Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tag Blankets: What's the big deal???

You've probably seen them but if not, you will now. Tag Blankets. What are they and why on Earth would a baby want of need one?
I have a photo of my niece when she was about 2 years old on a hot summer day. She was napping on a doll bed ( no, she didn't fit but she didn't care either!) and she was wrapped up in a big, heavy crocheted blanket. I remember sweating that day as I watched her bundled up in 90 degree weather! Wish I had a tag blanket then!
That's not the only purpose though. Babies love crocheted blankets because they love to put their fingers through holes. Well with plenty of tags you have plenty of holes! The best part? It doesn't take nearly as long to make as crocheting does!
Basically a tag blanket is a two for one special: small blanket for security but very portable and perfect entertainment for baby.
Best part for the crafter? Supplies are very minimal ( I only use scraps for mine!) and time consuming? Only if 20-30 is consuming for you!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If you do not have an Accuquilt Die Cutter and you are an avid quilter or appliquer then you need to start saving your pennies for this machine! It is a very simple concept; put the fabric on the die, roll it through and then you have your perfectly cut fabric !

I purchased mine through HSN which had the cheapest price ( even cheaper than for a bundle package. Of course I added a few dies to my collection but if you keep your eye out you can get some really good deals online ( and on auctions!).

I am making a Halloween table runner with my Rag Quilt Die I just received. It took me literally all of 10 minutes to cut all of the farbic, backing and batting. That's not the best part though.... This die actually cuts the fringe too!!!!

So now all I have to do is sew the blocks together!!!
Visit my Etsy shop for these items and many more!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Embroidery Day

"Today is a great day to machine embroider," says the woman with a good embroidery machine. I, on the other hand said," I wish this embroidery machine was worth half as much as I paid for it!"
A few women I know have a bun in the oven so I was in the mood to make some burp clothes. Nice and easy gift, right? Wrong if you have a Singer Futura!!!! This machine has been junk since I bought it! The tension is never right, the embroidery leaves spaces and the timing was completely off last week!

The History of my Singer Futura


A little over a year ago I saw the Singer Futura on HSN ( yes, I was a TV shopping junkie!). After watching the demo's over and over again on two occasions I decided to jump in and buy it. I told my husband that I could probably make my money back just from doing some custom jobs. It all sounded sooooo good!
Of course I was thrilled when I received it! 
Why wouldn't I be happy? This machine did everything! You could sew, quilt, embroider, etc.... My favorite feature was the computer hook up for embroidery! The sky is the limit when you don't have to purchase embroidery cards!
  I was thrilled with the sewing of this machine. It was my first electronic machine in my collection of 8 machines. Smooth like butter is all I could think for a week! Then I went out to purchase some embroidery thread. WOW! Is that expensive! Anyhow, I bought about a dozen to start.
  After I finally got the grasps on the software ( which is really pretty basic) I decided to embroider something. The first two project went great! Then the tension started........
  every couple of seconds the machine beep, bee, beep, beep..... I felt like I was in a hospital with all of the IV's beeping!  The reason? Thread breakage or incorrect threading. Well, maybe for some this was true but I was correct in my threading and there is no breakage. This has continued more often than not for the time I've owned it.
   Just last week I decided to try my hand at it again since I haven't used it in a month. Wouldn't you know, the timing was off??? I tried to fit it myself and became very impatient. I called my "local" ( an hour each way) machine repair shop and was told it would be $125 just for the timing! Nevermind.... I'll take a deep breath and try again....
  And I did! I finally got it to work! Now it's working as if the timing were never off which only means that it sews and the embroidery still sucks!
  BTW, the man at the repair shop told me this machine is a piece of junk and that most people don't end of fixing them because it's one thing after another.
   Just for the record, I called Singer very early on when the machine would tell me in the middle of embroidering that the wrong size hoop was on. The man I spoke to told me I would pay shipping both ways and for repairs, only parts were covered. This is a heavy machine and at that point was probably only three months old. I decided this would be my last Singer not only because of the big hunk of useless plastic but also because of the customer service, or lack there of.
In summary, plain and simple, don't buy this machine. If you only sew once or twice a year it might be worth it to you but if you sew any more than that, don't do it!!!
I am currently shopping for a new embroidery machine and I will be posting a review on it as soon as I decide what it will be!
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

I came across a Dresden Plate Sizzix die. Would you believe it??? I have never seen one and I just stumbled upon it on Ebay. I think I paid $8 plus shipping.

 Well of course now I am using it for not only fabric but cards also! It is a bit smaller that the 5" blades I have been making but it's great for cards and even better to use up your scraps. By using different scraps you get completely different looks. Check out my YouTube video on how to create a Dresden Plate Card.

If you don't have the time, money or space to start card making check out My Etsy Shop for Card Making Kits at a fun and affordable cost. No dies to store or markers to buy- just grab some tape and put them together!
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Maybe it's a bug! If so, I hope it stays around for a bit! I am loving the Dresdon Plate block! I decided to hand applique the sunflower one so when it is completely finished I will post a picture. In the meantime I made ANOTHER one! This one I left round and I quilted it. It is a perfect candle mat! This was easy and it took about an hour. You know the best part though.... SCRAPS! If you would like to purchase the pattern you can check out my Etsy shop!

A Dresden Plate can be an intimidating quilt block but if you can get a little bit of courage you can conquer this! I absolutely love this as it is sooooo versatile! You can make the Dresden plate and use it as a candle mat, make three, sew a backing and use it as a table runner, a pillow or a wall hanging. The best part? SCRAP STASH BUSTER!



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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Time to get back to the blog of things....

First things first: I am giving away a set of handmade cards on my Facebook page when I get to 50 likes! Head on over there and "Like" my page to be entered to win!
    I have been busy, busy, busy over the last few months. Life changes are happening and I have still had time to be creative! My crafting time is not entirely my fault; many women around me are expecting. Of course this means two things, 1- Lots of baby sewing and 2- Don't drink the water! Here are some of the items I've made:
Nursing covers! Who would've thunk? These are my new fav! I can choose the best fabrics ( and only a yard of it!!!) and I can whip these babies up in no time. Not only does it provide a great privacy barrier for mom but also a great gift that's easy on the wallet for me :)
Now, for the cutest things you've ever seen! This was a pattern I picked up and OMG it is just too cute! I have made several but you have to be handmade gift worthy to receive this. They are not hard by any means but they are time consuming so if you receive one from me then you know I really do like you!

I made a few of these; each with different color patches. Then it hit me..... the bug! I came up with the rest of these on my own after making this cutie turtle!
My Monkey
Oink, Oink
Lady Bug
These are really big playmats and are great to roll up and take with baby. They are so warm they can even be used as a blanket!