Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
For my daughters baptism we gave her a gift of her very own set of scriptures. The scriptures on their own are nice but not super exciting, but she loved the little bag I made to carry them in. She looks forward to bringing her scriptures with her to Church with her every Sunday.
The bag is super simple to make. The hardest part was getting the measurements just right to fit the scriptures, but I did that part for you! Of course you can use this cute and simple tote bag to carry anything, not just scriptures, but I designed it to fit a standard set of LDS scriptures perfectly. I decided I wanted to quilt my bag to make it extra cute but mostly to add strength, because the scriptures are heavy.
For supplies you'll need to gather 2 fat quarters, a strip of accent fabric (I just used a scrap I had on hand. A 1/8th of a yard would be plenty) and another strip for your handles (a 1/8 of a yard by width of fabric will be more than enough). I also added a felt letter "P" to personalize it and a little crochet flower by Riley Blake Designs.
I put this bag together the same way I put THIS bag together, which is pretty much the same way I always make a bag. It's just so simple to me this way.
Cut your pieces (2 if each!)...
Bottom outside (tree fabric)- 6 inch X 12 inch
Bottom lining (pink dot)- 6 inch X 12 inch
Accent strip (blue)- 1.5 inch X 12 inch (4 pieces total)
Top outside (pick dot)- 3 inch X 12 inch
Top lining (tree)- 3 inch X 12 inch
In the picture below, one set will be the outside of the bag and one will be the inside/lining of your bag. You can't see it in the picture but my fabric is actually doubled, so there is a second piece underneath each of these pieces.
At this point set those pieces aside and make your handles, because you're going to sew those into the sides of the bag. To make the handles cut a piece of fabric 4 inches and iron your piece as shown below, bringing your sides into the middle and then folding the whole thing in half again.
Top stitch along each side of your handle...
And then you can just cut it right in the middle to create two handles. Doing it this way made my handles a bit long so I ended up taking about 2 inches off of each handle.
Once you have two handles you'll insert them between your top and middle pieces like you see below....
Do this to both side of your bag. At this point you can quilt your bag if you wish. You don't have to but I think it makes it look extra sweet and different than other little scripture bags out there. For tips on how to quilt it yourself refer to THIS POST on my blog. As you can see I drew some lines with an erasable pen (Frixion Pen by Pilot, my favorite! Erases with the heat of your iron.) to follow while I quilted. I also stitched on the little felt "P" at this point.
After you've quilted your bag, sew your 2 pieces right sides together along the sides and the bottom. Turn your bag right side out and place your scriptures inside. Notice the extra little triangle pieces there on the bottom sides of the bag? Mark those because we are going to first sew and then cut those off to create a "square" bottom of your bag.
And repeat the process again to make a lining, leaving off the handles. DON'T FORGET to leave a small hole (about 3 inches) in the bottom of your lining while you are sewing it together to be able to turn your bag right side out. You'll also square off the bottom of your lining pieces so they fit nicely inside your bag. Once you have the outside and the lining of your bag sewn together, slip the outside of the bag inside the lining as shown below...
Line up your seams on the sides and bottom and pin all around the top.
Sew your outside and lining pieces together around the top of your bag.
Turn your bag right side out through the whole you left in the lining. If you forgot to make this hole, like I always do, your can use your trusty seam ripper to pick out some stitches and make one. Once your bag is turned right side out, sew up your hole and press all your seams. Top stitch along the top edge of the bag to hold your lining in place.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
1. Erasable pens. My first projects were drawn with pencil. Soon after I started using water soluble markers that disappear when you get them wet. They are fine and work well, but I LOVE the Frixion Pens! They erase with heat, like the heat of your iron, not water, so you don't have to get your project wet.
2. Hoops. My favorite hoop to use is the Susan Bates Hoop-la Hoops. They are durable and have a little lip that helps to keep you fabric nice and tight while you are working.
