Coley of Twin Stitchers

by admin on January 23, 2014

ColeyofTwinStitchers

Click here to view designs by Twin Stitchers!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Mom of 3 busy kids but in my spare time I love to craft with my Twin sister Crista. We started Twin Stitchers together but I run it by myself now. Crista is still my biggest supporter though. I LOVE to design!!! It is really fun to see a project come together. I have lived in Utah all my life and like most Utahn’s I love anything that is DIY! So it’s AWESOME to see other crafters using TS’s patterns.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
My favorite projects to design are quilt blocks stitchery patterns. In the last year I started a monthly block line. It was completed this month and it was really fun to have a pattern goal every month.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself? For someone else?
I love my “Our House” pillow of my family. It was really fun to personalize it with my kids, hubby, and even pets.

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
I LOVE Halloween! I love Autumn and Fall colors. Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday to decorate for!

5. What DIY tips or tricks would you like to share with customers?
I love to color my stitcheries once they are done. It just adds that perfect finishing touch. I include a brief tutorial in every pattern.

6. Any other interests or hobbies?
I love ALL crafts! I enjoy digital scrapbooking and I LOVE to decorate my house. I don’t know if this counts as a hobby but I spend WAY to much time on Pinterest (ha ha). I also love camping with my family, and spending time with my girl friends. I also really love to read. I have passed that love onto my children.

9. Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote is “It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” -Dumbledore (HUGE Harry Potter fan!)

“Our House” Now Only $5.50 – 50% savings

OurHouse

Receive 10% off any pattern by Twin Stitchers now through January 30th by using the promo code “TWINSTITCHERS10″ when checking out.

Click here to view designs by Twin Stitchers!

Sheryl Hastings

by admin on January 14, 2014

Picture-Sheryl

Click here to designs by Sheryl Hastings!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live with my super wonderful and supportive husband along the shores of Lake Michigan. I have 2 grown children, one grandchild, a cute little yorkie and a black cat. I’ve been crafting ever since my grandmother introduced me to it when I was about five. I then started gathering my mom’s scrap fabrics and I haven’t stopped since.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
I love to work with fabrics. I love to make small quilted projects, tote bags, and anything that will perk up a room.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself?
For someone else?

When my kids were little (well over 20 years ago), I designed them each a quilted advent calendar. Now that they have homes of their own, they hang on their wall. I no longer have one, so I think I might have to design one for my house!

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
Christmas! Love, love, love Christmas! Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day are fun too.

5. What DIY tips or tricks would you like to share with customers?
Experiment with color and embellishments. I design patterns but it’s up to everyone else to bring them to life! Also, this is something I’ve been doing myself, try a new technique or supply on a regular basis. I’ve found so many new and favorite products, as well as learned some fun new skills.

6. Any other interests or hobbies?
I love traveling with my husband, spending time with my family, and my pets. Hubby and I love to hike trails. Whenever we go someplace, the first thing we look for are nearby hiking trails. We also have some great trails here at the Indiana Dunes State Park. I also love my camera. I take it everywhere and have so much fun with digital scrapbooking. I also design digital scrapbooking products!

7. Do you have a favorite quote?
“If you spend your time thinking about the things you don’t have, you will miss the blessings that you already have.” Author Unknown

Pattern Highlight:
PatternHighlight

Receive 10% off this pattern or any of Sheryl’s pattern by using the Promo Code “SHERYL10″ when checking out for the next week.

Click here to designs by Sheryl Hastings!

Amy DeCesare of eamylove

by admin on January 7, 2014

authorPhoto

Click here to view Amy’s Designs!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been sewing for many years, encouraged by many wonderful women in my life, especially my grandma, who was a great seamstress for her family. As busy as life gets, I just can’t NOT sew. I started my little sewing “business” called eamylove, to share my handmade accessories, original patterns and custom works. The name is taken from my maiden name. I added an “e” to Amy Love for my first “e”-mail address.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
I really love making new pillows and pincushions. Both of these projects can be made to fit a variety of moods. They can be plain or fancy, modern or traditional. Translation: I can’t decide what my style is!

