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button, button, whose got buttons?

If you're a sewer, like me, I bet you have tons of them... When I'm out shopping I just buy them because someday I might need them (you know what I'm talking about, right?) and now I could never use all I have. I just can't resist all of those juicy colors! So, here are a few projects I found to use up some of my stash...

Make button stamps by gluing them onto corks. Found at Martha Stewart, I never would've thought of this. Looking at mine, I do have quite a few that would make pretty ones. By the way, if anyone in my family is reading this, I have a whole bag of corks if you need some. Not that anyone who knew me would know that I'm a collector of small useless objects or anything like that! I think I just like to own stuff. :)

Little Bird Handmade made tiny wreaths with them. Wouldn't they be cute hanging on doorknobs? I love the red - to me it's such a cheerful color.

How About Orange has instructions on how to make button covered thumbtacks. Watch a video from Sacramento Bee on how to make a bulletin board to go with them!

Lollychops made these cute little button flowers...

... Artsy-Crafty Babe made these

and I Knew That made these with fabric leaves...

...but Kiddley made a whole bouquet of them!

Country Living has an idea for napkin holders like these...

...or these colorful ones made with bandannas.

Unique Re-tiques has yo-yo and button hang tags.

Cards with removable buttons come from CraftStylish. Thoughtful for a sewer's birthday...

Or sew a journal cover and embellish it with buttons...also from CraftStylish.

And for you serious sewers, proclaim who you are to the world with these rings from Ric Rac. How's that for button bling!

Don't have enough buttons that match? Watch this video from Crafty Goat on how to make button molds with polymer clay...

But I couldn't close this post without sharing my favorite and that's my little chihuahua whose name is Button! She'll hitch a ride to my son Matt's hoodie (he looks really happy about carrying the princess around, doesn't he? Hee Hee)

...or in my girl Laura's purse. By the way, check out the pretty purse Laura made for her upcoming trip to Hawaii! Lucky girl.... And lucky me for having such loving children in my life. I'm so blessed... Enjoy!

how do you measure up?

This little doggie is an antique from my sister's collection. As you can see his tail comes out into a measuring tape. Cute huh? I went in search of more little guys like him and found some measuring tape holders that you can make.

I look at these tiny creations and think of this: “Have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” - William Morris - 1880

...even to the simplest of things.

A Spoon Full of Sugar Girls created this one. Hmmm...wondering how they got it all neatly inside? They'll show you in this pdf file.

I love the old-fashioned quaintness of fabric yo-yo's and am glad they're becoming popular again. I've seen entire quilts made from about a lesson in patience! From Whip-Up.

If you like to bead, you'll love this tape holder cover with a beaded tassel from Paula Hewitt.

Got a embroidery machine? I do, thanks to my son Josh, and I love mine! This is from Embroidery Garden and is made in the hoop! Although this is not a free download, her prices are very reasonable and she does have some free patterns on her site. Visit her, she has lots of clever ideas...

Speaking of clever, I love love love this pouch made from measuring tapes! A wonderful tutorial with lots of pictures, Vintage Ric Rac is an amazing seamstress. She even makes things from the selvedge edge of fabric! You have to go and look at her stuff. Unbelieveable, the amount of patience this woman has.

I found this "Measure Up Brooch" on Craftzine. Made by Plastic Girl , it doesn't include instructions, but if you look at the picture, I'm sure you will figure it out... Wouldn't it be sweet on Ric Rac's pouch?

Sukigirl crocheted this cute little oreo cookie for her tape measure. She says she got the directions from Thrifty Fun's pdf file. On Craftster's forum, she posted that she "glued the cookie part on the tape measure then made a small strip of sc to form the white filling and glued that on too." Mmmm, looks good enough to eat - my son Matt loves Oreos...

Don't wanna make one but you just gotta have one? KnitsNthings has these adorable snails and turtles for sale on Etsy.

But my favorite has to be these cupcakes by Betz White. Made from cuffs from recycled sweaters, her pdf pattern is also available at Etsy. I love her website too, so bright and cheerful. My niece, Tina would love these...

Do you have trouble taking the proper measurements when making a clothing pattern? Learn the right way from Sew Mama Sew.

As for my sister's antique doggie? In my research, I found lots of different animals, figurines and such that you can collect. Just google "antique tape measures" and see what you come up with. Enjoy!

“When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your yardstick.” - Bill Lemley

i "needle" little help...

...with organizing my sewing area that is.

Everytime I go to make something, I have to search for all my little doodads. Where's my scissors, where's my needles, where's my glasses...oh they're right there on top of my head! Have you ever had that happen? Now that I'm getting older my memory is like a sieve...or maybe I need to start living by the motto "A place for everything and everything in it's place." I want it calm and serene so I can spend more time sewing and less time being frustrated by the mess. So from needle cases to sewing caddies, I found some ways to make my sewing space a prettier and more functional place to be. Perhaps you'll find a helpful idea for you here...

A project that's after my own heart....from this ribbon caddy has it all - scissors, measuring tape, pincushion and a pocket for thimbles, etc. And it hangs around your neck so everything is right there at your fingertips!

Here's a pretty idea...a sewing caddy with little bluebirds embroideried on it. You can find the tutorial here at Creative Ribbon's blog.

The Happy Zombie created a pdf file for this sweet strawberry needle case. For those of you who follow my blog, she's the one who created those adorable pennie pockets for Moda Bake Shop.

Or how about a ladybug to hold your needles for you? This pdf file is from Studio 259.

This sewing caddy comes from Anna Marie Horner's book "Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing". I like how the pincushion creates a basket to hold all of your other supplies in it and I love her fabric line! You can find the pdf and templates for it at Craftzine.

Sew Prim Khris' needle case is a petaled flower when unfolded and a handy little pocket when you fold it back up. Clever!

Creative Ribbons also has instructions for a crochet victorian thimble pouch. I've never seen one of these before but thought it would be a nice gift idea for someone who collects thimbles. She has lots of eye candy for you quilters too!

This little needle case has a place for your scissors too! I'm always searching for those...the project is from Quick Quilts and you can find it here.

This last idea is probably the most practical for me...a pocket to fit under your machine from Get Creative. I know I'll be able to find what I need if it's right there under my nose. Enjoy!

Now where did I put those glasses...?

"All my scattering moments are taken up with my needle." ~ Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, 1851

i got sunshine on a cloudy day...

...when it's cold outside, I got the month of May.
This is my "sewing angel" pincushion my sister Sandy gave me for Valentine's day. I love her little thimble feet! She's so happy with her crooked smile and reminds me of warmer days here in Virginia. All of my pins currently reside in a old ramikin dish and as I was setting her down in my sewing area, I started looking around...

Although I have tons of stuff, where I sew is not very inspiring or quite honestly, organized. More of a "working" area and not a "creative" area. With that thought in mind, I wanted to find more ideas of how to combine functionality and storage solutions with just a little more punch and color. I want to make a change and spruce things up a bit. Maybe I just have those old winter blues...I guess I need a little sunshine!

Since I'm already on the subject of pincushions, look at the colors in these wildflowers from Better Homes & Gardens. Made from Amy Butler and Anna Marie Horner fabrics, they're just in time to chase away our winter doldrums while waiting for spring to arrive! Tutorial is here.

Some homegrown tomatoes from Martha Stewart. I just love them right off the vine...

Want some carrots for your sewing garden? Or some little mice to chew all your veggies up?

Both of these pincushions are from My Byrd House's blog. Such a lovely place with beautiful music to soothe that chill in your winter soul. I was just there listening to Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. You can visit her here.

These from Monkeyroom remind me of sunflowers or maybe daisies? I remember my mom having one of these many years ago. Here's the tutorial. By the way, Monkeyroom has been blogging for five years now and has tons of good info on her site. Happy Blog Birthday to her and thanks for sharing!

