No Moore Rooster

Yes, it is a very random title (thanks for noticing). But, there is a great story behind it. Okay, maybe not so great a story… more like “typical.”

About a week ago, my husband and I noticed intermittent rooster crowing. Since none of our neighbors had gotten a rooster, we knew it had to be coming from one of LM’s toys. I finally discovered that the crowing came from a tractor toy that has been thrown down the stairs (by LM) a number of times, and so the wiring is probably all screwed up inside.

Well, after a week of hearing the darn thing crow at all hours… I finally took the batteries out today. No Moore Rooster. Yeah, I told you… not a great story… just “typical.”

Removing batteries from toys isn’t all that I’ve been up to… I’ve also finished up these jammies. The bottoms are from a pattern I made, and the top is a 90 minute shirt a la Dana from Made. This is my first attempt at a 90 minute shirt, and it lived up to the name. I got it done in about 90 min! I also was able to up-cycle a free t-shirt my husband got that he was NEVER going to wear (he’s not a big fan of teal – actually he’s not a big fan of most colors). I’ll be making more of these, but in the future, I’ll use more narrow ribbing at the top… I think it looks a little strange with it so wide here.

Oh, and don’t you love the photo? Little Moore was being sooooo cooperative, can’t you tell?

Expect Moore… soon!
CM

ps. Welcome new friends from:

New Friend Fridays

Pincushion Pass

For the Pincushion Pass, my partner had no specific preferences. No colors or designs… the field was wide open for me.

I wanted to do something fun… something that would be a little challenging for me to make… something that wasn’t perfectly round or perfectly square… so when I found this tutorial to make a Turtle Pincushion, I knew it was what I would make!

I especially loved the pattern on his back. It reminds me of some of the recent posts from my partner, in which she shows the quilt blocks she has been working on.

I enlarged the original pattern, but kept the design simple. I didn’t add all the compartments, but I did put magnets in the front “flippers” so that they can be used as a quick needle rest.

He is made entirely of black and white fabrics, but I decided to put some color in his eyes, by using green seed beads for his eyes.

If my partner doesn’t love him as a pincushion, he’ll double as a fun toy for one of the grandkids!

RockGranny, I hope he enjoys his new home with you!

Expect Moore… soon!

Wedding Fortune "Cookies"

When I saw these Fabric Fortune Cookies that Crafti Staci made, I knew I wanted to make some! I hadn’t done anything for my littlest bro to congratulate him on his engagement, so I decided I would make some of these “cookies.”
I found some great wedding fabric at JoAnn’s, and bought a couple yards to use for other projects later. I made my “cookies” with 3.5″ circles, to make them closer to the “real” size. I also used 2 pieces of fusable mid-heavy weight interfacing for each. It seemed to work well.

They came together very quickly, and I might even consider making these as favors for a bridal shower or engagement party.

Here are the “fortunes” I put inside. I found them on this site.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”

“Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.”

I’ll be getting these out in the mail soon, hopefully by brother and my soon-to-be sister in law will enjoy them!

Expect Moore… soon!

CM

Ruffle-Butt Onsie

I love having a little boy. I grew up with three brothers. I am not a big fan of the color pink. BUT that doesn’t mean that I don’t ooh and aah over all the adorable little girl clothes and crafts I see out there on the ‘net.

That’s where my beautiful little niece R comes in. I can make her all the cute, ruffled, pink outfits I want (getting them out of my system), so that I can work on Monsters and Trucks (or Monster Trucks) for my Little Moore.

I saw some really cute ruffle-butt onesie tutorials out in blog-land, and really liked Char from {Crap I’ve Made}‘s Tutorial over at U-Create. But… my serger is out of commission (the shop says they’ll work on it for $300.00, but no guarantee that they’ll be able to get it working properly). She has a couple good options for making ruffles without using a serger, but I decided to go a slightly different route… here’s what I did.

I took a fat quarter of pink fabric (so I could get all of the ruffles and the pink out of my system at the same time).

I cut 5 2.5″ strips. I sewed these strips with a 1/4″ seam allowance, then turned them right side out. I pressed them with the seam down the middle of the strip (not at one edge).

Using the largest stitch setting, I sewed right down the middle (down the seam), and then pulled the thread to gather the strip into a long strip that is ruffled on both sides.

With water-soluble pen, I marked 5 lines on the onesie that were 1″ apart. This, coincidentally, was the width of my strips after being folded and sewn.

I pinned the ruffle strips down on the lines I marked, using lots of pins. I had to be careful not to pull on the ruffle strips, because doing so can “un-do” some of the ruffling.

