Crafty Me: Sewing Projects Galore!

I haven’t had time to get back to my sewing machine since my last post until yesterday. It seems like doctor appointments never end around here. Some weeks we have something every stinking day, but this whole coming week our calendar is empty. So, I got back in the sewing room. These little zip cosmetic bags are easy enough, and cute too, so I made six of them in one day. 

little zipper pouches

Little cosmetic bags

The last one I made has some sparkles on the fabric. I really wish they showed up in the pictures. It was made of scraps leftover from making a tote bag for my daughter’s niece a few years ago. 

zipper pouch cosmetic bag.

Pink sparkly fabric

I tend to save all my scraps that are bigger than about 4 inches. You never know what you can make with just a bit of fabric. It’s not like I don’t have any fabric to work with. My sewing room is full of it. I pulled out these red and white fabrics hoping I would have time to make some valentine projects but that did not happen. 

fabric stash

I pulled out these red and white fabrics hoping I would have time to make some valentine projects, but that did not happen.

I found these two pretty fat quarter packs at Wal-Mart last week. I have plans for them, maybe next week. 

fat quarters

Two fat quarter packs from Wal-Mart.

I also bought some pretty fabric roses. They will be used in my project next week too. Can’t wait to see how they turn out. 

fabric roses.

Aren’t these cute?

That stack of fabric over there is a lot of flannel, some knits, and some cottons. I have a plan for all of it, just need to feel good long enough and have time to make things. 

more fabric

More fabric

Yes, still more. I have a lot of men’s flannel over there, and more cotton prints. There are lots of projects stacked up in this room. 

There is still more. There is a lot of flannel and some more cotton prints on that cube unit.

When I went in my sewing room to get started, and looked at what was on hand, I found tons of projects that I cut out when we were at the Grand Canyon so that when I had time to sew, all I would have to do would have been to pull one of those projects out and sit down and sew. Those little zipper bags were all ready to sew, stuck in a desk drawer. I also found 7 children’s “Wait Books”, 4 Business Card Wallets, and 3 backpacks. I have so many things to sew up this week that were already cut. Today, I started sewing one of the backpacks. 


The start of a child’s backpack.

I would have finished this project today, but my sewing machine went beserk. The bottom thread was bunching up and clogging up the machine. I tried everything I knew to do, with no luck, so I took it to Facebook with pictures of the top and bottom of the line of stitching. I got about 25 responses to my query in about 10 minutes, and got things running smoothly in just a few minutes. I lost about an hour of sewing time though, so will have to finish the backpack tomorrow. 

sewing projects

How cute is that?

What projects have you been working on lately? Done any sewing? 



Be Smart When Shopping for Sewing Supplies

sewing supplies collage

Stores that sell fabrics and other sewing supplies are constantly trying to attract your business. This is good for you as a consumer. The fact that there is so much competition in this industry means that the prices will be very competitive. However, you still need to be cautious as you are shopping for your sewing supplies. Do not buy all of your supplies from the first store that you come across. That would be a mistake that could potentially cause you to pay much more money than you need to. You should spend some time carefully investigating the various stores that sell all of the items that you are interested in. Here are some tips that you can use when you need to buy some sewing supplies.

1. Find a store that offers frequent discounts.

There are sewing supply stores that frequently discount many of the items they have in stock. They might do this to clear out some of their older inventory. They also frequently mark down items as a way of attracting new customers to their store. Whatever the case may be, you need to make a point of finding out which sewing supply stores discount their inventory more than their competitors. Then you will need to check back with that store frequently to see if they have marked down any items that you need. You need to stay on top of things because the best items are sure to sell out shortly after they are discounted.

2. Search online to learn about the newest products.

Online articles are written by professionals and regular people on a wide variety of topics. The sewing supply industry is no exception. One of the best and easiest ways for you to get the most current info regarding the latest products that are related to sewing is to frequently read online articles. There are some outstanding sewing sites that have been around for a very long time. They have many knowledgeable contributors who are constantly writing posts about new and exciting products in the sewing industry. Suppliers like Paccana are constantly adding new items to their inventory. It is always helpful to stay updated about what these new items are. However, these sewing sites tend to vary greatly in terms of their quality. You need to find out which ones are the most popular. You should also make sure that you only read articles on sites that are updated regularly.

3. Talk to people who are knowledgeable about sewing supplies.

You might think that you know a lot about which sewing supplies are the best. However, there will always be someone out there who knows more than you or me. This is why we need to seek out these people in order to learn as much as we can. There is no shame in seeking guidance from people who have been buying sewing supplies and fabrics for longer than you have. Go to companies that need to purchase sewing supplies on a regular basis. Find out what their criteria is for the materials they purchase. Why do they choose certain brands over others? What type of results should you expect if you buy products made by a specific company? Get their reviews of as many different sewing supply companies as you can. The more research you do, the more money you can save on sewing supplies. 

