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Tutorial Tuesday #9 - No-Sew Santa Bag Pillows - part 1

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I know it's Wednesday when I'm posting this, but I couldn't wait until next week to show you these darling $2 Santa Sacks that I found yesterday at Michael's.

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How cute are these for just $2 each?! (The Christmas decor at Michaels isn't on sale yet but they will probably put everything on sale in the coming weeks). 

They come in three sizes, (this is the smallest, measuring 7.5" X 10.5") four styles and are made from an unbleached osnaburg type fabric for a farmhouse vibe. I thought they would make fun no-sew projects.

Here's how:

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1. Give the bag a good ironing.

2. Above the line that says "recipient", write with a fabric marker or embroider a name. It would be fun to do a family name or a teachers name as I did here.

3. Add about a cup of Poly-Pellets stuffing beads for weight, then stuff the bag full to the top with poly-fill.

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4. Pull the drawstring closed and carefully hot glue it shut.

5. Add any embellishments that you'd like (optional) holly sprigs, jingle bells etc. then add a gift tag.

That's it, a cute personalized gift for under $5 - done in minutes.

Fun, right?

Encourage one another,

Suzanne

 


Tutorial Tuesday #8 - Sewn Silk Velvet Pumpkins

 

A few of you have asked how I made these silk velvet pumpkins so before I move on to Christmas (you know it's coming) I thought I'd do a really quick tutorial here.

First off you guys, I love this silk velvet from prismsilks.com! If you like the luxurious look of these I definitely think this fabric is worth the splurge. Look at their iridescent velvets. So yummy! You will need at least an 18" square of velvet for this size pumpkin so their fat quarters are perfect for a pumpkin like the one below with enough left over for acorns. Get 10% off your order with code "prism16".

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I've learned a lot this fall while making so many pumpkins and wanted to document it here.

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Any size works so use all your scraps and make various sizes. A seven inch round makes those tiny pumpkins like you find in the grocery store.

Using super heavy thread or dental floss, gather 1/4" from the raw edge of your circle. 

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You can fill it completely with pellets if you'd like. Experiment.

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Then finish off with fiberfill.

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Pull your thread tight and sew the opening closed. Knot thread and cut.

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I used a doll needle to sculpt my pumpkin - just pulling the stuffing up toward the top. This is optional since they are cute just as they are.


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Apply hot glue to the dried pumpkin stem and hold it while it dries.

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That's it! It takes about thirty minutes to make one and with the beautiful array of colors of silk velvet that's available, you can make them to match your decor. Because you're using real pumpkin stems, no two will look alike. So fun!

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Don't forget to save your pumpkin stems from this years jack-o-lanterns for next years elegant velvet pumpkins.

Encourage one another,

Suzanne


Tutorial Tuesday #7 Part Two - How to Make No Sew Velvet Pumpkins

Back in 2014 we made fabric covered pumpkins as a make-it take-it at Strawberry Patches during a fall shop hop. We went though cases of toilet paper (yup, that's the secret ingredient) and hundreds of fat quarters. To this day that was probably the most fun free project we ever did. 😍

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This year I decorated our main floor for fall using lots of velvet pumpkins

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but when I needed just a few more and our local gift shop had sold out, I remembered the cotton print pumpkins we made four years ago. Could I use that same technique using velvet?

The answer was yes! But I did learn a few things along the way that I wanted to share with you here just in case you want to make some.

Fabric:

Probably the single most important contributor to the success of your project is your choice of fabric. Because you will be building your pumpkin around a roll of toilet paper, and because you have to tuck the fabric into the opening of the cardboard roll, your fabric cannot be too heavy. If you are having trouble shaping your pumpkin or if you are struggling with getting all the raw edges into the paper core, your fabric is probably too heavy. You'll just need to experiment but go with the lightest weight fabric that you can.

Because I wanted my pumpkins to be in muted decorator colors (not fashion colors) I found the selection to be very limited. I found the pink blush velvet at Joann Fabric in the home decor section as well as the grey/dotted fabric shown in this post. They worked well but not as well as the white crushed velvet below.

