Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Check this out!

I have been a bad blogger...again...and have more projects to post - mainly scrapbook stuff - but wanted to put in a little plug for an awesome new product line that's coming out next month from MemoryWorks. I got to see the entire line a couple months ago and couldn't say anything....but now I can blab! It's going to be awesome!!

Simple Stories

Basically, its a system for scrapbooking quickly, efficiently...and still making it look good! There is paper, journaling cards, title blocks, etc...that all can be made into actual pages, or can be slipped into photo pockets. YOu literally could put an entire album together in minutes, using nothing but a paper cutter and a pen! OR, if you just can't let things be...that would be can jazz it up, embellish it, whatever - make it your own!

I can't WAIT to get my hands on this - and as soon as I do, I'll get a review posted up here!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quick and Easy Bulletin Board

I posted a simple but fun bulletin board idea over at the MemoryWorks blog today - check it out:

Message Board, Jr.

Oh, and if you go down a few entries to last Friday's, you'll find a more grown-up and very cool version of a message board by my friend Lacey!

Little Guy Tool-Belt

Here's a fun one for the little fix-it guy (or girl) in your life!

All you need is ONE fat quarter and a package of that hem facing tape stuff (or really fat bias tape...or a ribbon...or whatever else would make an apron tie!): All you do is fold your fat quarter in half, right sides together. Sew three sides, turn rightside out, press and top stitch.

Now fold up the bottom edge a little more than 3/4 of the way up to form a pocket. Top stitch around edges of pocket and top to bottom in a couple places to divide the pocket.

Take your bias tape, hem facing or whatever you're using...fold it in half (if necessary) and pin to the top of the apron. Top stitch all the way around it to form waistband and ties.

Use smaller pieces of your leftover belt/apron tie fabric to make little loops to hang tools on.

Load 'em up!

Repurposed Weird Baby Jeans + Moda Charm Pack = Quick, Cute, TOTALLY Do-able!

Everybody ready for a tutorial?? This is one of my favorite projects of the summer! It turned out really cute, was incredibly cheap (we're talking like $2-3 for the entire outfit, folks!), is fast to make...and is VERY "operator error"-friendly!

Here we go: Cute, huh?!

This is what you need to decorate your baby in such chic cuteness:

*A onesie or T-shirt (you probably have one at home you can that would be FREE, my friends!)

*An awkward pair of thrift-store pants. This particular pair has unusually short legs compared to the size of the waist...and denim sweatpant capris are never flattering, right?! (Awkward thrift-store pants: FREE to me, but if you went out and bought $1-2, right?)

*10 squares from a Moda charm-pack (5" squares if you're cutting your own). I used "Objects of Desire".

*Sewing machine, serger is helpful, thread, rotary cutter, scissors, embroidery floss/needle

First, lop off the pant legs. You can make them shorts:

Or cut a little higher and make a skirt, like I did:

Lay out your outfit so you know what you're doing and what fabric you want next to what:

Cut your charm squares in half - put one stack aside, you only need half of the halves. I can't really tell you how many total squares you'll need, because your cut-up pants might be a different size than mine...I think I used 10 or so - you need enough to go around the base of your skirt about 1 1/2 times (you'll be gathering):

Sew all the charm square halves in a long strip like so:

Cut down the center, lengthwise, of the strip with a rotary cutter:

Sew the ends of the strips together to make a circle:

Two things to do here -- 1.) serge all around along the bottom edge of your circle (or zigzag or whatever you want to do to finish it) and 2.) machine baste around the top edge:

Pull the machine-basting-thread to gather into a ruffle:

Adjust the basting so that the ruffle fits the bottom of your skirt and is fairly evenly gathered. Pin to the INSIDE of the skirt, sticking out as shown:

Sew 1/4" or so along the bottom edge of the skirt to attach the ruffle. Leave the edge of the denim part "raw" as shown:

Remember those awkward pant legs you lopped off? Cut a few strips from them and attach a few around the waistband for some funky belt loops (leave edges raw):

Here's what we have now:

Now, go throw it in the washing machine, get it good and wet -and then throw it in the dryer. All those raw edges will get nice and frayed! Then find a long, cute ribbon to thread through the belt loops for a belt.

