half square baby quilt

half square baby Project-Linus-Quilt-791x800

My first half square baby quilt from 2 years ago is interesting to look back at what I started with and where I am now.  I can see many things I would do differently but I think it is important to show how someone starts a craft and the progress.

When I told my son I was making a half square baby quilt he raised an eyebrow and gave me a crazy look.  As I have dabbled in various craft forms over the years I have learned that each craft has its own vernacular.  Crazy words that make sense only to those in the “know”.  A half square in quilting and sewing terms is really a triangle.  But it is easier to sew a triangle when working with a square. You get a truer shape and it is easier to make points line up.

The half square baby quilt I made is completely my idea.  Well, not the way to do half square but the way that I joined them.  So if the squares happen to have a name I would love to know it. You can leave it in the comment section below. I am totally making this up as I go and there most likely is a better, faster and neater way to do this AND this is a practice baby quilt for me.

Pre-cut fabric is a great way to get started in quilting. It saves so much time especially when you are practicing and learning. I am sure when I am comfortable in my skills I will cut my own.  Maybe… It might be worth a little extra to have precuts than to spend the extra time to make all the pieces. I think next I want to make a jelly roll quilt.

Materials for half square baby quilt:

  • Precut square pack with 52 pieces. (I did not use them all – pot holders are next)
  • Noir Black batting
  • 1 1/2 yards of grey Kona solids
  • sewing machine and thread
  • scissors
  • Cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • rulers

project linus top half square quilt top

Instructions for making half square baby quilt:

Now keep in mind I am totally making this up as I go and there most likely is a better, faster and neater way to do this AND this is a practice baby quilt for me. Also I like to free motion stitch and again I completely make it up as I go.

  1. Play around with the squares and range them in a manner pleasing to you.
  2. Sew squares together and then iron open seams on all sides of the squares.  Yes ironing is really needed and makes a HUGE difference.
  3. Once you have your center design made add long strips or more squares to get the quilt to the dimension you want.
  4. Lay the batting and back fabric under the top layer.  This is when I do my free motion stitching.  Once the sewing is complete I square them up.
  5. Bind the half square quilt.


Tex Mex Vegetable soup mix in a jar gift idea

Tex Mex Vegetable soup mix
Tex Mex Vegetable soup is a yummy gift idea. Soups in a jar are one of our favorite gifts from the kitchen. They are fast and easy to make, taste great and are very budget friendly. There is also something special about taking time to make a handmade gift.

Layer all the ingredients listed below into a mason pint jar or 16 ounce jar.

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Ingredients for Tex Mex Vegetable soup:

    • 1/4 cup lentil
    • 1/4 cup peas
    • 1/4 cup barley
    • 1/4 cup dried vegetables This is hard to find in local stores.
    • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
    • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 3 chicken bouillon cubes – If you are watching your sodium use less bouillon cubes.

Clean the jar and dry completely. Do not wash the ring because that will can lead to rust. The lid can be washed. Layer the ingredients into the jar in the order they are listed from top to bottom. Once the ingredients are in the jar place on the lid and band, and tighten. You can embellish the exterior with ribbon or jute cording, buttons, stickers or anything you have in your crafty stash. The most important step is to give them the instructions listed below. Copy and past or hand write the directions for the gift recipient. I like to make these in bulk and keep them on hand for when I need a quick thank you gift or a hostess gift. If you are giving to a vegan you can use a vegetable bouillon instead of the chicken bouillon.

Instructions to make the Tex Mex Vegetable soup:

  1. Remove wrapper from bouillon cube and add them to the pot.
  2. Add all the all remaining ingredients add 10 cups of water into a large pot.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and let simmer for about 40 minutes or until peas are soft.   You can change the amount of water by a cup or two depending on how thick you like it.

Make an easy sew scrap fabric tea towel

scrap fabric the towel and wooden spoonMake an easy sew scrap fabric tea towel. It is a fast and simple gift perfect for almost any occasion. The scrap fabric tea towels are an easy sew project that you can make in under an hour. You can purchase pre-made tea towels online or in store. My very favorite brand of towels is from the Dunroven House and their products are all made in the USA. You can find the tea towels and other quality kitchen items from them in stores like Tractor Supply, Missouri Star Quilt Co and a limited variety on Amazon.

