Super Hero Set

So, forever ago I pinned these super hero templates from Martha Stewart…it seems to be a very popular pin – I guess Super Heroes just never go out of syle!

Anywho, I tweaked them a bit – changed the sizes, made some templates of my own, and got rollin – the kiddos are absolutely overjoyed – they don’t want to take them off!


That was my fun sewing last week – jump in make some for your favorite supers, or if your not feeling so crafty, I’d be more than happy to make you one or two or twelve –

These are listed in my Square Shop (look under Gifts & Novelty Items) and on Etsy.

If you make some, I’d love to see!


No Sew T Shirt to Dress

It took me longer to write this tutorial than to make the dress – no joke.

Give it a shot!

First, grab your supplies –  I started with a youth size medium sleeveless racerback T shirt – this will work with any sleeveless shirt with a binding.  We’ll try it with a regular t shirt next time…

You will also need –

  • IMG_1753Scissors or a seam ripper
  • About 3 – 3.5 yards of ribbon (1/8″ is easy to pull through – you could go up to 1/2″)
  • A Bodkin (this is a sewing tool used for threading elastic and turning things – mine is ball point) or a safety pin small enough to fit into the binding.  Make sure it’s nice and sturdy.

Grab  your scissors and start snipping:

No Sew Shirt to dress

Now grab your ribbon and bodkin or safety pin:

No Sew T shirt dress ribbon threading

A few close ups of the Ribbon Threading to help you along:

And there you go! Pull your ribbons through and tie off as desired, trim to the length you like.  I found it best to make sure the shirt is gathered in the front and not in the back – it will lay better that way.

Embellish your dress, and make it awesome! Here is ours finished (though as of yet unadorned) – best pictures I could get with my ‘I’m not so much in the mood for this right now’ model –


Hope you enjoy – Happy NO SEWING!!!!!

Because I can … BFFs FOREVER

Had an absolutely, marvelously wonderful time making these for a birthday gift for her BFF…IMG_0232 (1)

We have been friends since middle school, and now are our daughters are friends – so this was a very special project. I have been giddy since I finished them…

These were made by upcycling two matching tank tops donated by my nieces.  I added some sparkley mesh fabric as the skirt – each dress has pieces of the opposing tank…and I just couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out…


*Want one?  Custom Orders orders available in my Etsy Shop*

Or Make your own!  Here’s the PDF of the heart pattern I made for these – I traced it onto quilter’s template plastic – this can be found at most craft stores and easily online.


Best Friends (1)

T-Shirt Quilt Sew Along Part 7: The Binding

 This is the best part.

Because when you’re done, you’re done…

I had a plan for this one…and I made the mistake of working when I should have been sleeping. Don’t do that…but it worked out…and I think I like what I ended up with better than what I planned…

So, what I intended to do was make some diagonal strips with all of my leftover t-shirts in no particular pattern – just randomly picked up and cut into strips and sewn together…so I would have some white, grey, black, and gold in there.  Then, somewhere in the process, I would add some of those thin t-shirt pieces that I took of sleeves and shirts with smaller wording and images on them into the long strip of binding. That was the plan…

HOWEVER…due to my poor sleep habits, I somewhere came up with the idea just to do black and gold and work the t-shirt strips in…so I worked on that for a bit...hated it….went to bed. Almost in tears. It wasn’t hard…it was just…you know…unproductive….

This is what I ended up with when I stopped…adorable…if you want to make a bumble bee quilt or some caution tape…


So, if you want to do this, or something similar, just cut strips the same width. If you don’t want them to be the same size, cut them different widths.  They don’t have to match up in length.  Then, sew them together on the long cut edges.  If you want them to be straight, line them up straight, if you want them cut on a diagnoal, line them up with about a 1-2 inch overhang on each progressive strip.  I neglected to that on the one shown…but it will save you waste when you cut it for the binding.  Use your binding ruler, and cut it to the width you need.  I cut mine about 2.5″.  

