Posts filed under ‘Holiday gifts’

Christmas is just around the corner …

So if you read many craft blogs, you know that others have been preparing for Christmas since, say, July. I am not that kind of crafter.

Instead, I’ve been searching for Christmas ideas for easy crafts to make, with existing fabric. Times are tight in our house and I need something I can make for gifts for people, with my existing stash.

For others in the same situation, I’m including links of possible project ideas, so you can benefit, too!

I am really loving the idea of some homemade Christmas stockings. Here are some patterns/ideas I’ve found online:

Moda Bake shop pattern

Martha Stewart stocking

Easy pincushion for sewing friends

A rag rug

Adorable fabric house – I am super excited to try this

Cute mitten ornament

Sock reindeer stuffed animal

Lots of great softie inspiration

October 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm 4 comments

Quick pot holders/hot pads how to

There are fancier, prettier pot holder patterns out there. But probably not any easier ones. These are made with material that makes them safe enough to use to pull something out of the oven, and heat-insulated enough to protect your countertops from hot pots and pans. You can crank several of these out in an hour, and they make great gifts. Plus, they are the perfect project to use up your fabric remnants.

Easy, practical

Items you will need: Sewing machine, fabric, insul-bright, quilt batting.

First, decide how large you want your potholders to be. It depends on what you want to use them for. I’ve made some that are about 5 inches square, with the intent to use them to protect countertops from hot plates. I have also made them 9 inches square to use to pull things out of the oven.

Cut your fabric, insul-bright (special fabric that is heat resistant), and quilt batting to the same size, between 5-10 inches square.

For each pot holder, you will need 2 squares of fabric, 1 square of insul-bright and 1 square of  batting. (I used warm and natural all cotton batting)

Put one of the fabric squares, right side down, in front of you. Layer one batting square on top, followed by one insul-bright square. Sew around all edges. When finished, lay second fabric square right side up, and place new layered square on top, fabric side down. Sew around all edges, leaving about 1.5 inches to turn the project right side out. Turn right side out, sew closed. Add additional quilting to the outside – either a second square around the perimeter, an X, lines – whatever your heart desires.

And you’re done!

February 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm 5 comments

A Valentine’s Day gift how to – Dyed wooden bead necklace

Now that my mom has received her Valentine’s Day gift in the mail, I can share one of my weekend projects with you.

The idea for this gift came from – where else – Martha Stewart’s Web site. You can see it here. I did a few alterations to the directions that I will go over. I have made these necklaces before in blues and greens, and wanted to do some Valentine-friendly colors this time around.

My kind husband was nice enough to document the process by using the photo feature on my video camera. We will never do this again – the quality is terrible. So, I took pics of the finished product with my Canon Digital Rebel and the results were much better.

Here is a sampling of the basic supplies you need:

Rit dyes, wooden beads, satin ribbon, toggle clasps

After you have assembled your supplies, pick a color safe bowl and fill with warm water. Add Rit dye until you achieve a color you really like. I used about 1/2 a box to about 12 cups of water. The less color you use, the lighter the beads will be and the longer the dye process will take.

Vat of dye. Looks a little creepy, no?

Throw in wooden beads, and stir constantly with a color-safe spoon to make sure beads are rotating and all sides are getting dyed. When they are the color you are aiming for, remove with a small strainer and lay on a thick layer of paper towels to dry overnight. Beads will get darker within a few minutes of removing, and will lighten a bit when completely dry. A general rule of thumb – which differs from what Martha Stewart’s site says – is that the beads will dry darker overall than the color they are when you remove them from the dye. So, take them out just before they reach the color you are aiming for. You can always redye later.

Beads ready to dry

Finished grayish purple beads

Valentine's pink beads

Our Springer Spaniel Anna was unenthused by the whole process.

That doesnt smell like food ...

The next day, when the beads are dry, string them on your chosen medium. I chose a variety of colors of very thin satin ribbon in contrasting colors. I figured out the length I wanted the finished ribbon to be first, cut it, and then strung enough beads to cover about 2/3 of the length of ribbon. Center the beads in the middle, and tie knots on either side of the beads to keep the beads from sliding too far. On Martha Stewart’s site, the beads go all the way around and to the back, but I find the necklaces don’t lay as well if there are big bulky beads around your neck. Once your knots are tied on either side of your string of beads, tie toggle clasps on to the end of each side of the ribbon, and voila! You have  necklace.

Finished necklaces, taken with a much better camera:

7 necklaces in all

Close up - love the gradient effect the beads naturally take on

February 9, 2010 at 7:58 pm 7 comments


About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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