CNE 2017

We’re going to be at the CNE this year, in Hall A, Booth 2012.

We’ll have new Janome machines, and amazing savings on existing machines. Make sure to come ask for Teresa

 

Five reasons why Sewing is important

Five Reason why Sewing is Important
​The world is full of all kinds of great things that you can partake in, from hobbies to careers and everything in between. One of the most valuable skills that you can look at learning – and maintaining – is sewing. Why? It’s critical, even in today’s day and age of convenience. Sewing has been around since the beginning of time, and it really does still have a role in today’s world, though you may not even know about it. Here are five fantastic reasons that sewing is important and relevant for you to admire and understand for yourself:

• You can take care of your own clothes: A lot of people will simply throw something out (or take it to a seamstress) when they see that something is wrong with their clothing. While there is nothing wrong with that, it can get costly in a hurry! Whether you have kids who are always skidding holes in their jeans or ripped seams out, you’ll be finding yourself maxed out of your budget on clothing repairs sooner rather than later. When you know how to sew, however, you will be able to do most of the minor (and even major!) repairs yourself so that you’ll be able to save some money and make sure your loved ones stay looking sharp.

• You can design your own clothes: When you get seriously into the world of sewing and learn the professional skills, you’ll even get to the point where you’ll be able to design your own clothing. You will have the know how and skill to make some great options at home when you are in need of some high end fashion, but you’ll be able to design them your way, and you’ll be able to really enjoy all of the great ways that you can explore this aspect of yourself.

• You can take classes and meet new people: When you participate in some of our fantastic, professional (and multi-level) sewing classes, you’ll be able to meet all sorts of new people that will help you understand just how precious community is. You’ll be able to talk and build personal connections to your classmates and join a world of people who love to sew, too. As you learn new skills, you’ll be able to meet new people, too, and make your life better and brighter.

• Perfect “you” time: If you have a hectic life and you are looking for some well-deserved “you” time, you can get it with our classes, as well as sewing at home. It’s often a calming and fun activity that you can do anywhere, any time and you’ll have the mental space to work through all of the things that are bugging you at this particular moment.

• It keeps the mind sharp: We spend a lot of our off time watching TV and doing things on our cell phones, so sewing is a great way to help keep the mind sharp and help you move your way towards keeping all of your skills up to date, as well.

​Take a look around our website and the programs that we offer. We’d be so happy to help you start out your sewing journey and make it as great as possible with our classes and programs. We ant you to see that sewing really is still important in our world today, and after reading about five great benefits, we hope that you’re going to be able to see that as well.

How to Make: Snowman Quilt

Make this cute Snowmen Quilt, a great idea for a gift this holiday season. Practice quilting techniques and decorate your home (or your friends homes) for the season with a snowman wonder.

This tutorial teaches you how to move beyond your typical four-square quilting technique and into new territory. Come winter, you’ll love cuddling up with this truly festive and cozy quilt. Every year when you take out this treasure you’ll remember all of the work you put into it, and how it was all worth it!

 

Finished quilt size: 44″x64″

Materials needed;
1/2yrd Authentic Simple Spot Natural
1/2yrd Authentic Simple Spot Sprout
1/8yrd Simple Spot Black
1/4yrd Authentic In Bloom Sprout1/4yrd Authentic Spot On Black

