Monday, July 19, 2010

Recycled Fence Picket Beach Signs

I kind of got this idea from another blog I saw at someone's linky party, but I can't for the life of me find it now to give her credit and add her link here. Anyway it was a cute little chipboard plaque that said "gone swimming" and was decorated with some pretty shells and I loved it and wanted to make one.
Oh here it is, she found me! Thanks Amanda!

K and I are "beach bums in exile" this summer since she moved back to Colorado. So we are making do with lake swimming and trying to make life as beachy as possible when you live in a desert. That means that every chance we can scrounge up $8 and a bowl of chicken salad and a loaf of bread and some fruit we pack a little cooler and a jug of our special "mommy juice" and head to the water.

Which is exactly what we planned to do one day last week when we were suddenly grounded when Destructo Boy was laid low with a nasty tummy virus.

Poor baby, this is how he looked the entire day.

I figured if we can't go to the beach that we should do the next best thing, crafting...

A trip to Michael's was not in the budget... We are living frugal this summer and trying to use what we have on hand. Being broke has it's upsides I have found. By that I mean that I have found it immensely satisfying to get creative and use something that otherwise I would have considered useless. More about that soon...

We live in the country so we can have this big mess over on the side of the garage that no one seems to care about. So we trekked over there in our flip flops through the weeds and yucca's and found this pile of 30 year old fence pickets from a fence we tore down, oh about 6 years ago, and Mr. Rainbow Creek had the good sense and foresight to throw them over there and save them. We did not meet any rattlesnakes on our journey, which was a good thing.

We have power tools and we know how to use them! This is a chop saw that just happened to be handy because K and Mr. Rainbow Creek were making some repairs on the stair rail. We used it for cutting the pickets into lengths for our signs.

Then we used some scraps of lattice that we dug out of the wood pile for strapping and stapled it on the back to hold the pickets together using my power staple gun.

We mixed up some whitewash, 1 bottle of craft paint to 1/2 bottle of water, in a coffee can and coated the signs. It took less than 5 minutes for them to soak up the paint and dry in the 100 degree heat.

I found a bag of seashells potpourri and some sand dollars that Nature Girl had collected at Crane's Beach last summer for me. We decorated the signs and then brushed glue around and sprinkled them with sand from the LP's sandbox. We made some for gifts for friends too, but I can't decide which one is my favorite.

Yeah, I think this one.

I linked this post to:
The Girl Creative, Just Something I Whipped Up Monday. Stop by and check all the creative ideas over there!

The Girl Creative

A Soft Place to Land, DIY Day-Outdoor Edition


Fireflies and Jellybeans Show Off Your Stuff Party

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Super Quick Baby Rag Quilt

Just in case you let time get away and you are in desperate need of a special baby gift, here is a super quick baby quilt that I swear you can whip up in an afternoon.
It is a a 9 patch/4 patch Raggy Quilt. Even if you are a beginner I bet you can do this and it will turn out perfectly adorable!

For fabrics you will need:
1 1/4 yard total for the top in 3 or 4 different fabrics OR if you want a scrappy quilt you will need 36 6 1/2" squares in any variety of coordinating fabrics.
1 1/4 yard solid white or colored flannel for center/batting squares
1 1/4 yard for backing

Matching thread, ruler, fabric marking pen or pencil, sharp scissors or a pair of Fiskars Rag Quilt Snips.

I highly recommend the investment in the rag quilt snips! Once you get hooked on rag quilting you'll see how totally worth it they are because they can cut through all the layers like butter and save you hours of snipping and pain. Get a coupon for Joann's or Hancocks and get some if you can.

This pattern makes a little 33"X33" finished quilt, nice for infants, and a good size for car seat and stroller. For a larger crib size you can do a little math and add a few rows. I don't want to confuse anyone here with my convoluted math calculations so I'll leave the math up to you ; )

Start by cutting your top fabrics into 6 1/2" squares. You will need a total of 36 squares. I used 3 different fabrics here and cut 18 squares of the main print and 10 squares of the gingham and 8 of the minky dot. My ruler happens to be 6 1/2" wide and I use a rotary cutter, but if you don't have these supplies you can always cut a 6 1/2" square paper pattern to use.

Lay out your 4 patch blocks like this. There will be 5 of the gingham block and 4 of the minky dot block.

