Monday, October 20, 2014

Felt Team Spirit Banner

The soccer and volleyball seasons are coming to a close.  Two weekends ago, we had Spirit Day.  Everyone is supposed to dress in their team's colors and show team spirit.  I had some green hair chalk that we put in the girls' hair.  I found some crazy green striped socks to wear and we all wore green and black to represent each of the girls' teams.  I wanted to do something more.  When I was growing up, one of the moms always made the best team banners that they would put up on a PVC stand for each of the games.  I had wanted to do this in the past, but never got around to doing it.  Spirit Day was the perfect day to get motivated.  Of course, I came to this thought at 7pm the day before!  But when I decide to do a project, I pretty much just go for it!  

I ran to JoAnn's that night to buy felt.  I had two team banners to make, so I had to get busy!  Luckily for me, the bolts of felt were on sale.  I needed a piece about 36" x 28" for the background piece.  I then bought smaller pieces to use to cut out my letters and other decorations.  After cutting your background piece to size, fold about 3 inches of the top edge over to the back and stitch across to create a channel to slip a PVC pipe through.

I printed out block style letters in Word to spell out the team names.  I also searched for pictures of balls on the internet, as well as pictures of our team mascots.  I saved the images to a Word file.  When I went to print, I chose the Properties button on the Print screen.  Halfway down that page, you will find the Multi-page option.  This will allow you to print one image onto several pieces of paper, making it big enough for your banner.  I chose the 2x2 Poster option.  Click on Print Preview as well so you can make sure the image will print how you want.  After printing it out, cut out your image and tape the pieces together to create your pattern.  Use your pattern to trace your image onto your felt and cut them out.  I was able to see the black lines from the ball patterns through the white felt, so I traced them onto the felt with a black sharpie, coloring in the black sections of the soccer ball.

After tracing and cutting out all my felt letters, balls and mascots I figured out my layout.  Now is the time to try out what you like and figure out what looks best.  Then it's time to glue.  I used a tacky glue to keep all the pieces in place.  I was only planning on using these for the day, so I didn't think they would have to last long.  The team liked them so much, they requested to have the same team name and color for next season so we could continue to use the banner.  I may go back and stitch everything in place.  I could do it with a sewing machine, or just use a few hand sewn stitches instead.  

Look at my little soccer star!  She's a natural and has her Mom's talent.  Just don't tell her Dad I said that.  She is a quick thing too.  She looks happy here, but she can get quite pouty when someone takes the ball from her.  

After soccer, it was time to head inside to volleyball.  My daughter had her best game of the season and decided the green striped socks must be good luck.  Whatever works!

Despite the fact that I didn't start making these team banners until the last minute, I was pretty happy with how they came out.  They came together pretty quickly (although I was up until midnight).  I would just recommend planning ahead a bit.  If I make these for the season next year, I will definitely make a PVC stand that will hold the banners for all the games.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hometown Heart Map Canvas

You probably know by now that I like to make personalized gifts for my friends. This Hometown Heart Canvas is the perfect wedding gift to celebrate two hearts coming together. Each person has their own past and upbringing that makes them who they are. This canvas honors these pasts combining them into one heart.  

This project begins with a search for maps of the hometowns.  I was able to find my maps in books I found at Goodwill.  You may have some on hand, but if not, Goodwill or a used book store is the perfect place to start your search.  They may have an older or outdated Atlas or map book.  I got one of each for only $.99 each.

Next, I found a pattern for my heart by searching online for the shape.  I was able to print my heart so that one half of it fit on a regular piece of paper.  Use your heart half and trace it onto your map.  How and where your hometown ends up depends on your map and the layout you like.  One of my maps was the whole country of Brazil.  The other was a close up map of Central Florida.  They both have different looks, but that is the unique idea of combining two different things into one.

Cut out both of your heart halves and place on your canvas.  You could mount them on one canvas, but I chose to place them each on their own 8 x 10 canvas.  I lined the edges of the hearts up, on the edges on the canvases.  Use small heart stickers to mark your hometowns.

Apply Mod Podge to the back of the heart, put it in place and allow to dry.  Apply a layer of Mod Podge over your entire canvas with a foam brush and allow to dry.  Repeat this process until you are happy that it is sealed in place.

This Hometown Heart Map Canvas is the perfect wedding or Valentine's Day gift.  Make one for your friends or your sweetie.  A simple project with a lot of meaning behind it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TMNT Mask & Gift Wrapping Idea

With Halloween coming up, I thought I'd share this idea of making your own felt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mask.  It's such a simple project and a great addition to any costume.  Great for Halloween, dress up, or for a party favor!

I made these masks for my nephews.  The youngest one celebrated his birthday a few months ago.  I had made him a TMNT flannel blanket.  I wanted to make him and his big brother a couple of masks so that they could use them for when they play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Easy enough to make them each one, and it went along with the theme of his gift.  

