Monday, May 31, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hum!

So this post is all about me - this little item is now in my possession - - - to be used in about three weeks. All on my own . . . with a group of people I don't know . . . but I am about as excited as my kids are when they get to spend a day out with Thomas at our local historic train company!
Hum . . . . what will it be like? I can hardly wait to see! And I would be neglectful to not mention a big thank you to a deserving husband who is sending me on my way while he stays home to take care of two busy little boys all by himself! I hope we all survive!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quilt Labels

Well - despite the piles of crafts waiting in line to be started and/or finished, and despite my great longing to work on many of them, some quality time with my family usually comes first. Work has been incredibly busy too . . . so you'll have to settle for a quick look at a partly finished project.
After son #1 was born I had a friend at work who was pregnant and she started an I Spy Quilt square exchange. Instead of having to make 30 different and unique squares, you make 30 of the same square and then share those squares with 29 other people and you end up with 30 different squares (while only having to buy 1 1/4 yards of I Spy fabric and 1 1/4 yards of a coordinating fabric). So after I got all the squares back I whipped up the quilt along with a second one for my friend's grandson. And when son #2 was born I wanted him to have his own so I made all 30 squares from scratch for him.
Well I always wanted to add quilt labels to each of the quilts and designed these about 1 1/2 years ago. A little embroidery and a thin fabric marker and they were done. And there they sat waiting for me to find the coordinating quilt fabric to put borders on. I finally did that about a week ago, and now they sit waiting for me to hand sew them on to the boy's quilts. Some day soon! I do have a stack of new blocks waiting to be sewn for another I Spy quilt - with a lean towards the female side for my same friend's newest granddaughter. When I get around to that I'll post the instructions. Super fun and easy! The kids love to lay on their quilts and find all the fun things highlighted in the blocks.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ric Rac Baby Blanket

I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . . sewing projects are ALWAYS about the fabric! I found this great tutorial the other night over on Sew Much Ado ( and just had to find the perfect fabric and make one. So I snuck out of the house . . . with a child in tow so I guess it wasn't really sneaking . . . and headed over to one of my favorite fabric stores that has the most amazing selection of flannel.
And here is what I ended up with!
I love the non-traditional girl fabric. This will have to find a new home with some new baby girl really soon.

Sew Much Ado's tutorial is really easy to follow - no need for me to do a new tutorial at all. Check her's out and make one of your own. All in all this took me about an hour. Love it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Great Kid Birthday Cake Ideas

I am no cake decorator by any stretch of the imagination! Therefore I have great respect and admiration for those who are great cake decorators. Hence my dilemma about birthday cakes for my kids. I want to do something fun and cute but just don't have that talent. Lucky for me we have the internet and I came across a great website that has incredibly easy, fool-proof, kid birthday cake ideas:

My boys love bugs and icky things so for son #2's recent birthday (he turned two years old) - we made this magnifying glass cake from the website. I bought a 10" cake pan - one boxed cake mix filled the pan. After the cake cooled, I trimmed up the top side so that it was even. Then slip-slapped on some vanilla frosting on the top . . . then some dark chocolate frosting around the sides. The rest of the chocolate frosting went in to a zip top bag. Three red peanut M&M's make up the ant bodies. Cut a tiny corner off from the zip bag to pipe out the ant eyes and legs. Cut a slightly larger hole in the bag and pipe around the top edge. Three Ho Ho's glued together with a dollop of frosting and you have a handle.

The boys loved it and if we can do it, anyone can! I'll be making more cakes from this site!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Car Play Mats

My siblings and I had the best car play mat growing up. My maternal grandmother made it for us out of some canvas-type material. She drew on the white fabric with fabric markers and included some of our favorite local places . . . . our market, our church, our house, our school, etc. We loved that car mat and played with it for many, many hours.
Well I haven't had the creative energy to make a hand-drawn play mat for my boys but I wanted them to have something similar to spend many of their own hours playing with.
I was fortunate enough to find a panel of pre-printed fabric at one of my favorite local fabric haunts (Fabric Center) after son #1 was born. I backed it with a heavy weight burlap-y type fabric. Simple sewing - sew all edges, right sides together, leaving a small opening in the middle of one side for turning. Turn and sew up the opening. Then I was at the same fabric store just recently and happened upon a new panel and couldn't resist making it for son #2. This one happens to have a train track all around the edges which son #1 thinks is really cool - I think he's tried to trade with son #2 but no go.
For this second play mat, I found this fun fabric to back the panel with. It's not a panel (repeating pattern with a stop every 36" or so) - just regular old fabric. But it really does make the whole play mat a "two-in-one" mat. Flip it over and you have all new roads to drive on.I'm confident that my Grandma Margie would have done something more personal and hand-drawn if she were alive to play with her great-grandsons. But these simple, easy to make car play mats make my boys happy enough!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fabric Crayon Roll

If the kids in your life love to color with crayons like mine do, here is an easy and fun way to store their crayons.
Materials: 5 x 16 1/2 piece of fabric for outside
5 x 16 1/2 piece of fabric for inside
6 x 16 1/2 piece of fabric for the pocket
5 x 16 1/2 piece of lightweight fusible interfacing
approximately 45 inches of ric rac (optional)
30 inches of ribbon
box of crayons
Fold the pocket fabric (6 x 16 1/2) in half lengthwise. Press.

Iron the fusible interfacing to the WRONG side of the 5 x 16 1/2 fabric that you want to be on the inside.Line up the bottom edges of the folded piece and the piece with interfacing. Pin together.

Starting from one of the short edges, measure in 1 1/4 inch and use a fabric marker to mark a straight line on the pocket fabric. Continue measuring over 1 inch and draw lines. Finally you should have another 1 1/4 inch at the other edge. Sew on each of the lines, backstitching at the top of the pocket to reinforce. You should have a total of 16 pockets, counting both edges. I used clear thread since I didn't have any thread that would match well to the pocket fabric.

If you want to use ric rac, pin it around the edge as shown. Fold the ribbon in half and pin it in the middle of one short edge as shown.Pin the remaining outside piece of 5 x 16 1/2 fabric right sides together with the pocket piece.Sew around the edges with a 1/4 inch seam. Leave about a 3 inch opening across the center bottom for turning right side out.
Trim the corners, turn, and press flat. Top stitch around all four edges - be careful to catch all the layers of the opening in the top stitching. You can cut the ribbon in half now to tie - or leave it in one round piece and wrap it around the rolled crayon holder like a pony tail holder. Fill with crayons and enjoy!
The cute fabric possibilities are endless! And it is about the fabric!
Tips and tricks I've learned after making lots of these: Use a darker fabric for the inside piece (behind the pocket) - the crayons will leave light marks as the kids slide them in and out of the pocket. If you want to have a fun, non-solid piece of fabric on the inside, use it as the pocket material - the pocket ends up being the more visible piece on the inside of the roll.

Credit: I believe that the lady that I received my original instructions from (at a church craft day) can be found at: She has a super cute felt crayon and notepad roll as well that I'd love to make . . . If I had a girl! Check it out:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Little Girl's Baby Blanket

I love to sew. I also believe that a new baby can never have too many blankets/quilts. So I often make blankets for my friends who are having babies. This is my most recent creation for a soon-to-arrive baby girl. I actually attempted to match fabrics on my own and while I don't think I "love" the results, they will work for now. Add to the blanket a super cute sun dress from Old Navy and I'll mail this off for the mom and new baby this week.