Saturday, December 31, 2011

Apron Tutorial

I've had a few inquiries about the apron i made and the "burrito" or "tube" technique which ultimately hides your seams inside so when washing there wont be any fraying.  I thought the easiest way to show you all is through a TUTORIAL!!    its a bit lengthy but I'm about the details. i like to show LOTS of pics/visuals.  that's how i learn to do things.  :)

here is the apron i made before christmas.  loving my cows!  this apron gives you a chance to use some of those FQ piling up in your stash and lets you have some fun with aprons.  I've already made 5 of these.  I'm thinking i need one for each day of the week!  what a fun gift also.  you could give this, matching pot holders and some kitchen gadgets!!!  i could go on and on....but lets see how these things are made!

below is the one we are making today.  my hubby did a quick modeling for you :)
(he is straight in the door from work, hence the nasty white t-shirt and sweats LOL)

List of supplies:
1 fat quarter of fabric for the body (18x22)
1/2 yard of fabric for the bottom/top sash and tie.  (18 inches by WOF--width of fabric which is around 42-44)
sewing machine
cutting mat and rotary cutter  (or just a simple scissors and ruler)

here we GO!
1-fat quarter
1/2 yard of fabric for handles/borders

cut your 1/2 yard of fabric into 3 sections.  all 6inches by WOF  (width of fabric--usually around 42-44").  be sure and cut off any selvage (bottom) edge.

iron your fat quarter and also trim this piece up so it is even and the edges are nice and straight.  ( cut off selvage if there is any)
take 1 of your 6xWOF pieces and cut it in half.  this piece should now be 2 pieces of 6x22(ish).  sometimes when removing the selvage it makes the WOF a bit shorter which is NOT a problem.  this apron is very giving in measurements.  you'll see this later.

ok, here is the FUN part.  take your 6x22ish piece and place is right side UP.  take your fat quarter piece and place the 22inch section right side DOWN.    NO PINNING YET.  make sure if your apron body has a directional fabric or words that this is the BOTTOM edge of your apron.  your words would be upside down. 

see, right sides together.
 now, roll up from the bottom end in a tube.  make it small but not tight.
 don't roll all the way to the edge.  now take your bottom fabric--the handles/sashing fabric--fold this up and over your apron body/tube. 

see....its a fabric burrito and a TUBE!  :)
DO NOT get any of the tube into the pinning section, because we are going to sew a seam here.
once this is pinned, sew a 1/4 inch seam all the way down.

remove your pins and pull the tube of fabric out.  you shouldn't need any type of a turning tool.  this should come out very easy. 

VOILA!!  the seams are INSIDE the tube and wont fray when washed.  WOOT WOOT.  now get that iron heated back up and iron this edge nice and crisp. 

i like to sew and give this piece a nice top stitched look.  you could get creative here and do all different types of decorative stitching too.

next....we aren't done with this bottom edge YET.  now take and fold the sides of your apron (the 18" edge)over twice. (towards the back of the apron)   i do about a 1/4inch seam x2.  I also iron it down, which keeps it in place when sewing.

sew this edge down.  this will not fray either when washing because your raw edge is inside.  how sweet is that??!!!

lets get to the top and get this girl done!
take your other piece of band/sashing fabric which you had cut in half earlier.  it should be around 6x22.  fold the sides over x1 about 1/4-1/2 inch.  iron this piece well so it stays in place when sewing.

lets do the burrito/tube method again!  right sides together, roll, pin and sew.

 when you pull the tube out, make sure you fold this end piece back inside.  this will give you a nice seam when sewing in your handles/ties.
 here is your apron body.  FANCY HUH?  if you have some overage on the top like i do its NO BIGGIE because once you add in your ties it will all blend together.  this is why your measurements have some give. 

time to make the ties/handles and we are in the home stretch.  fold one of your pieces of the 6x44ish tie fabric right sides together, so its a long piece (3x44ish).  pin if you don't trust yourself to sew this straight.  I'm a bad girl and don't pin a lot.  tisk tisk tisk.
 STOP sewing when you have about 6inches to go.  fold the bottom over into a 45degree angle.  i eyeball this and use my nail to make a crease.  sew down to the crease, with your needle in the down position, pivot your fabric and sew down your 45degree angle.
 this will make the nice decorative end to your ties.  after you sew down the crease, cut off the excess fabric you don't need.  repeat this process with the other handle/tie.
 sew both sides and check out your handy work!!!  NICE JOB!  (except my little thread sticking out of the end HAHAHA)
 NOW you can top stitch all the way around the top sashing/tie/handles.  whatever you want to call those things. 
lastly,  put your apron a little dance around your house..... or go bake something.  channel your inner june cleaver. 

