Monday, 21 August 2017

Back to School - Stick Icy Pole Sleeves Tutorial

Welcome to my back to school project for the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop!

I made some cute and handy stick icy pole sleeves. I remember coming home from school and sitting on the couch at home looking out the window on our back yard eating icy poles. Summer enticed me into it. Generally I don't enjoy eating cold things like ice cream, but icy poles were different because you could bite it through the plastic and your teeth had a little bit of protection. Now your hands do too!




Materials needed to create the Stick Icy Pole Sleeves:

  • polar fleece scrap, 4.5" x 7" per stick icy pole sleeve - I used white
  • minky scrap 4.5" x 6" per stick icy pole sleeve - I used zig-zag and pink
  • and just in case you are lazy like me, I made a printable template you can use

First cut out your pieces and pin them right sides together along the shorter top edge, leaving a generous seam allowance. Sew using a straight stitch or a very slight zig-zag stitch (which is recommended for some machines when sewing stretch fabrics).


Next, pin and sew along the sides to form a tube, leaving a normal amount (1/4") seam allowance. Ensure you pin and keep the seam allowance of your previous stitch turned back on itself to reduce bulk when sewing. Please excuse the party blower that Tahlia insisted on putting in the photo. She thought it was hilarious.


After that, turn your tube starting at the polar fleece end (very important) so that wrong sides are together (very important).


Pin across the cut edge (not the folded edge). Make sure that the polar fleece seem and the minky seam are matched together in the middle of the edge and that the seam allowance is once again folded back against itself to reduce bulk. Sew in place.


Clip the corners.


Then turn inside out. You can use a ruler to help push the ends out properly.


Enjoy your hands-freeze-free stick icy poles!



This project is brought to you as part of the #sewmuchfunbloghop - visit the links below to find out what other Back to School Projects everyone has come up with.


You can also find a lovely array of Christian themed quilt patterns throughout her website.


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Luke 12 - Where is Your Treasure? Quiet Book Page

In Luke chapter 12, Jesus talks a lot about possessions, and what they say about our priorities.


Memory Verse: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke:12:34

Materials needed to create the Where is Your Treasure? quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used pink.
  • felt scraps
  • ribbon
  • large heart button
  • trinkets for the treasure inside
  • sewing threads to match ribbon
  • the treasure chest template by Stephanie from Imagine Our Life
I'm not going to give a detailed explanation here because Stephanie has already done a tutorial on how to make the chest in her post. Of course you will need to make the loop of ribbon on the lid large enough to fit over your heart button, and sew the heart button in place on the bottom piece.

It is important to sew the chest pieces using a colour thread that matches the ribbon rather than the felt so that when you sew the pieces onto the page and you go over the ribbon it doesn't look funny. That's my opinion anyway.

Finished!

Difficulty Level = Intermediate

Getting the loop right is probably the most difficult section.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Luke 12 - This page tells the story of how it is better to store our treasure in Heaven, because on Earth our treasure can easily get stolen or ruined.
  • Imaginative Play - who doesn't like to find treasure!
  • Buttoning - Opening and closing the treasure chest.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through buttoning on the treasure chest, and trying on the trinkets.

Read the Chapter

Luke 12

Devotional

As I was reading this chapter and wondering what to write the devotional on, one thing stuck out to me.  A man asked Jesus to tell his brother to share the inheritance with him. Jesus doesn't. Actually, he reproves both men with one story. A man had a bountiful crop and no-where to store it, so he decided to build new barns so he could store it all up for himself and sit back and relax and not work anymore. Instead he dies that night and who knows who got to enjoy his bountiful crop. Jesus' point was that it is better to share what extra we have rather than trusting in our possessions to look after us. We can't look after ourselves by having lots of possessions anyway. For all we know, we will die tomorrow, and no amount of goods can change that.

The inheritance cannot save either of them, but God is the one who will meet their needs. And we can trust Him to because he values us much more than the sparrows, whom he never forgets. Life is about more than food and clothes, and God will ensure he looks after the basics if we stop chasing after them like madmen and take time to focus on the important things, like seeking the Kingdom of God and looking after others.

I used to be enthralled with the idea of self sufficiency. As I have grown older, I have begun to realize that self sufficiency is impossible. No one can grow and make everything they need. It takes too much effort and too much skill. Some climates are not suitable to grow certain things. We can do without a lot, but even so, I get exhausted thinking about everything I would have to do if I wanted to be self sufficient.

God created family and community so that we could support each other. We are supposed to need each other because that teaches us that we can't supply everything we need, and that we need to rely on God. The village baker and the village candlestick maker had very different jobs, but if you had a village full of butchers/bakers/candlestick makers (and every other job-ers), there would be a village full of hungry people with no working tools.

