Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Three Owls

Sleepy Baby Owlets


I've been whipping up hand warmers in my spare time like crazy! I absolutely love the idea of these little, sleepy owlets. They are warm and cuddly when microwaved or cold after being in the freezer - Ready for emergencies! 

They make me feel better, and I hope they make you feel good too! 

This is Oliver the Owlet

They are great to have around the house or give as gifts! Pack em' in the freezer and they will be ready for any bumps or bruises along the way. Cold winters?? Pop in the microwave for 30 seconds and you have perfect warm owlets to take with when...

Walking the dog
Going to the bus
Hockey games
Football games
Making a snowman
Trips to the cider mill
Wherever your heart takes you...

The best part is that they are OWLS!
Sew cute :)

I found this Owl Template from Our Peaceful Planet and cut two pieces of fabric- the front and back. Make sure to print the little gift-tag to go with them. They make the best comfort gifts!

Normally, I would use cotton, but as soon as I found out you could use flannel in the microwave I couldn't wait to try it out on my cute owl flannel fabric!! I pre-washed and pressed my fabric first. I would also recommend researching the type of fabric you use when making these. A lot of people recommend fleece and felt. My felt was 100% polyester and made from recycled plastic bottles (not good for the microwave). So I couldn't use felt. Oh well...

This is Olivia the Owlet (being assembled)

I embroidered the eyes and beak on using a zig-zag stitch. I tried a blanket stitch but didn't think it went well with my theme. The zig-zag adds an extra fluffiness to the owl eyes (in my opinion) and then draw sleepy eyes using a fine point, permanent fabric marker. 

Sew the two sides, wrong sides together, all the way around using a 1/4 seam allowance. Leave a 1.5" opening at the bottom to fill with stuffing. 

I used rice.


Make sure to use pins to prevent the fabric from moving while under the sewing machine.

Once the owlet hand warmer is 3/4 full, pin to prevent rice from falling out and sew the opening closed. Don't forget to back-stitch at the beginning and end. 

Meet Oakley the Owlet!

Sew this cute, sleepy, baby owlet together and you are all set! Trim with pinking shears around the edges. 

And then there were THREE!

Olivia, Oliver and Oakley the Owlets!

Hope you try these with your family, they are sew much fun and super easy to make! Anyone can do it!
Thanks for reading, come back again soon!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Advent Calendar

Merry Christmas!


I finished this project last year before my sewing machine jumped off the table and smashed it's face. Needed a bit of reconstruction and tension adjustments before it was up and running again. Yikes!

This was my first, and pretty-much last project for the holidays until I got my machine fixed. So once it was finished it was a huge well as excitement! (The Advent Calendar - that is!)

This has to be my PROUDEST project! I've done a lot of really tedious, long projects but this was a huge step for me and my sewing career. I didn't know where to start. How to cut a Christmas tree? How to add buttons and rick-rack? Make felt ornaments? And pockets? With numbers? Woah woah we all need to settle down!

Then, suddenly I found this beautiful pattern/tutorial on A Bright Corner and used it as inspiration before I had a complete panic attack. My sister was asking me to make one, and I had a very limited amount of time. Once I found the image that I liked, I figured I could copy it into my own version and hopefully it would turn out?! AND her Family would love it too! I was counting on this to be the perfect Christmas present. No pressure or anything. They wouldn't be able to use it until the next year anyways....but it was worth a try.

First things first- I ran to store and bought a bunch of fabric and felt. I constructed an entire quilt. Top, middle, and back. Basted and quilted, now onto the next challenge!


I had no template to use or anything as an example. I mean, I've cut, glued, and made Christmas trees before, but I was nervous. I wanted to make sure it was the perfect size and had just the right amount of branches, and such....

My husband and I actually made a poker table out of a card table, staple gun, and green felt. We ended up having about a yard of green felt leftover. Perfect! I used some tailors chalk to stencil a tree. I folded the felt in half and used the chalk to draw half of the tree onto the felt. Once I was satisfied, I cut the tree out and ironed it onto the quilt using heat n' bond. After that was set, I appliqued around the edge of the tree using green thread and 1/8 seam allowance. Looking great so far! I was nervous about ironing the felt, but it wasn't made out of plastic so it pressed out fine.

