April 24, 2011

Yesterday we had a family outing. It was so fun and glorious. I love my family.
Yesterday our son disappeared on the train ride. Just long enough for my heart to race and the prayers to begin. They were answered so quickly.
Yesterday the other son got his fingers rolled up into the window. We were in the middle of nowhere, without ice, without stores nearby for miles. His only comfort was a Priesthood Blessing, and it immediately calmed him and comforted him. I am so grateful for my husband, who honors his Priesthood.
Today my husband made Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast and played with the boys. He is so good to me.
Today my boys got up around 6am and were so full of energy and I was not. They humble me.
Today I taught a lesson at church to a bunch of girls who couldn't sit still. I chastised them and was impatient with them. I felt bad after. I really do love them with all my heart.
Today I could barely wait for my children to come off the chocolate high and go to sleep. I shouldn't spoil them so much.
Today I was reminded of the love the Lord has for us. He forgives when we can't, he lifts us up when we can't go farther, and he loved us in a way I can't even begin to understand. I am so glad he's so patient with me, because it's taking me a long time to learn the lessons He has for me. I am so blessed, and so often forget it.
Today I remember.

Happy Easter everyone! I hope yours was as enjoyable as mine.

April 22, 2011

I know that it's already Easter, and that some kids are already enjoying a long weekend! Jealous! Are you ready for your Easter Holiday? I think I am. I made one of these for Easter and I thought it would be nice to share the  pattern with you, just in case you need something last minute. This is so easy and quick to make.  I'm not even going to upload a whole bunch of photos to go with it. Instead, I'll post simple instructions. If you want to see the steps using a similar pattern go HERE. If you have some other shape you want to turn into a Plushie for Easter, go HERE and learn how to do it on the Silhouette.

The Peep Plushie Tutorial

The Peep Plushie Pattern

The Peep Plushie Tutorial

1. Print the Pattern. You will need to use borderless printing for this pattern.
2. Cut two bodies out of the fabric. If you're using dotted minkee, fold the pattern back at the eyes, line the eyes up with the dots in the fabric, pin, unfold the pattern again and pin the rest, then cut. (Check out how you can see a face on the little guy if you line it up right!)

The Peep Plushie Face

3. Pin right sides together and sew around (1/4" seam allowance) matching the red dotted line of the pattern. LEAVE A 1 1/2" Opening at the bottom.
4. Clip the curves and close to the seam in between the ears. This will help everything lay flat.
5. Pull right sides out through the opening and then even out the edges.
6. Stuff evenly then hand sew shut at the opening.
7. If desired, add eyes, nose, whiskers, and/or a fluffy tail.

Silhouette Freebie

Just in case you make this in a regular fabric, not the minkee - HERE is a free Silhouette file for you! Complete with eyes, nose and a tail that you could cut in Heat Transfer Vinyl or fabric and iron on!

Won't this be so cute in the Easter Basket, or out in the grass with the eggs?! How about in the Strawberry Tote? I'm excited for Easter and giving my kids a little basket of goodies Sunday morning.

The Peep Plushie in the Strawberry Tote
I've had a few comments lately that I would love to reply to. I understand the need for privacy and safety on the internet. Don't worry, I'm not changing the way I do things here. I've gone through my blog settings to make this place as reader friendly as I know how. I just want you to know that IF I don't respond it might be because I CAN'T. I love comments, and appreciate them, and enjoy responding to all of you, especially if you ask a question.

You see, there is this thing called a Profile in Blogger, and if you don't have that set up, including an email address, then the comment is sent to me without an email address. I know that each blog publishing program (Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, etc.) has their own systems, so while you may get responses from one blog, another blogger may not respond. Now you know why.

So - to get a reply from me (or anyone that uses Blogger) - you have to have an email account linked with your Blogger profile. How?

1. Go to Blogger - do you have an account with them? If not, sign up, otherwise sign in.
2. Once you are signed in go to the "Edit Profile" link in the beside the picture on the left.
3. Under Privacy check the box that says "Show my email address".
4. Under Identity make sure you have an email address listed in the box. This does not have to be the email linked to your account. I have an email address for blogging specifically and it makes things a lot easier for me.

Now you can get responses from those Blogger bloggers. Otherwise, if it's important to get a response, and you haven't heard from me, you can email me directly from my Profile page HERE.

April 17, 2011

For all my fellow Silhouette fans, if you don't know about this week's Silhouette Blog Hop over at i {Heart} nap time I highly recommend checking it out. There are giveaways, tutorials and so much inspiration, and it's already begun! Head on over now to get inspired. Giveaway and Linky Party found HERE.

