Pretty Fast Pot-Holders

Do you ever have one of those weeks that turns into one of those months? You think you have everything laid out in a timely fashion and suddenly it’s a few weeks later and you haven’t done half of what you meant to do? That’s been my September! I can’t believe October is almost here. I picked two big buckets full of walnuts out of my yard yesterday, the sugar maples are just starting to turn, and the ragweed (and my allergies) are in full bloom. It’s officially Fall.

I love to bake when the weather gets snappy, but when I went to pull some cookies out of the oven last night, I discovered I was down to a single pot-holder. Our dog, Jaclyn, has been growing up the last year, and I’m afraid a few pot-holders fell victim to her puppy need to destroy.

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Jaclyn doesn’t look like the face of utter destruction, does she?

So today, we’re going to make a pot-holder, perfect for all your cooking and baking needs as well as for gifts! I have a couple orphan blocks I want to put to use today, but you can use any block or piece of cotton fabric.

Supplies:

  • Two squares of fabric or two blocks – approximately 8″x8″
  • Insul-Bright or other thermal batting
  • 3″ of cotton ric-rac or other natural fiber ribbon for loop handle
  • Sewing supplies (e.g., machine, thread, scissors)

To get started, cut your fabric or size your blocks to the desired size square. Cut a square of Insul-Bright batting the same size.

1 Cut out batting

Fold the ric-rac into a loop and place it in the corner of the right side of the fabric, pointing in. Layer the two fabric squares right sides together and the batting on top.

Sew a quarter inch all around, leaving a 2″ opening. Trim corners.

4 opening and trim

Turn.

5 turning

Press opening to the inside and top stitch to secure closed.

6 sew opening closed

Finish quilting on the machine, or get some perle cotton and do some big stitch hand quilting.

7 quilting

Voila! Now I’ll be ready for all my baking adventures.

8 finito

If you make a pot-holder, we want to see it! Share with us over on Facebook or Instagram. And while you’re over on Instagram, join me tonight from 7-8pm (CDT) for a live craft-in. I’ll be playing some tunes, working on a sweet little hexie project that’s near and dear to my heart, and answering any questions y’all have. I won’t get to do one next week because I’ll be in Des Moines at QuiltWeek, but I’ll be back to our regular schedule after that.

Happy creating!

Emily

Hack Your Stationery Stash

Summer’s here in spirit and almost here in fact. For many of us, that means time outdoors, adventuring, and yard work. For others of us, it means staying cool inside, pouring ourselves a cold beverage, and craft projects. No matter who you are, summer is the perfect time to catch up with friends.

That’s why this week the tip is to send a postcard or letter to a friend! We have a few great ideas for making your own stationery to fit every lifestyle.

postcard collage
Don’t forget the stamps!

Whether you’re going on a vacation, day-trip, or even staycation, postcards are a fun, cheap way to drop a note to a loved one. Cut a sheet of card stock into fourths, mark the half way point on one side, and you’re ready to go! Pack your art supplies and the postcards so you can sketch your adventures and discoveries while out and about.

Letter
Dots dots dots dots dots dots!

I’m more of a letter writer myself, but writing on notebook paper gets old fast. I spruced up this blue printer paper with a little dot punch for a fun, abstract corner margin decoration.

envelope insert
This paper says, “Pull that letter out!”

There’s no excuse to leave the envelope out of the postal makeover. Cut some scrapbook paper slightly smaller than your envelope. Insert the paper, leaving space between the end of the insert and the bottom of the envelope for folding space. I used the sticky strip of the envelope to attach the paper and will use a sticker to close the envelope.

So there you have it, three ways to create darling stationery. Time to crack open your address book, or to ask your friends on Facebook to send your their address if they’d like a postcard from you. I’m going to pour myself a lemonade and write to my friend, Rachel. Who will you write?

Happy creating!

Emily

Inspirational Pillow DIY

A few weeks ago I gave a tip on using metallic embroidery to up your embellishment game. I improvised a little design of an inspirational phrase, and today I’m going to show you how to turn that into a pillow.

Front and back

The phrase and design can be anything you want. I used my own handwriting for this, but you could type out your desired phrase with a cool font and trace it if you like for everything to be just so.  Once the front of the pillow is made, cut a back the same shape and size as the front.

opening

Layer the front and back pieces right sides together and sew all around, leaving an approximately 2″ opening at the bottom of the pillow. You can see in the picture that I reverse stitched back over my sewing line to secure the opening. Trim corner off for sharper corners.

turn

Reach into the opening and pull the pillow through so it’s right sides out. At this point, use something pointy but not sharp—like a knitting needle—to push out the corners and seams. I like to press everything flat then because it helps set the opening, but it’s totally optional. Stuff the pillow with something inexpensive like Poly-Fil, or scrap batting, yarn, and fabric. I’ve even had friends use plastic bags as stuffing in purely decorative pillows!

ladder stitch in progress

Close the opening with your preferred method. I’m doing a ladder stitch in this photo, but a whip stitch or even a top stitch by machine works fine.closed opening

All closed!

pillow

And all done! A perfect little reminder for myself to enjoy every day, or a great gift for a friend.

Happy creating!

Emily