I Heart Craftsy!

Hi there!  So I’m wanting to share with you why I love Craftsy so much.  If you’re not sure what Craftsy is well then allow me to briefly explain.  J

Craftsy is an online community of passionate crafters featuring online classes about all your favorite crafts including quilting, sewing & cake decorating.

I first stumbled across Craftsy while searching the net for project inspiration and I was amazed to find ll of these great tutorials by fellow creatives – a lot of which were free!  Speaking of free – you can find my free pattern on how to make a mini envelope from a magazine page here.

Since I also teach classes, I found it was a great way to promote some of my patterns.  Sign up is free and sellers keep all of the proceeds from the sales!  Even Etsy can’t beat that!

They also have a wonderful variety of classes on everything from sewing, quilting, cake decorating and more, taught by top notch experts.  I recently have been taking an awesome class called “Design Your Own Handbag” taught by expert sewer Brett Bara.  


I have to say, it’s pretty thorough and the great thing about is you can follow each lesson at your own pace.  Play, pause and rewind as many times as you wan and your online access to the class never expires!

I’ve been  wanting to learn how to make more stylish and functional bags besides a tote bag and I’m pretty excited about my initial results.  I've learned not to be afraid to add hardware to my bags, which makes them feel a little more stylish and modern.



In the class, Brett shares lots of great tips and tricks; some of which I was able to execute and incorporate into a crossbody design I’ve been working on – like a zippered pocket – which always looked so intimidating to me but Brett made it easy and even shared a great tip for keeping your zipper in place.  


She suggests using stitch witchery along the outer edge of your zipper to temporarily hold your zipper in place – which I tried and was thrilled with the results!

Oh and I did I mention that they also sell fabric and yarn! 

If you haven’t tried Craftsy, now is the perfect time since all courses and supplies on Craftsy are on sale up to 75% off!   There are classes starting at $9.99; sale runs now through Saturday, September 21st.


Now, I’m off to go surf the Craftsy site to see what goodies I can find!  Until next time…

~ Happy Creating!

Union Jack Quilt for Mackenzie

So I finally finished the Union Jack Quilt I made for my daughter Mackenzie’s 13th Birthday – which was all the way back in January (it’s now August :-P).



It wasn't for a lack of trying – just too much to do over the past few months – with my son graduating high school and leaving for college – but that's a whole other post! Now time to focus on all of those unfinished projects...

The pattern I used for this quilt was the Lizzie B Cre8ive  - I Heart London – Quilt Pattern which you can purchase from her website here.



I’m going to be honest – this pattern is not for the faint of heart!  It calls for 12 different fat quarters and ¼ yard each of 24 different fabrics – which can be a challenge if you don’t already have the fabrics in your stash.  

I chose to narrow the color scheme of my quilt to four different colors to match my daughter’s room which we redecorated for her birthday last year, which has a Paris, London New York theme in Turquoise, Black, white and Lime Green for an accent color. While it was challenging to find different fabrics in the right colors - I was excited to find fabrics with some of her favorite things like elephants and musical notes for her love of singing.



I also didn't make the quilt as big as the pattern calls for – I think It’s about three rows shorter than what the pattern calls for.  



As for the binding – I originally had chosen a black and white fabric with peace signs but I hated the way it looked – so I ended up improvising and making the binding from leftover strips. 




I really like the way it turned out and my daughter was happy to finally receive her birthday present!  Oh well at least she got it while she was still 13!  J


Quick and Easy Gifts to Make


Hi There!

I’ve just posted two quick and easy projects that would be perfect for Mother’s Day, any special occasion or for yourself!



The first one is a Fabric Flower Pin – it’s great for using up all those fabric scraps that you’ve been hanging on to.  Makes a great accessory - pin it to a favorite Jacket, belt or purse and a great gift for Mom! You can find her awesome tute here.



The second one is truly a favorite of mine.  It came about after weeks of searching for kitchen linens that I actually liked and that didn’t break the bank.  After having very little success finding what I wanted – I decided to make my own!  Duh!

The inspiration came from a post, by Desiree of the36thavenue.com, on how to doll up dollar store oven mits.  You can find the tute here.

