Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top 10 of 2012

It's been fun for me over the last year to watch which of my crafts and projects have been the most popular. I thought I'd share the Top 10 of 2012 before we ring in the new year.


  1. "Thank You for Helping Me Grow" Teacher Appreciation Gifts
  2. Felt Christmas Tree
  3. DIY Baby Instruments
  4. Owl Quilt Top
  5. Tutorial: Very Hungry Caterpillar Invitations
  6. Tutorial: Very Hungry Caterpillar Bug Jars
  7. Christmas Wreath with Initial
  8. ABC Quilt
  9. Valentine's Day Advent Calendar
  10. Quilted Checkbook Cover
I can't wait to see what 2013 will hold for craftiness here at Olive's Originals!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Small Zipper Wristlet

I had to make a zipper pouch for the January swap for the Modern Quilt Guild, and I decided I would make two. I made this pretty little zipper wristlet for a friend of mine for Christmas. I just love the colors and the metallic in the fabric. I found the tutorial for this pouch on Pinterest, and you can see it here.

I bought the fabric in bundles at Hobby Lobby. I don't usually buy fabric this way, but I wanted 12 different fabrics that coordinated, and I had a coupon. When I saw these prints, I knew my friend would like them too. The jelly roll came with 10 prints. I had the black with white polka dot in the center and I bought a 1/4 yard of the black and white paisley (top right corner). I also bought another bundle of larger pieces of coordinating fabric for the lining and pockets inside.

I will definitely make this pattern again. They make such cute gifts (I'm thinking teacher gifts at the end of this school year). But next time I won't trim the quilted portion until I finish the lining, and I will trim them together to make sure they are exactly the same size. My quilted side turned out quite a bit smaller than the lining because the fabric pulled up during quilting. Also, I will shorten the strap about a 1/2 inch. I accidentally sewed the end of the strap into the seam on the opposite side BOTH times I made this pouch.

I really liked the instructions she provided for sewing a zipper. This was my first attempt at a zipper, and following her instructions worked like a charm! I'm not scared of them any more!
I added the charm to this one because my friend really likes peacocks, and I thought it gave it a little something extra.

This post is featured!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Wreath

I took my sewing machine in for some maintenance this week. That means NO SEWING for a week and a half! What is a girl to do? Well, look at Pinterest of course and tackle some projects I'd been saving for later. I saw this wreath, and knew I had to make one like it for my door this Christmas. I made it today during Little O's nap time.

I bought most of my supplies at Hobby Lobby. Some of the ribbon is from last year in my stash, and the peppermint ornaments were donated by my mom (not sure where they came from).

First, I painted the letter white. After it dried I added the red and green dots using craft paint. When it was totally dry, I sprayed it with clear acrylic to keep it nice and make it a little bit glossy.

I made bows out of wired ribbon. I learned how to do this when I was a gift wrapper at a department store in grad school. I can't tell you how, but I could SHOW you... (note to self: create ribbon bow demo video).

I used floral wire to attach the bows and the ornaments to the wreath. And then I used hot glue to secure them and keep them from wiggling. I stuck the ornamental sprays in through the back of the wreath, and adjusted them until I liked how they looked. (They are on floral wire and are pretty flexible).

To attach the T to the other side of the wreath, I used floral wire and hot glue. First I put a dob of glue on the back of the top part of the T and pressed the wire into it. I held it until it dried. Most boring part of the whole project. Then I repeated that step on the back of the bottom of the T. I attached the wire to the wreath and secured the T to the wreath with hot glue anywhere it was touching.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. And now I have all these visions in my head of creating wreaths for EVERY holiday. Who knew making a wreath could be so much fun!

I was featured!:

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Felt Christmas Tree

Earlier this week I found a really cute felt Christmas tree on Pinterest. And I knew I just HAD to make it for Little O. I thought it would be a great way to allow Olivia to play with ornaments and leave our real tree alone. Speaking of which, we put up our real tree today!

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought everything I needed to make Little O her very own felt tree. I bought green felt off the bolt, and several colors of felt squares from the crafting section. I also bought some trim (ric rack, sequins, and glitter glue) to make it fancy.

Here's how it turned out.

She's been playing with it nonstop since she got up from her nap. She has barely even looked at the real tree. I'd call that success!!

Note: I hung it on the wall using that gummy adhesive that teachers use to hang posters. It stuck to the wall, but it didn't stick to the felt. So I hot glued some green card stock to the back of the tree in various places (the top, the bottom, and several of the branches). That did the trick. The gummy adhesive is sticking great now.

