Aug 28

Garden Blessings!

 

GardenBag1 Did anyone plant a garden this year?  Hubs and I both have parents that have always delighted in growing veggies each summer and they loved sharing the fruit of their labors with friends and family.  We, however, have never really been able to grow much of anything.  Truth be told, we probably just never really gave the garden our full attention as it requires.  However, this year was our first year with an “empty nest” and thus the garden became a very welcome focus.

We took the simple route and created some raised bed gardens around our house which had little or no landscaping.  We’ve enjoyed seeing the foliage develop although we probably got a little carried away with some of it.  I think next year will spread out our plants a little more.

IMG_3534But the most fun thing that we did was creating a straw bale garden.  Yes, straw!  A friend told us that we could line up straw bales (not hay but straw) side by side and put a metal cattle panel in between them as a trellis.  The straw holds the trellis in place without an additional support.  We watered the straw for 1 week and fertilized twice during that time.  Then we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, sweet peppers and marigolds in the straw.  No dirt.  We just pushed the little baby plants right down into the straw.  Then we just watered the straw when we watered the rest of our gardens.  Yes, the garden grew and we had some nice produce grown in STRAW! :-)  Who knew….

The sweet thing about this style of garden is that it can be done anywhere that you have sunshine and a little space.  The soil can be poor or rocky and it doesn’t matter because your plants never contact the soil.  You can even do this on a driveway or concrete if you have space.  If you don’t like your location, you can place it somewhere else next year.

We’ve had our straw bale garden now for about three months.  We have found that the tomatoes did not do well.  Neither did the sweet peppers or the marigolds.  The cucumbers went CRAZY!  Thus I’ve been making a lot of pickles this summer.  :-)  The sweet potatoes and the pumpkins have not harvested yet but they are growing nicely and I’m expecting good results.  The straw is starting to disintegrate now and by winter, it’ll probably just be a nice organic heap for the compost pile.  Hubs is already talking about doing several more next year.  It’s such a novelty and makes interesting conversation among other gardeners.

We’ve enjoyed our raised bed gardens and our straw bale garden so much this year.  It’s been fun to experience the principle of sowing and reaping that God established in our world.  I’ve often thought of the scripture that says: To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

There’s a lot to be learned from the garden if a person will just listen.

I took a LOT of pictures during the growing and the harvesting.  I won’t bore you with all of them but I’m going to post some of my favorites below.  Some of them may or may not have grandchildren pictured also.  :-)

GardenBag3By the way, did you notice the cute “Garden Blessings” burlap bag?  This is a product we sell in the JubileeFabric.com store.  With any purchase of $15 or more from Jubilee Fabric, you can get a free Garden Blessings bag using this coupon code:  blessings.  Offer ends Sept 30.

 

 

 

First the Straw Garden:

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The Raised Bed Gardens:

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Jul 10

Love Those Homespun Kitchen Towels!

246-001-1I was so excited to see our new Homespun Kitchen Towels in the studio this week! I just love these soft, classic woven towels. Not only do they look great in your kitchen but they can be the basis for some fun and easy handmade craft ideas as well.

So as we are celebrating “Christmas in July” this month, I thought I’d pull out some of my favorite holiday towel craft project pics and share them with you.

One super quick and easy holiday craft is to applique some Christmas shapes onto the towels using the frayed edge technique. Just leave the raw edges of the appliques exposed and make a few little clips into the loose seam allowance.  Add buttons, bows or fabric patches to embellish.  Then machine wash/dry your appliqued towel and the holiday design will come out all frayed and shabby style.

I’ve made these in the past to give as teacher gifts, hostess gifts and I’ve also sold many of them at craft shows. Do these towel projects inspire any good ideas for you? What craft would you do with a homespun kitchen towel?  I’m sure I’ll be doing up some new ones too now that we have a fresh stash of homespun towels on hand.

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May 08

Americana Ragged Style Wall Hanging

FlagHangingOne of our customers, Michael E., recently sent us some pics of his rag style quilting projects.  We featured a couple of those in our last post and I was so inspired by his creativity that I decided to do a similar wall hanging design with a simple tutorial.  A big shout out to Michael for letting me be a “copy cat” and do something similar!

So here’s my version of the Americana Ragged Style Wall Hanging.  This project is easily adapted to any size that you want.  Mine ended up being about 30″ x 24″.  The fabric yardages listed are estimates but if you have left over fabric, you can always create some coordinating “accessories” like I’ll show you at the end of the tutorial.

Materials list:

*Homespun fabric is highly recommended.  It is the only fabric that will fray as shown in the pictures.

