Monday, November 22, 2010

the last of the fall projects!

with thanksgiving coming this week, it will officially mark the end of fall for us!  so what that the calender says that winter begins on december 21st?! after thanksgiving, it will be all christmas, all the time!!

the last two projects for me(marie is already working on a christmas quilt for our mom--she's been done with "fall" since halloween!) are another autumn table runner and a dish towel/pot holder combo!  since i already told you about a table runner last week, this week i'll show you how to make the "pot towel"?  "towel holder"?  hmmm, haven't really come up with a name for this one!  lol  anyhoo...

you will need:
one dish towel and one pot holder
coordinating thread
sewing machine

start by folding your towel in half(top to bottom) and rubbing with your finger to find the center(you can go ahead and press this, but i was too lazy to drag out the iron!)

use a basting stitch all the way down the center, following your mark--make sure that you leave some extra thread at the ends so that you can pull your gather!

now pull on the thread(from the bobbin) to make your gather.  it needs to fit the width of your pot holder.
now turn your attention to the pot holder.
fold it in half(bottom to top) to find your button placement and to figure out where you will sew your towel. again, rub(or iron) to make a crease--this is where you will pin your towel.

pin your towel to the pot holder
using a zig zag stitch, sew down the entire length of your gather...back stitching a few times along the way for stability.

now sew your button on, and hang on your oven handle!

these are great for when you need to wipe your fingers quickly while you're cooking!  i think they would make a great gift too!! 

hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving!!! bring on the christmas fabric!!!

we are linking with:
skip to my lou
today's creative blog
creative itch
giggles glitz & glam
hope studios

Thursday, November 11, 2010

autumn table runner #1

i'm in love with the saltbox harvest fabric!  i purchased a charm pack and decided that i needed a table runner(or two!).  i have found that the missouri star quilt company has some of the best tutorials around.  marie told me about the "quilt as you go" method, and i knew i needed to give it a try!

instead of using strips of fabric, i chose to sew three squares together.
after you have everything nice and trimmed, all you have to do is bind!  this was such a quick and easy project to bust out in time for thanksgiving!
i'm almost finished with another one.  its laid out a little differently than this one...and i went with regular quilting instead.  i'll post it as soon as i'm finished!

we are linking up with:
skip to my lou
today's creative blog
hope studios
giggles glitz & glam
creative itch

Thursday, November 4, 2010

simple autumn valence

these little cuties are so simple to whip up!  with cutting, pressing, sewing and hanging it only took about an hour and a half!(and if you don't stop to yack on the phone like i could probably be done in an hour!!)

you'll need:
enough fabric for your window  (i used 2 pieces...15 1/2" x 32" with deb strain's saltbox harvest)
sewing machine
iron/ironing board

cut your pieces, then press 1/4" around all four sides.
stitch around all four sides using 1/8" seam allowance.
fold top piece down 2 1/2", press.
sew along the edge using 1/4" seam allowance.  this will create your rod pocket.
press and hang!
perfect for autumn and thanksgiving!! 
we are linking up with:
made by you monday @ skip to my lou
today's creative blog
hope studios
creative itch 
giggles, glitz and glam
saturday mornings

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last Minute Costume

A few days ago, my husband and I were invited to a Halloween party.  I already had a costume picked out...I love Halloween, I dress up every or NO party, lol.  But Matt didn't really have anything in mind.  So I went to Kmart and bought 2 cheap sweatshirts and came up with...a FLYING MONKEY!  This process has probably been done for many a school play or dress up, but here's my process. 

*Since it is a last minute thing, feel free to use tape, glue or staples to attach your components to the sweatshirt :o) 

I bought one hoodie for Matt to wear and the other to cut out my pieces.  Using a cardboard box (Matt also happens to be a Cheerios fiend, so we have plenty of boxes around the house), draw out whatever ear shape you want...make sure it's a little bigger than you want to allow for seams.
Pin right sides together and sew along edges.  Leave open space to turn inside out.
Once you turn it out, run a stitch around the outer edge, about 1/4" to make the "fold" in the top of the ear.
Pin to hood of sweatshirt where you would like to attach them.  Since it's a monkey, place on the sides.  I used my walking foot and a zig zag stitch and sewed the crap out of these so they wouldn't fall off.  The fabric is a bit thick, but I swear, you don't have to hand sew this.  Again, feel free to glue or staple in place.  Ears are done!

For the tail, I cut off the bottom band of the sweatshirt, folded it in half, long ways, right sides together and sewed it down one side.  To turn it out is a huge pain, so I stopped half way, lol.  BUT this worked to my advantage because it practically stuffed it's self!
It has a natural bend to it already!  Unfortunately, I couldn't fit this under my walking foot and had to hand stitch to the bottom middle of hoodie.

For the wings, I had some old fabric on hand, used the other side of my handy Cheerios box and made a wing pattern, cut out, pinned and sewed together, just like with the ears.  BUT, I sewed all the way around, no need to turn out, I just trimmed up the uneven edges.
Pin to back of hoodie, I just tacked them in place with a few stitches...again people, glue or staples.  OR some of that fusible iron on stuff would probably work with the wings.

And Viola!  A flying monkey is born!

