Mini Patchfolios

Well, Etsy says that if you post a video you have a greater chance of selling items so I set up my camera, shot some video, added music and came up with this!

Patchfolios are always fun to make. This round of sewing I made four. One is in the shop here.

Love these fabrics! Most are organic fabrics from Monaluna Designs. The writing pad is obviously from Amazon – they get a little product placement here. 😂

Punch Needle Rug Hooking

For Christmas my sister got me supplies to get started on a new craft: punch needle rug hooking. New year, new craft!

It just took a couple of tries to figure out what worked for me. Supplies are from amyoxford.com. I have her 10″ x 10″ frame and for this project used the #14 mini needle in monk’s cloth. Yarn is worsted weight cotton because I’m allergic to wool. I prewashed the monk’s cloth and it shrunk. This may be why the thinner yarn held so well.

I chose to do a canary for this project because I have multiple chemical sensitivity. We call ourselves canaries because we react to things sooner than most people. The disinfectants that everyone is spraying these days in addition to the fragranced products most people use has made it hard for me to go anywhere. The chemicals overwhelm my system and leave me with brain fog or a migraine. So I stay home much of the time, grateful for grocery delivery and grateful for a safe home. Canary design is from @lisaglanz.

I’m looking forward to getting brave enough to try a larger project!

Drawing Cases (with quilted covers)

I never get tired of making drawing cases – small projects with a little bit of patchwork and a little bit of quilting are perfect.

I had to make some adaptations to the pattern because I’m no longer able to work with iron-on interfacing. The chemical smell of the adhesive gives me a headache.

These are for a couple of sisters at church. Sure hope they like them!

Cinnamon Roll Plush

Thinking of the perfect gift is always satisfying.

My son and his girlfriend are big cinnamon roll fans. When I thought about getting them cinnamon roll plush toys I knew it would be perfect. But searching around on the internet for the perfect gift doesn’t always yield positive results so I decided a little late in December to try my hand at making them. First step, getting a fleece blanket with bread color on one side and fluffy white frosting on the other. Amazon to the rescue!

I’m not a big fan of hand stitching, but this project required it. A lot of it. I made 2 sample rolls before I worked out the kinks and made a 3rd and 4th to give as gifts. I love the way they turned out and I think they will too.

Bunting!

The walls in my sewing room are white and there is quite a bit of wall space that’s blank. It needed something and I have an over abundance of fabric. A little bunting made the entire room a little happier.

Washing Yarn Tutorial

Sometimes you get a ball of yarn that just smells like chemicals or perfume. If you’re like me and get headaches when around chemicals and perfume, knitting with smelly yarn is not an option. When I purchased several balls of yarn online they arrived with a faint smell to them. I let them sit outside for a few days and thought they were safe, but when I started knitting I got a migraine. The headache came and went for 4 days before I put two and two together and realized that the yarn was the cause. 🙄 I masked up and finished the knitting project outside so the yarn wouldn’t be in the house contaminating our air. After 2 washes in the machine the finished project was safe and I was quite happy with the little mat I made for the few dishes that I keep on the counter.

Now the remainder of the yarn needs to be washed before knitting and this is how I did it. I completed this process outside so that I wasn’t contaminating the indoor air quality of the house with the chemicals in the yarn. This yard was 100% cotton, worsted weight, with instructions for machine wash warm and tumble dry. A delicate yarn might not be able to handle the steps below.

  1. Pull the yarn from the middle of the ball and wrap it around the back of a chair or two.

2) After it’s all unwrapped, use chip clips (or something similar) to hold the yarn together. I clipped mine where the tails of the yarn were.

3) Remove the yarn from the back of the chair and place it in a container of water mixed with soap. I used fragrance-free soap because I don’t tolerate fragrance. Let it soak for 10 minutes, or more if necessary, swishing it around every few minutes. **Another option here might be to use a vinegar and water mixture.**

4) Spray the yarn with a garden hose while in the container to really get the water moving through the yarn. Then rinse until the water no longer suds up. I had to go through the soap + soak + rinse twice for this yarn.

5) Squeeze the water out of the yarn without wringing or twisting, then hang to dry outside in the shade to prevent fading. I let mine hang outside for a day, moved the clip to another spot so the yarn under the clip could fully dry.

6) Rewrap your dry yarn into a ball and get ready to knit! This was actually the most difficult step because the yarn kept getting tangled, but it helped that the finished balls were so cute!

Masks, masks, masks.

It seems like everyone who sews is making masks right now. I resisted as long as I could because

1) I have masks. I’ve been wearing masks for chemical smells for several years now,

2) If everyone else is making masks, then I don’t need to. There are plenty of places for people to get them, and

3) Because I wear masks, I know how difficult it is for them to fit properly and there is no one pattern that is one size fits all.