1/4yrd Authentic Word Play Black
1 1/2yrds Authentic In Bloom Black
1 1/2yrds Authentic Spot On Natural
1/4yrd Essence Sandy’s Solids Red
1/16yrd Essence Sandy’s Solids Gold
*This does not include backing & binding materials.
We used 2yrds Authentic Dot to Dot Natural for backing & 1/2yrd Authentic In Bloom Black for binding.
Start out by cutting from your Authentic Spot on Natural 88-4.5″squares.
Then from your Authentic In Bloom Black you will cut 352-1.5″ squares.
With your squares you will attach them to all four corners of the 4.5″ squares to create 88 snowball blocks.
Finished blocks should look like this.
Now sew those snowball blocks together to create the blanket in 8 rows of 11 blocks. Set that aside for now.
From your Authentic Word Play Black you will cut an 8″x width piece.
From your Authentic In Bloom Black you will cut an 18″x width piece for the top background and a 8″x width piece for the bottom.
From your Authentic Simple Spot Natural material you will cut out the snowmen body parts. For the dad’s head you will cut 1-11″ circle. For the baby’s head you will cut 1-8″ circle. For the mom’s head you will cut 1-10″ circle. As you can tell from the image above I prefer to use things from my kitchen and templates like plates.
You will cut the dad and mom circles in 1/2. Placing one half for the head and one for the top of the body.
For the baby’s hands you will cut 2-3.25″ circles. Kitchen cups work great for a template.
Cut two large 1/2 circles for the snowmen feet.
Now you will create the hats.
For the dad you will cut out this shape from your Authentic Simple Spot Sprout.
Now you will cut a 3.25″x14.5″ strip.
Fold that strip in 1/2 and stitch across the end. As shown in the image below.
Now take this strip and attach it to the dad’s hat as shown in the image below.
So that your seam is toward you. You will then fold this up so that the hat as a 3-D brim.
Repeat this process with the Authentic Spot On Black but make it 3.25″x9″ for the baby hat.
Cut out a 1/2 circle, the size of the baby’s head for the baby hat.
Cut out a small oval from the Essence Sandys Solids Red for the top of the baby hat.
For the mom’s hat cut out a half circle from the Authentic In Bloom Sprout and then scallop the bottom edge as shown in the picture above.
From the Essence Sandys Solids Red cut a 1″ strip, place it on the moms hat and trim the ends to fit the hat.
From the Essence Sandy’s Solids Red 1″ strip you will now cut 3- 1″x5″ strips for the flower. Place them as shown in the image above.
Add a black circle to the center of the flower. A quarter works great for the template.
Cut out and add some black and red circles to the dads hat, using a quarter for the template. As shown in the image above.
Apply an oval to mom’s hat.
For mom’s scarf cut 3 pieces all 2-2.5″x8.25 & 1-2.5″x11″ place them as shown in the image above.
For baby’s scarf cut three pieces. 2.25″x7.25″, 2.25″x7.75″ & 2.25″x6″
Place them and baby’s hands on as shown in the image above.
For dad’s scarf cut 3 pieces 3.25″x9.5″, x10.5″, x14″.
Place them as shown in the image above.
Sew the Authentic In Bloom Black top background to the Authentic Word Play Black strip as show in the image above.
Cut out three noses and six eyes as shown in the image above.
Now begin your applique. I prefer to use a blanket stitch and applique in layers. As shown above.
Snowmen applique should look like this when finished.
Attach this portion to the quilt portion.
snowmen free pattern
Now, quilt, bind and enjoy!

Holiday Potholders Tutorial

You will need

3/4 yard of fabric, assorted colors, cut into 1 1/2″ strips. I used four colors.

Cut one 8×8″ square, fabric of your choice for the back.

36″ of of 2″ wide fabric strip for binding {more on that later}

Batting, cut in 8″ squares

Here are my cut fabric piles.

1. to get started choose two different fabrics and place at a 90 degree angle. Sew at an angle, trim the ends and iron open.
2. Now you should see were I sewed.
3. With these two open flat, add a third fabric at an angle and sew, trim, iron {you will get REALLY used to this process}
4. Here are the three pieces.
5. Add a fourth color/fabric and sew again, you can see that I’m NOT lining up the edges… this angled sewing will give it the scrappy look we are going for.
6. Now we have completed one “round” its becoming a square {ish} but the pieces are not straight {perfect!!}
Lets see what it looks like as we keep going: Continue sewing around in a circular pattern, varying the angles and shape of each piece as you sew. Also, iron and trim after each piece.
The back will not look so great and might be a little bulky, but thats okay, we want this potholder to protect from the heat, so the extra fabric is okay. 13. shows the back. Keep adding rows.  14. I’ve now completed my sewing. The size is currently bigger than I need, but we need to square it up, so make sure to have some extra. 15. Square up the potholder. 16. mine is 8×8″. You can make whatever size you need to fit your purpose.

Next we need to create the binding. 1. cut 2″ strips. You can use all one color or more if desired. 2. Sew the strips together so you have the length of the perimeter of the potholder 8×4=32 + some extra I would have at least 36 inches of binding. Sew together at a right angle to minimize the fabric thickness of the binding. {a straight seam creates a big bunch of fabric in one place, this technique spreads out the seam.} 3. Clip the seams and iron in half length wide wrong sides together. 4. my ironed binding ready to sew on the potholder.

See this binding tutorial for more tips.

Okay, now for the exciting part! lets put it all together. You can buy insulated batting specifically for potholders… I didn’t have any, so I just used four layers of my regular blanket batting {it seemed to keep the heat off my hand in my test sessions!} Lay your 8×8″ square right side down, add the batting, then top with the quilted square right side up. {1}. 2. Pin, Pin, Pin!!! Use lots of pins to hold it all together and everything in place. 3. Sew/quilt the potholder. I sew along all the seams, but you can do whatever you want. 4. It should look similar to this when finished. All sewn together. Trim the edges.

