Friday, April 27, 2012

bunting gift bag tutorial

This week I went to baby showers for my new grand-babies, a boy and a girl.  These gift bags are easy to put together and make a big statement.  They add a nice touch when giving a quilt.

girl gift bag

boy gift bag

Pick a few favorite fabrics from your scraps.  Iron on heat 'n' bond to the back (only for 2 seconds).  Draw your pattern on to the fabric you've backed with heat 'n' bond, and cut out.  Peel off paper back.  Iron onto bag (again, only for 2 seconds).  DONE!  How hard can that be?  Especially the bunting.   Keep the fabric you've added heat 'n' bond to with your gift bags and your favorite templates.  Better yet, make up a few.  

I bought mine from Joann Fabrics.

If you get a gift from me,  I can almost guarantee that it will be given to you in a white gift bag . . . . . one option, that's it, no more.  Don't need to waste any brain cells on which wrapping paper or gift bag to choose from.  No bulky rolls stacked in the closet etc, no quick trips for a bow.  No unsightly cupboard with re-gift wrappings.   I purchase several sizes of white (paper brown works nice too) in mass quantities when they are on sale.  I like universal.

 You can accent with colored tissue paper depending on the event, holiday or gift.  If you get a gift from me in a white bag with white tissue, then you should be concerned.

In the gift bags were:

 This girl play quilt came out so cute!  I'll have to get a picture of the finished product.

 Play quilts are so easy.   I'll do a post with the instructions on a rag binding.  It's so cute and fun!!  and best of all  . . . FAST!

Someone told me recently that I need to pick a name that I want my grandchildren to call me.  I've never really thought about it, but I have since been paying attention to what other grandmothers answer to.  I don't even know how you'd spell some of them, and I'm not sure I wanna answer for the next several decades to some non-native phonemes from an ancient mountain dialect.  Then, I have to pass the male version by my husband :0

Got any ideas?  Please share!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday: repurposed jeans

I love a denim bib, it's classic.  It doesn't wear out, it's soft, it's cute and looks good with everything!  It's non-gender specific so it can get passed down to the next sibling or cousin . . .

If you don't save jeans for sewing projects, you can find little denim pockets at your local resale shop or garage sale on children's clothing or most men's jeans which have a perfect little (change) pocket.  

I have an old kingsize denim dust ruffle that I almost got rid of several years ago.  I'm so glad I kept it, I've used it over and over again.  A seamstress should always have a good supply of denim on hand to recycle, especially if you have teens.  You can save a ton of money repairing holes in jeans.  (I used to iron those jean patches into the backs of holes, but now I just sew a piece of denim to the back)

Bib directions
Pick 2 coordinating fabrics (preferably 1 in denim! ) I prefer to use flannel for the back, besides it feeling softer, it will absorb more.  Look for a slightly thinner or worn denim when making bibs, as it will be more pliable and not so heavy.

Press and starch your 2 coordinating fabrics.  (When sewing an item with 2 different fabrics, one is bound to shrink more than the other.  I prefer to press with heavy steam before cutting the fabric as apposed to pre-washing.  Starch will help the fabric from becoming distorted while cutting)

With right sides together, pin and mark bib pattern.  Cut out the 2 pieces of fabric together, at the same time.

Pin and sew the 2 pieces,  leaving a 2 inch hole along the bottom of the bib.  Cut notches around the curves to minimize bulk.   Turn right side out and press.

Cut out back side of small denim pocket before sewing onto bib to minimize bulk.  Pin pocket on center of front side of bib.  Sew down along edges using matching thread.  To make pocket functional, only sew along the top of the pocket flap, and up the sides of the pocket, stopping at the top of the opening on each side.  (back stitch to secure edges)

Sewing the pocket onto the front of your bib AFTER sewing front and back together will give your bib more stability (not as it is shown above)

Top stitch all the way around close to the edge of the bib.  (This will close the opening at the bottom)

My thoughts on picking your closure - A button would be adorable, but I'm too lazy to make the button hole, strings take too long to tie (and make), a velcro bib is easily pulled off by a toddler (so tells me an experienced mother) so I prefer a large snap.

These bibs will get lots of wear so reinforce the ends.