At each end, I left plenty of extra ruffling to sew down on the last step.

I also made sure, when pinning, that the strip had not twisted while getting ruffled up.

Lastly, I made sure that I was pinning each ruffle strip with the seam side down. I didn’t want to see any of those seams on my finished piece.

I sewed down each ruffle using a small zig-zag stitch. I probably could have used a straight stitch, but I thought the small zig-zag would work better.

About halfway through the ruffles, I was pretty un-impressed. I didn’t think it looked very good, and was ready to toss the project… but I figured I might as well see it through to see what happens. I’m glad I did.

After sewing down the ruffles, I trimmed each end about 1/4″ from the seam on the onesie (either the side seam or the leg-hole seam). I folded this 1/4″ under, and then zig-zag stitched the ends down, making sure not to leave any raw edges.

This part is also less than perfect… but… I think it is still pretty cute. And, a pretty simple way to take a onesie from ordinary to extra-special in about an hour or so.

Also, it was a great way to get both the pink and the ruffles out of my system… I’ve got fabric out to work on a couple more pj pants… cars and monkeys and stripes, oh my!

The finished butt looked like this:

After making such a cute tush, I couldn’t leave the front un-adorned, now could I? So I used my Cricut-Fabric technique to applique an “R” on the front. I’m going to need to get another font cartridge for my Cricut…

Expect Moore… soon!

CM

p.s. I’m linking up this post to:

Friday Night Sew In

I was looking forward to the Friday Night Sew In… I was going to get Little Moore to go down early, I was going to put away all the blog reading and blog writing, and it was just going to be me, Pandora, the sewing machine… and all the projects I’ve been meaning to get to.

Wishful thinking. I didn’t get to my “me time” until almost 11:00. But, I was determined. I grabbed a piece of printed map fabric that I’ve had for about a decade. The plan was to make it into a wall hanging for Little Moore’s room. He had a big wall map up, but he kept pulling it down, and the edges were getting ragged from the pushpins. I finally took it down last week, rolled it up, and put it on the top shelf of his closet.

Every morning since, I’ll go into Little Moore’s room to get our day started, and the first thing he will do is point to the empty wall space. “Uh Oh! Uh Oh!” He’ll say. “Map! Map!” Then he’ll point to the closet, where the map is now. For 21 Months, this kid is super sharp.

So, I pulled out the map fabric, and a Fleece Blanket that I picked up at Ross a couple months back. I pinned the fabric to the blanket.

I then started at the Pacific, and worked my way Westward, sewing down each of the Longitudinal lines. It was a great chance for me to get some practice with my walking foot on the sewing machine, which I hadn’t done in a while.

After finishing that up, I made some bias tape, and bound the edges. I probably cut a few corners here and there getting it done… I really didn’t want to spend 5 hours on a pre-printed piece of fabric that I bought at Wallyworld over a decade ago, and is likely inaccurate now (although, it does show the Czech Republic and Slovakia as two different countries).

Here it is all done. I know looks like a pre-printed piece of fabric, lumpy from being laid out on the uneven lawn, right? Well, here is a view of the back:

Yup, still looks like I spent no time at all on it. Well, only about 3 hours! So, when I finished at 2am, I was ready to tackle the next project! A new pair of PJ pants for Little Moore. The fabric had already been cut, so I pinned and sewed, pinned and sewed… I then cut some ribbing for the bottom of the legs, sewed on the first cuff… and… wait for it…

Discovered that I had put it on the wrong side. 
I then decided it was time for bed!
Thanks Crafty Vegas Mom for giving me some initiative to get at least one project done! I’m off to work on “Un-Sew it Saturday*” as I take off that cuff and try again.
Expect Moore… soon!
CM

*No, there is no such thing as “Un-Sew it Saturday.” That I know of. But hey, if you’d like to start a linky party of all the things we get out the seam-ripper for (because we got ahead of ourselves, or the pattern wasn’t what we expected… etc.) I’m sure I would have a few contributions! : )

Time for Others

I have been blessed with some amazing friends. One of them is Christy. She is a fantastic, beautiful person, who always has the right words. No matter what kind of day I’m having, she can sense my mood, and knows exactly what I need to hear.

This past week, she and her sister-in-law were asking their friends to help them write letters. They were putting together 150 letters to deployed Marines in Fox Company. I couldn’t NOT participate… so I sent her a letter… and then a couple more.

