Woven Top Zippered Pouch

I’m not much of a scrap quilter. I often pile my scraps into a box until it overflows, then mail it to a friend who likes to quilt with scraps. But every now and then I’m inspired to get scrappy… like with these Art Gallery Fabrics Scraps that I wove together to make a zippered pouch! I took photos along the way so you can use my method to make one of your own!

Woven Top Zippered Pouch Tutorial

I’m showing you how the weaving of the top panel was done, and giving basic instructions for finishing the zippered pouch. If you want more detailed zippered pouch instructions, check out this zippered pouch tutorial.

Start by cutting a piece of background fabric a little bigger than your small scrap strips. Lay the short pieces down, parallel to one another. Stitch across the top to secure in place.

stitch down short pieces

Weave a long piece through the short strips.

add cross strips

Keep weaving long strips through, until you get to the bottom.

weave strips

Using a walking foot, stitch diagonal rows across to secure all the strips in place. You can use a ruler to make sure the first row is at a 45 degree angle. Then use the edge of the foot to line up subsequent rows.

stitch down woven rows

stitch rows

Stitch at a 90 degree angle, to create cross-hatch stitching that secures all the strips in place.

Make a second panel the same way you created this first, and trim up the edges.

trim up top

Cut bottom pieces the same width as the panels, and as long as you need to make the size bag you want.

stitch top and bottom pieces

Press open the seam.

Add fusible fleece to the back of each piece. Cut lining pieces the same size.

Add the zipper.

Box the corners.

Your zippered pouch is complete!

 

Camper Hoop Art

I love stitching up mini hoops for friends. Much quicker to whip up than a quilt, doesn’t take much space in the recipient’s home, and still a fun sentiment!

This camper hoop art isn’t a full-and-fancy tutorial, just some photos and a few steps to get you on your way to stitching your own fun hoop art!

Cute Trailer Hoop Art

To make your hoop art – camper or otherwise – you’ll need:
Background Fabric
Needle
Embroidery Floss
4″ embroidery Hoop
Rubber Stamp (optional)
Color Box Erasable stamp pad (optional)
Water-soluble pen (optional)

 

If you’re using a stamp, you can stamp your artwork to give yourself an outline. If you want to make “changes” to the stamp, use the water soluble pen to mark these changes. I wanted my stichery to look like my friend’s Eileen Hull’s trailer that she has named “Scotty.”

stamp on image

I traced the hoop to make sure the words would fit inside. It wasn’t as centered as I wanted, so I re-centered when I hooped.

Hoop the image in the embroidery hoop, and start stitching.

When you’re done, use a damp towel to “erase” away the water soluble markings.

finished hoop art

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Blithe Blog Tour

I’m so excited to be part of Katarina Roccella’s Blithe Blog Tour! I’ve been a long-time fan of her whimsical fabric designs, and I have been a fan of Art Gallery Fabrics even longer! Katarina’s new line, “Blithe” is in stores now… I know it is at my local shop Cozy Creative Center… check to see if your shop is carrying these fun fabrics!

Blithe Fabrics EPP Pillow

Katarina asked if I would be part of this fun blog tour, and of course I said YES! I already had a project in the works… which is a funny story.

I attended Houston Quiltmarket in October. It was my third time going, and I really enjoy seeing what is new in quilting. I went to sample spree, hoping to get my hands on Katarina’s next line, “In Blue”. They didn’t have yardage yet, so instead I bought some Blithe. Which is equally beautiful. Really. The gorgeous colors and nature prints are just so inviting. And Art Gallery Fabrics always feel so nice, they are a pleasure to sew with. I don’t know what kind of fairy dust they weave into their fabrics – but if you’ve never touched AGF, you’re in for a treat!

I flew home after market was over, and was at the airport waiting for my flight. I had supplies with me for English Paper Piecing because I always have EPP supplies with me (and I had taught an EPP class that morning and done EPP demos while at market). I pulled out my Blithe and started stitching. I didn’t know what it would become… but my hands like to stay busy.

EPP at the Airport

By the time I’d gotten home, I had a message from Katarina. We have chatted via Instagram in the past – I created a quilt sample for a past line of hers. She asked if I’d like to turn what I was making into a project for her lookbook.

Of course, yes. I had a project that might get finished eventually. But now, it had a deadline. I was off and running.

finishing up EPP

English Paper Piecing is my favorite. I don’t knit or crochet, so this is the handwork that I can tuck in my bag and take wherever I go. When waiting at the doctor’s office, when waiting to pick up kids from school, in the evening in front of the TV… I love to pick up my handwork.

