Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bunny Carrot Garden

I realize that I have not posted a single Easter-y item this year... So here goes!

My boys discovered a basket full of tiny little stuffed animals that I'd collected over the years. Quite frankly, I had forgotten about them -- but they have provided hours of entertainment for everyone this week! In the basket were a few tiny stuffed bunnies. Where there are bunnies, of course there is a need for carrots -- lots of them! There were two little stuffed carrots I'd made last year in our Easter decor box -- but certainly not enough to go around. So I made more!

Here's the Single Photo Carrot Tutorial! They are super easy and I whipped up a pile of them from some flannel scraps in no time.

The little bunnies are very impressed, and have taken to hoarding them in their tiny Easter baskets...

...after picking them from the "couch cushion garden," of course!

(Sorry for the bad photo -- but it just had to be included! Have you ever tried to take photos on a dark leather couch? Not easy!)

Birthday Gifts

I haven't posted in a while... I've been doing some potty-training (which was DONE in less than a day! HOORAY!!), working on a little Spring cleaning, baking bread (wow!), and sewing a few little projects here and there. Nothing really blogworthy! I do have a couple things, but --

If you are my sister and it's your birthday this week, LOOK AWAY! :o)

April is a very popular birthday month in my family. In fact, JellyBean turns ONE tomorrow! I can hardly believe it!!

I have two sisters with birthdays this week, so I whipped up a couple little gifts to mail to them:

This simple apron is for K. She's a bright colors kind of lady, so I think this print is perfect. I made the ties extra long so they could tie around the front!

And for L I made, by special request, a new king-size pillowcase. I know she's going to love the fabric, and I can't wait for her to receive it! (I just hope her daughters don't run off with it and claim it as their own!)

More projects coming up soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LOVES in the mail!

A little while back when I posted my US Map Quilt, one of the commenters, Hilde, mentioned she would like a world map panel and wondered if it was to be found. I happened to have one in my stash -- and there it had been sitting for at least a couple years. It wasn't doing anyone any good just sitting around all folded up, so I mailed it to her!

Well guess what! Today I found a little package from Hilde of Tantehilde in my mailbox -- with these gorgeous little cuts of fabric:

I love ALL of them, but I must confess -- the little birdies (top row, second fabric) and the green with apples are my favorites! And that fabric on the bottom right matches JellyBean's bedroom (as yet I have still not quite finished decorating in there...) -- I must incorporate that fabric in some little pillows to go on her "big girl" bed!

THANK YOU, Hilde! You've made my day that much brighter! :o)

Oh, and you MUST check out Hilde's dolls -- each one is different. I just LOVE all their little clothes!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dress-Up Wedding Veil

Today's Dollar Store Craft is a sweet little dress-up wedding veil. Sewists of ALL skill levels can tackle this in very little time!

What you need:
~ a plastic headband! I found a three-pack of satin ribbon-covered headbands at my dollar store. Important: You want one that is completely smooth -- with no scratchy bumps to (supposedly) keep it in place!
~ roll of tulle -- you can find it in the wedding section!

STEP ONE: Cut your roll of tulle into six equal sections. You will then fold each tulle strip and sew a casing for your headband to fit through. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end! My headband was 1/4" wide, and I sewed my casings 3/8" wide -- and it worked perfectly. You can choose to sew each strip's casing separately, or you could do as I did (as shown in the above photo) and overlap each strip a few inches so there is less separation in the strips when worn. If you do it the way I did, just make sure you end up with one continuous casing! :o)

There are a couple ways you could fold your tulle strips:
Option A: Fold each tulle strip exactly in half.
Option B: Fold each tulle strip so one end is about 8" shorter than the other. This gives the veil a little more body and interest, with the shorter layer on top.
(Wish I'd done Option B, but didn't think of it until I was already done!)

STEP TWO: Thread the tulle onto the headband. I chose to use the headband in my three-pack that came with a bow on it -- which luckily happened to be the white one!

STEP THREE: Scrunch all the tulle together at the top.

Told you it was easy!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dot Quilt -- COMPLETE!

It's done! And I love it!!

Kelly commented in my previous post about a quilt she's currently making that is similar to mine. She gave me a link so I could see how she had done her borders. Immediate LOVE! I love how hers is turning out -- so I decided to do my borders similar to hers!

I used bits and pieces of different lengths for the first border, then since I didn't have any more of that polka dot background fabric (I looked at four different quilt shops for something similar!), I used a plain cream Kona cotton. I was concerned it would be distracting for it to be a different fabric, but it works just fine!

The quilting was SO fun to do! I started by quilting little flowers (they look like dahlias to me!) in the circles, then quilted larger ones in between. I love love love the texture -- and the flowers just add to the charm!

