Monday, February 5, 2018

They all said "I made this for you!"

As you may know I teach sewing and quilt camps each summer.  Last Fall I decided to try something new with my sewing classes.  In November and December I offered a Saturday class.

The purpose of the class was to provide the students an opportunity to make Christmas gifts for family and friends.  It was a huge success.  The girls had a great time and with each completed gift I would hear "My Mom is going to love this gift." or "I can't wait for Grandma to open this one."

 Here is the way the class worked.  I had 7 projects the girls could make.  We had 2 1/2 hours and they could make as many projects as they could complete in that time frame.  Every project was pre-cut so they could start sewing right away.  When they finished a project they had to gift wrap the item before moving to the next one.  The wrapping allowed for "no peeking" by parents when they picked up their child.  Some Moms really wanted to see what they made.  This only added to the excitement since they had to wait until Christmas.  

The key chain project.  This was
great for almost anyone.  It could be
used as a backpack tag also.
I kept the projects very simple and most required smaller pieces of fabric so I was able to use up some of my many scraps.  The projects are listed below.

  1. Tissue package covers
  2. Bookmark
  3. Key Chain
  4. Tic Tac Toe Game
  5. Rice Hot/Cold Bag
  6. Crayon Bag
  7. Coasters
A few of the projects they could make more than one - tissue covers, bookmark and key chain.  The others they could only make one to make sure all of my classes had chance to make each project.

Key Chain supplies

Tissue covers, bookmarks and Tic Tac Toe Game supplies
For the gift wrapping I used brown lunch sacks, a simple tag and bakers twine for the closure. 

The wrapping station was a busy place.
Each class of 4-5 girls made a total of 40+ gifts since some projects could be done several times.  It was fun to watch the girls finish a project go to the wrapping station and then run find the next project to begin.

Working on a Tic Tac Toe game board.

Look at all of those gifts!  That smile says it all.
During these classes I was reminded of the true meaning of giving and receiving a gift.  It is not about the item it is about the love shared between two people.  Remember God loves us so much he gave the ultimate gift - His Son.  

I hope you will join me in encouraging young people to give of themselves and their talents each and every day.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Bandana Bibs x 3

I have am truly enjoying working with and learning new things about my embroidery machine.  I am the type of person who does not want my time to be wasted on practice pieces that wind up in the trash or the Goodwill box.  So I am constantly looking for a project that can be given as a gift or used in my own home.

My oldest nephew recently added twins to his family.  What a perfect opportunity to make some baby bibs and add a personal touch with embroidery.  I settled on the bandana style bib that is popular for boys.  Since the expected twins were boys it was the ideal choice.

I found the bandana bib pattern online at Simply Small Wonders. The pattern has several sizes and the instructions were easy to follow.  The twins have a brother that is just 12 months older so I made a bib for him to match.  I embroidered the fabric first and then cut out the pattern.  This made it easy to get the wording centered.

For the twins I embroidered Little Brother on each front
before I assembled the bib.
I added one for the big brother also.
The bibs were made from fat quarters of a soft grey with white polka dots.  Each bib is fastened by a pearl snap. 

I made a second set for the twins out of traditional bandana fabric in red.  One can never have too many bibs especially with twins. 

Second set for the twins in traditional bandana fabric.

Used a pearl snap on this set also.
This bib was quick and easy to assemble and provided another opportunity to practice my embroidery skills. The bibs turned out very cute and made a practical gift for these two special additions to our family.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Scrap Challenge of a different type

In a previous post Scrap Bag Challenge No. 1,  I explained the challenge I have set for myself to help deal with all of the delightful scraps my friends give me.  Well this challenge came from the donation of a fabric sample book. 

My friend found it in her sewing room as she was cleaning out and the bright colorful packaging made her think of me.  She brought it to me and said "I can't wait to see what you make with these."
Well, I couldn't turn down that challenge. 

Opening the sample pack I became more and more excited with the colors from each section.  It was full of bright, bold, warm and rich tones. 
The fabric sample pack.

Look at all of those colors!

Each page had a fabric swatch in that color range.
As I began to drool, I mean look at each color range the creative wheels were spinning out of control. There were so many possibilities of items that could be made from such a wonderful selection.  I finally settled on creating note cards and gift tags.  Since each page contained a small piece in a color array it was the perfect choice for a large collection of cards and tags.

I took each colorful page loose from the book. 

