Friday, September 30, 2016

Zippered Pouch Tutorial


I am working on getting my fabric ironed out for some sachets & pouches.  I recently tried to buy zippers for a cosmetics bag pattern that looks promising, but I made a mistake and bought a zipper that is too small. I don't feel like returning it, so I found a great tutorial to use it to learn a new skill, creating a zippered pouch.  I love this tutorial- straight forward & clear.

On other projects, I have cut & pinned my sachets & completed my mother in laws Christmas present. I'll be sure to post how I made those as soon as I have time to shoot. Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sharing a drawstring bag tutorial


I wanted to share with you a tutorial that I have watched several times to learn a new skill for my handmade Christmas. I found this video easy to follow without a lot of irritating effects that distract from the simple sewing.

I attempted to make this bag when the internet was out and forgot the first 2 steps.  I am attempting to save this bag- I neatly stitched the top of the bag to make a pouch without a closure.  I'll likely add an elastic and a button.  Check back as I'll be posting pictures of the finished piece.

This was my first time using water soluble canvas and I truly enjoyed it- it was easy to use and disappeared easily with warm water.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sharing a ribbon tutorial


Tonight I started to make my first silk ribbon kit that I will offer on my Etsy store for sale. You can find a link to my store over in the links to the left.  One thing that I love about SRE (Silk ribbon embroidery) is that it is extremely forgiving.  If you make a mistake, you can tease out the ribbon with the eye of the needle or stitch right over the mistake. I have been sewing a Christmas present cross stitch for several weeks and it is finally done!  As I'm not adept with cross stitch, I made a few mistakes- I didn't keep the back of the needlework neat and I didn't start in the center of the project. Later as I was completing the cross stitch, I was accidentally pulling stitches through the aida. It took some work to correct and sometimes I had to set it aside and work some Silk ribbon embroidery to relax.   SRE looks really pretty in layers and I suggest that you practice layering your ribbon stitches over completed stitches.

The silk ribbon kit that I am working on now has three of my favorite flowers- delphinium, irises and straight stitch flowers.  I love how the height of the delphinium and irises complement one another.  I had purchased some yellow ribbon that I had not had a chance to use before the birth of my baby, so I am using that with medium blue and white silk ribbon.

Future projects that I am working on is setting up my PVC frame to stitch a larger embroidery for a pillow sampler. As this Youtube poster is showing a group of flowers, I'll be making a small group of flowers to sew into a pillow for a Christmas gift.  I am very excited!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Felt Ornaments

One thing that I am very interested in is felt ornaments.  They are a fun way to finish a cross stitched piece.  Last year I bought the book 'the big book of Christmas quickies' and I have been slowly working my way through it for inspiration and gift giving ideas.  If you are looking for some inspiration, I highly suggest looking it up.   It suggests many ornaments, table trees and mason jar ideas.  I had no idea that table trees existed, but its an interesting thought.  The mouse ornaments and the reindeer feed bag that I posted earlier are both from the Christmas quickies cross stitch book.

Now as I have never made a felt ornament where you cut a circular ornament to show off cross stitch, I looked up a few tutorials.  This is one that I like from Pinterest, a great place

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ornament tutorials

Whenever I am unsure of how to do something, I like to look up tutorials.  I have found some great resources at the local library for cross stitch & silk ribbon embroidery books, yet many are vague on finishing.  As I am not very experienced in sewing and have greater experience in silk ribbon embroidery with very easy finishing methods, I started researching different ways to finish my Christmas gifts.  The big book of Christmas quickies published by Leisure arts that I have used to sew a gift for my mother in law suggested tracing a provided pattern and using paper backed fusible web,  fuse the web to the wrong side of the piece.  If you are using the Christmas book of quickies, you can find all directions under fabric backed ornaments on page 144.

Circular Tutorial from Pinwheel Ponders

I like that this uses material that I'm familiar with- quilt batting, cardboard and easily found sewing materials.  This may be easier than learning how to use fusible web as I've never used fusible web before.  I'll be trying this out after I finish my mother in laws ornament- check back for some pictures and feedback.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why I'm doing a home made Christmas this year

Hello, thanks for coming by.  As I just got a major boost in my holiday gift shopping, I wanted to share why I'm doing a handmade Christmas this year.    I found out that my mother - in - law used to have a homemade Christmas in her youth and loves homemade ornaments.  My parents and I once had a homemade Christmas when I was younger and I really enjoyed learning a new skill and contributing.  As a child, we spend money given by our parents and we don't really feel like we've contributed.

Some reasons why I want to have a home made Christmas are :

1. Appreciation of my loved ones
 I love giving things that feed into my loved ones' hobbies or joys or fill a void that they have. Now my parents tend to buy whatever they need, so I search out 'wants'- like things to help them quilt or garden.

2. Finances
As a new stay at home mom, the transition from a 40 hour work week to homemaker has been quite the adjustment. One adjustment is that our Christmas budget has become a topic to talk about.  We follow Dave Ramsay's financial advice and want to have a solid 6 months of expenses saved in our account and money set aside every month for both of our retirements. While we're set to reach our goal just after Christmas if we keep up our saving, spending even $50 on each family member will set us back for months.

3. I hate materialism

I specifically don't like searching for a gift that my family will enjoy. I remember one time that I bought a wine aerator simply because I couldn't think of a good, useful gift.  It wasn't my best gift giving moment!

My feelings were affirmed when I read about another mother who seems just as thrifty as I am. I found this at her blog, which I encourage you to check out

Homemade doesn't mean 'cheap'.  I am buying high quality fabrics and materials to create gifts that will last, be useful and appreciated. I also enjoy learning new skills, like learning how to sew a zipper for a makeup pouch and learning how to continental stitch to make an eyeglass case.  These are some ideas that I'm floating for Christmas.  Christmas is nearing and my crafting time is narrowing!

Hand Sewing Project: Pouch


Anyone who knows me knows that I love and respect hand sewing.  All of my projects have been hand sewn because I love the relaxation of sewing and the pride that I feel when I hear someone say 'Wow, that's hand sewn?'  because I love seeing that I've stitched a nice