Flower Hair Clip Fiesta Dos

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Here it is. . .part two in the series of easy-peasy flowers to make. Today’s flower is this little pink polka-dotted number in the picture above.

How to Make It:

For this flower, you can use just about any fabric. All you need is a rectangular length of whatever kind you choose. I used some “Quilter’s Candy” fabric from Connecting Threads, a website with tons of really economical quilting fabric and an amazing selection of thread. Catch them during sale time and you can really stock up!

You can experiment with the length and width, but I believe I used something like 2 1/2″ X 12″.

Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew down the side.

Turn the tube right side out and stitch the ends closed so the raw edges aren’t visible.

Sew a machine gathering stitch or a running stitch by hand down the edge with the seam and gather the fabric by pulling one side of the thread.

Begin to roll up the flower, stitching the bottom together at each new round. I suppose you could use hot glue for this step instead of sewing. I’m not sure how well it would hold up. . . now I’m curious. If you try it, tell me how it goes in the comment section.f (4)

The last step is to attach the flower to the clip. For this step, I know hot glue works! Ask my children who wear these clips out, and my dog, whose mouth I have wrestled them from numerous times.vfvf

 

Flower Hair Clips

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There are about as many ways to make or sew fabric flowers as there are funny pictures of cats posted on Facebook. If you run a search for tutorials, you can quickly become overwhelmed with all the beautiful options you want to try. I prefer the faster kinds. (Some flower video tutorials are like 40 minutes long-what could they possibly be doing? I think after a few minutes the videos cut to scenes of them showing off their stamp collections, or something. I know I’m not gonna spend 40 minutes making a darn flower! If you have that kind of time and patience, more power to you! If you don’t, I have  3 quick and easy methods for constructing fabric flowers. I’ll post the directions for each one throughout this week. AND…if you guys are lucky, I’ll post a bonus easy flower not shown here on Friday. Try not to fall off the edge of your seats in anticipation, (and I’ll try not to choke on my sarcasm.)

 

TODAY’S FLOWER METHOD: Polyester Circles and a Lighter!

Just so you know, my eyes got all big and maniacal looking as I typed that title and pictured something akin to Bart Simpson with a lighter and an aerosol can.

What you do:

Find some synthetic fabric. (If you’re not sure if the fabric is synthetic, do the lighter test. You want edges that melt and crinkle up a bit, not fabric that actually catches on fire. Fire bad.)

Cut out 4 or more circles of your fabric. It’s easiest if you make a paper pattern so they all come out the same size. I used a compass to get just the right size. You could also draw around something round.f

Melt the edges using a lighter. Do not burn your house down.

Once the edges are melted and cooled off, fold each circle into fourths and sew or hot glue the corner to a small circle of felt and a hair clip. f (1)

That’s it. You’re done. You could also use a safety pin going through the circle (or oval, in this flower’s case) of felt for attaching to shirts or accessories. I like that better than sewing flowers on for certain garments if you don’t want the flowers to go through the wash.

Stay tuned this week for more flower making madness! It’s guaranteed to be a good time, and you can rest assured I will bring you the quickest, easiest methods of fabric flower production know to man, because nobody has time to make a 40 minute flower!

Holiday Scarves

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Here’s my new reason for loving crochet: It makes excellent gifts! Here’s my suggestion for the holidays: Pick one design that you like, perfect it, and duplicate it in a bunch of colors so you can hand them out to everyone and the next year pick another item. This means you don’t lose track of who got mittens and who got scarves already, and you get the benefit of quick chain-style production and not having to switch gears between each gift. The real beauty of this manner of DIY gift giving is that it’s newbie-friendly. I JUST learned to crochet. I can only make a few things. This is the second type of scarf I made and I loved it, so I decided that’s what everyone would get. I don’t have to worry about learning how to make a ton of items right away. Next year I think I’ll work on those ear warmer head wraps. And maybe the year after that I’ll attempt mittens. Who knows? Maybe by year 4 or 5 I’ll learn how to send out Christmas cards instead of just buying them and addressing half and leaving them on my table until it’s too late to possibly send out. Maybe this blog just became fictional.