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The white crushed velvet is called Panne by Glitterbug also from Joann. Real velvet is expensive and again, colors are limited so the search is on for next year for lightweight velvet with a slight stretch. For now, the Glitterbug Panne was the best choice. 

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Whatever fabric you decide on you will need about a 24" square of fabric (2/3 yard) to cover what I'm calling a large pumpkin. All the fabric that I used for this post was at least 58" wide so I could get two pumpkins from 2/3 yard. 

Stems:

I, by far, prefer natural dried pumpkin stems on my velvet pumpkins. The nice people at our local pumpkin patch just gave them to me. As I stated in the previous blog post I cut the stems from pumpkins that had been accidentally smashed in the field. You could also cut the stems from the pumpkins you purchase this year and store them for use next year. You must use dried stems only because green stems will mold and ruin your fabric. To dry the stems that I gathered this year I simply cut off all the flesh then baked them in a warm oven for a few days until they were totally dry. They will turn light brown and be very light and hollow sounding when tapped once the moisture is removed.

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I plan to store my left over stems for next year when I hopefully have a better selection of velvet to work with. One other good source for free natural stems is at the bottom of those big boxes that pumpkins are sold from. Usually merchants will give you broken off stems since they end up throwing them away.

If you don't have access to natural pumpkin stems you can use sticks, cinnamon sticks, twisted craft paper or sculpt stems from air dry paper clay.

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Embellishments:

This is where you can go just as crazy as you like. I've decorated some pumpkins for this post with milliners flowers

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as well as artificial flowers and berries purchased from places like Hobby Lobby and Joann Fabrics. (The stem below was made from air dried clay then painted).

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With the right stem I think they are beautiful just plain.

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One manufacturer sells 6" natural stem velvet pumpkins embellished with feathers for $80 each. Make no mistake about it, they are gorgeous, but way too expensive for my budget so making them myself was definitely the way to go for me.

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The photo above and below is of my mini pumpkin. (Directions below).

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Joann Fabrics has a wonderful selection of inexpensive feathers. My feathered velvet no-sew pumpkins cost less than $5 each to make and took only a few minutes to do.

Here's how:

Cut the corners off your 24" square of fabric. No need to make a circle since the edges will be stuffed into the cardboard core of the toilet paper. You just want to reduce the bulk a bit.

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Prepare your toilet paper roll by unwinding it a bit then re wrapping it loosely with the tissue you unwound. As I rewrapped the roll I twisted the paper every once in awhile to create volume. By adding the tissue back just to the very center of the roll you will be shaping it slightly, taking away the look of flat square sides. 

Sit the roll in the center on the wrong side of your fabric and add a few handfuls of fiberfill. I like to add a little to the bottom of the roll to create a nice round bottom. πŸ˜‚

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Then add more fiberfill to the sides and top, leaving the hole open on top.

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At this point I fill the paper core with stuffing beads to add weight. You could also use rice or beans, but remember we are going to enjoy our velvet pumpkins for years and don't want any critters munching on their insides. 😱

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Now you just start bringing the sides up and into the core. If you pick the roll up just slightly, the stuffing beads will fall to the bottom of the soon to be pumpkin and give you more room to stuff the fabric into the core. Continue poking the fabric into the core, all the way around, shaping as you go.

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Use chop sticks (I used kitchen shears) to poke the fabric into the hole and to shape your pumpkin.

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Once you are happy with the shape add the stem and embellishments.

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Here's and idea for smaller pumpkins. Just cut the height from a nearly empty TP roll. (I won't tell you where I was when this idea came to me). πŸ˜‚Then wrap it with more paper and some stuffing. It makes darling smaller pumpkins. 

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I'll thinking a paper towel roll would work too for a really huge pumpkin, you'll just need lots of fabric.