If we all focused on what God has given us that we could share with others and we would all benefit from the best of everything.


That man had a chance to ask the Lord of the Universe a question, and he blew it on "tell my brother to share the inheritance". I hope I would ask a more meaningful question than that, and receive an answer I could treasure.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Psalm 58 - Snail Quiet Book Page

In Psalm 58, David asks God to make the wicked like snails that melt away as they go along!

Memory Verse: "May they [the wicked] be like snails that dissolve into slime" Psalm 58:8a

Materials needed to create the Snail quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used sky blue.
  • felt scraps
  • rik rak
  • sheer printed organza or other colourful sheer material
  • embroidered flower motifs or other hide-able object
  • glass stone or marble, button, bead etc
  • sewing threads to match 
  • this snail colouring page from Coloring Pages for Kids (and a printer)

On your background sheet, arrange some green felt in the foreground to make grass and sew down.

Cut out a double layer of the same green felt in the shape of a bush. Sew the two bush pieces back to back. Then sew them down along the right top edge of the grass, ensuring you leave enough room to fit the snail along the rest of the grass.

Fold back the bush and sew/iron on your motif underneath.

Print and cut out your snail colouring page and use as a template. If you need a more detailed explanation, you could read how I used a colouring page as a template in my post on Jacob's Ladder.

Cut out the snail body and sew down, then add the eye pieces on top.

Measure how much rik rak you need by laying it over the snail outline. Cut a little extra to tuck underneath at each end. Melt the ends with a match so they don't fray.


Lay your organza or sheer fabric over the area where the snail shell will be. Pin your rik rak down in a spiral pattern over the top and slip in a glass stone or other item underneath the organza. Make sure there is enough room to move the stone around while it is still pinned. That way you can adjust it before sewing if needed. I started from the outside edge and went in towards the middle, then turned around a stitched all the way back out again. That will help to make it tough and be able to withstand being played with. Then trim the organza back.


Finished!

Difficulty Level = Intermediate

The tricky part is lining up the rik rak. Also, make sure you cut out the snail shape after sewing it down and not before - I had to re-do it as I missed catching a section and there was a hole that the glass stone kept slipping out of.



This is Tahlia with her three pages of sewing on paper that we did after finishing the snail. She often sits on my lap while I sew and has been dying to test out the fancy stitches on the machine that I never use. So I let her.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Psalm 58 - This page tells about how ultimately the wicked will be like the snail - they will melt away and dissolve into slime!
  • Imaginative Play - Garden play perhaps, imagine how big everything is when you are as small as a snail.
  • Button/stone/marble maze - push the stone around the track.
  • Shapes - learn all about spirals.
  • Peek-a-boo - lift the flap to reveal the (half) hidden flowers.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through moving the glass stone around the spiral maze, and lifting and closing the peek-a-boo flap.

Read the Chapter

Psalm 58

Devotional

All too often, those in authority use their power to take advantage of others. Sometimes they are scary and they scare people into obedience. Sometimes they seem too difficult to stand up to. I guess David knew how that felt. The king of Israel was supposed to be looking after God's sheep, but instead he was hunting one of them down to try to kill him. David.

In a way this verse reminds me of the story of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz story.  She seems formidable until a simple bucket of water causes her great concern and she cries "I'm melting!" as she dissolves into nothing.

I guess my point is that the bucket of water is like a tiny bit of good or a tiny bit of faith. God and goodness are infinitely stronger than evil. In fact, wickedness is self-destructive. It cannot prevail against goodness.

This point was taken to heart by Desmond Tutu in his opposition to apartheid in South Africa. He knew he was on the winning side, because goodness always prevails in the end. Although living in a very volatile situation, he led his country to a war-less end to systematic racial discrimination and segregation, and advocated reconciliation through forgiveness. The country underwent a transition to democracy, and apartheid rule that had lasted over forty years was broken. It melted away because of goodness.

David had experience with that too. Everyone else could only see a giant problem when they looked at Goliath. But David knew that a little stone in the hands of faith could melt that problem. He trusted God to deal with his problems. Our problems might look insurmountable to us, but when you know how good and powerful God is, suddenly you have a way to dissolve them. Just ask Him.

“Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves us.” Desmond Tutu.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Genesis 8 - In The Ark Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 8, the Flood recedes and Noah checks by sending out a raven and a dove through a window in the ark.


Memory Verse: "When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth." Genesis 8:11

Materials needed to create the In The Ark quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet, I used navy.
  • felt scrap for pocket
  • Betty Lukens Felt book 07 Noah's Ark available at Koorong.
  • sewing thread to best match the page and pocket
  • scissors!
Cut out all the pieces for this page, and the two ark pages from the set leaving as much margin as possible. You want enough to make it easy to sew back to back and also to leave a flap on the respective sides so you can sew it down to the page along that and it can flip open. The Betty Lukens FAQ section has posted a cutting tips PDF.

