Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bridal Gift Set

Last Sunday evening, my twin girls and I attended a bridal shower for a sweet girl who is getting married in May.  She is a young lady who was in our College and Career Class at church when my husband and I helped with leading/teaching the class.  We are so sad to have to miss the wedding as our niece is getting married the same day but we really enjoyed spending time with her at her shower!

I decided to put together a gift set for the "bride to be" with all sewn items.  My one daughter and I picked out the fabric together and she even made the card to give with the gift.

The first item is a half apron with a pocket.  I have used this TUTORIAL from Fort Worth Fabric Studio before and really enjoyed sewing it so I used it again.  I loved how it turned out!

It is a lined apron and it is also reversible.  

The next item that I made was microwavable bowl holders.  These are all cotton fabric, thread and a special batting on the inside call Wrap and Zap made especially for use in the microwave so it won't catch on fire.  You can put your bowl of leftovers, oatmeal, etc. in the holder and then put it in the microwave so that when you take it out, it won't burn your hands to do so!  I used this TUTORIAL by Happy Hours Stitches to make mine.  I made one using 12" squares and the smaller one with 10" fabric squares. This is also my favorite hostess gift to give.  These are also reversible.

Lastly, I made a set of pot pinchers/potholders.  For these I used a layer of cotton batting on the inside AND a layer of Insulbright which helps to protect against the heat.  I used this TUTORIAL from Sew Can She but made a couple of minor changes.  I didn't make mine from patchwork pieces...I used solid pieces of fabric and I made mine a little smaller.  I used my copier to reduce the size down to 78% of the original pattern pieces and it was perfect.  If you like bigger potholders, then it will be perfect as is.

What the other side looks like.....

I hope she enjoys making meals with them for herself and her new husband!

Do you have something that you always like to give for bridal showers? I would love to hear what your favorite things are!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hand Towels Make Great Gifts!

When you need a small gift for a hostess or to just say thankful for taking one of your children for a day, these hand towels make wonderful, practical gifts!

I made these yesterday with some leftover fabric from previous projects and a couple of bar mop towels that I purchased at the store.  Remember to prewash your fabrics before making them to preshrink them so they don't get out of shape when your recipient washes their hand towels for the first time.

Here is the link to the tutorial from The Creamer Chronicles that I used and found the link to the pattern for the fabric part.

I didn't use buttons on mine as I didn't have any hand that really went well with the fabric so I used Velcro instead.  I did use one layer of flannel on the inside to help give the fabric part some added shape.  Others on Pinterest have suggested interfacing to give it a little extra shape.

If you make some, I would love to see them!  I plan on making more to keep on hand for hostess gifts.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Help! My Sewing Machine Is Sewing By Itself!

About 10 years ago, I purchased a Janome sewing machine (DC 3050). It was my very first computerized sewing machine and I loved her!  She was so quiet and had so many stitches...I was in heaven.

A couple of years after I had the machine, the machine would literally sew on its own after I had taken my foot off from the pedal. I would be sewing along and then it would just keep on stitching after I would stop pressing on the pedal. It was a little frightening as I thought she was seriously broken and I had to turn off the machine to make it stop. So of course, I consulted with Google.

It turns out that I was not alone. Other sewers had reported the SAME thing!  Here is what I discovered. First, you need to know that this machine has a pedal that is ALL METAL. Most pedals nowadays (even my sewing/embroidery machine combo) have plastic pedals. I have never had this happen with them.

Basically what was happening was that there was a build up of static electricity in the pedal that was causing this phenomenon to happen. I am not sure if it is because the pedal is on carpet or because I always wear socks when I sew or what but that is what was happening. I found another person on the internet who gave a solution that has helped me and so I wanted to post it again to maybe help someone else in this situation.

Here is what you need: your pedal, a tool kit with small screwdrivers, and a pencil with a rubber eraser.


First things first, UNPLUG YOUR FOOT PEDAL FROM YOUR SEWING MACHINE.  Yes, it is worth mentioning as it would not be wise to go through the steps in this tutorial with it plugged into a power source.  Thank you, Susan M., for catching that!

Next, see that little screw at the base of the pedal?  Go ahead and unscrew that.  Choose the right screwdriver for the size screw so that you don't strip it.  Ask me how I know, lol.

