Monthly Archives: October 2014

Happy Halloween

10-treeskullHappy Halloween! I wish everyone a fun evening full of frights, candy, a bit of mulled wine to warm your bones on a chilly night!

Although today’s project is perfect for today, it’s actually a stuffer for my Stocking Swap partner: a Halloween mini-tree skirt! When we talked she said she didn’t have a tabletop tree for Christmas, instead she painted it up for Halloween (I like that idea a lot) so I thought that this gift was quite appropriate…. plus I love this fabric and have been itching to use it for quite some time! In fact, I like it so much I may have to do a Halloween tree for next year, myself!

Linky Thursday

A fun take on a traditional advent calendar: The Yo-Yo Countdown Calendar.

Even if you aren’t a fan of Frozen, you definitely have to check out this tutorial on creating a Sven (the reindeer) costume. Wow!

Turning a tie into a purse isn’t new, but this is definitely one of the cutest designs I’ve seen.

Love fabric coasters, but looking for a new take on designs? Check out these Jewel Box Coasters for a fun, modern look.

I am always impressed when people create slipcovers for their worn furniture – I’m not sure I have the patience. Here’s a nice tutorial on how to do it for yourself.

Don’t go trick-or-treating without one of these awesome FrankenZombie Bags.

Need a last minute costume? Whip up one of these quick Superhero Party Masks and wear a cape!

Get ready for football season with this great NFL Stadium Bag.

The Mod Satchel purse is a great look for fall…. I’m a sucker for grommets.

Casserole carriers don’t have to be boring…. and they make great gifts too!

Who said skeletons have to be scary? Whip up an adorable Day of the Dead doll for you little trick-or-treater.

Ready for a fall wardrobe? Learn how to create a comfy knit sweater dress.

Rockin Stocking

Have you picked up your copy of Creative Machine Embroidery yet?  In addition to the tree skirt I showed you this week, I also have a second article: The Rockin’ Stocking! I was inspired to create this project after Urban Threads released their Tattoo Christmas pack – I mean, why not tell Santa how you’ve been all year by displaying either the “Naughty” or “Nice” side on your stocking… it’s like two stockings in one!


There’s also tips on working with velvet (the body of the stocking) and faux fur (cuff) as well as a step-by-step tutorial on how to put your look together. Now to decide how good I’ve been all year!



One item that I kept seeing on my Stocking Swap partner’s wish list was holiday themed pillows.. which means this was a great excuse to finally sew up the Believe pattern I purchased last year (and never used). This pattern is by same designer who created the Personalized Name Pillows that I love to sew so much – so I thought I would enjoy whipping up a couple of holiday versions (one for the swap, one for a gift)…. I was wrong. I didn’t like this project at all.

First off, I had a harder time finding Christmas fabrics that worked well together. I think it might be easier to tailor material for the name pillows because there is a lot more variety, it’s just harder to find a bunch of holiday prints that coordinate (and isn’t heavy on the reds and greens). Secondly, the construction process is different: The name pillows are designed so you apply random cuts as the border while this pillow has an additional border and specific ‘sizes’ you have to cut for the patchwork (I like the more ‘free form’ cutting better.) Lastly, there’s lots of appliquing involved. While I usually like this part, I found the swirly lettering a bit more difficult (especially for my usual blanket stitch style) and just not as much fun the second time around.

The end result is very cute. I am needing more fiberfill to give this a nice firmness, but otherwise this project is DONE. Thank goodness.


Mini Mug Rug

10-mugHot off the heals of last week’s Christmas stocking are goodies to fill it! Since I don’t really have a ‘theme’ with this stocking swap, I’m just trying to make a lot of my items ‘work together’ (keeping in the same color family or same ‘feel’ as the stocking). The panel I used for the stocking came with quite a few appliques so I used one of them (the hot chocolate) to make a coaster… I would have gone with a whole mug rug, but they appliques are pretty small and would get lost in something larger. My only regret is ‘over quilting’ this coaster because it lost quite a bit of it’s loft after I was finished.

Now to nap some Christmas coffee (maybe some candy too) to put inside the mug and I think I’m set with this stuffer!

Gold Tidings

10-goldSeeing that I’ve been in the “Christmas Spirit” all week by craftingsewing up some holiday gear, it’s so very appropriate to share with you my latest article that appears in this month’s Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine (on newstands now), Gold Tidings!

