurrah being the Guild’s Giving Committee Chairs! We think it’s a great one to go out on. Debbie and I would like to thank every single person that took the time to make even a single block for any of our Giving Committee Quilts for the last three years! To everyone who made a block, quilted a quilt or added binding, we appreciate it! We think all the quilts turned out fantastic! I had my doubts about some of them, but when it all came together, I loved them all!

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Seriously, do you really think anyone would notice is this quilt ended up at my house????

 

*******************

Quilt Name: The Last Hurrah

Design by: Louise Wackerman, @imfeelincrafty

Quilt Size: 70″ x 90″

Blocks by: Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members

Top Pieced by: Debbie Jeske @aquilterstable and Louise Wackerman, @imfeelincrafty

Quilted by: Matt Macomber @odditease

Bound by: Kathleen Munns @quiltmunnster

Harry Potter Snitch Valentines

We still enjoy making our own Valentine’s over here! What about you?

This year we went with a Harry Potter theme, because we all love Harry Potter of course! (Ok, do you want in on a little secret? The truth is, I’m not the best planner and to get my Valentine’s done early enough to share, doesn’t actually happen… So the truth is, these were from last year! shhhh…)

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We designed the card, ordered the lollipops and gold paper and they turned out really cute! If I say so myself!

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We ordered the lollipops and the gold candy wrappers from Amazon.

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Super easy, just wrap the lollipops in the gold wrappers so they look as round as possible. Repeat for as many Valentine’s as you need.

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You can download the free Snitch Valentine by clicking here. They print two to a sheet, so print half as many pages as you need Valentines! And then cut out the 5×7 Valentines.

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This next part is a little more lollipop specific. The printable does show a circle of where to cut out the hole for the lollipops. I found that I had to enlarge the circle a bit and make a slightly different shaped, a little elongated shape. I suggest you start with the printed circle and then put in your lollipop and see how you need to enlarge it for your specific lollipop to fit halfway in. You also want to cut two little strips at the bottom to put your stick through.

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And repeat and repeat!

Oh, yes, don’t forget to sign them!

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According to the kiddo, the Harry Potter Snitch Valentines were a hit! Do you think they would be at your house too? We’ve broken out my Harry Potter books from when they first came out and we’re reading our way though the books! We’re only on Book 4. Have you read them? Re-read them? With your kids?  I’m loving re-reading them with my kiddo!

We’ve also made Penguin Valentines, Out of this World Star Crayon Valentines, Lego Valentines, Quilted Postcard Valentines and Pixelated Valentines.  And now Harry Potter! Enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day!