Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fabric Carrot tutorial

Saturday, April 1, 2017
Sew your own Fabric Carrots with this tutorial from Ameroonie Designs
Sewing fabric carrots is simple and fun. Don't be surprised if you end up sewing a whole lot more than you think you really need.

Fabrics- large scraps of orange and smaller scraps of green
Fiber fill or other stuffing material
Sewing machine and tools
Needle and thread

Make the Carrots
Fabric carrots can be made in any size you want
 The first thing you will need to do is decide how big you want your carrots to be. You will need two rectangles in the sizes shown for each carrot. (unless you are making multiple carrots of the same fabric, then see tip below) Fold the rectangle along the length and then cut from the top outer corner to the fold point to create the pennant shape. You can really use any measurement you want, the wider the rectangle, the fatter the carrot, the taller the rectangle, the taller the carrot.
cut and sew the body of the carrot before stuffing
  1.  Cut a pennant shape that is the height and width you want for your carrot. Most of the carrots I made were 3" across the top and 9" tall. **A tip for cutting out multiple carrot bodies from the same fabric is to alternate the direction of the carrot so you can get more out of one piece. Cut a length of fabric the height of the carrot body you want, then fold it over so the right sides are facing. Use a rotary cutter and plastic ruler, or draw your lines for cutting to create the pennant shape- the point of the pennant will be at the half-way point of the width of the top. For example: To make the medium size carrots I would cut a length of fabric 9" wide. Then, I would fold over that piece so the right sides are facing. Next- using a rotary cutter or ruler, measure from one corner at the top, to a marking 1 1/2" (1/2 of the 3" width I want) in on the bottom and cut an angled line. From that bottom point, measure over another 1 1/2" (so you have 3" from the top corner) and cut your second angled line. Continue this process- measure 1 1/2" from the last point you cut on the opposite side so you create more pennant pieces that are 9" tall and 3" across the top until you reach the end of your fabric piece.
  2. Sew along the two angled sides at 1/4" seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and ending.
  3. Trim off the fabric around the tip to allow the point to be easier to turn.
  4. Turn the carrot right side out. Tip* use a blunt, pointy tool (like a chopstick) to push out the point of the carrot.
Sew the Leaves:
fabric leaves for your stuffed carrots add a bit of whimsy to your project
  1. Cut the green fabric into the size of leaves you want. For the larger carrots I used 2" X 3" rectangles, for the smaller ones, I used 2" X 2" squares. You need two pieces of fabric for each leaf. For the larger carrots I made 3 leaves, for the smaller carrots, I made 2.
  2. Round the two top corners of the leaf pieces. (note: the larger leaves are 3" tall and 2" wide)
  3. Sew around three sides of the leaf- leaving the bottom (straight) edge open. I do back stitch at the beginning and ending of each leaf so the stitches don't pull out when you turn.
  4. Clip the rounded parts of the leaves. You can use scissors to cut notches out, but I like to just use pinking shears to trim it. Just be careful to not clip your threads.
  5. Turn the leaf right side out and press.
 Assemble the carrots:
Use fiber fill to stuff the bodies then close the top with a needle and thread, adding the leaves at the end.
  1. Stuff the carrot with fiber. I like my carrots extra firm, but you do you. Leave a bit of space at the top to turn the edges over and add the leaves.
  2. Fold the top edge of the carrot body over a scant 1/4" and stitch a running stitch around the top. Bring the thread to the inside of the carrot. Pull the thread to begin to gather the top, but don't close it all the way- you still need to add the leaves. *tip: I used button thread which is thick and strong, if you use regular thread, just make sure to double it up so it's strong enough to pull tight to close the top of your carrots.
  3. Add the leaves. You can either run a gathering stitch along the bottom of the leaves, or fold the leaf and then just push the needle through the bottom- which is what I do. I accordion fold the leaf into fourths and then just add it to the thread. I add all the leaves at the same time. Pull the thread to gather the top of the carrot closed, make sure the bottom of the leaves are all enclosed in the carrot.
  4. Stitch around the top of the carrot again, catching the leaves as you go to keep them securely in the carrot. Tie off the thread when you are done.
Tie your fabric carrots into a bunch with a bright ribbon to create a fun accent piece
 Tie a group of carrots together with a bow.
Add fabric carrots to a bucket and use as a decoration with a bunny for spring or Easter.
See- even the Easter bunny loves these fabric carrots!

