Wednesday, June 29, 2011

20 Followers! Thank you! (and a free printable)

I'm so excited to have 20 followers, lol! I love followers so much. So I just want to say thank you for signing up.

A long time ago, I promised a totally rockin' printable for you. But I've been waiting for the right time to put it out. The 20-follower landmark seems like a good time. So here you go!

Charlie Sheen has faded from the limelight lately, and I'm glad. I hope he can get the help he needs. I didn't make this printable as an endorsement of Charlie Sheen. Instead, I just love the quote. I think we all need to stop pretending we're not awesome. So I hope you enjoy the printable!

Just click here: Rock Stars from Mars printable  . It should take you to a page to download an 8x10 jpg at 300 dpi. If it doesn't, let me know! 

As always, this is for personal use only! Thanks much.

Until next time,


I linked up at: 

Somewhat Simple

Thirty Hand Made Days

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Let Freedom Ring: a 4th of July Wreath

I was sad to take down my cheery spring wreath from my front door. But it was time. To cheer myself up, I quickly made a new wreath. I suppose I'll just have to take this one down in a week or so, but I had so much fun making it that I don't think I'll mind making another more general "summer" wreath to replace it. 

I managed to make this wreath entirely with items I had on hand.

To start, I used this tip from the Penny Parlor to make the wreath form. Just pick up a piece of foam tubing from the plumbing department at a home improvement store. Cut it to size, and duct tape the ends together to make a circle. I got my foam tubing at Home Depot for 97 cents. Seriously! And I'll be able to make two wreaths out of it. (This wreath was a little on the large size--if you cut them smaller, you can probably get three wreaths.) Total bargain! 

I wrapped the wreath form with red yarn, then cut out a bunch of blue felt diamonds and used sewing pins to stick them to the wreath. Then I used white yarn to make the argyle pattern. 
The wreath seemed a little underwhelming just like that. So, inspired by this wreath at Just Sew Sassy, I added a burlap ruffle around the back. Then I made a bunch of felt flowers and a paper "firework" (tutorial here at I Heart Naptime). 

Finally, I made a little bunting by cutting burlap into triangles and hot-gluing them to some ribbon. Then I just used a sharpie to write the letters.

Finished! I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

And here is a better view of it on my front door:

Until next time,


I linked up at:

Somewhat Simple

Thirty Hand Made Days


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 up           party!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sewing Machine Cover--with an Extra Added Bonus Surprise!

I love my sewing machine. I call her Connie. She's a Singer 7470 Confidence machine (hence, Connie). Since I got her more than a year ago, I've just used the plain, boring cover that she came with. Serviceable, yes, but not exactly stylin.

Then, while surfing Pinterest last week, I came across this beauty:
From Bloom
First of all, I am a total sucker for anything with words on it. I also was drawn to the design of it, with the colorful, off-center strips. But it was a little too complicated for my taste. I'm all about quick and easy. So I used it as a jumping off point to make a new outfit for Connie.

Here is the result:

It really wasn't hard to make. I probably could have finished it in one day, but I had to track down some fusible fleece. So it took me two days.

Want to make one of your own? Here's how (and don't forget to scroll all the way down to the Extra Added Bonus Surprise!):

You'll need:
Note: Not Everything Is Shown
  • small scraps of fabric for the strips
  • larger pieces of fabric for the background fabric (I used muslin)
  • fusible fleece
  • ribbon
  • heat transfer vinyl (optional--I used it for the word "stitch")
  • the usual sewing necessities: scissors, ruler, measuring tape, thread, pins, machine, iron

1. Measure your machine to find out what size rectangle you will need to cover it completely. Mine was 16" wide and 27" from front to back. I added an inch for seam allowances and such, making it 17" x 28".
I didn't want my fabric to be too matchy-matchy. I just picked fabrics I really liked.
2. Gather your scraps and cut them into strips. You don't need to be a perfectionist about this! I mean, I suppose you can if you want, but I sure wasn't. And I cut the strips in all different heights. I just kept cutting until I figured I had enough to add up to at least 28". Don't worry about making them the same width--you'll trim them down later.

3. Iron your strips nice and flat.

I used my 1/4" foot to make a 1/4" seam allowance.
4. Start with two strips. Place them right sides together and stitch along one long side. Then just keep adding strips. (see picture above)

This is what the strips looked like all sewn together, from the front.
back view
5. Turn your fabric over and iron the seams flat.

6. Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, even out your strips. At this point, you can decide how wide you want your patchwork strip to be.

7. Cut a piece of muslin that will be on the left side of your strip. I decided I wanted it to be about 3", so I cut it 3.5 wide with the seam allowance. Line it up along one edge of your patchwork strip and sew it down. Again, I used 1/4" seam allowance.

8. (I forgot to take a picture of this step) Cut another piece of muslin for the right side of the cover. You'll have to do some math to make sure the total comes out to be the right width. I suck at math, but somehow I figured it out. For my cover, I needed it to add up to 18". Taking 1/4" seam allowances into account, I figured I needed it to be 10.5". (But you know what? It doesn't really have to be exact. This style of sewing machine cover is very forgiving.) Attach the second piece of muslin to the right side of your patchwork strip.

