Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Summer Skirts with Simplicity 2606

  Over a year ago, a friend proposed a trade. Jayne would take photos of our family and newborn son and I’d make her a couple skirts. Over a year…

Sew Easy Burp Cloth Tutorial

The other evening, I was trying to pull double duty. I held the baby on one hip while tossing some vegetables in the skillet. My husband walked in the kitchen…

Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Tutorial: Flat Iron/Curling Iron Travel Case

My flat iron is hands down the best thing that’s happened to my hair. I don’t travel without it! It seems like like straightening my hair is one of the last things I do and then I can’t pack the flat iron or I wrap it in a towel to avoid burning my clothes. Enter the flat iron travel case! This baby means I can straighten my hair then immediately pack it up for storage or for traveling.

For this project I used an upholstery weight fabric and a silver quilted ironing board fabric cover. I found the ironing board fabric at my local JoAnns. My flat iron is a CHI 1″ ceramic so that’s what I’ve based all my measurements on. The trickiest part of this project is measuring correctly.

Here are the measuring guidelines I used:
1. Length: Measure the length of your flat or curling iron not including the cord then add an extra 1/2″. The CHI is 10 1/4″ so once I add the extra 1/2″ I’m using 10 3/4″.
2. Pocket width: Measure the diameter around the widest part of your flat or curling iron and add 2″. CHI diameter at the widest point is 5″. Add 2″ and my pocket is 7″.
3. Flap width: Use half of the measurement of your pocket for the flap. That’s 3 1/2″ for me.
4. Total width: Add together the pocket plus the flap (7″ + 3 1/2″ = 10 1/2″) then subtract 1/2″ (10 1/2″ – 1/2″ = 10″).

Now you’re going to match up right sides of the flap and the pocket and stitch them together. I found that the fabric fed more smoothly with the batting side of the quilted fabric facing up.

Open it up and place it on top of your remaining piece of fabric with wrong sides together and pin. Stitch a seam down the flap 1/8″ from the seam between the two fabrics.

Now trace out and cut the corners on the flap. I used a drinking glass.
At this stage you can cut an optional plastic mesh to add to the flap to help stabilize it. When the project is all done this makes wrapping the cord around the flap easier. I used a sheet of plastic mesh (also called plastic canvas) that I found near the yarn in JoAnn’s. This is the same mesh you may remember stitching yarn through to make a tissue box cover as a kid–or at least that’s how I remember it! I cut it to fit the flap but left a 9/16″ border. I wanted to make sure that when I added my 1/2″ bias tape there was no chance I was going to hit the plastic with my needle.

Once the mesh was cut I did a loose stitch all around the piece to hold it together. Just to reduce the possibility of hitting the mesh with the sewing machine needle, I started sewing at the X and went almost all the way around, slid the mesh into the opening then finished stitching the rest of the way back to the X.

Now you’re going to add bias tape all the way around and it’ll look like you’ve made a hot pad. That means you’re almost done!

Now fold your pocket over. Stitch three seams, one just to the side off the bias tape and two seams on the bias tape. You really only need one seam, but the three seams help stabilize the area where you’ll be wrapping the cord around.

At this stage I added the strap. It may be easier for you to add it while you’re stitching on the bias tape. As is, I had to seam rip a half inch opening, inserted the strap, folded it over, then stitched it down. You can click the image below to enlarge it to see exactly what I did. You’ll also see that I stitched a decorative button and a snap onto the strap. I used a strap that was 8 1/2″ long, and tucked 3/8″ under the bias tape and folded the end with the button over 3/8″ to reinforce it. In case your flat/curling iron has a longer or shorter cord than mine, you may want to put it in the pocket and wrap the cord around the flap then measure how long your strap needs to be rather than using my measurements.

Here’s a close up of the button/snap area:

And you’re finished! Ready to travel or organize!

PS. Click on any of the photos for a larger view!

Fresh Picks for Friday, 3.11.11

Here are this week’s fresh picks! If you’d like us to feature your project, fill out the submission form here.

Grrr…. dinos!

Dino Tails at Running with Scissors

Dino Tails tutorial at Running with Scissors

A fun and funky way to freshen up wall space!