Lets add the binding now. Start along one side and pin to the first corner, leave a bit of a tail {don’t sew from the start of the binding fabric}When you get to the corner sew to almost the end of the side, stop, pull your fabric out from the machine {dont take it all the way out and cut the thread as I did the the photo} Make a 90 angel with the binding, fold it down and continue sewing. This will give you enough fabric to make a nice corner on both sides. When you get all the way back around you should have two tails.

1. With right sides together pinch the tails together so the edges are flat on the potholder. You want to find where to sew them together to finish the binding. 2. I often fold my project in half to help pin and sew a straight line. Sew where you pinched and pinned. 3. You should now have a completed edge. Sew to the potholder. 4. Trim all the threads from the quilting and binding. 5. this is my back. 6. fold the binding back over and hand-stitch to the back of the potholder.

You did it!!! Now, make several more and give them to all your friends for Christmas! Don’t want to make them… buy some from me {ha!}..

and finally… come on over to my blog today.. I’m show how to make a co-ordinating scrappy table runner to really decorate your table for Christmas.

DIY Hand Warmers

Instructions:

First you want to cut your fabric to the size you wish. I made mine around 9×18, but you can make it how large or small you like. Cut a front and back for each hot pack. Now, stitch around your fabric right sides together and leaving room for turning and filling. Turn your sack right side out. Now insert a funnel into the opening in your sack. You can use rice, corn, or wheat to fill your hot packs. I have used rice and feed corn, and I think corn keeps the heat longer. You can buy it at your local farm supply store. Pour cups of filler into your funnel until it’s about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Stitch a straight seam across the middle of your bag if you like at this point. You can add more seams for partitions so that the corn stays in place better, or you can fill the bag without stitching pockets down and mold the bag more fluidly. I like to put one in the middle so that the corn doesn’t all settle in one spot, but is still really malleable for me to scrunch up. Fill the bag with more corn until it is 2/3rds or so full. Then finish off your bag by stitching the end with the opening closed with a topstitch close to the edge of your fabric. And that’s it. Easy right! To heat up your pack heat in the microwave for a minute at a time until it’s where I like it. To make handwarmers, just make the sacks smaller. I make my handwarmers around 3×4 inches and you just stitch, turn right side out, fill and close up just like the large bags.

I can’t even begin to express how fantastic these are! I use the one’s I have all the time. I never use my heating pad any more. I just pop one of these packs in the microwave and I’m good to go. I have tmj and these are so nice on my jaw when it’s really tight. They are fantastic for muscle aches, and icy cold toes at night. You can also put them in the freezer for cold packs as well. For an extra treat add a few drops of essential oils to make your pack smell divine! I hope I have inspired some of you to try some of these easy little handmade gifts! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another fun holiday handmade gift project!

Happy Crafting!

Easy to Sew Halloween Costumes

Easy Halloween Ponchos

How to make a Bat PonchoHow to make a Ghost PonchoHow to make a Pumpkin Poncho

How to make a Bat Poncho

image of child wearing a Bat Poncho

Materials Needed:

  • Poncho Sizes:
    • Size 4- measure 22”
    • Size 5- measure 23”
    • Size 6- measure 24”
    • Size 7- measure 25”
    • Size 8- measure 26”

Instructions:

Step 1. Fold the fleece in half, bringing selvage edges together. Mark the center of the fleece along folded edge. Measure each side of center point according to the desired size of poncho, see Poncho Sizes. For example, if you want a size 4, measure down 22”. Then measure down the center. Draw two straight lines connecting these points. Cut out poncho. (Fig. 1) figure
Step 2. Measure a 5” square for the neck opening. To do this, measure 2-1/2” from each side of center and down. Draw lines to connect the points and cut out opening. Cut a 3” slit into one corner of neck opening for center front. To shape lower edges of poncho, draw arched lines along one edge. Cut out shapes. Then bring the newly cut edge to each edge of poncho and cut out shapes. (Fig. 2) figure
Step 3. Using a sharp scissor, make small clips 1” below neck edge. Be sure to cut an even number of slits. Make small clips 1/2″ above lower edge, spacing clips 1-1/2” apart. (Fig. 3) figure
Step 4. Cut Fleece into 12-15 strips measuring 1/2″ wide by 11” long. Starting at center front, insert one piece through two openings and tie the ends together in a square knot. Repeat this around the neck edge. Glue sequins along neck edge (Fig. 4) figure
Step 5. Cut remaining fleece into strips measuring 1/2″ wide by 6” long. Fold each piece in half and insert looped end through opening. Insert the ends through the loop and pull to make a slipknot. Repeat this around the lower edge. To form outline of bat wings, glue eight strands of sequins to poncho from neck edge to lower edge. (Fig. 5) figure