Hubby is a good sport. Next year we'll try not to be so last minute, but I was pretty proud of this quickie costume!  Hope you all had a happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

scrappy sock scarf--halloween edition!!

today i am going to emily's halloween parade.  i don't necessarily want to dress up, but i'd like to show some "spirit"...get it, "spirit" heh heh....

i had purchased a 2 pack of halloween knee socks from walmart a couple of months ago for $5.  then i realized that i got ripped off, but was too lazy to return them.  i have been resenting these socks since then.  until last night...payback.  i turned those socks(plus a pair that i already had, but never wore) into a scarf that now actually feels worth the 5 bucks!!  i found this idea over @ ruffles and stuff a while ago!

i used two pairs of knee socks and one pair of ankle socks.  you can basically use whatever you need to get the length that you like!!  you'll see an extra sock in my pic...that was an old dirty one.  needless to say, it didn't get used!!

cut the socks apart like so...
lay the pieces out in a pattern you like...
then take one piece and turn it inside out, and place it over its neighbor.  line up the edges and stitch together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
turn right side out and repeat until you run out of pieces! 
i used the elastic ends of the socks for the beginning and end, and just left them open.  when i was finished i gave it a quick press. 

this only took me about an hour to do! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

back to the drawing board

and what might this be?  this is my failed attempt at making an e reader pouch for my mom.  the major downfall with this is that it helps to actually have the item in order to take proper measurements, and to just have an all around visual as you go.

i have the right idea, but i need to tweak a couple of things.  my brother also suggested that i add a piece of cardboard or chipboard for extra stability.  i don't know if i'm feeling that ambitious though!

i'm not sure if these exist for purchase around the interweb, but i really wanted to give it a go myself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Things I Learned

Mostly the hard way, while making my first quilt.

1.  Cut fabrics EVENLY!  Then you won't have to lop off most of the boarder to get it to look somewhat square.
2.  Make quilt blocks SQUARE to avoid having to cut off the boarder, 1 & 2 go hand in hand.
3.  Take your time!  It's not a race!
4.  When actually machine quilting, check your tension UNDER the quilt so you don't end up with a mess like this: 

*I had a few of these piles.

5.  Have fun!  I so enjoyed making my first quilt.  And even though it's not perfect, I learned a lot and I have already started my next one.  (I hope to post a mini tutorial soon!)

There are a few other little ones, including:  Don't wash pre-cut fabrics before you're going to cut them (You end up with frayed edges and shrinkage).  I misted my fat quarters with water then pressed with my iron...also, if you don't have an ironing board, make sure the towel you're using isn't on top of your cutting mat.  Yes, they warp...OOPS!

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

emily's poodle skirt is finally finished...or so i thought!!

well, better late than never!  i have no "progress pics" from emily's poodle skirt because i thought that my camera was broken.  when, in reality, my darling son had some how gotten into the menu and changed the settings on me!!  stinker.  so now it is complete...
well, it can't be that easy, right?  when i tried it on emily, she was SWIMMING in it!!  so  now i have to take in the waste, like, ALOT!  i also have to cut about 3 inches off of the bottom!  who does the sizing for these patterns anyway?!

at least i figured this out with plenty of time to fix it!  sheesh!

Monday, September 27, 2010

a poodle skirt...the beginning.

Hi, Tina here!  Tonight I started on Emily's poodle skirt for Halloween.  I know, I know...Halloween is still 34 days away, but if I screw this up, I'll need some time to recover! 

I'm using McCall's MP372(found at at a Walmart near you)  This is not the first time that I've used McCall's, but I always seem to struggle with them at one point or another(you'll see!).  That could just be part of my inexperience though! 
I ordered 2 yards of felt.  2 YARDS--for a skirt to fit a string bean 4 year old!!  I took it out of the box and thought it was a "Snuggie"!  So maybe I bought a tad too much, but I can always use the leftovers...and it would really suck if I came up short.
I found the pattern pieces that I would need, and laid the pieces on the floor.  I like doing this on the floor, those full pattern pieces are ginormous!  I rubbed out the wrinkles and cut on the appropriate lines.
I placed my pieces on the felt.  This is where I got confused.  When the pattern says "Place on fold"--this is not a suggestion!  Place it ON the FOLD!  Follow the diagrams, it works, trust me! 
Once I figured out how to follow the directions, I pinned my pieces and cut them out.
Since the skirt is for Halloween, I decided to use the cat.  I scotch taped it to the black felt and cut it out.  OK, so maybe that's not the appropriate way to cut something out...but i didn't have any fancy spray adhesive or even a white chalk I made due!
Next, I used my old buddy-Liquid Stitch, to glue on some sequined trim for her collar.  Cats wear collars, right?
At the moment, I have the trim weighted down until it drys(I'll trim the excess tomorrow).  I thought that I had some green buttons for her eyes, but I can't find them!  This is where I called it a night!

Not bad for 90 minutes of work.  It would have been less, but I had to get passed reading the instructions!   In my opinion, its easier to take it one step at a time...don't read ahead!  You'll end up looking back and forth from the fabric to the directions thinking that it would just be easier to buy the finished product instead of sewing it yourself! 

On a side note... You will notice that my sister's pictures are WAY better than mine!  I'm still using a crappy, almost 5 year old point and shoot---that my son likes to throw around!  Marie has a gorgeous Nikon DSLR.  Seriously, angels sing when this thing comes out of the case!  Well, they do in my head anyway!!   Thanks for reading! :o)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome to The Clumsy Spider!  Please allow us to introduce ourselves.  We are twin sisters Tina and Marie.  We have always loved being crafty and creating things.  Recently, we discovered our love of sewing.   However, we are by no means experts.  Thus far, it is all trial and error. We are self taught and finding our way; which means stumbling through patterns, navigating through instructions, and watching endless hours of tutorials.  And the fabric?!  Yum. 
We are inspired by gorgeous patterns, fabric and creativity.  Follow along with us as we mess up, problem solve, and triumph(we hope)!
 Please bare with us while we set up our new blog!  You can still read along on our personal blogs Tina's Place and Wishful Thinking!