Monday, October 28, 2013

Mug Rugs...I'm Not Done Yet!

My sewing room is a mess, my sewing machine needs to go to the Dr. (the bobbin won't come out--maybe it's just too tired!), and I need to start a new tote bag pattern. I'm tidying up today, but there are more mug rug designs on the drawing board for sure!  I made two more this weekend and posted them to my http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store. And now I'm cleaning up the studio so I can begin another sewing "mess."


The Witch's Best Bonnet Mug Rug
First, I thought my first witch-themed mug rug needed a companion so here's her hat: The Witch's Best Bonnet. As you can see, the ribbon on her hat coordinates with the skirt in the companion, The Witch's Ruby Red Slippers. I think she needs a black cat (designed, but not stitched yet), and maybe a broom or a cauldron (yet to be designed).







The Witch's Ruby Red Slippers
"Owl" Always Love You!
I also made "Owl Always Love You!. He's a sweet little owl who wears his heart on his chest for all to see. Don't know why he looks so sad--maybe his sweetie left him? Change his eyes and his "look" will change, too

He's made in fall colors, but could be done in a multitude of color schemes.

I hope you will check out all my other mug rug patterns at http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store
as well as my totes, accessories, and quilts.



Until next time,
Keep on sewing and quilting and crafting!
Barbara

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Calling All Gouls! A Pattern Set of Halloween Mug Rugs

I just spent the past few days combining four of my Halloween mug rug patterns into a set and creating a new pattern for it. Calling All Ghouls features Perky Pumpkin, A Ghoulish Scream, Frankly Frankenstein, and Dracula, My Darling into a 15-page pattern, complete with full-size templates for easy fusible applique and foundation piecing. Combining four in one pattern lowers the pattern price, too! Individual patterns for each of the designs are also available--check them out at my Craftsy online pattern store: http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store



Four mug rug designs in my 15-page pattern.

I had such fun creating each of these designs. The stitching time is minimal and you may already have everything you need in your scrap and fat-quarter stash to make a set. While you're at, maximize your time and make two sets--one to keep and one to give away! 

Hope you'll have fun making one or more of these little "ghoulish delights!"

Check out all of my other Halloween projects by reading the previous blog entries that follow. I've been having such fun!

Until next time,
Have fun sewing, and quilting, and crafting!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Witch's Ruby Red Slippers--Another Halloween Mug Rug

It's all about those red slippers!


This little mug rug is super fast to make! Just piece a simple background (wall and floor) and then fuse the appliques  in place (complete with a hole in the wall for a mouse). Layer it for quilting and then zigzag the appliques in place. Add more quilting as desired. It just doesn't get much easier. 

These are so much fun! Like eating potato chips--I'll bet you can't make just one! Make in sets and choose lots of different fabrics for the skirt, stockings, and ruffle. Sets are more fun if every witch is different--just don't touch those ruby reds!

For even more fun, check out my other Halloween Mug Rug patterns in my Craftsy Store at  http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store

Look for: 
Dracula, My Darling Mug Rug
Perky Pumpkin Mug Rug

A Ghostly Scream Mug Rug
Frankly Frankenstein Mug Rug

If you've never made mug rugs, try one of mine--but be careful, you might get hooked! I'm ready to design and make some for Christmas!
Until next time,
Keep sewing and quilting and crafting!
Barbara

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's All About the TuTu--A Witch's Wreath for Halloween

In my last post, I shared my newest creation-The Witch's Wardrobe Wreath. 

What I didn't share was that making Halloween wreaths was a cooperative project with my dear friend Sheryl. I was so excited to have mine finished, I couldn't wait to share it. And Sheryl's wasn't finished until today. While we started with and used many of the same components, Sheryl used "deco-mesh" to create her witch's handkerchief skirt.

 And, the legs were made from costume "tails" from Dollar Tree--plus felt shoes trimmed with a little ribbon. I alluded to making these legs in my last post. This is the basic shoe shape I used, enlarging it as needed to fit around the tails (which had a bit of fake fur, that I removed). After cutting from felt and stitching together 1/8" from the raw edges, I stuffed the shoes with a bit of fiberfill. I used a bamboo skewer to push the fiberfill into the stuffed toe. Note: When you use felt for the shoes, there's no need to turn the shoes so the seams are inside! Then I just used a square knot to tie narrow ribbon in place at the "ankles."



Well, we had such fun making this "witch with an attitude" and I thought you would enjoy seeing it. Not much sewing on this one, other than some stitching to "tame" the tutu a bit. This wiry mesh just didn't want to stay in place, so I stitched the lower layer to the ribbon-wrapped wreath--done with 10 feet of glitzy orange wire-edge ribbon. Only a bit of it shows in the final product, but it was a necessary component.


