Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jelly Bean Topiary's

Now I don't normally decorate for Holiday's other than Halloween and Christmas. However, my friend Heather shared a blog (My Garden of Eden) that had these adorable Jelly Bean Topiary's that I knew I had to make. I also had all the supplies on hand, except the jelly beans, which helped make the decision easier.

Before, I show you the topiary's though, I should warn you I learned a few things that they did not point out.

First, when working with hot glue, it is best not to do it in front of you child(ren) if you are going to let slip bad words when you burn your finger. Needless to say, Simon learned one or two words when I was working on them and I decided to put them away until after bedtime!

Second, you really do need lot's of jelly beans. I had to make 3 store runs. You, your children, spouse and animals will eat more than you think. Also, the bag's do not have an equal number of each color. I of course took out all the black, but there were more reds and green's than I needed and not a whole lot of pinks and purple. I also would have purchased more of the pastel/crackle jelly beans or even done them in all crackle/pastel jelly beans.

Third, I did not paint my balls pink, as two of them were already green and I made sure that on the white ball I put the beans closer together.

Finally, make sure to put your jelly beans close together. I got side-tracked watching NCIS while I was working on the large one and they ended up being spaced to far apart for my taste, however, not far enough a part to add beans in between.

Here are my finish topiary's:



I used pots  instead of buckets and white washed them like the Crafty Sisters did. However, I didn't have moss so I put tissue paper in the pot's. Any container you have on hand will work. I also curled some scrapbook paper to make grass for around the pots.

I hope everyone has fun crafting for spring or Easter.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rag Quilt Tutorial

I found my new favorite quick gift idea, rag quilts. Thanks to my friend Kristen for introducing me to these in December. So far I have made one for my mother-in-law for Christmas and 2 baby rag quilts for shower gifts. They are easy to make and only take a few hours.

I have had a few people ask how to make them, so I am including instructions so you can create your own beautiful rag quilts.

For a baby quilt, you will use six different fabrics in the following yardage:
  • 1 1/4 yard of focus fabric
  • 1/4 yard of 4 different coordinating fabrics
  • 1 1/2 yard of solid color fabric for the middle layer.
Do not pre-wash your fabric. You will wash it after the quilt is complete .

Here is the fabric I used. The cream fabric is the inner layer for my quilt.



First, you will cut 6" blocks from all fabric. You need 84 blocks from your focus fabric and coordinating fabric and 42 blocks for the middle layer (your solid 1 1/2 yards of fabric).

After you cut all your 6" blocks you will begin to stack your blocks in layers of 3.  For example, my stack would include a red square, cream square and another red square on top. Make sure you have the front of the fabric facing out. I use the same color for the both sides of the sandwich so when you lay out the quilt you only have to worry once about whether the same color's touch. 

After you have your blocks stacked, you will need to sew an X through all 3 layers. I do not draw a line I just eye-ball it. It does not have to be perfect.



Now that you have all your blocks X'd, here comes the fun part, laying out your quilt. You can use your bed, floor, design wall or table. When I layout my quilt, I look to make sure that the blocks surrounding each other are all different colors. For example, I don't want two greens next to each other. I also have someone else, usually Seth, look at it after it is laid out and make sure my color placement is okay. The other thing I do is leave it over night and then look at it the next day to make sure I like how it looks (If I plan ahead and have an extra day).




Now, it is time to sew them together in rows. When sewing them together you use a 1/2" seam allowance. You will want to make sure when you are sewing your rows together that all your seam allowances are on one side. This may be a no brainer, but I have ripped out numerous seams!

Once you have your rows completed you will then sew your rows together. You want to try and make your squares line up and match at the points as much as possible. This will create a straight quilt when you are done. If they are a little off it is not a big deal, but, a little here and a little there will produce a crooked quilt. You will have 9 layers of fabric when your corners meat so I find the easiest way to get through those layers is to make sure you sandwich your seams so that one seam allowance goes right and one seam allowance goes left.


After you finish sewing all your rows together sew along the outside of the quilt on all 4 sides with 1/2" seam allowance. At this point, your quilt should look like this:


Now the tedious part begins to make this a "rag quilt", snipping the seam allowances. I snip approximately every 1/4" just up to the seam line, but not cutting the seam line.



I usually do this in a night or two in front of the TV. The closer your cuts together the more frayed the look. You can do them at any interval that suits your style.

You are almost done! The final step is to wash it. Wash and dry on warm/cold in the washer and medium heat in the dryer. However, you will want to clean your lint trap numerous times while drying because it will fill up. If you are doing anything larger than a baby quilt, I would suggest taking it to a laundry mat and using their machines.

This is what your finished quilt will look like.



This technique works equally well for a lap quilt, however, I use 8" blocks. For a nice size lap quilt for an adult, you need approximately 8 yards of total fabric for all three layers.

Rag quilts are very versatile because once you know the technique you can make them in any size and any color combination you desire. You can use more or less colors than I used, there is no "right" way. Just have fun and enjoy.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Card Classes are here!

I am starting card making classes in my home. I have scheduled a general card class, a kid birthday card class and Mother's Day and Father's Day card classes. The price includes adhesive so all you need to do is sing up and show up and you will go home with either a great gift or some great cards for yourself to send to friends and family.

