Sunday, June 28, 2009

Illusion Wallet

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

I thought I'd take you along for the ride as I create my nephew's birthday gift.

Many of you are probably going to remember this from your childhood. If you went to a carnival in the 50's or 60's, you may remember that illusion wallets were given away as game prizes. Back then, they were little cheapy things made from plastic that usually broke before you got it home (ask me how I know). This one is made from fabric and cardboard.

You will need 4 pieces of chipboard or heavy cardboard, each measuring 3" x 6-1/2".

You will also need Heat'n Bond adhesive and four 6-inch pieces of 1/2" elastic.

Cut 4 sheets of Heat 'n Bond, each measuring 4" x 7-1/2".

Cut 4 fabric pieces from 2 coordinating fabrics, each measuring 4" x 7-1/2". Two pieces will be for the lining and the other 2 will be for the outside of the wallet.

In addition to the above, you will need an iron and a hot glue gun or fabric glue. I prefer to use both glues together. This adds the instant hold of the hot glue and the added strength of the fabric glue.

With iron, adhere the Heat 'n Bond to the wrong side of all 4 fabric pieces. When cool, tear away paper backing.

Center the pieces of cardboard onto the glue side of each of the four fabric pieces. Carefully turn over and adhere fabric to the cardboard with an iron. Turn wrong side up. There will be a margin of excess fabric around the cardboard. Notch out the corners. Fold over the excess fabric onto the cardboard and fuse with iron.

For the first lining piece: With wrong side facing up, glue elastic 7/8" in from the outside edge on the 7-1/2" side, with approx. a 1-1/2" overlap. Do this on both ends of the cardboard piece.

For the second lining piece: With wrong side facing up, glue elastic 2" in from the outside edge on the 7-1/2" length, with approx. a 1-1/2" overlap. Do this on both ends of the cardboard piece.

Place both lining pieces next to each other with wrong sides facing up. Make sure that the sides with the glued elastic is at opposite ends. Bring the 4 loose pieces of elastic up through the center.

Line up elastic and glue it to the opposing piece. The elastic should be taut but not stretched. This step will join both lining pieces together.

With wrong sides facing each other, glue the outside piece to the lining. This will hide the mechanics. Allow the glue to set up before using.

To use, open wallet and place paper money in the center. Close wallet. (Think of the wallet as a sandwich and the paper money as the filling).

Open the opposite side of the wallet and let the magic happen.

The bill will mysteriously tuck itself under the elastic.

This is a fun way to present a gift of money.

All wrapped up and ready for the party.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Pass the ginkgo biloba, please.

I am very forgetful and as the years pile on, it gets worse and worse. I knew exactly where I was heading yesterday when I jumped into the car and made my way down the street. About a minute later, as I approached the main intersection, I couldn't decide which lane I should be in to make the correct turn. I mean, do I go left, straight, right? Where was I going, anyway? It was a crazy moment of deep confusion. Luckily there was a red light and it gave me some time to regain my bearings. The good thing about living on an island is that the worse that could happen to me is that I drive around in a circle. I mean, it's not like I'm going to end up in Oklahoma or something. Anyway, it freaked me out. This kind of stuff usually happens to me while I'm at home. I'll walk into a room to get something and totally forget what it was that I was there for.

If that wasn't the kicker, when I turned on the radio, Silent Night was playing, followed by a slew of Christmas carols. Talk about feeling confused. After listening further, I found out that a local radio station was hosting a Leon Day campaign to bring awareness to drunk driving. They play Christmas tunes for the victims that won't be around to hear it during the holidays. Whew! For a moment, I really I thought that I was losing it.

What a day! Long story short, I did end up where I intended to go. I picked up a file cabinet at Office Max. The plan is to spend the weekend sorting, shredding, and filing.

