Thursday, December 26, 2013

Three Blind Mice

My daughter loves cats.  She has three of them: Jack, Ginger and Bentley.  Naturally, I can't leave them out at Christmastime.  Even the little furry friends love to get presents, too!

I made the kitties some little mice to play with that have their favorite ingredient in them- catnip!  The mice are made from some old felted sweaters (I have a quite a large stash).  I sewed the little mice bodies and then added some yarn for their tails, eyes, whiskers and little pink ears to make them look like real mice!  By mistake I sewed the brown mouse sweater inside out; that's why it looks sort of funny. I don't think the cats will mind. It adds to the whimsy look of the little mouse.

I think they came out really cute.  And did the kitties like them?  They loved them! 

Mens' Bags - Not a Purse!

Each year I try to think of something to give to my boys something for Christmas that is handmade.  This year  I came up with the idea to make them camping bags. They like to go hiking and camping and they can put their toiletries in them. I even filled them with items that they will need!

The two bags coordinate- I just love the plaid fabric.  I thought it was so masculine looking!

I made one bag with the tan color as the trim and one with the blue.  I like how they both came out.

I sewed a little gusset in the bottom so that all of their toiletry items would fit.  When they opened up their gifts, my daughter pointed out that they were getting a "purse" to carry their items in.  It's not a purse, it's a Mens' Bag!

Make one of these for the special men in your life!  Click here to order the pattern from my Etsy shop!


I made these gingerbread potholders for my friend, Christy who decorates with gingerbread items during the Christmas season.  I added some embroidery on the face, arms and legs.

You can see the detail a little better in this photo.  I found a spatula and a stirring spoon with little gingerbreads on them to give to her with this gift.  I forgot to take a photo, but they looked so cute together!

What is your favorite Christmas icon that you like to decorate with? 

The Blue & White Quilt

I spent most of the week before Christmas finishing up the Christmas gifts for my family!  OK, I admit- I tend to wait until the last minute to get anything done.  You can see the stockings hung by the fireplace in the background while I was working on my projects at the dining room table!

I made my this queen sized blue and white quilt for my son and his new wife.  And yes, I did shove that whole quilt under my sewing machine to machine quilt it!

I used white squares for the center of the blocks and then added assorted blues for the sashing strips.  When it was done, I noticed that the sashing formed what looks like a nine-patch square on the corners of the white blocks.  I like how that adds interest to the quilt.

I also added a row of blue squares along the side where the quilt will hang over the edge of the bed.  I thought that it needed a little something.

Here is what it looks like when I (finally) finished it!  I started this quilt in July while I was on my vacation and was hoping to get it finished in September for their wedding.  Why is that they always take so much longer than you think?  I'm just so glad that it's done! 

Pink Cheetah Runner

I made this runner for my daughter for Christmas.  It fits perfectly on her dresser.  (It's sort of like a table runner, only for the dresser.  You know that I love to make runners!)  This one took me a long time to make.  I think we measured her dresser to be 72" long!

She loves hot pink and all sorts of animal prints, especially cheetah prints.  She just adores it!

What do you think of the pink mixed with the animal prints?  What color would you put with the animal prints?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Quilted Tree Ornament Giveaway!

Announcing... my first pattern!

I have been working on making this little quilted tree ornament for about a week!  I didn't just copy a pattern from someone else, I designed it myself!  (Pat on the back here.)

I have made a TON of these little trees for gifts and I'm going to have my first GIVEAWAY on my blog!  If you leave me a comment on this post, I will randomly draw names and send you one of these little ornaments!  The drawing will be held on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:00pm.  Hurry and leave your comment to win one of them! The drawing is now over.  Debb R, you are the winner!

I had so much fun designing and making this ornament. I love sewing a variety of fabric strips together to make things out of.  If you would like to learn how to sew this, check out my pattern for sale in my new Etsy store.  Follow the link here.

Don't forget to leave me a comment!  You could win one of these quilted tree ornaments!  What new things are you making this year for your tree?

