Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick Storm Update

Updating from my phone. Thought I'd give you a quick rundown of things in Huntsville where I live. My family and friends are safe. No power or network there right now. They hope to restore power by Wednesday. We are at a friends lake house near Birmingham where we thankfully have power and a hot shower! Conditions are very bad at home with 3 hour long lines for gas and groceries. However, many people in north Alabama are dealing with much worse - loss of life and property. We were spared from that aspect and are beyond thankful. Please remember in prayer those affected. I hope to be sharing fun stuff with you soon, but right now I'm not sure when that will be. My apologies for not responding to comments and emails during this time...I only have my phone! Share with you soon!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Project 52: Easter Recap

I thought it would be fun to share some pictures from our our Easter weekend for this week's Project 52.  We had such a beautiful weekend!!  On Saturday we hunted eggs at our local botanical gardens (after t-ball practice at 8 AM...yikes!).  It's such a beautiful setting and they always have great activities planned for the kids too.  Then, that afternoon, we went up to church for our egg hunt there.  On Easter Sunday, the weather was better than it's been since I can remember!  Our Easter sunrise service is outside on "the mountain" (what we call our main little 'mountain' in town) each year and it's always freezing.  Not this year!  We had lovely weather and were able to enjoy the service without shivering.  It was a great weekend spent with family and good friends.  Though we had a million activities planned we were still able to relax, enjoy, and celebrate the true meaning for Easter :)  Wonderful!

Warning:  There are LOTS of pictures, and even some sewing info thrown in along the way!


Waiting for the hunting to begin at the botanical gardens!

Still waiting...
Hard to see in this pic, but I made EG a cute little ruffled cuff to wear that matched the flower I added to her dress.  I always make her an outfit for this egg hunt, but this year I didn't have time!  So, last minute I decided to just make some accessories for this dress I made a few weeks ago :)



Loving on the Easter bunny :)  First time she hasn't been terrified...maybe those trips to Disney World paid off more than I thought!  Haha :)


 One of the beautiful butterflies in the butterfly house... 

Visiting with the box turtles :)

And, finally, watching the miniature train on the way out...

By far, the highlight of the church egg hunt later that day...

And, on Easter Sunday in this dress I made... 



This one was beautiful as is, but I still decided to add a little fabric and tulle flower with a little bling.  EG thought this was the perfect touch!

And, hey, that flower doesn't look bad on our comfy Easter wear either :)

Interested in making either of those dresses?  Check out THIS LINK for info on the tutorial and pattern :)

Want to join me in posting your Glimpse Into Motherhood each week?  Check it out here:
Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shabby Giraffe Applique {Tutorial}

We took a trip to Memphis last weekend to enjoy the Memphis Zoo {and some other Memphis attractions}.  EG requested a giraffe shirt, as giraffes (pronounced giraffe-uhs in our house) are her most favorite animal.  I fell in love with THIS technique for making a sweet faux chenille blanket, and I decided to try it out on an applique.  It doesn't quite get the same effect on something as small as an applique for a tee, but I still LOVE how it turned out.  And, most importantly, little bit loved it too!  This technique uses 4 or 5 pieces of stacked fabric sewn together and then cut to create the shabby effect.  Fun to do!  This is very simple and doesn't take that much longer to complete than your traditional applique.  And, obviously, you can apply this technique for ANY applique whether it be an initial, another design, etc.  On with the tutorial...

Materials Needed:
- t-shirt
- 4 or 5 bigger scraps of fabric
- fusible web (I use Steam a Seam)
- sewing stuff
- fabric marking pen
- 3/8" ribbon (optional for bow)


Creating and Preparing Your Applique Pieces:
For my giraffe applique, I found a cute clipart design on my computer, zoomed in, and traced it right from my computer screen.  If you are good at drawing, you could certainly draw your own!  Me...not so much.  You can see from all of my crazy lines that I tweaked the size a little after holding it up to the shirt to check it. 


Cut out your design and place it on your top where you want it to make sure it's the right size.


Once your applique design is ready, place it on top of one of your fabric scraps and cut around the edge of your applique.  You don't want to cut out all the details right now as that will make the rest of the steps more difficult.

For the "shabby" effect we will use several layers of fabric (4 or 5), so we will need to cut this shape from all layers.  Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be perfect at this point :)  For my fabric pieces I used 4 coordinating fabrics and 1 white muslin piece for the "base".  The "base" piece just holds everything together and doesn't really show in the end.

To do this, stack all of your fabric pieces on top of each other facing the same direction (i.e. all right sides up or all wrong sides up) **with the exception of one piece that will need to be opposite of the others**.  The opposite piece will be the bottom piece of your applique just above your base piece.  I forgot to do this when taking pics and had to re-cut later, so it isn't shown below.

Once your pieces are stacked, as shown above, place your template piece you cut earlier on top of the stack and cut this shape from all layers.  Again, it doesn't have to be perfect, so go ahead and cut through all layers at one time.