If you want to make a matching shirt (and I stole this idea from my friend JILL, who stole it from our friend TRISH)...stick a charm square under the top layer of the shirt and using embroidery floss and a needle, stitch a shape over the top of it. Then use some sharp scissors and cut out the T-shirt area inside the shape to let the charm square show through.

Do NOT do this, which I did:

I tried to cut the hole before doing the stitching. This was not a great idea, it was not fun, and it turned out weird. Still cute, but weird. I should really have clarified the directions before I tried it :)

When you're all done, you'll have yourself one sweet little outfit...AND you can be all impressed with yourself for "recycling"!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

OH where, oh where, have all the crafts gone?!'s been a long time! I have been making lots and lots of things...and not posting them! Sigh. I still need to show you how to make car organizers for the kids, binder bags for church (or any other quiet activity), fabric buckets, a super-super-super-cute baby skirt out of an old pair of jeans, a quick "tool belt" apron for that busy little guy in your life, an even quicker bowtie for that same busy little guy, lots of organizing and reuse/recycling tips...I've been up to things. Lots and lots of things. :)

Hang in there with me...I'll get some stuff up here soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Calling all scrapbookers, paper crafters, or any wanna-be-Queen-for-a-weekend out there!

I gotta put in a plug for the upcoming MemoryWorks Retreat -- I went last year and it was AMAZING!!! Even though I was super tired, and in the barfy-all-the-time stage of pregnancy, I still had a blast! It's 3 days of projects, crops, receptions, "girl time"...and don't even get me started on the FREE STUFF. Last year the stuff I came home with WAY exceeded the cost of the retreat. If you've ever even thought about going to a scrapbook retreat...this one is SO worth considering - it's cheaper than the "big" ones (CKU, etc.) but still has big name sponsors and keynote speakers (I got to meet Stacy Julian last year, for crying out loud!), small groups - I actually met EVERY single attendee last year - and did I mention the STUFF???

I SO wish I was going again this year, but alas, my nursing infant is not invited:)

For reals. Go. You won't regret it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

MemoryWorks May Express Kit

The May Express kit from MemoryWorks was so fun to work with - the papers and embellishments reminded me of 80's cartoons - Rainbow Brite, CareBears, Smurfs... you get the idea! So here's to first grade!

This one is my favorite - I sewed 2 layers of a Prima layered fabric flower together with a button on top, made 2 leaves out of some scrap fabric (sewing and scrapbooking coming together! Ah! The awesomeness! The awesomeness!), and sewed all of it to the center of a long ribbon. Tie around baby's head - instant boutique chic! More pictures of this on the MemoryWorks blog

The mat for the cupcake in this one is actually one of the layers of the same Prima flower I used on the baby headband:

(I don't know if I'm getting lazier or getting smarter...but lately my layouts have been really simple...)

The above headband accessorized by the cutest baby in the universe:

The inside of this card says, "I hope the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, because you're a great Mom!"
I hope everyone has a spectacular Mother's Day...I'm off to do more laundry so I can take the day OFF tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fat Quarter Apron Tutorial

I've been a bad blogger! Wow, it's been a while!

I'm finally getting around to that Fat Quarter apron I've been telling you about...these are like SO last month, haha! I've since accumulated several sacks full of fat quarters and have been making all kinds of things - curtains, car organizers, you name it!

But this, THIS is my very first fat quarter project...and I'm sharing it with you:)

You need 2 fat quarters and a 2 1/2 yard pack of coordinating hem facing (the 1 7/8" wide kind) OR make your own with strips of fabric, but that takes a lot longer.