Felt Mitten Ornaments

I just finished making these little felt mitten ornaments!  This was a kit that I picked up last year at one of the local quilt shops.  I haven't really used a lot of felt before, but working with these felt ornaments has opened up all new doors for me! 

Now I want to get more felt and make some ornaments of my own.  I didn't design these, but it sure got my craft juices flowing!  I am ready to start making up some of my own felt patterns!

What new craft has inspired you this year?

Quilted Snowman

Last year around the holidays I purchased the pattern to make this quilted snowman wall hanging.  And this is one for the record book- I actually finished it before Christmas THIS year!  Ha ha!  Sometimes it takes me a long time to get around to making and finishing up my projects!

The snowman is made from charm squares, 5" squares.  Most of them are cut in half, thus all of the rectagnles.  I got this bundle of fabrics from ebay last year as a gift to myself.  I just love how it came out!

I found some cute black buttons and a carrot-shaped button at Joann's to decorate his face.  I added some yo-yo's on his belly and placed the scarf on after I was finished.  You can't tell from the photo, but the scarf is 3-D. 

This snowman is hanging on the wall ready to greet all of my family and friends who come over for the holidays!  What special handmade item do you have hanging up in your home for the holidays?

Gifts for the Sewists

The past few weeks I've been as busy as an elf working on Christmas gifts!  Pictured here are some gifts that I have made for the women who come over to my house to learn to sew.  I had a lot of fun making them and love watching the ladies choose a Christmas gift from the "gift basket!"

These were my favorite ones to make- a little quilted pincushion!  Easy and fun to make, they will make a great addition to anyone's sewing basket.  One of the fabrics is from Stampin' Up's Sew Suite collections of fabrics.  Can you guess which one?  Note the cute little stamping tag, too!

I only made 6 of these little pincushions, but let me tell you, they are addicting!  I could have made a TON more! They use just scraps of fabric and showcase those pretty buttons that you have laying around in your sewing drawer!

 Next up I made fabric needle cases.  They have 2 pockets on the inside for assorted sewing and machine needle packages and a felt insert to hold the spare needles.  What an easy way to keep track of the needles.  (I use mine all the time!)

Here is a photo of what the front of the cases look like.  I held them together using a hair tie in the seam to wrap around a button closure on the front!  These are all made with Stampin Up fabrics!

A lot of the time the ladies who come over to sew need some sort of a book to write down the measurements and instructions (and homework!) for their projects.  I had some small composition books in my craft closet and took them out to make sewing notebooks!  I found some cute papers, added some cut outs and sewing sayings.  Then I sprayed the books with Krylon sealant and added the ribbons.  What a great rainy day project!

Mostly I don't like to make any projects exactly the same.  Here are some variations on the notebooks.  Although you can't see it from the photos, I decorated the backs of the books, too.

I put the books into clear envelopes so that they don't spilled on or get damp.  The envelopes also protect the books from getting dirty.  They display so nicely in the envelopes.

Which book do you like the best?  I think that I will keep the orange one on the top row for jotting down my crafty notes!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Love Fall!

Anyone who knows me knows that Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the cool, crisp air, the beautiful colored leaves, the rich autumn colors to decorate with and my favorite holiday of all: Thanksgiving!

Today I want to share some of the cards and stamping projects that I made during September and October.  This card is my favorite (although I love them all!).  I love the colors, the leaves and the simple saying.  There is so much to be thankful for in our lives and I try to have a grateful heart!  :)  I got the idea from Mary Ann Grimmer.

I love the colors and the papers that are used in these projects.  I had fun making the card with the pumpkins.  One of the pumpkins is 3-D but it's hard to tell in the photo.  Can you pick out which one?

The little mini coffee mug is the cutest little favor!  Right?  It has some caramel candies in it, although you could put a multitude of other candies or drink samples in it!  (Think tea, coffee, Keurig cups, drink mixes, etc.)  You could change it up for any holiday or occasion.  This idea came from my friend, Deb Valder.  She has instructions on how to make it and where to order the cups from on her blog:

The other little favor has a Ghiradelli candy square tucked in it!  Yes, they are my favorite candies, especially the mint ones.  This idea came from Tamara Bertram.

