Posted in Crafts, Gifts, Sewing

Machine Embroidered Sweatshirt

My daughter had seen one of the famous Fixer Upper hosts wearing a sweatshirt with the words, “Book Club” screen printed onto the front of the garment. Being an avid reader, she immediately declared her desire to have a shirt like this for Christmas. After looking up the cost for said sweatshirt, I decided to make one of my own using my trusty embroidery machine. Carefully reviewing the garment, I quickly found a few heather colored sweatshirts at the discount store and identified a font that would work the the “Book Club” design. I didn’t care for the font used in the original design so I settled on a text style that looked just like one found when reading a book; a contemporary spin on Times New Roman. Here are the steps I used to embroider font or text onto the front of a basic medium-weight sweatshirt.

Use a temporary spray adhesive (found in the sewing department) to adhere a piece of medium weight stabilizer to the wrong side of the fabric. Make sure the stabilizer is large enough to cover and extend beyond the outside of your embroidery hoop.

Crease the sweatshirt to find it’s center and position the embroidery hoop paying close attention to desired design placement.

Audition various threads to decide which will work best for your design. I used a heavy weight black thread for the book style font.

After you have created your design (I use my laptop), send the design to your sewing machine and begin sewing.

I usually stay with the machine for a simple design and trim threads when possible.

When the machine has completed the design, remove hoop from the embroidery arm and trim any threads carefully.

Remove hoop and turn the garment inside out to sparingly trim threads from the back of the design. I usually leave connecting threads intact to further secure the design. Trim stabilizer, if needed.

With a thick pressing cloth or towel, carefully iron the crease out of the center front area.

Fold the sweatshirt neatly and get it ready for gift giving…

Have fun creating other “book related” designs…

Advertisements
Posted in Crafts, Gifts, holiday, holidays

Wrapping Things Up…

In the midst of all of the holiday hoopla and Christmas shopping, I realized that there may be a load of practical gift cards that might be received far better than any piece of clothing or fancy kitchen gadget.  For students, especially those living in highly populated cities, transportation can be an issue.  Gift cards focused on shuttling a person from one destination to another might be much more appreciated versus a piece of clothing.  Train passes, Uber gift cards, bus passes, etc. are all good ideas.  Last year my sister in law gave my children transportation gift cards and they were used to shuttle them to the local grocery store, to the airport, and home from the local burger and brew joint.  (Each of my children are in college and over the age of 21.). They also received gift cards from the local drug store where they were able to by toiletries, milk, and basic groceries while on campus.  Another great idea for college students, gifts cards for sandwich shops and local eateries.  Many dorm cafeterias are closed on Sunday evenings so having a gift card for a local diner is always appreciated.

Be creative as you think of ways to “wrap” your gift cards.  Think of using beautiful paper scraps, college themed papers, Christmas wrap, or themed scrap book papers.  I recently purchased some high-end soap from a local discount store.  The soap was wrapped in a beautiful heavy weight paper that I just couldn’t throw away.  This gave me the idea to use the paper as a wrap for a small gift; hence, a gift wrap for the gift card.  Here’s what I did…

I found a template here. Or, Google various gift card envelope images for the shape you prefer.



I gathered an assortment of scrap paper, and the beautiful wrapping paper found on some milled soaps.

I printed the template and traced the outline on various scraps.I penciled in some fold lines.

I thought it might be nice to have a contrasting liner.Using a few paper punches, I fashioned a gift tag.



Use Christmas paper, shopping bags, newspaper… Whatever you like.This is an enjoyable way to personize and make personal, an ordinary, yet purposeful gift card.



Posted in Crafts, Gifts

Footed Market Basket

I had a wonderful time attending a local basketmaking workshop held at a rustic county park in my area. The weather was beautiful and the scenery was gorgeous. We sat under a shelter with several picnic tables that were lined up for all of the class participants. Just prior to the session we were mailed a list of supplies needed for the construction of the basket. We each brought along an old towel, some clips to hold the basket in place, scissors, a large bucket and a spray bottle to keep the wooden strips wet while working with them. We carefully listened to the instructor as she effortlessly managed teaching and assisting the 20 students before her. The item that we would be constructing is called a Footed Market Basket. I tried to take pictures as I worked through the steps while making this adorable basket.

…Can’t wait to sign up for another session!

Posted in Crafts, Uncategorized

Traveling with Portable Craft Projects


The greatest dilemma I face when traveling is “How can I travel with a few compact and relaxing crafts while I’m away from the amenities of home?”
Once a year, we travel to Disney World and I am often stumped as to what I can bring along that isn’t too complicated or oversized.

