Saturday, January 29, 2011

Conversation Heart Banner



As a kid, one of my favorite things about Valentine's Day was getting a little box of Conversation Heart candies.  I loved them!  (I still do, but roses and chocolates are also nice!)

Here's a simple Conversation Heart banner for Valentine's Day.

What you'll need:

Felt sheets
Embroidery thread
Embroidery needle
Ribbon for hanging
Sewing machine and coordinating thread
Water soluble pen
Heart pattern (I used the "Cookie" pattern from a previous project, pattern can be found here.)

Ok, print out your pattern and cut it out.  Using a permanent marker or water soluble pen, trace your pattern onto the felt.  You can fit 6 hearts total onto a sheet of 9" x 12" felt (which will end up being 3 hearts on your banner).

Cut out your hearts (making sure to cut just inside the lines if you use a permanent marker).  There are yellow hearts pictured above, but in the end I decided not to use them.

Using a water soluble marker, write your message onto one of the hearts.

Here are the expressions I used:

Now, embroider your message.  I used a simple back stitch.  But you can do whatever you like.

Remember to only put messages on half of your hearts.  (The other half will be the back side of the banner.)

Now, take the plain hearts and pin them to the ribbon (ribbon on top) - spacing them as you like.

Sew the ribbon to the hearts.  If there's a gap between your hearts (like there is with mine) and you don't want your thread to be seen, you'll have to sew on each heart separately. 

Once all of the back hearts are basted on, pin on the front conversation heart (matching front and back colors).

Sew around the heart about 1/4" to 1/8" away from the edge.  Do this for each heart, using a coordinating color thread.  (Tip: Sew all of the same color hearts, then switch your thread to another color and sew all of those next, etc...)

Use a scissors to trim any parts where the hearts don't perfectly overlap.  And then hang your banner!

Happy Sewing and Happy Valentine's Day!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Blog

I'm guest blogging over at Prudent Baby today.  Go check it out.  If you're here from Prudent Baby, welcome and have a look around!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Go Crazy!

Yesterday the kiddos and I sat down to make some crazy crayons. (Well, it started out as all of us, but it quickly became just me -- go figure they wanted to play in their "fort" made of couch cushions rather than make crayons.)  Well I had fun.

If you've never made crazy crayons, you really should.  It uses up all of the broken bits of crayons to make one new one.  No wasted crayons!  Yay! 


They're super easy to make.  First take off all the paper labels left on your bits (a box cutter or straight razor blade makes this part easy.)  Then organize your crayons into different color combinations.  I used a silicone muffin tray to bake mine in.  (I found mine in the cheap dollar section of Target for $2.50.)  You could also use an old muffin tin or ice cube mold.  I do like the silicone because the finished crayons easily pop right out. 

Once they're all ready, place them in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes at 250 degrees F until they're completely melted.

Let them cool completely (about an hour - depending on the thickness) and let the kiddos color!

Connor and Gwyneth came running over at this point when I took out the new crayons.  (The fort no longer held their interest!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A summer dress


Warm weather must be in my thoughts.  I whipped up two of these dresses the other day - one for my daughter and one for my niece (who just turned three).  It's actually quite fun to dress the two girls alike since they're only six weeks apart in age. 

The fabric was purchased at Jo-Ann last summer when my local store was closing (just moving down the street to a new, bigger location).  They were getting rid of all of their fabric - yup all of it.  I got this super cute flowery pooh bear fabric (and tigger too) for $1.27!  And it was pre-shirred!  So I just had to sew the seam in the back and add some ribbon for ties. (I think the cost of the ribbon I used was more than the dress fabric.)

For the ribbons, I added a tiny double bow in the front to give it a little detail. 

Thinking warm thoughts from Minnesota!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Living in a freezer

Yesterday I awoke to -15F). Brrr......  My son is now wrapped up in the idea that it's colder outside than it is in our freezer.  He loves to put glasses of water outside and in our kitchen freezer at the same time to see which one freezes first. 

My little scientist - hard at work. 
A couple of days ago my sister came over to babysit my kids while I went to the dentist. She stayed a bit longer so I could go to the gym and get some other things done. So as thanks, I whipped up this neck warmer for her (which she hinted that she'd like).


