Monday, April 30, 2012

How to square up Quilt Blocks

If you are following my Video Quilt Along then you know we are already done with the 12 blocks! woo-hoo!  Now we really get to work.  Although you may think you can just grab your quilt blocks and start sewing them together I don't recommend it unless your piecing is perfect and hey, that might be you!  But it's definitely not me.  So, what I like to do at this point is plan a little.  We check our blocks to see how off they are from the 12.5" x 12.5" size they were designed to be and then go from there.

In this video I will walk you through how to sort your blocks based on size, how I figure out what size they need to be trimmed down to, which ones can't be saved and need to be redone, etc.  I also show you a handy rotating cutting mat that is perfect for trimming down blocks because it allows you to safely get the rotary cutter around all four sides without using it in awkward directions.

Hope you'll check it out! Do you have any block squaring tips you absolutely love? Leave me  a comment below. I'd love to hear them.

Wanna join in on the fun? Click HERE and start from the beginning!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Sew Hobo Bag tutorial

Heads up! My latest Threadbanger tutorial is now live- How to Make a No-Sew Hobo Bag from a t-shirt.

I designed this project because I know not everyone has a sewing machine or even cares to learn how to sew.  This is the perfect beach bag for anyone to make and the best part is all you need is a t-shirt, scissors and about 15 minutes. I'm pretty sure everyone has all three of those things so get to it! You'll be glad you did.

The fringe detail is both cute and functional- they are what hold the whole thing together so you don't need to borrow your mother's sewing machine. 

I have made 5 of these already and I keep two in my car for when I go grocery shopping.  They are so roomy and durable. Great for just about anything- beach, pool, picnics, library books, groceries, farmer's market trips, etc.

I would love to see pictures of the t-shirts you use to make yours so be sure to upload some pics to our Facebook page.   If you don't have a t-shirt you want to cut up just take a trip to your nearest thrift store and scoop one up for close to nothing.  I'm thinking my next ones will be tie-dyed... how about you? Got kids? This would be a perfect project to make together, too!

Have fun and let me know if you gave it a try!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cupcake Mug Rug Tutorial

If you are active in the online crafting world you have probably seen mug rugs pop up just about everywhere in all different sizes and styles.  I've had some requests for a tutorial so here it is!

A mug rug is basically a mix between a placemat and a coaster.  It sits on your desk and holds a mug with your favorite drink. You can also lay a snack right on it so it doesn't dirty your desk or get crumbs all over your work.  They are mini quilts so they can be machine washed and dried.

I love making mug rugs because they make great little gifts and can be whipped up in no time at all!

I designed this cupcake applique just for this tutorial but you can feel free to use it any other project you'd like as well.  This would look cute on little girl's clothes, a backpack or tote bag.....  I'd love to hear your ideas on other projects you plan to embellish with this cupcake. Leave me a comment below!

Click here to download the cupcake applique template sheet:

*Note: When you print the template sheet out set your printer settings to "Fit to Page" so it can be the same size as the cupcake I used in the tutorial*

Here is the full video tute. Enjoy!

Fabrics used in this project: 
- 1 rectangle of white fabric at 6" x 7.5" - Designer Solids in Winter White, Free Spirit Fabrics:
- 1 rectangle of blue plaid fabric 7" x 7.5"- Sugar Hill by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit fabrics:
- 1 rectangle of blue plaid from 12.5" x 7.5"- Sugar Hill by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit fabrics:
- assorted fabric scraps for cupcake applique: and
- Pellon Wonder Under:
- Pellon Fusible Fleece:

A big thanks to my sponsors- Pellon and Free Spirit fabrics for providing the products used to make this project and tutorial! Check out their sites!

p.s.- Remember to check out my new online sewing course at  Use this link for 50% off the course price for Crafty Gemini followers: 50% discount off Sew Little: Nursery Design

Click below to watch the course preview!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Garden Blog Hop- Mod Mushrooms

Today is my day to show off a new paper pieced block I designed for the Garden Blog Hop hosted by Jennifer at

How cute are my little Mod Mushrooms

With the purchase of our new farm house we have started a veggie garden and I'm still in the process of getting some oak logs cut and cured so I can try and grow my own shiitake mushrooms.  

When I looked through my fabric stash and found the pink fabric with all the cute little 'shrooms on it I knew I would use it as my inspiration for designing my block.

Hope you like it. 

If you are new to paper piecing check out my tutorial HERE. 
 You can find the pattern and some tips for my Mod Mushrooms right HERE.

p.s.- I'm also running a 10% off sale for any of my e-patterns in my online shop for today only. 
Just use the code: bloghop

Happy piecing!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My secret is revealed!

Remember last month when I told you in this post that I had a secret? It included a one week trip to Denver, CO. Well, I can finally spill the beans!!

I am the newest instructor at!

