Laura Kelly Mini Quilt

As a quilter, I love giving quilts as gifts. It gives me a great excuse to make something lovely, and I get to share it with someone special. Earlier this year, I went to the Snap conference. It is held in Utah, and is a conference for creative online folks – mostly bloggers, but there are some vloggers, designers, and other creatives in the mix as well. This was my third year attending. Last year, I participated in their secret sister program. Kind of like a 3-day-long secret santa. It was awesome! The secret sister who had been given my name was the amazing, talented, and oh-so-generous Laura Kelly. She is such a sweet and lovely person, and gifted the most perfect little gifts each day of the conference. Since that time, I’ve gotten to know her even better, and am lucky enough to count her among my friends.

This year, I wanted to give her a little “thank you” for being such an amazing secret sister last year, and for being such a great friend. So, I made her a little quilt. A very special little quilt. Laura Kelly is an artist and designer, you may be familiar with her “Me and my Peeps” lines. I saw the cutest photo on Instagram, and decided to re-create it. I was about halfway through making the quilt, when she re-posted the old photo. Clearly, our minds were in synch… it was awesome.

Laura Kelly Quilt

The quilt is a super-simplified version of the image, but I tried to keep it very much her style… or, well, my interpretation of her style. I used black thread throughout, including quilting a “frame” around the outside. But on the background I used a variegated yellow thread, and a loopy stipple… but not every loop was a normal loop. Some were hearts. Some were stars… and some were letters! I took the words from her original image, and quilted them into the background. Along with her word of the year (grace), and my word of the year (thrive). Just a fun little Easter Egg for anyone who bothers looking closely at the quilting.

Laura Kelly Quilt Back

On the quilt label, I added the original inspiration image.

Though this quilt isn’t really my “style”, I absolutely love it, and it was rough giving it up. Really rough. If Laura weren’t such a super sweet person… it probably would have stayed here with me!

 

Applique Zippered Bag

I’m on a little applique kick, making some samples, and I thought I’d show you how to make this simple applique zippered bag. Super fast and easy to make, once you get it down, you’ll be making all kinds of zippered bags!

applique zippered bag

Start with your supplies. You’ll need:
9″ zipper
2 rectangles from outer fabric – 9″x6″
2 rectangles from lining fabric – 9″x6″
Applique shape cut out with fusible web on the back.

supplies for applique zippered pouch

Fuse the heart onto one of the outer pieces, stitch in place. I used a tight zig-zag.

stitch around applique

stitch around heart

Place one outer piece and one lining piece, right sides together, with the zipper between. Stitch through all three layers. If the zipper pull gets in the way, stop stitching. With the needle down, lift up the presser foot, and carefully open or close the zipper to move the zipper pull out of the way.

Press them open, exposing the zipper. If you like, add topstitching along the top of the fabric.

press to one side

Repeat with the other set of lining and outer fabrics.

stitch on second set

Once you press open the second set, lay the fabrics so that the outer fabrics are right-sides-together, and the inner fabrics are right-sides-together, with the zipper in the middle.

put right sides together

VERY IMPORTANT: Open the zipper at least halfway. This will keep you from swearing later. Then stitch around all four sides, leaving a hole about 4″ long along the bottom of the two lining pieces.

stitch all the way around

Trim off the excess zipper, then turn the bag through the hole you left.

finish applique zippered bag

Hand-stitch the hole closed, and you’re all done!

applique bag set

 

Parachute and Landing Pad Toy Craft


My husband just had his birthday. I was badgering him for weeks to find out what he wanted for his birthday. He didn’t have an answer. Until the day before. The day before his birthday he told me, “I’d really like to go skydiving for my birthday.”

I wasn’t completely shocked. Skydiving has come up before… but not in an uber-serious way. I’m not completely thrilled with the thought of the love of my life jumping out of an airplane… but he really wanted to go, and without resorting to extreme hypotheticals – why not?

As a fun way to actually GIVE this gift to him, I made him some parachute super heroes and a drop zone. The drop zone was on the bottom of a box that opened up flat, so that it was easy to fold back up and wrap with the parachute men inside. And it was a fun thing for him to pay with the boys as well.

If you want to make your own drop zone parachute toy, here is what you need:
Box that opens flat
Pencil or Pen
Several sizes of plates
White paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Red paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Paintbrush
Plastic grocery bags
Small toy men
String
Black paint pen or marker (I used a DecoArt Glass paint pen, which is great on glass, but worked well here as well… I love getting multiple uses out of products!)

Start by tracing your plates on the flattened box.

Paint the entire circle white. Let it dry. Paint every other ring red. You should be able to see your pencil lines through the white paint. Allow to dry. (You can see I like to pour paint into disposable cupcake liners – they work great!)

While the bullseye is drying, lay out your bags. I used these plastic bags from target. Lay them out flat, and cut squares as large as possible from the plastic. I used squares from both the front and back – one side has the bullseyes, one side is plain white.

Cut two lengths of string each 3 feet long. Tie one end of a string to one corner, and the other end to another corner. Repeat with the second string.
Line up the corners of the parachute, and pull the strings so they are parallel, then tie around your toy. Trim any excess string.

To store, I folded the plastic parachute into thirds, and then wrapped in the string so that they wouldn’t get tangled.

By the time I finished making the parachutes, the paint on my drop zone was dry. I used a black paint pen to trace the circles, and then added the words “drop zone”.

The parachutes were a hit with the boys! This is the least blurry of all my photos of them playing – they had a ball!

And skydiving was a hit with my hubby!