Saturday, October 30, 2010

Emery Sand Pincushion Tutorial

I'm so guilty of using this old dish towel as my pincushion.

It has served me well and functions just like a pincushion, but it is ugly as ever!

It was about time I made something MUCH cuter with all the fabric scraps I have laying around.

And in case YOU need a cute pincushion, too - here's a tutorial!

1. Using a piece of muslin or plain fabric, trace a plate or something round with an 8" diameter.

2. Using the largest stitch that you sewing machine can make, sew around the perimeter of the circle.  Be sure to backstitch at the beginning, but not at the end.

3. Pull the end your your thread VERY CAREFULLY to close up your circle.

4. Pour in 1/2 cup of emery sand.

What??  You haven't heard of emery sand before?
OH!  Let me tell you!

Emery sand is a better choice to fill your pincushions with for a few reasons:
~ It keeps your pincushion heavy and stable on your table.
~ It actually SHARPENS your needles each time you stick them in!

I bought 1/2 cup of emery sand for a fun ETSY seller "LoveLaurie".
She sells emery sand and really cute pin cushions at really reasonable prices!

In fact, she's offered to GIVE AWAY 1/2 cup of emery sand to one of you so you can try out this tutorial!

To enter:
1. Follow this blog and leave a comment saying you do.
2.  Link up a craft you have done {at our link party today} using fabric scraps then leave a comment telling me you did!
3. Grab either my blog button or the Scrap Happy Saturday button for your blog and comment back. 

Ok, back to the tutorial
5. Cinch up the bag tight.

6. Use the long string left over and use it to thread a needle.  Sew the cinched part tight.

7. Cut another circle with an 8" diameter out of the fabric you want to be showing and stitch around it with a large basting stitch.  Lay the first layer of the pincushion inside the circle, upside down.
{We are doing two layers so the emery sand doesn't escape.}

8. Pulling the string carefully, cinch up the pincushion and sew tightly shut.

9. Using embroidery thread and a long needle, make stitches starting from the cinched area and coming straight out the back until you get something that looks like this:
10. To cover up the cinched area, you can either use a piece of felt and sew a button to keep it closed, or find a print of a flower that you love like I did.
I cut two matching sizes from a Joel Dewberry fabric.

11. Turned them wrong sides together and sewed around the edges... leaving a small opening to turn it inside out.

12. After turning it inside out, I sewed around the edges and inside the flower to give it a little texture.  Then attached it to my pincushion with small hand stitches on each petal. 
 You're done!

Now, remember to enter the giveaway for 1/2 of FREE emery sand!

Remember to enter:
1. Follow my blog and comment.
2. Link up a scrap craft below and comment.
3. Place either my blog button or the Scrap Happy Saturday button on your blog somewhere and comment back.

I will draw a winner on Tuesday, November 2nd!

Linky Party open until Thursday, November 4th.
I'd love to feature some of your crafts, so link up! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Grammie is here!

We will be back tomorrow for a REALLY fun Scrap Happy Saturday tutorial

Until then...
Grammie is here!

And she brought LOTS of fun toys with her.

Sometimes I think I'm going to have to go find that Bernstain Bear's book about being greedy.
I remember a particular one from my childhood about the Grandparents coming with gifts.
Brother and Sister Bear started to expect that gifts would come with each visit.
Until Mama Bear decides to teach them a lesson.

Anyone know which book that was???

See you tomorrow morning.
I'm seriously SO excited about it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mod Podge Coat Hanger

Not that this is anything new, but I'm going to post it anyway.

I took an ugly old coat hanger...

and turned it into this!

Much better, right?

Here's how - if you're interested.

1. Take off the hooks and spray paint them white.
{Do not do this in the kitchen... even with your windows open.  
It will not be enough ventilation - trust me.}

2. Cut a piece of fabric long and wide enough to wrap around the board.  
And then spread Mod Podge on the entire board.

3. Wrap it around like a present, smooth out the fabric, and Mod Podge the ends down.

4. Mod Podge the entire board again and let it dry!

5. Screw the hooks back in the morning... 
it should be pretty easy to see (or feel for) the original holes.

6. And hang up your coats - just in time for winter!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cider Mill and Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll

A few weekends ago, we went to visit one of the Cider Mills in town.

While I have been to many apple orchards, I had never been to a cider mill.

Apparently, this is where the apples are turned into CIDER - pretty self explanatory, right?
That wheel behind us actually does all the work.

 Little Bug enjoyed the apple cider donuts.

