Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quiet Book Exchange - Binding the Quiet Book

I think I'm a wee bit obsessed with quiet books. I participated in another quiet book exchange and got all the pages last night. I decided to try binding them a little differently then last time, when I used binder rings. This time I followed this tutorial from Project Mama. to create an actual binding and then a cover.

My pages from the exchange are larger then what she created here so I had to improvise the measurements. My binding piece of fabric covered Pellon ended up being 12 x 8 and my cover pieces and batting were 26 x 15. I added a handle and pocket in the back from scrap to provide a way to hang with my other quiet books and some extra storage for pieces.

Here are a few pictures of the finished project.

Disney Freezer Paper T-Shirts and other Disney Crafts

I've been searching for the perfect disney shirts for the upcoming DisneyWorld trip and just could not find what I was looking for. I also have a large stock of freezer paper on hand so I decided to take a stab at making the shirts myself. 

There are thousands of freezer paper stencil tutorials online. Here is one of them. 
In general though, you just print out the image you want and trace it onto the freezer paper. Cut it out using an exact-o-knife, iron it onto the shirt and paint with fabric paint. 

I made most of my patterns just in word or by finding images of what I wanted and modifying them.

My only additional thoughts are these.

- When using a colored shirt, put a layer of white down first before using anything other then black. You can see the red and yellow in the "one" shirt are not as bright as they may otherwise have been had a I put some white down first.

- Let the paint dry completely (ie overnight or longer) before you pull up the freezer paper. This will give you the nice crisp lines you see on tinker belle. I got a little excited and pulled up the "one" shirt early and ended up with a not so crisp lined 'e'.

On the adult shirts I put the designs down on the bottom of the shirt and a bow either on the back or on the side. I found when I centered the designs I had trouble with how they were laying in the breast area. The bow is on a safety pin so I can easily remove it to wash or if it becomes uncomfortable.

These tanks will be perfect for layering

Since I had the fabric paints out, and an extra shirt for both boys I thought I could do some 4th of July shirts. The kids sort of put their handprints where ever and I rolled with it. They are a little wonky but I love things with their hand prints on them. 

 I made some PJ pants from flannel a while back, using the boy's existing pants as a pattern.  (See tutorial here.) This worked so well, so I thought i would give it a try with cotton. The cotton works great - make sure you pre-wash it so all the shrinking happens before you make the pants. My only thought is that they are a bit see through - no big deal for my 3 year old, but it would be if you were making them for yourself.

Needless to say he loves the pants and they are currently paired with the birthday Mickey shirts I made for him and his friends to wear to Disney on Ice. These shirts also glow in the dark so they are the perfect PJ shirt.

Whew... I've been busy, but I'm not done yet! I found some Winnie the Pooh fabric and threw together a quick baby quilt top. That quilt top has been sitting on my craft counter for a month or more. I had some leftover fleece chevron fabric from the aforementioned fleece PJ pants. I decided al lightweight quilt was in order.

Instead of messing with batting and binding, I just put the two right sides together sewed around the edge, leaving a small hole, and then turned them. Once turned I did a decorative stick around the edge and a few through the middle to hold it all together. Its perfect for a light weight blanket for one of the boys to snuggle with in florida.

So I think at least craft wise I'm prepared for Disney... well until I hit Pinterest and find some more things to do :)

Happy Crafting.

Gifts for Cancer Patients

My sweet mother in law was diagnosed this winter with breast cancer.  As she started her treatment I searched the web for some crafts I could easily make that will help her be more comfortable or lift her spirits. With the help of my adorable sister-in-law we came up with a few ideas and put together a nice care package for her. 

Mastectomy & Port Pillow 
 I found some great patterns online for mastectomy pillows. There are a range of ideas out there so google it for some inspiration. There are ones made of old sweaters that look quite cozy. I however, had some cute pink fabric that looked cheerful and them appropriate. The back is a white cotton with a little texture that was left over from a baby quilt.

Most of the patterns are just heart shaped, so I eye balled it on some freezer paper to make a template and ironed it onto the fabric, sewed it right sides together, flipped, stuffed and we were done.

I found some great ones on Etsy that included ribbons so they could be tied like a purse. I figured that that would come in handy if she wanted to be handsfree and keep it from slipping so as I was sewing I just added in some pink ribbon.

I also took two charm squares and some velcro I had laying around and made a port pillow. This little pillow will strap to the seatbelt (with the velcro) to keep it from rubbing the port or incision, which I hear can be incredibly painful. A tutorial for the port pillows can be found here.

