Monthly Archives: April 2012

More Burpies


Remember these blue burpies I posted earlier? (Click here for tutorial.) Well, now I’ve been making pink ones as well. That’s right, we have a grandson AND a granddaughter arriving this summer! I’ll admit that I couldn’t choose among all the cute flannels, though, so I ended up getting WAY too much. Flannel baby quilts may follow soon! ♥

New Roll-Up Pencil Kit


I previously posted about the easy, fun roll-up pencil kits (upcycled from placemats) that I learned how to make using this Martha Stewart tutorial. Here’s my newest one! I love using mats that are patterned on one side and plain on the other . . . perfect for showing off the pretty pencil colors. ♥

From Hoodie to Tooth Fairy Pillow


A good way to preserve a favorite item of clothing from a child’s preschool years is to upcycle it into a pillow. For example, with just a bit of embroidery, snipping, stuffing, and stitching, this hoodie turned into something new to cuddle and treasure. ♥

Needle Book


Have you ever heard of a needle book? I hadn’t until I saw one in my daily email from AllFreeSewing . . . but it sounded like the perfect way to round up all the needles from my sewing drawer, sewing box, embroidery box, wrist pincushion, and everywhere else I tend to stash them. Since this was just for me, and I already had a perfect quilted remnant to use for the cover, I made it into a 15-minute project by:

  • pinning the two sides of the fabric together, right sides facing, and stitching around the edges (leaving an opening for turning)
  • turning it right side out and top-stitching all the way around
  • folding it in half and cutting six pieces of white felt to fit
  • tucking the “pages” into the fold and “binding” the book by stitching down the left side of the front cover, then again 3/8 inch away for good measure

I love my handy, easy-to-tote 6 x 4 inch book. ♥

Placemat Tote Bag


As you know, I’m fond of making things out of placemats I find in the clearance bins at World Market, Bed/Bath/Beyond, and Target. This time I decided to try making a tote bag. It turned out great . . . and it’s even tangerine! Here are the directions:


  • 2 placemats (I used one print and one solid, but any combination is fine.)
  • a coordinating remnant for the lining (I used a piece of retro jersey from a box of fabric my mom-in-law gave me . . . I wish I knew what she made with it!)
  • up to 2 yards of cording for the strap
  • sewing thread and embroidery floss

The "insides" before attaching the lining . . .


1. With right sides of the fabric facing, stitch the sides and bottom of the placemats.

2. Hand stitch the strap inside the two side seams with embroidery floss for sturdiness.

3. Turn the bag right side out and press if needed.

4. Use the bag as a pattern to cut two pieces of the remnant, leaving a little around the edges for the seams.

5. With right sides of the fabric facing, stitch the sides and bottom of the lining. DON’T turn right side out, but do press.

6. Slip the lining inside the bag. Fold it under at the top and pin it along the top edge of the bag, bunching a bit at the straps if needed.

7. Use a slip stitch or decorative embroidery stitch to attach the lining to the bag.  You’re done! ♥

Other placemat projects:

Placemat Pouch

More Placemat Pouches

Roll-Up Pencil Case

T-Shirt Headbands


Craft Snob posted a fun tutorial on making headbands out of old T-shirts. Being a headband fan, I just had to try it. Here are my first two, made from a gray ribbed tank top that was ready for the rag bag. My flower is a little smaller than hers, but I like it, and the other one has a sort of cornucopia-shaped decoration for a-la-mode. They only take a few minutes to make and are VERY comfortable . . . strong enough to hold your hair back, but light enough that you don’t even feel them.  I’ll be making more! ♥

Spring Sweater Refashion, Chapter 2


After the success of my first sweater refashion project, I decided to tackle the other pink spring sweater hanging out in my closet. When I bought it last year, I also picked up a ruffle-neck T-shirt to wear with it, but, alas, they didn’t get along. The sleeves were fine on this sweater, but I used the same neckline refashion technique as before, and I love the results! It also looks great with a white tank or collared shirt . . . and obviously needs no a-la-mode. ♥