But wasn't too sure about feeding the goats.

One thing I was sure of as we left was that I NEEDED to make something delicious eat!
It put me in the mood for something sweet and fall-like.

So, I found this recipe from the McCormick website.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll

It was paired so deliciously with a cup of coffee...

... and a date with my husband after Little Bug was in bed.

PLEASE go try out the recipe.  The cake was so moist and the cream cheese filling was the perfect addition of sweetness.
Mouth is watering as I type.
Good thing I have more canned pumpkin to make another roll!

Anyone else have good pumpkin or apple recipes to try?
Please post the recipe or link in the comment section so I can try them out!
Who knows... I might even do a blog post about how delicious your recipe is.

Monday, October 25, 2010

This Week on Better Life Bags... the blog.

Last week was so fun!
The giveaway at Honeybear Lane blew me away!
176 entries!!
You guys must really like my bags - which humbles me incredibly.
I just loved reading which bag was your favorite in the comments you left on Heidi's blog.
Thank for encouraging me.

And speaking of encouraging...
I had NO IDEA that posting my little confession would bring such sweet comments from you.
Thank you for letting me be real.
And thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.
Comments really do brighten my day.

So, here's what's coming this week!

~ A recap of our visit to the Cider Mill along with a DELICIOUS pumpkin and cream cheese roll recipe I found!

~ I have TWO home improvement ideas for you this week.

~ I'm planning on introducing you to another BLB bag.
{Have you checked out the "Meet the Bags" section on the side of my blog yet?}

~ Scrap Happy Saturday is going to feature a really fun tutorial that all sewers could desperately use as well as a GIVEAWAY!

So, keep checking back in !
I have some fun bags to show off this week that YOU created.

Last weekend there was a Harvest Festival going on in our neighborhood.
Only in Detroit would a hayrack ride be pulled by a Hummer!
See how they tried to even camouflage the Hummer (corn stalks on top) to make it look more like a tractor?

Little Bug couldn't wait to ride.

We seriously were zipping through the streets at 50 miles an hour.
Not quite the hayrides I'm used to.
I guess these will be the kind Little Bug grows up with!
Thanks for reading my blog and supporting my business.
You guys are awesome.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guest Towels

Welcome to another edition of Scrap Happy Saturday!
 So glad you came to join us!
Remember to link up your fabric scrap projects at the end of this post!
I'll feature some of your next week :)

This week, my mother is coming into town.
And I have extra towels laying around from a wedding present that don't match our bathroom.

So, I decided to combine the two and make some Guest Towels!

Here's how you can too.

1. Print out letters from a word processing program like Microsoft Word.
I used the WordArt feature in a font I liked.
My letters were 2 inches wide and 3 inches tall.

2. Pin them on the BACK side of fusible fleece interfacing and cut them out.
{The back side would be the side that is going to fuse to the fabric}

3. Fuse them to the back of your fabric scrap.

4. And cut around the letter - leaving about 1/4" material all the way around.

5. Make small slits in the fabric all around the letter.  Cutting right up to the fusible fleece.
This is going to give it a raggy/shaggy look.

6. Sew around the letter to attach it to your towel - leaving the clipped edges free.

After all the letters are sewn on, you'll end up with a nice, cute guest towel!

To make the hand towel and washcloth match, follow these steps:

1. Take a fabric scrap and cut it to the width you like.
The length should extend just beyond the towel.

2. Iron the edges back about 1/4".

3. Pin it in the place you want it to go.

4. Fold the edges under so they meet up with the edge of the towel.
This will prevent fraying.
And sew close to the edge on all four sides of your fabric strip.

Cute, right?

Now you're ready for your guests to arrive!

These would also look super cute as a wedding present with Monogrammed initials!

OK!  You know what to do!
Link up your projects!
And grab the Scrap Happy Saturday button on the side of my blog to share this with others!

Link is open until next Friday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Scrap Happy Saturday Round Up...

I had some great ladies link up to our party last week!

Here are their projects:

This is just one square for an entire quilt. 
I think I'll make a table runner or something from the idea.
From the Patchy Apple - how cute is that blog name?

Look at how cool these knee patches are!
My husband needs me to mend a few pairs of his jeans... think he'll go for these?!
The Patchy Apple again :)

LOVE it when you post tutorials for GIRLS :)  
My little girl is due in January and I need to get busy crafting for her!
Crafting and Creativity

Thanks again for linking up!
Remember... TOMORROW is the day to link up any projects made from fabric scraps.

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