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Monday, August 30, 2010

Personalized Door Monograms

I've seen so many great monogram projects out there lately and thought the boys might enjoy helping me with one of their own.

We first printed the boys inititals in their font of choice.  Then cut them out and traced them onto cardboard.

C helped me to find and cut out magazine pictures from their choice of themes.  C picked vehicles and S, dogs.

We then Mod Podged the pictures on each letter.

While the letters dried, I cut fabric to fit inside our chose frames and glued the fabric onto the frames backing.

I found placing just a few rows of glue at a time provided a smoother result.

I then glued the monogram to each piece of fabric.

I then cut the excess fabric around the backing, secured it to the frame, and then used the glue gun to add coordinating ribbon for hanging. 

We took the glass out of the frame since we wanted to hang our on each boy's bedroom door but they could easily be used as is.

The boys are happy because everyone will know who sleeps in each room.  Now they're just waiting for a nail to hang upon.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Infant Car Seat Canopy

It was so cold and rainy here on Thursday that felt it was cruel not to cover little K up in his seat.  Two hours later after running around doing the daily preschool drop-off and errand running, I'd dropped the cover-up blanket in the water about 20 times.

That's when I decided it was high time I made one of these:

fabric car seat canopy

Now little K's toes are nice and toasty

and the details make this momma happy.

The only problem is that the borrowed car seat now looks a little dingy

and everyone who passes MUST check out what's inside.  Peek-a-boo!

I used Shiana's car seat canopy tutorial from over at Just Because I am Me.   A wonderful tutorial from a great blogger.  I just love quick and easy projects like these.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Fire Truck Pillow Tutorial

Fire Truck Pillow Tutorial

I was so excited about this pillow that I had to post about it before I got my tutorial together.  I'm ready now, so here goes.

fire truck pillow tutorial


1/2 yard main fabric

1 yard lightweight fusible interfacing (optional)

scraps for window/wheels/ladder

poly fiber fill



Step 1:  Prepare Pillow Pieces

The first thing you'll need to do is to create your fire truck pattern piece.  You can find a nice graphic that you like on the web and work from there or draw a picture free hand. 

I'm sorry to say that I am a hard copy kinda girl.  I drew my fire truck on a piece of easel paper first and then used it to cut my fabric.  ** Side Note:  I'm interested in finding a pattern making software so I can share my designs.  Anyone know of a good one?**

You'll want to cut 2 pieces of the main shape which will give you the front and back of your pillow. If you notice in my picture, the truck shape has a 1/4 inch border around it.  This is my seam allowance.

Then cut a long strip of coordinating fabric (here's a great chance to use some of your scrap pile).  I cut mine to be 2 1/2 by 80 inches.  I ended up using 4, 20 inch pieces and sewing them together like you would if you were making continuous bias binding.  If you're not sure how to do this, click on this post.

If you want a stiffer pillow fuse interfacing to each of the three fabric pieces (2 truck shapes and the long strip)  I think if you use enough stuffing this isn't necessary, just a matter of preference.

Step 2:  Applique Truck Front

Cut the window, ladder and wheel shapes from your pattern and use them to create your applique decorations from fabric scraps.  Before cutting the fabric, make sure to apply your Steam-to-Seam or other heat and bond product. 

I used wool felt for the wheels to add a bit of texture. 

To cut the rungs of the ladder, simply fold the fabric in half, once you've applied the Steam-to-Seam, and cut out each window.

Now follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse the pieces onto your truck front and use a decorative or zig-zag stitch to sew them on with a contrasting thread color. 

Step 3:  Sew It Together

Take the front truck shaped piece and long strip piece and put them RIGHT sides together.  I started with the top left because I felt it would be easier to start with a straight place.   A 1/4" in from the edge, stitch all along the edge of the truck using a 1/4" seam allowance.

I'm still building my curvy seam sewing skills so I went extremely slow from this point on. 

Now do the same thing to sew the back on.  Make sure to leave a little hole at the end as an entrance for the stuffing.  The smaller you make the hole the less hand stitching you'll have to do, which in my case is a very good thing.

Step 4:  Stuff the Pillow

Turn the fabric RIGHT side out and stuff the pillow.  Your decision here on how full you want your pillow.  Then fold the ends of the fabric into the truck and use a whip-stitch to sew the opening closed.

Now it's time to go ahead and make a little car to go with it because they sure do look adorable sitting next to each other.  Hop on over to Noodlehead for a tutorial on how to make the car.  Anna's great tutorial was my original inspiration to give the fire truck a try.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finally, A Blog Button

I've never claimed to be the most techy kinda girl, but I always thought I had some decent skills.  It has taken me months to sit down and find some un-interrupted time to figure out how to  make myself a blog button.

I've browsed through several websites, tutorials and such and have to admit--I just didn't get it.

Until I stumbled across this tutorial from Mommy Bits (Wednesday's heck no . . . this week's Wickedly Awesome).

In no time,  I had my own blog button with code box.

Here it is:

Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

I'm so thrilled about this, I can't even say.  Anyhoo, you've probably already made one but if not give the tutorial a visit because it saved me so much stress.

Go on and grab it.  Put in on your sidebar.  I know ya wanna..