I used the same cream Kona cotton on the back -- with a strip of scraps too, of course! I'm always hesitant to put white fabric on the back of a quilt, but -- it NEEDED it!

And then a scrappy binding to finish it off!

I ~LOVE~ my finished quilt -- and this one is for MEEEEE!!!! :o)

Update: I've had lots of questions about what machine I use for quilting -- I just use my regular machine with my free-motion foot! It can be a bit cumbersome to cram larger quilts through, but generally speaking it really isn't all that difficult!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green Pinwheels -- FINISHED!

(Okay, so I took this photo before I finished quilting the border, but you get the idea...)

I picked the top apart far enough to add in one orange pinwheel. I looked at it once -- or maybe twice -- and decided it was HORRID! (Yes, thank you Melissa for being so honest -- "Ewww!" was the correct reaction in your comment!) I immediately picked it apart AGAIN, and the green pinwheel was placed back in his home. Oh well! At least I won't always wonder if I would have liked it better!

I spent a long time deliberating about the quilting. I started quilting spirals on each pinwheel -- like they were spinning. AWFUL. Luckily I only did about eight before I decided to spread it out and have a look. More unpicking! I thought I was doomed to quilting straight lines, and was about to start -- but then came up with the curvy plan! I love the motion it gives the pinwheels!

Lucky me, I still had bits and pieces of some of the pinwheel fabrics in my stash -- which made for a fabulous pieced binding!

I'm SO HAPPY with how it turned out! Thank you everyone who put in their two cents about my orange pinwheel dilemma -- I appreciate the input! :o)

As for my other WIP quilt.... The borders are ON, it's pinned together, and I've begun quilting -- and I even have the pieced binding ready to go!

A little sneak peak photo:

This one's going to require a lot of thread, and a LOT of patience... but I am LOVING the way it is turning out!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Make a Kids Spyglass Telescope

Susan made the most FABULOUS telescopes for my boys last week -- pirate style, of course -- and today she is here to show you how to make one of your own! Read on for Susan's instructions!

Here is how to make a Kids Spyglass Telescope -using PVC pipe!

The idea came when my nephew had a pirate birthday party coming up-and needed the perfect Pirate Spyglass! I have a ton of PVC pipe leftovers from making Teepee Tents- so this idea was born. It looks great and collapses down, just like the real thing!

And this pirate thinks it's pretty awesome.

(I got my supplies at Lowes. I recommend that you try out all your pieces before you buy them, just to double check that they fit together. I'm sure people at Lowes thought I was nutty when I spent an hour there testing pieces together to see what would fit!)

You will need:

One 8" piece of 1 1/4" PVC pipe (comes in 5' lengths. 1.20)

One 7.5" piece of 3/4" PVC pipe (also in 5' lengths. $1.09.)

One 3/4" Slip coupling ($.24)

One 3/4" Adapter, Slip and Thread ($.44)

One 1" CPVC Slip coupling ($1.22. This piece is key and is found in a slightly different section than the other regular PVC pieces. It is more of a tan color.)


PVC pipe glue or Super Glue (put everything together for a trial run before you glue it)

Paint, stickers, or whatever to decorate!

Your CPVC piece needs to be able to fit inside your 1 1/4" PVC pipe. You will need to sand down the ridge across the middle in order to get it in. It should be a very snug fit!

You will also need to sand down the ridge on the inside a little bit. Just enough that your 3/4" PVC pipe can slide smoothly inside (keeping in mind that you will need some extra clearance to accommodate a layer of paint if you want to paint your telescope).

Insert the CPVC piece into your 1 1/4" PVC pipe, leaving a little bit sticking out (just for looks) You can glue this piece in, but it is such a tight fit, you shouldn't need to.

Take the 3/4" coupling and put into place on one end of your 3/4" pipe.

Insert that 3/4" piece through your 1 1/4" pipe (the coupling will be hidden inside) and put the 3/4" adapter on the other end (You will end up seeing the side with the threads). And you are done!

To paint mine, I used Krylon Fusion spray paint,which seems to work well, though not totally scratch proof. However, a word of warning that you are supposed to let it cure for 1 week. And they mean it. I am very impatient. I also recommend that you paint it before you glue all the pieces together.

Enjoy! Make one for a pirate or explorer (or Princess) that you know! And share pictures with me! I love to see how creative you can all be! (in fact, if anyone can figure out how to make these really work to magnify things, I would love to know how!)

Rhinestone Bracelets -- from Shoelaces!

My son's pirate-themed birthday party was this weekend, and I had so much fun thinking about and coming up with party favors. I've been watching the "fashion shoelaces" at the dollar store for a while now, wondering what I could make with them. Finally the occasion came, and I came up with these rhinestone-studded skull-and-crossbone bracelets for the girls at the party -- myself included!