Joann Fabrics Turkey Tablescapes #turkeytablescapes

Thanksgiving is not only eating turkey and dressing and watching football games. For us in the Fab Household, it is also about crafts and making the table look good. This month, I decided to make three crafts: An easy one, an intermediate one, and an advanced one. See if you can guess which is which!

The first thing I made was a round tablecloth for my Thanksgiving Day table. I picked out a fabric that looked like fall:

Cranston VIP fabric from Joann Fabrics

Cranston VIP fabric from Joann Fabrics

I bought three yards of this Cranston VIP fabric from Joann. To cut the fabric, here is a graphic that shows how to:

How to cut fabric for a round tablecloth

How to cut fabric for a round tablecloth

When you get through cutting the fabric, you will have one piece that measures 72: X 44″; 2 pieces that measure 36″ X 11 inches; and 4 pieces that measure 18″ X 11″.

To put these pieces together, take one 36″ X 11″ pieces and 2 18″ X 11″ pieces, and sew one of the 18″ pieces to each end of the 36″ piece, right sides together, using a 1/2 inch seam. . Repeat with the other 36″X11″ piece and the other two 18″ X 11″ pieces. Press seams open.  You will now have two pieces that measure about 71″ X 11″.

Find the center of the 71″ X 11″ pieces and mark it in the seam, so that you can match it to the center of the 72″ X 44″ piece. Pin the long edge of one 71″ X 11″ piece to the long edge of the 72″ X 44″ piece, right sides together, matching centers. Stitch together using a 1/2 inch seam. Press seam open. Repeat with the other 71″ X 11″ piece on the other side of the 72″ X 44″ piece.

Now that you have sewn all the pieces together, you will have a large almost square piece. Fold in half, then fold in half again n the bias. Lay this out flat on the floor or other large surface.

Cut the open end of the fabric in a curve.

Cut the open end of the fabric in a curve like this.

Cut the wide end of the folded fabric in a curve, like the one shown above, as close to the edge of the fabric as you can. When the fabric is unfolded, it will be a circle. Press under 1/4 inch around the entire circle. Stitch. Press under 1/4 inch again, stitch. Your round tablecloth will be complete.

My round tablecloth completed.

My round tablecloth completed.

Once my round tablecloth was completed, I felt like it needed some new cloth napkins to go with it. So, I made some using some solid dark burdundy Kona Cotton fabric from Joann Fabrics. These were a lot easier to make than the tablecloth. Just cut out a square the size you want, and stitch a rolled hem all the way around. Cut. Sew. Done. If you want to know how big to cut them I would say use a 22″ square for each one. A yard of fabric will make 4 napkins that size. The ones I made are just a bit too small, and I cut them 16″ square.

The burgundy fabric I used for my napkins.

The burgundy fabric I used for my napkins.

And then….after I made my napkins, I decided that I needed a nice set of napkin rings to use with them. To make my napkin ring, I cut a piece of 3/8 inch burgundy grosgrain ribbon 18″ long. I strung a 16mm bead on the ribbon and centered it in the middle of the 18″ length. Then, I threaded the ends through the bead again, and tied a knot. I added another bead on side of the ribbon, then threaded the other side of the ribbon through the second bead until it was tight against the knot of the first bead. I continued adding beads in this manner until I had six beads strung. I tied a knot, then strung the ends of the thread through the first bead, and pulled it tight. When this was done, I tied a bow, leaving the ends of the ribbon. Here is what my napkin rings look like”

My napkin rings

My napkin rings

Now that my tablecloth, napkins, and napkin rings are done, I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving day to get here! I had fun making them, and I hope that my family and friends like them too.

You can make so many pretty things with supplies, fabric, and crafting materials found in the Joann Craft Catalog.

And, you can save money too, with the 50% off one item coupon below. It is valid until Nov 30, 2013, either in the store or online.

Print and take to the store

Print and take to the store or use the code for online shopping.

What are you going to be making?



Decorating With Fabric: Tutorial


Today I wanted to make a frame of sorts for some photographs that I love. I have been wanting to put them up on my dining room wall, but I don’t have the funds to get them matted and framed. So, until the day when I do have the money, I decided to use fabric that I love as a backdrop for the photos. The first thing I did was iron the fabric to get all the wrinkles out.

Cut the fabric about two inches larger than your cardboard

Cut the fabric about two inches larger than your cardboard

I got a piece of cardboard that was several inches larger than the photograph. Then, I cut the fabric about two inches larger than the cardboard all the way around. I used straight pins to hold the fabric in place until I could put a piece of packing tape to hold it to the cardboard. You could also just use the straight pins without the tape.

Pin the fabric to the cardboard, then use packing tape

Pin the fabric to the cardboard, then use packing tape

Once you have all four sides of the fabric in place, cut a piece of yarn or twine about two inches longer than the piece of cardboad is wide. Tie a knot in each end.

