Monday, July 21, 2014

5 Tips For Planting Sunflowers With The Kids!

Back in the garden today! When I started doing gardening posts this year a few readers suggested planting sunflowers with the kids since they seem to grow overnight.

And I did. (Don't ever say I don't listen to you guys!).

 We've had so much fun with them. Since our regular garden area was already full by the time we decided to plant in a small patch of lawn off the driveway. In a couple of months, the flower are twice the size of the kids!
 We have many more blooms now-- and all different colors! My favorite is this bright yellow Lemon Queen.
 Although I don't have enough pictures for a 'tutorial'; here are 5 tips for having a successful sunflower growing project

1. Buy big. I was surprised to find that Sunflower can grow from 5-6 inches to 6-7 feet (and beyond!) The packages can sometimes be misleading as to which is which. We ended up going with Botanical Interests Autumn Beauty and Lemon Queen. I chose these over the even taller Mammoth varieties since they have multiple flowers per plant.
2. Section it off!  If you are planting in your lawn, I really recommend sectioning off the area to protect seedlings from getting mowed over or stepped on. We put down a thick layer of mulch and compost so the little seedlings didn't accidentally get mowed down. At the end of the season we'll pull the sunflowers and let the grass take over.
3.. Plant successively. We planted two sets of seeds 2 weeks apart for a longer bloom time.
4. Don't forget the birds and the bees! A huge bonus to this sunflower project is that the huge blooms attract a lot of bees. It's been awesome to talk to the kids about pollination and how flowers work. Also, we are letting the flower go to seed so hopefully we will get a few bird visitors later in teh season.
5. Take lots of pictures! I wish I had more photos of how fast the sunflowers grew. Since these sunflowers are in our driveway, we checked on them briefly when we left the house; but I didn't think to take photos. It would have been fun to make an album for the kids to flip through.

If you want more info, this video from burpee is very informative.

I don't know if there is still time where you live to plant these suckers, but if there is, I highly reccomend it!

Have you noticed our newest sponsor? BBcrafts is a source for ribbons, tulle, floral mesh and other craft/wedding supplies!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tulika Tote Kits at I Love Quilting!

Exciting news! One of my favorite projects from the blog is my Tulika Tote.

Tulika Tote Quilts are being offered at LoveQuilting. The tulika tote is a reversible, convertible bag that is perfect for everyday.

 It's actually the purse I use currently. I tote it everywhere, and I find myself 'converting' it from crossbody to regular purse handles all the time.

Tulika Tote Quilts are being offered at LoveQuilting. The tulika tote is a reversible, convertible bag that is perfect for everyday.

 A few months ago, our sponosr Love Quilting asked me about creating kits for this purse. I love the idea of being able to pick up all the fabric and the hardware for the purse in one place. You can choose your inner and outer lining fabric, and love quilting will put it all together for you!

Head on over to Love Quilting and check out the kits! (And don't forget to tell them Palak sent you!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Christmas In July!

My lovely friend Debbie at Sew So Easy is having a fun Christmas In July Series! I'm one of those Christmas fanatics who hums carols from Halloween to Valentines day, so I just had to say yes. She has a cute tutorial for a 3 dimensional  felt Christmas tree, and asked us to 'help' decorate it with handmade ornament tutorials. Here is one of my favorite ornament posts from last year. 

I know I can't be the only one who loves to hang on to her kid's baby clothes. This romper was one that both my daughter and I loved-- especially for the fun flower applique! I have been trying to find a way to refashion it since she out grew it. And this year, I finally found the perfect solution-- an ornament!

To start, I removed the parts of the applique that I didn't want (the stem).
 To cut out the applique you can simply follow the shape of the applique or use another shape all together. I use a hexagon template from the Blue Chair.

Cut a backing piece the same shape.
 Place a string or ribbon loop at the top of the ornament...
 ... and then stack the two pieces right sides together.
 Sew along the edges, leaving a small opening for turning.

Turn, and slip stitch the opening closed. Now you have a little bit of your kid's babyhood for your Christmas Tree. Looking for more handmade ornaments? You can see more of my ornament tutorials here, here and here!

Have you checked out Love Quilting lately? They've recently started offering kits (you just might see something from your's truly on their site!) Right now I'm loving this Weekend Retreat Fat Quarter set for under 30 bucks-- It's so summery! With a few primary color solids, it would make a great quilt for a baby boy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Sewing Space!

