Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Merry Yo-Yo Christmas!

At a glance, the yo-yo used in this project looks like a traditional fabric yo-yo, but it's not. This method calls for a rectangular piece of fabric instead of a circle. The benefit of using this method is that you get a double sided yo-yo without much effort. In other words, this ain't yo grandmama's yo-yo! Er, uhm, sorry, couldn't help myself. Heeheehee! Okay, back to the task at hand.

To begin, create a 2-3/4" circle out of cardboard or ultra firm stabilizer. This will be used to keep the center of the yo-yo rigid. Remove a 3/4" hole from the center of the circle. You will also need an 11" x 3-3/4" piece of fabric, two 3/4" buttons, and a handful of fiberfill.

Place fabric onto a pressing surface with wrong side facing up. On both 11-inch sides, fold over 1/4" and press in place.

Sew short ends together to form a tube.

Press seam open. Turn right side out.

With needle and thread, take a 1/4" running stitch close the edge of one side of the tube.

Pull thread tightly to gather, knotting securely before cutting thread.

Add a small amount of fiberfill to the inside.

Add the cardboard circle on top of the fiberfill.

Top with more fiberfill. With needle and thread, sew a 1/4" running stitch close to the edge.

Gather tightly, knot securely, but this time, do not cut thread.

Slide a button onto the thread.

Stick the needle through to the other side. Add the remaining button to the thread. Continue sewing from one side to the other to secure the buttons in place while keeping tension on the thread to create a slight tufted look to the yo-yo center. Knot securely, cut thread.

You will need two holly leaves for this project. Draw and cut out a 1" x 2" holly leaf from cardboard.

**An easy way to make the leaf pattern is to first make a 1" x 2" grid onto a scrap piece of paper. Quickly draw holly leaves in each of the boxes. This is a good way to achieve simple shapes and to guarantee the desired size. Simply choose the leaf that you feel turned out the best. Transfer the paper shape to cardboard.

Trace the leaf shape onto the back of a small piece of Heat 'n Bond Ultra Hold (the non-glue side).

Iron the Heat 'n Bond to the back of a remnant piece of green fabric.

Cut out the holly leaves. Remove paper backing and iron both leaves onto a small piece of white felt. Trim the felt to 1/8-inch of the fabric.

Using a 3-inch piece of cardboard as your guide, wrap narrow ribbon around it twice. Tie a knot in the center to form a simple bow.

Cut 8-inches of embroidery thread, clear fishing line, or gold thread and sew it into the top of the berry to form a loop for hanging.

Hot glue or hand stitch the leaves to the top of the berry, just in front of the hanger.

Yo-Yo Holly Berry
Glue the bow on top of the leaves. Leave it as is or add a decorative jingle bell to the center of the bow.

Green and Red Yo-Yo Holly Berry

Yo-Yo Peppermint Kiss
To make the Peppermint Kiss, cut twelve (6 red, 6 white) 1-3/8" x 3-3/4" fabric pieces. Join the pieces together on each of the 3-3/4" sides using a scant 1/4" seam, alternating colors as you sew. Iron all seams toward the red fabric. This will create the fabric piece needed for the yo-yo. The directions to make the Peppermint Kiss is the same as the Holly Berry.

That's it! Make a tree full and have yourself a Merry Yo-Yo Christmas!


Friday, September 25, 2009

A Simple Solution

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

On weekends, I prefer hand stitching over machine simply because my project becomes portable and I am able to take it to any location I desire. I often leave my sewing room to be with hubby while he enjoys a weekend of watching golf on tv. It is comforting to be with him after a long and busy week spent mostly apart. Even if it does mean that I have to endure hours and hours of golf.

I often spend my time sewing seams closed, sewing on buttons, or tacking on embellishments of some kind. The problem that I have is transporting my thread because I like having an array of colors with me. For a long time I just threw spools of thread into a basket but I hated digging through it to find the color that I needed. Not to mention about how it would often become a tangled mess. THEN....a light bulb moment occurred. A rather simple solution to my problem.

This takes only a few minutes to put together. More time was spent on gathering the components that I needed.

You will need a base of some sort. I dug deep into my craft closet and found an old decorative chalk board that was just sitting around collecting dust. To hold the thread, I gathered a dozen golf tees. I whipped up a small pincushion to mount onto the top of the board. I plugged in my hot glue gun and went to work.

The golf tees were glued onto the base of the chalk board. The pincushion was then glued in place.

After adding spools of thread, a few needles, and scissors, I was ready to go. It took me less than 15 minutes to put this spool holder together.

In this example, I glued a round pincushion to the center of an old CD and then glued the golf tees around it to hold the spools of thread.

I hope you can use this simple but useful idea. Have a fabulous weekend.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Little Bit of This and That

Hello. I'm over here. Can you see me? I'm under the pile of fabric in the middle of my sewing room. Hehehe! No, not really, but I will admit to feeling overwhelmed and it is starting to feel like there are a million things weighing down on me. I sure wish that I were better organized. It would come in handy as the holiday season approaches.

I'd like to thank you all for stopping by my blog. Please know that I appreciate and read each and every one of your comments. Mahalo Nui Loa (thank you very much) for taking the time to visit and to see what I am up to.

I would like to start off by showing you some of the beautiful gifts that I have recently received.