Cut a piece of yarn about two inches longer than your piece is wide

Cut a piece of yarn about two inches longer than your piece is wide

Put the end of a straight pin into the knot, then push it into one side of the cardboard. Do the same thing on the other side, measuring to make sure both ends of the yarn are the same distance from the top of the piece.

Measure to make sure both ends of the yarn are the same distance from the top

Measure to make sure both ends of the yarn are the same distance from the top

I used small, almost invisible straight pins to attach the photograph to the finished “frame”. You could also use double sided tape or a hot glue gun.

Use small straight pins to attach the photograph to the "frame"

Use small straight pins to attach the photograph to the “frame”

Hang with a straight pin in the wall

Hang with a straight pin in the wall

To hang my finished pieces, I used a straight pin that I pushed into the wall. The project is very lightweight so it doesn’t need a big nail to hang it.

My friend and co-worker at the Grand Canyon took this photograph of Aspens in autumn.

My friend and co-worker at the Grand Canyon took this photograph of Aspens in autumn.

I love how my dining room wall turned out:

My dining room wal: Art that I love!

My dining room wal: Art that I love!





Fabric Art For My Sewing Room/Office:Pinterest In Practice


Pinned from Hawthorne Threads Blog, but I couldn’t find the original post. Their url is

While Fabgrandpa was painting the office for me today, I decided to work on a project that I saw on Pinterest. I saw it on the Hawthorne Threads Blog last year ,but when I tried to find the original post today it was gone. Good thing I pinned it! The idea is simple enough: you get some stretched canvas like a painter would use, and staple some pretty fabric on it. I loved the idea of it right away, because you know how I LOVE fabric.

Last week when we went to Rome for my gastro appointment, I saw a Michaels and asked Fabgrandpa to take me there after my appointment. We stopped there, and I got what I thought was a 2 pack of canvases. It turned out to be a grade 2, but with the packages that I bought, I wound up with 2 16″ X 20″ and 2 8″ X 10″ canvases, so it worked out to be enough.

Picking the fabrics to use was hard, because every piece I picked up, I thought of some other project I could use it for, but finally decided on four pieces to use.

For a 16″ X 20″ canvas, you need a 20″ X 24″ piece of fabric, and for an 8″ X 10″ one you’ll need a 12″ X 14″ piece of fabric. Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles before you start.

Cut the fabric all around 2 inches larger than your canvas

Cut the fabric all around 2 inches larger than your canvas

Put the fabric face down on your work surface, then lay your canvas face down on the fabric. Fold the edges of the fabric over to the back of the canvas.

Fold the fabric to the back of the canvas

Fold the fabric to the back of the canvas

Us a staple gun to staple it in place.

Use a staple gun to staple the fabric to the canvas

Use a staple gun to staple the fabric to the canvas

Do the two longest sides first. When you do the two short sides, fold the fabric into a mitered corner.

Fold the fabric on the short edges into a mitered corner

Fold the fabric on the short edges into a mitered corner

Put one staple into the top edge of the canvas. Fold the fabric down onto the back of the canvas and staple some more.



Repeat on the other side, and you’re done. Be careful that you don’t staple your fingers. That staple gun if powerful! Also, I didn’t realize until I was finished that I got a blister on the inside of my thumb.

That is an ouchie!

That is an ouchie!

The finished product looks great hanging on the wall. I’ll show you the finished room tomorrow.

My Pinterest in Practice project looks pretty good.

My Pinterest in Practice project looks pretty good.

Finished project

Finished project




I’m Still Recouperating

I am one of those people who Must. Be. Doing. Something. all the time! Right now, I can not do anything, and that is driving me crazy. I want to sew, but I can’t sit at the sewing machine for very long at a time. I also can’t lift the mattress on the bed to get the sewing machine out. And if I could do either of those things, I can’t bend over to pick up things when I drop them, and I drop things a lot when I am sewing. So, I just sit here, bored to tears.

One of the things I CAN do is look at fabric online. I have found the cutest fabrics this week! Just look:

This one is called Jack and Jenny by Laurie Wisbrun. How freaking cute!

Jack and Jenny in Petal

Jack and Jenny

Jack and Jenny Wellies

I could have so much fun with that fabric. I can see a baby quilt, diaper bag, curtains for baby’s room. Maybe some curtains for a sewing room, or a quilt for a teenage girl. So many ideas pop into my head when I see this cuteness!

And look at this set by Riley Blake called Seaside: I am thinking a quilt for my guest room at the new house, so my visitors can sleep relaxed by the ocean colors:

Seaside Main

Seaside Bikini

Seaside Trunks

Seaside Chair


What would you make with these fabrics? What fabrics have you found this summer that have you wanting to sew?