If you’ve never tried EPP, here is a video of me at Quiltmarket, showing
how easy it is:

You’re hooked already, right? Grab some papers and a glue pen, pick up your needle and thread, and start stitching!

Of course, once you’re done stitching, you have to finish your project. Since this was going to be a pillow, I pulled out the papers, ironed on some of my favorite Thermoweb Fusible Fleece, and did some simple straight-line stitching with my walking foot.

quilting EPP

You’ll notice I stitched to the side, and not “in the ditch”. English Paper Piecing doesn’t have a “ditch” to stitch in – the seam allowances are essentially pressed open. So quilting has to be done across the surface of the fabric.

Yes, I would love to have hand-quilted this piece. But time.

I did manage to put together another quick project for the lookbook… a simple clutch.

Stupid Simple Clutch

This is my “Stupid Simple Clutch” pattern that I’m still working on writing up. I’m hoping to release it this spring. Fingers crossed!

Those are the simple projects I created for the Lookbook, and for the Blog Tour… I hope you’re getting inspired to play with some Blithe yourself! Drop me a comment below and tell me what you’re planning to make!

 

 

Pokemon Halloween Costumes

I thought I’d share our family Halloween Costumes this year. My boys, in all the Pokemon Craze, decided they wanted to be Pikachu and Raichu for Halloween this year. I figured they would be easy enough to make out of fleece. I went to JoAnns to get fleece in the colors I’d need, and looked for a basic pattern that would be easy to adjust with a tail, stripes, ears, and such. I found McCall’s 6106, and it was perfect!

I spoke to my SIL who lives here in San Diego. Her boys wanted to be Pikachu as well. Making 4 costumes really isn’t much more work than making 2, so I whipped up all the costumes and had them done by mid-October. Pretty much a Halloween miracle, as I’m usually finishing costumes the night before. So of course I took to Facebook to brag a little.

Pikachu and Raichu Costumes

Karma. Karma, karma, karma.

My other SIL, who lives in Northern California has a couple Pokemon-obsessed kiddos as well. 3 of them. She asked if I could whip up some costumes for them as well. I’m never going to say “no” to making costumes for my nieces and nephews, and by this time I was a Pikachu expert, so of course I said yes.

And then discovered they didn’t want Pikachu.

They wanted Charmander, Nidoran, and Squirtle.

This was going to be more challenging than I originally planned! But a challenge is just a solution away from genius, so I bought more fleece in different colors, and started stitching. I used the same pattern, just with more adjustments.

more pokemon costumes

My SIL took these photos of the kids in their costumes:

Charmander and Nidoran costume

Squirtle Costume

Kids traveling to Halloween parties often need to hop in and out of car seats or Booster seats, and I didn’t want their costumes to get in the way. So I made the tail, spikes and shell detachable with magnets (these are traditionally purse clasps).

squirtle shell

Since I was already making a record number of costumes, and we had a good Pokemon theme going, I told my husband I’d make him a Snorlax. He was game!

Snorlax Costume

That’s how 2016 became the year that I made 8 Halloween Costumes. From Scratch.

I’m thinking it is also how 2017 became the year that we bought our costumes instead of making them! Ha!

picachu costumes

R2D2 Quilt

My kids are crazy for Star Wars, and their favorite droid is R2D2. Which is why I made them this fun R2D2 quilt to hang on their wall. It is very simple to make – no curved piecing, no fancy quilting – just straight stitching and quilting using a walking foot.

Star Wars R2D2 Mini Quilt - easy to make in an afternoon!

To make this mini quilt you’ll need:

Fat Quarter Grey Fabric
Fat Quarter White Fabric
1/2 yard backing fabric
Thermoweb DecoFoil Hot Melt Adhesive
Thermoweb Decofoil in Blue, Red, Black, and Pewter
Fairfield Cotton Batting
Thermoweb Basting Spray
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine with Walking foot and grey thread
Rotary Cutter and Ruler
Needle to Bury Threads

Cut your fabric. You’ll need a 12×12″ piece of the white fabric and a 12×10″ piece of the grey fabric. Put the rest of the fabric aside for the backing and binding.

Sew the two pieces of fabric together along the 12″ side.

Press seam towards the dark side (see what I did there? The “Dark Side”? hahaha!)

Measure 6″ in on the seam, and 1.5″ up. Mark this point. Use this as the center to mark a half-circle along the top. supplies for R2D2 mini quilt

Cut the Hotmelt adhesive. You’ll need:
2 – 1″x2″
2 – 3/4″x2″
2 – 1″x1″
1 – 1″x6″
2 – 1″x4.5″
1 – 2″x4″ with 1.5″ boxes cut out of the middle
1 – 2″x3″
1 – 3″x4″ cut into a trapezoid
1 – 2″ circle

Place the HotMelt pieces onto the fabric according to the photo. Fuse in place. Allow to cool, then remove the paper backing.

