Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015!

2015 is going to be a GREAT year! I can just feel it! One thing that I know is going to make it a better year is I am changing jobs and locations with the company I work for with my job outside the home. So please forgive me ahead of time if I don't post a lot in January or February.

I have been looking around the internet lately and noticed some people doing quarterly To Do lists. I think this is a wonderful idea. (Warning this is a crazy long list, so settle in for a looonngg post!)

SO, here goes my 1st quarter To Do list in no particular order:

Finish my seasons wall hanging. Started this one in August at my club's retreat but didn't like the boarder I had picked out. I now have the boarder piece so no more excuses.

Finish my mesh tote bag. This was a monthly project at my sewing club meeting in October I think. Still needs our name embroidered on a piece and it should be ready to go together. Was suppose to finish this for my crazything's fall swimming lessons Crazything is no longer taking them this winter.

Make myself a new scarf before winter really hits! I desperately need a new one.

Spiral quilt and bind this quilt that I basted with my Manly Stripes quilt. (I promise to get pictures of that quilt when I borrow it back from it's owner in January.)

Start and Finish my Cinnamon Star quilt. I started cutting it out at my August retreat and it's not gone any further. (Anyone see a pattern here?!?) Also for this one, I need to find a tad more of Michael Miller's Fairy Frost in Haze so I can make this quilt bigger then the pattern calls for. I want it to be king size for my queen sized bed. I like my bed topping to be long on all sides.

(So far it's all about Finishing things I started in 2014!!)

Make my crazythings each a frozen pillow case. I think I'm going to add Minky fabric to the opening edge. I just have to find different colors so there are no fights about whose is whose.

Make my sister a Taggie Blanket for my newest niece or nephew due mid summer.
I also need one for a co-worker, so I hope to tag-team these projects.

Start and Finish two T-shirt throws for a friend. I warned her I was slow to finish items, so she was fore warned.

Start a stacked square quilt for my youngest crazything so when she moves to a big girl bed she will have a quilt top. This I still need to think about pairing it with some solids to complete the quilt.

Fix my crazything leotards that I accidently stuck in the dryer. Bad Momma!

Geez, that's quite a list. So if I just finish 8 of the 14 items I will be a happy camper. Ha! who am I kidding, if I even get 4 things finished I will be happy. (Note: Three things are required to be done by the end of February.)

What are your Sewing Resolutions or New To Do lists?

Update: I joined the 2015 Finish-Along! I'm so excited and so motivated!!! The most important part right??

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Monday, December 29, 2014

Teaching Little Ones to Sew-Lesson 1: The Sewing Machine

My oldest crazything has been begging, pleading with me since summer to get her, her own sewing machine. I finally broke down under the pressure and gifted my older sewing machine that I only use in the case of emergencies. I figured I could blog about this bonding experience to help other "teachers" of how I taught my crazything(s) to sew. This will be an ongoing series to happen when I have the patience of a Saint bestowed on me for the day. lol

Be fore warned, this is not a small undertaking for either of us. I believe that if we make it through to where she can sew something from start to finish on her own and not made an emergency trip to the hospital for a needle through the finger, I'll have made it into Sainthood. (I'm pretty sure the former part will happen. I'm just not sure whose finger it will be. Oh and that she will sew something from start to finish by this time next year.)

Okay, here it goes, Lesson 1: The Sewing Machine! (about 45 minutes)

Much to my crazything's dismay, we did not just, "Turn this Baby on and she what she can do." She really said this. More then once. First, I showed her how to thread the machine from the top and how the bobbin goes in. We also practiced threading the needle with the automatic threader and pulling the bobbin thread up from the bottom. (This is something I will have her practice every time until it's second nature.)

When she had had enough of that, we worked on pinning two pieces of fabric together. (Note to self, brand new pins are really, really sharp!) Also something to work on every time for the first couple of lessons.

Finally, I drew lines on a scrap piece of fabric for her to practice sewing straight lines on.

