07 April 2013

Fabric Flower Pots



My husband suggested we make flower pots out of fabric not too long ago. To be honest, I was a little skeptical at first but I have to admit I was wrong. The first pot we made turned out awesome. You’ll have to take my word for it because sadly, there are no pictures and the pot in question was a gift. We used different patterned blue fabric scraps and a piece of matching vinyl as a liner. An idea was born, begging for a repeat.

To give the pots a little more body, I wanted to use a fabric that is a little heavier than the quilting cotton we used on our prototype, such as an upholstery fabric. JoAnn’s carries the new HGTV line of home décor fabrics, which has some beautiful prints. Now I am more of a summer colors girl for flower pots, and I love the combination of hot pink and bright orange. The Urban Blossoms and Checkered Past in Berry fit the bill perfectly.

I have to stop here for a minute and tell you that JoAnn’s and HGTV sent me generous samples of the new HGTV home décor fabric line to play with. But I was genuinely thrilled to see which prints had been sent my way. I mean, look at those pots, how could I not be? It is gorgeous fabric.



I used a simple pattern for a lined bucket to make my pots. Out of each print I cut a 19.5” by 10.5” rectangle and a 6.25” circle. Because I was making flower pots I used Pellon Vinyl Fuse on the liner fabric to make it somewhat waterproof and protect it from the dirt. Great stuff, easy to work with. It makes the fabric very stiff but I had no difficulty at all sewing through it.



First you make a tube by sewing the short sides of the rectangle together with the right sides facing. Iron open the seam. A word of advice: use the protective paper backing from the vinyl fuse when ironing the seam of the fabric fused with vinyl. Use it not only on top of the fabric, but also on the inside. Your tube will otherwise melt together. Trust me on this one.



Then you pin the bottom to the tube you just made and sew it in place. Go slow.







Do not turn the inner layer inside out. Repeat these steps with the outer layer and turn that one with the right side facing out.



Place the outer layer inside the inner layer. Line up the tops and pin in place. Sew together, leaving about a 4” opening.





Pull the fabric through the opening and turn the bucket inside out. Push the inner layer into the outer layer and topstitch along the top edge to close the opening. If you like, you can fold over the inside a little, or a lot.



That’s all there is to it. Lovely and vibrantly colored flower pots. Of course you don’t have to put a plant in them, you can use them to hold whatever you want.





If you too would  like to try the new HGTV home décor fabric line, there is a 10% off coupon valid through May 4. (And if you can wait a little bit longer, the HGTV line is available at 50% off starting April 14.) Enjoy!

21 March 2013

Bunnies

Perhaps it’s because there is still at least a foot of snow on the ground, and more falling as I type, but I am just not feeling the pastel colors this Easter. I went for navy, gray, and white instead.













The blue bunnies are made of a very heavy navy wool with gingham cotton in two sizes fused to the back. I used a small rectangular hole punch to create holes in their ears and strung them onto some lovely yellow satin ribbon.

The gray and white bunnies are made of 3mm thick 100% merino wool felt, strung on yellow and pink baker’s twine. Now all I need are some branches to hang them from. Normally I would go outside to snip a few here and there, but not today. I am staying inside.

I just listed them in the shop if you would like some, too. Happy Easter!



Linking up at:
The Humble Brag at One Project Closer
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia
Friday's Nature Table at The Magic Onions

22 February 2013

You’ve Got Mail

Our local Variety Store closed last summer, making way for a Family Dollar store. Progress? I think not. But what are you going to do?

With the disappearance of the Variety Store, we also lost the touristy type postcards. Our local supermarket sells greeting cards, but that wasn’t what I was looking for when I decided to send a complete stranger a birthday card.


I resorted to making a card myself. With one or two exceptions, I am not the card making type. My mother is the one who makes elaborately embroidered cards, not me.

My new sewing machine is capable of sewing the alphabet. Actually, since it also an embroidery machine, it is capable of much more, most of which I am still in the process of discovering.

I think the white thread does not stand out enough, to be honest. The red letters are much easier to read. Other than that, I am quite pleased with how my card turned out.

Since the recipient of this card lives in Holland, I sent the card in an envelope. However, I was curious to see if it would hold up in the mail by itself. For that, I made some changes to the back.

After several failed attempts, I figured out that a 3/4” border sewn onto 3.5” by 5.5” cardstock gives the card the sturdiness it needs and enough room to write a short message.

