Friday, June 29, 2012

Art and Soul Boutique...LOVE IT!!!

I love my job.  Melissa sent me a text a couple of weeks ago and asked me what size skirt I wore.  I sent her my size and a few days later I got the CUTEST skirt in the mail! They even sent a cute shirt for Thing 5.

Art and Soul Boutique (Bercot Children's wear) has a great selection of all American made, boutique children's wear and women's clothing.  The shirt that Thing 5 is wearing is a nice blend of  poly, rayon, and linen. I washed it before she wore it and it held it's shape beautifully. The fabric is so soft. It is sure to be a favorite.
I am wearing the "Lots O Pink" skirt. It is 100% cotton with a cotton/lycra yoga band. The waist is such a cute pink and white polka dot print (too bad that after giving birth to 5 kids I don't tuck things in!)

The skirt is embellished with a "ditty pocket" (I got so many compliments on the pocket!) and handmade cluney lace from Poland along the bottom.

 I wore it to three different events and got so...many compliments.  It was so comfortable.  I even wore it to sit in front of a cornfield! (doesn't everyone love to sit by the corn?)

I hate things touching my waist and I loved the yoga band.  One problem I have with other skirts that have yoga bands is that they are usually really bulky.  I have enough bulk in my tummy area without adding to it.  This yoga waist is very thin and adds NO bulk.  The skirt as a whole was very flattering (or so I was told) and I felt so cute wearing it.  I washed it and it ironed really well and looks as good as new.  I am a fan.  I love everything about it and wouldn't change a thing.  I am already planning my next order!
Thank you Art & Soul!  Shop Art and Soul Boutique at

This is Melissa. I just want to mention that I rarely have time to sew. Kristine and her team at Art & Soul create sweet, lovely clothing for women of all sizes and children who love beautiful, affordable, handmade clothing. Everything is made in the USA! How rare is that? I feel great knowing my purchase is supporting a woman owned business. Treat yourself to something you will love to wear!

Psssst! Even better - right now they are having their annual Studio Sale! Run!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Cutest Baby Quilt Tutorial.....(Part1)

Happy Tuesday!!!  When Melissa and I started talking about doing tutorials I figured that I would just link to other really creative blogs.  I am so excited that I haven't had to do that yet.  This job has got my creative juices flowing!

I grew up in the west and went to college in Idaho and Utah.  Those are two of the craftiest states I have ever lived in!  One of my favorite baby gifts are blankets that have a crocheted border. Most of the quilt shops in Utah and Idaho sell them in kits.  The kit includes a burp cloth and a flannel blanket that has been hemstitched around.  All you have to do is is crochet around them.
I assumed that you could buy these anywhere, but when we moved to Iowa they were nowhere to be found.  I decided that there had to be a way that I could make them.  I figured it out and while I still stock up when I am out west, I make a lot of my own.  I am going to put a new spin on these.  They are usually made with two pieces of flannel hemstitched together.  I decided that I would make this kind of like a whole cloth quilt and instead of putting on a traditional binding I would crochet around it with chenille yarn.  Here is what you need.

2- one yard cuts of fabric. (you can make it bigger or smaller depending on what size you want to make.
1- piece of batting a little bit bigger than your fabric
coordinating thread
hemstitch needle
crochet hook
chenille yarn

Here is a picture of a blanket made I made using flannel and the chenille yarn.

These are the fabrics that I am using for the whole cloth quilt with chenille binding.
Isn't it going to be cute?  The fabric is Crazy Love Priscilla Orange by Jennifer Paganelli and
Crazy Love Cecilia Pink by Jennifer Paganelli. I love them!

Step 1- Layer your quilt (back, batting, top) and baste.  I like to use a spray baster but some people prefer to use safety pins

Step 2- Machine quilt.  You can straighline quilt it, free motion, or you could even tie it.  You just have to make sure that the fabrics are securely fastened together.

I know that you are dying for the rest of the directions so tune in next Tuesday for the 2nd installment of The Cutest Baby Quilt Tutorial.
Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pillow Napper (This Tutorial is Brought To You Courtesy of Ambien....)

I would first like to thank the fine makers of Ambien.  Last night I had planned to link with someone else's tutorial and leave it at that.  Then I took an Ambien.  For those that don't know what Ambien is, it is the BEST sleep aid in the world!  I don't take it often, but when I do, look out. (I have ordered things online, woken up in the morning with my pajamas on inside out and a very happy husband, and gotten up to eat. We now hide my phone because I have texted and made phone calls.  It can also make you have some very vivid dreams.)  I was looking on PINTEREST before I fell asleep and saw a popular pin for a sleeping mat made from pillows.  I clicked on it and it took me to a store and I could not for the life of me find the mat.  When I woke up this morning I had a very clear plan on how to make this! (Hopefully I did not see a tutorial and just don't remember it! If it is plagiarized and I get arrested please send me cigarettes.  I don't smoke but I have heard that they are more valuable than cash in prison.)

