Category Archives: crafts

Cute Elephant Quilt DIY-

This fun elephant theme quilt was lots of fun to make. The elephant theme is so cute to dress up any nursery and the colors will work for a boy or a girl.  It was a fun experience to make this one. The pattern is simple.

Cutting Squares

It is made of 10″ squares and sew down to about 9″ squares finished.


I drew the picture below of the elephant.  I have scanned it for you.  You should be able to print it .  Trace the pattern onto Pellon Wonder Under or similar bonding fabric. and then iron it on the fabric and cut it out after you have the pellon on it.     Follow the instructions that come with your iron on  fabric. Also trace  the ears and do the same.  I made the eyes by choosing the eyelet stitch on my machine.  You could hand embroider it or use a permanent marker.   

after sewing the finished squares together,  sandwich it with the batt.  I used cotton batting , and the back.  This quilt it backed with a dark gray minky that reminds me of soft elephants if there is such a creature.



I quilted this on my machine.  It is done with the free motion method.  this method requires a lot of practice so if you haven’t done it before look it up on You Tube or take a class and do a lot of practicing first.  It is fun to do but give it some time.  I would not recommend quilting this method with minky on the back as it is too hard to see the back and check to make sure you have done it right.  Next time, I will use a cotton fabric on the back but babies love minky so it is a good thing if you are an expert at machine free motion quilting.

You could also choose to do it by hand or have someone do it on a free arm quilting machine.

This quilt will look great in my great grandson’s crib.  Or on a nursery wall.

Four Pieced Place Mats










I was able to make these place mats and napkins from my stash.

These four  pieced place mats were fun but difficult to get the corners to  match.  I found a pattern, printed it and tried to put them together, but it didn’t work.  I then took a piece of paper the size I wanted for the finished place mats (mine were 14’X17″ and cut it across diagonally both ways and added a seam allowance when I cut them out. My finished place mats are 13″X 16″.  They turned out to be very attractive.  The center points meet exactly but the corners are not so perfect.  When you are working with triangles you have lot of stretch.  If I do it again I will starch the fabric stiff before I cut it to prevent so much stretching.


Just sew the triangles together in any combination you wish.  I made 8 so I could have a bigger dinner with them or have some to trade off for everyday.  They are easy to combine and if the corners don’t match you can trim them.  trimming can cause them to be smaller than you planned though so I opted to just ignore the outer corners and do my best.


I wanted my place mats to be quilted for absorbency and so that I could practice free motion quilting on my machine.  I used an iron on batting.  It is perfect for these four piece  place mats. Just follow the directions that come with your bat.  it is great to work with.


The backing irons on to the bat in the same process as the front so it is so easy and neat.

Now you are ready to do the free motion quilting if you like.

This is the perfect project to practice the machine quilting pattern of your choice.  I choose to do a bear claw pattern.  It was easy.  The hard part was learning the coordinate my hands and the foot speed together.  It is like dancing to the music and your partner at the same time.  It takes practice.  It is lots of fun though.

On my last placemat I decided to get the design looking perfect so I went slower to assure accuracy.  It looks great on the top but the bottom is a mess!  That is because if you slow down your hands you have to also slow down the speed on the foot pedal.  You will find your comfortable speed and learn to go with it.


I cut long strips of 1 3/4″ strips and sewed them all together end to end.  Then I  folded them in half and pressed them that way. Next, you stitch it to the back of the four pieced place mats with the raw side matching the edge.  Then fold the border around to the front of the place mat and the folded edge will be on the top.  Stitch the folded edge down to the front almost the way around, miter the corners your favorite way and  connect the binding before you go all the way around.  Leave about 5 inches undone then you can join them on the diagonal.  there are plenty of videos you can watch on that and connecting the binding together.

Now you have a set of wonderful place mats to match your kitchen or the season.


Napkins are fun and easy.  Just use a matching cotton.  Cut 16  14″  to 16″ squares for 8 napkins.  Place 2 squares together wrong sides out.  Sew around them leaving a space about 4 inches to turn the napkin right side out.  Then stitch close to the edge all the way around and again in about 1 1/2 inches to keep them flat.  Make extra napkins so that you can trade them out while you are washing the first set.


There you have it.  A beautiful way to dress your table for any season.  My guests were very complimentary.  Yours will be too!




Easy Way to Make a Gathered Tulle Skirt

20161013_144320Easy Way to make a gathered tulle skirt

If you want to make a gathered tulle skirt then this is the tutorial for you.