But, have you ever started doing something… and then felt like you wanted to do even more? I was glad to support my friend, and the Marines in Fox Company by writing a couple letters… and by exercising my “service to others” muscle, it started to itch…

I thought about these lonely quilt squares I made over a year ago. I was making a baby quilt for a co-worker, and made a bunch of extra squares thinking I’d just make 2 of the same quilt, and then have a “ready made” baby gift for someone else. Well, the forlorn extra squares have been sitting around for months now… so I decided to put them to use on the One Million Pillowcase Challenge. These are pillowcases that we crafters make, that are then distributed to our local communities… to cancer patients, foster children, battered women, nursing home residents… whoever in the community really could use a little comfort, and a little beauty.

I took these quilt squares, and using the basic pillowcase pattern on the site, I changed things up by using the extra quilt squares in the decorative strip. Here are my results:

Some fun, colorful pillowcases! I’ll be dropping them off at one of my favorite local Quilt Shops, Quiltique. This will give me an excuse to drive down to Henderson, and an excuse to browse the store! It also gave me the opportunity to set up a play date for Little Moore with a friend that is only a few weeks older than he is (J’s mom and I met when we were both expecting).

For the rest of the night, or until my eyes can’t stay open anymore, I’ll be sewing up a storm with the rest of the gals participating in the Friday Night Sew In.

Expect Moore soon… because I’m working on some great stuff! 😀

CM

Using Cricut to Cut Fabric

A quick disclaimer: Read your Cricut Manual Thoroughly, and know what your machine is capable of before attempting anything I list here.

Here it is! The much-awaited “How to cut fabric with your Cricut” Tutorial! Today, I’m going to make a set of pillowcases for our bed. In part, because I wanted a simple project to show the method, in part because I’m hoping that labeling our pillows will keep Mr. Moore from stealing my pillow before I get to bed, and in part because pillowcases were only $5 for a set at Ross (but I didn’t notice until after I ran them through the wash that they were a mis-matched set)!

Enough reasons? Okay… let’s get going!

First, you’ll want to get your supplies together. You’ll want your fabric (light weight fabrics work best), some HeatNBond (or other iron-on adhesive), your Cricut machine, Cricut Tools (if you don’t have these, have a craft knife and an old credit card or store discount card handy), a clean cutting mat for the Cricut (new is best), a new Cricut Blade (doesn’t need to be a deep-cut blade, but it MUST be new!), Cricut Cartridge (I’m using George and Basic Shapes), a rotary cutter or scissors, and a set of small pointy scissors.

Start by ironing on your adhesive to the back of your fabric. Then, cut the fabric into 6.5″ widths. If you have the larger machine, obviously cut it larger. My machine has mats that fit a 6×12 piece of paper, so I cut the fabric into 6.5″ widths to have a little overhang. DO NOT cut the strip into 12 inch lengths, leave your pieces long.

Next, take the paper off of the back. Trust me… you want to do this. If you don’t you’ll end up with little paper shreds all over your Cricut Mat, and you’ll want to throw out the mat.

Use the U-shaped “ice scraper” tool to press the fabric onto the cutting mat (If you don’t have this tool, a credit card or plastic store discount card will work). Push hard. Get out all the lumps, and make sure that the fabric is sticking to the mat VERY well. You will have some overhang. Make sure that this overhang is at the bottom end of the mat.

Another VERY important step. Change the blade in your machine. We all know that nothing dulls a blade faster than cutting paper (unless you have a particularly inventive child), so we want a fresh blade to cut the fabric with. Be careful not to cut or poke yourself with either the old or new blades. Dispose of the old blade carefully.
Note, before replacing the blade, you may want to make a test sample of what you are cutting out of paper, to make sure that you are cutting it the right size. Once you’ve determined the right size using scrap paper, you can replace the blade.

Set the dials on your machine. The dials on the left side should both be at 5. The top dial determines the cutting speed… we want the blade to zip over the fabric as quickly as possible. The bottom dial is the cutting pressure/depth. Having this all the way up to 5 will wear out the cutting mat faster, but I like to be on the safe side, so I keep mine at 5. While you’re checking dials, check the dial on the right to make sure you have the right cutting size. My letters were 2.5″ tall… you’ll want smaller letters if your name is much longer.
Once you have all your dials set, insert the fabric covered mat, and let the Cricut cut away! Once it is done, peel away the fabric, and you should see your design. Peel with care, there may be a thread or two that did not cut all the way through, just cut those with your scissors or craft knife as you go. If you had a lot of problems, check the pressure and speed dials, and make sure that you used a fresh blade.

Now, trim your overhang bit, and re-“scrape” it onto the cutting mat. Doing it this way rather than cutting your fabric to 12″ lengths can save you precious inches – that can spell the difference between a design fitting or not fitting!

