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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.

Placing the baggieIMG_5913

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

 

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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!

 

Home-made King-size Bed Pillowcases

More than a year ago my daughter bought fabric so I could make her a lap quilt.  With the move from Oregon, living in an RV for months, moving into a house, etc., getting the lap quilt finished moved to the very bottom of the list.

But, she moved from California to Texas and moved into her own apartment a short time ago.  And she needed some bedding.  So….the lap quilt moved up the list and it became a bedspread 🙂   A queen-size bedspread with sides that would drop deep on both sides.   I’ll post more about the bedspread soon (it just needs a backing added), but today I made some matching pillowcases for the ensemble.

I love making these pillowcases.  I’ve made a variety over the years, but these ‘burrito’ pillowcases win hands-down!  Easy, fast, anyone can do them.  I’m not going to post the tutorial here because Anina at The Twiddletails Blog has written a detailed and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructional tutorial on how to make the ‘burrito’ pillowcase.

So, instead, here are just a few pictures of my finished product.  Please note that my daughter’s colors for her bedroom are hot-pink leopard print, black, and a variety of blue-starred metallic fabrics. (I know – unusual choices – I thought I wouldn’t like them but I do!)  When you see the finished bedspread you’ll be surprised by how striking it is!

IMG_5174IMG_5175King-size Pillowcase

I’m very pleased with the results – I can’t wait to see it all on her bed!!!

And it gets me thinking about making some nice pillowcases for my own bed – so much prettier than those in the store!

What projects have you been working on this new year?  Finished anything yet?  We’d love to hear about your completed projects!

‘Til next time –

Linda

PS — all the fabrics for the bedspread and matching pillowcases are from the Keepsake Cotton Fabric collection at JoAnn’s Fabrics.  I LOVE THAT STORE!!

Tooth Fairy Pillow Tutorial

My daughter-in-law and I have an on-line store on Etsy called She and Me Designs where we sell hand-crafted aprons, quilts and other sewn items.  One of the most popular items is a Tooth Fairy Pillow –  you know, a little pillow used to hide a precious baby tooth until the Tooth Fairy can come and retrieve it and leave a little somethin’-somethin’ in its place!

I made a few today and decided that it would make a nice tutorial so took pics along the way.

First, I selected three fabrics that have some contrast; the pillow base fabric (front and back), a contrast, and the pocket fabric, which has the actual detail that you want to show off.  For this fabric I selected an aqua stripe for the base, a bright pink dot for the contrast, and some fairy-princess fabric for the pocket.

Base fabric (aqua stripes)              Cut two (2) 10-1/2″ squares

Contrast fabric (pink dots)         Cut one (1)  7-1/2″ square

Pocket (princess fairies)                Cut one (1)  10-1/2″ square

Next, I ‘pinked’ around the contrast fabric to give it a little interest.  I used my mom’s old pair of pinking shears, which I dearly love!  They bring back lots of memories!

    I then pinned a dainty white lace around the top half of the contrast fabric, starting in the middle of one side and around to the middle of the other.   I placed the fabric and lace face up on to the base fabric (not centered as you can see) and sewed around all four edges of the contrast fabric.

The reason I didn’t put lace all around the contrast fabric was because the pocket will cover up the top two-thirds of the contrast fabric.  I didn’t want the lace ‘bunching up’ under the pocket.

Next, it’s time to prep the pocket.

Iron the 10-1/2″ pocket fabric in half, forming a rectangle 10-1/2″ wide by 5-1/4″ tall.

I like to add embellishments wherever I can, so I added some hot-pink ricrac to the top of the pocket.  In the pictures below I show the ricrac pinned in place, and then stitched close to the edge to hold it in place.

Pinned

Stitched

Now we start putting the pocket together, layering the fabrics as follows:

– Place the base fabric with the contrast sewed to it face up; place the pocket across the bottom.  Gently place the second base fabric (wrong side down) over the assembled fabrics.   Pin around all four sides and prepare to sew.

– Start at the bottom of the pillow, about two (2) inches from the corner,; backstitch to secure the seam.  Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch around the pillow until you get back to the bottom of the pillow.  STOP about four (4) inches from where you started, leaving enough room to turn the pillow inside out.   Back stitch to secure your seams.

– Trim all four corners to reduce the bulk in the corners, and gently turn the pillow inside out.  From the inside, use a skewer or crochet hook to push to push the corners out – be sure to not break through the fabric or seam though!

– After the pillow is turned, carefully iron the seams.  I love this part!  

– Now, using some  Poly-fil Fiber (available at all sewing / craft stores), stuff the pillow as loosely or tightly as you like.  Be sure to stuff it into the corners too!  Then, stitch up the pillow at the bottom.  You can either carefully machine-stitch it closed with a narrow hem, or hand-stitch, which I did.

YEA!!!   The pillow is now finished and ready for that Tooth Fairy!

I hope the instructions were helpful!   Please leave your comments, and let me know if you make a Tooth Fairy Pillow for your own little Prince or Princess!!!

Appliqued Wall Hanging

I started quilting 15 years ago when my son left for the service. I’d been a sew-er since I’d been about 12, but had never quilted. It just seemed too ‘grandma-ish’ so I kept putting it off.

The time had come though! I took over his empty room, filling it with all my sewing equipment that had been set up in a corner of the family room. I moved in all my fabric and accumulated stuff, and his room became my sewing room (much better than looking at his empty bed!). My first project was a quilt for him – I wanted to send him something special and personal,  so I made him a bed-size quilt that he used as he moved from place to place.   He still has it and uses it, so it was a definite success!

My second project was something for me. I had seen so many beautiful appliqued wall hangings and I wanted to try one. I decided to do a flower ‘sampler” of sixteen different flowers.  The following picture shows the finished sampler, each machine appliqued.

I started the project by cutting a piece of off-white fabric 24″ x 24″, which was bigger than the finished project would be.  I folded the fabric until I had 16 equal sized squares, and ironed until I could see creases in the fabric.  Those creases helped me center the flower in each square.  Then the fun began!!

I selected colorful but realisitic fabrics for each flower, making sure that there was nice contrast.  In order to ‘build’ the flowerI started at the ‘bottom’ and worked out to the outer-most piece – just kept building one piece on top of the other. I used fusible web to attach the pieces of fabric to the white fabric base and then machine zig-zag stitched around the edges.

Appliqued CarnationAppliqued Lilac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each flower was centered in the ironed square and when it was finished there were 16 flowers on the white fabric base.  In order to finish the wall hanging, I cut out a matching piece of white fabric and placed it right side down, the batting in the middle, and the flowers on top.  The ‘sandwich’ was then ready to finish.  I zig-zagged  top to bottom between each flower row, and then across, creating frames for each flower.  Then I zig-zagged around the entire picture finishing it off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My patterns came from Better Homes & Gardens 501 Quilt Blocks.  It’s chock full of applique patterns, as well as traditional and paper piece quilt blocks. 

What project do you look back on and remember fondly?   I’d love to hear about it – leave a comment about it, okay?