I just made several tulle skirts that are gathered at the waist.  I found a simple easy way to make them after making a couple.  the problems arise when you have to gather all those yards of tulle up to the size of the waist measurement.  These skirts were made of the 6″ strips at first but I didn’t feel that they were dense enough.  The picture is just a little skirt I made from scraps so I could show you the method.  This is a wrap around skirt that ties in the front.

What to buy

1  50 yard spool of tulle 6″ wide.  About 3 yards 2″ or 3″ wide ribbon

First of all, it takes tons of tulle to make a skirt.  For an adult long skirt I would use a 50 yard spool for one skirt.  I didn’t do this  and they weren’t full enough so I ended up ordering tulle yardage and putting a layer of it gathered under the strips. The strips give it a funky fun look and the flat yardage underneath gave it just enough thickness and cover.  the wearer is supposed to wear black skirt or pants under the black skirt so that makes the difference.

Cut the strips 1 inch longer that the finished desired skirt length.

Don’t kill yourself making this exact because they are going to fluff out and look quirky anyway!  That is the charm of it.

Sewing tulle is like sewing a cloud and gathering it all up is a pain and it is easy to have the thread bind up on you or break.

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Lay your strips by your machine and pick them up two at a time and layer them together.  Gather the stips on the serger or with a gathering foot.  If you don’t have one then zig zag over a piece of fishing line and pull it.  It won’t break on you!

If you use the fishing line you probably will not have to double it back on itself before sewing it to the ribbon because it will gather tight enough to fit the waist.

How to gather on the serger

This should work on most sergers-set the needle tensions (I use 2 needles) it is a 4 spool serger.  Okay, set the 2 needle tensions on 7 and the other 2 tensions on 5 and the Differential is on 2 and the width is on 4 or as wide as you can set it.

Try it on a scrap and see  how it goes.  My machine did a great job then.  Now gather the whole piece.  It will be 2 or three times wider than the waist of the skirt should be.  Here is the cool part, fold it over and double or triple it!  Now it is the width of the waist and you have all the gathering you need for a nice, fluffy skirt!


Sewing to the Waist Ribbon

Now cut a piece of wide ribbon for a waist band an inch longer than the waist so you can fold over each end.  Stitch the three  or four layers onto the ribbon with the top of the skirt up!

20161013_142948Now, cut another piece of the ribbon the waist measurement plus enough to tie a big bow.  I cut about a yard on each end longer so there would be a nice bow with ribbon hanging down.  Center that ribbon on the under ribbon and top stitch it on.  If the ribbon is satin it works best to top stitch it on the top edge or upper edge so it will not slip.  Then stitch the bottom edge that goes directly over your gathering.

Now hang the skirt up and trim any pieces that might end up a little longer than need be.

There you have a really cute, fluffy skirt for a costume or dancing or dress up for a child or adult.

This method is easy to do and someone is going to feel like a fairy princess or a witch or somebody fun!


Give A Child’s Apron

Give a Child’s Apron.

Children love to make cookies and cake.  Wearing their own apron and having their own mixes to make treats for themselves is a very special treat for them.

Knowing that my grandchildren love to do this with  me, I decided to make a boy and girl apron for a brother and sister whose birthdays are close to each other.  It was simple and inexpensive but each child received an apron and a few mixes.  Cake, cookies, and brownies.


Next time, I think I might have added a spoon or spatula in the bow on the package.  .

You can use a paper grocery bag for your gift bag.

Little Boy’s Butcher Apron

This little guy was apparently thrilled and proud to get to make his own cookies. I will include the pattern instructions for this simple little butcher apron.

Cut a rectangle 8 1/2 by 30  then mark on the outer edge at 15 inches on the side and 6 inches on the top and just cut the curve as shown.  If you do it that way then your pattern will be nice and square.

this is for a size 8 apron.  for each size smaller just make it 1/2 inch shorter per size.

the ties for the waist are 3 inches wide and about 17  inches long.

fold the strip in half and sew the sides and turn.  then tuck in one end and stitch it shut.

Make the ties for the neck the same way.  only the one 17 inch strip will be cut in half and sewed to each side of the bib.  I make ties for the neck to make it more adjustable.  children grow so fast that we may as well make it adjustable.

Little Girl’s Apron

I had this darling cup cake fabric and it was the inspiration to this idea.

the pattern is a simple 22 inch square turned to make a diamond shape. This makes a size 10 girls apron.  You can trim the bottom with a strip about 2 1/2 inches wide and cut 25 inches long each. make a pocket for the apron double and with a point on one end like a long envelope.  I added a button there to keep the flap down and for decoration.  Place the ties on the top of the apron and baste in place.   Line the back with matching fabric sew together and turn leaving a section open so you can turn it. Turn down the top .  then make a neck strap that is 2″ by 17 inches.  Stitch them on the back.  I leave a couple of inches extra on the bottom so it can be lengthened as she grows. this is a simple method I will use next time I make one.

I used a pattern and a little different method of construction with the strips.  The pattern I used is “Kids Four Corners Apron! P137 It is from Vanilla House Designs.

15 Denim Bib Ideas

15 Denim Bib Ideas for you.

Denim Bibs
Denim Bibs- Here are 15 different denim bibs that I have made.  they are so inexpensive yet very popular and sturdy.  Mom’s love them.  they protect the baby just perfectly.  I have recently started putting tie closures on my bibs so that the baby can wear them longer as they grow.  I love to use decorative stitches to enhance the fabrics and you can also find stitches, if your lucky, they coordinate with the theme of the bib.  The cars above are so cute with this fabric and to top it off, the family name of this baby is Carr!  How fun it that.  If the Dad likes cars or planes or whatever then that is a fun theme to pick.  If the mom is into cup cakes or sports or bling or flowers there are all sorts of ideas you can come up with to make the bibs personal to the family you are giving it to .  I find these bibs are really appreciated because they are made with love.  Some find their way as a wall decoration too.  These are all fast, easy and very economical gifts. Have fun!

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Fancy Stitches cover the bib above.  A great way to bring personality to a bib.  It is also a creative way to use all those stitches you  may have on your machine. It is so much fun!

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I machine embroidered this design on a piece of the denim from these dark blue jeans and then  made a pocket from that piece of fabric.  It was easier than embroidering on an existing pocket. this was by special request from a mom who loves pigs! who doesn’t love a cute pig.  They are adorable.

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I live this simple bib with pretty stitches on each side of this valentine fabric.

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this bib is cut directly from the back side of a pair of jeans.

I lined it with the same fabric that I made the ties and the pocket handkerchief from. the ties are also made of the same fabric.  I like to use ties on bibs because they allow the child to wear it longer as they grow.

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A neckerchief sewn on at the neck turns this into a perfect cowboy or Cowgirl – bib.  I stitched around it with a decorative stitch instead of plain top stitching.  It is durable and adorable.


denim bibs

These four bibs are other examples of the strip of cute fabric and then decorative stitches on top and bottom.  They are closed with a snap.



This doggy bib is one of my favorites.  The cute little puppy embroidery was fast and easy and looks so cute with matching puppy fabric at the top.  It think it is a lot better than plain denim would be.  Spice it up with a little piece of fabric at the top.


this embroidered airplane was a hit.  it is so cute and fun to make.

tie bib

this dashing little tie bib is also accented with a little pocket.  The top is actually a side seam.  I used two shades of denim here.  One way you can do that is to use the back of the fabric for the lighter color.

cowboy bib

this bib is topped with adorable cowboy printed flannel.  I like how the seam of the leg accents the middle of the bib.  You can embroider the baby’s name or the word “Cowboy” or “Cowpoke” on it to spice it up.

cowgirl bib

I love this cute cowgirl bib.  The bandana is sewn on at an angle and the red around the outer edge is really decorative stitching but gives the impression of ric rac.

so there you have it.  15 denim bibs to bring smiles to mommys and babies.  also a smile to your pocketbook as they are very inexpensive to make from old jeans and scraps of fabric.

Happy Bib Making.

Stunning Blessing Dress Recycled from Mom’s Wedding Gown

You can make a  stunning baby blessing dress. Recycle the long train of a wedding dress.

20160702_14124520160628_133605This clever bride who wanted to have children some day, chose a wedding dress with an extra long train. It could be used to make a blessing dress later when she would have a baby girl.  Her first baby turned out to be a boy.  Some of the satin from the lining was used to make a little vest for him.  The next baby, soon to come, will be a girl. Mommy was ready.  She wanted a dress with similar tulip sleeves and slightly resemble the wedding dress.

My first challenge was to cut the dress out of the train. It was in more of a fan shape. With a little twisting, I was able to cut it out and leave most of the dress still in tact.  I used the trim from the dress to trim the sleeves. The only thing I bought for it were the buttons and ribbon.

