Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's a mother to do?

What's a Mama to do?   My baby is setting herself up a new my living room.  She did a pretty good job too, with her stuffed critters, her backpack and a sweet bed....

A  good number of her books, her globe, her lei, her soccer trophy and her doll that Great Grandma Evelyn gave her....

I appreciate her being creative and using her imagination and being so conscientious in what she's creating.

I can't make her take it all down...can I?  I mean, maybe I can just make a little exception and have a new addition to my living room....a cozy spot to rest and read a book or look up where Turkey is on the globe.

Oh wait....nope.  This is what's on the other side of her little creation.  Right then.  Time to pick up before Daddy gets home!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Part 3: How to choose fabric...from the beginning...making a Table Runner

I can spend hours browsing the fabric at quilt stores or even the online stores. The variety and selection out there is going to blow your mind. It's so pretty...I want it all for precious. Whoa. Watch it. Fabric can become an obsession. Have fun with it and don't take it so seriously.

Some of the best fabric choices I've made were because I was desperate and just needed something to fill a space. If I am missing a piece of fabric for something I'm working on, I normally do not want to take the time to go to the I scrounge about in my fabric remnants and say a little prayer for something that fits...quite often it's definitely not what I would have chosen...if I had a choice, because it's ugly.  But don't let that worry you too much...the ugly fabrics, believe it or not, don't read ugly...usually... in an entire quilt, they add character and interest.

Be aware though, I have ruined an entire quilt with a single wrong fabric choice, too. So make sure whatever you pick, it fits the image that you're going for. In fact, at the end of this, I'll show you the worst fabric choice I ever made...beware!!! 

How I typically choose a fabric is, I pick my main fabric first.  Sometimes the main fabric is the star of the show and sometimes it's a supporting player.  It's the one you're going to use the most.  You want your other fabric choices to compliment it.  If you'll notice the picture above, these are some of the fabrics I have used in my table runner.  The large piece in the back is my main fabric.  I would say in my table runner, it's a supporting player as many of my other fabric choices are flashier than it.  There's the oranges and the bright greens and the black that all show off a bit more.  But, they all tie into that main fabric and have at least one characteristic of it. 

Be careful with shades and hues of colors.  A forest green fabric, for instance would not have worked here.  It's green...but not the right hue...the greens I have chosen might not match the main fabric exactly, but they still have a lime green similarity to it.

The butterfly fabrics have some different colors that are not present in my main fabric, like turquoise, but they still fit as they are mostly neutral and have many of the same colors. Remember, you don't have to keep everything exactly the same...but similar is good.

You also need to have resting spots for your eyes.  If all you have is a bunch of wild prints...your eyes don't know where to land and what to look at first, so your work reads as confusing. Solid fabrics provide a resting spot as well as black prints and neutrals.  They stand out and your eyes seek these little perches and from there, they look at all the other gorgeous fabrics you have chosen and the pattern you have used.   So, choose some solid fabrics, something with black in it as well as neutrals.  The white trim around each square above also gives your eyes a path to follow.  Your eyes want things to make sense.

Here's another group of fabrics that I think works well together.  I've got the main fabric at the top and all the complimentary fabrics down below.  I would want some more solids besides the red one at the far edge, but overall think this would be very pretty as a table runner.

Alright.  I told you I'd do you my least favorite quilt...all because of one dang blasted fabric...

Here it is, my diamond quilt.  I love this pattern and plan on making another quilt using these oblong diamonds someday...but...I do not love it because of one poor fabric choice.  So, I wondered if you could spot the fabric I hate without my pointing it out to you...Which one do you think it is? 

Why did I do it?  Why did I pick this fabric?  I was thinking I wanted to keep the quilt feminine because of the frilly, floral prints...saw this and it was on super sale.  In my mind, I was thinking it was pink which would fit and the greens were a good match for the other greens. retrospect, the red in it and the words and the over all feel of the fabric is all wrong.

