Category Archives: projects

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.

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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.

Ice Luminaries for the season

Last year in one of the woman’s magazines that I read I saw a project for the holiday season, ice luminaries. There are so many ways that you can create these lovely lanterns. This past week-end I went ahead and started making a few just for fun. Of course when the freezer was opened the remarks were, what are you doing now! Then my spouse saw a program on Sunday on making them.

The supplies are very simple and if you have temperatures way below 30 degrees you can actually freeze these luminaries outside instead of using the freezer. You can use all types of plastic containers to make your luminaries. If I drank pop from 2 liter containers I would have started saving them up so that I could line my sidewalk, however I am not a pop drinker. Instead I used my food containers for these luminaries and luck would have it, our snow has melted so you do get the full effect of the outcome. Geez do I see a trend of my luck lately with weather??

Here are my basic supplies. Two tall containers, both a square and round one. Then some simple items that were frozen into the ice, tinsel, Christmas ornaments and plastic garland (not shown). The pebbles were used to put in smaller containers (and the crystal light could be used as well to give a deeper depth inside the container to place your candle).  When using items to be frozen into the water, you need to do it in layers so that the items don’t float on top of the water.

Not only could you use everyday plastic containers, but you can use like i stated above 2 liter containers, milk jugs, smooth cans, plastic ice cream containers, the list is endless. And you don’t necessarily need to put decorations into your containers, you can just leave them as a block of ice with a candle in the center.

Basically you put a smaller container inside the bigger container after filling it with water. To keep the smaller container from floating around, place some rocks, pebbles, whatever you have available. This will keep the container to set in place during the freezing process. Once the freezing process is done either through the freezer or outside all you need to do is pop the ice from the containers, outside and inside.

Now like I indicated the rain and warm weather has dampened my opportunity to show what they look like outside in the snow, pout. So instead I merely put them on a plate and took pictures. I can even see this being used as a center piece on the table,]. You can use different size containers grouped together in a round shallow glass pan that has garland wrapped around the luminaries with some decorative Christmas items, like holly or ornaments. You can even use those scented pine cones, thus you are also giving off a nice scent. You will have to make sure that you use some protective item under the glass pan, so that it doesn’t freeze to the table and ruining the furniture, a simple round cork placemat, pot holder or even a folded washcloth.

Not only can you use these as a center piece, to line your sidewalk, driveway, but you can put on your porch, using different sizes, heights placed on a table at the door with your other decorative items. You can even place on on each step up to the house. You don’t have to have clear ice either, put some food coloring into the water to get a nice soft glow effect. What about freezing chunks of ice then breaking the chunks into smaller pieces then placing into another container and then adding cold water to get another effect of your luminary.

Here are the results of my luminaries. If we get some snow, I will be making more to line on our stairs and I will use more than just what I had on hand, milk jugs anyone!

Candles with a cherry Christmas feel

Thought I would do some simple and not so simple projects for the candles around the house to get a festal feeling. The downfall, the one design chosen, to the majority of the simple projects… didn’t want to co-operate! Ho Hum!

The first simple project was to simply stitch out the design on water soluble stabilizer, dissolve the stabilizer and then simply place the design on a candle. Simple, very, but like I said if the design would have stitched appropriately it would have looked even more elegant once the design was placed on the candle. Even though the design is already sticky from the stabilizer I would still put glue on the design to make sure that it adheres. The other nice thing about doing this, you can easily take the item and put on a new candle. The outline of the design screwed up and well we are not all perfect.

The next simple project was to make a candle sleeve for the candles that my hubby loves to burn. Yeah I like to cause some trouble cause he would complain about it some how. Basically you take some tulle and water soluble stabilizer and hoop, then stitch out the design. Once done you simply cut the tulle to the size of your candle glass, height and width, sew a seam and ta da, slip it on the glass. You can even embellish the sleeve by putting decorative trim on the bottom or top or both. Another item that you can use over and over again. If I forgot to mention, you need to wash out the stabilizer.

Now for the more complex project, grrrrr! I don’t even know what to call it, so I will just call it the candle cover.

I saw this idea last year at sewing class and I really did like it. Couldn’t find my instructions so I was on my own. This project is to take 4 5 x 7 picture frames, screw small hinges on each side of the frame on the top and bottom. You will have problems with the last side because you have a square but if you leave the glass out of the last frame until you get the hinges screwed in place it’ll work. Was I successful with the hinges, remember this was a idea for my blog, I used packing tape to put em together, so I cheated. You will see at the end what I am going to use mine for.

Please be advised that each frame will need two pieces of glass. Go to your nearest hardware store and purchase additional clear glass, they will cut it to the size you need. You might even want to see if you can purchase thin plexiglass to use instead. Glass is not very expensive, where the plexiglas will be much more.

Since this was a sample for my blog I only did 3 designs in different fabrics. Well I will not do this on sheer silk again. Very hard to work with. Working with the tulle was great and I got the effect that I wanted. You can even check your fabric store for sheer fabrics with winterland scenes on it. You don’t want to just stitch on the fabric, you want to bunch it up to get a layered look, so make sure you use more than enough fabric when hooping. Take some water soluble place it on the hoop, bunch up the fabric and place it on top of the stablizer, once you feel you are happy with how the fabric looks, hoop it. Prior to stitching you will place another piece of water soluble on top of the fabric. The reason you are putting stabilizer on the top and bottom is to keep the fabric lying properly when you start stitching

Once all stitching is completed you take an ear cleaner and wet to remove the stabilizer around the edges. If you get it all wet, then you will have to wait for it to dry.After cleaning the clear pieces of glass, place the fabric and center the design. Prior to putting the other piece of glass on top, play with the fabric to get a neat effect, overlap the fabric, swirl it around, once you think you have the effect that you want, then put the other piece of glass on top. With the tulle I was able to bunch it up to keep a effect that would look good once the candle would glow through the glass. On the two designs that I used the sheer silk with, I had to take something thinner than a popsicle stick to push the fabric between the two pieces of glass. I don’t care for the effect of the material on the green fabric, however the red, I love it! But then I had to figure how to play with the fabric. You will cut all the excess fabric around the pieces of glass. Place into frame and secure. Now you have your candle cover. You can use all the same fabric and use different designs for each frame.

If you like this idea, you can easily just do one picture frame, placing the candle behind the frame. You would have to get a piece of cork and cut it to the appropriate size and then take small nails and nail the cork into the frame’s bottom.

This project would make a great gift idea. Now what I am going to do with my 3 different frames. They will be used for gifts that can either be hung on the wall or placed in a window. Look look very attractive sitting in the window of my kitchen for the photos below. You can look at the layering effect on each one, again the tulle, I didn’t have to play so much as I did with the green and red. I really do like the swirls in the red.