Monday, September 26, 2011

Sewing Creatively

A week ago I was lucky enough to get a chance to go to a day of the Creative Connection here in St. Paul.  I jumped at the chance.  It's a great place to meet new friends and be inspired.  While there, I was fortunate enough to take some sewing classes with Patty Young of ModKids.  Yup!  I was so excited!

french window pillow - in progress 2

Patty was teaching classes for her sun and surf tote and also her french window pillow cover.  I signed up for both.  They were so much fun!  Patty was so nice!

patty young

In the morning class, (which consisted of four of us) - we tackled the sun and surf tote.  This is such a cute tote!  So simple.  No one actually finished that morning, but later in the afternoon, I managed to finish it up.

sun and surf tote

All of the fabric we used that day had been generously donated by Michael Miller fabrics and were from Patty's Sanctuary fabric line.

sun and surf tote, interior

The afternoon class tackled the French Window Pillow.  This was an easy project to finish in the time allowed.  I also got to meet Jana of Izzy and Ivy designs and Char of Crap I've Made.  Both ladies were super nice and made the class really fun!

French window pillow, detail

Here's the final pillow front. . .

French window pillow, front

The back has a simple envelope closure.  I've never actually sewn a closure for a pillow like this before, I've always just used an invisible zipper.

French window pillow, back

I love the details.

French window pillow, detail 2

My husband was totally surprised when I came home and had a finished bag and pillow.  I think he was impressed with what I could do without the kids around or housework to distract me do.

Aside from some great freebies - including an olfa circle cutter and a new cutting mat, I did come home with a couple purchases from the marketplace.


Needless to say, it was a fun day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pleated Lace Headband

I'm guest blogging over at whipup today!  Go check out my tutorial for a simple pleated lace headband!

pleated lace headband, large

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking Software and a GIVEAWAY!

Scrapbooking is an art form that I never really go into.  Sure like most artistic venues I tried it.  But I didn't find it as rewarding as other mediums like sewing - I think I LOVE fabric far too much!

When I was recently contacted by someone from MyMemories, offering me a chance to try out their scrapbooking software, I jumped at the chance.  I thought it would be fun - and it was.  I really enjoyed playing with the backgrounds and the different options.  Here's a few samples of what I came up with.


I even went through old some pictures from my trip to Paris (when I was 16).  Classic views of Paris.  Hmm.... needs some journaling though.


I think I still really like to keep it simple.

Well, the kind people over at MyMemories are giving away a copy of their digital scrapbooking software: My Memories Suite v 2.0


To enter simply visit their site at and take a look at their extensive collection of digital papers and come back here and tell me which one you like! 

For additional entries you can follow My Memories on:

Then come back here and tell me you follow them in a separate comment.

Make sure you leave your email address in the comments!

Giveaway will end: 9/28/2011 at Noon (CST). Good Luck!

If you can't wait:  You can use this Coupon Code  STMMMS20103 to get your copy of MyMemories Suite v2.0 that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value!)
Happy Scrapbooking!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Little Camera Pouch


For Christmas last year, Connor received his very own Camera from a good family friend.  He loves it!  I love looking at all of the pictures he takes!  It's so much fun to look at the world through his camera!  Well, just before out big trip I whipped up a little pouch for his camera.

camera bag, view 1

I used a scrap of fabric from his backpack (the cars), a scrap from this hat (the lining), and leftover bias tape which I made for these placematsI love using scraps!  The decorative button is made from recycled milk bottles.  (I love that!) 

camera bag, view 2

To construct the pouch, I simple quilted together the lining, batting and exterior fabric together.  Then added the seam binding.  Super simple.  I gave it a simple velcro closure so it's super easy for him to get to the camera in a hurry to get that great picture.

camera bag, view 3

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Flag, a Winner and a Note


Connor just joined cub scouts.  He's in his first year (Tiger) and my husband volunteered to be Den Leader.   Having achieved the rank of Eagle Scout himself many years ago, he was filled with ideas for the boys.  The first on the list was a flag for their den that the boys would decorate using fabric markers.  It would be their flag that they'd proudly display at den meetings and pack events.

I stitched up this simple flag using Kona Cotton in Snow.  The final dimensions are 24" by 36".  The flag pole is upcycled from an old broken lamp.  It conveniently unscrews into three pieces for easy transport and is hollow in the middle, so it's nice and light.