here is a picture of our completed apron....this time i grabbed my son to pose.  THANKS FOR THE NICE POSE BUDDY!  (he loves to read my blog) 
 these aprons can easily be made in an hour.  you could cut up a bunch and sew them all at once.  i love the options you have for the fabrics.  you could mix and match all different colors and patterns, add different decorative stitches, add a pocket on the front or sides.  seriously, have some fun with these!!

i have seen similar tutorials online for this apron, but i have changed and added a few of my own directions which worked best for me. this is the idea my sister and i brainstormed together and came up with. i hope you find it user friendly. 

SEWMUCH2LUV has a good apron tutorial and HERE is an older tut from a different blog.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011


last minute gifts are in full bloom at my house!!! my last chore was to tackle an apron.  (this pattern scared me, so ive been avoiding it for MONTHS!) 

once i got the first one done, i couldn't believe how EASY it was to make!!!  i used a few different tutorials because they all had tips that i liked and disliked.  (so i cant really give credit to just one). after a last minute emergency call to my sister , because she has made a bunch of these, we brainstormed an easier way to attach the top/bottom sash.

I'm loving this fun cow fabric found at my LQS!!   this apron is for me  :)

yardage used was 1 fat quarter for the body and 1/2 yard for the sashing/straps. 

the idea we came up with was using the burrito/tube method for the top/bottom sashing--i have used it to make pillow cases.  WOW did this technique make it SOOOOO much easier!!!  it also hides the seams for you which guarantees no fraying of edges!!  

Time to dive into my monster pile of fat quarters!!!  who wants an apron for Christmas?  Mrs. Clause is on a ROLL! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

FNSI winners!!

are you all ready for the winners???
i hope you enjoy these gifts.  i would much rather make you all something like a pin cushion, but who has time when Christmas is just a few days away! 

lets do this so we can all get back to our baking, sewing, shopping, decorating.....  OH MY !!

the first chosen winner thanks to is:

Deborah in Texas.
very cute placemat and i LOVE the Santa hat that you made your hubby!

she gets THIS prize. 

a brand new copy of the first Elm Creek Quilts book-THE QUILTERS APPRENTICE.  also a pack of holiday recipe cards.  I'm in love with this book series and am starting #7 tonight.  :)

the second winner is:

Mary on lake pulaski
i LOVE her figgy pudding table topper she is working on!!!  I'm a HUGE fan of figgy pudding :)

she gets a circa 1934 charm pack and a pack of holiday recipe cards.

email me your shipping addresses and ill get them in the mail.  CONGRATS!!!

time for the couch, my quilt and my new Elm Creek Quilts series book!    this gal has done "too much" the past few days and needs to put her feet up!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

my FNSI results

i started working on bookmarks for my coworkers last night.  they are all avid readers so i know they will be appreciated.  i spent the night messing around with different stamps.  also i didn't get very far because i was working on another Christmas present which i cannot show.  but can i just say this?  I.SUCK.AT.ZIPPERS.

the bookmark is like THIS one i made a few days ago.  Ive been using it and LOVE it.  although its a little thick, im working on making it thinner.  i used an interfacing on both front and back pieces to make it stiff, but now its thick.  any suggestions??   for the life of me i cant remember what i used.  decor bond maybe? 

did you all work on your last minute projects?  I'm kicking myself for not getting things done sooner.  the holidays just came SOOO fast.  this year has been quite a busy one for me.  i had to put too many projects/presents on the back burner and tell myself there was NO way they were getting done.  BUMMER.  note to july start sewing for christmas!  thats why its called christmas in july right? 

don't forget to come back tomorrow for the FNSI winners.  ill be doing 2 drawings and have some fabulous prizes for ya!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sweet n Sour Meatballs

I just put these meatballs in the crock pot and thought....hmph...its been awhile since i shared some yummy recipes with my friends in blogland.


this recipe is an easy one for the holidays, potlucks at work, or just dinner/supper like im having tonight.  i serve it with rice and a veggie. 

im giving you the regular sauce/glaze recipe, but i double it for the amount of meatballs i make and i love the sauce for my rice. 