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself? For someone else?
My Signature Style pillow, is my most favorite thing that I made just for ME! I tried to put together a pillow with all of my favorite colors, fabrics, and styles, and I loved the result. For my sister I created a camera bag that I thought was very beautiful, with lots of great details. It was one-of-a-kind, just made for a unique and lovely person.

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
Christmas is my most loved holiday. This year I finally admitted to myself that I almost never sew in the month of December, so all year long, I’ve been creating Christmas-y items. This year, I didn’t stress about making sweet new holiday projects…they were done already!

5. Any other interests or hobbies?
I love baseball and music, and I’ve been thankful to see our boys participate in both of these interests.

6. Do you have a favorite quote?
“Millions long for immortality but don’t know what to do on a rainy afternoon.”
Susan Ertz

HighlightImage

Receive 10% off Aunt Ellie’s Casserole Carrier or any of Amy’s patterns for the next week by using the Promo Code “EAMYLOVE10″ when checking out.

Click here to view Amy’s Designs!

25 Awesome DIY Blogs for the Refashionista

by YCMT on January 3, 2014

Refashion Title-01

Just about everyone has that old outfit hanging in the closet that you don’t wear anymore, but you can’t bear to throw it out. Well, with a little creativity and time you can find new life for all kinds of old clothes by sprucing them up or turning them into something else entirely.

With that in mind, we set out to find some of our favorite websites for refashioning ideas. Have a look at all these great projects and you’re sure to find inspiration for breathing new life into your wardrobe.

  1. From upcycled shirts and skirts to DIY decorations: Sweet Charli
  2. Refashioning shirts and dresses: Merricks Art
  3. A little bit of everything – scarves, pants, sweaters and more: Cotton + Curls
  4. Specializing in shirt refashions: grey luster girl
  5. Sweaters, shirts and skirts: Holland Cox
  6. All kinds of projects, from bags and aprons to skirts and shirts: Allfreesewing
  7. Great basic sewing tutorials and projects: Ruffles & Stuff
  8. Vintage-style sewing and embellishment: Casey’s Elegant Musings
  9. Budget refashioning and tailoring: Uber Chic for Cheap
  10. From hats to heels to jewelry: Fashion Diva Design
  11. Simple refashions, tailoring tips and crafts:  DIY-Craft.com
  12. Free patterns, tips and projects for women and kids: Melly Sews
  13. Shoes and jewelry: make it & fake it
  14. Modern style sewing and refashioning: Lotusbomb
  15. Simple upcycling and crafts: A Song of Sixpence
  16. Dress and shirt refashioning: Trash to Couture
  17. Modern shoes, shirts and skirts: Tasha Delrae
  18. Kids’ clothes galore: Make It & Love It
  19. Stylish dresses and tops: WobiSobi
  20. Everything from jeans to accessories and skirts: adventures in dressmaking
  21. Dresses: ReFashionista
  22. Accessories and crafts: …love Maegan
  23. Dresses, accessories and blouses: Refashion Co-op
  24. Kids’ and women’s clothing: iCandy Handmade
  25. Amazing Home Decor Refashions - Vintage Revivals

For more inspiration check out our sewing patterns. Got another website where you find inspiration? Share it with us in the comments!

Warm up with Your Own Hot Chocolate Bar

by YCMT on December 26, 2013

Hot Chocolate Title-01

Mmm…hot chocolate: the perfect (drinkable!) holiday treat. Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply looking to warm up from the chill of winter, read on to create a charmingly cozy and scrumptious hot cocoa bar of your very own!

hot chocolate

What you’ll need:

1. Hot chocolate, of course. There are hundreds of varieties out there you can purchase, from plain chocolate to fancy flavor mixtures. Or, why not try brewing your own? There are recipes all over; here’s one great example.

2. Mugs and spoons for your guests. If you’re microwaving the hot chocolate, be sure you have microwave-safe mugs. Or, if you’re pre-making the drinks, you might choose to use a large beverage dispenser.

3. Various candies and other sweet fixings. This is where each person gets to individualize their drink. Be creative about the fixins. You might include miniature marshmallows, crushed peppermints, chocolate chips, and pirouette cookies (which make excellent, edible stirring sticks!). Other ideas include chocolate shavings, cinnamon or flavored syrups.

