TV Tray turned Ironing Board

25 Apr

A long while ago I picked up a wooden black TV tray at the Salvation Army for $4.  I had been pondering a way to be able to sew and press seams easily without having a huge ironing board cluttering up my space.  This TV tray would become the answer.  For several years I used a pillowcase on top of the tv tray and it functioned fairly well as a small space to press seams. I could use this to press in front of the television or next to my sewing space (which I will show you one day when it doesn’t look like a tornado has been through the area!).  However, the pillowcase would often slip off so I was looking for a permanent solution. Finally I would make an ironing cover to work the way I wanted!  I started with some scrap batting and some fabric that I rescued from a bin of fabric my mom was donating to the quilt makers at her church.  I measured across the top of the tv tray and underneath on both sides. I did this both directions.  Take it from me and do this twice and remember to add in room for a seam allowance- about a half an inch on each side.

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I then sandwiched some leftover batting in between the two pieces of fabric. Pinned it all the way around and sewed a seam about 2 inches in on each side creating a box.  To make sure the the batting wouldn’t shift, I also sewed across the center.

IMG_8950I then folded in the edges to create a nice edge and sewed the edges around the perimeter, save a one inch opening. Through this I threaded a thin piece of ribbon connected to a safety pin.  This would form a drawstring to tighten the bottom of the cover. FAIL!  It was at this point I realized I had measured incorrectly.  The  fabric was too short lenghwise!  I also discovered that I needed to create a smaller space for the drawstring to be threaded through- it wasn’t cinching around the sides of the table- it was cinching on top.

IMG_8985So I ripped out the seams I made on the edge. I unfolded the amount I had sewn under. I then sewed along the rough edge around the perimeter save the one inch space.  I sewed a complete square inside this seam about a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wide.  This would become the new space through which I would run the ribbon as described above.  You can see the two seams in the photo above.

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I once again threaded the ribbon through the gap in the outer circle and through the small space I had left for it.  I set the cover on the table and cinched the ribbon tight.  It worked!  I tied a knot with the ribbon to keep the fabric stretched taut. Viola! A handy tool for next to your sewing machine or your sofa!

 

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She’s here!

16 Apr

Quinn Marian arrived on April 9, 2013!

Here is a sneak peak at some newborn pictures featuring the sweater, hat and booties I featured in previous posts!IMG_0132IMG_0090IMG_0136

With those long fingers, she just might be a concert pianist…and most definitely a knitter. 😉  We are so very happy and blessed!

Thank you Mother Nature!

11 Apr

A few months ago in this post I promised I’d have Fred’s hat done before winter was over.  The Spring Solstice has come and gone, and the hat wasn’t finished. As I write this on April 10th, we’ve already received a blanket of new snow and 6 to 10 inches are expected tomorrow.  Winter drags on, but the hat is complete!

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I used this pattern to create the hat.  Unlike most hats I have crocheted in the round, this was crocheted into one long rectangle.

orange hat rectangleI then joined the two sides with a hidden stitched.

IMG_8951After  creating the tube, you crocheted the top together to shape the beanie.

IMG_8963Aww the joys of   late night self photography? This was a relatively easy pattern using a half double crochet, single crochet, slip stitch and single crochet decrease, although you wouldn’t know it for how long it took me to complete this project!

IMG_8959And another view for you all. Too bad Fred wasn’t here to model for me!

Happy almost spring!

Hat and Booties

9 Apr

I finished knitting the hat and booties I had planned to go with the Wrap Sweater I posted about a few weeks ago.  Just in time with less than a week until my due date!

I found both patterns in Natural Nursery Knits by Erika Knight, the same designer of the wrap sweater, and knit them with Baby Ull yarn. Here is the finished result:

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And a preview of the complete outfit:

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I’m ready whenever you are, baby!

DIY Rosette Headband

2 Apr

Some of the items on my baby prep to-do list includes some cute accessories to have on hand for those early newborn pictures.  I decided I should try my hand at creating a cute little “I’m a girl” headband for her to wear.  While unpacking and putting away some baby gifts this weekend, there were a few things that caught my eye that I figured I could re-purpose into some rosettes for a headband.  I gathered them up along with some other items I had in my stash:  Cute ribbon from sweetly wrapped packages, some left over fabric from projects past, and the fabric pouch that a crib sheet was packaged in.

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To make the rosettes, I cut the fabric into about 1 -2 inch wide strips.  Next I cut out a circle from some left over felt to use as a base to the flower. I took my glue gun and added a dab of glue in the middle of the felt circle, and adhered the corner of the fabric to the center.   I let it sit for about a minute for the glue to harden everything into place.

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I then twisted the fabric, and started to wind it around the center, using my glue gun to glue the fabric down every inch or two as I wrapped it around and around.

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Once complete, I trimmed away the felt base from the edges.

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I created several different rosettes using this same method. You can see that the different materials created slightly different looks, and I also played around with how tight or loosely I twisted the fabric or ribbon.