I hand picked this color and weight of thread that looks like the thread used on jeans.  

If you're interested in this pattern, leave me a comment and I'll email you the pdf.  Please make sure that you are not a "no-reply blogger".  



denim quilt

Sunday, April 22, 2012

children's funny little book

One of the best things I did as a young mother was to write the funny little things down that our children said or did.  Now that they're grown, when they come home to visit, one of their favorite things to do is to all sit on "MY" bed and read out of one of their "funny little books".

I didn't have much time to write in their little books regularly,  it wasn't meant to be a journal, and with each child I seemed to loose more and more of those memory brain cells, so when one of them did or said something funny, I jotted down on a sticky a few sentences that would give me enough details to later make an entry in their funny little book.

I put a few other things in at the front just for a quick future reference:

basic birth stuff

a few fun dates to remember

a cute picture here and there

cute little notes. . . . this poor child thought his life was about to come to an end because he had taken my favorite mixing bowl out into the cul-de-sac and lost it.

There was a page towards the back where I put a swatch of fabric from their Christmas PJ's that I made.

Once in a while, Dad wrote a little something.  Dad's tend to see different things.

There are so many fun ways to capture pictures and memories these days of your children.  But the projects can be extensive and costly, and may sit and collect for a spell.  A little book to capture the little funny things they say will be priceless. 

I would highly recommend it.  A cute "funny quote book"  would make a great baby gift.

I'd love to hear of any good ideas you have for recording your children's funny memories.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reunion Sampler

Tanner's "Reunion Sampler" to go along with this quilt is finally finished.

I love fabric covered buttons.  They're so easy to make and add the perfect touch.
Use scraps for the button covers, with fabrics that create a nice contrast.

These are size 45, 1 1/8".  When you purchase the "KIT", it comes with the little tools you'll need.

Purchase a canvas frame from a craft store (Hobby Lobby has a good selection) and add linen to it.  Staple it onto the back along the inside of the wooden frame.

I used an extra block left over from the Tanner Reunion quilt (link at top of post).  It's finished it like a mini quilt with a very thin binding.

Stitch in the ditch using Mono Poly Very Fine Polyester.  If your ditch lines are a little wobbly, they won't show up with the poly.

I washed the mini quilt for the crinkled look.  

Sew the buttons on,  hot glue gun the mini quilt on, and nail a small hanging device into the back. 

Time to hang.

Friday, April 13, 2012


This week's goal, prep for a baby shower.  It was a working baby shower, we made onesies. 

 I've been collecting fun pins on pinterest,  check out my "onesie's board".

  I'd like to try dyeing, and fabric painting using freezer paper. 

 I used "heat 'n' bond" lite (from Joann's), it's softer for fabrics than the heavy.  I still like a small zig zag stitch around the edges.  My needle settings are at 2.0 (width), and 0.8 (length), and I use the same color top thread as the fabric.  I usually just use white in my bobbin, but if it's a dark fabric, use the same thread in the bobbin as the top.  Be sure to get "sewabe" heat 'n' bond.

I found the onesies at Babys R us.  But I've seen them at target also.  I don't believe spending too much time and money on onesies.  Honestly, how long do they wear them?

Linking up to Finish It Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts


Monday, April 9, 2012

do you handsew your binding?

 This week-end, we took a quick road trip.  I thought I'd take the opportunity to finish the binding on Tanner Reunion.

I've always believed that if you're going to spend your time and money making a quilt that will be enjoyed for years to come, that the binding needs to look good.  In other words, hand sewn down on the back.

I tried a new binding technique this time.  You can read about it here.

After trimming down to a scant 1/4 inch, I turn the binding over, and sew down with a 6 mm basting stitch, using the same color thread, 1/8 inch from the edge.  This gives you a little lip to work with.

After basting, I can wash and start using my quilt.  Then, when I have a road trip, or am watching a movie at home with the family (yea, I had to get a tiny flashlight cuz the kids like ALL THE LIGHTS OFF),  I work on hand stitching the back down.

I like to take out the basting stitches every few feet.  It gives me that satisfying feeling :)

I'm interested in your thoughts on "hand sewing the binding down".  Leave a comment sharing your ideas.