Tag Archives: sewing

Love For Lily, A Thank You

Two weeks ago, I told you about Lily, the kitten my sister and her husband adopted after finding her abandoned near my parents’ home out in the country.

This is her story, and our thank you.

We now have all the money we need to pay for Lily’s medical expenses. We might even have a little left over to donate to our local Humane Society.

We quite literally can’t thank you enough.

Click here to learn more about Lily’s story.

Stocking for Lily
Here’s a little something I made for Lily. I was lucky enough to act as her post-surgery kitten sitter this week while my sister and brother-in-law were at work. She was a joy to be with every day and I will miss my mid-day kitten break!

Don’t miss my Blog Hop Party Giveaway! I have a free pattern and a fun giveaway, too!

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Join me for my workshop:

Registration is open!

 
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Livin’ La Vida Linus

My Quilting Helper

Marie was my helper for the day!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just really, really needed to get things done? Not a “I have to get this done” day, but a “oh, no, I’m running out of time, I HAVE to get this done!” day?

I had one of those yesterday.

You see, The Linus Connection meets on Saturday, and until yesterday, I did not have one quilt completely finished.

Enter the next five quilts.

I free-motion quilted the two Stars For Linus quilts as well as the blendy floral quilt that I’ve dubbed “Oh no, not *that* quilt.”

I bound those three quilts as well as the other two shown below.

Today? I can barely raise my arms after all that free-motion quilting. Who says quilting isn’t exercise?

Stars For Linus

Stars For Linus Quilt #1

Stars For Linus

Stars For Linus Quilt #2

Stars For Linus

A close-up of my free-motion. I fought with my machine all day yesterday, changing needles, thread and changing my bobbin to get this done. I’m still not great at free-motion, but if I can find the right mix to make my sewing machine  (and by default, me!) enjoy it, I think I could get better.

Stars For Linus Tag

The label I put on each of the Stars For Linus quilts. After all, it was a group effort!

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Stars For The Linus Connection 

a free 12″ pattern

for best results when printing, set scaling to “none”

Remember, I’m also accepting Wonky Stars…if you’d rather! Please makes sure they are also 12″.

Oh No, Not That Quilt

Oh no, not that quilt! I still can’t decide if I like this one or not… Experimentation with fabric samples and the 10 Minute Block.

Zepellin Threads BOM Orphan Block quilt

Zeppelin Threads orphan block quilt. The two house blocks were donated by Cat and Pren. I pieced the rest and did the straight line quilting a couple of weeks ago.

 

Zepellin Threads BOM Orphan Block quilt

I love how the quilting worked out on this, though you can’t quite see all of it. There’s a lot of stitching in the ditch. I tend to do a lot more straight line quilting because my sewing machine behaves better when I do.


Quilt from JoAnn M.

Quilt top donated by JoAnn M. Quilted by my friend Marge, bound by me…yesterday. This was the last quilt I worked on last night before giving up for the day.

 

JoAnn M - quilting close-upClose up of Marge’s quilting, done on a Handi-Quilter.

Today, I am giving myself the morning off to spend with my bee. I’ve worked extra hard every day this week and am in need of a respite!

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Hot Dog, A Pillowcase!

Isn’t it a beauty?

Printable PDF Tutorial!

Now available as a free video tutorial!

Honey Bee is participating in American Patchwork & Quilting’s 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. The first batch of gorgeous handmade pillowcases that Honey Bee has collected is going to the Texas Baptist Children’s Home, located in Round Rock, Texas.

I knew as soon as I heard about it that I wanted to participate.

Early on in the pillowcase drive, Honey Bee had a demo for the “Hot Dog” pillowcase method, which rumor has it is super-duper easy.

Only, I missed the demo.  Oops.  You see, it was on a Friday at lunch time.  Every Friday, I have a date lunch with my awesome hubby, so obviously going to a free pillowcase how-to demo was not going to win out over date lunch!

