Tuesday, November 27, 2018

10 Minute Table Runner

Table Runner
A quick and easy table runner using just two pieces of coordinating fabric.  For the center you'll need 1/3 of a yard of fabric.  For the back and the border you will need 1/2 yard of fabric.  The construction takes just four seams.  Add a button to the place where the end seam meets, or embellish with any trim or appliqué that you wish.  Batting for the table runner is optional.  But if you choose to use it you will want a width that corresponds to the finished width of the runner when you get the pieces sewn together.  If I wanted a little padding I would use 1/2 yard of pre-washed flannel and adhere it to the wrong side of the 1/2 yard fabric and treat it as one piece.

This first try at the 10 minute table runner actually took me 30 + minutes but I added some stitching on the triangle ends, and it was the trial run.  Still pretty fast.

This runner is an outdoor, black and white holiday theme; but any theme could be incorporated.  Just choose two contrasting fabrics that reflect the theme. The white fabric shown here actually has a silver speck throughout the fabric.  The black fabric features a deer and trees and several holiday themed phrases: "peace," "happy holidays, " and other phrases that invoke the holiday spirit.


Enjoy sewing creatively.
Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices.Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Vintage Paper Pieced Trees - a project inspired.

I was gifted with several paper-pieced trees and wanted to do something special with them.

Vintage paper pieced trees - not quite precise were pressed and put into groups of four.

Each tree, in the individual groups, was turned so that regardless of which way the topper was turned, at least one tree would be positioned standing.  The tree squares were joined together with a sashing (approx. 1 inch finished).  The block was trimmed to be a 15.5 inch by 15.5  inch square however it seemed that the center was too bland - too much blank space. So...

Triangles were appliquéd into the center space to form a quirky square that called to mind a star, although with only four points.  This particular topper was accented with yellow.  The finished topper is approximately 15 inches by 15 inches square - although the perspective of the photo makes it seem otherwise.

Two additional toppers were made.  One accented with red sashing and a another with green.  While not clearly visible in these photos, there was accent stitching in the featured color (red, green, or yellow) along each side of the trees.  That stitching is somewhat visible in the picture of the red accented topper.
The accent color gave each of these toppers their own personality.  The backing for these toppers corresponded to the accent fabric.
Fun, fun... a fun project to see these topers evolve from these paper pieced trees into uniquely fun pieces for the holiday.


Enjoy sewing creatively.
Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices.Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Camouflage in the Kitchen - Not Your Usual Decor

Kitchen Decor - Camouflage in the Kitchen

The request was to make some valances for the kitchen windows, a table runner, some place mats and whatever else...

So what colors or theme do you want for your kitchen?  Apples, chefs, pineapples, red, blue???? The answer "camo."  Me: "Camo?"  Yes, he wanted camo.  Not military camo, but more the duck hunting camouflage type.  So the hunt was on (pun intended).  I found this "Camo Ground Cover Tan Fabric."  It was just what was needed.  So  the next question was, "What color/s can I put with this to give it a little pop?"  I immediately got a phone call, "What do you mean, color?  If you put in color it would not be camouflage."  I could only use the colors that were in the camouflage material: browns, tans, ....  In the process, I discovered what he really wanted was a table topper not a runner for his breakfast nook table -- another fabric and set of place mats and so forth would include the table runner, but not this project.  So, here's what came about for his camo kitchen.

All were a "hit" including the potholders with the ducks flying over the pond, despite the "no color" mandate.  Fun success.

Enjoy sewing creatively.
Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices.Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Big Mug Mats - 6 inch hexagon

Related image

Big Mug Mats

Some who try to drink an ample amount of water each day use large thermo mugs in order to keep track of what they are drinking and to keep the water handy throughout the day.  These mugs call for BIG mug mats.

Here's a simple design that makes up in just a few minutes, uses small pieces of orphan material and gives those water drinkers a home for their BIG mugs.  We included some "moon" themed fabric in these mug mats as they are intended for someone who we love "to the moon and back."  It's always fun to create something that contains a message or hidden meaning even if it is only known to you.  Each of the backs of these mug mats are a small floral print (gray) on black.
Resources that will be helpful in making your own.

  1. 6 inch hexagon plexiglass template: Amazon.com has a variety of rulers - search for "Hexagon Ruler" - my recommendations include the Fons and Porter template or the Joan Wright template.
  2. Video demonstrating the technique and procedure for making the big mug mat.
    Craft Genie demostrates making square, round and the hexagon mug mat.  The technique is the same for any size mug mat.  The hexagon instruction starts at 6:44.  "Folded Fabric Coasters."  (WEB) https://youtu.be/s2RZ9Lwom40   
  3. You can also convert these mats to hot pads by putting a piece of heat resistant fabric inside the layers.  We recommend Insul-Bright, a reflective batting that has a reflective side to reflect heat and cold back to the source. Available from a variety of sources and most often comes in a one yard x 45 inch piece.

Enjoy sewing creatively.
Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices.Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sewing: Using a Pressing Hem and Casing Guide

Watch this video at http://bit.ly/hemguides.
The Crafty Gemini explains how to use (and to make your own hem pressing template). We’ve created our version of the hem template for you.

                     For a downloadable pdf to click here.  Once the PDF is downloaded, print landscape                             style at 80%.  Double check the measurements for accuracy as sizing shifts in images                           etc. as they are downloaded to different computers.

To use the hem pressing guide, place the card stock on the wrong side of the fabric, fold over the fabric to the pressing line and press it with the iron.

