Sawtooth Star Pin Cushion Video Tutorial

Sawtooth Star Pin Cushion Video Tutorial

Gosh I love pin cushions.  I have MANY.  But you need lots of pin cushions when you are getting really creative.  Otherwise those pins end up in piles EVERYWHERE! I also love making something cute and easy with a traditional quilt block!  A pin cushion is a perfect project to make- it’s all the fun of creating a quilt block without the huge time commitment 🙂 Here is the cute block before it was transformed into the pin cushion.  Adorable, right?  Above is the pin cushion version which I created by boxing the corners and adding a backing.  Very fun and easy, friends! Do you want to make one too?  Click the play button on the video below.  Check the description section of the video for all the measurements and materials needed.  Enjoy!...

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Bean Bag Chair in the New Frolic Fabric Collection!

Bean Bag Chair in the New Frolic Fabric Collection!

I am so happy and thrilled to be a stop today on the Frolic Fabric Collection Tour!  I love all fabrics by Tamara Kate and this one is no exception.  I had a hard time choosing just one fabric to work with so I chose a few that matched my favorite one- the flower hedgehog of course:) . Those hedgehogs are too cute for words.I had lots of different thoughts about what I wanted to make and then, last week, I was asked for the millionth time “MOM!  when are you going to make that bean bag chair you promised?!”  That is how 13 year olds talk to their moms by the way.  I knew I had to finally take the leap and make that chair!  And, it would be the perfect way to show the Frolic Collection 🙂 This chair was made from the tutorial by Live Colorful but instead of just using 2 meters of 54” wide fabric, I basically created a simple quilt top with 18” squares and half triangles.  I had four 1/2 yard cuts of Frolic and added two 1/2 cuts of solid fabrics.  Once I had it all pieced together, I backed it with a white muslin and “quilted” the outlines to all the pieces.  The backing was to give the bean bag more stability for wear and tear. One cool thing about this style is that it can be flipped over and takes on a new shape.  The girls call this napping shape and the first, pointy top shape, is reading shape!  I like the fabrics together a little more on the napping side but both look pretty 🙂It took me 2 1/2 bags of bean bag filler from Joann’s to fill this up.  I bought them at 50% off online and picked up in the store.  This filler was something that was always holding me back from making a bean bag chair.  I thought it would be super pricey and hard to work with.  It was a bit challenging to get the filler into the bag but the expense wasn’t too bad with the sale.  Each bag was $12.50, so I spent about $30 total on “beans” and I have about 1/2 bag left over.  Not bad for such a cute chair! Thank you so much to Tamara for including me on her Frolic Collection Tour!  Fabrics will be in stores and online June 15th!  YAY!  They are so bright and beautiful in person and you must try to see them in person 🙂...

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Classic Bowling Bag in Coral with Tassels

Classic Bowling Bag in Coral with Tassels

Although I set out to make this Classic Bowling Bag sewing Pattern in black, I just couldn’t make myself do it.  I like a soft black leather bag from the department store, but if I am going to sew it, it has to be BRIGHT.  I am so glad I chose this gorgeous coral!  I love how it turned out with the buttery yellow thread. I made the tassels from some up cycled suede and used a saved pice of jewelry from a broken necklace for the brooch.  Have you tried making your tassels yet?  I used this ebook but there are also lots of free tutorials on pinterest. Only one more day to get this fabulous new Classic Bowling Bag sewing pattern for only $5!  After March 16th 2017, it will go up to regular price.  I love how versatile and fun this bag is to make!  Now I just have to decide which one I am going to start carrying around! Don’t forget the giveaway happening too!  For just purchasing the pattern before 3/17/2017, you are entered to WIN!...

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Back To School Binder Cover for Elsie

Back To School Binder Cover for Elsie

My 12 year old still likes a new binder cover made by me.  YAY!  She is finally over the lunch bag but still gets excited for this 🙂  I used the Notebook Slipcover Sewing Pattern of course.  On sale right now for only $5! We used the same binder from last year and picked out these very pretty new fabrics from Blend Fabrics.  The fabric line is called Season of Love.  Blend fabrics are always a pleasure to work with- their quality is so nice! Very pretty for 7th grade, right?  Right in the middle of Middle School.  YIKES.  I am thinking about writing more about tween style and sewing for them.  It is such an interesting time for them!  And, it is an interesting time to be a parent too… So be prepared!    ...