Well, I’ve made pillowcases before, so I wasn’t too fussed about it.  Then, a couple of weeks later, my sewing friends and I had a sewing day at our friend Linda’s house.  Osie, who happens to be one of the Goddesses of Honey Bee, was working on pillowcases for the drive and took a few minutes to show us how the mystical “Hot Dog” works.

Hot dog!  Seriously, hot dog!  This is the easiest, fastest and cleanest-looking pillowcase method I’ve seen.  Including the pillowcase used in this tutorial, I’ve now made 11 of these bad boys.  So easy, so fun…and excellent for stash busting!



Pillowcase 1 – 10, on their way to Honey Bee, all made from fabrics I had in my stash.

This was not my invention and there are a couple of tutorials floating around out there, but this is too good not to post again.  This is my take on the instructions.  I hope you enjoy, make lots of pillowcases and donate them to charity!  (Oh, okay, you can keep one or two for yourself!)

Pillowcases donated through Honey Bee!  The last I heard there were over 200!

Read more on the Honey Bee Blog.

They’ve even made it easy by offering pre-cut kits with

free how-to sheets for the Hot Dog method!

You’ll need:

Three lengths of fabric in three coordinating colors.  Makes one standard size pillowcase.

  • BUN (cuff) – 12″ x WOF (width of fabric ~ 44″)
  • MUSTARD (flange) – 2″ – 3″ x WOF (you can also use leftover quilt binding for this)
  • HOT DOG (body) 24″ – 26″ x WOF

You can vary the bun/hot dog size up or down, just make sure that the total yardage between those two is 36″ – 38″. 9 – 12″ for the bun is ideal.

If you use two yards of coordinating fabric, plus 6″ of a third, you can make two coordinating pillowcases with opposite colors!



My colors for this tutorial – a pre-cut kit from Honey Bee.  Isn’t the fabric just delicious?



Hot Dog, Bun & Mustard!   Once your fabric is cut and pressed and you’re ready to go!



Roll out your BUN, right side up.



Press the MUSTARD in half



Place MUSTARD with raw edges matching along one side of the BUN.



Place HOT DOG on top of MUSTARD, face down.  Align raw seams.  Add a few pins to hold in place.



Roll the HOT DOG (hey, now it looks like a hot dog!) to within a few inches of the pinned edge.



Fold the BUN over the HOT DOG and pin along the raw edge, making sure to catch all layers of fabric.



Stitch along raw edge using a 3/8″ seam allowance.



Remove any pins and birth your HOT DOG!  Roll BUN back, gently tugging the HOT DOG out of the center.



Continue tugging and rolling until the HOT DOG is all the way out.



Your pillowcase should now look something like this.



Smooth out the fabric, then press the BUN and MUSTARD, tugging gently so it’ll lie flat.  I like to press on both sides.



Square up your pillowcase by removing the selvage.



With WRONG SIDES together (yes, I said wrong sides!), align the MUSTARD and corners of the pillowcase.



Pin in several places.



Stitch around raw edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance (yes, yes,  really, right sides out, wrong sides together!).



Turn the corner and sew across the bottom.

Trim corners (raw edges only, please!).



Turn the pillowcase wrong-side out.  Look how nice the BUN looks next to the HOT DOG!



Press the side and bottom seams flat.



Stitch using a 1/2″ seam allowance.


Look at that, you made French Seams…no raw edges!



Turn right side out and press.



See how nicely the MUSTARD lines up?   Did you notice that your condiment made a lovely little flap, too?



It looks good outside and in!

hot dog pillowcase tutorial
And hey, action shot!

Now, let me know if you’re as addicted to these as I am!  This beauty is number 11 and I know I’ll make more.  In addition to donating to the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge, they also make great gift bags for quilts!

Need a hardcopy? Printable PDF Tutorial!

Add your Sewhooked-related photos to my flickr group and you might be featured in a future post.

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vlog: TTMT A Whole Lot of Harry

Check out some of my fun flickr craft-related groups!

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo.  Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

Sewing: Turkle the Turtle

Deep in the wilds of my backyard lives the ferocious Quiltus Turtleus, called Turkle by his friends.

His markings are wholly unique and set him apart from all other Quiltus Turtleus.