Supplies needed for the scrap fabric tea towel:

Instructions for the scrap fabric tea towel:

  1. Iron tea towel to remove any wrinkles or seams and set aside.
  2. Trim fabric scraps into 2.5″ x 2.5″.  If you want to use random lengths make sure the height is all the same.
  3. Start by placing 2 of the 2.5″ squares wrong sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam along one side. Repeat this step until you have a strip of fabric  long enough to go across your towel when it is open.
  4. Square up your fabric strip  by placing a ruler along the edge and trim of any excess.
  5. Iron one edge of the fabric strip 1/4 of an inch. This side will be used for the last step.
  6. Draw a line across the towel where you would like the fabric strip to be located.  Pin the trim and the fabric strip wrong side up.  You will be folding it over so make sure the trim is on the right side so it will show when the fabric is flipped over.
  7. Sew along the pinned layers using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Fold fabric over and carefully press the fabric.  The pom-pom trim will melt if the iron touches it.
  8. Sew the previously ironed edge down using a 1/4″ and then a 1/16″ and do the same for the edges.

scrap fabric tea towelThere you have it, an easy sew fabric scrap tea towel. You can combine the towel with other easy sew projects like the mug rug using the same scraps or this family photo collage decoupage flower pot. 

Mokume Gane Coasters with Cork

Polymer clay mokume gane coasters with instructions on the cool technique
  1. Do not use unbaked clay on unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Start with clean hands and work surface area. Good work surfaces include wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Knead clay until soft and smooth. For best results, clean your hands in between colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces together firmly. Bake on oven-proof metal surface at 275 °F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per ¼” (6 mm) thickness. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer.DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.
  2.  Wash hands after use. Baking should be completed by an adult. Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the clay dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
  3. With the Clay Conditioning Machine on the #2 setting, roll each color of clay (about ½ package each) into a sheet. Pair the colors up (usually a light and a dark works best) and run each pair of colors through the Clay Conditioning Machine on the #2 setting. Now put the two pairs together and run through the Clay Conditioning machine on the #2 setting.
  4. Cut the long sheet and half and stack the two halves avoiding air bubbles by using the Acrylic roller to make sure the layers are stuck together well. Cut the stack in half again and restack avoiding air bubbles. This stack is referred to as the mokume gane stack.
  5. Mist the Design Block pattern of your choice with water. Press the block into the stack using a firm pressure. Remove the block. Continue to pattern the clay with the same pattern or switch it up to create your own design.
  6. With the Super Sculpey flexible blade remove thin sheets of the mokume gane stack.
  7. Roll out the other half of Burnt Umber along with one full bar of Burnt Umber through the Clay Conditioning Machine. Once conditioned roll out a sheet about 1/8” thick.
  8. Depending on the size of your cork coasters, cut the clay to fit.
  9. The coaster pictured is about 4” x 4”. Use the circle cutter to cut a hole in the center of the clay.
  10. Lay the mokume gane slices on the clay base until the all the Burnt Umber is covered. Lightly press the Edgy Texture Sheet into the clay randomly around the piece. Smooth any rough edges with your finger. To highlight the texture, lightly brush the Gold Mica Powder on the clay surface.
  11. Bake the clay coasters according to the above directions. Allow the pieces to cool completely before you adhere them to the cork.mokume gane polymer clay coasters

Shibori style dyed pillows you can make

Shibori style dyed pillows you can make in any color, not just indigo. Fabric dyeing is a fun and creative activity that yields one-of-a-kind results. The shibori fabric folding technique originated during the 8th century in Japan using indigo dye. It looks as great today as it did hundreds of years ago! What is even more fun is that with the availability of dye colors you can use the shibori style folds and get a huge variety of looks.

Supplies for shibori style dyed pillows:

    • White cotton fabric
    • Muslin
    • Indigo dye kit
    • Poly-fil fiberfill
    • Fairfield Processing Smooth Fusible Fleece
    • Twine
    • Sewing machine and coordinating thread


    • Scissors
    • Big bucket
    • Needle and thread
    • Iron and pressing surface
    • Rubber bands or binder clips
    • Rubber gloves
    • Drop cloth
    • Straight pins

Project Instructions for shibori style dyed pillows:

