Tag Archive | All Around the Mulberry Bush

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crape Myrtle Trees – Front Yard Landscape

We were finally able to start our front yard landscaping project this weekend.  Our daughter came out, spent the night, and declared she wanted to be put to work!  Well, who can say no to that!!!!  Okay, then, we got to work!

Home Depot had Crape Myrtle trees on sale (regular $74, sale $49!!!  – whoa, great deal!!), so we bought three.  Two trees with white flowers, one with pink!  Here’s a picture of a full-grown pink Crape Myrtle – isn’t it beautiful??

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The trees are only about 6′ tall – which is good because they were still heavy!.

We measured across the yard and tried to make sure they would be evenly placed, and then Megan dug three huge holes.  We dumped a bag of Miracle Grow soil in each, watered them good, and low and behold, we have landscaping!!!   The trees have softened up the yard already, adding some much needed green.

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The fence will be in soon, and we’ll start adding bushes around the perimeter for more color!  I’ll keep you posted on our progress!  I’d love your comments about what you would do to your hardscape if you had the chance to start from scratch!

Have a great day!

Linda

 

 

 

 

Sharing my Love of Sewing!

Several years ago we moved from Oregon to Texas to be near our grandkids – we wanted to be year-round grandparents, rather than just holiday and vacation grandparents; what a blessing it has been!

A side benefit is we get to teach them things that we’ve learned and enjoyed. One of those things is my love of sewing. Our granddaughter, now 6, has been enamored with my sewing machine since she first saw it. Over the last year she’s been able to sit with me and ‘sew’ things – stretching to put her foot on the pedal and still guide the fabric with her little fingers. It’s been a joy to watch her – I can see already how much she loves all the fabric colors and textures, and know she’s just itching to get busy!

When we were Christmas shopping, I knew that I wanted to get her a small sewing machine. I didn’t want a ‘real’ machine, because it would be too heavy, and would have too many bells and whistles for her. And, I didn’t want a cheap toy machine because it’s just too frustrating when it doesn’t really sew anything.

We found a Singer Pixie Plus machine that is lightweight, but still has a sturdiness to it that looked like it could withstand some wear and tear. It also has eight different stitches to lend some variety to her sewing.

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She’s had the machine since Christmas, and has used it some, but this week she decided it was time to work on a project. We decided on the ever-important pincushion!! I figured, with four straight edges, it was something that would be easy to show her how to make turns, sew a straight line, stuff with poly-fill, and then sew it closed.

She tried really hard, but a few times she ran off the edge – thank goodness for seam rippers. She took it all in though, and didn’t get frustrated. I think her very first project turned out perfectly  – I’m so proud of her, and can’t wait until she’s ready to take over the She and Me Designs sewing and quilting business 🙂

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The sewing machine is perfect for her.  She’s able to reach the small pedal, and the machine is light enough that she can move it around on the table to where its comfortable.  I’m so happy that the machine sews well, because as all us sewers know, it’s incredibly frustrating when our machines are acting up!!!

Have you taught your daughter or granddaughter to sew?  What projects did you work on, and how did it go?  I’d love to hear your experiences, and some hints for some more projects.

Hope you are all having a wonderful January – if you are decorating for Valentines Day take a moment to hop on over to She and Me Designs to check out some sweet Hearts decorations.

All my best –

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.

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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

 

Independence Day – Thank you!!

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Every country has its traditions, and for the good old USA, it’s all about the 4th of July! Picnics with family and friends, sparklers and fireworks at night, it’s all about celebrating! Celebrating our freedom! And nothing says freedom to us like our flag!  Our beautiful red, white and blue flag!

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Doesn’t she make you feel patriotic (and darn lucky)???  Does me!!

Being a quilter I decided to make my own version of the American Flag – 12 little mini-flags sewed up into one wall hanging!!  Very easy to do – each individual flag is paper-pieced on a sky-blue background using a variety of reds, whites, and blues and sewn into a 12-patch.  The flags are bordered with blue star fabric and has two matching fabric hangers.  The wall hanging has a place of honor all year long and reminds me every day to appreciate our lives and always be thankful for everything being a US Citizen guarantees us!

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Thank you so much to all the men and women, current and past (including my own brothers, husband, son and daughter-in-law) who have served our country in the Armed Services!  Our freedom came at a heavy price paid by so many.  I pray for the safety of those currently serving!

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Happy 4th – stay safe!

Linda

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

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!