  • Cut 6 strips of red fabric:  3″ x 32″
  • Cut 6 strips of ecru (or white) fabric: 3″ x 32″
  • Cut 6 strips of ecru (or white) fabric: 3″ x 17.5″
  • Cut 8 strips of red fabric: 3″ x 17.5″
  • Cut 14 strips of blue fabric: 3″ x 15.5″
  • Cut 1 piece of red fabric approx 33″ x 26″ (backing)
  • Cut 1 piece of batting approx 30″ x 24″
  • Print your star pattern pieces from this PDF file
  • Cut 4 of the star side pieces from the ecru fabric
  • Cut 4 of the star bottom pieces from the ecru fabric
  • Cut 2 of the star top pieces from the ecru fabric

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  1. For this project, all your fabric stripes on the front of the flag will be two layers thick.  This will help make your frayed seams fluffier.  So when the directions say to stitch a white strip to a red strip, keep in mind that each strip needs to be two layers thick.  All seams will be 5/8″ unless otherwise noted.
  2. Do all your “tie down” stitching at the beginning and ending of each seam about 5/8″ away from the edge.  This is because the last 5/8″ of all seams will become fray when it is washed.  As with all rag stitching, lighten the pressure of the presser foot if your machine allows that or stitch with a walking foot.  If you don’t have either of these options, just pin very closely so that the fabric won’t slide while stitching.
  3. All your raw seam allowances are going to have to be clipped at some point.  Most of the time, I prefer to clip at the end but in this case, I found it very easy to clip the long strips before I started sewing.  You may either do as I did in these pics and clip now or you can clip at the end if you’re more comfortable with that.  I found that I could clips several layers at once this by clipping now.  To “clip” the seam allowances, you’ll want to make small clips in the raw edges about 1/2″ deep and about 1/2″ apart.  Don’t clip the short ends yet.  You may be trimming those.IMG_8140
  4. Stitch the 6 long strips of red and 6 long strips of ecru together lengthwise, alternating colors.  Each strip will be doubled so you’ll have three red and three ecru stripes when finished as shown in the image.IMG_8145
  5. Stitch the 8 remaining red strips and the 6 remaining ecru strips together in the same way.
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  6. Stitch the 14 blue strips together just like the other sets.
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  7. Now stitch the blue strips to the shorter red strips matching up the seams.  Lay the seam allowances all in one direction.
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  8. Clip the seam allowance loose after stitching so that the seam allowances are free and not stitched down.
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  9. The upper part of the flag base is complete.  Now stitch this to the long red strips keeping the blue portion on the upper left.  Press the flag out flat and preferable keep all seams folding in one direction.
  10. At this time, you may realize that some of the strips have ended up being a bit longer than the others.  That’s fine… “close enough is good enough” in rag stitching.  To remedy this, just trim your flag base slightly on both right and left sides so that all the strips line up nicely.  Use a yard stick to draw a line if needed and make sure that the length of the top edge is still the same as the length of the bottom edge after trimming.IMG_8157
  11. Place the batting material on the pressed flag on the side WITHOUT the seam allowances.  The seam allowances of the flag should be facing your table, away from the batting.  Trim the batting so that it is at least 1.5 inches smaller than the flag on all sides.
  12. Place the red backing material on top of the batting to form a “sandwich” with the batting in the middle.  Pin the edges to hold it all in place and flip it over so that the flag is on top with the seam allowances up.IMG_8152
  13. Now trim the backing to fit the size of the flag if needed.IMG_8156
  14. Pin frequently along all the outer edges and the seams.  Stitch on top of the long stripe seams through all the thicknesses.  This will “quilt” the wall hanging.  A walking foot on your machine can be helpful here.  If you don’t have one, just life the presser foot occasionally to ease the top layer of fabric in.  If you have occasional tucks and puckers, don’t worry over it.  The fray will fluff out over those seams and hide many flaws!  “Close enough is good enough” in rag stitching!  :-) IMG_8164
  15. Now stitch your star together.  The star has one point at the top, two points on the sides and two points on the bottom.  The pattern pieces are marked accordingly but they are very similar in size so if you get them mixed up, it really won’t be very noticeable.  The pic below shows how the star pieces lay out.  The short sides are the ones that stitch together, the long sides are the points that extend and the arrows show you which end goes to the center of the star.IMG_3355Just like the stripes, the star pieces will also be two layers thick.  Your seam allowances on the star will be 1/2″.  The small star on the pattern pieces shows you which end goes to the center of the stars.  The other end of the point is on the outer part.  Press the star flat after stitching.  The “front side” of the star is the side with the seam allowances.IMG_8151
  16. Pin the star onto the center of the blue stripe portion of your flag.  Stitch about 1/2″ from the outer edges.IMG_8175
  17. Stitch around the entire perimeter of the entire flag about 5/8″ from the raw edge.  I call this a victory lap because it always seems to be the last sewing step!
  18. Clip any raw edges that you haven’t clipped already.  If you didn’t clip in the first step, you’ll have a lot to clip now.  If you did clip in the first step, you’ll need to clip the right and left sides, the backing, the star and the seam between the blue and the red/white stripes.  Be very careful that you don’t clip through any stitching when making your clips.
  19. Wash your flag hanging in a washing machine.  I recommend using a high water level even for this one item so that you’ll have minimal color bleed from the red fabric.  I also recommend using about 1/4-1/2 cup of table salt in the wash water to help set the fabric dye.  Liquid fabric softener will help loosen the strings but it’s not required.  After washing, take the flag outside and shake loose the remaining strings before you put it in the dryer.  Tumble dry and then shake loose even more strings!  You’ll also want to stop the dryer at least once or twice and clean the lint screen.
  20. After washing and drying, check to make sure your flag is hanging fairly straight.  You can gently stretch any short sides if necessary.  You can also wet it again and lay it out flat and square to dry.  Press from the back side if any ironing is needed.
  21. Cut seven pieces of the burlap ribbon (6.5″ – 7″ long) and stitch them onto the back side of the flag to make some loops for hanging.  These I applied after the washing and drying was done.  I just stitched through all thicknesses (flag and burlap).  I made the loops long enough that I could stitch them twice, once following the the first seam of the flag and then again following the second seam.  I think there are many ways you could find to hang this wall hanging or you could display it on a table or coffee table as is without any loops.

