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Lamp Shade DIY and Queen Pillowcases – Guest Room’s Ready!

I decided when we moved in that I wanted to design the guest room around an existing comforter we already had.  It’s a black background with silvery-gray design throughout.  For color-splashes I chose citrus green and grape.

I started the room by putting together two bedside tables that will also serve as small dressers.  I generally depend on my husband for these projects, but he’s so busy on outdoor stuff that I decided to give it a go myself.  It took about three hours, but I did it.

 

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I purchased two lamp bases, and two plain off-white lamp shades.

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I wanted dress up the shades with some fabrics using the black, green and purple motif.

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Here’s how I trimmed them out:  For the first layer, I cut a 2-inch wide of the black/white fabric. Using a seam ripper, I picked away at the threads until I had about 1/2″ of frayed threads across the top edge.

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Before I attached the fabric to the shade, I folded over 1/2″ on the bottom edge and ironed in order to have a clean edge showing.  I then hot-glued the frayed fabric around the top edge, with the frayed part up above the shade edge.

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The next layer was the citrus green.  I cut it 1-1/2″ wide, folded in half and ironed it smooth.  I hot-glued that along the bottom edge of the black fabric; the raw edge is in the center.

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The last layer, the purple, was cut 3/4″ wide; I folded in half and ironed, and then I used a pinking shears and cut the raw edges so that it ended up about 1/2″ wide when flattened out.  It was sort of hard to pink in a straight line so I had to fix a few areas, but it turned out pretty good.  If you don’t have a pinking shears, you could just cut in a wobbly line down the edge in order to give it interest!

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So, here’s how the lamp shades turned out!

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I also made two queen pillowcases using the same fabrics as the lamp shades!  I’ve made these before and blogged about them here, so I won’t go through that again!  Have you ever made your own pillowcases?   I love having being able to make unique pillowcases to brighten up a room!   Here is the finished product!

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Although the room isn’t quite finished, it’s definitely ready for company.  I have a headboard that I got off Craigslist that I need to refinish, but that’s a project for another day (week, month).  I hope you’ll come back to see it finished!

I hope you come visit All Around the Mulberry Bush again!   Have a great week –

 

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Candy Bags

My daughter loves to give treats to her co-workers for the holidays, and this time she asked if I’d make her some Halloween candy bags made out of some cute Halloween fabric.  I love a challenge, so thought I’d give it a try.

She had mentioned that she would be putting candy corn and other treats in the bags, so the bags needed to be plastic lined.  I wasn’t anxious to spend too much time on the bags, so came up with a ‘quick’ solution.

Luckily when I found this adorable Candy Corn fabric at Hancock Fabrics I knew it would be perfect!   I purchased 1/4 yard, because her original request of three baggies grew to eight! I had just enough fabric to make eight 5×5 baggies!

Candy Corn Fabric  Isn’t this fabric adorable???

First I cut two strips 6″ wide, then cut the strips into 5-1/2″ pieces. Each strip gave me four ‘baggies’.

With the fabric ‘right sides together’, I placed a Ziploc sandwich bag on top of the fabric, placing it about 1″ down on the fabric and matching up one side. The baggie is much bigger than the baggie, so there is surplus plastic hanging over. I lengthened my stitch some (2.0 on my BabyLock) – a tight stitch will cut the plastic. Then, I sewed a 1/4″ seam all around the baggie from one side around to the top of the other (all the way to the top – not just to top of the baggie!). Sewing on the plastic is a little tricky so take it slow.

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I cut off the excess plastic, and trimmed around the corners to eliminate bulk. Then turn the bags right side out – the baggies will now be inside the fabric!!

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Now the tricky part for me – finishing the top edge! The finished baggie is small (5 x 5) and there’s not much room for fingers! Turn over the top edge of the fabric so that it covers the top edge of the Ziploc bag (about 1/2″) but not the actual zipper part.  Place the baggie under your needle and carefully stitch the fabric.  Make sure that you don’t stitch over the zipper or it won’t close!

Once you have that done, make sure that the zipper actually closes.  Some reasons why it might not;

  • maybe you stitched over the zipper and the threads are stopping the closure, or
  • you sewed crooked and the zipper is ‘cock-eyed’,

If it doesn’t close you will probably need to do some ripping in order to free up or straighten the Ziploc zipper.  After that’s done, the baggie is finished and ready to fill up!  The best part is that it’s reusable (if you are lucky enough to get the back).

I think they turned out pretty cute, but I will have to admit to a few moments of frustration!!   The plastic baggies did tend to slide around, making some of the seams less than pretty.  I can’t say that I’d want to make these baggies for every holiday, but it was fun to give it a  try.

Finished baggies

I should mention that I did not look for any tutorials ahead of time to see if there was a better / faster / smarter way of making these baggies – in hindsight it might have been a good idea to have done that 🙂

Hope you are having a great day!

 

Linda

 

She & Me Designs – Re-opening!!!!