Then I decided I wanted to make a matching apron – although I wouldn’t consider myself to be Betty Crocker – I thought the idea of having something cute to wear while I toiled away in the kitchen; would make the process much more enjoyable – that, plus a glass of wine – and I’m good.  J

Ok back to the apron – anyway after I made my pot holders I thought why not use a dish towel from the Dollar Store as the foundation for my apron.   This towel was actually purchased at Dollar General for $2 but hey, still great bargain. I think using the towel is great for drying your hands and it makes me less weary of staining nice fabric – I also included a pocket to tuck my IPod into.  So cute apron + wine + good music equals a great time in the kitchen to me!

Here's how mine came out.  You can find my apron tutorial here.  


After I made my apron, I thought hey – this would be great to make for my Mom.  Not sure if she would wear it, but I’m sure she’ll still hang it in her kitchen with pride; as all us Mom’s love to display our kids creations with pride.

Here's the apron I made for Mom with matching mits.  I hope she likes it.



Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms and Female Nurturer’s – your efforts are greatly appreciated!

Until next time, Happy Sewing! 

Dollar Store Apron Tutorial





Ingredients

  •  1 dish towel – purchased from your local dollar discount store – make sure it’s wide enough to cover across your hips.  I purchased mine at Dollar General for $2.00
  •  ½ Yard of fabric for the ruffle and the sash or ¼ yard if using two different fabrics for the ruffle and the sash.
  • One 5”x6” piece of scrap fabric for the pocket
  • One 1 ¾” x 6” piece of coordinating scrap fabric for the top of the pocket
  •  Four 4”x4” scraps of fabric – 2 of the same print, 1 of a coordinating print and 1 contrasting print for the flower.
  • One button for the flower center
  • One pin back for the back of the flower.
Step1 – Prepare the sash
Take ¼ yard and cut in half lengthwise – then take one of the cut halves fold to find the center and cut at the center fold to create two short halves.  Sew each short half at short ends of the remaining long strip to create one long sash.


Step 2 – Determine mark sash placement
Fold the sash piece in half lengthwise, right sides facing – press and then fold the sash in half to find the center and press.  Open the fold and place onto the top of one long side of the towel – mark the sash piece at both ends of the dish towel for sewing.

Step 3 – Sew the sash
Remove the sash from the dish towel and fold again right sides facing.  At each end of the sash fold one corner of the short end up at a 45 degree angle and press and open. 



Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew from the mark you made in Step 2 to each outer end – and along the fold to create a mitered end.

Step 4 – Attach the Sash to the Dish Towel
Trim excess fabric on each end and turn sash right side out.  Press under exposed raw edges ¼” and place the sash back onto the top of the dishtowel.  Pin in place and edge the sash onto the dish towel from end to end.


Step 5 – Make the Ruffle
Take your remaining ¼ yard of fabric and cut it in half lengthwise, match short ends on one side and stitch as in Step 1.

Fold raw edge under ¼” and then ¼” again along one long side of your fabric strip and stitch. 

To create the ruffle, sew two rows of basting stitches ¼” down from the remaining raw edge of the long side and pull the threads on one side to gather the fabric and create the ruffle.  



Adjust the width of the ruffle so that it spans across the bottom long end of the dish towel and pin in place. 

Step 6 – Finish the Ruffle
Fold under the raw short ends of the ruffle on each side of the dish towel and edge stitch folded ends.
Use a zig zag stitch to sew the ruffle onto the bottom of the dish towel.


Step 7 – Sew the pocket
Match the 5” sides of both the top and bottom pocket pieces and stitch using a ¼” seam allowance.  Fold down the top raw edge ¼” and edge stitch.  Fold remaining sides under ¼”.

Mark pocket placement about 5”in from one short side and about 4” up from the bottom edge of the towel, not the ruffled edge.  Pin the pocket in place and edge stitch around all three sides.




Whalah!  Your apron is now complete – feel free to add a flower broach for an added feminine touch!  You can find my tutorial on how to make this here.



Note: Finished length of sash is roughly 86 ½” – based on doubling the length of the typical 44” wide fabric – sash length can be increased by using decorator fabrics which are typically wider than 44”.  

