Friday, July 27, 2012

Exploding Popsicle Stick Ninja Stars

Up at girl's camp I was in charge of putting together a craft/service project for our girls. Unfortunately, due to the hot weather or the fact that they're 15 years old teenage girls, not many participated fully. As a result I came home with TONS of extra Popsicle sticks. 

I was putting them away when this idea popped back into my head. I remember playing with these as a kid, don't know when or what the occasion was, but I figured my little boy would have a blast.

Boy was I right!

These are so easy to make. Start with two sticks and make an upside down V.

Put a third stick in the middle of that

Then slide one up about half way, with the two sides on top and the middle stick beneath. (or vise versa, just alternate)

Lastly, use one last stick that alternates opposite of the previous and this will secure the 'ninja star'

Now toss them at the ground and watch them pop apart! 

They're pretty much harmless and the mess is easy to pick up. My little man has been having fun with these for the last couple days and just giggles and giggles when they explode!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Make Your Own Baby Food - Sweet Potatoes

I'm back with another baby food recipe.

Today I'm sharing a staple veggie that my babies have both loved, sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are cheap very affordable and they are packed with vitamin A & C and tons of potassium as well!

They are so easy to make!

Just wash and scrub them and place on a pan (I like to put tin foil under so there's no clean up)

Poke them all over a bunch of times with a knife or fork and bake at 425 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Allow them to cool for a bit then either take a spoon and scoop the flesh out of the skin 

or peel the skin off - whichever you prefer.

Place into a food processor or blender and add a little water (or breastmilk)

Blend until smooth

I bought the sweet potatoes at $0.88/lb and made 9 and 1/4 jars. For me it worked out to $0.14/jar! So much cheaper than store bought and fresher too!

Store in the fridge for about 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Tie A Quilt - Universal Stitch

I'm so glad that so many of you enjoyed my t-shirt quilt tutorial. I'm very happy with how it turned out. We got hit with a nasty cold at my house so I'm just getting around to this post on how to hand finish a quilt with a universal stitch - at least that's what I was told it was called. 

So why tie a quilt this way and not with a regular old knot? Well, a knot can slip out in the wash over time and this one is not going anywhere!

So to start, thread your need with the yarn you're using and cut a good sized length. If you're tying your quilt in all the same color, go ahead and use a really long length and don't bother cutting between each tie. Just pull the yarn to the end for the first tie and keep going from there.

Begin on the top and go through all layer of the quilt to the bottom.

Now come through all the layer back to the top. Nice and easy so far.

Now it's a little tricky to explain, but hopefully the pictures will help.

Go through the top half only, beginning next to the first hole

and come up next to the second hole.

Pull your yarn all the way through 

when you're all done you can clip them all to the same length and you're done!

I used different colors of yarn depending on where the tie was.

There you go, the universal stitch for hand tying a quilt. Hope I was able to explain it clearly, enjoy!

Happy Monday! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

T-Shirt Quilt - How to Make Your Own

I'm finally back from camp. I spent a week in the mountains camping with hundreds of teenage girls from our church in my area. It was really fun, but boy did I miss my kids and modern conveniences - like a flushing toilet!

On with the tutorial

This is the biggest project I've worked on since having my second baby. It was a lot of work, but I absolutely love how it turned out. I finished it just before leaving for camp so I'm just now getting around to sharing it. 

Do you have a ton of t-shirts that you want to turn into a memory quilt? Here's how I made mine...

First I started by cutting off the neck and sleeves of all the shirts. 

I figured that the squares would be 14" based on the t-shirt with the biggest design. 

Once I had all the t-shirts cut out, I laid them down and played with their placement and I realized I wanted something in between the squares. 

So I did some planning. The friend I made this for wanted it more like a lap blanket than a bed quilt. So my dimensions were approximately 60" x 70". I wrote out the pattern of the colors and then came up with the idea for the part in between each square. 

I used some scrap cardboard to make templates for the different pieces. A 3" square for the center of inner border. There other template is 14" x 6" to make two strips of the inner border.

More cutting

Here is the tentative pattern after cutting all the pieces out.

And even more cutting....every piece is backed with medium weight fusible interfacing. I cut all the pieces of that and then ironed it on to the back. The interfacing gives the t-shirts a bit more weight and also prevents them from stretching too much when sewing them together.

So finally you'll get to the sewing. Basically I worked in rows. I started at the top and worked to the right. You'll put the right sides together and sew them.

I used about a 1/4" seam allowance, or just lined it up with my presser foot.

Once a line was sewed together I turned them over and ironed the seams down to keep it from being too bulky. 

Here is the finished quilt top. Naturally with a 4x4 pattern, it turned out to be a square. So I had to add a little to the top and a little to the bottom to make it more of a rectangle. 

Here is what happens when I tried to work on it while my kids are awake...hehe

Anyway, here's my solution. I added half a square to the top and bottom along with the inner border.

Ta da!

If only it were done with that. I finished it off with an outer border. 

I took grey fleece about 7" wide and 2 1/2 yards long and sewed to the edges. 

I made my first attempt at mitered corners. They're actually really easy. So fold diagonally so that the fabric from the two sides line up. 

Line up a straight edge with the edge of the fabric and mark to create a continuous line. 

Pin and sew along this line. 

Once the corners are done, you can cut off the excess fabric on each of the corners. 

This is the backing I made. To close the quilt I sewed around most of the blanket with the right sides facing and then flipped it inside out. 

Lastly, I top stitched it and tied the quilt.

 I'll have a separate tutorial on tying the quilt for another day. 

Et Voila!

 Like I said, I'm so happy with how it turned out. Now I just have to get up the courage to make one for myself. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Well I hope everyone's 4th was great! Ours was an adventure to say the least. We spent 4 hours in the ER. Yuck!

My poor little man took a bad fall at the park and hit his head. He got 4 stitches and an orange popsicle.

Luckily he's doing much better today. 

I've got a fabulous tutorial coming up on a t-shirt quilt I finished just prior to the accident. I'll be working on that and hopefully have that soon for you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Onesie Bouquet

Do you ever get bored of giving gifts in the same way; bag or box? 

Don't get me wrong, a gift is kind and generous no matter what shape it comes in, but I sometimes get bored of putting it in a bag. So I was thinking with my friend's baby shower coming up how am I going to do this different. I started thinking along the line of diaper/onesie cake, but that was going to be a ton of onesies. So I played around with rolling them up and noticed that they looked like flowers - if you used your imagination :-D. 

Here's what I did (please excuse the horrible pictures - about 90% of my crafting takes place at night so bear with me)

Start with a onesie - any size.

Simply fold the edges of the onesie in and then fold in half. 


Roll from the bottom end toward the neck. I tied with a small bit of yarn, but you can also use rubber bands.

Then I took these little dowels and used them as the stems

To complete the bouquet I used some fake flowers, leaves, and a basket from the dollar store.

I did get one receiving blanket and put that in the bottom to hold the dowels. 

It was a huge hit at the shower and my friend loved it. Give it a try next time you're invited to a baby shower! You could also use things like bibs, wash cloths, burp rags, etc and mix it in with clothes to give a good variety of items. 

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