Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Applique Tutorial & Giveaway Part 1



First you'll need to go over to my website and download your free pattern. Click HERE and look for the image with the little mug and marshmallow fluff. I've given it to you in a JPEG & PDF so that you can use whichever you like better. Then gather your list of supplies:

Background fabric, at least 12" square for easy stitching
Fabric scraps for appliques
Paper-backed fusible webbing
Embroidery floss
Cardstock (for printing out pattern pieces)
Fabric marking pen or chalk pencil (for marking fabrics)
Ink pen or pencil (for tracing patterns)
Iron & ironing board
5 inch embroidery hoop

Preparing your applique:
1. Print out your pattern pieces and cut out. Cardstock works best because it's easier to trace around than paper.

2. Cut your paper-backed fusible webbing just a little bit larger than your pattern pieces. 

3. Flip your pattern pieces upside down and trace them to the paper side of your fusible webbing. Fuse these to the backside of the fabric scraps you have chosen for your appliques. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the fusible webbing you are using.

4. Make the appliques by cutting on the traced lines.

5. Make sure that the adhesive side is face down and fuse the applique fabrics to the center of your background fabric. The upper edge of the mug will slightly overlap the marshmallow fluff. Mark your applique with your stitching lines.

6. Place the fabric in the hoop centering the area you will be stitching.

7. Cut off a piece of floss about 18" long. Separate the floss into 3 strand sections. I'm using 3 strands of floss for my demonstrations. I always use 3 strands when stitching around my appliques.

Put these to the side for now because we'll be learning our first two stitches in a few days. If you already know how to stitch, follow us along for the fun of it and make a potholder or wall hanging from your applique. 

NOTE: I've mentioned this before, but please keep your threads away from your pets! When they ingest long threads, it can become fatal. Not only am I a pattern designer, I also work for a vet and I see this a lot. Unfortunately it "slices" through their digestive systems. I'm constantly scanning my sewing room and myself to make sure there are no threads left behind.

Now that you've gathered your supplies and put them in a safe place, come back in a few days and get started. 

Run over to my website and download your free pattern! Look for the image below when you get to my website. 

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Thursday, March 21, 2013

FREEBIE - Printable Earring Cards!

It's time for another freebie! My free Christmas earring cards are still getting downloads everyday at my Craftsy Printable's Shop, so I thought it was time for some nice Spring cards.

I just created these cards using the images from my "Bright Flowers Clipart Set" which is available at my Etsy shop.

This time though I've given them to you a couple ways. I've enclosed a PDF file in case you like to work with those. I've also given you a 4 x 6 JPEG image so that you can upload them to your favorite photo processing center to have them professionally printed. That's how I always print mine.

I've also made the center area a bit smaller so that you will still have a pretty border if you want to use them in a zipper bag. I always cut mine into 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches and I put them in the little bags that I buy from JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby.

To pick up your free cards stop by my website HERE and go to my FREEBIE page.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

More Favorite Apps

Anyone who knows me, knows I like to stay organized. I keep lists, I like everything neat and tidy, and when I want something, I expect to know right where it is. I have found some new Android apps to help keep me organized. They can all be accessed on my computer, cellphone, and Nexus tablet. Have I mentioned before how much I love my Nexus tablet? Well, I do!

You might have seen my previous post on favorite apps HERE. Well, I've found a couple more:

Pepper Plate Recipe Keeper
I love this app! I can even access all my recipes offline so I can check needed ingredients that I need to pick up after work. I love that I can pull the recipe up, set the Nexus up on my kitchen counter, and cook away! I can't tell you how much paper I would waste before when I printed out all my favorites.

Inkpad Notepad
I think I mentioned this one before, but it's worth repeating. This little notepad is too handy for words! I can keep my Christmas list on it, my "need list" for my sewing room, my vacation packing list, etc.  You get the idea. 

Astrid Task Manager
This is the perfect "to do" list. I have several different task lists in this one. It keeps my personal tasks and business tasks neat and organized.