My apologies for the change in fabric throughout this tutorial - the yellow and grey apron was the first one I made for my newly remodeled kitchen - post coming soon!

I loved it so much I couldn't bare to give it up as the sample for my class.  If you live in the Charleston area and would like to learn more about how to make this apron, go to the Classes tab on my site.

You can find my Flower Broach tutorial here.  Or find a downloadable version on my pattern shop at Craftsy.com via this link: http://www.craftsy.com/user/294508/pattern-store?NAVIGATION_PAGE_CONTEXT_ATTR=NONE

Don't Forget to Make Coordinating Kitchen Linens!

Want to create your own fabulous coordinating kitchen linens, try using the same fabrics you used on your apron and sew to the middle of a dish towel; create a monogrammed towel using machine or hand embroidery...





Or you can also make coordinating pot holders – you can find the tutorial for it here:


Try decorative stitches or quilting for a more personalized effect.


Fabric Flower Pin Tutorial


Here’s a quick and easy project to make for all the wonderful women in your life this Mother’s day!



Ingredients:

·         Four 4”x4” squares of fabric: 2 in the same print; 1 in a coordinating print and 1 in        a contrasting print.
·         One 8” x ½” strip of contrasting fabric for the flower center
·         Coordinating embroidery floss
·         One blank card
·         One piece of scrap fabric for the front of your card.
·         One pin backing
·         One decorative button or bead for the flower center (optional)
·         Freezer paper or regular paper for tracing the flower pattern


Step 1
Trace the flower pattern onto a piece of freezer paper or regular paper.



Step 2
Stack your 4” fabric squares and place the flower pattern on top of the stack.

If using freezer paper then iron on the pattern to the top layer of the stack.  Otherwise just pin the pattern on top and cut out the flower shapes.

Step 3
Layer three of the flower pieces; placing the contrasting flower piece in between the two layers so that the petals from the contrasting fabric is showing in between the bottom and top layers.


Step 4
Fold the fourth and final flower shape in half, wrong sides facing, to create a leaf shape for your flower. 



Place the leaf shape in the center of the flower stack and secure in place with a few stitches through the middle; making sure to secure all the layers including the leaf.


Step 5

Take your fabric strip and tie a knot at one end. 

Secure it to the middle of the flower stack with a few stitches.


Step 6

Begin twisting the loose end of the fabric strip and then wrap it around the knot in the center – secure with stitches with embroidery floss as you go around. 

Don’t worry about the stitches showing – this adds texture and interest to your flower.



Step 7

After you have finished securing the center strip – tie off the thread and then add a safety pin or pin backer to the back

Step 8
  
Take your remaining fabric scrap and sew it to the front of a blank card.  Move the card around while on the machine to create a funky pattern.



Pin the flower to the card to give to someone special!

If you live in the Charleston area and would like to make this project, I'll be hosting a Make and Take at People, Places and Quilts in Summerville, on Friday, May 10th.  Go to my Classes Page to learn more.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Flower Pattern


Sew What's New!


So here’s what you missed if you haven’t visited my blog in a while…er huh I mean since I haven’t written in a while!  Ok ok so I’ve been a little out of touch, but soooo much has been going on and I have to tell you I cringed each time something happened that I said to myself – ‘You should post this to your blog!’

Oh well 'c'est la vie' right and what a life it has been lately…new classes, new projects, new ideas, new URL…I’ll get to it all in more detail in a minute but first I have to say how thankful I am for all this wonderful activity and I’m glad to be finally taking the time to share it with you.

New Classes – as I’ve mentioned before I teach at various locations around town and I’ve been gearing up for summer.  I’ll be pretty much repeating things I’ve taught in the past but there are a few new ones thrown in so I hope see you at an upcoming class soon.  There’s something for everyone!


Friday, May 10th - Mother’s Day Flower Pin and Dollar Store Kitchen Décor



Friday, June 14th - Patriotic Posies and Foldable Market Tote 


Friday, July 12th - Quilter’s Journal and Fabric Christmas Ornaments are back!


