Saturday, February 21, 2009

Make a Super Fast Chubby Potholder!

I'm in the middle of "revitalizing" my living room, dining room and kitchen. Case in point: My nasty 10 year old potholders...yeah...not so cute! So - nasty potholders + some brand new Moda charm packs = new potholders!

I do not have the patience to get too tricky with my sewing if you're too much of a perfectionist (for some reason, my perfectionist tendencies end when I start sewing...go figure!), this project probably isn't for you...but if you need a quick, fun little something - give it a try!

This is what I made with my daughters today:

Cute, huh? If you'd like to try to make some yourself, all you need for each one are:
*One 10"x10" fabric square (mine are from a Moda Tranquility layer cake)
*Four 5"x5" squares (we mixed and matched from Moda charm packs - Zippidy Doo Dah, Cotton Blossoms and American Primer)
*Two layers of approx. 10"x10" batting (I just used the cheap stuff from WalMart - no use wasting expensive stuff on potholders!)
*One 5" length of coordinating ribbon
*Thread, sewing machine and/or serger

1.) Place 2 of the 5x5 squares right side together, sew along one edge (scant 1/4"...I serged mine). Repeat with the other 2 squares.
2.) Line up the two pieces from step 1, face to face, as shown and sew scant 1/4" (or serge) along one edge to create a large square:
3.) Iron all your pieces so the seams lie flat:
4.) Make a "quilt sandwich" by layering the 10x10 square on the bottom (right side down), then the 2 pieces of batting, then the other piece (right side up). Line up the corners of the fabric as best you can (the top square will be slightly smaller than the bottom square):
My stack of "sandwiches":
5.) With your sewing machine (this part won't work on the serger!), sew through all layers along the seams on the top piece. Its much easier to keep it from puckering if you sew one long line first, then do the cross-line in 2 sections, starting from the center and working to each outer edge:
6.) Fold the ribbon in half and tack down to the center of one of the sides, with the loop pointing towards the center of the potholder:
7.) If you want to, stick a couple pins along the edges to keep the layers together. This is the part where you can be as tricky or simple as you want. I did the "fast and furious" method - I just serged all the edges. You could also make a binding (like quilting) or use some sort of pre-made edging on it:
All done!
I made these over-sized on purpose - they're bigger to accomodate an entire pot bottom if you have something sitting on it...or you can fold it in half and its a great size for picking things up:

Total time (not counting cutting fabric...the Moda stuff saves a LOT of time since its pre-cut!) - about 10 minutes per potholder!

Let me know if you give it a try and what you do to make yours prettier than mine:) I might do something with the edges of mine later...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quick Projects for Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Here are a couple of ideas for those of you who have forgotten (GASP!) to get a little something for your sweetie, or who need a cheap and fast idea to dress up something you already picked up!

Candy Box Card

This is so cheap and easy, its not even funny...all you need to do is get one of those 4-piece chocolate heart-shaped candy boxes at the grocery store (cost: $1.50) - you could do a bigger one, of course, but the small ones are fun for a card - take off the plastic wrapper and make a card on the top of it. Just fold a piece of paper in half and trace the shape of the box lid on it, leaving the fold on one edge so the two layers open up like a card. Glue it on and decorate it!

I used the MemoryWorks February Express Kit to decorate mine...seriously this was a great kit - packed with lots of "extras" and fun paper!

If you want to cover the sides of the box, as shown above, just cut a piece of paper the width of the box (this one was just under 1"), then wrap it around the box, just tacking it down with a couple of glue dots on the BOTTOM half of the box. That way you'll still be able to open and close the box. It wouldn't be so cute to have the box glued shut...maybe for April Fool's Day...

You can decorate the inside, too:

Wouldn't this be fun for Mother's Day, or an anniversary, or even a get-well gift? How nice would it be to get something like this when you're in the hospital after having a baby?! And it takes no longer to make than a regular card! And if you wanted to get really could make a whole mini-album to stick to the top (or inside the box) rather than just a card.


I made these with the February Express Kit, also. These are "mini-cards", only about 2x3 inches after they're folded - perfect for cute little valentines!

This one is made out of a Heidi Swapp file folder (I think they're about 4x6 or so...?). The idea here is to slide pictures or a gift certificate of something fun inside:

And while I'm at it...this one isn't a valentine, but since I made it at the same time, with the same materials, I'll share this one, too!

And for those of you who think I made a card for "Steve" or a "stove", like my husband thought when he saw it, it says, "S T * V...miss U" on it. Get it?