As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out! I'm happy to help or clarify anything.

Have a wonderful Spring!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scalloped skirt and floral garland with Lily fabric from Penny Rose

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A scalloped skirt, mini tote and fabric bunting are fun spring projects to sew
I am so excited to participate today on the Lily fabric tour for Penny Rose Fabrics. I had so much fun sewing up this scalloped skirt, mini tote and darling fabric banner using the pink and yellow colorways. The first thing I thought of when I saw this fabric was pink lemonade. It's just so happy and bright.
This scalloped skirt would be perfect sewn up for Easter
It was almost exactly 6 years ago that I first published this skirt tutorial. I love the full scallops and the bell-like look of the skirt. Please bear in mind this was one of my first tutorials and the pictures are tiny- if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me! We still have that first skirt I made and it has held up beautifully. The skirt will fit from 2-4T just by adjusting the elastic in the waist. I couldn't resist making this for my sweet little almost 2 year old. It will be her Easter dress for church. This plaid is just so great!
sew up a dimensional flower to add character to a tote
I knew I needed to make up a mini tote for her, this little girl LOVES her totes. I wanted to make it special, so I added one of these dimensional flowers. I just love how it pops off the tote.
use dimensional flowers to add volume to your banners
I wanted to create a little banner backdrop for these pictures and had the thought to add some of these fun flowers to the banner as well.
Dimensional flowers add texture to fabric spring banners
I love how the flowers add dimension and a bit of saturated color to these light, springy pennants. The pennants measure about 4" X 5" and for this size of flower, I used short strips of 1" and 3/4" widths to create the flowers. I am excited to add it to my spring decorations.
Someone else is so excited she can't stop dancing! :) If you have any questions- please don't hesitate to ask! Happy Spring Everyone!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Simple St. Patrick's Day decorations with felt and embroidery

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Simple St. Patrick's Day decorations you can make this weekend
 I don't know if you're like me, but I don't have a ton of decorations for St. Patrick's day.  However, I have kids who love when things look festive, so this year, I came up with a couple of simple (and cheap!) decorations that don't take long to make, but add a bit of fun to my decor.
simple st. patrick's day decorations to make
Today, I'm going to share with you how I made the felt circle banner, the felt shamrocks and give you the pattern for the lucky stitching. The rainbow embroidery hoop is an old project I re-used in my set up. If you want to see it a little closer up, you can check it out here- but sorry, there's no pattern- I just drew it right on the fabric and stitched it up. Rookie blogger mistake. lol.
felt shamrocks and lucky embroidery pattern
I'm always a fan of a simple embroidery project, and this one is just the ticket for a little bit of holiday fun.
I originally intended to keep it in the 3" hoop I stitched it in, but then I found this fun shaped frame in my stash and decided to use it instead. I love the pop of color it adds. You can find the embroidery pattern here. I used three strands of floss for all of the stitching.
simple felt shamrock tutorial

