A New Gig and A-Line Skirt Tutorial

2-DSCF4376You may have noticed I have been a bit scarce lately, but I had a good reason. I have added a new gig to my writer resume. I am now a contributing writer for LoveToKnow.com.

I’ve been in the trial process for about a month, learning the ins and outs of their system, working with great editors and contributing tutorials with printable patterns.

Printable patterns are a new aspect to my designing. Most publishers I have written for are not set up to create printable PDF patterns for their readers. This has made designing quite a challenge, but I adapted and it became my norm. My norm has now changed. LTK has a wonderful image specialist who has made my sketches and chicken scratches look so tidy and professional. I am thrilled that many of the designs I have created can now finally be published because the missing piece (a pattern) can now be printed by the reader.

I have wanted to announce this new opportunity since I began the trial, but I really wanted to make sure I didn’t blow the trial so I decided to wait. I finished my last trial article this last week and shortly thereafter received the fabulous news that I had passed.

So…without further ado, here is one of my LTK trial articles.

1-DSCF4380A-Line Skirt Pattern

This skirt has an elastic waistband and can be stitched up very quickly. It will be a great addition to your summer wardrobe.

Enjoy!

Shabby Chic Train Cases

9-train caseShabby Chic Train Cases

1-train caseRestyle a vintage train case into a shabby chic case for organizing your vanity or corralling your photos and journals. This romantic container could also be used to display small vintage collectibles.

*This is a project I had originally published on FaveCrafts.

Things You Will Need:

Train case (overnight bag)
Craft knife
Rags
Light-colored, flat latex paint
Paintbrush
Sandpaper
Book pages
Ruler
Decoupage medium
Sponge brush
Measuring tape
3 1/2-inch wide lace
Scissors
Satin ribbon scrap
Key
Craft glue
Small flowers

2-train caseRemove the lining from the inside of your train case. The lining is glued in, so in most cases simply prying up an edge with a knife will allow you to grasp it and pull it out. If you encounter stubborn areas, cut it loose with a craft knife. Discard the lining.

Close the case. Use a wet rag on the outside of the case to remove dust and dirt.

3-train casePaint all sides of the case, including the hinges and latches, using a light-colored, flat latex paint. Allow the paint to dry and repeat with additional coats if necessary. Since old cases tend to soak up a lot of paint, I like to use wall paint left over from previous home improvement projects. It’s a great way to use up that little bit left in the can and it prevents the added cost of purchasing a large quantity of craft paint.

Undo the latches on the case and lightly paint over the areas that didn’t get painted when the latches were closed.

Lightly sand the surface and the edges of the case. Lightly sand over the metal of the latches and hinges. Wipe away the sanding dust using a dry rag.

Insert the blade of a craft knife in the gap between the lid and the case bottom. Allowing the gap to guide you, cut through the dry paint that is gluing the lid closed. After you have cut all the way around the case you will be able to pull open the lid.

Rip old book pages into 2 to 3-inch pieces. I used ripped book pages left over from other projects. They came from a variety of old books. Even though they didn’t match, the contrast of different book pages added interest to the project.

4-train caseWorking in one small area at a time, apply decoupage medium to the inside of the train case using a sponge brush. Place a book page piece over the medium. Smooth out the wrinkles and seal with a layer of medium over the paper. Repeat with additional book page pieces, overlapping their edges, until the inside of the case and lid has been completely covered. Allow the decoupage medium to dry.

5-train caseUsing a measuring tape, measure around the horizontal circumference of the case and add 24 inches. Using this measurement, cut a length of 3 1/2-inch wide lace. Wrap the lace around the case and tie the ends in a bow on the front.

7-train caseCut a 10-inch scrap of satin ribbon that coordinates with your paint color. Thread a key on the ribbon and tie the ribbon around the handle of the case. Using craft glue, attach a small flower to the key. Arrange and glue additional flowers to the lace bow.

8-train caseEnjoy!

Summer Wine Glass Coasters

1-DSCF4092Summer Wine Glass Coasters

Okay, these can actually be used any time of the year, but when the weather heats up the glasses sweat badly. Insert the foot of your wine glass inside these “cozy” little coasters and your furniture will be protected. You also don’t have to worry about tips or losing the coaster when you move it because the coaster is actually attached to the wine glass. Some of us may need that help after a glass or too. 😉

8-DSCF4116For the this project session I chose patriotic fabric for one type and Wizard of Oz fabric for two other types. My dear friend, Mary W. picked up the Wizard of Oz fabric for me several years ago when she went to a quilt show. See, Mary, I knew I would find just the right project for this yummy fabric.

These coasters will be heading to my Etsy shop in the next day or so, but if you would like to make your own, I’m a giver. Here is my wine glass coaster tutorial.

7-wine glass cozy coasterI wrote this tutorial last year so the photos for the steps were done with different fabric than the ones I made this week.

Things You Will Need:

Light to medium weight scrap fabric-two different colors or designs
Ruler
Scissors
Iron
Straight pins
Wine glass

1-wine glass cozy coasterCut five 4-inch squares from light to medium weight fabric. Leftover squares from quilt projects is ideal. You will need three of one fabric and two of another.

5-DSCF4108Fold one square in half with the right sides facing out. Iron the fold. Repeat on a matching square and two of the other fabric squares for a total of four pressed squares that are now shaped like rectangles.

2-wine glass cozy coasterPlace the remaining unfolded square on your work surface with the right side facing up.

3-wine glass cozy coasterWith the raw edges of the rectangles aligned with the raw edges of the square, work around the square.