Using the guide should result in crisper and more accurate hems or casings.

© 2018 Green Frog Gifts

Enjoy sewing creatively.
Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices.Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Denim Projects - a Challenge

Denim Projects

Our local sewing guild president issued a denim challenge.  "Make and share an item made with 50% or more denim."

So here are my challenge contributions.

The first thing I did was solicit denim to recycle - son and spouse had many to-be-discarded levis/denim jeans so I started cutting them apart.

My first project would be placemats.  I decided to make 12 place mats - 6 blue themed and 6 red themed.

The denim pieces were sewn into placemat sized pieces for the top of the placemat.

Once the denim had been cut apart I ordered interfacing and bandanas for the back side of the placemats.

 Once that was done, I needed to get some bias tape to finish off the edges but first I wanted to make the napkins; they would be double-sided.  By doing these first I would know of any left over pieces that I could use in the embellishments on the placemats themselves.  And then I would construct the bands of fabric for the embellishments on each placemat.  I needed some coordinating fabric for each of the blue napkins and the red napkins.

So with a dozen place mats and napkins completed, I decided to tackle some other projects using the denim  that I had collected.  The next items were all constructed from recycled denim.
The next project started because I saw a project on Pinterest that was created from pieces of denim woven into a piece of fabric that would be suitable for the bag or purse.  The original had folded denim used as the woven fabric.  I decided to just use a single layer to avoid the bag from being too heavy.


The first task was to cut the strips and then to weave the strips into a solid unit that could be cut appropriately to make the bag that I had planned.  After weaving the strips, I used a scrolling stitch to stabilize the weaving.  Once the fabric was stabilized I cut the bag from the large piece of fabric.  
To locate additional details regarding how to make a simple bag using an affordable pattern go to the post on this website: "Sewing Hack - Thanks to Margaret Knight" at http://bit.ly/DIYbag101.  Exact size does not matter -- adapt to fit your purposes.

Since this particular project was to be a book bag for when I visited schools to read, I inserted a few "squares" of book fabric in the woven spots - this was done before the scroll stitching was done.  Inserting the focus squares allowed the fabric to be tucked under the other strips, and for them to be top stitched down when the fabric was stabilized.
Beatrix Potter's characters were represented along with The Ugly Duckling, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three little Pigs, and the Three Bears.
Since when I visit schools and when I plan to use this book bag, I generally do not carry a separate purse so the inside of this bag has pockets, including a key pocket with a clip for keys to be attached.  Other pockets are designed for a iPad, ID, money, and any necessary cards.

The next project was a 5 x7 case intended to hold together note cards.  I often attend meetings where I want to take notes but the meeting notes does not fill and entire notebook and I am left with a couple of pages filled and then have to search through pages to find the information I want.  So instead I take notes on note cards but then ... want to keep the filled cards separate from the blank ones, until I am able to file them with the appropriate organization.  This pouch was the perfect thing to keep those cards organized. 

Inside is just one cloth divider which is utilized to keep the cards which have been used separated from those that are blank for future use.  A pen can be clipped to the cloth divider.
A third project was a simple small purse with a shoulder strap.

A small purse was created with more denim.  I experimented with making the flap, that is folded over the top, a little narrower so as not to interfere with the shoulder straps.  The inside has a multitude of little pockets to hold keys, wallet, etc.  The lining was made from small pieces of blue fabric left over from a previous project.  

The next project was one intended to figure out the often pictured bags made from the legs of denim jeans.  I had many that I had cut from the denim jeans previously donated.  
The pieces were eight inches high which should be high enough for a suitable bag.  What I did not factor in was the flare that most legs have -- narrower at the bottom or narrowing to the top.  I made one and the flare, even a gentle flare, created a problem as the lining was created and folded.  So I recut the fabric making the width standard on the way up and cutting out the heavy seam so as to make the boxing at the bottom more manageable. But in doing so, the width of the pant leg seemed all to small for a bag the size I wanted.  These two were created with those recut pant legs and lined and cuffed with fabric and lace.  They would be suitable for a small gift, or nursery items (cotton balls, q-tips, etc.).  

The final project was to make Christmas stockings.  Simply cut around a favorite stocking you own or search, on the Internet, for a pattern the size you want.  (I like the pattern linked from this tutorial.) I did not line the denim portion of the sock as it seemed heavy enough without added padding or a lining.  The toe accent and the pocket were sewn on before stitching the front and the back together.   The cuff was sewn as a separate section much as one would sew a cuff on a pillow case.  The cuff can be any width one wishes.  The seam is hidden when the cuff is folded down over the stocking body.

I made three of the stockings -- all pretty much the same.  However with the pocket it is pretty easy to make some additions to change the focus of the stocking and to individualize the stocking to coordinate with a particular theme, book, or other gift.
For example the stocking on the left has the addition of a fabric rose, and a cardinal locket that is an added gift for a collector of cardinals of all types.  The center stocking is intended for a young reader who LOVES penguins.  I will add the stocking to a gift that will include:
Those items are the only ones I made for this challenge but there are many more items that can be made from recycled denim: aprons, book covers, iPad covers, all sizes of purses, and hot pads.  Check http://www.pinterest.com/barbara0101/make-it-with-denim/ for some other useful ideas.  As with the projects we shared here - take the idea and adapt it for yourself.  If you have a great project, please share a picture and any description/instructions you would like to share.  Thanks.

Enjoy sewing creatively.

Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices.
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.