Mary

Fast Teacher Appreciation Gift! (+ Free Printable)

scissors-title

Last night I realized I hadn’t gotten anything for my son’s preschool teachers and their last day was today. So, we had to do some quick thinking. I love new scissors and I figured it’s something teachers could use so we ran to the store and picked out a few pairs of Fiskars designer scissors in different colors. They also have some fun prints like zebra print or a blue and white design (my favorite!) but those weren’t available at our local store.

just-scissors

I designed and printed tags, then we cut them out, glued them to cardstock, taped them to the front of the scissors and tied a big bow around the top. After these photos my son signed his name in the white space and I wrote a little note on the back. Fast and easy and the teachers were excited to get new scissors!

finished scissors

You can download the free printable Thanks for making me so sharp! and/or the You’re a cut above the rest! and there are 4 per page. Happy summer!

printables

 

Panasonic Cordless Iron Review

panasonic-title

A couple months ago I was ironing some pieces for a quilt. The best place for me to set up our iron has the plug on my left and I iron with my right hand. I’m constantly trying to get the cord out of the way so I don’t accidentally iron and burn up the cord. I needed a break from ironing so I checked my e-mail and had literally just received an e-mail asking if I’d like to try out a Panasonic Cordless Iron. My answer was YES!

panasonic iron and case

I’ve had the iron for awhile now and have been able to give it a good test run. I will definitely be using this iron now to replace my old one! It comes in a pretty carrying case with handle that has worked well just for carrying it around the house. It would be especially great for someone taking it to quilting or sewing groups. There’s also a charging base with a retractable cord. The iron has a lot of great features. One of my favorites is that the water tank is detachable so I can just take the tank over to the sink and fill it up. No more trying to pour water into a hot iron! The water tank also has a lid to seal it shut.

panasonic-water

There are 3 steam settings to choose from; off, low or high. The steam also works vertically so you can use it to steam a hanging garment. Just push the steam button! I tried to take a photo but it turns out it’s difficult to steam a shirt and take photos at the same time. You’ll have to take my word for it that lots of steam comes out! There’s also a spray mist button which works great on stubborn wrinkles. I found the steam to be nice and steady while ironing and I didn’t get any water spots on my fabric.

panasonic-buttons

The iron is just a few ounces heavier than my old Black and Decker. It heats up using the charging base so there are no batteries or anything to worry about in the iron. It heats up in less than 2 minutes and it’s ready to go. You do have to get used to putting the iron back in the charging base so it can stay hot. After using it once or twice I got used to putting it back in the base rather than setting it down on the side of the ironing board. Every couple minutes I’m moving my fabric or clothing around and putting the iron back in the base to re-charge so for me it works really well. It might be an issue for someone that doesn’t set their iron down for long periods of time.

panasonic-base-2

I’m used to a non-stick sole plate but I was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the stainless steel sole plate worked. There are 3 temperature settings for high, medium and low. There’s a chart to help you choose the correct setting for each type of fabric.

panasonic-temp-chart

So to sum it up, you get lots of great features along with no cord to deal with! Ironing is so much easier now that I don’t have a cord in the way. Because the only cord is the base that plugs into the wall, it keeps everything out of reach from my kids so I appreciate the extra safety too.

panasonic-sole-plate

If you want to get your own Panasonic NI-L70SRW (just in time for Mother’s Day!) you can order it directly from Panasonic for $59.95 with free shipping. You can also use that link to get more details on the iron and see more photos, or visit here to see a 1 minute demo video.

Disclaimer: I was provided with this iron free of charge in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Knit Bess Top by Imagine Gnats

I was so excited when Rachael of Imagine Gnats e-mailed us this pattern as a “thank you” for Craft Book Month back in September. It looked really cute and flattering on any size, and it comes in sizes 2-20! And this week, Rachael is hosting Selfish Sewing Week so it’s a great time to make something for yourself!

I decided that my knit tops are the ones I wear the most, so even though this pattern isn’t technically meant for knits I went for it and I’m so glad I did! Here’s the final product and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Now I’ve got a flattering, comfortable, and stretchy shirt.

Because I was using a stretch fabric, I went down a size from what the size chart recommended. If you’re not sure on size, line up a favorite knit shirt on the pattern and mentally add a 1/2″ seam allowance to determine size.  If I were making a non-knit shirt I would have gone with the size recommended. The pattern was awesome and the way the sleeves are incorporated is genius, the pattern is just two pieces! There’s a front piece and back piece that has the sleeves incorporated that wrap around to the front. I made mine a colorblock version so it was 3 pieces, plus some strips of knit to finish off the neck, arms, and hem. The instructions and accompanying photos were easy to follow and this was a relatively fast project to sew.