Today we will be making cute little travel mat using 4 pillows and 3-4 yards of fabric.

Supplies needed:
4 Pillows (or however many you need to make it as long as you want)
3- 4 yard of fabric (depending on if your fabric is directional or not)
Serger (If you have one, if not, a normal sewing machine will work) and sewing machine
Basic sewing supplies.

Are you ready???? I think I am

1- Choose your fabric.  This is a good place to use up fabric from your stash.  I used the same fabric for the whole mat but I think it would be really cute in several different fabrics. A couple of years ago I bought fabric to make quilts for my girls bed.  I am sure none of you buy fabric for projects that you never finish.  This fabric is  "Playdate" by Patty Young (Modkid) for Michael Miller fabrics.

2- Figure out the amount of fabric you will need.

I laid my pillows out, left about an inch on each end, and then measured. My pillows measured about 26x75.

3- My fabric is directional so I cute 4 pieces of fabric 26x45.  If you have a big piece of yardage you could just cut two long pieces 45x80ish.  Again, mine was directional so I cut 4 smaller pieces.
4- Piece the front and back.  I used my serger (If you enlarge the photo you can see my stitches on the blue stripe at the top) to piece them but a straight stitch on your sewing machine will work just as well.

5- Finish the raw edge of one side.  I chose to finish the left side.  This will be the side you will load the pillows from.  I serged the edge. I used the serged edge as a guide and ironed the edge under.  I top stitched the edge.
I did this to the top and the bottom.  Remember that the top piece will have the left edge (fabric facing right side up) finished.  The back side will have the right edge finished (fabric facing right side up).  I may have done this wrong and ended up picking out all the stitches on the back piece.

6- Lay your fabric out right sides together.  Serge or sew up the unfinished side of the fabric.  When you open it you will have a seam up the center (length wise) and the other outer edges (length wise) will be topstitched. (sorry I forgot to take a picture.) If you are having problems picturing this, it looks like a pillowcase.  The topstitched edge is the open end of the pillow case.

7- Lay your pieces out wrong sides together.  Fold them in half to find the middle. Iron a good solid crease.  This crease will be your sewing guide.
Use the crease as a guide and sew a straight stitch down the center of your fabric. Remember, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER.

8- Lay your fabric on the ground.  Fold the top edge down and line it up with your center seam.  Fold your bottom edge up to the center seam.  Pin. Iron a crisp line on both folds.

9- Using the creases as guides, sew a straight stitch on each crease.  Lay your fabric out and you will now have 4 "pockets."  They should look like 4 pillowcases sewn together. The top and bottom are still open. Turn the top pocket inside out so the right sides are together and serge or sew your top seam.  Repeat for the bottom pocket.

10- Insert your pillows! (I thought about adding velcro to keep the pillow from coming out.  Thing 6 laid all over it and moved around and the pillow stayed put.  I decided to leave it open like a pillow case.)
11- Find a really cute almost 7 year old to snuggle down on this comfy mat!
This mat is perfect for nights at grandma and grandpa's or for just laying on for movie night.  I will use it when we travel.  I have heard that some people will try to sneak more than 4 people into a motel room.  I am almost sure I have never done that but if I did, this would be perfect! It folds up really compact and the hotels always have extra pillows.  Then nobody would be whine because they had to sleep on the hard floor (again, I have just heard that people may whine if they have to sleep on the floor).
Thanks for joining us for "Tutorial Tuesday"! If you have questions email me.  Please remember that I am not a pro at this.  I am just learning so if I left out a step or didn't explain it well enough PLEASE let me know!  Please remember to pin this on Pinterest.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday!!!! Nate Berkus would be so proud.....

Do you all remember about a month ago I posted that I was looking for the perfect chair for my sewing room.  It had to be small, comfy, and very inexpensive.  My kids like to talk to me while I sew. I don't have an extra chair in my sewing room so they always end up laying on the ground.  I shopped around and could find nothing that fit my criteria.  One day after spending way to much time on Pinterest,  I decided that if other pinners could make over a chair, so could I.  I went to the nearest thrift store and found this chair.
I was confident that I could turn it into something beautiful...and I did!!!!! Drumroll please......


This is my first tutorial ever, so please don't be too picky!  If I leave out a step or you have questions please message me!  I am sure I will leave out information.

1) Strip the chair.
I did not strip the wood.  I simply pulled all the padding and fabric off.  I washed it with soapy water.  When it was dry, I moved on to step 2.

