Posts by Jennie

Get Organized: Win An Erin Condren Planner

Fullscreen capture 12222014 60211 AM.bmpEvery year I plan to get more organized, and each year I move a tiny bit forward {there are lots of backwards days thrown in there, but hopefully the general movement is forward!}. Last year, after much debate, I splurged on an Erin Condren Life Planner, you can read more about it here, and the update after six months of use here.

Well, in both of those posts, I included a referral link, so that anyone who made a purchase would receive a $10 discount. In turn, we also received a $10 credit as well. Since so many of you used our link, I was able to get a 2015 planner and some other goodies, and there’s still credit remaining!

So, we wanted to share the planner love and give away one $65 gift card to Erin Condren {this should cover a planner and shipping to the US – Note: Erin Condren shipping international is very expensive, so if you’re an international and enter, please be aware that it will cost a lot extra.}! Just leave a comment with your best organization tip, since I love hearing what you have to say! We’ll draw a winner December 27th so that, if you choose a quick ship planner, you will get it right around the new year to use! Giveaway is open to everyone 18 or older and winner will be drawn at random. Good luck!

Note: We are sponsoring this giveaway with the credit we’ve received from other people using our referral link. We are not affiliated with Erin Condren in any other way!

Last-Minute Gift Tutorial: Embroidered Hoop Ornament

Embroidered-Hoop-OrnamentMerry Christmas and welcome! This is our final last-minute gift idea, and these truly can be made at the last minute {I made one yesterday and gifted it before the glue had fully dried!}.

You’ll need:

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-1First, fuse interfacing to the back of your 5″ square, if desired. Then embroider whatever you’d like! If you’re new to embroidery, check our our Embroidery 101 page for stitch tutorials and other information.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-2Here’s what the back of mine looked like when I finished. Now, let’s cover those stitches!

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-3Cut a 3″ square of the backing fabric, fusible fleece, and wonder under. I found it worked best if the fusible fleece was a tiny bit smaller than the fabric and the wonder under.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-4Place the Wonder Under paper side down, next, layer the fusible fleece with the fusible (dotted) side up, and finally, place the fabric on top, right side up. Fuse all three together and let cool.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-7Take the embroidery out of the hoop, do not press it, we will use the hoop mark as a guide for placing our backing.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-5Use the inside embroidery hoop to draw a circle on the fabric. Make sure you draw around the outside of the hoop.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-6Cut along the drawn line. Then tear away the paper backing of the wonder under.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-8Fuse the backing circle to the wrong side of the embroidery piece, using the hoop mark as a guide.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-9Place the embroidery back in the hoop. To get the hoop nice and snug, I used some needle nose pliers to turn the clasp a couple extra times.

Trim the extra fabric to about 1 1/2″ larger than the hoop. I carefully folded some of the fabric around the hoop and creased it with my fingernail as a cutting guide.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-10Put a bead of glue around the inside of the hoop and stick the fabric down as you go around. The great thing about the Tacky Glue is that it holds the fabric in place after a few seconds of pressing.

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-11Continue around the whole hoop and you’re done! I think the back is almost as cute as the front!

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-12Add a string for hanging and a cute ribbon and you have a great ornament for gifting or for your tree!

Embroidered-Hoop-Ornament-13And here are 3 of the 4 I made {I didn’t take a photo of the last one because I ran out of time!}. I hope they’ll be loved! And, one of our ornament recipients was a guy, so I grabbed some cinnamon sticks that I happened to have {lucky!} and made this cute star, you can find the tutorial for it here.

Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with  your families and we’ll be back with some fun new things soon! As always, thank you for your kind comments, we so appreciate your taking the time to visit! Blessings to you and yours! xo

Last-Minute Gift Tutorial: Patchwork French Seam Drawstring Bag


I made these pouches this summer, with another project in mind, but things change, so I thought I’d share them with  you here! The bag on the left is made with Into the Woods by Lella Boutique for Moda. I met Vanessa at Quilt Market and she gave me a mini charm pack of her fabric {this was the only fabric I brought home from Quilt Market, since I missed sample spree!}

I know there are quite a few drawstring bag tutorials and patterns out there, but I like to think this one is unique because it uses patchwork but no lining fabric. Perfect for mini charms or to use as gift wrapping!

You’ll need:

  • 40 – 2 1/2″ squares
  • 1/4 yard woven interfacing – such as Pellon Shape-Flex SF 101
  • From coordinating solid cut:
    • 2 – 8 1/2″ x 2″ rectangles (bag top)
    • 2 – 7 3/4″ x 2″ rectangles (drawstring openings)
    • 2 – 21″ x 2″ strips (drawstrings)


Sew together 20 – 2 1/2″ squares into a 4 squares by 5 squares panel. Repeat to make a second panel.


Press the seams in one direction for one row and then the opposite direction for the next row, so that they nest together.


After sewing the rows together, press the middle seams open. This will create a nice, flat bag front.


Cut two 8 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles of interfacing and fuse to the wrong side of the patchwork piece. Alternately, fuse or sew a piece of fabric to the wrong sides to finish the seams.


Quilt if desired. I quilted 1/8″ along each seam.


Use the two 2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles. Sew one rectangle to the top of the patchwork panel, right sides together.


Press a 1/4″ seam allowance at the top of the solid piece. Then fold it over the wrong side of the patchwork.


Stitch the solid piece in place through the patchwork panel. Repeat for second panel.


Fold the short edges of the two 2″ x 7 3/4″ rectangles and stitch in place. then fold the long edges 3/8″ toward the wrong side and press.


Sew the drawstring sleeves to the rights side of the patchwork panels, just below the solid piece. Then, place the panels wrong sides together and sew along the sides and bottom, back stitching at start and finish. Clip bottom corners near, but not into, the stitching.


Turn the bag wrong side out, then stitch around sides and bottom, pivoting the machine at the corners and back stitching at the beginning and end.


Fold the drawstring strips lengthwise in the center. Then unfold and fold the long edges toward the center, as for bias tape. Refold the center and stitch along long open edge.


Use a large safety pin to feed the drawstring through the both sleeves. Then stitch the short edges together. Repeat with second drawstring.


And there you have a fun, finished patchwork drawstring bag! Enjoy!

Last-Minute Gift Tutorial: Vinyl First Aid Pouch

vinyl-first-aid-pouchHere’s another fun, last-minute gift idea for you! I always carry bandages, hand wipes, some scissors, and a couple other things in my purse. They’re usually floating around with a bunch of stuff and I can never find them when I actually need them! So, I made up this little pouch to keep them all together and thought I’d share this tutorial with you!

vinyl-first-aid-pouch-1You’ll need:

  • 5″ x 5″ square of vinyl {I used 8 guage}
  • 2″ x 5″ rectangle of fabric with a salvege edge
  • 3″ x 5″ rectangle of fabric
  • 6″ zipper
  • 30″ – 1/2″ bias tape

Tips for sewing with vinyl:

  • Set your machine to a longer stitch length when working with vinyl to avoid perforating the vinyl.
  • Use a Teflon foot on your swing machine, or put a piece of tape on the bottom of your regular presser foot
  • Put a piece of tape on your sewing machine under teh presser foot to allow the vinyl to slide along more easily

vinyl-first-aid-pouch-2Sandwich the vinyl between one 5″ length of bias tape, stitch in place.

vinyl-first-aid-pouch-3Wrong sides together, fold and press 1/4″ along one 5″ edge of the 3″ x 5″ fabric rectangle. Opposite the bias tape, sew the folded edge of 3″ x 5″ fabric rectangle to the vinyl, right side down. Unfold the fabric so that the right side is up and stitch again along the folded edge, through the vinyl, finishing the edge.

vinyl-first-aid-pouch-4Sew the bias tape edge to the bottom of the zipper. Then sew the selvage edge of the 2″ x 3″ fabric rectangle to the top of the zipper {if not using a selvage piece, fold the edge 1/4″ and attach in the same manner as the other fabric rectangle}.

vinyl-first-aid-pouch-5Trim the edges and zipper to 5″. Fold in half with the vinyl at the bottom. Round corners if desired {for an easier finish, leave corners square}.

vinyl-first-aid-pouch-6Fold 1/4″ of one edge of the bias tape toward the wrong side to finish the edge. Beginning at one folded edge of the vinyl, sandwich the bias tape over the raw edge of the vinyl and around the top, gently shaping at the corners. Trim the bias tape to 1/4″ longer than the pouch and fold the other raw edge toward the wrong side. Stitch bias tape in place.

vinyl-first-aid-pouch-7And, fill your pouch with all those little things you need to carry with you! This would make a great stocking stuffer or teacher gift! Enjoy!

the Cora purse {Free Pattern featuring Lovebirds by RJR Fabrics}


Today we’re excited to share a new free pattern we’ve been working on: the Cora purse. For this pattern we used some adorable fabrics from Lovebirds by Patrick Lose for RJR Fabrics. We think this fabric would be perfect for new moms {aren’t the baby birds adorable?!}, as well as for cute baby or little girl items.

Download the free pattern here!


Our idea behind this little purse was to a small bag that would hold all the essentials. It could be used as a clutch or a long, cross-body purse, depending on which handle was attached. The swivel clips and D-Rings allow two types of handles to be used without any extra hardware showing.

Cora-bag-2The clutch version, with just one handle, would be a great addition to a diaper bag or any other large travel bag. Pull out the clutch for what you need and leave the rest in the car, in the stroller, or with the babysitter. I know I’ve often found myself fumbling around for my wallet, lip gloss, phone, and pen, before leaving my big bag somewhere. This keeps it all in one place!

Cora-bag-3Attach the long strap and your belongings are close to you wherever you go. My mom specifically wanted this type of small purse for traveling. This way she can keep all her important items close to her, especially in a strange or foreign place.

Cora-bag-4This bag also features a small outer zip pocket to keep little things more secure {this pocket could also be enlarged to hold your cell or smart phone, we just thought it looked cute tiny!}. The inside is divided into two large sections. Small card pockets could also be added to help keep things more organized {see the Bella clutch free pattern for card pocket instructions}.

If you’re looking for the hardware we used, we bought ours from Tantalizing Stitches:


Now, for the fun part of the post! RJR Fabrics is generously giving one reader a fat quarter bundle of Lovebirds in their choice of either the white or cream colorway! To enter, leave a comment on this post with what you’re most looking forward to making when the Christmas sewing is over {or, if you’re not sewing for Christmas, then just what you’re hoping to make next!}. One comment per person over 18 years of age or older. This giveaway will close Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm. Good luck!