Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sew a quick 4 patch potholder. Gift in a Jiff #2.

The 4 patch potholder is such a simple gift to sew up. In 30 minutes or less you can have a sweet handmade hostess or teacher gift. These also make wonderful exchange gifts and are a great gift for colleagues.

Supplies needed:
For 1 potholder you will need:
Fabric A – (2) 8” squares
Fabric B – (2) 8” squares
(1) 8” square of A OR B (your choice) for backing
(1) 8” square of Insul-Bright
Thread to match
Walking foot (not completely necessary but nice to have)
Sewing Machine

Get your fabrics and Insul-Bright together and cut your 8" squares. One of the beauties of this gift is seasonal fabric can be used such as the Christmas fabric below.
Fold 2 squares from both fabric A and B in half wrong sides together. Press.

On your work surface place your 8” square of Insul-Bright shiny side up. Place your 8” piece of backing fabric on top of the Insul-Bright right side up.

Next get your 4 folded and pressed (now) rectangles.  Position one Fabric A rectangle on top of the backing along the top edge. Make sure you match raw edge to raw edge. The folded edge should be in the center of your backing square.
Moving to the right side of your square place one folded Fabric B rectangle on top of the one you have already placed matching raw edges to raw edges on your 8” square. Flip up the Fabric A folded rectangle at the top right and place half of Fabric B rectangle underneath.
Move to the bottom of your square placing your last Fabric A rectangle on your 8” square. Flip up the bottom of the Fabric B you just positioned and place your A piece underneath so that half is covered and other half is showing.
Continue to the left side of your square using remaining fabric piece and flipping up bottom piece end to position underneath. Don't forget raw edges together!

Matching fabrics should end up in opposite corners.

When your done, it should look like the above picture. Make sure all your raw edges are together and that a raw edge is not in the middle!
Pin everything in place. Beginning about 2 inches down from one corner, stitch all the way around your 8” square using a generous 1/4 inch seam. There is no need to leave an opening for turning. Clip corners and threads.

Turn right side out using the opening that was made in the middle by the 4 pieces coming together in the middle.

Set your machine to any decorative stitch or to a small zigzag if you don’t have a decorative stitch. Stitch about 3/4 inches long across the middle of the potholder over the opening you used to turn.  This will ensure the middle does not gap open.
If you want to add to the gift, in one of the "pockets" place a wooden spoon and tea or hot cocoa packets.

And that is that! A Gift in a Jiff #2!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Today I am a So Sew Easy Contributor ~ Yay!!

If your needing a simple lining tutorial for an Aline skirt, head over to So Sew Easy and check out How to Line a Skirt in 8 Easy Steps!

So excited to be a contributor for Deby. She has a ton of simple to sew patterns either free or for very little money. Many go together in a couple of hours or less and are nice basic pieces for your wardrobe.

See you over there!

P.S. Check out my Mason Jar cozy tutorial and come back tomorrow for a quick 4 patch potholder tutorial. Nice gifts...made in a Jiff!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sew a Gift...in a Jiff ~ A Mason Jar, a Cozy and Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix.

Looking for a super simple gift that can be completed in less than one hour? 

How about a quart Mason Jar filled with yummies and "dressed" in a pretty cozy. All you need to do is sew your cozy and fill the jar with a homemade cookie or soup mix, candy, spiced tea or in this case, a delicious homemade hot cocoa mix and you have a perfect hostess or teacher gift that will be appreciated on long winter nights.

This is a great scrap buster and really can be custom made for any ol' jar you want. With just 2 measurements you can be off and running with a beautiful custom cozy to keep or give. 

Make the cozy-

Supplies Needed:
Main fabric - Scrap of fabric roughly 4 to 5” wide by 14 - 15” long. It can be any weight fabric but if you will be using lightweight cotton it is suggested you interface the fabric. I used light to midweight repurposed wool.  Nice wool for smaller projects like this can easily be repurposed from old skirts, shirts, sweaters, blankets and even coats.  Wool adds a nice rustic element to craft projects. Below are some wool scraps I have stashed over the past couple of years. These came from Pendleton skirts and shirts, men's sweaters and the top dark grey is from a wool coat made in Russia.

Other supplies needed:
Lining fabric – 4 to 5” wide by 14-15” long. For my lining fabric I used scraps from a sheet I had used to make a muslin.
Button - repurposed from an old coat
Elastic Hair Tie
1/4 inch piecing foot if you have it
Sewing Machine

Measure your jar around the middle. Mine measured 12 1/4 inches around. Yours may vary some. Reduce this measurement by 1/2 inch or so. It is up to you how much space you want to leave for your closure.
In the middle of the jar take a vertical measurement. I just measured roughly where I wanted the cozy to begin and end. Roughly 4" for me.

My final cutting measurements were 4 inches wide by 11 3/4 inches long.

Interface your lining if you have chosen a lighter weight fabric.

Place your two fabrics right side together, pin. Sew a 1/4 inch seam around all 4 sides. Leave a 2-3 inch opening at one short end for turning purposes.
Clip corners and trim seams. Turn right side out. Fold your opening seams to inside the opening hole and press the entire piece well. Take your elastic band and give it a twist. This will make it tons easier to sew in to the opening. 
Place the elastic band partially in to the opening. 

Beginning near the opening and elastic band stitch a top stitch all around the cozy. Backstitch several times over the elastic band to ensure it is secure. Press.
On the opposite short end sew a button. Wrap around your Mason Jar and secure using elastic hair tie and button. On a small scrap of paper write out the preparation directions and affix to your jar. I attached mine using the closure but you could put those on the top as well.

Fill Mason Jar with Homemade hot cocoa mix for an easy wonderful gift.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix:
This makes enough to fill 2 quart jars plus you will have a bit left over so you can enjoy a cup of cocoa while you are sewing!
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar:
4 cups powdered milk
2 cups vanilla flavored powdered creamer OR plain coffee creamer
2 cups of powdered sugar (can use granulated but powdered dissolves quicker and easier)
1 cup plus 2T cocoa powder (Hersey's Special Dark makes a richer hot chocolate)
** If you want to add a bit of zest to your mix, add 1 t. cinnamon and 1/4 t. chili powder
1-2 cups Miniature Marshmallows depending on amount desired

In a large bowl stir together powdered milk, creamer ,sugar and cocoa (add spices if desired).  Add desired amount of miniature Marshmallows. Spoon or carefully pour in to Mason jar. Seal. Wrap your cozy around jar and include preparation instructions.

Preparation instructions:
Measure 1/2 cup cocoa mix into mug. Stir in 1 cup hot water..Makes 12 servings.

And that is it! Now you have a sweet homemade gift for someone special.

Recipe is adapted from meals.com and can be found here: http://www.meals.com/recipe/hot-cocoa-mix-in-a-jar-32261?retry=true