Thursday, June 28, 2012

50% off all Craftsy Courses

We live in North Central Florida and got slammed pretty badly by Tropical Storm Debbie this week. My area received over 15 inches of rain!  Luckily there was no flooding here and we definitely needed some rain to help with the drought.  We've been busy tending to the garden and harvesting whatever we could during rain breaks.  I spent all afternoon mowing the lawn because after 3 days of non-stop rain you can imagine what this place looks like! The weeds were taking over my garden.

Anyway, just wanted to drop in with a new sale! If you use this link before June 30, 2012 at 11:59pm you can get any Craftsy course (including mine) for 50% off! Pretty crazy...pretty amazing! 

Craftsy offers classes for everything from knitting to cake decorating!  Check it out and if you don't need one for yourself you can give them as gifts too! Just click on a course and look for a gift box icon on the top right above the "sign up" button to purchase it as a gift for someone.  This is the time to stock up... dozens of amazing classes!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sewing Tag

My poor baby boy had a fever this past week so I put everything on hold to care for him and cuddle with him for a few days. He didn't have any other symptoms so I was hopeful it would go away quickly.. and it did! He is now back to his usual silly self and I am back to work.

I didn't get a chance to shoot a new tutorial so instead I am posting a video sewing tag! I saw it on Whitney Sews' YouTube channel and she got it from the Sewing4Christ channel so I figured I'd keep it going.  It gives me an opportunity to step away from the instructor role and just talk to my viewers as a person. The sewing tag involves me answering 11 questions... kinda like a little interview.

Hope you enjoy!
You can watch the video by clicking HERE or if you are viewing this in my blog it is below.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Craftsy Course & Giveaway

Some of you already know about my Craftsy online sewing course: Sew Little Nursery Design.  Well I wanted to tell you a little bit more about the course, the projects you'll be learning and the online classroom platform in a video! You know I love to be in front of the camera. I can't help it.

I know it's called Nursery Design but don't worry if you don't have any kids.  It's a home decor sewing course that can be adapted to match the decor style or color palette of any room, office, dorm room or really, any room in the house.  The only project I teach you to make that is specific to a nursery is a changing pad cover.

Watch the video HERE for more pictures of all the different projects I teach you to make.

I also include some pictures from the behind the scenes of the course production. I had a blast at Craftsy headquarters! Everyone was so nice and easy to work with and it was totally awesome to have a full women production crew in the studio-producer, camera women, and the editor. Love it!

In total you will learn how to make:
1. Window valance
2. Window curtains
3. Baby's changing pad cover
4. Seat cushion cover (back and seat)
5. Pleated decorative panel
6. Three different ways to make ruffles
7. Decorative piping 
8. and TONS of tips and tricks along the way. 

Click HERE to watch the official course trailer and HERE for more info on the course. Register by June 30, 2012 at 11:59pm EST and you will be entered into a giveaway to win a Craftsy grab bag. Watch the video for full details.

The course price has been dropped so low that this is the perfect time for you to take advantage of a course that has a 100% money back guarantee, is posted for you to access indefinitely, and is made up of 10 full HD video lessons. It's really like a private lesson that you're getting. All that for $14.99 US is a steal! Plus you can ask me as many questions as you want as often as you want and even share your course project pictures with the class.

 Watch the full video announcement below. Remember you need to be reading this post on my blog to see the video... if you are reading this in your email click HERE to watch it.

Check out some shots of me on set! I don't know if I was smiling so hard because I was getting my own Craftsy course or because I only had to focus being the talent and not worry about running around fixing camera angles and audio and all that.  I really enjoy having a production crew doing the hard work for me.  I could really get used to that! Now all I need is my on tv show and I'll be set! TV producers out there are you listening?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sewing with Knits Series

Today is the launch of a new video tutorial series I am working on.  Really exciting stuff!... especially since so many of you have messaged me with your questions and concerns about sewing with stretch knit fabrics. I thought it was time to do a whole series on it now that I'm done with the Video Quilt Along. So, no more worries! I'm going to do my best to walk you through the basics and some fun and easy knit projects!