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Big Chill Style Board

Big Chill Style Board

Have you ever made mood board or inspiration board?  Its a great way to get your creative juices flowing and really let your inner style come out. When the community Coordinator from Big Chill asked me to make a mood board with their stoves as the start off point, I knew it would be a fun challenge! The stove is the 36” stove in turquoise.  Very fun, right?  I made the board very easily using the website canva and pulling photos off pinterest.  I am not going to go through all the photos since they are not specific things i am going to buy or make, just things that popped out as coordinating and contrasting beautifully with the stove.  Let me know if you have specific questionsabout the products. I hope you get the chance to make a mood board sometime soon!  It will help you focus and enjoy your own creative...

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Vacation Tote with Flap and More pockets

Vacation Tote with Flap and More pockets

At the end of this month I am sewing a couple of bags for one of my favorite fabric designers, Kelle Boyd of AnnKelle.  YAY!  She sent me 1 yard of this 108” wide remix yellow daisies which was WAY more than needed to make the bag she requested.   I thought it would be perfect to sew up a cute and summery vacation tote! This version has a twists I wanted to share.  I made the bag just like in the pattern describes but added a flap and magnetic snap closure.  I cut 2 pieces of fabric that were 4” x 8” and fused interfacing to the backs of each.  Then I cut a matching 4” x 8” piece of cotton batting.  I then added one half of a magnetic snap to one fabric side. See the drawing below~Next, layer the pieces together in this order, cotton batting, 4” x 8” piece right side up, 4” x 8” right side down.  See drawing on the left.  Then, sew them together with a 2.5” opening on one 4” end.  Curve the corners at the other 4” end (the one where the magneic snap is attached.  See the drawing on the right. Turn the flap right side out through the opening, poke out the corners, and press flat.  Then top stitch around the entire piece 1/8” toward the edge.  See the dawing below on the left.  Then center the flap on the top edge of the bag- the opposite side of the bag that you want to be the front (both sides are identical in the pattern but maybe you like something better on one side of the bag that the other!).  Pin the flap 2.5” from the top edge and stitch on with a box that measures about 1.75” x 3.25”  you can draw this with water soluable ink or chalk if desired.  See the drawing on the right below. If you are adding the flap on AFTER making the bag (like I did), you will have the problem of inserting the other half of the magnetic snap to the front side exterior.  Simply use your seam ripper to gently take out about 3” of the top stitching and then open the seam between the lining and exterior up.  Measure down 2.75” from the tope edge, centered, and make a mark with chalk or water soluable pen.  Use this mark as your placement for the other half of the magnetic snap.  See the drawing below.   I used steam a seam to close the opening back up but you could also use a blind stitch or simply just use the top stitch to close the opening back up.  Be careul though in...

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Bus Stop Coat

Bus Stop Coat

You know those cute checkered pants I made for Miss M a few weeks ago?  I also made a 2nd pair in cute pale pink fabric with gold dots that I still have not shared.  Why? (you might be asking).  She absolutely refuses to wear them.  No amount of bribing will work.  But 2 year olds are fickle- I know eventually she will wear them and patience is needed.  I am a little frustrated though because I LOVE those pants!  And, I honestly feel a little betrayed about wasting some of my favorite fancy fabric on something she won’t wear.   Hmmm. So this time when I decided to sew something else for her,  I went straight for fabric I knew she would like.  In fact, we picked it out together at the fabric store to make her a coat for the bus stop. Right now, the coat is for the walks to the end of the driveway to wait with the big kids to get on the bus, but soon the cool mornings will last the whole day (insert sounds of sighing here) and this coat will become one of our staples.  The fabric is fleece from JoAnn fabrics and the binding and pockets are also from JoAnns. The pattern is the Nituna Jacket from Figgys.  It is a great pattern- an excellent fit and also fun to make.  I have made the fully lined version also (never shared here but I will soon!) and I really enjoyed making it. I have to admit, I might finally be a fleece convert.  I really haven’t sewed much with it and making this coat was so fun- the good pattern probably helped!  But the fabric quality is nice and soft.  It’s kind of like she is being wrapped in a cozy blanket everytime she puts it on! She loves the cozy hood the most!  It is big and roomy.  In fact, I had to get the hood off photo quick before she put it right back up! Our mornings have been so foggy lately.  I love the affect the fog has on my photos.  It really gives a feel for the cool early mornings we are having this september.  OK- maybe fall won’t be so bad after all.  I just could use another month or 2 of summer… But this one is ready for cooler weather for sure!          ...