Now lay the squares Right Sides Together (RST) and stitch down one side of each set taking a 1/4" seam allowance. Open them up and press the seam toward the darker print. Lay the top row on top of the bottom RST matching the center seam and butting the seam edges together, stitch them together.

Open the block up and press the seam allowance well in one direction. Repeat this to make a total of 9 four patch blocks. They should all measure 12 1/2" square. Trim up any uneven edges if neccessary.

Cut 9 each of the backing and center batting squares to 12 1/2" each.

Lay the backing squares down, then layer one batting square on top of each.

Lay one 4 patch block on top of each of the backing blocks to make a "quilty sandwich."

This step is really not necessary because we are using flannel for the batting and it is cut to the same size as the block. But you probably want the quilt to look "quilty" so you can do a little quilting here to add a pattern and some dimension to your quilt. Using your ruler and marking pen, mark an X from corner to corner in each direction on each 4 patch block. Now stitch from corner to corner on your marked line.
When stitching raggy's I always "chain stitch" the X's. I stitch them one after another in one direction, then snip them apart and go back and chain stitch the other direction.

Snip all your X'd blocks apart.

Now you will want to lay out your 9 patch like so, alternating the blocks to form a pattern.

Take the first two blocks and lay them WRONG SIDES TOGETHER (WST)
Stitch a seam down the right side of the blocks using a 1/2" or 5/8" seam allowance whichever you prefer.

Add the next block to row 1, It will look like this, with the seams exposed on the front side of the quilt.

The back side will look like this, with finished seams the X's will match up to form a diamond pattern on the back.

Continue making row 2 and 3 the same way.

Now you will want to join row 1 and 2 together with WST and making sure to match the corner seams together. Fold the seam allowances to opposite sides so they look like this:

Add row 3 in the same way. Now the top of your quilt will look like this big 9 patch put together with the seams all exposed on the front of the quilt.

This is optional, but I usually round the corners before finishing the quilt. I use a large spool that I happen to have handy, but you can use a saucer or whatever else you have that looks about right to you. Lay the "template on the corner so that is meets up with both straight edges and mark the rounded part in between.
Cut on the line, repeat for each corner.

Stitch all the way around the outside edge 1/2" from raw edge. Stitch again 1/4" inside first row of stitching.
Now you are ready to snip the seams to create the raggy bloom. Snip about 1/4" apart all the way along each exposed seam. When you get to the intersections of the seam you will need to pull them open and snip into the folded parts too.

Your quilt is all done and ready to wash to get the ragging to bloom! Run the quilt through a short wash cycle and then tumble dry on medium heat. Don't forget to check your lint trap on your dryer part way through! There will be a lot of loose threads in there. I use a dryer sheet too, but that is optional.
If you have some scraps left over you can make one of these cute raggy burp rags to match.


Let me know what you think! If you try my tutorial I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or a link to show off your creation!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just something I whipped up

I got thrown for a loop with the "big dig" plumbing mess. I have to say that there is nothing more disconcerting than seeing a jackhammer tear a 2 foot wide trench across your bedroom and a 3 foot high pile of dirt across the room. But it was amazing how fast and efficient they were at putting it all back together and making it look like it never even happened. So as soon as that was over I got back to doing a little sewing and whipped up a Winnie the Pooh rag quilt for a baby shower this weekend. I am not usually into character prints, but I added a nice selection of minky and chenille to pop the colors out of this one and I think it turned out pretty nice.

I had to put my store on vacation hold this week because I can't take the stress of trying to ship orders in this chaos. HA! some vacation huh?

I really like the green stripe minky and the dark blue.

I made a couple of burp cloths and made one into a cute little burp cloth cupcake just for fun.

I also made a little 9 patch raggy out of 4 patches in an adorable classic toys flannel print with blue gingham print flannel and dark blue minky. I have a tutorial for this one coming later this week!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just a few adorable kids

Just a few images of the cutest grandkids ever...

Morgan May models her Stars 'n Stripes dress... made by grandma doni

David figures out how to run the air hockey table... you're not gettin' that puck by him...

Nature girl... Annie Dee found a tree stump to perch on...

Tarter Sauce... brings his one man band to entertain us...
Template: Blog Designs by Sheila