Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Grim Reaper

This is the costume my mom made me for Halloween, The Grim Reaper. And yes the handsome model in this picture is me, the famous Robbie.  But my mom made all of this except for the stick.  The cardboard thing she made.  But i had to cut down a tree for the actual stick.


Okay, mom's turn.  Robbie designs his costumes every year for Halloween.  And mom is in charge of making them. :)  And it's a lot of fun especially when he is so involved in the process.  The one thing I totally forgot was his hands. :(  I told him to wear gloves, but dad nixed that idea since he would be the one keeping up with them tonight. lol

Once he decided what he wanted to be, we went online looking at all sorts of pictures so I could see how easy it would be to make.  I found a cape pattern here.  But I only wanted the hood.  Then I found a tute here on how to make the actual robe.  I opted not to use fleece, because it is so hot here in South Georgia. 

I found a cotton sheeting material at Joann's and bought 2 yards.  That was plenty to make this.  I cut out the hood, then had him lay down on the remaining fabric to trace the shape of the robe.  I followed the instructions for the robe just for that part.  I cut a hole in the top of the fabric where his head would go.  Then I made a slit about 6 inches down at the center front.  I lined the hood before attaching it to the robe.  I wanted extra fullness there. I had to gather the back of the robe to get the hood to fit properly.  That gave me extra fullness in the back which was perfect. 

He did not want me to paint his face, so I found a mesh material at Joann's and cut a big square.  I stitched it to the top of the hood all the way around to the top of his ears.  Then I just tucked the bottom into the robe. I know the face cover won't last all night, and I wanted him to be able to pull it up and out of the way to be comfortable.  I used a velcro closure in the front to keep it all in place.  I cut 2 slits up both sides of the robe about 10 inches up so he'd have plenty of room to run around.

Robbie literally went into the woods and cut down a small tree for his scythe.  I cut the blade out of cardboard and used a metallic paint to finish it.  Then I just drilled a hole in top of the stick and secured the blade with a small screw. 

This was by far the easiest costume I've made.  If you have any questions about how I did it, feel free to email me.

Robbie and Angela a.k.a. Robbie's mom :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

DIY Scarf

I found the tutorial for this scarf on Pinterest.  Isn't Pinterest addicting??  Here is the link.  Look around while you are there.  She has other cute scarf tutes too!

My niece up north is getting to that age where it's hard to know what to give her.  I thought this would be the perfect gift since it can get super cold there.  I found this flannel here. My niece's favorite color is orange, but I couldn't find that color in any pattern I liked. :(

Here is Robbie being a jewel and modeling it for me.

He really didn't want to, but he was a little trooper.  It's a little big on him.

The pattern calls for the length to be 60", and I decided to go 75".  I've made scarves before from an Amy Butler pattern that were 90".  I was afraid the 60" would be too short.  I think too long is better than too short in a scarf.  And there are so many different ways to tie them.

I love the gathered piece at the bottom.  This is a closer look at it.  I hope my niece loves her new scarf.  And you can't beat a $10 price tag.  I actually was able to get 2 scarves out of this fabric and still have roughly 1/3 yard left over.  I think I stretched that $20 fairly well.  lol

I'm at 13/14 gifts now for Christmas and have spent right at $200.  Two of my gifts were a bit more expensive.  The tote and crochet clutch were $40 because I chose an expensive fabric.  And the dresden tie quilt I'm working on is right at $50 because I chose an expensive fabric and batting.  I still have to get it quilted.

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dresden Necktie Quilt Tutorial

One of my very best friends lost her father earlier this year.  He was a pastor at a local church, one that I attended for years.  He was a sweet man, and I will miss him much.  My friend is heart broken along with the rest of her family.  So for her mom for Christmas, she wanted to make a lap quilt with his neckties, so she could keep him close.  She asked if I could do it.

I did some research and realized there wasn't a lot of information on exactly how to do these.  But I thought I had enough that I felt comfortable tackling it.  Plus, I have some really sweet ladies at everything sewing that are fabulous sources of information.  I thought I would post a tutorial as I go, so I could help someone else who might want to make one of these quilts.

**UPDATE:  Many of you have asked about the dresden ruler.  I bought this ruler direct.  It is a Fast2Cut ruler by Anelie Belden.  It is also available on Amazon.  Hope this helps.**

The first order of business is to decide whether you want your quilt to be washable.  Some people do, some don't.  Obviously, washable is more practical.  But not all ties are created equal, and they can get ruined in the wash.  I didn't want the painstaking task of determining which of the ties would hold up.  Plus, these had such sentimental value, I didn't want to ruin even one.

My solution, thanks to my friend, Sandy, at Quarterdeck Quilts, was to make it removable.  Genius!!  And that is what this tutorial will be all about - making a removable dresden.

Most of the information out there says not to use interfacing, because it will shrink.  So if you make your quilt washable, wash the interfacing, or use this stuff.  It doesn't shrink.  I chose to use stabilizer.  I'm glad I did.  Ties are cut on the bias, and they will stretch and move when cutting and stitching.  It is VERY important that your cuts are near perfect. Now let's get into how I did mine.

I first decided I wanted a 20 blade dresden.  That's roughly 30" in diameter.  I went through all the ties and chose the ones I wanted by laying them all out on the floor.

Next, take your ties apart and remove the layer inside.  These are mine taken apart and pressed.  Be sure to press first on low heat to remove all the wrinkles and crease lines.

Cut your stabilizer about 2 inches longer and 1 inch wider than your dresden ruler.  Here is one tie and one piece of stabilizer already cut.  Notice I did not remove the lining from the tie before I cut it.  I wanted to keep that nice sharp point on the end, and it is so lightweight, I didn't think it would matter.