Emy is from the amazing country of Italy. She sent me the cutest, and I mean THE CUTEST frosted pink cupcake embellished apron and potholders along with some very beautiful yellow lace. As you can see, she does fantastic work. Thank you, Emy, I will cherish and think of you whenever I use these beautiful gifts. You are absolutely the sweetest! Emy does not have a blog but she does display her fabulous work here

Isabella is another wonderful person whom I have had the opportunity to meet through blogging. She has a blog called I Just Love To Stitch where you can see her beautiful sticheries and quilts. She sent me some lovely souvenirs from her home in Australia along with some beautiful fabric that reminds me of an antique table cloth. Thank you, Isabella. I love every gift that you sent me.

Remember this apron that I made several months ago? Well, I finally built up the nerve and entered it in Pat Sloan's Show Me Your Apron Challenge.

I'm sure that many of you are already familiar with quilt artist and book author, Pat Sloan. I am so happy to report that my apron placed in the Most Creative category. She sent me a couple of fat quarters from her Arabella fabric line along with a pattern for her Bella's Bloom quilt. Thank you, Pat. I absolutely adore it! Her blog is a fun read so stop by if you can.

I hope you are having a wonderful week. I am feverishly running around like a chicken without a head. It's that time of year.

Take care!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Ruched Patchwork Pumpkins

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

One of the many things that I remember about my maternal grandparents home was the surinam cherry tree that grew next to their front porch. As a child, I looked forward to visiting and gorging on those sweet-scented gems. The surinam cherry is perfectly described in this post by Junglegirl. It's unique taste and fragrance stays forever ingrained in your senses, making it impossible to forget.

This is my fabric interpretation of those wonderful little orange jewels.

Oh, do I have a childhood story about surinam cherries, but I won't go there. Let's just say that it has something to do with a smooth, round, surinam cherry pit, a little girl, and a nose. (Don't worry, little Sis, I won't tell. Your secret is safe with me. hehehehe!) These cherries have always reminded me of little pumpkins, therefore, it was just a matter of time before they would evolve into these ruched fabric patchwork pumpkins.

To create these, begin by cutting eight 2" x 10" strips of coordinating fabric.

Sew the strips together using a 1/4" seam. Press all seams open.

This will create a flat rectangle of patchwork fabric.

With a pencil, place a mark 1-inch in from the raw edge on each seam intersection on the wrong side of the fabric. Do this on both the top and bottom of the piece.

Using your sewing machine set to it's longest stitch (you can also hand sew and gather like I did on the surinam cherry), stitch in the ditch between the two dots. Backstitch in the beginning of each row of stitching to anchor the thread but leave the ends open for gathering.

Gather each row of stitching until the piece measures 5-1/2-inches from raw edge to raw edge. Bring all threads to the wrong side of the fabric and securely tie off. Trim off excess thread.

Take the piece back to the sewing machine and sew it into a tube by placing right sides together. Again, finish ruching this seam in the same manner as the others.

To close the bottom: Working from the wrong side of the fabric tube, take a running stitch 1-inch in from the raw edge, using the pencil markings as your guide.

Draw thread tightly together and knot off securely. Turn right side out. Stuff with fiberfil.

Finishing touches: Working from the right side, take a running stitch at the top, 1-inch in from the raw edge, again using the pencil markings as your guide. Before tying off, create a stem by taking a 2-1/2" by 6" piece of brown felt, rolling it up tightly starting at the short end. Use a small amount of fabric glue to secure the end of the felt to prevent it from unraveling. Place one side of the stem into the top of the pumpkin, gathering the fabric tightly around it while tucking the raw edges to the inside. Take several stitches to secure the stem to the pumpkin before cutting the thread. To create the leaves, place floral wire between 2 layers of green fabric and secure it together using Heat 'n Bond fusible. Cut leaf shapes around the wire. (You can also substitute store bought leaves if you desire). Wrap the wired leaves securely around the base of the stem, curling the excess wire by wrapping it around a pen or a dowel.

There you have it. A wonderful ruched patchwork pumpkin to celebrate the bounty of the season!

Have a sweet day!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Got Milk?

The following is an excerpt taken from an email that I sent off to my friend Sandra of Sandra Sews.

" Funny how you said that the pincushion had nipples because the original title to my post was, “Got Milk?” I changed it because I didn’t want people to think that I am demented or something. Ha! I just HAD to post it to see what kind of reaction I would get and I guess you and several others saw what I saw. My son and I were laughing at it, calling it all kinds of terrible names. You should have heard!"

So you see, friends, we ALL saw it. For those of you that couldn't bring yourselves to post what you really thought about it, that's okay. I already KNEW what you were thinking! Hehehehe!

Here is the pincushion sans nipples. After all, we ccouldn't have Amy of Home Acre busting a gut over this, now could we? I would never be able to forgive myself.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist another post about the nipplecushion. Hope you're having a good evening!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When Ideas Go Amuck

Envision something in your head, translate it to paper, then onto fabric. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. This, my friends, is a doesn't.

An octo yo-yo starfish barnacle pincushion thinga-ma-jiggy. Maybe it's the fabric that I chose for this project. Perhaps if made in soft, flowery pastels, the results would have been different.

If you are interested in my method for attaching yo-yo's, please read my tutorial here.

The back is almost as scary as the front.

Back to the drawing board with this idea.

This picture is for Ferne who requested to see the button collection in the background of many of my photos. Here is a link to a post that I made last year with additional pictures of my button collection. I love buttons almost as much as I love fabric.

Hope you're having a fabulous day.