Apr 3

I am such a sucker for Joann’s. No matter if it’s online or locally, I’m like a kid in a candy store. So when I see deals like this, I just can’t help but pass them along!

From now until April 15th, get Free Shipping at Joann.com on orders of $35 or more. Be sure to use this code: MARFSA935.

Even though some of you may be like me and not sew a whole lot when the weather is nice, it’s a great idea to go shopping while the shipping is free. I LOVE this store and don’t have any problem finding $35 worth of fun stuff to play with. ;-)

Have fun!

Jan 20

With my best friend’s baby shower coming up soon, I’ve been on the lookout for some interesting handmade baby toys to make. But while looking at patterns in Joanne’s today, I decided that a teddy bear might be fun to make. I really didn’t want to spend something like $8 on a pattern I probably wouldn’t use more than once, so came home to look.

After carefully scanning loads of patterns, I found the absolute perfect one. This one is four pieces - all body and no little “parts”. This to me is huge, since I have a hard time assembling things like arms and ears. But THIS pattern is so simple I think just about anyone can do it. (Warning - the above link is a .PDF file, so may take a few extra seconds to load).

One small tip though - it took me a few minutes to realize when you are sewing together the pieces in the first step that you only sew the side of head and belly, NOT the whole thing. Most people might already have assumed it, but I didn’t at first. I only realized it after I looked at the pieces a few minutes and tried to imagine how they would look all put together.

I’m making this bear right now with fleece, and it’s SO EASY. I hope you have fun making this bear as well!

Dec 13

Yesterday I was out shopping and came across the Garfield Chia Pet, so quickly snagged it since I’ve had a heck of a time locating it up until now. My son absolutely LOVES Garfield, but unfortunately there isn’t as much stuff as there use to be. He also loves messing with plants, so this was perfect for him (it’s so hard to buy or make things for an 8 yr old boy!).

Well, now I’ve realized I’m behind two gifts for my daughter. They are at that age that yes, they will count. They will also notice size if one of them happens to have the biggest gift. Luckily I took care of that with two jumbo coloring books that are about as tall as they are.

So anyway, I have to come up with two more gifts for my daughter that are a reasonable size. I have no choice but to finish the quilt that I started. With only a one full week left, I’m really cutting it short. Not to mention I’ve still got to finish a dress for her that’s already on her list. Even with the dress and quilt, I’m still short one gift. *SIGH*

I’ve done a little poking around on the internet for quick quilting tips, but haven’t come up with many. I think I’ll be doing this the same way I did my son’s quilt, simply by putting together all the blocks and then putting the back on. This seems to be the easiest way to sew it and also the fastest. At least the back of the quilt will be easy - my friend gave me a tip years ago to use a twin sheet for the back. Which I do believe I’ll do, but I haven’t decided just yet.

If anyone has any short cuts for a quilt, I’m all ears. Time is running out and FAST!

Nov 20

It’s that time of year again! Time to pull out the fabric, hunt for deals on sewing supplies, and make a list of who’s getting what. As much as I dread this time of year, I do enjoy making all kinds of different projects.

For the last few years I’ve been sewing pillows for my kids. It started with just picking up fabric of their favorite characters, but now it’s taken on a life of its own. Last year I took quilt blocks and made pillows out of them, which they thought was pretty cool (for my daughter I had found a block that looked like a cat, which she thought was special). This year I thought maybe they were getting tired of the pillows, and thought maybe I should do something else. Imagine my surprise when my daughter says to me one day “Am I getting another pillow for Christmas? I want another one!”. So that sealed it. What started as just a neat gift idea has turned into a tradition.

This year I found Hanna Montana fabric, and decided to make a heart-shaped pillow out of it. It didn’t turn out perfect, but I think she will like it all the same. I folded both sides of fabric in half and traced a tear-drop shape so the heart would be even, so that part was fine. Actually it did come out pretty good, and I may just post pictures.

For the boy I haven’t decided yet. Since he’s now eight, it’s hard to find fabric that’s “cool”. He’s informed me he’s too old for Disney’s Cars, and I assume Spiderman as well. So what I put together for him will most likely be solid shapes in some unique fashion. I may end up doing another quilt block pillow for him, since that would be the easiest way to make something “cool”.

My mom told me she wanted a new purse made from old blue jeans. I went on a hunt last night for a pattern or instructions, which I did find. Actually it was so simple that I had it done in just a matter of minutes. All you do is cut off the top part of the pants, sew the bottom, then use the extra fabric left over on the legs for the strap. It’s a bit difficult to sew on the straps because the fabric is thick, but a hot glue gun works nicely to secure lose ends.

The majority of our family is getting something my daughter found in her Highlights magazine. I’m sure most of you have heard of gift jars, which make excellent gifts. This is the same concept, but uses a paper bag that the kids decorate and a hot cocoa mix (2 cups instant dry milk, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, and 1 cup sugar with a recipe card that says 3 Tablespoons of the mix with one cup boiling water). I’m taking this a step further and will be sewing gift bags and putting the mix inside them. We’ll use an easy gift bag that uses a pretty bow around it.

That’s all I’ve got on my list so far, but I’m sure I’ll be adding to it!

Oct 22

I’m on a mission.

Since it’s fall, I have a sudden interest in sewing again. Right now, I really want to make a diaper bag. Not for me, but for someone else. I’ve searched the internet high and low for a really good diaper bag.  What surprises me is I haven’t found much.