And then threw it all in the scrap pile. Because maybe some day I’ll do a construction quilt or make a bumble be costume?  I’ll happily take a custom order for something of the sort… Sigh.  Moving on…

Here’s what I ended up doing in the end –

I cut some strips out of my leftover t-shirts, and my random skinny pieces from the shirts, cut those all the same height, and didn’t worry about the length.


I sewed them together as if I were making a long strip of bias tape (great tutorial for that over at – just scroll down about to the middle of the post if you are starting with strips already).  Basically, your are going to lay the strips on top of each other at a right angle, right sides together, and then sew a diagonal line…make sure that when you open it, they form a continous strip (sounds simple, right? It is, really, I PROMISE…just do practice first if you haven’t done it before…) IMG_3399 I didn’t make a full continuous length yet – I took a few long pieces and pinned them to quilt edges to see how I liked the placement with the t-shirt pieces…

And then pinned it around in a few places and made some adjustments…I ended up working on one edge at a time…this made my life easier. Because IMG_3404making my life easier is very important sometimes. This will work on a t-shirt quilt – probably not so much on a traditional one….

I picked an edge and started sewing. I did the sides first, then let the top and bottom binding overlap that.  I stitched over those once finished to make sure they were closed and wouldn’t get snagged…sorry, I didn’t get a picture of that – were at “go time” by now…I’ll try to get one later if you’d like to see it. You may be able to zoom in to the picture at the bottom of the post and see that?

All I did was fold it over, pin it in place and sew a straight stitch – I did not do the pressing, ironing folding over (I did press as I added the strips together). So, you I have a raw edge. It is not folded under and it is only sewn once…instead of attaching the binding, folding over and then stitching on again.  I just didn’t see that going well with t-shirt fabric…and I like the look of the raw edges.

Anyway, there’s the binding…all it’s finished glory. You’ll have to wait for the next post for the big reveal and full shot of the entire quilt…because I have to tell you the story of the man behind the quilt and why I enjoyed this project so very much. So, get sewing and I’ll get that last post up soon! In that post, I’ll also share some links to helpful tutorials and tips and some final thoughts on the process.  In the meantime, I’ll bask in the glory of having actually finished this project and loving it.  It’s a a beautiful moment…


T Shirt Quilt Sew Along Part 4: Sewing the Blocks and Top

This is the fun part – and where you get to see things start to coming together…

*Updated – all complete – Part 5 will get into a little more detail on the outer columns…because, really, how much can we absorb at once?  Enjoy!

This will be a long post with lots of pictures and some commentary on what I did. Remember that your quilt will be different, and you don’t have to do what I do – make it your own!  I just hope that you can learn something helpful.  Also, with this one being so long, please know that I will not be doing everything in this post in one sitting.  I will be chunking as much as possible – mostly because, really, who has the time to sit and do this all in one sitting?

Look at your layout, make a plan for the day or even hour that you have right now and think about what your stop point is. I am going to try to finish a colum in a sitting, but if I can’t, maybe I can just get trim pieces cut, or a couple of blocks ready to sew together…

I have all of my shirts pinned onto a sheet where I want them to land on the finished quilt, and I am taking them off as I work on each section.  This makes it easy to roll it up and put it away if you need (this actually happened when Papa came by – can’t get caught!!!)

I am going to start on the center column. That’s my main focus, so I want everything else to work with that. If all of your shirts are cut the same size, you can start wherever you want. This is one of those moments where I wish I had left everything uncut until I was sure about my layout…but at the end of the day, I think I am happy with it so far, so all is well…


/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3176.jpgI want everything to be the same width here…so I will take some of my leftover grey t shirts and make strips to widen the pieces that were too narrow. You have some options here…I decided to do strips because I want a more sort of quilted look. If you want to make this a little easier or faster and you have enough shirts to work with, you could just just stitch your pieces straight onto a full size block and let the raw edges show. May do that on another one someday. I’ll cut all my strips a little wider than I think they need to be, figuring I can always cut them smaller later…


I am laying them out around my shirt pieces to figure what direction etc I wanted them to end up…don’t forget … MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE! Now, I am going to sew the pieces together that don’t need trim, or that will be trimmed together. On the piece in this photo, I’ll go ahead and add the side trim so I can attach the longer pieces on the top and bottom without having to try to squeeze in the trim later.