 

As for sewing with knits, there’s definitely some things you can do to make it easier when using  a sewing machine rather than a serger. First of all, make sure to pre-wash your fabric! When sewing, I used a ballpoint needle and my Janome even feed foot to ensure that the top and bottom fabrics didn’t get stretched at different rates.You can check out this YouTube video to see the even feed foot in action (video is by Ken’s Sewing Center). When feeding in the knit fabric, I let it have just a little slack so the machine was pulling the fabric through all on it’s own without me pushing or pulling at all.

I also set my machine to use a special stretch stitch (button #6). The icon looks like a lightening bolt on my Janome QDC4120. For each seam, I started and ended with a regular straight stitch so I could reverse and lock the stitch in place. Then I switched to the stretch stitch for the length of the seam. I wanted this shirt to be durable so I did each seam at least twice (first the recommended 1/2″ seam allowance, then again at 3/8″) and then topstitched most seams. If you don’t have the lightening bolt stitch, a narrow zigzag will give you similar results.

The only thing I did that wasn’t in the pattern was to topstitch the neckline a second time closer to the neck opening after doing the intial 1/2″ seam. It helped the neck look smoother with the knit fabric, but I think it would have been fine with a single seam on a non-knit version. The method for finishing the shirt was new to me (basically sew a strip of knit fabric to the outside of the shirt with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then fold it to the inside and topstitch down) and turned out great.

And as for the fabric, I used this reversible knit from JoAnn’s in black (what I used in this post) and stocked up on orange (also shown below). One side is a tiny stripe and the other side is solid with a very subtle (almost nonexistent) sparkle effect. It looks a lot different on the JoAnn’s website so I can’t guarantee it’s a match but the item numbers match up to what’s on my receipt. After this top turned out so well I’m excited to make a few more!

If you have a serger (hopefully I’ll get one someday), this knit shirt could be made in no time! But even without the serger, it was a fast sew with the right techniques and I’d definitely recommend this pattern in a knit fabric, or woven fabric as recommended in the pattern. Happy sewing!

 

 

Frosted Easter Cookies: A Craftsy Class Review

title-2

I’ve always been so impressed by the frosted cookies I’ve seen online, but I never thought I’d be able to make them! So when I had the opportunity to take the Craftsy class, Decorating Essentials: Designer Cookies with Autumn Carpenter, I jumped at the chance. With this class there are 9 online sessions. They cover the dough, royal icing, run-sugar, fondant, painting & flocking, designs and displays. The class teacher, Autumn Carpenter, also gives some cookie templates and shows you how to decorate those specific shapes. 

class-title

Autumn does a great job explaining each topic thoroughly. By the time I had watched all the videos I was ready to try my hand at some cookies! I was a little apprehensive but it turns out I had no reason to be. I made these cookies with my mom and we were both surprised and excited as each step turned out perfectly. Autumn supplies all of her recipes and they worked great. First we made our cookies in the shapes of bunnies and carrots.

plain-cookies

Next we followed Autumn’s techniques to outline our shapes then fill them with color.

filling-carrots

We ended up with a great set of bunnies…

bunnies

… and carrots!

carrots

After the cookies dried we packaged them up into Easter gift bags with jelly beans and one of each cookie. For both my mom and I, these were our first cookies using this techniques and we couldn’t be more pleased! The class taught me everything I needed to know for great results.

bunny-bags

If you’ve never taken a Craftsy class, now’s a great time to try! It’s free to sign up and they even have some free classes. You can find cooking, baking, sewing and quilting classes and more on their site. The website is easy to navigate and new classes are being added all the time. Besides classes, you can also find supplies and there’s even an Easter sale going on right now!

Craftsy

 

I was provided with this class for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. The links to Craftsy and the Designer Cookies class are our affiliate links. 

Swedish Fish Valentine Printables

title

Happy Almost Valentines Day! I designed these cute and quick valentines for my son earlier this week and thought I’d share. I’ve seen other variations of this idea, but they tend to use candy fish that have been opened and repackaged in clear bags. Of course you can do that with this printable, or if your school requires original unopened packaging for food use the mini bags of Swedish fish like I did.

To get started, download the free printable here: Swedish Fish Valentine The file is a pdf that will open in a new web browser window and you can save or print it using the buttons in the lower right corner of the page.

1-print

Next, use the back of a butter knife to score along the dotted lines on the sides.

2-score

Then cut along the solid black lines.

3-cut

 

Fold along your score lines, then wrap the paper around the Swedish fish bag so the Swedish Fish logo is showing. Attach with clear packing tape.

