September 30, 2009

Quirky Halloween Silhouettes

Aren't these Victorian silhouettes fun? I saw them on UCreate and had to make them for my home this Halloween. You can find the link to the images HERE at Value Village. Just print, frame, and enjoy. This took me about 10 minutes, with the longest part of the project being cleaning the glass on some existing picture frames and hanging them up straight. Definitely worth 10 minutes, I think.

I made beef stew for dinner.....

.....but I'm REALLY excited for dessert.

Chocolate ganache tart, find the recipe HERE. I added the raspberries.

Quilt Class: Week 3

This week was learning double nine and double four patches...along with the flying geese square. I didn't get very far as you can tell. This is the double nine patch. Well, actually it's four double nine patches put together....confused yet? I'm confused 83% of the time myself and I've been taking the class for 3 weeks! Hopefully, I'll be able to make the other squares and post them for you soon

September 23, 2009

Quilt Class: Week 2

This week was the log cabin square. I felt a lot more confident making this one than I did the first week. I'm still not entirely sure about my fabric choices, but it is starting to grow on me a bit. It's amazing how different the colors can look from night (artificial light) to day (natural sunlight). This looks much better in the natural light. I'm not really going to know if I like it or not until I see it with the rest of my sampler squares when I actually put the quilt together.

This was the alternative square for week 1, called the Roman Square. I decided to make it for the practice. Don't look too close, I've still got some learning to's so hard to get everything EXACTLY measured and lined up correctly. Time and patience....and a lot of practice are all I need.

September 22, 2009

Kid's Art Porfolio Bag

A great little "portfolio" bag to store kids' art work. You need a paper bag, scissors, and some strong tape.

First, cut your bag down the middle of one side panel.

Cut the bottom of the bag off and discard. You will now have one long rectangular piece with the handles still attached at the top.

Fold the bag over so the writing is on the inside and line up your handles so they meet in the middle.

Tape along the bottom and one side and your artist portfolio is complete. I made one of these for each of the kids in my son's class. For our first art class, we decorated them with a monkey, the kids' name and any extra artwork they wanted to add. They loved them. Now, we're ready to begin making some art projects!

Monkey Face

What a cute little guy. And he is so easy to make. Just a few circles cut and glued and you're ready to go. I got this monkey face from the party masks HERE. Click on the picture that says "watch video" and you'll see the mask at the end of the clip.

Brown 4" circle
Brown 2" circle
Yellow 2" circle
Yellow 1.5" circle
black paper
scissors, glue stick, hole punch

Start by gluing your 1.5" yellow in the middle of your 2" brown circle.

Cut in half and you have monkey ears.

Cut your 2" yellow circle about 2/3 of the way down for the mouth. I turned the corners a little so he is smiling.

Glue ears and mouth to 4" brown circle.

Add some hole-punched black eyes and your little guy is complete. I am the art docent teacher for my 5 year old's class at school. We made these monkey faces to decorate art portfolios (another post for those) so the kids will have a place to store all of their art for the year. My son's class is "the monkey class" (each class is a different animal), so these worked great to decorate their bags along with writing their name and their own decorations.
Wouldn't this monkey look great in fabric on a baby onesie? With button eyes? Uh-oh, I just might have to do that sometime.

Pear Custard Pie

Pear Custard Pie (tart)

My aunt shared some delicious pears with us a couple of weeks ago. I think I made three of these for various gatherings....and one just for me too.

Easy as can be and very yummy. Get the recipe HERE.

September 21, 2009

Quilting Class: Week 1

Week #1 of my quilting class has come and gone. We were asked to come to our class with a light, medium, and dark fabric of our choosing.

Ta Da! My first quilt square (or is it a block?)! We did a rail fence pattern. This square is 12"x12" and I think it turned out pretty cute. A lot of fun to do and definitely not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it considering it was my first time creating a quilt square/block/thing.

September 16, 2009

Onesie Applique Tutorial (Monogram)

These are for baby Blake. Want to make one? Here's what you need:

Onesie, washed
Fabric, washed and pressed
Wonder Under (buy it off the bolt at fabric/craft stores)
Letter monogram to trace (cardstock works great)
Craft knife
Pen or Pencil
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine

Place fabric WRONG side up and place a piece of Wonder Under (rough side down) on top. Press with hot, but dry (no steam!) iron for a few seconds.
You can use other iron-on adhesives, but this is my favorite to sew with. You can also trace your letter on the fabric and adhesive separately and then fuse together...experiment and find your preferred method.

