How to Make a Kaleidocycle from Jelly Roll Strips

Since knitting my first Kaleidocycle, it crossed my mind that this could also be done using jelly roll strips and a sewing machine.

You will need some fiberfill and a stuffing tool. I used the flat end of a straight knitting needle. You will also need some heavy duty hand sewing thread such as upholstery thread.

First, pick 2 jelly roll strips in contrasting colors and cut them 13 inches long each.


Place right sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam down one side. Iron this seam open. Repeat for other side. Then turn right side out.





Now you are going to make marks along this tube. Your first mark will be 1/2 inch. The next marks will be at 2 inch intervals. You will have another 1/2 inch remaining at the end.


With your 1/4 inch seams on the sides, sew your first seam at the first 1/2 inch mark.


Stuff this first section lightly. Then match your 1/4 inch seams so that they are in the middle of your tube. Place pins on either side of your marking and sew.




Stuff the next section lightly. Having the 1/4 inch seams on the side, pin and sew along your next marking.


Continue in this manner, alternating the 1/4 inch seams on the sides or in the middle until you have one last section to stuff.


Stuff the last section, but do not sew across the opening. Fold in the end 1/2 inch (on the marking). Insert the other end into this folded area and pin in place.





Hand sew the ends together using a heavy duty sewing thread. I used upholstery thread.

This will make a small Kaleidocycle, just right for a child’s hands




Twisted Ribbon Ball Ornaments Tutorial

I wanted to make something quick as gifts for the folks I work with. I began playing around with some ribbon and styrofoam balls. This tutorial is what I came up with.


2.5 – 3 inch diameter styrofoam balls
2.5 inch wide ribbon, about 10-12 feet per ball (I used wired ribbon as that is what I had on hand)
Dressmaker pins approximately 1 1/4 inch long (lots of them!)
Paper flowers (as used in scrapbooking)
8/0 seed beads (again something I had on hand)
Cord or thin ribbon for the hanger about 10 inches long for each ornament

Fold the end of the ribbon and pin it to the ball. I used the ribbon straight from the roll.

Twist the ribbon and begin wrapping in a spiral fashion around the ball. Pin as you go. Try to hide the pins in a fold of the ribbon. Push them in tightly. You may want to use a little Elmers glue on the tip of the pin. I did not use glue.

Continue twisting the ribbon and wrapping and pinning around the ball until you have covered the ball. Cut the ribbon and fold the end over and pin it down.

Cut a piece of cord or thin ribbon about 10 inches long. Fold in half and tie an overhand knot.

Pin cord to one end of the ball. Trim the ends.

Choose a paper flower. Load a seed bead on to a pin and attach flower to top of ball, covering the trimmed ends of the cord.

Viola! You’re done!

Thought I would add some pics of some finished ornaments for you.

Mother’s Day…Another Pincushion Tutorial

Mother’s Day is this Sunday!  OMG!  Better get crackin’ on making a gift!

Here’s another pincushion tutorial that is quick and easy.


Heart Shaped Ceramic Tart pan (I got mine at the Goodwill)




Embroidery thread

Pins and needles


Paper & pencil

Fine Tip Permanent Marker

Rubber Bands


Emery sand or regular sand


Place the tart pan face down on your paper and trace around it.  Then draw freehand around that about an inch out.  Draw a smaller heart shape freehand.  Cut out.   Place the larger shape on 2 layers of fabric and cut out.  Place the smaller shape on 2 layers of felt and cut out.

With right sides facing, sew the larger heart pieces together beginning on the side.  Do the same for the felt shape.  Of course, felt doesn’t have a right/wrong side. 

Clip around curves on both and turn right side out.

Stuff the large heart with fiberfill until firm and sew the opening closed with tiny stitches. 

Fill the smaller heart with emery sand (or regular sand).  Sew opening closed.

Using embroidery thread (all 6 strands at once), go through center bottom of large heart up through center top and through small emery cushion heart.  Go back down through the 2 hearts again, pulling embroidery thread tight.  Repeat this one more time.  Secure with knot on bottom.

Now to add trim.  Select your trim and pin to seam line around large heart.  Glue in place. 

Add the same trim to the smaller heart and pin in place.  Then glue.  Allow both hearts to dry thoroughly.

In the meantime, turn your tart pan over and using the permanent marker, write a message to your Mom.

Now add glue to the bottom of the tart pan.  Yes, that’s correct.  You are going to glue the pincushion to the bottom of the tart pan.

Center the pincushion over the tart pan and press gently in place.  Secure with rubber bands until completely dry.

When dry you can add other trims or beads, etc. if you desire.

Now you have created a pincushion for Mom with a personal note that she will cherish forever.

Now That You’ve Made Your Pincushion…

How about some decorative pins…

Very easy to make.   All you need is several corsage pins 2.5 inches long or longer, glue and beads of your choice.

Arrange the beads on the pin in a pleasing order.  Lower the beads toward the point.  Place a small dab of glue on the upper part and slide one bead up.  Repeat for each bead.  Allow your decorative pins to dry thoroughly.  Then stick one or two in your newly made pincushion. 😀

Emery Sand or Grain

Do you know how hard it is to find this stuff?  Next to impossible!  But I did manage to find it on Etsy.

What is it?  Well, it is Corundum and iron oxide.  Corundum is second in hardness only to a diamond.  Corundum – think RUBY.   Iron oxide – think hematite.

What is it used for?  Sandpaper, emery boards and pincushions.  Yep, pincushions.  You know that little strawberry thing attached to that old standby pincushion tomato…well it is filled with emery sand and is used to sharpen your needles and pins.

Cost?  It’s about $7.00 per pound.  A pound of emery sand is about 1 cup.  I wouldn’t want to put more than a thimble full in an emery cushion, no matter what it’s shape…strawberry, blueberry, whatever!