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These are the two scarves my daughters are giving to their teachers this year, and I must say I think it’s a good gift. They probably have more plaques and tree ornaments with rulers and apples than they can stand. I used the thick yarn and my blue plastic jumbo hook, which I love! If you want to take up crochet and have very little patience, I suggest starting with those two items. And a double crochet. It goes pretty quick that way.

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For the scarves, I chose the infinity style, obviously, because they are so popular and snuggly and cozy and everybody’s happier when their neck is warm. I used the double crochet and made them ribbed by only putting the crochets into the back part of each loop. (Can you tell I don’t really know all the terminology yet?) I will probably do a step by step picture tutorial at some point. If anyone is dying to see that soon, however, I would make that tutorial sooner if you told me to do it in what? Your handy dandy comment section, of course! (Can you also tell I’m really vying for your feedback?)IMG_1976

Here they are all wrapped up. And by wrapped up I mean jammed into a bag and topped with tissue paper because mama hates to wrap. Is it just me or does that cardinal look a bit nefarious?IMG_1974

The Moral of The Story?

Find something you want to learn how to do and dig in. Look at blog tutorials. Look at Youtube.  Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to learn everything at once. Work on making one killer item and be proud of it.  

Then, mass-produce it and stuff it down all of your friends’ and relatives’ metaphorical throats for the Holiday Season!

 

Comment Section:  Do you give DIY gifts? Which are you favorites? Which ones are well-received? Which ones bombed?

Taggie Tutorial

 

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How different it is to have babies today in a pinterest world than long, long ago when I had mine. Ok, so it wasn’t that long ago, but Pinterest wasn’t invented until 2011 so I missed the opportunity to find out what all those creatives moms were making for their babies. Now I see baby stuff on there occasionally because I look at a lot of sewing boards, but I was still pretty out of the loop on the whole “taggie” craze. Heck, I didn’t even know that a tiny baby blanket is called a lovie now! When my girls were babies, they loved blankets, but they didn’t make any small versions, so they mostly just cuddled up with the cutest burp cloths we had on hand. Don’t say it- I know, mother of the year!

So when a friend from church asked if I could make a taggie lovie and blanket for her son who has to make multiple trips to the children’s hospital, I gladly accepted. The poor little guy had lost his old one during one of those trips and needed a replacement. Luckily, I had seen them enough to know it was pretty simple construction, but I still looked at a couple tutorials to see what tips and tricks they offered.

Here are the best two tips I found:

1) Sew the ribbons on very securely by sewing each one two or three times. This is super important! You don’t want any of these ending up in baby’s mouth!

2) When sewing the layers together, sew with the minky side down. This helps avoid stretch.

Now, on with the tutorial:

Prerequisite: Wash your fabric! Don’t skip this step, most cottons will shrink. I used flannel on the front and minky dimple dot on the back. The flannel shrunk quite a bit.

1. Cut the fabric to the size of your choice. Lovies are often 12 X 12. I cut mine 11 X 15 so the finished size was 10 X 14. The blanket’s finished size was about 40 X 40.

2. Cut Ribbons 4-5 inches long. For the lovie I used 4 inch ribbons and for the bigger blanket I used 5 inch strips.

3. Fold the ribbons in pace and pin around the outside of the blanket. (I didn’t measure between tags, and I didn’t put the colors in any particular pattern. I thought that would look best with the different textures and sizes of the ribbons I had. However, you could always measure between them if you’re so inclined.)

           **Use two pins to pin each ribbon in place. This is so important, because it keeps the tags from pivoting as you sew. I tried to sew one side with one pin in each, and the tags came out so wonky it was ridiculous. Save yourself seam ripping time and pin twice.**

