Weekend Whims- Treehouses

One of our family summer projects is to build a treehouse in the backyard!! Here are some pinterest finds that I love!!

1. This ‘Wonky’ fort reminds me of a wonky halloween quilt! via pinterest.

2. This is just a great simple treehouse by Kid Baltimore.

3. I so want to add curtains to our front porch, so why wouldn’t I be in love with this tree house?? via pinterest and Cool Pictures

4. Our tree isn’t quite big enough for all these rooms, but if we could have this, we’d each get a room! via My Fotolog via pinterest.

5. What do you think about this modern version? via  Relax Shacks via pinterest.

6. Love the Dr Seuss aspect of these super bright and a bit wonky tree houses! via pinterest

Most of these links, don’t take you back to the very original posts… I seemed to have a hit a wall on these links. If you know the original posts, please let me know so I can update the links. Thanks!

Which one is your favorite? Have you built a tree house recently? Any tips???

Process Post- Modernista Swap

Wow! Its been a while since I’ve posted a Process Post, it seems like! I had such a  good time with my Modern She Made Swap, that I joined another one… This one is the Modernista Homemade swap. I can’t say too much about it, but I’m thinking birds…. On a sewing machine cover!

These are some bird characters I’ve been wanting to make into a quilt since I first started quilting! I love them, but am not sure others will love them as much as I do. I considered doing this piece for the Modern She Made swap, too, but then decided on the pin wheels.

Then there’s the birds in a tree idea… This would be a blue and green strip quilt with the tree quilted in, but the birds appliqued. This isn’t my favorite….

And then there’s the wonky log cabin with a bird on it! I’m thinking mostly white with pops of blue and green… Not sure if the mostly white is the right direction or not, though….

And my last idea is one I’m calling the Mod tree…. With little birds flying out from the tree. Background white or a light, light blue…

Thoughts??? Can you help me make a decision??? Thanks!

Fabric Pin Wheel Tutorial

Yes, it’s another bright colored post about pin wheels! I need them! I don’t know about you, but we are still having more gloomy days than bright sunny days here in the Pacific Northwest….

Remember that pin wheel I made for the Modern She Made Swap? The one I made for the swap, was a bit delicate and more for looks than to spin. I’ve been thinking about it and thinking about it. And I figured out how I wanted to make it spin! Here’s how….

Step 1: Materials:

8 pieces of fabric, about 6 inches tall by 3 inches wide

Fusible Bond Adhesive

Iron-on Vinyl


Wire Cutter

Rotary Cutter

Hole Puncher, I used a 1/8″ punch


Sticks, or pencils


Step 2: Cut Pieces. For the triangles, you’ll need 8 triangles. For the fusible adhesive, you’ll need a 6 inch square. I oversized the iron-on vinyl and cut 2 7.5 inch squares.

Step 3: Fuse the Pieces together. First, iron on the solids to the fusible adhesive. Be sure to leave a fraction of a space between the pieces. Remove the paper backing and layout the coordinating pieces on the fusible adhesive. I iron mine on another piece of fabric to avoid any bits of the adhesive getting on my ironing board! As you iron the second layer, they will separate into the four triangles! Then you’ll have four triangles with two different sides!

Step 4: Laminate the pieces. I deviate from the package directions slightly here… Remove the paper backing. Adhere the four triangles to the sticky side of the vinyl, then smooth on the second piece of vinyl to the other side of the triangles. I sized these pieces large, so you don’t have to be to specific when you are adhering them all together. Trim the vinyl down about a 1/2 inch larger than the triangles. When ironing, put the paper backing over it and iron. Careful with your timing! If you iron too much, the pieces can separate from the fusible adhesive. If that happens, no worries, it still will work fine, or you can add a bit of fabric glue between the pieces. Once it’s all put together, I trim the vinyl down again to about an 1/8 inch larger than the fabric pieces and cut between the pieces per the pattern.

Step 5: Punch the holes in the corners of the triangle as shown in the pattern. They don’t punch very easily, but enough to then cut out the holes! Also cut a hole in the very center. I did it by folding the pieces and cutting a tiny slit in the center.

Step 6: Cut the wire about a foot long.

Step 7:  Pull the wire through the bead and secure.

Step 8: Secure the Pin wheel. First, pull all the pieces together towards the middle. Insert the wire and bead into the center of the pin wheel and pull it through. Then add another bead to the back.

Step 9: Wrap the wire around the stick! Cut off the ends of the wire and….

Wahla! A laminated fabric pin wheel!

So about now you’re probably wondering why I’d go to this trouble when I could just make a pin wheel out of paper and call it good! Well, there are a lot of steps here, but it’s pretty quick and easy. Also, you never know when you might want a pin wheel to match, exactly, your sewing machine cover! Or anything else you’ve sewn!

What will you make your pin wheel to match???

Shared with these link parties!

Weekend Whims- Soap Clouds

Since school’s out for the summer, I’ve been keeping an eye out for fun little projects to do with the kiddo. Then I came across this project for Soap Clouds from Kitchen Craft.

This is the simplest thing ever and it’s always a hit with the kiddo! Not only does it make for a great bath time toy, but what about fun dioramas or scenes for a playmobile beach party!

All you need is some Ivory soap, wax paper and a microwave! Just cut up some Ivory soap, we’ve been using the soap in thirds. Stick it in the microwave on some wax paper for about 30 seconds. And wah-la! You have a cloud! The larger the piece of soap, the longer you can put it in the microwave. we wanted some small ones, so 20 to 45 seconds worked for us.

Be sure to check out Kitchen Crafts tutorial because she takes it a step further and makes some cool soap shapes with the clouds and food coloring! We haven’t tried the colored soap shapes. Right now we’re enjoying just watching the cloud appear and playing with it with our beach scene and in the tub!

Sunshine Awards!

I got a very sweet email today from Abby who writes her blog Things For Boys. Abby nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Just a little spot of sunshine!  The Sunshine Award is given from bloggers to bloggers. It is for someone “who positively and creatively inspires others in the blogosphere.”

Thank you Abby for a little ray of sunshine in my day! Abby’s blog has all sorts of fun things, especially for boys! I have to say I love her little polar bear bath puppet. My son was loving his towel with ‘paws’ in it tonight. And this project just inspired me to make a polar bear and other to get him, not only excited about bath time (’cause he already loves that), but excited about bathing himself. I can’t wait to try it out!

Here’s how the award works: First, always remember to say thank you to the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Next, answer the following questions about yourself. Then, choose up to 10 of your favorite bloggers and link their blogs to your post.  Be sure to let them know that you are nominating them for the award. Last, be sure to copy and paste the award to your blog!

The questions:

1.  Favorite color- Lately I’ve been leaning way over to the yellows and oranges

2.  Favorite animal – Dogs! I love cats, too, but I’m allergic and kinda mad at our neighborhood cats for thinking our yard is a nice litter box. So dogs it is. My son is so excited because Daddy told him he can have one for his birthday!! How cute is our late pup?? ahhh….

3.  Favorite number – I don’t actually have a favorite number, but I also lean towards odd ones!
4.  Favorite Drink – I have a huge addiction to Coca-Cola! shhhh…. I try to break it every now and then, but somehow it always creeps back into my fridge.
5.  Facebook or Twitter – FB. I don’t tweet and don’t even understand tweeting… So FB it is!

6.  Good book or good movie – Books. I love books. But lately I’ve been staying up too late being crafty and sewing so barely get a few pages in each night! We’ve been seeing more movies lately, too. My son and I love to go see movies and started a Friday Movie Date Day, but there hasn’t been much for him to see lately, so I’ve been going with Dad! Here’s my son and I waiting for the Lorax in 3D! We forgot our Lorax masks, though…

8.  Giving or getting gifts – I love giving gifts! I love finding just the right thing. And I love making gifts! But I can’t say I don’t like getting a few, too! 🙂

7.  My passion – I love making things! Obviously. That’s why I blog!

9.  Favorite day– Lately it’s been Friday! For a while, it was my movie date day with my son, but now my husband has been able to be off on Fridays too. We can do things without the crowds of the weekends!10.  Favorite flower- Hibiscus. But it doesn’t grow well here in Seattle!

And my 10 Nominations:

1. The Southern Institute– Jenny and I have become friends over the last year or so and I’ve loved getting to know her and seeing all her fun craft projects for her kiddos!

2. Elsie Marley– Meg’s blog is a pretty famous one, with the whole Kids Clothes Week Challenge! I absolutely love the KCWC! I’m a bit competitive and love a challenge. And she’s also got some great projects. Her latest one that’s my new favorite are her little seaside and mountainside pillows.

3. Sewing in No Man’s Land– I’m a relatively new follower of her blog, but I love it! Not only are her projects beautiful, but so is her photography!

4. Stitched in Color is a great quilting blog. I love Rachel’s quilting style and projects!

5. Shwin & Shwin. These ladies amaze me with the amount of clothes they make. It’s mostly adorable little girls clothes, but when they do boys clothes it’s just too cute!

6. Sugar and Charm is such a beautiful entertaining blog! Love it!

7. Modern Parents Messy Kids always has fun things to do with the kiddos!

8. Aesthetic Nest– If you haven’t seen this blog, you have to check it out. Anneliese’s sewing projects are out of this world! She does beautiful work!

9. Cirque du BeBe is one of my new favorites. I’ve seen her around for a while now, but got reunited with her blog during KCWC this year.

and last but not least,

10. Skirt as Top! I love her style and her writing is always fun!

Thanks again Abby!

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial

Did I mention that I’ve never really understood sewing machine covers until I made one? I have a hard case cover that I never use unless I am taking my machine somewhere, so I’ve always kinda poo-poo-ed the sewn and quilted sewing machine covers. That is unless I made one for the swap I just did. My partner wanted one, so I tried my hand at it and decided that they are cool and I want one too! They can really brighten up a sewing room!

The most common ones I have seen are basically a mini quilt or tea towel looking piece with a bow on the side. Martha Stewart has one that I’ve seen a lot. And to me, if I’m covering it, I’m covering it. So I made a full-fledged cover with sides and everything!

So here’s how I made mine!

Materials: Not an extensive material list for this one! Just fabric, thread and a cutting device! And since I quilted my cover I also used some batting. This material is optional, but it does help the cover keep it’s shape a bit more than if it didn’t have it.

Step 1: Cut the pieces. For this step, I can’t give you the dimensions! First you have to measure your machine. The machine I was making it for was 16 inches wide, 7 inches deep and 11 inches tall. I added 2 inches to the width,  1 inch to the depth and a 1/2 inch to the height. So you need:

4 side panels- 2 from the inside fabric and 2 for the outside fabric. And 2 pieces of batting if you are using it. My side panels were 8 x 11.5 inches.

2 cover panels- My cover panels were 18 x 30 inches. The height + height + depth. And, again, if you are using batting, cut a piece of batting the same size.

Step 2: Round off the corners at the top piece of the sides. I just used a little juice cup for the shape, so it wasn’t anything too specific!

Step 3: Clip the cover to the sides with right sides together. Or pin, whichever.

Step 4: Sew the cover and sides together, but don’t forget the hole! Leave a 3 inch or so hole in one of the sides seams to pull the finished pieces through later.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the outside pieces.

Step 7: Put the outside of the cover inside the inside piece of the cover with right sides together. Does that make sense??

Step 8: Clip the two pieces together, aligning the seams.

Step 9: Sew the two pieces together.

Step 10: Pull through.

Step 11: Sew that hole in the inside side seam closed.

Step 12: Iron the bottom seam and topstitch around the edge. I used yellow thread on yellow fabric, so it’s hard to see in the pictures, but it’s there, I promise!

And Wahla! It’s done! And hopefully it fits! I was stressed about it since I was making it for a machine I didn’t have access to. But as you can see it fits her machine quite nicely!

And it’s reversible! When you’re needin’ a change, flip it around!

And if you’re wondering about the pinwheel quilt blocks, be sure to check out the tutorial for that here!

Do you have use a machine cover?? Do you want to now?? I do!

Shared with these link parties!

Owl Miss You!

Is school out in your town?? Wednesday was my son’s last day of pre-school for the summer.

He has about 6 teachers and then there’s the other class teachers, too. He LOVES them all. But there is one that he’s bonded with pretty well and she’s going home to Mongolia this summer. Yesterday was her last day, so we wanted to make her something special.

I had a great idea.. I wanted to make a big owl with wings that open up like a card and the message appliqued onto the owl’s belly. And the wings were going to be great, with reverse applique feathered wings… And then I realized I was EXHAUSTED… So I got stumped and just kinda stood around looking at my fabric….. Yes, I said I was exhausted, so why didn’t I go to bed??? Beats me!

Then I remembered the little owl party favors I had done! Then it all came together. Well, the next day anyway! It made sense. She’s moving to Mongolia, why would she want a big stuffed owl when she’s flying who knows how far away… The little guy was perfect!

With this one I did a few things differently. I added a 1/4 seam allowance to the wings in the pattern and made them out of fabric fabric instead of felt. I didn’t use felt for the eyes either. This time I used two different sizes of fabric for the eyes and then the little felt piece for the eyeball. And I tacked the ribbon to the wings, tied some bows and then tied the other end to the sign!

The party favor found a new life as a good-bye card! And if you cut out all the time I spent standing around in a daze, it only took about an hour to make and get the little sign sewn on the wings. I’m a little late on the end of year teacher gift blogging post, but if you’re still looking for an idea… Try out this one!

You can download the pattern here!


Shared with these lnk parties!

A Pinwheel Quilt Square Tutorial

Whooo Hoooo! I’ve been a little absent from my blogging with my whole computer crash and trying to finish up my application for my Architecture License…. And I finally finished the application! About a year since I passed all my exams and got the go ahead to fill out the application. It was a pain, but it’s in the mail now, so I don’t have that looming over me every time I start a new crafty project!! Yea!!

And what’s up for today? A quick little quilt square tutorial! It’s pretty easy and I am kinda wondering if it even needs a tutorial, but I thought I give it a shot! I made the pinwheel square for the swap I just participated in, the Modern She Made Swap. Ha! All this time I’ve been calling it the Modern SHe Made Me swap, but it’s actually the Modern She Made Swap. Not exactly sure where the me came in… Anyway…

This square is a 5 by 5 inch square. There’s actually more applique than actual piecing for this one, but….

Step 1: (It’s kinda two steps in one, but bear with me!) Gather your materials, Fabrics, rotary cutter or scissors, pattern, buttons and some fusible adhesive. I use the Heat ‘n Bond, but there are others out there. And be sure to sue the one for sewing. If you get the heavier duty one, it messes with your needles, it’s too sticky! Next, iron on the fusible adhesive to the fabrics pieces you’re going to use for the pinwheel. You really only need about a 3×3 square of each fabric.

You can download the pattern here.

Step 2: Cut out all the pieces from the template.

Step 3: Sew the triangles onto the long rectangle ‘pinwheel stick’, using 1/4 seam allowances.

Step 4: Iron flat the triangles.

Step 5: Trim the ‘pinwheel’ stick square

Step 6: Sew the ‘pinwheel stick’ square to one of the other squares.

Step 7: Can you see it?? Maybe next time when I’m sewing with white fabric, I won’t use a white background….  Sew together two of the white squares.

Step 8: Sew the two rectangles together, lining up the middle seam.

Step 9: Iron on the two pieces of the part of the pinwheel. Align the corner of the pinwheel with the center of the four squares.

Step 10: Sew the pieces. I used a straight stitch, but a zigzag stitch that covers the edges would also work.

Step 11: Repeat steps 9 and 10, over and over and over! And if you’re making more than one square, repeat, repeat and repeat some more!

Step 12: Sew on the buttons. I quilted mine before adding the button, but you can do this before or after quilting. You decide! Either way, once that button is one, you’re done with the square!

What do ya think? Worth the tutorial? Or did you figure it out just by looking at it???

I can’t wait to get back to crafting!! I’ll have the tutorial for the whole cover coming up shortly!


Shared with these Link Parties!

Weekend Whims- Laminated Cotton!

Sorry for a bit of a quiet week last week…. My computer crashed and I freaked, thinking I’d lost everything! I took it in and found out that it was a really bad virus. They were able to back up all my data!! Yeah!! And then they had to wipe the computer and start over. I finally got it back today…

In the meantime, I’ve been obsessing over laminated fabric! Have you ever used it? I want to make a purse out of it. And a rain coat for my son so he doesn’t have to keep wearing his winter raincoat. He’s also requested on for his stuffed dog…   here are some of my favorites!

I love this Nicey Jane Lindy Leaf. It comes in both the blue version and the pink. But for my new purse, I wanted a coordinating fabric and the blue one has this Nicey Jane Hop Dot Cream.

What do you think of this set? I love them all, but together? I was thinking the one in the middle, the Timeless Treasures Sunny Daze Flowers Blue would be the main fabric, with pockets or side panels out of the green,  Greenhouse ButtonWood Grass and the trim would be the yellow, Sunny Happy Skies Cotton Lace Yellow.

I also like this set, but does it look too much like a diaper bag?? I love the Logan Cotton Blossoms Pink with the Michael Miller Dumb Dot in black and white.

But I think this one is my favorite set….  The main fabric would be the floral, Heather Bailey Freshcut Cotton Groovy Olive. The pockets and trim prices would be the others. The green is Greenhouse Buttonwood Grass. The yellow is the same as in the set above, Sunny Happy Skies Lace Yellow. And the pink is Michael Miller Lush Happy Dot Pink.

Ok, one more… I like this one a lot too…. Like the one above, the main fabric would be the funky floral, Anna Maria Horner LouLouthi Summer Totem Tart. The pink and the yellow are the same pattern, just different colors, Sunny Happy Skies Lace. And the awesome blue on  is by Amy Butler, Soul Blossoms Temple Doors Deep Water.

And for the kiddo… I love love love the Dr Seuss ones! But he wasn’t interested… Hmmm… Is he really my kid? Dr Seuss isn’t his first choice?? The Urban Zoologie is awesome! I love all their characters, especially the owls. But the kiddo picked the monkeys for his rain coat.

Ok, I need your help! The new bag is going to be a kinda messenger bag, but I don’t want it to look like a diaper bag… So which fabric collection would you pick? I’m horrible at making decisions, so I’d love to hear which one you’d pick!!

all the fabrics I picked are avaialable at Fabric.com

More next week. So glad to have the computer back and running!!

Modern She Made Me Swap!

I don’t know if I’ve even mentioned that I was playing along with the Modern She Made Me Swap… Do you do swaps? Do you have any idea what they are?? Well, I’m kinda new to them and I’m kinda, I mean, really loving them!

So here’s what I know about them. They are typically flickr groups of crafty/sewing people who sign up to make something awesome for someone else! There’s a Swap Mama that takes everyone that signs up and assigns them a partner. Some swaps you know who your partner is and some you don’t. I don’t know which way I like more… I kinda like being sneaky and not knowing which project is going to end up in my mailbox!! When you sign up you tell the Swap Mama what you like, what you don’t like, what colors you like, and what sorts of things you’d like to receive!

The Modern She Made Me Swap was the first one I’ve done. And it was a secret partner one! So once you’re in and the fun starts everyone starts posting pictures of fabric choices and pictures of their process. And since it’s a secret swap, you have to really play along and watch for the comments your partner posts. The tricky piece to the secret swap is you can’t ask your partner anything directly…. So you can ask questions when you post a picture, but then you just have to sit back and wait and hope that your partner comments…

I knew my partner loved bright colors, so I wanted to do something bright. Then the pin wheel design came to me. I posted my sketches and waited for the comments! When I took the pictures of my sketches, I laid them out on this yellow paper and thought it worked nicely together. The yellow became part of the sketch almost! And then part of the final piece.

In this swap, I was told what my partner wanted, but then I noticed she kept getting really excited about sewing machine covers, so that is what I decided to make! I was able to get her dimensions to make it. I’ve never wanted a sewing machine cover since my machine has one that I never use…. But after making this one, I now really want one!

The one I made is reversible, so the yellow part is quilted, but the underside, the bright orangey floral, isn’t quilted. The pin wheels are appliqued on a pieced square with the wand of the pin wheel. Check out the quilting! What do ya think? I tried to make it look like it was spinning off of the pin wheels… I actually really like it. Hope yall agree!

The other thing I learned about swaps… You don’t just send the main item. You send goodies with the main swap item. I’m glad I didn’t send first or else my poor partner would have just gotten a sewing machine cover. Luckily I figured it out in time and she got the cover, a charm pack, a pin wheel and pincushion, both that match the cover!

And the exciting part… Your gift showing up in the mailbox!! I was so excited today when I got my swap gift. It’s a quilted lightning bug pillow. Honestly, I’m not kidding when I say I was totally shocked. At first I had forgotten that I had one similar in my flickr favorites. When I did the Project Quilting, someone made a lightning bug mini quilt and I fell in love. I even remember running down to show my husband the picture of it! And the one I got today from my swap partner, Tiffany from This Crafty Fox, was just like that with colors that match our living room just perfectly!

Here’s a before and after…. We’ve had this pillow on the couch and chair for probably 4 years now. You can’t see it in the picture, but there’s a stain on it. Almost looks like it got drooled on…. Anyway… To many details?? Doesn’t the new pillow look soooo much more fun???

It’s just perfect! I love it! And I also got a cute little charm pack with gnomes, which I love!! We were just talking about needing another gnome for the flower garden. And my son loves the pillow, too. He’s convinced that I gave it to him (which I didn’t) and he keeps wanting to take it downstairs to his room… Um, it’s MINE, little buddy!

Thank you partner!!

I’m doing another swap now!! I’ll keep ya posted on how it goes! And stay tuned… I have a tutorial on the pin wheel quilt square and a tutorial for the machine cover coming!!

Shared with these link parties!

Ellison Lane Quilts