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?

 

 

Waverizing My Bathroom With Jo-ann Fabrics #WaverizeIt

I received two yards of Waverly Fabric from Jo-ann Fabrics to make a project for this post.

You all know how I love to sew, so it was an easy answer when Jo-ann Fabrics asked me if I wanted to take the Waverize It Challenge the program for Waverly Fabrics to help promote the Jo-Ann and Waverly Facebook Contest.

#waverize

I decided to #Waverize my bathroom. I have needed a shelf for storage in there since we moved in. I measured the area above my toilet, then went to the local building supply place to get a 1″X6″ board, and asked them to cut it into 18″ pieces for me. I wound up with three 1″X6″X18″ boards to use for shelves in my finished project.

While I had many visions of this project in my head, it took me a long time to “dream it out” about how to put it together. This is how my project looks right now:

#waverize

Shelve for the bathroom

As you can see, it is not finished yet. I am having technical difficulties getting it to look the way I want it to look. I have never designed a 3-dimensional project before, and well, this is not working the way I wanted it to. It does, however, have potential to become the vision I have in my head. I may have to sit down and rip all the stitching out and start over, but I was running out of time for the deadline.

#waverize

Pretty! I was thinking of using these colors in my bathroom anyway

I am still trying to figure out how to get the top of the sides to not droop. I think maybe some extra stiff interfacing, or maybe a piece of a wire coat hanger. What would you do to stabilize it?

The top. I have one more piece to add for a hanging sleeve

The top. I have one more piece to add for a hanging sleeve

My original design was to have a hanging sleeve at the top, and hang the piece up using a curtain rod. However, since I have seen it on the wall using push pins to hold it there, it might be feasible to just use the push pins. Another idea I had was to use shower curtain hangers. What to do, what to do?

Don’t forget to head on over to the Jo-Ann and Waverly Facebook contest and help Waverly celebrate their 90th Anniversary by joining in the contest! You could win fabric and a gift card. 

 

Back To School With Crafts From Michael’s

Michael’s provided me with a gift card to purchase supplies for the project in this post.

School is starting up again, and when it does, my daughter Emily will be going back.  The fact that she is going back is so special for us this year, because she had a stroke back in February after her son, Parker was born. She has been a teacher for a few years, and we were really worried that the stroke would affect her ability to teach. I am so very glad to say that it has not.

my back to school poster

my back to school poster

In recognition of her return to work, to her school, to teach again, I wanted to make something for her classroom. I decided to make a patchwork poster with one of her favorite quotes to hang on the wall. She chose this quote:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~Albert Einstein

After choosing the quote, it was time to go to Michael’s to get some supplies. I found some solid red and some solid black fabric, which are the school colors for the high school where Emily teaches. When I saw those, more ideas came to me about how to make the project. I also found a pretty red, black, and white print. Next I got a 18″ X 24″ poster frame in white. I also picked up some glue sticks and some duct tape for another project I had in mind. Oh, and I couldn’t resist buying some extra fabrics in a variety of colors. They package the fabric in 2 yard pieces, which is plenty for any project I could think of using them in.

The quote and graphic I used for my project.

The quote and graphic I used for my project.

To make this project, I had to figure out a way to print the quote and a graphic onto a piece of white fabric. The tutorial I found said to use freezer paper, and iron it onto the back of the fabric, then cut the piece to the size of a piece of printer paper. I didn’t have any freezer paper, but I did have some Wonder Under, so I used that. I practiced printing onto paper until I had the graphic and quote exactly how I wanted them, then I printed it on my white fabric.

Next, I had to come up with a design that was somewhat like was floating around in my head. That design process is the hardest part for me. I can think of something and see it in my head, but getting it out into the real world, sometimes that is a different story.

Um, not exactly right yet

Um, not exactly right yet

After a couple of days of fiddling around with the concept, I finally figured out how I wanted this to look. I stitched it all together, and put it in the frame, and uh-oh! it turned out too crooked to even think about letting anyone see it in person:

Ack! too crooked!

Ack! too crooked!

This meant I had to take the whole thing apart, put it on the cutting board, and cut with the ruler and rotary cutter, then sew it all back together again. When it was all done, I put it back in the frame, used some of a glue stick to set it on the frame backing. All done:

my back to school poster

my back to school poster

I am really happy with the way this project turned out. I made mine for my adult daughter, using one of her favorite quotes and her school colors. I think this type of project would be great for any child’s room with an inspirational quote, or what about a birth announcement, or a wedding invitation, or…..What would you make? Who would you make it for?

 

Sewing Basics: 12 Things You Need To Get Started

One of my blogging friends, Linda at My 2 Crazy Curls, asked about what sewing supplies to get for someone new to sewing. In answer to her question, here is my list of 12 Basic Sewing Tools you need to get started sewing.

1. Sewing Machine

A Sewing Machine

A Sewing Machine

Of course, the very first thing you will need is a sewing machine. As someone who has been sewing for more than forty years, my advice to anyone who is just beginning to sew would be this: Get the best sewing machine you can afford. Generally, I don’t recommend buying a cheap machine from Wal-Mart. The reason for this is because it has been my experience that those machines are really only made for basic sewing tasks. Things like making repairs to ripped seams, hemming skirts and dress pants, and light crafts.

