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Sewing Patterns, Free Sewing Tutorials, and Recycled Military Uniform Designs

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Scrappy Pillow Cases

Scrappy Pillow Cases

on Jul 5, 2014 in Blog, fabric stash, recycle | 1 comment

  My 15 Minutes of Play has gone off the rails. Seriously. I started with the sorting scraps …medium scraps, big scraps, small scraps… It is out of control! Anywho – I realized some of my scraps were really big. That’s not so bad. Um… then there were alot of big scraps…. Every year we have a family reunion and with 8 total grands, I decided this year we all needed wacky scrappy pillowcases. Seems like a good use for big big big scraps. All the seams for these cases are serged, so they’ll hold up for a while. And man, that serger is so much faster than my regular home sewing machine. It zooms through! These turned out crazy. Bonkers pillowcases. I love them. They are really fun.   I asked the kids how we should decide which kids get which cases and the 14 yo suggests we hide the cases all over the house and let the kids go on a wild treasure hunt. Which ever case you get, you get. That seems pretty fair. I’m certain they’ll still trade with each other. We’ll see how?it turns out. The kids may get to use the fabric markers to write their names, in adorable kid handwriting, on the cases, so each year these can be their special reunion cases. … just have to find the fabric markers… I think I will put a dent in this scrap pile yet!! Tell a...

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From Curtains to Formal Dress

From Curtains to Formal Dress

on May 27, 2014 in Blog, fashion, recycle | 6 comments

Ever move 7 times in 14 years and keep all the curtains because they might look right in your next house? There’s a chance you will repaint, yet another house, the exact same color as your last one. You may luck out and get a “standard” window size so these curtain panels will totally still be relevant? No? It’s just me? Well, I’ve recently decided that is absurd and I need to purge these dang panels. I put them in a pile. The pile sat and sat. There are embroidered sheers, white sheers, shantung that came with the newest house, etc. But they are all nice fabrics…. and curtains/houses aside… I have a thing for fabric. HA- that “thing” may have its own 12 step program, but still. I also have an 8th grader who breaks the mold. She had an 8th grade formal coming up and I pitched the idea to her. What if we went all Project Runway and made a dress? Lets start simple, stitch something easy, and work up to the unconventional?or avant garde challenge for another time. She went for it. Together we went through a the patterns tub I have in my sewing room. Decided to go with this super basic dress. The pattern is dated 1995, so I’m not so sure you can still get it. But maybe.   I wanted to make the dress, only, on the right hand side. She wanted sleeves because she feared getting kicked out of the dance for dress code violations. So we added the jacket sleeves to the tank dress. Laid the embroidered sheer curtain, over the maroon curtain, kept it short and left the sleeves sheer. The sleeve hems even have a little maroon binding around the edges. Cute little detail. Turns out most girls at the dance were wearing minty green, spaghetti straps and lots of sheer long skirts over solid mini-skirts. (Soooo not in dress code, btw.) She was so happy to have something different. She told me that she even told her friends “Yeah, my mom made this out of curtains.” Um. Ok. Kinda thought we were keeping that on the down-low, but ok. She tells me, “Nah, its cool because...

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Small Sewn Gift Owl Ornament

Small Sewn Gift Owl Ornament

on Nov 27, 2013 in Blog, blogging others, classes, recycle, tutorial | 1 comment

Simon the Owl Ornament This?Small Sewn Gifts Sew Along?project is a recycle project! Love those. It is pretty quick and can be as colorful as your thrift shop sweaters allow. This is Thursday’s project… but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!! I thought I’d better post it a day early. Supplies I used 3 different wool and “felted” sweaters from the thrift store.** 2 small buttons, about 1/2″ in diameter 1 piece of ribbon, about 5″ long hand sewing supplies (GASP!) **For the sweaters, I had these on hand from many craft projects and honestly, by the time I started making Simon, the cute little owl, the sweaters were already chopped up. If you are looking to start a collection or pick up felted wool for this project, here’s what you are looking for- go to the women’s section of the thrift store and look for a sweater that is awkwardly short or has “shrunk” sleeves. The tag size will not at all reflect the size you are seeing. The sweater will say wool, or angora, or cashmere, etc, on the tag, so you’d expect it to be light and soft. HOWEVER, when you touch the weird short sweater, you’ll notice it is quite dense. What happens is someone threw the “hand wash only,” high-end, perfect fiber sweater into the washer. Too bad for them, SCORE for you. Once wool has been felted like that in the washer, the fibers do not fray apart, so it is perfect for crafting projects. Notice, I have sweaters that have some color blocking- that is awesome because for scrap projects, I get more crafty colors all in one sweater. Hooray. Construction   Plan your shapes. For the owl body, cut TWO 4 1/2″ circles and cut TWO 1″ circles for the eyes. You will also need a small triangle for the beak. Cut ONE 3″ circle for the wings. NOTE: My Simon owl ornament body isn’t a circle in the photos. Towards the end of my construction, I decided it would make more sense to use a circle rather than have the “ears built in” so please ignore those little points for a bit.   I also planned the wings. Those are a 3″...