One page pulled off the book page.
Then I cut that strip in half.  This allowed me to use that color selection on a set of cards and tags.

The full page cut in half.
The pieces from one page pulled apart.  I had a great size
and amount of fabric to work with.
Then I began creating cards and tags using the fabric swatches as the background or base piece.  I added scrapbook papers, doilies, and book page flowers to create a stunning group of cards and tags.

This card is solid green card stock, scrapbook paper with a doilie in the center.
Then I layered the fabric and topped it with a book page circle and flower.

The center of the flower is a sequin.

This heart is cut from a discarded book.

Each bag contains 4 gift tags.
I was able to share my creation with my friends and still have leftovers.  If you allow your creative wheels to run wild you might be surprised with the results.  All of the cards and tags were embellished with discarded items such as book pages, paper scraps, sequins, and the fabric swatches. The only new stock I used was the card stock to make the card and tag base. 

A basket full of cards and tags ready to share with my friends.
The next time you are cleaning out and come across an item that is just too pretty to toss.  Get those creative wheels turning and let the ride begin.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Travel Bags for Missouri Star Trip

In my previous post I told you about the trip I took to Missouri Star Quilting in Hamilton, Missouri.  I went with several of my quilting friends and we had a great time.

For the trip I wanted to make each lady a monogrammed bag so they could carry all of their prized quilting purchases.  The bags needed to be roomy but not so big they would be a nuisance to carry.

I found the perfect size, style and price at Dollar Tree.  The bags were large, light weight and had a nice color selection. Best of all the price could not be beat.

I liked the simple design and it provided a nice area to monogram.
I selected a simple but elegant font to use for the monograms.  

This is my bag.

I thought the black turned out very elegant.

A bag for each traveler and our hostess.
One of our friends was ill and did not get to make the trip.
So we filled her bag and brought it back to her.
Inside each bag was a travel pack with some necessary items.  A package of tissues, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, nail file and a plastic bag folded like a paper football.  I wrapped the packs in clear plastic bags with a card stock tab topper.  The background strip is an old map.

Necessary items for traveling.

The bags worked out quite nicely for the trip.  It was able to hold all of my quilting purchases and keep them safe and secure.

If you need a bag for your next trip and want to make one for each of your traveling companions check out your local Dollar Tree.  You might find just what you need.  Happy Travels!


Saturday, January 27, 2018

One for the Bucket List - Missouri Star Quilting

I took a trip the summer of 2017 to Missouri Star Quilting.  A small group of friends from my church quilt group decided to make the journey.  Going to Missouri Star was on my Bucket List.

As all good quilters we stopped at several quilt shops as we made our way from Texas to Missouri. 

Great shop in Oklahoma

As an added bonus we stayed in Kansas City and their quilt show was that weekend.  Up until this trip all of the quilt shows I had been to had been in Texas.  It was exciting to see quilts from another region of the country and we saw some amazing quilts.

A great group of ladies to travel with. We had a great time and lots of laughs.

Kansas City Quilt Show 2017 
My friend next to an amazing quilt.

What quilter doesn't get excited about batting?
We spent a full day at Missouri Star.  It was everything I had imagined.  A whole town filled with all things quilting.  As I moved from shop to shop admiring all the beautiful fabric and incredible quilts I kept thinking "I wish I had more money to spend."  But I was a wise spender and stuck to my budget.  Although it was not easy. Dave Ramsey would be proud.

I made it to Missouri Star!

Each shop is a different fabric selection.

The main quilt shop for Missouri Star Quilting. 
The place you need to begin your quilt shopping frenzy.

Quilts are even painted on the building walls.
We did not see Jenny but I am sure she was somewhere quilting and/or inspiring other quilters.  I love to watch her YouTube videos.  I am always inspired and learn something new.

On the way back we stopped at Angela Walters (Midnight Quilter) shop.  I was not familiar with her but several of the ladies in my group were.  She has a lovely shop in Liberty, MO.  Since the trip I have started watching her show - The Midnight Quilter.  She is amazing. 

As we strolled through each shop in Missouri Star, Liberty and along the way I was reminded of how friendly fellow quilters can be.  We met some amazing people and shared our passion for quilting with each one.  My small group had a great time laughing, sharing stories about our lives and our love for quilting.