However, if you want to learn to sew to make garments for yourself and your family, you will need a better quality sewing machine. There is nothing, and I do mean NOTHING that is worse for someone new to sewing (or anyone for that matter) than to have to struggle and fight with your machine just to get it to do basic things.

My first sewing machine was a Kenmore from Sears, top of the line back in 1971. My father-in-law had bought it for his wife and she did not like it. For me, though, it was the perfect machine. It did everything I ever wanted in a sewing machine, including lots of fancy stitches and monograms. It was more machine than I needed when I first got it, but I used it until 2000, when I sold it to go traveling in an RV. The only reason I got rid of it is that it was not portable.

Make sure the machine is capable of sewing multiple layers of fabric, and that if you want to sew denim or hem jeans, you need a heavy duty machine. It needs to have at least a few basic and zig-zag stitches built in, as well as do buttonholes. If you are not sure what to buy, go to a store that sells sewing machines as a primary business. They can help you decide. Because, trust me, that cheap machine you get at Wal-Mart is NOT going to make you happy.

Now that I have given you my standard sewing machine lecture, here are 11 more things you will need to make you sewing hobby more pleasant:

2. Scissors

A good pair of scissors

A good pair of scissors

Just like with the sewing machine, you are going to need a good pair of scissors. Buy the best ones you can fit into your budget. Then when you get them home, show them to every member of the family, and tell them that if they touch them they will be shot. I mean it. The scissors you buy for your sewing room will not ever be used for anything else. Do not cut plastic, paper, cardboard, rubber bands, hair, groom your dog, or trim flowers with them. They are for one purpose only: To cut fabric. Once you use those scissors to cut anything else, they will not cut fabric smoothly.

When my children still lived at home, I put a colorful ribbon on the sewing scissors, and hung them on the wall in my sewing room when I was not using them. I had several other pairs of scissors in the house, stored in the kitchen, living room, laundry room, and bathroom. Anyone could use any of those other scissors for any reason. But, they knew better than to touch my sewing scissors.

Any brand of scissors will be fine, as long as they are made for cutting fabric. I like Fiskars, and that is the brand I have used for many years.

3. A Cutting Board

A cutting board

A cutting board

You can get several kinds of cutting boards. I have used the cardboard kind that fold up for storage, and this plastic kind. I like the plastic kind better. Using a cutting board will save your dining room from being scratched up by scissors and pins if that is the only place you have for cutting your fabric. They also have rulers printed on them with straight and bias lines, which helps you line up your fabric for cutting.

4. Hand Sewing Needles

Hand sewing needles

Hand sewing needles

Yes, even if you are sewing with a sewing machine, you will need the hand sewing needles for things like sewing on buttons, sewing hems and tacking facings. If you get them and keep them in your sewing kit, you won’t have to be running to the store for them at the last minute.

5. Extra Sewing Machine Needles

Extra Sewing machine needles

Extra Sewing machine needles

I can not tell you how many times when I first started sewing I ran out of needles for my machine. When you are learning, you do things like sew over pins, sew too fast, sew too many layers at a time, sew with improper tension, sew with the machine improperly threaded, etc. that will cause needles to break. If you have two or three packages of needles on hand, you won’t get frustrated by running out of needles at a crucial point at two in the morning.

6. Fabric Marking Pens or Pencils

Water Soluble Marking Pens

Water Soluble Marking Pens

After cutting your fabric, you will need to mark dots, notches, and darts from the pattern onto the fabric. You will need some kind of pen or pencil that washes out with water for making the marks. This helps you match up seams and helps make your garments or crafts come out perfect.

7. Measuring Tape

Measuring tape

Measuring tape

I have several measuring tapes, and use them all the time when I am sewing. Whether I am making a quilt, a tote bag, a flower girl dress, or an apron, measuring twice before cutting, and then again before sewing, helps me keep the seams straight and even. Get at least one for your sewing kit. I also like to keep one in my purse.

8. Thread

Thread

Thread

If you are just starting out building your sewing kit, I would suggest getting two or three spools each of white, black, gray, and beige threads. Don’t buy the cheap stuff in the $1 bin. You will be sorry if you do. That stuff may be inexpensive, but it will break if you sew too fast, or if the tension on your machine is not just right. It will also pill up, and make little balls of lint next to your needle, so that sometimes it will even break your sewing machine needle.

There are many different manufacturers of thread, but most of the thread in my thread bin is Coats & Clark. I use either 37% cotton/67% polyester, or 100% polyester thread. It is smooth and doesn’t break as easily as 100% cotton. If in doubt about what to buy, ask the clerk in a fabric store what is the best thread to use for the project or type of fabric you are buying. You don’t want to mess up a fabulous project with the wrong thread.