Around christmas time I made a bunch of hand warmers with a bit of dried lavender in them. I threw a few of those in the package as well. A tutorial for the hand warmers can be found here.  I also made a larger hand warmer to put on your back or feet or even in the bed to add some warmth. Some people who go through chemo can get very cold so I thought this would be an easy way to get warm on the go or even during treatment.

My favorite item though is the blessing ring. I got the idea from this post.

My sister-in-law helped me collect notes, pictures, cards and motivational or meditational thoughts from friends and family near and far. We have quite a few young grandchildren in the family so we had them all do some art. I used a circle punch to punch out part of the art and put them on a notecard to include in the ring. It was a nice way to take their scribbles and make them into something fun for the ring.

Once they were collected, I backed them on fun paper (we chose yellow and pink as our theme.) and laminated them all. Then I punched holes and but them through a large binder ring. The ring was decorated with a few ribbons, but can still be opened.

My mother-in-law clips the ring to her purse to take with her to doctors appointments and treatments. It helps to keep her focused on the love that surrounds her and how strong she is. She can add new notes or motivational items that she finds to the ring as well, so it can continue to grow and change as she needs it.

I also put this blessing ring poem on the front on the ring.

Also in the package went a bracelet that my sister-in-law had made and some power of thought meditation cards that are a compliment to one of my mother-in-laws favorite books.

Being far away can be difficult during times like this. Not only does my mother-in-law enjoy the little treats, it helped me feel useful despite not being able to help with the day to day things.

I hope this helps you find some ideas for someone you love.

Quiet Book Exchange, Part II: Cover

Now that I have all my pages, I was able to put together a cover for the quiet book!

It has a ribbon closure, two handles for carrying and a pocket for loose bits in the back. I ended up using the initial of our last name, so that the cover isn't child dependent. I'm hoping these hang around for a while! 

I have another two to make - we had a lot of pages in the exchange! Once I get another one under my belt, I will try to post instructions on constructing one of these. I have been combining ideas from Pinterest tutorials to get the exact cover I wanted.

There are a ton of ways to do this. I would suggest browsing Pinterest and figuring out what features you want. 

Cut your inside and outside fabric based on the size of your quiet book pages. I would recommend at least an inch larger than your pages on each side. (My horizontal pages are 11 x 36).

Do any detailing you want on the pages now. I added an interior pocket and a small, felt name plate on the front. Make sure you keep it at least .5in from your edges. 

The pocket is a 5in square that I folded the edges over 1/4in on all sides, with metered corners and used a zig zag stitch to attach to the inside fabric, again being sure to keep it at least .5 inches from your edges.

 For the pocket closure, I sewed together two strips of fabric, wrong sides together again, with the edges folded in .5in. Alternatively, you could sew them right sides together and turn it all inside out and close the hole. (This way has a cleaner look and what I will probably do next time, but I didn't think of it until just now.) Put a button hole in the strip - you will add a button to the pocket when you are done sewing the cover.

Attach the strip above the pocket with a zigzag stitch. I assumed this strip would get pulled on and attached it twice. The first time the strip was facing away from me, so the fabric was upside down, then I folded it over this same spot and zig zag stitched it again on the crease. 

Cut a piece of interfacing (pellum) to be slightly smaller than your fabric. You will also want to cut a piece of lightweight batting to the same size as your interfacing. 

Now you have another choice - you can make a quilt sandwich or a pocket. The animal print one is a pocket and the pink one I did for Jessica is a quilt sandwich. 

For a pocket, you are going to place the fabrics right sides together with the interfacing on the bottom. It inside fabric with design away from interfacing and then your outside fabric with the design facing your inside fabric.  Do not include the batting or interfacing

For a quilt sandwich, you are going to put everything in the order you want it in. It should go inside fabric with design facing the table, interfacing, batting and outside fabrics with design facing you. 

Either way, pin or baste the fabrics. 

If you made a pocket, you need to add your closure type and handles now if you want them. 

The handles are just three inch wide pieces of fabric sewn on three sides and flipped inside out. Then pin them on the sides of your quiet book. You should pin them such that all you see are the two little tails sticking out - the handles are inside the stack. You can make these as long or short as you would like. 

I used a ribbon closure, but you can use elastic and a button, ribbon, Velcro and a strap or nothing at all. They need to be added into your pocket now, though. Again, all you should see are the very tails, the part that is going to be showing should be inside your stack. If you use ribbon, make sure it is pinned so that it will not drift into your stitching. (Not that this ever happens to me ... or it does all the time!) 

Ok, you have all your details pinned or basted on. Now, take two pins and mark a 3 or 4 inch space on one of the edges (probably not where all the stuff is) - this is the space you are going to leave open to turn. You don't have to pin it, but I always forget what I'm doing and then end up with a tiny space to turn. 