Now to sew on the trim… And even things out a bit.  /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3181.jpg

I will attach the trim, flip everything to the back side and press my seams open – I neglected to take a picture of this – but I’ll try to get you one later. Proper quilting technique would be to sew your seams over together to the dark block, but I want add top stitching, so I opened them up instead so I would have two layers to sew.  I’m hoping this won’t cause a problem with durability later?  This is entirely up to you…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3183.jpgLittle bonus tip – see how everything waves a alittle after it’s sewn together? don’t worry too much about that – check your tension and all of that – I find that it ironed out nicely.  So, no biggie.  Also, you’ll see if you look closely, that I made a mistake in my trim measurements, and ended up adding more – it happens. It’s fixable.  Golden Rule.  Measure twice…cut once…sigh.

Now I get to work on Elmo..I don’t even want to attempt /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3186-0.jpgto make him his own block…so I’ll grab my basting spray and stick him where I want him. Any temporary fabric spray will work for this. Or even basting glue (did you know it comes it sticks?  Very handy for patches and such…completely off topic). The extra fabric will pull right off and the spray or glue will wash out.   I prefer the spray on things like this…just cause.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3188.jpgWith Elmo stuck on, I am just going to sew around him as closely as possible…I did a straight stitch because it is so small…you could do a zig zag or decorative stitch here.  Please don’t judge my not awesome stitching here.  Isn’t Elmo awesome? Still my favorite detail…

And now it’s time to to attach all of these blocks /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3190.jpgtogether…This part feels good…like some realy progress happening.

I did notice that my bottom block is cut a little close to edge, so I will add a strip there. I don’t think that would be a big deal if I were adding another block there, but that is where the binding will go, so I want a little more room to work. I’ll save that job for later, just in case I decide to add more blocks around the whole thing, or about how I want to do the binding.  I can change my mind, right?

So, there you go…one column done. Next I will lay that out with everything else that is waiting for blocks and see how it’s looking.


And me likes…so now I get to move on to the two surrounding rows…

All right, here goes some more…are we having fun yet?

I want these next rows to be a little  narrower than the center row – so they’ll kind of frame it – so I’ll do the same process again – measure how big the strips need to be, cut them a little bigger than that so I have room for mistakes.  I didn’t have any yellow t shirts, all I had was a yellow sweatshirt – but I am saving that for later…so off to Goodwill….I came with a bag full of yellow shirts…probably more than I need. When I started shopping, I was a little worried about everything being too many different shades of yellow and imagehaving to make sure I balanced those out with each other…but, alas, I hit the JACKPOT…4 Nashville Predators Gold Out shirts, and a Vandy bookstore shirt – all the same color. Because I’m HAPPY! They look a little different in the photo – lighting, different wear…but they all look great and matchy matchy in person…did I mention I’m HAPPY? Doesn’t take much…

Moving on…I’ll not bore you with going the the strip process again…just a few pics of the process – laying it out, etc…and I discovered a hole in one my shirts, which I marked to fix later.



imageMoving right along – here’s imagea shot of the seams ironed open…I turned it over and stitched about 1/8″ on both sides of the seam.  so it looks like this (ignore the waves…they’ll go away):

This is where I get a little nervous – I’ll measure all of the center column blocks and figure out how I want to center the gold blocks with those – and hopefully not forget to add my seam allowances…cross your fingers…

Here we sew again…

Here is the center all sewn together and trimmed up, and then the surrounding rows laid out so I can see if that’s going to work out…


/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3255.jpgOk…I think what I will do here is center the top blocks first. So I will measure the one on the center column and cut the gold one to the same size, plus my 1/4″ seam allowances.

For the second one, I want that to center with ticket block and will include the two skinny black pieces in that measurement.


And, for the third, that will center with bottom /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3257.jpgtwo pieces on the center row.  Probably should right down the measurements (and keep up with them) for the column on the other side…


imageOk. Decision time…I have decided at this point, rather than add that grey strip to the bottom on the center column, that I will frame the whole thing out in grey. So, there will be that, plus the binding. Maybe adding a little unnecessary work for myself, but I’m ok with that. I’ll probably change my mind anyway….