Strawberries Dipped in Kisses

Have you tried the new Special Dark Hershey's Kisses? YUM! They are really, really good - not too sweet, but without the typical bitter dark chocolate aftertaste. Just unwrap a few (1-2 per strawberry, depending on how big your strawberry is) and pop them in the microwave until melted, stirring frequently. Dip strawberries in chocolate (or drizzle on top) and let cool on a wire rack. Feed to your sweetie in a seductive manner:)

Sweet Heart Pillows

You can make these out of fabric scraps (or Moda charm packs) in 5-10 minutes for each one. Use whatever you've got on hand to be your heart template - cookie cutter, Coluzzle template, cut one with your cricut...or just cut a shape out of a piece of paper!

Trace heart on the wrongsides of 2 pieces of fabric, cut out. Place right sides together and sew around entire heart EXCEPT for about 2 inches on one side. Clip corners/curves and turn right-side out through the 2 inch gap you left. Stuff with fiberfill, then slipstitch the hole closed. If you're feeling particularly tricky, you can then decorate your hearts by handsewing or glue-gunning ric rac, flowers, buttons, etc. on your hearts.

I thought these would be cute with a bunch of them in a basket as a centerpiece, or one on each plate at a place setting, or even strung together to make a cute 3-D garland across your mantel or window.

**You'll notice that I don't have a picture of *mine* yet...that is because....

I have jumped on the Moda Fabric bandwagon and just ordered a bunch of charm packs and layer cakes...including a Valentine's Day themed charm pack...but alas, they haven't arrived yet. SO SAD! I was hoping to make myself a cute V-day table runner and/or place mats or something, as well some of those little heart pillows, but I'm too late for this year. I just can't bring myself to make holiday related sewing projects AFTER the given holiday- I've got to wait 6 months and then its BEFORE the next holiday again! So, I guess I'll save that project for next year!

For the Kids: Castle Valentine's Box

I just had to share this project that I did with my 7 year old daughter for a school contest (which she won!). I helped her cut out shapes with my cricut machine and demonstrated how to use the stamps, etc. - but by and large, she did most this herself! You could use anything you have on hand - die cuts, stickers, stamps, coloring pages, even stamps!

Treat Yourself!
If you feel the need to give yourself a Valentine's Day gift, here are a couple of fun deals I found this week:
**Fabric Depot is having a great sale on Moda fabric pre-cuts - pick up some really cute charm packs, layer cakes (10" squares) etc. for up to 40% off! This was cheaper than ebay! Hopefully mine will be here next week...I'm going to try to make some table runners and couch pillows out of them!
**MemoryWorks has some really cute Valentine's Day stuff in the online boutique. There is also a spring cleaning sale going on - check through your favorite products for lower prices!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Madness: Wood Decorations

Obviously we've not had a real "smooth" couple of weeks around my imagine how much it cheered me up to get this cute present in the mail today! My dear friend Ashli has got mad skills with the bandsaw. I've tried to cut things out with jigsaws and bandsaws and I am NO GOOD at it! Luckily if I really feel like making something out of wood, I can defer my cutting to my husband the shop teacher. But Ashli...Ashli does it all by herself, does it well, and with 4 little kids running around underfoot. You should see all the fun things she makes for her house!

At Christmas time, I had her make these candy canes for me:
Super cute, huh? (Note: I didn't "pose" the candy canes into some sort of lame still life...I just took a picture of them where they were!)

Ashli sells some of her fun creations in her etsy shop. My favorite is a "Welcome" sign that has different pieces for the different seasons...but I don't see it in her shop at the I guess you'll have to check back later and see if she makes another one!

Thanks, Ashli - you totally made my day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm still waiting for the "real life" to quit bugging me for a while and my "dream life" to kick in...

Still waiting for that moment to tell you about something creatively fantastic...I just got home from spending 4 days in the hospital with our 8 week old baby, who unluckily contracted RSV. I'm home now...and DYING to make something cute. Our hospital room was of a (sadly, newly redecorated) 80's kitchen throw-back decor. We're talking blue faux-bows made out of wood holding up the "decorative" shelves here. All it needed was a wooden goose that some 14 year old girl made at summer camp and we'd have been in business. And since I spent most of the 4 days sitting in an oxygen tent nursing, I had PLENTY of time to sit and think about all the wonderful things I want to make in the upcoming weeks...

So wish me luck - I'll be spending the next few days with can of lysol in one hand and a box of kleenex in the other - then just as soon as I can con all the little ones into a nap at the same time...I'm going to MAKE SOMETHING, by golly!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

This is the "real life" part...

No, I haven't disappeared into the outer reaches of bloggerdom - I just have 4 sick kids! Stay tuned in the next day or two for a few of the things I made for my daughter's Princess Birthday Party!