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When you are rag stitching, scraps are never just scraps… they are pieces of fabric begging to become a coordinating accessory!  These are a couple of goodies, a cute Americana heart pillow and some Americana star quilted coasters, that I made with my left over fabric from this project.  They will look great with my wall hanging and decorate my house so nicely for Memorial Day and then again on Independence Day.  The star coasters can even embellish a decorative banner for the wall.  Oh, the things you can do with scraps and rags!

FlagPillowCoasters

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Apr 25

Sew Manly!

While the vast majority of our fabric customers are female, we do have a few occasional guy customers.  One of these guys recently surprised us with some pics of his recent projects.  All I can say is… wow!  Michael E.’s quilts were beautiful and creative!  Michael tells us he is a beginner and is just learning to use the sewing machine that he’s had for over a year.  His first rag style quilt project was for his daughter and he did the quilt in our bright homespun fabrics.   Now that Michael has demonstrated his sewing skills, he says his wife is thrilled to be lining up some “projects” for him!
Michael E

Here’s what Michael said about his first project:

“I’m a 40 year old man who just learned to load a bobbin last month. I think I sewed my very first stich a little over 30 days ago…. if I can do it,  pretty much anyone can.  The quilt is roughly 60″ x 60″ (my daughter wanted it larger than a throw) and the seems are 5/8″.  It was a great opportunity to learn a new skill while having a project I could work on with my daughter.”

Michael recently sent us a pic of his most recent project, an American flag design!  This quilt is absolutely beautiful and he used several of our red, white and blue homespun fabrics to create it with.  This was his own design concept and he worked out the dimensions and pattern pieces using this link to the specifications of the American flag.

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I’m thinking that Michael shows a lot of promise as a quilt designer! Too bad it’s only his hobby and not a career but I’m sure he will enjoy designing quilts for years to come.  Rag quilting can be quite addictive!

This American Flag quilt has inspired me to create a similar wall hanging.  I’ll be posting a basic tutorial for that soon along with a few other “stars ‘n’ stripes” inspired accessories.

Although it’s not quite as ambitious as designing and creating your own quilt, my nephew-in-law, Bryan, did a bit of sewing not too long ago.  He and my niece, Amanda, were celebrating their first Christmas together and they wanted to create their own Christmas stocking using our ragged style stocking pattern and homespun fabrics.

Bryan and Amanda each picked out their own stocking style and the fabrics they wanted to use.  They were both beginners on the sewing machine but they both managed to stitch up their own stocking very nicely.  The results were great and Bryan and Amanda will have these handmade stocking heirlooms for years to come.

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15So I’m inclined to think that many of our guys are more creative than they are letting on!  Do you know a guy who sews?  I’d love to teach a “for guys only” sewing session some day.  I bet that would result in some really creative projects!

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Apr 14

Anna’s Wall Hanging Project

Looking for a creative way to display pictures for events such as wedding showers, graduations, etc? Perhaps you would like to spice up your home with a creative display of family pictures. This wall hanging project can be decorated any way you like to fit your occasion or home theme. I will be describing how I made my couple-themed wall hanging. This wall hanging would be a great decorative addition at a wedding shower!

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1. Prepare your wall hanging backdrop: For this project, I used a burlap table runner with lace for the backdrop. I cut the runner directly in half and folded the raw edge 3 inches over. I then sewed across to make a hole large enough to slide a rod through. The hole size can be adjusted accordingly.

2. Design your header: I started the decorating process by creating my header. I cut out a 6″ x 10″ piece of Milano Damask printed burlap and tore an 8.5″ x 18″ piece of black solid homespun fabric out of a fat quarter. I placed the printed burlap in the middle of the fabric and folded the sides of the fabric over to touch the edges of the burlap. (This should make the width the same width of the runner at 14″). Then I folded the top and bottom flaps over the printed burlap and sewed to attach them together. That secured the sides and created a frame around the printed burlap.

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3. Make a title for your header: For my theme, I printed the word “Together” on a piece of card stock and glued the word into the center of the framed printed burlap header. I then glued the entire header onto the burlap runner adjacent to the seam for the rod.

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4. Find a layout for your pictures: I laid out the pictures to find a layout that worked well. Once I knew where the pictures were going, I cut out 1.5″ x 12″  strips of the printed damask burlap. I glued the strips just above where I wanted my pictures to hang. Once the strips were glued in place, I cut segments of jute twine that were a little longer than the 12″ printed burlap strips. I rolled the ends of the twine to make a small pinwheel and glued the pinwheels to keep them from unraveling. Then I glued the pinwheels on the edges of the strips so that the twine lay across the middle of the strips. I did this three times until I had created the correct amount of lines for my chosen pictures to hang on. Using mini clothespins, I pinned the pictures on the twine.

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5. Add embellishments. I glued 3 whimsy heart buttons to either side of the header. The last embellishments I added were printed on card stock and mounted just above the lace at the bottom of the runner and to the sides of my middle picture. I glued the words directly to the burlap runner. The sentence, which I framed with black solid fabric, was also glued to the burlap runner.

6. Add extra support (if needed). For more support to keep the wall hanging from bending inward, I glued 3 strips of sturdy cardboard to the back of the runner.