  1. Pre-soak your fabric in hot water to open up the fibers. 10 minutes is enough to loosen the fibers.
  2. Fold entire fabric like an accordion. Bind together using string, rubber bands or binder clips. The bind folds will prevent dye from penetrating parts of fabric. To see more fabric and less dye, use larger folds and more binder clips or rubber bands. To see more indigo/dye and less fabric, use smaller folds and fewer binder clips or rubber bands.Shibori style dyed pillows you can make with shibori folds
  3. Soak fabric in dye according to manufacturer’s directions. Use hottest water possible when     soaking. Rinse dye out of fabric with cool water then wash and dry. Refer to photo to see the color variations based on soak time.
  4. Cut shibori fabric, muslin and fleece to desired pillow size. Add seam allowance to measurements. Iron fleece to wrong side of shibori fabric.
  5. Place right sides of front and back fabrics together and pin in place. Sew only three sides together. Sew along fourth side leaving a small opening for stuffing.
  6. Turn pillow cover right side out and stuff fiberfill into opening.  Once desired pillow firmness is achieved, whip stitch opening closed or machine-sew.

Shibori style dyed pillows you can make

fabric scrap mug rug an easy sew project

Make a fabric scrap mug rug for a fast and simple gift that is perfect for Mother’s Day or as a teacher’s gift.  The fabric scrap mug rugs are an easy sew project that you can make in under an hour.  They are great to have handy at home if you like to read and have a snack too.

Supplies needed for the fabric scrap mug rug:

  • iron and safe ironing surface
  • cotton batting scrap
  • fabric scraps
  • scissors or rotary cutter and matt
  • ruler
  • needle and thread or sewing machine and thread
  • straight pinsfabric scrap mug rug an easy sew project

Instructions for the fabric scrap mug rug:

  1. Trim fabric scraps into 2.5″ x 2.5″.  If you want to use random lengths make sure the height is all the same.
  2. Start by placing 2 of the 2.5″ squares wrong sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam along one side. Repeat this step until you have a strip of fabric with 4 squares.scrap fabric mug rug top
  3. Repeat this step 4 times.
  4. Join the strips together to form a square by sewing like you did with the earlier pieces.
  5. You can repeat this for the other side or use a fabric piece that is at least an 9×9.
  6. Square up your fabric front and the piece of batting by placing a ruler along the edge and trim of any excess.mug rug mug rug batting layer
  7. Place the layer of fabric and batting on top of the other fabric.square up mug rug
  8. Use your sewing machine to sew the layers together. You can make a design or you can sew along the seams to make a grid.
  9. You can use binding to join the pieces or you can use the bottom layer to make the binding.
  10. Trim the backing fabric, leaving 1” around all sides of the quilted top.
  11. Start anywhere, and fold the binding over halfway. Then in half again, and pin. You can do this on your ironing board and press it as you go. Fold all the way down to the next edge.
  12. When you get to a corner, fold the corner up and continue to the next side. You might have to play with the corner a bit, but once you actually do this it will make sense.
  13. Continue until you’ve folded and pinned the binding around the whole mug rug.
  14. Sew it down using a walking foot if you have one.  If not go slow with a regular foot. Sew right along the edge of the binding. Sew to the corner and leave the needle in the fabric as you lift the presser foot and turn to go down the next edge. Repeat for all sides and VIOLA a mug rug!

fabric scrap mug rug an easy sew project


GreenCraft and Somerset Home

recycled leather craft in GreenCraft magazine

GreenCraft and Somerset Home are magazine titles published by Stampington and my work can often be seen the magazines. The photography in the magazines are amazing and make my pieces look even more incredible than they are. I love working with them and have contributed to most of their titles for the last 8 or 9 years. I’m not sure why I don’t talk about that part of my art more since it is one of the pieces that truly make me happy. I really do need to get better about self-promotion. I guess I don’t create and write for the prestige since it really is a passion.

The latest issue of Somerset Home magazine beautifully blends “Somerset-esque” art together with functional, everyday items to add an artful touch of decor. The result is a truly distinctive semiannual magazine that exemplifies creative living and showcases hundreds of tips, techniques, and charming accents designed to enlighten, organize, and beautify any dwelling place. When you wander through the inspiring pages of Somerset Home, you’ll be enthralled by room after room of beautiful projects. If you are interested in purchasing an issue click-> Somerset Home Magazine this is an affiliate link. The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

GreenCraft Magazine Spring

Discover stylish and sustainable DIY projects for breathing new life into normally discarded materials. GreenCraft really speaks to my heart since I am an avid recycler and upcycler. My kids know to leave anything that might be incorporated into my art in the bin beside the recycling can so that I can check it out first. submitting my work for consideration is a natural pairing. If you are interested in getting your own copy of this wonderful title click –> GreenCraft Magazine

If you want a peak inside this issue this is one of my articles inside GreenCraft where I recycled leather. I love the versatility of not only submitting to but reading this magazine because I get new ideas for materials to use in each.

recycled leather craft in GreenCraft magazine

I hope you have enjoyed a little bit more of what goes on behind the scenes at 365 Days of Crafts.