 I used this Template to create my masks.  I simply printed out the pattern, traced it on to my craft felt and cut it out.  Trace onto the back side of your felt so that none of the marks get left behind and show on the front.  Next I measured a piece of elastic to attach to the sides of my mask.  You don't want it to be too tight or it will pop off, but too loose and it will slide down.  Measure your child's head to get the right fit.  Sew a few stitches on the sides of your mask to attach the elastic.  You can do this on a sewing machine or just by hand.  These masks cost just pennies to make!

Like my cute little TMNT mask models?  If you are looking for a cape to go along with your new mask, check out my Easy Bandana Tutorial or my Reversible Superhero Cape Tutorial.  These masks can be made for any superhero you choose!

With a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle gift, you have to have the right wrapping!  This is so easy to do.  I found solid green wrapping paper at Walmart.  I cut a strip of red scrapbook paper for the mask.  You can glue or tape this in place.  Cut circles from white and black paper to create your eyeballs.  Glue these in place and you have a Ninja Turtle package!  Rafael is my nephew's favorite Ninja Turtle, so I used red paper, but pick your color to match your favorite.  Too cute to even rip open!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fierce Pink Ribbon Quilt for Breast Cancer Awareness

My current friends and I met at a run group that was formed at the YMCA.  We started off just running around the block a couple of times and then on to running races.  We then moved on to coffee dates, dinners, movies and girls nights out.  We became known as the Fierce Girls.  We have many t-shirts to prove it too!  Our group has evolved and doesn't really run as much anymore.  People went back to work, kids grew, and lives changed.  We've still managed to keep in touch and meet at 5 am for 3 mile runs and coffee.  We still meet for birthdays, dinners and nights out.  We are there to support each other.  We had a big group that got together to run a breast cancer race to support our fierce friend!

Last year this friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was eye opening since she was the first person my age that I knew personally to be diagnosed with this disease. Breast cancer survivors are all around us, but it is not a given. So much pain, emotion, worries, and treatment comes before you can say you are on the other side. While I have never been in this situation, I am sure it can be a scary and lonely time. Even with people to support you, I'm sure you can get lost in your own head thinking about all the What If's. I wanted my friend to know that we were with her, thinking of her, and caring about her even if we couldn't always be with her. That's why I wanted to make her a pink ribbon quilt, to keep her warm and comfortable.  Something to keep with her when she needed a snuggle.

I decided to make a quilt as you go strip quilt.  It would be throw blanket size, measuring about 45 in. x 60 in.  I used crib sized batting.  I found a variety of fabrics in blacks, whites, and pinks.  I also found a pink print for the quilt back.  I cut my strips in all different lengths, with the width being the width of the material.  I laid out my strips to get the look I wanted.  I also wanted to add the word Fierce and a pink ribbon.  I found images online that I used as a pattern to cut out my fabric.

For the back, I wanted to have a larger piece that could fold forward and create my binding.  I bought a piece of fabric that was 45 in wide and 3 yards long.  I cut this long piece in half.  I matched up the lengths and sewed them together to create the back.  It ended up being 90 in long and 54 in wide.

I used fusible web and an iron to attach the word FIERCE to my first strip.  I zig zag stitched around the outside edges to keep them in place.  Now it's time to start quilting.  To create your strip quilt, you will need to lay out your quilt back, face down.  Top it with your batting, and then line it up with your first strip of fabric.  Sew along the bottom edge of your first strip, sewing together your top piece, batting, and your back fabric all sandwiched together.  I centered my batting and front piece in the middle of the backing.  Remember we will be folding the back forward to create the binding.  If you are using a separate binding, you can use a single piece of backing and line all three up.

After your first strip is attached, line up your second strip, right sides together, along the top edge of your first.  Sew your second strip in place, sewing through the second strip, first strip, batting and backing.  Now flip your second strip up and smooth in place.  Continue adding and sewing your strips in place, quilting as you go.  

 Once your strips are all sewn in place, your quilt will look something like this.  Now is when I added my pink ribbon.  I ironed the ribbon on towards the top of my quilt.  I stitched around the edges.  The outline of the ribbon will show through the back of the quilt as well.

Trim the edges leaving an equal amount of excess material all the way around your front.  The amount of extra material really depends on how thick you want your border.  Mine was a bit thicker, so I had about 2.5 inches around.  Fold your extra material towards your quilt front until the edge lines up with the front edge.  Iron in place.  Fold this border over again, so that it is covering the front edge of the quilt.  Pin in place.  Do this for all four sides, squaring off the corners.  Here is another TUTORIAL on binding with mitered corners.

I was very happy with how it turned out.  The pink really popped against the black and white fabric.  I wanted her to know just how Fierce she really is!  The size was perfect for her to bring with her for treatments or just curl up on the couch.