 I wanted to leave room in the upper right-hand corner to add 'The Family Name', so it would be personal and they could continue to use it for years to come. Once the tree was secure, it was time to add the rick-rack. I watched a great YouTube video about how to sew on rick-rack. You want to sew directly in the middle of the ribbon, so it lays flat and even. Go slow and use coordinating thread. It was definitely more fun and satisfying than anything sew far! :) Doesn't it make the perfect tree garland?

The pockets were the most challenging part. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. In fact, I sewed them upside down at first, and had to re-do them a few times. Ideally, I wanted to use the same pocket color, but ran out of the hot green fabric and used some of the red fabric in between....which ended up turning out better than I expected! The pockets were about 2x2 inches, and the end pockets are slightly smaller. Like I said before, No Clue!?! Somehow they all managed to line up perfectly. Hooray!

I gathered an entire jar of white buttons, and thought they would make perfect snowflakes to hang the ornaments on. Buttons are easy and fun to sew! They were a little time-consuming...but definitely makes the Advent Calendar sew much better and hands-on for the kids too. If you want the quilt to look like it is snowing, add some fabric circles or sew extra buttons around the entire quilt. I stuck to just the tree. Portion out exactly 24 buttons! BAM, DONE!

I bought some stick-on numbers at JoAnn's on clearance. They suck! You can't wash the quilt, and probably the older it gets the more likely they are to lose there stick, and fall off. If you are smart, I would applique or use some permanent heat n bond to solidify the bond. I guess you could always buy more stick-on's? Also, just one pack of numbers wasn't enough, which is why there are red and white numbers. Ha ha! It works just fine. 

Now, onto the ornaments. I grabbed some polyester felt from JoAnn's Fabric store in every color. I also printed a template here to use as an example. They helped, but made it harder than necessary... There are a lot of little details that were hard to cut and glue perfectly. For example, the candy cane, holly, and Santa! I think the best part is that they are all handmade with LOVE. Even down to the MSU present and Mom and Dad mittens! I just cut out pieces of felt and glued them together using a hot glue gun. Added a green ribbon to use for hanging.

Santa, Candy, Gingerbread Man, Ornaments, Stocking, Mittens.....Oh My! And don't forget about the STAR! That is the most important part, in my opinion. What I am unsure about is whether you wait until the end to put it on the tree, or is it the beginning? What do you do? Here is a close-up of all the ornaments hanging on the tree.


Advent Calendar 

This advent calendar turned out so good! It was completed November 23, 2014. Here is it this year at my sisters' adorable house! It looks wonderful hanging next to all the Christmas decor. Her kids love picking an ornament to hang each day of the month. 
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Can't wait to see what 2016 has to bring! Thank you to all of those who have supported me and my sewing habits! I Love You...


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Happy Hand Warmers

Happy ❤️ Hand Warmers 

I have been pondering ideas for easy, handmade items that would make great gifts, and that I could make in bulk in a short amount of time. Bingo! 

I found this cute tutorial on Pinterest and thought it would make a great gift for my Mom. She is always cold, loves to walk outside, and is always looking for the microwave! She could throw these little warmers in before going out for a walk and be all set. PS. We Live in Michigan....It's freezing.

Here is what you need:

Fabric Squares
Sewing Machine
Pinking Shears

We have a membership to Costco; so we have a HUGE bag of organic, brown rice that could feed a family of 100 people. Not kidding! Don't you ever wish Costco wasn't bulk, but still had great prices? I mean who needs that much rice anyways? *Read more about types of rice-filling at the end of this post.

The fabric I am using is called Hugs n' Kisses by Red Rooster Fabrics. They are perfect squares, that could easily be cut and matched up to make a perfect pair.
It's sew pretty!

I really love the warm blues, pinks and greys...with a homey-outdoor theme. I found this fat quarter at the local quilt shoppe for less than a $1, and I figured I could make at least 8 sets of two for friends and family. I usually never go to the fabric store knowing what I want, it's always random! Like this patchwork fabric, I didn't know it would make the perfect hand warmers?!? You never know when inspiration will hit. 

