Pillow Cases

A couple months ago I went, with my KnitWit friends, to a big quilt show.   I am not a quilter but I love to go and see the works of art that other people create.  And they are truly works of art.  There are always lots of vendors selling everything to do with fabric at these show and I picked up a kit to make two pillow cases.  How hard can that be you ask??  Well.  I am a visual learner and the written instructions were challenging me so my good friend Sydney came over and gave me a tutorial.  Once I watched her I was good to go.  I made the set I purchased at the quilt show and a couple other sets since.

For my beer loving kids.

For my surrogate grandchildren.  One was having some bad dreams and I’m hoping her special pillow case brings only sweet dreams.

For my niece’s daughter (and son) who love monkeys.

A really fun and practical thing to do is to make pillow cases and use them for gift bags for birthdays, Christmas or other special occasions.  My sewing tutor Sydney gets credit for that awesome idea!

Because I’m a visual learner, and maybe you are too, I’m going to include step by step photo instructions.  It’s also in case I don’t make any for awhile and forget how to make them.  These instructions are a combination of two different patterns.

You’ll need 3 pieces of fabric.  And LOTS of pins.

7/8 yard (31.5) inches for the pillowcase body

1/4 yard (9 inches) for the band

3 inches for contrasting band

Fold the 3 inch piece of fabric in half with wrong sides together and press.  Lay the band right side up and pin the contrasting band to the top matching the raw edges.

Place the pillow case fabric, wrong side up, on top of the first two pieces, keeping all of the raw edges even.  Pin all the layers.  (For directional fabric, top of the fabric should match the top raw edges.)

Now you do the roll.  Roll the pillow case fabric up from the bottom to the top, stopping short of the pinned area.

Fold the bottom raw edge of the band to meet the top raw edges and pin all raw edges together.  The pillowcase fabric is now inside the tube.

Sew a 1/4 inch seam backspacing at each end.

Pull the fabric out of the tube.

Press and fold in half with wrong sides together matching raw edges.  Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the side and bottom.  Start at the band to ensure that the seams match.

Turn the pillowcase so that the right side is in and sew a 3/8 inch seam along the side and bottom.  Turn the pillowcase right side out and press.

Voila!!!!  A beautiful French seamed pillowcase.

 

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Benches

Several years ago I rescued a metal headboard and footboard from my parent’s house.  It used to belong to my grandmother.  They have been painted several times and the paint is chipping.  But I have a love of old things, particularly those that come from family, and I knew one day they would be repurposed.

Our good friend Greg is a very talented finished carpenter and he agreed to make them into outdoor benches for me.  They look amazing!  The bases are painted an artichoke color (I just made that up because that’s what the color reminds me of and I can’t remember the real name) and the seat slats are painted blue, red, yellow, orange and green.  The peeling paint on he headboard and footboard make them shabby chic.  I just finished the second coat of rustoleum polyurethane.  Not exactly sure where I will put them but they will certainly be eye catching.  The chairs around our fire pit are also colorful so the benches will fit right in.

So happy I know someone as generous and talented as Greg!!

Here are some pictures we took while we were painting them.

One coat of primer and two coats of paint.  Making sure to coat the feet well to prevent moisture from wicking into the wood.

Primer and two coats of paint on the slats.  It helps when the sun is shining because the paint dries quickly.

Two coats of rustoleum polyurethane to protect the paint.

Looking forward to enjoying these for many years to come.

 

Troll Movie Headbands

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I’m kind of out of the loop on children’s movies but I saw some of these headbands on line a couple weeks ago and showed them to my great niece Chloe.  She knew immediately what they were about and she wanted one!  A pink one.  So I bought some tulle, some inexpensive headbands and some colorful hearts to use for embellishments.  They were fun to make.  Hoping the girls like them.

Pumpkin Cake

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Halloween costume parties at our house are a tradition that we all enjoy.  The past few years my friend Jane and I have baked and decorated a centerpiece cake.  And we have such a good time doing it.  This year we used a recipe for a Pumpkin/Carrot/Spice cake from Women’s Day to make our pumpkin.  This pumpkin required two bundt cakes.  And a LOT of cream cheese icing…1 cup of butter and 4 8-oz packages of cream cheese.  Each of us used the recipe and baked a cake the day before we put them together.

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First step after baking is to cut each of the cakes in half horizontally.  And start stacking and icing.

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We used some long toothpicks to secure the layers.

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The top is on and you’re thinking it looks nothing at all like a pumpkin!  We put the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so to help set the icing up.  With the pedestal plate and 2 bundt cakes stacked it required a bit of refrigerator rearranging but I think the chilling helped.  We covered it with a light base coat and, once again, returned it to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.

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A second coat of icing and it’s starting to look like a pumpkin.  We used the stem from a real pumpkin supported by a couple of small dixie cups stacked in the center and held in place by icing.