Today in his primary class my son was apparently leaning so far forward in his chair that he tipped right over and landed on his forehead! That boy can NOT sit still!

The younger one has taken it upon himself to call me Daddy. I'm not really sure why, except perhaps early rebellion. He knows who I am, he knows what to call me, and yet after 2 hours without me - we're finally reunited and he shouts with joy "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" (whilst in his Father's arms). I think said Dad is keen on encouraging it a little, because he was the recipient of the mistaken identity joke more than 6 months ago, and no Dad appreciates being called "Mommy". That boy has a STUBBORN streak!

Yesterday my husband came home, after only a short over-night trip to CA. I missed him so much and was so glad to have him back. I think the cutest thing though, was the exultant giggle in the back of the car followed by a happy boy sighing "Daddy!" when we finally met him at the airport. Today he let me sleep in. It was nearly three extra hours of glorious sleep. (Don't worry, he let's me sleep in often enough.) It was so sweet to listen to him playing with the boys as I woke. They LOVE him and he is such an awesome Husband and Father.

I LOVE my boys.

April 16, 2011

I'm sure many of you have already heard of Pinterest. I admit, the first thought that crossed my mind when I read their name was that it was probably some highly inappropriate site, so I didn't even bother to click the link to check it out. Then, a blog that I read posted about it and I learned what Pinterest was really all about. I was so excited.

Pinterest is an amazing site for any person that uses "My Favorites" or "Bookmarks" in their browser. No matter whether you are creative or not - this is a site you want to check out. WHY? Because it's the visual version of that Bookmarks folder! I confess, there are some sites that don't work for some reason, but that doesn't matter, they aren't usually ones I need a visual reminder for.

I used to look at this to find my links of projects that inspire me:

Not very inspirational right? First you have to find the original post that you liked in a long list and then open it to make sure that's what you were thinking it was. But of course, that's if you remember what you put there in the first place. I actually almost stopped bookmarking altogether, because it seemed to get lost in that folder anyways.

Since I joined Pinterest I'm actually happy to "Pin" something to a board and know that with a quick glance I'll remember it. What's the big deal? This is:

It's like clipping from a magazine. I have a photo to go with the link, and don't worry, it still links back to the post where the photo was found. Now, that's what I call INSPIRATION! The best part is it's a whole community of inspiration. You can re-pin photos, you can like them, and you can follow boards, or people.

I now have 30 Boards, all with different subjects, that I can turn to anytime for inspiration. And this time it's easy to find and inspirational. I'm currently going through my favorites folder and adding the links to my boards.

Want to know my favorite parts though?

There is a special "PIN IT" link, you can put in your browser so whatever site you're on you can quickly add it to a board. It's just as easy as bookmarking!

When I was over at my friends house the other day, and I couldn't remember the site of a photo I wanted to share with her (of course she doesn't have MY favorites) I was able to pull up my Pinterest, open the board, and show it to her easily!

And then, when another friend asked me to help with ideas for a wedding with colors that had her Mother-In-Law stumped - Succulents, Peach, Grey and White. I didn't just send links this time. I put all those links (and the specific photos from them) into their own board! Amazing right?

Go ahead, head on over. Get yourself an invitation (and check, mine went to my junk mail). OR You can comment and I'll invite you if it's not working. If you want to follow me (you can choose to only follow a specific board too) - these are my boards HERE.

April 15, 2011

The Original Tutorial for the Strawberry Tote is HERE. You will use it to make the Berry Picker Variation. You can also refer to The Easy Handle Variation for the handle.

To make this variation, you will want to use Laminated Cotton, or Oilcloth for all your fabrics. You will not need interfacing, but may prefer to add fusible fleece to the handle. It's all up to you. Don't you think this would be so cute for a little kid to take berry picking? My son can't wait to take his and go pick strawberries.

Strawberry Picking Tote

This version was made with cheap tablecloth fabric with a fuzzy backing. DON'T USE IT! I had never sewn with it before, but it rips easily at the seam and has ripped in other spots too. I hate it. I'd sooner make this from a shower curtain then this fabric. But at least, from this, you get the idea. It's something you can let them get dirty, juicy berries can fill it and it will still wipe down easily!

I went to my local JoAnns store to pick up some oil cloth and when I asked where they kept it, the attendant look at me funy then asked what it was! I was surprised. She was one of those older, white haired, crafty looking women. Thus I was completely startled that she didn't know what oilcloth was. It's not that uncommon is it?

Anyhow, I realized that perhaps some of the newer readers here haven't seen Laminated Cotton or Oilcloth. (Others of you will remember it from the Chalk Mat Tutorial.)


