Monday, February 19, 2018

Making Babies!

I've been busy making! The method I used involves some cute cuddly star printed flannel in pinks and blues,(so dreamy) some lace and other trims, ribbon and a few other small but important embellishments. These were just so much fun to make!

It started when a friend of mine asked if I made baby ornaments. I've given it some thought before but hadn't found time to experiment. I accepted the challenge and headed to the store to purchase some flannel. I had an image floating around in my head.....

I started by making one girl and one boy. They turned out cute enough but I decided to make a few changes and tried it out first on the girls. I made five. One of them has a tag attached that I stamped "blessed." It is difficult to see in the photo but the tag is attached to the dress with a tiny pink wooden clothespin. You'll be able to see it better in another photo.

Then I cut out the pieces for five baby boy ornaments.

I found the teeniest little pompoms and decided they would add a cute touch to the baby boys' night caps. I stamped this tag with "it's a boy."

I love their little gowns. They remind me so much of the little flannel nighties my mom made for my daughters when they were babies. They were so sweet! I saved every single one!!!!

Some of these are already listed in my ETSY shop. I plan to offer some ornaments with a stamped tag and others without. The one I made for a friend was stamped with a date of birth. I think they would be such cute package tie-ons for a baby shower gift or given as a surprise gender reveal gift to an expecting grandparent!

My next batch of baby ornaments will be made from some white flannel and eyelet lace. I look forward to making them later in the week.  Although these do not work up quickly and do require many steps to complete, they are a joy to create and truly a labor of love!

Tomorrow and Wednesday is supposed to be very warm, near 70 on Wednesday.....YAHOO! I am planning to open the windows, wash them and do a little spring cleaning! Spring is in the air!!!! 28 days and I am counting......are you?

Thanks for stopping by friends! Have a wonderful week!


New White Baby Angel Ornaments too:

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Floral Straw Hat Redo

This is one of those projects that once completed, I regretted not taking a before photo. A friend of mine mentioned to me that she had a straw hat decorated with navy blue dried flowers, hanging on an inside door in her house. She told me that the flowers were looking old and faded but the hat was still just fine. She wondered if I could remove the old flowers and reuse the hat. She also said that she would like a shabby/vintage feel to it. Of course I was up for the project  but I knew I would not get to it until after the holidays. She gave me the hat and it was indeed very tired looking and in need of a lift. I removed the old dried flowers, the grosgrain bow and most of the Spanish moss but some moss remained because it was really glued on and I was afraid of tearing the hat.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do so I set out one afternoon cutting many circles from some sheer fabric in several different sizes. I also cut some from tulle and nylon lace. I made the flowers using the technique of melting fabric edges over a candle flame. There are many good how-tos on Youtube, Pinterest, etc. I have used this technique before and it creates such a pretty, romantic flower that is perfect for a project like this. If you want to learn the technique, search for a video on Youtube and watch it. I have watched many over the years and each time I watch, I learn something new. You must choose silky fabrics/synthetics or the flower will go up in flames. Don't ask me how I know!  I always make these over a small votive candle right next to the kitchen sink filled with water. I have also burned my fingers as the melting fabric can get very hot! NOT a project for kids!

In the photo above, you can see the large flower with the yellow pin holding the layers together. I made a bunch in various sizes and placed them all around the hat to get an idea of how many I was going to need. In the end, after much gluing,  I made a couple more flowers because I saw some slightly open spaces in the placement that really bugged me. Though I was not going for a totally symmetrical look, I did want a somewhat balanced look.

More flowers and more I added some small purchased flowers for color.

Then I began the process of gluing and adding some pearl centers....

The open space I mentioned is on the right side of the hat.

So I added a few more white flowers to fill in the open space.

A view of the other side....

The bow was made from a piece of lace that I purchased in a lot from an antique shop. It was the perfect length. I added a layer of the sheer fabric (that I used for the flowers) and a layer of tulle to the lace bow. Not only does the tulle support the lace bow so it doesn't get droopy but it adds the loveliest shabby/romantic/vintage touch to the hat as well.

,,,,and here is is all wrapped up and ready to go back to its home and place on the door.....because when all is said and done, "home is where you hang your hat."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Wreath for All Seasons and Some Hearts

I have been enjoying some time creating these heart pillow/ornaments during our recent cold and storm spell. You see, the frigid cold as in zero temperatures and double-digit below zero wind chill factors does not agree with me at all. The older I get, the less I am able to tolerate that kind of weather. In recent years though, we have been rather spoiled by much milder, winter temperatures and not nearly as much snowfall. I was caught very off guard the week of Christmas with snowstorm after snowstorm and then the frigid temperatures.

I found myself retreating to my sewing area where I discovered that cranking the thermostat and creating hearts from beautiful fabrics, laces and ribbons actually warmed the heart. Sipping nice hot beverages from my collection of sweet little teacups helped too!