I recently placed an order for some great new knit fabrics from HEREto play around with some of the different blends a little more.  I suggest you do the same. Stretch knits come in SO MANY different blends and fiber content types it's easy to get overwhelmed.  In the stash you see above I have cotton, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, modal and a bunch of blends. I say start with 100% cotton and then play around with cotton blends after that and go from there.

If you have ever been afraid to tackle a project with stretch knits this is the time for you to jump right into it!  Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE so you won't miss any of the upcoming videos in the series. Now sit back and enjoy Part 1 of the Sewing with Knits series.  As we go along I am confident you will be making comfortable clothes in no time!

I love pins!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


This morning the kids and I headed out to a local organic blueberry farm with some friends. The place is really a little gem! They don't have a website or anything so you would only know about it through word-of-mouth or by driving by. We lucked out!

Only $2 per pound for organic blueberries! INSANE!

My baby had so much fun! It was the cutest thing in the world to see him walking around with his bucket singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and the Itsy, Bitsy Spider songs as he picked blueberries. It was really a relaxing and zen-like moment for him.  We will be returning very soon!

 The berries were EVERYWHERE! I let my son walk around picking wherever he wanted and in about 30 minutes the two of us (the baby was on my back) picked 9 lbs of berries! WOWZERS! I was excited to turn them into something we could use the rest of the year and decided this was the perfect time to try our hand at canning! Blueberry jam to be exact. 

Earlier this year I purchased this book to get a head start and read up on canning and all the reviews rave about the recipes. I'm glad I read through that before I started because there are little things in canning that need to be done exactly right to ensure a good seal and that it be canned correctly for safety reasons.  I also picked up this little kit because everyone online said it made things easier. I think it did so I'm glad I had it.

The recipe I tried today was included in the pectin packet I used.  This pectin is sugar and preservative free and allows you to use WAY less sugar than some more traditional recipes. For an entire batch requiring 4 cups of mashed berries I only used 1/2 cup of this sugar. But you could use a variety of sweeteners, including honey with this pectin. 

I had all my supplies and half-pint jars ready so we went home and mashed berries!

You know he's gotta be involved every step of the way...

We started with one batch which yielded a little more than five 8 ounce jars. The processing time was only 10 minutes in the boiling water after all jars were filled and the lids/bands secured. 

After the first batch came out and I started to hear the popping sound of the lids I was happy to see I did it correctly.... or so I hope! HA!

We had so much fun we decided to make a second batch... and I still have about 3-4 lbs of blueberries that I popped in the freezer for now. In the end we made eleven half pints and one 4 ounce jar of delicious homemade blueberry goodness! Not bad for a regular 'ol day at home with the kiddies!

Do you can? Have a favorite recipe? Let me know... I think I found a new hobby!

I love pins!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Year of Making Life Beautiful- Blog Hop

Today kicks off a Book Tour Blog Hop for Melissa Stramel's new book- A year of Making Life Beautiful: 45 projects to bake, grow, craft, and sew throughout the year.

First I'll start by mentioning the book comes in both spiral bound (love this especially for projects and recipes) and in hard copy if you prefer that as well. The book is full of sweet pictures of kids playing, yummy dishes, gorgeous flowers and of course... quilty projects!

I was really excited about reading through the book because it is something I can totally relate to!  Family, farm life, cooking and crafts in one book? Definitely right up my alley. The book is arranged in months. Each month has a quilt pattern, a recipe, usually a craft, something from the garden, and there are several extra non-quilt patterns and some embroider projects as well.  In other words- there is something for everybody.

I like that the book also has that homegrown feel to it.  It's like you had someone in your family put it all together and then made copies to hand out to the rest of the family.  You know, like a family heirloom full of recipes and favorite projects. 

I have to admit one of my favorite things about the book is the variety of recipes on preserving homegrown food. I am really interested in trying my hand at canning this year and the book has several canning recipes that I have to try... salsa, marinara sauce, plum jam...

My husband who looked through the book and didn't get past the month of February section was pointing at a picture saying, "Yea, you gotta make these ASAP." Wondering what he was all excited about in a crafty book like this one I glance over to see. As much as I wanted to believe he was talking about the adorable Love Letter cathedral windows pillow he clearly wasn't. He was practically drooling over the Triple Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. Ha!

