Monday, November 30, 2009

Project 320

I am so excited to share Project 320 with you!
Please help us build an entire well in Africa this Christmas!

Head over to our blog, and follow along.
We'll keep you up to date with details on how you can help!

Might I add there are some MAJOR handmade giveaways involved.
This is going to be huge!
Trust me, you'll want to be a part of it.

Grab our button and spread the news!
Give the gift of life this year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Scarf Along | Finale

Here we go.
The final six steps to coziness:

1. Squaring up your scarf top.

After piecing together 16 squares, the edges of your long piece are bound to be somewhat jagged. Using your rotary cutter, even the whole thing out the best you can. The width should be uniform, down the entire length. Also, even out the two short sides so that they are nice & perpendicular to the long sides.

2. Piecing together your scarf backing.

First, be sure your reserved backing pieces match the width of your top.
Adjust if necessary.
Now, measure the length of your top. Mine measures 76".

If you used half yards and/or are using a flannel backing:

Divide total length in half, to get 'x'.
Add 'x' + 3/8", to = 'y'

Cut the length of your two backing pieces to = 'y'.
{example: (76/2) + 3/8" = 38 3/8": length for each piece}

With right sides together, sew raw edges (1/4" seam) at one of the short sides to create one long piece, about the same length as your top.

If you used FQs:

Divide total length by four, to get 'x'.
Add 'x' + 3/8", to = 'y'
then add 'x' + 3/4", to = 'z'

Cut the length of two of your backing pieces to = 'y'.
Cut the length of the other two pieces to = 'z'.
{example: (76/4) + 3/8" = 19 3/8": length for each END piece;
(76/4) + 3/4" = 19 3/4": length for each MIDDLE piece}


With right sides together, sew raw edges (1/4" seam) at the short sides to create one long piece, about the same length as your top.
{Remember to keep the slightly shorter pieces at either end, and the longer ones in the middle.}

Press the seams open.

3. Top and Backing become one.

Your backing should be a little longer than the top.
With right sides together, lay the top on the backing. Line up the short ends on one side, and get ready to feed the whole thing through the machine.

Sew along the entire raw edge (1/4" seam) of one long side. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Leaving the short ends open, continue to the other long side, and repeat.

You will have one long tube.

Flip the tube inside out, flatten, and press with your steamy iron.

While sewing, your fabric likely stretched a bit.
If your open sides are uneven, just trim them.

Turn inside each of the open ends 1/2", and press.

4. Ruffle it up.

The last of your reserved pieces are for the ruffled ends.
They should measure 7" by 10.5-10.75".

With right sides together, fold in half lengthwise, so it measures 3.5" by 10.5-10.75".
Stitch along both of the short sides (1/4" seam), leaving the long side- opposite the fold- open.

Flip it right-side-out, poke out the corners, and press.

Now, adjust the tension on your machine for gathering. I use #1, but you may want to experiment if you aren't sure. Basically you want very little to no tension. Your stitch length for gathering should be as long as possible. Mine goes up to #4.

Along the open edge of your ruffle piece, use a straight stitch (1/4" seam) all the way down. Do not backstitch. Leave yourself a nice, long tail of thread on either end.

With one hand, hold one of the threads steady.
With your other hand, gather along the other thread, towards the middle of the fabric. Repeat on the other side until nicely ruffled.

{You'll find that it's easier to pull one thread vs. the other, depending on the machine. Holding onto the bobbin thread works best for me.}

5. Time to topstitch.

Find the center of your scarf, and load it into your machine at that point, top-side-up.
{Return tension and stitch length to normal.}
I usually like to use a 1/8" seam for topstitching.

Start feeding it through down the first long side, backstitching at the beginning.

At about an inch from the short edge, secure the needle down, and lift the presser foot.

Get your ruffles and dingle balls ready.


Want to know who's getting a 3 yard pack of pom-pom trim in hot holiday colors, courtesy of
Christopher Pines?


Email me your address!


Okay, ruffles and dingle balls.
They should both measure approximately the same length as the short edge openings (around 4.5").

First stuff in your ruffle, raw edge first, until it's tucked in nicely.
Stuff your pom-poms in right on top.

Put the presser foot back down and carefully stitch until you're 1/8-1/4" inch from the end.

Needle down, pivot the scarf a quarter turn, then slowly sew the open end closed, through all of the layers. Re-stuff as you go.

Once you've reached the end again, pivot another quarter turn, and repeat along all edges of the scarf, until you are back where you first started your topstitching. Backstitch to lock up.

Run that steamy iron over the whole thing.

Snip stray threads.

6. Wear and admire.
{or be nice and give away!}

Thank you for scarfing along with me!
Please let me know if anything needs clarification.
I can't wait to admire your work over at flickr!

