reboot: stay-put towels (improved instructions and new stay-neat presentation)

here we go again…kiddo no. 2 (aka, d.d.) is mastering the game of pulling the towels down every time mama hangs them back on the refrigerator and oven door.

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d.d. wiggling away from the crime scene.

it’s been over 2 years since i posted my tutorial about stay-put towels. since then i’ve made quite a few stay-put towels to gift at 1 year old birthday parties.  and now that d.d. has turned ONE  i’ll be giving myself a happy 1 yr old present as well.

this time i have some new and improved instructions to my towel tutorial and a really neat and tidy way of hanging the towels for display.

stay-put towels (parent must-haves) 2.0:

supplies:  kitchen/hand towel, scissors, straight ruler, fabric/washable marker, sewing machine

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1. take towel and fold it in equal thirds, length-wise.

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2. with a ruler and fabric/washable marker, draw a line across the middle third of the towel, 3-5 inches from the top edge. (using a towel with a decorative border adds a fun touch.)

3. at your sewing machine, sew a long thin rectangular border around the marked line. the length of the rectangle is about 1/4″. then i zigzag stitched over the stitched border, going around 2 or 3 times. (it’s like making a very long button hole.)

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4. clip your long “button hole” open!  congratulations!  you’ve transformed your floor towel into a stay-put towel!

bonus: here are instructions on how to hang the towel up in a way so that it stays nice and neat** even if a tiny tornado has touched down on your bathroom or kitchen!

1. again, fold your towel into equal thirds, length-wise.

2. place the end with the hole behind the towel/oven handle bar.  or drape the folded towel onto the bar with the button hole end in the back, like so.  this feels a little counter-intuitive, but stay with me…

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3. tuck the front (non-button hole) end of the towel into the hole.

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4. pull the towel through the hole until it cinches around the towel bar.

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(please excuse the random stickers.)

5. ta-dah!  doesn’t it look so nice and neat**?  it will totally stay-put and stay-neat no matter how many grimy sticky hands has wiped and tugged at it.

it brings a little bit of tidiness into our “homey” family life, and that’s just about as much neatness i can manage…for now.

**i must give credit to where credit is due.  i wasn’t the one who thought of this lovely way to hang the towel.  this was my mother-in-law’s idea.  my in-laws were here this past summer to help when miss e had ear tube surgery.  this was how my mil hung up the stay-put towels after she washed and folded our bucket loads of laundry. ❤

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but on frazzley days i’m just going to hang my towels like this!

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2015 calander on canvas tutorial (& a give-away!)

the baby took a long morning nap after miss e went off to school, and now BOTH kids are taking a nap!  what are the odds of this happening again? maybe i should go buy a lottery ticket…or better yet i’ll have a give-away–just in time for the new year (details at the end)!

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i’m participating in a giftswap, so for the gift that i’m making my swapmate i needed to test how washable kids paint would handle on canvas surface.  the canvas handled the kid’s paint beautifully.  as i was covering the canvas with experiment strokes, colors, and washes the test run evolved into a do-able project (even for preschoolers).  it’s a fun, practical, handmade gift for the coming new year!

basic supplies:DSC_0048

  • 11 x 14 canvas (if you get a smaller canvas you’ll have to write smaller)
  • watercolor/acrylic paint
  • sharpie marker
  • water
  • brushes
  • paper plate (or some sort of flat surface to mix your paint)
  • 2015 calendar

1.  pick a few colors that you would like on your canvas (or one color would work too!)

2.  mix your paint with water to thin the paint out so it’s somewhat transparent.  you don’t want your paint to be too think or heavy.  when you write on the canvas you want your writing to show.

3. now apply the paint on your canvas however you like.  create a background for your calendar.

4.  have fun experimenting with different amounts of paint and water!  you don’t have to cover the entire canvas with paint either, some white showing through also makes it interesting.

6.  set the canvas aside to let the paint dry.

7.  after the paint has dried you can start writing the months and days on the canvas with the sharpie pen.  (you might want to practice writing a month or two on scrap paper so you get a feel for how big or small to write the dates.)

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this is the canvas calendar that i am giving away.  to participate in the give-away please leave a comment below and…(now CLOSED)

1.  in your comment please answer: what is your favorite month out of the year?

2.  and briefly explain why it’s your favorite month of the year.

3.  leave your comment before friday (12/12) 11:59pm and i’ll announce the winner (drawn randomly) saturday morning.