Cut out the three sides of the window and door so they can open. Hot glue (or sew) the pictures behind the window and door.

Sew the two pages back to back, sewing around the top along the shape of the ark. They should line up fairly well. Trim the excess, remembering to leave a flap down one side to sew it onto the page with so it flips open.



Make a pocket by folding down the top edge of a rectangular piece of felt and sewing along that edge to reinforce it. Then sew it onto the middle of the page where it will be hidden by the ark.

Sew the ark onto the page along the flap, going over it twice so it is strong.

Pop the pieces inside the pocket (or better yet, play with them)!

Finished!

Difficulty Level = Intermediate.

Double check everything when sewing the pages back to back and ensure you leave enough margin to form a flap for the ark to flip open.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 8 - This page tells the story of how the Flood receded and Noah tested this by sending out a raven and a dove through a window in the ark.
  • Imaginative Play - Open the window to let the raven and dove in and out. 
  • Matching - Check on the animals inside and match the pairs.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through matching the pairs of animals and opening the window and door.


Read the Chapter

Genesis 8

Devotional

I always wondered what Noah and his family filled the ark with besides all the food they and the animals would need for a year or so. If I was planning a new life in a new world, what would I bring?
My sewing machine would be high on the list of wants, but how much good would it do me without electricity at the other end? Did they have items like this that they just had to leave behind because it would no longer be useful? I imagine they packed as much as they could to make setting up a new life as easy as possible.

I also imagined one of Noah's sons' wives being pregnant on the ark. When I was a child I guess I didn't consider things like sea sickness getting in the way of that, or the enormous amount of work looking after all those animals must have been. The first child to be born after the flood was born two years after the flood (Genesis 11:10). So I guess it didn't take them long to get organised enough to feel that getting pregnant was OK.

I recently had a dream where it was my family entering the ark, and as I was busily packing forgotten items, it suddenly hit me that all my debt was gone. I couldn't stop hugging my family and celebrating! In the morning there would be no more bank! I'm sure you can extrapolate this to mean Jesus paid our debts. But what really hit me was the physical debts gone. And that is also coming with Jesus' return. Money will become useless once again!



Sunday, 14 May 2017

Felt Board in a Fabric Quiet Book

Last year I went in another quiet book swap. This one was outer space themed, and since I had previously bought a space themed felt board play set, I wanted to include it in the book.




The pages of the book are fabric. Adding felt pages would have posed a problem when putting the book together. Felt is rather thick and would have made turning the pages right side out difficult. So this was my solution: I simply cut felt squares slightly smaller than the page and sewed them onto it, allowing room for a fabric border and the seam allowance.




Since I wanted a larger amount of room for the felt board set than one page allowed, I repeated the process on another page. This created another problem of how to store the felt board set pieces in a pocket without creating a large bump behind the felt board. Also, I wanted to be able to access the pocket without turning the page and having all the pieces fall off whilst playing with it. I solved this problem, but it needed it's own post to explain, so stay tuned!




I used a striped fabric for the felt board pages, and I purposely laid the stripes in opposite directions on the border. I think it looks good that way. A plain felt page would have looked rather boring if I had not included enough space between the felt and seam allowance for a border. I don't think the border puts a border on the imagination. At least I hope it doesn't. I probably would not have liked it as a child. I was a very fussy child and liked everything to be as close to real as possible. Happily, Tahlia does not seem to share my quips about toys and realism.



Saturday, 6 May 2017

Genesis 7 - The Flood Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 7, the Flood rages, but Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives, along with the animals are all kept safe inside the ark.



Memory Verse: "The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters." Genesis 7:18

Materials needed to create The Flood quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet. I used a bright blue.
  • Betty Lukens Felt book 07 Noah's Ark available at Koorong.
  • sewing thread to best match the page
  • scissors!
Cut out all the pieces for this page, and the page itself from the set. Cut it out as it is, not in the shape of an ark as suggested in the instructions. The Betty Lukens FAQ section has posted a cutting tips PDF.

Sew the page onto the background felt along three sides, leaving the top edge open to form a pocket. Pop the pieces inside (or better yet, play with them)!

Finished!



Difficulty Level = Easy, plus No Sew version.

One of the easiest quiet book pages ever!
Just use hot glue wherever sewing is recommended for a no sew version.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 7 - This page tells the story of how Noah and his family were kept safe in the ark during the Flood.
  • Imaginative Play - Toss Noah's ark around on the wild waters and create a storm.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through rearranging the pieces.