Laminated Cotton is a quilting weight cotton laminated in a polyurethane coating. It resists water extremely well and has a lightweight feel to it. Several large fabric manufacturers make laminated cotton now.

Depending on the manufacturer it may or may not be machine washable. Some say they aren't, but it still looks great after washing. In one instance I have had the fabric separate from the coating. If you are planning to wash the fabric you might want to test a small piece first.

Oilcloth is originally a duck cloth or canvas weight fabric coated with linseed oil. It too is semi-waterproof. It has been commonly used for tablecloths. A lot of companies market a PVC coated woven fabric as oilcloth now.


To sew on the outer (coated) side of these fabrics can be difficult because your machine's foot will most likely stick to it. I've shown you how to use tissue paper (which works fabulously) in the Chalk Mat Tutorial. You can also try a walking foot, if you have one, or painters tape. My favorite though, is a Teflon Foot. (Make sure to get the one that fits your machine). It glides across the fabric easily, but doesn't let it slide too much!

If you have any questions about these fabrics, please post in the comments, and I will try to answer quickly. I'll post my replies in the comments for all to read.
The Original Tutorial for the Strawberry Tote is HERE. You will want to refer to it in order to make the following variations.


On Step 5 in the Tutorial don't leave an opening in the lining. Instead, as you sew around the top in step 6, leave an opening. Seam finish and cut the curves as desired. Cut the curves on the opening even, just be careful not to go past where the seam should be.

Leave Opening

Then pull the tote through the whole and tuck the lining inside the main fabric. Flatten the seam all around the top and then fold down the seam allowance in the opening, lay it flat and pin it closed. Then sew around the top as normal. 

Pin Opening Closed & Sew

Top Stitched Around Top

Now you have no stitches in the lining, and even if you messed up on this seam, it's no big deal because you can  cover it up with the EASY HANDLE and no one will ever know!


Instead of steps 9-13, follow these instructions. 

Cut the handle to the dashed line instead of the solid (1/4" smaller). Use this for the Fusible Fleece.

Cut Handle Pattern at Dotted Line

Cut out Fusible Fleece

Iron the fusible fleece to the wrong side of one handle. Make sure to line it up so that the fleece is 1/4" in from  all edges.

Iron Fleece on the Wrong Side of One Handle

Line up the handle pieces down wrong sides together and place them down with the fleece side up. The fleece side will go towards the outside of the bag (if you have a preference)

Side with Fleece Towards the Outside

Tuck one side of the handle completely inside the tote. Make sure it is laying flat, then pull the fleece lined side  out and lay it on the outside of the tote. Pin and make sure that all the inside and outside pieces remain lined up to each other (as much as possible). Also pin down the length of the handle.

Handle Inside

Place Handle Inside

Bring One Side Forward

Starting about an inch above the leaves on the unpinned side, sew down the handle, around the pinned leaves, and back up the handle until the same spot on the opposite side.

Sew One Side

Leave 1 Inch Above Leaves

Lay the Tote down and fold the un-sewn side of the handle over to line it up with the sewn side. Tuck it inside the bag, and bring the front piece to the outside. Pin and sew from from where you stopped on the handle to the other side.

Line up Back to Front

Pin Handle On

Strawberry Totes with Seeds

Trim anywhere around the edges of the leaves if it looks funny. Press and you're done!

Strawberry Tote with Heat Transfer Vinyl

This handle is going to have a different feel than the other, because it isn't as thick as if it were quilted. The edges are left unfinished, so it will fray, but I think it makes it look like  fuzzy leaves. After washing you will likely want to trim threads so that children don't pull at them. (You KNOW they will.)

The best part about doing the handle this way is it makes the Tote completely reversible! (This is a little wrinkly from ironing!)

Completely Reversible

April 14, 2011

If you have a Silhouette get excited! You can download the pattern to cut the seeds out for the Strawberry Tote! You can use Heat Transfer Vinyl, or Silhouette's new Interfacing to embellish the tote with little seeds of fabric!

If you don't have the Silhouette, don't despair, you can trace the Seeds from the Original Pattern onto Freezer Paper and use that to stencil the seeds on using Fabric paint.

Strawberry Totes with Seeds

Here I used Heat Transfer Vinyl to do seeds on a tote. This is the White Flocked Heat Transfer from Silhouette. It worked perfectly!

