Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday's Tips and Tricks- Continuous Prairie Points

I have been browsing through several Pintrest boards looking for some tips and tricks to share and have come across several but today one will be enough.

As a quilter I love the look of a quilt with a prairie point finish but cutting out all those squares has always kept me from using this method.  Today I bring to you a continuous prariie point tutorial that is easy to follow because it is not only in print form but has a video tutorial that goes with it.

After watching this video I think this is a finish that would be easy to add to any quilted design and am ready to jump in and give it a try.  This finish could also be applied to the edge of a skirt or a child's summer dress, heck even a pair of capri pants would look cute with this edging.  

I hope that those dropping by will leave a comment and let me know what you think of my Thursday Tips and Tricks.  What are some of your tips and trips?  Feel free to share any that may help out a fellow quilter or crafter. 

I hope my ideas encourage you to try something new as you travel down the road on "life in the craft lane"

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flower Pot Pincushion - Day 11 of 100 Days on Pins and Needles

Spring?  Well whether mother nature is telling us it is Spring or if she is still covering you with a blanket of snow where you live, the calendar says Spring has arrived.  With that in mind I spent the weekend shopping for some new herb plants for my garden and at the same time purchased some crafting items at the garden center.  I brought my love of flowers and gardening into my sewing area by creating a fun and useful Flower Pot pincushion.

I used my handy E-6000 glue and attached a small clay flower pot to a clay flower pot saucer, adding the saucer gives you a great place to hold thread, buttons or other sewing notions you may need while sewing or crafting.  You could even add a larger saucer to give you more space for extra stuff.

I showcase two versions of my pincushions, in the first one I used a salad plate as a template and cut out a fabric circle, gathered the edge with a needle and thread then stuffed with fiberfill.  In the second version I inserted the tomato pincushion I made a few weeks ago into the pot to use as my pincushion.  Because of the tight fit in both I did not have to glue the pincushion into the pot, the pins are corsage pins and I added the flower beads to give them a really fun garden look. As always I found a tutorial to share if you would like to create your own flower pot pincushion to give as a gift or just add a touch of Spring to your sewing area.

The tutorial gives you an easy way to make the pincushion that requires no sewing and you use a hot glue gun to attach the pincushion into the pot.  A great tutorial that is fast and easy to put together.

I hope you create your own little garden to display in your sewing space, anywhere in your home or share a little bit of Spring with someone else.  If you drop in and check out my blog please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I hope you enjoy a walk in the sunshine and don't forget to stop and smell the roses as you take an inspirational walk down "life in the craft lane".  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Fabric Finds

With this weekly feature I hope to use up my stash and only those fabrics in my stash without having to purchase anything other than maybe backing fabrics.  So far it has inspired me to find creative combinations and patterns to use up what I already have.

This weeks selection includes some blue and white prints as well as blue and grey prints along with some blue blender fabrics.  With this collection of fabric I hope to create a bed quilt, but we will have to see how much total yardage I have.  This will be a challenge to find the right pattern design for this quilt but I really love the pop of blue and combining these different prints will be fun.

I wanted to show off what last weeks Spring prints turned into.  I made up 2 tablerunners and a set of mug mats from each of my fabric selections.  The mug mats make great computer mouse pads, I use one myself everyday.

Spring Tablerunner        or      Mug Mats/Computer Mouse Pads

Check back next week and see what happens to my Friday fabric finds as I take a walk down "life in the craft lane".

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter Pincushion - Day 10 - 100 Days on Pins and Needles

Everything around us is Easter themed right now and with that in mind I continue to find more Easter pincushions that could have more than one use.  As I mentioned in my last pincushion post the stuffed egg shaped cushions could be given to children as a fun toss game for an Easter treat instead of candy. This weeks feature has a different twist as a home decor item but could also be used as a toss game item for children as an Easter treat too.

Pincushions are not just for pins.

 Many years ago when my husband was active duty Army we spent many years in Germany.  A tradition there during the Easter season they bring in fresh branches place them in a vase and create what they call an "Easter Tree".  They decorate them with blown out eggs that are beautifully hand painted along with little wooden decorations of rabbits, and other Easter themed items.

Along with the egg shaped pincushions I already made I added a new look with a felted wool egg that is decorated with machine embroidery and has raw edges cut with pinking shears.  I also found a new design, pictured above, to add to my "tree", making mine out of felted wool.  Instead of hand embroidery and felt cutouts I did some machine embroidery designs on the "egg", added felted wool blades of grass along with machine stitched grass, a die cut flower shape embellished with a button and topped it off with a sheer ribbon for hanging. If I were making it as a child's gift I would not add buttons or any other items that could be pulled off and swallowed.

