Be Creative

How to Make Quickie Valentine’s Cards with Fabric Scraps

I’m not so much into holiday cards…That’s cool if it’s your gig, just not mine!  I do like giving a handwritten note once in a while, especially with a gift to my children.  I always buy them a small treat and a little something to go with it for Valentine’s Day.  A simple way for them to wake up on Valentine’s feeling warm, loved, appreciated, and special.

Currently, I am working on a quilt, so naturally, there are scraps pieces ALL.OVER.MY DESK!

So here is my solution: Handmade blank notecards for the win!

Cardstock (I used 8 1/2″ x 11″) Cut in half width wise.. so they are now 8.5″x5.5.”

Elmer’s glue stick

Sharp small scissors

Tiny fabric strips at least 5.5″ long.

Fold the notecard in half matching the two short ends.

Glue the fabric strip 1 in from the bottom of the front of the card.

Trim the ends even with the edge of the card and any loose or stray strings. 

Use your favorite pens to write your own personal message inside the card!  

(Note: I did also stitch the fabric down; however the school glue will hold well enough to give your card. Heat set with an iron before stitching)

Scraps practice on Spare Parts Delight

Whittling down my work in progress list without starting any new big quilts has proven to be a test in my perseverance. I’ve had the Rainy Day Quilt by Lindsey in my stack of unfinished projects for well over a year… last week I got the top finished….and I wanted to branch out into quilting feathers… enter this baby quilt…

These are the curved scraps from the raindrops…a little wonky because, Hello! Scraps are  fun to just play with… sew them together without a plan, see where they take you!  

This is where my scraps took me…

Pieced along with some muslin scraps into a baby quilt…

 All the negative space was delightful to fill in with feathers… I used a Full Line Stencil and some quilt pounce powder to mark it. (Um, the quilt pounce pad was not working very well, I used a cheap foam brush.  A trick I learned from an Ann Peterson Craftsy class! )Finished it with more scraps for the binding… it’s like a spare parts delight!  I have never quilted feathers…they are quite the challenge, even with a stencil!  I started with a paper template pulled from a digital file and practiced stitching without thread… tempimageforsaveYou never will if you don’t try…

Always learning, The Meadow Quilt

Last year I set out to expand my quilting skills!  I wanted to take a few classes and push my current abilities beyond my comfort zone…

Enter the Meadow Quilt.. a class by Fabric designer Lizzy House.  I pushed my color comfort zone and learned to inset circles and piece curves, and more curves!After debating on sending it out to be quilted, I finally realized that this quilt already had so much “learning” involved, I might as well push my free motion quilting skills!  As hard as it is, the only way to get better is practice, and practice on a nice sized quilt is the best way! It’s been so unseasonably cold at night, so it immediately went into service as extra cover on our bed! The backing was a fun sheet, but it wasn’t wide enough, so of course I pieced in a bit of Lizzy House Meadow fabric to pay homage to the pattern on the front! 

I loved making quilting goals and intentions for 2016, then reflecting on what I learned, and how far I came!  I’ve expanded my intentionality for 2017!  I’d love to hear your creative goals for this year!

Finish it up Friday: Trees! 

After two years on my WIP list, this is finally ready for Christmas time snuggles.

Amanda Jean’s   Trees! Quilt is the perfect addition to my home’s festive decor.

I think handmade Christmas is best, including his little clay Nativity we made a few years back with my friend Esther is perfect for little hands to play with and I don’t stress over it getting broken!

The quilt has a nice heavy weight from all the skinny strips.    

I loved being able to use some small scraps I have collected over the years. I only purchased one fat quarter to finish the top!

The back and binding is this fun find from Target.  They clearance out their college extra long twin bedding and I am there to snatch up the discounts.  I think gold is the original Christmas color!  (Wise men bringing gifts to celebrate baby Jesus! ) 

Yup, ready for cozy early morning snuggles all season long!  

Vintage Sheets Make Me Swoon!

As a young girl, I was obsessed with how my grandmother’s sheets smelled.  Is that weird?