There is enough left of the dress to make a beautiful dress to be worn the day of her confirmation when she is older. !  Another option would be to just keep the rest of the dress for a token of the wedding day or use it for possible future siblings.

You Can Make This Handy Small Bag

Easy, Handy Small Hand Bag you will love. Handy Bag

You can make this this handy small bag is made from a pattern called ” The Potato chip Bag”. It is  by Paula Hughes by Quilt Country.   It is easy to make.  I love the instructions to this bag because of the simple way the four pockets are constructed and attached.  I have never put one on this way before.  It is a great method to use.  It is simple and neat.  The button I included on it is an old antique heirloom button from my mother. I think it was on a suit she wore.   It could have been originally from my grandmother.  I suggested to my granddaughter who received the handy little purse that she always cherish this button and an heirloom even after she is through with the bag.  It is closed with a magnetic snap.  they are easy to install and can be purchased at almost anywhere they sell fabric.

The finished handy small bag is 7″x6″x2″ and has four pockets.  I think I might make an inside pocket with a zipper in it for change and little things.

I used a medium heavy iron on pellon interfacing. It begins with two rectangles 8″x9″.  You could make it larger if you like but I think it is the perfect size to carry a phone and a wallet and a few tissues.  I have a huge phone so this is perfect.  I also like the long  shoulder strap. which makes it easy to carry that bigger smart phone.

Remember to put the snap in the flap and bag during construction if you don’t want the raw parts of the metal to show.

Finally, Before I  make a bag for someone, I usually ask their favorite color and then go from there.  I pointed out to my granddaughter that she had the same favorite color as her great grandmother who also owned the big glamourous button. It looks very nice on the flap. .  It is nice to learn such things and the similarities make these great people live on in the lives of their descendents.


Elephant Themed Bibs

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I love elephants! Give an Elephant Themed Bib and you will have a happy mama!


These two cute Elephant Themed Bibs are so adorable.  The appliqued Elephant was one I drew myself.  I cut out the pieces and ironed them on with “Wonder Under” and did the satin stitches around it.  the eyes are and eyelet stitch on my machine and the eyebrows are just a narrow satin stitch.. The head is a separate piece from the body and of course the inner ears are separate.  I used shiny embroidery thread to satin stitch around it. It is Sulky 40 wt. 100% Rayon and it worked out great.  I like to use it in the bobbin as well but you may use another gray if you have it.  Always experiment on a scrap before you stitch it.   YOu may enlarge and print the picture of the elephant and trace it for a pattern.

The other Elephant Themed Bib is inspired by this adorable Elephant fabric.  Then I found that I have Elephants in my decorative stitches in my machine.  I have a Pfaff Creative 4.5 and I love it.   any machine will make this bib as long as you have a zigzag stitch but the decorative stitches vary.  You might find another stitch that works for a decorative stitch or just leave that out.   So I had to make a row on each of these bibs.  I especially like the pink ones.

In the past all my bibs were closed in the back with a snap but when I learned that my little grandson had outgrown his bib by the time  he was eating from a spoon I started making bibs with the ties to close them at the back.  that way the neck of the bib will not get too small for the little darlings.  It just gives me peace of mind to do them that way.

Happy sweet baby girls.


Flattering Aprons

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I love to make these flattering aprons.  They are so classy and attractive.  they make wonderful gifts.  See the previous similar post for link to directions .  I like to do it with three prints that coordinate.  It can be made in an afternoon or pieces of time worked in you days.  You can use trim on the bottom or whatever suits your fancy.  You can make it from scraps or even more fun, shop for the coordinating prints.

If you  want to give a handmade gift but you don’t have time or maybe the desire to make one you can contact me and buy one!  Perfect original gift.  No two are alike.  Unless you want  matching ones.  I also love to make a butcher apron to coordinate for the man to match the ladies apron.  It makes a very useful wedding gift.

Believe me, you will be remembered with fondness and they will not be taken back to the store.

Basic directions for these aprons can be found at tutorial-patternless-kitschy-apron.html


Minky Baby Quilt

This Mink Baby Quilt was so much fun to make.  I decided to use minky on the front and binding.

Minkey Quilt

the picture shows it a lot darker than it actually is.  it is a beautiful royal blue and is so soft and sweet.  The puppy dog theme was carried out in the quilting and if you look closely you can see that I machine quilted the word “arf” on the light blue rectangles.  The word is a repeat from the main fabric pattern.  the pattern is found in the Big Book of Baby Quilts by Martingale.