"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Monday, November 17, 2014

Using The Print On Fabric As Your Embroidery Pattern

       I happened across a pic of this being done while doing some searching for ideas for throw pillows for my living room that is being updated. I loved the look. Plus its so simple. Just use a few of your favorite embroidery stitches to highlight a few areas of the pattern already printed on the fabric. Do a little or do a lot. you are designing your OWN fabric. I finished my throw pillow today. It was the first time I worked with a fringe and I can definitely use some practice. The fringe has quite a few mistakes but nothing I cant live with,lol. Anyway, here is a pic of the fabric I was working with:

Above is the final results. Just a touch of embroidery. It brightened the colors of the fabric.


Friday, November 07, 2014

Pinwheels and Posies Tea/Coffee dyed Doily

When I was shopping for furniture in Amish Country this Fall, I found a very pretty doily that was either dyed with coffee or tea. I never thought I would like them dyed like that but I thought it was lovely. So I went to work creating another one for me. I have spent about a month on this trying to work out a pattern the perfect size and a fairly simple edging. After re-doing it several times, it finally came together. I love the uneven nature of the dye process. I at first tried coffee but it seemed more brown. Tea was lighter and more red. So I mixed coffee AND tea. Here is the final product.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Clean Your Iron... This Really Works!

     I recently bought a new iron. This will be my second. My first was a wedding gift over 36 yrs ago!! I can here it now......."She must never iron"......"I would hate to see her clothes"...yada yada. Well I did iron......just not a lot,lol.
   Anyway my poor ol iron was looking cruddy. Nothing I tried cleaned it. Then I read to try baking soda and vinegar and iron with a hot iron. I did........Didnt work, and for some odd reason my iron finally bit the dust. Gave me reason to buy a new one.
    I did... Then after a few uses, I accidentally ironed some iron on adhesive. Yep....Im sure you guys have done it too. Anyway I was upset. I tried the vinegar and baking soda again......crazy I know....
   Didnt work. So there it sat with a dull sticky residue on my nice stainless steel.Then today I read someone used a dryer sheet. Weeell I didnt figure it would work so didnt take a before pic. It wasnt blackened, just gummy looking with a little drag when I ironed. So I got a new dryer sheet and a hot iron and started ironing. I couldnt believe it.....IT WORKED!!
Love that shine!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Empty Nest and New Sewing Room

       Well my youngest are soon to be 25, and other than keeping a couple spare bedrooms for when grandchildren visit, I now have a room that I claimed as mine. I had grown out of my old sewing room/closet. This room is so much larger. It is about 10x11 feet. I have everything moved in. I still want to add more shelves  in the closet, and maybe a small peg board or some hooks on the wall above the cutting table.
 This is the  first real pincushion I have ever made for myself. I have another one that is embroidered that I havent finished to my liking yet.
 The bottom is the little 4" clay pot saucers. They can be found in walmart for less than a $1
I thought this little quote about small things was perfect for my little mini dresdan plate.

Dresdan plates are so fun to make. I made a large 20" one and put on a baby quilt once.
I would have loved to put together one of those big cutting table made from book shelves underneath, but I think it would have been way too big for this room.Plus hubby has been busy and not in the building mood,lol. So I opted for this quickie one. It is a 3 foot metal rack from Home Depot, and I added the castor wheels to the bottom. I believe the shelf was under $50. We found the counter top from Lowes. It had been ordered with the rounded edges and then wasnt taken. We got it for around $65. It is  4 ft long. With the wheels I can move it out from the wall, or any where else I want it.
I also had to make me a new sewing machine cover. I held a piece of paper up to the end of the machine and drew around it. Dont forget to add seam allowances . 

I am still not real settled on the colors, so it may change later. The base is drop cloth from home depot with quilted on stiff interfacing for body.
I am trying to get my fabric scraps organized. For right now, I am storing the little $1 bins under my counter. That may change when I get more shelves inside the closet. I am organizing them by color. That works well for me.
I moved my 2 old bookshelves in here on one wall. I like the little mini bolts of fabric.  My soon to be 25 yr old son built me my thread rack about 5 yrs ago.
And here is my new room. So much bigger than the little 6x8 I had. The counters were made by my husband many yrs ago by building a wood shelf and glueing on the counter top stuff. Man, has that stuff gotten expensive now. We just moved the shelves to my new room.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Organizing Your Lace