4. Several glass jars for storing and displaying the sweet fixings. If you’re having your guests mix their own hot cocoa, store and label the flavors in separate jars, and provide a dishing scoop or spoon for each. With this handy storage, you can keep any uneaten ingredients for next time.

5. Whipped cream, canned or homemade for piling on top! This is one of the most delicious ingredients. If you’re worried about any extra pounds you might have put on over the holidays, you can always use low-fat whipped cream.

6. A cute chalkboard sign. Use a small chalkboard if you have one, or apply chalkboard spray paint to a poster board to make your display, and then title it whatever you want (such as “Nellie’s Hot Chocolate Bar”). You can even write a menu beneath to show the kinds of cocoa and other treats you’ll be serving.

7. Festive decorations. Grab some holiday ornaments, garland and ribbon – or any trimmings of your choice – to make your display festive and fun.

8. Table or countertop. Lay out all the components of your display using your creative touch, and you’ve got yourself one fancy hot cocoa bar that your guests will rave about through the ages (or at least through the evening)!

Did you create your own hot chocolate bar? Let us know how it went, or share your ideas in the comment section below.

 

Image credit: Macinate

Beginner’s Guide to Crochet Hooks and Yarns

by YCMT on December 23, 2013

Crochet Hooks and Yarn-01

If you are just beginning to crochet, it is important to know the various types of hooks and yarn you can use, and what they will mean to your finished product. The outcome will be determined by 3 variables: The yarn you use, the hook you use, and your gauge (how tight or loose you make the stitches). The following is a beginner’s guide to crochet hooks and yarn.

Hooks

HooksIn order to understand the variation in hooks, it is important to understand the different parts that make up a crochet hook, and the role they play in the stitch.

Inline vs. not inline: An inline hook is a hook where the shaft and the head are in a line. It is like having a cylinder with a notch out to hold the loop. There are no tapers or bulges on the shaft. This hook type has a very passive notch, which makes it easy for the loop to fall out. A not inline hook is any hook that does not fit the definition of inline.

Handle: This is the part you hold. On a standard hook, the handle will be the same thickness of the hook. But if you have arthritis, or you simply want a more ergonomic handle, there are hooks made with larger, easier to hold handles.

Thumb rest: This is the part of the hook where you rest your thumb, and often the part where the brand is displayed.

Shaft: This is the neck of the hook. You will have one of two shapes here: the inline shape, which is perfectly symmetrical and cylinder, or a tapered shaft such as that found in a not inline hook. If you are new to crochet, and struggle with uneven application of tension, or overly tight stitches, an inline, cylindrical shaft may be helpful.

Throat: The gap the loop of yarn is held in is referred to as the throat. If you are using a not inline hook, the throat may have a significant taper, which is great for crocheters that drop loops, or pop their hooks out of their work. If you snag or split yarn, you may want to opt for an inline hook, as the smooth notch that holds the loop will be easier to use.

Point: This is the very tip of the hook; it is the part that is used to push into the loops of yarn.

The hook you choose will impact what the finished product looks like, as well as your ease of use. Crochet hooks come in sizes, metric sizes of millimeter dimensions, or a US indicator of a letter and number. Different sizes work better with different yarn types. Larger hooks are needed for the bulkier yarn.

Yarn

Yarn

Like the hook, there is also a lot of variation in yarn types. When you purchase yarn, you will see a number on it, which represents the weight of the yarn and ranges from 1 to 6. Here’s what these numbers mean.

