#Sewprompted2016 Applique

January 28, 2016

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If you follow along on Instagram you may have seen the hashtag #sewprompted2016 it was started by Kerry from Kidgiddy and its a weekly challenge for sharing pictures. This week is Applique. So here is my best applique project to date ;) I have done a few others that aren’t my favorites, lets just say I’m still learning.

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This pillow is hands down my favorite make from the book Sweetly Stitched Handmades by Amy Sinibaldi. I was pretty intimidated by it, so of course I chose it as my first big make out of the book! After the first bit of assembly confusion it came together so smoothly. The applique part was my favorite… Along with the hand stitching, machine sewing and final assembly. Pretty much this is a fun make from start to finish! If you try it you wont be board and its just so pretty too!

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In fact, I love this pillow so much that I have a second one all cut out and ready to sew! I’ll have a whole post with pictures walking you through it, but really though if I could make this with minimal sewing knowledge ANYONE can!

But back to my #sewprompted word Applique! As I said, this was my first attempt at applique and with only a few tutorials and Youtube videos I wasn’t too sure I was doing it right. Well I am happy to say it has held up under a LOT with three boys using it as a shield,  head covering and of course, for pillow fights! So I guess all you need for applique is basic sewing knowledge and Youtube!

Applique is a lot of fun!  I hope you will stay tuned to see my second Starburst Dresden Plate Pillow next month (hopefully) and maybe even make one yourself!

Thanks for stopping buy! I will leave you with this cute little Prince Charming Heather Ross frog:

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The Three Little Piggies Zakka House

January 23, 2016

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Today was a day for making something cute and utterly useless (other than it’s cuteness of course, which I happen to think counts for a lot of use). I bought this cute fat quarter of three little piggies on linen and had no idea what I would use it for. I planned to make a little “soft book” out of it but then realized that might be more work than I wanted to take on in one afternoon and it would probably sit on the floor for most of its life.

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So I just started fussy cutting all the little scenes. Have I mentioned how much I hate to fussy cut!? The loss of beautiful fabric practically HURTS my cheap Dutch heart. But the sacrifice is sometimes a necessary evil for an adorable result.

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Before I knew it a little house was taking shape! The scenes are 2 inch finished squares with 1 inch sashing between. I took the time to iron the seams open on the back since linen is thicker and i didn’t want it to be so bumpy. Ric rac is always a good idea, don’t you think? I have found that if you mark a 1/4 line along the top (or wherever you plan to use trim) and then center your trim ON this line your trim will show better. Otherwise if you line your trim right up next to the edge it will get lost in that 1/4 inch seam allowance we all use. (I’m pretty sure this is common knowledge but I had NO idea so hopefully this is helpful to someone).

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For the roof I cut a 6×11 piece of red ticking cloth, folded it in half to find the center and then folded each side down and clipped into place. Then simply stitch along the top edge of the house. Your row of stitches should be exactly on top of the line you used to sew in the trim.

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This next step I’m pretty sure is the cheaters way of doing things but it was so quick! First lay your batting down then your backing fabric (the red and white dot print) facing up then place your front fabric on top facing down. I simply cut around it all using the outline of my house as a guide. Clip into place and sew around edges leaving a 4 inch opening at the bottom. (oh I also slipped in a length of twine at the tip of the roof for hanging and a piece of ribbon for a chimney). Turn right side out and top stitch around the whole thing.

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I went with hand stitching around each scene, some with red some in cream. Made for a relaxing Saturday afternoon. And how cute are these three little piggies?  I can just hear them “No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!”.

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I love this last one where they boil the wolf up! Clearly this is the classic version of the tale and not a modern sugar coated one. Too cute! Also don’t mind the wonky bits here and there in my work, these are the results of no walking foot for my machine and not being a perfectionist… Like at ALL. Its “Mommy made” and I don’t think the two year old is going to mind, he thinks the piggies are Winnie the Pooh!

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Lastly I added two little extra scenes that wanted in on the fun. I used a glue stick to keep them in place and simply stitched around them. The little red x’s were an afterthought. I had tried to top stitch with my machine along the edge of the roof but that made a mess even I was not OK with. Hand stitching the top layer of ticking fabric got the look I was hoping for anyway.