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Military Uniform Quilts

Military Uniform Quilts

on Sep 30, 2013 in Blog, commission, recycle | 0 comments

Final touches on the 5 commissioned military uniform quilts. Name Tapes! The client requested all 5 quilts have the same custom name tape on each quilt. I think it will work like an “I Spy” type element, since the tapes don’t stand out against the quilts’ stripe design. I’m dropping them all off today. Adios Quilty-Quilts.   Tell a...

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Military Uniform Strip Quilts

Military Uniform Strip Quilts

on Sep 20, 2013 in Blog, book, business, commission, recycle | 0 comments

And the strip quilts are finito. Hooray. Before I show you all the pictures of the quilts, let me first super big huge mega thank the people that rallied to help me make the quilts. Karen Morello, Erica Mitchell and Christine Robbins. The ladies helped piece, quilt and bind these quilts. It was really a great team effort. Thank you thank you thank you! So what’d we make? Military Uniform Quilts Inspired by the book, Deploy That Fabric, we used military uniform fabric and Moda Jelly Rolls to create larger twin size quilts. We made the quilts in the style of the 1600 Quilt Race or Jelly Roll Quilt. Of course, our quilts – in order to be larger than a couch quilt- we used 2 Jelly Rolls + uniform fabric. The last step will be to add a name tape to each quilt for the client. Army Navy Air Force Marines Coast Guard Tell a...

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Kool-Aid Liquid Snowman Craft Tutorial

Kool-Aid Liquid Snowman Craft Tutorial

on Aug 8, 2013 in Blog, free spirit fabrics, recycle, tutorial | 0 comments

I thought it was about time for a little crafty tutorial. What do ya say? Have you seen these Kool-Aid Liquids out at the grocery lately? The kids talked the hubbs into buying a few and it turns out, they are GREAT. And… they are perfect for an easy snowman craft. Since it is only August, I think by the time December rolls around, we’d be up to our eyes in Kool-Aid Liquid Snowmen. This one is so easy, I think the kids will really like it too. Alrighty, lets get to recycling and reusing this little KoolAid container. This is the first one, and how I made him. I took photos, as you do for a tutorial, but really- I think you’ll figure it out with the first picture.   Supplies And here are the supplies you’ll need. (Though, I think for other snowmen that I add to the snowmen horde, I will have a black felt hat. The buttons look waaaayyy too much like Devo’s Whip It! Snowman.) Empty, Clean Kool-Aid Liquid Container Sharpie – Black and Orange Glue – like Aileens or 1600 Glue Scrap Fabric (Anna Maria Horner fabric shown) Stacked Buttons (or not) How-To Seriously- just a few easy steps. 1. Take off the Kool-Aid packaging and clean the outside of the container with soap and water. 2. Add the sharpie for his eyes, buttons and nose. (His nose is really all orange. There’s a bit of window glare on the picture.) 3. Tie on the fabric scarf and use a dot of glue to secure it. (Poor guy looks like he’s going into surgery.) 4. Stack the buttons on his head, gluing each one as it is added. I used two sizes of buttons and all of these were from a garage sale button stash I have. Maybe I’ll make another guy with RED buttons for the full effect. Great. Now that song is stuck in my head… I bet you do too. You’re welcome. 🙂   That’s it. Let the glue dry. I think I might even add a wire on the back of the scarf (glued down) so that I might even be able to hang these little guys on a...