A canny camera person can get quite close to Turkle, just watch out for the super massively strong jaws!

Quiltus Turtleus are known for their pointy and exceptionally cute tails.

When forced to show his belly, Turkle will display a fierce purple leopard print, frighting off predators for fear of a badly dressed…oops, this a “G” rated blog!

Ancestry of the Quiltus Turtleus, decended from the Quiltus Buttericktus Family.

Happy crafting!

Way Back Craft: Gryffindor “Canopy”

Elena's "canopy"

Elena’s Gryffindor Canopy, approximately 2002

Well, we’re way past due for a Way Back Craft!

So, you want a Harry Potter bedroom?  The very first thing I think of when I think of Harry’s dormitory, is the four poster bed with house-colored hangings.  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

It definitely would be.

Unfortunately, not all of us have the means or the space for a four poster bed.

This is the problem I encountered when designing a Harry Potter room for my daughter.  Her room has a ceiling fan and the room is just too small for a four poster bed.  The Gryffindor canopy was on her Must Have list when the room decoration was being planned.   I have the great fortune to have two very DIY parents and the first thing that popped in my head was mounting something lightweight on to the wall.

How about a faux canopy that gives the feeling of those hangings without the actual expense or space requirements of a real four poster?

Then I started thinking price.  Cheap would be good.  Very good.  PVC.  PERFECT!

A fun aside on this project – when I was buying the fabric, the woman at the cutting table at the fabric store asked if I was making a dress.  When I told her I was making a Gryffindor canopy for a Harry Potter bedroom, she stared with her mouth open.  It was the first of many stunned looks directed at my fandom crafting!

Supplies

  • 3 lengths of 1 to 1 1/2” PVC pipe cut into 18” (45.7 cm) pieces (use a hacksaw or have it done at your DIY store)

Note: PVC under 1” is not recommended because it’s too flexible. Make sure the threaded plug & metal flange will work with the pipe you chose. They’re easy to test at the DIY store.

  • 3 threaded plugs
  • 3 metal floor flanges
  • 3 flat PVC caps
  • 3 decorative wood rosette with a flat back
  • Epoxy, Liquid Nails or other cement-like glue
  • Primer spray paint
  • Gold spray paint (Use silver for Slytherin, bronze or silver for Ravenclaw and black for Hufflepuff)
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill (optional)
  • Screws with anchors
  • 5 1/2 yards (5 meters) of red satiny fabric  (Use green for Slytherin, blue for Ravenclaw or yellow for Huffelpuff)
  • matching thread
  • sewing machine (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prewash fabric then hem on both ends, set aside.
  2. Following manufacturer’s directions, use epoxy to glue the threaded plugs to one end of each of the PVC pipes. On opposite ends of pipes, use epoxy to attach the PVC caps. Epoxy the wooden rosette onto the cap. Allow epoxy to dry. Screw pipe into metal flange. Stand up on it’s end in a well covered, well ventilated area.
  3. Paint with primer. Allow to dry according to manufacturer’s directions. Paint gold. Allow to dry overnight.
  4. Find the center of your bed, mark a light line on the wall. Depending on the width of your bed and where you want the fabric to reach on the sides, you will need to attach the flanges lower or higher.  If you have someone helping you, it’s a good idea to hold the center pipe in place with the fabric, centered, on the pipe. You can then determine how high the center pipe should be and where to place your two side pipes. They can be low or high, depending on your preference.  Use measuring tape to assure the three pipes will be symmetrical.
  5. Attach the metal flanges to the wall using screws and anchors, using the drill for pilot holes if necessary.
  6. Screw pipes into each flange. Arrange canopy fabric.

Makes a great window treatment, too!

Also for your Harry Potter room:  HP Bookcase Mural

p.s. I made the afghan, too.  😉

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting

also available on The Leaky Cauldron- Crafts

Sewing: Hem Extension

extended hem jeans

You all know by now that I’m a big thrift store shopper, especially for clothes.

I found a great pair of Gap jeans that fit perfectly, and only paid $1.25 for them!  The only drawback was they were too short, even for my average-length legs.