Lay your fabrics together, wrong sides together, and trim to straighten up all 4 sides of the fabric - you want your rectangle to have nice parallel sides! Then decide if you want a 7 or 9 inch tall pocket - or any other measurement, for that matter (the taller the pocket, the shorter the apron). Measure your desired pocket height off one of the short ends and trim it off, as shown.

Get your hem tape ready by ironing it in half (the two edges will already be pressed in for you).

Take your two pocket pieces, still with wrong sides together, and make sure they are completely lined up with each other. Sandwich these pieces inside the hem tape fold (cut a piece to fit) and stitch it down.


Lay your pocket piece on top of the front of your apron (lay it down how you want it to look when you're done. If you don't want your pocket division lines to go all the way through all the apron layers, you'll want to sew them now - just sew straight vertical lines from the bottom edge of your pocket to the top, wherever you need a smaller pocket. Now lay the back apron piece on TOP of the front, right sides together. Pin and sew along the two sides and bottom - NOT the top.


Flip her inside-out, press and top-stitch along the same 3 edges.

If you haven't already, sew division lines from the bottom of your apron up through the top edge of the pocket to divide it into smaller pockets. These can be any size, but I like to put at least one 1" pocket for pens in mine.


Find the center of your apron, and the center of your hem tape. Matching centers, sandwich the top of your apron in between the two layers of your hem tape, butting the fabric edge against the fold you ironed into the hem tape. Starting at one edge of the top of the apron, sew about 1/4" from the lower edge of the hem tape, sewing it to your apron. When you reach the opposite side, keep sewing along the hem tape, all the way down to the end (tuck in the ends and sew down). Flip it around and sew along the top edge of the hem tape, then back around the bottom edge to where you started.


Add a fun embellishment! For this one, I looped some ribbon together to make a flower, sewed it down, then added a button to the center. You can sew about anything onto these - a bow, a silk flower, a charm - anything!

Here are a few more aprons I've made:

Once you get the hang of it, you can totally whip one out in under an hour!
Have fun sewing!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Show and Tell!

I know you've been DYING to see what else I did with my Moda fabric, right? (The nice thing about cyberspace is that I can pretend to be as popular as I want...)

As I've mentioned before...after spending several months cooped up in my huse with an RSV baby...and staring at all of my walls and belongings for days on end...I decided that my college-era couches and free/nearly free ugly slipcovers were not worthy of my new living room and began an overhaul. I supressed my inner-cheapskate and SureFitted my couches with new slipcovers (okay - I guess I was still being a cheapskate...the slipcovers were like a bajillion times cheaper than whole new couches!) and set to work on the new throw pillows.

Because I'm a little dorky (okay, a lot), I decided that I would make my living room match a wall hanging I'd made for MemoryWorks last fall. I liked it so much, I kept it around all year (except during Halloween and Christmas, because that would have just been weird, right?).

Luckily Moda came to the rescue and I found that the Tranquility and Cottom Blossoms lines were pretty close to what I wanted.

I had a great time making them...then found that I didn't have quite enough fiberfill to do the job...and that I sewed some of the seam allowances too small and some were coming open...but by that time I'd already sewed them shut. Luckily I had a stash of felt flowers and buttons in my scrapbooking hutch (as I frequently tell my husband, SCRAPBOOKING is for EVERYTHING) that I sewed on to cover my boo-boos. So now you know.:) And I'll also admit that I closed up a couple of the tiny holes in the seams with fabric glue...I know, professional.

Then I decided to make a table runner. I need to back up and tell you that I have made 3 quilting projects in my life. The first was a Halloween wall-hanging I found in a magazine 5 years ago or so. I didn't really follow the directions...and didn't really have any clue how to quilt, bind, piece, etc. so its a bit lumpy and a lot lopsided. But I still proudly display it every Halloween and in a few years I'll just say the KIDS MADE IT, haha! The second two projects were quilts for my kids' beds - also loosely based on patterns I bought - they were cute, as long as viewed from several feet away. Moral of the story: I am not a quilter.