Did you know that SHE & ME DESIGNS has re-opened on Etsy?  My daughter-in-law and I opened the store almost two years ago and we LOVE making aprons, quilts and pillows for kids and adults!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are just a few pictures of some of our special items –

Moda Squared Kids QuiltTrain QuiltLady's Quilted Apron

Want a custom quilt????  Special colors?  Special design?  Want a name added?  Just ask  –  we’ll be happy to work with you!

Creating Sewing/Crafting Space in the RV

We are finally settled back into our RV and staying at a very nice RV park in San Antonio. It was a long move (mostly because I tend to start packing months ahead, so we are living in boxes ‘forever’!) but it’s done and over with!

When we moved into the rental a year ago I posted pictures of  the wonderful (and organized) sewing room.  That room was a wonderful sewing space!

I thought I’d update it with pictures of my new sewing ‘area’; a 6′ wide x 3′ deep corner in our RV. It’s where the recliners SHOULD be but for now the sewing has taken over.

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Thank you, God, for a very patient husband who puts up with all this sewing mess!   The fabric, the batting, the ribbons and laces, the patterns, the threads – it’s all on top of or under the table!  It’s not the ideal….but it works.

Thanks to this little sewing space, She & Me Designs (Stacy’s and my Etsy store) continues to post new quilts and aprons for sale!    The little girls pink rag quilt in the pictures will be posted there soon!

I hope this encourages you to sew or craft no matter what space limitations you have – it can be done – maybe not the way you would prefer but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of creating to your hearts content!!

Take care, and have a great day!!

Linda

Fleece Tied & Knotted Doggie Pillow

I’ve been busy the last couple weeks prepping for a vendor sale at a local dog groomers (Helga’s Pet Grooming Plus is celebrating its 30th anniversary this Sunday, April 14, at its location at 7870 Culebra Road, San Antonio)

I wanted to make sure that I had some doggie-related items for sale, as well as our signature blankets and aprons from She & Me Designs (the Etsy store my daughter-in-law Stacy and I have). So, I got started on some table-fillers, such as key rings with doggie pics, coasters with doggie pics, aprons with doggie pics, AND fleece doggie beds.

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I thought I’d share a few quick pictures and some ideas about how to make them – super easy to do, and your doggie will love them! And, best yet, you can make them in any size so perfect for the littlest and biggest dogs!!

I started with one yard of doggie-inspired paw-print fleece fabric; measuring 58″ wide x 36″ long.

I cut along the fold, so the sewing size is 29″ x 36″. The doggie pillow can either be sewed in either a rectangle or oval shape. I wanted the pillows to have the tied-knot finish around the entire edge, so I sewed about 5″ inside the edge ALL the way around EXCEPT for a 6-8″ gap along one long edge. I double-stitched the seam in order to make sure it would hold up to doggie-pawing all over it!

Now, in order to keep the stuffing from falling out, I sewed a 6-8″ piece of Velcro in the gap. I actually tried it several ways; neither of which was ‘simple’, but the end result was great.

  • The first pillow I made, I sewed the Velcro in AFTER I sewed the seam all the way around. This was kind of tricky because I only had a small gap to work in, and to get the sewing machine foot to fit in the gap. BE CAREFUL not to sew the top and bottom of the VELCRO in together 🙂
  • The second pillow I made, I sewed the Velcro in BEFORE I sewed the seam!  A little trickier because the two pieces of fabric were loose and I had to make sure they were sewed in precisely so that the two pieces of Velcro lined up.  After they were sewed though it was much better, because then sewing the seam around was very easy!
Velcro opening

Velcro opening

After the Velcro is in and the seams are sewed, then it’s time to cut the 1″ strips around the doggie bed.  I’m including a link to a tutorial in case you haven’t made a tied-knot quilt (or doggie bed) before.

  • If you make a rectangular bed, then you’ll probably need to cut a 5″ square out of each corner, and then cut the strips.
  • If you make an oval bed, then you’ll cut strips all the way around, but you’ll need to do some creative cutting around the corners. In order to ‘make the corner’  you’ll need to cut the strips wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.   Be careful, but it does work.
Hand-cut 1" knotted ties

Hand-cut 1″ knotted ties

Note – be sure you don’t tie the knots in front of the Velcro until you’ve stuffed the pillow!

I am fortunate because I have an electric scissors that I  used to cut all the strips.  It is a My-T-Fine cordless scissors (available at JoAnn’s Fabrics), and I must say, it works my-t-fine for cutting fleece and most everything else!!!

After all that is said and done, it’s time to stuff the pillow.  I used Poly-Fil, which is available at all fabric / craft stores, as well as Wal-Mart and probably dozens of other stores as well!  However, you could also use cedar chips, as well as plastic bags (my daughter-in-law’s suggestion)!  Because of the Velcro opening you can replace the stuffing whenever necessary!

So, that’s how I made the doggie pillows!  They turned out great, and Boris (our wonder dog!) sure loves them too!

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That’s how I’ve spent my last couple of weeks – making doggie stuff – and I’ve had a good time at it too!!!   So, how have you spent your time lately?  Anything fun?