1. Superfine: This is the type of yarn you would use for baby items, fingering, or socks. Anything delicate. Use a U.S. B1 – E4 or metric size 2.25mm–3.5mm crochet hook when using this yarn.
2. Fine: This is another thin yarn. It is good for the baby items like sweaters, and is also great for accessories and wraps. Use a U.S. hook size E4–7 or metric size 3.5mm–4.5mm.
3. Light: This is a versatile yarn, used for all kinds of things from gloves and scarves to heavier duty baby blankets, and sweaters. Use a U.S. 7–19 or metric size 4.5mm–5.5mm hook.
4. Medium: This yarn is commonly used in blankets. It is also used for slippers and sweaters, and is the crafting yarn. If you are unsure what yarn weight to get, this is probably a good option. It is often called worsten, Afghan, or Aran yarn. The most commonly used hook size for this yard type is U.S. size 19 to size K or 10 ½, or 5.5mm to 6.5mm.
5. Bulky: This is a chunky yarn used for rugs and thick blankets. It is also used for making things like doll hair or specialty items like hats. This requires a larger hook, such as a U.S. K (10 ½) to an M or a 6.5mm–9mm.
6. Super bulky: This yarn is used for large rugs, doll hair, finger knitting, and craft projects requiring some bulk. Use a crochet hook size M or larger or 9mm or larger.

The larger the number on the yarn, the fewer stitches for a gauge, the larger the needed hook, and often the faster the project goes.

Now that you’ve got the basics, why not head over to to the Crochet section of the YCMT and find a few projects to try out?

 

20 Fun Indoor Family Activities

by YCMT on December 20, 2013

Indoor Activities-01

When the cold weather hits and you’ve done all the sledding and snowman building your body can handle, refer to this list of indoor activities you can do as a family to keep the fun alive all winter long!

1. Homemade play dough

Not just for toddlers, family members of all ages can delight in making and playing with this soft and squishy stuff. (In fact, playing with it has been proven to actually relieve stress in adults!) Here’s an easy, reliable, no-cook method.

2. Science experiments

If you are looking for a hands-on activity of the educational variety, there’s nothing like scientific experimentation with the kids! Here is a fantastic list of ideas, most of which you can make using common household items.

3. Play a video game together

Relax a bit and let out your inner gamer. Whether you’re playing your kids’ favorite new game or one from your childhood, your kids will appreciate the fact that you’re spending time doing something they love to do. Go ahead and build your dream home in Minecraft or teach your kids a thing or two about Asteroids. Either way, you’re going to look pretty cool.

Wii family

4. Finger puppet show

Make your own finger puppets or use ones you already have to put on a puppet show! You can easily fashion a “theater” out of a large cardboard box and enjoy performing for each other.

5. Board games or jigsaw puzzles

Don’t let the old-fashioned nature of these activities make you a skeptic! Games like Monopoly, Boggle, Apples to Apples or even a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle can provide first-class entertainment, laughs and a sense of closeness with your family. Younger kids can play Memory or build puzzles with fewer pieces.

6. Read-a-thon

Have everyone grab a book, blanket, and nestle into their favorite cozy spots in the family room and read… and read and read! Don’t forget to provide yummy treats. For children who can’t yet read on their own, parents can snuggle up and read books aloud.

7. Sugar-cookie pizzas

Made of a baked sugar-cookie crust topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh fruit, these ”pizzas” are easy, fun to make and prove to be irresistibly delectable. Have every family member choose his or her favorite fruit, slice it up, decorate the pie, and, of course, devour it together! Here’s the recipe.

8. Dance party

If you feel like moving, why not dance to your favorite tunes? Turn your common area into a family dance club by plugging your smartphone into a speaker system, and then get grooving. You’ll release endorphins and wear your kids out by bedtime!

9. Movie time

Hit up your local RedBox for a new rental, put on a favorite family classic, stream a festive flick online during the holidays, or relive family memories through old home videos. Whatever your family picks, don’t forget the popcorn!

Family TV

10. Create a film together

You don’t have to own a fancy camera or be Spielberg to make a movie as a family. Use your smart phones (or actual cameras) to make it happen. Scary, funny, or just ridiculous, it won’t matter; you are going to love watching it together if only to laugh at how silly (or amazing) it is.

11. Hide-and-seek or tag

Take turns being “it,” scouting out the best hiding spots in your house, and chasing each other around!

12. Decorate a room together

Pick a room you’ve wanted to beautify and do it! Whether it’s painting the walls or furnishing the space with new textiles, let all in the family have some say as to what goes into the project, promoting both creativity and teamwork.

