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! ♥
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.
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! ♥
- Six Sisters’ Stuff
- Create Studio
- Homemade by Jill
- Just Another Hang Up
- Crazy Little Projects
- My Little Gems
- Stitch Sew Creates
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! ♥
Looky what I made! As you may know, I haven’t learned to knit or crochet yet (although my first wonky attempt at crochet DID turn into a super-cute pillow!). However, on Thanksgiving weekend my daughter-in-law Tiffany showed me how to make this frilly scarf out of the Sashay yarn I won from Ginny’s spring giveaway. The lace is already part of the yarn, so all I had to do was crochet through the openings at the top . . . easy even for me! I found out that the back of the yarn wrapper has directions for this same scarf, but it was way better to see someone model the steps in person. Thank you, Ginny and Tiffany! ♥
In my book, winter has arrived! I changed the calendar to December, the house is decorated for Christmas, I’ve heard some of my favorite carols, and the falling snow magically appeared on my blog (thank you, WordPress!). And, to add the perfect scent, I can use these lovely homemade holiday sprays I won from a giveaway on Peg’s Gotta Do! If you haven’t visited Peg’s blog yet, you must check out her fun creations, such as this hot cocoa gift cone bag, paper Christmas wreath, cupcake stand, bird seed wreath, and award-winning triceratops costume. She also has a brand new Etsy shop! Thank you, Peggy! ♥
First of all, THANK YOU for all the lovely comments, good wishes, and over 100 LIKES on my Christmas Bunting post! I met my writing deadline for work and had an extra-special time with our Thanksgiving guests. Before I straighten the house and start decorating for Christmas, I want to make sure you’ve heard about our friend Mahe’s newest “green crafting” e-book that you can get TODAY through DECEMBER 4 for FREE by clicking here! (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a Kindle app for your computer—also for free—right here.) The book includes step-by-step photos and directions for a Christmas tree, snowman, package toppers and tags, ornaments, placecards, a mobile, bunting, cards, envelopes, gift bags, and LOTS of fun handmade gifts. Most of the projects are designed by Mahe herself but (as always!) Mahe welcomes guest artists, such as:
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Vicky of Vicky Myers Creations
- Cherie of Down In Fairy Dell
- Cristin of Eve of Reduction
I’m going to take off the rest of November from blogging to finish a big writing assignment (for my “real” job!), host Thanksgiving dinner, and attend some family events. But first, here are my new strings of Christmas bunting! Last year I cut out bazillions of squares of Christmas fabric to make mini-pillow ornaments but didn’t use them all, so I turned the rest into triangles that I could stitch into seam binding. Simply turn under the ends and fasten them with buttons to create loops, and they’re ready to hang. Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll see you in December! ♥
I had a sentimental sweater from a beloved family member that always seemed to say “teddy bear,” so I decided to give it a go! I have a hand-me-down pattern that was a perfect fit for the sweater front and back (McCall’s Crafts 703), but otherwise I probably would have sketched my own. The eyes only required a bit of embroidery on two of the knit-in designs. Then, since the McCall’s pattern was faceless, I used Claire’s cute (and FREE!) softie pattern on Craft Schmaft to figure out the snout. After stitching and stuffing, the squeezable, huggable Teddy is in the arms of a sweet little one. Plus, I still have the sleeves and a few smaller remnants left for new projects . . . we’ll see what those bits say! ♥
Once upon a time, a Pennsylvania girl married a Kansas boy . . . and now they’re living happily ever after in Georgia. But they still need their own aprons!
- You’ve seen my girly apron before . . . here, here, here, and here. (The last link has info about the original pattern and tutorial.)
- I found the manly barbecue apron tutorial here at The Purl Bee. It was super easy and fun to make, too. ♥
When my boys were little, they loved Mr. Men books. My first-graders loved them, too. Now my grandchildren love them! The stories are odd and quaint and preachy, but the characters are totally loveable . . . and we can all relate to their funny foibles. After Mr. Men Books became so popular, the author/illustrator Roger Hargreaves also started writing Little Miss books. Imagine how excited I was to find Mr. Men fabric at Fabric.com! I ordered a yard to make a drawstring gift bag for a set of Little Miss books for an upcoming birthday girl (there’s even a birthday book in the set!) and had enough for a pillow, too. Oh, and this drawstring bag was so much fun! I’ve made dozens of these bags in my life, but never with this super-cool design by Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing. Thank you, Jona! ♥
I bought the fun Anny Bag pattern from my blogging friend Anny of It’s Sew Anny, and I decided to make my first one using Christmasy remnants. Although the pattern calls for ruffles on both sides, I left the back unruffled to show off this fun print. The pattern has fabric measurements for two different sizes, and the lined bag has a flat base and two large inside pockets. It was REALLY fun to sew, and I’ll definitely be making more! Check out the Anny Bag and Anny’s other great bag patterns at the It’s Sew Anny Etsy Shop . . . thank you, Anny! ♥
I won the CUTEST business card holder in a recent giveaway by Barbara of Zibergirl Sews! (Click here for a tutorial if you’d like to make your own!) If you followed Season 1 of Refashion Runway on The Renegade Seamstress, you’ve already met Barbara! You can also see an amazing gallery of her sewing projects here. Thank you, Barbara . . . and keep inspiring us with those fabulous creations! ♥
In my Sleepover! post I told you about Shantilly, a new crafty business launched by my daughter-in-law Shannon and her sweet mom and sister. Their popular handmade items include different sizes and colors of chicken-wire frames to use for memo boards. (My friend Karen bought one for each of her nieces for Christmas!) With mine, I made a new wall decoration for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. The letters are snipped from a remnant of the burlap I used for my mini-screen bag, the teeny wooden clothespins are left over from my t-shirt garland kit, and for a-la-mode I pinned on one of my fabric flower brooches. I just love it, and the best part is that I can update and reuse it for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and more! Thank you, Shantilly! ♥
I love making a gift basket for the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church every November, which this year will benefit the Downtown Daycare Center here in Wichita, KS. This time I decided on a music theme.
- First, I made an embroidered pillow and a music-note-fabric half apron with fabric flower a-la-mode. (Click here for the apron tutorial from Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing).
- Next, I added a framed music saying (which you can get here for FREE from the lovelyn Darilyn of TheHighNotedotNet) and a package of vintage music Christmas tree confetti from Darilyn’s Etsy shop.
- I finished if off with a blank journal and coffee cup cozy for idea-gathering and a small vintage hymnal.
Click here for gift baskets from the past few years. It’s my secret ambition to go into the gift basket business someday! (Dave, you didn’t see that, right???) ♥
Even though I named my blog for pillows, I haven’t made many lately, have I? But here is my latest cushiony creation concocted from scraps of last year’s Halloween pillows, a fun black and white remnant for the back, and some of my grandma’s mismatched black buttons. I knew I wanted to do a chevron design, and I found a perfect tutorial from Nicole at Modern Handcraft. Thank you, Nicole . . . and have a fun Halloween, everyone! ♥ P.S. The other one is a sweater pillow from my earliest blogging days . . . it’s the softest, coziest cushion in my house, and I love getting it out when autumn arrives!
In September, I told you about the lovely but mysterious 1927 quilt top we found among my husband Dave’s parents’ belongings. You can read about it and see photos here. Thanks to Dave’s cousin Betsy and some considerate and determined librarians, I’ve found a home for it! Here are the latest updates:
- Betsy and her parents recognized some of the names and thought the quilt top originated in a small town called Quinter, Kansas, where Betsy’s mother was born. (Betsy’s mother is Dave’s dad’s sister.)
- I contacted the library in Quinter, sent a photo of the quilt top and a list of all the names on it, and asked if they could confirm that these were community families and perhaps find out what the “HHC” on the bottom right quilt block stands for.
- The librarians found several of the names in old high school yearbooks. They also found old news articles about a quilting club called the Helping Hands Club. We were on the right track!
- One of the librarians tracked down the granddaughter of Helen Martin, a woman who created one of the quilt squares. I’ll put a photo of Mrs. Martin’s handiwork below. Don’t you love how she embroidered her name? And we even have a spider web for Halloween week!
- I’ve contacted the granddaughter, and not only does she want the quilt top, she has all the minutes of all the Helping Hand Club meetings in her possession! So she is going to research them to try to answer our remaining questions: (1) What was the occasion for creating the quilt top? (2) Why wasn’t the quilt ever finished? (3) How did the quilt top end up with someone who has ties to the community but isn’t represented on any of the squares?
So . . . watch for “A Quilt Mystery: Part 3″ . . . coming soon! ♥
No, it’s not the Halloween kind of shocker . . . it’s the Wichita State University Shockers (as in a shock of wheat . . . click here to see our mascot, Wu Shock!). I had some fabric left over from the WSU apron I made for the fundraiser silent auction, so I made a half apron for one of my friends who is a huge fan and follower of WSU’s volleyball and basketball teams. The “Shockers” logo on the pocket is snipped from the same t-shirt that I used to get the Wu Shock for the bib of the original apron. The tutorial is from this post on Jona Giammalva’s amazingingly inspirational blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the black/yellow fabrics are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. Here is the finished apron blowing in the Kansas wind! ♥
Ally and Kira found some adorable “superhero in tutu” photos while checking out Halloween costume ideas on Pinterest, and of course I said, “Let’s make some!” The girls decided on Batman and Robin, so first we poured over illustrations of the real characters to figure out our colors and designs. For our versions, their mom first bought appropriately-colored tank tops. I found logos on Bing Images, which I traced onto fabric, cut out, and appliqued onto the fronts of the tanks. Next, I made short capes (so they won’t get in the way of the tutus), ruffled them at the tops, and attached them from shoulder to shoulder along the backs of the tanks. Then I studied dozens of cut-and-tie and sewn tutu tutorials (tutututorials???), and I decided on this this lovely version from Rachael Rabbit. Now all the girls will have to do is add simple black masks, tights, and boots . . . plus long-sleeved t-shirts for warmth (black for Batman and green for Robin, which their mom has ready to go). Here are the finished pieces . . . I can’t wait to see them on my little superheroes! ♥
I had some bits of orange and yellow jersey, so I stitched them into a ruffled skirt, added color-coordinated ric-rac, and attached it to a new white baby t-shirt for a cutie in our family! The a-la-mode is a strip of “treat” fabric from last year’s Halloween pillows twisted, coiled, and stitched into a flower and centered with an orange button. Happy candy corn season! ♥