I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guest Post - All This For Them

Hello, today Mary Jo, from All This For Them is stopping by to share how to make this cute Game Bag for the kids.  Enjoy!


 All This For Them

Who doesn't need another bag? Especially one that could store lots of small pieces?

I happened to have made this game bag out of necessity - the box fell apart! And now I have a great little bag to keep all the pieces for this game in one spot. It was quick and easy. And I think it looks just right.

Let me walk you through the steps in case you want to give this easy-peasy bag a try.


Gather your supplies. This is what you need (the picture below does not cover everything):

1. Your game
2. Some sturdy fabric (I used this great Lotta Jansdotter linen - thanks Alison!)
3. Plastic for the window
4. Cotton webbing for handle
5. Rotary Cutter or Scissors (I ended up preferring my scissors)
6. Snaps
7. Button(s)


First, cut one long rectangular strip of fabric that will be wide enough and long enough to fold up at the bottom to be your bag. (Mine was 12" wide and about 48" long.)
Second, cut a square hole on the fabric where you'd like the window to be. I suggest using a pencil and ruler to center your window.

Below is how it should look. (My window was about 4x4".)


Next, snip a little bit into each corner so that you can fold back the fabric about a half inch on the inside.


Flip the fabric over and finger-press the sides open (you could also iron the edges flat).


Then, cut a square of plastic that is bigger than the hole you cut out of fabric (mine was about 6"x6"). Pin the plastic over the wrong side of the hole, catching the flaps with your pins. Then move to your sewing machine. FIRST, sew a line around the hole that is about 3/8" in from the edge, catching the flaps (this is the outer line). You should be able to remove most (if not all of) the pins after this step.


Then, flip over the fabric and sew another box around the window inside the previous box (this is the inner line). See below.


Next, turn the bag inside out with the wrong side together. Sew the sides of the bag. When you're done, this is how it should look. (I did an extra zig-zag stitch on my sides to make the bag sturdier.)


Fold down the bag to the desired length (I ended up cutting a few inches off the top before folding). You should fold once, then a second time to hide the raw edges. Press the fold.


Stitch the flap on the inside of the bag, about 1/4" from the bottom fold (see below).


Turn the bag right side out and stitch about 1/4" from the top.


Voila! You are almost done!


To add snaps, I bought a nifty little gadget that helps secure the snaps in place and allows me to pound really hard on the snaps to secure them. (Pound REALLY hard to make them stay!)


All right! Looking good!


Next, cut a piece of webbing to the length desired for a handle.


Sew a few times back and forth to secure the handle on both ends.
Finish by sewing a pretty button to the outside to hide any fraying from the webbing. I also sewed a button to the inside for the same reason.
While my son napped, my daughter played with his game and new game bag. Shhhh! Don't tell!


If you used my tutorial to make a bag like this one, please come over to All This For Them and let me know how it turned out!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Finally finished!  Yeah! 

I got my act together and started quilting this bad boy last weekend....and have been working on it ever since.  Little by little, as I found some time, here and there.  I got it done.  Even stayed up late last night to get the binding done.  Now, I just need to wash it, but I wanted to get my pictures in while the light was good. 


I am really pleased with how it came out.  I was able to include to include most of the details that my friend wanted including a ruffled bum, some bibs and a blanket grandma made.  I hope she likes it.  This is always the most nerve racking part....waiting to get the final appoval.


Here is the back, where I showcased the patchwork flannel blanket, that was a gift from the baby's grandmother.  I must admit I felt horrible taking the blanket apart.  The whole thing was hand stitched, but my friend really wanted it included in the quilt.  One of the main reasons was that it well loved and well washed, and starting to show some signs of wear.  Better to have it included in the quilt than have it get lost or ruined over the years. 


Here is my next project, another commissioned baby memory quilt.  I can't wait to get started.  I have my drawing ready and will be meeting with her this weekend to go over what she wants for this quilt. 

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pleated Corner Pin Cushion

Here we go, as promised, a quick tutorial for a Pleated Corner Pin Cushion.  I made this pin cushion for myself a while ago, remember my Easy Pin Topper tutorial, well I needed a pin cushion for the picture.  I know, how sad, but how do you take a picture of pins without a pin cushion?  The things we do for craft blogs.

 Anyways, I really like it, so, when I joined another pin cushion swap, I thought I would make one for my partner as well.  This time, I took pictures so, I could share.  I hope you like it as much as I do. 


You will need, 2-5" squares, a couple of buttons, and some poly-fil.


Cut 2 - 5" squares and mark the center of each square (on the front) with chalk or water soluble ink.  So it is not permanent.


Fold each square in half diagonally and measure in an inch from the edge and pin, as pictured above.  Then open up the pleat and pin on either side to hold the pleat in place.


Here is the view of the pleat from the inside.


Once you have all 4 corners done it should look like this.


Turn one side right side out and place inside the other with right sides together.  Baste.  Trust me, it is much easier to sew without all the pins.  Sew around the edge leaving an opening to turn right side out and to stuff.

Also, if you are working with directional fabric, like me, make sure to make note that both sides are going in the same direction.  Unlike me, and I already sent out my pin cushion to my swap partner.  I am now just noticing the fabric in these pictures.  :(


Now you need to fill your pin cushion halfway with poly-fil.  Then find the center that you marked earlier and tuff with 2 buttons and some embroidery floss.  Finish filling your pin cushion with poly-fil till it is firm. 


