Wednesday, July 10, 2013

a gift of love

My best friend Sara is having a baby.  I've never been this close to someone who is with child, so I have learned a lot. As she finishes up her 2nd trimester, I wanted to give her something special. I am writing this in June when details are still fresh on my mind.  I made a list of goals prior to summer starting and a sweet friend of mine, Dona agreed to help me learn how to quilt by making a baby Hannah Jane a quilt.  Can you imagine my excitement?!!?  I was thrilled and immediately went shopping for fabric.   Sara and I talk on a daily basis, so keeping this surprise from her was so hard. Originally, I was going to wait until her baby shower to give her the quilt.  I couldn't wait and I knew she'd be grateful for this surprise.  

L-to-R, T-to-B all the fabric came in the mail, i sewed my first row together, our final decision on quilt layout, cutting squares, my new sewing machine, Faye quilting a bird, Dona making sure the seams were aligned, the bird stitched, me and the LAST STITCH!!
Dona came over one day last week and we made the quilt top.  I'm so in love with this quilt already. You wouldn't believe how long we discussed where each square needed to go (and of course, I wanted to make sure the birds and numbers were right side up!!!) Next week, we are going to quilt it by hand.

Quilt top is finished!  (yes, i'm wearing clothes!)

Setting up the quilt frame required these clamps and we had to make sure we pulled the fabric tightly. We put the quilt into the frame by safety pinning it all the way around. Then we laid the batting down and secured the quilt top with safety pins all the way around the perimeter.

At first, the thimble was my foe, but then we learned to how to become friends.  I finally got the hang of quilting...although that first square took me 2 hours!!  The end of the day drew near and Dona and her mom had done 3 times as many squares as I had.  I was the slow poke!

I returned the next week and got right to work.  It proved to going much more quickly which I was grateful for.  We finished up the top row of squares and the quilt was ready to bound.  Dona was gracious to teach me how to do a blind stitch and then rip it out when I was doing it wrong.  LOL  I got it eventually.

Sorry for the poor quality, but this shows you the whole quilt!  

We finished and I asked Dona if she would embroider a tag for me to put on the quilt.  Its nice to have talented friends.

Overall, I loved making this quilt.  Quilting is addictive.  It was made with so much love.  That baby girl isn't even here yet and she is so loved, Sara.  I loved learning this new skill and enjoyed my time with my friends.    I couldn't have done this without you, Done and Faye.  Y'all are amazing and such talented ladies.  Thank you for welcoming me into your home and helping with this gift of love.  

One of my favorite surprises ever 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sewing tutorial: Dog Car Seat Cover

We love our dog immensely and he does a lot of riding in the car.  We've been just using sheets and towels, but they always fall down and usually get dog hair EVERYWHERE.  Since I love to take Max on walks in the neighborhood nearby, it was so beneficial for me to make a "dog hammock"  aka a car seat cover.  Hoping this keeps him safe and the hair contained.  I looked at several different tutorials, but adapted to fit our needs.  Here's one of the tutorials I looked at :DIY Dog Car Safety Hammock , but this car seat cover is unique to us. In case youre wondering, The purpose of this sheet is really just to make it more durable and thicker.. The sheet also adds a bit of width so all of the seat is covered and it stays in place really well. Say hello to the very first tutorial!!  Woohoo!  

Life is good when the windows are down

We take many walks in the neighborhoods nearby.
Materials needed:
-2 Beach Towels
-1 Full-Size Bed Sheet
(I cut it down to where there were about 2 in all the way around the towels)
-4 sets of fasteners (buckles)
-2 yards of heavy duty straps (cut into 8 equal pieces) -use lighter to singe all the ends to keep from fraying
-thread (i used white and navy)
-sewing machine
Think he loves it!  
(Both towels and bed sheet need to be pre-washed before you begin)

1. Sew both beach towels together using appropriate color thread.  I used white and a thick, sturdy needle.  
2. Then lay beach towels back over full-size sheet and cut bottom of sheet to be 2 in away from towels.  Fold sheet over edge of towel and pin every 5 inches.  (On side that you cut, make sure to fold under the raw edge--we don't want fraying!!) 
3. Next, I sewed 2 lines down the middle of each towel to keep both materials in place and then one perpendicular to those that intersected all three lines.  
4. Sew all around the edges, removing pins as you.  I did "quilter's corners" on the corners.  
5.  Assemble straps by sewing double zig zag on each one.  I then took the "hammock" out to my car to measure for strap placement.  Bring your straight pins!
6. I reinforced all straps by sewing double zig zag on each one.  I didn't want Max pulling them off. (See picture below for details)
Finally, put the car seat cover in your car and let your dog try it out.  
 I know Max will spend many car rides enjoying his new cover!!  

You should have 8 in all.  (4 of each) 

Excited about there not being any more dog hair on the car seats!!  
Make sure you double stitch the handles on each strap! 

How the fasteners will look on your car head rest

Hope this tutorial was super helpful!!!

Linked up with: 

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Homemade by You Wednesday with Katie

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Craft room Re-organization

The time had come for me to reorganize my craft room.  It was quite the hazard zone.  I also had come to terms with the fact that I really needed to use that hutch in my new classroom, so last night I began the project.  I think I realized about 10 pm that this was a big undertaking.  I'm happy to say at 4 pm today that it is complete and ready for crafting.

I may have had too much fun labeling these canisters.  
A collection of [favorite] things
Much more storage for fabric and a place for my new sewing machine
Practical and pretty decor

So what do you think?! I'm loving it! 
And in case you didn't see..Looking to win some money? Looking for a way to get rid of craft stuff you never use? Looking for a fun way to spend your evening? Lets have a craft war! All participants would chip in $5 and bring any craft supplies they no longer want/use. Participants would have an hour to craft and create a dazzling project. Afterwards, everyone would vote on the best craft. Winner would get all the proceeds. Comment below if you're interested.
While you're at it, would you mind following me on Bloglovin'?  I'll return the favor!