9. At this point, I took some time to embellish my cover. I used my Silhouette to cut the word "stitch" out of heat transfer vinyl and then ironed it onto the cover. (I didn't take pictures of this step either)

10. Cut a piece of fusible fleece the same size as your cover (mine was 18x28). Follow the directions to iron it on to the wrong side of your cover. (I suppose you could skip this step, but it does give the cover a little more shape and adds to the quilted look.)
Pay no attention to that pucker in the top-stitching. Oops! Oh well, imperfection adds to the charm of homemade stuff, right? I said, RIGHT???

11. Top-stitch along each side of the patchwork strip. Again, this adds to the quilted look. I like the look of contrasting thread, so that's what I used.

12. Cut ribbons to use for the side ties of your cover. I didn't really cut a specific length. I just erred on the side of making them too long. You can always trim them later if they're too long. Pin them to the right side of your cover, making sure they match up on each side. I tied them together in the center to make sure that the ends didn't get caught in the seams when I sewed it all together.

13. Cut a piece of muslin 18x28 for the backing. Pin it to the front of the cover, right sides facing, making sure the ribbons stay inside the cover. The fleece should be on the outside.
13. Stitch all the way around the outside, leaving a 2"-3"-opening for turning. Trim excess fabric around the outside, and snip your corners to make it easier when turning. Turn cover right side out.

14. Pin the opening closed. Top stitch around the entire piece, closing up the opening as you stitch.


And now for the Extra Added Bonus Surprise!

It's reversible! 

Before I stitched the back and front together, I embellished the back side with some vinyl and a little applique birdie. I love this side just as much as I love the other side! Now whenever I sit down to sew, I feel like Connie is saying hello to me!

I hope this little tutorial makes sense. Feel free to ask questions!

Until next time,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Like Big Books (and I Cannot Lie)--Book Bag

The other night while I was sewing up some shorts for the Kylinator, he came up to watch. Then he decided he really, really, really wanted to help make something. I decided that a bag might be a good project for him to help with. We're going to sign him up for the summer reading program at our local library, so he should get some use out of this bag.

I didn't take pictures of the process because Kyle was breathing down my neck at every step. It's just a basic lined tote bag. I'm sure there are tons of tutorials online. I just used fabric I had on hand. The gray is a sort of twill, I think. It should be nice and sturdy. Kyle chose the lining fabric from my stash.

When it was sewn, of course I couldn't leave it alone! I added a little Silhouette vinyl to it.  I wish I could take credit for coming up with the saying, but that came from the girls at eighteen25 on this post. It still cracks me up so much.

Kyle was a little disappointed with the sewing process. He thought he'd be able to just sit at the machine and make something all by himself. But there was no way I was going to relinquish that much control. My machine was too expensive to let him go crazy on it. I've seen what he does with his toys! Plus, his issues with ADD and impulsivity were in full force. He didn't want to help cut the fabric because that was taking too long. And then waiting while I pressed the fabric was nearly agony for him. I did let him guide the fabric while I sewed for a little while, then I let him run the pedal while I guided the fabric. I let him do both for one of the side seams, but I ended up standing there and helping him guide the fabric. It was hard for him to pay attention to the pedal and the fabric at the same time. 

Overall, I think it was still a positive experience for him, and he wants to sew more. He thinks maybe his next project will be a blanket for his little sister. Is he a sweetie, or what?

Until next time,


I linked up at:
Somewhat Simple

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

So I'm a bit of a procrastinator. Oh, ok. I'm a lot of a procrastinator. In fact, I put the pro in procrastination. I finally got around to making my Father's Day gifts yesterday last night. So instead of posting ideas and inspiration for Father's Day gifts with, I don't know, TIME LEFT TO STILL MAKE THEM, you get a post just showing you what my hubby got from me and the kiddos. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to file away the ideas for next year. Or maybe not.

Anyway, I started the day by letting my husband sleep as late as he wanted. But that's not too special because we have a deal where I get to sleep in on Saturdays, and he sleeps in on Sundays. Then I made him his very own plate of bacon. I'm talking an entire package of bacon, just for him. Those of you who know him would not be surprised to know that he ate almost all of it (I think there were four slices left).
Mmmmm... bacon. Now my house smells like bacon.

Next, he got his gifts. First, I made this print for him to hang in his man cave:

Safety Dance by Men Without Hats is one of my husband's favorite songs of all time. This poster just puts a smile on my face.

Then came the t-shirts. First of all, the obligatory "Dad" shirt. Because he truly is the best dad ever.

I used the Silhouette flocked heat transfer vinyl. Love this stuff! Can you see how it is a little fuzzy? It's awesome!

Then I made him a Dr. Who t-shirt. The hubbinator is a huge fan, and he was really excited about this shirt. I have a feeling this one will get a lot of wear.
This was my first time overlapping two different colors. I wasn't sure if there was anything special I needed to do. But I just did the red right on top of the blue and didn't have any problems. 

Finally, for something a little extra, I gave him this:

It's a little hard to read because I couldn't get all the words in one camera angle (a design flaw on my part, lol), but it says, "Best pop ever!" and "Happy Father's Day!" I was inspired by this post at Oopsey Daisy. I would have just used her free printable, but I couldn't find Coca Cola within our strict budget price range, so instead I bought a 2-liter of the bargain soda, then I whipped this little design up and printed it out on card stock. It didn't wrap all the way around the bottle, but I just taped it on anyway. It got the point across and was kind of cute.

So anyway, that's what my hubby got for Father's Day, along with some time to watch golf and play video games. I hope he enjoyed it!

Until next time,


I linked up at:

Somewhat Simple