How to make a Ghost Poncho

image of child wearing a Ghost Poncho

Materials Needed:

    • 2 yards of white polar fleece
    • one 9” x 12” black felt
    • 1/4 yard of fusible web
    • chalk for marking fleece
  • Poncho Sizes:
    • Size 4- measure 22”
    • Size 5- measure 23”
    • Size 6- measure 24”
    • Size 7- measure 25”
    • Size 8- measure 26”

Instructions:

Step 1. Fold the fleece in half, bringing selvage edges together. Mark the center of the fleece along folded edge. Measure each side of center point according to the desired size of poncho, see Poncho Sizes. For example, if you want a size 4, measure down 22”. Then measure down the center. Draw another line between center and folded edge. Connect the points into a half circle. Cut out poncho. (Fig. 1) figure
Step 2. Measure a 5” circle for the neck opening. To do this, measure 2-1/2” from center in several directions. Draw a half circle and cut out opening. Cut a 3” slit into neck opening for center front. To shape lower edges of poncho, draw a curved line along lower cut edge. Trim away fleece along this line. (Fig. 2) figure
Step 3. Using a sharp scissor, make small clips 1” below neck edge. Be sure to cut an even number of slits. Make small clips 1/2″ above lower edge at inner edge of each curve. (Fig. 3) figure
Step 4. Cut fleece into 20-24 strips measuring 1 1/2″ wide by 11” long. Starting at center front, insert one piece through two openings and tie the ends together in a square knot. Repeat this around the neck edge. Cut a strip of fleece measuring 1/2″ wide by 36” long. Insert fleece through same openings as ties. Cut two more pieces 11” long. Knot one end of fleece and insert through front openings from back to front. Fasten these ties together when wearing. (Fig. 4) figure
Step 5. Cut three fleece strips measuring 1/2″ wide by 11” long for each opening at lower edge. Holding three pieces together, fold them in half and insert looped end through opening. Insert the ends through the loop and pull to make a slipknot. Repeat this around the lower edge. Apply fusible web to felt, following manufacturer’s directions. On paper side of felt, draw two 3” ovals for eyes and one 4” oval for mouth. Cut the shapes out. Arrange eyes and mouth on front of poncho as desired and fuse them in place. (Fig. 5) figure

How to make a Pumpkin Poncho

image of child wearing a Pumpkin Poncho

Materials Needed:

    • 1-1/2 yards of orange polar fleece
    • 1/4 yard of light orange fleece
    • 1/4 yard of green fleece
    • one 9” x 12” black felt
    • 1/4 yard of fusible web
    • chalk for marking fleece
  • Poncho Sizes:
    • Size 4- measure 20”
    • Size 5- measure 21”
    • Size 6- measure 22”
    • Size 7- measure 23”
    • Size 8- measure 24”

Instructions:

Step 1. Fold the fleece in half, bringing selvage edges together. Mark the center of the fleece along folded edge. Measure each side of center point according to the desired size of poncho, see Poncho Sizes. For example, if you want a size 4, measure down 20”. Then measure down the center. Draw another line between center and folded edge. (These lines will be used as placement lines.) Connect the points into a half circle. Cut out poncho. (Fig. 1) figure
Step 2. Measure a 5” circle for the neck opening. To do this, measure 2-1/2” from center in several directions. Draw a half circle and cut out opening. Cut a 3” slit into neck opening for center front. (Fig. 2) figure
Step 3. Using a sharp scissor, make small clips 1” below neck edge. Be sure to cut an even number of slits. Make small clips every 1” along marked lines between neck and lower edge. (Fig. 3) figure
Step 4. Cut green fleece into strips measuring 1/2″ wide by 11” long. Starting at center front, insert one piece through two openings and tie the ends together in a square knot. Repeat this around the neck edge. Then tie one end of each tie together into another knot. (Fig. 4) figure
Step 5. Cut light orange fleece into strips measuring 1/2″ wide by 25” long for each row of vertical openings. Weave fleece through openings like a running stitch. Knot the ends on inside at upper and lower edges. Apply fusible web to felt, following manufacturer’s directions. On paper side of felt, draw two 2-1/2” triangles for eyes and one 2” triangle for nose. Draw a 9” half circle for mouth. Cut the shapes out. Arrange eyes, nose and mouth on front of poncho as desired and fuse them in place. (Fig. 5) figure

diy: fall into a pile of quilted autumn leaves

With the start of some cooler nights, a few trees here in Michigan are just starting to turn colors. The reds, oranges and golds really say Autumn. I wanted to capture the fall colors and came up with my own quilted autumn leaves that you can use to decorate a table, spruce up a fall arrangement or even make as a quick coaster.

