Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cookie Cutter Pincushion


Are these just the cutest things ever?


I think this little pincushion would make the most charming Valentine gift!
Country Living featured the idea in this month's issue...oh, I do love that magazine!


They have great directions, but I was lacking a couple ingredients...so, I had to blaze a new trail.
The outcome is still the same, though!!
My daughter, Lily, and her friend Millie and I spent part of the afternoon making the pincushions.
I totally think this is a project you can do with your older children.
 The girls loved it!

To begin, you will need: 
A cookie cutter
{We used heart shaped cutters for Valentine's Day}.

A thin piece of Styrofoam...Country Living recommends a produce tray from the grocery store.
{I used a thin piece of cardboard form the back of a pad of paper}.

Tacky glue
{I used Elmer's and a hot glue gun.}

Fiberfill stuffing
Rubber band
Your choice of fabric.

Lay your cookie cutter out on the cardboard or Styrofoam and trace the inside.
Cut it out.


Now, cut a heart shaped piece of fabric about a half inch bigger around the cardboard.


Using Tacky Glue {which is the best...you could use Elmer's in a pinch...just do so sparingly} spread it evenly across cardboard. 
Attach the fabric to the cardboard heart and let dry for 30  minutes.
Country Living suggests using more Tacky Glue to secure the excess fabric....I used my glue gun.

Next, cut a square piece of fabric about 3 inches wider than your cookie cutter.


With fabric right side up, lay the sharp part of the cookie cutter in the center of your fabric.
Pick up the cutter and push the stuffing through to make the pin cushion.
This takes some adjusting to get everything looking right.


The fabric should protrude at least 3/4 inch past the cutter.
I think mine is about 1 1/2 inches.


To get the stuffing nice and even, just hold the cutter in your hand and use your thumb to push into place.



Here is where I venture from the original plan.
Country Living suggests using a running stitch to close the cushion. 
This would give you a much flatter base.
I used a rubber band:). 
Just gather the excess fabric and secure.
Then trim off the extra fabric with your scissors.




Whalaa! 
You are ready to assemble your pincushion!
According to the directions, apply more Tacky Glue to the underside of the cushion, push the Styrofoam into the cutter so that it presses against the glue, and hold for three minutes. 
It will need to dry another 30 minutes after that.

For some reason, I couldn't get my little cardboard base to cooperate... so here is what I did:).
I took out the cushion and attached the base with a little hot glue all around the inside edge of the cutter.





Here is the underside.
 If you have a small crease... like I did...just pull tight from the other end.
Last, I placed a little more hot glue all over the inside of the base and pressed the cushion in place.


What a lovely little gift for someone special!
You could use any cookie cutter. 
A little bunny or duckling for Easter would be fun, or even a clover for St. Patty's Day.
I even like the plain old biscuit cutters with the fluted edge...wouldn't that be darling?
The possibilities are endless and the cost so minimal for a charming gift like this:).


Pin It



Have a great day!

~Julia

PS: Head on over to Anderson Family Farm's blog to enter to win luxurious goat milk lotion and soap!
The giveaway end Sunday:). 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Make Your Own Everyday Cloth Napkins

In an effort to save a little, I decided it was high time we had everyday cloth napkins.
In my Grandma's day, it was all they used and I am not sure why I haven't made the switch before now!
They are sturdy, practical, money saving, and charming.
They would also make a lovely gift!


I bought a vintage sheet at Goodwill....the colors are so cheery and Spring like!
It was also made really well.
When looking for fabric for cloth napkins, you need to keep in mind that they will be heavily used.
Cotton fabrics are a great choice as they wash easily and are soft and absorbent.
My sheet was fairly thick and washed well.
I don't believe I will iron the napkins unless we have company:).


I cut 8 napkins to a generous 21" x21", so that the final result is 20"x20".
Make sure that you cut a perfect square.
I used my cutting mat and rotary cutter to measure perfectly.

I also made a few in a darker color for those meals that may possibly stain:).
The fabric is from my stash and I thought this was a perfect way to use up old material!