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OK, no making fun of my red walls! Once upon a time this was a beautiful red and white guest room that was pretty awesome. I still like the red but its hard to find things that work well in here with the baby stuff. So here is the final resting place of the three little piggies house, on the wall in my youngest room. He promptly asked for his Ikey Bear when I was done using it as a prop. (Bad angle on this picture, it’s not THAT wonky! haha!)

I hope this gave you some tips and ideas. I didn’t intend for this to be a tutorial as I really just whipped this together off the top of my head and am learning as I go. No professionals here ;-)

For the love of Liberty

January 15, 2016

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Taking a little break from heart making to share with you my heart for Liberty hearts. (Ok I promise that was the only cheesy pun!)

If you happened to stumble upon my little blog and don’t know me from Instagram then chances are you haven’t seen my Liberty “Heartstrings”. And if you do follow me then chances are you’re getting sick of seeing hearts, for that I am sorry and totally get it! I plan to take a heart making break after Valentines Day ;-)

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It all started when I needed a few thank you gifts and a swap extra. I wanted to make something that was a little more my own than a pin cushion or needle book may have been (and lets face it, the ladies I was making for pretty much wrote the book on cushions and needle books!). To be honest I prayed for a good idea and after going over many options in my head I decided to try whipping up a few sets.

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It went pretty good for making it up off the top of my head. The biggest “woops” was using a Frixion pen to mark my sewing lines and then having them reappear! Thanks to tips from a few good friends I found a Clover brand pen that works much better. I thought that maybe I could sell them on Instagram so I made two sets using some basic fabrics that I loved. Lets just say they didn’t fly off the shelf. My sweet friend bought one and I ended up gifting the other set to my sister. I decided to try again and go with what everyone loves, Liberty of London fabrics.

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I was so nervous listing those first sets (I still get nervous!) but my trick is to only make sets that I love. That way if worse comes to worse I am “stuck” with sets I like or am happy to gift to friends or use in swaps.

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Fabric selection is by far, one of my favorite parts. The combinations and options are almost endless! I mean come on! Who wouldn’t love to play with these every week!? I consider it a huge blessing to be able to work with what I love!

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A favorite custom orders last November was an extra long garland for someones Christmas tree. Yes, I do take custom orders and I have loved working with people to (hopefully) make them something they will love and cherish for a long time to come. Just another blessing of being a maker!

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Another custom order of TINY 1 1/2 inch hearts to be attached to packages and gifts. These little ones can be a hassle to work with but they are just SO stinking cute!

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Valentines prep has kept me working with lots of pinks. Pink and aqua, pink and kitties, pink and purple, you get the picture. Also I took a wild guess that Heather Ross  Heartstrings might go over well. I’m making more this week and my sister already requested some for her girls room.

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So who knows what the future holds, I would have never thought six months ago that a large portion of my time would be spent making HEARTS! I keep waiting for everyone to get sick of them! For now I am happily working away, enjoying the process, pouring love and care into each little heart and counting every sale a blessing. If you have “liked” or bought any of my makes, I truly appreciate it.

thanks for stopping by! I’ll leave you with a colorful heart that I made for a rainbow loving friend:

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Ministry of Fabric

January 6, 2016

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Every once in a while a package comes along that deserves a whole blog post… One of the friends I made this past year on Instagram is a sweetheart named Alisha Orlando. I think I first “met” her through the sweetly stitched sew along when she made a beautiful bag that caught my eye.  Since then  I have loved seeing her posts and reading her encouraging comments. I was very excited to learn that she is opening an online fabric shop, who better to order fabric from than someone who has a lot of the same tastes as you, right!?

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I placed a “surprise” order, meaning I asked her to just surprise me with goodies and boy did she ever! These I believe are Sevenberry fabrics and I hate to say it but they may be a new obsession. Just look at those tiny florals!

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Also by Sevenberry: these beautiful pastel dots! It may be the dead of winter here but these are sending my strait to Spring! I can totally see them playing with some darker fabrics for a striking contrast.