This was my easy-peasy solution.  It works with or without the extra trim, I just love adding a little flavor to my thrifted goods!

You’ll need:

  • One pair of too-short jeans
  • seam ripper or razor (use razor with care, I don’t want anyone losing a finger!)
  • steam iron set to “cotton”
  • optional:  trim, ribbon, etc.
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • scissors

What to do:

  1. Rip out the hem using a seam ripper, or, if you have a steady hand, a razor works great to get through the heavy duty stitching.
  2. Press the legs out, removing any bits of thread left from ripping out the seam.  You may need steam for this step to get the old hem lines nice and flat.
  3. If the previous location of the bottom edge is a holey or ragged, you can add ribbon, leftover quilt binding, or any other washable trim by pinning around the outside.  Tuck the ends under and then top stitch both edges.
  4. For an unfinished edge, zig zag around the edge of each leg or use a decorative stitch.  Once they’re washed, they’ll fray nice and even.

I’ve got several pairs of jeans like this, all of them found for super cheap and all of them with their own distinctive look.  Love them!

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting

also posted on craftster

Smiling Santa Gift Bag

Smiling Santa Gift Bag Tutorial

I’ve been making these Santa bags for a lot of years now, but this is the first time I’ve ever shared a how-to for it.

Other similar bags I’ve made include Rudolph, Christmas kitties and Christmas trees.  Change the basic bag to any color and add polka dots or stars for an easy birthday bag!

Smiling Santa is reusable, giftable, and darn cute.  He’s fast to make with simple embroidered stitches and a button nose.    If hand stitching isn’t your thing, fabric paint will work in a pinch!

You’ll need:

  • Smiling Santa reference
  • 9″ x 12″ acrylic felt – 2 white, 1 red, 1 flesh
  • scissors
  • large needle
  • embroidery floss:  white, red, blue & green
  • red button
  • ruler
  • optional:  sewing machine
  • optional:  rotary cutter

supplies


I use eco-friendly acrylic felt.  It’s easy to find, cheap (20 cents a sheet) and sturdy.


Find the bottom of your bag and cut 1″ squares out of the opposite corners for each white sheet. This will create a faux gusset and allow your gift bag to stand up.


Cut the flesh-colored felt sheet down to 8″ x 5 1/2″.  Fold in half and cut a gentle curve.

Smiling Santa Gift Bag Tutorial

Open flesh-colored felt.  Align 1″ from top of bag, centering so that each side has approximately 1/2″ of white felt showing.


Using the white embroidery floss, hand stitch a running stitch around the two sides and bottom of the face.



Add eye details with a straight stitch (eyebrows) and chain stitch (eyes).


Add button nose with red embroidery floss.  Add mouth, also with red embroidery floss, using the chain stitch.


Pin two pieces of white felt together, face inside.  Machine stitch 1/4″ seam on two sides and across the bottom.

Optional:  hand stitch on the inside OR hand stitch on the outside using red embroidery floss.


Fold the open corners on the bottom together, matching outside seams.  Fold seams in opposite directions to reduce bulk.  Pin in place.



Machine stitch bag corners.


Turn bag right side out.


Fold 1″ down on top of bag, overlapping face.  Pin, then straight stitch around.  Stitch under side seam.



Finished stitching on the top of bag.


Cut two 12″ x 2″ strips from red felt.


Fold straps lengthwise.  Straight stitch along the length with green embroidery floss.


Pin handle to outside of bag 2″ in from the sides.



Straight stitch snowflake or asterisk to hold handles in place.  Repeat for the back of bag.


Stuff with goodies and gift it!

Christmas tree gift bag

Feeling creative? Try your hand at a Christmas Tree!


fun variations, Dec. 2000

Add your Sewhooked-related photos to my flickr group and you might be featured in a future post.

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This is part of my “Way Back Craft” series; patterns, crafts, tutorials and general crafty memories before the days of this craft blog.

Halloween Traditions

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday.  It’s certainly my favorite to craft for.  Fun costumes, crafts, decorations…

The first costume I made myself was one of my Dad’s suits that I reconstructed to look like Madonna in the Who’s That Girl? video.  I was in high school at the time.