Step 1-
Cut out two squares and place the wrong sides together. "Pretty side up" and sew 1/4 seam around the outside. Remember to leave an opening to add the rice.

Remember to back-stitch at the beginning and end to secure the opening. You can see I left a 1.5" opening at the top of this pouch. 

Step 2-
Use something to fill the pouch with rice, about 3/4 full. I just grabbed some paper and used it as a funnel. 

Once you have the rice filled, pin the opening and sew it closed using the same 1/4" seam allowance.

Step 3-
Grab your pinking shears and trim around the edges to prevent fraying. 

That's it!

Once you are finished with both hand-warmers, find something cute to use for wrapping. Print off the FREE instructions and use it as a label for your perfect warm and cuddly, Happy Hand Warmers. 

If you zap in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, you will be able to enjoy these little babies for at least 30 minutes! This would make a great beginner project, or something you could do with your children to make as gifts to help Mom stay warm this winter. 

I have used organic, brown, long grain rice to fill my pouches. Don't use instant rice...and look for long grain.

I've done a bit of research for these heated pouches, and people have used corn, beans, and even flax seeds!? You could add a touch of lavender or essential oils for a scented version. Sometimes the scent can be super powerful and overwhelming. Unless of placed in a sock drawer or something? The possibilities are endless, just have fun! 

Thank you - Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Jingle Jingle!

Tis' The Season to be Dresden, Fa LA La la la....


I don't know what it is about Dresden's, but I love them! I've read somewhere that the name comes from a small town in Germany, and were originally created during the 1920's when floral decor was popular, and women could easily whip this up using whatever scraps they had laying around the house. This could all be BS?! Because you can't believe everything you read on the Internet, right?

The little pedals can be made in all different shapes and sizes. I received a magazine recently called "Love Patchwork & Quilting" and it came with a modern Dresden project book. I decided Christmas would be the perfect time to create a pretty Dresden table runner. I've made them before, using a Dresden ruler and a charm pack. This time was different....I was using a cheerful, holiday fabric with different size templates. I've always wanted to use the rounded edge, but not sure exactly how? I'll have to save that for another day. Here is a page out of the booklet to show all the different options you can make using these templates. Pretty cool?!

Here are the 12 pedals I was using to make one Dresden. This Dresden was used with the 12-blade ruler, meanings 12 pedals. The other rulers used 8-blade and 5-blade. Those would be chunkier with less pedals. Once they are all sewn together, I cut one 18x18 background square and fold it half, and in half again to find the center. I usually iron press the center and pin the Dresden around the center of the background square. Each template offers different dimensions.

You need a cardboard template to make the center circle. Here, I am using the template that came with the magazine. I draw an outline around the template and cut out the red circle center fabric. I do a simple gather stitch around the edge. Place the template inside the circle and iron around so it makes a perfect circle. 

Press, starch.... Remove the template and pin to the center of the Dresden.

Here is a YouTube tutorial by Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilting CO. and how she makes the center circle. It's very easy to understand. I love watching her video tutorials, they are sew easy! Check it out here.

The shorter the Dresden pedal, the bigger the center circle. If you look closely at the center circle template, you will see it starts with a small red circle, then purple, green and blue. I only used the blue and purple center circles for this table runner. 

I started with the red, center circle and used a coordinating red thread to blanket stitch around. Once that was finished, I began to stitch the pedals. Stay as close to the edge as possible, and slowly work your way around. I always use the drop needle, so I don't lose my spot-and go slowly! There is no rush and you want to make sure it is flat and does not bunch. Make sure to use a lot of pins. Some people prefer to hand baste around the circle first, but I like to use my machine.

Round and round we go! 
Once they are all done and sewn together, I added the same red metallic border all the way around. I still need to baste, bind and quilt! I think this would make a great gift for my God-mother who loves Christmas decorations as much as I do. The fabric I used was a bundle called, Jingle by Kate Spain for Moda, it has to be one of my favorite lines. I love the cardinals and Christmas writing.