The boys loved it!  But I'm told it's not done being decorated yet.   I'll share pictures when it's done.

And now for the winner of the crepe paper giveaway. . .

crepe paper

#1 : Pink Granny

Winner chosen at random using  Thanks to everyone who entered.  There will be another AWESOME giveaway later this week so check back!  I know you'll want to enter.

One last note. . .

messenger bag

There's still a few spots open in the Messenger Bag Class I'll be teaching at Sewtropolis on Thursday, 9/22.  More details can be found in this post.  There has been interest in a larger version of this bag.  The class will also cover making a larger version which you will see here on the blog soon and which you'll also be able to see in the shop soon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Braille Art

braille art, view 1

Yesterday was my dad's birthday.  I wanted to make something for him that was a little different than my usual presents for him.  I won't deny that the events of 9/11 were on my mind yesterday when I started working on this.  I had rummaged through some old maps and came across this one of North America and all I could think of were those old hand embroidered wall hangings saying "Home Sweet Home" that used to be so common in homes (or at least on TV show homes).  So, that's sort of how this came about.  For those of you who didn't know, my dad is blind.  And so, I wanted it a bit different.  I chose to spell out "Home Sweet Home" in braille using brads on this old map.

I started with a map (which was upcycled from the back of an old day planner). 

braille art, view 3

I marked out the words Home Sweet Home in braille (using an on-line English-Braille Translator) - because even though I learned the braille alphabet as a kid, I really don't remember it well.  I taped this down to the map using low-tack tape.

braille art, view 4

When the holes were punched, I removed my pattern (and tape) and started adding the brads and setting them.  I added a heart shaped brad where my dad lives.

braille art, view 5

Once done, mount your art.  I cut a piece of foam board the same size as the map.  I used some spray adhesive and wrapped the foam board with the map (like a present)

braille art, view 6

Here's a view from the back.

braille art, view 7

Secure that to your backing with spray adhesive.

braille art, view 8

Return it to the frame (without the glass) and display!

braille art, view 1

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Perfect Little Girl Backpack

Girl Backpack, view 3

Gwyneth started preschool yesterday.  She was very, very excited - and ready to go!  I whipped up this little backpack for her on Monday.

Girl Backpack, view 5

The pattern I used was the penguin backpack from Liesl Gibson's, Little Things to Sew.  It came together beautifully and quickly.  I love that the backpack was lined. 

Girl Backpack, view 2

The fabric used was Hopscotch from Free Spirit designed by David Walker.   I used the lining fabric for the straps which gives it a nice look.

Girl Backpack, view 4

The pocket had a bit of the pink fabric too along with the circle of friends fabric - which you may remember from another dress.

Girl Backpack, view 1

All ready for school!

Girl Backpack, view 6

Monday, September 5, 2011

4,044 miles. 4,191 photos. 2 National Parks. 2 National Monuments. 3 cave explorations. and A GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone!  I'm back from a lovely trip with the family.  Where did we go you might ask??

Well, we started off here in the Twin Cities and headed for Mount Rushmore, next we headed off to Yellowstone, and then to Craters of the Moon in Idaho.  After that we headed north to Glacier National Park and came back home via North Dakota to visit some friends. 

I won't bore you with lots of pictures (right now at least), there is a whopping 4,194 of them.  Yes,  I really did take that many photos in 2 weeks which boils down to about one photo per mile of our journey.    I haven't even cracked the surface with them, but here's two of my favorite's from Glacier:

mt goat with wildflowers

Logan Pass

I'll share some more of my trip and some photos a bit later  (when I've had a chance to sort through them a bit.)  Right now I'm spending a bit of time with my sewing machine (making a backpack for Gwyneth who starts preschool tomorrow!) 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!!

crepe paper

I'll be giving a lucky reader these four packages of crepe paper in leaf green, french vanilla, whisper pink and pink.  Each package contains one sheet that measures 20" by 7.5'.  These are perfect for making flowers, banners, or anyting you want.  Each person can have up to three entries.  Here's how:

Entry #1:  Comment on this post (about anything!)

Entry #2:  Follow my blog (through blogger or Google Reader or whatever) and tell me.  Leave a separate comment stating that.  (Already a loyal follower, just let me know.)

Entry #3:  Follow me on facebook or twitter, come back here and tell me you're a follower in another comment.

Thanks for reading!  Good luck.

(I'll keep the Giveaway open for 1 week - Sorry, open to US and Canada only.)


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