Basting Tips

I'm not an expert and am still learning so many things about quilting, but these tips has helped me so much.
Once you have your quilt top and back ready for quilting you need to baste them with the batting.  You can either sew them or pin them.  I prefer pinning, because it is easier for me.
First I clean my tile kitchen floor.  You can do this on any hard surface.
Then I pull out the painters tape.  You could use masking tape too, but I don't have any.
I square my quilt back up along the top edge and a side edge, square it up on the edge of the tile. Use your tape in small strips to keep it in place.
(This is all three layers together) You can see the strips of tape used to keep the back of the quilt in place.  Tape the top edge and one side.  Slowly tape the other side and bottom edge as you straighten out wrinkles and/or creases.  Next lay the batting on and then the top.  I started pinning either in the middle on one side or in the very middle of the quilt.  As long as you move out in a circular motion it will keep the quilt top smooth.
Grab a spoon to help you pin.  This is the most valuable tool when pinning your quilt.
Stick your pin in through one side, then use the spoon to push the sharp edge up.  The concave shape of the spoon allows you room to fasten the safety pin.
Kind of like this.  Pinning can hurt your hands especially if you don't use a spoon.
A sea of pins.  You can never have enough safety pins.  It is better to have too many, this really helps to keep the three layers together to prevent any fabric bunching while you quilt.
Happy quilting!


Frame Collage

This Frame Collage sits under the kitchen bar.  We don't use barstools here, it used to have a bulletin board to pin up artwork and keep the chore charts.  I think this is a lot more fun.~
 I've tackled one of my piles.
 The frames were purchased at Savers, most for a great price.  Each frame had some hardware that needed to be removed, mostly staples and some screws.
Once all the hardware was removed and blemishes filled in with painters putty I painted the frames. The paint is acrylic paint from Michael's, nothing too fancy or expensive.
 I marked and drilled a little hole for the eye hook.  These were easy to twist in.  I wanted the frame to sit flat against the wall so the eye hooks were screwed in on the inside of each frame.
 Here is what the frames looked like with two eye hooks.
 The eye hooks size is #214 the wire is 20 gauge.
 For the frames that didn't have a way to hang them I added the picture framing thing (I don't know what it is called.) Keep a pair of needle nose pliers close by for this project--pulling out staples and twisting the wire were much easier with this tool.
 My table was about the same size as the area I was planning on hanging the frames in.  This helped me to really visualize how it was going to look.
 This was what it looked like before.
And After.  
Within minutes of me finishing, the kids had added their art work.  My little guy proclaimed, "I colored that one."  I'm excited to have them be proud to display their artwork.


Pink Pinwheel Quilt

The Good and Great

Good: I cleaned my sewing room and added lots more projects
Great: I completed  one project on my "Projects In Progress" list (on the left sidebar.)
These blocks, from this pattern, have been pinned on my bulletin board for almost a year now.  At first the project was going smoothly--then I hit a roadblock.  The light pink blocks were not matching up with the dark pink blocks.  I like my corners to line up--and with pinwheels it really shows if they don't line up.  So there it sat, teasing me for months and months.  I started yet another quilt and have the top almost finished it (it's in the pre-procrastination stage at the moment)--I determined to finish this pink pinwheel quilt before I finished another project.
 At first it was planned to be a duvet cover, then a twin size quilt, then a lap quilt. Once I started sewing the blocks together it was reduced to a mere 40x40 inch quilt.  The size is fun, but I wish it would have been a touch bigger.
The princess loves her blanket.  She will even make her bed now, the blanket must be on top spread out nicely--her edict, not mine.
I still have a few blocks left over, don't worry I have plans for them.
The back of the quilt is flannel, pin rosebud flannel.  All soft and girly.
The binding matches the pillow case in the background (I'll be making a tutorial for that one soon.) I finished this quilt up on Sunday, I stayed home from church with a sick Princess.  I laid out fabrics for the back of the quilt and let her decide.  She quickly went for the rosebuds and said we could use the other fabric for another quilt. I'm sure she has ideas swimming in her head.  Although I added a lot more projects to the list, I'm happy I've completed this one.


