Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fabric Tree Tutorial

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
This project was first posted on Tatertots and Jello as part of Jen's Happy Holidays series.  These little trees are addicting- as you can see- I didn't stop at just a few. (actually- I made a bunch for a boutique I was selling at and these are the ones that were left over.)

Supplies
Fabric- scraps are great for this, but if you're purchasing- fat quarters or even fat eights will give you plenty of fabric to work with.
Fiber fill
Sewing supplies
wood scraps
skewers
paint (optional)
drill

Instructions:
  1. Cut two rectangles of fabric and line them up right sides together.  
2. Mark the center of the top of the rectangle, connect this center mark to the two bottom corners of your rectangles.
3. Cut along the lines to make a set of triangles.
4. Sew around the sides of the triangle using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Leave about 1- 1 1/2" opening on the bottom.  Back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching.  Trim the fabric down on the corners, cutting near, but not through the stitch lines.  The steeper the angle of the corner- the more important it is to get as much of the fabric trimmed as you can.
5.  Turn the triangle right side out, use a blunt narrow tool (like a chopstick or the flat end of your skewer) to push the corners out- but go easy as you do so, you don't want to poke a hole in the fabric.
 Fill the tree with fiber fill. If you have an old cushion you don't want anymore- you might have all the stuffing you need already. :)  
Use a needle and thread to stitch the opening shut. Leave about 1/2" opening on the bottom to insert your skewer.
 Take your scraps of wood and drill a hole just large enough for your skewer to fit in.  My skewers ended up being 3/8" in diameter.  I painted my skewer and wood together, but if you want to be able to pull it out to store it, paint them separately.  Now all you have to do is slide your tree onto the stand.  Using a skewer instead of a dowel makes it much easier to slide it on through the stuffing because of the pointy end.  You can adjust the height of the tree by sliding it higher or lower on the skewer- if you want them even shorter you can cut your skewers.

They look great in small bunches or as a whole forest!  I hope you'll enjoy your new trees.
xoxo,
Amy

Friday, December 11, 2015

Antique Ribbon Table Runner Pattern Review

Friday, December 11, 2015
I have had a few "pinch-me" moments since I've started blogging, and one came recently when I was invited to review a pattern for The Fat Quarter Shop.  I was given a credit to the shop and a copy of the pattern in exchange for my review, the opinions however are my own.  The pattern is called Antique Ribbon Table Runner.  It's a really fun pattern and it's made really simply by using a paper foundation.
I decided to make a Christmas version and used Merry Matryoshka fabric from Riley Blake.
This was my first time using a paper foundation for my piecing and I was a little nervous, but I shouldn't have been.  It is really quite fun and makes your piecing look really good.  The product that the pattern calls to use is Triangles on a Roll flying geese and 6" braided paper.  As I got going I noticed that the fabric hung over one side of the paper further on one side than the other and I started panicking but I did a bit of research and discovered it's normal and how it should look. That was a relief.  I wish I could have watched this video on how to assemble the runner- it would have helped.  I strongly recommend watching it before you start your table runner.
The runner is nice and large and with small children running around my house I decided to shorten it so it wouldn't hang over the ends of my table.
You can purchase the pdf pattern right here and if you'd like to make the Runner in the video- you can purchase the quilt kit all ready for you to put together right here.

I have another project coming up next week using the paper foundation that I can't wait to show you.  But for now, have a great weekend!

xoxo,
Amy

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pleated Ruffle Advent Banner

Monday, November 23, 2015

*This project first appeared on Jen Allyson's blog last year.  She provided her beautiful fabrics and I created a project to help showcase it.

I love finding fun ways to add to the anticipation of Christmas.  This advent is something even a beginning sewist could create- and yet it looks fancy and complicated.  And as a bonus, even when the treats are gone from inside- you still have a beautiful banner to display!

Here's how to create your own.
Advent Garland

Materials:
You will need 1 yard of fabric total.  I suggest using at least three different fabrics.  I used a fat quarter bundle so I could get a variety of different fabrics to use.  
Ribbon- at least 8 yards
light weight interfacing (optional)
sewing tools
Cutting Fabric:
24- 5" X 10 1/2" rectangles, 12 for outside of pockets and 12 for lining of pockets
12- 3" X 10" strips for pleated ruffle on top of pocket

12- 4 1/2" X 10" rectangles of lightweight interfacing, this is optional, but I love the added weight and stability it gives the banner.  If using interfacing, fuse it to the fabric that will be the outside of the pocket (or the pocket front).

Assembly:

Iron the strips for the pleated ruffle in half along the length.

Line the ruffle piece up with the top of the pocket front.  Add in folds to create pleats so the the short ends line up with the edges of the pocket piece.  Sew down using a scant 1/4" seam allowance.  Press the pleats flat.