Now line up your stabilizer so the middle lines up with the point of the tie.  You want the stabilizer right to the end of the point, not past it.  Iron it in place.

Now flip it over and line up your dresden ruler so the edges line up with the tie close to the point as shown.

This is a closeup but not the same tie.

Now, very carefully cut your dresden.  Go slowly so you get as even a cut as possible. Here are two of mine cut.

Now stitch 5 blades together, so you have 4 quarters.  These are my 4 quarters already stitched.

 And this is one of the quarters from the back.  Press all the seams in one direction.  And press the front with low heat.

Stop right now and make sure you have pretty equal right angles.  I don't have that picture.  Square up the quarters now to avoid having them wonky when sewn together.  If you look at the photo above, you can see if I lined up one side with my cutting mat, the other side would be off just slightly.  I did not square mine up and I had a little buckling going on in the center when I was finished.  Luckily, it will be hidden by my inner circle.

Here are all 4 quarters stitched together.

And the back.

And that is it for now.  Your dresden is almost complete.  Stay tuned for my next series on how I backed this thing and made it removable from the quilt.

If you chose to make a washable quilt, you can simply place this where you want on the quilt and run a satin stitch, blanket stitch or some other decorative stitch around the outside edge.

I hope this helps someone else!!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tote Bag with matching Crochet Clutch.

I made this set for Rob's mom for Christmas.  She loves to crochet, and I thought a tote would be nice for her to carry her work.  She has some problems with her neck and shoulder, so it had to be lightweight and easy to work with.

The chevron piece across the front are pockets.  The middle pocket is large enough for the clutch to slide right in.  Or she can just toss it in the inside if she prefers.

The inside of the bag has plenty of room, but I made an extra pocket for holding patterns or anything else she might like.

The middle pocket on the inside has a small Velcro closure to keep it from flopping open.  Speaking of floppy, that inside pocket was way too floppy when I first stitched it in.  I decided to make 3 pockets instead, and that with the Velcro solved that problem nicely.

The tote pattern came from the book Home Stuff by Linda Lum DeBono in The Modern Crafter series. I've made a couple of things in that book. Very easy directions and simple projects. It is supposed to be quilted, which I've done before.  However, I wanted lightweight so fewer materials.  I decided to use a mid weight interfacing on the lining in lieu of batting and an extra piece of fabric for the backing.

Despite my pocket problem, it was quite easy to put together. I've made this one before just as the instructions were written, so I'll definitely make this again.

And this is the matching crochet clutch.

 I found the pattern for this little clutch on Moda.

And the inside.

The top of the inside is felt to hold needles and pins. The middle section holds crochet hooks. There is enough room for 16 I believe. I hope she doesn't have more than that!! :shock: And the bottom is the zippered compartment to hold smaller items. I don't know how I managed to get that bottom part crooked. I didn't notice until I already had the binding in place. I wasn't taking it apart. I pray she doesn't notice. I used a walking foot on this project to keep all the layers from shifting. It didn't help with that bottom piece though. :ranting:

The instructions on this one weren't as clear and the supplies list isn't at the beginning. You have to read through to find out what you need. There were also no instructions on how wide to make the pockets for the hooks, so luckily I had some to measure. I made my pockets 1/2" each. She also didn't tell us when to make those pockets, so I waited until last. Once I understood what I was doing, it went together quite well.

I was quite happy with the end result despite the zippered part being off. I'll know next time.

The fabric is from Riley Blake.

So one more Christmas gift finished.  Now I can start on a necktie quilt I'm making for a friend whose father passed away earlier this year.  I'm excited and nervous about that project.

Happy Monday!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Favorite Reusable Grocery Bags.

I found this fabric at JA's weeks ago and new I would make my favorite reusable grocery bags.  I always wait until I have coupons or find fabric on clearance, because these babies require quite a bit of fabric.  I usually am not great at choosing the right coordinating fabrics for these things, but I really like this combination.  And they are reversible so can be turned if you aren't partial to floral. 

This is a picture of one turned in reverse.  These are also different sizes.  I made the medium bag (left) and small bag (right).  You'll remember I made these last year for me.  That post is here.

This time, I made these for Rob's Grandmother and Aunt for Christmas.  His Aunt is 73 and his Grandmother is 96, so I thought these would be better for them when they went grocery shopping or to the farmers market, which they love to do.  They hold less, so they weight less.  They could actually hold more if they wanted, because they are so durable.  Plus they are much more comfortable to hold than those grocery store plastic ones, even though these are basically the same shape as those.

They were super easy to make, and the pattern can be found here. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.  And they go together relatively quickly.  I had these 6 done in a couple of hours.

I have made these a number of times.  I made these for Robbie's teacher last year for Christmas, and she loves them.  I saw her recently, and she stopped me to tell me that she always gets compliments on her bags!  Those are the best gifts aren't they?

And a few more pictures just so you can see the size difference.

I hope they like these!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Easy Peasy First Choice Boxers

I found this really cute fabric at Joann's and thought it would be perfect for boxers.  I like to look for fabric with little squares that I can cut out to make really simple to do appliques for matching shirts.

I do some long sleeve and some short sleeve depending on what I can get from Wal-Mart.

And I play around with different size squares in different places.  I know I should measure the placement for accuracy, but I just eyeball it.

I use wonder under to fuse the square in place then run a satin stitch around the whole thing.  Simple!!

And the best part is each of these outfits cost less than $7.  That's including the $3 for the shirts.  Can't beat that.  The boxer pattern is First Choice Boxers and is my go to pattern for these.

These are for my great-nephews for Christmas.  I did them last year too, and they loved them.

This is my nephew Kaiden wearing his from last year.

I think he missed an arm!  Isn't he so cute??!!

Happy Wednesday!