Grrrrr...Oh well.  All I can do now is realize this was a learning moment.  I knew as I was sewing these blocks that I wasn't loving this one fabric...but I was too impatient to fix it at the time.  I didn't want to unpick the rows I'd already sewn and didn't want to buy new fabric and...well, there's always a reason, but if you really don't love something.  Stop.  Rethink it.  You want to be happy with your end product.

Remember...picking fabrics is fun!!  Enjoy it.  Choose fabrics you really like...but if you have a spot that needs something, try out a questionable might just really like it....but if you don't...ditch it and find something that really works!

Thanks for reading!

Other posts in this series:
Part 1: The Basics     
Part 2: Measuring and What kind of fabric to buy
Part 4: How to cut fabric without cutting yourself
Part 5: Time to start cutting and pinning
Part 6: How to Pin Properly
Part 7: Let's Press
Part 8: Leaders and Enders


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Part 2: Let's start measuring...Beginner's Table Runner

So, you've thought about it, and want to try your hand at sewing a little something for your house.  A table runner is a fun thing to make as it's not too big and requires only a small fraction of fabric compared with an entire quilt.  Plus, if you mess it up completely...which happens once in a while, you won't feel so distraught having wasted the fabric, time, effort...but don't worry, I am going to get you through this with something you will be proud of!

We're going to talk fabric in this post of the series.   But not necessarily the FUN stuff about fabric.  We're going to talk about measurements and how much fabric you're going to need for this little project.  The real fun stuff will happen in my next post...but this is very, very important to this project, so hang out for a bit.

My table is one size and yours is most likely different.  So, you have to decide how big you want to make your table runner.  Etiquette decries that a table runner should be 1/3 the width of your table and hang 12 inches off both ends.  This is basically just a guideline.  You don't want it to hang off the edges, fine make it the size of your table.  So, the quantities of fabric I'm going to give you are an estimate.  You'll need to do some measuring and calculating and take it from there.  I'll tell you how.  I will say, always estimate too big.  Much better than risking not having enough.  Although, sometimes that just means you have to figure something else out...and that might work out better in the end.  I am not the poster child for always starting with enough fabric.  Many times, I find something I like...start using it...and then have to figure something out because I didn't follow the 7 P's and ran out.  And that's okay.  I like living on the edge!  Maybe for your first couple of quilts though...start with enough fabric.

The Basics

-What kind of fabric do I buy?

You need to buy quilter's cotton.  This is a nice quality of cotton that will hold up well under heavy use.  If you go to a specialized quilt store, pretty much the majority of everything there will be quilters cotton.  If you go to a craft store, you can always ask somebody, where the quilter's cottons are.  Many times they'll have a sign that specifies what's what.  For my solid color fabric, I really like Kona cotton.  It is a nice heavy quilters fabric with many gorgeous colors....but, I also only use Kona white for my whites.  This is my personal preference, anything will work, this just happens to be very nice fabric.

-What's a yard?   

You buy fabric in yards or fractions of yards.  So, 1 yard of regular, quilter's grade cotton is 36" long by approximately 40" wide.  The width varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, sometimes it's an inch or two less and sometimes it's a bit larger.  You can fairly safely estimate that there will be at least 40 usable inches along the width.  Okay, so want to know how many square inches are in a yard? 1440.  For my enlightened foreign readers, when I say buy a's a metre..ish.  1 yard = .9144 meters.

-How big should I make my table runner?

Mine is 76" long by 16" wide. Which is 15 rows with 3 squares per row.  So, first what you need to decide is, how wide you want your table runner to be.  Each square including a portion of the white border comes to a little over 5 inches x 5 inches square.  If you feel that 16" is round about 1/3 the width of your table, give or take...then you want to go 3 blocks across as I've done here.  If you have a very small table, you might want to use only 2 blocks across and then your table runner will be about 12 inches wide.  If you've got a completely HUGE table, you might want to go 4 blocks across. 

