Category Archives: scraps

Making Crafty Valentines

February 14th 2017

It’s February!

After Christmas, this is my favorite month for creating, sewing, I get so many ideas for making crafty Valentines. I love all the lovely pink and red fabrics that make the sweetest eye candy for any creative project you can think of (or steal from Pinterest).

i heart fabric summercrafter

There is always such a variety of crafting, wrapping and heart-y goodies in some stores, I find it hard to resist! This loot is from Target dollar bin section.

valentines goodies summercrafter

¬†Growing up, Valentine’s Day was always a great “Gal-entine” day celebrating with friends, going to card shops, movies, shopping and getting ice cream. When I was a teacher, it was always a great time making crafty valentines with construction paper in the classroom to put in our special mailbox.

wood heart sign Romans 58 summercrafter

This year, my bestie from Texas was in town and we shared a crafting day, it’s another great way to spend the day gabbing, painting and creating. This wooden heart was part of my Target loot. We painted them and cut vinyl letters on the Cricut to make this verse, Romans 5:8a. A beautiful mess summercrafter

We made a beautiful mess, a nice memory and a crafty Valentine, such a great time!

summercrafter and friend

Needless to say, my crafting and sewing for heart day did not end there. I made this cute I Heart You Mini , tutorial and pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew. I am sending it off to one of my favorite fabric enablers ūüėČ To be enabled yourself, follow her on Instagram @oneygirldestash for her fabric goodies.

iheartmini summercrafter

After making this, I had planned on making another mini but started playing with scraps to make heart pillows, small ones for doorknobs, sidetracked for sure.

heart from scraps summercrafter

I knew these babies would get lost in pillow puffiness so I “log-cabinized” them with more scrap pretties. So fun!

log cabin hearts summercrafter

They turned out so cute! All that was missing was some fragrant filler. I’ll have to buy some lavender.

heart pillows summercrafter

Then I started toying with more scraps. I sewed 4 random strips together, folded them in half to cut these heart shapes.

stitched hearts summercrafter

Once I added the batting, I stitched around the outline and instantly loved the result. Why hadn’t I done this before?

Sadly, I sewed them up and sent them away so quickly, I do not have the final product photo to show you. Shame on me! You can be sure they went to good homes and I should have those pics soon.

Quicky Vacation Tote: A New Pattern

August 9th 2016

Introducing the Quicky Vacation Tote bag!¬†I’ve turned my “go-to” scrappy project into a pattern for you to enjoy.

Quicky Vacation Tote 3

It’s the perfect project for those left over squares and strips, easy to make, adapt or¬†re-size and always looks so pretty! This one¬†below¬†was made for a trip a couple of years ago,¬†you may remember the post here.

quicky vacation tote

Quicky Vacation Tote

If you’ve never¬†made a quilted tote, this would be a great starter pattern for you; plus, the Quicky Vacation Tote pattern¬†has some great features that are really easier than one might¬†think.

Quicky vacation tote inside

For starters, it has French seams, and a magnetic snap, and a boxed bottom (not shown) and you can even add a label if you want.

quicky vacation tote jane 2

Jane’s tote highlights¬†the Daysail line on the outside and Vintage Picnic on the inside (both lines by Bonnie and Camille). I love that she tried¬†so many techniques that were new to her, she did a great job. She opted not to box the bottom and that’s okay!! There is plenty of wiggle room in this pattern.

quicky vacation tote Jane

Marisa’s bag¬†sports the fabric¬†Boathouse by Sweetwater¬†for MODA.

quicky vacation tote marisa 1

I love those stripes don’t you?

quicky vacation tote Kristen1

Kristen’s bag is¬†Sodalicious¬†¬†by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller¬†. How fun are those bottle caps and text print?¬†She used Soft and Stable by Annie’s ¬†as the¬†stabilizer to make her bag sturdy.

quicky vacation tote kristen2

And last, but not least, is this scrappy tote with a mix of lines that go perfectly together.

quicky vacation tote Denny

This¬†one screams¬†summer! For stabilizer Denny¬†used headliner, a special material used for car interiors. Super sturdy stuff available at Joann’s.

quicky vacation tote denny2

I am so excited to be able to share these finished Quicky Vacation Totes with you. These ladies did an awesome job testing out this pattern for me (Thank you!) and had fun doing it!

quicky vacation tote denny3

¬†The pattern is available here and it’s on sale (PDF version) for only $5.00 through the end of August.¬†I hope you¬†have been¬†inspired to make your own to celebrate these last days of Summer!

A Pretty and Practical Bag for Travel

April 28th 2016

I love my Vintage Picnic Traveling Tote. You may have seen me over-gramming about it on Instagram a few weeks back. It was so fun to make!