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Again, this is how not to do it. Most of my pictures are from my first time around when I only used one pin in each. I was probably too frustrated once I had to redo it that I forgot to take pictures. That’s so me. 🙂
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4. Stitch the tags onto the fabric. (Once again, using two pins per tag will make sewing a lot easier.) Each time you sew over a tag, backstitch all the way over it and sew back down it again. This creates 3 rows of stitching over each tag. It may seem time-consuming, but it’s worth it to ensure they don’t  become a choking hazard.
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See how securely fastened the ribbons are now?
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5. Attach the minky to the top layer. I saw some tutorials that don’t sew the tags onto the top layer first, but I think it’s really key that you do this so those tags are really on there tight! Pin all the way around the minky carefully. By carefully, I mean this stuff stretches like nobody’s business, so watch yourself! I pin on the outside corners first and then the middle and then fill in with pins from there. It’s kind of like pinning something you’re gathering. The two pieces of fabric are the same size, but because of the minky stretch, you may have to guide the fabric back to shape a little.Blanket 7

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5 1/2. Quick tip: Make an X with your pins in the spot you’ll be using to turn the fabric. This will keep you from sewing into it like I always seemed to do until I developed this ingenious method. (Can I call it ingenious if I developed it to counteract my sometimes overwhelming airheadiness? Yes, I believe so. It’s my blog.)Blanket 9

See, I remembered to stop sewing! It’s easy to get into it and just keep going, so the big X is like my “Danger, Danger!” sign. And if you don’t see the X coming up, the pins will just stab you, so either way it does the trick!Blanket 10

6. Clip the corners and turn the blankie right side out. Iron on the cotton side, being careful to avoid the ribbons, which could melt. Also, don’t use super high heat, which could affect the minky even through the other layer of fabric.Blanket 11

7. Topstitch. This closes up the hole you have from turning. I used the yellow thread that matched the minky and contrasted with the cute Superman fabric.Blanket 12

 

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To make a taggie in a bigger size, it’s the same process, just on a bigger scale. Even if you got away without using two pins for each tag on the small one, you’ll want to do so on the large on, because the fabric gets so bunched up and moved around when sewing.Blanket 16

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Well, that’s all folks! I hope this post inspires you to make your own taggie. It’s nothing to be intimidated by! If you can sew a straight line, you can make one. Most of the work is in the cutting and pinning. And picking minky fuzz off of your cutting table. And your carpet. And your couch. And your clothes. And your cat…Blankie folded triangle

A Time of Transition (Or, Like a Week Past When I Should Have Transitioned)

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Break out the fine China…and Charlie Brown, of course…Christmas is on it’s way!!!! 

I love Christmastime! (Is that an actual compound word? I didn’t think it was, but spell check didn’t yell at me, so I’m sticking with it!)  I’m a believer in Christ, so, of course it’s extra special for that reason. (Happy Birthday, Jesus!) But, admittedly, what really jazzes me up is the thought of 50’s Christmas music. I look forward all year to the time when I can sing “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” and not be stared at. Notice I didn’t say I look forward to being able to sing it. Nothing stops me from singing it… What? Summer’s supposed to mean I can’t be jolly? Um, NAY!

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And what is Thanksgiving really all about if not for breaking out your Christmas Pretties and listening to Run, Run, Rudolph? Sadly, that didn’t happen this year. We didn’t even get around to getting out the Christmas stuff the weekend after Thanksgiving. Tragic, I know. My house has been completely void of cheer for entirely too long, so I did the most I could do without getting the third degree from my fam for not waiting for them. I swapped out the table runner and place mats. (And that’s only because I can spin it like it’s a chore. If I take any flack, my retort’s gonna be “okay, well, you can set the table for the next few months to make up for it.” -Evil laugh-)

 

The Stages of Progressing Merriment at My House:

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These were the first of the Christmas Trappings at our house. And who can blame us? They’re so darn delicious!

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My fall table set up has had Santa’s advent calendar on it for a couple days. Hey, it was a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I can’t be expected to change out my table decor in one fell swoop. Well, actually, now that it’s in print it sounds fairly reasonable.

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A little closer up- for possibly no reason at all other than I went Pic Happy today.

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Did Santa look more in place with the fall stuff? Maybe he’s a closet October guy.

 

I made these mug rugs last year and the table runner the year before. 

 

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The Mug Rugs (Or The Melba Toast of Place Mats, If You Will)

Below are like 47 pictures of them because I measure pride in a project based on time to completion, so I’m super duper proud of these babies! They’re actually really easy, and probably pretty quick to make if you’re an experienced quilter, which I’m not. (And if you’re new to it, you wouldn’t believe how much fabric can stretch when you’re quilting straight lines on the bias, like I did with these. Geesh!)