Now you need to figure out how long you want it. Mine hangs off the edges approximately 8 inches on each side.  Clearly I didn't feel the need to go the recommended foot.   I would say make it a bit smaller at first and if you want to add more length go ahead.  Or if you've made too many rows, and don't want it to be so long, you can always un-pick and get the length you want.  You can always bring your table runner to your table and see what you think.  I did this several times until I decided on the length I wanted.

-What colors fabric do I need?

You need your main fabric.  It's nice if this has several colors that you can play off of and compliment with the other fabrics.

You need several complimentary fabrics that look nice with your main fabric.  I have used 9 different fabrics that look nice with my main fabric and repeated from those as needed.  Some are solids and some are patterns.  You don't need 9.  You can use less, or more, even.  For my size table runner, I used 23 squares of the various fabrics and 22 from my main fabric.

You need white fabric.

You need something for the back.  It doesn't have to be the same as you used on the front...and technically doesn't even have to match as you won't really see it.  Maybe buy something on sale for the back.

-So how much fabric do I need?

For the size of table runner I've made you need 1/2 yard of your main fabric.  1/2 yard of various different fabrics that compliment your main fabric.  1/2 yard of white fabric.  1 yard of fabric for the back.  I am lucky, I've got a load of scraps that I can rummage through to get the multitudes of fabric I've used.  You might need to buy a little bit of extra fabric so you can get a nice selection for your various fabrics. But, over all, you just need 1/2 yard of it.  You really could just use two fabrics if you so chose.  You are going to cut your squares out 5" x 5" so make sure that whatever you get is at least 5 inches long and 5 inches wide.  You can always ask the cutters to give you 1/4 a yard of several.  This will give you a bit extra as 1/4 yard is 8" you'll have a spare 3 inches.

-How much fabric should I buy if I'm making a different size than you?  (READER BEWARE...this is a lot of math stuff.  You can skip over this completely as your eyes might start to glaze over and just jump to the bottom...I would recommend it...really...I would.  This is explaining how you can very accurately determine how much fabric you need.  It's much easier to just estimate and get a bit too much fabric than to do all this...but if you want to figure it out to the inch...this is how)

Okay, so what you need to know is you can cut out seven or eight, 5 inch squares along the width of your fabric. Want to know how I know that?  As explained above, the average width of fabric is 40 inches.  40 divided by 5 (because that's how wide your squares are)=8... Thus you can cut out 8 squares from your width of fabric.

Now, as long as you know how long your table is, you can divide that by 5 (because our squares are 5 inches long) and you will get how many rows you are going to make.  So in my table runner I took the 76" long I wanted it to be and divided by 5 and I got 15.  (I have 15 rows of 3 squares).  Okay. 

So, then you take your 15 rows (or however many rows yours is going to have) and times it by how many squares wide you want it.  Mine is 3 squares wide.  So 15 rows x 3 squares per row= 45 squares in my table runner. 

Now divide that in half because you are using your main fabric for half the squares and your various prints for the other half.  So you get 22.5  squares that are using your main fabric and 22.5 that are using your various prints.  Well, how much fabric do you need if you're going to cut out...we'll round up and say 23 squares because one fabric will have 23 squares made of it and the other fabric has 22 squares cut from it.  Well, you know you can cut out 8 squares from your fabric take 23 and divide by 8 and you get 2.875... lets round up to 3.  So this means you need 3, 5 inch lengths (because that's how long your squares are)...which comes to 15 inches of fabric.  1/2 a yard comes to 16 inches of fabric.


Now for the sizes of the white strips...ahem...okay then...there are 4, 1" x 5" strips per row and there is one more horizontal strip than # of rows at 16.25" x 1".  So you'll have to figure out how many rows you're going to make and how many squares per row...for my quilt I have used a total of 320 inches of white fabric.  Take the 1440 square inches in a yard and divide that by the 320 that we're using here and turns out you really can get by with 1/3 of a yard of white and...time, just round up and get 3/4 a yard of white if you're in doubt.  The 1/2 yard I've recommended for the size I've made is a bit too much as it is. 