Check all of your cut pieces. Some may have caught a “snag,” and you will want to re-cut that piece. I cut 15 pieces and only had one piece I needed to re-cut. The tip of the scissors points out where my fabric snagged.

Lay out your letters onto the pillowcases. You’ll notice that one set is upside down. You’ll see why on the finished product.

(oh! you  can see my wittle toes at the bottom of the pic!)

Once you have the letters spaced the way you want, iron them down.

Then sew them on. I used a simple zig-zag at the edges.

Now, insert your pillows, and prop them on your bed! And, while you wait for your family to notice how crafty you’ve been, take a picture, upload it, and leave a link in the comments below!

You can use this technique for all kinds of projects, and with all kinds of Cricut designs. Here is one that I cut for a Baby Shower mini-quilt (Cartridge is the Designer’s Calendar):

Enjoy finding different ways to use this technique, and please share them with me – I’d love to hear how it works for you!

Expect Moore… but not for a little while… I’m off to the doc!

CM

Serenity Now Crafty Cutter Party

Baby Shower Games

I was in charge of the games at my friend J’s Baby shower. Of course I wanted to make sure all the ladies had a good time, as well as Momma-to-be. Since I didn’t know most of the ladies that would be there, I put together an assortment of games.

Last time I was in charge of a shower, I found an awesome list of games here. When I say awesome, I am not exaggerating… they list well over 100 different ideas for baby shower games – from very tame to outrageous! I whittled the list down to my favorites, and then had to whittle that list down once again. Here are the games we ended up with:

Guess Mom’s Tummy Size
A classic! All you need is string/yarn, scissors, and masking tape (to label the strings with the names of the guests). Each person cuts a string to the length they think will go perfectly around mommy’s tummy. This is such a funny game because most of the strings end up WAY too long… we played this game at my shower, and most of the strings were over two times too long! Probably not the best game to play with a momma-to-be who is sensitive about her weight gain.
Prize goes to the woman who’s string is closest to the actual length.

Don’t say “Cute”
As each guest enters, they’re given a clothespin (I tied a ribbon to each to make them cute, you could hot-glue anything baby or shower related to the pin if you wanted to). Guests are instructed not to say the word “cute.” Any time they catch someone saying the word cute, they get to take one clothespin from that person (if they have any). I’ve also seen this played with diaper pins, but some women are sensitive about poking holes in their clothes… another option is to use inexpensive Mardi-Gras-style bead necklaces.
Woman with the most clothespins at the end of the shower wins.

Who Can Predict What Baby Will Look Like
Grab your old magazines, some construction paper, plenty of scissors, tape and glue… Instruct guests to make a collage of what they think the baby will look like. The great thing about the medium being collage is that guests who don’t consider themselves to be very creative will be on a (relatively) even playing field with those who have a lifetime subscription to Martha. If you do this game near the beginning of the shower (even as late-comers are still arriving), you can hang them around the room to decorate the space. And the results are hysterical! See some of the entries from J’s shower below:
Mom-to-be picks her favorite of the entries.

Guess How Many Diapers!
A simple game – put diapers of any size (or of multiple different sizes) into a basket or other container. Have slips available so that guests can guess how many diapers there are. Tip: you’ll want to know how many there are ahead of time, and write it in a secret spot so that you won’t have to waste time during the shower counting. After the shower, the diapers go home with Mama-to-be.
Winner is the woman who guessed closest to the actual number.


Baby Advice Book

For this one, I bought a simple 8×8 scrapbook, and some extra pages. I brought scrap booking pens, and scrap book paper cut to 8×8. Each guest was invited to take a sheet of paper (or two) to write advice for the new mama… so when she is up at 2am and wants to pull her hair out, she can read through the book instead of calling one of us and waking us up! The advice can be serious, loving, or humorous… The backs of each sheet turned into pages where J can put pictures of the shower, or of the new baby.
Just an activity, no winner on this one.


Baby Shower Give-Away
Buy inexpensive thank-you notes. Tuck the cards away to give to mom-to-be after the shower. Have each guest write their name and address on the outside of each envelope, as if it is being addressed to them. Put them in a basket, and draw one winner to receive a “door prize.” The envelopes, with the cards, are given to mom-to-be to help her in writing thank-you notes after the shower.