9. A Magnetic Pin Dish and Pins Pins Pins

Pins Pins and more Pins

Pins Pins and more Pins

I like to use the pins that have the little plastic beads on the top. This makes them easier to find with your eyes when you drop them on the floor so that you don’t find them with your feet. Get lots of pins. More than you think you will ever use. Because you will use them. When I am showing someone new to sewing how to get started, I always tell them to PIN PIN PIN! The more pins you use when matching up seams and notches, the better, or straighter your seam will be. So, do yourself a favor and use those pins.

Also, go to Amazon and get a Magnetic Bowl – Tool / Nut / Bolt Holder. I have used mine since we started traveling in the RV in 2000. It holds pins magnetically so they don’t spill out everywhere. My pin bowl has traveled thousands of miles and never lost a pin. I have even used it in the cab of the truck to do hand sewing when we were traveling. Once you put those pins in that dish, they are NOT coming out until you pick them up. You are welcome.

10. Seam Ripper

Seam Ripper

Seam Ripper

The seam ripper will become your best friend if you take up sewing for a hobby. I have used mine more than I ever wanted to, more than I ever want to admit. The seam ripper comes in very very handy whenever you have made a mistake, and sewn the pants legs together at the bottom. Yes, I have done that on occasion. My seam ripper was also quite handy when I was making my niece’s flower girl dress. I thought I would never get that one thing sewn right. Besides taking out incorrectly sewn seams, a seam ripper will take off buttons you want to save, rip out zippers, and cut button holes open. Get one or two.

11. Extra Bobbins

Extra Bobbins

Extra Bobbins

Do yourself a great big favor, and buy a package or two of extra bobbins for your machine.  Then make a habbit to wind two bobbins of thread before you start your project. The first thing I do when I sit down to sew is to make sure I have two (or more if it is a big project) bobbins of matching thread. It is sooooo frustrating to run out of bobbin thread when you are in the middle of a seam. If you haven’t wound that second bobbin, you have to take the project out of the machine, unthread the machine, rewind the bobbin, rethread the machine, then start over where you ran out of bobbin thread. Save yourself the headache with just the minute it takes to wind the second bobbin. No one ever told me that when I started sewing.

12. Iron and Ironing Board

Iron and Ironing Board

Iron and Ironing Board

Even if you never iron another thing in your house, if you are going to sew, you will need an iron and an ironing board.  From start to finish, you will be using these to press the fabric, press seams open, press hems, and on and on. I like a steam iron, as it helps set seams and creases in fabric. I also like a heavier iron as it doesn’t take as much effort when the iron has some weight to it.  My ironing board is a small one that sits on top of my desk when I am using it. You can also lay a towel on a flat surface if you don’t have an ironing board. Don’t skip the pressing, get an iron.

I hope this list of basic sewing tools and equipment helps you some. Do you have any other sewing questions for me?

Joann Fabric Summer Crafting Challenge #summerofjoann

The people at Joann Fabrics sent me a $25 gift card, and challenged me to make one of the projects in their Summer of Joann Kids Crafts ProjectsI took them up on the challenge, and here is how it turned out:

Mine on the left, theirs on the right.

Mine on the left, theirs on the right.

I chose to make a Drawstring Backpack, and decided to make it for my granddaughter, Sarah. My letter doesn’t stand out quite as well as theirs does, but I think I did a pretty good job. Instead of using the cord and grommets, I changed mine up and used buttonholes and a drawstring made from the fabric I used to make the letter. I learned how to use the buttonhole feature of my new sewing machine while doing this project, which was a win for me!

Drawstring backpack for Sarah

Drawstring backpack for Sarah

You can ideas for your own summer crafts at Joann Fabrics. And, if you sign up for the Joann Let’s Connect Newsletter, you can get a 20% off coupon that’s good in store or online.  OH, and if you pin my challenge pic of my version vs their version, with the hashtag @summerofjoann, I might win a $100 gift card. You know you want me to win! So get pinning, and get working on your summer crafts today!.

Picking Decorating Fabric For My Curtains

I have been dreaming about moving into this house for almost a year now, and dreaming about making curtains for a house for almost two years. Now that we are actually moving in, I better get cracking on that job! The hardest part about this whole process of making curtains, for me, is picking out the fabric for them. I can’t decide if I want to get decorating fabric, upholstery fabric, or drapery fabric. Because you know, they aren’t the same.

Decorating fabric is a lighter weight, and would let light shine through, so the room wouldn’t be as dark as if I used drapery fabric, unless I made the curtains with a lining. So, I have to ask myself if I want to get a lighter weight fabric and line them, or get a heavier drapery fabric and not have to line them. It is so hard to decide what to do. But, because I can make them myself, I can change them any time I want to without much expense.  And, I really do like some of the lighter weight fabrics.

The type of fabric to use also depends on the type of curtains I decide to make. I have been thinking about making some pricillas for the living room, but that is a lot of ruffles to make. I would also have to pick a really lightweight fabric to make those. But, if I make some casual tab top curtains, I can get a heavier weight fabric. Those tab tops would also use less fabric to make.

I am going to try to make a fabric decision tomorrow, at least for the bedroom and living room. If I can decide which fabric to get, then I can get it ordered and have in here so that I can spend time sewing next week. I just wish there weren’t so many choices!

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