Holy crap. If that's beyond you...and it probably should be more math than you'll want to put into it...
just get a bit extra.  If you think your table runner is going to be considerably larger than a yard of each and a couple yards of the back fabric.  If yours is going to be considerably smaller than mine...still buy the amounts I've recommended and you'll have a bit to spare afterwards.  No sense depressing yourself by having to do all that math.  Quilting is fun...round up!

Next post I will talk about your fabric choices...the colors, the patterns the good stuff.  You might experience a little fabric euphoria...which is a good thing...especially if you just read all that math up above.

Thanks for reading!  Please see the other posts in this series.

Part 1...The Basics
Part 3...How to pick your fabric
Part 4...How to cut fabric without cutting yourself
Part 5: Time to start cutting and pinning
Part 6: How to Pin Properly
Part 7: Let's Press
Part 8: Leaders and Enders


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ohhhh the good stuff!

Over at Inspiration Cafe today we have a couple amazing guest posters.  Normally I put these over on the right hand side of my blog...but I am having issues today.  So I'm giving them a quick post because you must check them out.  Some seriously good stuff.

First up is Suzan from Simply Vintageous.  She's doing a series on giving your futniture a makeover and trust me...I want to have something to make over to use this technique!

The herringbone pattern is so pretty!  Love it! 

Click here to see how she did it...

The other post is from Christa at Controlling Craziness...and she has inspired me that even though my kids are wearing doesn't have to look like it.  Just whip them up some super quick, super easy leg warmers.  Definitely on my list of must dos.

Click here to see how easy this is...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Part 1: Let's start from the very to make a beginners Table Runner...Part 1

quilted table runner beginners

If you think it would be kinda fun to sew something...but don't know what and don't want to make too much of a commitment, then you need to be my best friend for a couple of weeks.  I am going to do a series here on how to make a table runner.

Not only am I going to teach you how to make a table runner but I'm also going to give you the 4-1-1 that you need to start sewing.  Basic tips, supplies needed and tricks of the trade.  Not clothes, mind you.  That's a whole different kettle of fish.  The sewing we're doing here is quilting and basic stitchery.  From this point on, I am going to refer to the sewing we are doing as quilting.  The Verb, to quilt basically means to sew layers of fabric and/or padding together. 

If you are interested in quilting, please know it is a pretty significant cost commitment.  If you know anybody who quilts and can borrow their equipment or can take a class to familiarize yourself with quilting, that would be a good idea.  You need a lot of stuff to quilt and while it's not outrageously expensive, to have to equip yourself all at going to be fairly significant.  Probably $75...and that doesn't include the sewing machine or iron and ironing board or fabric.

Part 1: Gear You Need to Quilt

1.  A 6" X 24" Quilting ruler.  See how it's clear, this will help you to cut your fabric more accurately.

2.  Straight Pins...for pinning, see.

3.  A non-permanent marking pen or pencil.  Mine is a pen that disappears under the heat of an iron.   Totally cool.  This is so you can mark where you're going to sew your quilting lines...or for general can really just use a #2 pencil...the marks wash out pretty well.

4.  A Rotary cutter...this is what you are going to cut your fabric with in tandem with your ruler...CAREFUL!  Very sharp.  I have done serious damage to my toe when I kicked a garbage bag I was removing from my sewing room...and there was an old blade in there....Just saying...this ain't no set of safety scissors...these blades mean business

5.  A Seam Ripper...or un-picker as I not so affectionately call it...see, here's the thing, the seam ripper will become your constant companion when quilting.  Whether you sewed wrong sides together or just sewed wonky...this will help you make it all better.