I have thought about bringing quilt squares to hand sew poolside but the sewing machine does a much better job of securing the blocks as opposed to my, less than stellar hand sewing skills. I have also thought about bringing along my long term crochet projects but most are large, cumbersome (blankets or scarves) and too hot to be draped across my lap in the summer sun.
This year, I visited a YouTube website and found a video for a super easy crocheted sock pattern and I was thrilled to find a project that I could easily travel with.  

Here’s the website: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gasKXmcyrXgGlamma’s easy crocheted tube socks

Here are a few pictures of the craft items I carried in my tote bag. 

Here are a few other ideas I packed for soaking up the sun in a relaxed environment:


All were perfectly portable and helped me to find plenty to do as I relaxed in the sunshine of the Walt Disney World – Old Key West -Disney Vacation Club – Main Pool.



Who says Spring Break in Walt Disney World can’t be relaxing?!  Once again, we had a “magical” vacation.

Posted in Crafts

Adorable Sock Snowman Craft

At a recent holiday party, one of my co-workers was kind enough to demonstrate the assembly of this adorable sock snowman craft.  You won’t believe how quick and easy this no-sew project is to assemble.  A simple white sock, some string, and a few sewing notions make for the cutest of holiday projects for any age to enjoy. 

While I was lucky enough to have a personal tutorial, I was able to find a similar link for a quick tutorial video. Here it is… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pB4jFqkn8MY

Posted in Crafts, Gifts, holiday, holidays, Sewing

Hand Made Friendship Hearts

2015/02/img_4651.jpg
Years ago, as I was rummaging through the craft section of a local area garage sale, I stumbled upon a box of beads, sequins, golden threads, and patterns. I scooped it up and asked the owner how much was needed for the treasure. To my delight, she said $1.00 would fit the bill. I gathered up a few more crafting trinkets (some sewing and embroidery supplies) along with the box of sequined treasures, paid the kind lady, and I was on my way.
Shortly after arriving home, I took out a heart shaped cookie cutter and traced several small hearts on a light gray felt square. I carefully cut the heart shapes out and stitched on enough sequins and beads to cover the entire surface of one heart shape. On another heart shaped felt piece, I secured a pin back so that eventually, my project would become a pin. I then used a tiny blanket stitch (gray thread or monofilament) to sew the two felt heart shapes, wrong sides together, leaving a small opening to stuff in a bit of batting. After closing up the opening, I would plump up the heart shape by using my fingers to evenly distribute the batting tucked inside. Voila, the pin is complete!
I then used printable business cards to create a message, printed a sheet and punched two holes in each card to secure the pin back. I used small cellophane bags to envelope the pin/card and tied a bow for a sweet finish.
I have given these pins out at weddings, for Valentine’s Day, and for Mother’s Day. They are quick and simple and require very few supplies. Happy Valentine’s Day!

2015/02/img_4640.jpg

2015/02/img_4631.jpg

2015/02/img_4651.jpg

2015/02/img_4647.jpg

Posted in Crafts, Gifts

BOILER UP Bracelet

20150103-095432.jpg
Black and gold are the collegiate colors of Purdue University. In my family, the Boilermaker logo is near and dear to our hearts. Currently, we have three children attending the University. Whenever possible, we proudly wear the Boiler colors. Our closets and drawers are filled with black and gold sweatshirts, pants, jackets, and tops. Our cabinets are filled with Boilermaker plates, glasses, mugs, and platters. Over the years, we’ve purchased Purdue fleece blankets, sheets, and soft plush pillows to decorate dorm rooms.
While shopping last week, I spotted some great beads in the craft section of our local discount store and I thought it might be fun to glitz up my jewelry selection with a few black and gold bracelets for our next team event. I am certainly not a skilled jewelry maker so this project is incredibly quick and easy and you can use any combination of colors to tailor the bracelet to satisfy your needs. Elastic cord is used to assemble the bracelet so very few supplies are needed.
This is quite a simple and inexpensive project so next time you’re in the craft aisle, take a look at the bead selection. You might be quite pleased and surprised at the unique variety of colored beads you can assemble on a clear cord to recognize and celebrate your favorite team.
I’m lovin’ that black and gold… BOILER UP!

BOILER UP Bracelet

7″ clear stretch cord ( measure your wrist for a more exact measurement + 1″)
Tape
Assortment of colored beads (lots of shapes and sizes)
Clear gel Tacky Glue

20150103-100015.jpg
Measure and cut a 7″ piece of clear stretch cord. Fold a piece of tape across one end of the cord (to keep beads from falling while assembling). Arrange beads, as desired and string them onto the clear cord. Test the length around your wrist so that beads are evenly dispersed and the cord is completely filled when stretched around wrist. Carefully, tie the bracelet with a double knot, securing beads. Place a small dot of tacky glue on the knot, covering knot completely, let dry. Tuck the knot under a bead to keep it hidden.