When I’d visit and snuggle into bed at night, I felt so safe and so warm and loved.  I associated the scent of her detergent mixed perfectly with her perfumed skin care products with that “I am so loved” feeling.  She was so dear to me, and today she’d be 87. Happy Birthday, Grandma Dorla!

I am now obsessed with collecting vintage sheets!  When my friend asked me to make a quilt for her baby girl and to use a vintage sheet she had found, my mind raced to all the fun extras I could make to go with the quilt.  We settled on this classic variable star quilt block.

I grabbed my Patchwork Essentials book by Jeni Baker.  I used her Eight-at-a-time half square triangle technique to make EIGHT 5.5in half square triangle blocks using the sheet and some high-quality unbleached muslin. Then I cut FOUR solid blocks 5.5in from the muslin and ONE 10.5in block from the sheet.  Arranged my block and sewed it together.

Gave it a little hand stitching using some vintage heavyweight thread, and I mixed in a little straight line quilting.

To give it a nice clean finish I modified S.O.T.A.K Handmade’s Tutorial for this hidden zippered closure.  My zipper wasn’t quite long enough, so I made do with what I had and gave a few extra stitches here and there to secure it all down.   (The zipper was 18in, and my pillow is 20in finished.)  NOTE:  If you use SOTAK’s tutorial, which is incredible, be sure you catch the zipper tape in the very last step!)

Make Do and Mend Monday: Kitchen Rug Redo! 

After searching for new black and white kitchen rugs and coming up empty handed on either size or style, I decided to Make Do and Mend with what I have one hand.


Here is how I made it! I took this old kitchen mat, it’s standard carpet top with non-slip rubber back.  Pretty sure it came from Target.

I grabbed some indoor/outdoor stiff heavyweight canvas fabric I had on hand, I cut the fabric 1.25in larger on all sides of the rug.  Then wrapped the fabric around to the back side.  (Use wonder clips to hold it in place.)

Then I mitered each of the corners.  

Then I stitched it down all the way around about 3/4in from the edge.   I used a jeans needle and my walking foot and just took it slow.

Here is my new kitchen rug!  Exactly what I was looking for!

It’s all mine… 

I might have a decent size stash of various fabrics, annnnd I might have more than one great sewing machine.  What I certainly didn’t have was a quilt that was all mine! One that I made for just me!  Until now! On our recent vacation, I put the finishing touches on my City Tiles Quilt!  I was excited to test the pattern for Emily.  (I just love her modern style, Go Check her out!) I sometimes dream of quilting for hours each day.  That is NOT the season of life for me right now.  When 1st-grade spelling or navigating how to explain a noun of direct address to my 4th grader wake me from my daydream,  I realize I don’t want that dream.  I cherish spending most of my days memorizing irregular verbs and Latin noun declensions with my kids. While the subjects do provide a level of interest for me, it’s more about the time spent with my not so little kids watching them learn and grow.  Taking on larger quilt projects is always bridled by other priorities.  I look at this dreamy finish and am pleased that it was all started and finished this year. And it’s all mine.  I figure this life I have is pretty incredible! Oh, and it’s all Tula Pink… Because hello #stopstashing #startsewing!  When you see me next, I might just be carrying this thing around like like a two-year-old with a security blanket. 

We discovered a ghost town (old Mormon settlement) outside Zion.  Seriously, this wagon? Zion is full of breathtaking views, cliffs, and hillsides that have broken off in big chunks and landslides.  I spy the  Zion Arch in the background…do you? 

We hiked, we laughed, we ate ice cream, we biked, we ventured through tunnels, I fell and LITERALLY.ATE.DIRT *blech* (3 hours later I was still gritting it between my teeth), and the whole time we were in awe of God’s handiwork. 

Working Truss Bridge, WHAT? WHAT?

The quilt deets: Fabric is Tula Pink from several lines.  For the back, I pieced it from various larger cuts, yard, half yard, and fat quarter.  Even the binding is Tula.   ALL TULA, ALL THE TIME! I quilted it in a simple larger crosshatch.  I think the piecing was sophisticated enough for this finish!  Do you have a quilt that is all yours?