Thursday, October 29, 2009

Freezer paper love! <3 <3 <3

So I read a post on the Craft blog about freezer paper a couple months ago and thought it would be cool to pick some up sometime. Then when I decided to start making a 100% by hand Grandmother's Garden quilt for me & Dan - inspired by Craftster member breemonkey (post here) - and started searching for hexagon paper piecing tutorials, I decided I REALLY needed to get myself a roll of freezer paper. Which I found at the grocery store for like $2.99 for a roll of 75 feet. I can only imagine how long it will take me to go through 75 feet. I think I have only used 2-3 feet so far for the 2 projects.

Dan & I are going to be Dean Venture and Triana Orpheus from the Venture Bros cartoon (super late Sunday nights on Cartoon Network, rent/buy the DVD's) and I needed to make parts of our costumes.

Dan's was pretty easy - we borrowed a short-sleeve white dress shirt from Dad & he'll wear jeans & shoes he already has so I just had to make him a maroon with brown trim sweater vest. I am not good with stretchy fabrics nor do I knit so I bought some maroon flannel at Joann's. I used one of Dan's tshirts as a "pattern" and went from there. I bought some brown bias binding and trimmed the neck & arms. And his "sweater" vest was done!

For my costume, I picked up some white & black striped socks at a sock store in SF a couple weeks ago. I didn't have time to make/find a black mini skirt so I am wearing the dark denim one I have. Close enough, right? Dan trekked to 3 stores for me yesterday after work to find a black bob wig and it's more expensive than the rest of the components of our costumes!

So last night I needed to make Triana's tshirt. I picked up a kid's medium black tee at Joann's and found an image of the skull & crossbones from her exact shirt online and blew it up on the printer at work. All I had to do then was trace it onto the freezer paper and cut it out! Then I applied the freezer paper (shiny side DOWN) to the tee and started painting. A couple minute later I was done & just had to wait patiently for it to dry. The freezer paper peeled off easily and there are just a couple tiny places where I applied the paint too thick and it bled the line slightly.

I'll post the full costumes after Halloween :-) Dan says we'll look like Dean & Triana when they grew up and got fat. Speak for yourself!!! I don't look a day over 20 :-P

Monday, October 26, 2009

Venturing out of my comfort zone...

I'm one of those people that am never really 100% happy with the things I make. I know every flaw and thing that went wrong. At least I can kind of let go and let things go to their new owners without being 100% happy with them. So I always am surprised when people say that I make beautiful things and that I am talented.

I went outside of my comfort zone and created the crayon roll tute for the Sew, Mama, Sew! contest. I wasn't 100% happy with my tute but ran out of time to get the pics I really wanted and just posted the tute on my blog as-is. And today I looked and here I am on the SMS blog with my contest entry!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scrap buster/Christmas gifts

A couple weeks ago, I started making Christmas gifts for my niece and young cousins. All three girls are getting cute Crayola crayon rolls for Christmas. I thought I would share a quick little tutorial on how I made their presents. I am entering this in Sew Mama Sew's scrap buster contest. This is my first tutorial so please c & c are appreciated!
Scrap Buster Crayon Roll Tutorial
I made a few crayon rolls recently for my niece & youngest cousins for Christmas. They are 4 ½, 5 and 7 years old. I’ve seen a number of different crayon rolls out there but I never saw one where each pocket was a different color from the crayon box. Maybe it is my slightly anal-retentive tendencies but I thought it would be fun to give the girls a spot for each crayon.

I made my crayon roll using a box of 24 Crayola crayons but you could make your crayon roll with the 8 or 16 boxes or with the fatter crayons as well. The pockets for the fatter crayons would need to be larger since I found the 1” pockets made for the regular crayons to be large enough for little hands but still secure enough.

Materials needed (for 24 crayons):
24 - Scraps (at least 1.5” by 5.5” or pieced together to make a 1.5” x 5.5” scrap) matching the colors in a box of crayons
2 – 5.5” x 25.5” pieces of fabric for the pocket and back (this could also be pieced)
1 – 5.5” x 25.5” piece of batting, old t-shirt or flannel
2 – 15” pieces of ribbon
Rotary cutter and mat
Thread matching the pocket/back fabric
Sewing machine
Optional: contrasting fabric for names or initials on the back of the roll plus appliqué materials

Start by laying our your crayons and coordinating fabric in the order you plan to sew them. Cut each fabric to 1.5” x 5.5” EXCEPT the 2 end pieces. Cut the end pieces to 2” x 5.5”. **Note: since I was making more than 1 crayon roll, I sewed 1.5” strips together and cut them into 5.5” sections after sewing all the strips together. You can do this too if you plan to make more than one at a time. (This is also why my photos look a little different than my directions)

Cut your back and pocket fabric. You need two 5.5” x 25.5” pieces.
Cut 1 piece of batting at 5.5” x 25.5”. You could also use an old t-shirt or old piece of flannel. I used a piece of batting leftover from a quilt since I always buy my batting several inches larger on each side than needed.

Sew your rainbow scraps together using a ¼” seam allowance. I sewed my scraps in pairs, chain stitching them one after the other. Then I sewed the pairs together (in the proper rainbow order, of course) and kept adding groups of scraps together until all 24 rainbow pieces were sewn. Press all seams to one direction or press open.