So, like I said. There is something for everyone. I think this book would make a great little gift for crafty friends and family. And here is your opportunity to win one for yourself.

To enter: All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me what is your favorite month of the year and why. Easy enough? I think so!
Giveaway ends: Wednesday, June 20th at 11:59pm EST.
Prize: One copy of Melissa Stramel's new book- A Year of Making Life Beautiful

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Loading a quilt with magnets

A few years ago I came across an email suggesting we load our quilts using magnets instead of zippered leaders/pins.  The email came from a member in an online quilting group I'm in- HinterbergQuilters.  It's a group for people who have the same or similar longarm setup that I have.  I have a Voyager 17 on a Hinterberg Stretch Frame. I love that all the men and women in the group share so many ideas, tips, tricks and even help each other trouble shoot whatever problems we may encounter with the machine.

Well, when I read that one particular email I was skeptical at first but thought I would give it a try.  I had a newborn baby at the time and it took me a long time to load customer quilts.  I ordered some rare earth magnets and gave it a try! I get my magnets from here.  I was blown away at how fast and easy it was and have been loading my quilts this way ever since.  I could even load a quilt one-handed while carrying a baby on my hip. A huge plus!

Now that my new studio is just about done I'm happy to say I have been playing on Janoris (my longarm machine (don't ask. My husband named it after a football player.) and started working on my next series of longarm quilting video tutorials. Here is the first video where I show you how I load my quilts- How to load a quilt using magnets. 

p.s.- My baby girl is 8 months now and she makes a debut in this video. She woke up mid-filming so I had to go get her and keep on working on the video. 


I love pins!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dish Rack Remix

I'm kinda enjoying these thrifty little remixes I've been doing lately. First the rusty old soda rack, then the wooden basket thingy and now this... a dish rack? Yup!

When my husband and I moved in together we each brought with us a dish rack from our previous homes. Well, there was only room for one so the other one (probably his) got tossed in the garage for over 3 years.  When everything came with us to the farm house last year I found this little guy in a box of garage stuff = a ton of junk you never knew you had and just want to get rid of.

Being the crafty little critter that I am I was determined to use it one way or another. It didn't take me but a few minutes to come up with the perfect plan to give this little guy a new life. I don't know exactly what material is on the outside of the rack but it feels like something in between rubber and plastic or a combo of the two. So, I wasn't sure that just spray painting it would work. I tried it. It rubbed right off= fail.  Plan B= Spray primer (I had the gray version of this on hand) on it, then the spray paint and just to be sure I sprayed it over top with a clear gloss coat. That did the trick! You can always just keep it as is and not bother with the painting.


 A bright & funky new storage rack for my sewing patterns!

I love how it keeps them all standing up so you can flip through and pull the one you need just like when you buy the patterns in the fabric stores. I was unsure as to how many patterns it would actually be able to hold but You can squeeze more than one into each slot and the width of my dish rack is just right to house two rows of patterns. I stuffed 50 patterns and the rack wasn't even full so I'd estimate between 65-75 patterns would fit nicely in the Rubbermaid- Large Dish Drainer/Rack I used. 

 And if you run out of space on the inside of the rack you always have a few more slots...

 ...around the outside as well!

Hope you enjoyed my dish rack remix and found some inspiration to reuse or recycle something in your home.

I love pins!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Giveaway Winner & TGIF sale

The winner of Simplicity's Felting Machine package has been randomly selected! Watch the announcement video to see if it's you! Thanks to Simplicity and thanks to you for participating!

p.s.- Check out my e-pattern/workshop TGIF sale.  Today only!
 Buy 2 or more e-patterns/workshops and get 30% off the entire order.
 Enter discount code: TGIF. Sale ends tonight at 11:59pm EST. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thrift Store Basket Remix

I've been working hard getting my sewing studio exactly the way I want.  Not only aesthetically but functionally as well.  You already saw how I took a rusty old rack and turned it into fabric storage.  Well, with the new (to me) table I scored this past weekend I was also in need of some more sewing supplies storage. 

