Amy Butler – Free Patterns – Quilts

Whoa, I’m impressed. Photoshop Elements Version 10 really allowed me to show you some of the free patterns that Amy Butler has to offer on her website for quilters.

I’m not a quilter, but I know there are lots of you out there. And maybe one of the  quilts shown above might interest you.

To get these free patterns, visit Amy Butler’s site. Go to the free patterns and download the PDF formated file. Each file consists of instructions and measurements.

Envelope Back Pillow

Recently I made drapes for my son’s girlfriend’s town house. Once I finished all of them I had fabric left over. I told her I would make some pillows, for when she puts her place up for sale it’ll look a lot more cozy and comfy.

Now I am one of those crafters that well I can create without patterns nor using the net to find instructions on how to make items. I had seen some where, where you could make pillows that had an opening in the back to slip a pillow cover on it. So basically I took the material figured how I was going to make them and just sewed them up.  I didn’t even know these pillows had names. Yeah they are called envelope back pillows, I can see where they got the name too.

If you click the link it’ll take you to a site with instructions on how to make them, below is how I did it, using home decor fabric. Some of the sites that I visited on how to make these, they had added embellishments, the fabric my son’s girlfriend wanted, no embellishment needed. Look very professional and expensive as well.

Cream color fabric was a silky material and raveled like crazy. The red and brown fabric was a lot heavier and there was a tendency to ravel but not as much. With both fabrics I turned the ends over twice,  these ends are the opening to stuff the pillow, consider the ends hems, one on each side. I then folded the material a few inches so that the material would overlap on both sides when the pillow was inside. I stitched along both the bottom area where the folds were and at the clean edge. This makes the envelope opening cleaner.

Put the fabric on the table, placed the pillow form on top, folded the finished edge to the area of the pillow i wanted it placed. Then I took the rest of the fabric folded it over to figure how much material was needed to finish off the other end. Did the other end like above. Then placed the pillow again on the wrong side of fabric and folded each end, trying to keep the envelop opening centered or to my liking. Slipped the pillow out making my markings where the openings were to be set, pinned and then stitched 1/4 inch seam. measured the pillow to 15 inches (14 inch pillow form) and did 1/4 on the other side for a seam. At each corner cut a slant towards the seam. Flipped the fabric inside out and then slipped the pillow form inside. There was a good amount of overlay that you could not see the pillow form.

Sorry but the pictures are blurry but you can see the envelop opening in both pillows above, where as I could not find that with other sites I visited. And you can see the end product with the others. They look really nice and it was a big surprise on her part.

Best thing to do, buy pillow forms when JoAnn’s has them on sale for 50% off! I can just see taking a stock pile of pillow forms and taking remnants of fabric, making these Envelope Pillow Covers and having your daughter fill up her bed with them.

We have an addition

We’ve been thinking for a long period of time if we should get a playmate for our 10 year old husky shepherd mix Maggie. Maggie been feeling sluggish and well with her tendon issue in her paw, we weren’t sure if it would help or hinder.

Our kids felt the same way I did that it would be good therapy. After Christmas I started searching web-sites for huskies and german shepherds in our area. There were several out there to choose from but do I want an older dog or a pup. Decisions, decisions. There were two older dogs that were shepherds, they were sisters, they didn’t want to split them up, but then again could we take on two more? Or if we did take just one, where they bigger than our Maggie? I ran into one husky however the pictures didn’t show his face. It appeared to be a nice dog, however this one was a puppy. I know how puppies are but was it worth a try?

We contacted the Romeoville Humane Society in Illinois. We filled out the necessary paperwork and emailed. The next day we got a call we would get to see Prince on Tuesday. The Romeoville Humane Society doesn’t have a faculty for their animals, instead they have people that keep the animals at their houses until there is a potential adoption. The person brings the animal to the house and well with Prince they had to make sure that we had a fenced in yard with no way for him to escape. Price is known to run away and oh my gawd what a jumper!

Well we were approved, but would Maggie approve? They indicated to us that we could keep Prince for a day to see how the two got along. Whew that was neat, a trial period. Things where okay the first evening, however Prince likes to sleep in bed. Uh oh that’s gonna be a big issue. We accepted it the first night, however the next we had to close the doors to the bedrooms, sorry Maggie you’ll have to sleep in the hall just one night.