Have a great, great week,

Linda

 

Embroidery Sewing Machine – which one?????

Like many girls of my generation, I embroidered (by hand) pillowcases, aprons, and tea towels for my hope chest. Unfortunately by the time I married, embroidered things were out of vogue, so all those beautifully embroidered things got little use. Sure wish I still had them, now that they are coming back into style.

Rather than embroider by hand now though, I’d rather have an embroidery sewing machine so that I can work on special projects and get them completed faster! Especially now that we are getting requests at our on-line Etsy store (She & Me Designs) to personalize kids aprons, blankets, pillowcases and tooth fairy pillows!   I’d love to be able to accommodate those requests!  I’d also love to make some special personalized things for my grandkids!  I know they’d love it!

Cute as these are, I’d love to add a little embroidery embellishment!

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I’m in the ‘research stage’ of checking out embroidery machines.  I need to keep the costs down (less than $500) and of course I want as many bells and whistles as possible and the most dependable machine available.   Not asking for much, am I 🙂

So far my biggest requirement is a large ‘field of embroidery’; i.e. the dimensions of space to embroider on.  I’d like to be able to embroider a name about 2″ x 6″ on an apron bib or pillowcase top, so I need to find a machine that holds a hoop big enough to do that.

So far I’ve watched a YouTube video on the Brother HE1 Embroidery-Only Machine, and also read owner reviews, which were mixed.  Although this machine seems as though it would do everything else I want, it only has a 4″ x 4″ field of embroidery, and a lot of comments indicated the embroidery designs were disappointingly small.  So unfortunately that one is crossed off the list, although I sure liked all the features as well as the free designs available to download from the Brother website!

So, before I research a bunch more and just get all confused, I thought I’d ask your advice!   Do you have an embroidery machine?  If so, what type?  Do you LOVE it?  What are the best features?

I’d sure like to hear from you folks that do embroidery and have a machine that you just wouldn’t part with!  HELP!!!   Please!

Thanks a bunch – and have a fun, creative weekend!!

Linda

PS – She & Me Designs  is running an Easter sale on kids aprons through Sunday night, March 17!   Take a look and see if there’s something you’d like!  All prices on aprons include free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 States!

 

A Novice’s Attempt at Reupholstering!!

I’ve always thought that I’d like to do some reupholstering, but hadn’t ever tried it.

I started with what I thought would be an easy project – a side chair. Our daughter-in-law was getting rid of a chair that she no longer had any use for – and donated it to our daughter. Unfortunately the yellow floral fabric wasn’t to her taste. We decided that the chair would be the first reupholstering attempt. Off to JoAnn’s Fabric we went, where she found fabric she really liked, and she was thrilled that it was half-off!!!

Here’s the chair BEFORE I tore it apart – as you can see, it’s a perfectly good chair and in great condition!

Free chair!

Pretty, isn’t it?   Personally I like the yellow floral.

I took about a hundred pictures during the process, but don’t worry, I won’t post them all – just enough for you to get the picture of how the process went.  I was amazed at how many staples had been used – by the time I’d finished taking everything apart I’d removed more than 200 staples!!

We were surprised to find when we turned the chair over, that the ‘lining’ underneath had a zippered compartment!   It was probably there to make it easier to tighten the chair legs, but we thought it made a nifty hidden compartment!

Although I separated the back from the seat,  we were at a definite disadvantage because the original upholstery was put on BEFORE the legs were attached.  Since I wasn’t about to remove the legs from the structure, we had to improvise along the way.

Here’s a few pictures of how everything was taken apart –

Hidden zippered compartment

Hidden zippered compartment

Pulling staples!

Pulling staples!

Removing screws

Removing screws

Removing all the upholstery layers

Removing all the upholstery layers

Separating back from seat

Separating back from seat

Chair back

Chair back

Before we started reupholstering, I painted the chair legs gray, to match the gray in an end table we had painted for Megan several months ago.   (See previous blog titled “Refinishing a Thrift Store Table”. )

After I removed all the upholstery, I marked the pieces before I took them all apart. Although I was able to use the existing back pieces for a pattern , I was not able to use the pieces from the chair seat because it ripped while I was removing it.  You’ll see in the next pictures that instead of a fitted chair cover we  just ‘wrapped’ it and stapled it on.

"Wrapping" the chair seat

“Wrapping” the chair seat

Trying to 'tuck' fabric down around the legs

Trying to ‘tuck’ fabric down around the legs

Seat covered

Seat covered

Chair back covered

Chair back covered

Zippered compartment put back on

Zippered compartment put back on

FINISHED!!!

FINISHED!!!

Megan approves!

Megan approves!

I’m very happy with the way it turned out, but………I must say it was difficult!  I’m not sure that I’ll try anything more upholstered than an side chair in the future.  It was fun doing it with Megan though – we made a pretty good team!

I’d love to hear about your first time reupholstering projects!   Did they turn out as you expected?  And did you enjoy it enough to keep doing it?    Your comments are welcome and appreciated! Have a great week – Linda