Go ahead and take the cover off from the pedal.  My pedal only has two parts that come apart at this point.  If you are afraid that you won't remember how yours goes back together, take pictures with your cell phone as you work to help you remember later on.

Here is what the inside of the pedal looks like.  It is a little overwhelming to look at but we will walk through it.

See those connectors that my pencil tip is pointing at?  If you press down on the pedal, the little connectors (sorry, I don't know the proper term) slide along the brown plate where the black marks are.  That is area we need to focus on.  

Take the rubber eraser on your pencil and rub that area down.  I rub all along the brown plate where both of the black track marks are.  From what I read, the rubber helps to take away the static electricity.  Do a good job as you don't want to have to do this again for awhile, lol.

Now comes the fun part of putting everything back together!  I put my two pieces back together and make that the holes for the screw match up.  Go ahead and use your screwdriver to put the screw back in its place. 

That should do it!  At the most, I do this about every 1-2 years or as buildup occurs.  Folks on the internet suggest to just buy a new foot pedal and you may need to if this solution does not immediately take care of the problem but I am not convinced that this wouldn't happen with a new metal pedal.  Others have suggested putting a rubber mat under the pedal to help keep down the static electricity and I did do that for awhile and it did help.  I should get that mat back out again now that I don't move my machines around as often as I did when I taught sewing classes.  

I would love to hear if you have had this problem and if this solution helped!

Friday, January 27, 2017

iPhone Stand

On my Facebook page yesterday, I posted a picture teaser as to what I was working on for today.  Here is the finished iPhone holder/stand!

I had pinned on Pinterest the link to this tutorial by Factotum of Arts.  As I sew, I will often catch up on shows or watch old tv series on Netflix on my phone.  I normally just prop up my phone next to my machine but then the machine would vibrate and then, well, you can see where I am going with this.  

This tutorial was SO easy but I do realize that I had everything on hand which helped. The peacock fabric I purchased at Joann Fabrics. It is in their premium quality quilting cotton section.  A little more expensive but it was just too pretty to pass up...and I had a coupon.  You might remember this BAG that I also made with this fabric.  

The tutorial also called for rice and polyester stuffing to stuff it with.  Check.  Then the tutorial called for ultra firm Peltex.  This is for the small, flat area where the iPhone sits.  I actually had some of that on hand too from my sewing teacher days.  You might be able to used something else instead if you don't have that.  Maybe just a thicker fabric like denim or a home decor?  It just needs to be a little stiffer/thicker and you need to be able to sew through it so a piece of cardboard wouldn't do. 

The tutorial pictured a small loop at the top for the cord but I didn't do that.  That cord is for the older iPhones and mine is the newer one with the tiny plug in end so it would just fall out anyhow.

I am pretty happy with how it turned out!  I have already used it to start catching up on shows that I missed this week.  If you decide to make one, I would love to see can also post them to my Facebook page HERE.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Seeds Table Topper

A little over a month ago, a close friend of mine had a birthday.  I wanted to make her something special for the upcoming holiday so I decided to make her a table topper that I had been wanting to make for myself.  Sometimes making things for others creates a greater motivation and things get done quicker!

I decided to make the Winter Seeds Table Topper from The Crafty Quilter.  Even if you don't quilt but just want to look at some fabric pretties, her website is fun to browse through.

Years ago, I had purchased a set of winter fabric fat quarters at a fabric store near Lancaster, PA.  My friend is also originally from that part of the state so I decided to use them in her table topper.  Here is how it turned out:

That snowman fabric in there is some of my FAVORITE.  

I did my make my "seeds" a little differently than in her tutorial to try a different technique. I have the circle magic plus (now called the small orange peel) template from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and I used that to cut out two pieces of fabric for each seed.  I sewed them together and then cut a slit in the fabric that would be on the bottom to turn them right side out.  I then ironed them (really well) and then sewed them on the table topper.  In my next one, I will use more of her method but probably do fusible web on the whole seed as opposed to just the edge.  I am pretty sure that I have enough patience to do all of that cutting like she did to have the fusible web just at the edges! 

I forgot to measure the table topper before giving it my friend but it is a good size.  The Crafty Quilter lists the final size as being 27 1/2" wide.  It really is a fun and not too hard of a pattern to make.  And the color options are endless!  I think I will make one for spring next!