How about one more giveaway?
Would you like a fun & festive little girl's Christmas scarf?
Leave me a comment, telling me what you plan to do with your new handmade scarves!
I'll announce the winner on Friday.

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

final scarf along session tomorrow!

but, for now...
I can't get over the results of our "Christmas Card '09 Photo Shoot,"
by my friend Mel.

Can you believe her work? I am so envious of her talent!
She's even working on the actual card for us.
You've gotta go check out Mel's classic, simple, & FUN designs!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

so grateful.

{photo by the amazing Melissa Larson... more to come!}

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scarf Along | Week Two, part I

Welcome inside my 5'x5' cubicle of a craft room!

I spend lots of time in here. Ready to join me?

Today I will show you how to cut your fabric and assemble the scarf tops.

Scroll down to the bottom of the post. You'll find two sets of graphs. One for making 2 scarves out of 9 FQs, and another for using flannel as your backing, to make 3 scarves.
Study the graphs, then come back up to the main instructions and adapt accordingly.

Here we go! The following graph shows how each half yard will be divided. (Each square = 1 inch.) Half yards should measure about 18" (length) by 44" (width). Notice the graph indicates 16" by 42". Yes, I took an inch off each side to allow for discrepancies. You'll want to start with a nice, even, square piece of fabric. So start by evening out your edges! Go!

Now... Each number represents a cut that you'll make, in order.

Time to cut!

For cut #1, fold your fabric in half very evenly to cut along the entire width, 5.25 inches from the right edge. You'll end up with a strip 5.25" x 42". Set it aside.

For cut#2, rotate the remaining piece so that the 10.75" side is on the right. Cut 7 inches from the right edge, creating a 7" x 10.75" piece. Set it aside.

Which leaves you with a piece 10.75" x 35". Fold in half, making it 10.75" x 17.5". Starting with the long side on the right, cut a strip 1.75 inches from the edge. Repeat 5 times. Now you should have six 1.75" x 35" strips. Set them aside. Discard the 1/4" piece leftover.

Are you with me?

Repeat the whole process with the other 5 half yards.

Today we will just be dealing with the 1.75" x 35" strips. There should be 36 of them.
The other cuts are for the backing and ruffles. Put them somewhere safe & sound. Don't let your 2-year-old "helper" cut them into tiny pieces.

Now, mix up your 36 strips. In random order, you need to create 9 groups of four strips each. No group should contain two of the same fabric print!

Time to sew!

One group at a time, lay out your four strips (long) side-by-(long) side.
Take the first two strips and pin right sides together. Sew along the long edge, making a 1/4" seam.

Open, and pin the third strip to the second strip, right sides together. Sew.
Open, and pin the fourth strip to the third strip, right sides together. Sew.

Now your first group of four strips is all sewn together!

Repeat with the other eight groups of four.

Still with me?

Time to press!

Your iron must be hot & steamy.
Place your first piece of four-sewn-strips right side down on the ironing board (I use the floor). With seams facing away from you, steam as you ever-so-gently tug upward, pressing the seams sideways (not open). Do this as evenly as possible, or else your widths will not be consistent.
Flip over and press again with the right side up.

Repeat with the other eight.

Now your nine pieces should look like this:

Everyone's seam-sewing and ironing will be different, yielding different final widths. Mine is 5.25". Since we cut the backing piece 5.25", it shouldn't be wider than that. But if your pieces measure narrower, pay special attention.

Back to the cutting mat!

You will now turn the long pieces into squares by cutting along the length, using the same measurement as the width.
Since mine measure 5.25" wide, I will also cut them 5.25" long.
Got it? Make them square! If yours are only 5" wide, cut them 5" long as well!

Starting at the short end (make a clean cut first, as small as you can), cut your squares.
You should get 6 squares out of each piece.

9 pieces times 6 squares = a total of 54 squares!

We will use 16 squares per scarf.

Randomly make 3 groups of 16 squares each.

(You'll have 6 left over to use as you please! You can't make the scarves longer, though, because the backing will only accommodate 16 squares worth of length.)

One group at a time, lay out the 16 squares, side-by-side, seams running in opposite directions!
The seams in square one should go west to east, the seams in square two should go north to south, and so on... back and forth...

Back to the sewing machine!

Now, just as you lined up the strips right sides together earlier, pin your squares right sides together, then sew your whole row of 16, one at a time, with a 1/4" seam.
Double check that the seams are in opposite directions as you pin!

Because your seams are running in opposite directions, pay careful attention as you feed the squares under the presser foot. If you don't check that the underlying seams are laying flat as you run them through, you will end up with twisted seams, which makes for a bumpy scarf. So feed carefully!

Back to the ironing board (/floor)!

This time, you'll press your new seams open, rather than sideways.

Flip & re-press.
Repeat with all three scarf tops.

You did it!

You deserve a giveaway!

I hope you all hopped over to my favorite trim shop on Etsy, Christopher Pines last week!
Well, the very generous shop owner, Lesley, has offered a 3-yard sample pack of pom-pom trim in bright holiday colors to one lucky scarf-alonger!
You just need to leave a comment before tomorrow at midnight, pacific time, to be entered!
Thank you, Lesley!

Next up is the backing & ruffles...
stay tuned this week!

Don't forget to show off your progress over at the Scarf Along Flickr group

{The following is only for those using nine fat quarters...}

(for 2 scarves)

Red numbers indicate cuts for the backing pieces, and green numbers indicate cuts for the ruffle pieces.

Cut four FQ's like this:
and four more like this:
and the last one like this:
Follow the instructions, above, adapting to these cuts.
Again, I took an inch off each side to start.

There will be a few differences:

When you group together the 1.75" strips, first group according to 13" or 20" length.
You'll make 6 groups of four 13" strips, and 8 groups of four 20" strips.

Once sewn, cut your 13" pieces into 2 squares, and your 20" pieces into 3 squares.
You should end up with a total of 36 squares.
Using 16 squares for each of two scarves, you'll have 4 squares leftover.

(for 3 scarves, using an additional yard of flannel for backing)

Red indicates cuts for the backing pieces, and green indicates cuts for the ruffle pieces.

cut six FQs like this:
and the other three like this:
Again, I took an inch off each side to start.
Follow the instructions above, adapting to these cuts.

There will be a few differences:

When you group together the 1.75" strips, first group according to 13" or 20" length.
You'll make 9 groups of four 13" strips, and 10 groups of four 20" strips (with 2 leftover).

Once sewn, cut your 13" pieces into 2 squares, and your 20" pieces into 3 squares.
You should end up with a total of 48 squares.

16 squares each for 3 scarves!

Friday, November 20, 2009

good day for pillow making

One down.
Is anybody else obsessed with Garden Party?

Back to my Pillow Party...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Scarf Along | Week One

Class is officially in session.
Thank you for doing this with me,
I'm so glad you're here!
When Julie suggested I take this on, I just laughed...
but here we are!

This is a really simple project that can be done in an afternoon.
In fact, when I decided to make scarves for Julie's girls, I just started cutting and sewing, without much planning involved.
It's the same method we used for the quilt along, just on a smaller scale, and minus the quilting!

So, here we go.
We'll do this over just two weeks.
This week: gathering supplies.
Next week: making scarves.
See? Simple.

Since you are already pro seamstresses, this will all sound familiar, right?
You need:

self-healing mat
large ruler/straight-edge
rotary cutter (fresh blade!)
sewing machine
steam iron

Let's go fabric shopping!
You will need {6} half-yard cuts in different patterns to make 3 scarves.
The busier, the better.
For this particular method, I think it looks so much better to mix and match funky, bright patterns, rather than using anything close to solid.

And guess what? I already have some options for you!
Stephanie of Material Gal has so generously put together {and pre-discounted!} some bundles for you. Check it out!

You can find these under the SCARF ALONG BUNDLES section in her awesome shop.
You can even build your own, using the endless possibilities she has to offer.

Go visit Material Gal!

...But don't forget your dingle balls!
You'll need 1 yard of pom-pom trim.
This is a great resource for trims.

Consider this your fair warning:
Snagging the whole supply of the aqua pom-poms is a great way to get yourself expelled!
Those babies are mine.

And there you have it!
You have one week to get your yummy fabric & trim,
change the blade on your rotary cutter,
and gear up for a scarf-makin' good time.
You necks will soon thank you.

But before you leave, please leave me a comment, so I know how many are scarfing-along! And feel free to blog about it! We need to get this class full!
Please join our Flickr group to share photos of progress, and discuss tips, ideas, and questions!

Oh, and did I mention a giveaway awaits?

By the way, if you already bought your 9 fat quarters for the Joy's Hope Scarf Along, then decided to do this one instead, and you don't want to buy more fabric... email me or check out the discussions in the Flickr group! We'll make it work with what you have.

Now, I have some cookie-baking to attend to.
See you next Monday!

Friday, November 13, 2009


We take luxuries as basic as water for granted every day.
But did you know that 4500 mothers bury their children due to contaminated water... every day.

On this day, I'm challenging you.
We are mentally preparing to spend hundreds of dollars,
this holiday season...

And yet one in six people on the planet does not have access to clean water. Kind of puts things into perspective.

Just for today...
Trade consumerism for compassion.
And get your kids involved!

Just $10 will provide one person in Africa clean water for 10 years!

Why not make life the first gift you give this season.
Can you really think of anything more important?

Please donate here, and spread the word.

{All money goes directly towards quickly & efficiently building
sustainable clean water projects throughout the world.}

I donated.
Come back and tell me if you did, too.

Help me campaign for water today.

{click for more information about charity:water}