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Divided Zipper Pouches in Priory Square Fabric

Divided Zipper Pouches in Priory Square Fabric

I like to mess around with my sewing patterns and see if I can find other uses for them.  You all know this about me, right?  I think it fun to expand on one concept in sewing and find new uses for it.  Fun for a sewing nerd like me! I loved working with Chio from Llama Fabrics!  She sent me a beautiful set of FQs from her shop and I was excited to make something fun.  These beautiful Art Gallery fabrics are from the Priory Square line by Katy Jones.   I couldn’t just make a simple zip pouch.  I made it with a divider like the Waste Free Lunch Bag.  The Zipped version of that bag has been a really big hit on Pinterest lately and it had me thinking about a smaller version. The size is rather squareish-  I started with pieces that were 9” x 9”.  This version has some cute quilting on the lower 2/3rds of the piece.  I love the texture and softness it adds! This one above is the 2nd version I made, but the first version is pretty too!   I just used 1 fabric for the exterior and no quilting… These were fun to make and will be useful for sure.  I’m not sure it the divider is really necessary as part of the pouch.  Maybe for the super organized?  Which, unfortunately, I am NOT.  For travel it would be nice to be able to use it to stand things up- like nail polish, small lotion bottles etc.  I’ll use it for a few months and let you know!  ...

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Flamingo 200% -a pretty bird

Flamingo 200% -a pretty bird

My oldest turned 11 last month.  Such a big girl going to middle school!  I made this flamingo for her room.  Last year I made her a more grown up quilt for her bed and she told me recently that none of the old pillows I made her match anymore.  In other words- “MOM, can you make me something new??” This is the Flamingo from my book, Pretty Birds, enlarged to 200%.   I find the easiest way to enlarge pattern pieces is to use PSE or a similar program.  Start with selecting a blank page that is 8.5” x 11”.  Copy and paste the pattern piece onto the blank page.  Since the pattern pieces are already formatted at 8.5” x 11”, it should fill the page. Then use the resize tool to enlarge the photo to 200%.  This should mean what ever was on the original pattern page, now will have to be spread out over 4 pages.  Just experiement a little and you will get it! The other option, if you live near a staples or kinkos or something similar and take the original 8.5” x 11” pages and have them enlarge it for you. Either way, the result is a fun and fabulous bed size flamingo. Erin of Hungie Gungie also made a really cute version of this flamingo here. Pretty Birds is now only $14.11 on amazon!  I really loved writing the book and have found myself heading back to make projects from it often.  It’s just fun to use scraps and make something quirky and original, right?   If you liked this flamingo project, please feel free to Pin, share, tweet or whatever!   Also, let me know if you have any questions or...

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Antalya Dress Testing for Willow & Co

Antalya Dress Testing for Willow & Co

When I saw on FB that Olga of Kid Approved was looking for testers for this dress, I jumped at the chance to try it out.  I really like the modern yet simple look of the style.  Willow & CO is an exciting pattern company and I love watching their progress.  Their new line looks fantastic! I was happy to be assigned the 11 year old size so I had an excuse to sew for my oldest.  She has gotten pretty particular but loves this dress ( I bought the Geranium dress in the older girl sizes and that one got a big thumbs down ). I originally used this fabric just as the muslin to see if it would work.  It is actually a light weight cotton table cloth that my neighbor gave to me.  The fabric is in great condition and the print was so fun.  I also used it to make this bag (a really great pattern by Abby!).I struggled a bit with getting the back button right and you can see that they are not perfect in these pictures.  But no worries!  Olga has since fixed up that section of the pattern and now it is perfectly clear.  I am temped to rip it out and sew it correctly, but I am sure that I will never get around to that project and Miss E doesn’t seem to mind one bit. The construction of this dress is so clever.  The front panel and the gathers at the hips are very pretty.  It makes adding the gathered back skirt so simple.  Also, I love the style of the sleeves- they are so modern and stylish.  It is also modest in a way that does not sacrifice design at all- perfect for my almost 11 year.  The clothes selection for her at the store can be really weird so I really appreciate a dress like this one.  She has already worn it with a tiny belt and cardigan out to dinner- all fashioned up herself! Thanks for the opportunity to test the dress Olga!  Be sure to sign up for the Willow & Co newsletter so you will know when their new pattern collection (including this dress!) comes out!....

