Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas glimpses from the house of a woman who sews....

Merry Christmas!  I need to get a move on and start preparations for tonight's festivities but this morning I just took a look around my house and realized how grateful I am to have something in my life that I enjoy doing on a daily basis.  Sewing is so much of who I am.  Here are some glimpses of my projects, being put into use this Christmas.  Quilts on the beds are a given, but this one, hung over a chair greets my holiday guests in our entry.

Here's a tree skirt turned table topper because I couldn't bear to cut into it once the beautiful quilting was done.

And speaking of toppers, there are toppers and runners everywhere.

And I mean everywhere!

Tree skirts and pillows....

And of course... wool....

And stockings hung in anticipation...

Merry Christmas, dear friends, filled with wishes for a joyful season and a very happy and healthy New Year!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 12- 12 Days of Christmas- Last Minute Quick Projects (Mini Covered Notebooks)

Day 12!!!  We did it!  Today, we are making covers for these tiny composition notebooks that I found in the Dollar Store..3 for $1.00!  These little notebooks are perfect for purses, backpacks, or anyplace that a small pad would be handy and they are cute to boot!

These little covers can be made in minutes and the best part?  The cover can be refilled with a new notebook.

My notebooks measured 3 1/4"x 4 1/2".  You will need 2 pieces of fabric 7 1/4"x 5 1/4" for the cover and lining.  You will also need 2 pieces 4 3/4"x 5 1/4" for the tabs.  Finally, you will need 1 piece of mid weight fusible interfacing- 7 1/4"x 5 1/4".

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric.  Press the two 3 1/4"x 5 1/4" tab pieces in half, wrong sides together to measure 2 3/8"x  5 1/4".  Press.

Place the outer fabric right side up on your work surface.  Place the tabs at each end with the folds facing the center and matching raw edges.

Next lay the lining piece right side down on top of the outer cover and tab pieces.  Match all raw edges and pin.

Sew all the way around taking a 1/4" seam and leaving a 3" opening for turning.  Trim the corners and turn through the opening.  Slip stitch the opening closed.  Press well and insert your notebook.
Note:  Be sure to measure your little notebook before beginning.  They do vary in size.  If yours are not the same as the measurements above, just cut your fabric 2 3/4" longer in length and 2" wider in height than the measurement of your notebook.  You will need to adjust the tab measurement by adding 2" to the height as well.  

These are so quick and easy!  I made a whole bunch.  Everybody is getting one of these in their stocking!  Wouldn't they be cute tied up with a ribbon and a cute pen or pencil?

Well, my blog friends...that wraps up our 12 Days of Christmas for this year.  I hope that you all have  a wonderful holiday filled with Joy, Peace and Love.  See you in 2015!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day 11- 12 Days of Christmas- Last Minute Quick Projects (Santa Belt Pillow)

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....11 pipers piping...  Here we are on day 11 with no pipers in sight but we do have a Santa belt pillow.

For a printable version of this pattern click HERE.

You will need 1/2 yard, red fabric- cut 2 pieces:  6 1/2"x 16"
                                                         cut 2 pieces: 11"x 16"
You will also need 1 piece of black fabric- 4 1/2"x 16" and
                               1 piece of yellow fabric 5"x 5".
A 16" pillow form
A piece of paper backed fusible web- 5"x 5"
2 black buttons
68" piping (optional)

Start by sewing one red 6 1/2" x 16" to each edge of the black 4 1/2"x 16" piece.  Press the seams toward the black.
Fuse the paper backed web to the wrong side of the yellow square.  Fold the square right sides together and draw a line 1" in from each raw edge.
Cut on the lines you drew and open.  Remove the paper backing and fuse to the pillow front.
Using a zig zag or buttonhole stitch, sew around the raw edge of the buckle.
If you are adding piping, sew it to the right side of the pillow front.  For piping instructions, click HERE.
Press under 1/2" on the long edge of each of the back pieces.  Press well.  Turn under again and press.
Stitch close to the folded edge.

Place the pillow front right side up on your work surface.  Layer the back pieces on top, right side down with all raw edges even.  Pin well
.  Stitch a 1/2" seam all the way around the outside edge.  Trim the corners and turn right side out.  Sew the 2 buttons, centered above the buckle.