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San Antonio Magazine July 2013

San Antonio Magazine July 2013

on Jun 27, 2013 in Blog, Press, recycle | 2 comments

I’m a hidden gem! Who knew? Back in February, at QuiltCon, I was interviewed by a free lance writer, Joanne Cleaver. It was an interesting interview, as she asked questions that weren’t all quilt and “how old were you when you learned to sew” type questions. At QuiltCon, I did a book signing for Deploy That Fabric, which is HALF OFF right now. The article focuses on my quilt and sewing designs featuring recycled military uniforms. That interview was translated into a one page feature in San Antonio Magazine’s July 2013 issue. It will hit newsstands very very soon. My favorite part of this bit of press was that I was required to do a “photo shoot”. It was GREAT. I meet with Sarah Brooke Lyons. I had so much fun and was even invited to participate in her photo-art-project, 1005 Faces. So if you want to check out some tidbits about little ole me- look for the article JULY 2013.   Thank you so much for including me in the magazine! Thanks so much for the interview and photo.   Tell a...

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QuiltCON!

QuiltCON!

on Feb 24, 2013 in Blog, blogging others, book, recycle, SAMQG | 1 comment

Here’s my recap of my only day at QuiltCon.? It was great. It was smaller than I expected and all sorts of blogosphere-celebrities were there. Do I have pictures of them?? Nope. BUT I do have pictures of quilts. My two favorite quilts at QuiltCon were this super cool Eye quilt and then a LAVA lamp quilt hanging Marmalade Fabrics’ booth. And I did do a little clowning around at the show. After all, I was wearing these modified “antennae” to promote my book signing and my new book release. As luck would have it, I was the only person wearing modified antennae at the whole show! Who would have guessed. Bernina was giving away sunglasses. “What, did I misunderstand you?? You are giving away 830’s (!!!), WELL, YES PLEASE…. Oh, you did say ‘sunglasses’, sorry, they sounded so similar.”? Thank you so much for my rockin shades! And then yep, I totally found my little quilty hanging in the applique section. (see the antennae?) While walking through the show I was snapping pictures of quilts left and right. I’m sure lots of them will be on lots of blogs- so let me just share with you this trend I noticed in my photo collection…. if it is blue + orange (in any capacity!), I’m going to get a picture of it. I have a serious weakness. After the browsing and oooh-ing and awe-ing at all the quilts, we hit lunch and then it was back into the show to hand out all sorts of things I had packed in my Hot Tamale Tote Bags. I depleted most everything and then went on over to the book signing time at STASH books booth. (3p) Guests were happy to find that my book is being offered at 50% off? (from C&T and Stash Books) AND the tote bag, made from Deploy That Fabric’s cover quilt was being given to all shoppers as a free gift with purchase. It was a big day. Deploy That Fabric-ness was everywhere! Hooray!!! Thanks for stopping by during the book signing. All in all it was a great first year for the QUILTCON! Lots to see and lots to inspire. I cannot wait to do...

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SEW IT ALL VOL 5

SEW IT ALL VOL 5

on Dec 4, 2012 in accessories, Blog, pattern, Press, recycle, sewing | 1 comment

Last year, I did a filming of Sew It All TV out in Golden Colorado. That was an amazing experience. The show was very cool behind-the-scenes and the editors of Sew It All were outstanding. I decided on the plane ride home that I would try to submit work to a “non-quilt” magazine for a change. I’m delighted to tell you that worked out very well. I submitted a bound wool hound’s tooth bag. The bag is made from recycled skirt from the thrift store and mixes techniques (in my opinion) since the bag is finished with a traditional quilt binding. I first showed you a version of the bag her on the blog, early last year. Not only is by bag, with 3 variation designs, rockin page 53, but Sew It All does a bio on their contributing authors, complete with a head shot. Hooray!!! I have a tiny Jen in the Author Section. And look at the great company I keep. Exciting times!!! The magazine is on news stands now and can also be ordered online at sewitallmag.com. It was great to work with the ladies over at Sew It All. Thank you for also featuring my pattern as one of the home page slide show pictures. Hooray hooray hooray! Tell a...