Linked To:

Organizing Made Fun

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Modern Quilt Guild Potholder Exchange

Last night I attended the monthly meeting for our local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. For this month's exchange we made potholders using fabric from our stash, a little batting, and thermoline (a heat-resistant product).

For the trade, we each drew a card from a pile, and when a matching card was drawn from another deck, you got to go pick your favorite potholder from the pile.

Here's the one I made (just in case you missed it). It was first to go! (Yes, I'm a little proud--it was my first exchange after all).

Here's the one I received.

I love the colors she chose. She said this project was good practice for her and free-motion quilting. I wish that I had felt more confident with my new machine, because it would have been good practice for me too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's a Pinterest Christmas

So today Little O went to school for her Thanksgiving class party. It's Tuesday. I know! Bonus! (She usually only goes to school on Thursday). I was supposed to spend the morning finishing the quilt top for my cousin's baby (who will probably be in college by the time I get it finished). But instead I started researching teacher gift ideas on Pinterest. Little O's teachers are awesome! They work really hard (change lots of nasty diapers too!). And they deserve a little something special for Christmas.

Well, I got distracted. I was on Pinterest after all. Although I think I have some ideas for them as well. But I saw THIS gem, and I just knew I had to make it for Little O. It's so CUTE!

So, I think I'm going to spend the rest of the morning at the craft store getting the supplies I need for this. I think I'll also pick up a bin to keep all the felt pieces in.

I'll post pictures after it's done.

Update: Here's our version of the Felt Christmas Tree.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bird Checkbook Cover

This month's service project for our local Modern Quilt Guild was to make checkbook covers. We will be donating them to a local women's shelter.

We were supposed to use up a leftover or lonely 8-inch block that we already had on hand. I actually don't have any, so I used up some fabric that I got for free. I really like the bird print. It is kind of retro.

First, I made an 8-inch block. The first one I attempted to make wound up in the trash. It was just too complicated. I like the simplicity of this design. I also had 9 1/2-inch iron-on batting and 10-inch backing. I ironed the batting onto the backing (with right side facing out) and layered the 8-inch block on top. Then I basted all the way around.

I chose to quilt using straight lines rather than random loops and swirls because I have a new machine, and I need to practice to feel confident. Plus, I didn't want the quilting to make the checkbook cover too stiff. I quilted diagonally across the block from corner to corner and I also quilted around the bird block in the center.

Once I finished quilting, I cut the checkbook cover down to the right size (7 1/4 by 6 3/4). The directions said I didn't have to center my block, but that would have REALLY bothered me! So I centered mine.

After I cut it down, I placed the pockets on the inside and basted all the way around. To make the pockets, I just cut two rectangles (6 1/4 by 6 3/4) and pressed them in half with wrong sides together.

Then I sewed the binding on to the inside of the checkbook cover, using my new knowledge of beveling the corners! (I learned how to do this while making a quilted potholder a few weeks ago).

The directions said to sew the binding onto the front of the checkbook cover using a decorative stitch on my machine. And I think it would have looked pretty, but I chose to hand stitch it for the same reason I chose straight-line quilting--I just wasn't confident with my machine yet.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Quilted Potholder

This week, I took a break from quilt making to focus on a project for our local Modern Quilt Guild. We are making potholders to trade with each other this month. The guild supplied us with a 9x9" square of themaline (a heat-resistant product) to get us started.

First, I chose my fabrics (you'll also need the thermaline and a square of batting).

Since this is for the Modern Quilt Guild, I decided to go with a simple, streamlined design. I wanted to focus on the owl print (because I think it's so darn cute!). I used the green as a border, and the pink as the binding. The owl is leftover from the baby girl quilt I made a few months ago.

Once, the square was done, I layered the thermaline, batting, and fabric together and quilted a quarter inch around the owl square. I told you this was a simple design!

Next I based the edges to keep them from slipping before I attached the binding.

The binding only took me two tries. I FINALLY learned how to bevel the corners. It looks so much nicer and less bulky that way.

And here is the finished project.

I'm taking it to the Modern Quilt Guild on Tuesday night for our trade. I hope I get a cute one!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

DIY Baby Instruments

Lately, I've been racking my brain for ways to keep my 14-month-old baby entertained during the late afternoons--you know, the witching hour. Basically, between the time she gets up for nap until Daddy gets home from work, she's generally crabby, fussy, grumpy, or just plain bored. I thought that if I could present her with some fun crafts or games in the late afternoon, it might help us survive until Daddy gets home.

Some things I've tried over the last week or so include edible (though not tasty) playdough and finger paint.

I thought we were full on messy crafts (although they were tons of fun), and I decided I wanted to involve some of her other senses. Since this was the last week of Kindermusik until the fall, I thought some homemade musical instruments would be fun.

I was inspired while cleaning out my pantry. Yeah, I know. But I had three almost empty, expired cardboard cylinders. They used to contain grits, bread crumbs, and chow mien noodles.

To make these, you will need:
cardboard cylinders
pretty paper
rubber cement (or any glue you like)
a hot glue gun
an assortment of sound makers (I used little jingle bells, Styrofoam balls, and split peas)

First, I measured the height of each tube. I cut out a piece of scrapbook paper that size, and then I wrapped it around the tube, gluing it down with the rubber cement. I used a thin bead of hot glue to make sure the end of the paper was secure as I didn't want Little O to peel it off.

Once the glue dried, I placed the noisemakers inside. I used hot glue to secure the lids to the tubes to prevent choking hazards.

That's it! Now I am just waiting for her to wake up from her nap to show her the new instruments I made for her.

I was featured on Carrots Are Orange!

150 Kids Co Op Link Up   Come & Play

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

"Thank You for helping me grow!" 
Today was the last day of Baby O's Morning Out for Moms program. This school year, she's been attending the program for a few hours every Thursday morning. She had two wonderful teachers in her classroom, and I'm sure she's going to miss them over the summer. I am going to miss having a few hours each week dedicated to crafting and sewing. I sure hope nap time gets longer so I can have a few hours in my craft room to myself each week. 45-minute naps are not conducive to creativity.

Baby O (in the middle) with her teachers and a classmate.

Anyway, to show my appreciation for all their work and love O's teacher's have shown her this year, I wanted to make them something special. So of course I scoured Pinterest. There I found links to these other very creative bloggers: Love Grows Wild and Giggles Galore.

Here's what I did:

First, I gathered my supplies and made a list of what I needed. I had craft paint and brushes, chalk, Sharpies, ribbon, a tape measure, scrapbook paper, dowels, and dirt. I needed acrylic spray (to make the paint more durable and to keep the chalk from wiping off), flower pots, flowers, and gift cards.

Once I gathered all of my supplies (and of course, like my mother before me, and my grandmother before her, I waited until the last minute to REALLY gather all my supplies--I didn't have the flowers or gift cards until the day I was going to give them to her teachers), I got down to business.

First, I painted the base of the pots (and the little saucers) black. Then I painted the rims yellow. It took two coats of black and three coats of yellow. In hindsight, I would have painted the yellow first and then the black to get a crisper line. The black kind of showed through the yellow a little bit, but since it was under the rim of the flower pot, I didn't think anyone would notice. The craft store did have chalkboard spray paint, and I thought about using it instead of black craft paint. I decided against it because I didn't intend for the pots to be written on and erased over and over again.

After the paint dried, I taped the measuring tape around the bottom portion of the rim. Using a fine tip Sharpie (the regular-sized one), I marked off each inch mark. I had to fudge the last one because it didn't line up exactly. But I don't think anyone will notice (unless they get out a tape measure and check it). Then I removed the tape measure and marked the half-inch and quarter-inch marks with an extra fine tip Sharpie. In the examples I found online, they marked the pots to the 16th inch, but I liked the clean look of marking to the quarter inch instead. And since I waited until the last minute (6 a.m. on the last day of school), I was running out of time.

Next I used white chalk to write "Thank You for helping me grow" on each pot. I also wrote Baby O's name and the year on the saucer (which will get covered by the pot, but the teachers know it's there and will remember who gave it to them). I used the acrylic spray to set the chalk and make it more durable. Now here is where I ran into a problem: the spray dissolved a little of the chalk, so it didn't look as "chalky". I let the acrylic dry, and then I traced over what I had already written with a second coat of chalk. I sprayed it again, and this time it came out looking like I wanted.

While I wanted for the acrylic to dry, I made paper pinwheels out of scrapbook paper. I found the tutorial here. I didn't use brads. I just hot glued each corner down to the center and hot glued a button on top to hide the glue. I know they don't spin, but I was OK with that. It was more for the look. I just love the school days paper I found. Since my paper wasn't double sided, I glued two pieces (right sides out) together using rubber cement (I didn't have spray adhesive like she used in the tutorial). They turned out great, though. Then I glued each pinwheel to a small dowel using hot glue.

After the acrylic dried, I planted red impatiens in each pot. I tied the gift cards I purchased to the dowel using green grosgrain ribbon. I planted the pinwheels in the pot behind the flowers.

Here are the finished flower pots!

See where I've linked up!
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