Friday, July 31, 2015

#SewToShare - Personal Progress: July 2015

It has been one seriously BUSY month around our home! Summer activities, camp, VBS, a complete room makeover (or TWO!), regular day to day duties like the MOUNTAIN of laundry generated by our household of 8, and even, yes, even a bit of sewing! 

We started off the month painting and redecorating our boys' room. They decided to go with a super hero theme and it turned out SUPER! I had so much fun with this and even painted a city scene mural on a whim that I had been inspired by on an Instagram page I follow. I still have some valances and pillowcases to sew for them, but all in all, an accomplishment we were all pleased with.

In the midst of that, I learned that my girls needed extra PJ bottoms for camp. Yea, you know, those last minute requests that have you sewing like the Grinch on the night before Christmas! I did manage to finish a big stack of flannel PJ pants just in time for them to leave for camp. They have NO TROUBLE whatsoever finding fabrics they love, so it was a fun mix to get to stitch up!

On a whim....which just seems to happen to me sometimes...I decided I was tired of vacuuming my stairs and so ripped the carpet off. This led to a sanding and painting episode that by most patient and wonderful husband had to endure. :) I had seen THIS TUTORIAL at Tamara Kate's blog that inspired me. I'm hoping to decide on a fabric to finish off my now freshly painted stairs soon!

If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow me @hopefulthreads I've been sharing a bunch of great pictures!

While they were gone, we helped decorate our church for a super fun jungle themed VBS the first week, followed by the fun filled VBS the next week! The rest of the time, we took on a SURPRISE makeover of our big girls' room, and while a lot of work, it was SO FUN and turned out perfect! They were totally surprised and are still talking about just how much they love it! It feels good when you really nail a vision for someone when they've shared different ideas of what they like. You can see all the pictures I shared on THIS POST.

I've also been working on clearing out my sewing space and getting things much more organized. This initiated a DESTASH, so please check that out if you haven't yet! Even if you aren't on Instagram, if you see something you are interested in, just email me. I will gladly consider reasonable offers as well, especially for multiple item purchases! ;) @hopefulthreads_destash

Part of the clean up in here meant making another awesome FLUFF Project delivery! My husband dropped off another 86 stuffed friends, bringing our current total delivered to date to 1,275!!! That just makes me smile every time I think about it! The staff and Magistrates of Juvenile Court had high praise and encouraging stories to share about the way the children are reacting to our gifts. I can't tell you how much this means to me and my family! Thank you for continuing to trust us with this very special mission of HOPE!
Left to Right: Frankie Holt, Knox County Clerk
Magistrate Kay Kaserman (who has shared some very touching first-hand stories regarding the reaction of the sweet children receiving the gifts!)
Magistrate Michael Fortune (who always cracks me up by immediately beginning to fill his personal courtroom box!)
Magistrate Irene Joseph
Lt. Jim Dunn, Knox Co. Sheriff's Dept.

I've also made a bit more progress on the MEGA stack of tote bags I'm working on for the foster closet. I picked up some more fusible fleece yesterday for these, so I'm hoping to have them on the finished list next month!

And that original goals list....well, not too bad...

Cook more, especially with my children.
Sew curtains for my youngest daughter's room. (FINALLY!!!)
Fresh paint for several rooms in our home. In Progress....and more added!
New skirts for my girls.
Sew "Busy Bags" & Totes for the foster closet. In Progress, A BUNCH!!!
Read some chapter books aloud to my kiddos.
Gifts for our local Animal Shelter.
Participate in library events.
Sort my patterns. ALL of them! 
Visit the zoo.
Help my youngest daughter, now 5, sew her first "something".
Create a pattern/tutorial for a special medical comfort item.
Sew some adult sized bibs for my grandfather.
Make new oven mitts, potholders and such for our kitchen.
Go on a picnic.
And, take a few naps! ;) Never Enough!
Update my 10 year old's scrapbook.
Rip the carpet from my stairs, sand and paint them.
Sew a new ironing board cover.
Take on the giant mending pile. (we'll keep this right here at the bottom!)

My list still has quite a bit of it not marked off....and I continue to find more to add to it....but, I'm still thrilled with all that's been accomplished! Heading into August ready for more!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Personalized Placemat Pillows Tutorial

 This is so easy it's almost embarrassing! LOL! 
Certainly one of the quickest and easiest pillows I've ever sewn!

I started with textured, black placemats I had found on clearance. 
 Drew out the initials I wanted to fit the front and used iron on adhesive to attach to placemat for my applique stitching. I used a funky gold thread for the machine didn't like it much, but it turned out so pretty and was a nice added touch with the other gold accents in the room. 

 Once my initials were appliqued in place, I sewed the two placemats together, wrong sides together. I left a small opening, about 2 inches, to stuff the pillow. 

 Stuffed. Stitched. Fluffed and added to the pile!
A fast, easy and fun project to add personalization to any space!

For more creative Placemat sewing, check out my Petite Placemat Tote Tutorial HERE!


Sunday, July 26, 2015


I've started a new DESTASH account on Instagram where I will list various items from my stash as I sort and organize. Be sure and check it out!

If you aren't on Instagram and see something that you'd like, you can EMAIL ME and I'll be glad to pull it for you if still available. :) Just send me the PayPal email address you'd like me to invoice for total. And please, share with all your sewing/quilting friends that might be interested as well! 
Thanks so much!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Room Makeover Success!!!

Anyone else out there doing their best to keep up with the whirlwind pace of summer??? We are having a great time, but whew! It's been BUSY!

And if there weren't already enough on the calendar, my husband and I decided to take on a surprise room makeover for our oldest daughters while they were at camp. I'm happy to report it all turned our even better than we had hoped and was a TOTAL surprise to our girls! Worth all those long nights, full days and drives across town to find the perfect items to pull it all together.

My older girls share a room, so it's important that they have individual spaces to work, but also a nice shared space to enjoy together. I think this room has a great balance of both!

Here's a look inside...

I used remnants from some of the pillows I made for the love-seat to create these memory boards by simply pulling the fabric taught around a canvas and stapling.

The girls had fallen in love with this golden arrow print at Hobby Lobby before they had left for their trip, so I headed back over there to get enough to make these simple curtains. I also made the sash ties from an accent fabric. The tutorial I used for my guide while sewing these curtains can be found here. 

We painted one wall black to be an accent wall. I was a bit nervous about this at first, but absolutely love how it turned out! I made all the pillows except for the small one in front I purchased at the local bookstore we frequent. I wanted the pillow covers to be removable so they can be easily washed and case my girlies change their mind on colors anytime soon. ;) The tutorial I used for my guide for sewing the pillow covers can be found here.  I'll also be sharing a super easy and fast sewing tutorial for some special applique pillows I made for their beds keep watch next week for that!

Now, I rarely buy packaged, pre-cut fabrics, but when I found this perfect burlap print on clearance for $4 I knew I had to see if I could make it work for recovering their desk chairs. With a pretty good amount of hot glue and the muscle of my hub's staple gun, they turned out just as I had hoped! Not a bad deal for these tired old, worn out chairs to turn into such a fresh and fun addition!

A few old records from the thrift store for 50 cents a piece....a hand-me-down mirror from their Grammie....some cute little accent pieces found at various places, and we were super excited to have them come home to this extra special surprise! Their reaction was PRICELESS!!!

Hope your summer has been going great and you've had lots of fun sewing and creating as well! 
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