Baby Blankets

My most frequent sewing project is, without a doubt, baby blankets. All different shapes, colors, themes, sizes. It’s my favorite gift to give at a baby shower, and you can pretty much rest assured the receiver won’t get a duplicate.

Whether you’re doing tummy time, reading books on the couch or heading outside for a picnic, baby blankets are sure to get used.

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of making a bunch of blankets, so tonight I will walk you through my process. There are plenty of standard sizes for blankets, but you can absolutely use your imagination when planning out your blanket.

The first blanket was made for a new baby in my very extended family, I will say. A beautiful little girl named Isabelle. I actually used fabric from my stash (still working away at it…….) and I was really happy with it.

Previously I had used these exact fabrics to make Big Sis and Little Sis blankets for a good friend of mine. I made a mini version of that quilt for Isabelle.

I started by drawing out a pattern. I cut 10 6X6″ blocks for the top and bottom of the quilt. I cut 2 30X4″ pieces for the long rectangular sections. Then I cut 4 15X8 pieces for the center. I knew that once I joined the pieces I could trim the uneven edges caused by the seam allowances. Sometimes I am more precise, but this time I didn’t feel the need to be.

I used a 1/4″ seam allowance and joined the blocks across each row. Once each row was formed, I joined them horizontally to form the blanket.

It came together quite quickly as there weren’t that many pieces. This is a photo of the quilt top once I appliqued the elephant and her name.

I gave the fabric a good press with a hot iron here to flatten out the seams.

I picked out cotton batting for the centre of the quilt and a soft minky for the backside. Once I put the quilt together with right sides facing out and the batting in the middle, I started pinning the 3 pieces together. Lots and lots and lots of pins. The next step is to quit down the fabric. This essentially means you will sew all 3 pieces together in some pattern, which will help the blanket keep its shape over time as it gets washed more and more.

I quilted down along each seam on the quilt, both sides of the seam in fact. So I essentially made railroad tracks right on top of each seam. This part takes a bit of time but really does add to the blanket.

Once the quilting down was complete, I made the binding for the edge of the quilt. I cut 2.5″ wide strips of cotton and used this technique to join it to the quilt.

Some people hand sew the binding in place but I don’t typically do that. I actually don’t enjoy hand sewing, and the time commitment is significant.

Voila! A personalized gift that will get used over and over and over and over…..

The next blanket was quite simple and was made for a customer. She gave me permission to share this project with you.

The customer had seen fabric by Amy Butler called Bliss Bouquet (in Teal) and fell in love. She wanted a baby blanket made for her soon-to-be-arriving baby girl. She wanted a basic blanket with minky on the back.

This fabric is very difficult to get, but I was fortunate enough to find it at The Fabric Merchant here in St. John’s, NL. Don’t even get me started on how much I love this store…

I picked up a slightly cream colored minky fabric and got sewing. She wanted a blanket that was 28X33″.

I started by ironing the cotton Amy Butler fabric. I cut out a rectangle that was 32X37, to ensure I had plenty for a nice folded edge over the minky.

I cut the minky and the cotton batting to 28X33.

I laid out the pieces on my floor and smoothed out any wrinkles.

Next I went around the edge of the blanket, folding down the printed cotton twice, and pinning in place in preparation for sewing.

I zig zag stitched around the blanket and it was done!

This blanket is so soft and pretty, and took about an hour to make.

There are many variations of baby blankets and they really do make wonderful gifts. You can get really creative and mix colors and prints, and you never have to do the same blanket twice.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Thanks for stopping by today!


DIY Cloth Napkins

For years I have wanted to have the kind of house where guests walk in and see a beautiful dining table, all dressed with coordinating plates, cutlery, placemats and napkins. A design that looks stylish yet functional.

Our dining table often looks like a storage facility, housing books, toys, notepads, laptops and receipts.

I’ve decided we will never be people who always have their table “dressed”, and that’s okay, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly set up your table for company and have it look put together? That was my mission over the last 12 months. But could I find placemats, napkins and napkin rings that I liked? Not a chance.

On a recent trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond I found placemats and napkin rings that I quite like, but the thought of spending a lot of money on cloth napkins just didn’t thrill me. We have 9 settings in our house so with most store-bought napkins ranging from $4- $12, I decided I should DIY it.

I looked up standard napkin sizes and it looks like anywhere from 12″ to 16″ is where I wanted to be.

I went to Fabricville and found some cute, summery fabric on clearance. I chose this fabric because it’s the same on both sides. As much as I love working with cotton, printed cotton always has a “wrong” side and it usually isn’t very pretty. This fabric almost feels a bit gauzy, and it has a little bit of stretch to it.

