Saturday, May 19, 2012


I'm always in a search for quick and easy projects and ideas.  Tubes are definitely a fun quilting technique.  I spent half my day today making several of these easy blocks.  I thought I would share a quick tutorial while I was at it.  Maybe it's something new to you too!

You will need 3 different fabrics, cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler with a 45 degree angle.

Cut all the width of the fabric.
Cut 3 2 1/2" strips of white
Cut 1 strip of another color
Cut 2 strips of the last color

Sew 2 white strips on either side of the 1 colored strip.

Sew the last 2 white strips on either side of the last colored strip.
Iron all seams towards the darker.

Then lay the two new larger strips on top of each other right sides together. 
Stitch down the two long sides.

Then using the 45 degree mark on your ruler, line it up with your seam line and cut. 

Move the ruler up to the opposite side and cut again on the 45 making a triangle.  Repeat until you are through the strip.  (You will have more than you need.)
Unfold those new blocks and press.

Stitch 4 together as shown.  I turned my 4 blocks opposite ways but you could match them all up for a continuous look.

Now isn't that easy!  I kept wanting to try new color combinations.  I almost have 10 of them done and then will be making a full quilt. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

my take on a snack sack

There are tons of tutorials out there on snack sacks but I finally made one that works for our family.  First off I went looking for a good solution to the lining.  Regular fabric is out.  First reason is it doesn't keep what's inside fresh and anything greasy like chips is gonna leak though.  I carry several laminated cottons in my shop so I did some research on if they were food safe.  In that search I started to find all sorts of horrible things about fabrics.  Who had any idea?  Actually I was pretty bummed out thinking how can I make a reusable bag that I feel comfortable having my kids use?  Some days I send my preschooler to school with as many as 3 or 4 baggies.  Using containers is not an option because there is only so much space in her little kitty lunch box.  My solution - recycle what I already have which makes me feel even better about these little snack sacks!  Enjoy the tutorial.

First of all I prefer to use a serger for this snack sack because it's so much faster but a regular sewing machine can be used with a few extra seams.  I have subbed in some of those instructions too.

2 pieces 6 1/2" wide x 7" tall pieces of fabric for exterior
2 pieces 6 1/2" wide x 7" tall plastic from cereal box lining.  (For this you want to make sure you use the opaque plastic found inside the cardboard cereal box.     You will want to test the plastic first by cutting it with a pair of scissors then pulling at the cut.  If it tears easily then it's not a good plastic to use.)
Velcro (I used 3/4" and cut in half lengthwise)

Sew the strips of velcro to the tops of the plastic pieces about 3/4" from the top.

 Serge the plastic to the exterior fabric at the tops.  (or sew right sides together then flip right sides out and top stitch.)

 Put your pieces insides together and serge around the last three sides.  (or right sides together stitch around the last three sides.  Use pinking shears around those edges then turn right side out.) 

Recycling and saving plastic all at once!

Super fast & easy to sew!

Use up scraps.  Make lots of different sizes. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

half a decade

Can it possibly be?  We have had this little girl for 5 years!  Amongst all the craziness of life I wanted to be able to give her a special party.  She requested a mermaid theme.  Ok, shouldn't be too hard!

The cake is something that her aunt does best and always has!

Now to blow out the candles.  All the blondies get in on this one!

Ahhh...too much sun!!!  Course you can't have a mermaid party without a mermaid skirt!  I made these up for party favors.  They are so simple.  I basically measured (or guessed) waist to just below knee for the top then added the frilly fin bottom.  I elasticized the waist and the middle section where you can see it sewn.  I left the back seam of the "fins" unsewn and just serged the bottom edges so I didn't have to hem anything.  The elastic in the middle left lots of running and playing room.  Hmmm...I haven't done a tutorial in awhile, maybe it's time.

No event is complete without a craft project.  We did maracas following a fun tutorial I found over at Made.  Everyone loved it.  Even the adults got in on it!  Hers looked a little cooler but there was no way I was letting this bunch get their hands on permanent markers. 

My sister-in-law brought along her needle felting.  I purposely have never looked at a pattern, book or tutorial because I just don't need one more thing to get into.  I can't ever just do a project.  No, I have to get a whole stores worth of supplies so this is one I am staying away from for awhile.  I did have to watch though so now I at least understand how it's done.  So cool.  Oh, those decorations in the background I also got ideas from  She's full of the good stuff!

After our party I made up a little girl bag for another party we went to on Sunday for a classmate.   One more party this coming Saturday that I have to make a gift for.  This party is for one of those little mermaids above who is going to be 4.  She's into black.  So I think a black skirt with lots of pink tulle under it is in order.