Hello, my long-lost friends! I hope everyone is well. I miss reading your blogs and hope to catch up soon.
My friend Sewing Machine and I haven’t spent much time together this summer, but I did find a spot o’ time to make an apron for my adorable granddaughter Katy’s 2nd birthday. This fun pattern is SUPER easy to stitch up, since it uses bias tape instead of hems around all the edges. I bought this pretty pink-flowered tape for Katy’s apron at a craft show, but I now own a bias tape maker and can’t wait to try creating some myself with Beth’s tutorial at The Renegade Seamstress. Katy especially loves her name embroidered on the pocket!
Click here for the pattern from Joan Giammalva. And, if you want a fun cookbook to gift with the apron, I recommend Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes by Mollie Katzen . . . perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Thank you for taking a peek! ♥
My niece Amanda got to stop by for a few hours on her vacation to Kansas. We love to make projects together when she visits, like last summer’s ruffle apron. This time we made pencil pouches for HER nieces who are getting ready to begin first and second grade. Amanda looked through my stash and found a crayon print for the outside, alphabet print for the inside, felt for interfacing, and zippers in the girls’ favorite colors. We used the sunnies cases tutorial, only in a different size and shape. We also typed up the instructions so Amanda can make more when she gets home. Click Pencil Pouch to download all the steps. Happy Back-to-School! ♥
Hello, friends! I haven’t posted OR answered my last set of comments OR read your blogs . . . I miss you! Life and work have just been a little crazy lately. I know you can all relate! But here is a quickie project I made for two sweet little girls to organize their hair accessories and necklaces in their new house. The frame is a hand-me-down from their great-grandmother, so we didn’t paint it, but it has plenty of color with ric-rac, headbands, barrettes, rubber bands, jewelry, and a little fabric flower a-la-mode. Thank you for taking a peek! ♥
My niece Amanda made this clothespin wreath . . . isn’t it festive? Here are some of her tips:
I bought 100 clothespins at Target and painted them with acrylic paint I already had. I like to paint, so it was fun for me, but it would be easier/faster with spray paint. Then I got a wire wreath and a bag of little wooden stars at Jo-Ann using a 40% off coupon and put it together! The clothespins just clip on and I used hot glue to attach the stars. I made sure that there were 7 red and 6 white “stripes.” (My Pinterest inspiration photo didn’t do that and it was driving me crazy!) I love it and it goes great with my blue front door.
Total cost? Eight dollars! Thank you for letting me share your fun project, Amanda! And happy holiday to all my U.S.A. blog friends. ♥ P.S. Click here to see the apron Amanda and I sewed together last summer!
Remember my Quilted Front Zippered Pouch? My friend Faye made this adorable version using two styles of Mickey Mouse fabric inside and out and gave it to ME! (She and her kids and grandkids are huge Disney World fans!) I just love it! Be sure to visit Noodlehead for easy, fun directions for this bag and many more. Simply click on the Tutorials page . . . but you’ll want to explore the rest of Anna’s blog, too! Thank you, Anna and Faye! ♥
Since I have lots of hand-me-down vintage linens and doilies, I’ve been collecting ideas for using them in new ways. One idea I’ve seen several times is to use the piece as a-la-mode on a pillow. When I saw this pink polka-dot brown flannel next to this pastel pink table scarf, it was love at first sight! I simply centered the scarf on the cut out fabric, stitched it on, and completed the pillow as usual. Mmmm . . . brown and pink! ♥
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve gone a little crazy making these sunnies cases . . . and this photo doesn’t even show the three I’ve already given away! If you’d like to make your own, check out this lovely tutorial on Polka Dot Chair. I decided to embroider the word since that’s one of my hobbies, but Melissa’s fused method is very modern and chic. Thank you for the fun summer inspiration, Melissa! ♥
I loved trying out this Sunnies Case Tutorial by Melissa of Polka Dot Chair. My only tweak was to embroider the word on the front instead of fusing it. The project was so much fun that after I took this photo, I made over a dozen more . . . I’ll post them next! ♥
Thanksgiving before last, we had a family craft/service project while everyone was here for the holiday, making fleece pillows for Christmas gifts for local nonprofits. Afterward, I had about a bazillion 4 x 4 inch squares of fleece left over! Last summer I used some to make freezer pop holders, but I still had tons in my stash. Then I found several tutorials for earbud pouches. . . perfect! They take less than a half hour to cut out and stitch, and they’ll make fun mini-gifts for lots of kids I know. Here are some of the ideas I read about . . . thank you for the inspiration, ladies! ♥
Dog Under My Desk
Sewlicious Home Decor
In the U.S.A., Memorial Day is today, June 14 is Flag Day, and July 4 is Independence Day, so you can’t go wrong with a bit of patriotic decor this time of year. Here is my restyled Shantilly frame, a free art print on a hand-quilted table runner my daughter-in-law Tiffany gave me for my birthday, the 1776 pillow I made last summer, and a pinwheel bouquet (also a free printable!). Happy summer! ♥
Recently I had the privilege of making a sweater teddy bear for Sharon of Gentlestitches, both shown in the photo below. Sharon sent a well-loved carousel-horse-print sweater all the way from Australia to Kansas, USA and wrote such a lovely post when her bear (now named Eddie!) arrived home. Here’s to bloggy friends near and far! ♥ P.S. Click here and here for more bear love.
