Knitting has helped tear me away from my sewing machine, and I love being able to make something without sequestering myself in our dark basement tied to my sewing machine for hours. I bought Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt hoping to find quick, easy projects that I could make completely by hand, and I was not disappointed. Not only is wool felt lovely to touch and work with, but there is something incredibly satisfying and meditative about hand sewing. (I try to relax and enjoy the process when I'm machine sewing, but more often than not I work in a frenzy and emerge from the basement harried and covered with a million stray bits of thread and fabric.)

I made the little gal pictured above in one night after the kids were in bed. I only had one night to do it, because the next day was our niece's birthday party, but one night was plenty of time. The only modification I made to Kata's pattern was that I made the shirt out of fabric instead of felt to match a quilt I'd recently given to the birthday girl's baby sister.

I highly recommend this book if you're interested in getting into stuffed creatures but are a bit intimidated by a sewing machine, or if you just feel like taking a break from your machine. It could not be easier, and the end result is pretty adorable.

(it might be hard to tell from the picture, but the doll is about 12 inches tall.)