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Mod Podge Fabric Wreath- Fabric Scrap Project

Mod Podge Fabric Wreath- Fabric Scrap Project

on Nov 30, 2012 in Blog, recycle, tutorial | 5 comments

Here’s something new-to-me- MOD PODGE. Yes, this would be my very first bottle of the stuff and my first time using it. Whew- is it ever sticky!!! I’m guessing you already knew that, though. My plan was to make a wreath wrapped in fabric scraps. Lord knows, I have enough fabric scraps. First I snipped up a bunch of scraps and laid them around the wreath to make a color plan. I thought I might make a color-themed project, but then I totally couldn’t decided on which colors to pick. … so I used them all… (Except brown, poor brown.) Then I painted the Mod Podge onto the Styrofoam wreath, only in the immediate areas where I would place each next piece of fabric. I also ended up writing on the wreath “R O Y G B P” so I could space out the fabric colors once I was holding the project. I was surprised at how fast this stuff dried. By the time I had worked my way around the circle, I could actually hold the area where my very first fabrics had been placed. {{Which was awesome, because I didn’t really have a back up plan on how to hold or where to set the thing when I was done.}} Once the whole thing was wrapped and coated in the Mod Podge painted glue, I decided the wreath looked a bit skinny and flat. (HA! Like a supermodel, for your door….)? Well, that was just not going to work out for me, so I made a flower. I cut? some leaf-y shapes, all about 2 1/2″ long and maybe 1 1/4″ wide along the straight edge. Kinda like this: I used sewing pins with a very small metal head to push straight into the foam wreath and hold the petals and leaves in place. I didn’t use any glue or hot glue. I suppose I might next time, but (gasp) I’m not sure where our hot glue gun is. So here’s how it turned out. It is festive, but not for any exact holiday and it is bright, just the way it should be for me. I have it hanging on the studio door, as a subtle...

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Orla Kiely Inspired Block

Orla Kiely Inspired Block

on May 28, 2012 in Blog, recycle, sewing | 0 comments

This is my Orla Kiely inspired block. Of course, when I made the block shapes, I decided to use the idea of “symmetrical leaves on a stem” like Ms. Kiely, but use a more cat-eye shape for each leaf. Honestly, now that I’m looking at it, it seems pretty far from the inspiration concept. I suppose that’s ok though. I used up some stash to make the leaves and stem. The leaves are all Kaffe Fabrics which I got when I lived in Korea. The stem is hem tape from a garage sale “grab baggy”. That tape is soooooooo old…. oh man. The background of the quilt block has a big welt seam running diagonally through it. Strange right?? Well, yes and no. I totally cut up a thrift store linen dress for the project. Yep, the front would be totally missing…. All that wrinkly goodness on a hanger for you to enjoy. I generally cut the background a bit bigger than needed, iron only that piece with starch, then cut it down to size for my block. I see no need to iron a whole dress when I only need a rectangle of it. I used freezer paper templates to press my leaf shapes and machine applique to sew them down to the background. I’m not to sure what I’ll be making with this block next…. but I do like the creative, experimenting process. It might become a pillow, a bag, a quilt, a doll quilt, a UFO, or? who knows. Maybe I’ll just keep this piece small to practice my free motion quilting. Lots of options with a little rectangle of linen. I did totally make too many leaves, so I suppose whatever it turns into, I already have coordinating design motif pieces. Tell a...

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Starbucks Wallet

Starbucks Wallet

on May 25, 2012 in accessories, Blog, recycle, sewing | 1 comment

Do you remember those Capri Sun purses from about 10 years ago?? They were a popular fad on eBay from what I hear. Along those same lines of sewing with recycled packaging, I give you the Starbucks Wallet. I made this small bifold credit card wallet out of the 1 lb bag of coffee beans. Of course, I had cut the bag shorter while using it for my coffee before I had decided on sewing with it. …planning ahead? what planning ahead?… I think I’ll have to try it again, when I have a “full size” bag to work with. If you like the idea and want to try it out yourself, note that you CANNOT iron this packaging. I did try on a tiny test piece and it curled up quickly. Thank goodness it was a low heat iron and didn’t melt into my ironing board or iron. That would have been a crazy hot mess. Next time I’ll plan the logo positioning a little better and try harder to get that “stay fresh” plastic circle thingy out of the way in a less wasteful manner. All in all, pretty fun idea to make. Who knew a mild coffee addiction would turn out inspirational??? Tell a...

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