Because I want my designs centered, I am going to fold them in half, evened up on the design, and measure/cut from there. Not a good time to ignore the Golden Rule...
Before I cut, I’m going mark where I think I’m going to cut…and line that up with my block..just in case….

The top block and the bottom block should be only 1/4 longer…for the bottom seam….the center one will be 1/2 inch longer. Confused yet? Me too…

Looks like mine is a little too big…that is likely due to the fold…I’m kind of ok with that right now…because I can shave off the extra in a bit…I’m double checking and I’m cutting…

I am ONLY cutting the top and bottom right now…which, in this case, looks like the sides…but it’s not. I will cut the sides with the other blocks. Because I want to. Quilters, don’t hate. I would not attempt that on something larger than this….ok, maybe I would…

And I am having a DUH moment…I know I need an extra quarter inch on the bottom…and I have cut that…my marks turned out to be only about a quarter inch to big…so I can cut the top 1/4 inch shorter than the bottom…measuring from the design. I think I thought of this coming into to this point, but it just came back to me…lets double check that…and go for it…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ad2/48132766/files/2014/12/img_3263.jpgAnd I changed my mind…I am going to go ahead and cut the width…because I should. I know I want them to be about 11 wide, so I’m just going to grab all my blocks and make sure that s going to work…

Looks good…leaves about an inch and a half gold border on the widest grey block…so we are cutting to 11.5 inches wide for seam allowances on both sides.


Now I am going to center that up with the top block for the other gold column…and cut them the same…save some work later and I don’t have to keep up with measurements…



Shorted it a bit for the second block…but looks fine…I will just make the bottom block a little taller. Only I will know, right?


Ok. I am sewing all of these columns together and and adding them to center…

Easy stuff, right? Should be…seems it doesn’t Mather how much I measure, check, layout, measure, check, layout, repeat… I am destinedabout a half inch on the other. for mistakes….
I have about an inch and a half hangover on one column…


Ga. I’ll figure it out. I’m going to stick with the center columns to measure out the outer columns. It will work itself out, right? Ok. Moving on.

Here, we are laid out to figure out what to do next. My bottom blocks are pretty square and big compared to the others. , so I’m doing those like I did the others. Just to keep things consistent…

Now we have to figure out what to do with all of these random smaller pieces…I’m thinking I’ll make some long black strip blocks and just appliqué them on…might do the little chest emblems in a strip as wide as the blocks just to break things up a bit? Hmmmm…

I’ll save all those details for the next post just to keep you from losing your mind and move on to just putting the last 2 columns on…

Outer columns being put together is going much more smoothly than the gold ones...pretty much the same process – at this point, I’ve decided to hang it up on the wall – I just stuck a long strap in the wall with thumbtacks and clipped everything on with clothespins – Like this much more than spreading everything out on the floor.  Helps to visualize everything, too.



You can’t see it in the photo, but he is wearing a Vanderbilt shirt, ’cause that’s how we roll…

From this point, I got the side columns right and sewed them on, and the top is DONE.  And that just feels good – some how, I managed to not get a good shot of that, but here’s one of my elves…so that makes it ok…


I hope you are tackling your own T-shirt quilt by now! Stay tuned and we’ll get it all put together…I keep telling my family that it’s “almost done”…CAN’T WAIT!




All done with this post…see you next time!


Valentine’s Wardrobe 911

This is the story of how I saved an awesome sweater.

Ok – I’m not HUGE on Valentine’s Day. Most people that know me, know that.  I love the mush as much as the next girl, I just don’t get that we need a special day…that being said, we did…of course…have some fun with the day.  My husband is going to kill me but here goes —

The weekend before Valentine’s Day, we had our date…it was wonderful, awesome, fantastic – had a wonderful time together reconnecting and ignoring the rest of the world.  If you have children, you really should try it sometime.  Really. Just do it.  Whatever it takes.

Ripped Sweater

Here’s what I started with. This sort of thing really makes me want to cry.

