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 way...my 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!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Contest opportunity!

My dear friend Lacey and I are in charge of the challenge and contests over at MemoryWorks this month. Yesterday we posted a contest over at the MW blog that consultants AND non-consultants can enter.

Take a look at: http://memoryworksblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/spring-into-action.html

for the details.

Good luck!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The recipe card winner is...


With only a few people posting, the odds were in pretty much in everyone's favor, but Jill had the magic number this time!

Stay tune this week for another apron tutorial PLUS I'll show you what I've been doing with all that Moda fabric!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Freebie!

It was my turn to post on the MemoryWorks blog today! Check it out: MemoryWorks Blog There are a couple of fun and easy projects that are perfect for cheering up a sick/sad/overwhelmed friend PLUS a great recipe! Now I know I'm a Crazy Crafter, as I set up a photo shoot for muffins this morning. Yes, muffins...

Feel free to leave a comment over there so I can feel like I have some friends:)

I'm giving away the recipe card from the aforementioned blog post. Here it is, in all its muffiny glory:

If you want it, post a message to THIS blog post. I'll randomly choose someone next week sometime. Family members, friends, neighbors, strangers - everyone can play! I promise you won't be disappointed with this recipe - these are some dang good muffins!

How are we doing on the aprons?? Anyone try one yet? I have two more to post next week...stay tuned!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Apron #2: 15 Minute Dishtowel Apron

This one is so easy its ridiculous...I mean, seriously...as long as you know how to operate a sewing machine and are allowed to handle sharp objects by yourself...you can make this in 15 minutes!

You need: 1 large dish/tea towel and a long piece of sturdy ribbon that won't fray easily (I used about 2 yards - measure the ribbon right on your kid, as it needs to be long enough to go around their neck, down their sides and tie in the back

Hold the towel up to your kid, centering it on their chest and holding it at about the level it should sit when finished. Use a pin to mark about an inch in from their armpit, and another to mark their waist level (if you mark a bit lower than their current waist area, the apron should still fit as they get a bit taller!).

Fold the towel in half, lengthwise, and using a rotary cutter (or scissors), cut from pin to pin, making a curved cut (don't worry - you'll be able to eye ball it, but if you're totally chicken, draw the line or use pins to mark where you want to cut):
When you open it out, it'll look like this (see? it already looks like an apron!):

If you have a serger, serge the raw curved edges, otherwise use a zigzag stitch along the raw edges:

Then fold it over (on the backside of your towel) about an inch and sew along the serged edge (you're making a channel to thread the ribbon through, so make sure you don't sew the ends shut!). I let my kids help me "sew" this part:

This is what you'll end up with on both sides:

Hook a safety pin to one end of your ribbon. Thread it up through the side channel on one side, around the top and back down through the other side:

Put the apron on your kid and adjust the ribbon so that the ties are equal length and the neck part fits. When you have it how you want it, sew a few stitches by hand through one of the top corners, tacking down the ribbon on one side only. This way you'll still be able to adjust the neck opening, but the whole ribbon won't get pulled out of wack every time your kid takes it on and off.

If you're feeling particularly tricky (and the back of the dishtowel isn't ugly), you can fold up the towel from the bottom and sew up the edges to make a pocket. Then sew straight vertical lines from the fold to the top of the pocket to make smaller pockets:

All done!

Tip: To keep the ribbons from getting pulled out of the channels, you can tie a large bead (like those big wooden ones they give little kids to play with at preschool) or tie huge knots on the end of each ribbon.

Lucky for you, these only cost a buck or two, and a minimal time investment, so you'll feel just fine about your kids totally yucking them up! You can throw them right in the washer, or you can make more!

Apron #1: Skirt-Style Dishtowel Apron

To make this cute apron: You need 2 dishtowels (mine are Orla Kiely by Target):

Decide which one will be the "skirt" and which will be the "sash/waistband".

On one of the long sides of the "skirt" towel (the side that will be the top), make some pinch pleats along the length of the top to gather it a little. I started from the center of towel and made pleats 2" off the center on either side (point the pleat folds towards the outside edges), then 4" apart after that until I reached the edges. I'm only a few months post-partum, mind you, so if you aren't quite a voluptuous around the middle as I am right now, you might want to make your pleats only 2-3 inches apart:

Here is mine with all the pleats pinned (the crease down the center is just from lack of ironing!):

Set that towel aside and pull out the "waistband" towel. First, cut off the hems around all 4 sides:

Then cut your towel into 3-4 strips (if you want a thicker waistband that ties in the back) or more (if you want a thinner waistband and ties that reach around back, then back to the front). Don't cut your finger like I did (the kleenex I'm holding isn't a decorative touch...its to keep from bleeding out all over the towel!).I cut mine approx. 5 1/2" wide, to go with the pattern on the towel. You will be folding them in half and sewing one edge, so keep that in mind when you decide how wide to cut them:

Right sides together, sew the strips end to end to make one long piece of fabric:

Fold the strip in half, right sides together, and press with your iron. Then sew along the raw edge (but leave the two end open):

Attach a safety pin to one end, and begin pushing it through the tube towards the other end to turn it right-side out (notice I'm still holding the kleenex...do NOT...I repeat do NOT try to wipe off your brand new rotary cutter with a napkin and your finger...):

Once the whole tube is right-side out, iron it flat, with your seam all the way to one side, then topstitch along all 4 sides to keep it laying flat (tuck in the two ends and sew down):

Pull out the skirt piece and machine baste along the top (remove the pins as you go!) to secure the pleats:

Lay the sash/waistband face down; find the center. Now lay the skirt part down on the sash (face down), matching the centers. Pin the two pieces together, aligning the skirt along the bottom seam of the sash. Stitch, taking care to backstitch several times at the ends:

Iron the whole thing, then put it on:

Now go feel sassy.

Stay tune for more apron tutorials later this week!

A little scrappin'...and a little sewin'...

I have lots of fun stuff to share with you! I've been on a sewing kick lately...potholders, couch pillows and aprons. I'll post some instructions for everything this week! As usual, they're cheap, quick and CUTE projects!

Part of my sewing craze has involved making some gifts:

15 Minute Aprons out of dishtowels with my kids:
Fun aprons out of fun dishtowels (go Target!) for me:
AND, I finally got my scrapbooking layouts done for the MemoryWorks February Express Kit (yeah, I know - just in time for March!)

Whew! I've been a busy girl! If you want to make some aprons along with me later this week, you'll need some fun dishtowels/tea towels (Target had some REALLY cute ones on an endcap display for about $6 for two...the towels I used for my kids were on clearance for about $1 a piece) -- 2 coordinating towels for a "Mom" apron, and 1 for each "Kid" apron, plus some ribbon (for the kids) and thread/sewing machine. Have your iron and ironing board ready...and that's about it!
Check back soon for the first Apron Tutorial (there will be FOUR different styles!).

Giveaway at V & Co.!

Vanessa over at V & Co. posted a fantastic giveaway! Check it out here

She's giving away a couple of Moda HoneyBuns...and as you all now know, Moda pre-cuts are my latest creative obsession! And...since I have Vanessa to thank for getting me hooked...its only appropriate that I WIN SOME MODA from her, right? (somehow I don't think that me saying that will help me win...but still!)

Stay tune later today (hopefully) for some new scrapbook layouts and some super-fun sewing projects - my dining room table has been covered in fabric for a week now, so of course I have to share what I've been up to!