DSC_0050this is miss e’s rendition.  she said she doesn’t want the numbers.

here’s a sneak peek at what i’m making (or rather, what i messed up) for my swapmate (this is another variation on the canvas calendar.  i got the mini canvas and easel from blicks–and they’re having a canvas sale right now!).

do you see the mistake?

update, dec 29: she changed her mind…

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stay-put towels (parent must-haves)

i wish i had known about stay-put towels two years ago.  by the time miss e was able to stand up all our kitchen and bathroom towels got very acquainted with the floor.  when it first started i had the energy to pick the towels up and rehang them, and rehang them, and rehang them…aaaaaand rehaaaaang them…less than 10 seconds after they have been rehung they would be snatched off the towel bars and re-strewn on the floor.   did she think it was a game or did she detest the sight of towels neatly hung above her eye level?  i gave up rehanging towels after a few weeks and accepted towels on the floor as a new home decor.  towels would stay on the floor until miss e was asleep (or company was coming over).

i’ve seen stay-put towels that have crocheted loop tops with a button or with complicated drawstrings.  they looked harder to make than rehanging the towels even 30x a day.  but today i saw this clever towel with a simple cut out corner slit.  it looked immediately doable.

taste and see, stay-put towel

so i went and grabbed our orange towel off our bathroom towel bar and decided it was getting transformed into a stay-put towel.  janay has a really fancy embroidery machine that can make a nice, even, right-angled slit for the towel to go through.  i had to simplify my stay-put towel a tad.  i was able to convert my towel in less than 5 minutes.

so here’s a stay-put towel “tutorial” *hack version:  (which will take me longer to write out than the time it took me to sew the slit.  i think you might get how to do it just by looking at my finished towel picture.)DSC_0069

  1. take a kitchen/hand towel, go down 2-3 inches from the top of the towel and draw a centered 4-5 inch line.
  2. on your sewing machine, sew a straight stitch across this line.  then zigzag over the straight stitch two or three times.
  3. move your needle 1/4″ down from the first line you’ve sewn.  sew another straight line (same length) parallel to the first line.  zigzag over the second straight stitch two or three times. (you’re essentially make a very long button hole)
  4. sew the ends of the two lines together by stitching a few forward and back stitched (perpendicular to the two long lines) to keep the ends from ripping apart.
  5. clip your long “button hole” open.  ta-dah!
  6. go hang up your towel and observe how it stays put even after little hands wipe and tug on it!

DSC_0070i’m considering to give these stay-put towels as one-year old presents.  (of course i will make this nicer looking version.) one-years olds don’t even know its their birthday, their mamas are the ones that need a bit of a pat on the back for a job well done for the past year…and maybe spared from a few headaches trying to rehang their towels in the coming days when the little one starts toddling all over the place.

they’re in the mail!

this morning miss e and i walked to the post office to mail off the 20×20 in 20 days quilt.

here’s a sketch of the past 20 days. (click on pictures to view larger images.)

days 1-10

days 11-20

updated may 31, 2013:

this morning we took another trip to the post office.  since miss e is always wanting to help me with my sewing projects i decided to make another 20×20 quilt and have her be involved in it.  she helped me pick out the 20 different fabrics and the order that they would be sewn together.

i gave her stickers numbered 1-20 and let her stick them on any fabric her little heart desired. she favored the “coconut” (polka dot) ones.

it’s true…never say never…

…especially about quilting.

at the beginning of this year i made my first quilt block.  and i picked a rather difficult design to piece together due to my lack of knowledge and experience with sewing quilt blocks.  i chose the design because it looked whimsical.  luckily i only had to make one block because it was going to be part of a friendship quilt.  so i sent the block off to my friend (who was in charge of piecing everyone’s contribution together) enclosed with a letter saying that even though it was a fun challenge there’s just too much meticulous math involved with making block pattern quilts so i can’t ever see myself  making a quilt, or at least any time soon.

second attempt at flying geese. my first attempt was dismal…what do you mean you have to factor in seam allowance?

hmmm…well…my husband found an on-line sewing class for me to take a few days after i sent my quilt contribution off.  it just so happened that the main project of the class was to make a quilt.  every two weeks we would learn new hand sewing skills and apply the techniques onto the borders that would create a medallion quilt.  so here i am embarking on my very first quilt.

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then along the way a friend that i’ve known since college found out that they were expecting a boy!  and he would have a nautical nursery theme.  i had these nautical flag napkins tucked away in my brain for a while, but never had any reason to make them.  my friend’s baby doesn’t need twenty-six cloth napkins.  sooo…my only thought was to transform the flags into quilt blocks for a baby quilt…

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i somehow managed to finish the quilt before the baby shower.

needlebook giveaway

i’m taking an online hand stitching class by rachel hauser.  one of the “assignments” this week was to make a needlebook.  the needlebook was quick and fun to make so i went ahead and made another one.  since i only own about 6 needles i don’t think i’ll have needles overflowing into the second needlebook any time soon.  (and i’m trying to be less of a pack rat for mdh’s sake.)

if you would like to be in a random drawing for this free handmade needlebook please leave a comment below and we shall all find out who gets this needlebook this coming friday (february 1, 2013)!

felt needlebook with fabric inner lining: 4.25″ h x 3.25″ w, pocket on inside of front cover, 2 middle pages for pins and needles, slot for small 4″ scissors on back cover, book is secured with a wrap-around tie (sorry threads, pins, needles, and scissors not included).