So, on Valentine’s Day, my daughter and I had plans to meet Daddy for lunch…’cause, really, it’s all about her – and him setting the bar so high than none of your sons can ever reach it…I didn’t want to wear the same outfit…and I didn’t want to wear something else I wear all the time (jeans/red sweatshirt…yep).  SO, I thought I’d dig around and see what I could find – JACKPOT!

I’ve been wanting to do something with this awesome raglan sweater for the longest time…just wasn’t quite sure what yet…It’s a great sweater, new with the $48 price tag on it (don’t worry, I didn’t spend that…). Problem is, it has a huge gash across the front.  But, it’s still awesome.

I don’t knit. I don’t pretend to knit. I don’t even pretend that I want to learn to knit…and this was a very loosely knitted sweater – so there will be no putting it in the sewing machine and saying a prayer.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, and we love red…especially with black and white, I found a nice long strand of red satin ribbon, tucked in one end of the gash and started weaving it through. I started with the intention of doing a baseball stitch, but that didn’t work out.  So, I just did some criss crosses.  Here are the photos as I worked…

Long strand – I really can’t tell you how much I used – just make sure you have enough to weave through twice, with room for a bow at the end if you want it. I started in the middle of the ribbon.

Step 1 - tuck in the ribbon

Here is my first round of weaving – I just went in from the back (wrong side of shirt), came over to the other side, and then in from the top (right side of shirt). My entry points were about 4 rows apart – make them as far apart or close together as you like, just be consistent.

Here is the second round of weaving – same thing as the first round – you are just using that second half of the ribbon.  Make sure that you straighten out your ribbon as you go so it will lay flat and neat.  It will be much easier to do as you work rather than waiting until you are finished.


And here we are all done – I tied a little bow at the end, putting a knot in it so it would at least stay put. Once I know I like it (wear/wash/wear), then I will probably put a few stiches in it so that I don’t have to contstantly re-tie it.  Sorry for the odd selfie – I’ll try to get a real picture someday. Sigh.


AND, last but not least, here are Daddy & daughter sharing lots of love and mushiness…and caring not how awesome Mommy’s project came out…LOVE THEM SO MUCH!


Now, y’all head on out and share some love in the world.

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth.

1 John 3:18

If you write it, you will do it…

That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway…and I’m hoping you will all enjoy this little journey with me.  It’s a New Year, and our little home has had so many changes over the last year, it’s time to freshen things up a bit.  Let’s start by sharing some of those changes…and, please, hang with me for a bit – there are some plot twists here…

First, I have semi-retired from my “day job.”   For the last fifteen years or so, I have had the pleasure of sharing with the world a wonderful reading program called Beacon Literacy.  It’s a truly amazing program, and I have had the oppornity to work with some incredible and dedicated educators, some fantastic children that will forever have a piece of my heart, and watch all of these people take and run with this program and change thousands of lives in the process.  So, why, then, would anyone want to walk from that?  Well, the trouble is, when you work with students, most of that work comes after school hours and that means time away from your own children after school…and, well, with three of my own, that just wasn’t working for me.  Nothing wrong with a working mom- don’t get me wrong – it just didn’t work for my family.  With my husband’s schedule being what it is, that left lots of days where I needed a sitter, or had to drag my kids along with me or threaten them within an inch of their lives bribe them to be quiet for the hour or two that I needed to properly attend the student or tutor I might be working with.

And, so, after lots of prayer, deliberation, conversations, planning, etc…we decided it was time to walk away.  For those of you reading this that know me, you should know that I will never truly be able to completely walk away.  The web page, the facebook page, the tutors, the colleagues still using the program – all of those will remain intact.  I even still answer phone calls, offer support, etc.  So, if you need us, we’ll always be here.

During those years with Beacon, I was introduced to the Irlen Method – and that’s another long story that we won’t go into today and something else I will always do. I will add some links at the bottom of this post so that you can find out more about Beacon and Irlen should  you be so inclined.

Ok, now let’s get a little more personal.  We got a new dog.  A friend was moving, and unable to keep her…so we were MORE than happy to add her to the family.  We now have two chocolate labs…and they are awesome, and a pain in the neck, and active, and so precious.