Craft room storage and organization ideas

nook with baskets off kitchen used for storage

Craft room storage and organization ideas. I have a confession to make. I am too cheap to have a fancy craft room and my craft space is a back room in the basement. That room is a disaster and you would likely cringe at the photo. I keep my home tidy but my creative space, well, not so much.  I really never stop creating so it is rarely clean. Most of my storage is from recycled containers that I have upcucled in some way. I really have more time than money and I am okay with that. This allows me to spend more money on tools and supplies and create storage and organization that fits my needs.

nook with baskets off kitchen used for storageThis is a nook off of my kitchen, it is not my main craft room. Working with polymer clay requires baking in an oven. I tried using a toaster oven but could not master the tool. I burnt everything that ever went into it. Keeping the polymer clay in my room was not an option because I like to work on more pieces while others are baking and I like to be in the room when baking. I’d rather be safe than sorry. faux cork polymer clay desk organizer made from soup cans

This desk organizer is made from old metal cans and polymer clay. Learn how to make your own faux cork desk organizer. Creating something out of rubbish and saving money makes me happy. I keep it in the nook so that my daughter can color while I’m cooking dinner.  The nook has great natural light.  I also use the area to photohraph small pieces.

tubs labeled storage and organization inside drawer labels are important for organizing group colors save finished pieces in zip top bags


This is what I use inside the drawer to keep everything tidy. Sharpie markers make labeling quick, and it can be removed with alcohol. I cannot say enough about labels. If you label and actully put things with their proper label it is a lot easier to stay organized. I like to group my products by colors.  It makes it easier to find things and I think it looks pretty too.

storage and organization ideas for craft supplies and craft room tour

I also like to save finished pieces or pieces I made extras of, because you never know when you are going to need it.  Plus sometimes I really like to sit down and create with nothing in mind.  It gives me the opportunity to play around and try new techniques and to release my creative energy.

This is tucked behind a door and takes up very little space. This was in my old craft room and is an absolute space saver. My storage and organization of paint is in need of a few more tiers. I need to get my neutrals on there.  It is made with a $3 towel bar (affiliate link)  and wood trim that is painted white. You could paint it the same color as your wall or make a bold statement and paint it a bright accent color.

Find more ideas for storage and organization click the link or the image below.

Craft Room Tours








Make this polymer clay faux cork desk organizer

faux cork polymer clay desk organizer made from soup cans

Make this polymer clay faux cork desk organizer. Combine old cans, clay and paint for some awesome organizers. Then you can use them as decorations, vases, candles or as a desk top organizer like I did. The secret to creating this technique is an old toothbrush.  faux cork polymer clay desk organizer made from soup cansMake this polymer clay faux cork desk organizer. Combine old cans, clay and paint for some awesome organizers. Then you can use them as decorations, vases, candles or as a desk top organizer like I did. The secret to creating this technique is an old toothbrush. 

As an avid upcyler, I have a large stash of empty cans in a variety of sizes stashed in a bin in the baskets in my craft nook in the kitchen. You would be amazed at what all I  have hiding in the baskets.  LOL Learn more about my storage and organizing in this post. 

nook with baskets off kitchen used for storage

In the last couple of years I have developed a fondness for polymer clay.  So I needed to have a space in the kitchen where I could work since the clay needs ovens. This project brings together two of my favorite things a recycled item and polymer clay. The metal is ideal because you do not have to worry about the metal melting during the baking process. One of my favorite things to do is to create “faux” materials with the clay. While playing around with the cans and polymer clay, I discovered a faux cork look. I knew immediately that the faux cork piece would become a candle and the other pieces would hold pens, pencils and other miscellaneous stuff. To finish off the pieces I added the jute and I might go back and add wood buttons too.

