Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsPillows are such an easy way to change up your living space with the change of seasons, but this fall I practically needed a matchmaking service to connect me with a pillow to have and to hold. There was a lot I wanted in just a little pillow! I wanted a graphic style but with a chill, bohemian vibe; natural fabric, but comfortable to the touch; and a perfectly autumn color scheme that wouldn't feel out of place during the rest of the year. I could've gone with the standard plaid pillow from a Target end cap, or I could actually create my own pillow that felt more like a kindred spirit than a decorative accessory. Obviously I chose the latter!

This project is also a great craft for those wanting to give quilting a try. You'll use some basic quilting methods, without the daunting commitment of completing a large blanket. This pillow is very simple to make, but I broke it down into detailed steps so you can feel confident making it without me standing beside you to hold your hand (although I would if I could). Check it out!

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsSupplies:
-1/2 yard and 1/4 yard of coordinating linen fabric (I purchased mine from this fine linen Etsy shop.)
-100% cotton quilt batting (1' x 12' piece)
-small piece of laundered cotton muslin (1' x 12' piece)
-coordinating thread
-coordinating embroidery floss (5 bunches)
-pillow batting
-quilt basting spray (Optional: You may use safety pins instead.)

-sewing machine
-rotary blade
-steel ruler (a cork-backed ruler is preferable to prevent sliding)
-cutting mat
-sharp fabric scissors
-straight pins (sharp quilting pins are preferable)
-darning needle
-free motion sewing machine foot

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsStep One: Cut your laundered fabric into nine 4" x 8.5" rectangles—five rectangles in the dominant color and four in the coordinating color. Using a rotary blade, steel ruler, and cutting mat will ensure precise, uniform rectangles, making the assembly process much neater.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsStep Two: Pin together the rectangles, one row at a time, making sure the good sides (if your fabric has better sides) are facing each other. Then machine stitch the ends together, creating a 1/4" hem. Make sure you make each hem exactly the same distance from the edge of your material to ensure the rectangles match up when the entire piece is assembled.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsStep Three: Iron open the seams before pinning and machine stitching together each row to complete the quilt top. Make sure all seams have been ironed open on the backside once the quilt top is complete.

Step Four: Stack the three layers of your quilt (the top, the batting, and the muslin) like a sandwich, with the good sides of the facing out and the batting in the middle. Join together the layers by spraying with quilt basting, or join them with safety pins across the entire surface of the top quilt (like step ten in this Animal Play Mat project). I prefer spray basting the layers because I can make sure the fabric is perfectly smooth and connected all across the surface, making the layers less likely to shift and pucker while machine stitching.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsStep Five: Trim away excess batting and material, using the quilt top as your guide. Then use a water soluble pen or pencil to draw any lines where you would like to do top stitching. I did top stitching in the ditches (the lines where each contrasting rectangle is connected), and I also stitched four additional lines as shown above right.

Step Six: Use your sewing machine to do the top stitching on quilt. You may want to use a spring-loaded free-motion sewing machine foot, which will help you accomplish two things that may be important to you: 1. When you drop down the feed dogs of your sewing machine (the textured grips that feed material under the sewing machine foot) in combination with using a spring-loaded sewing machine foot, your layered fabric will not bunch up and pucker as you sew. 2. A free-motion sewing machine foot will allow you to feed the fabric into the needle from any direction, so you can easily stitch swirls, circles, or trace over any design that you drew in step five.

The downside of using a free-motion sewing machine foot with the dropped feed dogs is that it's difficult to both control the speed of your sewing as you manually feed the material into the needle. It also can be tricky to keep straight lines compared to using the pressure applied by a standard foot and the feed dogs. If you haven't used this free-motion method before, I definitely recommend practicing on scrap material before top-stitching on your quilt.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsStep Seven: Cut a piece of your dominant color material to the same size of your quilt. Then stack this piece and the quilt with the good sides facing each other. Pin them together and machine stitch 1/4" from the edges. Be sure to leave about a 4" wide opening so you can reach your hand inside to stuff the pillow.

Step Eight: Flip your pillow case right-side out and wash and tumble dry it to create a textured top. The 100% cotton batting will slightly shrink in the dryer, creating crinkled texture, which I happen to love and definitely wanted for my comfy bohemian pillow. But if you aren't a fan of the textured crinkle of a worn quilt, simply skip the washing process and move on to the next step.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsStep Nine: Stuff your pillow with batting and use coordinating thread to stitch close the opening.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsAt this point you have a lovely quilted pillow that would make a great addition to your pillow collection. But I wanted to take it a step further and add some extra bohemian flare—tassels!

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsStep 10: Attach tassels to each corner of the pillow.

To Make Tassels:

1. Use one bunch of embroidery floss (still wrapped in its packaging) for each tassel. Tie it in the middle with a tightly knotted piece of matching embroidery floss. (The fifth bunch of floss is for tying and wrapping the tassels.) Make sure to leave a long end hanging free for attaching the tassel to the pillow.