As you can tell we still have Prince, but his name is not Prince anymore, its now CJ. How has things been with the two. Well they get along, and yeah CJ likes to get Maggie to jump around, but we limit it due to her tendon issue, but they get along just great. There are some issues, like if I go to take CJ for a walk Maggie gets upset, dang one day I ended up having both of them. Maggie can’t handle long walks. Oh the toy issue, OMG, laughs, I have more torn up toys than I ever had (oh I got two free teddy bears buying greeting cards, they had beads in them, uhm yeah CJ ripped it open, stuffing and beans all over the place). And if Maggie has one of her favorite toys, CJ comes and grabs it, yeah there is growling at times, but we try to teach CJ no its Maggies’. Oh but wait Maggie is no angel herself….

One morning I was getting ready to do some chores. I decided that I would not put CJ in the cage (yes I put the cage up so CJ sleeps in it at night or when I will be out for a period of time – at night he doesn’t fight it but during the day I am running around the house trying to get him) . So I told CJ no, no walk, so CJ walked away and then Maggie came to the door. I said no Maggie, not now, I have to go out, as my arms where filled with packages. Well I tried to squeeze through the door and what does Maggie do, she takes a run for it and out the door she is. CRAP! and then who sees Maggie is out CJ. There he goes too! OMG OMG OMG. I try carefully to get them to come back to me but HELL NO – their making their Great Escape. I had to yell to our daughter as she came, I was already down the block. Yeah it took over an hour to get CJ, we got Maggie but no leash but a coat belt does wonders. CJ ended up running all over but we got him cornered in a fenced in yard and the lady who lived there – had a dog so we got a leash from her.

Yeah its nice to have CJ, but like hubby says, its like having kids again. Training CJ is a task, however Maggie is a good teacher. She has already showed CJ that when you come into the house with dirty paws, you lay on the sheet and let them get cleaned. We must say one thing about CJ, for being a 10 month old puppy, he is trained and listens well. CJ has taken over Maggie’s corner of the couch, but we let Maggie get up first and then CJ can then scoot next to her. Maggie is such a good dog, will be a mommy for CJ and well CJ, he will be good too as time goes on. Isn’t he a beautiful dog! We really got lucky with a great find! Now we are still wondering, will CJ grow into his paws or his ears? When our son comes over to visit he keeps asking CJ are you like Dumbo the Elephant, look at those ears!

Hit a landmark – oh boy – what I win

Wow I just posted my 165 post with 590 words. They said it was an accomplishment.

WTG! Geez now that is what I call exciting.

So do I win anything? Nah, well yeah I do… All you people reading my blog. Thats the winning part.

Okay those curtains are calling me.

How to keep mice and other small rodents away

Okay okay okay. This is more a guy thing but you never know us ladies might be interested in this. And you never know a guy might need an answer and us women can have the upper hand and get brownie points knowing this.

So like we have the cave. We have a forest next door. We have lots of mice and chipmunks, skunks, oppossum, raccoons and more. And yes we do have squirrels and we have our dog Maggie. And Maggie loves to kill them all, well she knows to refrain from skunks.

So how do you keep these varments from invading your cave and not chew up wires on newly built cars? Or you have a boat that you store on your property, or do you have a RV that sits dormant?

Irish Spring and Moth Balls is your next best answer to keep them at bay. Well you don’t want to have Irish Spring Soap around cause like in our case, Maggie doesn’t have a potty mouth and well the taste ain’t to great. It kills the palette.

What I’ve been doing the last two years is buying moth balls and flakes. Last year i went to the Dollar Tree and bought some small boxes for showers. Punched holes in the boxes and dropped moth balls in them. Closed them up and put around the cave. This year since the boxes decay, I took Crystal Lite plastic containers punched holes in the upper part of the container and then dropped moth balls in them and put the top on. The plastic holds the smell and doesn’t decay.

Now for the car, what i did was I took fabric, can’t think of the name but used for tutus… yeah i could look it up but heck, I’m blogging I don’t have time to do a google search and by the time i am ready to post this I might have thought of the name. I took and cut a square of the fabric and put either moth balls or flakes in it. Then I bunched up the fabric and tied with thin fishing line. Left enough line to make a loop so that they could hang in the engine compartment and also the cab of the car. After time the flakes dissolve, however is very effective.

Last word, put on a gas mask if you have lots in the small enclosed area. OMG, talk about smell, waves hand and holds nose. Whew what a smell. I mean we could be more than six feet away from that cave and you can smell the moth balls. Let alone you get to the area and open it up, holds on to something before she falls!

When you make these, shall i call them smoke bombs, make sure you wear some disposable gloves, cause your hands will smell for a long time!