I created the two burlap and cotton floral hearts first. I tagged the first one "be mine" which is obviously a Valentine sentiment. The second heart I tagged "love you" which is a little less specific to Valentine's Day allowing its use for other occasions. But truly, either could be used year round depending on the decor. The more I accumulate STUFF, the more I appreciate items that can be used for more than one special holiday or occasion. I simply do not have the space to store single holiday-use items anymore.

You may recall my rag wreath that I made  and posted HERE back in August. I had it hanging on a door in my back hall until December when I decided to move it to my dining room. Talk about a year-round decorative piece. I have had more fun changing the look of it just by adding a small ornament or two.

Here it is all plain and simple. For Christmas, I added an ivory Santa Claus...

and some gold stars.... achieve this white Christmas wreath. I loved it! So after completing some Valentine's Day Hearts it occurred to me that I could easily change up the wreath to become Valentine's Day decor.

This is a heart I made a few years adds a romantic charm to the wreath.

Then I tried the burlap hearts in the wreath....

and the floral hearts too.

I loved them all! I'm already thinking ahead to Memorial Day/4th of July.  Little did I know while tying all these rag knots to a wreath form, I was actually creating a year round, very versatile piece of decor that will change with the holidays and seasons! My biggest challenge will be keeping it dust free!

Thanks friends for stopping by. For those of you following me on IG, this is all old news but I do appreciate all of your support, likes and kind comments. It's wonderful to have multiple platforms that allow us all to stay in touch and up to date with our latest projects! Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Quick and Simple Tea Cozy--A Recycling Project

Happy New Year friends! I hope you all had lovely holidays. We had a white Christmas and it's been white and getting whiter even now as I write! It is a very stormy day today in NH so being stuck inside, I decided to make a quick cozy for a white teapot that I use pretty regularly. I've been wanting to make one for a long time but have not gotten around to actually sewing for myself. Well today was the day! I used an old quilt which saved lots of time!

I pulled my old quilt out of the closet. It has some very thin spots from use but most of the quilt is in very good condition. My thinking is to recycle some of it and turn the rest into a smaller throw.

Here is my teapot. I pulled it out of the cupboard to use as a guide to construct a pattern for my tea cozy. This project is so easy that it would make a great first time sewing project with the kids, grand kids or any beginning sewist. It whips up very quickly too!!

I decided on a height and width, made one side of my pattern, totally winging the curved part but to make sure that both sides were the same, I drew the left side and then folded the paper in half and used the drawn side as my guide for cutting out the pattern. As it turns out, I could have cut this at least an inch and a half shorter. But on a positive note, it is probably large enough to park one of our cars in......

I cut out the front and back of the cozy after tracing around the pattern I made.

Next I cut out two lining pieces. I used some ivory 100% cotton fabric that I have in my stash.

I stitched up the front and back cut from the quilt with right sides together.  I carefully clipped along the seam allowance in all curved areas and pressed.

 Next I stitched up the two lining pieces right sides together. Again, I clipped all curved areas again, being careful not to cut through the seam. Then I pressed.

I left the quilted cozy wrong side out and inserted the lining after it had been turned right side out. Right sides of both the quilted cozy and the lining were facing. I matched the side seams and pinned to hold in place. Then I stitched the bottom together leaving a 3" opening to turn right side out.

After turning right side out, I finger pressed the opening seams in place and then ironed and pinned closed. You can either close the opening with a whip stitch or top stitch entire bottom being sure to completely close the opening in the top stitching. I top stitched and ironed once again.

Isn't it cute! If you want to add lace, it is easiest to stitch on the cozy before stitching the two pieces together. You can also add buttons, fabric flowers, a ribbon tab pull at the top.....there are so many options to customize this any way you want.

I also cut some squares from the quilt and stitched up some coordinating mug mats.

Each square that I cut from the quilt has a different floral center. I made a set of four.

This tea cozy is for me but it sure would make a lovely gift too! Just add tea! Speaking of tea, I am about to go make a pot now. Wish you could all join me! Tea is so comforting on a cold, snowy day....

Wishing you all a wonderful 2018! See you all again soon!

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Gift of Warm and Cozy

Hi friends! If you follow me on IG, you've already seen my most recent quick sewing project. Yes, this 5 piece set of microwaveable heating pads whips up in a jiffy. But if you don't follow me on IG, my latest project is news to you! And it's all good news!

I use these heating pads (rice packs) every single day of my life, sad but true! Where I go, they go--even on vacation! I know others who use them daily as well and in fact, the recipient of this set asks me every year for a new style, size, etc. Since you must know someone who could surely use a set of these cozy little miracle workers, I will show you today how these can be whipped up super fast!