What you need:

fashion shoelaces

My dollar store carries polka dot, leopard print, flowery print, and skull shoelaces

rhinestone applique
also at the dollar store! It doesn't matter what the applique is, because you will be taking it apart; I picked the skull because it had the most rhinestones!

1/4" elastic

STEP ONE: Using your tweezers, gently scrape some rhinestones away from the plastic-y sticker covering on your rhinestone applique. Carefully place the rhinestones where you want them.

STEP TWO: Cut some of that plastic-y sticker stuff and use it to hold your rhinestones in place. Follow the instructions on your applique and press them in place with your hot iron. (Mine had me place a thin fabric over the top before pressing, then press again from the wrong side.)

I loved the rhinestone eyes, but the design needed something more... I added a few rhinestones between each skull.

STEP THREE: Cut your shoelace. I cut mine approximately 6 1/2" for an adult size. Then tuck the raw edges of one side of the shoelace piece inside.

STEP FOUR: Cut a small piece of your elastic. (I cut mine about 2".) Stuff one end of the elastic into your shoelace.

STEP FIVE: Carefully sew over the folded edge, catching the elastic inside. You may need to use a stiletto to push the bracelet through your machine -- I used my seam ripper. I sewed back and forth three or four times to secure it. You will then repeat Steps Three through Five to finish the other side of your bracelet.

Ta-Da! Fabulous and sparkly!!
I would LOVE to see a headband version of this!!

**Note: I don't know how secure the rhinestones will be -- therefore I would not give one of these bracelets to a child who might put it in her mouth.**

Monday, March 15, 2010

EASY Pirate Doo-Rag

With Buzz's pirate-themed birthday party over the weekend, I've got pirates on the brain -- and a few ideas to share! Today I'll show you how I made an easy pirate doo-rag for Mr. S. (Check that pirate-y sneer!)

I find that the secret is to use a KNIT fabric. It's more comfortable and has a little stretch, which helps it to stay on much better. I had a random bit of black knit fabric in my costume fabric box, but you could certainly recycle an old t-shirt too.

What you need:
Approximately 20" square of black (red would be great too!) knit fabric
approximately 5" square scrap of white knit fabric
5" square piece of freezer paper

STEP ONE: Draw a skull and crossbones on your freezer paper.

STEP TWO: Cut it out -- you are removing the inside part of your pattern and keeping the outside part! Fuse your freezer paper pattern to your square of knit fabric.

STEP THREE: Pin your freezer paper and knit fabric on one corner of your black square, so the bottom of the crossbones is about 6" up from the corner.

STEP FOUR: Using black thread, sew around the inside edge of your freezer paper pattern. I used my free-motion foot. (See why I love my free-motion foot in the short video under step four in this tutorial!) You can certainly use a regular foot -- it just means you'll be lifting and lowering your presser foot a lot to get around those curves and corners.

Of course I had to add some angry eyes!

STEP FIVE: Cut away the excess fabric around your skull and crossbones. Your doo-rag is complete!

I found the most FABULOUS how-to on tying doo-rags here! This particular page is perfectly safe to look at, but please note that it is a biker website, so photos of scantily-clad women are likely to be on other pages. Just be forewarned! :o)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Green Pinwheels -- Yes or No?

Thanks to the magic of Photoshop (and Jessica -- why didn't I think of it?? Thanks!), here's what I've come up with:

What do you think?? Shall I be brave and go for it, or shall I stick with all green? Is the placement of the orange pinwheel okay?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another WIP -- green pinwheels quilt

THANK YOU so much for all the input on my Circle quilt! I think I have a plan now... but it requires a trip to a quilt shop, so it will have to wait for now... at least until after JellyBean's nap -- IF I'm brave enough to haul all the kids with me! :o)

I've got another one. I started this one (dare I say it?) about FIVE years ago. I had a plan to make monochromatic quilts -- one for every color. That plan didn't last long, ha ha! Anyway, I had all the pinwheels done and the rows sewn, then about six months ago I finished sewing the rows together. This is where I am now:

I am wondering -- tell me if I'm crazy -- if I should take out one of the pinwheels and replace it with either an orange or a red one. Would that be weird? I think it might make it more interesting! If it was a red one, it might turn it into a Christmas quilt...? I'm just not sure. And, if I did replace just one, which one would it be? Towards the bottom?

And then borders... at this point I am planning on a skinny muslin border and then a wider green border -- probably a more saturated green.

Any thoughts? I really do appreciate the help!

And, secretly, I am DYING to start on another quilt -- so I've REALLY got to get these two done! :o)