Aren't these pod flower pincushions from Wee Wonderfuls adorable? I love the button centers....

And even though this is a pattern, I couldn't resist adding them to our spring array. Butterflies and ladybugs and strawberries! Yum! Wish I had some fresh ones now... reminds me of strawberry picking with my boys. They always ate more than we took home! Friends From the Garden by Natalie Ross can be purchased here from Quilt Fabric Delights.

Okay, now that we have some pincushion ideas, so how about some new pins to go with them? These are made with...shrinky dinks! Who would've thought?Another clever idea from Wee Wonderfuls.

Now that you're all warm and fuzzy with visions of the vernal equinox in your head, I'll leave you with a cup of tea made from recycled sweaters. From Martha Stewart, they'll keep us cozy until the seasons really change... :) Enjoy!

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies." - Nadine Stair

it all started with a chicken...

My sister Sandy loves chickens...

Now I don't want to say she's obsessed with them, but if there were a Chickens Anonoymous group, someone should vote her president :)

She has chicken fabric, handmade glass chicken beads and not long ago, she recieved a little quilted chicken pincushion as a gift. And that's where our journey began...and I say "our" because we do everything together.

She liked it so much, she set out to find the pattern for it. We started at our local fabric store, Patchwork Plus, where my sister, chicken in hand, asked the sales lady if they carried it. Apparently the original was called "Norwegian Chicken Pincushion" created by Doreen Speckman and they didn't stock it, but it could be ordered. Sandy ordered two, one to sew and one for chicken withdrawl emergencies, I'm guessing. Knowing her, the second one was so she would have an uncut pattern. But remember, I'm not talking obsession...

To make a realllyyy long story short, after many days of waiting, she found out the pattern was out of print and they were shipping another. The one she recieved was close but not what she really wanted. I decided I would search the web for the elusive chicken pincushion pattern and I found lots of 'em. So, to my sister and best friend Sandy, who I dearly love along with all of her crazy chicken habits, this one's for you...

Quilting Works has this free pattern which is close. Here are the instructions and the pattern.

Another version at Craftster

And this one which is supposed to be a rooster door stop, but I think we can adapt him... Hey who let the guys in anyway? Looks like a chicken to me!

With all of the above free tutorials, I'm sure you get the idea of what we've been looking for. But I also found some to purchase that I like too!
Janet Locey's pattern includes a needle case. You can purchase it here from Keepsake Quilting.

Susa Glenn Designs and Art Fabric Studio has the cutest chicken designs I've seen. This first one is called "Little Banty Chick" and it's feet, eyes, wattle and comb are beaded. It would be perfect for my sister because it incorporates all of the things she loves: sewing, beading and of course, chickens! Vintage Vogue carries the pattern here.

The next one is called the "Flying Chicken" and is a tool caddy too! Three Sisters Fabric carries this one.

This Chick Chat sewing chatelaine is another by Art Fabric Studio and is available from The Calico Cat. With a thread dispenser and petite pockets to hold your thimbles and such, she would be a handy sewing companion. Of course, you can also order all of these directly from Susa Glenn.

The Calico Cat also carries this one called Pollo Loco and it includes an egg. What a cute idea to use up all of those scraps we've been accumulating!

After you've finished your pincushion you may want to try quilting. This wallhanging is called "Biker Chick" and is from Crazy Quilter Girls. Poor girl, her bike is slipping on stones that are the way, that's what I look like on a bike! After all, I'm no spring chicken...sorry, couldn't resist.

This site that has tons of links for patterns all across the web. All things chicken related, it's called the Yellow Chicken Page and I'm contacting them to see if my sister can join...

I almost forgot, remember the originial pattern by Doreen Speckman that we thought was out of print? I found it and you can order it here from her daughter.

Thought for the day: ham & eggs - a day's work for a chicken; a lifetime committment for a pig :) Enjoy!

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