Friday, September 30, 2011 1 comments

Purple Patchwork Bag

Here is the last of the patchwork bags for the custom Etsy order.

Since purple isn't a color I find a lot in vintage sheets, I pulled in some fabrics that had purple as an accent color, too. I really like the overall effect!

I made this one more uniform from front to back. The design is pretty much the same.

I hope you've enjoyed a peek at my recent custom purse orders. I'm always open for a custom order, so feel free to contact me if you have something specific in mind.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 3 comments

Pink Patchwork Quilted Bags

I had a custom order for some patchwork quilted bags in my Etsy shop recently. I showed you the blue patchwork bag last week. Today I'm going to show you the pink bags.

These were made out of 4" squares I had cut from the scraps of the quilts I made for this same wedding.

The front and back of the bags are a little different, but most people probably wouldn't notice.

Of course I added pockets inside to organize the contents.

Here's the second one. It's little different, although some people might think they were the same bag. Notice that I used more of my self-covered buttons on these bags. They're my favorite purse button now.

And here's the back of it.

I really like these totes. I may just make a few more in the coming months.
Monday, September 26, 2011 2 comments

Bragging on my daughter's creation

You'll have to excuse a proud mother today. I just couldn't resist showing you what my almost-6-year-old daughter did over the weekend:

She made this hat for her doll using a Knifty Knitter!

Here she is, hard at work. She's left-handed, so at first she was wrapping the pegs backwards. But once I showed her the difference, she was off and running with it.

Yes, she did it herself. She even learned the special "knot" to wrap around the peg each time to keep the yarn from unraveling, something none of my Sunday school girls have mastered in the two weeks we've been working on it.

I did turn up the brim (put the loops onto the pegs) and take it off the loom for her, but the rest was all her doing. She has been playing with them off and on for the last week, so I was especially proud that she took the time to finish this one. She's already started another one since she has so many dolls that this will fit.

If you've never played around with Knifty Knitters, I'll warn you - they're really fun and addictive! I found the first round set at a thrift store really cheap. It was missing the smallest blue loom (the one my daughter used for these hats), but then I found another round set at a flea market a few days later that included the blue loom.

I must have made 15 or more hats already, a few in each size. It's a great use for the huge garbage bags of yarn my mother-in-law gave me, since you can use smaller balls of yarn for these hats. I can knit the traditional way, but I'll admit this is different and very fun. You really should try it!

You can make your own looms at home out of things you would usually throw away. Here's an example of one (a video tutorial), but I've seen lots of them.

Some day I'll have to round up the hats I've made and do a post about them. :)
Thursday, September 22, 2011 0 comments

"Just Married" Quilted Sign

I just made this banner for the Etsy wedding I've been working on the last few months. I'm all done with the wedding projects, and now I can't wait to see pictures from the wedding itself! (I'll show you the rest of the projects over the next few days.)

This sign was my customer's idea. She had seen it in another wedding and loved the idea, so I adapted it to her theme.

All the fabrics I used had also been used on her quilts, so everything will coordinate. I also added batting between the layers and quilted around each letter so that each of them is like a mini quilt.

So, how did I do the letters? I tried out freezer paper stenciling, that's how!

I had originally planned to applique the letters, but then I remembered seeing freezer paper stenciling online, and I decided to try it. It was easy and worked great!

I'm thinking of making custom name banners for my kids' rooms like these. I wonder if something like that might be a hit in my Etsy shop ... :)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 3 comments

Homemade Gift: Pillowcase Half-Aprons for My Grandmother

A little while ago, my grandmother called and asked if I could make her some half-aprons. Hers are wearing out, and it's no wonder. She has well-loved vintage aprons that she has probably had since they were new. Hey, my grandmother is vintage! :) She is 84 this year.

I've been busy with other projects in the meantime, but yesterday I looked at a pack of vintage pillowcases that had just a decorative edging on them, and I got inspired. About two hours later, I had two half-aprons ready to put in the mail.

This isn't anything earth-shattering, but I know I like to have all the steps laid out for me before I begin even the simplest of projects. So I decided to write up a detailed tutorial (complete with pictures) for how to make a half-apron from one pillowcase - and nothing else except a sewing machine and thread.

Here goes ...

I used a standard-sized pillowcase with decorative edging.

Cut off the side seam of the pillowcase. (See that stain? It's from the ribbon used to tie the pillowcases together in the packaging 20+ years ago. It will be gone in a minute.)

Cut off the top seam (I turned it sideways to cut it) ... 

... then an additional 10” from the top.


From this 10”, cut two 4” segments. Discard the 2” segment. The 4” segments will be the waistband.

Returning to the main pillowcase piece (with the decorative edging), trim 5” off one side, to include the decorative edging. Repeat this one more time.

From the 5” strips, trim the main pillowcase 1” above the decorative edging. These will be the pockets.



Sew the two waistband pieces together on the short ends, creating one long 4” strip of fabric.

Press waistband seams open.


Press waistband in half lengthwise, creating a long 2” strip of fabric. 