I also have created this family-themed wall hanging. Sticks were used to give the hanging more of a rustic feeling. The materials used for this wall hanging were Sassafras red homespun fabric, red chevron burlap ribbon (which was cut down the middle), assorted fabric yoyos, various buttons, and Kraft Scripture tags.

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Mar 06

St. Patrick’s Day Burlap & Homespun Craft Projects

lucky-2Spring is coming soon and that means it’s time to line up your spring holiday crafting projects!  We’ve been doing a few St. Patrick’s Day themed project in the studio the past few weeks.  I’m sharing three of them here in this post and the last one, the Blessings Wall Hanging, has some step by step photos of the entire project.  We are also be giving away some St. Patrick’s Day bling in our Jubilee Rhinestones  store so be sure to check that out if you enjoy the giveaways.


 

GreenWreathChevron, anyone?  Jubilee Fabric has some really cute chevron burlap ribbons in stock now.  This green chevron was just begging to be implemented into a St. Patrick’s Day craft!  These two projects were incredibly simple and they both turned out very nicely.  The grapevine wreath was purchased at our local craft store and then simply wrapped with the green chevron burlap.  The edges of the burlap are wired so it stays where you put it and the bow is easy to shape.  After the ribbon and the bow were secured with hot glue, we glued a random assortment of our wooden buttons to add interest.

 


 

floraWho doesn’t love to see a little girl with a bow in her hair?  Flora’s aunt made this St. Patrick’s Day bow for her out of the same green chevron burlap ribbon.  We love the unique design of the bow and since this bow is simply green chevron burlap, it will keep Flora from getting pinched on St. Patrick’s Day AND it will be adorable with any green outfit for the rest of the year!  I’m thinking this could even look really cute with something for Christmas as well.

 

 


 

CloverDecorPinterestThis adorable door decor was created by our digital designer, Sara.  Obviously, Sara’s design skills go well beyond digital art!  She stitched together some 4″ squares cut from our Shamrock Green homespun fabric.  Then Sara cut a clover design from the stitched squares, clipped the outer raw edges just a bit and washed it in the washing machine to fray those clipped edges.  She cut a larger clover design from burlap and glued the washed fabric clover onto it adding a bit of polyester fiberfill in between the two layers.  This makes the fabric clover just a bit puffy and gives it a 3D effect.  Just a simple piece of burlap or jute glued to the back will make a nice hanger.  The finishing touch of some green rick rack and a burlap bow makes this a totally unique and adorable door or wall decor.


IMG_31142In researching a bit about St. Patrick’s Day, I discovered a number of really beautiful “Irish Blessings” which have apparently been passed through the generations in Ireland.  This inspired me to create a holiday wall hanging that quoted a phrase from one of the blessings.  The hardest part was picking which phrase to use but I finally settled on “May God bless you and be with you.”  I used the Custom Rhinestone Word option in the Jubilee Rhinestones store to create the text in sparkling green rhinestones.  Following are some step by step pictures of the project in process and some brief instructions on how to make something similar.

Blessings Wall Hanging

You will need:

  • 1 large size burlap drawstring bag
  • 8-10 four inch squares of assorted homespun fabric
    * Its important to use homespun fabric.  Regular cotton won’t fray well.
  • Small piece of burlap approximate 10″ x 10″
  • Rhinestone lettering of your choice (or other type of lettering)
  • 2 cute wood buttons
  • 1″ frayed edge burlap ribbon or thick jute string for hanger.
  • approximately 1″ x 12″ thick cardboard
  • one piece of scrap canvas type fabric approximately 14″ x 14″
  • green embroidery floss or thin green yarn for outline stitching on clover
  1. Lay out your four inch squares in a pinwheel design onto the center of your scrap canvas fabric.  Pin the centers into place but leave the outer edges loose.
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  2. Begin with any square and stitch the three visible sides down by stitching about 3/8 inch from the raw edge.  Use a contrasting color fabric and a long loose stitch because you will be removing this stitching later on.  For each square, you’ll need to fold the square next to it back so that you can stitch three sides.IMG_3077IMG_3078
  3. Continue all the way around the pinwheel stitching the three visible sides of each block individually.IMG_3077
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  4. Stitch the last square as far as you can, folding back the first square and stitching right up to the stitch line.IMG_3081
  5. Cut a clover shape from the burlap piece and pin it into the center of the pinwheel.  Stitch in place by stitching about 3/8″ from the raw edges of the burlap.  Use a small tight stitch and a coordinated color thread this time because this stitching is not coming out!IMG_3083IMG_3084
  6. Now clip the exposed raw edges with small clips about 3/8 – 1/2 inch apart.  Be careful that you don’t clip into the stitching.IMG_3090IMG_3088
  7. Machine wash and dry this piece to fray the exposed edges.  After it’s removed from the dryer, press from the back side to remove wrinkles.IMG_3099
  8. Remove the outer stitching around the pinwheel but leave the stitching around the burlap clover intact.IMG_3100
  9. Cut away the scrap canvas fabric backing by trimming from the back side really close to the clover stitching.IMG_3101
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  10. Use green embroidery floss or thin green yard to stitch some giant hand stitches around the burlap clover to outline it.IMG_3106
  11. Now use a hot glue gun to glue this onto your burlap drawstring bag with the drawstring opening at the top.  Apply your lettering of choice to the top portion of the bag.  We used iron on rhinestone letters from Jubilee Rhinestones. Now glue the cardboard piece into the top of the bag between the front and the back about 1/2″ down from the top edge.  Glue both front and back sides.  Then glue the very top together sealing the cardboard inside the bag.IMG_3107
  12. Glue the buttons onto the 1″ frayed burlap ribbon and glue each end of the ribbon to the top corners of the bag to make a hanger.  This jute twine can be used in place of the ribbon if you wish.