 

4-tape

Have your child write the “To” and “From” and names and you’re done!

5-sign

 

 

Book Review + Giveaway! Quilting with a Modern Slant

 QWAMS

Today we’re excited to be a part of the Quilting with a Modern Slant blog book tour! This book was just released on January 28 by Storey publishing. It was authored by Rachel May and is 224 pages long. That includes 7 chapters covering different aspects of modern quilting including techniques, color, scale, pattern, improv designs and more.

_MG_8443

Whether you’re a beginning quilter or one with years of experience, this book is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about the modern quilting movement. On every spread in the book you’ll find beautiful color photographs of quilts and techniques. It’s inspiring to look at just the photos alone.

_MG_8446

Inside you’ll find 9 projects with patterns and instructions and 13 tutorials. There is helpful information for new quilters like supply lists and quilt binding techniques. There’s more advanced patterns for experienced quilters and new techniques like making natural fabric dye with avocado pits.

_MG_8451

While the patterns and tutorials are interesting, the real strength of this book is in the stories and contributions of over 70 modern quilters. There were some names that were familiar to me (Rashide Coleman-Hale, Angela Walters, Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner and more) and some new ones. I’ve seen many pattern books but this is one of the few quilting books I’ve read that focuses less on patterns and more on the people behind them. 

_MG_8453

It’s fascinating to read their stories, how they became involved in quilting, their tips and tricks and more. The stories touch on other areas of quilting like creating fabric or opening a shop. While those sections are brief, they are interesting and may help you find a new area of interest to pursue.

_MG_8454

Overall, this book is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the makers of quilts. The patterns and tutorials are a bonus but the personal stories from modern quilters are what really make this book shine and bring the modern quilting community to life.

_MG_8458

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, visit the Quilting With a Modern Slant website for a list of online sellers.

_MG_8457

 

Giveaway

Just leave a comment below telling us what you’d like to learn about quilting (one comment per person please) to be entered to win your own copy of the book. Contest is open through Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11:59 pm EST to US and Canada residents. The winner will receive a copy of Quilting with a Modern Slant from Storey Publishing.

The winner chosen by random.org was #24, Fenna from Fabulous Home Sewn Products! Fenna, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information!

Disclaimer: Storey publishing sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

January’s Baby Quilt: Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Today’s guest poster is January from Sew Sew Go with her take on the Mosaic Tiles quilt block! Here’s what she had to say:

My sweet friend Lindsay from Lindsay Sews got her first book published and is doing a blog hop. I hope you guys have been following along.  The book is amazing and has beautiful quilts in it. I met Lindsay at Sewing Summit a couple of years ago in her creative journey class.

 She was such a sweet person and so easy to talk to. I really enjoyed hearing her story and the journey she had been on with wanting to publish a book. At that moment her book wasn’t green lighted yet. I got to hang out with her again last Feb. at QuiltCon and heard the exciting news that she was being published!!! You can order your own copy here.

 

 

I’m so happy and proud of her and her accomplishments. I was honored when she asked me to join her hop. She asked us to make anything we wanted out of the Mosaic Tiles Pattern. I chose to make a baby quilt because it seems like everyone I know is having babies. I picked a bunch of blues/turquoise and gray fabrics and got right to work.  It was such an easy patten and the directions were great. I had so much fun sewing this up.

 

On the design wall trying to randomize the prints.  


I liked using the 2 different grays. I really thought it made the blocks pop out. 

I love the back just as much. Simple, clean and modern. It was really fun being apart of her hop and I can’t wait to make this quilt again. Go check out her book and join a bee.

 

~January~
Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.

Katy’s Teeny Tiny Mosaic Tiles Quilt Pillow: : Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Hello! I am Katy, better known as LethargicLass, and I am excited to be a part of this quilt along. I met Lindsay last fall at Sewing Summit, and I bought my copy of Modern Bee directly from her. Sadly, I didn’t think of asking her to sign it though lol. When Lindsay asked if I would like to be a part of this blog hop quilt along I was thrilled! I immediately started thinking of what I could make. I wanted to keep the look of the quilt, but without the size. I am a very slow quilt maker, and I knew I wouldn’t have the time. So I went small. Really small.

IMG_0149

I drew my plan up in my trusty little graph book, and then attempted the math. Several times.

IMG_0152

Finally I figured out that I needed to start with 2” centers and one inch borders to create my original block before cutting into fours.

IMG_0154

I like to work at different stages of things at one time so I don’t get bored by something like a huge pile of trimming. You can see what I mean below.

