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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.

Applique

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.

 

Quilting

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.

Chocolate Town Pie

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Chocolate Town Pie  is my new favorite pie and I think it will remain that way!  Yummy and so easy to make.  I could put whipped cream on it but I want you to see how it looks then you can add the whipped cream if you like.  It tastes like a pecan pie with melted  chocolate chips in it.  When I read this recipe it looked like to me that it would be a chocolate cookie in a crust but no… It is much better and has that soft gooey, yummy center like a Pecan pie.

Here is the recipe I got from a friend.

  • CHOCOLATE TOWN PIE

 

  • Ingredients

9 inch unbaked pie shell

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 eggs beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 cup chocolate chips (I used the big milk chocolate kind)

1 cup chopped pecans (you could use walnuts) but then, it wouldn’t taste like a pecan pie would it?

  • Directions

Prepare pastry shell; set aside. Heat oven to 350.  In a smallmixer bowl cream butter, add eggs and vanilla.  combine sugar and flour and add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour into unbaked pastry shell.

  • Bake

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until golden .  Cool about one hour.  Serve warm, with whipped cream.

This Chocolate Town Pie is as “easy as pie”!  I can hardly wait to make it again.  I won’t even wait for a holiday for this one.

 

 

Pajamas- Six Ideas

Pajamas for Kids are the perfect Christmas Present.  We like to let our children open these special gifts on Christmas Eve so they will have new Pajamas to wear on that special night.   Here are a few pair I made for grandchildrenphone-dec-15-551

These Pajamas are perfect for the girl who loves owls.

phone-dec-15-553this Pair matches the quilt she received and is her favorite design.  I used an easy button front pattern.

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the little boy who got these loves monsters and these monsters glow in the dark.  If you have a child afraid of the dark this kind of fabric might help them.  this boy is not afraid of the dark but he loves the fact that the monsters glow when the lights are out.

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Do you have a sports enthusiast?  this boy love any sport that has a ball so he was really excited to receive these Pajamas

phone-feb-18-160these Pajamas have a different pattern than the button front.  They are for an older child and have a yoke top to slip their head through.  No buttons to bother with here.  They also match her quilt.

phone-dec-15-555These Pajamas are for a teenager with the yoke top and made from the same fabric as her quilt.  Yes, last year I made quilts for these children and the PJs they got for Christmas matched the quilts they received on their birthday’s that year.

Special gifts like these always bring smiles and comfort especially in times of turmoil.

I don’t just sew.  I sew to  mend hearts.  Do you?

phone-feb-18-156This kid loves Minecraft and sent me a picture of his favorite Mooze.  I printed it out as an iron on and put it on a knit top that I made and made special knit pajama bottoms for him.  It brought huge smiles.

I might add that I wouldn’t do this type of an iron on again of pajamas because it was too  rubbery.  It would be good on a T Shirt though.  this top turned out to be too short so I had to make another.  He still loved it though.

 

 

Four Pieced Place Mats

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FOUR PIECED PLACE MATS

Cutting

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.

Sewing

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.

Padding

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.

Backing

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.

Binding

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

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.

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

 

 

 

Give a child an Apron and Mixes

Great gift idea! A Child Apron

Give a Child’s Apron and mixes.

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.

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 child 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.

 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.

This makes a great child apron for a boy or a girl.

 

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.

Here is what I learned.20161013_140159

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!

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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!

 

How to shorten a lace wedding dress the easy way

HOW TO SHORTEN A LACE WEDDING DRESS THE EASY WAY..

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Here is the secret.  A simple way to shorten a lace wedding dress.

The dress above was drooping on the floor 1 1/2 inches.  The lace is delicate and very difficult to unpick.

Shortening a lace wedding dress can be a daunting task but there is a simple way to do it.  20160829_100924These instructions are for a lace dress with a train.  The lace is along the bottom and looks like it is a part of the fabric but if you look closely you will see that it has been sewn on.   Unpicking all those tiny stitches on delicate lace is not a good idea.  You run the probability of damaging the lace and leaving holes in it.

CUT ALONG THE TOP OF THE LACE

20160829_100934Here is a simple way to change that hem.  Just carefully cut above the lace on the front of the dress if has a train.  The train does not need to be shortened. Just the front so insert your scissors above the lace and trim it off.  so it just droops down.  Co not cut the lace entirely off of the skirt in a piece.  Just cut where you see those dotted lines.

RAISE THE LACE UP TO DESIRED LENGTH-STITCH

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You can see in this drawing that the part you cut is just going to droop down.  Now…Ta DA!  Just raise the center of the lace up to the desired length.   Then carefully pin it.  If regular straight pins will not stay in then use safety pins until you get it right.  On each side of the lace section there may be a tiny pleat in the lace to accommodate for raising it above but it will not be noticeable.  Now top stitch it on with a medium stitch.  A fine polyester thread works great.  You may use invisible thread but it usually isn’t necessary.

TRIM OFF THE EXCESS BELOW

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In this drawing you will see the peaks hanging down from the cutting line.  Just carefully trim them off so they do not hang beneath the lace edge.

HEM THE LINING AND THE UNDERSKIRTS

Now you will have 2 or three underskirts to hem.  they also only need to be shortened in the front You will want to trim the Satin underskirt to match what you did with the lace. for the underskirts I like to just turn them up and leave the extra fabric in there to make the bottom of the slips firmer and stand our  more.  That would depend on the wishes of the bride.

 

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.

Fresh Creamy Tomato Soup

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This tomato soup was inspired by a bumper crop of tomatoes in our little garden.  It is so fresh and delicious.  So healthy and easy to make.  Nothing feels better than a healthy soup fresh from your garden or the produce section of your grocery store.

Fresh Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

3 cups blended tomatoes

1 clove garlic

¼ tsp. Allspice

½ tsp. Salt

Pepper to taste

1 T. dried onion flakes

1 T. fresh basil

2 Tblsp. Butter

1 Tblsp. Flour

1 Cup Milk

Blend pureed tomatoes, garlic, allspice, salt pepper, onion flakes and basil til smooth .\

strain to remove seeds.

Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes but do not boil.

make a paste of butter and flour and add a little tomato mixture then gradually add it all together.

Add milk to the soup and reheat.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream if you wish.

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.

 

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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.

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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.