Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Felting Machine- Review & Giveaway

I don't knit and I barely crochet so felting is not something I'm familiar with. When I heard there were no rules, no thread, and no buttons to press on Simplicity's 12 Needle Deluxe Felting Machine I knew I had to give it a try!  Thanks to our generous friends at Simplicity I now have the opportunity to play with this new baby and give one away to a lucky follower... will it be you?

 The machine has 12 needles that come already installed for you.  A guard to protect you from getting your precious fingers too close to the needles. It has no buttons or screens to deal with.  Simply step on the foot pedal and go!

I've played around with quite a few fabrics and materials so far including natural and synthetic fibers and have had no trouble at all.

I'm excited to play around with this little machine some more and bring you some tutorials in the near future because there is so much that can be done with it!

Here is a little eyeglass case I made from an old wool sweater. So easy and quick! Tutorial for this is coming soon! 

One lucky viewer will receive the felting machine, a pack of 12 needles, allen wrenches and the Felting projects & tips book.

Click HERE to watch the full product review and learn about how you can enter the giveaway!
(p.s.- If you don't have a Facebook page you can enter anyway... I know not everyone has one.)

Felting machines and products were provided free of charge by Simplicity Creative Group. All views & opinions are purely my own.

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Tie a Quilt

When I first started quilting 5 years ago I was a little distraught after spending a whole month meticulously piecing blocks to make my first quilt top... only to find out that after all three layers were put together I had to either learn how to machine quilt or pay a longarmer the big bucks to finish it for me.  I guess I kinda hoped it would magically be a perfectly finished quilt after all the piecing was done! HA!

I was a 2nd year law student at the time and could NOT afford to pay anyone a few hundred dollars just to get it quilted. So I took it to my sewing machine and a walking foot. RESULT: Let's just say that quilt is sitting nicely on the top shelf of a closet somewhere.

At that time I wish I would have known I could tie the quilt instead of bother with the machine quilting.  It would have saved me a ton of headaches and the million puckers on the backing. Ouch.

If you're a quilting newbie here's my tip for you.... you can tie a quilt!

I hope this will help some of you to dive in and create your first quilt knowing that you will be able to finish the entire thing yourself and easily with this tying option. All you'll really need is embroidery floss or yarn and a tapestry needle.

Some quilters I know frown on a tied quilt but I dare someone to take a look at this baby quilt and tell me those cute little ties take away from this quilt. I think it is just darling! Don't you?

{wanna learn to make this quilt? Click HERE for info. }

Tying a quilt is fast, easy and inexpensive. It allows you to finish those quilt tops without the headaches of learning machine quilting or paying the big bucks for a professional longarmer. A great way to finish your first quilt and you can get the kids involved too!

Click HERE to watch the tutorial on How to Tie a Quilt or watch it below.

DIY Sewing Pattern Weights- Tutorial

My kids are growing up and even the baby rarely wears onesies anymore so I'm on a mission to start making them more clothes.  I've been working on a few things (and I'll post tutorials for them when they're ready) but I thought I'd start off with some basics.

A few weeks ago I posted this tutorial on tracing sewing patterns to sturdier paper.  Today, I'm back with another video tutorial on some SUPER quick, easy and best of all inexpensive sewing pattern weights. I paid $0.43 each for these at my local home building store. These little babies are especially handy when using sturdier pattern pieces that you can't push pins through.  Some of you may even already have them at home and don't even know you can use them with your sewing projects.

I used stretch knit (t-shirt) fabric scraps to give them a pop of color and I just love them! 

Hope you'll give them a try if you haven't already. 

Click HERE to watch the video tutorial or watch it below.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Zippered Box Pouch Tutorial

Last year I posted a quilted zipper wristlet tutorial which has been very popular.  I've also received pictures and emails from dozens of you who turned that wristlet into a coin purse, cosmetic bag, diaper & wipes bag, etc.  You also requested a box version of the zippered pouch and I've finally delivered!

If you are a newbie and dread any project that requires a zipper... don't! This is really easy to make and I designed my video tutorial especially thorough just for you!  The video is over 13 minutes long but trust me.... I walk you through every step!  Just grab your supplies, laptop/iPad and make it alongside me.

To complete this box pouch you'll need:
- 2 fabric pieces measuring 14" x 15"
- 1 batting piece measuring ~15" x 16"
- One 12 zipper
- Pins or Lapel Stick
- coordinating thread
- rotary cutter + mat + rulers
- sewing machine with zipper foot attachment

When you finish yours upload a picture to my Facebook page so we can see your cute little box pouch! We have at least five of these in my house already.  My son loves the one I made for him to keep his markers and crayons in. What are you going to use yours for?

Craftsy Logo

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sewing Studio and Farm Update- May 2012

We've had so much going on at the farm that instead of writing up several blog posts I decided to put together a short video and show you what's been going on.

In short:
- I'm making A LOT of studio progress... still have a lot to sort out.  I have waaaaay more fabric than I thought. Organizing it all is proving to be very challenging.

- more animals on the farm

- garden veggies doing great

My 2 yr old loves picking green beans... and even better than that... he loves to eat them too!

Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quilt Sashing- How to Measure & Make it

This week's tutorial is on Quilt Sashing! If you don't know what that is, its the strips of fabric you see in a lot of sampler quilts that are used to frame out quilt blocks especially when they are all different block designs... like the 12 we have made in our Video Quilt Along.