1 can 20oz of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
30+ precooked meatballs  (i get mine from the frozen section)
(green pepper optional---ive never done it)

Drain the pineapple reserving the juice to make 1 cup of liquid.  If the juice doesn't come out to be 1 solid cup, add water to get ya to that 1 cup mark.

To make the sauce:
pour your 1cup of pineapple juice into large saucepan/skillet.
add the vinegar, water, soy sauce, brown sugar and corn starch.  mix on med/low heat until sauce thickens into a nice glaze. 

Add the meatballs and pineapple chunks to the sauce.  Stir well to coat the meatballs.
Toss into a crock pot and let it cook/heat for a few hours.  (of course you could probably leave this on the stove top to simmer)

YEP, that's it!!  super simple and delicious!  the sauce/glaze is SOOO good you'll see what i mean about doubling it!!!   ENJOY!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

fabric stamped bookmark

thanks for all the kind words and prayers for a speedy recovery!  you gals sure know how to make a girl feel special :)

i did a little crafting this am.  (BIG SMILE)  I had this idea in my head after reading 5 books this past week.  i needed a bookmark!  it had to be fabric and then i saw on the internet a cute idea to stamp it also.  its a little scrappy but those are the best projects. 

i love the fabric with the bicycles!  makes me think of being a kid.  i have asked Santa for a new bike for xmas.  i love those beach cruisers and ill put a basket on the front just for fun :)

bookmark bookmark....where was I?  oh yeah,  so i used some linen scraps i had (cuz i love linen).  I also added the word "imagine" using these cheap little stamps i found at michaels.  they were in the $1 bin !!! 

I think ill make a few of these for xmas presents.  who doesn't need a bookmark right?

back to the drawing board for some other ideas.  maybe a small 9 patch on it for that sewing friend?  maybe book shapes from scraps using diff colors and sizes?  its a great way to dig into those scraps. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday Night Sew In info

today's the day HEIDI will post the winner of the Friday Night Sew In winners.  be sure and check out her blog cuz she made some really cute stuff this weekend! 

my night was spent on the couch, with a new book series and my quilt.  have you all read any of the ELM CREEK QUILTS books?  i just discovered them and im hooked.  they started like 10 years ago and i think there are 16ish books out as of now.  i have read the first 3 and am on book #4.  these books make me want to quilt and join a quilters club. 

the best part about these books being so old is you can buy the first 6 novels in 2 huge books.  the one pictures above has the 4, 5, and 6 books inside.  how cool is that?  i love amazon!

i know your saying to yourself "why didn't she sew or craft?  where are her Christmas projects?".  well.....I'm not looking for any sympathy here just stating the facts.  i had surgery a week ago.  I'm still recovering and don't get to do much.  i have sat in my sewing room, stared at fabrics, journals, Christmas presents to make, but nothing is appealing to me yet!  i still have a few weeks of recovery and I'm hoping to get some serious sewing time in soon!   so for now I'm reading about quilting.  I'm catching up on some serious sleep and taking it easy.  yes, its driving me CRAZY but ill feel like a new person soon.  YAY!

don't forget there is another Friday Night Sew In next week, 12/16/11,  so we can all get those Christmas presents done!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christmas Scarf Story

A friend of mine at work has this neighbor.  the mom works 2-3 jobs to make ends meet for her 5 kids.  over the past few years I feel as i have come to know this family as my friend has bragged about them and how fabulous the kids all are.  My friend and her husband buy gifts for the kids and leave them on their doorstep each year for Christmas. 

a few weeks ago, she came to me (knowing i enjoy crafts) and asked if i wanted to buy a crocheted or knitted scarf made by one of the teenage daughters of her neighbor.  the girl was making them in secret after school and wanted to sell 10 of $5 each  (gasp) so she could get her mom some Christmas Morning pajamas, slippers and a robe.  (yeah, this is where you get the tissues).  she said "my mom works so hard for us and i want her to be able to relax on Christmas morning". 

I OF COURSE jumped at buying one but NO WAY was i going to pay this girl ONLY 5 DOLLARS!  so i gave a bigger donation and have told this story to many many people.  see how beautiful that scarf is?  (on the left)

you see, Christmas is about stories like this.  a girl who has been raised with enough morals and values to do something this nice for her hard working mom.  it touched my heart in so many ways i cant even begin to tell you all.

so, being the crafty bag maker that i am....i decided this girl needed a cord bag of her own and maybe a little journal/diary/notebook. 

My friend was going to fill the bag with a few other goodies for the daughter.  i hope this story has put some warmth in your heart as it did me.