This pattern includes two leaves with raw edges. They are quick to stitch up and you can rake — I mean make — a pile in a few hours. It is fat-quarter-fabric-friendly, too.

What you will need

  • 5 coordinating fat quarters in fall fabrics (18 x 22-inch squares)
  • Batting
  • Contrasting threads
  • Washable or erasable fabric marker
  • 90/14 Quilting needle
  • Walking foot (This makes it easier to quilt because the fabric doesn’t slide.)

 What you will need to do

Cut

  • From each fabric, 2 squares 9 x 11 inches
  • From batting, cut 1 square for each fabric color 9 x 11 inches

Prepare

Using the autumn leaves pattern, make templates to trace around. I glued the pattern to light cardboard and cut them out to use as a template.

Position the templates on the right side of the fabric and trace around them with your fabric marker. Be sure to leave space to cut around the leaf to leave a raw edge.

Make a quilt sandwich placing the batting between the two fabric squares, right sides facing out.

Pin or baste the quilt sandwich together.

Quilt

I used two threads for the upper thread to make the stitching more prominent. I literally just threaded both threads through the machine like you would a single thread. I used a larger eye 90/14 quilting needle so I could get both threads through the eye. You may have a decorative stitch that you can use with one thread that will backstitch for a heavier stitch treatment. Experiment to see what you like.

Start at the bottom of the leaf on the line you traced. Slowly, put the needle down and back up through the fabric once and pull the bottom thread to the top of the fabric. This will keep the threads neat on both sides.

Stitch the outline of your leaf. Then move up the inside of the leaf for the veins. I stitched to the top and then backtracked back down the leaf, double stitching each line and then finished off back at the bottom of the leaf.

Finish

Trim your threads.  Carefully cut ¼” to3/8” around the outside of your leaf.

Wash out or erase any remaining tracing lines and iron your leaf.

Decorate 

Scatter your leaves on the coffee table, front entry or as a center piece on the dining table.  Make up extra maple leaves for drink coasters. Arrange them around a vase of flowers or centerpiece.

Rake up a pile of autumn leaves and share with me how you decorated your home!  Did you find any new uses for your quilted leaves?

How to Sew: Phone Case

I am so fed up with going to the pool and losing my phone amongst all of the wet towels, bag full of sunscreen, and other messy items.  I also do not love taking my purse with me to the pool.  I have created a water-proof pouch for your phone, cash, credit card, and other small items that you can take with you to the pool without the worry of wet towels ruining them.  I even lined the inside with felt!

This pool pouch is made with oil cloth and felt.  I found my cute oil cloth material at Hobby Lobby and used some scraps of felt I had lying around (hence the miss-match):

You will need two pieces of oil cloth, and two pieces of felt.  I have an iPhone 5 and included the measurements below which are 5″x6.5″.  If you have a different phone, in the white text below I have shown you the measurements to do: Measure the width 2.5″ larger than your phone and 1.5″ length larger than your phone.

Once you have your pieces cut out, put one piece of oil cloth and one piece of felt together right sides touching.  Do this with all pieces and then sew along the tops of each pair.

After you have sewed a straight line on the tops, fold over so your fabric is right side out and stitch along the top as shown below:

Now you will place the pieces shown above together so that the rights sides of the oil cloth are touching.  Sew down the sides and on the bottom with a straight stitch.

Turn it right side out.

You could stop here if you want, but I wanted to sew a straight line along the sides and bottom again to give it a flatter look and to hold my phone tighter.  And then I wanted to add a flap, this was an after-thought.  I just measured along the top of my phone cover and matched the width to the flap shape below.  I folded the flap over and sewed along the sides:

I attached it to the back of the phone case with a straight stitch.  I then wanted a “belt-like” feature to hold the flap down.  I made this by cutting a long strip of oil cloth and folding over and sewing.  I wrapped it around the phone case and glued it on the back as shown below.

Back view:

Front view:

I have honestly LOVED this water-resistant phone cover ever since I made it!  I take it everywhere with me – not just the pool!

I love creating items in the summertime that make my life easier while playing.  Check out this tote bag/towel combo I made here.