Here you can see how everything is stacked up and cut out at one time:

After cut, your stack should look like this:

With the bottom coordinating piece (just above the base) facing wrong side up instead of right side up (this is because that piece will curl up more than the others and you want the right side to show when it curls):

Marking and Sewing Your Applique:
All of this work is for some cute shabby sweetness, and is totally worth it in the end :)  To create the shabby effect, in a nutshell, we will be sewing lines across the applique and then cutting between them to expose the edges, without cutting the bottom layer.  

First, you will need to mark even lines across your top applique piece.  Mine were about 1 inch apart and horizontal.  There is no rule as to how they should be...anything you try will yield a little different effect. I think diagonal lines would be really cute, as well as lines closer together.  Keep in mind that your marked lines will be your sewing lines.  I was kind of in a hurry, so I did mine wider (1") to avoid having to sew so many.  I initially wanted to do them 1/2" apart.  Feel free to do what you wish!

Once marked, pin all of your pieces together well around the edges.  I pinned mine between each line so that I wouldn't have to take them out as I was sewing.  This worked great!
 Pin between the lines:

Once securely pinned, you can go ahead and sew lines straight across each line you marked.  I backstitched at the beginning and end of mine, but it probably doesn't matter since you will be cutting it out anyway... 

Front...

and back...


Cutting and Attaching Applique:
Once your pieces are sewn together, remove the pins and you are ready to cut!  Now we need to cut between each set of lines to create those cute shabby edges.  To do this, you will cut straight down the middle of each section (between each set of lines) through all layers EXCEPT THE BASE.  If you cut through the base you would be cutting your work into pieces, and that's NOT what we want!  

It was really hard to get a picture, but it's not difficult to do.  Simply place the bottom blade of your scissors on top of the base layer (so that it doesn't cut through) and cut straight across.  You can kind of see in the picture above how when you separate the layers where you've cut you've only got the base layer intact.

Once cut, you'll have something that looks like this... 

Now, we're ready to get the applique cut out and attached to the shirt.  Yay!  Follow the directions on your fusible web.  Mine says to trace the design in reverse on the side that doesn't easily pull away.  Once traced, cut loosely around the edge (again avoiding all of the details).  It's hard to see my traced design, but if you look really close you can see it below.  Adhere your traced fusible web piece to the base layer of your fabric stack (the bottom of your stack...the part that will attach to the shirt).

With this piece adhered, you can now just cut around your traced image.  If you have small parts, the cutting can be a little tricky.  Just take your time and be patient.  After cutting you should have a perfectly shaped giraffe (or other design) with the fusible web stuck to the back (and another layer of paper...the fusible web I use has paper on either side of the web).

Flip your applique over, peel off the remaining tear away paper piece to reveal your webbing...  

And stick to the front of your shirt where you want it...

Press really well (it's takes more time through all those layers...but be sure not to iron in one place too long or you'll scorch your fabric like I did HERE) and then zig-zag around the edge to complete {almost}.  Not too shabby!  Literally.  Haha.  

To actually create the shabiness you need your handy washer and dryer.   Throw that baby in the washing machine, dry it in the dryer and  you end up with a cute shabby applique that's perfect for visiting your favorite animal at the zoo!  The more you wash and dry it, the shabbier it will get.  See evidence of the shabby magic below... 

 I added a little extra touch to mine by making a simple ribbon bow and hand-stitching it to the top.  Perfection :)









Friday, April 15, 2011

Quick Easter Printables - "Treats for My Peeps" Bag Toppers

Our trip to Memphis was slightly delayed (yep, we're headed there this weekend for a quick little getaway!  Hope to leave by 3:00...we'll see) by the impending severe weather...ugh.  But, don't be too disappointed for us because that extra time turned into these cute Easter printables I'm sharing with you today :)  These are intended for use with the regular sandwich or snack size zipper bags.  Just fold in half and staple on top of the bag.  Easy and cute!  I plan to put one of these little treats from Sun Scholars in mine, so I'm using the "a treat for my peep" version.  However, I figured most people would have more than one treat to give so I included the "plural" version as well :)  Hope you enjoy!  Just click the links below to access the JPG versions of both images!

CLICK HERE to download this version



CLICK HERE to download this version

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Join me on Facebook!

In case you haven't noticed the link over there on my sidebar, I just wanted to extend everyone the invitation to join me on Facebook!  I would love it!  So, if you belong to Facebook, just hop on over and join me on the Peanut to Princess page and "like" it (if you do!)!

CLICK HERE to suggest if you wish :)

Project 52: Farm Days

I love spring not only for the beautiful weather it brings but also for the fun activities that come along with that.  One of the things that we look forward to each year is a local museum's Farm Days.  This museum is called a "living history" museum where everything is set in the 1800s.  All of the workers, activities, etc. are appropriately themed.  Each year in early spring they have this event where you can see old tractors, pan for gold, watch a sheep shearing, interact with many farm animals, and participate in all kinds of farm activities from the 1800s.  It is super fun!  Here are some of our pics from our "Farm Day":


Testing out some old tractors...


And some new ones...


Sweet cousins...


Bonding with this little gal...



Panning for "treasures"...



And, did I mention all of this is in a terrific setting on top of our lovely little mountain?

Beautiful day!



P.S. I inadvertently skipped Project 52 last week :(  Sorry about that!  

Want to share your own Glimpse Into Motherhood?  Join me here:
Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood