Sunday, August 26, 2007

Coffee Mug Mat

Coffee Mug Mat
Thrifty Gift Maker, week 9 is a fun site that I have found blogsurfing, and I really do recommend it. They have a number of projects to keep us busy, and some are perfect little handmade hostess gift type things.

The Coffee Mug Mat is this week's project: a combination coaster/ tea & spoon holder.
Load it up with cocoa or teas, or maybe coffee on the side... you have a cute little gift.
This is very quick and easy, plus it is quilted, and the binding technique is a little different than I am used to, so definitely a good trial project for the binding at least.

Here is mine!
Go check out the site and let me know what you think.
And Send Pictures LOL

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Week 8! I can't believe we started doing these little projects two months ago.

This week, I plan an taking us into the world of miniatures.

What are inchies? They are as tiny as they sound. One inch by One inch quilts.
And they are all the rage at the moment. Just google the word and you will see crafty types from all around the world caught up in it.

Unfortunately, my inchies came out awful. Nothing like I wanted. All scrunched and mangled.
Your challenge, and I know you can do it better than I... Make some Inchies!

Need a bit of inspiration?
Check out these sites, where creative people have done some amazing things with a one inch square.

Then send me some pictures and tell me how you did it. I am totally annoyed at myself...
I am sure you will see something from me this week...


"Work like a farmer, Think like a hunter."

I don't know which training course has that line, but I feel like I am really getting that idea now.

My husband calls it shopping. Or collecting. Something like, I don't really pay attention.

I spent all day yesterday sewing, sewing, sewing.
It was great, my back was a tad achey, but I did get a lot of the stupid, blinking 1 1/2 inch squares sewn together. (Why didn't I go with 3 inch squares???) And as I was nearing the end of that looooong line of squares, my sewing machine went wonky. I opened it up and cleaned it and mucked about and sang songs to it and it was still wonky. So I took a break and when I went back it worked better than ever. (Love-love-love my Janome Jem 760!)

But I did have a bit of a scare-- What if!?!?

What if good karma wasn't enough to get my machine purring again? What if I had to take it to the doctor? What would I do for sewing? Because we all know darn good & well that a machine will not go wonky unless there are at least 3 projkects in the works and you have a deadline on at least one of them.

So... I decided to look around for a nice older, all metal, mechanical machine. And CraigsList provided. Amen. I had Choices!

This is my new baby! Found for a very reasonable price, complete with the solid wood cabinet it is housed in and the charming older chair next to it :)

It is a Singer Slantomatic 500A and it sews beatuifully. And Quietly! And it came with all the bits and pieces- this was a fully loaded package when it was new.

Thank you Kathryn for letting me borrow your mini-van to get it home.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Layered Felt Magnets

Thrifty Gift Maker Week 7

Have you ever seen those cute little felt magnets?
Sometimes they are little stars, or dogs, or cats...
with bits of sparkle on the front...
or maybe a bead...
or a stitch or two of embroidery?

I happen to love them. I have them all over my fridge- thanks to my darling friends! And I love to gift them to others as a simple I Love You or as a little 'extra' thing.
But they can get spendy- I have seen them at $3 per magnet.
So let's make them ourselves.

Step 1

Get yourself some magnets (I prefer circular)
Some different colored sheets of felt
Some sparkly things (beads, baubles, findings, etc)

Step 2
Cut out shapes- these are 1 1/4 inch squares from three different colors.
Layer them and glue between (Aleen's is my choice).
Then add a sparkly thing to the front,
Then the magent to the back.

Step 3
Wait for it to dry, then hang them up!

Send me pics of what you make! I don't think I want to post any of mine, as I may be gifting them to some friends :)

I may need to make sets of multiples.
And maybe packaged in some of those Altoid Tins I have- just covered in some pretty fabric... Or in one of the little boxes I made from last week...
And I think some stitching around edges would be cute...
And maybe diferent sizes, or faces, or randomness... And Beads. I love beads...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tiny Treasure Boxes

Tiny Treasure Boxes
Thrifty Gift Maker Week 6

We all need something to put our gifts into.
But I hate to buy wrapping paper.

I just cannot spend that much money on something that will be immediately thrown in the garbage.
So... I make my own wrappings that can be reused.

These Origami boxes are the simplest ones to make and really require nothing more than a bit of practice. (Do not be intimidated, these are easy enough kindergartners make them.)

What do you need to make these tiny treasure boxes?
Old greeting cards
Paper Scissors

Here is a link to some very simple, easy to follow directions that I recommend.

Tip #1: Start with 2 squares of paper- A fancy colorful square of paper (or fabric or whatever) about 1/4" larger than a plain paper. The larger square will be the top and will fit nicely over the slightly smaller.

Tip #2: Tie a ribbon around the box and hang it from the branches of your tree as a surprise gift.

Tip #3: To make these, you might also try stiff fabric covered board, printed photos- basically if it is pretty and foldable, it will work.

(Thrifty Gift Chat is part of #Quiltchat, a wonderful community of quilty folk from around the globe. Come check us out and say hi!)