Materials needed for the polymer clay faux cork desk organizer:

  • Premo! Sculpey® Ecru PE02 5093, Sculpey® Super Slicer 
  • Sculpey Clay Conditioning Machine (or acrylic roller)
  • Hemptique Jute Cording brown #10,  blue #20
  • Americana®  Acrylics by DecoArt – DAO93 Raw Sienna, DA130 Raw Umber, Matte Sealer
  • Cleaned and dry cans
  • Old toothbrush 
  • Beacon Adhesives Quick Grip

Oven and clay only baking sheet or aluminum foil, paper towels

 polymer clay faux cork desk organizer

Instructions for the polymer clay faux cork desk organizer:

  1. To make the faux cork, you will need to condition the clay by needing the clay in your hands or by running through a clay conditioning machine, the machine is also known as a pasta machine. If you do not have a machine you can use an acrylic roller.
  2. For the Faux cork I used ecru clay rolled out in a sheet long enough to wrap around the can with a 1” overlap on the end and the edges.
  3. I used a Super Slicer blade to trim off the excess.
  4. To create indentations on the clay I used an old toothbrush.  I rolled it around the can leaving indentations as I went along. I used the tip of the brush to leave larger impressions.
  5. Once the cans were covered I followed the manufacturers instructions for baking.
  6. For the faux cork piece I added a layer of Raw Umber and then wiped it off.  I allowed it to dry and then added a coat of Raw Sienna and used a paper towel to remove the excess.
  7. I sprayed all the pieces with a matte sealer.  
  8. The twine was added to the exposed spaces and secured with Quick Grip adhesive.  

So try out this polymer clay technique to make faux cork desk organizer.  Start saving those made tin cans.






mardi gras centerpiece ideas with peacock inspiration

mardi gras mask centerpiece ideas mascarade table decorations

The mardi gras centerpiece ideas with peacock inspiration were made for a Gala that I was Chair of this past fall. The colors of the event were inspired by peacock colors. I am quite smitten with the fowl and love the colors in their feathers. So when I had the opportunity to be in charge of the event I decided to use my favorite colors. This idea worked really well when I designed the invitations, picked out the table-cloth colors etc.

These were my original mardi gras centerpiece decorations that incorporated the peacock colors.  While they look really good I eventually realized they were not fancy enough and had to change-up my plans. So what started out as peacock color morphed into more of rainbow colors. 

The tall white candles are from the Dollar Tree had a rim of gold paint and gold glitter added to them. The tall pieces are vases that were donated from a member of Kindervelt and then the smaller ones were donated to me by a friend who had just thrown a big party at work. I also have dozens of other vases donated for my use. To keep everything looking consistent I used the same colors on everything.
peacock inspired mardi gras center piece decorations

The pretty trim came from a fabric store in Little India in Chicago. I purchased a few yards on a trip last year.  No reason or plans for the purchase other than they were my jam. Good thing I like the same things for long periods of time. Additionally I used some left over Make it Mirror Spray paint on some of the glass vases. It really help to add an extra dimension and keep things cohesive.

Gold glitter, teal, aqua and jade green were my main colors for the mardi gras centerpiece. A giant jar of gold glitter goes a very very long way. It also hangs around your house and car for months. I like to think of it as accessorizing my sparkling personality. My husband and son, well not so much. They call it tinker bell barf and would prefer me to control it a little bettermardi gras centerpiece

But when it came time to ordering beads and masks for the event I had to expand the colors because it is not easy to find decorations that are mardi gras or masquerade themed in my specific color palate.mardi gras centerpiece ideas with beads and masks

I have worked with Oriental Trading as a blogger and knew they would be my go to for reasonably priced items for this event. I hit the jackpot and stayed within my budget. We used around 200 mardi gras masks and about 1,0000 strands of mardi gras bead necklaces to decorate the event space. Thank goodness their prices are good and their shipping is fast and more importantly you can generally get it free with orders over $50. Saving where you can really helps when you are trying to raise funds for a charity.

To order the Mardi Gras themed supplies go to their website http://www.orientaltrading.com and search for mardi gras in the big box or use this link. Mardi Gras Supplies at Oriental Trading

We used their mardi gras centerpiece themed items:

  • Mardi Gras Masks
  • Mardi Gras beads in bulk and in specific colors

Regular party supplies for the mardi gras centerpiece:

  • gossamer fabric in rolls
  • tulle in rolls
  • metallic streamers
  • hot glue sticks and glue gun
  • gold glitter

The Gossamer was bunched up on the tables and topped with masks, beads and the candle center pieces. To make the masks stand out in the mardi gras centerpiece dowel rods were used.

Check out the Mardi Gras Candy buffet we had by the Carousel.