Sew the edges of your stack except for the part you have marked. Clip the corners, making sure not to clip the stitches. (If you don't do this, your corners will be rounded not pointy.) 

Now flip the whole thing inside out. Take a hot iron and iron it, so your edges are nice and crisp. Now you have an inside and an outside. Make sure your handles and closure are firmly attached and are now on the outside of your book. 

Using that hole, slide the interfacing and batting into the pocket you have created. Make sure everything is nice and flat, so it stays in place. Use a blind hem stitch to close the hole, or, if you are lazy like me, just iron the sides in so it looks like it is stitched. Now you need to run a wide stitch (a zigzag or decorative stitch) around the outside to keep those edges together. If you didn't bling hem, watch the open space and make sure your stitch is catching the loose edges you have folded under. 

Wahoo! Your cover is done. Now you just need to either add buttonholes to run your rings or ribbon through or add tabs to run your rings or ribbon through. The tabs have to be attached once the alters are together or it will pull your fabric layers apart. 

If you want to do a quilt sandwich, you just quilt your book using whatever stitch you like. Then you bind your book, just like you would a quilt. You will need to add your details like the closure and handles in when you are binding instead of when you are quilting. Also, be careful of your pocket if you quilt: if you quilt over your pocket, it will remain shut. 

You can put the two button holes on your cover close together, so that the whole ring sits inside the cover or far apart so that the cover sits directly on the pages and the rings come out the cover. It is up to you. (This is a good time to go look at Pinterest and see what you personally like). As for spacing, the closer to your edges vertically your buttonholes are, the more stability your book will have. On a 9in page I did, the center of my buttonholes are at 8in and 2in. Now, you just need to put buttonholes in your pages and add them into your books. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Disney Crafts

We are headed to Disney later this year so the crazy crafting has started.

Back of easy tie blanket.


Today my toddler found some Mickey and Pooh fleece he just loved - so we grabbed a yard of each and threw together some tie blankets. He has been super excited about learning to use scissors so I let him cut a few of the strips too. We had fun and now have two small (read perfect for travel) Mickey/Pooh blankets.


Before we head to Disneyworld the Toddler is headed to Disney on Ice, with one of his best buds for his birthday. I saw some cute t-shirts made with dots from an eraser so I thought I would give it a try with a Mickey silhouette. I have not taken the wax paper stencil off yet because I'm too scared. I'm going to let it dry overnight to prevent any leakage. 


 I found some blank spiral bound books at Hobby Lobby. I painted them red and then with some painters tape painted the rest of them black. (I used Martha Stuart craft paint.) I had some white buttons laying around that I glued onto the book. Then I coated the whole thing in some modge podge. I used some sticker letters to put the kiddos names on the back.

I have no idea how these will hold up, but my kids are toddlers so I think the chance of getting autographs is about the same as these being used for their drawings or stickers while they ride around in the stroller.


I've seen these straps you attach to your stroller all over Pinterest and Etsy. They loop over your stroller handle and give your toddler a handle to hold when they don't feel like riding. Its a nice alternative to my kiddo holding my hand while I try to push the stroller and (typically) hold the baby. I know, I know.. why have a stroller? To hold my stuff of course :)

I made a different type of handle for a friend who is currently at Disney. She wanted something a little shorter so I used elastic for the part that hooks to her stroller. Again, there are a ton of patterns on Pinterst - they even have long ones that hook to your purse. Could have used one of those today when I took both kids to Old Navy on my own... what was I thinking! 

More crafts to come... 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Preparing for Toddlers in Yellowstone

Before heading out on our summer adventure to Yellowstone, I knocked out some simple crafts to make all our outdoor time a bit more fun, and dare I say, educational. 

This is an egg crate that I painted.
Within minutes of it drying, our little guy was already on the hunt for matching items. Plus, you probably have everything you need for the craft in your house right now! 

I also found a few printables for our walks and car ride. (A quick Pinterest search if "nature hunt" or "car bingo" will give you plenty of options.) I printed them back to front and laminated them. I embellished a few with cutout color circles, my own little drawings and some ribbon. 

Our little guy got to pick them for hikes or when we needed something to do in the car. He was able to draw on them with the crayola window crayons and it wiped right off. 

The clear favorite was a map of Yellowstone that I found online. Our two year old loved giving us "directions" both on the road and trail. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Purple Quilt

Can you believe it? I have finished all the projects that were started and sort of sitting in my craft area just waiting! The next few posts will be covering those - probably not in much detail since my goal is to get the posts done before this baby comes. 

The purple and blue quilt is done! I can't even remember what the pattern name or fabric line is - I'll have to do some digging. It's an oversized lap quilt. And I'm obsessed with the backing fabric.