There you have it!  A cute burlap Irish Blessing for your door or wall.  The advantage to using the burlap bag is that all the edges are already finished off for you and it’s such a perfect size for a door hanging.  I may be making more of these for future holidays this year.

Did you like the rhinestone lettering that we used?  We are giving away a similar iron on that says “LUCKY” in the two tone green rhinestones.  You can enter the giveaway here.  Entries will be accepted until March 11, 2014.

So in honor of my new found fondness of Irish blessings, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites:

May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.

lucky

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Feb 17

Upcycled Outfits Featuring Burlap & Homespun

FloClothes2What could be more fun for the thrifty crafter than bringing to life some boring clothes with a little creative embellishing?  This cute outfit that Flora is modeling for us was purchased from Ebay.  The basic denim shirt and the plain corduroy skirt were gently used and very affordable but they were, well… boring.  Just a little bit of homespun fabric and burlap made the two basic elements into a fresh, adorable outfit.

I am featuring two of my Ebay upcycles in this post and some basic instructions for each one.  I hope this will inspire you to look at boring clothes as a canvas just begging for embellishment.  This is a fun and rewarding challenge and I’m sure you will come up with some amazing embellishment ideas of your own.

Upcycled Outfit #1

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To the denim shirt I added a cute ruffled homespun embellishment on the collar.  It’s important to use homespun here because it’s the same on both sides and so the plain back side won’t show in the ruffles.  We tore a long strip of homespun that was just a little narrower than the collar.  Tearing is much preferred over cutting with scissors because it will keep the edges straight with the plaid and it will not ravel beyond the first thread or two when it’s torn.  This long strip doesn’t need to be in once piece, you can connect various strips with a seam.  If you tear your strips so that the plaid will match up, you won’t even see the seam.

The long strip of homespun was loosely gathered by stitching down the middle with a long stitch and then pulling the stitch thread from the bottom side to ruffle it.  This “ruffle” was then stitched directly onto the top of the collar from one side to the other.  Just cut the ruffle when you get all the way across the collar.  Once it’s washed, the cut edges will soften to look like the torn edges.

For the skirt, I stitched a strip of the 2″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon onto the bottom edge.  Then I added another strip of the ruffled homespun which was created exactly the same way as the ruffle on the shirt collar.  I overlapped the ruffled just a bit at the point where the two edges met.  Then I stitched on a few flower shaped wood buttons to give the skirt some whimsical detail.  A roll of our 1″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon was used to make the tied belt.

By the way… our Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbons are great for adding some burlap to your sewing projects.  It has no wire and the edges are frayed and then stitched securely so that they don’t continue to fray while you handle it or wash it.

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The flower bow in Flora’s hair was super easy!  I started with a  gathered a 2″ strip of torn homespun again but this time I did the stitching on one side.   I pulled this tight until one side of the strip was closed up and the other side spread out like a flower.  If your strip is long, it can overlap some or if not, it’s ok to just meet the ends together.  I glued the two ends down and put some glue on the back side to hold the center part in place.  This is the outer part of the flower.

Then I cut a couple of pieces of the 1″ Frayed Burlap Ribbon and placed them over the center in an “X” pattern and glued into place.  Finally I put a cute button to match the buttons on the skirt in the center of the burlap X and glued that into place.  I then stitched this flower bow onto a simple bobby pin which allowed me to use it in Flora’s hair on as an embellishment on her burlap bag.

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Upcycled Project #2

FloClothes1-1This little chambray shirt was another used Ebay purchase that I picked up very inexpensively.  It was actually pretty cute as it was but with just a few simple additions, we made a super cute shirt that coordinated with Flora’s burlap shoulder bag.

First I trimmed off a thin edge of one side of some 1″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon and stitched a zig zag stitch onto the raw cut edge to prevent further fraying.  This burlap “trim” was then stitched under the edge of the existing ruffle on this chambray shirt.  More of the 1″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon was used to replace the fabric belt and that’s all there was to it!

  Here’s a nice before and after pic of the shirt.

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These particular projects were made last fall and Flora loved wearing her burlap clothes to fall events.  Of course, I personally think burlap is a fun accent for any season.  Are you inspired to embellish with burlap and homespun?  Whether you browse through your closets or browse through garage sales or just browse online, you will surely find a perfect canvas for embellishing.  So if you create something fun or interesting, please send us some pics!  We love being inspired!

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Feb 05

Embellishing Burlap Gift Bags

bannerBurlap is the latest hot trend in weddings and home decor and we’ve been discovering that burlap is the perfect canvas for embellishing in a wide variety of styles.  Featured in this post are some of the drawstring burlap bags that we’ve been playing with here in the studio this month.

These are super easy projects that can be completed very quickly with our blank burlap bags and some are even “no sew” projects.  We used fabrics and notions that we had lying around and left over from previous projects.

