Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quilts for Kids #1

Have you heard about this great charity, Quilts for Kids?  It is such a neat program.  I heard about it and went to find out more! I was lucky enough to find a local chapter and they sent me a kit to make my first quilt.

It is a simple four patch pattern, with borders and quilted on the diagonal.  After I quilted it and bound it I wasn't so sure I loved it, but after washing and drying I was in love!  Such a simple pattern and such a beautiful piece of work.

I recently went to my first meeting with my local chapter and it was so neat.  It feels so good to be part of something that is doing such a great work.  I do a lot with my church, but I don't branch out nearly enough. I felt so inspired by these women who are so eager to share their talents, time, and fabric with those in need!  

When they send you a quilt kit, they request that you make another quilt from your own stash... I'll share what I came up with tomorrow so be sure to check back!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Going Batty for Halloween

Those of you who know me, may know that Halloween has always been at the bottom of my list of holidays...

This year, for some reason, I'm getting in the spirit of things and sewing up a storm!  I think its all the cute ideas out there and then I made the mistake of falling in love with designer fabric...

I found some great Halloween fabric on etsy and the first project I made was this Bat Mobile I found on one of my very favorite sewing sites

I have a couple other projects from their Halloween collection that I'm working on and will share soon. You should definitely check out their tutorials no matter what your sewing level is. They have so much (SO MUCH!) great info available!

These bats just make me smile.  Rather than using all different fabrics for each bat, I have the bats with polka dots on one side (from Riley Blake's Costume Clubhouse line) and just plain black (kind of with a water color-esqueness to it) on the back side.

I can hardly wait to decorate for Halloween now!  Aren't they adorable and they were quite easy to make.  The hardest part was sewing up the opening where I stuffed them... luckily I don't think anyone is going to look too closely at them!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fabric Pumpkins & Faux Embroidery Floss Tutorial

I recently found a tutorial (that I can't for the life of me find again) to make these sweet pumpkins.  She has a pattern for a free download and you can print it in 5 different sizes!  I opted to just make these three since I was using scraps of fabric.  I LOVE how they turned out and how they look on our half wall between our dining room and family room!

The light big one is just some random fabric that I found in a remnants bin.  I've used it in all sorts of projects, from baby #5's quilt to a child's apron and I had just enough to make this cute little pumpkin for my patch.

The smallest pumpkin is left over scraps from the fabric I used to cover a lamp shade in my bedroom. It is one of my all time favorite fabrics (it better be at the price I paid for it!  Thank goodness for 40% off coupons!).

And the dark bigger one is actually a napkin I found at Pier 1 several years ago.  I love it!  And I think it makes the perfect fall (and even Halloween) decoration with the sparse trees and the birds!

Faux Embroidery Floss Tutorial
I embroidered the leaves with a light colored thread... I don't have DMC floss hanging around my house, so in an effort to mimic the effect I:

  1. Cut a LONG piece of thread
  2. Fold it in half
  3. Put either the two ends or the folded end through my needle (I found with my small eyed needle it was easier to do the two ends)
  4. Fold it in half again, so the two ends and the folded end are together
  5. Make your knot and begin sewing!
I have a great, unique way of making a knot that almost always results in a perfect knot at the end of the thread with no leftovers hanging out... I'll do a tut for that soon.

Making the Pumpkins
I'm going to keep looking for the tutorial I followed so I can link it here and you can use her pattern... but until then if you just can't wait to make one yourself you basically just cut a leaf shape or a really narrow eye shape.  Think, an oval with points on either end.  

Layer your fabric as thick as your scissors will allow... you need 7 shapes cut out altogether.

Sew them together point to point, like your making a beach ball until they are all together being sure to leave a 1 1/2" opening in the last seam.

Fill the bottom portion of the pumpkin with rice and then stuff the remainder with polyester fiberfill (or stuffing of your choice).

Hand stitch the opening closed.

Using the Faux Embroidery floss technique above wrap the thread around the pumpkins natural indents to accent the pumpkin-y goodness.  This part of the her tutorial was a little difficult for me to understand, but what I did was tie a knot at the top and the bottom of the pumpkin and pulled somewhat tightly.

Add a small circle to the bottom of the pumpkin (two circles sewn together then turned right side out through a snip in the bottom of the two). She suggests hand stitching them, but I used fabric glue.

Then make the stem and the leaves.  Hand stitch them on.  Stand back and admire your handy work!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Apothecary Jars

I made these adorable jars last year for the craft booth I did before Christmas.  I didn't sell as many as I made, so I have them all over my house.  I recently went on a little shopping spree for some fall fillers and ribbon and I love the way they greet me as I enter my front door!

Decorating for fall is one of my favorites!  I have lots of fun things to share in the upcoming days and weeks!