Traveling Tote 2

It’s no secret that I hoard collect fabric. It’s no secret that I have a vault for my most favorite lines. (pictured below)¬†It’s no secret that sometimes I forget what I already have. And it’s definitely no secret that if I don’t buy “that fabric”¬†right now it will be gone FOREVER!! At least that’s what the fabric addiction neurons in my brain¬†keep¬†saying.¬†But I digress.

The Vault

My traveling bag, my “go-to-bag-with-all-the-right-pockets-holds-everything-I-need-for-traveling” bag had broken and I had to make a new one ASAP. ¬†And there was no question, once this fabric arrived, that it was the right one for this project. It was also the first fabric bundle I busted open so soon after it’s acquisition. Really.

It’s Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille. I loved the classic red and blues in this line, the gingham and dainty flowers, whose scale is not so dainty, made a perfect match.

I chose the darker bolder colors for the outside, since it will hide any wear and tear and smudges.

traveling tote choices

I had made these scrappy stars and wanted to incorporate them into the bag. The first design showcased four across the top of the bag.

traveling tote design 2

 But after sleeping on it and playing with the fabrics some more, I changed the design and fabrics several more times.

Traveling Tote inside

The inside would be in the lighter¬†color ways of the line with a bit of Hello Darling thrown in. That divided pocket was a must, I kept the broken bag and use the size and inside as a sample.¬†I know, no one can see the inside of these aqua dotted divided pockets, but I know it’s pretty¬†in there!

pocket options

Besides the beautiful colors, I was determined to make it with zippered outside pockets with the prettiest linings. These pockets turned out to be perfect for boarding passes, lipstick, my phone or dollars for tipping if necessary.

traveling tote outer

Above is the outer part of the bag. I sewed and quilted it all in this chartreuse green #1231 thread by Aurifil. There is a crazy method to quilting a bag with divided inner pockets and zippered outside pockets.

Traveling Tote quilting

I am still perfecting the zipper tab but it works!

traveling tote zipper2

I know there are so many bag patterns out there, but this one is so pretty and practical, I’ll be making a pattern for it, and revealing my crazy methods, for the handful that want to make it. Sign up for my newsletter for the heads up on the pattern.

If you want to save your fabric for this pattern, you’ll need:

1/2 Yard main blue

1 FQ side panels

4-6 FQs for outer pockets, pocket linings and inner pockets

1 yard inner lining

1 FE for sashing (gingham)

Scraps to make four star blocks (4″ finished)

(1) 18-20 inch zipper, (I prefer larger so I can trim)

(2) 9 inch zippers

1 square yard of

Accents or details you may want to add.

traveling tote details & accents

The finished size of the Traveling Tote is 14 inches high, 16 inches wide at the top, 11 inches wide at the bottom and  6 inches deep. I still love my bag!

Traveling Tote 1

And here it is in action! It really is great for travel! I hope you wanna make one!

traveling tote summercrafter

Scrappy Christmas Trees

October 10th 2015

Some scraps are just to pretty to toss, some might argue, “what can you do with such a small scrap?” Well today, I am going to show you how to make a scrappy Christmas tree.

Scrappy Christmas tree sachet

You can make it into a sachet, a pillow to hang on a door knob or an ornament. So gather your scraps, here we go!

As I sew, I like to tuck¬†my tiniest scraps, greater than an inch, into labeled baggies so I know what line it is. The larger scraps are cut into certain sizes, but that’s for another day.

scrappy christmas tree 1 (2)

Here I have my designer scraps and some left over neutral strips.
Arrange your scraps smallest to largest¬†like a wedding cake. ūüôā

scrappy Christmas tree 4

Center the smaller piece with the larger piece, eyeball it.

scrappy Christmas tree 5

Sew the pieces together using 1/4 inch seam.

scrappy Christmas tree 5a

Cut your “cakes” into triangles, no special rulers needed! Center your cake on the cutting mat so there is a line down the center of the block.

scrappy Christmas tree 6 (2)

Cut from the center line diagonally to the corner of the last piece.

scrappy Christmas tree 7 (2)

Align your trees along a neutral strip, leaving at least 1 inch above and below ends of the triangle.

scrappy Christmas tree 8 (2)

Press, repeat on the other side. Scrappy Christmas tree 9a (2)

To trim your blocks, cut down the widest point where top and bottom strips align. A minimum of 1/4 inch is ideal but not necessary.

scrappy Christmas tree 11 (2)

See below how this “fat” tree has no extra 1/4 inch. (It will be okay!)

scrappy Christmas tree 10

Once sides are trimmed, trim the bottom of the tree.

scrappy Christmas tree 11a

Aren’t they festive?

scrappy Christmas tree 11b

Make trunk units. Trunk unit is a 1 1/2 inch square. Add neutral scrap to either side guess-timating the size of your block.

scrappy Christmas tree 12 (2)

I did it slightly bigger and trimmed.