I found a great tutorial on mitered edges from Amy at Homestead Revival.
Hemming in this way gives your napkins a really finished look.
Use your iron to press the hem first...this really helps!

First, you will need to fold down the corners.
Measure 1.5 inches from the tip of the corner down each edge.
Fold down on these marks to make a triangle.
Press each corner down.


Snip off about a 1/2 inch of the triangle.


Press down each side about a half inch.


Fold over a second time...about a half inch...and press.



Repeat on all four sides. You may have to adjust things a bit to make everything fit perfectly.
The two hems should meet nicely in the middle like this...


Now, pin everything in place and stitch around the inside seam first.


This is what it will look like on the finished side.


I like to stitch a second seam along the outside edge to secure the corners down.
You could also make a small hem along the mitered seam instead.




And that's it!


Everyday napkins are so economical and a really fast project.
I am hoping to make a few just for special occasions, too.

To care for your napkins, just spray with a stain remover after a meal...if you have stains.
I just wash and dry mine, fold them, and place them in a nice wire basket that sits near the table.
Ironing is really optional if you use the right fabric.



Enjoy your day!

~Julia

Sharing here...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Make a Ruffled Dish Towel

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and we have been getting ready!
I love gifts that are a bit nontraditional, yet charming.
Why not give romantic, ruffly dish towels?



With pom poms, of course:).

For those of you who are just beginning to sew, I thought I would give a little tutorial:).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To make this dish towel, you will need:

1 yard pom-pom fringe
9" x 24" piece of material for ruffle {longer for a fuller ruffle}
18 1/2"x 28 1/2" piece of thick cotton material


First, cut out your material to the specified measurements.
Remember, if you want a fuller looking ruffle, just cut the piece of fabric longer.
You will need more pom pom fringe if your ruffle fabric is longer than 35 inches.
Hem the edges around the tea towel.
I allowed an inch and made a wider seam.
Next, you need to serge or use your zig zag to stitch one side of the length of your ruffle.
{The long side...not the width.}


Now, hem the the two ends of your piece of ruffle fabric, and then the bottom side.
I used about a half inch allowance.
Pressing your seams with an iron first is a great way to avoid using pins to secure it.
I love doing it this way!
After you have hemmed the ruffle, you will want to sew 2 loose running stitches along the top side.
This is the side that you zig zagged.
Your running stitches are what we will use to make the puckers in the the fabric.
Sewing two stitches close together at the top makes for a more even ruffle effect.
Remember to leave long ends of thread to pull the fabric into 


Take the top two loose threads and pull!
You will have wonderful puckers...just make sure the ruffles look even.


Now, add the pom pom fringe.
Measure against the bottom hemmed edge and give your self about 1/2 inch extra on both sides.
Pin it in place, tucking the ends underneath.
I use my existing stitch as a guide and place the fringe along the top of the seam stitch.


Measure your ruffle against your dish towel and make sure it is the right length.


Place the ruffle on the right side of the dish towel {the finished side}.
Make sure it is facing right side to right side {of the dish towel} AND upside down...like so...


Pin in place and sew.


After sewing in place, just pull out your running stitches.
They come out quite easily.


Flip the ruffle over and iron...careful not to iron over pom poms.


You have a wonderfully simple gift for Valentine's Day, birthdays, or as a housewarming gift.


If you are not the sewing type ...this ruffled dish towel is available in my shop...The Field Barn.


Have a wonderful day!

~Julia

A big thank you to Kim at Today's Creative Blog for featuring me!
Kim...you are the sweetest!
Todays Creative Blog



{Also linked to A Bowl Full of Lemons.}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mason Jar Love

About a week ago, Sarah Fernandez from the TLC Network's blog, Parentables, contacted me.
I am so flattered to be included in her article about using Mason jars and wanted to share with all of you!
Sarah also has a wonderful blog, Chateau and Bungalow.
If you would like to read the article with some great ideas on how to use Mason jars, click HERE.
 There are some really fun and unique ways to use them around the house!

To view the tutorial on how to make a Mason jar soap dispenser, click HERE.



Thank you Sarah for including me in your wonderful article!



~Julia
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