2. Wrap together the end of the bunch with floss (first knotted tightly) and tuck the ends of the wrapping in through the tassel.

3. Remove the embroidery floss packaging, cut the loops open at the ends, and trim up any unevenness.

4. Use a darning needle and the excess embroidery floss from step one to stitch the tassels to the corners of the pillow, threading the excess thread through the pillow after knotting the tassel in place.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsModern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsThis patchwork pillow is the perfect combination of simple and chic. The comfortable vibes created by the quilting process and natural materials makes it feel simple, but the addition of the tassels pushes it into chic territory.

Modern Boho Patchwork Pillow - click through for detailed instructionsAre you looking to add more graphic appeal and textural comfort to your home? This pillow should be your next project! Let us know if you give it a try! -Mandi

Credits //Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

Homemade buckwheat crackers (via Gluten free wheat free cracker recipeIt's soup season, friends! So I thought I'd share a homemade cracker recipe because it's the perfect companion to soup. These crackers are delicious and super flavorful, plus they also happen to be gluten free, wheat free, and dairy free. So if that kind of thing matters to you—good news. And if it doesn't matter to you, forget I said anything, but you should still make these because they are tasty! Or you could try these pepper jack crackers that I shared last year. 

Baked buckwheat crackers (via Buckwheat Crackers, makes two dozen (depending on how you choose to cut them)

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
5 tablespoons cold, dairy-free butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon of each of the following: coarse sea (or celtic) salt, sesame seeds, cracked black pepper, cumin seeds, and celery seeds (see notes)

In a food processor or good blender, combine the flour, 4 tablespoons of cold butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse until the butter is incorporated well; the mixture will resemble small pebbles. 

Best gluten free cracker recipeAdd 3 tablespoons of applesauce and pulse until a dough forms. The dough will be soft and should stick together. If it doesn't stick together, because it is still too dry, add another tablespoon of applesauce and pulse again to incorporate. 

On a (buckwheat) floured cutting board, turn the dough out and press together. Press or roll into a thin sheet. You won't need a rolling pin since the dough is soft enough to shape with your hands, but you can use one if it helps you achieve a more uniform thickness. The dough should be 1/4 inch thick or even a bit thinner. 

Homemade cracker recipeMelt the remaining tablespoon of nondairy butter and brush over the dough. Sprinkle the coarse salt and seeds all over the surface. Then use a pizza cutter or knife to cut into thin strips or squares. 

Slide the dough off the cutting board and onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375°F for 25-28 minutes, until the edges are a very deep brown. Allow to cool before handling. You can enjoy these on top of soup (my favorite), or alongside hummus, on salad, with cheese (if you really don't care about the nondairy aspect :)), or give them a rough chop and use them as bread crumbs. 

Gluten free cracker recipeA few notes:

-If you've never used buckwheat before, keep in mind it does have a strong flavor. If you are unsure where you stand on this, you can substitute up to half the buckwheat flour in this recipe for whole wheat. If you do, you can replace all or half of the applesauce with cold water and reduce the bake time by 5-8 minutes. The applesauce is a natural sweetener that helps to mellow the buckwheat flavor without taking away from it (think salty and sweet). 

-Yes, you can use regular (dairy) butter in place of the dairy free kind if you like. 

-Feel free to change out the seeds for other flavorful seeds you might have on hand, just stick with things that have an overall nutty or savory flavor.

Happy cracker baking! And make some soup soon! Need ideas? Check out our soup recipe archive. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess Glitter shoes Glitter shoes Black and white portraits Glitter shoes   Transitioning to cold weather means the end of sandal season for me—the tragedy! I know some people hate wearing any kind of open toe shoes, but I LOVE it. I feel like I never know what kind of boots or other shoes to wear otherwise. So, I figured why not shoes completely covered in glitter—ha!

Other than shoe dilemmas, I'm currently struggling with if I should decorate my house for Halloween or not. Mostly it would just be for me and Trey, as likely only a handful of others will even see the inside of our house next month (do I need more friends? maybe). So on the one hand, I'm thinking I'll just do a few things and it won't feel silly to "overdo it," but on the other hand... why not go a little crazy/silly? It's sort of the most hilarious holiday, after all. 

Teal backdrop White faux leather bucket bag Glitter shoes Emma's Wearing: Hat/Free People, Dress and shoes/ASOS (similar shoes here and similar dress here and here), and Purse/Oui Fresh

What about you, Sister? Are you getting the itch to decorate for Halloween yet?

Elsie LarsonElsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Yes, yes, yes!!! I just ordered a skeleton outfit the other night, but I haven't gotten my decorating game together yet. I AT LEAST want to do a pumpkin porch. There's nothing I love more than a pumpkin porch! Oh—and dog costumes. Yesss. 

The thing I'm the most excited about is for the leaves to change (not sorry I'm cliché!). I'm starting to see it, but not in full form yet. I give it a couple weeks! 