This technique is perfect for all ages and skill levels because there is absolutely no sewing involved and except for the embellishments, no gluing. I hope I've given you some fresh ideas and that you will share your creations and ideas with us here. Also I'd love for you to comment below if you know where I can find lightweight crushed velvet in home decor colors.

Until next time,

Encourage one another,

Suzanne

 


Tutorial Tuesday #7 Part One - The Tale of the Velveteen Pumpkin

The Tale of the Velveteen Pumpkin

There once was a farmer named Mister Johnson who planted a huge pumpkin patch in hopes that children would come from near and far with their families to pick the perfect fall pumpkin. He planted orange Jack-o-lantern pumpkins, pie pumpkins, some fancy ones called Fairy Tale and Rock Stars. There were white ones, spotted ones, ones with bumps, even black ones and some exotic ones called Heirlooms. Farmer Johnson faithfully watered his pumpkin crop and watched it grow. Soon there were thousands of big beautiful pumpkins and it was time to open the fields to the children. 

The pumpkins were all very competitive, each one thinking they were more beautiful than their neighbor.

Pick me, pick me they each thought.

"I'll make the most delicious pie," the pie pumpkins thought.

"Pick me." thought the big orange ones, "I'll make the scariest Jack-o-lantern."

"Pick me", said the Heirlooms," I'll decorate your front porch for the whole month of October". 

As the children ran through the field searching for the perfect pumpkin to cut and take home, some of the smaller pumpkins got kicked and stepped on. They began to split in the sun. Surely no one would want a pumpkin that was broken and spoiled. The other pumpkins made fun of the broken pumpkins. "Who will want you? Your seeds are showing. You stink!" The broken pumpkins were very sad, knowing what happens to pumpkins that don't find homes.

Then one day a lady came to the pumpkin patch, not looking for big beautiful, colorful pumpkins but for unusual stems. You see she was making velvet pumpkins that would last for years and wanted real pumpkin stems for her unique creations. As she walked through the field she realized that the stems from the pumpkins that had been kicked and stepped on were perfect for her special velvet pumpkins. She didn't care if their seeds were showing because she was going to use the stems for something much more beautiful and lasting than a Jack-o-lantern or porch decoration. Of all the thousands of pumpkins in the field, she chose only the less than perfect ones because they were perfect to her.

 

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The moral of the story is: We don't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Next time I'll share all I've learned over the years in making no sew fabric pumpkins.

Encourage one another,

Suzanne

 


Tutorial Tuesday #6 - Playing with Paper

If you've been following me on Instagram (suzanne_zingg) you've probably noticed that I've been a bit obsessed with decoupage as of late.

It started with apples

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moved on to pumpkins

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then graduated to ice cream cups.

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My inspiration for these projects was from my favorite Halloween decorations by Nicol Sayre. I have cherished these two boxes for years and always look forward to displaying them at Halloween.

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So I picked up some plain paper mache boxes at Hobby Lobby and tried decoupaging them in Bethany's style.

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(The boxes are on sale this week at Hobby Lobby).

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I cut circles slightly larger than the boxes from chipboard (Michael's) for the bases

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and covered all the surfaces with paper by Tim Holtz (Michael's) using Mod Podge.

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I found the toppers at Hobby Lobby for $6.99 each. They only had two styles and they were intended to be ornaments so I pulled off all the ribbons and gave them new fancier, more vintage looking collars and hats.

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I think they make fun treat boxes for my Halloween table.

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The added paper appliques are also from Tim Holtz and found at Michael's (on sale this week). Of course I added vintage mismatched buttons and some doodads that I had in my stash.

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I used my sewing machine to gather the tulle and crepe paper streamers to make the ruffles.

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When  I found this witches hat at Hobby Lobby

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I thought, why not? So I covered it the same way

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and added ric rac, more buttons, black feathers, ribbon and tulle.

Did you know that witches sew? 

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Yup, they do and this one is a milliner. 

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Here's the back

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and a look at the inside. This one is just for decoration since unlike the boxes it doesn't hold anything.

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 Here are a few more shots of my ice cream cups. So fun.