I used a lush, white moleskin (I had a booger of a time finding white velvet), gold lame for the appliques, and a beautiful brocade for the lining to create this luxurious tree skirt. While the thought of working with all those materials sounds daunting, I assure you, it’s a lot easier than what you think (plus I give tips for dealing with them, too) and the results have a very ‘high end’ feel. One word of warning: moleskin attracts every bit of fuzz that is in the immediate vicinity – keep a lint brush handy.

Linky Thursday

Learn how to make pajama pants for any size.

Need a new tee? Try the Hemlock.

This little bag is labeled as a back to school supply pouch, but I totally see evening clutch with this design.

Keep you lip balm handy (as long as you bring your keys). Works great for USB drives, too!

Big enough to carry books, but still small enough to be considered a purse (purses seem to be running big lately): The Rocky Mountain Satchel.

Boys shirts can be a struggle to embellish, but this bleach pen applique technique is a fun way to add a unique touch to your next tee.

Add a fleece beret to you fall wardrobe.

Save your scraps! You’ll want to use them to make these cute little cloth shoes!

Start getting ready for winter. Make a Snow Mum pillow to add to your favorite room!

Taking market bags to a whole new level by adding leather.

After awhile, everyone starts despising their diaper bags. Make a diaper clutch for on-the-go quick trips!

This may be one of the cutest little raccoon dolls that I’ve seen!

Sew a sweet little (knit) girl’s dress with pockets.

Fabrics In

10-fabricsIt’s been awhile since I’ve made a ‘big’ fabric purchase, but I couldn’t resist picking up a few prints for fallwinter sewing recently.

I can honestly say, I have no idea how to use the mustache material, other than underwear (this was a request from Easton after seeing these during back to school shopping – I told him I refused to pay $7 for a pair of kids boxer briefs), but the rest will undoubtedly become shirts and a hoodie (for the sweatshirt fleece).  The stripe is also not quite what I expected – it is far thinner than what I wanted so I may have to re-think how I will use this without making it look like I’m wearing prison stripes! Now, back to some holiday sewing before I become too distracted to work on some of the projects I have lined up…. I am finding one is taking far longer to work on that what I envisioned and am quickly losing interest in it!

Panel Transformation

10-golfWhew, what a busy few weeks this has been! The past week has been full of…. golf! While I don’t really play myself, my oldest does and qualified for state again this year (it was a four-peat!). State was held yesterday which is why there was no post yesterday…. but I’m back at it today!

Since this past week has been full of lots of activities, I haven’t had as much opportunity to spend with my sewing machine. I did, however, work on my swap partner’s Christmas stocking!

After looking at her Pinterest, I had several ideas of what I wanted to do. Fortunately, one of them included a Moda stocking panel that I had purchased last year from and never used (it’s now on clearance, so grab it while you can).

10-stockingTo give the stocking a bit more interest, I made several modifications to the directions that were included on the panel (it also changed from a ‘quick and easy’ style stocking to a lot more labor intensive!):

  • I made the appliques ‘dimensional’. I roughly cut out the printed applique I wanted and made a ‘fabric sandwich’ (the applique image, batting, and plain white fabric) and sewed around the edges of the design, then cut it close to my stitching. I then sewed it to the stocking (the leaves are only sewn at the bottom edge so they can ‘hang free’ in places).
  • I added a name. I used the lettering on my embroidery machine to stitch out my partner’s name. I also gave this some dimension (as described above) so it seemed to match everything else.
  • Since this panel looks like it was pieced together, I added faux quilting to give it some texture. To do this I sandwiched some batting between the printed panels and a lining, quilted it, then cut off the excess material.

I have to admit, I really like the way it turned out – especially for a panel! Since there is another stocking design included in this, I may eventually give the other one a try (skipping the applique and going with more quilting).

Cork Reindeer

10-corkIt’s that time again – time for Christmas Stocking Swap crafting! This is my 9th consecutive year participating in this swap and is by far my favorite to make items for. Not only does it get me in the mood to start sewingcrafting for my friendsfamily, it gives me a chance to make holiday themed items I might not otherwise have the chance to create (or even thought of)! A great case in point: this cork reindeer.

4 corks, hot glue (only because my E6000 disappeared, the hot glue seems to be holding well), tiny bellsbeads, and a trip down the holiday isle at my craft store is all it took to make this little guy.  I think he’s pretty cute and I have enough materials to make one more (for myself).