Thursday, December 29, 2016

After Christmas Fun......

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas filled with family, fun and laughter!!!
Oh, and not to forget, some good food too!!
And for us here in Ontario Canada, a very white Christmas!!

I also hope you were able to take some time to rest, create or finish a WIP you've been trying to complete all year. 

There were two family celebrations that happened here and they both were fun and loud 
and just a bit hectic.....

I did take some time to make my very first pair of flannel pj bottoms, without an actual pattern!!! 
A Google search confirmed that taking a pair of your pants, you can create your own pattern template I found a pair of jeans that were a bit loose on me and went to work!! 
And much to my great surprise, they turned out fantastic, and have I've been wearing them a lot, lol!! 
I 'll need to make another pair or 3!!!

I also made a matching pair for my little grand on Christmas Eve we snapped a picture of the two of us in our white long sleeve t-shirts and matching flannel bottoms.....
(Forgive the blur bubble, my daughter has asked that I not share any photos publicly, and I respect that)

I also received a few similar gifts from all of my kids and Santa (I love tea, what can I say), and mixed messages...

My youngest, taking a jab at my need for reading glasses...

My middle son and girl friend....could be a slam, but we live on a family farm (hogs) lol

and they also added this awesome pottery yarn bowl!! Love it! So makes up for any possible double meaning ;)

and this one was slipped into my minds think alike as they say...

Farmer's Wife 1930s Sew Along?

Now onto the after Christmas fun....
I went online Christmas day and ordered myself a few new quilt books, and the first one has arrived...

The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt.

99 blocks to honour the inspiring letters from farm women of the Great Depression. 
I can't wait to dig into this book and start building the blocks using the different techniques highlighted ....and I started to think.......

Maybe this could turn into a sew along?

If this is something you might be interested in, you would need your own book, but if this has been on your  "To Do List" or you want a new challenge, or you need a group atmosphere to accomplish, or you know someone who has mentioned this book to you.......or you just want to join in because you already have the book.......

Let me know! And share this post with your friends!

It will take some organizing and I want to try all the different techniques (templates, paper piecing, rotary...I also think this can be constructed by hand sewing?) before trying to show I'm thinking a mid year start. The answers to the questions below will determine the number of blocks and the length of time the Sew Along will take. So please add your answers in the comments, and spread the would be fun to get a good group together!!

  1. Who's interested in the sew along?
  2. How many of the 6" blocks would you be interested in making: 32(lap) 84(twin) 99(queen), (king is 126, 22 repeat blocks)
  3. Are you looking for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly posts?
  4. Do you want a FB Group as well?

Thanks everyone, 
I look forward to your feedback....

Wishing Everyone 
A Happy New Year!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Last Minute Gift Idea or Stocking Stuffer

It is getting so close to Christmas and of course I am still trying to get all the handmade items done on time. Things got a little hectic around here with the renovations so I am behind and not making quite as many sewn item this year...which makes me sad, but there is always next year!!πŸ˜‰

When I asked my daughter what she wanted for Christmas this year, she only came up with one idea, so you know I had to at least try and get it made, she asked for a mug cozy for her CorningWare 20 oz mug. Last year for one of our family Christmas get togethers we had a soup and chili feast. I knew it was going to be hard to seat everyone around a table so I made a stack of bowl cozies, which was one of the items I shared in my last post, Quick Christmas Present Ideas. 

I didn't think a bowl shaped cozy would be very safe idea for holding a mug with a handle, but the other cup cozy idea I shared seemed like the better idea to tweak, so here it is......
If you follow my blog you might recognize the scraps I'm using? They are the P&B Textiles Color Weave I used to make the December One Block Wonders Shattered Quilt!

(added after posting) It is important to remember unless you are using all cotton products, don't use this cozy or any cozy in your microwave.

What You'll Need:

For each cozy you are making: Quilt as You Go Method

(1) piece 14" x 4"       Batting or Thermo Fleece  (I used scraps of Thermo Fleece)
                                   Scraps of fabric at least 4" in length by varying widths
(1) piece 13.5" x 3.5" Backing Fabric 

(1) button (I used a 23mm size)
(1) 3" piece of 1/4-1/3" round elastic

Instructions: All seams are 1/4" unless stated otherwise
If you  have never done a quilt as you go project before here is a link to a tutorial I made.

I am only adding the strips to the front of the fleece no backing fabric is used during this quilt as you go sewing step.
 Place your first strip right side up and 4" long raw edge even with 4" wide edge of your batting (you can stitch the outside edge down with an 1/8" seam if you are worried about your first piece shifting). Now lay your next strip right side down on top for the first piece, aligning the inside 4" raw edge. Stitch a 1/4" seam and then press the top piece back, so the right side is facing up.

 Continue in this manner until your batting is covered with your fabric strips. I am making each of the mug cozies in different colour sets so that they will work like a glass/mug marker incase they are used during another family event!!

Now you will want to turn your work over so the batting side is facing you and trim your piece down to 13.5" x 3.5" to match your backing fabric.

Fold you elastic in half and tack it in place just shy of  1/4" in from one of the 3.5" edges ! Make sure you go over this a few times to make it secure. Also if you have labels you are going to want to sew that into place now too, on the other 3.5" edge! I love the labels I have from IkaPrints (there's a link in my sidebar if you are looking to purchase your own labels)

Next place your backing and your quilted piece right sides together and stitch around the whole piece leaving a 3" opening for turning. Don't forget to backstitch at the start and ending point for strength, so you don't pop your seam while turning. Trim all corners before turning.

Once your piece is turned, push out the corners carefully using a knitting needle or small scissors etc. (something with a point) Press, paying close attention to the opening, to get the raw edges tucked in straight.  

Topstitch 1/8" around the outside edge careful to catch the 3" opening to close it with the topstitching!

