Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where did I put my Checks?!

Checkbooks Anyone?!

  Well, I decided I needed to brush up on my top-stitching and straight-stitching, plus I found this wonderful tutorial for checkbook covers... Well the first 6 I did according to the instructions, which I'm only not posting because well I found it to be not my favorite tutorial only because I feel the measuring was a little off.... but I fixed that with the remaining 4 covers I made yesterday... and I must say they look much better!

These are the first batch.... The nesting doll fabric was rows which made it really easy to use different sections to customize the covers! And the linen was great to work with as well. In these I placed interfacing on the patch-worked piece...

This was the second batch and with it I cut the fabric a little wider and used medium weight interfacing to make up for the lack of weight the linen had and I must say, I think I would use medium weight all the time now.

And here they are all tied up together! I realize no one really writes checks anymore, but at least mine will look real nice while they sit in the drawer! Plus as my MIL reminded me, some people still use registers and they could keep that in here! 

I haven't said anything but I have some special friends I will be gifting these too! I hope they enjoy! As much as you enjoyed looking! I am thinking about adding some to my Etsy shop.... keep your eyes open! They would make great hostess gifts or for a small Christmas gift you could place a gift card in it first with a nice handwritten letter?! 

Speaking of getting ready for the winter I got Abby this cute little outfit...
I guess she's not so little anymore! My baby is getting all grown up! Today she got her first big girl birthday invitation!!! On to creating a gift!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Little Chef!

I had received a call from my sister, wanting to know if I could make my almost 4 year old niece an apron. My first thought was IF?! Of course I could do that! Who did she think she was asking?! (Ha, ha) I knew she had fallen in love with an apron that Pottery Barn Kids had with a Canvas background, a large pocket, and vegetables embroidered on it.

I actually thought about it long and hard... I knew she wanted her name on it and I really was hoping I could stash bust this! I actually found the apron pattern here. It was really easy to print and follow and VERY easy to customize!

I used 3 different cupcake fabrics, out of my stash! and cut 2.5"x4.5" inch rectangles to create the binding. 

This is the detail of the pocket I made. I made a little 4-patch block and enclosed it. I then added the purple cupcake ... she loves purple!

This shot is just a little more detail to the binding.

In the tutorial she used purchased packs of bias tape, I just wanted to make my own that day! If you ever need to make a child's apron, this is a GREAT tutorial! And I also don't know of many people that actually enjoy making binding...

I used freezer paper to create the name stencil.

My niece already has it and she LOVES it! This would be a great little gift to make for a little friend for a birthday or even Christmas! They whip up fast! And you can make it how EVER you like! 

So I challenge you to go make one! And make it your own!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Day I Fell in Love with Foundation Piecing!

YES!!! You might be thinking I'm crazy or more likely wondering why I didn't try it sooner?! But it doesn't have to be as complicated as it seems to be. I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading as much as I can on quilting lately and I found I wanted to make some scrappy, shabby chic style pillows. And what I fell upon was just amazing! So much so, that I just couldn't not share it with all of you!

So here is a picture of what I have completed and along with it a fun little tutorial on how to make each block! I am sorry for some of the pictures quality.... They didn't all come out the way I wanted with a 2 year old much of my work being done late at night!
Blue Strip Pillows!

 1) Take printer paper or even notebook pages and cut out a 7 1/2" square. (This will yield a 14" inch pillow cover.) You will need to cut out 4!

Once completed I used a Pilot Fixion pen to draw a line down the center of the square on the diagonal. (These pens are AWESOME!!! Once the heat of your iron hits, the ink disappears! Also awesome for embroidery work!)
2) For this step you can be precise but really a little off won't make a difference! I used white but use what ever color or print you would like for the center. I cut a 2 1/2" wide strip long enough to cover the square. I used a very small couple dabs of washable glue stick along the drawn line and then placed my white fabric on top... this way it won't move as I stitch on my first strip.

For the various strips cut VARIOUS widths! And make sure they cover the template.

3) You will place your fabric Right Sides together and sew with a 1/4" seam. Now here is where it is a little different ... In order to make it easier to remove the paper upon completion use a SMALLER stitch width. I was using a 1.4mm stitch.

After each strip use a iron to press the strip open. Try not to use steam as it will "curl" the paper. A hot steam free press works just fine.

Continue to add strips until the ENTIRE square is covered!
4) Upon completion this is what your template will look like! Now on to the fun part!
5) Turn your piece over and use your ruler and rotary to cut along the paper template.
 As you cut off each side you will begin to see your scrappy block! And if you cut your strips not too long you won't feel bad about throwing away these little scraps!
6) Now keep it on the paper side and begin to carefully tear away the paper. Don't be worried if a few little pieces don't rip off. It won't matter in the long run!

Here is your first completed block! See how complicated it looks?! And yet how simple it was?! I was shocked at how much fun using up scraps could be!

For a few pillows I've since made I have bought 5" cuts of fabrics in a theme to be able to make matching sets. Out of these cuts you'll have enough to make a few pillows! And extra to add to your scrap stash!

You'll repeat this to make 3 more blocks in order to make a pillow like mine.

Once you have all 4 completed sew them together to make a 14 1/2" square! Isn't that fun?! It looks like it took forever to make and yet it's the best stash buster!!!
Just look at that detail?! Remember lines DON'T have to line up! This is a scrappy pillow!
 To finish the pillow I placed a piece of white muslin on the wrong side of the quilt block to cover all those little seams!

Finish as you like by making a flap closure for the back or placing a zipper at the bottom.... or to make it even easier, cut another 14 1/2" piece of fabric and stitch all around leaving a 6" opening and insert a pillow form and then slip stitch closed!