An Afternoon of Sewing

My Husband's cousin's wife-or my cousin-in-law came over and we sewed the day away.  She has never sewed with knit, or sewn clothes for her almost 8 month old girl.  I think she might be addicted now.
 We started with a basic pair of pants made from a t-shirt from high school.  The pattern came from an existing pair of pants and from this adapted new born pattern from here (width and length added.)
We also made this clip flower from a pattern I printed off some time last year.
 Next was this pair of paints.  This is from material on a blot so we needed to hem the pants.  Instead of hemming we zig-zagged the edge while pulling the fabric to give it a ruffled effect.
Next we made this flower just like the one from this dress.
In the stack of clothes my cousin-in-law brought was a black shirt with a huge picture of Tigger printed on it.  Because we were sewing clothes for a little girl I didn't think of using black at all until the afternoon was almost over.
The pants are sewn together with the inside of the shirt as the outside--to hide the lovely Tigger.  You could still see a little of the tigger print coming through so I came up with these ruffles to give it the girly feel.
Aren't they adorable?  I can't wait to see these ruffles crawling around. I will defenately be making a skirt or dress using these fun ruffles for my little girl too.
And of course, we had to make a bow to match the pink ruffles just to pull the outfit together.
Thanks for the day of sewing, it sure made me want to have another girl just so I could sew more cute clothes.



Yes, I have piles, piles of things that are ready to..
 be assembled
 sanded, painted, and hung
 cut, glued and hung
 cleaned, donated, moved, rearranged
 before waiting to become an after.
Excuse me while I go get to my piles.


Kissing Ball Topiary

Happy Valentine's Day!
Before all the pink turns into green and four leaf clovers I wanted to share one last Valentine's Decoration I made.
It's so festive and fun.
 To make it I cut out 18 inch strips of crepe paper and glued rolled flowers on a styrofoam ball.
 This process took a few hours--or several nights of rolling and gluing, rolling and gluing and then some.
 The finished product is all worth it though.  I wrapped a wooden dowel with ribbon and stuck it in the ball.  The base is a vase I had, I also lined the vase with the pink crepe paper and used plastic bags to hold the stick up.  To cover the bags I used spanish moss from the dollar store.
 At first I put it in my dining room with the wax paper hearts, but it just didn't look right.
Up on the mantel it looks great.  My little girl added the bear.


Valentine's Playgroup

We had playgroup at our house this morning.  I over stressed, over prepared--but had so much fun.
Here are some ideas that were fun and simple.
As the children came we had a coloring/cutting table set up...
These valentine's from MADE are so simple and fun.  I copied the hearts on fun scrapbook paper and blank white paper--after the children colored, cut and stapled they wanted to cut some more.  We filled our hearts with M&M's and sweethearts.  After they had been sitting and coloring for a while I wanted to have them up and moving.  We moved to the next game...
I found this Mylar balloon and the die cut letters at Dollar Tree.  Using some more scrapbook paper I cut out lip shapes and laminated them.  I used painters tape on everything to stick it to the wall and the frog.
This blindfold is made out of the other towel from this project and an old white t-shirt.  I used an elastic to keep the blindfold on-it was a bit snug, but well loved.
 The children had fun with this one.  They came back to play with and without the blindfold.
After kiss the frog we sat in another part of the house to play BINGO.
These were made in a Word Document (if you want it just email me and I will send it your way.)  Because we were planning on smaller children we played this BINGO differently, just find the number and put a candy on it. No B-4 or I-16, just numbers (1-24 and a free space)--we will be pulling this game out for more number practice.  Printed on regular printer paper and laminated to more scrapbook paper.

To finish up the playgroup we frosted cookies and exchanged valentine's.
Basic shape-my partner for the playgroup made the cookies.  I was in charge of the frosting. To keep stains and clean up minimal I kept the frosting white.
Who needs pink frosting when your cookies look like this?
Each child received a small white bag to put their valentines, cookies and goodies in.
On each table I had a red plastic tablecloth.  After everyone left I removed dishes, scissors and crayons and just rolled up the mess and threw it out.  
This was so fun and simple.

Several tips--
  • Have designated spots for crafts and activities.  Moving to an activity will help keep a child's attention.
  • Keep each activity to 10-15 minutes
  • Leave time for free play-all they really want to do is run and play.
  • Keep it simple!


Crayon Hearts

We're going to have a valentine's day playgroup at our house next week..queue all things pink and red to start lining up for decorations at our house.
My oldest is very excited and every time I put up one decoration she comments that she likes it, but that we need more.
Using these instructions, I made these crayon hearts.
 To make these beauties I enlisted my children for help.
 I bought some new crayons (super cheap ones of course).  After lining them up my kids helped me take off the paper--isn't that their favorite part of coloring anyway?
" Sharpen" the crayons, by the end of this project I had this down to a science.
Mix the shavings up a bit and spread the shavings into an even layer.
 Melt the wax using an iron (in between two paper layers on very low heat) Trace hearts and cut out.
 To hang the hearts I took of the decorative molding on the blinds, it easily snaps on and off and used some ribbon.
 After hanging the hearts up I moved a few strings around until it was just right.
This is the view when we walk in our house.  Love the pop of color.  This is a fun project, a little messy, but worth it.

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