Check them out! Maybe you'll find one of  them you like. If you have any favorites, I'd love to check them out so please share!

Oh Yah...I couldn't resist including a photo of my new sewing table/desk, which I LOVE!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sewing Table Skirt

In my last post I showed you my ruffler foot. Well, I put it to good use when I made this table skirt. At first we were going to build a table but after more thought, we decided that it would be heavy to move when we needed to pull down the Murphy bed (the big cabinet behind the table) when my daughter is in town. Plus, where to put it? This table slips so nicely under the bed and it so quick to take down. But it did look UGLY! And the bed risers under the legs, aren't very pretty either! The skirt is attached using velcro around the edge of the table.

I'm happy with the way it turned out and so is Punky. She likes to have little hiding places. 

The shelving was installed a little less than a year ago. Last Friday we bought my new desk/sewing table. You can see that here. Now after stitching up this cute skirt, my sewing room is officially complete!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Ruffler Foot

Tomorrow I will be working on a project where I will be ruffling over 500 inches of fabric. So what's a girl to do? She digs out the ruffler foot she bought about 25 years ago and has never used.

Why oh why have I not even tried to use this little gem before? I put it on my machine, did a little tweaking, made a few adjustments, and did a little practicing. I don't even want to think of how long it would take me to ruffle all that fabric without it. If you do a lot of sewing where you make ruffles, you really need to pick one up. It's well worth the thirty bucks!

What am I making? I'm not telling you yet. You'll have to wait and see!

One hint: it's something for my sewing room.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snow Storm of 2013

I just shoveled a potty path for Bubba. So far we've gotten about a foot, and it's still coming down like crazy! I knew we were too lucky the past two years.

Anyone else in the path of this storm?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Meezers Please...

Is there anything cuter than a basket of kittens or puppies? The answer is no. The kittens in the photo belong to a client of ours who breeds Siamese cats. We have one ourselves and she is an original! Anyone who has one will tell you that they are like no other cat. They are always the boss, always hang out at the highest point of the room, are high energy, and can jump super high. They love attention but it must be on their terms, and when they want it, they expect you to drop what you are doing to cater to them. It's true that this description fits most cats, but Siamese cats take it to the extreme. And you have to love those blue eyes. They are the true Divas!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Sewing Table & Desk

Last night we decided to take another trip out for one of our favorite dinners at Noodles & Company. Sometimes, OK, most of the time, after breakfast or dinner we like to do a little shopping. And that we did! Hubby really needed a new office chair so we stopped at the Office supply store. As we were waiting for him to go into the back to get a boxed one, I looked about 20 feet to my left and there were desks. Lots of them! So guess what I came home with? Yep, a new desk for my sewing room! It's nice and big, just perfect! It fits my sewing machine and still gives me plenty of room to set up my laptop and do some paperwork when I'm not sewing. 

So I am one happy camper because the utility table that I had my sewing machine on before was very narrow and it bounced when I stitched. This is nice, heavy, and sturdy. And look how pretty it looks too.

The next thing we are going to do in that room is build a new work table. Once that is built, my sewing room will be complete!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Is National Craft Month!

I'm so excited to find out that March is National Craft Month! What a good month to be in. Easter is in March this year, as is my 39th birthday (again). It's going to be a good month!

Since it's the first day of National Craft Month I thought it would be a perfect time to release my newest pattern with is quite different from all the others. I've created a super big pattern, at a super big value. My gift, treat, and favor bags have been my biggest sellers at all the shops I sell them from. It's been that way since I first released the Halloween bags back in September and had continued with their popularity with every holiday or occasion I've added since. I thought it would be a good idea to combine them all into one big pattern that included them all, and make it a great price to boot! Now there is a bag for every occasion possible. The pattern is available in my Etsy shop and at my Craftsy shop.

If you are new to my blog, be sure to click my facebook graphic at the upper right so you can get your free applique patterns and mini graphic kit.

I hope you are looking as forward to National Craft Month as I am! Let the crafting begin!
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