Isn't it pretty? I'm a new blogger, so I apologize for the picture quality. I'm still learning. I wouldn't consider this post a tutorial, but you could use it as a resource. Thanks, hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mrs. Claus

Santa Skirt


Well, well, well....Tis the season for everything red, green and cold! Who doesn't love the holidays? Haha

Every year around Christmas I am a complete mess. I panic about shopping, spending, eating, baking, gifts, decor, lights...Oh My! I am completely enthralled in the months list of things to do, and wondering when I have time to do it all? 
I usually have an idea of all the things I want to make, and use every opportunity to avoid those, and work on something else. You know what I mean? 

I found this tutorial by, Just Add A Bow on YouTube and was excited to give it a try! I watched the video a few times, and felt pretty confident that I could make this skirt. So I went to Joann's and picked up a few supplies.

This is what you need:

6 inch tulle (any color, on a spool) X2
7/8 to 1 inch ribbon X5
Crochet headband or elastic
Sewing Machine

Make a cardboard ruler or use something to make the length of tulle you need. In my case, my teddy bear has a 19.5" waist. So I needed about 7.5" of tulle in length. I used a 16" ruler, and wrapped the tulle around as many times as possible. Cut it twice, top and bottom.

Now that you have all the tulle pieces cut you will need to cut the ribbons. Each ribbon needs to be cut to 6 inches and then you need to burn the ends to prevent fraying. I used four rolls of white ribbon. 

*Don't forget to use your coupons!*

Sew the ribbons to the ends of each piece of tulle. The ribbon has a natural curl to want to place the curl curved upward onto the sewing machine. 

Chain piece the ribbon to the tulle ends, and repeat on the other side. I did sections of 20 tulle pieces, because I had exactly 40, 6 inch ribbons...two for each piece. I'm not sure how many pieces of tulle I used altogether, but it had to be at least 100!

I went all the way around my Santa Bear tying the pieces of tulle onto the crochet headband. I bought the crochet headband by the yard. However, I would recommend finding the cheaper ones that are sold as headbands. They come in may different colors and stretch to fit most children's waist. It probably took me 3 hours total. I didn't expect to use that much ribbon, so had to make a couple extra stops at the fabric store! I thought it turned out better than I expected?! The possibilities are endless! I was brainstorming some color options, and thought black with black satin, or multi-color with thick ribbon would look adorable for special occasions other than Christmas! Hopefully, my baby cousin will look seasonally precious for her photoshoot and that she loves her big, Santa skirt! 

What are a few things on your "List to Do" this holiday season? 

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stuffed Owl Pillows

Adorable Baby Owl Pillows
!Owl Tell You Sew!

Today will be my first tutorial in celebration of my cuz-babes birthday! She will be turning 1! Can you believe it? Where does the time go? She is absolutely adorable and loves everything girly and pink. I wanted to make something special to give to her so that she can fall in love with animals and have it be something she will recognize as LOVE and COMFORT. It isn't just any stuffed animal!
I found this pillow while searching for owls on etsy! It was sew cute, I just had to make one! It's really simple and FUN! I busted out all my favorite scraps and fabrics. Lace, ribbons, buttons, minky, ruffles and sparkle! The eyes are actually from my MIL, she keeps them from her shoe boxes that come with the flower packaging. Awesome!
Poor thing needs a beak! 

To start, grab some scraps laying the Owl Template from 'the eternal thread' 
She does a really great tutorial with step by step pictures. 
You will need:
Fusible Interface
Heat n Bond
Sewing Machine

Start by tracing the owl template for both the front and back of your owl. 
This will be my front fabric. Do the same for back fabric. I have used minky and flannel with no problems. Anything you want!
Iron on Interface to the front owl (and back). I only do the front side...but I think it's too stiff so I leave it out. 
Cut out wings and decorate them! I sometimes add a blanket stitch around or hand embroidery. Buttons, ric rac, lace, textured fabrics, etc. Have fun with it! 

It took me awhile to decide on the front. I recently figured out a way to make Ruffles using embroidery floss. Have you tried this??? It's awesome and really easy. You basically just zigzag stitch on either side of the embroidery floss and the ruffle will gather when it slides along the floss. After about 5 ruffle strips along the front of my owl, it's time to work on the eyes!
Tip: Draw a line using invisible or wash-away pencil where the wings will be placed on the front of the owl. 