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Instead of a base I cut a ring to go at the top of the cup.

Here's what the ice cream cup looked like before I started.

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After the top ring was glued in place, I decoupaged the whole thing inside and out (love this tissue paper from Hobby Lobby), added a crepe paper ruffle along with some vintage tinsel, then filled it with vintage looking mini ornaments.

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Once you've gathered the supplies, these are simple to make and take very little time to put together. You can bet I'll be on the lookout for toppers for Christmas treat boxes. In fact, my next project is to make the toppers myself using paper clay. I'll let you know how that goes.

I hope this inspires you to dig out the Mod Podge and give these a try.

Until next time... Hearts

...love you more than Mod Podge,

Suzanne


Tutorial Tuesday #4 - Mug Rugs & Bless You Mats - Part One

When I closed Strawberry Patches and moved to Kansas I doubted that I'd ever sew again. I had absolutely no interest in setting up a sewing room here and regrettably I closed my Typepad blog account that contained the more than 70 tutorials and years of wonderful memories.

About two years after the move the strangest thing happened. I think my heart had finally healed enough after the closing of the store because once we were settled and rested I slowly started to think about sewing again.

That's about the time ADORNit put out a call on social media for ambassadors who were willing to exchange product for projects made with their merchandise. Feeling the nudge to share again I applied, not as a sewist but as a paper crafter (ha...really?? I guess I still wasn't healed enough to want to get out my machine). After I was miraculously accepted, I wrote ADORNit to tell them that I knew how to sew and that I thought maybe my friends on social media would enjoy seeing their cute fabric made up into some simple projects.

You guys, I was scared, but decided to show up, put myself out there and share.

Well, we can blame thank ADORNit for the inspiration, motivation and the push I needed for all this sharing. I'm a show off at heart - I know that and I own it. Thank you ADORNit for awakening that part of my personality that was dormant for so long.

There is just one thing more I want to say before we get started with the tutorial. At this point in my life I want to focus on being open to opportunities that come along and to discover how I might best use my gift to bless others. I can't say I've always felt this way since my sewing in the past had a motive; it was mostly intended to sell product. My goal now is to hopefully inspire and encourage others to be creative and find the joy that being creative can bring. I also hope to occasionally gift my friends with little things that I make along the way so they know that they are loved. My projects are simple and can be completed in little time. That's what I like, so that's what I do. If that's what you like then welcome, I'd like to think that you feel like you are at the right place.

Anyway, a blog reader asked me to repost my years old tutorial for Mug Rugs but since it was long gone I had to rack my brain on how I did it. Yikes, you guys. It took me three days to get it right. Let's just say I may need a new seam ripper, but thankfully I think the instructions are better than ever. So without further ado...here's my tutorial...

These first three photos are from my original post (I fortunately had them saved on my computer). 

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I had fun making these for holidays. They were just big enough for a hot drink and a small snack.

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I used mine at my computer or next to my favorite chair.

 

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Somehow a hot beverage on fun fabrics just makes me so happy.

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Most of you probably saw this Christmas one recently on my social media accounts. For those that missed it the fabrics can be found here and that cute vintage label here.

During the humid summer months here in the Midwest condensation on glasses is a real problem so I wanted to show you that Rug Mugs don't have to be just for hot drinks. I was racking my brain for a clever name for them. You know like, Moisture Mat or Sweat Catcher when I learned of some difficulties a friend was having. So with the help of ADORNits Sunshine Girls fabric I added some inspirational words to some mats and I'm calling them my Bless You Mats. 

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I said a prayer for my friend as I tied each of the little French knots and my hope is that it will cheer her and remind her that she is loved and in my prayers.

Buttons

You know me and my buttons...just keep them to the side so they don't cause your glass to tip.

I'll show you how to machine or hand stitch the words and embellishments before you sew the mat together in part two. It can be tricky - kind of like rubbing your stomach while patting your head. The placement of those words and that rick rack is what caused me all the trouble, but the problems are worked out. You'll be good to go. You are welcome. Smiley

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The pockets that are created with the overlapping fabrics are the perfect places for a word of encouragement or a treat.