I decided to use my newly made Easter Egg pincushions to decorate my own "Easter Tree" to add to my holiday decor.

Once Easter is over you can take your decorations down and hang them in your sewing room as a cute little decor item, use them as gifts for your sewing friends or keep them and use them as pincushions for yourself.

I hope that I have given you some ideas of not only how to make some cute gift ideas but how to add seasonal fun to your home and sewing.  Take a walk down "life in the craft lane" and see what you can find to inspire your next creative project.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Fabric Fun

For a quilter one of the most important days is the one when you pick out fabrics for your next project. Decisions, decisions, what to do?  Should I pick what I like or should I step outside my comfort zone?  Do I go modern or traditional? Or maybe mix up the two and see what happens?

Sometimes fabric choices even come before you decide what your project will be, but in my case I want to make a tablerunner using Spring colors.  Inspiration is all around you and just the idea of Spring brings on a whole new list of color choices to mind.  There is the color of new grass

and if you are from Texas the deep blue almost purple of bluebonnets is always a great choice.

Or how about any of the beautiful colors of the wildflowers that will be showing their faces in the landscape very soon.

So what will it be?  The possibilities are endless but I narrowed it down to two fabric groupings and maybe I will make two runners just because I really like both choices.

What decisions will you be making for your next quilt project?  Fabric, pattern design or will you create your own?  Hope inspiration finds you or you find it when you take a walk down "life in the craft lane".

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Tips and Tricks

Today I want to share a great sewing tip that I found helpful and you might too. I will also show you how I adapted this method and found it very helpful in sewing my binding strips together.

Tired of marking your fabric squares to create HST (half square triangles)?  This tip from Quiltmaker Blog is the answer for you and the tip is "courtesy of Donna Amos, a member of the 2011 QM Scrap Squad". Use a piece of cardboard to line up your stitching line?  How clever!

I decided to use this method to piece my binding strips together and it worked beautifully.  Since I would be trimming the strips after sewing I left the selvage edges on and doing this also made the stitching line much easier to line up with the cardboard.  Instead of cutting a strip of cardboard I took the cardboard insert from a package of bias fold tape and used it to line up my sewing lines. Using my selvage edges as a guide to line up my cardboard I stitched close to the cardboard edge, making sure not to sew over it.  After sewing all my strips together I trimmed the excess off with my rotary cutter. If you have a longer seam or stitching line to sew just cut out a piece of cardboard to size.  I have a separate rotary cutter that I use for paper so I wouldn't have to use my fabric cutter.

I found this to be a quick and easy way to get my binding sewn together without having to mark fabrics and I can see that using it for HST or other corner to corner sewing will be a great help.

Hope you find this little tip helpful and time saving as you travel the road down "life in the craft lane"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Works in Progress Wednesday - Scrap Quilting

I have been working on this twin size scrap quilt for almost a year and finally got the top finished last weekend.  I have been slowly getting it quilted and today it is done and ready to take off the frame.

I created fabric by piecing random fabrics of all sizes into 12 inch finished squares.  The squares are set on point with lattice strips and cornerstones and I found this really fun multi-colored fabric to use as a border for such a colorful quilt.

Now to trim off the excess and get the binding on so it can be added to my Etsy shop inventory tomorrow.

Check out the other Quiltsy Team bloggers and see what they are doing today at our team blog, Wips and WhatNot.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Easter Egg Pincushion - Day 9 - 100 Days on Pins and Needles

With Easter fast approaching I decided to focus on some Easter Theme pincushions.  I found a cute little Easter Egg pincushion featured on Retro Mom Blog in March of 2009.  

The instructions are simple and easy to follow she also provides a link to the pattern you can print out for this project.  These little pincushions would make great gifts or display items, maybe even soft toys for a baby or toddler instead of giving plastic eggs full of candy.  After making a few I picked some up to show my daughter and the thought occurred to me that these would make great items to practice your juggling or to let your children toss in a basket as an indoor snow day or rainy day toss game.

As usual I made my own version of the egg in tone on tone off white fabrics and added a little twist to mine by placing it into a cup, you could also add some Easter grass or shredded green fabric in the base.  With the addition of an egg cup or dish it turns into a sewing accessory that is stable and won't roll away.  If you don't have an egg cup any small dish would do fine, I found some cute little plastic Easter eggs at the Dollar Store that work great as a stand for your pincushion.

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I did.  Create a dozen eggs and display them in a decorated re-purposed egg carton in your kitchen or sewing room for a fun country look.