I am not a consultant so there will be no pressure to purchase anything, I am just covering the cost of the products.



Here are a few more cards that we will also make:




Most of the cards can be tailored to whatever style you like, such as all Thank You, all Birthday, all Friendship etc.

Space is limited sign up today.


Baby Boom!

Lately there has been a baby boom with people I know. I have been productive though and gotten 3 baby quilts made in the past six weeks!

The first is a small rag quilt for a cute little February baby girl, that thanks to my friend Kristen, I have fallen in love with making them.


The next quilt I finished was another rag quilt for my soon to be nephew:



Finally, I used fabric from my stash to make a Brick Road quilt from an old Fons & Porter magazine I have for a beautiful new baby girl:



I will say I am baby quilted out now and so hope to get working on some other quilt projects!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Believe in Santa...

Bo Bunny is one of my favorite lines of paper. I follow their blog and try to participate in at least one challenge a week. One of last week's challenge was "Catchy Titles". I had the perfect Christmas paper from their "'Tis The Season" line waiting to be used. I thought it was perfect for this year's visit with Santa. I also used the new "Holly Jolly" Cricut Cartridge that I picked up on Black Friday for the stocking and present. The stocking is Fun Flocked with Close to My Heart Flock. The letters,brads and paper are all from the same Bo Bunny "'Tis The Season" line.


Bo Bunny Sketch Challenge

This past Friday Bo Bunny posted this sketch for their sketch challenge:



Using the Bo Bunny Grease Monkey Collection I created a Halloween layout.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Crafter's ADD Continues

I really was trying to hard to stay focused this year and finish projects before the last minute and not bounce from project to project. However, I think I need to learn to embrace my Crafter' ADD instead of fighting it. I spent Thursday during pre-school cleaning my craft room and organizing my current projects. I then avoided the room yesterday as it was just too much for me to take! This morning when I walked into my craft room I saw the numerous half finished craft projects calling my name.

I have a baby quilt that needs to be quilted and bound by next weekend. A rag quilt (tutorial to follow) that needs to be finished by next weekend, an apron I am working on and quilt blocks for a mystery quilt that needs to be finished by next Friday. I have paper and pictures for a LO to complete for a challenge this weekend and I also need to 2 baby shower cards and a birthday card for next weekend.

I have given up all hope on getting any St. Patrick's Day cards made and instead will just look towards Easter. However, I need some sunshine so I can get Easter pictures taken of Simon. Sun please come out and stay for a few days.

Also not picture is a beautiful quilt for my wall that I got back from my quilter a few weeks ago that needs the binding put on it so I can get my Christmas quilt off my wall and this one hung up. I also need to get the cards finished for my card workshop as I want to get them scheduled for the beginning of April.

Most of this will have to wait until bedtime or pre-school time as we are hitting the Y for rock climbing and swimming both today and tomorrow and we are trying to finish the basement walls before next Friday.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pay it Forward Gift

In January on Facebook, a Pay it Forward went around where you replied to someones post that you wanted a handmade item and in return you would make 5 handmade items for the first 5 people that responded to your post.

I had 5 friends respond, 3 of whom I have only met on-line. The first 2 I sent card packs too, but forgot to take pictures! This table runner goes to the third friend who lives in Canada. I still have 2 gifts to go, but promise to get them done soon!


This is from the Lucky Stars pattern by Atkinson designs. This is a fun, simple block that I have made in table runners and lap quilts.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Card Workshops On Your Schedule

In the era of the Internet, e-mail and social media sending a small touch of kindness in the way of a card is starting to disappear. I am trying to keep the tradition alive by helping people create beautiful cards. What better way to say Thank You to a neighbor, Happy Birthday to a co-worker or Get Well to a friend then by sending them a card made with love.
If you are looking for something new to do at a girl’s night/day out, Bible Study, Co-workers, an older girl’s birthday party, Camp Fire Club, Girl Scout Troop, Youth Group, or any other group of friends let me come help you create handmade greeting cards. I can also do mini-workshops during your lunch hour at your work place with you and your co-workers creating 4 or 5 cards at a discounted rate. This is for the Spokane area!
With a minimum of 5 friends, I will bring the supplies you need to make 8-10 fabulous greeting cards for one low price. All you have to provide is the space. I can custom tailor the cards to any theme you want, i.e. Easter, Spring, Kid’s Birthday, Manly, etc. or I will bring supplies to make a variety of cards and you will walk away with Birthday, Thank You, Hi and blank cards.  Most workshops last 2-2 ½ hours, but can be tailored to your needs.
All cards measure approximately 4 ¼”x 5 ½”, but if your group would like a different size we can discuss. All cards are made from quality card making/scrapbooking supplies.
Classes start at $15 per person and all supplies are provided except adhesive. For an additional charge per person, adhesive can be provided.

E-mail me at cardsbystephanie@gmail.com if you are interested or want more information.
I look forward to working with you to create a fun day or evening for you and your friends.
Here is a sample of 2 birthday cards:

Thank You notes that will warm the heart of the recipient:


Blank cards that you can tailor at the workshop to birthday, friendship, get well, sympathy or leave blank: