Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Bandanna Blog - I made a tent!

WHAT?  When Springs Creative asked us for new ideas of what to make with the Hav-A-Hank Bandannas, I only thought about it for a few minutes.  I quickly responded that I could make a tent.  WHY would I say that?  A tent - was I crazy?  Their response to me was - "Great!  How many bandannas do you need?"  30 sounded about right.   I did a little research (Pinterest) and found some great Kid's Tee-Pee's that were completely homemade and looked easy enough. 

It looked like one quick trip to the hardware store was going to do it.  I bought four, 3/4" dowels that were 5 feet long and cost about $4 a piece and a canvas drop cloth 6 ft. by 9 ft. that was about $8.  Got out for less than $25 for a do it yourself craft project, not bad.

The Pinterest Tee-Pee's only had the drop cloth draped around the poles, not sure that was the look I was going for.  I ended up drilling a hole through the top of the poles about 5 inches down from the top.  I threaded paracord thru and around this and tied it off with a hundred knots. 

I wanted to cut 4 pie shaped pieces out of the drop cloth and cover them with bandannas then sew these panels together.  Seemed like a plan.  I fit the panels together and pinned them - I felt like a dressmaker now working with a larger than life dummy.  To make things difficult I wanted the bandannas centered on each panel - this took a bit longer than I expected but the finished look was well worth the staying up till 3am doing this.   I now had a really sturdy tent with the canvas completely covered in bandanna fabric.  I made an opening for a door and made a little privacy panel out of my leftover bandannas.  I cut strips of bandanna to cover the paracord and knots.  Finished,  and I have to say I have a darned good looking Tee-Pee!

Now the part I had not thought about.  How do I box this little gem up?  We did not have any 6 foot long boxes nor could I find one long enough that was only 7 inches wide and 7 inches deep. That evening we were at COSTCO and I saw a lady in the checkout line with BIG empty boxes.  I asked her where she got them.  I was directed to a fellow in the back that was kind enough to walk me through their area of GIANT empty boxes, not the ones you find up front.  These were big, really big ones.  I mean these would not even fit in my large SUV.  I spied one from an outdoor umbrella up on a shelf and asked if I could have it, yep he got it for me.  If I could have only gotten two I would have been good.  I ended up taking this box and adding 18 inches of homemade box to the top of it.  One roll of packing tape later and I had a mailing box.  Shipped it FedEx to Springs Creative and hope to get it back in my homemade box.  I plan on giving it to the little 4 year old boy across the street. 

Totally not sure what I will make next out of bandannas - could be anything I suppose!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Be Mine!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Springs Creative sent me 2 fabulous yards of Valentine fabric to play with.  First I made a zipped pillow cover.  I already had a pillow form just waiting to be covered.  Of course I added pom-pom fringe!  The hot pink fringe and pink zipper were just the right touch for the wonderful black background Valentine print!

Stay tuned because this pillow will be a giveaway on the Springs Creative Facebook page soon!

I had seen some awesome quilted heart shaped coasters on Pinterest, so those were next.  I made four and added giant ric-rack in different colors using the Conversation Heart fabric.  These can also be used as mug rugs for your coffee and a little cookie, yum.  I just enlarged a heart cutout, traced it on the fabric, added one layer of scrap batting with backing fabric and quilted it in a grid pattern.

I love making zip pouches so that was my next project.  I used some leftover linen fabric and appliqued a heart on the zip bag.  I also used this same cute conversation, text me, fabric for the lining.  I always finish off  the zipper pull with leather lacing and a wooden bead.  This pouch is perfect for lip gloss and makeup or to just fill with candy, yeah, probably candy.

I still had some fabric left so I made a patchwork square, quilted it, and added binding.  It was a perfect nine patch!  Instead of a hot pad, I made it into a Tic-Tac-Toe game to be played with giant buttons.  Of course I made a coordinating drawstring bag to hold the buttons, now it can travel.

I really enjoyed working with the holiday novelty fabric.  Our next batch of fabric will be Easter fabric and I can't wait for it!  Does it seem like I enjoy the fabrics that go with candy holidays?  You betcha!  

Friday, December 2, 2016

Let's Make Sewing Great Again - with Trolls!

When Springs Creative told us that our next fabric adventure would be Trolls, I was so excited!  I have loved Trolls since I was little and still have my GIANT Santa Troll, he is at least 50 years old and over a foot tall.

The new age Trolls are preppier and sort of sparkly and a lot more animated than the old standby naked trolls with crazy hair.  They have an entire story line and personality in their new movie.

I was offered a variety of Troll fabrics and started with the soft flannel.   I used 10" squares and added yellow terrycloth backing to make some fun and super-soft washcloths.

For my second project I made a large sturdy tote for a child's day of activities or school supplies and books.  I added pockets to the outside and to the inside to hold notebooks, pens and a cell phone (I am sure every kid that is old enough to like Trolls probably has a cell phone already).  I used the glitter Troll fabric for the lining and much to my surprise, I did not have glitter on my face when I was finished.  Possibly the only time I have used glitter fabric that actually stayed on the fabric after cutting, sewing, and ironing!  It's a miracle.

For my third project I made an adjustable Art Apron that could be used for cooking also.  The front pockets could hold paintbrushes or that smart girl's iPhone.  The apron was made with denim fabric that was actually a HUGE picnic tablecloth from IKEA.  I have been using it for many, many projects and still have some left.  The apron pattern is Simplicity 2555 and I used the "ADD some glitter" Troll fabric for the pocket and appliqued a fun Troll to the top.

I also made a fully quilted 16" Reverse Sawtooth Star pattern pillow - good for lounging!

Fun fabrics to work with and I really enjoyed making these Troll items - brought back some great childhood memories, I will probably have to see the movie now.

Vintage Santa Troll

Friday, October 21, 2016

All American Football and Bandannas, Made in the USA!

I was thrilled to find out that our next mission from Springs Creative would be to create Tailgating Themed Items! I had a million ideas, surprised? I guess not.....

We could go to The Bandanna Company catalog and choose which paisley bandannas suited our needs. My first thought for football colors was for our own Carolina Panthers – yep that is what I went with. I wanted 3 colors so I could blend the home and away uniform colors. I went with Black, Royal Blue, and White. Needless to say, I told them that I would need a bunch of each of these colors. I am guessing my box was the heaviest one.

I already had the perfect tailgate party pictured in my head. I am a little obsessed with tablescapes so of course this type of table setting was right up my alley, just outdoors and maybe not with place-card names written in calligraphy.


I used my own small 48” x 24” extra sewing (piled high with fabric that had to be moved) table for a model. For the base I knew a tablecloth would be first. I made a two-sided quilting pieced tablecloth. Next I made some placemats that hold plastic silverware and of course a bandanna napkin. These were lined with fusible fleece to make them sturdy and roll up nicely and tie with football ribbon. Using the small standard Mason jars, I switched the lids for drinking tops with straws. I made quilted Koozies for these and added a giant button (also because I love to finish things off with buttons). Using different colors so you can keep track of which drink belongs to you seemed like a winner.


The trademark bunting was next, using the bandannas was perfect for this, I added “GO TEAM” out of football fabric and fused it on the bunting flags. Continuing with the flag idea, I made several with bandannas and the really thick double sided Pellon fusible interfacing and placed them on wooden dowels.

Centerpiece was next – I found the best galvanized bucket at ACE Hardware, I need to go back and get another one to keep, not sure what for, but they are totally neat and I know I will need one (or more). I actually took a leftover piece of bandanna fabric and added some clip art and PENALTY FLAGS wording and made a tag for the bucket – I ran the whole thing (not the bucket) through my laminator. I attached this with ribbon. Yellow napkins in the bucket represent those darn penalty flags that are always flying!

I felt like I needed to add a little game too. I decided Corn Hole Bags would be a fun idea. I learned way more than I would ever want/need to know about them. Regulations for these are serious business, so mine are true to regulation! Perfect 6” square and 1 lb. Each. Honest. I made four blue and four black, and of course, a fully lined drawstring bag to keep them in.


Yikes! I almost forgot my most awesome Martha Stewart stadium seat cushions! Really, there was a Martha Pinterest Pin for making these DIY seat cushions! A full 17” square and filled with 1/2” upholstery foam. I added a carry handle for hanging or carrying easily. Makes sitting on a crappy bench or metal chair a little easier. Ha ha!


That pretty much wraps up my vision for a Bandanna Football Tailgating Party – here is hoping your team wins! OH, AND YOU CAN WIN TOO! All of these items, including the tablecloth, 4 placemats with napkins and silverware, 4 Mason jars with Koozies and straws, Bunting, flags, 4 seat cushions, the coveted galvanized bucket with napkins, and all 8 Corn Hole bags with their drawstring bag. Whew! Just leave a comment on this blog post and I will select a random winner on 11/21/16. Winner gets it all!  Good Luck and thanks for reading and commenting. Be sure to visit the Springs Creative Facebook page too – they supplied me with all of the bandannas used here. Thanks to HAV-A-HANK, The Bandanna Company for being an awesome Made in USA product!

***Giveaway is over/closed.  The winner is "From Stamford to Stafford"  entire package will be coming your way soon!***


Thursday, September 1, 2016

I am a Springs Creative Brand Ambassador!

I am so excited to be able to tell everyone that I am a Brand Ambassador for Springs Creative. I will be sewing items from some of their yet to be released fabrics!  What a thrill to get fabric before it is even sold!  I was able to choose from the soon to be released Small Wonders Collection of fabrics by Mary Fons.  She has multiple lines coming out including Brazil, Germany, and Japan.  They were all so beautiful I really did not know which one to choose for my first month's project.  I selected Germany because it was freshly on my mind.  A dear friend of mine's daughter was recently an exchange student in Wartmannsroth, Germany.  I enjoyed following her year of adventure and amazing photographs of the countryside.

I made my fabric selection, and like magic it was on my doorstep the next day!  I brought it in and just looked at the cute bundle of fabrics tied with a ribbon for a day.  I had to decide what to make with them that would showcase the fabrics with all their beautiful detail.   Lately, I have been in full quilt making mode, so I decided that a quilt would be one of the first projects.  I wanted to use my new Creative Grids 60 degree Equilateral Triangle Ruler.  That is a mouthful!   The ruler worked like a charm, and I cautiously cut into all 8 of the different fabrics. OK, that was a good start.  I didn't want to waste any of the fabric, so I cut just enough triangles for a twin size quilt. 

What else could I make?  Hummm, well Germany, capital city Dresden, oh yes a Dresden Plate Block!  If you read my last post, you know how much I love making them, and they are German!  A Dresden on a pillow with a cute fussy cut center was just the ticket, project number two was in the works!  I made a 16" square pillow, fully lined it, and used a zipper in the back.  Done. 

Finally, I wanted to make something fun, something that is my signature item. What is my total, go to, fun project?  Bunting you say? YES, Bunting! I am a total bunting fan, they are hugely popular in Great Britain, and used for weddings and all sorts of parties. I have to say that I have quite the collection of ones that I have made (many have been gifted) for all occasions, and I mean all, Halloween, Fall, Christmas, Apron Party (I will tell about that later), A Proper Tea Party, and  Sewing Circle luncheons. Of course, the Germany prints were perfect for this – one print has tiny beer steins – I die! Cutest fabric ever, right up there with my favorite doughnut and pretzel fabrics.  I made a 9 foot long bunting to hang on a wall to show all of the beautiful prints. 

I really enjoyed making things for Springs Creative, they photographed my things beautifully!  My sister, Karen, said it looked like a magazine spread and it really does.

I look forward to next month's selection of fabrics.  No idea what they will be, but I cannot wait to create something.  The nature of the fabric tells me what it can be, a tote, a skirt, a pillow, anything that you can create with fabric. Whatever I make next month will be offered as a giveaway on my blog so stay tuned here and on the Springs Creative Facebook page!

These three Germany items are all going to be gifted to that same exchange student gal, Emmi.  I have had her on my mind for these items the entire time I was working on them.   I also stayed in touch with her while she was in Germany and became friends with her host mother too.  Makes the world seem a little smaller and wonderful, also the name of this Mary Fons fabric line, Small Wonders, The Germany Collection.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

If you like it put a Dresden on it!

If you like it put a Dresden on it............and then you will love it!