After I won a Five Stones game from Sharon of A Chronicle of My Sewing Adventures, I decided to try my hand at making my own. It was SO easy! I have a stash of inexpensive pony beads for kid crafts, so I used those as stuffing to make the “stones” washable. Then I tried a drawstring pouch I saw on Bec’s Handmade & Home blog to store them in. These two fabrics were together in a fat quarter bundle I got as a birthday gift. I finished the whole set in about an hour, and it will be fun to make more by mixing and matching fabrics for different personalities. Click here for the game piece tutorial and game directions and here for the drawstring pouch tutorial. Thank you, Sharon and Bec! ♥
For AGES I’ve been wanting to try the Scrappy Makeup Pouch tutorial on Noodlehead.
A little block of time recently appeared, and here it is! Anna’s directions are crystal clear, and the sky is the limit on fabric combinations for this cute little bag.
Thank you, Anna! ♥
P.S. Here are some of Anna’s other fun pouches . . . they’re on my list, too!
Gather Clutch Tutorial
Lil Cutie Pouch
Open Wide Zippered Pouch
Are you looking for a fun, quick, and easy gift for a mom or grandma you love? Last summer I made a grandmother vase for a dear friend . . . a tiny bottle, corked when not in use, with charm a-la-mode in which to display a flower (or dandelion!) lovingly picked by a small child . . . or a pretty leaf he or she discovers . . . or a found feather. . . These sweet little bottles are readily available at craft stores, as are bags of charms—plus these stores often have great coupons. However, I was lucky enough to snag the 5-inch wooden-stoppered bottles below at a craft garage sale! With a good washing, a coat of paint on top, and charms around the necks, they’re all ready to go. Simply remove the stopper, fill part way with water, and add a flower. Happy Mother’s Day! ♥
Look at this GORGEOUS clutch crocheted by Sarah of Photosarah Crafts! She had a recent giveaway, and I was the lucky winner! I love the color combination, and Sarah’s work is impeccable. Please check out her blog for all sorts of fun projects, like pouches, scarves and mittens, bunting, baby clothes, cards, and quilts. You are one talented lady, Sarah! ♥
Yes . . . I made THREE new aprons! For this one, I used a print with coffee words as the centerpiece and added other prints from my stash. Click here for a link to the free Ruffle Aprons Tutorial along with my tweaks. ♥
On a recent road trip, I found this charming village fabric in a quilt shop in Tennessee. It was fun to mix and match it with some other homey prints in my stash! Click here for a link to the free Ruffle Aprons Tutorial along with my tweaks. ♥
I’ve been in an apron sewing mood and dug into the pinks in my stash. So fun to mix, match, and make! Click here for a link to the free Ruffle Aprons Tutorial along with my tweaks. ♥
My sister took a crazy quilt class and made this fun block. I love the fabrics she chose and all the dashing embroidery stitches she added for a-la-mode. Then she gave it to me to make a pillow! I used a square of black and white striped fabric from my stash for the back. Thank you, Susan! ♥
Soooooo . . . have you made your fabric carrots yet? I went a little crazy with mine! Now that I have enough to completely fill the tray, it looks like a little veggie patch! Find some orange and green remnants to mix and match, go to this tutorial at Clare’s Craftroom, and you, too, can have a garden growing on your dining room table! ♥