Since then, I’ve enjoyed making all kinds of costumes, mostly for my kids.  Halloween is, of course, a darn good reason to costume!

Our family tradition is this:  My kids have until September 30 to choose a costume idea.  Once they’re decided, there is no going back and the planning begins in earnest.  They tend to lean towards character costumes, which are fun to try to duplicate.

InuYasha

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This year, my 13 year old daughter wanted to be one of her all-time favorite characters, InuYasha. I created the top half of the costume based on a kimono I made some years ago. There are a number of custom changes to make the top appear the same as InuYasha’s. The pants are adapted from a pj pattern, with a more flared leg and belt.  The wig was purchased, with handcrafted ears added (made from faux fur and felt).  The sword and necklace were purchased online.  The scabbard is a toy sword scabbard that’s been covered in black fabric.   The entire costume is made with quilter’s cotton.

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Ryoga

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My 10 year old son’s costume this year was Ryoga, from the manga and anime, Ranma 1/2.  The top is a reconstructed sweatshirt with a custom collar and cuffs made from cotton fabric.  The belt is also cotton fabric.  The pants are adapted from a pajama pattern, with loops added to the sides for lacing the legs.  The rucksack is completely custom from canvas.  The red paper umbrella was purchased online and customized with paint and fabric.  The cording is clothesline cord.   His headband is made from a strip of darker yellow fabric with squares stenciled on in black paint.

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The two characters are from different manga / anime series, but both are creations of the same author, Rumiko Takahashi. We thought we’d have a little fun with that and took a couple of “what are you doing here!?” poses!

Charlie Brown & Pansy Parkinson

halloween 2008 047.JPG

My husband and I like to dress up, too!  This year, my hubby, Eli, was Charlie Brown in a t-shirt I stenciled and black shorts made from a commercial pattern.  I was Slytherin Pansy Parkinson in a hand painted green tie and custom Slytherin buttons…snarky attitude included!

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InuYasha and Ryoga are not amused at having a Slytherin at their back!

Visit my Halloween 2008 flickr album for more photos.

Costumes photos 1995 – Present

Happy November!

also posted in Craft Challenge #32 – DIY Halloween Costumes on craftster and on Deviant Art

T-Shirt Reconstruction: Reverse Applique Window


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My son got this great orange t-shirt at the science fair he participated in last year. Unfortunately, it was way too small and *gasp* not black, which is his favorite t-shirt color. We talked it through and he agreed that if it was part of a black shirt, he’d definitely wear it.

I used one of my favorite “save a t-shirt” recon techniques, a reverse applique window. It’s easy peasy and takes only about 15 minutes to complete. The sewing machine and rotary cutter are totally optional here. This recon could easily be done with just plain old scissors and a needle and thread.

T-Shirt Reconstruction: Reverse Applique Window
by Jennifer Ofenstein
http://www.sewhooked.org

2 t-shirts
straight pins
chalk
ruler
rotary cutter (optional)
scissors
sewing machine with ball point needle OR needle & thread

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Slit the shirt that will be in the “window” up each side and open out.

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Using a rotary cutter and ruler OR a ruler and chalk with scissors, cut a square out of the front of the window at least 1″ larger than the image on the shirt.

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Turn the intact shirt inside out. Center the square with the image on it right side down on the inside front of the intact shirt. Pin clockwise – this makes it easier to remove the pins as you stitch.

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Stitch around, removing the pins as you go so as not to stitch over them. If using a sewing machine, choose a stretch stitch.

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Turn the shirt right side out. You can faintly see the stitching line here.

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Draw a chalk line 1/4 – 1/2″ inside of the stitching line. This will be your cutting line.



Near one of the corners, pinch the fabric of the intact shirt away from the applique piece on the inside. Make sure you just have one layer of shirt. Cut a small hole with the scissors. Trim carefully towards the chalk line.

Cut around the chalk line and remove the center piece.

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Voila! Reverse applique t-shirt!

Happy crafting!