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I was also sent my very first Aurifil  and it just happens to be their  shimmery Brillo thread! So seriously are you liking her shop yet?

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Alisha is working on her website but for now you can place orders through her Instagram page Ministry of Fabric. Shipping is from Australia but I think this came in about a weeks time, not bad at all! I wasn’t even expecting it for another week or two making the surprise all the better!

Stay tuned for more Ministry of Fabric makes and fun ;-)

Now, what to make?…

 

DIY Clothes Line Picture Frame

January 2, 2016

My desk is piled full of cute little gifts from friends, sweet notes and things that inspire me. Well not very inspiring crowding my work space and buried in piles now is it? I kept seeing these fancy close-line frames for over $30… So i figured I could make my own.

Now I’m not a DIY pro or anything so if I can do this in under 15 min then anyone can!

Start with a clearance frame, mine was from HomeGoods but I’m sure you can get an even better deal at a second hand store. You will not need the glass for this one.

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First job is to get the picture out. This frame had large staples that I pulled back with the wrong side of my hammer (whatever that’s called).

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Once you have all the staples pushed back you can easily remove the backing and picture.

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Take a long strand of twine and tie one end to the first staple. Crisscross the twine back and forth until you come to the other end of the frame. Tie off and trim twine.

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Hang it and now you have a cute space for all your inspirational goodies! Seriously this took all of 15 minutes (with interruptions) and cost less than $10! Now to get the rest of my work space organized…

 

Three Christmas Quilts

December 29, 2015

 

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If you’ve been following me on Instagram then chances are you have heard me talking about Lecien Fabrics lately. I have been following them for a while and so enjoy seeing their beautiful range from bright florals to cute kitties and bold text prints. There’s really something for everyone! When I saw their new Modern Magical Wintertime collection and that it came in three colorways I just knew I had to make each of my boys a quilt for Christmas.

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I found a great star block tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew that you can find Here. I added 2 1/2 inch sashing between the blocks and went with very random fabric placement (otherwise I drive myself crazy overthinking each tiny bit).

Here are a couple tips I found to be helpful:

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A Hera marker by Clover, costs about $4 at a craft store- go buy one, you can thank me later! Perfect for marking lines to sew on! This block goes very easily once you get started but its a lot of “mark, sew, cut repeat” and seeing a line to sew did wonders for seams lining up! Bottom right picture: if you sew just a hair to the right of the tip of the corner it will open up much nicer (also not if you sew just a hair to the left of the corner your block will be a bit smaller and you may have trouble sewing it to the next square).

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I wanted these quilts to be nice and snuggly so I stuck with a simple quilting outline of each star and just look at how krinkley it came out! For the backing I bought a king size flannel sheet set from Target (for all of $22!) and was able to get all three quilt backs out of the top sheet… looks like next Christmas will call for another quilt to use up the fitted sheet! Possibly one for Daddy? hmm…

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My oldest sons favorite color is green (just like his mama) and we both think this is the perfect shade. And seriously, is there anything better than stripey binding?

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Very simple, but I love it! The blue quilt is a smaller 38×38 square just right for the two year old and I went with light blue stars. I think this is a great winter quilt in the blues.

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For me, beautiful fabric is all in the details. my quilting taste is pretty simple (and lets be honest, it kinda has to be when your skill level is also very simple) I like the fabrics to be the “star” of the show with bigger fabric cuts and simple lines. Just look at these *tiny* details! Soft silver snowflakes on the binding? Yes please! White tulips and periwinkle hearts? Absolutely! And honestly every print in this line is just filled to the brim with tiny bits of cuteness. Suitable for kids and grown ups alike!

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And here is the shot I had been wanting to get since the first time I saw this line. My three boys each wrapped up in a quilt made just for them with so much love from Mama. Thank you to Lecien Fabrics for the beautiful fabric! L’s Modern Magical Wintertime will be in stores June 2016.

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Merry Christmas friends!