20150103-100452.jpg

20150103-100537.jpg

20150103-111348.jpg

Posted in Crafts, Gifts, holiday, holidays

Chunky Infinity Scarf

20141009-161802.jpg
Last week I posted a picture and link for a beginner infinity scarf that I found on the web. As I had mentioned in the post, I am at the very bottom of the ability scale when it comes to my yarn, needlework and craftsmanship abilities. I stick with basic techniques and have to rely heavily on video tutorials (played over and over again) to grasp basic construction concepts. I have been so pleased with my new found skill for crafting the beginner infinity scarf that I have taken to making several different scarves with yarns of various weight and color for my family and friends. Honestly, these scarves are so quick and easy to make, it literally takes about 1 1/2 hours to construct this trendy accessory.
This week, I wanted to post another of my creations crafted with a different type of yarn but crocheted with the very same stitch as the blue patterned scarf that I posted last week. I wanted you to see what a difference yarn choice can make in the look and feel of the garment or accessory. Again, you can find the video here. This is a great little scarf as we move into the cold weather months in the Midwest. Don’t forget that this would be a fantastic Christmas present for teens, moms, teachers, and co-workers. Look for yarn colors to match college, high school or professional sports teams. Or, look for chunky yarns to match the trendy look of current retail scarves found in all the stores.
Here is the yarn that I used for this project. I also used an 11 mm crochet hook.

20141009-162521.jpg

20141009-162558.jpg
… Hand made, totally inexpensive and a thoughtful gift… Happy crocheting!

Posted in Crafts

Beginner Infinity Scarf

20140929-064814.jpg
Grocery shopping on Saturday is never fun but as I worked my way through a local super store this past weekend, I was stopped in my tracks when I came to the craft aisle and spied a load of beautifully crafted yarns and fabrics. I had just received a call from M asking if I could send some warmer clothes to campus as the early morning walk to class had become quite chilly. She asked for her scarves and gloves along with long sleeved fleece jackets. The selection of yarn inspired me to rummage through the colors to find a combination that would match M’s fair complexion and silver/gray winter jacket. I quickly snapped a few pictures of the skeins that I had selected and sent the pics on the M so that she could make the final selection. She decided on the soft blue/green combination and I quickly scooped up her favorite and threw it in the cart.
When I returned home, I made my way to the IPad where I watched a beginner crochet video to refresh my limited crochet skills. I watched the video several times and began my project. The basic rectangular shape took about 1 1/2 hours to craft. I can’t wait for M to open her care package to find this stylish infinity scarf, that I hope will keep her warm as she makes her way across campus this winter.

20140929-065140.jpg

20140929-065152.jpg

Posted in Crafts, Gifts, Sewing

Machine Embroidery – Towels

20140223-220719.jpg
Every year, about this time, I volunteer to embroider the state towels for our boy’s and girl’s high school swim teams. Today I spent the day embroidering towels for next weekend’s state event.
Towels are often tricky to embroider so I thought I would take you through the process that I use to make sure my machine embroidery looks clean and concise. Remember that it’s very important to stabilize your work so that the stitching sits on top of the fabric instead of burying itself in the nap of the towel. The stabilizer will also ensure a solid foundation for the design.

20140223-221336.jpg
Make sure to choose a thread color that compliments the fabric color. I used maroon thread against the camel colored towel to signify our team colors…maroon and gold.

20140223-221500.jpg
Hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer in the embroidery hoop.

20140223-221613.jpg
Carefully spray the stabilizer with a temporary adhesive made specifically for fabric projects. I really like the Sulky brand spray adhesive but my JoAnn Fabrics doesn’t seem to carry it anymore.

20140223-221716.jpg
Next, fold the towel in half, length-wise, right sides together. Center the towel over the hoop, carefully placing the fold at the center register marks.

20140223-221840.jpg
Open out the towel and smooth it in place. Secure a piece of water soluble stabilizer on top of towel, fitting inside the hoop.

20140223-222007.jpg
Slip the hoop into the embroidery module and stitch your design.

20140223-222104.jpg
After you’ve completed your design, remove from machine, trim threads and tear away the stabilizer.

20140223-222200.jpg
Remove excess soluble stabilizer, I use a burst of steam from the iron to clean up any remaining bits left behind.

20140223-222301.jpg
Here’s the finished product. I am currently working on my 12th towel and still have a few more to go. Happy Stitching!