I was at a Stash Bash mini retreat last year when I discovered this "old is new again" phenomenon.  One of the girls whose name was Amy (I didn't really know her yet) was making a Dresden Block and I was curious about it.  All I knew was that Dresdens were probably your grandmother's quilt block.  Not true!  Hers was awesome and it was made with modern fabrics, turquoise, if I remember correctly!  She graciously showed me how to make them.  Then another one shows up, Karie had half Dresdens appliqued on each side of a zip pouch, rainbow - of course.  Stop it! Then, yet another one, made by Teresa out of the coolest Cotton & Steel fabrics that she placed on a tote bag. 
I thought about it for the rest of the weekend and wanted to get started on one immediately.  I already felt so  behind in this Dresden craze!  When the retreat ended, I was able to leave Greenville, South Carolina on a route that could take me past The Cary Quilting Company.  OK, it was a little bit out of the way, but we are talking emergency sewing supplies. Luckily, they had the perfect Tula Pink Fabric (The Eden Tiger head print) that I had in mind for my huge Dresden and they had the ruler too, bonus!  Go big or go home, right? 
I mean I did - I went home and cut out a really BIG one and a medium one too.  Next, I constructed an even bigger low volume tote bag to applique them on.  The finished product made me so happy!   It actually was showcased on Tula Pink's IG feed and I was thrilled.
Rainbow Dresden pillow
Lesson learned - old quilt blocks should not be forgotten, they should just be reinvented with fun new fabrics.  Also noteworthy, I am now fast friends with all these Dresden ladies. Thanks Amy, for letting me in on this fun direction to take my sewing. (We are now like a sewing gang that crosses several states.)
These are easy and addicting!  After making the giant Tula Tiger Tote, I went on to make Christmas gift bags, a rainbow Dresden pillow, and the larger than life Scrappy Dresden Quilt by Red Pepper Quilts that finished at over 50".  Continuing on with this giant Dresden trend, I am working on a Bathing Beauties poolside quilt that is almost as big.
I don't see an end to the possibilities here.

Bathing Beauties in process
Pillow I made for the nana company swap


Christmas gift bags for sewing circle gals

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nancy Drew

It is a surprise that I love making quilts so much after a little bit of a bumpy start.

The Case of the “Missing” Quilt

I guess it all started when I was young and got hooked on Nancy Drew books. Last year while cruising Etsy, I saw things made out of Nancy Drew fabrics and followed them to the Moda page where there was an entire series! I knew I had to have it for something, just not sure what. I decided to make a rag quilt so I purchased 2 layer cakes of fabric and tracked down another yard or so of assorted matching fabrics. I had this quilt in mind for months before actually starting it. Our retreat was coming up and I decided that I would make the quilt there. I pieced and paired all of my fabric and was ready to go. At the retreat I worked hard on Nancy Drew. I was getting so excited thinking of having her on my lap when I watched tv, having a cup of tea, or just reading with her.

I finally had all of the blocks sewn together and took it outside to spritz it. I gave it a thorough spritzing so the rag part would curl nicely. Grabbing some dollars and quarters, I set out to find the guest laundry, starting to get excited to see what it would look like. I put Nancy in the dryer, fed the quarters, and nothing – twice. I proceeded to the front desk where the young lady (probably 19 years old) was sitting. I told her of the dryer dilemma and she came to check it out. She also fed it many coins but it just was not going to run. Trying to be as helpful as she could, she offered to put it in the commercial dryer for me. OK that seemed safe, I told her for just 10 or 15 minutes and that would be enough. I did not want her to fry in the industrial dryer.

I went back to the sewing room trying to start a new project but just sort of waited, and waited, never heard from her again so I went looking. What I found was horrific! Since the front desk girl was probably a little inexperienced, she put Nancy in the industrial WASHER and not the dryer. The washer locked itself and I mean LOCKED with a huge metal arm and lock, there were pipes running into it and I saw my poor Nancy inside this huge machine with what looked like some dirty sheets. My immediate thought was that bleach and hot water would be pouring in at any minute! Front desk girl said “don’t worry I hit the Emergency Stop button!” She was also trying to pry it open with a butter knife. I was starting to freak out, ok I was already freaking out at this point. She could not get it open and said we had to wait till 10pm when the night guy comes in. 

I went back to the sewing room again, everyone knew it was bad, really bad. Jean came with me and I showed her the lockup that Nancy was in. We took pictures and laughed, but I was not really laughing. We went back to the room again to wait for 10pm. I was sad at this point, thinking I would never watch tv with Nancy, never have tea with Nancy, and was already missing her terribly.

Well everyone in the room had a Nancy Drew joke for me and they all seemed to have a ball with it! (I can laugh about it now.)

The night guy evidently got her out but did not know what to do with her. Luckily, Julie was out there and she took control of my quilt, it was still soaking wet when she brought it to me. We put Nancy in the REAL industrial dryer for 10 minutes and I just brought her back to the room. Seriously, that evening was filled with drama, excitement, almost tears, joy, everything! Probably better than a real Nancy Drew mystery and so glad I spent it with my sewing buddies.

Locked inside the industrial washer!
Hotel laundry holding her hostage!

Finally free!