Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day- Love those organics!

Happy Earth Day!  In honor of Earth Day 2014, I thought we would look at organic cottons.  Organic cotton is grown using methods that have a low impact on the environment, including reduced use of toxic fertilizers and pesticides, and making use of systems that replenish the soil.  The organic cotton industry continues to grow worldwide which means we sewing enthusiasts who love trees, flowers, lakes, etc. have many more choices.  Check these out:
Honeybegood.com is one of my favorite sites for organic cotton fabrics.  I love the idea of using organic cottons for baby quilts and clothing.  These new ones from Birch Fabrics are so neat.

Or how about this one from Clothworks...

This awesome site also offers some of my favorite designers including:

Amy Butler


Robert Kaufman Kona Solids
Honeybegood also offers bundles, remnants, quilt kits batting and notions and......drum roll, please....today in honor of Earth Day they are having a SALE.

Organic Cotton Plus also is a neat site that offers ribbon, zippers, lace and lots more.

This site also has a great Learning Center so we can all learn more about organic fabrics.

Organic cottons are also available through popular online sites like FabricwormFabric.com and many of the top designers so take a break today and check out these earth friendly alternatives.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Taggie infant toys-Fun and Easy

Happy Monday!  I was cruising around some of my favorite sites this morning and came across this cute little goody.  I have seen these little "taggies" made commercially and always thought that I would make some the next time I was invited to a baby shower.  Babies love the different textures of the ribbon and trim loops.

    As so often happens with me and sewing projects, I had forgotten about these until I saw this site and now I have two sweet new twin nephews to spoil so I hopped to it and whipped up a couple this afternoon.  The instructions are on Cucicucicoo.  Lisa, the creator, is a dedicated upcycler with loads of great ideas.  
    I like the fact that this taggie toy has a crinkly paper in the center so baby will have lots of stimulation.  The best part is that Lisa uses cereal bags for the crinkly center because they are food safe and don't have anything in them that could harm the little ones if they chomp on them.
    I followed the directions just as they are on the site....something that I don't always do...because they were excellent.  If you would like to make some for the little darlings in your life, click HERE.
You will love crinkling these clever toys.  Here are some that I made.  I used soft fleece on one side and cotton print on the other.

Wouldn't these be great for baby's Easter Basket?  Enjoy!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Egg Mug Mats- An easy scrap buster!

It's April!  My tulips are starting to pop up!  The snow is gone...except for a few mounds that refuse to give up...  I found this cute pattern for egg mug mats at the split stitch.  You probably don't even need the pattern because even I can draw an egg, but the pattern is there if you need it.  Here is Sara's mat:

So cute with that drizzle of jam on the bread!  I need to work on my photography....here are some mats that I made:
Sara did a cute fancy back on her mats by doing a running embroidery stitch. 
 I just used muslin.  She also quilted her pieces which I might do if I made some more but for today I didn't 
think quilting was necessary.  For Sara's complete instructions click HERE.  For the 15 minute version, just follow along.  I already had some stripped fabric left over from a Knot Handle Reversible Tote that I had made earlier.
I set my pattern on the diagonal and cut out my egg shapes.  I decided to use InsulBrite as my batting so that I had a bit more protection in case I put a really hot mug on this mat. Plus, I had some small pieces of InsulBrite leftover from the construction of a Napa Valley Picnic Tote that I just finished. I used the egg pattern to cut the Insulbrite to size.

I did my mug back differently than Sara. I like to do my turning from the back, especially if it is a small project like this one so this is what I did.  I cut my muslin into two pieces.
Then I put these two piece right sides together and sewed them back together leaving a 3" opening in the middle.  I pressed the seam to one side.  I placed this right side up with the pieced egg right side down on top.  Finally I put the batting egg on top of the pieced egg.  It looked like this:
I stitched all the way around.  No need to leave an opening on the edge because we will turn through the gap that we left on the back.
I trimmed away the excess backing and clipped the curves....my mama taught me to always clip the curves!
Next, I turned it through the opening and pressed well.  I edge stitched around the outer edge and slip stitched the opening in the back closed....although I have been known to use fabric glue or Stitch Witchery to close these kinds of openings.....
Anyway, I think these are really cute.  I am thinking of enlarging the pattern, adding a layer of cotton batting and making some hot pads for my table.  And now...my version of the artsy shot....
Have fun making some of these quick and easy mats and be sure to check out Sara's blog at the split stitch.  You will love her stuff!