 Fold in 1/2” at each end and press to hide raw edges.

Press sides of main pillowcase piece 1/4”, then another 1/4”. This encloses the raw edge.


(1) Press top 1” of each pocket piece so that it lies flush with the beginning of the decorative part. 

(2) Fold this under again and press. This will be the top of the pocket.

Sew sides of main pillowcase piece about 1/4” from the edge to enclose the raw edge.


Sew the tops of the pockets to enclose the raw edges.


Sew edges of pockets at 1/4” to keep layers together and create the 1/4” fold line for pressing.


Pin main pillowcase piece to the waistband piece, matching centers and aligning raw edges. 


Sew at 1/4” from the edges of the waistband, beginning at the very beginning of the waistband. (This helps to keep the pieces from slipping in the next part.)


Press the seam toward the waistband, 

turning under the edges (along the stitching) that were not included in the seam. 

Fold and press the waistband in half, enclosing all raw edges. 

Stitch, beginning at the open edges of the waistband.


This is the time to add a sew-in tag, if you'd like.


Press the pocket sides in 1/4” (using basting lines as a guide) so that raw edges are on the back. 

Pin pockets to the apron where you want them. I found the center of the apron and measured an equal distance to both sides.


Sew down the pockets, being sure to catch all raw edges in the seam.

 You're done! Try it on and enjoy it.

Fine print: Feel free to use this tutorial to make items to sell, or simply for personal use. You don't have to credit me because I'm certainly not the first person to think of this. (Of course, you're more than welcome to link to me if you'd like, but don't feel obligated.) 

The only thing I ask is that you do not post this tutorial on your own site and claim it as your own. I don't mind a bit if you want to use one of the pictures and link back to me. In fact, I always appreciate a link-back!

I'm linking to these parties.
Monday, September 19, 2011 0 comments

My reversible pillowcase apron

... is featured at The Vintage Sheet Blog today. I'm honored to get to "kick off" apron week.

I can't wait to see the rest of the aprons this week. In case you haven't noticed, I love aprons and actually do wear them more than most people. It's one of the perks of being a stay-at-home-mom. :)
Thursday, September 15, 2011 1 comments

Missions Month Sneak Peeks

I've been feverishly working on new products to offer for my Missions Month focus in October, so I'm not doing my usual Thrifting Thursday post and adding new fabrics to the shop this week. Don't worry, I haven't run out of vintage sheets. :)

Instead of that, I decided to show you a few sneak peeks of some of the products I have all finished and ready to go. No details and pricing yet, but maybe this will whet your appetite or curiosity.

In the middle of all this, I'm also finishing the last wedding quilt for my Etsy customer, as well as three more patchwork bags for her, too. I'll be showcasing those soon!

If you haven't already checked it out, I posted some fabric combinations on my Facebook fan page. I'd love some feedback. I forgot to mention that I could also pair any/all of the fabrics with white, if you think that would look better. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 1 comments

Feedback needed on some fabric combinations

I'm working on some Missions Month projects. I've posted some pictures on my Facebook fan page, and I need some opinions about the fabric combinations. I don't think you have to be a fan to "vote" (by commenting or "Liking" a photo), but you're more than welcome to "Like" the shop while you're there.

You can find the album here.

Thanks for your help!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7 comments

Customized Homeschool Plan Book

I started our homeschool year fulling intending to use a plan book I had picked up at a thrift store. However, after one week using My Father's World curriculum, I realized that plan book just wasn't going to work. It didn't have enough spaces, and it wasn't set up in a logical order (for me).

So I decided to create a customized plan book ... again. I did it when my son was in kindergarten, too, but I had to add more details to this one since I now have my daughter added to the mix. My inspiration came from a teacher in a regular school who made her own customized planner.

I took her cue and added in all the details I usually have to write in day after day. I thought I'd share it with you today.

I made the cover from an old calendar image. The paper was flimsy, so I mounted it onto one-half of a file folder. To keep it looking and wearing nice all year, I added a transparency to the front of it for protection. Since my transparency was printable in my inkjet printer, I also added the year to the transparency.

Here's the main body of the plan book, showing one week at a glance. We school from Tuesday through Saturday, so I was finally able to change it and avoid the confusion of having to look at "Monday - Friday" and trying to remember where we were.

I've simply deleted my kids' names for privacy, but those black boxes do contain each child's name. I laid it out in the exact order that we do things each day. While I'm working with my daughter, my son does seatwork. While I'm working with my son, my daughter does her seatwork.

You may also notice that I've already typed in things like "Lang", "LS" and "Spelling" under these headings. It saves me a lot of writing, and those are the main subjects that we have seatwork in each day. I've never thought of doing this before, but now I love it!

I included my grade book at the back, and I used another one-half of a file folder for the divider page. I decorated the edge with what was leftover from the cover image.

Here is the actual grade book. It makes so much more sense (at least to me) to do it this way when you have only one child in each grade.

I have grade book pages for each of my kids.

I reused heavy cardboard (non-corrugated) for the back cover and then bound it with my Bind It All.

I love it!