Our lovely daughter-in-law Mary Ann is a registered dietician turned physician’s assistant and sports a fun “Periodic Table of the Vegetables” poster in her kitchen. On a trip to Jo-Ann to buy a foam cushion for the toy box bench, I spotted this “Farmer’s Market” fabric—perfect for a decorative cushion for the kitchen window seat. The cat promptly nestled beside it for a nap . . . and Mary Ann loves it, too! ♥
On a recent visit, our eight-year-old granddaughter Miranda and I raided her mom’s fabric stash and put our heads together to design and sew a tote for her Nook e-reader—a colorful, lined bag with shoulder length handles and shabby chic roses for a-la-mode. What a fun project with a fun sewing buddy! ♥
It’s time to change up my Shantilly frame again! I’ve been making lots of rolled fabric rosettes from remnants—the perfect handwork project for road trips or watching TV. (I use this tutorial but stitch instead of glue.) So, while waiting for REAL flowers to pop out, I decided to bunch my fabric versions into a colorful garden with a peeping PEEP left over from my spring garland for a-la-mode. Happy April . . . and don’t pull TOO many April Fool’s tricks today! ♥ P.S. Here are the red frame restyles for November, December, January, and February and the green frame design for March.
On a recent visit to our Missouri family, we were greeted by a fun St. Patrick’s wreath on the front door. Our daughter-in-law Tiffany made it from a wire form + decorative mesh + a-la-mode. Then she was kind enough to pull out the ones she had made for Valentine’s Day and Christmas so I could photograph them for you. Tiffany said to check out “decomesh wreaths” or “decorative mesh wreaths” on Pinterest for tutorials and ideas. In the meantime, enjoy these three! ♥
I recently hung the Peeps garland I made last spring (out of felt, not the candy!). Here are the super-simple directions:
(1) Draw a simple bunny shape or find a free template online.
(2) Make the bunnies from felt, fabric scraps, construction paper, or scrapbook paper.
(3) Add the eye and nose dots with fabric paint, permanent marker, or embroidered French knots.
(4) Attach the bunnies to ric-rac, ribbon, rope, string, or twine using glue or hand or machine stitching.
You’ll soon have a cheery pop of color for your spring décor. Have fun! ♥
I was so happy when I got out my spring decorations and found a bunch of these left over from last spring’s bunny sewing bonanza that I promptly plopped them into a basket to display in the living room. You can find the pattern and tutorial from Angie on The Little Fabric Blog. And they’re so quick and easy that you can even make a whole Bag o’ Bunnies for a special little one in your life. Now . . . hop to it! ♥
Who knew that carrots could be THIS cute? I made this springy tray of rabbit food from orange and green remnants using this tutorial at Clare’s Craft Room. I’m pretty sure that a few of them will end up in Easter baskets, too! ♥
I love to make tooth fairy pillows from well-loved baby or toddler clothes! To transform the Disney World hoodie that Tyler chose, I simply cut it into a square, embroidered a tooth on one pocket and a dollar sign on the other, and stitched and stuffed. So easy! Now he’s eagerly waiting for that first loose tooth! ♥ P.S. Click here for another hoodie tooth fairy pillow and here and here for two more designs.
Last fall I shared my first sweater teddy bear, made from one of my mom-in-law’s special sweaters. One of the conversations in the comments (with the fun Evgenia of Being Zhenya) went like this:
I love it! Can I have it, pretty please?
If you have a favorite old sweater, you can send it to me and I’ll make you a bear! (I owe you a present anyway after winning one of your giveaways!) Shoot me an email if you decide to go for it!
Really really? And you don’t owe me anything! Let me see if I can find a sweater!
Yes, really! It’ll be fun!