Because each block is different in design, color and fabric choices the sashing helps give the finished quilt design a more unified look but allows the diversity of the blocks to still shine through.  An example is this black & white quilt I made a few years ago from blocks I gathered in a black & white quilt along I participated in online.

The black strips of fabric and the red little cornerstone squares are the sashing on this quilt.  
For the purposes of the Video Quilt Along we are keeping the sashing a little easier and just using straight solid strips.  I give you a ton of information in this week's video... that's the reason for it being super long. 

In this video I will also tell you how I created my own design wall to help create my finished quilt is removable and inexpensive.  I give some tips on batting choices in case you don't know where to start.
Some of my favorite batting to use is:
Warm & Natural Cotton Batting Twin Sized  

Quilters Dream Natural Cotton Request Batting Queen sized

Also, remember to upload pictures of your finished quilt top on my Facebook page so we can see your quilt!

p.s.- if you are just coming across the info of my Video Quilt Along.. no worries!  All the videos are posted in a nice & neat little list for you to jump in on the fun whenever you want.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to Make Fabric Folders

There are millions of yummy recipes all over the internet with more being added to blogs and websites on a daily basis.  Well, I don't know about you but I can't keep up with them in just a digital format.  I need hard copies so I can take notes on what ingredients I've substituted, measurements I've changed, etc.

So, I usually keep my printed recipes in a cheap ol' plastic folder and I've had it for about 7 years now.  It finally gave out and burst at the seams.  I decided I would make myself one out of fabric so it could last me even longer.  Here is the result! Aren't they cute?! 

I love them!  Cute and functional... just how I like my projects. 

I've since found all kinds of uses for these in my house now... storing my son's artwork, homeschooling assignments, printouts, receipts, etc.  They are designed to nicely accommodate 8.5" x 11" sheets of paper or smaller.

I'm so excited about this project that I turned it into a video workshop.  It is for sale in my online shop HERE. 

When you signup for the workshop you will receive:
1. An instant email with a direct download link for the 4-page long PDF with step-by-step instructions and template.

2. A link for exclusive access to an over 12-minute long complete step-by-step video tutorial.

If you have watched any of my other tutorials you know my style of instruction and how I love to  give extra tips & tricks in all my projects.  This one is done in a similar style.  Very clear, concise and of course in HD.

I think these folders are a perfect gift for men, women and kids of all ages.  With Mother's Day almost here what a great gift this would make with some special pictures, recipes, or grandkids' artwork, etc.  You still have plenty of time to whip up a bunch of these if you wanted to. With the end of the school year right around the corner this would be a fab gift for teachers as well! All you have to do is play around with your fabric options and customize the folder specifically for the recipient.

p.s.- I've had some customers make these for their iPads, too!  Since the iPad is smaller than the 8.5" x 11" measurement of a sheet of paper it would fit in there nicely as well.

I've put together a teaser video for you to get a better feel for the video workshop including what materials you'll need... so I'll leave you with that here...

If you have any questions feel free to post a comment below and I'll get right back to you. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

How to Transfer Sewing Patterns to Sturdier Paper

It's Monday and I'm back with a new tutorial!  Many of you are starting to jump into the world of commercial sewing patterns. I know it can be a little intimidating at first but you will quickly get the hang of it.  If you still haven't given it a try consider starting with an easy pattern like Simplicity 2290
 from their Learn to Sew line of patterns. It's a pair of lounging/pajama pants and I have a 3-part series of video tutorials where I walk you through how to read & understand the pattern and complete the pair of pants.  The pattern includes sizes from kids to adults so it's a great go-to pattern to begin with. Click HERE to access the pajama pants tutorial.
Well, this week I just wanted to share one of the MANY ways you can transfer the markings from your commercial sewing patterns to sturdier paper for repeated use.  There are probably a gazillion different ways to get the same result but you know how frugal I like to be so I usually go with the method that will allow me to get the job done with stuff I already have at home.

I hope this video will help some of you get started and give you some ideas for ways to get the same effect.

If you read some comments that have been posted on the video already you will get some other great ideas.  One reader photocopies smaller pattern pieces to save time and uses Pellon's fusible products on the original pattern to make it sturdier. Others prefer to laminate them and use contact paper, etc.  What's your favorite way to make your patterns sturdier?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's May already!

Wow! This year is almost half way gone... crazy! Good thing is my garden is growing nicely with all the warm weather.  It's 91 degrees here today.

As busy as we are it's important to take time out and enjoy the little things in life.  Living on a farm in Florida for us means spending time in the beautiful outdoors here tending to our garden.

This morning the kids and I headed outside to check on our green beans.  This is our first time growing beans and I planted an heirloom variety called Contender Buff Valentine that I bought from Baker Creek Seeds.  It's an early producer, meaning you can start munching after about 50 days! That's less than 2 months. I love it.  A few days ago while watering I noticed a few beans here and there on the plants so I thought we'd be harvesting soon but not today! We picked a colander full of beans and that was just off a few plants.  I think I have like 22 plants of this variety. HA! At this rate I will be canning, freezing and giving some away.

My little guy was so excited when I asked him if he wanted to "go pull some green beans" that he ran to his room, dressed himself and came out ready to harvest! He kept calling the beans "wormies" and laughing. What a silly little guy we have.

Enjoy the rest of your week. 
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