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!