So ladies, now you have the upper hand on how to keep those lil critters away from your guys boats, rv’s, classic cars, etc. And just think, they didn’t just have you around for looks!

Just to let you know, Maggie was good and didn’t touch, as we did have a dog that ate them but no harm to them, but still a precaution, keep the boxes hidden so your pet doesn’t get to them. Now I don’t know if they are keeping our visitor the cat from jumping into the jeep and chillin, but we did find lil foot prints on the console and hubby wasn’t too happy.

Cave gets new fabric panels

Well it was time to make new covers for the cave as the weather wore away the old ones. With the winds here in Chicago two years did them in, as well as the snow storm we had last year. I used duck cloth to construction these panels. Windows have plastic screening and can be rolled up on cold days when the heater is being used and air flow allows the smell out from the tank.

I decided to make changes from my first ones I made and the thinking process still works. With the changes on these fabric covers on this structure I made it easier to sew up and install.

The last one that I made I had constructed the panels to be held by using straps to hold against the steel rod frames using heavy duty snaps. However with the Chicago winds, the snaps would either open or break loose from the fabric. So instead I used heavy duty adhesive velcro. I applied the velcro to the steel rods and used wire ties to secure the velcro as we all know adhesive tends to wear down with time. I then made my fabric panels in three parts. Yes I reused part of the old cover for this one so I did not have to reconstruct and make new straps for the top attachment to the rods. You can see the different color straps, blue, against the green fabric. With the economy the way it is, I was better off saving money.

In the above photo you can see what the cover looks like closed. And yes it has windows in the front, with a zipper down the middle. The type of zipper I used was a sleeping bag zipper. It was long enough.

In this photo you can see how you can easily roll up the side while working in the structure. On the top I again used the heavy duty adhesive velcro, however I did use industrial glue spray to keep the velcro on both the top and side fabric so that with time it would still hold up. I found that even though it has adhesive on the velcro it would detach from the fabric, thus the spray. 3M has a great adhesive, however costly <thank you Bob for the glue, winks>. On this panel I did sew several straps for added precaution of the winds, however it was not needed when I constructed the second panel, but the straps are nice when you roll up the individual panels.

This is the final photo showing both panels rolled up and opened. Nice easy access to the structure. See the jeep, that is what the guys were building for the last two years. Nice huh. Not bad for a project and when you don’t have a garage to build, next best thing is the “cave”.

Hope you like, now if only we can get the insurance company to get the car insured for its worth, we would be happy. We are still awaiting word, they are currently using the Blue Book Value of the 86 CJ. Uhm so the pictures we gave you.. you can’t tell that its customized, classic and wasn’t bought off a used car lot? Scratches head, something wrong with the picture? Uhm well we can take our business to a company that deals with classic custom cars. And we aren’t your average Joe that buys a custom classic car for big bucks to drive around in saying yeah nice huh and just think I just put money down to look good. Not us we are not that average Joe, we actually bought, built and can go driving around turning heads and say “We built it all from used and new parts”. It was a great learning process and one day our son will teach his son, well his girlfriend wants to build one now…. no son yet.

JoAnn Fabrics – Be warned

Go to to read reviews on other JoAnn experiences or to post your complaint or approval. I am contacting my customer for window treatments to see if she might consider a different fabric.

I haven’t blogged in a long time, but need to get the word out. I not only go to JoAnns for my items, but my daughter is there almost weekly purchasing items for her art projects. I’ve since started taking her to Hobby Lobby as their costs are lower and fits her pocketbook (omg am I old or what) however I usually end up paying cause her college fees are very high and heck what are mothers, parents for? Continue reading…..

Order two special orders for a job that I was hired to do to make window treatments. Purchases were made at Joanns in Darien Illinois, the closest store for me. And I frequent this store a lot and well am considering to drive the extra mileage to the one in Lombard.

First special order – was told 2 rolls needed to be ordered, 8 yards on each roll, to complete my allotment of 11 yards of fabric for windows, unless I wanted to go to Orland Square or Countryside, nope I don’t want to drive! Told me fabric was in warehouse would be in about a week. Fine no problem and I was able to use the 50% off coupon. This order was around 420 bucks regular price, fabric was around 35 bucks a yard, with coupon saved 192 bucks. My customer was satisfied with the great savings!