To learn more about the times and how to sign up for any of the above classes, you can visit my Classes page here.

New Projects – since I last posted, there have been so many new projects that I’ve been working on – not just sewing but also home décor and renovation – I plan to share more details and how to’s in a future post.  But let’s just say it involves a revamped kitchen, updated fireplace and lots of painted walls and staining of furniture…whew I’m tired just writing about it.




As far as sewing projects – I’ve come up with some new fun stuff that I plan to post some tutorials on in the near future – I know… I’ve got a lot to catching up to do on my blog so bare with me.

New Ideas is really more about my new URL – themindfulcrafter.com.  This is one of the things I’m most excited about.  As you may be able to tell from my recent posts about Vision Boards, I’m a big fan of Self-Help, Motivational, Self-Improvement and Spiritual Awareness and I’ve tried to incorporate that into my creative interests and my business as much as I can but I’ve felt somewhat limited in sharing those interest on this blog because Cosmic Girl Designs focuses more on my Etsy shop and the classes I teach. 

So I had this great idea to host a blog that shares those interests while incorporating creative activities such as mixed media and visual journaling and just how to incorporate more of a personal touch in the things we create, whether it be our home environment, gifts for friends, or how you can make beautiful art that’s also inspiring and personal to you and your goals.

Of course I’m no expert and I’m still exploring all of these avenues myself but I wanted to also be able to write about it and share my insights as well.  I know, I know – ‘You can barely keep up with this blog and you’re adding another!’ you say…we’ll what can I say – the idea is nagging at me and I have to at least give it a try.  I hope to have it up and running soon – so stay tuned!

Well this post is way longer than it needs to be already – if you’ve read all the way through I thank you and many blessings to you. I hope to see you at a class soon!

Until then…Happy Sewing!

Mini Envelope Tutorial


This past Thursday, I hosted my first Mixed Media class at SpaceCraft Studios!  It was a great turn out – we had 8 amazing women join us in making Mini Valentine Cards – we painted, splattered, glittered, and pasted our way to creating little masterpieces.


The night before the class as I was gathering some supplies and I thought we needed to have little envelopes to put our cards into – so I surfed the net and found some great jumping points but no tutorials that would accommodate the size of a playing card, which was the foundation for my project.  So after playing around with a magazine page, I came up with the tutorial below.   


If you want to learn how to make your own mini masterpieces, you can read my post about it here.  A more detailed and downloadable version of the tutorial is also available for purchase in my Craftsy shop here.

Materials for this project: One 8 ¼” x 10 ¾” magazine page and 1 glue stick or double sided tape

1.  Carefully tear out a page from a magazine.  Note: I used decorating magazines which are typically 8.24” x 10.75” so if you will need to trim your page to this size if your magazine is larger.  Determine which side of the page you want to show on the outside of your envelope.  This side will be the “Right Side” and the other side will be the “Wrong Side” for the purposes of this tutorial.  



2.  Fold your page in half matching the short sides, with the Wrong Sides facing the inside.  Pinch the folded edge in the middle with your finger.  This will to mark the center point on your page.



3.  Open the page back up and fold the two short sides in towards eachother; meeting at the center point you just made.  The sides should not overlap.  At this point, you can carefully glue the edge of the short sides to the Wrong Side of the page.


4.  Now fold one corner of the folded page and press with your finger along the folded edge.  Open the page back up and repeat this step for the opposite corner. 



6.  With one corner still folded down, fold up the bottom half of the page and press with your finger.  open the page back up.  This now marks another center point and where to fold the bottom of your page.

7.  Fold the bottom half of your page in towards where the two short sides meet in the middle.  This will create a square shape.




8.  Turn your page at an angle mimicking the shape of a diamond; so that the folded edge is on your left.




9.  Now turn your left and right points of the diamond to meet in the center.  Press the folded edges.

10.  Run some glue stick along the edge of your bottom point and carefully fold the bottom point up about ¼” inch past where the two previous folds intersect.   




Tuck the point of your folded bottom in on itself.  Then  fold down the top remaining point and press along the folded edge.




Congratulations you now have a fabulous little envelope for your mixed media master piece – Enjoy!