Monday, March 28, 2011

Making Quilt Labels

Over on etsy, I ran across this article on how to make a quilt label by Julie.  I love all the examples she included too.  I certainly have old family quilts that I wish had more complete lables on them, or any label at all!  I have a machine that writes, so I have been using that feature, on muslin, to make labels.  Do you have a favorite method?  Please share in the comments.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sock Creatures

On a recent rainy weekend, the kids and I started making sock creatures inspired by John Murphy's Stupid Sock Creatures.   These creatures are a little tricky to sew for beginners, but they are great for exploring creativity!  I especially love the lips and creature descriptions in the book.  Such personality!
 This blue one was a collaboration with my 8 year old.  We used toddler knee-high socks.
 Love the smile!
 I made this monkey several years ago.  My 11 year old painted the ceramic monkey.
See items in memory  and other examples of  sock creatures .
My daughter sewed the middle monkey at a birthday party.  I made the other two.  I like using buttons for the eyes, but you could also make very expressive felt eyes.  It is pretty addicting.  While I'm working on one, I get ideas for the next one.  I guess it is that way with any creative project.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to Sew a Crib Bumper

 My sister chose this adorable owl fabric and then painted the wall pictures herself! 
Supplies: 4 yards fabric, batting 44"x51", 9 yards of ribbon
 For the bumper, I used the crib measurements and cut 2 fabric panels for each of the 4 sides, and then 2 quilt batting pieces for each side too.  This bumper is 11" tall.
 I layered the pieces: batting, fabric, fabric (right sides together), batting.  Sew the short ends together as shown, until you have 2 long strips each one including a short end, long side,short end, long side. 
 Add ribbon pieces in pairs (32 pieces, each 10" long) to one of the strips, on the top and bottom of the fabric strip.  Sew the two long fabric strips right sides together, leaving ends open.  Turn right side out.  Sew the end together as far as you can with the machine.  Hand stitch the rest closed.
Here it is, not in the crib.  It took roughly 3 hours.

Giant Kitty Couch

I love this giant kitty couch! Be sure and click on the link to see the finished couch.  It is amazing!  I want one.  I am interested to see just how many fabric pieces were used and how they chose to put them together.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Darn Those Socks!

 My favorite socks were starting to wear thin in the heels so I want to show you how I darned them.  It really isn't hard.  I have a wooden darning egg, but you could use anything hard and round, like a ball.  I use embroidery floss and a hand needle. 
 Slide the egg inside the sock.  I do not tie a knot rather I just weave the end in.  Start stitching or weaving back and forth, horizontally, covering the area.
 Like this.
 Then work the whole area vertically and then diagonally for really good coverage.
 It blends in pretty well.  Weave the end in and you are done!
The skinny handle on the egg is for gloves.  I've repaired my favorite gloves several times.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ruffles Add a Feminine Touch to Spring Fashions

Shopping recently, I saw lots of ruffles on tops and purses.  Thinking, "how can I add some to my wardrobe" I decided to update my sling bag .  Easy to do, I started with an old skirt.  Cut my pattern out.  I used a 6 3/4" plate to cut 2 ruffles
One ruffle is the size of the plate and the other uses the plate as the inside edge.  Play around with it until you get the effect you like.  I layered my ruffles on top of the purse front and basted them down.  My skirt has raw edges and seams so I decided to go with the look, but you might want to hem your ruffles.  I continued to follow my sling bag instructions and finished the purse.
I used an old belt for the strap.  The front uses the skirt pocket. 

The back of the sling bag has more raw edge detail from the skirt I used.  The fabric is linen.
A detail of the zipper showing more raw edges!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Reusable Snack Bags

Denise and Sarah over at Sewing Business have some great tutorials.  One that caught my eco-conscious eye is the reusable snack bags.  They seem really easy, washable and yes, I do remember the fold-over bags from elementary school!  I'm always looking for ways to cut down on waste.  We use cloth napkins at meals.  We use rags to clean and wipe up spills instead of paper towels.  We use reusable fabric lunch bags etc.  Thanks for sharing this tutorial, ladies! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Celebrate Women's History Month

I found this great article to Celebrate Women's History Month.  All about sewing and our relationship with it.  First, we sewed out of need, then self expression.  I have sewed clothes when I had very little money to spend.  I sewed wedding gowns and all sorts of other items for customers to help support us.  Now, I quilt, sew clothes and accessories for the fun and satisfaction of doing it.  I started sewing in 1973, when I was 6.  My mom taught me first and I loved it!  I can still remember the smell of oil and the anticipation when the motor groaned, but hadn't taken off yet!  I can not imagine not sewing.  I view it as freedom and a connection to the past, not oppression.  What is your story?

Friday, March 4, 2011

March is National Craft Month!

I love March!  Celebrating crafting is great fun and there are so many excellent sites out there.  I was over at the official fiskars site where they have lots of good projects to get you inspired.  I especially like the multi purpose fabric bin and the kid's art display banner.

Martha Stewart is, of course, brimming with ideas.  Be sure and check out "Make It" and "Photo Gallery".  According to a poll on the site, 92% of people go to etsy for handmade items.  I have to agree, etsy has loads of wonderful handmade items by great people. 

If you are in the mood to sew something, check out the patterns for cat paperweights, purses, coasters, quilts and more.

Now go have fun crafting something!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Photo Shoot with Cats

Generally I keep my items for sale separate from my cats because some folks don't want their items to include cat fur!  When I am doing a photo shoot, though, it can be really tough. 
 Alice was posing so nicely with my PJ Pants .
 Emma just can't help but investigate all these new Little Kittie Paperweights .
 "They don't smell like cats."
 "But they look like cats so I guess I'll stand here too."
"Even with 9 lives, a cat can still use some good Luck!