The second project I decided to tackle were these simple shamrocks out of felt. I love how they add some height and whimsy to my decorations.
Make a simple felt shamrock with Ameroonie Designs
As you can see, the steps are pretty simple.  All you need is some felt, scissors, hot glue gun with glue and floral wire.
1. Start with a small square of felt, I used 1 1/2" squares.
2. Cut heart shapes out of your squares of felt. I just free hand cut them, but if you are more comfortable- you can create a template and trace them.  Place a dot of hot glue on the bottom peak of the heart as shown in the picture.
3. Pinch the bottom of the heart in half, hold in place for a few seconds to allow the glue to cool.
4. Trim the bottom of the heart off to give you a flat edge on the bottom of the heart, just be sure not to trim off all the glue.
5. Put a small bit of glue on the flat edge of one heart and match it up to the bottom of a second heart. Then add glue to the edge of a third heart and center it over the joining of the first two hearts.
6. Cut a small circle of felt that will be hidden behind the shamrock. Put some glue on the circle and place the top of your floral wire in the center of the circle. While the glue is still warm, put the shamrock on top of the wire. Aannnd- you're done!!
St. Patrick's Day garland using felt circles
The last project I'm going to share is this fun circle garland. I love making these for every holiday. They are quick to put together and can easily fit any theme by switching out the colors.
All you need is a bunch of circles in the colors you like and a sewing machine. I use my very old school sizzix machine with a circle die to cut out my circles, but you can always just use scissors. Then, I just run them through my sewing machine, one after the other. I try to vary the size of the circle and the color, but I usually just keep the order random. Depending on the look you want, you can leave some space between the circles, or run them rapid fire through the sewing machine. One last tip is to sew them about 1/3rd of the way down from the tops of the circles, this way they hang flat and don't twist like they do if you sew through the centers of the circles.
simple tutorials for St. Patrick's Day crafts
I love hanging them from my window frame, I also have some branches in a vase that I string them in too. They would be fun on a window sill, a mantle or a bookshelf. These are addicting, so consider yourself warned!
And there you have it! Three simple St. Patrick's Day decorations that add a bunch of fun with just a little bit of effort.
I hope you enjoy getting your green on!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY Embroidery Floss Organizer using clothespins

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Embroidery floss wrapped clothespin organizer tutorial
 (*this post contains Affiliate Links)
 I have been working on organizing my craft room and wanted to store my embroidery floss in a pretty way. I was inspired by a couple of pictures on Instagram and loved how some creative people were not only storing their floss so it wouldn't become a tangled mess, but had it out on display. I decided to make a framed organizer so I would have somewhere to have my own embroidery floss rainbow.
DIY storage for embroidery floss wrapped on clothespins
I made my organizer to fit a little wall in the corner of my craft room, so keep that in mind when I share my dimensions- there is no real right or wrong size.
I used 1" X 4" boards to make the main body of the frame- not only did I have them on hand, but they are the perfect size for the clothespins I found. I used 1" X 2" boards to frame out the organizer. So, if you were going to purchase wood for this, you would probably spend $5 or less.
In addition to the wood you will also need clothespins, nails and paint. I found my clothespins at Walmart and the nails at Home Depot (you can probably find the nails at Walmart as well). But you can find similar clothespins and nails on Amazon. (affiliate links) I used acrylic paint I had on hand.

6- 18" pieces from the 1"X4"
2- 18" pieces from the 1"X2"
2- 22 3/8" pieces from the 1"X2"- measure the 6 1"X4"+ 2 1"X2" together to get this length
*again, these are just the dimensions I used so it would fit the space I had, there's nothing special about them.

1- paint all your wood pieces (I did not do this, and I wish I had, it's much easier to paint them when they aren't nailed together.
2- line up the 1"X4" pieces. I wanted to have a lip on the back of the frame, so I lined my boards on top of a thin piece of wood so it would be raised up a little bit- paint stir sticks would be perfect for this.
3. Line the top and bottom 1"X2" pieces and nail into place.
4. Line up the sides of the frame and nail into each of the six boards.
organize embroidery floss with clothespins