Have you checked out 2 Little Hooligans's sewing spaces series? Mine is not as fantastic as some of the spaces that have already been shared, but I'm excited to show off the few things I've done to make it my own.

When my daughter was finally ready to go in a big girl room, my sewing room was bumped to a tiny corner of our play room.

The biggest change we made was changing out my sewing table for a smaller wooden one (from IKEA!), and converting it into a DIY sewing table. The table has a hole in it for my machine, which makes sewing so much easier and more comfortable. This was our first, big woodworking project and I'm absolutely thrilled with how it turned out. I also love that it's something that my husband and I made together.

Then it was just a matter of making the smaller table work with with all my sewing notions and tools.I have a few purposed containers on the table top-- like this old pesto jar for safety pins.
And a candy jar for those tiny spools of thread that just have a bit of thread left.
I also use a couple of these scrapbook paper covered soup cans to hold my cutting supplies and stray threads.

Since I can't access the little storage box on my machine now, I've been using this tackle and bait box to store my sewing machine feet, bobbins and needles. I papered the back of it with matching paper and double stick tape to pretty it up a bit.
The rest of my storage moved to the wall above my desk. I purchased the inexpensive Bygel rail system from IKEA, and used it to keep my thread, rulers and cutting mats up and out of the way. I love how everything is in easy reach, and I still have enough room to sew, cut and create on my table.

Since I need the side of the table to cut fabric, I wanted more storage on the wall. I came up with this fun little sewn caddy to hold some of my favorite patterns. The caddy is made of a few rectangles of fabric, and is trimmed out in bias tape. ( I've also put together the Ultimate Guide To Sewing Bias Tape if you want to make one of your own!)

Here's a close up of the trim.

I loved the way the print looked so much, that I also added a little matching hand embroidered pincushion. I just love this little thing because it's oversized, and my kiddos love to play with it.

Notice anything missing? My serger! Right now my serger lives on the very edge of my husbands desk upstairs and out of the way of little hands. Of course, it's a giant pain to have to run upstairs each time I need to serge a seam. I'm still trying to come up with a good solution for how to keep it downstairs. I'm completely open to any suggestions!!!

Thank you so much for letting me share a bit of my sewing space with you all! And tell me-- have you ever had to downsize your sewing space? Where do you sew?

Have you seen Rasberry Creek's Bolt End section? It's a great way to get some deals on small cuts of fabric. This Damask Print is on sale for just 4.50 a yard! I want some so badly for some throw pillows!

Monday, June 30, 2014

5 Sewing Projects to Beautify Your Bath

Just in case you missed it... earlier this week I was over at I Heart Organizing sharing 5 ways to dress up your bath using yoru sewing machine!

See you back here tomorrow for a look at where I sew!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Why I Sew

This week, you might have noticed some of your favorite bloggers sharing about why they sew as part of Sewing Mama Rae Anna's fun series.

I'll be honest, I had to think about this a little bit. Why do I sew? I used to joke that I took up sewing as a hobby to get away from my kids-- and I was only partly kidding!
they're cuteness is deceiving

As a mom of two under two, I cherished having a few hours to myself to sew up a project and feel like I accomplished something.

I always came back to my kids refreshed and in a much better mood. I'll be honest, I love the process of sewing and knitting more than I do using the finished project.
This striped shirt was only worn for the photo shoot-- but I still love it because I was able to try out a few techniques.

Now as my kids get older,  I find my self needing a 'break' from my kids less and less.

And instead, sewing and crafting has become something that we can do together!

Check out the stories behind these other sewing bloggers, or add your own at Sewing Mama Rae Anna's site.

6.22.14 | Sewing Mama RaeAnna | Simple Simon and Co. |
6.23.14 | Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy | Nimble Phish | Sprouting Jube Jube | Paisley Roots | Made For Mermaids | Glitter and Wit | Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop | Rae Gun Ramblings |
6.24.14 | Shaffer Sisters | Sew Like My Mom | Bebe Lambs | EYMM |
6.25.14 | The Sewing Geek | GYCT | Lulu and Celeste |
6.26.14 | Ruby and Jack Patterns | Muse of the Morning | Fishsticks Designs | Little Kids Grow |
6.27.14 | Make it Handmade | Rebel and Malice | Ali Cat & Co. |