Monday, August 23, 2010

Boy Week Linky Party

I just found out that there is a Boy Party going on over at The Nifty Nest.  There are already some adorable boy inspired projects posted for her All About The Boy Linky Party. 

I added my fire truck pillow from this post to the party.

If you've got a great boy themed project, run over there and post it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Finished Twin Quilt

twin quilt sew along

Did you finish your's?  C is all comfy-cozy under his quilt tonight.

I think he's happy with it.

I hope that it is at least a start to making his bedroom/family playroom/mommy's sewing corner feel a little bit more like his own space.

Back to work on the other three quilt projects I've got going.

Maybe things will move faster with them now that my amazing new machine making sewing much more productive.


If you followed along, please remember to post your pics over at the My First Quilt Along Flickr Pool

My First Quilt Along Links:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My First Quilt Along- Binding Your Quilt

You've now spent time making and pressing your continuous quilt binding and it's time to finish this baby up.

Before sewing on the binding you will need to trim the excess batting and backing around your quilt.  You can use scissors or a rotary cutter to do this.  Either way, make sure to square up the edges to make sure you have four straight sides.

Start sewing your binding onto your quilt sandwich by lining up the raw edges (the beginning of your binding should be the piece that was pressed under giving you a clean fold) and sewing with a 1/4 inch seam.  You want to start sewing about 1/2 way down one side of your quilt and make sure to leave about 5 inches of unattached binding at the top.

I began sewing from 1/2 way down the white block.

Continue sewing the binding on until you come about 1/4 in. from the corner.  Sew back about 3 stitches and then cut your thread.

You'll now need to miter the corner.

Fold the binding strip back at a right angle.

Then fold it back so that the raw edge of the binding is aligned with the raw edge of the quilt.

Start sewing again from the corner of the quilt.  Continue in this manner until you come to the loose binding at the beginning.  If necessary, trim excess binding. 

Slide the piece of binding that is cut at an angle into the binding with the pressed edge.

Continue sewing to attach the remaining binding.

Now fold the binding over the back of the quilt and hand-stich the binding to the back of the quilt.  I found this A-MAZING tutorial from Turning Turning for using the ladder stitch to hand-stitch a quilt binding.  It has a great step-by-step photo tutorial for doing this and I always say, "don't re-invent the wheel." 

If you are anything like me, this may take a while.  I might just be the slowest hand stitcher in history but it's the last step.  You've now completed your first quilt.  Now go to the My First Quilt Along Flickr Group and show it off!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fire Truck and Car Pillows

When I saw this car pillow tutorial over at Noodlehead, I knew I just had to try it out for myself.  And I had the perfect excuse to shut myself away and start sewing.  Two new baby boys entered this world over the summer and need welcoming. 

Here's my version.  Just a few little changes because of on-hand supplies:

What a great tutorial. Thanks, Anna for making this look so easy!

I added twill tape to the back because I couldn't stand the idea of a partial alphabet.

Anna's tutorial was so good, I was inspired to try out a fire truck version.

I love how a good crafty/sewing tutorial will do that.  Inspire you to take a technique and own it.

And now I find I have two problems.  First, each truck was supposed to go to a separate family.  But they look so happy together.  Secondly, my truck obsessed 18 month old is carrying them around the house proudly announcing, "truuuuk".

I guess I'd better get that package mailed and then sit down to start sewing a few more.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My First Quilt Along- Quilt Binding

It is now time for the dreaded quilt binding.  Actually, call me crazy but this is my favorite part.  I get so excited that my quilt is almost finished. 

Step 1:  Cut binding strips

How thick to cut the strips is all dependent on how fat you want your biding.  I pretty much stick to 2 1/2 inch strips.  That is my own preference.  You can go thicker if you prefer. 

Here is where the controversy starts.  Many experienced quilters may agree that one MUST cut the strips on the bias (45 degree angle)  in order to get the "stretchiest" binding.  As a mother of three boys under the age of 5, I don't have time to measure, mark, and cut diagonal strips. 

I've never attempted a curved edge quilt so I don't find this extra step necessary.  I cut Cross Grain binding strips and have found this to be perfect for me. 

There is a great explanation here at Quilter's Cache with wonderful graphics to explain each method.

Once you decide how you prefer to cut your strips do some math to figure out how long your continuous binding will need to be.  Basically, find the perimeter of your quilt and then add another 12 inches or so.  I always error on the side of EXTRA binding.

Step 2:  Create one long, continuous binding strip

Cut the end of one strip at a 45 degree a angle. 

Lay this strip on top of the next strip forming a T. 

Measure or eye up where the two pieces form a 45 degree angle.  If this is your first go around with bias binding you may want to draw the line.

Sew along this line.

Cut off the excess, leaving a 1/4 inch seam.

When you lay your seam flat it should look like this.  Continue with the rest of your strips until you have enough binding.

Optional step.  Leave binding unattended on the floor for your toddler to discover. (Not recommended)

Step 3:  Press Into Single Fold Binding

Start by pressing back the 45 degree angle we cut at the beginning of the binding strip.  This leaves you a more finished edge where the binding edges meet in the middle of the quilt.

Now press the entire length of binding in half.  Easy peasy!  We'll deal with the sewing on tomorrow.

Previous "My First Quilt Along" Posts: