Posts tagged #Projects

Baby Rag Quilt

I have been wanting to make one of these rag quilts now for over a year. This past week my brother and sister-in-law had their first child and I knew exactly what I wanted to make for them! It feels great to dust off the old sewing machine again.

I went to two different stores to find just the right fabric for this project. I shopped at Hobby Lobby for the cute pink and grey chevron and damask patterns. I found the pink embossed star fabric(used for the backing) and the grey and white polka dot fabric at Joann's.

Choose color coordinating fabrics that are soft and fluffy!

Baby Rag Quilt

What you will need...

1/2 yard of 5 different coordinating patterns

1 1/2 yards of backing fabric

1 1/2 yards of fleece

Fabric scissors

White thread

Not used but extremely helpful

I wish I would have used these!!!

Rotary cutter

self healing cutting mat

1)

 Cut your squares for the quilt in the different coordinating patterns. I would recommend for a baby blanket cutting the squares a 10"x10" or a 8"x8". The baby blanket will be a 6 square by 6 square quilt, totaling 36 squares. You will need about 8 squares each in the different coordinating fabrics. There will be some squares left over but this gives you some options on the overall layout and design. I cut the coordinating fabric squares first.

2)

Once all the coordinating fabric squares were cut out, I matched up the fleece and the backing fabric on top of each other. Then, I pinned the already cut squares on top like the picture below. You will want your quilting squares to match up exactly, which is why I choose to cut them out directly from the already cut squares. This will allow them to match up perfectly!

3) 

After all your squares are cut, you should have 36 pinned squares, 3 layers each. So, you will have your coordinating fabric on top, fleece in the middle, and your backing on the bottom. Make sure your backing is facing out ward when they are stacked. You will then cross stitch each square with a big X from corner to corner. This process takes some time.

4)

Once you have your 36 cross stitched squares, you can start to layout the squares in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. I had a lot of grey so I wanted to make sure that the predominately grey squares were not right next to each other. I laid them out every other.

5)

 Once you have the layout of the blanket, start with rows. Pin together each square in one row and sew the sides together with a 3/4" seam allowance. In the picture below I have finished three of the six rows.

6)

When you have finished sewing your 6 rows, pin each row together to start assembling the quilt. Use the same 3/4" seam, having the sides fold forward with all of the layers.

7)

 Once all the rows are sown together, stitch around the outside of the entire quilt enclosing all 4 sides. Use the 3/4" seam. 

8)

Now it's time to clip your excess seam to make that rag quilt effect. I would recommend using a microtip fabric scissor. Make sure you don't cut your stitching! This process also took some time. Over the course of a couple days and downtime I was able to complete the clipping.

9)

 Wash your quilt on a short delicate cycle. Dry your quilt on a regular cycle. The drying will help fray your clippings and make it look super cute!

What I like about the rag quilt is that it's forgiving of tiny mistakes that would be very evident on a regular quilt. Since I'm no quilting expert this was extremely helpful. I am planning on making a much bigger one for my girls beds! 

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Posted on January 30, 2015 and filed under Create.

My little nook: Make Your Own Coffee Bar

I'm so excited to share with you all a little bit of my home today! One of the greatest joys about buying our very first house is being able to scan pinterest for some amazing design ideas! One of the ideas that immediately caught my attention was the little coffee nooks! It took me about 6 months to put this baby together. I hope you like my rendition!

The candle at the center of the sideboard is from Bath and Body Works. The scent is Pineapple Mango and it's my favorite! You will be obsessed with the scent too!

My Mom bought me this coffee wall plaque after I was telling her how excited I was to finally get my coffee bar.

I stored my mini wine rack on the bottom shelf along with a bottle of tequila. That's about all the alcohol we keep in the house. We are such party animals! I also used the bottom shelf to store some of my most used cookbooks. I plan on getting some wicker drawers from Ikea to fill in the middle shelf.

So the reason I wanted to post this picture was to show off that beautiful picture frame to the left of the coffee bar. My sister-in-law got it for me as a house warming gift. It's my favorite frame in the entire house and I really like how the photos compliment the canisters on the top shelf.

 The white platter I got from my bridal shower. It's discontinued from Crate and Barrell but I wish they would bring it back. I also have the matching cake pedestal and dessert plates. I'm also in love with this Stainless steel water pitcher that I also got as a shower gift!

I was really happy to finally get my dream of a coffee bar! Now

I

can go and pin this on Pinterest! This ides works great with a wine bar.

Items featured

Norden Sideboard in black 

+IKEA USA

Stenstorp Wall Shelf in black 

+IKEA USA

Socker vase (set of 2) 

+IKEA USA

Chelsea large platter by 

+Crate and Barrel

Black Chalk Art Coffee Shop Plaque  

+Kirkland's

Vinito 8 bottle wine rack 

+Bed Bath & Beyond

Keurig single cup brewer and Kcup carousel

Picture frame is from Hobby Lobby

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below or email me:)

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Our Deck Renovation

Since my hand is out of commission and I don't enjoy the chicken pecking, I figured I would post a picture gallery of the before and after of our latest deck renovation project.

The deck was one of the selling features in our home but definitely needed a face lift. Some of the top boards were rotted and ready to put a foot through. We started by replacing those boards and were relieved to find a perfectly nice deck foundation.

I do have a funny story about when we power washed our deck

,

both a flood and a fire in one day! I will leave that for next time:)

 This was a weekend in itself!

 Sand off the peeling paint.

 Switched out our flood lights for these babies! The motion sensor was so off and would drive me nuts. Yes, it lacks a bit of security but I'm not a fan of flood lights.

 Two coats of a chocolate solid stain and a pinto white solid stain.

It took us a total of 3 weekends... including the weekend of flood and fire, which was kind of a wash.

What do ya think?

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Home Renovations: Front Door and Patio Glass Doors

When we bought our house a couple months back, we knew there would be some things we would need to get started on sooner rather than later. Being that it was a foreclosure, there was definitely a list. The doors were the first thing we knew we would want to tackle since it was a lack of security (the sliding glass door locks were broken), as well as a loss of heat. We could barely watch TV in our family room because of the cold draft.

Once we got our tax return we didn't waste any time. We got an amazing deal on installation. We went through a referral recommendation from a friend. If you are looking for a guy that does windows and doors in the Chicago area let me know!

They did an amazing job. It took 3 guys and 5 hours!

Before

After

We purchased the fiber glass door from The Home Depot. You can find the exact door

here.

The hardware was purchased from Lowes.

Before

So you see that super gross white film all over the windows? That gross film is actually inside the glass... not sure how it got there but its super annoying and such an eye sore. We went with Crestline for the sliding glass patio doors.

After

My favorite thing I love about the doors is the grilles that match the windows in the rest of the home. It really pulls the look together and provides that added feature that looks beautiful.

Doing these simple changes has really made a difference in the comfort of our home and its put value into it as well. We spent a total of $2,800 for the two patio doors, front door, hardware, and installation and it was well worth it!

The next project on the list is to finish the basement floors with an acid stain and sprucing up our deck! Check back for more home updates!!

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New house and First Time Gardener

One of the most exciting things since we bought our home last November was to start planning our home garden! This will be my first year starting a garden and I may have taken on more than I could handle. We spent a good amount of money already on

heirloom seeds

, which I have no idea about the plants we ordered. I am a newcomer to this so bare with me. I am a master at research and finding the information I need, so I hope to share with you along the way to my first real garden.

Since I live in a

Zone 5

region, the last day for frost is the end of May. There are different types of seeds that you need to plant indoors ahead of time, this is why it's important to start your planning well in advance!

When my seeds first arrived I couldn't wait to sort them all. I sorted them into 4 groups based upon the time I would start planting. The packaging on the the seeds is a great source of information. Read them very carefully.

These are the groups I divided them into:

12-10 weeks before the last frost threat (indoors)

8-10 weeks before the last frost threat (indoors)

4-6 weeks before the last frost threat (indoors)

sow right into the outdoor garden

This weekend I planted the 12-10 weeks group.

Artichokes

White onion

Red onion

I used three pots for the artichokes, 6 pots for the white onion and 6 for the red onion. I still have to come up with some crafty labels, but for now I took a picture for reminder.

I used organic choice potting mix by Miracle-Gro. I wasn't sure of this mix but it stated the it works for vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. It's suppose to feed up to 2 months. I hope I made the right choice. For any experienced gardeners out there, what would you recommend?

Bella always wants to help in everything I do, so of course she had to do this too. I used this as an opportunity to discuss the seasons and plants. These are some of the unit study topics we will be covering this spring. Hands on learning opportunities are always great for the little ones!

I planted two to 3 seeds to a pot. This may require some thinning out later to allow the roots flourish.

Depth:

The onion seeds required only a top sow or lightly covered with soil. It's important to make sure you pay close attention to all the directions on the packet, including the depth to which you will plant the seeds.

Once we were all finished digging in the dirt, we lightly watered the pots with a spray bottle and covered with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap helps keep the moisture in and creates a green house. You want to make sure your seeds and soil don't dry out at any time!

There ya go! This is the start to what I pray will be a wonderful season in the garden! I plan on planting the second group in about two weeks, which includes an exciting assortment of peppers! If you have any suggestions for a first timer, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I can use all the help and advice I can get!

Helpful Resources

These are two books that I have been referencing through out this adventure! They are both great options for a beginner like me!