Hold your finished piece around the mug so you can determine the button placement. You want the button over enough to add resistance to the elastic so that it holds the cozy inplace, but not so much that it makes the button pulls and stresses the fabric. I found about a 1/2" from the edge worked well!

This was such a quick and easy project to sew, and creating the new cozy pattern was easy being as  the sides of this mug are straight!!! (no taper to deal withπŸ‘πŸ»)

Now don't you think this would make a great gift? With the cozy around the mug, maybe filled with treats or Hot Cocoa Mix or just a few cozies if your friends and family already have the mugs!! 
They would make a great stocking stuffer too!! 

And Merry Christmas Everyone!! 

 a $25 Gift Certificate could be yours

And Heads up... Craftsy is having a sale.....What better time than over the holidays to try a new class!
Dec 23-26 all Craftsy Classes under $20

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Some Quick, Have on Hand Gifts, for this Christmas......

I always like to have a small gift handy for a last minute present or just to randomly hand out and make someones day, around Christmas time. 
Last year I made a stack of Cup Cozies (click here for tutorial), and randomly handed them out to "friends" that I ran into while out shopping! It was so fun to watch their faces light up as they were given a gift for no reason, other than to wish them well!!

I also made a stack of bowl cozies to stuff stockings...another great quick gift idea.....(tutorial here)

And I had fun making Flannel scarves! In both infinity and a fringed edge wrap around style...(yup, tutorial is here..)

This year my gift of choice is a quick and easy tutorial
 I found at Emmaline Bags for a Lip Balm Key Fob 

The tutorial shows how to make the key fobs from one piece of fabric....but of course, being a quilter, I had to try piecing mine.....
(oops, do you see my mistake? I put the key fob on backwards, lol)

And it is a bit bulky at the seams (which I pressed to the side) and a tight fit, but the lip balm won't be falling out, lol!!
So the next batch I pressed the seams open and that worked out a lot better.

I also had a Nivea Lip Balm, Carmex and  EOS tube style, which are larger than the standard lip balm size....
So I went to work tweaking the tutorial to get to the right size holder!!

Key Fob Lip Balm Holder 

For Pieced Regular Sized Lip Balm: 
Cut : 
(4) 2" x 5" strips of different fabrics and sew together along the 5" edge to form a 6.5" x 5" rectangle. Press seams open
(1) 2.5" x 6" piece of interfacing (shape flex)

Up Sized Lip Balm:
 (1) 7" x 5.75" rectangle of fabric 
 (1) 6.5" x 2.75" piece of interfacing (shape flex)

For Pieced, Cut: (2) 2.25" x 5.75
                             (2) 2" x 5.75" 
                             Sew your pieces together along the 5.75" side to form 7" x 5.75" rectangle                                                
                             Press seams open
                             (1) 6.5" x 2.75" piece of interfacing (shape flex) 

In all fairness this is not my tutorial, I just did some tweaking so click on this link to Emmaline Bags to view the sewing tutorial!! 

But here are a few tips you might want to read before you head off to complete your project....

1. When making the larger Lip Balm holder the fabric will now be wider than the fob I made a little pleat in the top of the fabric before attaching the fob clamp...I also have a serger, so after tacking the pleat with my sewing machine, I surged the top edge.

2. I had an issue with the metal prongs inside the fob not bending down, which cause them to dent the front of metal bar of the fob....

To fix this issue I used a pair of needle nosed pliers to bend the prong forward slightly before adding the fabric piece and squeezing the fob closed.

See how straight the prongs are?

and now they are bent slightly forward...

3. You know what else fits into the lip balm holder?   

A Flash drive!! So if you were thinking the guy or gal in your life doesn't really use lip balm....well here's another reason to make the Key Fob!! 
And if you are worried this isn't secure enough....try adding a flap....

I just made the flap the same width as the holder. I Cut a piece 5" w x 3.25" h, but
I didn't interface this piece. Just fold the one edge under the 1/2" and then fold like the tutorial says and topstitch around the 3 sides without folding up the end. Then both (flap and pocket) raw edges go into the key fob. If you were going to sew on velcro for a closure I would add some interfacing to the flap and sew it on to the flap before topstitching, and sew the velcro to the pocket before folding and topstitching the sides in the tutorial instructions.
( I will update with more pictures and instructions once I make a flash drive version with the velcro! So check the tutorials tab on my home page in a few days!!)

Updated: a two fabric version, with a tweak.

You know I like things finished, but decided it was easier to add a 1/2" to the length and just fold it under, then it was to go to all the work of serging and dealing with the threads. Here's a new version...

For One Lip Balm Fob with 2 fabrics (reg. size) (I'll update again with the larger size when I make one)
(2) 3.75" x 5" pieces from two different fabrics (Your piece when sewn should measure 7" x 5")
(1) 2.5" x 6"  piece of interfacing 

You will sew the two pieces together along the 5"  edge. Press seam open. Press the top and bottom edge, as shown in the picture 3/8-1/2" under. Centre your interfacing and press in place.

Then press your piece in half along the 5" width. Unfold and press each raw edge into the centre, and then press in half again.

Now chose which end of the fabric you want to fold up, and topstitch the short end at about 1/8".

Then measure about 1.25" down from the top of your fob and pin the topstitched end in place.

Topstitch down both sides of your fob, again at about 1/8"

You're ready to add your hardware!!
One other tip I forgot to mention the last time...I put a little dab of glue inside the fob end hard in a little extra strength.

That's it! Hope this helps you avoid some of the issues I had and maybe inspires you to try one or 10 of your own, lol!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Oh, and don't forget if you are joining in the BigQuilt Bee to link up your blocks this month and get in on the $25.00 Gift Certificate from

Find all the details here.