2) I chose to paint it with Rust-Oleum Paint Plus 2x Ultra Cover in AQUA with a satin finish.  I primed it with a grey Rust-Oleum Primer.  I used one coat of primer and 3 coats of Aqua.  I sanded with a fine sand paper in between coats.  I then applied a glossy coat of sealer.
3) Next, I worked on the cushions.  I went to Joanne's Fabrics and bought some foam.  I used the original cushions as the patterns.  I drew the pattern with a sharpie and then had my hubby cut it with a large serrated bread knife

4) I made the back cushion first.  
 I used the cushion as the pattern and added an inch all the way around before I cut it out.
 I cut the front and back the same size and cut the tabs the same size as the original cushion.  I sewed the tabs like a tube, turned them right side out, and pressed them.
I measured the original cushion to figure the placement of the tabs.  I pinned them in between the front and back, right sides together.  I stitched the top and sides together, turned it right side out, inserted the cushion and used my zipper foot to sew the bottom together.  Somehow, I forgot to take a picture of the finished cushion!  Oops!!!

4) Upholstering the bottom.  This is where it got tricky.  I decided that I did not want a removable cushion.  I wanted more of the "Overstuffed" chair look.  I recruited my hubby to help.  He was so excited...he LOVES this kind of stuff (not really, but he is a really good sport!).  We found the nail gun and other tools we thought we might need.  Then we went to work.
 First we stapled the burlap strap across the bottom of the chair. (the staple gun scares the crap out of me!)
 We followed how it was done on the original chair.
 We put the cushion on and then wrapped it in batting and stapled it really tight.

 Next we cut a large square of fabric.  We started in front and stapled the center.  We went to the back and stapled the center.  We worked from the center out.  When we got to the posts on the chair we cut a slit in the fabric and then wrapped and tucked it in.
 We smoothed it, made sure it was tight, and stapled the heck out of it!
This is with out the skirt.  I was so tired of messing with it I almost stopped there.  I am so glad that I didn't!
5) I used the old skirt as a template and made a skirt for the chair.

I folded the edges under a quarter of an inch and topstitched around the pieces.  I pressed the top boarder of each piece about and inch and a half over (like an envelope flap) .  I did not top stitch it.  We attached the pieces to the chair right sided to right side and then folded it over.  We stapled on the flap so the the staple was hidden.  I hope that makes sense!

Here is the finished product.  I LOVE it!!!  Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!  Please pin it on Pinterest.  We want Melissa to quit her day job so we need to generate a lot of traffic to the sight!  Her day job is fine but it really cuts into the time I have to chat and hang out with her!!!!

I learned a lot doing this project. The first thing I learned is that Youtube makes everything look much easier than it is.  The second is that my husband is a dang good surgeon.  You should see how precise he was on lining things up and making sure everything was smooth and exact.  Seriously, if you ever cut your foot off, he could totally sew it back on! All you have to do is look at the chair and you can see how talented he is!!! The third thing is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to make something amazing.  I spent under a $100.00 on this whole project.  It is exactly what I wanted.
I hope you all have a wonderful day!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Quilt Market- Stephanie's Perspective - Part 2

If you asked me the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the words "favorite" and "Quilt Market 2012", I would say doll house.

 These cute fabric doll houses button up to be a carrying case and unbutton into a playhouse.  They come with cute finger puppets that are sure to entertain little ones for hours. (I am 39 and spent a good 20 minutes at the display). They are from the "Storybook Lane" line of fabrics by Kelly Lee-Creel.

We will be starting a new series called "Tutorial Tuesday".  I wish I could take credit for the catchy name but that was Melissa's late night idea.  Every tuesday we will post an original tutorial or a link to a favorite tutorial.  We are hoping to have at least one original tutorial per month.  I already have big plans to show how to make this little playhouse.  I would have LOVED this for my kids!

I hope you all are enjoying summer.  My days are filled with kids, cleaning, playing taxi, and hanging out at the pool.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quilt Market....Stephanie's Perspective...

Wow....Those three little letters  pretty much sum it all up!  So, the first day Melissa and I were walking to the convention center.  I was telling her how much I loved the "Sew Lisette" patterns. They are designed by Oliver and S designer, Liesl Gibson.  I have been a fan of Oliver and S since their debut.  They are what gave me the confidence to sew children's clothing. Anywhooo... We are walking and talking about how amazing these patterns are when Melissa notices the lady in front of us.  Guess who it was....drum roll....Liesel Gibson!!!! She was so nice and down to earth.  It was so fun to talk about her patterns and her new line of fabric coming from Moda.  She is so nice!  Here are a few pictures of her gorgeous booth.

I was introduced to Sarah Jane Fabrics this market. OMGSH!!!! How have I missed these?  I wanted one of everything.  I wanted to steal the cute chair but could not figure out how to put it in my bag.  Sarah Jane was so sweet.  Even if I didn't like her fabric (which I LOVED!!!!), I would want to buy it because she is so darn nice.  I love her embroidery patterns and can't wait to buy them for my girls!  You will be happy to know that Melissa ordered ALOT of Sarah Jane! 

(This is the chair I wanted to take home with me.)

I will be back soon with part 2.  Have a happy wednesday!