Baby Shower Bingo
This is my “go to” game for any kind of shower because it takes some of the boredom out of the gift-giving process. Create a bingo sheet, or use mine below. Have a “free square” in the middle (I often use a sonogram picture of the baby in the free square, or for Bridal Showers, the couple’s engagement picture). The bottom of the paper lists different items that the mom-to-be might receive. Each guest fills in each square with an item before the gift opening starts. As each gift is opened, they cross off any items on their bingo card. This is a great way to get rid of all the “leftover” prizes you had in case there was a tie… Just make sure you keep one prize for the winner of the “Don’t Say Cute” Clothespin game!
Winners are those who get 5 in a row and shout “Bingo!” Winning continues until there are no prizes left.

Expect Moore… tomorrow! I’m posting a tutorial on how to cut fabric with the Cricut!

Baby Shower Bingo

Shorts!

It is getting hot here in Vegas. Although, today it dipped far below the 100s, and got into the 70s and 80s… it even rained a little up here where we live!

Well, Little Moore needs some more shorts that fit. I got this cute red-white-blue plaid the last time I was at JoAnns, in their 4th of July/Patriotic fabrics. It has an almost “seersucker” texture to it, and is nice and light and breezy. I love where the pant legs hit… right at the knee… just like his dad’s shorts! : )

The pattern is the same basic one I used for the PJ pants that I made, with elastic in the top, and just shortening the leg and hemming the bottoms of the legs to make shorts. The one thing that I did do differently was to add a folded piece of grosgrain ribbon in the back as the “tag” for the pants. I didn’t do that with the PJ pants, and since there is a little extra “diaper room” in the butt, I’m constantly trying to figure out which side is the front!

I like these shorts so much, I’m going to play around with some options. I’d like to see if I can create a “false fly” like you see in so many of the store-bought pants. I’d also like to experiment with a flat-front, and pockets on the pants. I’ve already got the ideas in my head… I just need to find the right fabrics to work them up in.

Finding the time should be relatively simple, too… these pants come together so quickly! In fact, the hardest part of making these pants, is trying to get a good picture of Little Moore while wearing them!

I finally got the “decent” picture up at the top by bribing him with Chocolate! Although, it serves me right for trying to get him to model for me right before naptime.

Well, I’ve got lots more to post over the next couple days… some details on how the Baby Shower went, and on Tuesday I’ll finally be posting the tutorial on how I cut fabric with my Cricket! After that, I’m going to be quiet for a couple days… I have a “procedure” at the doctor later this week… nothing too serious… but I’m going to want to rest up afterward. Don’t worry – I’ll be back!

So…
Expect Moore! : )


CM

   

Wrapping Paper Gift Bag

When wrapping an odd-shaped item, like clothing… it is always nice to have a box to wrap it in. But, if you don’t have a box, and don’t have any pretty gift bags lying around… you can make your own!

Gather your standard gift-wrapping supplies… scissors, tape, wrapping paper, bows… and then grab a box the length and depth you’d like your finished bag. Don’t worry about the height. A cereal box works great here, but I had transferred all my cereal to plastic storage containers… so I grabbed a box for a board game, which works nicely (as long as it is deep enough).

Start by placing your board game on the wrapping paper, just like you were going to wrap the game. Cut the paper the correct size, not worrying about extra paper at the top. Fold down the top, and one side, so that your raw edges are pretty.

Then, start wrapping your box, keeping the pretty raw edge on the outside. When taping the middle, use just a small amount of tape near the end you are going to wrap. This will help when taking out your box. Only wrap one end.

Using your fingers, sharpen the creases. This will make for a more defined, and more beautiful bag when you are done. Once you have sharpened the creases, ease out your box. If you’ve used a cereal box that is taller than the paper, this will be pretty easy. If you’ve used a smaller box (like I did), you’ll be glad that you didn’t tape down the whole center seam.

As you ease the box out, tape up the center seam.

Once the box is out, tape the center seam at the top of the bag.

You can crease the sides of the bag to make it look more like a standard bag, or if you are going to store it or travel with it before using it.

To finish off the bag, you can add ribbon handles, bows, or you can do what I did, which is to fold the top to look like an envelope, and add a pretty flower. You could also use a decorative hole-punch around the edge, or a standard hole-punch, and thread ribbon or lace through the holes. There is no limit to the creative possibilities here in finishing up your bag!

If you want your center seam to be less visible, you can wrap your box so that the seam is on one of the sides of the bag.

If you want to be ahead of the game, you can start making up some of these bags with Holiday wrapping paper, and you’ll be all ready in December… so that you can spend more of your time baking cookies, and less time hiding in the master secretly wrapping presents.

I’ve been busy here at the Moore house, so Expect Moore… soon!

CM