 

December 9, 2015

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This beautiful bundle of sweetness came in the mail today, I thought it deserved a proper blog post😉

A while back I decided to send a small gift to Amy  (Nanacompany) as a thank you for the beautiful prize pack she sent me for winning the Sweetly Stitched Sew Along on Instagram, remember that? (Feels like so long ago!) I found a tea towel and mug from Anthropology and made my very first set of Liberty heartstrings. I literally prayed as I sent it out that she wouldn’t think I was some sort of creepy fan girl😳😂😂😂 I’m normal I swear! (Mostly😉).  I really just wanted to bless her for all her kindness.image

If you follow Amy’s blog you will know what she ended up doing to that beautiful tea towel😱😂 and you probably had a good laugh over her post just like I did! She made a whole pile of goodness from that one little tea towel! Brilliant idea and such a fun way to share the gift.

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This trivet is practically bullet proof! Super sturdy but so beautiful! And because I like to USE things that I love… This will be used and spilled on and washed over and over and over again. Or at least that’s the plan😉

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I looked up what it says on this pretty little bookmark “Mon seul trésor” my one treasure… So fitting for the Instagram  sewing community I’ve become a *tiny* part of. I truly treasure the support and encouragement of not only Amy but so many other sweet creators I’ve come to know and love this year.

Ok, so this post turned super sappy! Let’s just end with a Thank you, sweet Amy! You have blessed me more than you know💕

The Coral Cottage

October 2, 2015

what do you give your sister-in-law (who also happens to be one of your best friends) for a milestone birthday? Something very cheap but also very special!! It’s a win win really!

They have a little cottage that is so warm and welcoming (just like they are) that they recently painted and now refer to as “the coral cottage”. So my first thought was to do a rough painting of it but my painting skills are pretty rusty and plus that would mean digging all the art supplies from out of the basement, ugh! Who wants to do that!? 

So why not stitch it? I started by photographing it this summer, isn’t it just so inviting?

  
Next I drew up a rough drawing with my super professional supplies of Notebook, pen and quilting ruler. Then added some color just to see how it worked out. Like my fancy try at chairs in the front there? They didn’t quite make the final draft.

  
I’m really bad at keeping my projects a secret and I like to get feedback from others so this little rough draft was texted off to Mom and Auntie (my sister). I was actually just hoping it would be recognizable to them! 

Next I traced onto the wonder that is Pellon Stick n’ washaway making little changes as I went. This stuff really is awesome as I don’t like to trace directly onto my fabrics and I usually can’t see through the darker ones anyways. Save yourself a headache and buy a pack at Joanns! 

 
 There was lots of referring back to my pictures for little details and colors when choosing my embroidery floss. 
   
 
As this was going to be just a sketch type stitching I wanted to get the flower boxes just right. And she is a pretty awesome gardener that I wanted to do justice to! Lots of French Knots, little bits of green and hints of orange.

 
  
 One of my favorite things to do is blend floss, by using two strands of one orange  and one of another it gave me just the color I was looking for. I think it gave the chimney just the right color too.

  
We are Of Dutch heritage, hence the tulip and Start is their last name. I wanted to incorporate these into my work so I added it to the bottom changing it up just a little.

  
When all was done I simply rinsed away the Pellon product and laid it out to dry. I later used startch to dampen it and stretched it in the hoop nice and tight to get any wrinkles out, worked pretty good.

  
All done, a little wonky and crocked in spots but loving and cozy just like the house itself.

  
Oh and I think it’s safe to say she liked it😉

Creative Confidence

September 2, 2015

This week I’ve been struggling a little with creative confidence. I’m sure we all have it at times. I am new to the world of sewing, stitching and creating “all the things”. I don’t quite live-sleep-breath it…yet. 
I started this journey over the summer with a goal in mind, compleat the book Sweetly Stitched Handmades and all its projects. Each week I knew what to make and I had everything I needed to do it. Along the way I had so much support and encouragement from the Instagram community. 

Now that it’s over I’ve been questioning my next makes and doubting I have the skills to create anything on my own. Now that I have more than a handful of followers on social media I have been reluctant to post my not so perfect makes. I am trying to find the balance between posting pretty pictures and sharing my day to day life, which lets be honest: life in a house with 4 MEN is not so pretty sometimes (most of the time). I realize I am probably not the only one struggling with this so here’s what I told myself last night and I will say it to you too. 