6.  Scissors....for cutting stuff.  Mainly thread. 

7.  Rotary Mat.  This is what you cut all your fabric on.  Mine is 36" X 24" which is really standard.  This will protect the table you are cutting on as well as your rotary cutter blade. 

A sewing machine.  Now, don't get me wrong, you do not only need a sewing machine as I wrote about here for Inspiration Cafe...hexies are fun!  But, if you are serious about wanting to sew, then you need a sewing machine.  It doesn't have to be fancy, mine cost about...$250 I think, and I really like it.  It doesn't have fancy features like needle down or needle up or any intricate stitches, but really all you need is a good straight stitch and zig zag.  Mine does have an auto needle threader which is very nice.

An Iron and Ironing board.  You will use this puppy a lot.  If you don't love ironing now...well, ironing your seams probably won't be your favorite part of quilting...I mean, who likes to iron?  But I actually don't mind it.  It's relaxing and just part of the process. 

Thread and bobbin.  Your sewing machine should come with at least 1 bobbin, but it's not a bad idea to have a few on hand.  The thread you are going to want to use is either 100% cotton, all purpose thread or polyester, all purpose thread.

The fabric.  The best part of quilting.  Love me some gorgeous out, fabric can turn anybody into a hoarder!

Needles for your sewing machine.  Your needle will get dull...a dull needle makes for a very unpleasant sewing experience.  I don't change my needle after every project like some people advocate, but I do change it every few projects.

Batting.  This is what makes your quilt...warm.  I like this particular brand, it's very thin, but warm.  This makes quilting it easier.  When you have to sew through a very thick's much harder.

Extra Gear That’s Nice to Have
But is not absolutely essential to successful quilting
1.  A place to store your gear.  I got this at the hardware works great.

2.  Safety Pins.  You gotta pin your quilts together somehow...these work great.

3.  Starch...for when you want to really, really, really get your seams nice and flat.  Water works great as well as...just heat.  And if you only use heat, you won't have to worry about warping your fabric.  Water warps fabric.

4.  A myriad of rulers, a hem ruler and a Walking Foot.

5.  A tape measure

6.  Embroidery needles and extra blades for your rotary cutter (which are really essential, you don't want to be cutting fabric with a dull blade...imagine fingernails on the chalk board...shudder).

All right.  There you have all the gear you need to quilt.  Next up...what you need to make this table runner.  Come on, give quilting a chance.  It gives you the opportunity to make beautiful things, to express your creativity, to de-stress...or add stress depending if you're doing something particularly difficult and it just plain feels good to make something you get to play with all the pretty fabric!

Thanks for reading!

Other posts in the series:

Part 2: Measuring and what kind of fabric to buy 
Part 3: How to pick your fabric
Part 4: How to cut fabric without cutting yourself
Part 5: Time to start cutting and pinning
Part 6: How to Pin Properly
Part 7: Let's Press
Part 8: Leaders and Enders


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spreading Spring Tidings

Winter has been especially cruel to people in Salt Lake City this year.  We welcomed December with open hearts and glad tidings for the holiday season and got dumped on with snow.  Now, normally this would be snows, a few days later it melts...repeat.  This year the snow came...and never left.  It brought with it the worst air in the country...cough...cough....gag.  And visions of my family moving to Hawaii lodged itself in my brain. I promise, when The Mister finishes with school, I will be hearkening to more gentle climes with my little family.

Now it is the middle of February...we are still waiting for the winter thaw.  I can remember times in Elementary School when February would be so warm, we were desperate to wear shorts to school. Where is my 60 degrees?!? 

Luckily my heart thawed a bit today...if nothing else did, when I got a package in the mail, with some sweet little packets of hope inside...

That's are reading correctly...dandelions.  Now before you think I've lost it completely...Mister, I'm looking at you here, in Italy, at least, dandelion leaves are eaten more than lettuce, and as we've all heard, the Mediterranean diet is apparently the best for us, but what you don't think about much when you think about the Mediterranean diet is the amount of greens they eat.  And it's weeds they're eating.  So, I am not going to just plant these in my garden, I will plant them in containers, and hopefully we are all the healthier for it.