scrappy Christmas tree 12a

After trimming, add stabilizer, either Shape Flex, interfacing or whatever else may be at¬†hand. Sometimes it’s just a¬†neutral piece of fabric (I like an extra layer between when I am using the Balsam Fir)

scrappy Christmas tree 13 (2)

Follow instructions suggested¬†by package instructions for whatever stabilizer you are using. Trim as desired. When trimming I leave about 1/2 inch from the top of the tree so when it’s stuffed,¬†the shape is not¬†lost.

scrappy Christmas tree 14a

Cut a pretty backing piece and a neutral piece (or¬†more stabilizer) about 1/4 inch larger than the front.¬†In case you are worried about the tree on the right being imperfect, don’t. ūüôā

scrappy Christmas tree 14

If you want to add any embellishments, do it before stitching the layers together. I added beads in the same color as the fabric for a little subtle bling-y effect.

scrappy Christmas tree 13a (2)

scrappy Christmas tree 13b

To assemble your tree, pin a ribbon in the center of the tree for hanging later.

scrappy Christmas tree 15

With right sides together, pin everything in place, aligning the bottom.

scrappy Christmas tree 16

Leaving a 2 inch opening, start sewing (back stitch to secure)¬†with 1/4 inch seam (from front fabric not backing) all the way to the other side, DON”T STOP AT CORNER AND TURN YOUR SQUARE. I used the method for making corners suggested by Sew Mama Sew in this video. Sew all the way to the the end of fabric.

scrappy Christmas tree 18

Remove from machine and trim off the excess. Fold the sewn seam at stitching and start your next stitch there, back stitching a little to secure.

scrappy Christmas tree 17 (2)

scrappy Christmas tree 18 (2)

When all sides are done and you back stitched at the opening, turn and press. Push out corners with something with a point. I used a wooden skewer.

scrappy Christmas tree 20

You can fill with Balsam Fir, available here (or other scenty substance) or poly-fil.

scrappy Christmas tree 21

When using the Balsam Fir, I finish off the last bit of filling with some poly-fil for a clean finish.

scrappy Christmas tree 22

Hand stitch the bottom closed.

scrappy christmas tree

If you rather not stuff, use batting instead of stabilizer between front and  back. Quilt the top decoratively if you are turning it out or quilt as a sandwich if you will or finish it off with binding like a quilt.

Beach Bound Mini Quilt Swap

September 2nd 2015

Have you ever been in a swap? I don’t mean a wife swap, or a kid swap or a swap meet. I mean a crafty, quilty, creative swap. You make something for a total stranger (based on the swap theme) and a total stranger makes something for you. ¬†Sometimes there are extra goodies involved. I have to say that I am completely hooked! I found these swaps on Instagram. Follow me @elaine.summercrafter

insta vacation

So here is how it goes. Someone on IG posts about a new swap. Harry Potter, Downtown Abbey, Princess Bride, Pirates, Bonnie and Camille, Beach Bound, the themes are endless. Then you click on the original post, go to the link in the profile and sign up. Shortly thereafter¬†you get emails with dates, rules and finally partner information. Sometimes it’s secret, sometimes it’s open.

beachbound mqs Collage

Now you make a mosaic of things you like related to the theme and post it on IG with whatever hashtag the host suggests. This way others in the swap, and your partner, see what your tastes and preferences are when you share. I had two beach mosaics. The one above and the one below.

beach bound mosaic

The first swap I did was a Rainbow Mini Swap, see that post here. The next one, shipped out August 31st, 2015 was this Beach Bound Mini Quilt Swap #beachboundmqs.

Beach quilt bbmqs

Finished size 21″ x 25 1/2″

I was in the group #beachboundflipflop adding that little detail of our group was fun.I also like to try something new for each swap. For this one I made my first Dresden to be the sun. dresden

I knew that I wanted to make a beach scene, my partner and I have similar tastes. I wanted the waves to be “wavier” but it was more involved that I had anticipated, so I strip pieced sand and water colors and sewed it to the sky at an angle.

beach bound quilt base

After this part, I started working on some focal points. This beach umbrella was just the thing  to incorporate some of my favorite scraps. I also added some button embellishments.

beach umbrella applique

I added some birds to lighten up the sky

seagulls

and quilted the clouds.

sky quilt

As I pondered how to quilt the rest of it, I immediately thought of walking on the beach

shadow beach

and decided to put footprints right on the edge of the shore. I accented the water with waves and the sand with terrain quilting.

beachy quilting

The perfect finish was to bind it with flip flop fabric

flip flop binding

which also added a pop of color.

footprint quilting

I even embroidered a little message as an extra. Ain’t it the truth?

beach embroidery

Since signing up for the swap, I have been collecting goodies to send with the mini quilt.

beach extras bbmqs

So….when are you signing up for a swap? I have three¬†four more to go!