Saturday, January 27, 2018

Make Embroidered Wall Art for Your Home

                Everyone knows that I have a thing for Pinterest. I love scrolling through the pins looking for inspiration. Constellations have been huge and, since I have been working on my hand embroidery, I figured I would make a little wall hanging. Using constellation maps, I created this piece with our zodiac signs.

                I used an 18” square of black fabric from my collection. It is a thicker cotton almost like canvas. The fabric stretched nicely over the hoop I used which is a vintage 14” wooden quilting hoop. With the fabric stretched in the hoop, I sketched out my design using white chalk. For the design, I wrote the saying first in my own handwriting because I liked the personal touch. I used a map to temporarily mark where the stars should be. The great thing about using the chalk is that you can remove it easily with a damp cloth. This was the case with the stars, once I found a map I liked better.

                For the lettering, I used a backstitch with white DMC floss to trace over the chalk template I had made. To make the wording stand out a bit more, I stitched them with all 6 strands of the floss together. If you have never embroidered anything, the backstitch is an easy one to learn. I was thinking about doing a tutorial for basic embroidery stitches so let me know if you would like to see something like that.

                I was going to use French knots to make the stars but I wanted them to shine a bit. Instead of knots, I used silver lined seed beads. With 2 strands of silver floss, I stitched beads over the dots I had made to map out my stars. I connected the beads that would form the constellations with long stitches in silver. The map that I used showed brighter stars and for those, I added flat back clear gems with Aleene’s craft glue.

                Once the gems were dry, I trimmed the extra fabric around the frame. I left an inch to turn under and secure to the hoop. I used hot glue to tack it to the wood. To cover the back, I measured a 14” circle out of black felt and tacked it around the edge of the hoop. Any leftover markings came off easily with a damp cloth. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and I think it’s a cute way to say “I love my family.”

               Happy crafting everyone!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Make a Snuggle Bed for Your Fur Babies

                It has been a while since we replaced Roxy’s little dog bed and it was getting pretty worn. With the cold and snow, I decided that she needed a new bed. She stays inside but she is little and loves to snuggle up. This pillow has a built-in blanket which is perfect for my little Roxy. Here is how I made her a snuggle bed.

                In my fabric collection, I have a bunch of fleece and that is what I used for this project. If you are looking for materials, this time of year is a great time to pick up those little fleece blankets that retailers sell for the holidays. They are usually on clearance after Christmas and are perfect for craft projects. I chose a little red blanket and a cute little scotty print. My scotty fabric measured about a yard and a half. 

                I folded the scotty fabric in half with the selvage edges together and right sides together. To create the top, I stitched around 2 sides leaving the fold alone. Using the remaining open side, I flipped the whole thing right side out. To make sure it would lay right, I topstitched down the edge under the scotty border.

                For the pillow, I folded the fleece blanket in half twice to make it the same size as a standard pillowcase. Roxy has claimed an old pillow from our bed and I figured I would use that for stuffing. The folds in the blanket created a clean opening for the pillow and a secure side. All that remained was to stitch the 2 open sides and flip the pillowcase.

                To attach the top blanket, I pleated the edges to match the pillowcase and pinned them together. I still wanted to be able to remove the pillow if needed so I pinned the pleated top to one side of the pillowcase opening with the right side facing the case and carefully stitched along the edge. Next, I pleated the side of the blanket that I had left open and pinned it to the edge. I placed the pleat close to the corner so it would make more of a pocket for Roxy and stitched up the side. To make sure the pillow would stay put, I stitched about 8 inches down the opposite side.

                With the pillow inside, I flipped the blanket right side out and tucked the opening into the back. If we have issues with the pillow staying in place, I may add snaps. So far so good. I really wanted a picture of Roxy snuggling but she is really camera shy. Ella let me borrow a couple of her puppies to use as models.

Chase is on the case!

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Turn Old Clothes Into Something Useful

                We have tons of great flea markets in town. A few months ago, we were looking around one of our favorites when Ella pointed out a couple of blocks out of what, I assume, was a horse quilt. We are a horse family so I had to buy them. The edges were pretty rough but I knew I could give them a new life. Here is how I combined one block and some old clothes to make a cute pillow for La-la.

               First, I started by squaring up the block. I wanted the edges to be as clean as possible. I took a straight edge and a rotary cutter to the raw edges to take care of the chewed-up bits. For the border pieces, I chose an old button up shirt and an old pair of jeans for the back. I wanted the pillow to be a little larger so I cut the borders to 5 inches wide I measured one pair of sides to the length of the block. I pined them in place and sewed them together using my usual half inch seam allowance. The other pair I measured to the width of the block plus the new sides and attached them. I did try to match the pattern as closely as possible.

                Pressing the borders, I used the front to measure out the backing. I cut one leg off of the jeans and ripped out one seam to open it up. This became the back and I cut the square out and pinned the front and back with right sides together. I sewed them together with a gap of about 4 inches for stuffing and turned the whole thing right-side out. For stuffing, I used poly-fil that I had in my stash. I do wish that I had stuffed it a bit fuller but It will work.

               I then pinned the gap closed and topstitched around the whole pillow. It was time for the Ella test and It passed with flying colors. She saw her little horses and got so excited. The materials for this whole project came from my collection but it can be adapted for your own fabric collection. If you quilt and have spare blocks or find an old quilt that is on its last leg, you can revive them. Quilts are too special to be thrown out. I hope you enjoyed this project. Happy crafting!

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hello 2018!

We spent New Years with Peppa Pig
                So, here we go with a brand-new year and so far, it has been pretty good. I hope everyone ate their black-eyed peas for good luck on Monday. The resolutions are still going strong. I am working on being healthier and have started a 30-day challenge. My poor legs are so sore but overall, I feel good and I’m sure it will get easier as the month goes on. I’m not doing a specific diet but I am cutting out junk and fast food and cooking more healthy meals. My new Instant Pot is amazing and makes it much simpler to cook actual meals each night. It is really use once you get the controls down. Ella enjoys “helping” cook and with my workout each day. She has much stronger abs than I do.

She really loves the headband.
                I have been back to work on my projects and will have a new post soon. Still working on my current fabric collection. It seems like I have made so much but the collection hasn’t really shrunk. It is really fun to rediscover old projects and fabric that I had forgotten. Amazon Prime Video has past seasons of Doctor Who so I have that going while I sew. Ella loves it and will watch with me. I do have to make sure that she doesn’t just watch tv all day. We do little activities and play throughout the day.

Doctor Who time with Snuffy
                This weekend, we will be back with a new project from the collection. I upcycled old clothes and a quilt block that I found at a flea market into a cute pillow. My little quality control has tested the pillow and loves it. I hope you are all having a great first week of 2018. Happy crafting!