Here's what you need to begin this project:

Purchase a towel or use one you already own. If it's a gift you may want to purchase a a new one. (Note: The one I purchased was very easy to use because I could use the lines on the towel to keep my cutting straight! Also, look for the finished smooth edge as seen at top of this photo. It will come in handy later. Grab some coordinating (cotton) fat quarters. You only need a couple of these. Then obviously you will need some thread. The ribbon is to tie your finished project together for a pretty presentation! OH!......and you will need rice. I keep a HUGE bag on hand! OPTIONAL: Essential Oil, I used a couple of drops of lavender in each compartment of the large pad.)

I first removed the smooth, finished edge that I mentioned earlier. This is going to be used as the straps on either end of the large heating pad.

I then cut a strip off the towel using the entire width (and I cut following the straight lines on the towel) It was about 16" x width of the towel. ) This will be used to make a tube.

I cut the piece for the strap in half and folded in the raw edge to the center of the strap. Then I folded once again and stitched vertically on both sides of the smooth part of the strap. This finishes the raw edge and makes a really nice looking strap. You will need to repeat this step for the second strap.

Once you have the two straps completed, it will be time to stitch up the tube which will hold the rice.
Fold your towel material in half right sides together and stitch the long end. Do not stitch the short ends. turn right side out.

My photo for this step was very blurry so I will explain the next step using using this photo. You will notice those very neat edges that came on the towel. (see left edge) I decided to utilize that nice finished edge. I placed the strap inside the tube right side facing up and I stitched very close to the edge making sure that the edges met as perfectly as possible. I reinforced the handles by stitching over them a couple of times. Then I did another row of stitching to reinforce the seam. I have purchased these heating pads before that leaked rice from a weak seam and that is no fun! So this extra step will prevent that!!

Next, I divided the tube in thirds (actually I eyeballed it), placed a pin at each third and drew a light line with a marking pencil.

Fill the bottom third about 1/2 full (I used about 2 1/4 cups of rice.) You may add a couple drops of essential oil to the rice before placing in tube, be sure to distribute evenly to the rice by stirring or shaking in a zip loc bag.)  Making sure that the rice is moved to the very bottom of the tube,  stitch from top to bottom to create a compartment to hold the first 2 cups of rice. Be sure to back stitch to reinforce top and bottom of stitching. Measure 2 1/4 cups of rice again and fill the second compartment. Stitch the second line which seals the second compartment of rice. Fill your third compartment with the same amount of rice. Place the remaining handle inside the tube right side up, and while making sure that both finished edges line up well, stitch close to the edge as done with first handle. Complete the second row of "safety stitching" to reinforce the compartment.

The large bag is now done. It is quite heavy so the handle serves too purposes really: first, you can fold in half  (see below) and carry by the handles like a tote and second, they can be used to tie a belt through to hold the heating pad around your waist which keeps it in place hands free.

The handles turned out very neat using this method. I was going to use webbing but when I saw the wide edge on the towel I decided to utilize it. I'm glad I did!

To create some additional sizes for this gift set, I cut 2 strips about 5 1/2" x 10", stitched them wrong sides together along two edges and partly on the remaining edge, turned them right side out, filled with about 6 oz of rice, and stitched them closed on the outside which matches the outside stitching on the first heating pad that I made. So easy.....

Lastly, I cut 2 more pieces of coordinating fabric about 12"  x 10", folded them in half and finished them using the same steps above.

Here it is all tied up with some coordinating ribbon. I will add a tag with the heating instructions. For the large pads it takes some time to heat. I start with 2 min and then if not warm enough, I heat in smaller increments of time (30 to 45 seconds at a time) until heated. The small pads take 20 to 30 seconds. You should use caution while heating which will prevent burns and prolong the life of the pad.

Aren't those straps neat looking? They are sturdy and lend a complete and consistent look to the pad. I think webbing would have served the purpose but the end look would not be the same. This has a "SPA-ey" look which was definitely the look I was going for!

Things to Note:
  • You can determine the sizes of your pads based on your own needs or needs of recipient.
  • You can customize this for a gift by choosing colors of the recipient's liking. Likewise, if this is for you, choose your favorite colors and pick some pretty coordinating prints.
  • If your towel does not have a nice finished edge on the top and bottom, you can make a strap from fabric, or webbing or rope.
  • If your towel does not have a nice finished edge on the long sides you can stitch all three edges of the tube while inside out and hand sew the open edge closed after filling with rice. You will have to adjust the method of adding straps though. Simply place straps inside the bag, matching raw edges, right sides together and stitch or leave off the straps. 
This makes a wonderful gift on its own but if you want to tuck in a few other thoughtful little gifts, here are some ideas:
  • Handcrafted soaps
  • Bath bombs, bath oil
  • Bath Salts (I am including a bag of lavender scented epsom salts)
  • Matching towel set
  • Slipper socks
  • Sachets
Well friends, that's all for now! I can't believe how fast the time is flying! Wishing everyone a joy filled December!