Eventually, Evgenia got a chance to send a couple of sweaters, and I got to work. The large bear is from the same pattern I used before (McCall’s Crafts 703) and the smaller one is from Claire’s cute (and FREE!) Mr. Ted pattern on Craft Schmaft. After a bit of embroidery and button, ric-rac, and flower a-la-mode, they’re all ready to put in the mail to my bloggy pal. I hope you love them, Evgenia! ♥
Even though I knew we’d have more snow this week (and we did!), I had a free day on Saturday so I went ahead and dressed our home for spring, including a new GREEN Shantilly frame! For March, I found a thought-provoking Emily Dickinson quote about luck, snipped a tiny calendar from a bookmark in a Better Homes and Gardens mailer, and made some rolled fabric rosettes (from this tutorial, only stitched instead of glued). Happy *almost* spring! ♥ P.S. Here are the red frame restyles for November, December, January, and February.
What do you make on a winter day and you have a free hour? A SPRING apron, of course! The tutorial is from this post by Jona Giammalva on her blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the fun fabrics are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. P.S. Click here and here for two other aprons I’ve made with this easy peasy pattern! ♥
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a What Can You Make With A . . .? project, but I have one today! The inspiration was this blue dress. It was soft, swingy, and SO comfortable, with pockets in the side skirt seams, perfect with a black cardigan for chilly days . . . and what’s not to love about polka dots? But my mirror (and an “honest” family member) told me that this was not my best look and added more than a few pounds to my curves. So, out came the scissors.
- The skirt is PERFECT as . . . a skirt! And I still get to enjoy the lovely color, fabric, and pockets. I simply cut it off a little above the empire waist, nipped and tucked here and there, and used the top of the cut-off piece to make a waistband. I love wearing it with my black pullover sweater, tights, and boots.
- You’ve already seen the laptop case I made with the sleeves and neck elastic. I LOVE it and use it every day. It’s especially fun when someone asks where I got it!
- That left just some bits and pieces, so I cut them into strips, twisted and stitched them into a flower, and used it for a-la-mode on a fun spring pillow I stitched up with some bird fabric from my stash. (Spring WILL come, right???)
Ahhhhh . . . much better! ♥
Dave requested a sour cream chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day this year, and I found just the one on Taste of Home. Since the recipe is for a layer cake, I used my heart-shaped pans. It’s a keeper! ♥
Do you have hearts all over your home these days? My favorite new display is the clay heart my granddaughter Ally made, my collection of heart necklaces, and the beautiful mixed-media canvas Shannon of Shantilly made for my birthday. From my heart to yours . . . have a happy Valentine’s Day! ♥
During my last spring cleaning, I found NINE unopened decks of cards in the game chest. If they haven’t been claimed yet for their intended purpose, they’re up for grabs for crafting, right? So, when I saw several versions of Valentine garland made from hearts playing cards on Pinterest, I had to give it a try! I punched holes in the corners, strung them with red baker’s twine, and added a few hearts cut from the backs of the Jokers and advertising extras for a-la-mode. So easy, and they made great gifts for some special people I love! ♥ P.S. Here’s the red sweater heart pillow that’s sitting on my favorite chair this month and the felt conversation heart garland I hung across the mantle.
My Shantilly frame got a makeover for February! The inspiration was this fun suit-on-a-hangar bookmark from my BFF Susan, and the words are letters snipped from alphabet fabric glued onto rectangles cut from last year’s February calendar paper. Here are the ones for November, December, and January. Happy new month! ♥
I have a cool new mini-laptop/tablet that’s super-easy to tote around, but I wanted to give it a little protection before adding it to my backpack on my way to the airport last week. I have a dress that I just turned into a skirt, so I decided to use the dress’s top for this project. I started with the elastic-ruffled sleeves, padded them with quilt batting, and folded and stitched them to size. Then I stitched the elastic ruffle from the neckline diagonally along the front, leaving it loose at the sides and back so I can pull it around the case to hold the laptop inside. A fabric flower from my stash made the perfect a-la-mode for traveling in style. ♥
When I saw a touching layout designed by Ellie on My Little Bunny Cupcake, I knew I’d found the perfect quote to put on my card when I give a fabric flower to a friend: Just living isn’t enough . . . one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flower. Thank you, Ellie and Hans Christian Andersen! ♥ P.S. My dress form is wearing my scarf crocheted by our bloggy friend Tamara. Isn’t it just lovely?