For the eyes, I used felt and cut around the edge to make a feathery eye pocket. I used heat and bond to hold in place and sewed a circle in the center. This will just solidify the eyes. Instead of the sparkly flowers, I went with more of a "retro" inspired look. These are crocheted sunbursts from an old, unfinished project. 

I added buttons to keep the eyes in place. Don't forget to add the beak!
Add the wings on each side. You can hand stitch, blanket stitch or straight stitch! I appliqué the hexagon on the left with a blanket stitch. The right has a few green buttons...I wish I added more? You can add ear tufts or feet at this time too! I used orange ribbon and sewed tiny feet in place before adding the owl back. 
With the cute owl facing you...add the owl back (right sides together) and sew around the owl leaving a three inch opening for turning. I usually leave the opening at the bottom. Make sure you add a few pins to secure the back in place. 
Trim excess fabric and cut ear corners. 
Turn the owl inside out....and press.
Now time to stuff!! Stuff the little guy! Keep stuffing...I used polyfill craft stuffing. Sew the opening closed with a blind stitch. TA DA! Isn't he cute? I think I know exactly whooooo this is going to !
What do you think his name should be?

I'm just obsessed with owls! They are sew cute together ;)
These owl pillows would make a great gift for new Moms and kids whoo love stuffed animals; or to use as decoration! The possibilities are endless....just have fun with it.
Hope you Love them as much I DO <3


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fat Quarter Folding

I love when you buy a fresh bundle of fat quarters and they look so perfect together. Usually they go in a box stored away for that perfect pattern to come along. Most of the time forgotten...or just hoarded away! This easy folding method is nice to bring your fabrics to life! You can give it as a gift or display until it's ready to be cut and quilted.

First, lay out your fat quarter with the pretty face down and give it a quick press. Fold the bottom to the center and the top to the center. So it looks like this.
Now fold both top and bottom together, so you have a long, thin piece of fabric. (hot dog way) Starting from the right, fold the salvage edge towards the bottom to make a triangle. Fold three times. 
Now for the left side...
The trick is to match how the right side triangle is once you have folded it three times. Start the left side like this. 
Fold three times. Until it looks like the picture below. Add it to your fat quarter set. Doesn't it look cool? 
Once all your fabric is folded you should have a cute matching set to display or give as a gift. 

When you move on to the next piece of fabric, start by folding the right side to match the last set of fabric first. Fold three times. This will make them opposite so they create that tulip shape. Like sew ;)
There is an awesome video tutorial by Me & My Sister Designs on The Fat Quarter Shop YouTube channel. Check it out! The sisters make other things to like patterns, tutorials and fabric! Wow! Dream come true! One of my favorite free patterns is their pillowcase tutorial. It was one of my first sewing projects, and great for beginners.

This fabric is called, Fresh Lilacs by Debbie Beaves and Maywood Studios. I have gotten a lot of use with this bundle. I made over seven boxy pouch makeup bags as bridesmaids gifts. Loved how they turned out. Plus, lilacs are one of my FAVORITE flowers!!! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Owl Blocks

As soon as I saw this picture on instagram, I just had to make one! Plus I am totally obsessed with all-things-owls so it wasn't hard to purchase this pattern from @Homespunhandmaiden for only $1.99! Try making one yourself. It's sew much fun and very easy to put together too. 
I couldn't wait to get started! So I picked out some left over tiger lily fabric from a recent quilt. It is brown with green, yellow and orange flowers. It reminds me of Fall! I have a 12 x 12 pillow form and decided it would look great as a mini pillow for my living room. 
I cut all the squares and rectangles out, which only took me an hour...I hate cutting fabric! This would be a lot easier if you could use scraps. 
These alphabities are a must! If you don't have any, you should make some or use paper and pencil. It makes the steps go by faster and helps stay organized. Before I purchased alphabities this is what I used... 
Super simple! Right?
Back to the sewing machine!
I started to make the eyes, body, ears, beak...and continued until the block was complete! The reason there are two owls is because the pattern was wrong, but after seeing the two together they are pretty cute!!
I was able to quilt, and use the larger owl for the 12 x 12 pillow form. I absolutely love how it turned out. Whoooo wants it?

Thanks and Have a nice Monday!