Heat Transfer Vinyl Seeds

Strawberry Tote with Heat Transfer Vinyl

If you really want to add some bling, you can also iron on some Rhinestones. I've created the Silhouette File for that, but even if you don't have the rhinestone kit, or a Silhouette, you can just cut out the seeds on the pattern and carefully place the rhinestones like I did here:

Rhinestones without the Silhouette


Strawberry Tote with Rhinestones

Download the Silhouette Files here: Full Seeds & Rhinestones. (Rhinestone Size: 10ss/3mm)

Did you notice the slightly different handle? I'll be back tomorrow to show you an easier way to do them!

Linking up to :
Did you all go over last week to see this tote tutorial on Sew.Craft.Create? Seriously, it is adorable. BUT I made another one and I do have one UPDATE. It's just something that will make sewing that handle on a little easier. Scroll down to STEP 12 to read my notes.  I also have three new versions for you to see. I'll be posting about those later today. I know I promised them last week, but things come up. You all know how that is.

Strawberry Tote Tutorial


Tote Fabric 9" x22" (1/2 a Fat Quater!)
Lining Fabric 9" x 22"
Light-weight, Fusible Interfacing 9"x22"
Handle Fabric 9" x 17" (Less than 1/2 a Fat Quarter!)
Fusible Fleece 9"x17"
Matching Thread

You can download the pattern HERE. (Free for Personal Use Only.)

1. The pattern is printed over two pages, you need to print it with the printer set at Borderless if possible. Then cut out the pieces and join the Tote at the triangles (to make an arrow head) to make the full pattern.

Pattern Prep Work

2. Cut the tote and handle from the fabric, interfacing and fusible fleece as directed on the pattern pieces. Make sure to line the handle up on the fold where marked on the pattern to cut it out. This makes the handle one solid piece.

All Cut Out

3. Iron on the interfacing (glue/bumpy side down) to the wrong side of the outer fabric of tote. Interfacing can go on the lining or the outer fabric, but for this particular project I wanted the outer fabric reinforced (it is easy to stretch as you sew around the curves. Iron on the fusible fleece to the wrong side of one handle.


4. Right sides together, sew from one circle (marked on pattern) around the bottom of the tote to the other circle. Seam Allowance 1/4". Finish the seams and press right side out.

Side Seams

Clip Curves

5. Repeat Step 4 for the lining, leaving a 2" opening along the side at some point. Finish the seams, clip the curves and press right side out.

Opening in Side Seam

6. Flip the Tote wrong side out, and insert the lining right side out into the main tote. Right sides together, line up the tops and pin. Sew completely around the top. Finish the seams and clip the curves where necessary.
Note: Remove the front tray on your sewing machine to use the free arm. This will make this and other seams easier.

Attach Lining to Tote

Sew Top

7. Pull the right side of the lining and tote out through the opening in the lining.

Pull Through Opening

8. Flatten the top seam out nicely, rolling between your fingers, or using a pin if necessary to get it to lay flat. Pin if needed. Top stitch at 1/8-1/4" around the top seam.

Before Flattening Seams

Flatten & Pin Seams

Top Stitch

9. Stitch closed the opening in the lining.

Sew Opening in Lining

10. Right sides together, sew the handle with a 1/8" seam, leaving a large opening on one side of the handle. Clip the curves, cut into the corners, and trim excess fabric on the points to help it lay flat when right side out.

Leave an Opening

Clip Corners and Trim Seams

11. Flip the handle right side out. Use the end of a pen or pencil to help push the narrow stem pieces out. This will take patience, but you don't want to rush it or you may accidentally rip the fabric. You can also use a pin to help tug on the pieces from the outside. Pin where necessary. Pin the opening for the handle closed.

Pull Through Handle

Pushing Fabric Through With Pencil

12. Pin the handle to the top of the tote with fleece side facing out. Top stitch around the entire edge of the stem. The top stitch will actually be your seam for attaching the handle to the tote, saving you more work! You can hand stitch the center of the tote that wasn't sewn closed on to the handle, or leave it open for a secret pocket!
Note: The fusible fleece does more than give the handle a quilted look. It helps hold the handle's shape long after it would have wrinkled and folded from other products!
UPDATE: While I was making this for the third time I realized it would be a lot easier to only pin on one side of the handle at a time. So I pinned one side on, starting on the right, I started an inch above where it turns into the leaves on the unpinned side, sewed down the handle, around the leaves pinned on, and back all the way to an inch above the leaves on the other side. THEN I pinned the leaves onto the other side and finished it up. It was SO much EASIER this way. There were way less pins to worry about, and it was a lot easier to make sure nothing was in my way.

Attaching Handle

Handle Complete


13. Now press one last time for good measure and sit back and admire your work!

Strawberry Tote Tutorial

This is perfect for the Strawberry Shortcake loving girl, or as a gift for Easter!

Strawberry Tote for Easter

Strawberry Tote