Read the Chapter

Genesis 7

Devotional

What scientists teach about how fossils were created has always bothered me. When a sheep dies in a paddock or a kangaroo becomes roadkill, they don't become fossils. Very special circumstances have to exist for a fossil to form, and the fact that fossils are found all over Earth suggests that a global flood is likely responsible. Often, fossils will form of animals in the process of doing things, such as this fish in the process of swallowing another fish for dinner. They were caught completely unaware and buried instantly. Sounds like evidence of a catastrophic flood to me.

Image Source

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Pillowcase Quiet Book Closure

I am always trying to think of imaginative ways to keep a quiet book closed that don't take a lot of effort to sew. If it also helps to keep stray pieces inside it's a big bonus. So here is my next quiet book closure idea which I have named the "Pillowcase"!




It is easy to see that I got the idea from a pillowcase... I made a flap on the back page from rib knit fabric which folds over to enclose the pages and front cover and helps to keep small pieces from falling out (Heaven forbid). I used a folded piece of rib knit so that there would be no need for a seam along the turning edge that might impede the ability to fold it over (and might look unattractive). I did put a pin tuck close to either corner, but I don't think I would recommend it. Since the rib fabric was already doubled it made it rather hard to sew due to it's thickness, and because rib knit is stretchy and the whole reason I used it, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be necessary. Although if your quiet book is very thick, maybe it would be an idea to try. It might work better if you put a separate pin tuck slightly over from each other in the top and bottom layers of the rib knit fabric instead of pin tucking the two layers together like I did - who knows why.




This method is really easy for kids to open. That may be a positive or negative depending on the children you are designing a quiet book for! I don't like Tahlia to play with them without my supervision yet, so I store them out of reach.




I like the look of it and it saved me from having to do any decoration on the front cover. You could easily put the flap on the front cover instead so it folds over the back if you preferred.




Sunday, 23 April 2017

Vashti's Quiet Book - My Sister's Pages

These are the super cute quiet book pages that my sister made for her daughter Vashti!


A caterpillar...


There is a light green peek-a-boo leaf on the top...


And a pocket for the pieces behind the darker middle leaf...



A weather page... the cloud and hot air balloon basket are both pockets...


A rainbow page...



A sandcastle and bucket page - template from Imagine Our Life Sandcastle Quiet Book Page....


And lastly, some shoe laces to learn to tie... template from Pops and Podge Quiet Book Page 3 -  Tie The Laces...


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Psalm 4 - Peaceful Sleep Quiet Book Page

In Psalms chapter 4, David acknowledges that it is God who keeps us safe.


Memory Verse: "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8 NIV

Materials needed to create the Peaceful Sleep quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet; I used mauve
  • felt/material scraps, velour is good for the blanket
  • embroidery floss (optional)
  • small rope dolls (I bought mine from a dollar shop)
  • sewing thread to best match the page
  • a bed template - I used the Five Little Monkeys pattern by Stephanie of Imagine Our life
Sew a large scrap of felt to fill the bottom third of your felt background sheet.  I cut off the excess mauve so I could use it for something else. You could simply sew a strip over the bottom third of your sheet.

Cut out the bedhead and sew it down, followed by the pillows. Be sure to line it up properly so that the bed base does not allow wall coloured felt to show through, and that the pillows are visible above the blanket.

I used velour material for the blanket. It was from a baby suit given to Tahlia. The velour makes a lovely soft blanket for the dollies and adds a touch and feel aspect to the page.  Cut out two blanket sections so they can be sewn right sides facing out. Use the embroidery floss to add an authentic touch to the top edge of the blanket. Sew the blanket in place to the bed base.

Sew the bed base down to the floor/wall on the bottom and sides.

Put the dollies into bed.

Finished!



Difficulty Level = Easy.

Blanket stitch is easy, don't be off-put. If in doubt, You Tube it!

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Psalm 4 - This page tells that God keeps us safe, and we can sleep in peace.
  • Imaginative Play - The dollies can play at all sorts of things. These three dollies are meant to be Tahlia and her cousin, and her friend enjoying a sleepover.
  • Touch and Feel - The velour blanket is lovely soft texture, and it runs in a grain. You can rub it with and against the grain and feel a big difference in texture.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through tucking the dollies into bed.

Read the Chapter

Psalm 4

Devotional

Financial stresses seem to be the focus of this Psalm. They can certainly keep you awake at night. The basic message is that if you resolve to do the right thing, and you decide to put your trust in God, His listening ear and attentiveness is worth more than financial security.

The Easy-to-Read Version is more of a paraphrase, but it puts this Psalm so beautifully, and brings out such meaning that it is WELL worth the read.

Despite my worried nights, He has always seen us through. I pray you have a peaceful sleep tonight.