So, up until this point there had been no tears (except mine when a pin stuck me in the finger) and things were going well for the first 20 minutes. (Short lessons are best for us, for now.) This was the most frustrating part of the whole lesson. I knew she really, really wanted to sew something, anything! Keeping the line going straight, keeping the presser foot part way down AND keeping her fingers back was a bit much. After the second line, she really was having a hard time, even with much encouragement that she was doing fine. She is a perfectionist, like Momma.

Here are her sewn lines. I told her they were good for the first time. It all takes practice, practice and more practice.
 A few wobbles here and there.
A nice patch of staying on the lines.

We ended the lesson for the day on that frustrating note. I hope to get one or two more in before school starts up again but we shall see.

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas everyone! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all your wonderful comments this year and to all my new followers. Thank you for reading my little blog and being supportive of my projects.
May Santa bring you all your Quilty Wishes and more this Holiday Season.
See everyone in the New Year! 2015 is going to be GREAT!!
Thanks for reading,
Just a Mom who Sews

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Table Runner

Whew! Just finished my last Christmas present! It's only Christmas Eve but this one isn't due until Saturday. ;) This gift is for my very dearest friend in the world. She is simply the Best! and we are two peas in a pod when we are together. In November we went on our annual Us Only Weekend to an outlet mall. She ohhed and awed over a burlap table runner printed all in red. She finally decided that it was too long and didn't buy it. (This is when my crafty brain started humming with how can I make this for her for Christmas?) Half a yard of burlap, matching thread and red fabric paint from Joann's and left over green fabric paint and brushes from another recent project here. Of course I used my lightbox stenciling tutorial to create this project.
(Note: She LOVED it!)

Here is a quick tutorial of how I went about creating my Christmas Table Runner.

First, I surged the edges of the burlap with matching thread.

I printed out the words that I wanted to use in a font I liked. Sorry, I don't remember the font. It is a basic font in Word.

I cut them apart so I could line them up on the lightbox in a straight line. I liked the look of the words 2 1/2 inches apart. I marked a line on the paper where I liked the words from the bottom edge to keep a straight line across the project. This also kept me from having to re-measure each time I moved the burlap. I also used my fabric weights to hold the burlap in place as I painted.

Here is my supplies: red and green paint, two paintbrushes and two random lids from food containers. I love using them as paint holders because they are free, throw away-able and I always have tons of them on hand.

I turned my light box on and went to work.
For a half yard of burlap I was able to get seven rotations of my three words. Love it that it just worked out perfectly!
If you have any questions feel free to email me or leave them in the comments below.

Linking up with Finish it Friday.

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Beast aka Puffy Quilt Finish

IT'S DONE! Yes, this needed to be shouted!

This puffy quilt turned into a Beast of a quilt. It was huge and very, very heavy! I finished it up last night at 2 am. Thank goodness for Hallmark like romantic Christmas movies on TV last night. These puffies are filled with two and a half bags of stuffing.

 Here is the back before turning right side out.
Tiny little pillows. I should have laid my head on and went to sleep, but no, I kept going.
I tried to leave plenty of room to birth this quilt. I  probably left a good foot opening and more then once I thought that it was going to rip or I was going to have to go get the seam ripper, but I got it turned. Happy Dance!!! Thank goodness everyone else was asleep and didn't have to see me hysterically wrestling with this quilt and then dancing around once I had battled birthing this beast.