Square up your rainbow and trim any excess fabric from the edges. Or if you are sewing more than 1 crayon roll, cut your larger rainbow piece into 5.5” sections. Take your back fabric and 1 of your ribbons. Measure about 10 inches from one edge. Center the ribbon on the back with the long tail going towards the longer section of the back fabric and stitch down. I went around each edge 2-3 times since I did not want my niece/cousins’ little hands ripping the ribbon off later. *Add any additional decorations now. I added my cousin’s initials (H for Hayley and L for Lindsey) since their crayon rolls were identical and I didn’t want a fight later.

Take the other ribbon and center it on the edge closest to where you just sewed the other ribbon and pin.

Take your pocket fabric, fold in half (so you have a 2.75” x 25.5” piece) and press the fold. Pin the pocket to the right side of the rainbow scraps.

Now we’ll make the sandwich:
Layer 1 – batting
Layer 2 – back of roll RIGHT SIDE UP (with the ribbon attached to the back). I pinned my ribbon to the center of the back so I wouldn’t have to worry about accidentally sewing it into one of the sides as I sewed the sandwich J
Layer 3 – rainbow scraps with pocket pinned RIGHT SIDE DOWN. You should be looking at your seams. (I fanned out the layers so you can see how they should look but stack with all edges matched up)

Sew the sandwich together with a ¼” seam allowance. Backstitch several times over the ribbon to make it secure. Make sure to leave a 4-5” opening on 1 side to turn the sandwich. (You may want to leave a slightly larger opening than normal. I found I pulled a couple of my rainbow seams out as I turned my layers while tugged the other pieces through.)

Clip the corners at an angle and turn the sandwich right sides out.

Press the edges of the roll and topstitch with a ¼” (or less) seam allowance with a complementary thread. Now you will need to make the individual crayon pockets. I eyeballed each pocket based on the seam between each of my rainbow fabrics. But you could also use a water soluble marker and mark out each of your pockets before sewing.

Backstitch a couple times at the top and bottom of each pocket. I overlapped my stitching with the rainbow fabric by about 1/4 – 1/2" so that little hands shoving crayons wouldn’t pull out the thread and pocket. (You could use a walking foot for this step but I used my regular foot and didn’t have trouble with fabric bunching.) *Note: be sure to mark where your ribbon is attached to the back so that you do not mistakenly stitch it into one of your pockets or seams. I pulled mine up and pinned it to the edge so I could be sure it didn’t get in the way.

And you are done!!! Here are a couple ideas for variations you could do: use a button instead of ribbon, make a taller roll for colored pencils, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

I will have these for sale in my Etsy shop if you prefer to purchase one instead of make it. (Once I get around to setting up my Etsy shop)

****This tutorial is for personal use only. Please link back to this tutorial and do not use this design for commercial/business purposes****

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I've been M.I.A. from my blog most of the month because it is a crazy month! I've been working on a couple things at home but I was also preparing for my marathon and October (for various reasons) is a busy month at work.

I completed my 6th marathon on Sunday and I completed it with a personal best time of 4:59:17! I blogged about it on my Team In Training blog so if you want to read all about it, head over to (Here's a photo of me at the finish, accepting my Tiffany's necklace from a tuxedoed fire fighter)

Gotta get back to catching up on emails, student teaching applications, advising notes and much more at work. I'm out of town again this weekend to go to Northern Arizona University's homecoming with the hubs and the in-laws. Should be a great weekend, although I think I might gain about 10 pounds hitting our favorite restaurants. Mmmmm, Little Thai Kitchen, Burritos Fiesta, La Fonda's, etc...

Hope to post something soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My first attempt at improv

No, not stand up comedy, just improv quilting. As I mentioned in a previous post, I made a quilt for an auction with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with the leftover fabric I have from other quilts. I didn't have enough fabric for the back, so that's where the improv comes in.

This is the front
And the back - I used some leftover strips from the front as well as extra squares from the sashing that I appliqued to the quilt back before quilting.
A shot of the back with a little bit of the front.
Now I just need to find a home for this one :-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Things I am working on...

Christmas gifts for my niece Alex (4 1/2) and cousins Hayley (7) and Lindsey (5). I just need to flip the pocket, cut batting, sew the layers together and make sew the individual pockets. A box of 24 Crayola crayons plus fabric scraps = a crayon roll! Total cost = 25 cents. Luckily for me they all like princess and mermaids. Plus Ariel is Aunt/cousin Jennifer's favorite Disney princess and hot pink is her favorite color so they get little choice :-)

I won this book Kanzashi in Bloom by Diane Gilland in a Craftzine giveaway! I NEVER win anything. Anyway, I plan on making pins and other accessories for the women in my life for Christmas. Total cost = minimal. I plan to use fabrics I have on hand but need to buy some pin bakcs and maybe a few other notions. The blue/green flower pictured about is my first attempt. This is an AWESOME book and super user friendly.
This weekend I have girl/craft time scheduled with Wendy. I haven't seen her much since the school year started (she teaches 7th grade and I work for Northern Arizona University so fall has been busy for both of us). I found some terra cotta gnomes in the dollar spot at Target a couple months ago so we're going to paint those. Not sure what other crafts we'll do but Ghost of Girlfriends Past is on it's way in the mail from Blockbuster :-)