   Sometime back, I promised some posts on getting my sewing room moved to a now empty room. Kids moving on, don't ya  know. My youngest are almost 25. Well I didn't get started on it as planned and didnt get the larger room I wanted since my summer visiting granddaughter claimed the large room as hers,lol. And we all know how kids get spoiled at grandma's house,lol. So the room I took over is about a 9'x11'.  Surpr
isingly it has worked out fine. A huge improvement over my 7x7 space I had. Anyway, I will post more on the moving in and how I am finally getting my stuff organized on my next post.
    Today, however, I am posting about one of my recent crafting sessions in this quest to get organized. I have been using the plastic shoe boxes that is sold at Walmart for under a dollar to label and organize different supplies. These have been working out great.
    I have been working n making cards or bobbins to wrap my lace and other trims around to store in my plastic shoe box instead of the jumbled mess they are in right now. I have seen several people posting how they cover their cardboard cut-outs with decorative paper. However, I am usually not into paper crafts, but did have about 10 large sample books of wallpaper that I got from Lowes many yrs ago that were discontinued. Got em free..
    The wallpaper is unglued and a little heavier than decorative paper so I didnt have to worry about the glue buckling the paper.Everything slipped smoothly into place. I did ,however, have to do a test print of my paper template about 10 times to get a perfect fit in my shoe box. I am going to offer my template for printing below. So here comes the tutorial so you can make your own.
    Here is how one of the cards turned out. One quick note tho, after making 6, I decided I wanted them taller and a little wider for a better fit in the shoe box. I love the shabby chic/vintage look.

This is one of wallpaper sample book I am using for these. Plus a picture of my paper template and the cardboard piece I cut out.
I layed the cardboard over my selected piece of wallpaper. Cut it out leaving flaps at the bottom and the sides. The top is slightly rounded so I didnt cover that edge. You can certainly cut this straight across and cover it too if you like but I thought the little peek of cardboard showing at the edge.I snipped in at flap sides as indicated in pic, leaving paper intact.

Turn your board over and repeat covering the other side without flaps. Glue paper on cardboard bobbin and cut it out to fit perfectly. Then using ink or like me, use brown craft paint. Told you I wasnt into paper crafts,lol. Using a rag rub on some ink/paint along the edges to antique it. Then allow to dry thoroughly before using.

And here is a pic of the 6 I made. Now to go make a bunch more in the RIGHT size,lol. 
HERE is the link for the template.
PS: I was able to cover these boards completely, even on the curved top edge, simply by cutting out small elongated triangles along the curved edge. Then when you fold this edge over in lays nice and flat. However , I think I still like the look of the corrugated edge of the cardboard showing.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Pretty Yellow Hollyhock

     I have to save some seeds from this one. It is such a pretty pale yellow. Hollyhocks look so wonderful in a cottage style garden. dont you think?

Crochet Honey Bee Tutorial

     I am starting on making an embroidered pin cushion with emery filled part for needle sharpening. I want it to be a nature theme. One of the parts I am attaching is a small honey bee. I am including the pattern below if anyone wants to give it a try.
      1 mm / USA 10 crochet hook
       size 10 crochet thread in black, white, and yellow

I will embroider legs when I attach to the pin cushion.
1. With black thread, ch 4, 8 half double crochet (hdc) in 3rd chain (CH) from hook. 
2. Slip stitch to join (ss) in top of turning chain (ch) . ch2
3, hdc in next 2 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. hdc in next 2 hdc, 2 hdc in next stitch (st). 2 hdc in last st. Join with ss to turning ch.

4. Chain colors to yellow. ch2. hdc in next 10 hdc and ss to join in urning ch.

5. Attach black again. ch 2. hdc around and join.

6. ch 1 , *sc in next st, skip 1, sc in next.* Repeat from* to * around. SS to join.
7. ch 2, 2 hdc in each st around. ss to join. 
8. ch 2 , 2 hdc in each around, ss to join.
9. ch 2, hdc in each around. ss to join
10. ss in second st , skip 2, ss again  in next st. skip 2 and ss again in next. pull end of yarn thru loop snugly.

wings: make 2 in white)
1. ch 3, dc in 3rd ch from hook. 
2. ch 3 and turn work. dc in middle dc below, ch 2 , dc again in same space. ch 2 and ss in turning ch. pull end thru loop. 
make two and tie together. Then attach to top of bee body. Pull some black thread thru head to make antennas. 

I hope you find these instructions helpful. i would love to see how yours turns out.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Another pillow for my front Porch

My new pillow. I love it. The more I work with this drop cloth, the more I want to buy.
I cut two  18" pieces of drop cloth. Did my embroidery, then sewed the piping onto one side. Then I laid the other side on right sides together, and with the side I could see the piping stitches placed up. Then when I stitched the back on I made sure to stitch just inside what I already stitched. Turned right sides out. Pushed out the corners, stuffed, and sewed it shut.

Fast and Easy Seat Cushion

      Ok, here it goes ....a fast and easy to sew seat cushion for the porch. There are lots of ways to do this. You could add piping etc, but it would be helpful to have some sewing experience for that. I think a beginner could sew this.
      First measure the size of your old cushion from seam to seam.. Does it have sides? or is it like a stuffed pillow? If it has side pieces then you will also need to add the 3.5" to Length and width. If you dont have an old one to cover then buy your stuffing and stuff it. If your going to make your own and stuff it, then measure length and width needed to fit seat. Add 3.5" to compensate for drop caused by boxing the corners and seam allowances..
      Cut two pieces. Now you could just use the exact measurements, 1" seam allowance and just sew it up without boxing corners, leaving about 8" to stuff it, turn right side out, and sew the opening closed. I like the look of the boxed corners.So here are the instructions:
1. Place right sides together and pin.
2. starting on long side of back of cushion about a foot from the corner, sewing it around. If your stuffing,  
    leave about 8" opening. If your stuffing your old cushion inside then leave about 15" opening.
3. Now to box the corners:

Flatten corners so that side seams lay on top of each other. The beige fabric is my underside, drop cloth fabric. the blue is the top. Pin.
Now measure down from corner 2.5" on each side and mark.

