Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tutorial: Decorative Pillow Case with Hidden Zipper

Insert tutorial here.

Haha! I need a link to the tutorial I haven't written yet. So here it is! I'll post the tutorial soon and post another blog post when it's up, so you can come back and find it if you want! lol. I just really like the way I make my pillows! :D

P.s. I haven't forgotten about the Dusk giveaway, or all the winners, and everyone who helped me out. If you are waiting to hear from me... I will get back to you soon! For some reason when I committed to a few things, I didn't realize how close the last day of one month was to the 5th of the next month. I mean hey, they are two different months, how close can they be?! lol. I'll share more of what's going on soon!!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Nothing's Allowed PenPals: Staring Over

You may remember when I wrote this post about my fabric addiction last year, which lead to the formation of the Nothing's Allowed Penpals group. The penpal group was AWESOME!! But unfortunately I didn't organize it very well, and after a short time it mostly flopped.

As a quick overview for anyone that is not familiar with it, this group is a penpal group where NOTHING is allowed! The only expense should be the cost of the stamp. Don't send candy, goodies, don't buy fancy stationary, nothing. You can send recipies, quick notes, doodles, art, someone sent me some garland made with heart shapes cut from magazines, which I LOVE!, etc. All that is sent is something from the heart!

The point in this is to help us disconnect from the need to always buy "things" and have "things". If you read the post I first linked to, I talk about what I went through in my own personal struggle of my fabric/shopping addiction. After reading so many responses, and hearing others stories, I realized I wasn't alone. I wanted to provide a way to feel the "needs" that we have, without busting our budgets, or forming dependencies on things that don't fulfill. People are what are real, and relationships are what are most rewarding!

As for my own experience in the group, I had high hopes to send EVERYONE mail every month or two. Well, sending a quick note to 70+ people is actually rather time consuming and it became pretty overwhelming.

Fast forward to the last month. I've been thinking a LOT about friendships and friends, and how incredibly important it can be to know that there is someone who has your back! Friends are essential in life! And honestly, I am kind of a horrible friend. I do have lots of friends, but in the busyness of life I am afraid I'm not very good at returning the friendships that others have given to me, online or in person. Which I really want to correct!

In my efforts to rectify this and come up with a solution I've thought a lot about this group, and how great it could be if done correctly!

One solution to help improve it, I've realized that I can't do it alone! I'm hoping that I can get some moderators to help me out!

My goal originally was to send every single person mail. I didn't want anyone to be left out. But for me at this point in my life, that is impossible. BUT if everyone is split into small groups, and I only need to worry about 9 other people at most, that I can do! And I think other people could too! As a moderator, or group leader, or "master friend" heehee, I would ask that you make sure to send mail to every person in your group! That you make sure that everyone is receiving something.

What is sent doesn't have to be huge, like I mentioned before. Even a simple postcard to say "hi" is enough!

The other thing I would ask of the moderators, is to keep me updated on your group. How active is everyone? Are people getting along? Would anyone benefit from being placed in a different group? If after a few months no one seems to be getting along, we can change things up.

I know there were a few people from this last group who did form good friendships and actually met in real life!! That's so awesome!! :)

Another thought I had, if there are only a few people sending mail, and everyone else fizzles, let's regroup people so active people can be in an overall active group. Though I guess this depends on what the individuals want to do. I know some people won't be able to send mail all the time, but they could still benefit from receiving. I guess this is something that could be discussed after we get established.

And... that's all the ideas I have at the moment. If you have other suggestions, please let me know! :)

I have created a new form to fill out, and hopefully I didn't forget any questions. I'm really excited to get this started again, and I hope you'll join me if you are interested! If you know anyone that would be interested, please share this with them as well! The more people the better!

As for anyone who signed up last year, I'm going to email everyone a link to the new form so you can sign up again if you want to stay in the group. Starting fresh will be easier than trying to weed out the no longer interested. :)

Thank you so much!! I'm hoping I can get this organized and groups formed in the next 2 weeks or so, depending on how many people sign up, and how many moderators there are.

Happy weekend!


Friday, September 25, 2015

New Pattern: DUSK + a Giveaway!!

Hi Everyone! How is everyone? I hope you're well! Ever since school started at the beginning of this month, things have been non-stop! I'm finally starting to feel like I am finding a little time to relax, and it's so nice!

I want to let you know about a new pattern that I released this week! It's called Dusk!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I've been pretty quiet... And a little intimidated.

I feel like for the past 9 months or so, that I've been really quiet and reserved. I've had so many things I've wanted to blog about, or share, and even started blogging about, but I just haven't been able to hit publish! I don't know why. Well, I do. For some reason I've felt rather intimidated to open up and share things that are such an intense part of who I am. Which seems odd considering the things I have shared on my blog. Maybe it was just being pregnant that did it, but I think I'm ready to start opening up again, and kick this intimidation out the door.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sew-Along: Polaroid Sleeping Bag: Making the Polaroid

This post is part of the Polaroid Sleeping Bag Sew-Along. You can find the main post and supplies list, along with links to all available posts in the series, HERE.


