Fiber Art Adventures: Little House on the Internet

Like many women of my generation, I am a huge fan of the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read them over and over again as a child, imagining myself as the plucky heroine, Laura, who would grow up to be a writer. (And who was something of a feminist in her time, refusing to use the word "obey" in her marriage vows.)

reverse applique fabric art tag by jenn mason

I saved my set of books for my children, and when our firstborn daughter, Olivia, developed a voracious appetite for literature, I introduced them to her. I dreamed of us reading the books together and then baking bread, putting up jam, and making patchwork pillows side by side (wearing aprons, of course). But alas, Olivia had no interest in the stories. Fantasy was more her realm, and soon, another plucky protagonist navigating an unfamiliar world caught her attention: Harry Potter.

So, you could have knocked me over with a stem of prairie grass when Olivia, now a college senior, decided to start baking, canning, and creating clothing and paper journals from scratch. Much of the impetus for this turn-around comes from a. having to pay for her groceries herself and b. a growing interest in consuming from local sources.

Therefore, Olivia wants to take classes in weaving, dyeing, spinning, and sewing. Unfortunately, she is a poor college student with a hectic schedule.

Fortunately, her mom knows a solution. I got her a subscription to Craft Daily, where she can stream as many full-length workshops and instructional videos as she likes, any time of the day or night, on bookmaking, sewing, quilting, spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, and more.

She can even learn how to make her own reverse-appliqué tags for her jars of preserves from fabric scraps. This tutorial was designed by Cloth Paper Scissors Editor Jenn Mason based on a technique by Beryl Taylor from her Mixed-Media Art Quilts video.


  • Fabric (5 pieces cut to 4" squares)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors (embroidery or fine-pointed)
  • Pinking Shears
  • Crop-a-dile® or fabric hole punch
  • Grommet with setter
  • Hammer and scrap of wood

fabric art tags by jenn mason
Cutting between the lines of stitching
reveals the fabric beneath the surface.


1. Stack your squares with the right sides facing up.

2. Sew a wonky spiral with your sewing machine. See the image on the top right for reference. You want to create at least 4 segments. If you can lower your feed dogs on your machine, you can do free-motion stitching. If you cannot lower your feed dogs, just lower the speed and slowly turn your fabric stack.

3. Use the embroidery scissors to cut out the different sections of the circle. Cut down to a different layer in each section.

4. Cut out around the circle with the pinking shears, making sure to leave room for a grommet.

5. Punch a hole with the Crop-a-dile where you'd like to place your grommet. If necessary, make the hole larger with the scissors.

6. Insert the grommet pieces and hammer them together on the block of wood following the manufacturer's directions.

You can tie your handmade fabric tag to your jar with ribbon or simply tear a piece from any leftover fabric.

There are so many art and crafting videos on Craft Daily, from beginner techniques to those for more advanced makers, that I know Olivia will consider it an adventure. Call it "Little House on the Internet."

There are several ways to subscribe to Craft Daily and set out on your own creative adventure. Get the details now.

P.S. Did you read the "Little House" books? Which one was your favorite? Leave a comment below.


Blog, Fabric Art


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