Cut ribbon into 10" lengths- you will need 24 total.
On the lining fabric, pin the ribbons to the sides, 1/2" down from the top.  Fold up the loose ribbon ends and pin to center of fabric to make sure they don't get caught in the side seams in the next step.  If your ribbon has a right side, make sure the right side is facing down toward the right side of the fabric.
We are going to put the pocket front and lining together now.  The pleated top of the pocket should be opposite of the ribbons.  
Place the two pocket pieces right sides together and pin.  Leave a 2 1/2 opening for turning, 4 1/2" up from the pleated end.   The arrows in the picture show where the opening should be.
Sew around all 4 sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Back stitch at the beginning and end of the opening.  Turn piece right side out and press.
Top stitch along the top of the pleated ruffle using a generous 1/8 seam allowance.
Fold the ruffle end of the pocket up toward the ribbon end 4 inches.  Pin in place.  Start at the bottom of the pocket, sew up across the top and down the other side. Back stitch at the beginning and end.
The final step is to tie the pockets together to form a banner.  Another idea I had was to use them to deliver the twelve days of Christmas to a friend- just tie the two ribbons on one pocket together and hang it over the handle of a door to deliver the day's treat.  Then the lucky recipient can tie them together as they come and end up with a beautiful banner too!

 Fill the pockets with small gifts, treats or tags with activities to do written on them.
Hope you have a very happy holiday season!


xoxo,
Amy

Friday, November 13, 2015

Canvas Christmas Tree Guest Post and a Giveaway!

Friday, November 13, 2015
Today I’m over at Skip to My Lou as part of the Bake Craft Sew & Decorate series. I am sharing a Canvas Christmas Tree Banner , these are quick to whip up for holiday gift giving. In fact, you won’t want to miss all the handmade gift ideas! I have joined over 100 bloggers to share some amazing homemade gift ideas……..Plus I get to be part of an amazing sewing giveaway too. See Below… giveaway This is one is sew AMAZING! She is a gem and her name is Rachel. giveaway
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Monday, November 9, 2015

Gratitude Journal Tutorial

Monday, November 9, 2015

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to attend a retreat.  One of the activities at the retreat involved discovering what your core values were.  One of mine ended up being Gratitude.  It's kind of important to me, but in the business of everyday life, it can be easy to overlook the small things we have to be grateful for- this is where a gratitude journal comes in.  I wanted to make a cute cover for it but instead of putting something like "Gratitude Journal" on the front, I wanted to have something a bit more personal and powerful on my cover.  I believe that all the wonderful and beautiful things that happen in my life are gifts from a loving God, and recognizing them is a great way to find happiness.  I made this journal this past summer- and this tutorial originally posted on Flamingo Toes- but I have done a very poor job of writing in it- so my goal for November is to write in it every day- and hopefully start a habit that will last a lifetime.

My notebook is 5" X 7"  and is 1/2" thick.  If you are using a different sized notebook, you will need to make adjustments to your piece sizes.

Scrappy Notebook Tutorial

Materials:
  • scraps of neutral fabric for base of cover
  • small scraps of colorful fabric for border
  • scraps for side pockets and lining of cover
  • scrap of batting or felt for inside cover
elastic (optional)
ribbon (optional)
sewing supplies
embroidery supplies, including disappearing ink pen to mark pattern (optional as well)
embroidery pattern.  You can find the one I used here, or you can make your own.

Cutting:
  • 1-  11 1/4" X 7 3/4" piece for lining of cover
  • 2-  5" X 7 3/4" pieces for side pockets of cover- press in half along the length to give you two 2 1/2" X 7 3/4" pieces
  • 1- 8 1/4" X 5 3/4"  piece from neutral fabric for base of cover
  • 1- 1 1/2 " X 5 3/4" piece from neutral fabric for back of pen pocket
  • 1- 1 1/2" X 10" piece from neutral fabric for front of pen pocket- press in half along the length to give you a 1 1/2" X 5" piece
  • various 4" scraps of colorful fabric cut into widths of 1" to 1 1/2" to be pieced into border. (I used 1", 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" widths, but you can add more or less variety if you like)
  • 1- 10 3/4" X 7 1/4" felt or batting for inside cover
  • 1- 8" piece of elastic
  • 1- 11" piece of ribbon

Sewing:
*we will be using a 1/4" seam allowance throughout
1.  Take your scraps of colorful fabric and piece together in strips.
I just tossed them on the desk next to my sewing machine and tried to let them just be scrappy.  I'm not that great at letting go of control, so I did make sure that it was a good mix of brights and cool colors, but do what works best for you.  You will need a 5 3/4"+ long strip and then a 11 1/4"+ strip- make it a little longer than what you need so you have plenty of room.