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And there you have it.  Ta Da!!  A perfect pumpkin.  Two years ago we did a caramel apple.

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Last year we made a brain.   That was great fun to do as well!

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But I think this year our guests will find the pumpkin much more appetizing.  Happy Halloween.

Animal Hats

On a recent Knit Wit road trip we went to one of our favorite yarn shops, the Grand Emporium in Saginaw Michigan.  I found these little yarn ball kits with animal heads and thought they were adorable!  I have knit several.  Love. Them.  The kits are by DMC and are called Top This.

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They are even cuter on children!

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And the fish hats!

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Everyone loves those.

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When I have more pictures of hat models I will post them!

 

Hats…tis almost the season

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Eight years ago last month I made the decision to quit smoking after far too many years of indulging that bad habit.  I still have plenty of bad habits, just not that one.  To help keep my hands and mind busy I decided to replace my cigarettes with knitting needles and took a knitting class.  I LOVED it.  While cigarettes have gotten increasingly more expensive I can’t honestly say that my knitting habit has saved me significant amounts of money.  But, I have knit some beautiful things and that gives me great satisfaction.  My new “habit” also brought me together with the greatest group of women ever…the Knit Wits we call ourselves.  We usually meet once a week for lunch and knitting or shopping, or road trips.  We have such good times together.  We are all truly blessed to have each other plus, as a bonus, warm hats and scarves and mittens and sweaters.

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(I need a better model for my children’s hats than an owl.)

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Edible Acorns

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This is the Fall of acorns.  It’s almost dangerous walking outdoors!  The squirrels and chipmunks and deer are enjoying the bounty. There are a few real acorns in this picture but mostly they are edible chocolate and nutter butter treats.  A little something that is easy and adorable to put out for guests this Fall.  All you need is a bag of Hersey Kisses (pick your favorite flavor), a bag of Nutter Butters, chocolate chips and a few extra chips to melt for “glue.”

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Dab a little melted chocolate onto one side of the nutter butter and glue on a kiss.

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I set them on a wax paper lined tray (actually a pizza pan) and let the chocolate set. Once the chocolate has hardened, using more chocolate glue, attach a chocolate chip to the other side.  Voila!  Edible acorns.

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Enjoy!

NOTE:  Depending on how many acorns you want to make you may need two bags of nutter butters for one bag of kisses.  If you’re a perfectionist you’ll find Nutter Butter needs a little more quality control.  Lots of lopsided or upside-down cookies.

Painted Pinecones

I’ve seen these painted pine cones everywhere. On Pinterest and on Facebook. A very crafty young lady I know had them on her Facebook page which is where I first saw them. Thanks Stephanie!  So I decided to make some of these wanna be zinnias for myself.  When I was in the Upper Peninsula for a music festival I picked up a small bag full of the squat pine cones for painting.

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I bought inexpensive paints and brushes, covered a work area and started painting.  I have to admit it was tedious. Very tedious. Some of the paint colors did not cover well like the golds and lavenders and they required multiple coats. I was wishing I had a friend to paint these with while drinking adult beverages but I persevered and finished the pine cones I had.

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The paint I chose was flat or matte, whatever the correct term is for dull.  So I got a can of gloss  clear coat, placed the cones on an egg carton and sprayed them. I did three coats total. I liked them much better.

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I first arranged them in a wooden bowl. But a friend’s daughter suggested a cylindrical glass container and I had just the thing.

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I like them a lot in my candle holder. Thanks Stacey. It could use a few more cones but I’m over the painting mess. I may just spray some natural cones and mix them in.

Another Yarn Stash Project

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For lack of a better description I am calling this simply, “Another Yarn Stash Project. ”

While in the Upper Peninsula this winter my daughter and her boyfriend found this adorable vase in the Touch of Finland Shop in Marquette. In the store the vase was filled with metal skewers topped with felted yarn balls. We tried to buy them but they weren’t for sale. So I said, “I can make those!”  I got into my wool yarn stash, tried to find colorful bits, and rolled them into tight little balls of varying sizes. Once they were felted and while they were still damp I worked wooden skewers into them and let them dry.  Voila!  Decorative yarn balls on sticks.

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The bonus with the wooden skewers is you can cut them into various lengths.  Sometimes NFS turns out to be a good and even an economical thing.

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Apparently the extras I made were fun cat toys, minus the skewers of course.

Felted Baby Shoes

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Like almost every knitter I have an abundance of yarn left from larger projects and can’t bear to throw it out. So I roll it into balls and stash the yarn balls away. These felted baby shoes are the perfect use for left over wool yarn. These knit up fairly quickly…they make a great traveling knitting project. The yarn has to be 100% wool for it to felt properly.  This is what these little shoes look like before felting.

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I’ve been told by several people that these little shoes stay on baby’s feet better than most. And they are SO adorable.

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