Happy Holidays to you all!

ps.......HEIDI is in charge of the first FNSI for HERE for the details.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

journals and notebooks

after all of my family left and i had a bit of the empty house syndrome, i decided i needed a little crafting time.  I made a cover for a composition book.  you know those cheapo books you can buy for like 20cents during back to school sales.  (mark your calendar for next august to stock up)

the measuring tape on the side is just a ribbon i had.  scrapbook paper and some stamps youve got yourself a pretty fabulous journal!!!  there are a million different things you can do to these compo books.

this lead me to my next project.  have you got those fun smaller moleskin journals lying around?  mine was like 5x8 ish.   i had one for craft room ideas already, so bing bang boom here she is all decked out. this holds ideas i see on the internet and pinterest for decorating ideas and organizing ideas. 

last, my son always has codes for his PS3 games written on scraps of paper.  well when i clean, it all gets chucked.  so his fabulous mom (thats me) made him this book today.  he helped me design it.   funny thing we printed that picture of a game controller out like that in error.  it turned out to be the best part of the book!  (coming from the bottom of the page)

these projects would be a great stocking stuffer or xmas present for kids, teens and adults. 

ok, time to go finish decorating the house for Christmas. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

craft projects

shewwww its been a busy week.  are you all sick of turkey and stuffing yet?  i think i officially am.

ive been busy making a few projects this past month for my sisters bday.  i had promised to share them once she got her gifts.

I made her an embroidery hoop for her sewing/crafting room.  the fabric represents the fabric we used for our quilts shown HERE from last summer.   (Happy Campers by Moda)

All I did was print out a photo of us onto iron-on transfer and put it on linen. added the fabric banner and it was done.   EASY PEASY!

then i made her a bag with hometown canvas by sweetwater with some corduroy.  adorable!  I even cut into the middle of my yardage to make sure her town was on the bag.  ya, im that nice.

She even got a cottage pincushion .  here is a link for the blog/tutorial.  its a super simple design.  you can make it fun and wonky too with fabrics from your scrap bin. 

My sister flew in for the holidays and what a fun thanksgiving weekend we had!!!  lots of food and laughs, just how i like it!  she loaded up her new bag and even left one behind she had made and used on the plane. 

we even braved the crowds and did some shopping. (which i NEVER do)   can i just say WOW Joanns is scary on black friday.  some GREAT fiskars deals tho!  when we got there at 930am there were over 120 people in line just for cutting!  UFF DA!

do you all brave those crowds for some great deals?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friday Night Sew In signups

yep, we almost plum forgot about FNSI this month.  its in 3 days....WOAH!

my morning started off something like this:
snooze, snooze, snooze, cant believe next week is thanksgiving.  turkey, stuffing, taters, grav....grav...omg....wait....WHAT THE FRENCH TOAST!!!  Whats the date....whats the date?  OH CRAP!

grabbing my phone, still half asleep, 80s hair and all.  (my morning look).
call to my co host HELLO isn't FNSI in like 3 DAYS!?!?!?!!!? 
silence....yep i swear she dropped the phone!

so ya, over 2 years and we finally are worthy of a visit to donald trumps board room.  but hey, i don't know about you, but I'm mildly impressed we have pulled this off every month for like 28 months!  LOL

click HERE and get on board....we only have 3 days to plan our projects :)
see ya Friday night :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sweetwater Hometown Canvas Bag

Hometown by Sweetwater.  I will never get sick of this fabric line!  no, i still haven't finished my quilt i started a few months back......its in my pile of WIPS. 

but check this out!  my new favorite bag EVER!  of course its got to have some corduroy!  i used canvas hometown, black corduroy and linen for the lining along with some yardage for the handles and inside pocket.

i always make a large pocket on the inside and sew a seam down the middle, it holds paperback books perfectly.  you could even measure for a nook, ipad etc.  (shucks, why didn't i think of that before blogging!)  the linen for the lining is simple but goes with almost every fabric.  It also saves your yardage for other projects.

The handles are corduroy on one side and fabric on the other.  its a simple technique shown HERE in a bag tutorial i did a few years ago.  (forgive me but those tutorial pics are terrible--note to self to redo that tut).

see how cute the black cord is with the canvas.    i.heart.corduroy!

the bag measured 18 x 15 before sewing.  that's a pretty good size even for everyday use.

i have some authentic canvas (another sweetwater line) that screams this bag!!!  i think i have some xmas presents to work on today.