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A Dozen Chicks

A Dozen Chicks

It’s no secret I have chicken envy.  I know that I can’t have chickens again this year- we have a new dog, travel plans, and honestly, I can’t stand dealing with chicken poop.  But I love the idea of a pretty little chicken coop and heirloom varities of chickens laying beautiful brown eggs.  Anne’s piano teacher has new chicks and is keeping them in her kitchen in a box for a few weeks.  The kids and I enjoyed looking at them and holding them.  They were all colors and shades and so noisy!   I made a chick pattern for my book, Pretty Birds and decided it would be fun to sew a bunch of chicks for spring decorations.   They are so fun and although not the real thing, they do satisfy a little of my chicken love 🙂 I had a big crew of newphews and nieces here for Easter dinner on Sunday.  Anne asked, Can I give the cousin chicks to take home?  I felt pretty torn- these kids expect handmade cute things from Aunt Virginia.  It is practically assumed in our family!  But this time I said NO.  These chicks are for me...

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Sweet KM makes a modern awesome Love Your Lunch Box

Sweet KM makes a modern awesome Love Your Lunch Box

Kristi is a personal friend of mine and she is truly as cool and creative in person as she is on her her blog Sweet KM.  She is also a contributor to KCW this time around!  She made this Love Your Lunch Box for her son and it is awesome!  Go check out her blog to learn how she dyed this fabric herself AND leave a blog comment for a chance to win a lunch bag pattern for...

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Simple HST Quilt in Solids

Simple HST Quilt in Solids

    Last month my oldest turned 10.  TEN!  Hard to believe ten years have passed since she was a little tiny sweet baby.  She is a great girl and into style and trends and all things bright and beautiful (like most 10 year olds!).  I made this Half Square Triangle quilt for her gift and it is a big hit.  It is similar to this picnic blanket I made last year. I used this technique to cut my HSTs and I used bella solds from Bloomerie fabrics.  The fabric was wonderful and the colors were so bright and bold.  It was exactly what I wanted.  The fabric colors I used were zen grey, amelia orange, peacock, peony, purple and buttercup.   I ordered a 1/2 a yard of each of the six fabrics and then cut the 1/2 yards into 18” squares that were cut down into the 8 HSTs.  I used the extra 6” strips to make squares to mix in and fill empty spots. Although I shopped and shopped online for the backing and binding, I ended up just going to Joann fabrics so that I could make sure that the colors matched.  I knew that I wanted something with a bold print for the backing and this cute peacock fabric worked great.  Also, the polkadot orange for the binding was fine.  I would have preferred a stripe but I just couldn’t find one I liked at Joann’s so this had to work! Below is my poor attempt at the classic outdoor photo of the quilt floating in the air~ The colors are wierd and the photo quality is poor since my fancy new camera still baffles me sometimes.  But at least you can see how all the squares fit together.  Although it was my intention to put it together randomly, I still paid attention to mixing colors and letting some triangles and squares block together.  I really liked how modern it felt in the end. Quilts are a challenge!  The biggest challenge for me is how time consuming they are and also the actaully quilting. It’s a pain to wrangle all that fabric on my machine.  But this half square triangle type is a simple and fun construction and a twin size is not too hard on your regular home machine.  Making a quilt always makes me admire quilters who create complicated tops and the even more complicated quilting...

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Feeling Springy! Bunnies… in the Gingercakesews shop!

Feeling Springy!  Bunnies… in the Gingercakesews shop!