So if you like these bags, just take a look around your own crafting space and see what elements you have already that could be applied to a blank burlap bag.  Let your imagination loose and you will surely create your own unique burlap bags for display or for gift giving.

Below I’ve included some photos of our bags with a brief comment for each.  Click on each bag image to view it up close and see the details.  We also have a full tutorial for creating a personalized monogram gift bag which is a bit more complicated than the others but SO worth the effort!  So browse our bags and be inspired!


patchwork yoyoThis bag is SO easy!  All you need is our small 8″ x 12″ blank burlap bag, some fabric scraps and a glue gun.  Put a piece of scrap paper inside the bag so that the glue won’t leak through to the back side.  Cut three different size squares from three different fabrics and arrange them on the bag in a random design. Glue into place.  Make three fabric yoyos using different fabrics or use our premade homespun fabric yoyos as I did in this example.  If you don’t know how to make a yoyo, here’s a great tutorial I found online.  Glue your yoyos into place and you’re done!  You could also add bits of lace or buttons or many other sewing elements to this design.


bridesmaid-green Many brides today are using burlap in their wedding decor.  This adorable bridesmaid design serves as an adorable gift bag and a keepsake for the attendants as well.  The iron-on rhinestone transfer is available from Jubilee Rhinestones.  The “bridesmaid” word was iron onto a strip of solid fabric and then glued to the burlap bag.  Be sure to insert some paper into the bag first so that the glue won’t leak through to the back side.  Trim the side edges evenly and add some lace to cover the long edges.  We glued some ruffled 2″ lace to the back of one of our burlap flowers and then glued the flower to the bag.  Ta da!  The perfect combo of bling, lace and burlap!


love-blue This design was constructed similar to the bridesmaid design.  We used a thinner fabric strip and put some homespun fabric with raw torn edges behind the burlap flower this time.  The iron on rhinestone letters that spell “LOVE” are available at Jubilee Rhinestones.  Of course, that could be customized to your preference and you could spell a name or Happy Birthday or whatever was appropriate.

 


heart

This little heart design would make a perfect bag for Valentine’s Day or it could be used as decor in a country style theme.  We cut out a heart design on the diagonal using our Red Delicious 6 homespun fabric and glued that to the burlap bag.  Insert paper into the bag before gluing so that the glue won’t leak through to the back side.  Then we made a 1″ ruffle with raw torn edges from our Red Delicious 5 homespun fabric.  We glued the ruffle to the bag, covering the raw edges of the heart and starting/ending at the top of the heart.  We finished this off with a skinny burlap strip tied into a bow and one of our heart shaped wood buttons.


ginger-blue-stripe If you ever make rag style throws as gifts, you will LOVE this bag idea!  I recently made this chevron style throw for a friend and I simply used my leftover quilt pieces to embellish a matching gift bag.  I used the large size burlap bag and the throw fit perfectly inside.  A matching gift bag really made the entire gift presentation unique and crafty.  To create the frayed edges on the bag embellishment, I first stitched the pieces together, then stitched them very loosely on a piece of heavy canvas fabric.  Then I clipped the edges just like I did for the rag style throw and washed it in a washing machine to create the “fray”.  After drying, I used a seam ripper to separate the frayed fabric from the cotton canvas.  Then I glued the frayed fabric onto the burlap bag.  Be sure to place a piece of paper inside the bag first so that the glue doesn’t lead through to the back.  This project only works with homespun fabric.  Regular cottons just do not fray as well.

 


701-008-001How easy is this??!!  Just tear a strip of homespun fabric about 2.5 inches wide and tie it around the filled bag.  I did that this year for several Christmas gifts and the recipients were almost as excited about the bag as they were the gifts!  If you don’t have any homespun on hand to tear into strips, we have some pre-cut 2.5 inch homespun in a few color options.

 


VanillaBagsThis year for Christmas, I also made my own “homemade vanilla” as office gifts for my husband to give to his co-workers.  Everyone was so pleased to receive their vanilla bottle bagged in this fun and easy burlap project.  I used our 5″ wide burlap and cut it in strips that were 4 times longer than the height of the bottle.  I folded it in half and stitched the long sides with a tight stitch.  Then I dropped the bottle inside and tied it with two torn homespun fabric bows in Christmas colors.  The results were SO cute that I’m planning another set done in everyday colors to use as hostess gifts and such.

 


baby-showerThis precious bag was done for a recent baby shower gift.  Needless to say, there were plenty of oohs and aahs over the bag as well as the gift inside.  In this case, I didn’t have time to make something handmade for the baby but the gift was still personal due to the handmade bag.  If you are interested in trying one of these, we have a full tutorial about how to make this personalized burlap gift bag.

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Feb 05

Personalized Burlap and Ragged Homespun Gift Bag

baby-showerWe all know that presentation is sometimes almost as important as the gift it’s self and with just a little effort, you can create this amazing personalized burlap and homespun gift bag.  The bag pictured here was for a baby shower for a new baby named Lucy.  Thus I chose to use the Petal Pink homespun fabrics in this embellishment.  Following is a brief tutorial outlining how we created this particular gift bag.  These basic methods can easily be altered to fit your situation or needs.   I hope you enjoy seeing this bag come together and I hope you are inspired to create your own unique creation!