Once your boards are all secure, it's time to add the nails for hanging the clothespins.  Make sure you have your clothespins on hand to determine exactly how they will fit on the board before you put any nails in. I started 1/2" in from the side of the frame and then added 1 nail every 1". I put the nails in 1/2" down from the top of the 1"X4" board before I checked how my clothespins would fit, only to find out that I should have put them 5/8" down.
build your own embroidery floss organizer
You can see on the top row where I had to take them out and move the nails down. I left the rest of the nails in place, although they are hanging a little higher on the board than I probably would have liked. So, don't do like me- use your clothespins and determine how you want them to fit on the board- and THEN add the nails. It's going to take a while. My board holds 108 skeins of floss.
To wrap the floss, I first wrote the color number on the bottom of the clothes pin. Then I pinched the end of the floss with the pin and wrapped away. When you get to the end of the skein, you can push the ends of the clothespin and it will open just enough to slip the loose end of the floss in to hold it in place.
clothespin embroidery floss organizer
I use the bottom row to hold my pearl cotton. You can see that I need to get some reds but I'm pretty set on blues and greens. And obviously gray is a favorite too. Ha Ha.
If you have any questions- don't hesitate to ask!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

On Trend Valentines Mini Quilt- Free tutorial and pattern

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I have a spot on my gallery wall that has just been begging for a mini quilt.  I thought I would change them out seasonally so I started with this one.  Turns out it looks WAY better in my living room, and not the family room like I thought, so there aren't any pictures of it in the gallery wall, but you still get a free tutorial out of the deal, so I think we're good. ;) Plus, now I need to make a bunch of decorations that room and my budget is zero dollars, so we'll see what I can come up with- hopefully it will make for some good blogging. Lol.
The fabric I used is called On Trend and it's designed by Jen Allyson (My Mind's Eye) and produced by Riley Blake designs.  They provided the material for this blog post, but On Trend is available in fabric stores and online. I love the prints and my favorite part is the sparkle of the gold. I designed this quilt based on the note card print and I just love how it turned out.
Valentine Mini Quilt

  • Fabrics- This would be a great quilt to use 5" squares with, or fat eights. You will need a bit of yardage for the borders and the binding (and of course the backing).
    • I used 8 prints in this quilt along with some solid white to back the applique hearts. I will share the cutting dimensions and hopefully that will help you decide how you want to purchase your fabrics.
    • Probably the most economical way to make this quilt is to get a 5" stacker, then you will also need 2/3 yard white triangles (if you want the triangles to all face the same direction) fat eighth of note card print (or 1/4 yard if fat eight is not available); and 1/4 yard raspberry polka dot for binding.
  • Lightweight interfacing for applique (unless you want to use a different method to applique)
  • cardstock for heart template
3- 6 1/2" X 4 1/2" rectangles from Note Card print- I fussy cut these so the phrase I wanted to highlight was centered
4- 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares from solid white (in the picture my white squares are a little bigger because I thought it might be nice to have some wiggle room to square them up after applique, but it was unnecessary so I changed the pattern)
4- 4" squares- 2 raspberry and 2 mint polka dot
4- 3 1/2" X 4 1/2" rectangles (I cut 2- white triangle; 1 raspberry triangle; 1 raspberry stripe)
6- 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" squares (2 mint floral; 2 raspberry main; 1 raspberry stripe; 1 raspberry triangle)
2- 2" X 21" strips from white triangle for side borders
2- 2" X 18" strips from white triangle for top and bottom borders

First take a 4" square piece of cardstock and cut out a heart shape.  I will work on getting my heart template online, but you can make your own if you don't want to wait. ;) *update: I have uploaded the heart template that I used here. Make sure when you print "Actual Size" is selected in the print option window and check the size against the 1" square on the template page. If you have any problems with this, please let me know! :)
1. Trace your heart on a 4" square of the lightweight interfacing.
2. place your interfacing on top of the RIGHT side of the 4" square of the polka dot print.

  • Stitch along the pencil line around the heart.
  • Cut around the heart, leaving a 1/4" of fabric in the seam.
  • Trim around the point of the heart and cut out wedges from the curves so they will lay a bit flatter. 
  • Cut a slit in the center of the interfacing and use that hole to turn the heart inside out. The edges will be contained inside the interfacing and you can use a dull edged tool to push the seams out. Press the seams well. (you can see what the finished heart looks like in the first picture)
 1. Take the white square of background fabric and fold in half. Lightly finger press to create a faint crease.
2. Unfold the white background square and line up the point and the dip in the heart with the center fold crease. Center the heart from top to bottom.
3. Pin the heart in place.
4. Top stitch around the applique heart.