BUT, I caved and made one for my mom (which she won’t wear because even thought I followed a pattern, it doesn’t fit correctly). That was disappointing.

I tried again and made a couple for my godchildren. The experience of bringing them their masks was completely delightful. They put them on right away. Little A said, “Are those rockets? This is my FAVORITE MASK!”

Leave it to children to love the weird gifts you give them! ❤️

The last mask I made was for my husband since he’s going to be working in the nursery at church tomorrow. Knowing how much I like patterns and prints, he requested a solid color. 😭 I put some flexible wire across the top so it will fit snugly over his nose and he likes it!

That’s us waiting for takeout from our favorite restaurant. Super glad this place has opened back up!

Not sure if we’ll ever stop having masks as normal part of our lives. This virus has changed so much about how we live our lives. In the mean time I hope you all are staying safe and healthy!

God bless,
Linda

DIY Shiplap Photo Wall

Took a break from sewing to work on a woodworking project – a photo wall!  I wanted to build something that was large but portable (that I could break down and fit into my minivan), double-sided (paint on one side and stain on the other) and solid enough that it would stand up on it’s own without the danger of falling over.

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I’m not normally a woodworker so there was a lot to learn!  I learned that ECOS stain and paint are products that I use without the chemical smell bothering me. This is HUGE because I’m sensitive to by most paints and chemicals – the brain fog rolls in first and if I can’t get away, a migraine starts.

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I learned how to use a router. I learned that routers and router bits are sold separately.  I learned that routers are super loud and ear protection is necessary. With each new lesson was a new run to the hardware store so the project took longer than I thought.

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I learned that Legos make pretty good spacers.

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The routing of these 2 channels in the posts took FOREVER.  It was backbreaking work.  If I had a full woodworking shop it would have been easier, but all I had was a router and our outdoor table pushed up against a pillar.  The channels ended up being 7/8″ wide and 1 1/2″ deep.

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I used 4×4 fence posts with metal post bases that were screwed into 2″ x 12″ x 4″ boards to support shiplap.  I used string and Nite Ize CamJam tighteners to keep the posts from leaning outward – one at the top and one at the bottom, strung through screw eyes.

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We had a practice assembly in the backyard to make sure it all went together.

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Then took it to the kid’s Winter Ball for it’s first run.  We strung Christmas lights and garlands over the top and honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

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It was solid and looked fantastic as a photo backdrop!

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For the Fall Ball I’ll flip it around and use the brown-stained side.  I use a photo wall several times a year and now I don’t have to find an open wall to hang a sheet on, I can just assemble this wherever I want, even in the middle of a room!

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Love it when a project comes together!

Supply List:
(All lumber was NOT chemically treated.  I used untreated or kiln-dried/heat treated wood only)

4″ x 4″ x 8′ cedar fence posts x 2
1″ x 8″ x 8′ pine shiplap boards x 14
Simpson Strong-Tie 4×4 post base x 2
2″x 12″ x 8′ board (cut in half for the bases)
Screw eyes x 2
Nite Ize CamJam tighteners x2
1/16″ – 3/16″ rope x 50 feet
Washers and screws to attach the post bases to the base boards x 8

You also may need:
Router (I purchased this one and it worked well for me, but I’m a newbie – I have no idea if this is a good long-term investment!)
Router bit (I got this one, but am not sure if there is a better size to use)
Ear protection
Mask to keep from inhaling all the sawdust
Power drill to screw in the post base
Plyers to screw in the screw eyes
A saw to cut the 2″x 12″ x 8′ board in half
Sand paper or a sander to sand the cut edges of the 2″x 12″ x 8′ board
I think that’s it!  This is by no means a tutorial, but I’d love to hear if you make one!

Pompom Cushions

Love/hate pompoms! Don’t like how they add so much time to the pillow making process, but love how they make the seam nice and stiff and help the cushion hold it’s shape.

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The fabric is the former nursery bedding for a little girl who is turning 5. I gave it some extra life by turning it into cushions! The final look made the extra pompom work worth it.

Wanna Split a Pineapple?

Okay, okay, so I realize this isn’t the most beautiful looking pineapple softie ever made.  In fact, if I could have bought one on Amazon, I would have. But all the for-sale pineapples out there have smiley faces on them and that just wasn’t what I was looking for.

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We have a friend graduating from high school who is a big fan of the TV show PSYCH. While I realize traditional graduation presents are a little more serious, our family decided to go in a more fun direction with our gift: a Psych T-shirt and a pineapple softie.

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I used this video as a guideline and it was really helpful, although I had to make some changes to the process when mine didn’t have the shape I was hoping for. Amazon came to the rescue with overnight shipping of a 5-inch needle so that I could use to anchor the top to the bottom. Making something seemingly simple without a pattern is challenging, but is one of the fun things I like about sewing.

Congratulations, class of 2019!


Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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