I came home and put this fabric through the washer (hot water) and dryer. If these are going to shrink, I want them to shrink now. And I figure cloth napkins are something I will probably need to wash in hot water because of the potential for stains, mostly from tacos.

I decided to go for 14″ napkins, so I started out by pressing my uncut fabric with the iron to get out any wrinkles. Because this fabric is striped, I needed to cut fairly straight along the stripes. I used my rotary cutter and cutting mat for this, but you can use scissors and a tape measure/ruler as well.

If you’re using scissors, an easy way to do this is to cut out a piece of cardboard in the proper dimension, and lay the cardboard on top of your fabric. Outline it with a pen or a Sharpie. Do that for each napkin, then remove the cardboard and simply cut out.

I wanted a nice, crisp sewn edge for these napkins so I actually cut 16″X16″ squares to account for a 1″ seam allowance.

Once cut, I folded in the edge 1″ all the way around, pinning as I went. I pressed the crease with a hot iron and let the fabric cool.

Once cooled, I took out the pins and tucked in the seam allowance so no raw edge was exposed. I pinned in place.

As this fabric does have stretch, I was sure not to stretch as I pinned. Doing so would leave the edges of the napkin “wavy” and that’s not the look I was going for.

I used a straight stitch and stitched near the crease, all the way around. Clipped the threads and pressed, once again, with a hot iron. I used the steam setting this time to try to get the edges nice and crisp.

Overall these turned out to be as easy as I expected, and probably even cuter!

Here they are against two different mats, with different rings. Quite easy to dress up or down. Even better, I’m sure, folded up in a picnic basket.

My personal favorite…………

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! The napkins, as I mentioned, were made from fabric on clearance, so I was able to do all 9 for $13. Quite a steal, if you ask me. Easy, affordable napkins that you can make for every season or occasion.

Thanks for following along today!


DIY Inexpensive Summer Wreath

If you are currently in Newfoundland you may hate me a bit for posting this “summer wreath” as summer is totally MIA in these parts. Parts of our beautiful province got snow last night. Before you feel the need to check your calendar, lovelies, it’s June 26th.

Last night I decided to make a wreath for our front door. I have wreaths on many doors in our house, and I change them out pretty frequently, so now I have a new one in the rotation. The wreath we had up was red and gold and simply looked too Christmasey.

A couple of years ago Michael’s had these beautiful wooden wreaths on sale for $4.99 each. I think regular price was around $20 at the time. I stocked up! I bought 8 of them. This one was a bit of an ulgy duckling wreath, with an irregular shape, so it ended up not being used. Until now, that is.

Last week at Michael’s I went to the clearance section where they have all of their florals at a pretty substantial discount. I think it was 60% off. I picked up a couple of large flowers, some greenery (not from the clearance section) and a few “filler” flowers and buds.

The materials you will need for this tutorial are:

  • Wreath
  • Flowers
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Wire cutter (maybe!)

To start I removed all of the stems from the flowers and buds. Most just pull off quite easily but some do require wire cutters.

When pulling the flower off the stem, do so very gently so you don’t separate the individual petals. If you can’t pull it off cleanly like in this photo (with some stem attached), opt for wire cutters.

I had a vision of having the dangling greenery coming from the top of the wreath, so I started there. Most times I lay out all flowers on the wreath before I start gluing, but in this case there weren’t a lot of options for the hanging greenery so I went for it.

Though it needed to be secured to the wreath, I wanted the greenery to sway a little in the wind so I weaved the stem back through some of the wooden frame and glued that in place. Then glued just 3 of the long strands down along the side of the wreath, allowing the rest to have lots of movement.

Next I pulled the leaves off of the flower stems and glued them along the top. I knew I was going to place my flowers at the top of the wreath and I do find having some leaves there can set a nice little backdrop for the flowers.

So you’re gluing the stems in place but trying not to glue the actual leaves too much because you do want them to look a little natural, not plastered in place.

From there I began adding flowers, and kept adding flowers and buds until I was happy with the result. I didn’t use all of the materials in the end.

As you’re adding, hang the wreath up a time or two to ensure things are hanging properly and not “sagging” away from the wreath. Taking opportunities to step back along the way to ensure you’re on the right path will give you a better shot at being pleased with your final product.

I wouldn’t dare hang this on my front door last night because, well, it’s so cold and rainy I didn’t want to OPEN the door.

This is a really simple tutorial that can be made pretty inexpensively, but it really does give your front door a quick facelift.

Thanks for checking out my post today.