It has been a long time since I actually sewed something to sell in my GingercakeSews shop!  But I am back on it and couldn't resist making bunnies from this super sweet vintage sheet fabric.   I had a great time sewing these up last week and remembered how fun it is to sew for your etsy shop.  I couldn't descide which color bow/ ears to make, so I chose to make yellow, orange AND pink.   My little miss likes their pom pom tails in particular… Head over to the Gingercakesews shop if you are interested in getting one OR head over to the pattern shop if you want to buy the pattern to make one yourself.  AND, if you are making them to sell in your etsy shop, be sure to email me so I can see your creations!  They always are a hit this time of year....

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Hello Hoops

Hello Hoops

For my Handmade Arcade back in December, I made these fun Hello Hoops.  I have been buying hoops from the thrift store for years.  They are irresistable, no?  I am on a thrift store diet currently, but I still have my stock pile of hoops just waiting for something cute.   I printed out "hello" in a nice font (i think it was little days) and then taped it to the window and put my fabric on top of it to trace it.   For some reason I always just thought of embroidery on white fabric so I liked the freedom on using bright solids instead.  I used my favroite chain stitch to outline the word except on this one below I tried out a rope stitch which was fun too.   I wrapped the outside hoop in 1'' strips of colorful fabric.  I ripped the strips and then just applied paste to the hoop before I wrapped them.  This way of finishing the hoops came from here.  I think the fabirc wrapping really finishes the look and brings the colors together. The "hi" signs were obviously done the same way!  These were a fun addition to my regular bags and pillows in my booth AND I could make them while watching movies and a marathon of The Good Wife with the hubs in the weeks before the show.  After working out the kinks on the first couple, I was able to make them really fast.  I sold them for $15 to $20.  What have you found to do with your stash of hoops?  I know you have some tucked away in your craft...

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Sneak Peek- Owl Bag Fans Mark Your Calendars!

Sneak Peek- Owl Bag Fans Mark Your Calendars!

This variation of my Lola Owl Bag will be in Simple Quilts and Sewing Magazine in September 2013.  How exciting to be in such a cute magazine!  The body is more curved and I did the belly, eyes and beak differently.  Instructions to make the bag with 4 fat quarters will be included in the magazine!  I made these with Summerhome by Red Rooster which I chose together with the editor of the magazine.  It was so fun to receive a stack of fat quarters in the mail and turn them into owl bags!  Today is the last day of the Lunch Bag Sale!  Head over to the shop to get $2 off per pattern is you have not already bought the lunch bag patterns!  Sale ends...

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Color Block Triangle Quilt

Color Block Triangle Quilt

It always feels great to complete a quilt.  Even the simple versions of quilts that I make!  I love how this one turned out.  Cal was ready to celebrate too… I made this by using a 1/2 yard of six solid fabrics.  For inspiration I visited this site which is great way to guide you for mixing solids.  I never would have thought to add the navy and it really makes the whole quilt pop.   Cut the 1/2 yards of fabric in 18" x 18" pieces (each color will make 2 squares for a total of 12 squares).   Match up the pieces with 6 different combinations.  Then use this method to make your HSTs.  Awesome tip!  The only change I made was to increase the size of the squares to 18" x 18".  I like the bigger pieces and it comes together really quickly.  Then just mess around until you have a fun pattern.   I quilted it by stiching in the ditch (along the seams) along the zig zag and then down the center of the triangles.  I like the fun pattern it made on the back!  The binding is simply more of the solids and then finished using this method by Jeni Baker.  You would have to purchase a little more than 1/2 yard of the solids to make the binding the same way.   I used Bella Solids by Moda.  They are lovely!  The backing is just pink flannel.  The finished size of the quilt is 47" x 62".  It's not big enough for a bed but more for the baby to play on the floor and for picnics or a cuddle on the...

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Orangey Inspiration

Orangey Inspiration

I am feeling the orange love today.  Outside our fall leaves are almost done since we have had some hard rains.  The rusty and bright oranges are left and making me happy.  It made me think of my previous fall projects and sewing with the color orange.  Here are some pics that may get you in the orange mood too… Just click on the picture to go to the link! After my last post you may be happy to know that I am doing some baby nesting too.  I did wash some onsies and sleepers.  I did recover the cushions on my baby glider (I forgot how comfy those are!).  I cleaned up the hand me down infant car seat my sis in law Jenny gave me, and now I am working on making some newborn gowns.  Hopefully I be back later this week to share those! Hope you enjoyed the...

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