Happy Spring: Free printable place cards

Printable Spring Place Cards | katherinelenius.comSpring has finally arrived and it's actually starting to look and feel like spring up here in the tundra. Tulips poking out of the ground, the robins and red-wing blackbirds are back, and we had a spring storm last night. It's lovely. I've always been a fan of autumn, but I love spring more and more every year. In celebration of spring I have a free printable treat for you: spring place cards! Use them for Easter this weekend or use them for any kind of spring gathering. I'll be using them tomorrow for my Birthday Brunch (yes, I throw myself a birthday brunch, why not?!). placecard-closeupThis printable started with a new pattern collection I created called "Spring and Hop", which you can find in my Spoonflower shop - it's all available to purchase there. I decided to make a table runner and some napkins with the fabric I ordered and I love how it turned out. I used a yard each of linen-cotton canvas fabric in the Spring and Hop pattern for the top of the runner and Spring Leaves for the back. Then I used a yard of the Spring Garden fabric to make 6 square napkins.

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A table runner is really easy to make yourself and so fun for seasonal occasions. It's basically just a long rectangle. I measured some that I already have and in the end my runner ended up being about 14 inches wide and 73 inches long but a table runner can really be any size you want. If you want your runner to be one continuous piece of fabric you'll need more than a yard of fabric but since this was just for me I purchased one yard (saving some money) and pieced together two strips of fabric. I have a seam down the middle of the runner but once it's on the table with a centerpiece you can hardly tell it's there. You could simply cut your fabric to size and finish the edges but I decided to add a layer of contrasting fabric on the back and then I wrapped the back fabric around to the front to create a border with mitered corners. I used the same technique I used to make my scrap baby quilt by following this tutorial from Gingercake.

Napkins are quite easy to make too. Just cut your fabric into squares, mine ended up being 18"x18" because I wanted to get 6 napkins out of my yard of fabric. I used the same process for the mitered corners that I use when making tea towels. You can follow this great tutorial from Tanya at Dans le Lakehouse.

Printable Spring Place Cards | katherinelenius.comDownload Spring Printable Place Cards

NOW, for your printable! There are 6 place cards on the page, sized to print on an 8.5"x11" letter size piece of paper. After printing, cut them out and then fold in half. I've left a white area to write the names of your guests. You'll notice the pattern mirrors itself on the card so when you fold it both sides of the card will be facing the right direction. I hope you enjoy the place cards! Let me know if you use them for a fun gathering.

** Printing Notes ** For the best quality when printing at home use good paper - I like Epson Premium Presentation Paper Matte or you can use cardstock. Adjust your printer settings to print at the highest quality and print "actual size." For personal use only please.

 

Fat Quarter Jersey Infinity Scarf

Scarf Who likes to make stuff?! I do! (But you know what I don't like? Taking pictures of myself. So don't pay too much attention to the photo above.) I also love scarves and when this trendy little accessory falls out of favor I will cry into my infinity scarf. I love infinity scarves and I don't care what you say about that. I'm a 30-something mom who wears infinity scarves, skinny jeans, and tall boots. Guess what, I also drive a minivan! Back to the infinity scarf: I think they're fun and pretty and frankly, very practical in these parts because it's COLD here. I'm wearing one right now...along with a fleece jacket because I work in my basement and it's frigid.

Spoonflower prints on a lovely fabric called modern jersey and back when they were offering 2 for 1 fat quarters I ordered 1 fat quarter each of my Vintage Petals and Vintage Petals Ditsy in modern jersey because I've wanted to try making an infinity scarf with them. I used these two tutorials as a starting point: The Fat Quarter Infinity Scarf from Sew Homegrown and the Modern Jersey Infinity Scarf Tutorial from Emma Jeffery on the Spoonflower blog. If you'd like to make your own I really recommend you check them out. There's a reason I don't write sewing tutorials: I would suck at it. I really enjoy sewing and I'm good at it, but something happens when I try to improvise and strike out on my own. Lots of swearing and seam-ripping and putting things together multiple times because I'm no good at visualizing how everything goes together. But as far as sewing projects go this is a really easy one. Perfect beginner project and anyone can do it. Here's how my project went down:

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You'll need two fat quarters of fabric. Fold one piece in half (right sides together) the long way and cut along the fold. You'll end up with 2 pieces of fabric approx. 9x28". Repeat with the other fabric.

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Connect your two pieces of fabric by aligning the short sides (right sides together) and sew the short short side.  Repeat with your other fabric so you have two long pieces of fabric.

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Put your two long pieces of fabric right sides together and sew each long side, creating essentially a long tube of fabric.

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Reach your arm down the tube and pull the other side up, aligning it with the other side, matching up seams. Sew around the circle, leaving a 4" opening for turning. Pull the scarf through the opening and hand sew the opening closed.

If I were to make this again I would likely add more fabric so I could have a longer, fuller scarf, but I also like projects that utilize such a small amount of fabric. Voila! Infinity scarf! And the great part is you can utilize all the fun and unique prints available on Spoonflower or go to the fabric store and pick out something wonderful just for you for a custom scarf. Then you can take a picture of yourself wearing it and post it online so I don't feel all alone. Happy sewing!