Hopefully I'll remember the plan. Old age bites, I tell you.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hexagon Flower Tufted Pincushion

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

To make this pincushion, 1/2" hexagons were joined at the base to form a 6-petal flower, leaving each petal unattached at the sides. Another hexagon was sewn to the back of each petal to encase and hide the raw edges. A ladder stitch was used to close 5 sides of each petal. The 6th side was left open at the base in the back.
I repeated this again using 3/4" hexagons.

All petals were lightly stuffed with polyfil.

The openings were slip stitched closed.

I then cut out two 4" hexagons. With right sides together, I machine stitched around the perimeter using a 1/4" seam and left a small opening for turning. It was turned right side out, stuffed, and the opening stitched closed.

I tufted it lightly using 6 strands of embroidery floss, and hand stitched the flower to the center of the pincushion.

Voila! Completed pincushion.

Another quick and easy project that would make a fun gift for an English Paper Piecing quilting buddy.

On another note, I'd like you to know how much I appreciate each and every one of your comments regarding my Flower Garden Apron. I had long been yearning for an apron of my own. Although there was an enormous amount of hand stitching involved, I am really pleased with the outcome. It makes me happy to hear that you liked it too.

Have a fabulous day.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Flower Garden Apron

Exactly the way I pictured it since this project began. A row of sweet hexagon flowers at the hemline, angled slightly in the front, sitting over gathered eyelet lace. Two hexagon pockets. A prairie-like underskirt with ruffles peeking out from under the polka dotted apron top. Long ties, brought to the front and tied into a floppy bow. No written pattern, just freely creating each step as I went along. I love my new Flower Garden Apron.

Gracing either side of the apron are two hexagon pockets, each topped off with buttons of lavender.

Yummy soft, muted, purples, yellows, and greens.

Ruffly, flowery goodness. Be still, my heart.

Have a sweet weekend, everyone.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Posie Door Pocket

I find that I'm happiest when creating sweet, whimsical, girlie things. It has got to be the inner child in me still yearning for the playfulness of childhood.

This little pillow measures approximately 5" X 8". The top of the posie has been left open to reveal a pocket where notes or sentiments can be left. I love adding Double Yo-Yo's, or Double Yo's as I prefer to call them, to projects like this to add an extra splash of color and whimsy.

Hung from the bed post or a dresser knob, this would make an adorable Tooth Fairy Pillow.

And now, a few answers to some of the questions that you've been asking...

Joni of The Blue Plum Shop asked how I cut such perfect circles. Well Joni, I hate to disappoint you, but my circles are far from perfect because each one is individually cut by hand. I do have the help of a cardboard template (yep, I'm very low tech like that!) which I make using a paper circle cutting system called Circle Scissor. The blade isn't strong enough to cut through cardboard so I use a pencil to trace a circle, cut it out, and then use the cardboard circle as a template to trace onto my fabric. I've had this circle cutter for a bazillion years, so I am not even sure if they make it anymore.

Missy Ann of Deep Inside Missy brought up an important point about not using magnets on computerized sewing machines after I suggested that you may want to use the Sweet Buttercups flower as a pincushion on metal cased sewing machines. I hadn't thought about that simply because I do not own a fancy schmancy sewing machine. So, please be careful and keep in mind the kind of sewing machine you have before taking me up on my suggestion.

Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works asked who graduated this year after seeing the graduation announcement being held up by the Sweet Buttercups magnets. At the time that I took that picture, the announcement was the closest decent piece of paper I had near me so I decided to use it not realizing that anyone would even notice. Good eyesight, Jackie! The graduate happens to be my hubby's nephew and he graduated from Punahou School, President Barack Obama's alma mater.

Janine of Join Janine made a comment about the Sweet Buttercups project and asked, "So that is what you call a quick and simple project?" I gotta tell you, this brought a smile to my face. I've come to know Janine this year and I can tell you that she's a very talented gal and I know that her question was probably made in jest. But, at the same time, I really do hope that I brought you a relatively simple project. I'm sure that there will be times that something will be "duck soup" to some, while a bit more challenging to others. I do realize that sewing skills and experience differs. So, if you have a question, please give me a holler.
Janine also asked if I made the cigar lei myself. The answer to that one is no. A big, huge, definite, NO. Even if I had those flowers in my yard, you can bet that I don't have enough patience to attempt something so intricate and time consuming. Two thousand flowers? Blech. That lei is worth every penny that I spent on it!