Peel the paper backing off of the adhesive.

Trace your letters onto your adhesive/fabric. If you are doing a non-symmetrical letter, make sure you trace it on backwards so when you turn your fabric over it is facing the correct way. Do it once, and you'll see what I mean.
For my letter, I found a cute free font on the web and printed it out on cardstock. Instant stencil.

Cut out your letters.

If you have enclosures, use a craft knife to carefully remove the excess fabric.

These first steps are quick, so you might as well make a few in case you mess up or want to use them for another project.

Place your letter on your onesie and press with a hot, dry iron for about 15 seconds or so. Don't move the iron around, since that might shift your letter.

They look so cute! For a one time wear, these are good to go. If you want them to hold up in the wash though, we need to sew them down for extra durability.

I do a zigzag stitch around the outside of my letter first. If you want to use stabilizer at this point, go ahead and do so. I don't use it, but a lot of people really like the extra control it can bring when sewing on knit fabric.

Make sure your needle is down when you lift your pressure foot up to turn around corners. This can take some time and practice, but once you got got it.
Once you've made it all the way around your letter, back stitch well for extra support.

Don't forget to sew the enclosures too, if you have a letter A, B, D, O, P, Q, or R.

I heard Blake received some camo burp cloths from his grandma, so I thought I would coordinate.

Hope this was helpful. Leave a comment if something needs clarification. Have fun sewing these, they are a bit addictive!

September 15, 2009

Coolest Birthday Cakes

Hooray! My cake is featured on the best cake website for all of us non-professionals out there.
Check them out at You can find pretty much any cake out there on this site. My method is to go to the site, check out the cakes that are in the same theme that I want to do, pull and idea or two from multiple cakes, and then make my own version. You get great ideas from others, but can make something completely unique at the same time.

Check out my cake HERE.

September 6, 2009

Two-Sided Superhero Cape Tutorial

A Superman/Batman combo cape for my cousin's son, Jack.

You need:
Superhero symbols to trace
Red, Yellow, and Black felt (1/8 yard of each)
Red and Black cotton fabric (1/2 yard of each)
Red, Yellow, and Black thread
1 inch piece of "sew-on" velcro
Sewing machine
Scissors and craft knife
Fabric pins

Start with Superman and Batman symbols printed on cardstock. You can find several nice images of these online.

Cut out two Superman shapes, one red felt and one yellow felt. Also one oval for the Batman shapes. I just traced around my printed images using a pencil and then cut.

Next, cut out the negative space of the Superman symbol and the bat out of the Batman symbol. I used a craft knife. Take your time so it's nice and clean cut.

Turn over your bat to the white side of cardstock so you can trace and cut out a bat from the black felt. (Easier to see that way so it's not black on black)

Trace and cut out the "S" on the red felt for the Superman symbol using a craft knife. Once again, take your time. This is the worst part of the whole process right not too bad.

Once you have everything cut, you are ready to sew. Take your yellow Superman piece and trim just a touch around the edges so you don't see any of it peeking out around the red felt when you lay it on top. (See my little yellow trimmings above?)

Sew a zigzag stitch using red thread for your "S" and black thread for your bat.

I did a pretty tight zigzag, but you could do it a little looser if you wish.
Your symbols are done! Now onto the cape itself.

I am making a copy of a cape I already have, so I just traced around the existing cape, and cut one red and one black. The dimensions of my cape are 26" long and 17" wide. Make sure you wash, dry and iron your fabric first to avoid shrinking!

Sew on your symbols to the coordinating fabric. Use red thread for the Superman and yellow for the Batman. (This step is not pictured, sorry.)

All that is left is sewing the two capes together. Place the two capes WRONG side out and pin all the way around. Sew around your cape, using a straight stitch. *Make sure you leave a 3 inch gap along one side of the cape open....DO NOT SEW IT CLOSED YET!*

Your cape is inside out when you finish sewing. Turn it right side in (surprisingly easy to do) and pin your gap closed. (See above) Sew your gap closed with a straight stitch. I sewed this step with my black fabric facing up, and therefore, used black for my top thread and red for my bobbin thread.
Sew one velcro piece to each end, one on a red side and one on a black side. You could also use a snap or a button if you wish.
Iron your now completed cape! Press the edges for a sharp, clean look.

Finished Superman side

Finished Batman side

(click on any of the pictures to enlarge)

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