I’m not looking for something “different” and “stylish”. Regular diaper bags are invaluable, and in my opinion, nothing can top them. I like pockets and lots of them. I also like easy to sew stuff. So you can see why I’m having problems here.

There was one style I really like, although I’m not sure I can sew it based on the instructions. I read over them carefully last night and *think* I can do it, but it makes me nervous. But I really, really like this style, and want to give it a try. (If you have experiences with the Bundles of Love pattern, please let me know how it went).

The other one I found that would be acceptable was a Simplicity pattern for sale. The price on it was $12, but a quick search at Ebay and I found it for $6 (including shipping). That’s more than acceptable for a pattern I’d probably use again that also includes patterns for other baby items. I almost bought it, but figured I had better give the other free pattern a shot.

If you know of any others, please feel free to post them in the comments. Just know that I’m kinda picky and the bag has to look nice but easy. ;-)

Oct 9

After changing his mind several times, my son finally decided he’s going to be Garfield for Halloween. We had already decided to make our costumes this year, but this one we really had no choice on. Sure we could probably find one if we looked hard enough, but why bother? It shouldn’t be that hard to make (although I said that about the airplane cake, and it really wasn’t).

Luckily, so far, it’s been pretty smooth. I went on a hunt earlier this week for a large orange t-shirt or sweatshirt, and did a little happy dance in the middle of Target when I found one on the discount rack for $2.50. HURRAY!  The plan with the shirt is to strap a pillow under him and put the shirt over top. I just have to figure out what we are going to do for stripes, but it will either be fabric paint/markers or black fabric.

Next I went looking for mask ideas. What I ended up finding was a wooden zombie mask with a handle, and foam craft sheets in orange and yellow. I used the orange to cut out the face that goes over the wood mask, then the yellow as his mouth. Then I painted his eyes white,  nose red (I know it’s pink, but I didn’t have any), and used permanent marker to draw on the details.  I’m not the greatest artist, but it worked. It doesn’t look exactly like him, but there’s no mistaking it’s Garfield, and the kid is happy.

Finally, I got orange fabric for the tail.  This was so super easy and again, the kid was pleased. I just took a strip, folded it in half, sewed it together and turned it inside out. Then we stuffed it, sewed the end, and used a marker to draw on his stripes.  On Halloween we plan to safety-pin it to his rear.

Now all that’s left is deciding what to do with all that extra fabric. I got a yard of the orange and only used one small piece, so I’m thinking of attempting my own quilt block. The boy absolutely LOVES Garfield, so I’m going to try a quilt block Garfield on a pillow or wall hanging. I drafted the block already, and it just might work. Should it come out the way I hope it does (and I’ve got my doubts), I’ll post pictures and maybe even the pattern. Crossing my fingers it does work!

Hope you are finding everything you need for Halloween!

Oct 1

I was at Walmart the other day, walking past the Halloween fabric yet again, thinking how absolutely adorable it was and how badly I wanted a project to use it for. Actually, it wasn’t even really that Halloween specific, but was black with little crescent moons and stars in a yellowish-orange, but it was CUTE.

Then, it hit me. Halloween candy bags.

By the time I actually bought the fabric, it had been marked down to $2/yd.  SCORE!  So I bought it, and am planning to make the bags.

I hunted for awhile for a good tote bag tutorial, but didn’t see one I really liked. I suppose, if you sew, then making a tote isn’t that big of a deal. All you need is 4 sides and a handle, then sew it all together. The size is going to depend on how much candy your kid rakes in, so really I guess you don’t need one.

Point is, if you had  your eye on Halloween fabric and didn’t know what to make, now you do. Just make a tote to hold all that candy! ;-)

Jul 9

For some reason I don’t even think about sewing in the summer. When Christmas gets close, I do this mad dash to get quilts and pillows done for gifts. But why don’t I do them all year round? I mean a hobby is a hobby, right?

So I’m curious. For those of you that love to sew but don’t do it so much in the summer time - why? Is it because we have so many other things (some outdoors) to do? Is it because it’s too hot to sit with a blanket on your lap sewing? Do you not like to sit still in the summer?

What IS it exactly?

May 15

You may or may not have noticed there isn’t a whole lot of sewing projects posts here this time of year. That’s mostly because I don’t have a whole lot of interest in sewing in the summer for some reason.

I don’t know why, but I usually don’t get the “sewing bug” until winter. Maybe it’s because I prefer to be out in the garden this time of the year, or playing outside in some way. Something about warm weather and sewing just doesn’t appeal to me.

There ARE projects I probably should be doing, including some dress ideas and shorts. Luckily I did make my daughter a pair of shorts for Christmas so she’ll have at least one handmade item to wear this year. But aside from that I really don’t have anything and the motivation is gone. Maybe it’s just me - I tend to lose interest in ideas and projects after a set amount of time.

What about you, do you sew during the summer?

Apr 11

If you are like me, you tend to spend quite a bit of money on fabric for various projects. Although I hardly ever pay more than $5 a yard for fabric. And really there’s no reason to unless you absolutely need something specific.

Instead of paying full price for fabric, I always watch the discounts on stores like Fabric.com. Right now they’ve got an anniversary special running until April 30th. To celebrate their 9 year anniversary, you can take 15% off your entire order (no minimum required) by using the code Anniversary15. Just click on the banner above to see all the items they’ve got in stock right now (I just love that site).

Remember to make it worth your shipping cost! I always make sure to buy at least 5 or 6 yards at a time when ordering online. ;)

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