Today my friend has completed her treatment and is doing well.  She is a strong woman and I hope she continues to only get healthier and happier.  I know my friend loved this quilt.  If you know someone that could use some extra love, maybe this pink ribbon quilt could brighten her day.  Plus it's simple enough for a beginner to sew.  Be healthy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Blanket

A few months back, my nephew celebrated his third birthday.  Both of my nephews are big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans. Living in a house full of girls, I must say that I don't know many details about them. I do know that Raphael is his favorite, so I decided to make his gift accordingly.

Maybe I'm weird, but one of my favorite things to make ( and have) is a blanket. Of course I decided that anyone that is a fan definitely needs a TMNT blanket to cuddle with!  

I love all the fleece and flannel prints that are available. With their popularity right now, I easily found TMNT fabric I liked. I chose a fleece print for one side and a turtle green fleece for the other.  You could use either fleece or flannel, but I find flannel easier to work with.

I cut my material into 1 yard squares.  This was just going to be a throw blanket for a three year old, but you can make it longer if you wish.  Next I cut a strip of red flannel material about 8 inches high and the width of my blanket.  Fold under the long edges of this strip and press in place. 

I cut out eyes from craft sized sheets of white and black felt.  Stitch the black circles in place on to your white eyes.  Place your eyeballs on to the middle of the red strip and stitch in place around the outside edges. 

Place your red strip on to the front of your green solid fabric.  Sew along the top and bottom edges of the strip.  Now place the front (right side) of your solid against the right side of your printed fabric.  The wrong sides of both fabrics should be facing out.  Pin together and sew around the outside edges, leaving a 6-8 inch opening. 

Turn your blanket right sides out.  Pin your opening together.  Sew around the outside of your edges again, making sure to sew the edges of your opening closed.

Your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle blanket is ready for cuddling!  This is a great gift for any TMNT fan and would be perfect for the cooler weather that is to come.  Cowabunga, dude!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy 11th Birthday E!

Happy Birthday to our oldest daughter!  Looking forward to a busy day of soccer, volleyball and Disney!  Can't wait to see all the wonderful things you will do when you grow up.  You are so smart, hard-working, and sweet that I know that you will be able to do anything you want. 
Happy 11th Birthday beautiful girl! 
Love Mom & Dad!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mrs & Mrs Pillow Wedding Present

A couple of weekends ago, the hubby and I attended our first same sex wedding. We have quite a few gay friends, but since gay marriage isn't legal in FL, most people tend to travel to get married. This couple did this as well, but also decided to have a ceremony and reception here with their friends. I always like to make gifts for my friends and monograms and dated items are usually great. I love this wedding date frame I made.  However, this wedding was a little trickier since I wasn't sure which date they wanted to celebrate as their anniversary (out of state or instate wedding) and I wasn't sure who's name they would be taking either. I decided to go a different route. I love these burlap pillows that I've been seeing. TJ Maxx has a bunch of them, but I was pretty sure I wasn't going to find one to fit what I was looking for. But, I figured they would be pretty easy to personalize.

I used a 40% off coupon at JoAnn's to buy a pillow form, but you could also use a plain throw pillow you might have on hand. Then you will need a piece of burlap measuring the height of your pillow plus 1 inch and the width of your pillow times 2 plus 5-6 inches.  You want enough fabric for it to cross in the back, but still be able to slide your pillow in.  Plus you want it to have a snug fit.  I did leave extra fabric for the height so that I could sew first and then trim later, in case of unraveling.

I chose to stencil my pillow before sewing it.  Measure out your material so that you are marking in the middle.  I placed a piece of paper of paper behind my stencil area to catch the extra marks.  To make my stencils, I printed out my words and & symbol from Word onto card stock working with it until I got the size and look I wanted.  I used a craft knife to cut along the outline, removing the printed inside, creating my stencil.

Using a silver permanent marker, I traced the inside of my stencil on the middle front of my fabric.  I placed any cut out pieces back in place and traced them in too. Then I colored in the rest of the & symbol. Next, I measured where I wanted to stencil in my two Mrs.  Make sure they will be the right size for your pillow face. Trace the inside of the Mrs. stencil with a black permanent marker.  Mine was overlapping my & symbol.

Now that your pillow design is complete, it is time to sew your pillow. If you didn't measure your fabric before, now is the time. 

Time to fold your material and mark for sewing. Fold the edges of your long pieces to the back, turning them under about an inch. Stitch your hems.  Now fold these pieces over on to each other, overlapping them a few inches. Your design should be on the inside, wrong sides out. Measure to make sure your size is correct. Adjust your overlap to make it fit. I pinned my sew line on the top and bottom seams, but you could also mark it with a pencil. Sew along your seams and trim your extra material. 

Turn your pillow cover right side out, making sure to push out the corners. Slide your pillow in the opening in the back.  You may have to squish it in a bit, but it will fill out once you get it in there. Now your throw pillow is ready for your couch or bed!  Don't want two Mrs?  This idea would be great for any word or saying.