Fabric embroidery hoop wall

Fabric embroidery hoop wall at EmmmyLizzy

A place to lay your heads.

His and Hers pillows at Honeyscrap

His and Hers pillows at Honeyscrap

Til next time!

Giveaway Roundup

Have a giveaway going on at your site and want to promote it here? Add a link to your giveaway and include the end date so people don’t miss out on the fun!

Example: 9/28 Birthday Giveaway @ Lindsay Sews

Hoping to win a giveaway? Check us out every week for a new list of current giveaways! Just remember to read and follow the rules for each giveaway to make sure your entries are valid.

Blog Giveaways: Questions to ask before you host one

Jessika Hepburn at ohmy!handmade ran an article this week called Giveaway Guidelines, to Give or not to Give.

Basically, she brings up the idea that bloggers should be cautious before agreeing to host every giveaway under the sun for free. While some say that a blog’s editorial space is valuable and the blogger should be paid to host giveaways, others think that the craftsperson or Etsystore owner donating product for the giveaway should in fact be paid for contributing.

Random number generator

Should you host giveaways for free on your blog?

So who’s right? Jessika agrees that every situation is different, but some key questions to ask are:

  • Who contacted whom?
  • What has been the result and traffic pattern of past giveaways on the blog?
  • What are the giveaway policies?

“If you are a blogger wanting to do giveaways wait until you have built your traffic up enough to have people contacting you or try pitching a giveaway idea to a major company with a big marketing budget,” she suggests.

Coming up later this month, Jessika says we can expect another post on her favorite types of giveaways with examples of fabulous & ethical giveaways that are great for everyone. Check out the full post here at ohmy!handmade.

Mod Mosaic Quilting and my love affair with hand-carved stamps

I made these blocks using Elizabeth Hartman’s Mod Mosaic Floor Pillow tutorial, and I have to say that it was just so much fun!


I had some white fabric strips leftover from a previous quilt squares swap, so I trimmed them down to 1-inch strips. Also dug out some new and old fabric scraps that I was dying to use. Even the fabric bits that looked drab and boring in my scrap pile seemed to take on new life when bordered with that crisp, white “caulking.”



Each of these blocks is about 10×10 inches, and it’s not necessary to be exactly square. Elizabeth suggests making 9 blocks and turning into the front of floor pillow, but I’m thinking I’ll save enough blocks to make a quilt of some size (crib or lap blanket maybe) and bind them together with a much wider sashing.



I also got a surprise in the mail the other day, from Australia! The hand-carved stamps I won in the Queensland Flood Appeal auctions arrived, and I’m so excited to use them on some handmade notecards. Aren’t they extremely fun?!


Check out Chantal Vincent Art on Etsy or follow her blog for some cool tutorials on hand-carving your own stamps. (Someday, I’ll try.)


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Tutorial: A Pillow for Remote Controls

Like many other Americans, by living room has been taken over by remote controls. Some I know how to use, and others I do not. It happens once per night that my husband asks, “Linds, have you seen the _____ remote?” It’s not long ’til I’m bending over, digging in between couch cushions or looking under the shaggy rug for one of the remotes.

Enter, the remote control pillow.
Remote Control Pillow

It prefers to live indoors rather than outside.

This was a design I hoped would curtail the nightly hunt for remote controls. Each one lives in its own diagonal pocket. The pillow can be flipped around and used as a headrest. You don’t even feel the remotes (or “clickers” as we called them growing up).

I installed a zipper in the bottom and used Sew Mama Sew’s piping tutorial for the black cord edging. The fabrics I used are a canary linen lookalike and a houndstooth home dec print.

For the lettering, I used freezer paper stencils and fabric paint.

Apply the paint in a thin layer, and let dry.

Peel off paper, and trim fabric words. Adhere to pillow front using Steam a Seam 2 and an iron.

Cut ribbon strips and iron on to top and bottom of words, using Steam a Seam 2.

Ta-da! My ultimate geeky home accessory, just in time for Oscars night. I’m linking up to amylouwho’s Sew & Tell.

P.S. Please take a look at my friend Mary’s ruffled pillow, which she’s also entering in the Sew Mama Sew pillow contest. It’s fantastic!


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