For Tyler-the-matchbox-car-lovin’-kid’s birthday, I stitched up a car wallet . . . plus (surprise! surprise!) a pillow with the leftover fabric. I read TONS of tutorials for the wallet and ended up using bits of several of them. My version has four pockets, a road, a Velcro closure, an elastic band (aka stretchy headband cut to size) to hold it all together, and the birthday boy’s initials embroidered on the front. Here are my favorite links in case you’d like to make one for a small person you love! ♥
It’s birthday party time again in our family! Five-year-old Tyler chose Disney Planes for the theme. I had fun searching out a yard of DP fabric (found it on ebay and got it in two days!) to use for bunting and then sewing a big pile of red goodie bags for Tyler to fill with treasures and send home with his friends. Now for some cake and ice cream! ♥
When I saw this post on Thrift Store Crafter, I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a journal upcycled from a vintage book! I also remembered that I’d promised the person who gave it to me (my BFF/sister Susan) that I would actually USE it and not put it away with my treasures, so I got it off the shelf and began listing all the crafts/sewing projects I want to make and tucking in clippings and patterns. Now, when I find myself with a little block of free time, I’ll be all ready to go. And besides . . . this journal just makes me smile! ♥ P.S. Be sure to check out Sarah’s tutorials on Thrift Store Crafter!
This Christmas I had the opportunity to help Darilyn of Thehighnotedotnet surprise her brother-in-law with a Kansas State University guy apron to wear while serving as the family chef. (See the tutorial tutorial here at The Purl Bee.) She was sweet enough to write a lovely blog post about it, complete with photos, that truly put a smile on my face. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Darilyn’s blog, please check out her creative projects! She also has a My Fave DIY’s page and an Etsy shop specializing in items made with vintage sheet music, like these paper Christmas trees that I used while making my snowflake garland last winter. Thank you, Darilyn! ♥
In autumn I bought a fun chicken-wire frame at a craft show from Shantilly, and since then I’ve had fun restyling it for different holidays and seasons. November’s design reminded us to give thanks, December’s spoke of joy, and January’s is all about snow . . . a clip-art mitten illustration mounted on scrapbook paper, letters snipped from alphabet fabric, and tiny clothespins to hold everything in place. ♥
Happy 2014! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas season. I had extra fun with my family celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, AND my birthday! And, with several days off from work, I enjoyed some extra sewing and crafting time, too.
Remember my sweater teddy bear? For my first holiday break project I wanted to use up the leftover sweater parts, and I found the perfect idea in the January, 2014 Woman’s Day magazine, submitted by Anna of Lasso the Moon. For mine, I . . .
- cut the scraps into two-inch squares,
- folded them in half,
- strung them on stiff wire,
- tied off the wire, and
- added a ribbon.
It’s always fun to have something new to hang after undecorating for Christmas! ♥
Look at the lovely ornament my sweet art-teacher-writer-friend Ginger gave me at church on Sunday! She twisted and turned a piece of wire into a heart surrounding my L-O-N-G name . . . thoughtfulness and handcrafting at its finest. And now, with Christmas Eve just one week away, I’m off to finish my end-of-year writing assignments, bake, and celebrate with my family. I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and happy, happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014! ♥
Since I have so many colorful red and green decorations and busy prints up for Christmas (like here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!) I decided to go completely the other way on my newest idea . . . somewhat of a visual trick since “Deck the Halls” is such a cheerful song! I used turquoise chevron flannel with the same color embroidery floss, then I played around with the size and placement of the words to replicate the chorus’s inflection, pauses, and pitch. I love the way it makes your eyes say, “Ahhhhh . . . ” Oh, and the embroidery hoops were hand-me-downs and I already had the fabric and floss in my stash, so this was a “free” project. I love those, don’t you? ♥
Look what I got in the mail this week! My sweet bloggy friend Sharon of Gentlestitches sent these lovely, handmade pillow ornaments for my Christmas tree all the way from Victoria, Australia to Kansas, USA! I just love them! If you haven’t had a chance to visit Sharon’s blog yet, please go take a look . . . she even has a page full of free patterns! Thank you, dear Sharon! ♥
Besides my felt peppermint wreath, another favorite decoration at our home is this set of decoupaged J-O-Y letters . . . I made them from upcycled Christmas cards! Click here for complete instructions as well as links to lots of other fun, crafty Christmas projects. ♥