Here it is turned and in all it's glory! I love the grey satin ruffle. It ties everything together.
This is the back of the quilt. Isn't it cute flannel?
Soft flannel, satin ruffle, cotton squishy puffs, aaahhh, it's all my
favorite textures in one adorable quilt. I might just have to visit this quilt in it's new home. =) I was so excited to get it to it's new home this morning, that I didn't even measure it or weight it. LOL
I would guess it to be 56 x 38, not including the ruffle.
Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Projects Final Push

Okay, one week till Christmas! AAAAHHHH! Okay, I feel better! I hope to finish several projects today. I have five pillow covers to finish. My friend wanted her bridesmaid dresses from all her siblings' weddings turned into pillow covers for them. What a great idea! I embroidered them on Monday night. I'll post them after Christmas.
Next on the list is to paint a table runner for my best friend. I plan on "painting" it with red and green paint. I'll be using my Lightbox stenciling tutorial. I have to serge the edges before I "paint" it.
Then it's time to put this puffy quilt to rest. I have seven more puffs to sew close before the edging and backing go on.
 back of the puff quilt
the middle puffs all puffed out
Are you finishing up any Christmas projects? Hope everyone has a Very Merry Holiday season!
Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Back or Front?

So yesterday morning I started off by getting two quilts ready to baste. That involved a LOT of ironing. I started off ironing the backing for the Manly Stripes quilt. While I was ironing, I was letting my mind wander and I started thinking about why I iron backings or really any large yardage of fabric from the back side.
I don't remember when I started doing that but why I started is something I do know. I find it easier to spot flaws in the fabric. Sometimes the design of the fabric hinds those little pulls and discolored spots so well, the only way to notice the flaw is to check the back. I just made it a habit to iron the back so I can get two steps done at once. The Manly Stripes quilt backing had two pulls near an edge that I tried to avoid and this quilt backing had several discoloration spots, but when I looked at the front they were invisible or nearly invisible.

I couldn't find the spots again while I was basting this quilt.
My next wandering thought as I was still ironing was, am I the only crazy person who does this or is this the normal way? Curious to hear from other people what side of the ironing board do you fall on? Front or Back?

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Friday, December 5, 2014

Manly Stripes?

A new Personal Record for me in getting this quilt top together. Seriously, maybe three hours IF you include cutting. I've never had this for a quilt. Start and Finish in the same setting, let alone on a week night. Okay, Okay, I'll stop patting my self on the back now. ;)

This quilt top is for my Husband's Godchild for Christmas. When they say, "Ya, just get me a blanket for the bed." that is my cue to go shopping! I was good, I shopped my stash and found the white solid. For the rest, I had to go help the economy on Black Friday. :) I made my own pattern and I based it off of one of his favorite shirts. These colors just happen to be his school colors and his favorite college team, Ohio State. I picked up some Ohio State flannel for the back. I really hope to get outside and take "nice" photos when it's quilted up and bound.

I'm having a hard time coming up with a good name for this quilt. Manly Stripes is my main pick right now, but it's still missing something. Its for a tween boy, so not really a man, yet. Any suggestions??

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pincushion gift

My dear friend asked me way, way back in June if I would make her mother, who just happens to be a fabulous seamstress, a pincushion with a thread catcher. Being a good friend, I said, "Sure! What color/design?" She said, "Green, my Mom loves green!" Fast forward to two weeks ago and I remembered I think I'm suppose to be making something for someone. Then BOOM! it hits me, a pincushion for my friend's Mother for Christmas. Great, I have an upcoming appointment that is very near her house, I can just swing by and drop it off to her. After shopping my stash, which is wonderful, I can't begin to tell you how exciting it is not to have to run to the fabric store for small projects. I browsed Pinterest, my favorite time suck, for a tutorial and Wah-La! I found one here.

I modified the sizing a bit, just because my pieces were an inch or so off in a spot or two. Along with that, I used that rubbery, bottom of footed pjs material (I'm sure this is the very technical name) to help keep the pincushion in place. I also filled my pincushion with crushed black walnuts. Here is the completed pincushion with thread catcher. I really like it, I thought about keeping it for myself, but I decided to hand it over to my friend. ;)

 See how good it looks hanging on my treadle sewing machine?
Back of pincushion with the rubbery non-slip material
Have you ever made something as a gift and then thought about keeping it for yourself?