AND we are…how do we say this?…”borrowing” a couple more kids for I don’t really know how long!  These boys have grown our family from from 5 to 7.  Yep.  Seven people.  And all the laundry and activity and food and excitement and sorrow and fun that come with each and every one of them.  So, yes, we are very busy, busy, busy.  This change is only temporary…but how long tempory is remains to be seen.  So, we have five children in the house – four of school age.  Four with homework. And extracurricular activities.  And a need for shoes, clothes, stuff, support, etc.  I’m tired just thinking about it.  But, it’s awesome, and such a  tremendous blessing to us.

So, let’s get down to the sewing stuff…cause that’s why you are really here, right?  I think I already said somewhere on some other post that the reason I began to sew is because I, well, had a daughter.  And it’s incredibly fun to buy pretty things for her…but it can get pricey…so it’s really a bit more economical to make things…you also have so many more options…tons, and tons of options.  Limitless.options. OH MY.  So much to make, so little time.

Folks that know me know I’m extremely thrifty, and love to repurpose things, find deals, etc…so the problem is that can get a little addicting…and now I’m a little overwhelmed with the amount of projects I have piled up.  Maybe soon I’ll get brave and show you some pictures of just how bad my problem is. MAYBE.  The issue is…I like to sew with sheets, or repurpose other clothing/items/etc…and those things are so readily available…and it’ SO HARD.  And then, something else happens… your friends and family find out what you are up to…and they bring you things.  Beautiful, amazing, wonderful, fantastic things that you just KNOW you create something amazing with.  And, before you know it, your husbands “workshop” has been overtaken with sheets, fabrics, linens, clothes, trims, threads, notions, and various and sundry other fabulous items…and someday…someday…you’re going to actually have time to make something…and, sometimes, you do.  And sometimes people ask you make to make things or fix things or bring you sewing “work” that may be fun and awesome and creative, or may just that…work…that puts a little extra money in your pocket or helps support your addiction to all things fabulous.

So…here’s the plan – the idea…and I hope you will join me on this journey…It’s time to get it all done…to clear out the stash…to take the room back…to accomplish all of those fantastic projects…I am going to take the next year and not  do my best to not purchase any additional fabric or things to sew with.  That doesn’t include notions, thread, trim needed to finish a project…just for record…just no new items for new unthought of projects.  And, really, it may take longer than that.  There’s just that much stuff. Really, there is.  I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but there it is.

The plan:

Every week for 2014…I will complete a project…finish something….clear something out…  If that is for someone in my family – it will be ready for them, and not waiting for one last hem, button, etc…If that is to sell, it will be listed for sale or placed in an appropriate place to wait for the right season (holiday items, etc.). If it’s the wrong season, it will be shared at least here, and possibly on FB as well.

Each week, as well, I will complete a mending project.  We won’t even talk about that.  No one likes mending. No one. Does that mean I won’t do your mending for your or help you with it? No, of course not.  But let’s not lie – it’s a chore – that’s all.

At the end of each month, or maybe every two months or so, or maybe we’ll just wait until the end of the year…I dunno…this is a hard for me…we’ll CLEAR IT ALL OUT and start over.  Give it away, sell it, whatever…we’ll see what left.  Maybe I can even make some scrap packs or something.

So, help me out a bit, ya’ll!  Let me know what you think of things as they come, what you’d like to see me do…and I’ll keep sharing. I may even share with you the fabric choices for the next week’s project and let you come up with something fabulous.  There will be dresses, rest mat covers, skirts, little scrap round up projects, blankets, nursery items, totes, etc., and I would love your input!

This week, I have some of that boring “work” to complete, and a dress to hem to complete an order.  Next week, I’ll be working on a skirt for myself and hopefully something I’ve been trying to get finished up for a friend.  I do hope you’ll follow and enjoy the journey!

Those links to see other things:

The Sew Many Sheets Facebook Page

The Beacon Literacy Facebook Page

The Beacon Literacy Web Page

My Irlen Facebook Page

The Irlen Institute Facebook Page

The Irlen Institute Web Page