DIY Seashell Photo Frame

My husband makes fun of me (playfully, of course) for collecting seashells and rocks from pretty much anywhere we visit. I bring them home thinking, “I will do something crafty with them some day!” and sometimes I actually do….

Well recently we took our first family vacation to Florida and we were able to collect a bunch of beautiful shells from a day spent at the beach.

For Father’s Day I decided to put those shells to use.

Materials needed for this project:

  • Wooden frame
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Shells (cleaned)
  • Photo

I picked up a sweet little 4X6 frame from Michael’s. I cleaned the frame to make sure it was free of dust and debris, so the hot glue would stick properly.

Heated up my glue gun and got started right away. This project took 15 minutes in total.

I laid out shells on the frame to see where I felt each one should go. Then I kept adding shells until I was satisfied with the result. I found it helpful to lay out the larger shells first and then fill in empty spaces with small shells.

On our trip we kept taking note of how many shells had little round holes in them, so I knew I wanted to use a few of those for sure.

To glue, I simply filled the underside of each shell with hot glue, and placed on the frame. Work quickly, though, as hot glue does tend to dry/harden faster than regular glue.

The frame came with the writing on it, however (if you’re really adventurous) you could totally wood burn some text into it as well.

I stuck a cute picture (of him with the baby) from our trip into the frame, and it made a perfect Father’s Day gift.

This would be an excellent gift for a birthday or Christmas as well.

Thanks for checking out my post.


Rainy Day Kids Craft

Finding a way to enjoy a rainy day is good for the soul, and we’ve been having LOTS of rainy days here in St. John’s lately. As parents we struggle sometimes to entertain kids when the weather prevents us from getting outside.

Today’s post is a craft idea that is perfect for kids, say, ages 3+, but also totally fun for adults!

Materials needed for this project:

  • A white (or light colored) cotton pillowcase
  • A permanent black Sharpie
  • A pack of Crayola crayons
  • Wax paper
  • An iron & ironing board
  • A piece of cardboard that fits inside your pillowcase
  • A coloring book/sheet (optional)

To start, put the piece of cardboard in the pillowcase. If you don’t do this, your Sharpie will leak through to the other side. The cardboard also makes the coloring a little easier.

You can either trace or freehand a design. Trace/draw with your Sharpie. It may be best to have an adult do this part.

Once the design is drawn, it’s coloring time!

Once the design is colored, heat up your iron using the Cotton setting. No steam. Remove the cardboard from inside the pillowcase. Take your wax paper and place the waxy side on the design. You will iron on the non-wax side which will cause the wax to melt onto your design, sealing in the crayon.

If you aren’t sure which side of the paper is wax, scratch each side with your fingernail a little. The wax side will turn white.

These pillowcases can be washed and the crayon will fade a bit over time but generally it does hold up quite well!

I have made these for friends over the years as gifts, particularly one friend who moved away from home for university. I put it in her suitcase before she left, and when she arrived in her dorm room she was delighted to have a little something from home.

Happy crafting!


Brag Post – My Incredible Mama

My mom taught me to sew when I was just 4 years old, as incredible as that is to believe. I started with hair scrunchies and pillows for my Barbies, and eventually moved on to quilts and clothing. I like to think I inherited her creativity, and it’s a HUGE part of who we both are.

In retirement she is finding lots of ways to keep herself busy, but one of her current projects I thought was worth sharing today.

I have a young niece who adores Barbies and my mom simply loves making clothes to fit her Barbies, just like she did for me when I was a kid. She comes up with her own designs and embellishments and creates stunning little pieces.

She recently opened an Etsy shop of her own and her shop name is “DreamingAboutCrafts”, not surprisingly.

If you’re looking for a cute birthday gift for a Barbie loving child in your life, check out her store for sure. She’s always whipping up new outfits and they are made with the utmost quality and care.

Happy Thursday!


Wood Burned Gift Tags

Anybody who knows me IRL knows I will never say no to learning a new craft. If I hear about it, I must try it!

Last year I came across a tutorial online for wood burning. A lot of the images I was finding online were very elaborate. I always like to start small, though.

A very special person in my life was getting married and two very important people would be missing from her big day – her grandparents, who she adored more than anything.

I started to think about how I could do something special for her to take with her on her wedding day that would be a little reminder of them. As they are also my grandparents I went digging through my box of cards (yes, I keep cards……) and found cards signed by each of them.

Fondly remembering my grandfather, his signature saying came into mind. With that, a wood burning idea popped into my head. I could transfer their signatures onto a wooden disc. Drill a hole and run a ribbon through it to make a gift tag sort of thing.

I found cards with each of their signatures, and thankfully my grandfather had written his famous words “God bless” next to his name.