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This Sunshine Girl fabric can be found here. I just cut out the inspirational words and raw edge appliqued them before constructing the mat. * more about that in part two

Here's what you will need to get started:

6  - 10" squares of fabric. They can be all different or you can used two of each of three different fabrics (left over layer cakes are perfect for this)

1 - 10" square of needle punch batting or what I used, Soft and Stable found here

1 yard of medium ric rac

A nine inch plate or Lori Holt's round circular template (it measures 9" across and is perfect for 10" squares) found here

Sewing machine, thread and optional embellishments

Cut:

6 - 10" squares or use precut Layer Cakes

Stack

Fold and press four of the squares in half, right side out. These will be the top of you mat. The additional two squares will be the lining (won't show) and back side of your mat.

You will also need one 10" square of low loft batting or Soft and Stable (preferred)

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Place one of the unfolded squares face down (this will be your lining), then put the batting or Soft and Stable on top of that and top it with the other unfolded square (backing), right side up as shown below. Match raw edges and set aside.

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Place one of the folded pieces on your cutting board, folded edge toward the center.

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Place the second folded fabric at a ninety degree angle as shown below - fold toward the center.

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The third folded piece

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 and the fourth. Tuck in the lower half of the last piece so it looks like so...

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Now pin all the four folded pieces all the way around.

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You are now looking at the WRONG SIDE of your mat top. None of this will show so don't put labels or words on this side 'cause nobody ain't gonna see em. More on that in part two.

TURN YOUR PINNED MAT OVER.

Circle ruler

With your plate or this handy dandy template mark a circle on the RIGHT SIDE of your mat.

This template is great because:

a. you can see through it

b. you can easily line it up with the center of the folds

c. you can check the folds to make sure they are straight by lining them up to the marked lines

d. helps with placement of embellishments

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Take your fabric to the machine and sew the rick rack on top of the drawn line. You will be sewing on the RIGHT SIDE of your mat fabrics. You will not be sewing through the lining, batting or backing at this time - just the four folded top fabrics.

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Notice I've sewn to the outside edge of the rick rack (not down the middle) with matching thread to the rick rack. 

I just overlaped the two ends slightly and ran the raw ends off the edge of the stitching line as shown below.

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Turn this top piece over and pin it to the stack of lining, batting and backing. Your rick rack stitching line will show you where to sew next.

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Now sew through all layers just to the inside of the previously sewn circle. Sew all the way around. Do not leave an opening.

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Trim seam allowance 1/4" around the sewn circle then turn inside out through that little hole in the center of your folded fabrics.

If you've layered everything correctly, you will see your rick rack peaking out from the edge of the circle. (It's always a relief when I see that).

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Reach through the center opening and run your fingers around the inside seam to poke out the  rick rack. Press and topstitch 1/4" from the edge (I like to using light colored matching thread for the topstitching so as not to call attention to my stitches 'cause they aren't always perfect).

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I added the buttons and label by hand on this one after the mat was completely done but next time I'll show you how to do the sewing before constructing the Mug Rug. I prefer doing the embellishing first, but that's the stomach rubbing - head patting part and since I'm sure I've probably lost most of you by now I'll save it for later. If you are one of my blog readers that bought a circular attachment for your machine I'll show you how that can work for this project next time too.

Until then,

Love you more than vintage labels and Halloween candy.

Encourage one another,

Suzanne

I apologize that I never did part two of this post, but I will - I promise. Give me a minute to get the basement decorated for Christmas and I'll get the sewing machine out and humming. 

 

 

 

 


Tutorial Tuesday #1 - Embellished Towels and Napkins

First I want to thank you so much for the encouragement you extended me on my last blog post. I so appreciate your kind words. 

Several of you asked that I do a tutorial on the towels that I showed there so I thought, what better way than to bring back Tutorial Tuesday? 