The lines are sewn with the sewing machine. A single, short straight stich works best. I taped the thread ends to the back, to keep the stitches from coming undone.

My cousin and his wife are working very hard on opening a new restaurant & café in Milwaukee: the Blue Jacket Bar. I butchered their logo a bit for this project, I hope they’ll forgive me.

The card goes in the mail today. I’ll keep you posted (pun intended) on its journey.

While I was busy designing cards for strangers and yet to be opened bars, I let the birthdays of one of best friends, my sister, and my sister-in-law pass me by. Hmmm. Not good. I better get to work.

I will be linking my postcards up with:

Friday’s Nature Table at The Magic Onions
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia

15 February 2013

Heart Warmers

No Valentine’s candy in this house. Well, maybe just a few conversation hearts. Other than that, we kept it simple. Partially because we care about the wellbeing of our teeth, partially because Miss Lola is recovering from a short but intense bout of Norovirus.

Instead we made heart warmers for her friends at school. Little heart shaped pouches filled with rice. Just pop them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, put them in your coat pockets, and enjoy toasty hands all day long. I used colorful fleece scraps left over from my owl pillows.















Packers and John Deere fleece for the boys, lots of pinks for the girls. Lola wrote the tags. All by herself.



I am linking my heart warmers up at:
Friday’s Nature Table at The Magic Onions
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia

The post Heart Warmers first appeared at Dutch Girl Originals.

10 January 2013

Hearts On A String

If you sew two 3” by 9” (or longer) rectangles of thick gray felt together along one side, turn them inside out and sew along the other side, and then cut 1/2” strips, you end up with lots of cute little hearts.

If you string those cute little gray hearts with a mixture of multicolored pompons and felt balls in all sizes and colors, some of them with beads, you end up with a funky heart garland. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.









My inspiration for the hearts came from Pinterest, where else?





I am linking up at Natural Suburbia and The Magic Onions.

07 January 2013

Owls In The Shop



Sewing owl pillows is one thing, listing them in my Etsy shop is quite another. There are photographs to make, pictures to edit, listings to write, etc. It’s time consuming and therefore easily put off.

Yesterday morning I finally sat down and finished what I had started. I listed three owl pillows and one Valentine’s Day garland in my shop. Lola and I decided to name the owls from now on and she picked the names for the first batch, with a little direction from me, I’ll admit.

Meet Nathan, Leslie, and Flower. They are for sale right here.









24 December 2012

Last Minute Gift Bags

We had a few small presents to wrap up for Lola's teachers on Friday. I thought I'd make some fun gift bags in the shape of a stocking.

I drew a stocking shape on a sheet of paper and cut it out. After tearing off a piece of gift wrap, I folded it in half and traced my template onto it. I sewed the stocking about a quarter inch inside the lines I drew and cut it out.

I had never sewn paper before but it was easy. I did find it's best to use a little bit heavier paper. The really thin stuff doesn't sew very well. It's easier to sew the stocking outline first and cut later. That way the paper doesn't move when you cut out the stocking.

Once I had all my stockings sewn and cut out, I punched a little hole in the top and stamped initials on them. Insert gift, and tie with pretty string. And there you go. All wrapped up.

Merry Christmas, everyone!



















20 December 2012

Sister Owls

Custom orders are such fun, I've decided. I received a request for two sets of colorful sister owl pillows from my friend S. She wants to give them to her four nieces for Christmas. I very much liked that idea but I didn't quite know what to do about the colorful bit at first.

I work mostly with felt and wool. While craft felt can be bought in every color imaginable, it does not hold up well on pillows, I find. It pills. Wool felt or a wool/rayon blend is better, but the by-the-yard stuff I can only find at Jo-Ann's in limited colors, mostly naturals. I didn't feel like special ordering wool felt online for an arm and a leg. I found a few wool sweaters at the Goodwill but the yarn was so thick, they wouldn't felt.

But then I thought of using fleece and a world of colorful possibilities opened up. Our local Wal-Mart has the best selection of funky fleece at the moment, better than Jo-Ann's even. Finished with an old wool blanket, vintage doilies, and felt eyes and a beak, these lovely bright colored ladies were on their way to New England in time for Christmas.

I am on a roll now, cutting and sewing owl pillows in an array of colors and patterns: navy blue with green circles, brown and green argyle, bright pink with multicolored flowers, and warm brown plaid. I have made them a little chubbier, too.  I found a few more old blankets at the thrift store and some doilies as well. Look for them in the shop soon.







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