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the United States! I have been so blessed to get to know so many wonderful people all over the world this year through blogs. May everyone remember their Blessings big and small today and everyday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Productive Saturday

First off, let me say, I have a wonderful husband because he said "Yes" when I asked if I could go sew on Saturday at my stitcher's club meeting place and that he would watch the kids. I packed up my sewing machine, threw several projects into the car and off I went to sew. I took four projects with me, hoping that all would get done, praying that half would get done, thinking that one had better get done!

Project #1: I've had my puffy quilt pinned together, just needing the back sewn to the top. Check! That was project number one. I still needed to puff the outer ring of puffs before birthing the project, I like that terminology better then turning right side out. I usually forget to leave myself enough room and it's a struggle to get that much puffed fabric through a too small opening. Doh!

Here is the puffy quilt completely finished

Project #2: A panel fabric book that I had bought back in August. Yes, I start Christmas shopping early. Please don't throw snowballs. I'm almost done and half of them are wrapped. Now you can throw snowballs. ;) That still needs a little bit of hand sewing, which I hope to finish tonight.

Project #3: My youngest crazything has not learned to pull the covers up in the middle of the night when she gets cold because she has kicked them off earlier in the night. I decided the solution to the problem was to make a huge sleep sack. She has outgrown all of the ones I bought. All my crazythings wore sleep sacks every night to help keep them warm without using blankets to prevent any suffocation. To put this sleep sack in perspective, the zipper is 22 inches long and does not go all the way to the bottom. she had plenty of room to grow longer with this one.

Project #4: My stitcher's club makes prayer cloths for the local hospital. I've made two before and have had these two running around in my sewing bag for several months now. I finished both of these on Saturday, so they are ready to hand in, in the new year when we meet again.

These finishes felt so good! Plus it only took me about four hours to finish up all these projects. That just put me in such a good mood for the rest of the weekend, which was crazy with three birthday parties!
I hope you all are just as productive in the upcoming weekends with all the Holiday craziness!

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Sewing

Around this time of the year, projects seem to double or triple overnight, all with that wonderful December 25th deadline. I started and finished my sewy Christmas projects for my family, this past week. First, I wanted to give my husband a surprise Christmas present. He is so hard to buy for and then usually only wants dress clothes, he wears them for work, so they wear out pretty quickly. When I bravely took my two crazythings to a local One Stop Shop Hop in October, we found a John Deere print, we all liked. I only bought a half yard, because I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, yet. After "shopping" my stash, I found a corn print I had bought in Shipshewana and left over solid yellow from the Tetris quilt. Bingo! Pillowcase it is! I even "shopped", sewed, photographed all during naptime. Go me!

Next, I sewed up this cute panel fabric book for my youngest crazything. I'm hoping that my oldest will read it to my youngest during church, so that they both with be good. HA!

I found it while browsing the clearance section at Red Rock Threads, mid-summer. I start my Christmas shopping early. ;) It's such a good feeling to be almost done with that big task. The only thing I have left to do is to sew a quilt up for my nephew by December 14th. Yikes! Did I mention I haven't bought the fabric yet?

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Monday, November 3, 2014

Birthday Pillowcase/Kid Sewing

My youngest niece's birthday is coming up and of course, I haven't a clue as what to get her. Her Mom, my sister, was no help, she said no toys. Great, now what?? I finally decided to give the fail save give of a character pillowcase. (Her sister got a frozen themed one on her birthday earlier this year) I love "shopping" my stash! Leftover Tinkerbell cotton fabric from my crazything's quilt and extra purple satin blanket binding from a long ago project.

My oldest crazything decided she wanted to help me sew the present. Okay, it's a pillowcase, it shouldn't be too hard. The hardest part was keeping her attention while getting everything together to sew. She entertained herself by picking out only the "pretty" pins to use when I needed to pin the sides together. I sewed on the binding first, then I helped her sew the sides together. This was challenging, since she had to sit on my lap to be able to guide the fabric through the machine. I still controlled the foot pedal. She kept asking me when she could do the foot pedal and when could she go to my sewing club meeting, now that she can sew. Oh good Lord, what have I created??? I told her let's work on hand control before we add the foot pedal too and she had to be a few years older to go to sewing club. I see an emergency room trip in my future for a needle through a finger; her's or mine, I'm not sure which.
Any advice for me to help her with learning to sew on a machine? I learned to sew by myself after college.