Here is the napkin I shared last time using ADORNit fabric. The same technique will work wonderfully for towels of any size (even bath and beach towels) as well as baby's burp cloths.

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My first stop in preparation for this tutorial was Home Goods for kitchen towels. I found these by SOHO, two for $4.99. 

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 Since I was working with ADORNit's Flamingo Fever fabric I took it along to match with the towels. These pineapples were so fun with the fabric group and the color was perfect. You could also, of course, use solid towels as well. I feel like I just got lucky with these.

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I'm obsessed with this black and white stripe and how it complements my Mackenzie Childs tea pot. It makes every fabric I put with it just pop. You all neeed at least a yard of that stripe!

 

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 These next towels were just so perfect that I half way expected them to say "ADORNit" on the tag. They are by CASABA and there were two for $6.99. What I love about these towels is that they are terry cloth on the back so they are super absorbent. Again, the colors and motif were just made for my ADORNit fabrics.

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The cute hibiscus plate below is from Hobby Lobby and turquoise plate is vintage. 

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Here's how I embellished my towels:

You will need:

Towel

Ruffle fabric 3" by WOF

Ruffle band (optional) 1 1/4" by WOF

Contrast band 2" by WOF

All fabrics for this tutorial were provided by ADORNit and can be found here.

Hint: A word about cutting - when working with fabric such as the flamingos, I think it's important to center the main design on the band. Nobody wants to see a big bird with its head lopped off so plan ahead when you cut. Also on the checked ruffle accent fabric you will notice that I cut on the lines of the print so the checks are straight. Although these fabrics are printed straight, you will still want to carefully cut one layer at a time - it just looks better in the end.

The first thing you will want to do is prewash everything. The towels are 100% cotton and shrunk about an inch in both directions. You will want to get any shrinkage out of the way before you start to sew.

Trim the hem from the end you plan to embellish. This will make construction easier and will reduce bulk.

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Your best friend in this project will be a good spray starch. Having crisp edges and folds makes sewing easier and results in a much more professional end product.

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I cut my ruffle fabric 3" wide by WOF (width of fabric - about 44"). Note: Sizes of ruffle and contrast band will depend on how big your towel or napkin is. I am including measurements only as a guide for you. You can make them as wide as you'd like. When using towels with printed designs you will need to take the design into consideration. A band that is too wide might cover up the design. 

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For the contrasting trim on the ruffle I cut a strip 1 1/4" wide by WOF. This creates a nice finished hem as well as adding a bit more interest. I won't suggest going wider than 1 1/4" for the ruffle trim as a wider trim can cause the ruffle to lay funny.

Press the 1 1/4" strip in half along the length to mark the center, then fold and press each raw edge to the center fold.

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Fold and press in half to create a band. (This is kind of like making bias tape but this piece is cut on the straight, not the bias).

Next wrap the folded strip around the bottom of your ruffle piece and top stitch in place. I used my edge stitch foot #10 for this.

Hint: When working with directional fabrics it's important to pay attention to the direction the pattern is going. 

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You can also just hem the ruffle using the technique you are most comfortable with. Below I used foot #64 - the medium rolled hem foot. You could also press a double folded hem then topstitch.

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Once your ruffle is hemmed you will need to finish the two ends by folding, pressing and stitching.

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I failed to get a photo of this next step, but next you will gather the unfinished long edge of your ruffle fabric using the gathering method that you prefer. I used my gathering foot #16 and by lengthening my stitch and tightening my upper tension it ruffled to the perfect length. You could also sew two basting stitches and pull the threads to gather the strip to the desired length. You will want your ruffle to be the same length as the width of the towel. I wouldn't recommend using a ruffler for this as I think it would make the ruffle too full. You want a ruffle that is about two times fullness.  

Okay, this is important and what you may not be used to: Pin the WRONG SIDE OF THE RUFFLE to the WRONG SIDE OF THE TOWEL.

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Machine baste just slightly to the left of your gathering stitches attaching the ruffle to the towel.

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Now cut a contrasting band 2" by WOF and pin the band on top of the attached ruffle (right sides together). Hint: Pay attention to directional prints.  You should have three layers at this point - towel, wrong side up, ruffle, right side up and band right side down. I know this sounds confusing but the photo makes it clearer I hope. Flip the whole thing over and sew on top of the basting stitches that you see on the towel. Be sure and fold in the raw edges of the band at each end (see photo below).

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Basically you are sewing the ruffle and band to the wrong side of the towel and when you flip it over all your raw edges will eventually be hidden inside the band. (Well that was about as clear as mud)!

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Press your seam allowance toward to towel, tuck in raw top edge of the band and pin. Press. Top stitch.

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See how everything is finished?

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And if you match your bobbin thread to your towel it will look neat on the back.

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Please let me know if you have questions. One thing I know for sure is that I love styling my photos waay more than I like writing instructions.  Wink

Next time I'll show you how I added trim to the burp cloths using my ADORNit fabrics.

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Love you guys more than pretty dishes! Hearts

Until next time,

Encourage one another.

Signature

 

 


Flamingo Fever

 My ADORNit fabric arrived last week.

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OMGosh, how cute is this collection?

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My assignment as an ADORNit Ambassador is to use the fabric they send me in any way I choose, so I went with something I was comfortable with: my embellished burp cloth. Colored burp cloths found here.

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"HAPPY" and "mem0ries" words found here

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After I finished sewing and while I still had the ironing board out I thought I'd quickly iron the cloth napkins that were stacked in the ironing pile. Well, a funny thing happened while I was standing there, mindlessly ironing. I got to thinking, why not embellish napkins too? So I started pulling out dishes and fabric and placemats and auditioning combinations until I got a combo that I loved.

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Then, because I had a mini coloring book that matched my fabrics, I water colored a flamingo, cut it out and glued it to a toothpick. 

Voila -  instant cupcake topper!

Gah...how cute is that?  Kind'a makes you want to have a party doesn't it?

Life is a party

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I don't know if anyone is interested in a tutorial on these simple sewing projects. Just let me know if you do and I'd be happy to do a couple for you, but really, they are so simple that I'm sure you can do them without help. The most important thing is to start with cute fabric. The rest is easy.

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These projects are such great ways to incorporate fun fabrics into everyday life and everyone knows  that life is so much sweeter when embellished. Don't you agree?

Love you guys! Hearts

Encourage one another,

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Stepping Outside Of My Comfort Zone

Have you ever done something on a whim only to later wonder, what in the heck was I thinking?

I had so much fun sharing my ADORNit Valentine Banner Kit with you all

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that when I read on social media that ADORNit was looking for ambassadors to help promote their products I thought, how fun, I can do that and quickly filled out the short application.  

Basically they send you a box of product to play with and in exchange you share what you make with your friends on your social media platforms. Oh, and you get to pick if you want sewing or paper crafting. I checked both boxes since I kind of like to mix things up - you know, sew on paper, ruffle crepe paper, the usual. I'm weird like that.

Anyway, it sounded like fun and just the thing to maybe help motivate me to do more sewing and crafting again after closing the store and making the move to Kansas City.

Miraculously, ADORNit picked me. 

One funny thing to know is that they call their ambassadors, ADORNit-Girls. Did ADORNit not know how far from a "girl" I was? 

My first clue that I was probably in way over my head was when I checked out some of the other ambassadors YouTube channels. Beautifully articulate young women showing all the awesome products on camera. Let's be real, I just started consciously using Instagram in January of 2018 and haven't posted to my blog in weeks! My friends know I run from being on camera. (To be perfectly clear here, there will be NO YouTube for this It "Girl")!

Last week my paper crafting box from ADORNit arrived and I couldn't wait to rip it open and get started. (They tell me the fabric box will arrive in a few weeks).