13. Family “jam” session

If any of you play instruments, get them out and start making music together! Play written music or make up your own on the spot. Sing songs with the guitar, play duets on the piano, or make a beat together using percussive instruments or even pots and pans. Let loose and have fun!

kids playing music

14. Origami

Indulge in this traditional Japanese paper-folding craft with your family. Make anything from paper planes to sea animals to clothes! Browse dozens of techniques here.

15. Photo scavenger hunt

Create a list of items (such as this one) for your kids to find and then send them on a timed hunt throughout the house with a camera phone in tow to locate and take a snapshot of each found item. For an extra challenge, assign point values to items, with higher values for things that are harder to find. Offer prizes to whomever earns the most “points” within the time limit.

16. Dress-up fashion show

Raid the dress-up box to create goofy getups and take turns modeling them in front of each other. If you’ve got several people, select a panel of judges to vote for the silliest, fanciest or most creative costume. Award winners with paper plate medallions.

17. Greetings to loved ones

Make greeting cards or write letters to a family member or friend and mail them off the old-fashioned way. Or, collectively compose a questionnaire for your recipient to fill out and mail back!

18. Build something together

As a family, choose and carry out a fun DIY construction project, like building a doghouse, an indoor teepee (like this no-sew option,) or something simpler such as assembling a model airplane or Lego set. For more complex projects, purchase supplies ahead of time and have them handy when inclement weather kicks in.

19. Living room picnic

Take a family picnic to your living room! Spread a blanket out on the floor, and pack lunches just as you would if you were headed to the park. Pack a large basket with sandwiches, juice boxes and other favorite snacks.

20. Indoor campout

Make a campsite out of your living room! Roast hot dogs, pop popcorn, and toast marshmallows in your fireplace, if you have one, or cook them over your kitchen stove and tote them to your “campsite.” Tell stories, sing campfire songs, roll out your sleeping bags in the middle of the room and sleep there instead of your rooms for the night.

Winter may be cold, by it doesn’t need to be dreary or boring. Try out some of these ideas and share your experience in the comments – or better yet, share some ideas of your own! And if you’re looking for even more options, check out the Crafts & Hobbies section of our website.


Image credit: Tinkerbrad

Jen Hagedorn of Tie Dye Diva

by admin on December 17, 2013

Jen-Picture

Click here to view Jen’s Designs!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been publishing e-patterns under the Tie Dye Diva name since 2007 and my line has grown to over 70 PDF patterns. I live in Northern California with 3 wonderful children and a supportive and patient husband who never complains about having serger tails sticking to his shirt.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
I love easy-to wear classic clothing designs that have just a touch of whimsy – like animal ears on fleece hats and ruffled bottoms on babywear.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself?
I had to think a long time about this, as I hardly ever sew for myself! Then I looked down and realized I was wearing slippers I made for myself years ago that I wear pretty much every day! I think that will qualify them as my favorite thing made for myself.

For someone else?
For someone else … usually it’s whatever I have made most recently. I am in love with this baby a-line dress and bloomers set I made for a friend from my patterns. The fabric was just perfect for it and I had matching vintage buttons in my stash.
TieDyeDiva-ForSomeoneElse

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
All of them! My family loves to have any excuse to celebrate. I have a huge set of handmade pillow covers and I change them out for every holiday and season. Our sofa is now full of Christmas pillows.

5. What DIY tips or tricks would you like to share with customers?
This sounds so simple, but press as you sew! It makes such a big difference in the polished appearance of your finished garment. Pressing means, lift the iron up and set it down, don’t wipe side to side. Pressing hems encourages the stitches to sink down into the fabric and makes them blend right in. Pressing seams open or to one side gives them a smooth look and can go a long way toward hiding any small imperfections, and pressing points and corners makes them crisp and sharp.

8. Any other interests or hobbies?
Even though sewing is a big part of the pattern-making process, it is still my favorite hobby! That is how I know I am in the right business. I also like to run, read, and collect sea glass.