The neck warmer is essentially made the same way as the ones I made for my kiddos. (The tutorial for the kid neckwarmers can be found here at Noodlehead.) For an adult (female) size, I used two pieces of fleece that were 23" x 9". This gave a cozy sized neck warmer. I also folded the edges in before sewing them together to create a more finished edge.

It's been so cold here that I'm sure she'll get a lot of use out of it (especially since she forgot her scarf here)!  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Giveaway!! - Now Closed

It's been a while since I've done a giveaway.  I have this knit cowl I made just sitting in my closet - which I love, but never wear.  If you'd like a chance to win it, simply comment below.  (Sorry, US residents only.  One entry per person.  Please make sure to leave an email address.)  Giveaway closes February 1st.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Emergency Biscuits

I love this recipe.  It's really simple, and as the name implies, they can be done really quickly.  I always start by pre-heating the oven, because I can make the biscuits before the oven is done heating up.  This recipe was one my grandfather used to make.  I loved it as a kid - my kids love it now.  I think one of the reasons I love them (other than the taste) is that you don't have to roll the dough.  I've made a couple changes along the way, but it's still your basic biscuit recipe.  Here you go. . .

You'll need:

2 cups AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp (or melted)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.  Then add the butter.  Next the milk.  If the dough looks a little dry, add a bit more milk. 

Using an ice cream scoop, drop large scoops of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until light golden.  Makes 6 large biscuits.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

The Christmas decorations are put away now.  It's time to start thinking about Valentine's Day.  I'm currently working on a great new Valentine's day decoration but until then check out these . . . . .

Or a mailbox for all those valentines!


 I think Connor and I will need to start making Valentines soon.  Here's what we made last year.

All of these are great projects to do with the kids!!  Have you already started thinking about Valentine's Day??

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snuggly Quilt for my sister

My sister loves to read.  She spends a lot of her free time reading and so for Christmas I thought I'd make her a little quilt to wrap around herself on those cold winter days while she enjoys a good book. 

For this quilt I used the Snuggly Layer Cake Throw, designed by Melissa Mortenson of The Polka Dot Chair.  The instructions for the quilt can be found here at the Moda Bake Shop.  I used the Moda Dream On Layer Cake by Urban Chicks for the front.  The back was made from some flannel I had sitting around.  I made randomly sized strips, just for fun. 

I really, really like how this quilt turned out - I think mostly because I had NO puckering!  Yay!!

Finished quilt size: 42" x 57".

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two more shirts

For Christmas I also made two shirts - one for my dad and one for my father-in-law.  Both were made with freezer paper -- aren't you shocked?  OK, OK, I know you're not.  But anyhow. . . . .

The first is a simple shirt with the family crest painted on (an embroidered version can be seen here).

To understand some of the humor behind this next shirt, you need to know that my dad is blind and he loves a good corny gift.  So I made him this shirt.  In braille it reads: "If you can read this then you are too close."

Get it???  If you're blind you have to read by touching so . . . . . . .  Ok, so it did seem funnier a couple weeks ago when I was sleep deprived frantically making presents.  I tried to make the words raised so you could actually read them by touch, but it didn't work out so well.  The puffy paint didn't want to stay where it was supposed to - but it's still a funny conversation piece.  I wonder if he'll actually wear it. . . . . I think he just might.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Quilt for my niece

 For Christmas I made my 7-year-old niece a quilt.  She's also one of my goddaughters so I like to make her something a little extra special.

I'm not much of a quilter - but every once in a while I like to pretend that I am.  I think this is the 3rd or 4th little quilt I've ever made. It turned out ok.  There was a bit of puckering on the back, but not too much.

The fabric is from Robert Kaufman's Remix and Urban Zoology.  They are really bright, fun prints perfect for a 7-year old.  I simply picked up some 2.5" fabric strips here and just sewed them together for a simple quilt top.

The back was a large fun flannel print I had from Jo-Ann's.  Instead of adding a separate binding, I just used the back rolled over onto the top to make the binding.  Too simple - especially since I was short on time before Christmas.

I think my niece liked it.  She wore it wrapped around her like a cape for a few hours after opening it. 

Finished quilt size: 42" by 60".


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