Woodland Christmas Animals cut & sew ornaments available

xmas_woodland I have so much fun thinking up Christmas projects I'd like to do: decor projects, fabric designs, advent calendars, handmade gifts and goodies. These are the times Pinterest just makes me feel inadequate. My list is far longer than I will EVER have time for, but occasionally I actually complete one of those projects and today I'm sharing one!

I've been wanting to design more cut-and-sew patterns for Spoonflower for awhile. These are designs where the whole project is printed on to fabric and you can just cut out the pieces and sew them together. Spoonflower has an incredible selection of these cut and sew designs: Christmas trees, advent calendars, dolls, toys, ornaments, tote bags, costumes, the list goes on (I've purchased a few myself). I decided to make some Christmas ornaments as a cut and sew project that would fit on one 8 inch swatch of fabric.

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I have fond memories of ornaments like this from my parent's Christmas ornament collection. Back in the early years of their marriage, when I was just a baby, these sewn and stuffed ornaments were pretty popular. My Dad also painted a number of wooden ornaments so they could easily fill up our family Christmas tree. I've designed five different woodland animals that can be sewn into Christmas ornaments.

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If you'd like to make your own you simply choose the design(s) you want in my Spoonflower shop and order it as an 8x8" test swatch. Here are the links: Woodland Christmas Deer, Raccoon, Fox, Owl, Rabbit. This will work on a number of fabrics - I chose the new eco-canvas but you could also do quilting cotton, linen-cotton canvas, cotton twill, or faux suede. No matter what fabric you choose, a test swatch is always $5. The directions are pretty simple and are included on the swatch. You basically just sew the front and back pieces together with right sides facing, insert a ribbon loop for hanging between the two pieces, and leave a couple inches for turning. You can also add a layer of batting (like I did) or use some fiberfill to stuff the ornament. Then you hand-sew the opening closed, press if needed, and you're done! It's a fairly simple process. But if I'd done a good job taking photos as I sewed these together you could be witness to the time when I sewed the ribbon loop inside out, or the other time when I put the ribbon loop on the outside instead of between the two pieces. These are the silly mistakes I almost always make when sewing. You'll probably also want some kind of tool to help you turn the ornament right side out to get all those "soft corners" turned well. You'll also notice that, since making my samples, I've made an alteration to the deer ornament and made the bottom edge solid instead of going around each leg - you'll thank me for that.

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I hope you really enjoy these ornaments - I had a great time designing and making them. Now back to my list!

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** By the way, if you'd like to check out other Christmas projects I've done, you can see this blog post that includes some free printable gift tags using the designs I created to make some custom ornaments for my kids and nieces and nephews last year. There's also an "Owl I Want for Christmas" christmas list printable on the Freebies page. Help yourself & happy holidays! **

**** You can't tell, but that first picture up top was taken outside this morning when it was about 10 degrees and I looked like an idiot, freezing my fingers off, taking pictures by the tree in my front yard. You're welcome. ****

 

Welcome Baby: Drawing & Quilting

jungle-elephant No, not MY baby! My sister's baby, which is the next best thing if you ask me. I get to cuddle and snuggle without getting up for 3am feedings. It's lovely to be an aunt. And of course a new baby means new baby gifts. I love to make things for new babies. I typically go way over board with ambitious plans to make every single cute baby thing I've come across in my sewing books and the internet. In this case my sister already asked me to make some art prints for the new nursery. She wanted jungle animals so I decided to take the giraffe illustration I worked on for my ABSPD class and revamp it a little bit. Then I created similar illustrations of an elephant and monkey. I think they turned out pretty cute - I hope she does as well! Since we didn't know the gender of this baby until last week I tried to keep it gender-neutral, which, let's face it, always ends up leaning more toward the "boy" end of the spectrum. But it does match the bedding and wall color, so I think we'll be okay.

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I didn't know if I was going to get to a sewing project this time around because I've been so busy with other things lately (hello end of the school year!), but once that baby girl arrived last week the first thing I did was come home and dust off my sewing machine. I knew I needed an easy and relatively quick project because I only had two days to complete it before we headed out of town to visit my new niece. I decided to use the adorable scraps of fabric I already had on hand and found directions for this scrap baby quilt from Gingercake. I think I literally did a google search for "easy baby scrap quilt" ( I love the internet!). I cut a few corners on my version: I kept the whole quilt as 5 inch squares to save some cutting time and I also hand tied the quilt with pink yarn versus machine quilting the top. Remember how I'm a lazy and impatient quilter? I also used a variety of colors instead of sticking to one color family. I love the mono-chromatic look of the original, but didn't feel like I had enough to work with in the "pink" family. I also added a few rows to mine to make it a little bit bigger, so it ended up being 7x10 squares or about 32"x45". The turned over backing/binding with the mitered corners worked like a charm and may be my new go-to method for finishing off a quilt. So easy and a great finish. I always love the look of a scrap quilt. They're so colorful, fun, and look handmade in the best way.

claras_quiltWe had some squares leftover so my daughter decided to get in on the action and she made a smaller baby doll quilt for the new baby's 2 year-old sister. Didn't she do well?

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Welcome baby girl! We're so glad you're here!