If you’d like your R2D2 Quilt fully quilted, base the mini, and quilt around all the hotmelt adhesive now, before adding the foil. This will ensure that the foil isn’t scratched by the walking foot later. I skipped this step, because a wall hanging doesn’t need a lot of quilting.

Cut a 2″ circle from the black Decofoil and a 1″ circle from the red DecoFoil. Place on top of the HotMelt. DO NOT FUSE YET. This is my layered foil technique.

Cut a square large enough to cover the 2″ circle out of the Pewter, and put in place. Cut the blue DecoFoil to cover all the other pieces.

cover with foil
Fuse the DecoFoil in place according to the instructions on the package.

Allow the adhesive to cool COMPLETELY before peeling off the DecoFoil, removing early or not fusing completely will result in incomplete coverage.

Baste the batting, backing, and top together with the basting spray, or your preferred method of basting.

Using the chalk marking pencil, draw the additional un-foiled panels on R2D2, using the placement of the foil pieces as your guides.

With your walking foot, stitch around the additional side panels to define them. Tie off the threads, and bury them.

Trim the curve along the top with scissors.

Bind, using two-colored binding if you prefer. Make sure to use bias-cut binding along the curve.

My boys were absolutely thrilled with their mini R2D2 Quilt, and couldn’t wait to hang it in their room! It goes great with the BB8 Pouf that I made for them as well. You can whip up this R2D2 quilt in an afternoon – the Star Wars fan in your life will love you for it!

this R2D2 Quilt really shines - and is super easy to make!

Working with Multiple Colors of DecoFoil

As a member of the Thermoweb Design Team, I’ve been working with the iCraft Decofoils since before they were available to consumers. I’ve had lots of opportunities to play with them, test them, and try out different techniques.

How to work with Multiple Colors of iCraft Decofoil

With many of the different projects I made, I wanted the iCraft Decofoils to be right next to each other. There are lots of projects where you don’t need this, but for projects like the Modern America Foiled quilt, and the R2D2 Mini Quilt I’ll be sharing later this week, two different foils touch one another.

The reason this is a challenge is because when you apply the foil, you melt the adhesive. As the adhesive cools, it bonds with the foil. When you apply a second foil next to the first, the first melts as well, which makes the foil lose its shiny surface. This isn’t the end of the world – the twice-foiled area looks a little more vinrtage-y, but it IS possible to get multiple colors next to one another, and still have a mirror-shiny surface!

I’ll take you through the step-by-step in this video. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

Diet Coke Inspired Art and Fashion

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyUnique4 #CollectiveBias

Have you seen the fun Diet Coke “It’s Mine” glass bottles? Each one is unique. Isn’t that awesome? Coca-Cola came up with a way to package each of the bottles with its own unique packaging. From a distance, they might look similar… but when you get up close, you’ll see that each one is completely unique! These bottles are available for a limited time only, so make sure you pick yours out the next time you’re at Target… though the outside of each bottle is different, the inside is filled with 12oz of the same Diet Coke we all know and love. That’s right, they’re not changing our favorite Diet Coke, they’ve just found a fun way to personalize these bottles for all of us Diet Coke fans!

I love finding creative inspiration in all kinds of places, and these Diet Coke “It’s Mine” bottles are bursting with inspiration. There are so many different color combinations, patterns, motifs… lots of ways to be inspired! I took my inspiration to a canvas, to make some modern artwork inspired by one of my favorite Diet Coke “It’s Mine” bottles. And I even used the Diet Coke “It’s Mine” bottle to paint it!

Diet Coke Inspired Canvas Art

If you want to make art of your own, here’s what you’ll need:

supplies for Diet Coke artwork

Diet Coke “It’s Mine” bottles (if you buy four bottles, you can get a 10% discount exclusively at Target!)
Bottle Caps
Blank Canvas
Acrylic Paint
Paper Plates

I picked up my Diet Coke at Target. The display was between the jewelry section and the checkout.

Diet Coke Display in Target

Pick your favorite design to get your inspiration.

pick a design from the different Diet Coke bottles

I picked one, and used the colors to draw some inspiration for my art.

create color scheme from bottle wrap

 

Time to get painting! The bottles can be rolled in paint, the ends can be dipped in paint, and even the bottle cap can be used to apply some color to the canvas!