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But once I unboxed everything I thought, oh oh. These coloring pages and books are absolutely adorable but I. don't. really. color...I think I'm out of my comfort zone here. Let me correct that and say, I know I'm waay out of my comfort zone! These talented ladies all seemed like such experienced scrapbookers and papercrafters. I just seem to make big messes while messing around. I really have no idea what the heck I'm doing.  

And here's the part in my story where I think fate, or faith or Internet Angels, or all three played a part. As I started to look through the pages of the coloring books 

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they started to speak to me

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and I started feeling more confident and excited! My creative sparkle had been dull long enough - it was time to dig into those packed away boxes of craft supplies hidden in the basement and challenge myself to do something I'd never done before...

I was going to try to watercolor.

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Then I remembered the box of watercolor pencils I bought in Switzerland in 1998. The pencils that I had never used and didn't know at the time why I was so drawn to. I remember so vividly buying that beautiful tin box filled with a rainbow of pencils - the one with forty colors and the Matterhorn on the lid. Some people buy expensive watches while in Switzerland, I buy art supplies.

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It was my one real splurge while on our trip and I was finally going to use it. I know now that I bought those watercolor pencils twenty years ago for my retirement, for when ADORNit called - I'd be ready. Similar, less expensive watercolor pencils and everything you need to get started found here and here

I've heard coloring is supposed to be relaxing, but right now I'm so amped up over all the crazy creative stuff going on here that I haven't been able to sleep or do much other than color and sew on paper. What started out being a relationship to help a wonderful family owned and run company sell their product has turned out to be just what I needed to get back into sewing and crafting.

God does work in mysterious ways.

So over the next few months I will be sharing with you here and on Instagram and Facebook (not YouTube!!) Untitled
some fun little projects that you can make from this happy company that I promise will brighten your day or the day of those to whom you gift your little creations. My hope is that I don't embarrass myself too much and that you all will come along on this creative journey with me. 

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Be Brave. Try something new. Get out of your comfort zone.

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Make your own Happiness and Share your Joy

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But above all, don't forget to Sparkle!

I love you guys! Hearts
 

Encourage one another,

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Paper products were provided by ADORNit . Ideas and honest opinions are my own.

 


Ten Minute Gift Idea

 

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This time of year I love giving little homemade gifts to friends and neighbors. This year I made peppermint sugar scrubs and packaged them in the empty Oui yogurt jars that I'd been saving over the summer and fall. The lids were ordered online here and were the only real expense I had for this project. I already had everything I needed - the coconut oil, sugar and essential oils. The candy canes were left over from my gingerbread houses and the greens were from my yard. I calculated that each little filled jar cost just under $1.75 to make. They were quick and easy and I was able to whip up a batch in just a few minutes and the best part was I already had everything I needed.

Here's how I did it.

Combine 2 cups of granulated white sugar to 1/2 cup of softened coconut oil. This time of year the coconut oil is pretty solid so I microwaved it for about 45 seconds to get it to a liquid state. To that I added about six drops of peppermint essential oils (you can substitute lavender, lemon or any essential oil that you like). How much oil you add is up to you, but peppermint is a strong fragrance and I find I get a nice effect with just a few drops. Definitely add more if you want. Once the three ingredients are thoroughly combined, spoon into clean, dry jars and cover with tight fitting lids. Embellish and label as desired. You can even tie on a tiny spoon if you want.

That's all there is to it. So easy and sugar scrubs are great to exfoliate dry winter skin, either in the shower or bath. The coconut oil leaves your skin super soft, smooth and hydrated and the peppermint is a refreshing, festive touch. I even exfoliate my face with it.   

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I popped some broken candy cane pieces in the top of the jars just for fun.

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If you want to make them extra Christmassy,  you can color half of the sugar mixture with two drops or so of red food coloring then alternately layer the mixtures in the jars for a candy cane effect.

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Pinterest has lots of ideas for making sugar scrubs using lots of different fragrance combinations.

I love quick, inexpensive projects like this. Don't you? I hope you'll try it - your friends will love you for it.

Encourage one another,

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