Crochet Halloween Skull Pins (free tutorial)

Halloween is just around the corner. Get a head start and join in the fun with these crocheted scary, silly, skull pins.  You can whip one up in just a few minutes. This is a great beginner crochet project as there are only a few stitches to learn. They are also a great stash buster since you only need a few scraps of yarn and some buttons to make one.

Materials Required:

  • Bits of Yarn (White, black, red, or any creepy color you want)
  • Buttons for eyes (Black, red, white, green)
  • Size H Crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Thread needle
  • Pin Back (Optional)


DC = Double Crochet


First create a magic circle to start your work. This is an alternative way to start your crocheted circle that achieves a very tight crochet (no hole). Instead of chaining and doing multiple crochets in the second chain from the hook, you create a kind of slip knot.

The magic circle is a deceptively simple way to start your crocheted circle that achieves a very tight crochet (to keep all that stuffing in). Instead of chaining and doing multiple crochets in the second chain from the hook, you create a kind of slip knot. The best way to explain this is to see it, so check out these two excellent examples from YouTube:

Round1 (R1): Chain 2, 11 DC in the magic circle.

Pull or work the yarn tail from the magic circle to tighten the loop of stitches so there is no center hole.

Slip Stitch in top of next DC to complete the circle.

R2: 2 DC in every stitch (24 stitches total), slip stitch to top of next DC to close circle.

R3: Chain 3, DC in next 4 stitches, chain 3 and slip stitch to next stitch to form the chin.
Then fasten off and weave the ends in the back. Viola! The main skull is done.

Now all you have to do is embellish them with some eyes and mouth.

Here are a few ideas:

 You can use double buttons, an X, or even felt for the eyes. I just used big stitches for the teeth and mouth. Once you make a few, you can get creative.  Make the skull more zombie like with weird leftover colors of yarn and mix up the sizes of the  eyes. I even found neon yarn that stitched up very cute.  You could add a ribbon bow and make it fancy.

Add a pin back , or just safety pin it.  This would be cute to add to a headband or hair clip for Halloween style.  Enjoy!


Stitch up some Tailgate Napkins (free tutorial)

Are you ready for some tailgating? It is football season, and the crisp air and smell of the brats on the grill are here. A little party with friends and good food is in order before the game, so make it easy and fill these cute DIY napkin pockets with silverware, and set them out for your guests. The napkins are super easy to stitch up. Then you just fold ‘em, stuff ‘em and arrange ‘em in a pretty basket or container. Clean up is a snap — just toss them in the washing machine and they are ready to go for the next game.  Below are directions on how to make the hem and how to fold the napkins to hold that silverware.

Materials required:


  • 2 yds of a football themed cotton or a mix of your teams colors
  • Coordinating thread

Finished size: 16″ x 16″, 8″ x 8″ folded.  Makes 8 napkins.



  1. Cut 8 – 17 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ squares.
  2. Stitch a 1/4 inch double fold hem all around the fabric to form napkins.  Here is how to make a double fold hem.basics hem 3
  3. Fold the material over 1/4″ with wrong sides together.  Fold it over 1/4″ again to encase the raw edge inside of the hem; pin in place.basics hem 4
  4. Sew the hem about 1/8 inch from the folded edge of the fabric. Backstitch one or two stitches at each end to secure the threads. Pull out  pins as you go, so you don’t sew over them.basics hem 7
  5. Trim your threads.basics hem 8
  6. Iron the hem flat to finish.

 Here is another way that you can sew the corners on your napkins:


Fold the corner up 1/4 inch twice.


Then when you fold the sides, it will form a tiny miter that you can sew through.


Here is the finish of the corner.


I stitched the top side with red thread for a nice accent.

Here are directions on how to fold your napkins for the tailgate party.


Iron the napkin flat, wrong side up.


Fold the napkin in half, with the fold on the bottom.


Bringing the left edge to the right edge, fold the napkin in half again with a fold on the left.


The top right of the napkin will have all the corners.


Taking the top right layer, fold down in half and iron a crease.


Open back up and fold the corner to the crease.


Take the folded top edge and fold down to the crease again.


Fold the whole thing down again.


Now, take the next top right layer and fold down the corner about an inch or so.




Fold again two more times until it meets the first folded corner.  Iron it all flat.


Flip over and fold over each side in thirds to form the pocket on the front side. Iron the napkin flat.


Flip it back over and you can see the little pocket on the bottom half your napkin.


Just tuck your silverware  into the bottom pocket. Make sure you get them in the right place or the silverware will slip out.  Pretty nifty, huh?  You can stack them in a basket or bucket for the tailgating party so everyone can grab them as they go!

Happy Tailgating!

Grandma Town BOM #9 – Home Sweet Home Double Quilt Block

This month’s Block of the Month is Grandma’s house and a couple of the large black walnut trees that lined the driveway.  It was a modest little house but it certainly felt like home from the moment you entered it.  This is a double block that finished at 15″ x 10″ and it is part of the center of the quilt in the same row as the Barnyard.  There are only two more blocks after this one, we are on the home stretch!

grandma town home sweet home small

Grandma’s house always smelled of delicious food.  She was always cooking and baking.  She loved to cook and would design her own recipes, especially cookie recipes.  A local radio program would sponsor a contest and Grandma’s homemade cookies won every time.   Do you remember Kitchen Klatter out of Shenandoah, Iowa?  We would listen to the program together and try to write down all of the recipes.

The trees depicted in the picture are black walnut trees.  My Grandpa would gather them up and pick nut meats all winter.  Black walnuts have a unique flavor and they tasted wonderful in a cake or eaten straight out of the bag!
Are you sewing along?  If you are, post it on Instagram and tag me @lorimillerdesigns and #GrandmaTownBOM so I can see what lovely things you are stitching up. A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Home Sweet Home double block along with the whole BOM is currently in development.

grandma Town Quilt A

Grandma Town Block of the Month

If you are new to the Grandma Town BOM, this row by row quilt was a labor of love to celebrate my Iowa roots.  I spent my childhood visiting my Grandparents on their farm just west of Des Moines in Earlham, Iowa.  It is especially a tribute to my dear Grandma.

When my sisters, brother and I were little and my parents would drive us to my grandparents farm, my brother would yell, “We are going to Grandma Town!”.  It was a loving tribute that stuck.  This little quilt is full of those reminders of the farm and of Grandma, who loved to garden and loved to cook.  Each block is a sweet memory of my youth growing up on that country farm.

I hope you will find some shared love for your family, a cherished farm  or your own grandma in my quilt.  You can make all of these sweet blocks or pick and choose the blocks you like the most to make something special for yourself or a dear loved one.


Released Blocks – 2015

FEB  Block 1 – Forget Me Not Flower

MAR  Block 2 – Sewing Machine

APR Block 3 – Nine Patch and Color Block Rows

MAY Block 4 – Ear of Corn

JUN Block 5 – Sweet Hearts

JUL  Block 6 – Canning Jar

AUG Block 7 – Barnyard Double Block

SEP Block 8 – Pie Quilt Block