Monday, June 6, 2011

Thrifty Goodness

I had a little me time today and went to the thrift store that's right down the road. I was looking for a dresser or buffet table/sideboard to refinish and turn into a TV stand. I didn't find one, but I found a few little things I had to have.

I absolutely love this book! It's a Better Homes & Gardens sewing book from 1961! I love old books, and the minute I saw this one I had to have it. =) And it was only $.99!!

Love this picture... and that dress! I want to make it!

I love the colors and drawings that old books have in them. So retro!

How cute are those little girls?!

I also foung these pillow cases & napkins for $.79 and $.39... love the prints! These are destined to be pillow covers for the couch. I may keep the two matching yellow ones as they are to use on the bed =)

I love thrift stores!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rag Quilt Tutorial

My latest project was a rag quilt for my niece. Here is a little how-to for this simple project.

This small quilt (34"x34") used the following supplies:
-2 yards of fabric
-1 yard of batting
-coordinating or contrasting thread

I chose to use only two colors, but you can use as many colors as you like.
Flannel probably works best for this, but I used cotton, and it worked just fine for me.Cut all of your fabric into 8" squares. Cut the batting into 6" squares.

Now make a quilt sandwich. Place one piece of fabric face down, then a square of batting, then another square of fabric face up.

Pin together your sandwich.

Using a ruler or your quilt square, mark diagonal lines across your square, making an 'X'.If you can eyeball a straight line while you sew, this isn't really necessary.

Sew the "X" across your squares.

Now you have a nice little quilted square.

After sewing all of the pink squares, I had a nice little stack of quilted sammies. =)

Now do the same with your other fabric.

Lolah wanted to help me out... she's always interested in whatever I'm doing.

Two stacks of sammies =)

Find a large enough area and spread out your squares in a pattern that you like.

Row by row, I made stacks of my squares in the order they would be sewn in.

Pin your squares together in order, working two at a time.

Sew them together with your seams facing TO THE FRONT. Use a 1/2" seam allowance.

When all of your rows are sewn together, you can start sewing them to each other.
Remember, you want your seams facing the front, not the back.

Working two at a time, pin together your long strips.

When you get to the merging seams, fold one forward, and one back, and pin.
This will make it thinner and make the going easier as you sew.

Nearly finished!

Now sew a 1/2" seam around your entire quilt.

Clip 1/4" slits along ALL of your seams. This is the most time consuming part. It is much easier if you have spring-laoded shears.This will save your hands! When I was done using regular scissors, my thumb was swollen and bruised!!

Run the quilt through the rinse cycle with a little fabric softener, then throw it in the dryer.
You now have a rag quilt!



I love this quilt! This was my first attempt at a rag quilt, or any quilt for that matter! It turned out great & it is the perfect size for my 2-yr-old niece. =) This is an easy project for a beginner... it doesn't have to be perfect!!

Lolah sure seems to love it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vest from Flannel Shirt

It's a rainy, quiet night here in Texas... we might even get a freeze this week! I swear winter is refusing to come this year... boo. I love the cold! Probably because we don't see much of it! It snowed a little last year (and by a little, I mean an teeny-tiny, itty-bitty amount that, if you live somewhere where it actually snows, you'd laugh at how excited I was!) which means this year we probably won't even see much sleet. Oh well... at least that means my birthday trip with my best friend won't be interrupted.

Anyway, it's a perfect night to finish my latest little project!

I found this flannel shirt at a thrift shop for a few bucks the other day. It was a bit too big in the body, but the sleeves were too short. So I decided I'd give it a second life.

First, I removed the pockets, which were way too high up, & cut off the sleeves. They didn't go to waste... Lolah is enjoying them. =)

I then measured from the inside seam to where I wanted my new seam, & pinned all the way down, making sure to line up the shoulder seam & bottom hem.

I played connect the dots & chalked a line connecting all of my pins.

Then I sewed my new hem. I don't have a double needle, so I sewed my desired seam first, then a reinforcement seam 1/4" outside of that seam (this becomes the innermost seam, when the shirt is turned right-side-out.) Better safe than sorry... I'd hate to bust a side seam & not have back-up! I suppose I could have used a zig-zag, but that was an afterthought.

I trimmed off the excess (the old seam allowance) 1/2" from my new seams.

Right side out, I now have a nice new seam =)
I did this for both seams.

I pinned the pockets where I wanted them, & sewed them on.

And now I have a much-better-fitting plaid vest with lower pockets. Just in time for the usual lunch with the in-laws tomorrow!

P.S.- It looks much better on than it does on the hanger, but I was not in much of a modeling mood at 12:30 in the morning =)
And please excuse the ugly curtain on my door! It was there when we moved in, & I haven't gotten around to replacing it... maybe that will be my next project!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

An Itch to Stitch

My sewing machine is calling. "Use me!!", it says. I have been wanting to finish a flannel shirt re-style I've been working on (which I forgot to take 'before' photos of, so unfortunately, I will only be able to show off the finished product... but Lolah is enjoying her part of it! =)

But instead, I am at my brother-in-law's house (which is hardly a mile away from my house!), watching the boys play video games, breaking up squeaky-toy fights between our dogs, and anticipating dinner - my hubby makes the most amazing burgers!

So, while I will be having fun tonight with friends & family, my fingers & brain are itching to do some stitching!!

Until I can get back to my machine (which, I decided, needs a name!) I am simply showing off two of my favorite new creations.

We had two perfectly nice pillows on the couch, but over the course of a few months (many days of the hubby lounging around on them) they became lumpy & a little dingy. They didn't have removable covers, so I made a few envelope-backed covers for them.

Four fat quarters & 30 minutes later, I had two pretty little pillows, and a nicer-looking couch. Not too shabby for $4.00 =)