5-wine glass cozy coasterPlace one rectangle on each edge, turning the square one-quarter turn after the placement of each rectangle. Insert the end of the last rectangle under the end of the first.

6-wine glass cozy coasterPin the raw edges of the rectangles to the outer edges of the square. Sew around the pinned edges using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Clip each of the corners to reduce bulk.

3-DSCF4098Turn the cozy coaster right side out through the opening in the center of the rectangles. Use the point of your scissors to poke out the corners. Iron the cozy flat.

Slip the foot of your wine glass into the center of the cozy.

4-DSCF4104Note: All of the wine glasses I have used had feet with a diameter of 2 1/2 inches. This may be standard, but they may also be available in other sizes. If the feet of your glasses are bigger (I can’t imagine them smaller), simply cut your squares 1 1/2 inches larger than the diameter measurement. Example: Cut 4 1/2-inch squares for a 3-inch diameter foot.

This is an inexpensive hostess gift, whether you sew your own or purchase. Check out my Etsy shop in a few days if you would rather purchase than make your own.

Enjoy!

Mini Crocheted Teddy Bear-The Tutorial

1-DSCF2929

Mini Crochet Teddy Bear-Tutorial

A lot of you have messaged, commented and emailed me asking for the mini crocheted teddy bear tutorial.

Woo Hoo! It has been published. You can find it here.

If you do not want to make your own, I do have them for sale in my Etsy shop.

Enjoy!

Cutter Quilt Knapsack

knapsack 7Cutter Quilt Knapsack

I made this project last year, but I never posted it on my blog. I had cut pieces to make a few more, but didn’t get around to finishing them. Since the weather has turned frigid again, it’s the perfect time to pull them out and complete them. That’s what I’m working on today.

Stitch up a shabby chic knapsack using an old worn quilt that is no longer useable as it was originally intended. This quick-to-sew project is designed with exposed seams, giving it a charming scrappy appearance. If you would like to give this project a shot, here is my tutorial.

Things You Will Need:

Old worn quilt
1/8 yard muslin
Measuring tape
Scissors
Sewing machine
Straight pins
40-inch cord of your choice
Bodkin or large safety pin
Button, velcro or snap

2-DSCF1107Cut knapsack pieces from an old cutter quilt:

Body-(2) 15-inch-tall by 17-inch-wide
Pocket and Flap-(1 each) 7-inch-square
Handle Loop-(1) 2-inch-wide by 8-inch-long
Straps-(2) 2-inch-wide by 36-inch-long

From muslin, cut one 4-inch-wide by 32-inch long strip for the drawstring casing.

Top stitch around all the cutter quilt pieces 1/4 inch from the edges. This will secure the layers of the quilt together.

knapsack 1Lay one body rectangle on your work surface with the right side facing up and the long edges running horizontal. This rectangle will be the front of the knapsack. The long edges are the top and bottom edges of your knapsack. Place the pocket square on the rectangle with the right side facing up. Position the bottom edge of the pocket 2 1/2 inches above the bottom edge of the rectangle. Center the sides of the pocket between the sides of the rectangle. Top stitch the sides and bottom of the pocket, 1/4 inch from the edge, connecting it to the rectangle. Note: The edges will be exposed throughout the project unless otherwise instructed.

Place the two body rectangles together with the right sides facing out. Align the edges. Cut a 3-inch square from both bottom corners, through all thicknesses. Pin the side and bottom edges. Do not pin the cut out square corners. Sew the pinned edges using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

knapsack 2Open a corner and diagonally squeeze the opening. Match the side seam with the bottom seam, with the right sides facing out. Pin the edges together. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. This creates a boxed corner. Repeat on the remaining bottom corner of the knapsack.

knapsack 3Lay the knapsack body on your work surface with the back facing up. Measure in 3/4 inch from one bottom corner. Place one end of a strap on the bottom seam at this measurement. Pin to hold. Pin an end of the remaining strap 3/4 inch in from the other bottom corner. Sew over the pinned ends using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

knapsack 4Lay the knapsack body on your work surface with the back facing up once again. Find the center of the top edge. Stack the unsecured ends of the straps together and pin to the top edge of the body back. Pin an end of the handle loop on each side of the stacked straps. Center one edge of the flap square over the pinned loop and straps with the flap facing wrong side up. Fold the muslin casing strip in half with the long edges matching. Find the center of the casing length and pin the raw edges to the top edge of the knapsack’s back through all thicknesses. Continue to pin the raw edges of the casing around the top edge of the knapsack. You will have a gap between the ends of the casing on the front of the knapsack. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Yes, all the layers make the back section quite thick, but it can be sewn through. A heavyduty (jean) needle is recommended.

knapsack 5Attach a bodkin or large safety pin to one end of a 40-inch length of cording. Thread the cording through the casing. Adjust the cording with an equal amount exposed from each opening of the casing. This is the drawstring closure for the knapsack.

knapsack 6Flip the flap over the top and to the front of the knapsack. Attach a button, velcro or snap to the front and flap of the knapsack to close.

knapsack 7(sigh) I love my machine and I used to love the buttonhole foot, but the finished one in the photo has a button/buttonhole closure. My sewing machine seems to have issues lately with making buttonholes, so the ones I am finishing today will have velcro closures with buttons for decoration. Since I’m sure Brother reads each and every one of my blogs with immense interest, Brother Sewing Machine company, I would be happy to test out new models. 😉 LOL! Just saying…

Enjoy!