Use the picture to help with your layout- I did switch the placement of some of the prints since I decided to use the white triangle print on the borders, I didn't want those pieces on the edges. (and imagine the hearts are sewn down ;) ) You will end up with five rows. Press the seams on each row in opposite directions. There aren't many places where seams end up in the same place, but it's helpful when they do. Sew the rows together.  Sew on the side borders and then add the top and bottom border. You are now ready to quilt and bind.
I'm showing a close up of the quilting so you can see that it doesn't have to be perfect. :) I really made some wonky hearts in my quilting, but it's a lot better than the last time I tried free motion quilting, so I'm going to take it and run with it.  You can also see in this picture how I quilted around the centers of the notecard print to accentuate the sentiments I wanted to highlight. (and if you can look closely- you will see how I totally missed the corner- oops)
I love the non-traditional look of the colors in these prints. Now to make accessories that match! ;)
As always, if you  make this quilt- I'd love you to tag me! @AmeroonieDesigns on facebook or Instagram.
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fabric Planner Accessories from When Skies are Gray Fabric

Thursday, January 19, 2017
 I am really starting to love using my planners.  I bought one for the first time in a long time last year and I really enjoyed making lists, checking things off and generally seeing what was coming ahead of time. One thing I have not loved, though was not having a way to easily transport all my stuff from the kitchen counter (where it normally lives) to the kitchen table (where the magic happens).  I had to gather the pens, planner, and anything else I wanted to use.  This often took more than one trip, because I would forget something. ;)
So, when the blog hop came up for this beautiful When Skies are Gray Fabric from Simple Simon and Company, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.  A tote for all my planner stuff, and some pretty accessories to go along with it.

I ended up making a tote, a portfolio to hold my pens and a little zipper pouch that perfectly holds washi tape and opens wide so you can see all the different kinds you have in there. Because we all know you have more than one, right?
I'm not sure if I will publish the tote or portfolio patterns. They still need some tweaking and I'm not sure there is a demand for them.  But, I do have the washi tape zipper pouch tutorial ready to go!
Originally I was going to go mostly black and white and gold with this project, but the pink prints in this line stole my heart and ended up being the focus of my projects.  Isn't that little gold umbrella just awesome?
I'm so excited for this line to be available in stores, and if you head over the Simple Simon and Co's website, they have a giveaway going on for a fat quarter bundle!! Plus, they have links to all the other blogs participating in the Fabric tour and you don't want to miss all the amazing projects people have made.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

zipper pouch for washi tape

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Once I got started sewing things for my planner, I knew a must have would be a pouch for my washi tape. Now, I realize that you can throw washi tape into any zipper pouch and it would be just fine.  I just didn't want to have to dig through the pouch, or pull out all the washi to see what I have.  I also realize that for most planner addicts out there, eight rolls of washi is a ridiculous amount of washi- it doesn't even scratch the surface- but humor me here and pretend you are on a washi diet. ;) Or traveling with it, perhaps and don't want to carry the entire mother load.
What I came up with is a perfectly petite pouch that is just wide enough to hold your washi upright and just tall enough to keep it snug without being so deep you can't see inside. Plus, it opens nice and big thanks to the method I learned from Noodlehead so you can see what's in it all at once.
It uses very little fabric, so scraps will do nicely for this project, which is always a plus!

Washi Tape Zipper Pouch

Cutting Instructions:
1. 2 pieces 4"X8" of exterior fabric
2. 2 pieces 4" X 8" of interior fabric
3. 2 pieces 3 1/2" X 7 1/2" fusible fleece
4. 1 piece 1/2" X 6" (optional) for zipper pull
5. 1 piece 1 3/4" X 3" for zipper tab
You will also need a 10" zipper and sewing supplies.