IMG_0319 - Copy

I finally finished the pillow at 20”x20”. That is when I realised that my 20” pillow form was actually 18” lol

IMG_0471

It most certainly isn’t perfect, but I love it :) Here is the backside. I used one of my favourite prints from Connecting Threads and I don’t have much left.

IMG_0472

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I made, and I would love to know if anyone else attempts one this small :)  Please check out the rest of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along!

 

 

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.

Kim’s Sew Sweetness Aeroplane Bag: Mosaic Tiles QAL

Good Day Folks! 

So happy to be here helping out Lindsay promote her book. I absolutely love it and there are a couple of quilts I can’t wait to make!
 
When I first heard about this I knew it would be fun to make part of the quilt top and turn it into a bag. But what bag? I have a long list of bags I want to make (much to my husbands disgust!) so I thought it would be a good time to try one out. I am absolutely in love with anything SewSweetness so I decided to try out her Aeroplane bag pattern. This is a larger bag perfect for an overnight trip or getaway weekend!!
 
The next step was deciding on the fabric. Never an easy job. I finally decided on a charm pack of Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie for Moda. Who can resist some cute squirrels and hedgehogs??

The next step was to figure out how many blocks I needed to make for the bag. I got out my trusty graph paper and worked out the numbers. I decided to use the blue background on the top and the green on the bottom. I made them a little bigger so that I wouldn’t have too small pieces.  

Once I had the blocks made and assembled I decided to quilt the panel pieces. I wanted a little more thickness so I put a layer of leftover batting between the fabric and the Soft & Stable. The Soft & Stable was cut to the appropriate size and the batting and fabric were a little bigger. 

I recently got this amazing book by Angela Walters:

so I used this opportunity to try something different on the top- which I loved!

Not perfect but definitely fun to try! I kept the bottom a little simpler.

I was thinking about turning it into diamonds but I really liked this look.

The bag pattern calls for zippered pockets inside but I had some extra strips of the blocks left over so I used these to make normal pockets on the inside and I partitioned them. 

As you can also see I used some bright yellow for the lining. I love bright colors inside so that you can see what is lurking in your bag!

I also added feet to the bag. Feet are super easy to do- if you can use brads you can use these! I went with silver and used 8 of them. I always use some extra batting- or in this case Soft & Stable when attaching them to make it a little more secure. 

Here’s what it looked like on the outside.

Once that was done I finished the bag as directed and it came out great!!
 

 

It was super fun trying out a new quilt pattern and a bag pattern! I am super stoked that I got to be apart of this quilt along with Lindsay and wish her the best of luck with her book as well as her new little guy!!

Take care and Sew on!

~Kim from Kim’s Krafts

 

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.

Quilt Top with Darcy of Modern Cozy: Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Hi everyone! Today is my day on the Craft Buds Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along and I’m so happy that you’re here. After seeing all the fabulous projects that everyone has been contributing I felt like I wanted to do something a little different and make Amy’s great design more of a “grown-up” quilt. I’m thrilled with how it turned out – let me share how I did it.

I doubled the size of the original block measurements and I inverted the color scheme, using Kona Snow for my centers and a variety of greens for my outer blocks. This method takes either a FQ or a regular qtr. yard of fabric and one 10″ square PER block.

To make the new, re-pieced blocks you need 2.25 of the original blocks. So starting with this size original block I needed 21 to make my 9 larger re-pieced blocks. (I hope this makes sense as I am in NO way a math whiz. Or math competent most days. If you need clarification please let me know!).

So doubling the original individual block measurements gave me a new block size of 17″.

Then I cut in half vertically at 8.5″…

and again horizontally at 8.5″. Then the fun began of re-assembling the cut up blocks to make the new larger re-pieced blocks. I played around with using three fabrics per new block or using all different fabrics and honestly I liked them both! Using both in my design allowed me to use the all the pieces without “wasting” any.

The new blocks finished at a whopping 24″ square. I love big blocks! They make a big visual impact and they go together super quickly. I finished this top in 3 nights of a couple hours cutting/sewing each night, which made it very doable for a busy schedule. This finished at a generous 73″ square – one more row and I think it would be a queen size-ish quilt!

Of course after traipsing around in the mud and the cold, looking like a crazy woman to all the people out for lunch the shot I like best came from my phone. Murphy’s law ;-)

If you try this version I’d love to see it! Thanks to Lindsay of Craft Buds for writing this awesome book and hosting this quilt along and to Amy for designing such a fun and versatile pattern. You can find all the other posts HERE as well as entering your own Mosaic Tiles project in this great giveaway!

Darcy of Modern Cozy

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...