Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Happy Blog-iversary

I absolutely cannot believe the blog is 4 years old today. I started writing this little blog to keep track of little craft and sewing projects I did with baby girl, as well as some day to day work stuff. Little did I know that it would eventually be making money, and driving traffic to my Pattern Shop. WHATTTTTT???????

I had barely sewn my first dress when I started writing Grits & Giggles. Sewing that dress turned into sewing more dresses. Which turned into comments asking where my patterns were from. Which led to me drafting my own patterns to use. Which led to people actually wanting to BUY my patterns. 

I have really enjoyed sharing my sewing, life, and family with you these last 4 years. Your comments and questions make crafting so much more enjoyable, and I have learned so much from each of you.

I hope I can continue to share creativity and joy with you!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tiny Closet Craft Organization

I used to have a craft room. It was beautiful, with tons of room for all of my sewing, embroidering, vinyl, etc. But as life changes, so does our available space. I now have a craft "closet". I do have a sewing table with my machine and a few notions in it, but all of my other supplies and machines were left homeless. And while homeless, they were vulnerable to the tiny Tasmanian devils that live with me. Just let the boy child near a craft closet and total destruction will occur.

This is what my craft closet (and table) looked like the night I decided that it was time for a change...

The chair is on the table because a certain Tasmanian devil likes to climb ON the table. Yikes. There's patterns everywhere, random fabrics, notions, threads....

Stuff piled on the floor because it wouldn't fit on the overcrowded shelves...

Ahhhhh!! I cannot live this way. So I don't...anymore. 

 So one night after the kids were in bed, I got busy. I took everything out of the closet, threw away the things that were broken, unwanted, or unusable, and made sure that everything that was being kept had its own place. 

I used inexpensive storage solutions to keep everything together. Some of these I've had for a while, and some where new. Most of the organizational items were repurpose during this clean out!

Photo boxes make great craft storage. Why? Because they stack neatly and can be labeled! That's next on my list, is to actually label the boxes.

These craft boxes hold everything from spools of ribbon to hot glue to fabric paint and googly eyes.

You know...the essentials.

The white storage bookcase was from target a couple of years ago, but you can find cube organizers anywhere at lots of price points. The drawered organizers can be found at any big box store.

I used the fabric bins to store my folded fabric, and the drawers to store other notions, patterns, and miscellaneous items.

You can find great deals on storage containers at the dollar stores, chain stores, or at your local thrift store if you're willing to look! The transformation of my tiny craft closet took only a couple of hours, but it has completely changed the time it takes for me to find things and create!

The very last thing I bought for my craft closet was the best 75 cents I could spend...a latch! No more Tasmanian devils in my neatly organized craft closet.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Baxter and Sam

I did my first ever 3-D sewing this winter. I sewed some teddy bears!! I wanted something loveable to gift along with the quilts for my cousin's twins, and thought a new sewing project would be a good idea.

I used The Wool and Liberty Bear pattern from the Purl Bee. They have the most beautiful projects for sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Their bear was made from a lovely wool, but I wanted something soft, but a little vintage looking. I found some of the super-soft microsuede that I've used for so many projects, and decided to use accent pieces from leftover quilt squares.

I lovingly named them Sam and Baxter

They actually turned out better than I had planned, and were easier to make than I imagined.

Each one pairs so nicely with their coordinating quilt.

I'll let the twin's parents decide who gets which one, or if they'll change the names. They're hard to let go of after they've been starring at me so long now. I know they'll love their new home.

At least I know they're going the same home. Twin bears, for twin girls. I hope they love them as much as I loved making them.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Prepping for Baby

Two years ago we had a fun couple of weeks called Becoming Mommy. We had lots of tutorials and ideas for babies and Mommies!

With my cousin's babies coming this spring, it got me thinking about babies again! Here are some fun tutorials for gifts for little ones and Mommies-to-Be in your life.

Monday, April 13, 2015

3-Seam Plastic Bag Holder {Tutorial}

How many of you have a plastic bag collection that looks like this???

Yeah...embarrassing, and  taking up space in my pantry floor. I use green bags at the grocery store, but every now and then I end up with a plastic bag coming home with me. I keep them and try to reuse them, but storing them was unsightly. So I needed a new plan...a bag holder. This little baby has only 3 seams (not including the strap) and will hold 10-15 plastic bags.


Cotton, quilting or home decor weigh cut to 15"x18"
Elastic cut to 10" ( I used 1/2" wide, but you can use what you have)
A strap-use ribbon, or cut a piece of your fabric to 3"x18"
Sewing things

(Sure, I could have ironed my fabric before taking pictures, but I was impatiently wanting to organize. Ironing can wait.)

Take your large piece of fabric and finish the long edges first. For the top edge: turn the edge under 1/4" then another 1/4" and sew.

For the bottom, this will be a casing for your elastic. Turn the bottom up enough to fit your elastic, then turn the edge under 1/4" to hid the raw edge. Sew these two hems.

If you are making your strap from fabric, fold it in half long ways, then fold the outside edges in to the middle, This will give you a sturdy strap with no raw edges. Sew down both long edges to finish the strap.

Using a safety pin or other tool, insert your elastic into your casing. Securely sew the edges of the elastic to the edges of your fabric. 

Decide where you want your straps to go on your bag. I put my straps halfway between the edge and the middle of the rectangle that will be my bag. Remember, the bag is still flat so you can easily measure where your straps need to go if you want!

Secure the straps to the bag with a straight stitch, or make it fancy and sew a box of stitches around the bottom of the strap.

Now, fold your rectangle right sides together, and sew the main seam. Use a large zig zag stitch to finish the edges if you like.

Now, turn your bag right side out, and stuff with your bags! The elastic bottom allows you to remove the oldest bags, and the open top allows you to add new ones easily.

Hang it from your closet door, or a hook in your pantry for easy access. Now your bags are neat, off the floor, and discrete!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Photography Class

As the weather starts to warm up, a lot of us will be heading outside for spring pictures. You want to photograph your family in those newly blooming flowers, and super green fields.

But what if your photography skills could use a little help? I have the answer for you..

Photography Classes from Craftsy!!

Most of us don't have time to sit in on a schedule photography class, so this online classroom is the perfect fit. You can start and stop the tutorials, rewind, ask questions, and see what others in your class are doing as well. It's the perfect interactive experience, all from your own home.

If you haven't given Craftsy classes a try yet... what are you waiting for?? They are great and you won't regret it!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Twin Quilts

I finished the quilts for my cousin's twins in plenty of time before they were born. This is different than my usual last-minute gift scrambling! I was so happy to put these together for their teal and orange nursery. I wanted to put names or monograms on the quilts themselves, but I wanted their mommy and daddy to pick which baby got which color.

I chose neutral backings for each quilt.  A pretty gray damask for the teal quilt...

And a gray and white polka dot for the orange quilt.

I quilted them with an allover grid, outlining the seam lines of each patchwork square. It adds nice texture without competing with the patterns in the fabrics.

They are of course bound with my favorite black and white stripe binding. The perfect frame for a finished quilt. These are slightly larger than crib sized, so they will last for a long time as warm blankets or soft playmats. I can't wait to watch these two babies grow and snuggle them!!

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