These little beauties are a mutant.  I am game for mutant produce.  They have the most anthocyanins which are very powerful anti-oxidants than any other tomato.  This gives them an extremely dark, blueish black color.  I am not a huge fan of genetically modified food, but these are done naturally by Jim Myers over at Oregon State University.  So, here's hoping they're awesome!

Broccoli!  This particular broccoli does very well in hot climates.  Someday when it's summer, it will be very hot here.  I have never grown broccoli so I am excited to give it a go!

These are those cute little yellow squashes that cost a bundle, so you never buy them at the grocery store.  I am going to grow me some.  I decided again zucchini because...well...I don't eat them well enough, but I figured because these are so pretty, my girls would like to pick them and I would enjoy eating them more.

The three kinds of lettuce I am growing.  They are so colorful, I can't wait to pick them.  We are eating a lot of salads these days and I figure I will need a lot of lettuce!

And these little peat pellets are what I'm going to start my seeds in a couple of weeks.  I've never used them I hope they are amazing.

This is my grow system down in my sewing room.  I know, it is seriously freaky pink down there.  It was formerly my daughters' play room...until we discovered my kids don't like to play where I'm not.  So it didn't get used until I claimed it as my own.  These were last years plants.  I will show you this years when I get them up and planted! 

Awww, summer, wherefore art thou?

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shoo Fly...the quilt block

shoo fly block rock n romance

I love working with old fashioned quilt blocks.  Especially when they're as easy to put together as this one.  It's called Shoo fly and it comes together quickly and simply.  It's a good one for beginners as you really only have to work a bit on getting your points to match up.  I also think it looks so cute and it's very graphic.  Perfect for a quilt you're going to put on a bed or even just hanging casually over your sofa so you can wrap up on a cold winter's eve.

I mentioned this block in my x's and o's Valentine Pillow post and said that I would be doing a little tutorial on it.  Well, here goes.  I am using the lovely Rock N Romance Fabric by Pat Bravo that I won from Hawthorne Threads.  Yay.  I am also using 4 different neutrals....gray, dark gray, cream and black.  I didn't want to take away from the fun patterned fabric, but still wanted to add a little flair.

This is also a good block to use with Fat Quarters.  So, go get yourself some pretty fat quarters and some neutrals and let's get started!  It makes a 9.5" X 9.5" block.  I am going to refer to the different fabrics from here on out as Solid and Patterned.

1.  Cut 2 strips of Patterned fabric 9.5" X 3.5" and cut 2: 3.5" X 3.5" squares using patterned
   Cut 5: 3.5" X 3.5" squares of Solid Fabric

2.  On 4 of your solid squares, draw a line diagonally from corner to corner.

3.  Place these 4 squares on the corners of the 2 large patterned strips and pin in place.  It is very important for you to place the lines going the correct direction.  You want them to go in towards the middle of the 9.5" X 3.5" strip. 

4.  Now, sew directly on each of the drawn lines.

5.  Using your ruler, you want to cut a 1/4" seam allowance along each of those lines.  So, you aren't going to cut directly on your sewn line, that would be bad.  Put your rulers 1/4" on the drawn line and cut with your rotary cutter.   Now go press your seams.

Save those triangles, and sew them across the bottom using a 1/4" seam allowance and press....and save for a project at a later time.  You have just made 4 half square triangles using fabric that you would have otherwise thrown away. 

Now take your 3 remaining squares and sew them together with the solid square in the middle using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Make sure to put front sides together!!  Press.

When I press my blocks, I typically choose either solid of pattern and press that directions.    So in this case I would have pressed everything towards the solid fabric.

This is what you'll end up with.  Now, sew them together, again front sides together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press and you have your very first shoo fly block.  And darned if it isn't super fly!

Love it!!