I'm tickled pink with both wreaths. How about you? We had such fun dreaming them up and completing them!

Until next time, 
Have fun sewing, and quilting, and crafting!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Witch and Her Wardrobe, A Wreath for Halloween

Well, most of it! Her dress is missing, but she's hung up her hat, shoes and stocking, broom, and gloves for the night! I had such fun designing and making this wreath. My original vision was entirely different, but this is what evolved and I love it! A one-of-a-kind!

Here's what I did in a nutshell. I started with a metal wreath—about $3.99 at the local craft store.


I found the lace witch hat at Dollar Tree, and the flowers, too—maybe $3.00 total! The glitzy spiders on the gloves were on sale—these are just two from a package of 8—maybe $1.00 total.


The cute little kids' gloves—in the perfect colors—were on sale for $2.00 at the local grocery store. And, the legs with shoes came from Pier One too, on sale for $8.00 total.


I wrapped the wreath first in two different colors of wire-edged ribbon, leaving a small section uncovered so I would have a place to attach a hanger made from a black twist tie I kept from some packaging to recycle. Ribbon cost—approximately $3.00.


Other than the bit of flowers and ribbon, the broom was free—a stick cut from the butterfly bush in the back yard and some orange plastic fruit netting, saved from groceries for recycling.

 
So let's see, that's about $21.00—and lots of fun!

Want to make your own?















You will need:

16"-diameter wire florist's wreath


1 child-size witches' hat (dollar store)

9 feet of wide ribbon; I like wire-edge for this because it's easy to shape around the wreath; ditto for the second ribbon. (fabric store on sale)
A second ribbon in your color choice; you'll have ribbon left over if you buy a spool of 9 feet. (fabric store on sale)

Polyester fiberfill  (had on hand)

14" piece of felt; color doesn't matter as it won't show (had on hand)

Optional: 18" square of cotton fabric to match or contrast with the hat color, only if the brim is lace like it was on mine. (from my fabric stash)

Assorted sprays of "silk" flowers in your choice of colors (dollar store)
1 pair child-size gloves (grocery store, on sale)

Optional: Small spider ornaments for gloves (on sale at Pier One)

Stick for the broom (from the garden)

Plastic fruit netting (saved from groceries), or other material such as twigs from the garden, or natural materials from the craft store for the broom 

Pair of witch's legs with shoes(on sale at Pier One. You may have to make your own if you can't find any in your favorite stores. Hint for Making Legs and Shoes: Buy two animal tails at the dollar store—they have Velcro tabs to connect them to a costume. They are already stuffed. Just cut out a pair of shoes from felt, stitch together and then slip over the "tails" and sew in place.

Pins
Sharp Scissors
Glue gun and glue sticks
Tacky craft glue
Seam Sealant such as Fray-Check

Prepare the Wreath and the Hat

1. Wrap the wreath in your choice of ribbons, leaving a section of the wire wreath unwrapped for attaching the hanger. The hat will cover this area. Use glue gun to attach the ribbon ends to the back side of the wreath.


2. Put a few handfuls of fiberfill inside the hat to add shape. Don't stuff too firmly—just enough to give it shape.

3. Cut a circle of felt that will cover the fiberfill and hand sew to the seam allowance.





4. Optional: If the brim is lace, place the hat on the 18" square of fabric and trace around the perimeter.


Cut out the circle 1/2" larger all around than the drawn line. 

Apply some tacky craft glue to the felt circle as shown in the photo. Also, apply to the outer edge of the brim. With the right side of the fabric showing through the lace, glue the circle to the hat brim with tacky craft glue. Use small bullnose clips to hold it in place as you work around the brim and leave them in place until the glue is dry. Use a small, sharp scissors to trim the excess next to the edge and treat the raw edges with seam sealant to prevent raveling.




5. Decorate the brim with flowers as desired. (See the photo of the finished wreath.) First, I added green ribbon and hand-stitched the lower edge in place. Then I drew up the wire in the upper edge to gather it a bit to fit around the "cone." I turned under one end of the ribbon and hand sewed it in place to cover the raw end. Plan the flower positioning before using the glue gun to secure each one.

Make the Broom

1. Cut a sturdy piece from a plant or tree—about 13" long. Secure whatever you are using for the broom sticks to the stick with hot glue. Embellish with flowers and ribbon as desired and glue in place.



Assemble the Wreath


 1. Make a loop with a twist tie and attach it to the wreath in the uncovered section. Hang the wreath somewhere on a wall or door and thenPosition the hat on the wreath at angle, over the area without ribbon. Pin to the ribbon, remove from the wall and use buttonhole twist or a doubled sewing thread to hand tack it to the wreath on each side of the brim. The upper portion of the brim should not cover the wreath.