I used a tutorial for the cutest Christmas mug rugs I could find and it was a bonus that it happened to be an easy design. I gravitate toward modern quilting designs- and loud colors…Have you seen the pictures with my walls in the background? My house has periwinkle, orange, green and yellow walls- and that’s just downstairs. The colors this blogger had used were what pulled me into the design. I got my fabric at ConnectingThreads.com. I love that site. I got the pattern for the table runner there, too.

You can find her tutorial here: http://www.pleasant-home.com/2010/11/scrappy-tree-mug-rugs.html

 

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The straight stitch quilting really compliments this design. And it’s easy, minus the stretching of the fabric around the Christmas tree.

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On the first one I made, I sewed little curly Q swirls in the two horizontal lines. I decided I liked the negative space better and left the other ones open. I made a set of 6, but it’s not super noticeable- not enough, at least, to try to take the stitching out.

 

The Table Runner:

 

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Pattern from Connecting Threads

Here are some close ups of the table runner. I tried to use different free motion stitches on this project. It was my first quilting project ever, so I bought an actual pattern kit with the fabric and directions to make things a little simpler.

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 This bow makes me happy. It’s certainly not perfect, but I love the medium of free-motioin.

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These strips of fabric are zig-zag stitched on. It’s actually a prettytreatment.

IMG_1587Star- kind of a hot mess, but in a good way, like my hair. (I hope.)

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Ah, my novice meander/stippling stitch. We all gotta start somewhere, right?

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Okay, so this was really fun to do! Doing the pebbling stitch is just delightful. I tried to make a strand of Christmas lights on the strips of bias tape here. It’s kind of a jumbled mess, but I’m actually happy with it. (I’m managing to keep the perfectionist in me quiet. I have to bribe her with shoes.)

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I love the colors in this collection. I didn’t want just red and green. Now these can match our mostly purple, pink, and lime green Christmas tree ornaments, which were mostly picked out by my husband, by the way. And that’s why I love him!IMG_1582

So it’s not perfect, but at the end of the day, it’s almost Christmas and who can be unhappy surrounded by colors like this?

 

The Moral of The Story?

You should always, always, always greet each holiday with it’s respective Charlie Brown special! This is critical.

And if you’re a procrasti-quilter like me, I recommend buying holiday fabric. Hey, it’s gonna come back around, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Pinterest Christmas

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   Pick one project. Stick to it until it’s finished. Pick another project. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? So why is it such a hard concept to master? While looking at Pinterest and adding pictures to my “Make for Christmas” board, I though to myself “Am I actually going to make all of these gifts?” I decided that I am. Or at least I’ll make several. Heck, a few would be better than any other year! I invited all my facebook friends over for a weekly DIY Christmas gift party. Two came. Hey, it’s a start, right?

I had a blast!!! Well, I may have talked more than I crafted, but it really inspired me to be around people doing their own projects. One of my friends was making a picture frame with her niece’s initials inside for her bedroom wall, and the other was working on a quilt made from her daughter’s old clothes. I went for a set of wrapped bangle bracelets.

The pin I found was originally from:    http://best-diy-ideas.blogspot.co.at/2014/01/how-to-make-summer-bracelet.html

 

The project required:

Bangle Bracelets

Embroidery Floss

E6000 Jewelry Glue

Charms

Jewelry making Rings

(All of which I found economically at Walmart!)

 

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The wrapping process is mesmerizing and addicting. (And a lot easier than I thought it would be. Just squeeze a bead of glue in the inside about 3/4 of an inch long and wrap until you come to the end of it.) This step did require that I put the embroidery thread on a cardboard spool. . . These would have been a hot mess without doing that!

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The Complete Set of 5photo 4photo 1.
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photo 4. photo 5 photo 5. photo (4) ..

Tied with a Bow for Presentationphoto (5)..

 

The project was easy and SO much fun!!! I absolutely LOVE wrapping things in string.  : ) One Christmas present down!

The moral of the story?

Finished is better than perfect! So don’t switch projects when they get tough or boring. And when in doubt, wrap stuff in sting!