Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Finally a Finish

Oh, boy. It's been quite a while since I posted!  I took a little break from blogging and sewing this summer to focus on keeping the kids busy. We had so much fun swimming, playing, and visiting with family!  Now that school is back in session, I'm ready to get back to the sewing machine and my list of WIPs. 

I've been working on my latest finish for quite some time!  It is a miniature of my pattern, Honeybee Heaven and I am so thrilled with how it turned out. 

I decided that instead of machine quilting this one I would use some blue and yellow perle cotton thread and hand quilt around the honeycomb shape. 


I also wanted to incorporate some colorful thread on the binding. I machine stitched a skinny binding onto the back of the quilt and then hand stitched the binding to the front by using the yellow perle cotton thread using a big straight stitch. (I just went through the front layer and did not stitch through to the back.)

This mini is getting a special place above my sewing machine and I'm hoping it will be joined by some quilt friends soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Simple Birthday Skirt

I have worked on a few projects here and there over the last month, but all my project making came to a screeching halt a week and a half ago when I had surgery on my foot.  I am just now getting to the point where I feel well enough to walk around outside a bit, but for the most part I have been stuck inside.  Not being able to sew has been REALLY difficult, especially on days when I needed the stress relief.  Even though the surgery was on my left foot, it has been hard for me to have any pressure on my foot, and sitting without it elevated was painful.  Thus, no sewing.  I was able to complete a few customer orders late last week and committed to myself that I would take it slow and see how I felt.  I thought I'd share with you a simple, quick project I was able to finish this morning.

My daughter, Zoey, is having a birthday next week and she has specifically asked me to get her some new skirts.  She literally wears skirts and dresses 90% of the time, so I was excited that she wanted to add to her wardrobe.  I've also been on a little handmade kick lately and really want to try my hand at garment making.  Obviously being a beginner, I wanted a very easy and fast pattern.  I found a wonderful tutorial on the Dana Made It blog on how to make such a skirt and went and bought this gorgeous fabric at Joann's yesterday.

The floral is a 100% cotton voile I found in their specialty cotton section and the pink is a super soft polyester satin from their apparel section.  I got a yard cut of each so I could make a matching skirt for Lily as well.

I used a mix of Dana's Simple Skirt and her Sparkle Skirt tutorials.  She has really clear instructions and wonderful pictures that explain the step by step process, so I've leave the instructions to her.

Here are some of my in-progress photos . . .

The cutting for this skirt is soooo easy!  You use the measurements as instructed and just cut two rectangles.  I cut the outer fabric 2x's her waist size by the length to from her waist to knee (41.5" x 12").  I cut the lining the same width and added 3.5" to her waist to knee measurement for the length(41.5 x 15.5").  I cut the elastic for the waistband an inch shorter than her waist size (19.75").

Here I'm sewing the bottoms of the lining and outer fabric together.  Dana suggests ironing the seam after this, but I didn't.  I wanted it to have a bubble skirt effect, so I just kind of stuck my hand in between the layers once I turned it right sides out and pushed the seam out. 

Next I basted the outer fabric to the lining fabric.  My fabric shifted a little in this step and although I pinned every 6 inches, I think I would pin more like every 3 inches.  Also, make sure that you start pinning at the seams so they line up together.

Folding over the top fabric to make the waistband . . .
I just made sure that the basting stitches were covered on this one.  For some reason I didn't pin the waistband down and I wish I had, because it also shifted a little (although you can't tell because it has a gathered waist line).

And here's the finished skirt!

Once the skirt was finished, I tried it on the birthday girl.  I told her that I was making a skirt for Lily and I needed to know if I should make it longer or not.  I think she bought it!

I love the length of the skirt!  I was worried that it would be a tad on the long side, but I'm so glad it's not too short and she will have room to grow in it.  The waist fits her perfectly!  In retrospect, I might cut the elastic for the waistband only a 1/2" shorter than her waist size next time and see if that will increase the longevity of the skirt.

This girl just loves to pose and twirl!

I think she'll be surprised for sure when she sees this is actually HER skirt.  Loved making it and I will definitely make more!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lots of Love Table Runner

I don't know what it is about Valentine's Day, but I have been making all sorts of love related projects the last couple weeks!  Today I finished my Lots of Love table runner and I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out!

I started by making eight 4" finished heart blocks using this tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew.

I cut some white fabric 1.5" for the sashing to go in between and around 2 groups of 4 hearts.  Then I finished it off by cutting red fabric 1.25" for the border around the whole thing. Unfinished, the block was 13" x 13".

Using Moda's "Spell It With Fabric" tutorials, I used 4 different red prints to spell LOVE.  
You can find the posts with the PDF files at the following links:
The only thing I changed from the patterns was omitting a 2.5" x 10.5" strip of neutral fabric to the right of the "L" block, making it a 6" finished block instead of 8".  I used the 1" finished (1.5" cut) sashing strips recommended in the patterns for in between the letters and to the left of the "L" and the right of the "E".  I then added a white sashing to the top and bottom by cutting 1.75" strips.  The LOVE block's height measured 13".

Then I pieced the heart blocks to the left and right of the LOVE block.  I quilted it with romantic, flowing swirls and bound it with a lovely solid aqua.  I cut the binding to 2" and used a 1/4" seam to make it a little skinnier than usual.  The finished size of the table runner is 13" x 60.5".

Our table seats 6 and this runner is the perfect size!

Of course, I had to break out this little heart dish and fill it with candy, just because it's the cutest!