2. Attach spider ornaments to the gloves if desired. I used hot glue for this. Hang the wreath, position the gloves and pin in place. Use hand stitching to secure them to the ribbon on the wreath. Make sure the stitches are through the underside of the gloves so they won't show from the right side. 



3. Position the broom across the wreath at an angle and use hot glue to secure. (See photo.)

4. Re-hang the wreath and position the legs. Mark the position with pins through the ribbon. The legs I used were attached to wooden skewers when I bought them. I cut them so they wouldn't show above the inner edge of the wreath, then tucked them behind the wreath at the marked locations and hot-glued the skewers to the wreath. I also hand-stitched them to the ribbon on the back of the wreath. You will probably have to sew your legs in place if you make them.

Ta Da--it's ready to hang and enjoy!


Although this isn't technically a sewing project, it did require hand sewing to secure some of the items to the wreath. It was really fun and easy to make. It took longer to shop for all the things I needed than it did to put it together--after a few false starts with the design. The next challenge? How/where to store it when the "witching season" is finished for another year.

Until next time, 
Keep sewing and quilting and crafting and smiling!
Barbara

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bet You Can't Make Just One Halloween Mug Rug

For awhile now, I've been noticing mug rugs everywhere. They continue to be in the Top Twenty Best Sellers at www.craftsy.com. Finally, I took some time to design one and before I knew it, I had designed eight or so. Believe me, the designing took longer than it does to make one! They are super quick to make. Since it's the bewitching month, my first designs are all for Halloween--and since they are so fast to stitch up, you can certainly make up a batch or two to use for the remainder of the month.
So here are the first four of my ghoulishly easy Mug Rugs!



The background for each face is foundation-paper-pieced--a full-size pattern is included in each pattern. All of the features are fused in place, and then zigzagged as part of the quilting. Since each one measures only 5-1/2" x 9-1/2", fabric requirements are minimal. They are great stash busters! In addition to fabrics, you'll need batting and your favorite fusible web. A set of four different mug rugs, or a set of four of your favorite design, would make a great gift!

You'll find all four of these quick-and-easy PDF downloadable patterns at my Craftsy store--http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store

Each pattern is just $2.50. Even if you don't make them right away, once purchased, the patterns will always be in your pattern library at Craftsy to download when you are ready to have a little stitching therapy! 

Until next time,
Keep smiling, sewing, and quilting!
Barbara




Friday, October 4, 2013

Such a Pretty Pumpkin Centerpiece

I was shopping in Michael's yesterday and found most floral items and pumpkins on sale. I snatched up one of their hollow "plastic/rubber" pumpkins—difficult to know what the composition really is—plus a candle ring with "silk" leaves in fall colors, and a few sprays of golden and brilliant red velvetized leaf sprays--all on sale. The pumpkin was $4.00, the candle ring $2.49, and the sprays $1.69 each. For $10.00 I had the makings for a pretty pumpkin to add to my growing collection.


Here's how you can make your own:

1. Place the candle ring on top of the pumpkin and use a sharp knife to barely pierce the pumpkin all around the ring to mark the cutting line. Remove the ring.

Stab-cut around the marks to make opening.
2. Use a sharp knife to stab through the pumpkin into the hollow space, following the line you drew. I suggest making stabs rather than trying to "saw" along the line. Lift out the stem/lid and discard. 
Lift out and discard the stem/lid.


3. Tuck the candle ring inside the opening; you may have to coax it through. 

Tuck leafy candle ring inside the hole.

Then use a glue gun to secure it all the way around. You may be able to get glue on the ring itself, or not, but you can certainly put glue all the way around the opening and gently press plastic stems and leaves into the glue.

Use your glue gun to secure the ring inside the opening.

Oh so easy--and pretty too!
4. Remove the velvet (or silk) leaves from the plastic stems—there is usually a little plastic "cap" at the end of the stems that will pop right off so you can slip the leaves from it. Arrange the leaves underneath the leaves in the ring to add another circle of foliage, arranging as desired and securing with "globs" of glue from the glue gun. Primp the leaves as you go and glue in place.

6. Ta DA! I've placed my pumpkin in among others in my collection to create a pumpkin "tablescape" in my entry hall.


The really cool thing is, you can use the pumpkin just as it's shown for a centerpiece or in your mantel arrangement—OR you can tuck flowers and foliage through the center opening of the ring down into the pumpkin to use it as a vase. You could also set the pumpkin inside a fall wreath to make it into a more elaborate centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. If you want to "light it up" hide a candle "plate" under the foliage and add an LED candle (battery operated)--safer than the real thing!


Easy and inexpensive—that's how I like my craft projects for seasonal d├ęcor!

I know, I know! This isn't sewn or quilted, but it's fun and easy and I hope you like it!

Until next time, Keep stitching (and crafting) and smiling!
Barbara