Monthly Archives: July 2012

Iron-on Applique 101

Iron-on applique is a sewing technique I use a lot.  It’s an easy, versatile way to add an extra little touch to just about any sewing project.  I thought I would take a minute to do a quick step-by-step tutorial for iron-on applique.

First, you will need to purchase some iron-on adhesive.  I keep yards of this stuff around at all times.  It’s very reasonably priced.  I like HeatnBond brand the best.  In fact I wouldn’t waste my money on any other brand (Pellon in particular is very difficult to work with).

You will also need some cotton fabric.  I usually stick with fabrics that have medium to large prints with easy to cut shapes.

When you open up your iron-on adhesive you will notice that it has two sides.

A smooth side that feels like parchment paper and a bumpy side that is slightly shiny.  The bumpy, shiny side is the side that has the adhesive on it.  Whatever you do DO NOT let you iron touch the adhesive side!

Next you will want to cut out a piece of the adhesive that just barely covers the shape you wish to use as an applique.  In this case I’m using two little houses.

Turn your iron on to the “wool” setting.  Place the fabric on the ironing board with the right side down.  Place the piece of iron-on adhesive on the fabric with the bumpy (or adhesive) side down.  You want to make sure that you are ironing on the smooth paper side.  I want to be clear about this step, you are melting the adhesive into the wrong side of the fabric with the paper side up.

Slowly glide the iron over the paper.  Make sure to run the iron all the way out to the edge of the adhesive paper.  It should only take about 30 seconds to melt the adhesive into the fabric.

Allow the fabric to cool and cut out your shape.

Once you have the shapes cut out, peel the paper off the back.  It should come off easily.  If it doesn’t, that means the adhesive hasn’t melted all the way and you need to iron it a bit more.

Place the applique onto the clothing, being sure to position it exactly were you want it to go. Once it’s ironed there’s no making adjustments.  Once again you want to slowly glide the iron over the fabric applique being sure to get the edges.

When your fabric applique is secure, move to your sewing machine and carefully stitch around the edge.  The iron-on adhesive will keep the fabric from fraying when it’s washed.  The stitching is to make the applique a little more secure and to add a finished look.

Easy as pie!

Now that you’ve got the applique basics down the sky is the limit! You can use it on so many different projects.  It’s just my personal taste but I find that the simpler the applique the better it looks.  A little bit of embellishment goes a long way.


Have fun, don’t go crazy (unless you like crazy. the by all means applique everything in sight), and if you have any other questions please feel free to send a message.


Summer is in full swing.  It is here in all it’s nostalgic glory… ice cream cones, sunscreen, tan legs, dirty feet,  lemonade, comic books,  staying up late, sleeping in, county fair, fresh fruit, happy summer hum! 

Since all my friends are busy having summer babies I have been busy sewing baby things.  I do love sewing for babies!  So many tiny things all over the sewing room, more than I bothered to take pictures of but here are a few~

Our friends (who also happen to be family on my husband’s side) were expecting their first child this July.  They decide not to find out the baby’s gender, so I made some gender neutral onesies and burp clothes.  To be honest I’m not very good at making gender neutral things.  I’m constantly wondering if they are too feminine or too masculine. 

On a whim I made a little dress, just in case they had a little girl.  I used some vintage fabric my friend gave me for my birthday.  It was cream with a raised yellow swiss dot.  I added mint green baby buttons to the front.

Since the fabric was a bit sheer I did a double layer on the skirt, and added some sweet little trim.

Our friend ended up having a beautiful little girl!  So the dress will get some use after all :)


I’ve been working hard to keep the kiddos busy this summer (not too busy, but trying to fight off the summer madness that can set in).  We’ve made many trips to the library and I am happy to report, we have only incurred one 25 cent late fee!!  I know.  I can hardly believe it myself.

Our friend Simeon, took this picture of E.  It is my favorite picture of her to date.  It just captures who she is so well! 

Lots of pool swimming

Water coloring

And missed naps.  Our busy summertime schedule sometimes spills over into nap time.  She was so tired one afternoon that she climbed in my laundry basket and fell asleep.

This is my garage sale find!  I plan on painting it a fun color and making new cushions for it, but first I must wait until the dog grows out of his chewing stage.


We went away for 2 nights and 2 days for our anniversary.  Stayed in Carmel-by-the-Sea (yes that is the towns’ full name).   We slept in, eat amazingly good food, took hikes, sat on the beach, and window shopped.

He carved our name into the bench that overlooks Point Lobos.  Twelve years. 

“He is more myself than I am.  Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” ~ Emily Bronte

PS~  my camera is not working right now.  I have my best tech guy working on it, but I’m not sure I will be posting pictures anytime real soon.  Hopefully it can be brought back to life!

Potato Digging Party

If you have never been to a potato digging party I can say with all confidence that you have lived a deprived life.  Every year our friends David and Beth plant a big lovely vegetable garden.   This year they planted a large crop of yellow and red potatoes that all needed to be harvested at one time.  That’s when Beth came up with the brilliant idea for a potato digging party. 

We arrived Friday evening with our work clothes on and plenty of shovels.  First we feasted on hotdogs, fresh corn from the garden, grilled and seasoned squash, water melon, and some amazing Nutella Rice Krispy treats!  After we had eaten our fill, laughed at all the children’s jokes, had seconds on the nutella rice krispy treats; we gathered our shovels and headed down to the garden.

The kids were eager to help.  My kiddos had never seen what potatoes look like outside of a super market, and they were anxious to start digging.

The weather could not have been nicer; cool with just a slight breeze.  The company was excellent and many hands made light work.

Beth’s sisters also came to help!  Some of you might recognize Mary and Sharon from our Pioneer Women Adventures :)  

We harvested buckets and buckets of potatoes!!  The red potatoes looked so pretty when we pulled them out of the dark brown earth.

She was covered in dirt.  Every time I looked up I saw her laying down in the dirt!

The little girls working hard and keeping each other company.

We dug and we dug until we had no sunlight left to see by.  The children were having a little contest to see who could find the biggest potatoes.  These two always seemed to dig up the biggest potatoes!

That night we got home late, with smiles on our faces and a car full of fresh potatoes, canned goodness, sweet corn, summer squash, red onions, and good memories!

Good night my friends!  More summer fun to come….