Okay, isn't this turkey card so adorable?  He is made from an owl punch!  That owl does a great job transforming into different characters for each holiday!  I saw the idea for this on Pinterest made by Nancy Young.

I have to admit that I have a LOT of die cut shapes!  I love this idea to use the negative space from the die cut to stamp in and then add some color.  It's just another way to use the die cuts.  There is some copper embossing on this card that really makes it just stand out.  This idea is from Deb Valder, also.

Here is another example of using the die cut shapes.  One leaf is the positive shape and the other leaf is the negative shape.  This idea is from a demonstrator with the initials of PS.  I'm not sure of her name.  If you know who she is, please let me know so that I can give her the credit.

Die cuts, inking, stamping, punching, cutting, sponging, embossing and now watercolor!  This goose card is made on watercolor paper.  We sprayed the paper with a mist of water and then loosely painted on some color.  Idea from Maureen Albert.

I love making fall projects.  Whether it's stamping, sewing, crocheting or using some other medium, (and trust me, I have them all!) it's a great season to celebrate!

What sort of fun things are you making this fall?  Feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Making Aprons to Go with Your Potholders

What do you make to go with your many potholders?  Why, aprons, of course!

Every year around the holidays all the girls in my family get together for our annual Christmas Cookie-Making Day!  This past year I made everyone an apron so that we can all match when we get together for our day.  

I found some cute cupcake fabrics at Joann's and thought that it would look great made up into some aprons!  I used a Simplicity pattern and added big bright buttons on the pockets for a bit of a whimsical look.

I made each one a little different.  I had a lot of fun mixing up the fabrics and adding some polka dots.  They're not hard to make and they make great gifts for your family and friends that like to bake!

Why not make up a batch of potholders (See my tutorial at the top of the page) and some aprons and plan your own Christmas Cookie-Making Day! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fun Potholders

I love making these cute potholders! They are made with a heat resistant batting called Insul-Brite so you won't burn your hands using them.  You can also use them on your dining room table as a trivet pad for your hot pans. 

I made this one using some birdcage fabrics that I had in my fabric stash (got it at Joann's a couple of years ago) and added a bird applique to the top.  Cute, right?  They are simple and quick to make.  Check out the tutorial at the top of the page to learn how to make one.  But beware, they are addicting and I'll bet that you can't make just one!

Here are some potholders that I made using a cupcake cut out.  Last year I made 32 of these potholders to give away as gifts! Anyone who likes to cook would love a set of these.  Use any image about 5 - 5 1/2" big and turn it into an applique using Wonder Under.  The women that come to my sewing class are making these potholders and are making them with coffee cups, wine bottles, leaves, shoes, etc.  What image and fabrics will you use for yours?

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Fabric of Friendship is Stitched with Love

I love mixing different crafting mediums in my projects.  This project showcases my love for sewing and rubber stamping all in one!  I made this vintage sewing shadow box (say that 5 times really fast) for my quilting friend, Carol for her birthday.  Truly our friendship is like a fabric, stitched with love. 

For this project, I used some rubber stamps with a sewing theme, stamped the image onto some designer paper and cut them out.  I stamped the "pattern" stamp onto vellum and sponged it with some crumb cake ink to give it the look of sewing pattern tissue.  I used some antique buttons that I had bought at a garage sale and found the little sewing machine in the doll house section of the craft store!

I also added fabric yo yo's (my favorites!) and some pieces of cardboard wrapped with fabric to resemble bolts of fabric.  The spools of thread are a rubber stamp image wrapped with DMC floss.  The tape measure is also a rubber stamp that I colored in and cut out.  I glued it on using sticky strip, allowing for gathers in the paper to look like a tape measure. 

Do you ever mix your sewing and stamping crafts together? 

Treasured Quilt for a Treasured Friend

I like to experiment with using different fabrics in my sewing and quilting.  While I was out on a quilt shop tour, I spotted some unique fabric in vibrant colors that I don't normally use. I brought them home and mixed them up with some of my other fabrics in my stash and this is the quilt that I came up with. 