Now do the same thing to other side.
Now lay your ruler across from mark to mark and draw a line.
Sew across this line. Trim off excess corner leaving 1/2" seam allowance.
Turn right side out and poke out corners.Once you get your old cushion in or get it stuffed, sew the opening shut.
This is a great beginner project. especially if you used all drop cloth since it is so cheap.

Baby Praying Mantis

   Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting on my porch swing enjoy my porch. I happened to glance towards the railing while watching for hummingbirds, and seen this teeny tiny creature. It was the tiniest baby praying mantis I had ever seen. In fact, the only kind I have ever seen were adults. This one was almost invisible without a magnifying glass. It was about 1/2" to 3/4" long. Its body about as thick as a sewing needle and its head smaller than the head of a pin.  I ran to get my camera, and almost couldnt even get a good focus on it. When i zoomed it, I couldnt see it, when I zoomed out it was gone. I tried to place my finger behind it for size comparison. The little bugger kept roaming around my porch post. Finally, I got him in sight and quickly snapped. Unbelievable how tiny he is.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Found Love of Drop Cloth

     Recently I decided i was going to give my front much a much needed make-over. It has always been kinda drab. No new furniture, no pillows to add pops of color except a couple of old cushions I had bought years ago. Even those have seen better days. Our porch faces South West and gets bright, HOT sun all day from noon on. Even tho it has a roof, it almost always is too hot to sit out there and enjoy it.
     So I decided to buckle down and get to work. I started researching ways I could block the sun from cooking us when we were on the porch. I seen picture after picture of curtains hung on a porch, and fell in love.Look HERE and HERE. They looked so lovely and romantic billowing in the wind. I also read many people were already enjoying the virtues of  Drop Cloth. Most of the pics I seen of outdoor curtains were done with drop cloths. I always thought drop cloth was probably just a cheap sheeting of some kind to use while painting a throw away. I have never seen them in person. After enjoying these lovely photo's, I went to Home Depot to buy my own. I bought the Everbilt brand that had two cloths 6x9 feet for around $10. I had every intention of making drapes to hand near my columns  on my porch. I washed and dried one package  and hung them up for inspection and trial run over a clothes line. Now I knew it wouldnt look that great draped over a string near my porch ceiling, but i was just testing it. My husband came out and looked at it, and immediately let out a "Hell No!" he absolutely did not want drapes on the front porch for all to see,lol. Well I decided to try to come up with a compromise since I still wanted to be able to use the porch . so back to the computer I went. After researching, I decided to make Roman shades for the porch. If mounted high up next the the ceiling on the inside, the foot high support beam would easily cover most of it while pulled up and then could easily be let down when needed. Plus the added benefit of being protected more from the sun and weather. Although I did read that someone said their curtains were going on 5 yrs old and still looked good. They just gave them a washing at the start of the season. Others also mentioned they sprayed theirs with a water protectant. Someone else even made a beautiful white slipcover for their couch from drop cloth by bleaching them. Look HERE. Drop cloth has a beautiful beige linen look, before bleaching. A nice weight similar to outdoor fabric.
    Well I have my four packages of drop cloth with 2 to a pack, I still have to buy some small metal rings and some 1" flat metal bars to weight the bottom of the blinds, and I am ready to go.
     Outdoor pillows right now at Joanns are $12 something for about a 16" pillow at 50% off. Outdoor fabric runs about $10 a yard with their current 50% off sale. with one yard of fabric at $10, I can make SIX 18" throw pillows if I back them with the drop cloth and make them reversible. Check out this sneak peek of my first pillows:

Check back often and follow my Front Porch Make-Over as I add tutorials for making  Roman shades, seat cushions and pillows for my porch. All using drop cloth and combos of beautifully printed outdoor fabric for pops of color. However, you can also paint your drop cloth to add stripes, stencils (which I plan on doing too) , or even dye it. I love this sturdy versatile and CHEAP fabric.


Sunday, May 04, 2014

Constructing a Trellis For The Garden

         I watched THIS video by Reaganite71 on youtube. If you haven't seen his gardening video's, be sure and stop by. You will learn a lot, plus they are very entertaining. I seen this video last Fall I believe, and knew right away I was doing this. Especially after I tried to string up my pole beans and my string sagged so bad in the middle by mid season, I ended up with a $2.60 a 10 foot piece. The corner connections are a good bit higher. They cost me about $3.50 each, and you need two per trellis.  You also need a pipe cutter, or a hack saw like I used., and your nylon string. I used mason's string.
         Anyway, it didnt take too long. My peas are about 6" tall now, so these short 5' ones are going in that bed. Take a look. Oh..... and excuse the mess. I am working on these trellis's, and my husband is working on replacing gutter and underhang on the garage.