Once you are finished filling your pin cushion with poly-fil, close up the opening by hand with a needle and thread.


All done!  Now you have your very own cute little pin cushion.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Next Time I Will Follow the Directions....

.....when using Velcro, because not all Velcro is created equal.

On the directions it clearly states:  not recommended for fabrics, sewing, dashboards, flexible vinyl, underwater use, and on and on....

Did I care?  No, of course not.  I figured really?  I have sewn threw extra thick stabilizer and quarter inch cork on this baby and never had a problem.  What's a little piece of Velcro going to do?

Well I guess my luck ran out.....

because after about 3 or 4 stitches my machine made this horrible sound as if the gears were grinding or worse that the gears were stuck.

Noooooooooo!!!! 

I must admit my heart stop beating for a second with thought of my baby being hurt. 


So, after untangling the thread and getting/cutting the fabric piece out, I was still on the verge of tears because let me tell you it was in. there. good!  It wasn't till I took my machine all apart and adjusted a few things did breathe a sigh of relief.  Seriously, I  thought she was a goner.  Of course, I don't think it helped that there was about a pound of fuzz under the bobbin casing.  So, she then got a good cleaning and some oil.  Now, I think I will let her rest for a bit because quite frankly I am afraid to use her.  She needs some time to heal.  :)

Deep breath iiiin....and ooout....

OK, on to happier news hop on over to Pinkapotamus and check me out! 

I helping Amie out with a guest post as she recovers from surgery.  Amie, I hope all went well and you are feeling better.  XOXO

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

This week has been all about catching up with my swaps and getting them out into the mail.  Then stalking the mailman.  Seriously, I haven't been this excited to see the mailman since I was a kid.


I sent out my scraps for Sew Sara Scrap Swap and have been receiving some in return.  I swear I could spend hours going through fabric.  I makes me want to start another scrap quilt.... maybe an Irish Chain.  Ohhh that sounds like fun.  It has been ages since I made one of those.  Oops sorry I am rambling...back to the swap. 

Karen (on the right) and I are definitely on the same wave length.  There was more than one print in her pile that I seen in my stash over the years.  And Genie (on the left) included a cute little coffee cozy that she made for me.  How sweet was that!  She even included the instructions.  I hope they enjoy opening my scraps as much as I have enjoyed opening theirs.


Last week I asked for suggestions for some goodies to go along with my Pin Cushion, for the swap over at Cara Quilts.  I got some great ideas and from that I had a brainstorm to make a needle book.  Then, of course, I got her some needles to go along with it.  Something we never think to buy but always need.  Sometimes I just need a little push in the right direction.
Thanks!  You Girls Rock!


Here is a picture of the inside. 

 Also, I am going to put together a tutorial for the pin cushion and needle book but will wait to post them till after my partner receives her goodies.  That seems only fair.

Have a minute?  See what others are up to.
Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Just One Star

Today I took a little time to make some blocks for the Moda Just One Star Challenge.  They are asking quilters to help make star blocks so they can reach their goal of 100 quilts in 100 days using the Flag of Valor pattern by Minick and Simpson.  They need 1800 star blocks.  Interested in helping?  Go here for more information and  block directions.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crayon Tinting

You may remember last week I was lucky enough to be a guest blogger over at My World - Made By Hand.  Here is my post if you didn't catch it the first time. 

Why am I posting it here again?  Well, I keep this blog for myself as well as for others.  So, I would like to archive this tutorial one along with my other ones.  I have a horrible memory and hate to reinvent the wheel every time I want to repeat a project.  Before I started this blog I was very much a sew as you go kinda girl.  At least now I can refer back for measurements and such.  :)

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Hello, I am so excited to be guest blogging here at My World - Made By Hand.  My name is Ann and I quilt, craft and blog over at A Girl in Paradise

Today I am going to show you how to tint fabrics with crayons.


Here is a little of what you will need. 


First let's trace our image onto a piece of white fabric that is larger that you need, lightly with a pencil. 

 Not using a template or stencil?  How about printing out a digital stock image or *gasp* use an image from a coloring book.  (You might have to set up a diversion first, so the little ones don't know what your up to.)  Then just tape your image, and your fabric to a window and trace, using the window as a light box.


Gently color in your image, making sure not to pull the fabric.


That was fun, but now that we have to set it.  Take blank paper and put some under your fabric and over your fabric.  Set your iron to the hottest setting, and iron your image.  The paper will help soak up the melting wax and keep it from ruining your ironing board.



Now that you know how to tint your fabric think of all the possibilities. 

 My image is a tradition quilt block, so I machine quilted a black outline around all the petals and made it into a pillow.  I was even able to wash and dry my pillow cover without any problems, but if you are using lighter colors or shading you might want to throw a test block in the washer to see how it will come out.  My pillow did fade some, but that is the result I was looking for.


(Before and after washing)

I think it would be fun to try this in other craft and sewing projects such as hand on the hem of a skirt, on curtains or hand embroidery designs to hoop and hang on the wall.  In what projects would you use crayon tinting as an embellishment?