9. Do you have a favorite quote?
Friends are like fabric – you can never have enough!

Highlighted Patterns:

photo1The Sugarplum Skirt

photo2The Perfect Party Dress

photo3The Belle Peasant Twirl Dress

Receive 10% off these patterns or any of Tie Dye Diva’s Patterns buy using the promo code “TIEDYEDIVA10″ now through December 24!

Click here to view Jen’s Designs at YouCanMakeThis.com!

9 Creative Holiday Gift-Wrapping Ideas

by YCMT on December 13, 2013

You’ve decked the halls, and now you want to deck out your gift wrap. Sure, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but that doesn’t mean the presentation can’t be pretty, too! Here are 10 crafty-chic DIY embellishments you can make to add fa-la-la-la-oomph to your Christmas packaging!

1. “Tiffany-Style” Bow

Using a satin ribbon and these simple instructions, the Christmas bow has never looked so elegant so easily!

2. Tissue Paper Flower Wrap

These flowers are delicate, simply stunning, and simple to make. The craft works best over cylindrical containers. Try red and white tissue paper to make poinsettias!

3. Plain Paper with Fresh Greens

Take simple brown paper packaging or even white printer paper and doll it up with a sprig of pine, holly berries, or DIY mini pine wreath bound under twine.

4. Paper Garland

Your Christmas tree needn’t be the only thing that wears trimmings! Paper cut-outs strung together as garland make for beautiful ribbon. Here’s a super easy how-to.

5. Map Wrap

GPS technology gives you permission to upcycle your old travel maps into beautiful wrapping paper! Once you’ve wrapped the interstate into a neat little package, tie it up with a bold-colored ribbon or string.

6. Washi Tape

This decorative Japanese tape goes far beyond adhering your gift wrap; it adorns it! Washi tape is printed in hundreds of patterns and can be applied and woven into whatever design you can conjure. Find ideas here and buy Washi tape here.

7. Sweater or Fabric Wrap

Wrap your gift in your favorite festive fabric, just as you would with paper wrapping. Cozier yet, package your present in an old sweater! Here’s the tutorial.

8. Yarn Pom Pom Bow

Got yarn and you’re not up for knitting? Make pom poms! This version, simple to construct, makes them look full and classy. Tie your pom poms around your presents with extra yarn.

9. Cupcake Liner Topper

After you’ve baked all your holiday cupcakes, pop some color and dimension into your gift wrap with these unexpected “bows.” Use regular paper liners or, if you’re feeling shiny, foil liners might add just the touch of metallic glam you’re after.

Don’t be surprised if, after you try these out, what’s under your tree outshines your ornaments! And if this gets your holiday creative juices flowing, why not stop by and check out out holiday-themed sewing patterns?

Image credits: Maegan TintariSunshinetaliaMeaghan O’Malley

Leslie Rutland of Sugar Pie Chic

by admin on December 10, 2013

Leslie-Photo

Click here to view Leslie’s Designs!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an Austin-based blogger who loves all things delightfully domestic. Sewing, gardening, crafting, cooking, and anything DIY. Spending time with my hubby, our kids and their families is about as good as it gets.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
I really love designing aprons, but I also want to do some classic children’s clothes and simple garments for women.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself? For someone else?
I have a saying, “Aprons make great gifts!” And, it is true, I love making a unique apron and giving it away. By far, my biggest seller on YCMT is the Tutu Tote Trio. I designed the pattern for the Tutu Tote Trio after my sister called and described the bag over the phone. Her daughter wanted one for the first day of kindergarten.

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
I like simplicity and don’t do a lot of seasonal decorating. Instead, my favorite way to bring in something for a season or holiday is to start in my garden and bring the outdoors inside.

5. Any other interests or hobbies?
Rabid gardener with a love of native plants and organic veggies. I usually have a farmer’s tan and a disgusting manicure. When I’m not scratching in the dirt, I am trying to convert classic recipes into gluten-free options.

6. Do you have a favorite quote?
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!” Nowhere is this more evident than at a quilt show.

Pattern Highlight:

tututotetrio

Receive 10% off the Tutu Tote Trio Pattern or any patterns by Sugar Pie Chic for the next week by using the Promo Code “SUGARPIE10″ when checking out!

Click here to view Leslie’s Designs!