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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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.
Our friend Beth of The Renegade Seamstress is getting ready to present another BurdaStyle web seminar! This one, called Secret Ways to Make Your Sewing Blog a Success, is scheduled for Thursday, June 5th at 11:00 am (EST), and even if you can’t attend at that time, you’ll receive a recorded version to watch at your convenience. Topics include becoming part of the blogging community, developing friendly alliances and creative vision, improving photography, attracting readers, managing time, increasing blog traffic, new career opportunities, making money, self-promoting, and networking. You can visit Beth’s post about the seminar here and click here to register. Best wishes on your newest venture, Beth! ♥
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! ♥
Sharon of A Chronicle of My Sewing Adventures had a giveaway, and I won! Just look at this lovely fabric and lace! If you read my previous post, you’ll see that I already used a bit of the fabric in my Quilted Front Zippered Pouch. Sharon also included the game pieces for Five Stones . . . click here for sewing and game instructions. I love it all. Thank you, dear Sharon! ♥ P.S. Sharon and I discovered that we both live in Kansas!
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!
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. ♥
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! ♥
Our Georgia family recently moved and needed some new pillow décor. First, we made a bench seat cushion for baby Josh’s toy box (handmade by his Uncle Jeff!). Josh’s room is morphing into a travel theme—don’t you just LOVE this map fabric his mommy picked out? We had enough for a square pillow to pose on the rocking chair, too. Then we made some floral and solid-with-button-a-la-mode pillows for the purple sofa in the living room. Mary Ann purchased the fabrics at Curtain Call in Augusta, Georgia. ♥ P.S. Now I want a purple sofa!
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! ♥
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 know that you . . . like me . . . are all HUGE fans of Beth, the Renegade Seamstress.
Besides her inspiring blog full of “real” projects that any of us can try, Beth also sponsored Refashion Runway, is a weekly contributor to eHow, and has a book coming out this fall that I can’t WAIT to read!
Now Beth has been asked to teach a live web seminar on March 31 for BurdaStyle and has invited all of us to participate!
“Refashion: Inspiration and Projects to Revamp and Recycle Your Wardrobe”
I know it will be amazing . . . congratulations, Beth! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
Another favorite Christmas decoration at our house is the “fabric forest” I made last winter. I enjoyed getting these colorful little trees back out to display on top of the china hutch again! You can make the trees any size, and they’re a great way to use up some remnants that might not work for other projects. For a step-by-step photo tutorial, click here. ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
I really love cardigans. I have
quite a few way too many! While we were packing for our recent trip, I was folding my turquoise cardigan to put in my suitcase, and I saw this pull on the back. I have no idea how or when it appeared, but I was bummed. However, by the time we got home, I knew just how to fix it! Lucky for me, the pull was perfectly centered, so I handstitched a bit of crocheted cotton lace over it and added three “sister” (but not triplet) blue buttons into the lace designs. Now my cardigan is way cuter than it was before . . . so this Eeek!!! turned out JUST right! ♥
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! ♥
His mommy asked me to make some Thomas the Train bunting for the party, and of course I said yes!
The fabrics I chose (all from Fabric.Com) were:
- Who’s That Train panel
- Who’s That Train Word Blender in grey
- Who’s That Train Symbol in red
I had enough left to make a tablecloth for the gift table and . . . no surprise here . . . a pillow for Ryan’s room. ♥