3. Floss Storage. I use mostly DMC floss. But I have used Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Art, Valdani, and Cosmo floss. I still like DMC best. I can't help but love the price, as well as the huge color selection. As you collect floss you have to keep it organized or it will get EVERYWHERE. It unravels and tangles and makes a huge mess. My favorite way to organize my floss is in a handy little clear tackle box I bought in the sporting goods section. I take a stack of my husbands business cards, cut them in half, right the name (number) of the floss on the card and wrap it around that. You can buy special cards for wrapping you floss around. They are cheap and keep your floss very neat. But I prefer free and old business cards work for me.
4. My last tip for you is to stitch through 2 layers of fabric instead of one. Or a lot of people like to stitch through a layer of fabric with quilt batting behind it. The batting gives it a cute puckered quilted look. If I'm not going for that look I'll just double up my piece of fabric and stitch through that. By doing this it not only hides all your nasty knots and tangles on the back (which are pretty inevitable) so you are unable to see those through your fabric (with just one layer you can often see a dark thread show through to the front) but it looks much nicer, cleaner and more professional. I highly recommend it.
Just a couple other reminders would be...
-Apply a stabilizer to the back of knit fabrics before you embroider.
-Smaller lengths of floss will make for less knots in your floss. Even though you'll have to re thread your needle more often it's less of a pain than picking out a knot every other stitch.
-Get a tiny, sharp pair of scissor to keep in you storage box. You'll have everything you need right there with you always.
-I wish I would have put a lock on my floss box the day my babies decided to get into my newly purchased, newly organized for that special project floss and string it through the house. Just a thought if your kids are still little :)
Monday, April 16, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I opened up a little pattern shop! I've had this idea rolling around in my head for ages. I'm so excited I finally did it! I think what finally sparked me to actually get my ideas down in pattern form was this fun trend of "Hoop Art". I love it! A fresh new way to frame your embroidery. Super cute and super simple (and super affordable!). I'll be posting some tips on where to find hoops, how to "frame" your embroidery in a hoop, and some tricks I've learned along the way for successful embroidery.
I've just completed 3 patterns so far, but my head is buzzing with ideas now that I've got these done. First up is called "Life Is..." Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance you must keep moving. I can't decide what I love more, the bicycle or the mini "hexies" (which are not actually "sewn", by the way! I wanted to make sure everyone of every skill level could do this fun and easy project, so my mini hexies are just fusible applique with a sweet little running stitch all around).
The next one is probably my favorite because of that fun granny square block (also fusible applique! Talk about quick and easy.) I remember seeing "fire" balloons when I was a tiny little girl out our car window on a long drive one day in my childhood home of sunny southern California. My mom still has the little scraps of paper with my first drawings of hot air balloons on them. I think I'll make one of these as a gift for her (shhh, don't tell)!
And lastly, this little sewing machine. I've doodled this sewing machine so many times! I actually have a pin cushion with this same sewing machine embroidered onto it I made years ago. Gotta love that cute trendy bunting, and I fell in love with this saying when I first found it "Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep"
So why "Jumping Through Hoops". Well, despite the obvious play on the word "Hoops", embroidery hoops, hoop art... quite often here at home I feel like it is a real "trick" to pull it all together, like I'm jumping through hoops to make it all happen. I'm so busy being a mommy and wife (and all that goes along with that) that it is difficult to find the time to be creative. And I NEED my creative outlet! I know we all feel like that sometimes, jumping through hoops to try and get it all done, whether we are a full time mom, juggling a career and family, married, single, Aunt, Sister, Grandma, or all of the above :) we are amazing! We are doing an awesome job! And we deserve to take a little time to stitch.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Our forever family...
Little P and her daddy...
I made a few simple decorations for a luncheon at our house after the baptism. Lots of P's family and friends were there to celebrate with her.
Feel free to copy these and use them for your special 8 year old...
I also purchased some inexpensive paper doilies from my local party store to decorate the table with.
For my hanging decorations I just sewed down the middle of a stack of 6 doilies and then spread them out to create a "ball"...
As a special gift for P we got her her own set of LDS scriptures and I made her this little quilted scripture case to go with it. I am hoping to get a tutorial together for it soon!