I'm super excited (like you can't tell) to tell you about my online sewing class- Sew Little: Nursery Design

Click on the image above to watch the course teaser and if you scroll down that page you can even watch a few short clips from the different lessons to give you a better idea of how it works.

I know the course is about nursery decor but the projects you'll complete are not just for nurseries. Every project with the exception of the changing pad cover can be made for just about any room in the house.  I teach you how to make simple rod curtains, a valance, seat & back cushions for any chair and the changing pad cover.  I also cover embellishing techniques like making your own piping, several types of gathers/ruffles and an amazing pleated panel.

For a limited time you can click HERE to register at 50% off the original course price.

If you are not familiar with Craftsy courses here is the quickie breakdown:
-they never expire
-you can access them anytime, anywhere
- post questions for your instructor and other classmates
-upload pictures to ask for help on something or to show off your work
- money back guarantee

There are a ton of other classes for things like crocheting, knitting, quilting, machine quilting, jewelry making, gardening, couture sewing and so much more!

If you see a class you like use this exclusive link just for Crafty Gemini followers to get at least 50% off each course fee.

Here are some pics from my course shoot. I had a great time and everyone at Craftsy Headquarters was so awesome and a real pleasure to work with!

Fabrics I used in the course projects are from Westminster Fabrics/ Free Spirit: Sugar Hill by Tanya Whelan and Karavan by Valori Wells

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How to Make Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags

I've received a lot of requests recently for projects that can use up scraps.  I love to use up my fabric scraps in quilt blocks and small quilted projects but not all my followers are quilters so I wanted to teach everyone how to make one of the easiest projects ever!

We use these all the time in my house to hold all kinds of stuff like sandwiches, popcorn and other snacks.  We don't only use the baggies for food items, though. I've even made them bigger to hold a diaper and a cloth wipe.  The possibilities are really endless! When you give this tutorial a try I'd love to hear what you are using yours for.  Leave me a comment below and tell me. I'm always looking for new ideas on how to use mine.

In this video tutorial I'll teach you how to make it in a size that is a little bigger than a sandwich but feel free to play around with the dimensions and create your own custom, environmentally friendly, reusable baggies.  Enjoy!

If you enjoyed the tute feel free to share it or pin it below. Thanks!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New cutting table

As you probably know by now from watching this video update ... I finally finished my studio! Well, I still have to put the trim on but I can always do that after I'm all moved in.  I'm just super anxious to get all my stuff situated so I can really get to work.

One of the things I want to do is build most of the furniture pieces for the studio. Insane? I know. Like I have time to do anything else.  I wouldn't be me if I didn't keep piling up new projects on my plate! Here is the first one I've finished a new cutting table!

I built this at the peak of my "nesting" phase when I was pregnant with DD last Fall.  It took me 2.5 hours to cut the 2 x 4s and put the whole thing together.... and did I mention I was 40 weeks pregnant when I made this... HA! My husband kept telling me to go to bed and put the circular saw away.  He was afraid the neighbors would call the police since (at the time) we lived in a gated townhouse community...and it was 11:00pm when I decided to tackle this project. I think back to that night and I can't help but laugh. I was so determined to get it finished I didn't care about anything else. I was determined but not insane... I did make sure to wear all my safety gear.

This was my first time using a circular saw and I literally screamed when I flipped the table down on it's legs and it was level! Not bad for a newbie.  Now I want to build everything! Since then I've been bookmarking dozens of Ana White woodworking plans. If you don't know about her, check her out.

The plan for this table is from the Kreg Tool website. To access the full plan you need to register (for free) on their site and then go HERE and then look for the project plan for the "2 x 4 Workbench." Once you access the plan it will tell you exactly what you need to complete the project. It's made with 2 x 4s and sheets of MDF for the bottom shelf and top. I bought the Kreg Jig Master system kit to build this workbench and it is very well worth it.  If that price is out of your range check out the smaller versions of it that you can get.  I've read blogs where others have used them with the same success and some even prefer it for the portability. 

My table finished at 24" wide x 48" long (the MDF panel is cut 2' x 4') x 35" tall.  The plan calls for two layers of the MDF for the top because it was designed to be a woodworking workbench but mine won't exactly get that kind of wear and tear so I decided on just the one. It's just the right size for my quilting needs and the occasional garment making, mostly for my kids.

I just recently finished painting it white with red polka dots.  Decided on a red top and dots to contrast the wall color in the studio and match my red accents.

Woodworking is my new thing and my husband quickly figured out he'd better take advantage of having a wife who wants to build stuff... so here's what I got for Valentine's Day this year! Yea, he's a keeper!

p.s- Don't forget the 50%+ sale off all Craftsy courses using the exclusive Crafty Gemini follower link by clicking HERE. Sign up today to take advantage of the discounted prices. Tons of great classes for all crafters-- everything from paper crafts and knitting to quilting and couture dressmaking. Check it all out HERE.
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