  1. To prep the fabric, follow manufacturers instructions and fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the exterior fabric pieces.
  2. Take your 1 3/4" X 3" piece and fold in half along the 3" side, press. Open up the piece and bring the two edges into the center pressed line, press.
  3. Fold the piece back together and press one final time. Set aside.
 To begin, take one of your exterior fabric pieces and lay it down right side up. Place your zipper right side down and line it up along the top edge of the fabric. *Tip: I find it helpful to unzip the zipper while I install it. Slide the zipper over so that there is just over 1/4" from the edge of the fabric to the metal stop on the zipper. Be a bit generous here, you don't want to hit that metal bit with your needle! Fold the end of the zipper after the metal stop up and away from the fabric, pin in place. Line up the rest of the zipper with the top of the fabric piece and put a pin in the opposite end 1" away from the edge of the fabric. Lay the interior fabric on top and line up the top edge. Pin in place. Start at the end where the zipper is folded up and sew down the zipper using a 1/4" seam allowance.  I do not use a zipper foot, but if you like yours, feel free to do it! STOP sewing when you reach the pin that is 1" from the end.  Put your needle in the down position, lift up your presser foot and pull the zipper out of the seam allowance and down between the two fabric layers. Hold the zipper out of the way and lower the presser foot, then continue sewing the rest of the way down the fabric.
  1. Press the interior fabric away from the zipper, then press the exterior fabric away from the zipper also.
  2. Place the second piece of exterior fabric face up on your table.  Line up the metal stops of the zipper and line the edge of the zipper up with top of the fabric, pin in place. Fold up the zipper past the stop and pin out of the way.  Repeat the rest of the steps from the first side, making sure to mark a point 1" away from the end of the front fabric piece, stop sewing at that pin and pull the zipper out of the way when sewing.  It makes much more sense once you do it.
  3. Once you've pressed both sides of fabric away from the zipper, close the zipper part way.
  4. Move the interior fabric out of the way and pin the extra zipper to the front piece of the bag to keep it from getting sewn into the seams.
  •  Line up the exterior pieces of the bag right sides together and pin into place, then line up the lining.  Fold the seam allowances at the zipper toward the lining side of the bag.  Mark an opening 4"-5" in the bottom of the lining to allow for turning the pouch.
  • Sew around all four sides of the bag, except for your opening in the lining using a 1/4" seam allowance. Mark 1" squares out of each corner and cut them out.
  • Pull open each corner and line up the seams to create a straight line. Pin.
  • You will end up with a wonky looking creature. :) Sew each corner with a 1/4" seam allowance.
 Pull the bag right side out through the opening in the lining.  **Watch out for the pin holding the zipper!! You know I have stabbed myself more than once doing this step, right? Push out all of the corners and then sew the opening in the lining shut.  You can hand stitch this, but I like to just fold in the seam allowance and stitch close to the edge to close it.  Push the lining into the bag and press the fabrics away from the zipper again.  Top stitch around the entire bag.  We are almost there friends!
Remember our little 1 3/4" X 3" friend we pressed and then forgot about?  It's time to let him get to work.  Unfold the center fold and then refold it the opposite direction. Now your raw edges aren't tucked into the center- they are on the outsides of the piece. Sew down both short sides using a 1/4" seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and ending of both sides. Trim away the corners of the raw edges, not the folded edges. Turn the piece right side out with the seam allowances on the inside. You now have a little pocket to slide your zipper into.  Before I do that, however, I like to trim up my zipper so it's not too long. I use the tab as a measuring stick and line it up with the edge of the pouch and then snip on the far side of it. I'd rather my zipper be on the long side so the pouch opens up better. Once you've trimmed your zipper, slide the tab on and sew around all four sides of it to hold the zipper firmly.
Take your 1/2" wide strip and tie it to the zipper pull.  You're finished!
Now get out there and plan your life!
And you'll look fabulous doing it!!

Let me know if there are any questions!  And please share pictures if you make one- I'd love to see! Tag me on Instagram at AmeroonieDesigns if you do end up using my patterns. It's so thrilling to see when they're used.
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