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I also hunted through my jewelry box to see if there were any old earrings or accessories that I could use for embellishing a rose or two.  I came across the hair pins that I wore for my wedding, and thought it would be fun to incorporate one of them into one of the flowers.  The gem was attached to the hair pin with some wires, so I simply clipped and unwound the wire to remove the gem, and then glued it into one of the rosettes.

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To create the headband, I picked up some elastic at JoAnn Fabric. They were a knit texture with a sort of lace pattern that was softer than the other elastics, so I thought it would be nice and soft for a baby’s head.

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I had used a tutorial I found on Pinterest to create the headband at http://thesassypepper.blogspot.ca/2011/02/headband-tutorial-and-bitsy-band.html. It referenced this headband measurement guide:

Newborn (13 1/4″)
3-6 Months (14 1/2″)
6-12 Months (16″)
12 Months-Teen (17 1/2″)
Adult (18″)

So I measured out 13-1/4″ of the elastic for a newborn size band, and glued the ends into place on the back of one of the rosettes.

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The tutorial recommended a 1/4″ overlap.

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Once the band was in place, I cut another circle of felt to glue a final base on the back of the flower.

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I made three different versions with the rosettes I made:

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After I had finished them up, I came across an orphaned earring and did one more add to the grey polka dot headband.  Can’t wait to see how they look on our baby girl’s head!

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Baby Shower Decor

28 Mar

Here in Minnesota we are all clamoring for Spring.  I decided to bring Spring indoors as the decor for Gina’s baby shower this past weekend.

My inspiration started from this photo I found on Pinterest a month or two ago.

I gathered up the tissue paper I had on hand and grabbed a few more multicolored packs at Dollar Tree.  I folded the piece of tissue paper in half the long way to double the thickness, then I accordion folded it the entire length of this paper. As you can see below I had some help.IMG_8916

You will also need the smaller sized “fans” which is what is pictured above.  To make these we cut the tissue paper in half the long way.  I then folded it again in half again to double the thickness the long way and accordion folded all the way down the paper.   When I had each piece folded I taped a piece of scotch tape around the end of the folds, creating a fan.

IMG_8914I then took a needle and some simple white thread and stitched through the center of the taped area on each of the larger fans.  I think fishing line could work well for this as well. While I only used one string I might recommend two strings be stitched through each fan a quarter to half inch apart.  This will allow for additional stability as you separate the fans and make it less likely for the fans to slide on their own.

Now to attach the smaller fans to the larger fans.  Double-sided tape would work well for this. I used small scrap booking squares that have adhesive on both sides. I placed a small square of double-sided adhesive on the top and bottom of each side of the small fan.  I then inverted the fan so that it “fanned” the opposite direction as the larger sized fan.  I fastened one between two large fans.

IMG_8918This is what the entire length of my banner looked like before it was hung in the room. As I stitched through each fan, I left the spool of thread going so I knew I would have plenty of thread for whatever length this ended up.

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Here it is hung and ready for the party!  We fastened it to the walls with packing tape. It took three of us to get this up on the walls although two could have handled it had we prepped the tape before hand.  It is made with tissue paper so it is a bit delicate and takes some care to hang.  The good news is when the party was done I carefully removed the banner and folded it back up to be packed away for another party in the future. You can hardly tell it was even used!

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Along with the bright banner I added some table cloths made from clearance gingham fabric I bought a few years ago in preparation for another baby shower.  I’ve used them for three or four other showers along the way and they still look bright and welcoming- especially on this cold winter spring day!

IMG_8921At Trader Joes I picked up some bright spring blooms of tulips and daffodils to add a little life to the party for less than $10.  Silverware were rolled into new cloth napkins I had onhand (purchased for less than $1 a piece at my local Salvation Army that has Target samples) and tied with florist ribbon I picked up at a garage sale years ago.

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Also bringing a bit of spring fun to the tables were the party favors.  I found these fun patterned gardening gloves at our local Dollar Tree for $1 each and paired them with a packet of seeds that were 4 for a $1 also at the Dollar Tree.

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Last summer I bought a pack of 20+ of these favor boxes for $1 at a garage sale knowing they would make a great favor for a party.  They were originally intended for a wedding favor with a wax seal and white ribbon, but I knew they could be re-purposed into something much more fun with a little bit of color.  I think when paired together these inexpensive favors (approximately $1.35 each) looked much more expensive and polished and were a great take-away for the guests who came to celebrate Gina and the new life she is growing!

Yarn Wreath: Spring Edition

26 Mar

I got my Seasonal Yarn Wreath updated just in time for Easter.  I found a new version of felt flowers to make, via The Purl Bee’s Anemone Magnet tutorial.  I thought these were cute and colorful flowers to give a friendly boot to the snow, and hello to the sunshine!

For each flower, I cut (free hand) three 1″x2″ strips of felt for the petals, and a thin 2″ strip to make the center of the flower.

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I then shaped each petal.

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And snipped the thin strip into fringe.

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I used fabric glue to glue the pieces together.

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And then used a glue gun to adhere each flower to a felt base for the wreath.

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As you’ve seen me do in my previous wreath posts, I trimmed the felt base behind the flowers, and used extra yarn to tie the piece into place.  Here is how my door now greets you!

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