Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Little Garden

flower garden (3)

I had this idea for a little garden to sit on our table.  It easy to make and the kids got involved too.  They love playing with it and it makes a great centerpiece for the table.  On Easter morning there will be colorful eggs sitting in there.

flower garden 2

For this little garden, I picked up eight of these squares of grass at Michaels.  If you choose, you can grow your own grass in a tray and make your fence the size of your tray.  We used all artificial grass and flowers (since I'm allergic to grass and lots of plants.)  Plus then you don't have to worry about watering the grass -- something I would forget to do (and my children would do in abundance).


Each is 4" x 4", I chose my garden size to be 8" x 16".   So I cut a piece of wood the same size, 8" x 16" x 1".

wood bottom

Using craft sticks start to make a bit of the fence.  Reinforce with horizontally placed sticks.  I used hot glue to make the project quick.  The craft sticks I used measured 4.5" x 5/8".  I used almost 100 of them.

assemble sections of fence

Start attaching your sections of fence to the bottom board securing with hot glue.

attaching sections of fence 2

Continue until you've covered the whole thing.  If you have any small holes that are too small for one craft stick, you can easily cut it to fit the hole.

hole in the fence

Hold the craft stick up to your hole and mark it with a pencil.  Grab an craft knife and score it along your pencil line.  Bend the craft stick and it should break pretty cleanly along your scored line. 

score craft stick

Take the piece you just cut and glue it into your hole.

fixing the fence

Next paint your fence - you could use spray paint or just some acrylic paint.  I had two eager little helpers so we used acrylic paint.

painting helper 2

painting helper 1

When it's all dry, place your grass in the garden.

grass garden

If you like, add a few silk flowers by just tucking them into the grass.  If you have real grass, you could tuck in a few real flowers too.  It's also a great place for some Easter eggs! 


planting the garden (2)


"smelling' the flowers

G and the garden

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Easy-Peasy Skirts with Pockets

Easy Peasy Skirt w/Pockets

It's hard not to get excited about the unseasonably warm weather we're having.  One of my favorite things to make during spring is skirts.  So here's another variation on the Easy-Peasy Skirts -- one with pockets!

easy peasy skirt with pockets 3

Every skirt should have pockets.  They are so useful and practical.  This skirt has nice deep pockets. 

the pocket!

The fabrics used here are from Lisette, which you can find at Jo-Ann.  They are incredibly soft and feel so nice to wear.  The top fabric is a Sateen and the bottom, Poplin, but they worked nicely together.

easy peasy skirt with pockets 4

I added a stripe at the bottom and used the same fabric for the pockets.  I know those pockets will come in handy, especially with two little kiddos.

easy peasy skirt with 

So go check out the full tutorial over at Everything Etsy!  Hope to see you over there!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I think I can . . . I think I can . . .

In a recent order from Amazon, I added a little something for me --- a 1/4" foot.  If you don't know what that is here's a picture of it:

1/4 inch foot

Since joining the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild, I've really started quilting more.  Mind you not everything is completely finished (lots of tops), but I'm getting there.  I just used a standard foot for piecing my blocks, but I knew it would be faster with a 1/4" foot. 

I set out to make a 36 patch block.  This is the tutorial I used (from one of my quilt guild friends).  Anyhow -- I really didn't think about it.  I just put on the foot and sewed it up.  At the end I measured and oops, not big enough.

block 1

Well, I moved the needle over to as far as looked safe and tried again.  OK, bigger, but still not quite right.

blocks 2 and 3

Finally I moved the needle over a bit more (even though it really looked like the needle was being pushed over by the foot, and finally I got the right size block.  I totally felt like the little engine that could while I tried to figure this out.  But now I know the perfect settings for my 1/4" foot and I'm off!!!

block 5

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lovely Lil Bunny . . . THE PATTERN!!

It's finally here!  My very first pattern.  Meet the Lovely Lil Bunny.


These little bunnies are very quick to make (in an hour or less).  They require only one fat quarter of fabric and a small bit of fleece. 


They have a sweet embroidered face to make it the perfect friend for children of all ages.  I hope you will love it as much as I do.


They have fuzzy fleece ears, tummy and tail and they love to be cuddled.


They measure approximately 14.5" to the top of the ears.  The pattern is available in PDF format and is available in my Etsy shop.  The 23 page PDF includes pattern pieces that can be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper directly from your computer and includes step-by-step instructions and lots of color photos.

This bunny will be perfect for your little one's Easter basket.  You can order your pattern HERE.


I am so excited to finally get one of my patterns out.  There are many more to come (including some handbags, totes and quilts).

Not a sewer or don't think you've got time before Easter???  Finished Lovely Lil Bunnies are also available to purchase in my Etsy shop.  They are made with 100% wind power.  All scraps are recycled and they are shipped in 100% recyclable and/or compostable materials.  Hop on over and check out my shop.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Replacing a Broken ZIpper

We've all had a zipper break on us -- whether in a coat or a bag, a broken zipper makes a perfectly good piece of clothing (or backpack) unusable.  Did you know that replacing a zipper is quite simple?  It is.  Really.  Here's how you do it!

I made this backpack for Connor right before he started kindergarten.  It was great, but now that he's in first grade (and it's winter), he constantly stuffs his backpack full of his binder, library books, lunch bag, shoes and sometimes even his snow pants.  The stitching held up really well -- so well that it was the zipper that finally broke.  Time to replace it!

Note:  These simple instructions are for removing a zipper in a backpack (with lining), but the same steps can be used to replace a separating zipper in a coat or anything else!

broken zipper 12

Start by grabbing a seam ripper.  I love the one in the photo.  It's actually a small sharp blade so it makes it really fast to remove stitches (however, it can cut through your fabric just as easily). 

broken zipper 11

Remove all of the stitches holding in your zipper.  Try to keep the fabric folded as it was when it was sewn.  This will make it easier later.

broken zipper 10

The ends of this zipper are enclosed in fabric so we'll have to remove a bit of stitching at each end too.

broken zipper 9

Keep going until you can completely remove the zipper.  Remove any bits of thread that are left behind.  At this point, I like to measure the zipper which needs to be replaced and go to the store and get a new one.

broken zipper 8

I chose a heavy duty zipper.  Connor's a bit tough on this backpack and it needed a tougher zipper.  Start pinning the zipper in place, keeping your fabric edge folded like it was before.

broken zipper 7

If your bag/coat is lined, make sure that as you pin the top piece, the lining gets pinned in place too and it doesn't get in the way of the zipper.

broken zipper 6

You can test your zipper as you're pinning.  If it still opens smoothly, you're ok!

broken zipper 5

Repeat the pinning for the other side of the zipper.  Now grab a needle and thread and baste (simply stitch in place using a large running stitch) by hand.  Remove the pins as you go.  When you're done basting, make sure the zipper still opens and closes smoothly.

broken zipper 4

On your sewing machine using the zipper foot, sew in the zipper close to the edge of the fold of fabric.  If you don't have a sewing machine, you can sew this by hand - just use small stitches.

broken zipper 3

Once that's sewn in, remove your basting stitches.

broken zipper 2

And you've done it!  You've replaced a zipper!  You'll be amazed at the amount of money you can save if you learn this useful skill.  Happy sewing!

broken zipper 1

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Knitted Green Hat

knitted green hat

I knitted up this simple green hat for my husband.  It was knit in the round (my favorite kind of knitting) -- it's so simple and super fast.

knitted green hat

I used no pattern.  Just started knitting and here it is!  It actually fits him too! Yay!


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