I ran out and bought a wood burning tool at Michaels. While I was there I picked up a pack of their small wooden discs and a few other small wooden things to practice on. I was convinced I could do this.

This is the tool I purchased:

Once I got home I fired up the tool and started to practice. It was a LOT harder than I thought.

Within a couple of days, though, with the use of carbon paper (for tracing their signatures) I was able to get the disc done. I gave it to her the night before her wedding. She wore it on the handle of her bouquet. As I watched her walk down the aisle in her beautiful dress, knowing that she had this little thing with her brought tears to my eyes. They would have loved to see her marry her sweetheart. They will be forever missed.

For this project you will need the following materials:

  • Any raw wood (not painted or stained)
  • Wood burning tool
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Stamp (optional)
  • Ink pad (optional)

You can either write or trace something onto the wood, or you can totally cheat like I do and take a rubber stamp, dip it in ink, transfer to the wood, and start burning over the ink lines.

So this image above is simply stamped with plain black ink. I let my tool heat up for about 10 minutes before attempting to use it. It is EXTREMELY hot. I put a silicone mat underneath it to protect my counter top.

Once your tool is heated up and your image is prepared, you can start burning. The trick is to resist the urge to press the tip of the tool into the wood. Lightly and very slowly glide the tip of the tool over the ink lines.

If you are finding it’s not burning dark enough, you can always go over it again.

Try not to leave the tool in any one place too long as you will scorch your wood and likely leave a bit of a hole in the surface.

This is after the burning is complete. Looks a bit boring to me….

I just made some tiny dots around the perimeter (the tool doesn’t have to burn these for very long as they are tiny), and strung a ribbon through the hole. Gift tag complete!

You can literally burn anything onto these tags, this is just a simple example of what you can do. I would encourage you to practice on a scrap piece of wood for awhile until you get the hang of it.

I’ve seen some pretty cool wood burning on wooden spoons and cutting boards, which makes a fantastic bridal shower gift!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this simple tutorial.


DIY Monster Stuffies

Happy Monday! I’m back from vacation now and so excited to get crafting again. While I was away I scored some pretty new things from Hobby Lobby and I can’t wait to share them with you.

For today, though, I’m going to share with you the final project from my son’s 1st birthday party.

Since I’m “that mom” I couldn’t just do loot bags for the kids. No, I needed to make something for each little kid. It had to be adorable, relevant, and one-of-a-kind.

I searched high and low for the perfect monster stuffy pattern and came across this free set from It’s Always Autumn, found here:

I used these patterns for the bodies of the monsters and some of the accessories, but I did spice things up with my own monster mouths and eyes.

Here are the materials needed for this project:

  • Fabric for the monster bodies (I used fleece)
  • Fabric for the accessories (I used scraps of felt, cotton, etc)
  • Heat’N Bond Lite
  • Stuffing (I used Loops and Threads brand which you can get at Michael’s)

To start I printed a couple of copies of these patterns, as I was making about 30 of them and knew the pattern pieces would get worn out after awhile.

I had some help from a very dear friend during the cutting out phase. (Thanks again, Janet!) First I made sheets of fabric with applique paper attached to the back. Attach the Heat’N Bond Lite to the fabric using the directions on the package, and always remember to turn the steam setting OFF on your iron.

From those sheets we cut out bodies, eyes, mouths, accessories. Then I laid them all out so I could plan out each monster separately.

I appliqued the eyes, mouths and accessories in place. Then I sewed the bodies together per the instructions on the pattern pieces.

As much fun as it was putting the eyes, mouths and accessories on the front, I added hearts to the butts of some of the monsters. No idea why, just seemed cute at the time.

Next I turned them right side out, stuffed, and my amazing mama hand stitched them closed.

These don’t take a long time to make individually, probably about 20-30 minutes. Multiply by 30………I never want to see another monster pattern again.

Just kidding. They were so darn cute, and they were totally worth the effort.

Once they were all made I placed them in a basket with an Adopt-A-Monster sign. The kiddies got to choose which monster they took home, and lots of moms messaged me afterwards to tell me how much their kid loved their toy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial!


Pride Inspired Polymer Clay Earrings

So since writing my post last week about the DIY Polymer Clay Rose Earrings I have starting making LGBT Pride Inspired earrings, and they are probably one of my favorite projects yet!

In recent weeks a school in Lewisport, Newfoundland & Labrador has made headlines after the mayor of the small town declined a request to paint a rainbow crosswalk near the school. Disappointed in the decision, I started wondering how I could show support for these students and the LGTBQ community as a whole. From this curiosity these little earrings were born!