I encourage you to grab a group of friends and take a trip to Missouri Star and be sure to stop at some of the quilt shops along the way.  Now, the next trip on my quilting Bucket List - The Houston Quilt Show.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Face-lift for the Dishwasher

This was the easiest DIY project I have ever done.  I was standing in my kitchen recently and looked at all of my appliances.  Yes, they are functional tools we use very day but let's face it they are boring to the eyesight.

I had seen people (on Pinterest of course) putting large vinyl decals on their refrigerators. I think this is really cool but just a little too much of a change all at once.  I like to  "ease" into things.  So I decided I would make the change to my dishwasher.

During my next trip to the Dollar Tree I dove into the wall decal section looking for something to "liven up" my boring dishwasher.  Since the front of my dishwasher is black I could not use all of the fun sayings they have at Dollar Tree.  My purpose was to spruce up the dishwasher without making it the focal point of the room.  This left out all of the bright colorful decals.  I kept digging and found exactly what I was looking for and here it is.

Wall Decal from Dollar Tree
 This project took five minutes to complete.  The color is a silvery grey and my placement is very close to the way they had it on the package picture.  There is probably several variations of the layout you could do. 

One of my concerns was the decal would peel up when the dishwasher got hot.  This has been on there for several months with no problems.  I only run my dishwasher on air dry so it may not get as hot as some others.

I was extremely pleased with the final result.  It was super quick, inexpensive and easy to transform from boring to fabulous.

Final product!

Are your appliances are making you yawn and need a quick and easy update that won't break the bank?  Run to the dollar store and find your favorite wall decal.  Just peel, stick and enjoy!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Scrap Bag Challenge No. 1

So as most of you know I am in an extremely busy quilt group.  Our group makes baby quilts for a local pregnancy crisis center.  Since we mostly make baby quilts they go fairly quick so we produce over 100 donated quilts per year.

With that said we also produce an abundance of scraps.  Being the frugal quilter that I am I hate to see scraps go to waste so I am affectionately known as the "Scrap Queen".  Members of the group are always bringing me goody bags of scraps in all shapes and sizes.  While I was rearranging my sewing room (more about the big change later) I uncovered a lot (and I mean a lot) of scrap bags.

In order to fit all of my fabric jewels in my new space I need to do something with all these scrap bags.  Therefore I have set a challenge for myself.  I am going to take a bag and work on making a quilt or something else out of each bag as quickly as possible.  Of course for the first challenge I pulled out one of the smallest bags.  I don't want to frustrate myself to early or I will toss in the towel and they will fill my casket with all those scrap bags.

The rules of the challenge are simple: Use up everything in the bag!

Here is the first bag. I know it may not look like much but I could not turn it down.  The colors were bright and exciting and I am a sucker for small pieces.

The original "scrap bag"

Look at all of those colors!

With these 27 small 4" x 1.5" strips in a rainbow of colors I began to put my design skills to the test.  I decided they were the perfect size for a small keyhole block.  Digging around in my stash I found a music note fabric with all of the colors in the scrap bag.  Now we were making progress. The keyhole block measured approximately 3.5" x 6.5".  

Original keyhole block using the 1.5" scrap
and the focus fabric I pulled from my stash.

Well that was going to make a very, very small quilt.  So back to the design board.  Next I pulled out my personal bags of scraps.  Yes I have them divided into ziplock bags by color.

Using my scraps I created a larger keyhole block using the original as the center piece.  I matched the outside strips with the center 1.5" strip.  I was going for a very scrappy look using different fabrics on each side if necessary.  Below is the larger block.

Larger block with colored strips.

I was getting very excited about how this process was progressing.  The colors were vibrant and fun.  I made five rows of six blocks.  I did have to create 3 additional blocks from my stash to get the correct number of blocks.  

The rows are looking good!

Once those were complete the quilt was rather long and narrow.  I decided I needed to add a 6th row but did not want to make more of the same blocks.  I inserted a row comprised of the focus fabric with long pieces of the various colored scraps inserted in the middle.

The 6th row of focus fabric and long colored strips.

Here is the finished quilt top.  It turned out much more colorful and fun than I had pictured in my mind.  I am pleased with the result. 

The finished quilt top. 

And to think it all started with a small bag of scraps that were destined for the trash had my friend not thought of me.  So, what challenges and inspires you?  I am here to say that I believe my inspiration comes from taking the leftovers and creating something new.  Can't wait to see what scraps are waiting in my next bag. Sew on!