2.  Press your strips, with the seam allowance open
3. Cut your strips in half along the length so you have 4 strips all approx 2" wide.
4.  Now we are going to begin building the front of our cover.  Take your 8 1/4" X 5 3/4" neutral piece of fabric and place it face up on your work surface.  Now place the 1 1/2" X 10" piece (that is pressed in half) on top of the 1 1/2" X 5 3/4" piece- lining up the bottom and sides.  Place this pocket face down on the right side of the larger piece.
5. Sew along the right side.  Press the seam allowance toward the pocket.
6.  Take your two 5 3/4" X 2" strip pieces and pin and sew them to the two short sides of your cover piece.  Press seam allowances toward the pieced borders.
7.  Trim the border pieces to 1 1/4".
8.  Take the 11 1/4" X 2" border pieces and sew them to the top and bottom of the cover piece.  Again press seams toward the pieced borders and trim borders to 1 1/4".
9.  Prepare your piece for embroidery.  Using a light box or window center your sentiment on the right half of your neutral piece.  I used a pencil, but if you aren't comfortable with that, use a water soluble pen to mark your pattern.
I traced it very faintly, but hopefully you can see it enough to get the idea.
10.  Center your felt or batting on the wrong side of your notebook cover and baste in place with pins.  Sew around the border to hold the batting in place.  In the picture above you can see I did two rows of stitching- one at the edge of the border and another 1/4" away from that.
11. Embroider your design into the cover.

Assembling the cover:
1.  Place your cover front face up in front of you on your work surface.
2.  Line the elastic up along the left seam between the neutral fabric and pieced border.
3.  Take side pocket pieces and line up raw edges with the outer edges of the front cover.
4.  Center ribbon on the top edge of the front cover.
5.  Take inside lining piece of fabric and place, right side down, on front cover, lining up sides.  Pin in place.
6.  Sew around all sides of the cover, leaving an opening on the bottom to turn the cover right side out, back stitching at beginning and end.
7.  Clip corners and turn right side out.
8.  Press cover, turning under edges of opening.  Sew the opening closed with an edge stitch.
Slide in your notebook and you're done!

I have tons of covered notebooks, but I think this might be my favorite.  I hope you make one of your own!

xoxo,
Amy

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nursery Picture Banner

Sunday, October 4, 2015
I was given some papers and other supplies to create a project featuring this fun new line by Jen Hadfield for Pebbles inc.  I decided to create something for my new nursery.  Honestly, I thought I'd wait to post this until I had the final pictures of the nursery done, but the reality is that this is still the only piece I have finished- so I'm just going to post it.  I decided to create a photo banner and I'm really excited with how it turned out.
I added ultrasound pictures for this shot, just so you could see what I am talking about. :)  I still haven't printed pictures out of my darling baby- so this will have to do.  This project would be so fun for any room, you could make it much less girly by adjusting the papers- but I can't wait to build a gallery wall around it for my daughter.

Here's how to make your own:
You will need a large frame.  I used a shaped frame, but you could also use a regular or thrifted frame.  I wanted to add some interest to the frame, so I decided to add these wood cut out flowers- you could create a similar look using chipboard or different wood shapes.
You are also going to need paint and brushes to get your frame the color you want.  Another option would be spray paint.
You are also going to need plenty of gorgeous papers and embellishments.  I used the puffy stickers, gold foil stickers, gold Thicker- alphabet stickers, dimensional paper flowers, chalkboard labels (not shown) and two sided cardstock from Jen's new Home + Made line.  I also used some flower punches, seam binding ribbon, pennant shapes (both chipboard and wood) and Mod Podge from my own stash.
To begin you will want to paint your frame and any embellishments.  You will also want to cover your pennant shapes with papers of your choosing.  I used Mod Podge to do this.  Arrange your banner pennants to your liking before stringing them onto the ribbon.
I found that the trickiest part of the project for me was getting the placement of the banners just right.  I loosely arranged them on the frame and then made sure the nails lined up and were evenly spaced.  When I went to tie the banners on the nails, it took a bit of adjusting to get them hanging the right way.  Just tie your knots loosely at first, and then when you like how they look, go back and tighten everything up.  You may also want to add some glue to make sure everything stays in place.
The last step is by far my favorite, embellishing everything!  Add stickers, dimensional flowers, ribbons and anything else that makes you happy.  I used clips to make the pennants into mini clipboards to hold my pictures.  You could also use mini clothes pins or bulldog clips to attach your pictures, or another option would be to use washi tape.
Or, even if you didn't want to add pictures, it would absolutely darling as just a fun art piece with the banners.
I'm really excited to get all the pieces together for the baby's nursery, including this ribbon mobile.
Maybe I'll make another one of these dimensional floral art pieces using the colors from the paper line.


It's probably time to get going on her room- she's going to be walking before it's done at this rate.

XOXO,
Amy

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