You can do it!

Your work is good enough!

You ARE talented!

Be yourself and who God has made YOU to be!

Of course these are things that can be applied to any part of our lives not just creating. Don’t let fear and self doubt stop you, do your best and have fun doing it. And also authenticity, even when it’s not pretty is refreshing in a world that’s consumed by “perfection” and only showing our “good” sides.

So with that I’m going to tackle the pile of dirty dishes and later squeeze in some imperfect, wonky stitching. And if it’s not pretty enough for someone, that’s ok. I am still learning and I insist on having fun and enjoying the whole process… Seam rippers, crooked stitches and all.

Sweetly Stitched Handmades recap

August 23, 2015

Its been a summer for sewing over here and most of my makes have been from a book called Sweetly Stitched Handmades by Amy Sinibaldi of Nanacompany She has been a big inspiration for my getting into sewing in the first place. I was able to snatch up a signed copy of her book in January and I distinctly remember my mom asking me what I would make from the book. My answer: “I probably won’t make anything but it will be fun to look through”… Please laugh with me now!!! My first few makes were out of a need for a couple cute gifts and some handy bags for my boys.image

Around this time I found out about a sew along on Instagram to go with the book. I was new to IG and didn’t know more than a few other crafters but I was eager to find people with the same taste for sweet zakka style handmades. I made my inspiration post of six items and hoped I would be able to make one every two weeks. Then an idea hit, what if I tried to make one “easy” project and one bigger one for each round. My first “bigger” project was the Starburst Dresden pillow. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the directions and at one point I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and decided to just trust that the instructions were right and even if I couldn’t picture what came next it would turn out in the end. It did and it was one of my favorite things to make! I so enjoyed the combination of appliqué, hand stitching and machine sewing that it was fun from start to finish!image

It doesn’t hurt either that I love the greens and pinks and little Heather Ross frog in the center! It was such an honor to have my pillow along with others beautiful makes shown off on my favorite blog NanaCompany! What a surprise!

image Along the way I also found the joy in sharing my work with others and getting their feed back. It’s one thing to creat something and show a few friends (who most likely will love it just because you made it) it’s a whole new feeling to have strangers complement your work! Encouragement and inspiration will take you to new levels in any craft!! The past 12 weeks have brought many new friendships that I never thought I would have, what a blessing!image

The Stacked Hexigon Mug Rug was another favorite make of mine. It made a sweet gift for a new friend. One of my favorite parts of making is the fabric selection and with all these tiny hexies there are endless possibilities. By this time in the sew along I was starting to feel a bit more confident in my abilities but still couldn’t imagine I would ever finish all 18 projects by the end of the SAL.

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More cute makes for more cute little people in my life. A miniature bear pillow for a new nephew, a Many Pockets house for twin nieces and a mini quilt with hand stitched  animals from Mollie Johansons book Stitch Love.

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Little by little and stitch by stitch I got closer and closer to completing every project in the book. It was a combination of a few free minutes here and there paired with long nights while boys slept and husband worked. What you don’t see here are a handful of other projects I somehow managed to whip up from other books or tutorials and LOTS of summer fun with my three boys, all squeezed into 12 weeks. image

Looking back it seems a bit crazy to have made ALL 18 projects but this has been a huge learning experience for someone who didn’t know appliqué from anything. Some projects were harder than others (I’m talking to you on the spot trivet!) and some were surprisingly easy breezy, but all fun in the end! I’ve learned to trust my gut a bit more and to (mostly) embrace the mistakes and let it be a bit wonky. Most of all I’ve tried to enjoy the making process, to not get caught up in winning a prize or worrying about what others think or who’s tallent is far more skilled than mine but to just enjoy the process and where I am at now. I hope I have put my own spin on projects with out losing the beauty of the original design. I’ve come a long way these past 12 weeks in my sewing and it’s all thanks to Amy and her wonderful book, Melissa and Anorina for hosting such a fabulous sew along and to all the wonderful friends who have encouraged me and helped me along the way. Thank you! It’s been a blast!


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