The pride flag colors (top to bottom) are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. I decided the petals should be in order, starting with the centre of the rose.

These are made exactly the same way as the original rose earrings found here:

I’ve had some interest from followers who want to purchase a pair, so I have created an Etsy listing. A portion of the profit from each pair will be donated to a related charity TBD.

These earrings are super fun to wear and can generate a lot of important conversation, so I’m extremely proud to share them with you.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

Happy Monday!


DIY Polymer Clay Rose Earrings

Stroll though just about any craft fair these days and you’re sure to see a table (or three) of earrings made from sculpted polymer clay. I found a pair at the local farmers market a few months back and fell in love with them. What I didn’t love was the pricetag!

After a little time on Pinterest I was able to piece together how these are made. Specifically I was browsing Fab DIY’s tutorial and learned the technique there. Here is that page:

I didn’t want to make clay beads, though, as I had my heart set on studs.

Here are the materials you need for this tutorial:

  • Polymer clay (I use Sculpey brand) in any color
  • Acrylic paint (if you want to paint your clay)
  • Sculpey gloss
  • Paintbrush
  • Earring post and back
  • E-6000 craft glue
  • Glass baking dish
  • Oven set to 275 degrees
  • Sculpting tools are optional
  • Knife
  • Clean, flat surface for rolling clay

I picked up a beautiful marble tray at Winners for $20 knowing that it would be perfect for working with clay. I purchased white Sculpey as well as a variety pack of colors, and some of their glittery colors at Michaels. I also bought the gloss and sculpting tools there.

To start you will cut off a block of Sculpey and soften it gently with your hands. Roll it out into a log.

Take a sculpting tool or a knife and start cutting small sections from the log.

Next you want to take each section and roll it into a small ball.

Next you will flatten each ball into a disc, keeping the edges of the disc thin and kind of flimsy, but not too flimsy as the clay will tear. You can either flatten it on your working surface or just between your fingers. You might find the clay sticks to the working surface so you will want to gently pry each one up off the board with your knife. If you are flattening between your fingers and it sticks to your skin, wash your hands with soap and water and it should help.

Next you can take a pointy sculpting tool (or you could use a toothpick) to begin wrapping your first disc, which will form the centre of your rose.

From here you will begin adding petals to the rose. You can either leave the rose on the tool or you can remove it, whichever is easier for you.

You will keep working in a circular pattern, adding petals to the rose. Typically I use about 9-10 petals per rose, but if I’m doing a mini rose (child-size) I may stick to 4-5 petals.

Once you’ve added all of the petals and are happy with the overall size, you will want to gently shape the rose so it has a round shape. Hold the rose between your fingers and gently shape it. The key is to NOT press on the petals directly as you will collapse them and ruin the design. You are gently kind of rolling the section of clay behind the petals to smooth it out.

If you notice one rose looks a little larger than the other it’s not a big deal, but to even it out you can simply squeeze the petals a little. Alternately you can add a petal or two to the smaller rose.

The clay becomes very soft as you work with it as it’s warmed by your hands. So once the rose is formed I like to set it aside for 15 minutes or so to let it cool down and get its firmness back. It makes the next step much cleaner.

You will want to cut off the back of the rose now as you don’t want your earring to be really thick.

Cut as straight as you can. Try not to crush the rose as you do this. If you notice the rose seems to collapse a little, you can gently squeeze around the perimeter and hopefully restore the shape.

Once you trim your roses you will place them in a glass baking dish in preparation for baking. Take the remnants of clay and place back in the package for use later.

Pay special attention to the baking instructions for your specific clay. I noticed my natural Sculpey needs to bake for 15 mins at 275 per 6mm (thickness), but the colored Sculpey needs to bake twice as long.

Once your earrings are baked you can leave them in the dish and let them cool down. If you’ve used natural Sculpey you may want to paint your earrings with acrylic paint. If you’re using a light colored paint you may just need 1 coat, but for darker hues you will need 2-3 coats.

Once your earring is finished baking/drying, you will seal it with Sculpey glaze. You don’t need to glaze the flat side (the side you cut) as you will be attaching the earring post. So just glaze the petals and centre of the rose.

The glaze needs to dry for 24 hours, but in the meantime you can attach the post about 30 minutes after applying the glaze and let it all dry at once.

To attach the post you will make sure the flat surface is clear of any dust or debris, then use a small dab of E6000 glue. Lay the earring back in place and let dry on a flat surface.

24 hours later you have a beautiful pair of earrings ready to wear!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. These make adorable gifts and a small pack of Sculpey makes a  LOT of earrings.

Happy Monday!