Stephanie D of Scraps asked when we celebrated my hubby's kanreki. We held it on his actual birthday which was this past Tuesday, mostly because I think he's a little superstitious (don't tell him I said that) since it was such an important number. Everything turned out great and he would like to thank you all for the birthday wishes.

Lauralee of Eclectic Stitcher, Marnie of Country Fried Stitches and Connie Gail all asked if I would share the party favor instructions. The answer is yes, but I will need a little time to get a tutorial going. I'm still pretty busy even though most of our commitments have been met. Gals, please know that I will get to it soon.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your comments. I am sorry that I haven't been able to acknowledge each one individually. I do read them all and would like you to know how much I appreciate your visit to my blog. My deepest, heartfelt thank you to all of you.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Sweet Buttercups

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only,.**

This is a very quick and simple project that uses small bits of fabric. It is a great opportunity for you to use up the scraps of fabric that you have laying around.

For the flower center, you will need a 3" and a 2-1/2" circle. The larger circle will be for the inside and the smaller circle will be for the outside.

With needle and thread, take a running stitch around the perimeter of the large circle. Place fiberfil in the center, gather and tie off.

With needle and thread, take a running stitch around the perimeter of the small circle, folding in the raw edges 1/4" as you sew. Place a magnet in the center.

Place the stuffed circle, with gathered side facing down, into the center of the small circle. Make sure that the magnet remains centered on the bottom. Pull thread tight, tie off.

Embellish with beads. This step is optional as the flower looks cute with or without it.

For the petals, you will need ten, 3/4" hexagons. For those of you that haven't done hexagon paper piecing yet, please refer to Cia's Pallette for some really great instructions.

You will need two petal rounds, each consisting of 5 petals.

With wrong sides facing each other, sew both petal rounds together around the outside edge. I like using a ladder stitch as I find that it hides the stitches beautifully.

Drop the flower center into the petals, magnet side facing down. Make sure that the magnet falls in the center of the opening at the base of the petals. Stitch to secure both pieces together.

Completed Sweet Buttercup flower. Pretty simple, eh?

You can use these as refrigerator magnets or if you are using a metal backed inspiration board, they would look really sweet holding up your inspiration pieces.

I hope you have fun with this idea. Take care!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Party Stuff

I've spent the last month helping both of my sisters create shower and party favors and each time, I neglected to take pictures. I can't explain it. Y'know, I have a blog about making stuff and I forget to take pictures????

Anyway, I just finished these favors for my hubby's kanreki celebration and this time I didn't forget to take pictures!

This a shot of the favors in progress. Evidently, as you can see, I am a very messy worker. I know that it doesn't look like much, but the pieces to the puzzle are all hiding in there somewhere.

I made each favor in a simple matchbook style.

The inside holds a Starbucks gift card and a couple bars of Ghiradelli chocolate.

In Hawaii, every occasion is graced with a lei. This is a cigar lei made from the flowers of the Cupea Ignea Shrub. The flowers are very tiny so each lei is made from approximately 2000 flowers. This will match my hubby's red shirt perfectly.

We plan to celebrate and stuff our faces full of yummy food at Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ. I can't wait.

On another note, thank you so much for your comments about the plastic "city" that I'm building in my sewing room. I really enjoyed reading your comments. Some of you were wondering how I would access the items on the bottom. The items that are stacked on the lower half are supplies that I seldom use but still want to keep around. My desk is very sturdy, so stepping on top of it to access the containers isn't a problem. I realize that this isn't an ideal way of creating storage, but at this point, it is the only way possible given the amount of space that I have. I realize that I have way too many supplies, but for now, it is what it is, and I am keepin' all of it! Hehehehehe!

Take care.