 No sooner had I done this, when these little hands came to claim some goodies!

 And yes, we did probably spoil our lunch by snacking on M & M's and Starbursts, but sometimes you just can't say no!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Love Note Mailbox Tutorial

For each day in February leading up to Valentine's Day, I am going to be writing my husband and kids a little love note and figured I would need a cute container to hold my notes.  Hence the idea of  the Love Note Mailbox was born!  I have literally been planning on doing this project since last year, so with February starting in just a day, I figured today was the day!

To make this mailbox you will need:

 - a total of 22 charm squares
8 for the exterior shell
8 for the interior shell
2 for the front
2 for the back
2 for the flag
scraps from you squares for the front closure

- 1.25 yard of heavy weight interfacing 20" wide
cut (4) 9.5" x 16.25" rectangles
cut (6) 5" x 5" squares

- about 20" of velcro

 First, chose your charm squares.  I decided to use pink/red/white for the exterior and blue/white for the interior. Arrange your squares, and piece them together in 2 rows of 4. 

Trim the pieced rows to 9.5" x 16.25".

Iron two 9.5" x 16.25" heavy-weight interfacing rectangles onto the back of each of your exterior and interior pieces.  Place the exterior and interior rectangle panels with RST and sew a 1/4" seam around the entire perimeter, leaving a 6" opening on one of the short sides. Make sure you backstitch at the start and finish.

Clip the corners, being careful not to cut through the stitches.  Turn right sides out and press flat.  Tuck the fabric at the opening in 1/4", press, and sew a 1/8" stitch down the opening.

On this same side of the panel, sew a 1/2" line all the way down.

On the opposite side of the panel, sew a straight line down the seam to the left of the first charm squares.  These 2 squares will serve as the bottom of the mailbox.

Cut a piece of velcro about 1/4"-1/2" x 15.5".  Iron or sew on (follow the manufacturer instructions) to the outside edge of the interior fabric of the bottom of the mailbox.

Attach the other side of the velcro to the opposite side of the panel on the exterior fabric.

The shell of the mailbox is now finished!

To make the front and back of the mailbox, place the shell on top of the wrong side of the charm square that you will use for the exterior.  Trace around the shell to get the approximate shape you want.

Layer the other charm you will use for the exterior and the 2 charms you will use for the interior under the marked charm and fold them all in half vertically.  Cut the charms with a 1/4" seam allowance around the marks that you drew.

Iron two layers of 5" square heavy-weight interfacing onto the wrong side of the front and back pieces.

With RST, sew the exterior and interior front pieces together with a 1/4" seam, leaving a few inches open at the bottom.  Backstitch at the start and finish.  Repeat for the back piece.  

Clip the corners and the curves, being careful not to cut through the stitches.

Flip the front and back pieces right side out and press flat.  Tuck the fabric at the opening in 1/4", press, and sew a 1/8" stitch down the opening.

Using a zig-zag stitch, sew the straight edge of the font piece onto the bottom of the mailbox shell, making sure that the exterior fabric is right-side up.  As always, backstitch at the start and finish!  Repeat to sew the back piece onto the opposite side of the bottom.

Now to make the closure piece for the front of the mailbox.

Cut two pieces of fabric 1.75" x 2.5".  I just used scraps from when I cut my exterior and interior charm panels.

With RST, sew 1/4" seam around the rectangles, leaving an opening on one of the short sides. Make sure to backstitch the start and finish.

Clip the corners and turn right side out.

Fold the fabric on the open side in 1/4", press, and sew a 1/8" line down the opening.

Attach a 1/4" x 1" piece of velcro to the side that was just stitched on the interior fabric.

Center the closure piece on the exterior fabric of the front mailbox piece so that about an 1"-1.5" is hanging over the top.  Pin and sew the closure piece onto the front piece.

With the shell of the mailbox folded, mark a rectangle on the exterior shell where the other piece of velcro needs to be attached to chose the front piece.  Unfold the shell and attach the velcro.

To make the flag, put the charm you want to be most visible under the charm that will show on the back side with WST.  I cut my fabric as indicated in the picture below.

Iron on two layers of heavy-weight interfacing onto to wrong side of each fabric.

With RST, sew the fabric with a 1/4" seam around the perimeter of the flag, leaving an opening on the 2" side or 3" top of the flag.  (In this picture I left the opening on the 1.5" bottom of the flag, and it was pretty hard to turn right side out! Don't make my mistake and make sure to leave the bigger side or top piece open!)  Clip the corners and turn right sides out.

Press the flag, making sure to tuck 1/4" of the opening fabric in.  Sew an 1/8" line down the opening.

When the flag is attached to the mailbox, this is the side that you will see, hopefully minus the sad little tear in the fabric I made when turning this right side out :( .

Sew a 1" x 1" piece of velcro onto the bottom of the opposite side of the flag.  With the shell of the mailbox folded, mark the fabric where you want to put the other piece of velcro.  Unfold the shell and sew the other 1" x 1" piece of velcro onto the exterior fabric.

You can now attach your flag to the side of the mailbox, indicating if there is mail inside . . . 

 . . . or not!

The last step in making your mailbox is to sew up the back.  With a needle and thread, blind stitch or whip stitch the back piece onto the exterior shell fabric.  Make sure the shell is folded and the velcro is fastened together.

And now you have a cute little mailbox to hold all the love notes you will be writing!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and find time in your busy crafting life to make this! I think it could really be a fun way to show your loved ones just how much you care!