 

Materials List:

1 blank burlap drawstring bag (any size will work according to your needs)
Assorted homespun fabric remnants and swatches in your chosen color scheme
*Only homespun fabric is recommended.  Regular cottons just do not fray as well.
1/2 to 1 yard fabric to wrap the gift inside
glue gun and glue
scrap piece of heavy cotton canvas or denim, approximately the same size as your bag

 

  1. From a piece of scrap paper, cut out a heart shape that fits nicely onto the burlap bag you are using.  Remember when you are sizing it that there will be about 1 inch of ruffled added to the edges.
  2. Use this paper heart as a pattern to cut out two fabric hearts: one from the fabric that you want to use for the heart background and one from the fabric that you want to use for the monogram letter.
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  3. Draw your letter on the second heart using a light color pen or washable pen.  Center it on the heart the way you want it centered on the bag.  If you make a mistake, just redraw.  The ink lines will disappear when we are done if you are using a light color.
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  4. Place this heart over the top of the background heart and match up all the edges.  Pin in place.
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  5. Now stitch a single line of small tight stitching following the lines of the letter.  Be sure to backstitch well at the beginning and the end to tie it down good.
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  6. Cut away all the excess fabric of the top heart leaving about 1/4 t0 1/2 inch of fabric around the stitching lines.  Be very careful that you don’t cut or clip the background heart below.  Use a seam ripper to open any “loops” so that you can cut out the fabric inside the loop.
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  7. Make small “clips” into the remaining fabric of the upper layer being very careful not to clip into the stitching or the background heart below.  Clips should be about 1/4 inch apart.  Clip diagonally into any corners.
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  8. Place the heart onto your heavy cotton canvas on denim piece and pin in place.
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  9. Stitch around the perimeter of the heart with a long stitch about 5/8 inches from the raw edge.  You don’t want this stitching to be tight because you will be removing it later.IMG_2615
  10. Clip the exposed seam allowance around the edges of the heart being careful not to clip into the stitching.  Clips should be about 1/2 inch apart and about 1/2 deep.  Clip diagonally at the “v” at the top and the bottom of the heart.
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  11. Machine wash the heart and canvas and tumble dry.  This will cause all those “clips” to become a lovely “fray”.  After it’s dry, remove the heart from the canvas very carefully with a seam ripper.
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  12. Press the heart gently from the back side if needed and place it on your burlap bag.  Once you have it aligned the way you want, glue it into place. Put some scrap paper into the bag so that the glue won’t leak through to the back side.  Embellish with a fabric bow or jute bow.  … or make it your own with your own creative embellishment ideas!
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  13. Now you need to find that extra 1/2 to 1 yard of fabric for “wrapping” your gift.  Loosely wrap the chosen gift in the fabric and place the entire bundle inside the bag.
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  14. There you have it! An adorable little personalized gift bag that will sure to be kept and treasured for years!  Are you going to make one of these?  We’d love to see pictures!  With projects like this, everyone puts their own creative spin on it and it’s so fun to share and be inspired.
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    You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy;
    In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
    Psalm 16:10-11

 

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Jan 21

Super Easy Shabby Chevron Pillow

IMG_7362If you love chevron design and you love the shabby rag style, you will definitely want to check out this Super Easy Shabby Chevron Pillow pattern!  Featured below are all the instructions and tons of pictures to help you create this fun accent pillow.  Sewing skills required are minimal and it should only take you 2-3 hours to complete.  This is a perfect quick project for these long winter evenings.

I chose Warm Red 2 & Ecru homespun to do my chevron design but this design works well with any combination of homespun fabrics.  You may want to use contrasting fabrics like I did for a bold look or this would look really nice in complementary similar fabrics for a more subtle chevron look.  In either case, Jubilee Fabric has a great assortment of over 150 different primitive homespun fabrics for you to choose from for you own unique pillow design.IMG_7363

What makes this pattern “super easy” is that there are no small pieces to cut out and no small pieces to stitch together.  This chevron design is first stitched together in long strips and then cut on the diagonal to form the chevron.  That will greatly speed up the time that you invest to this project.  The finished size of this pillow is approximately 18″ x 21″.   It is important to use homespun fabric because regular cotton fabric will just not fray as well.

Happy stitching!   … and if you make one of these, send us a pic!  We love to see what our customers are making!

Super Easy Shabby Chevron Pillow

 

Materials you will need:

  • Fabric 1 – 1 yard homespun fabric
  • Fabric 2 -1 yard contrasting or complimenting homespun fabric
  • Fabric 3 – 3 fat quarters (or one yard) in yet another coordinating homespun fabric
  • 2 squares of low-loft or felt type batting size approximately 16 x 20
  • thread, 2 sheets of blank copy paper & a yard stick or ruler.
  • 1 large bag of pillow fiber-fill (available at department & craft stores)

Instructions:

    1. From Fabric 1 cut 6 strips of fabric from selvage to selvage.  Each strip should measure 4″ wide and approximately 43″-44″ long.
    2. From Fabric 2 cut 5 strips of fabric from selvage to selvage.  Each strip should measure 4″ wide and approximately 43″-44″ long.
    3. From the Fabric 3 fat quarters, cut three pieces 18″ x 22″.
    4. Always backstitch each seam to secure it but do the backstitch about 5/8″ from the beginning.  That first 5/8″ of most seams will become “fray” and will not hold the backstitch.
    5. Stitch the strips of fabric 1 and fabric 2 together with a 5/8″ seam, starting with fabric 1 and alternating with fabric 2.