I started by rolling the end of the bottle in some paint.

roll end of bottle through paint

Roll it back-and-forth on the canvas. By holding the neck of the bottle while rolling, I got a great curve.

roll bottle across canvas

Either end dipped in paint makes great circles.

small circles from top of bottle

Running the bottle through thicker areas of paint gets some great blending effects.

roll bottle through paint

And the bottle cap makes great designs as well. Use either side (or the edges)!

impressions with bottle cap

I love how this great beverage inspired great creativity!

canvas inspired by Diet Coke

finished Diet Coke inspired canvas art

Time to pop open another bottle and find some more inspiration!

 

Block Printing with Fabric Creations by Plaid

Earlier this month I attended the Crafts and Hobby Association (CHA) annual tradeshow in Anaheim. I love going and checking out all the new products that are coming out on the market. Many of the products are crafting products, and there are lots of scrapbooking supplies at the show. I love seeing all the new papers, scissors, punches, and cutters… but I’m always on the lookout for fun new fabric finds. This year, in the Plaid booth,they had these Fabric Creations inks and block printing stamps. I was intrigued, and excited when they sent me home with a bag filled with the supplies!

Block Printing with Fabric

I had the supplies in the craft room, and decided to give them a try last night. I have never done block printing before, and I had not seen a demonstration at the CHA show. I have done some rubber stamping, and figured I would give it a shot on some cotton solids I had lying around. I made a video of the process. Spoiler alert: it was crazy easy!

The inks dried beautifully. The gold has some sparkle to it, all the inks are wonderfully flexible – not at all stiff or crunchy.

Plaid Fabric Creations Fabric Ink

I only had a chance to play with three of the stamps. They all created beautiful, crisp designs on the fabric.

block stamps for fabric printing

There are still several more stamps… I’m looking forward to stamping with those, too!

Additional Blocks for printing on fabric

That one time I got to Mingle with Midge and Madge!

I spent the weekend with friends, both new and seasoned, up in Denver, Colorado at the Create – Make – Celebrate Retreat hosted by the fabulous and talented Laura Kelly Walters. I got to learn some new crafting techniques, brush up on some that I’ve played with in the past, and even teach one of my favorites… English Paper Piecing!

The wonderful folks at Prym-Dritz sent kits for me to share so that I could teach the class. I was so excited to be able to share my passion with all these awesome creative gals!

Learning to English Paper Piece

Some of the gals tried it, and it wasn’t for them. But others… others really took to it! I saw ladies doing EPP in our group pow-wows throughout the weekend, and it warmed my EPP-loving heart!

epp-in-the-laura-kelly-stud

epp-at-retreat

playing-with-hexies

Two of the amazing ladies at the retreat – Midge and Madge – have a crafty YouTube series, and invited me to be a guest (WHAT!?). I had a blast chatting with them… please watch the video below!

In case you’re wondering, the quilt shown in the video is “25 Hexies” and the pattern is available for purchase on Craftsy.

25 hexies image small
And I did take a quick photo of Madge’s flappy EPP before she fixed it. This is too cute!
the-epp-faux-pas

Pin Cushion Dish

I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books. I’m so excited that Andover has come out with a line of fabric celebrating this fun series of books. They sent me some of their fabric to play with, so I made this fun Pin Cushion Dish. The dish is nice and deep so that not only can you hold pins and needles in the pin cushion, but the dish will also keep scissors, thimbles, and more corralled.

make this simple English Paper Pieced pincushion dish to hold your sewing notions

You’ll need:
Ramekin (these were 2 for $3 at Target)
LHOTP Fabric (at least 4 designs)
1.5″ Dritz English Paper Piecing Shapes
Fabric glue stick
Needle & Thread
Sewing Machine
Crushed Walnut Shells
Polyfil

supplies for pin cushion

Cut your fabrics with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

cut fabric

Baste the fabric onto the hexagons. I like to glue baste.

glue baste edges

Stitch the hexagons together.

stitch hexagons together

You’ll want to make a flower shape with 7 hexagons.

finished flower

Press well, front and back.

press-back

press-the-hexies

Remove the papers.

peel out papers

Press again, so seams are flat. Place onto a background fabric, and topstitch the two layers together. This is like quilting, but with no batting between the layers.

place-on-backing-fabricstitch-to-quilt

Draw a circle, and trim.

draw-circle

cut-into-circle

Trace the ramekin on spare fabric, and cut.

trace-ramekin

Pin the two together. ease the excess seam evenly all around.

pin-in-sections

pinned-pieces

Stitch down, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

cut-hole-in-bottom

Fill with crushed walnut shells. Then add a little bit of Polyfil to vover the hole.This helps to have less walnut shells fall out.

stuff-with-polyfil

Stitch the hole closed, then tuck into the ramekin.

LHOTP-pin-cushion

Your pin cushion is complete!

finished-pin-cushion-dish