Insert the pillow form and HO HO HO ...your pillow is complete!
One more day to go!  Hope you can stop by tomorrow for day 12!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day 10- 12 Days of Christmas- Last Minute Quick Projects (Tiny Trees)

Happy Wednesday!  I don't mean to freak you out but two weeks from today is Christmas Eve.  How are your preparations going?  Today's project is an adorable fabric tree that could be a package tie on, an ornament or a clever decoration.  I found it at Noodlehead.

I think that these will be a great way to use up those itty bitty scraps that I just can't throw away.  They are made with wool felt and are sewn on the machine so they are quick to make.

Ready to try a few of these little darlings?  Click HERE for the tutorial and pattern.  I had a blast making these and decided to use them as little table favors for a Christmas party that I am having this weekend.  I used white wool felt and some cotton scraps.

I added some mini buttons
I like Anna's (Noodlehead's head Noodle) idea of putting these tiny tree together in a garland.

Hope you have fun with these!  Two more days to go!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Day 9- 12 Days of Christmas- Last Minute Quick Projects (Button on Cuff Bracelet)

It's day 9 of our countdown and today's project is a fabric cuff bracelet.

These little cuffs are so much fun to make and can be made from just about any kind of fabric and in any shape that you choose.  Here's how I did it...
I started by drawing a pattern of a shape that I liked.  You can make any shape you like but if you would like the pattern for this shape, click HERE.

I picked two fabrics that I liked and cut out the pattern from the fabric that I wanted to be the outside of the cuff. I sewed an elastic hair tie at the narrow end on the right side of the fabric.

  I placed the lining fabric right side up and layered the cut piece on top right side down. I did it this way because I thought that a small piece like this might shift a bit and I didn't want to have to worry about keeping those edges even.  I pinned and sewed 1/4" around the edge, leaving a 3" opening for turning.
  I turned through the opening, pressed well and edge stitched all the way around. Add a pretty button and check another gift off the list!  So simple!

These are great made from decorator fabrics or vintage bark cloth.  If using cotton, I would recommend adding a firm fusible interfacing so that the cuff keeps its shape.

There are lots of ways to customize these little cuffs.  I couched a pretty yarn to my main fabric before I cut out the shape.  If you haven't couched before, it is easy-peasy.  For a short video on couching click HERE.
How about adding ribbon, beads or lace?  You can also piece "crazy quilt" style and use decorative stitches.
The elastic makes the cuff somewhat adjustable so sizing shouldn't be a problem.

More fun tomorrow....hope you can stop by!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day 8-12 Days of Christmas- Last Minute Quick Projects (Mason Jar Gift Bags)

Doesn't time fly at this time of year?  My goal is to finish baking cookies this week, but we will see...
Today's project coincidentally has to do with cookies.  I found this tutorial over at Yesterfood.  If I am taking cookies as a gift, I like to package them up in something other than a plastic bag or box.  There are so many nice mason jars out there in pretty colors and a variety of sizes but how do you wrap them?  Take a look at these cute drawstring bags....

The tutorial gives measurements for all sized jars from the tiny 4 oz to quart size and is well written with great photos.
 The bags are lined and are super quick to make.  Wouldn't this be a great way to use up some of those scraps of Christmas fabric so you don't have to pack them away until next year?  

Here a a few tips that I think should be emphasized.
1.  Be sure to press the seams open on the sides.  It is much easier to thread the ribbon through....ask 
     me how I know this.:)

2.  If you do not own a Pilot Frixion pen, ask Santa to put one in your stocking.  It is so easy to mark        the casing lines and then just iron them away!
3.  I made these exactly the way the tutorial instructed but I think in the future, I will "box" the
     bottom for a more tailored look.
Here are several that I made in less than 1 hour!