Second order – new flyer, 50% off all home decor fabric PLUS a coupon for 25% entire order even sale items. Ordered 13 yards, 2 rolls needed. As I worked with the gal she said are you sure? She was trying to have me buy what they had in stock and I don’t think they had 13 yards and she scanned the bar code and only 10 yards. I mean I was just there a week ago. Placed my order, regular price was around 520 bucks, fabric was 40 bucks a yard. My total sale again with the additional 25% off was around 220. My customer was satisfied with the savings I made on this order as well. When I went to pay for my items, fabric, additional supplies and my own purchases, the manager asked me which order did I want to use the 25% coupon for. I told him that the 25% coupon was good for any and all purchases during a 3 day time frame, that I would be using it on all transactions (had to have 3 done – special orders rung up separately). I even read the fine print making sure special orders where allowed. Now him being the manager **HE** should know the sales flyer and coupons – right?!?

First special order came in the day after I placed my second order, went in the following Monday. Was hoping that they could cut the fabric in 2.5 yard panels as I don’t have a proper table to measure and cut fabric. The gal checked with the manager and he said “Corporate Policy” can only make one cut, in this case two rolls, two cuts. Okay fine so I end up cutting on the floor. When I was having the fabric measured, I indicated **several** times that the panels had to be 2.5 yards. When the girl and I were working on the measuring she indicated that the first roll had just under 10 yards however she said it could be 10 yards depending on the area in question. I told her no we will cut part of the order from one roll and the rest from the 2nd roll. Well I ended up having the fabric cut incorrectly because the gal was #1 not listening to my detail of what the length was needed for each panel and i repeated myself several times, #2 she seemed nervous as she had a twitch when working which in return made me nervous and #3 when she measured the fabric on the machine, she did not have it in straight and I was nervous that the fabric would be cut crooked. Oh and it ended up that after she cut the 8 yards I asked her how much was on the remaining roll because I would be interested in purchase to make another item, ends up there was 1 yard 32 inches – just think she continued to say 10 yards, I would have been shorted! Instead of having 7.5 yards on one roll and 3.5 on the other it was cut 8 and 3. I had ordered extra fabric because i had to order to the nearest yard and at the time of ordering i thought i needed 10 yards 8 inches but in fact i could get by with 10. Well I ended up taking the fault as I left the store and got to my car when I realize the error. I said chalk it up.

Just received a call from them today on my special order for 13 yards. They indicated that the fabric is on back order til after Thanksgiving. That is fine with me **HOWEVER** the flagship sunset fabric has a distinct pattern in it. I need exactly 5 panels for two windows. The bigger window will need three panels – one panel will have to be matched up to the other two which can be done, **HOWEVER** JoAnns needs to know that their “”CORPORATE POLICY”” will have to go to the wastebasket in order to provide proper customer service in me making these window treatments. I indicated to the gal who called me that I will have to match up 3 panels in order for the item to look professional, my mom, a seamstress taught me well – she said she understood my concern. I asked her to put on my order “customer needs to be there when fabric is cut as there is a distinct pattern and has to match”. She did not indicate that she would put it on the order just that she would talk to “RALPH”, manager (by the way who interviewed me for a job **TWICE** and I was not hired probably due to my availability when I spoke to the other manager and she said they needed people working the afternoon and I put on my app that I could work afternoon til evening). I indicated to the caller, I would contact the Corporate Headquarters regarding this issue of cutting fabric and indicated if there was an issue I would probably purchase additional fabric to make pillows.

I know this is lengthly but since I’ve been “HIRED” to make these window treatments, I want them to be just right to **MY** Customer’s Satisfaction NOT JoAnn’s. And to think the manager who interviewed me, afterwards checked me out twice after the interview DID NOT recognize me as a potential employee until the 3rd time he checked me out and yesterday stated gee you are here a lot. I responded to him yeah just think you could see me everyday if you hired me. And the kicker on the second interview (I applied twice in a one year time frame) a CUSTOMER came to me asking if I ever made fabric purses and what type of interfacing did I use. As I do make fabric purses, we went to the interfacing and we discussed the different types and I told her she would probably have to use the heavy weight for the product she was making. Do you think, do you think that the manager would put this in perspectives during the interview process as he saw me working with her? NO! And I even indicated to the manager I am always thinking outside the box when I am making items for home. I indicated to the manager that I made something special for my husband to protect his car he built and I had to **create** my own pattern for the project! Geez I would love to apply at a different JoAnn’s and throw it in his face. All the employees at this JoAnns seem to be helpful to a point but it appears that the employees seem “scared” or uncertain, is it the manager causing this uneasiness towards his employees? Maybe a good thing that I am not working there.