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    6. Clip all the raw edges of the seams (you don’t need to clip the outer perimeter edges) about 1/2 inch apart and about 1/2 inch deep.  It doesn’t matter at all if the ends come out even or not because they will be cut away eventually.  Make sure you don’t clip into the stitch line.  If you do, restitch it immediately and seal it with something to prevent fraying like No Fray liquid.
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    7. When all the strips are stitched together and clipped, press the raw seams all toward the same direction.  Press from the other side also to make sure your seams are flattened.IMG_7304
    8. Carefully tape your two copy paper pieces together matching up the short sides.  Then along one side use your ruler or yard stick to trace off a segment measuring 4.5″ x 18″.  Cut this out.  It will be your pattern piece for the chevron design.
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    9. Fold your striped block in half lengthwise with the clipped sides out.  Match up the seams on the unfolded edge so that the stripes are exactly identical on the front and the back.  Put some pins randomly throughout to hold it into place.IMG_7309
    10. Now this is the only tricky part.  If you get this right, the chevron design will turn out perfect.  But even if you don’t get this right, you’ll still have a super herringbone design!  So don’t stress but do try to get this lined up right.<br/ ><br/ >***
      Place the pattern piece on the striped block at a diagonal.  Put the lower left corner of the pattern piece exactly touching the stitched seam in the lower left corner of the striped block as shown in the pictures below.  Place the upper right corner exactly touching the stitched seam four rows across.  Study the pictures if this sounds confusing.IMG_7306IMG_7306-2
    11. Now trace this piece and repeat the process two more times, placing the pattern piece on your striped block so that each cut out has the same striping pattern.  Place some pins inside the traced cutouts so the upper or lower fabric won’t shift.  Then cut out all three pieces, cutting through both layers.  See images below of the finished cut outs.IMG_7317
    12. Unpin the first cutout and re-pin it just as it was but with the clipped edges on the inside this time.  Try to match up the seams carefully.  (These seams will be the v’s of your chevron design.)  Stitch along the right side with fabric 2 at the top and fabric 1 at the bottom.IMG_7318
    13. Do this with all three cutouts and open them as shown below.IMG_7321
    14. Line up the three rectangle pieces as shown in the picture below.  The pattern should be exactly the same in all of them.IMG_7323
    15. Stitch the three pieces together in the same pattern as they are shown above.  Stitch them together with the clipped edges on the inside.
    16. Press the long seams flat.  This side shown below is the BACK side of your pillow block.  The front side has the clipped edges.IMG_7326
    17. Place one of the batting/felt pieces into the center of one of the fabric 3 pieces.  Trim batting/felt if necessary to make it approximately 1″ from the edge on all sides.  If it’s more than 1″ in places, don’t worry about it.  If you have the quilt basting spray, spray both sides of the batting lightly to help hold it in place while stitching.IMG_7327
    18. Place the stitched chevron block on top to create a sort of “sandwich” with the batting/felt in the middle.  Make sure the clipped edges of the chevron piece are facing out.  Pin on all sides and randomly across all the stitch lines.IMG_7336
    19. Create a similar “sandwich” with the two remaining fabric 3 pieces and the one remaining batting/felt piece.  Use the quilt basting spray again on the batting (optional).  Trim the batting/felt as needed and pin all three layers together.IMG_7328
    20. From the front side of the chevron “sandwich”, stitch a quilting stitch through all three layers following the stitch line of the seams.  This will create a chevron quilt pattern on the back side.  Which unfortunately, will be hidden inside the pillow but because it’s pretty, I’m adding a pic of the backside also.  :-) IMG_7338IMG_7340
    21. Stitch a line across the center of the bottom edge about 6″ wide and 5/8″ from the edge.  This will secure the layers when you are stuffing the pillow later on.
    22. Stitch the other “sandwich” together by adding some quilting lines.  You can do this however you wish just as long as you stitch the three layers together.  You can follow the design of the fabric or draw some lines to stitch on with a pen that will wash out.  Be creative!  It doesn’t need a lot of stitching; just enough to hold the batting in place when it’s washed.  Stitch a 6″ span in the center of the bottom of the panel that matches up with the 6″ span at the bottom of the front panel.IMG_7341
    23. Place the second sandwich flat on the table and place the first one over it with the clipped edges facing out and matching up the 6″ spans as best you can.  They don’t need to match exactly.  Pin in place.  Stitch around the perimeter about 1″ from the edge beginning with one end of the 6″ span and ending with the other end.  This will leave a hole in the pillow where you can stuff it later on.
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    24. Clip the outer raw edges of the pillow.  On the corners, make a diagonal clip as shown below.  Be very careful not to cut into the stitching line while making your clips.IMG_7349
    25. Wash your pillow before stuffing it.  Machine wash in cold and tumble dry.  Use a liquid fabric softener if possible to help loosen the threads for the “fray”.  Between washing and drying, take the pillow outside and shake it to remove a lot of the strings.  Also, you’ll probably want to stop the dryer at least once and clean the lint trap of strings.
    26. After it’s dry, stuff the pillow through the opening at the bottom with some fiber-fill of your choice.  Then machine stitch or hand stitch the opening closed and enjoy your Shabby Chevron Pillow!

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 ”Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
Psalm 37:7

 

 

 

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