Here is what I picked up at a thrift store for the absolutely ridiculous price of 10 cents.  Yes, I'm serious. Like $0.10 US. You can't even buy a piece of candy for that amount these days! Isn't it cute? This little basket has the potential to be so many things just as it is. But I wanted to give it a little splash of me!

All it took was a little wiping down with a damp cloth to get rid of the dirt and dusties. Then let it air dry a few minutes.

A few sprays with this little guy (the color says Satin Aqua in case you can't see it too good) and...

An instant cutter caddy for my worktable. I absolutely love it!  I thought about painting it red but then I figured since the studio walls are a similar color and my new caddy wasn't going to be displayed up against the walls it would be nice to add another little pop of aqua to the space.

I did the same thing to a little wooden tool box my mom picked up for me a while ago. It was a dark green before and I think she paid $1.00 for that one.  I painted it a glossy red a few months ago (used same spray can as this).  It holds all my rulers right where I need them.  Note: This is another studio progress sneak peek just for you! It's coming along so nicely. I'm almost done.

I'm happy with my cheap vintage finds and they add so much character and color to my creative space. Hope you find some inspiration in this post to help you do something similar where you may need it.

I'd love some pins!

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Square up a Quilt

It's finally here!  The last video tutorial in my Video Quilt Along series. Phew! 

We have been through a lot these past few months, eh?

The number of participants who joined in on the quilty fun is overwhelming! A global and multicultural group from countries like Australia, UK, Singapore, India, Latin America and more! Many of you have never made a quilt block before so I applaud you for taking on the challenge and going for it!

The pictures we have seen on my Facebook page are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It's so much fun to see how different the quilts are even though most of the blocks are similar. Color choices from all over the color wheel, a variety of bold prints and some even used different types of fabric and the end result is always a beautifully handmade quilt. Check out the pictures by scrolling down HERE.

If you are new to my blog (welcome!) and don't know what I'm talking about.  My Video Quilt Along is a 16-part series on how to make an entire quilt from start to finish. You can access the entire series HERE.

Watch How to Square up a Quilt tutorial below. Remember you need to be reading this on my actual blog to see the embedded video, not just in your email box. 

The rulers I like to use to square up my quilts are:
Omnigrid Quilter's Square 9.5" x 9.5":
Omnigrid Quilter's Square 12.5" x 12.5":
Omnigrid Quilter's Ruler 4" x 14":

I'm still working on my Video Quilt Along quilt and will let you know once it's done. Right now it's on my longarming frame as you can see...

(Studio sneak peek! What do you think?! I'm almost done.)
I will post a video tour once it's all done. 

Thanks again for your support!

I love pins!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coca-Cola Rack Makeover

My mom is always scoring all kinds of finds.  Yesterday when she came to visit she pulls out this rusty old Coca-Cola rack.  She paid $2 for it at an estate sale. They had tons of tools on it and she asked if the rack was for sale.  She was ready to offer $10 and was quoted $2.  Trash or treasure?!  So easy... definitely TREASURE!

Looks to be some kind of old Coca-Cola soda rack.  I know some collector out there would love to have it but I needed more fabric storage in my new studio. Sorry y'all! According to one of my Facebook fans' Coca-Cola collecting husband it's worth around $160- $225. But since I painted it's only worth... the $2 my mom paid for it. HA! Oh well... at least it's in a loving home now.

Once we pulled it out of the truck I saw the potential immediately!  It was rusty- so what. A little mangled- no biggie.  I can work with all that. I just wanted to make sure all the shelves fit and were in enough of a working condition to hold some decent weight.

I began my mission to get this baby made over and into the studio.  All it took was brushing it down with a dry paint brush to get all the dirt, dust, cob webs and leaves out from all the nooks and crannies. Then I wiped it down with a damp cloth. Let it air dry for a few minutes. Two of these later....

A gorgeous new fabric storage rack for my studio. Woo-hoo! One of the easiest projects I've ever completed!

...and in his new home

Hope you get some inspiration from my quickie recycled project!  Next time you see an old rusty rack for sale or tossed on the side of the road grab it, give it a makeover and use it for whatever storage you need.

Feel free to pin!

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