Are you ready to get started??

Today I'll share the complete process for making the inner polaroid section of each block (The I-spy print + white sashing). My blocks are larger than the standard polaroid blocks you may have seen. If you would like to make smaller polaroid blocks, I suggest checking out Karen's post over at CapitolaQuilter.

I actually suggest that you check out Karen's post no matter what, because she has some great tips that I wish I had remembered before I had started my blocks. I'll reference her suggestions throughout this post, but I'm not going to show you how to do them.

For a quick run through, here is how we will create one polaroid block:

Take one charm square (4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches) (A)
Sew to the top: 1 inch by 4 1/2 inch white strip (B).
Sew to each side: 1 inch by 5 inch white strip (C).
Sew to the bottom: 2 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch white strip (D).

*After you attach each section, press seams towards the white fabric.*

And you have one center of a polaroid block!

Super simple!

Cutting Fabric:
All instructions are for creating 50 polaroid blocks, which is how many you'll need to make one sleeping bag.

I-Spy Charms:

What you'll need:

(A) 50 - I-spy charms, each 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches.

By I-spy, I am referring to prints that have fun, playful designs or images that will make it fun for a child to look at and pick out the different items in the print. That's the reason I chose this block for my sleeping bags! When we are out camping and the kids can't sleep, they can stay up looking at all the different pictures on their bags.

I had a huge stack of I-spy charms (5 inches by 5 inches) from some Flickr swaps I participated in a few years ago. I simply cut those down to size, and then cut out squares from my stash for the rest of the prints.

Karen has a great idea for making a viewfinder window to get just the right fussy cut. If you want to do that, cut out a square that is 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches, and then cut out a 4 inch square from the middle. The border of the window needs to be 1/4 inch on all sides for an accurate fussy cut.

Set your charms aside.

White Sashing:

You will need 1 yard of white fabric.

Before you begin, read through the entire tutorial. Also check Karen's post in case you decide to use her method for attaching the sashing, which I think is really great!

You will need:


- (B) 50 - 1 inch by 4 1/2 inch strips
How To:Cut: 6 - 1 inch by WOF (at least 41 inches long) strips.
Subcut each WOF strip into: 9 - 1 inch by 4 1/2 inch strips.


- (C) 100 - 1 inch by 5 inch strips (2 strips per block)
How To:Cut: 13  - 1 inch by WOF strips.
Subcut each WOF strip into: 8 - 1 inch by 5 inch strips.

- (D) 50 - 2 1/2 by 5 1/2 inch strips
How To:Cut: 3 - 5 1/2 inch by WOF strips.
Subcut each WOF strip into: 16 - 2 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch strips 
*You will need 2 additional 2 1/2 by 5 1/2 strips, which I recommend simply cutting out of a corner of your fabric than cutting an entire extra strip of fabric that might end up going to waste.
*If you have a usable 42 1/2 inches per strip, then you can get 17 pieces from each WOF strip - eliminating the need for cutting two more extra pieces.

Assemble Blocks:

1. Attach ONE white 1x4 1/2 inch strip to the TOP of ONE charm square. Repeat for all 50 charms.

** If you want to do this using Karen's method, do NOT subcut the WOF strips. Instead, sew 9 (A) charms to the WOF strips - make sure you sew the strips to the TOP of the charms. Be sure to sew the charms close together or the strips might not fit 9 charms. Then trim at exactly 4.5 inches.**

2. Attach ONE white 1x 5 inch strips to each SIDE of your (AB) block.

**Again, you can use Karen's method to attach strips to each SIDE of the now (AB) charm piece. Attach one side, trim and then attach the second side. You should be able to sew 8 charms per strip. Make sure to sew them close together so you don't run out of room on the strip. Trim to 5 inches. **

3. Attach ONE 2 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch strip to the BOTTOM of each (ABCC) block.

** If you want to use Karen's method for the last piece, you'll need to cut your strips 2 1/2 inches by WOF. You should be able to sew 7 charms per strip, which means you'll need to cut just over 7 strips. Attach strips to each BOTTOM of the now (ABCC) block. **


These really are straight forward. And if you are making 50, it can be a bit monotonous. Here are a few things I recommend doing to make it easier and faster.
  • Cut out ALL your fabric first. 
  • Chain piece!!
  • If you do chain piece, here is my quick and easy method for cutting apart all of the blocks:
:: Fold your charms accordion style, so they are folded on top of each other, not around each other.
:: Go through each side and trim the little strings. It's SO fast and then your blocks are already stacked nicely together. :)

And that's it for the first step! I'm still working on sewing all my white strips to the charms. I'm maybe a fourth of the way done. If you have any questions, let me know!! :)

If you are sewing along, be sure to link up your pictures! :)

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