As an added bonus today, I thought I would give you a couple of ideas for things other than jelly or candy that would be nice in a mason jar.  The first is a sugar scrub that I made last year.  Everyone loved it and it is soooo easy!  I made this in the short pint jars.  Fill the jar to the bottom of the lip with ordinary table sugar.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add Dawn Ultra dish soap with Olay and stir.  I added the Dawn little by little until it was thick and well blended .  I used the Pomegranate so the scrub turned out to be a pretty pink.  It smells nice and leaves your hands really soft and smooth.
The second gift comes from a friend knows how much I love chocolate.  Look what she made:

Yes, my friends, that is a spiked hot cocoa mix!  Cocoa and marshmallows in the jar with a cute little side of Bailey's Irish Cream.  Who wouldn't love this tasty treat?
I hope that you are keeping up with all that needs to be done at this busy time of year.
Stop by tomorrow for another quick and easy project!


Day 7- 12 Days of Christmas- Last Minute Quick Projects (Mitten Stocking)

I don't know about you but my choice of Christmas music usually reflects the urgency that I feel as the holiday approaches.  Right around Thanksgiving, I'm humming along to Kenny G. or Frank Sinatra and as the big day gets closer it's Mannheim Steamroller or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Today, on day seven of our countdown, I am still feeling pretty relaxed...hopefully you are too.
Our project today is a wool felt mitten that could be used as a stocking.

 I love to work with wool but you could make this cutie out of synthetic felt or a wool/synthetic blend if you are short on 100% wool.  Last year, I made some small mittens as gift card holders.  See that post HERE.

Last years mittens were made from felted sweaters and were hand stitched.  This year's version is from and has a bit of hand applique which is a snap with wool felt (no needle turning of raw edges!).  The assembly of the mitten is done on machine so it really is a quick project.
I used 100% wool felt and some little wool balls that I had left over from a previous project.

I used a glue stick to place my shapes so that they wouldn't shift while I stitched them to the mitten.

Instead of making the handle, I made a loop from grosgrain ribbon.

You will have to join to download this pattern but it is free and a site that has lots of neat projects so I think it's worth it.  The pattern has a full size template and easy to follow photo instructions.  You could easily adjust the size of this to make it appropriate for the "naughty or nice" folks on your list.

Here's one that I made.
Filled with sewing goodies for a guild friend.
 Start to finish....45 minutes!

More fun tomorrow!  Hope you can stop by!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Day 6- 12 Days of Christmas- Last Minute Quick Projects (Hand Warmers)

I just love this time of year!  My tree is up and decorated.  Menu's are in the planning stages and the baking is underway.  Did I mention that I have not started to wrap yet and I still need a few stocking stuffers?  Here is a super quick project that will help you share the warmth of the season..literally!

Today we are making small hand warmers.  Once heated in the microwave and tucked in a pocket, these little pillows will help to keep hands warm on those frosty winter days.

Materials Needed:
Flannel scraps:  1 piece, 5"x 5".
                         2 pieces 3 3/4"x 5"

Muslin or Cotton scraps:  2 pieces 4 1/2"x 4 1/2"

1/2 cup of rice

1.  With right sides together, sew the muslin or cotton squares together, taking a 1/4" seam all the  the       way around, leaving a 2" opening for turning.  Clip the corners and turn through the opening. 
      Using a funnel or straw, fill the pillow with 1/2 cup of rice.  Slip stitch the opening closed.
2.   To make the outer cover, turn under 1/2" along the 5" edge of each of the 3 3/4"x 5" pieces.  
      Stitch close to the raw edge.  Your pieces will now measure 3 1/2" x 5".
3.   Lay the 5"x 5" flannel square right side up on you work surface.  Place the two 3 1/2"x 5" pieces           right side down on the 5"x 5" square with the folded edges overlapped and all raw edges even.             Pin.

4.   Stitch all the way around the outside edge, taking a 1/4" seam.  Clip the corners and turn through        the openings.
5.   Insert the rice pillows inside the flannel pocket.
6.   When you are ready to use the warmers, just pop out the insert and heat it for 1-2 minutes in the
      microwave. (Heat them 30 seconds at a time and check to make sure that they don't get too hot.)         Slip it back into fleece pocket and you are ready to go.

I'm planning to make a pair of these for some of my friends who enjoy winter outdoor activities.
Warm hands, warm hearts!!!