865339: 52 How-tos Every New Gardener Needs to Know Beginner
024171: The New American Homestead: Sustainable, Self-Sufficient Living for the 21st Century

The New American Homestead: Sustainable, Self-Sufficient Living for the 21st Century

By John H. Tullock / Howell Book House

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DIY Laundry Detergent

I'm always looking for ways to save money and go a more Eco friendly route with home products. After some research and a little experimenting, I made my very own laundry detergent that works great and is lighter on the wallet! You can also add some essential oil to this recipe to give it a custom scent. I suggest rosemary, lavender or eucalyptus.

Supplies

5 cups of Borax

5 cups of Washing Soda

1 Medium box of Baking soda

I small container of Oxy Clean

1 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Bar

Grate the bar of laundry bar soap. Combine all and your ready to go.

I use 1 scoop for regular loads and 2 for larger or heavy dirt loads.

Posted on February 17, 2014 and filed under Create, Home.

The Garlic Experiment

A few posts back, I talked about how I ventured into gardening garlic. I accidentally came upon some sprouting garlic bulbs in my terracotta garlic jar and decided to wing it.



What was just 3 blossoming bulbs, turned into 13 garlic bulbs that have official started rooting! I don't really have much knowledge with gardening, so I'm kinda winging it! This will be my first year with an actual garden.



I recently moved my garlic buddies to larger planters, as their roots were beginning to curl because the egg cartons are not deep enough.



Currently, I have 3 bulbs per pot sitting in my window sill above the kitchen sink. I think these babies are going to make it!!



I used seed starter planting soil and I water them every other day. I usually give the soil a moisture check to make sure it's damp.

I'm really excited to start my own edible garden this year! We just ordered or seeds for the year from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Since it is my first year, I'm researching on when and how to start the seeds indoors. I will keep you updated on the garlic!

Have you ever used scraps from your kitchen to replant a vegetable?

DIY: Refurbished Kids Cottage

Have you seen that thing on Pinterest, with the DIY of the Little Tykes kid cottage? Well, I tried it! 

I used

Krylon Fusion for Plastic

 in red, white and brown. 

What I used....

3 cans of white

2 cans of red

2 cans of brown.

Here's what I did....

  1. Dissembled the house. I took off the door and shutters.
  2. Power wash both sides of all pieces of the play house and allow to air dry
  3. Use a drop cloth or a large piece of cardboard under to protect the grass or drive way from the spray paint.
  4. Evenly spray coordinating pieces with the color you choose. Allow to dry for at least 45 minutes.
  5. Turn over the play house pieces and spray paint the opposite side as well as the sides.
  6. Allow all pieces to dry over night to avoid chipping when you put the house back together.

Tip: Do this outside and on a day that is

NOT WINDY

or you will go through too many cans of spray paint!

Also, I only did the outside of the house in white. Since the inside was a faded yellow, I didn't really notice that much of a difference and it saved me time and money!

How did it really go?.....

I spent about 40 dollars on spray paint and from a distance this actually looks pretty cute. When I started to put the house back together, some of the red paint, on the doors and shutters,  smeared with the white pieces. It makes it look a little cheap but my girls really enjoyed it.

I spent all total of 5 hours and a sunny afternoon. For the time and the money, I probably wouldn't do this again. It was a free garbage picked playhouse that needed a little face lift.

Here is what it used to look like....

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Posted on November 11, 2013 and filed under Create, Family.

DIY TinkerBell Invitations

Well if you couldn't have already guessed it.... Bella's birthday party theme is....

Tinkerbell and a Neverland Party!!!

Peter Pan is one of her favorite movies and I knew how much she would love a Tink party! I am generally not a person to purchase anything I can do myself. When it comes to invitations, I always like to create them myself. Microsoft Publisher is a great tool and I have managed navigate through it fairly easily. So I came up with this design! What do you think?

It was pretty easy to create and there are many free graphics out there if you know where to search. As long as your not selling and they are for personal use, you should be okay with using free graphics! The key is searching for a PNG graphic.

If any of you are interested in the FREE editable version email me!! I can send you my publisher file so you can make changes! Don't for get to show some love and subscribe!

More party ideas to come! Come back soon!

DAD Portrait: Father's Day 2012

This year for Father's day I wanted to create something special. I went to Michael's and bought these wooden letters D and A... Then I thought get a P and you can do papa too. I took portraits of my little ones with the letters and here is what happened...

I took the picture and turned it black and white with Photoshop. I had to increase the brightness and contrast so it didn't look too dark.
I did this with each letter D, A, D.
The finished product for Dad.... 

Sorry for the picture quality... taken with a phone camera:(
I also did one for my pop. I used the letters PAPA... That's what my daughter calls him:)
I put the pictures on publisher and arranged them so I could print out one big 8x10.