Thanks for reading!
Just a Mom who Sews

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Quick, Easy Peasy Curtains

Since we moved my oldest crazything into her new bedroom in September, it's still October, so I'm not that far behind, she has been asking for curtains to go with her quilt that I made her, which you can read about here. Well, life FINALLY slowed down for a day and I needed to have a quick finish to say I did something productive this week. Is it just me that needs that feel good feeling when you crossed something off of the To Do list that's been on the To Do list forever? So during nap time for the youngest crazything, yesterday I got these curtains started and finished AND hung up. It took me an hour and a half to do everything.
So here is how I made these Quick, Easy Peasy Curtains.

I had two yards of Frozen material laying around, doesn't everyone with young kids, lol. They fit perfectly into her window. She doesn't need a lot of curtain, just enough to keep the sun out during the summer when she goes to bed or lightening when it storms.

Did I mention this material is very glittery too? 
I wanted two curtains, one to hang on either side of the window. I folded the material in half, with salvage ends together. Then I ironed the material with right sides together to get a crisp fold. Then, I barely, barely, cut the folded end to give me two halves of equal width. I also squared off the top and bottom edges at this time too.

Next, I hemmed the long sides of each curtain with a half inch hem. This is how I hem, feel free to do the hem the way you are most comfortable with and at the size of hem you want. I took my long, 24 inch ruler and mark a 1 inch line with chalk all the way down each side I want to hem at the moment. I will talk about hemming the tops and bottoms in a minute.

Fold the fabric up to that line over at your ironing board. I start at one end and use my iron as a hold spot and continually move my free hand folding the fabric up to the marked hem line and then ironing what was just folded over with the iron. (I think that makes sense) Then, you can go back to the start on the same side or flip your fabric around to the other side and iron fabric up to the hem line. Once you have the first fold down, I then used the raw edge of the fabric to create another fold, this encases the raw edge into the hem. I just folded over at the raw edge line, ironing as I went, just like the first time folding the fabric over. From there, I went straight to my sewing machine, no pins since the fold should be nice and crisp from just been ironed and using my quarter inch foot, I sewed down the hem on both long sides of each set of curtains. You can sew closer to the far edge of the hem if you wanted to.

Now for the top and bottom. I just wanted to be quick about the project, so hemmed both the tops and bottoms at the same time. This time, I knew I was pushing the length of the curtains, so I wanted to keep as much as possible. I drew my line at 3/4 of an inch instead of the full inch. Quarter inch hemming is a pain, I think, 3/4 of an inch just gives you a little more fabric to grab a hold of. Again, I folded and ironed the fabric up to the hem line, then turned the fabric under again using the raw edge as my guide. Back over to the sewing machine and sewed another quarter inch seam.

Great! Now tops, bottoms and sides are all hemmed. Now to figure out how much you need to turn over on the top to create a loop for your curtain rod to go through. I "dry" fit mine, the only time I used pins on the entire project (I tend to use a lot of pins, when pinning).

Anyway, mine looked nice with three inches of the top folded over. I finger pressed the  three inches of the top down and back over to the sewing machine. Sewing on the BACK, I used the hem seam as my guide to keep a straight seam across the top as I sewed the top fold into place. VoilĂ ! Finished!  I easily slipped the curtains onto the rod and hung them up. Now the room glows pepto pink when the sun hits them, but hey, she likes them, so I like them.
Before and after photos:

Linking up with NTT over at My Quilt Infatuation and Finish it Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts
Thanks for reading,
Just a Mom who Sews