I used 5" squares to make this quilt, so you could make a quilt like this using charm squares and adding a few from your stash to add variety.  I thought it had a simple, yet stunning look to it.

I gave to a dear friend of mine from high school for her birthday.  We have had quite a colorful friendship, doing many different things together over the years.  I thought the vibrant colors in this quilt reminded me of our treasured times together.

I cropped the photo so that you could see some of the fabric up close.  (Believe it or not, there is actually Christmas fabric used in this quilt, too!  Can you spot it in the close-up photo?)

What different combinations colors have you experimented with? How did they turn out?

Quilts for the Nieces

This past year I have been working on throw quilts for my nieces that live in Virginia.  Here is one that I finished for my oldest niece.  I also made her a little tote bag and a table topper mini quilt to match.

I try to stick to simple patterns so that I can actually finish my projects!  Ha ha!  This pink and teal fabric has cute girlie designs on it.  I used a basic block design with a sashing.  I added the black squares for contrast.  Once I put the top of the quilt together, I thought that it was too plain, so I added some 9-patch blocks in the borer and some assorted squares in the top border to add some interest. 

Here's a close-up photo:

This is the quilt that I made for my next older niece:

It was my one of my first attempts at appliqueing pieces onto a square.  Sewing all of those flower petals on took me a LOT longer than I thought it would!  (A lot longer!)  The nice thing with the applique is that I could bring the squares with me and work on them while I was waiting during my appointment times.

I had a lot of fun working with the different bright pink fabrics and definitely ended up with may too much fabric when I was done! (I could make 10 more pink quilts with all of the fabrics that I ended up buying! But, shh- don't tell anyone!)  At the end I added some lime green in the center of the flowers and in the sashing rows to add some contrasting color.

I am still working on one more quilt for my next younger niece.  Hopefully I can finish it soon before she outgrows the fabric designs!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Applique Kitty Going to a Round Robin

I've been wanting to make an applique and embroidery project for a while, so here is my first attempt!  I love how the little applique kitty came out!   I have to admit, the embroidery isn't that great.  And the applique needs a LOT of work! I hope my friend Carol, who is an applique professional does not look too closely! Maybe she can give me a few tips the next time I see her!

This really cute pattern is from Lynette Anderson. It's a block-of-the-month that I bought last year. It has cats in some of the blocks and dogs in others.  I hope now that I've tried one block that I will attempt to make a few more (and get better at my technique!) 

Next time I make this block I will use a lighter fabric for the appliqued kitty.  Because the fabric is dark, you can't really see his face very well.

These little kitties are going to be part of a Round Robin challenge in my quilt group.  Each person submits a quilt square and every month a different person takes it home to add borders and more to it.  I can't wait to see what it will look like in June when I get it back!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Come Emboss With Me

This month I offered a card class where we used different types of embossing on our cards.  On this card, we used black embossing with the Summer Silhouettes stamp set.  It's hard to see on the card, but the black images are raised and glossy.  So pretty!

 I used the painter's tape technique designed by my friend, Deb Valder for the background.  Rub a piece of painters tape along your stamp pad being careful not to catch in the edge of the tape and just press it onto your card!  I saw the same card on Vicki Burdick's blog and she had used these pretty summer colors (including Baked Brown Sugar and Strawberry Slush from the In Colors).  I like this card so much that I would like to try it in different color schemes.  It was fun and easy to make.  Try the painters tape technique today (just be careful that you don't ink on your hands!)

On this card, we embossed the background in a soft gray powder using a Versa Mark pad to stamp the image.  We also embossed the saying with black powder to make it stand out.  The stamp set is Creative Elements.  I got the idea from Jennifer Timko.

For this card, we stamped on vellum and embossed the card with white powders.  Then on the back, we sponged the color and used the Secret Garden framelits to cut out the images.  The idea for this card is from Lee Ann Greff. 

After each stamping class, I always ask the ladies which card or project that they liked the best.  Which one do you vote for?