Make them bigger and more squares to make a quilt! Make them smaller and make an ovenmit! Really you could use these for a number of projects!!!

If nothing else ... you can say you know how to paper piece!!! Even if in its most simplest form!

Sewing Armoire? ... Try Crafty House!

A month back, my husband, Adam and I came to the conclusion that our kitchen table was not the place to have a sewing room! Because well I freaked out more about him trying to move things so we could have dinner at the table and preferred we just eat out for the rest of our lives! Ha, ha... So we agreed that since our formal living room was empty as we decorated it we would also kind of turn it into a Sewing Studio for me.

Now all of this sounded very "contained" and wonderful! My husband has agreed and when I wasn't sewing it could be closed up to just look like an armoire! It was perfect! ...
So here it is and of course I haven't closed it in well, days and it's spilling over to the top right now... just needs a little reorganization.... But this is just a small shot of the room....

And of course the little coffee table, that doesn't belong there but will remain until the next piece of furniture arrives is now covered in fabric and cutting mats and well rulers... And that well, that's never empty now! Still not too bad....
And we ordered those lovely armless love seats... well you can see one! The other is COVERED in ironed fabric and well, just fabric that I threw there as I was finished with it! The nice thing about the bookshelves is they have boxes on the bottom two shelves on each side... I think you can see one on the right... so the thought was I could stash my stash in there as I work.... that just hasn't happened yet... HA! Also I can display some finished works on the shelves... So it is nice for that! I really can't wait for the holidays to decorate in here! This room has been EMPTY except for that coffee table for almost 2 years!!!

This is the closet in our "Guest Room", also known as my office and old craft room.... Well I have too much to keep in our nice Living Room so a lot of fabrics and interfacings still live in here...

And in the pink garment bag to the left is my WEDDING DRESS!!! Poor things has to share the room with all the fabric... I need to get it preserved, but just would rather buy fabric right now! Ha ha!
This to the right is my interfacing shelf... You can't see the rest, but the entire shelf and closet are stuffed to the seams with crafting supplies and what not!

My husband thought with the Living Room that it would really tidy everything up... I am sorry to say it just spread it out even more! And I LOVE it! The natural light in that room is awesome and with my little boom box and iPod I can listen to my music in the afternoons while the little girl takes her naps! Our kitchen table is still covered with beads, but I do try to tidy it up at least once a week!

I guess it didn't turn out as nice and neat as Adam would have liked, but he is so proud of the work that I do and his love for me that he lets the rest slide a little! What a loving husband to have created this special place just for me!

I know my stash looks small.... but it's a work in process! Ha ha! Thanks for looking today!

Where do you sew and what makes it special?!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

This past weekend there was this huge sale at Joann's Fabrics and they had 70% off remnant cuts. I happened to find a yard of this San Diego Chargers fabric there and thought that if my blue and white pillows were doing so well among shoppers than here in San Diego this would have to do well too!

So I bought the yard and came home and decided on the first pillow here on the left... but there was so much left in straps after fussy cutting the squares that with about 5 more inches I was able to make a strip pillow as shown below it.

I really feel that quilting doesn't have to be something that your Grandmother does anymore. I think we need to make it want we want it to be, and for me that means a little more modern with a "quilty" flair to it!

Now that the fall spirit has been awoken in me I am thinking about getting some NFL fabric in a team my Hubby would approve of... a little Chicago Bears action in this house and maybe even make a couple to keep! But they could only be out on game day! Ha, ha!

With the little bit of fabric that was left over, I cut it into the bottom half of the backing fabric for both pillows. I could have made another strip pillow or maybe a part of a log cabin, but why cut it all up?! I mean it was 70% off the yard anyway! So I thought I would share the wealth a little, ha!

I hope that this will maybe awaken your fall / back-to-school spirit and you'll maybe try this out with your Hubby's favorite sports team or even your child's!

I truly believe that sometimes the simplest projects come out the best... even if they don't feel like they take long enough to complete!

I hope you enjoy the pillows... and remember you can always check them out at my Etsy shop! And sometimes you can get an awesome deal on one at!

Also my Hubby was an Aggie at Texas A&M University and I just got a yard of that fabric, so keep your eye out for some Aggie pillows to be coming out shortly!

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Charm"-ing Paris!

"Charm"-ing Paris!
This was the project I created for the Craftster Quilt Challenge in August. The idea was to create anything you wanted but to primarily use Charm Squares (5in. squares) of fabric to make the front out of. Well I thought that if it was a Charm Square challenge than I was going to make it a challenge for myself and only make the entire quilt out of Charms! So yes you guessed correctly, the backing and the binding was all created out of 5in. squares ... to begin with!

The entire back of the project! Made out of various pink and gray fabrics

The lady in this one rectangle was my favorite out of the entire back!

I even went to far as to fold a square in half on the diagonal to be the corner holding!

When it came to the the front I cut each square into 4 smaller 2.5" squares to design the front. And of course my tower was first constructed out of Charms as well!
 Sorry, this was the best pic I got....

I had the entire project completed, minus the felt flowers and asked my husband what he thought and he said it was "fine." To which I thought meant that it didn't look absolutely completed.... So I found some stash felt and added the flowers.

The binding on the quilt was made up of the squares being cut done the middle and then all sewn together and then used for binding and the flowers are attached by small glass bead centers.

I really fell in love with this project! I have thought about hanging it in our living room, but there really isn't a place for it there... So it might just end up on my Etsy shop! So keep your eyes open ... I always post at a fair price.

I know this was a quick post, but I just wanted to get this out there for you all to see... This was some of my best work yet!


Click Here to see the actual Entry on the Craftster Challenge Forum! I'll let you know how the voting turns out later this week! There was some steep competition!