I've got four done so far.  This fabric is so quirky and yet fun.  I don't know if I would have chosen it myself, but as I won it...I am very pleased to use it.  My early childhood....late 70's early 80's just manifests itself to me in it.  In fact,  when I first won it, I was inspired to sing!

So, hopefully you will be inspired to make this quilt block. 

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 8, 2013

X's & O's Pillow Cover for Valentine's Day

X O Pillow Covers

I almost entitled this post XXX's and OOO's....then I quickly realized, that might bring me the type of traffic I'm not interested I quickly omitted a few letters.  Wise choice...wouldn't you agree.

These are my Valentine's Pillow Covers.  I am pretty pleased with how they turned out.  In retrospect, I wouldn't have put the solid yellow fabric in.  It just sticks out a bit.  But in my mind I was thinking it was jewelry...and I felt like it would work for a V-Day that it's all said and done, I should have gone with another cool tone.  But, this is not a pattern testing facility.  I sew in real time and don't have the time or resources to test things out much before I just jump in...both feet...into the deep end.  Sometimes it works, sometimes...I just go with it until I can make something else.  The patterned fabric is from Pat Bravo's Rock N Romance collections...and I think it worked perfectly.  Lovely, soft and romantic!

My X's.  I pondered quite a bit on how to make X pillows...there are several methods and then it dawned on me to make it in the method of a string quilt!  I am so happy with it.  Big smiles over here.  My Ghastlies Halloween Quilt and my husband's Man Quilt are both made with this I clearly like it.  And you can do so many diverse things with this paper piecing technique.   I am actually thinking up a wall-hanging for My Oldest using these X's....we'll see what happens.  Good things, I'm sure.

My Os.  Ohhh.  I also love this pattern.  This is an old fashioned pattern called Shoo Fly and I think it was a blast to make.  I am going to put up tutorials for both of these patterns that I've made next week.  So, stay tuned.  The fun thing about this one, is it's really just a modified 9-patch...which means it works up really fast!  And sometimes, that's just what you want, some fun, fast sewing.

Of course for the back, I used my Pocket Pillow Tutorial which works up like a charm every time.  Listen, I am not going to go to the effort and pain of putting a zipper in my pillow cases when this works so well.

See..Peek-a-boo!  Me, as a hand model.  Thank you, thank you very much.  You can contact my agent for any further gigs.

These both were fun to make and even though I'm not 100% satisfied with some fabric choices, overall I am happy with them both.

Thanks for reading!


Creative Rose Cards for Valentine's

cardboard rose stamp are fun to get and give...except...I'm cheap.  I rarely buy a card...unless I am giving a gift like cash or a gift card.  Instead...I am a big fan of making cards.  My kids always make their own cards for their friends and family members who are having birthdays.  This not only gives them the joy of spending time being creative and making something fun, but I don't have to spend the time buying  a card.  Win-Win!  I do have to buy the supplies, but the nice thing about supplies like this...they make a heck of a lot of cards and/or art projects!  So, I don't mind the expense if my kids are getting their creative on.

This card is a fun one for V-Day.  You need corrugated cardboard, white card stock, patterned card stock, twine, scissors, ink and an adhesive of some sort.

If you don't know what corrugated cardboard's the cardboard that has two layers with a cushion-y, patterned layer in the middle.  Cut a piece about 6 inches wide, or so.  Play with can make the roses smaller or larger depending on how large a piece you use...then you roll it up, loosely, tie it with some twine and...voila!  You have a rose stamp.

Cut a rectangle out of your patterned card stock and fold it in half so the recipient can open it up and read the special message on the inside...cut a small piece of white card stock and glue it on the front of the patterned paper...and then stamp to your heart's content.  You and your kids will have fun with this V-Day project...I also tried to make a stamp out of a the shape of lips.  That's what the blue can kind of tell they're lips.

Have fun making home-made rose-stamped cards this year for your loved ones.

Thanks for reading!

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