BUT, the Moda fabric deserved better (the other projects were done with WalMart fabric, which I think is breaking some sort of cardinal rule of quilting), so I really tried to actually figure out what I was doing on this one. I found a couple of tutorials (Thanks, Camille Roskelley!) and made myself a top from a Cotton Blossoms charmpack and a Sugar jellyroll. No cutting or measuring - I may be able to like this style of quilting!!

I used a walking foot to quilt it - whoa! Huge difference! - and actually bound it like I'm supposed to. Surprise, surprise - it actually worked out! Who knew? Just like finding out that butter actually DOES bake better than margarine! Whoa!

But, of course, I had to Sandy-fy it, (Sandy-fy: 1.) not completely follow the directions, 2.) Be cheap, 3.) Save time and effort later), so I made it reversible!

Now I want to make table runners for all the different seasons and holidays (all reversible to save me some backing fabric and time). Next time I won't use polyester batting, though - this one turned out a little too puffy.

I'll let you in on my dirty little secret. I've become a bit of a cool fabric junky lately... The internet is just too accessible...

So I have my Moda charm pack collection:

My Amy Butler will-be-an-apron fabric:

Sandi Henderson Farmer's Market fabric to make my daughters' Easter Dresses out of:

And then there is that teensy, weensy little obsession with Fat Quarter Friday at our local fabric store - last Friday of the month is 10 for $15. I never went to it...until last month...and this month...and YIKES. It's a lot of fun. They even have a little Moda, haha!

Anyway...there you go. All caught up on my fabric projects the past few months (except those pesky apron tutorials that I haven't posted yet). This month I need to get cracking on some scrapbooking things, too, so be watching for that!

And don't even think about asking me for a picture of my whole living room, because I won't do it until I'm done. So there.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Who says baby toys can't look CUTE scattered all over your floor??

I have been so ridiculously busy the past few weeks...I have squeezed in some sewing and paper crafting time, but haven't had time to post any of it! I still have more aprons to show you, but I haven't felt like putting the tutorial together yet, so I guess you'll have to wait (I know, its killing you). But, I'll give you a hint...for one of them you're going to need 2 fat quarters and a pack of hem facing tape (not sure if that's really what its called...I should probably find that out) OR 3 fat quarters.

Instead, I thought I'd show you my latest I {HEART} MODA project. I ordered the Neptune charm pack a few weeks ago (this fabric is SO cute - way brighter, cuter and better than it looks on the computer!) and wasn't quite sure what to do with it... so while trolling etsy the other night, I found a great idea for fabric blocks for my baby!

I thought I was so clever adding ribbon loops and sticking a rattle (rudely cut out of a not-so-hot-looking-anymore toy from one of my other kids) inside...then found today that lots of other people already are doing that...oh, well!

I was determined to come up with my own spectacularly creative addition to the basic idea, so after watching my 3 1/2 month old try to play with the first block I made (which was WAY too big for her, by the clever "idea" of making 3 different sizes was really me trying to find the right size for her), continually dropping it...and not quite coordinated enough yet to pick it back up...

I added an elastic LOOP on a ribbon (a short ribbon so she won't wrap it around herself and choke on it) so that I can slip it on her wrist. That way, if she drops it - hurray! - its already attached to her hand! Aren't I clever? (if you see anyone else who already did this, please don't tell me...just let me live in ignorance on this one).
I'm thinking about trying to make some different shapes. I still have about half the charm pack left, so I...I mean she...could have a whole basket of coordinated squishy toys in a basket in the living room. As kid #4, most of the baby toys are looking pretty sad, AND I don't like having "piles" of random things around the living room now that I no longer live in a teeny apartment. My solution is to make some new toys (using the usable parts of the old toys) that actually look CUTE sitting around the living room. Saves me some money, gives the illusion of organization - win-win situation!