Elsie Larson       Elsie Larson           Elsie's Wearing: Dress/Vintage (similar here and here-Elaine Benes vibes!), Choker c/o Moorea Seal, Bracelets/Madewell, Wine Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens

What are you most excited about for October?? Halloween decor, pet costumes, changing leaves or all of the above? xx -Emma + Elsie 

Credits//Author: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson, Photography: Janae Hardy and Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions 

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          Dressing up your table a bit for a dinner with friends or a romantic evening in doesn't have to be an elaborate amount of work. Sometimes just adding some pretty silverware and a cute napkin ring and cloth napkins can signal that you wanted to make the event a little more special. Making your own napkin rings out of clay is surprisingly easy (and it's pretty cost effective too). So they make a great homemade gift or housewarming present for a pal. Here's how to make your own!

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          Supplies:
-oven bake clay
-acrylic paint
-small paint brush
-rolling pin
-wax paper
-clay glaze (optional)

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          Roll out a long section of 1/4" thick clay on top of wax paper. To keep a consistent thickness, you can place two stacks of 1/4" papers on either sides of the clay to act as a thickness guide. Silicon rollers are best with clay, but if you don't have one, you can simply place another sheet of wax paper on top of the clay and that will keep your roller from sticking.

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          Use a knife or pizza cutter and a ruler to cut out a long rectangle the width you want for your napkin ring. 

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          I used this bead organizer tube as my guide for how long to cut each strip, but you can also just measure a distance and cut all your rectangles that long (mine were about 8" long).

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          On a glass or metal pan, connect the ends of your clay rectangles together to make a circle and smooth the two ends into each other with your fingers (it's OK if they aren't perfectly smoothed together, that can be the bottom side of the napkin ring). Bake according to the clay instructions and allow to cool.

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          Mix a small amount of your black paint with some water until you have more of an ink consistency. Place your napkin rings on a piece of cardboard or scrap paper and fling a brush loaded with paint at the ring from different angles until you have the perfect splatter pattern (doing this outside is best for obvious reasons if possible!). You can practice a bit on the paper before adding the ring if you want some practice first. Allow the paint to fully dry, and then you can add a clear glaze on top if you want to seal the ring and add some shine.

DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)
DIY Splatter Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)          I love how the inky paint blotches look on the white background (although you can use any color clay or paint, totally up to you), and the great thing about splatter painting is that anyone can do it and it usually comes out pretty cool. This would be a great gift to give in a set of 4 or 6 along with some pretty napkins, and they are a modern way to dress up a tablescape without seeming too fancy or over the top. So cute! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

Zucchini pizza crust via Nutrition Stripped.9190Today we're sharing a recipe from Nutrition Stripped, a brand new whole-food cookbook written by our friend McKel Hill. The photographs are gorgeous, and we love all the healthy recipe ideas!

Nutrition Stripped
Zucchini is a surprisingly chameleon like vegetable—I find myself using it frozen in morning smoothies, pureed in desserts, and, now, grated in pizza crust! Zucchini pizza is a great way to sneak in extra servings of vegetables, and it is naturally lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber compared to traditional crusts. This recipe pays homage to a cauliflower crust, which is one of my most popular recipes from the blog. Both of these recipe components, the crust and pea pesto, can be enjoyed on their own, yet when combined, it’s evident they’re meant to be enjoyed together.

Zucchini Pizza Crust with Lemony Pea Pesto, serves 4

3 cups finely grated zucchini
1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for drizzling

For the pesto (makes about 1 1/2 cups):

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peas
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons filtered water
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the grated zucchini in a strainer, sprinkle the salt on top, and gently toss until the salt is distributed. Allow the zucchini to sit and sweat excess moisture for 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer the zucchini from the strainer to a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Wrapping the cloth around the zucchini entirely, use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquid. Repeat the process until the zucchini no longer releases liquid. Place the zucchini in a large bowl and add the flours, eggs, garlic, nutritional yeast, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine well. Position one rack in the middle of the oven and another in the top position. Place a pizza stone (for a crispier crust) or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the middle rack.

Preheat the oven to 500 ̊F. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a clean countertop and drizzle it with olive oil. Spread the zucchini dough onto the parchment paper and form the dough into a large 10-inch round or oval, about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the dough from the parchment paper directly to the hot pizza stone or lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the pizza crust over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is firm-crisp. Carefully remove the crust from the oven, spoon on your pizza sauce (pesto) to the desired thickness, and bake on the top rack for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce is warm. Remove from the oven. Top with garnishes (arugula, grated fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper) if desired, and serve immediately.

For the pesto:

Quick-thaw the peas by blanching in boiling water for 3 minutes or microwaving until soft. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the peas, pine nuts, garlic, oil, water, hemp seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste and pulse until the mixture is well combined and thick. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store in an airtight glass container.

NscookbookI can't wait to make this at home! Congrats on your new book, McKel! 

Credits: Author: McKel Hill. Photography: McKell Hill, Katie Newburn and Kelsey Cherry.


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