Installing Safety Eyes and Noses – How to

This week I’m kicking off my memory bear series!  I am so excited to be able to share all my tips and tricks so you can make your own beautiful memory bears!  In the series I’ll be covering all my tips and info for actually sewing the bears, as well as some techniques like installing safety eyes, how to sew a ladder stitch, and even a step-by-step tutorial for my favorite bear pattern.

I started making these bears a couple of months ago as a surprise for a friend whose father had passed away.  I made three bears for the grandchildren so they have a grandpa bear to snuggle when they start missing him.

There happy faces made every second spent making the bears worth it and I knew I wanted to put more smiles on faces.  I ended up starting a Facebook page called Whitney Sews Memories and started making more bears for other people!

So my point is I LOVE making these bears and want to teach you how to make them too!

I’m starting off the series with a few of the techniques that are needed for making bears.  This week I’m showing how to install safety snaps and next week how to hand sew a ladder stitch to finish off the bears after they are stuffed.  So once I get to the actual bear tutorials the entire video will be focused on making the bears themselves.  Then if you need to refer back to the bear tutorial a few times you won’t have to rewatch (or skip over) the basics every time.

I have found that the easiest time to install safety eyes and noses are when only the front of the face is sewn together.  I attach the face sides and center then add the facial features then continue sewing the rest of the head and the bear together.

Check out the video HERE to see step-by-step the best way to perfectly install safety eyes!

See, not hard at all!  If there are other techniques you want me to cover in this series, make sure to leave them in the comments below!  Come back next week for the next tutorial in the #memorybear series.  Until then, Happy Sewing!



World Geography Learning Mat

If you don’t already know, I have two daughter – one just turned three and the other will be two in April.  They keep me pretty busy and I’m always looking for fun ways to incorporate learning into our daily lives.  We recently picked up a set of wooden animals and I thought it was the perfect opportunity for my oldest to start learning where different animals live around the world.

So I grabbed some fabrics from my stash (basic cotton for the continents and a flannel for the water) and set to work on my map.  Since it’s for a three year old I didn’t worry about being too detailed, just got the general shape drawn out.

I show the step-by-step process in my video tutorial HERE!

I absolutely love how this little learning floor mat turned out and I know Peyton does too!  What other DIY projects do you think we should make for our homeschooling supplies??

Did you know I have a second channel?!?  I’m trying to get back to posting on it and started with a recipe video yesterday for White Chicken Chili.  Click HERE to watch that video!

Make sure to come back next week for another new sewing tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!



Bricks and Blocks Quilt How to

This week I wanted to share a fun quilt I made recently for a youTuber friend who had a baby in December.  I was looking for a fairly easy quilt, but one that is visually interesting. I found a fun quilt on Pinterest, and decided to make a similar one.  But instead of tracking down the original post I just referenced the photo and quilt layout and came up with the measurements that worked best for a crib size quilt.

The entire quilt is made of only two different sized pieces – BRICKS that are 8.5 by 4.5 inches and BLOCKS that are 4.5 by 4.5 inches.  Because there are only two different sized pieces you can focus on creating a pattern or design with the fabrics you use.  I went with a diagonal white stripe design among colored/printed fabrics, but you can chose other layouts or go with a totally random design.

The quilt can be made with 10 to 14 different fabrics; using only 4.5 inches by the width of fabric for the prints so this is a great stash project!  By the way….YES I am still doing the Sew Your Stash Challenge even though we are in a new year (more on that later)!

To get started select your fabrics and cut 14 strips measuring 4.5 inches by the width of the fabric.  Then subcut those down into 4 Bricks (4.5 x 8.5 inches) and 1 Block (4.5 x 4.5 inches).  Then lay them out in a design you like and start sewing the rows together.  It is really that simple!  You will end up with a couple of pieces left over after you have sewn all 12 rows together.  You can toss them into your scrap pile, or incorporate them into your backing or binding like I did on my Charming Rainbows Quilt.

Below is a graphic you can Pin or save to refer to when piecing if you want to create the same layout as my quilt.


But as I mentioned earlier you can create any design (or no design at all) and still have a beautiful quilt.  The only ‘rules’ for this quilt is to stick to the layout of 5 bricks in the first row, then a block, 4 bricks, and a block in the second row.  Repeat that pattern 6 times to have a quilt top.

Watch the full step-by-step video tutorial HERE!

And that is it!  A simple, but beautiful baby quilt!  You can make it for a boy or girl depending on the fabrics you choose.

If you liked this tutorial please share the link with your friends.  Come back next Wednesday for another new tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


Upcycled Denim Pillow Shams

I have always loved upcycling clothing!  The summer after I graduated high school I did a ton of t-shirt reconstructions and they helped me gain a ton of confidence in my sewing skills.  Thirteen years later and I still love upcycles!  My most recent upcycling projects have to do with keepsake or memory sewing.  Memory sewing is using clothing or other items (baby clothing that has been outgrown or clothing from loved ones who have passed away, etc) to create precious keepsakes.

Some of the memory upcycles I’ve enjoyed the most are denim rag quilts

and memory bears!  Aren’t they precious?!?

Check out my facebook page Whitney Sews Memories if you want to see more of my memory sewing projects!

But today I’ll be showing how to reuse denim jeans to make pillow shams!  They are pretty easy and can be customized however you like.

Check out the full step-by-step video tutorial HERE!

What other projects can you think of to make from denim?!?  There will be another new sewing tutorial up next Wednesday on Whitney Sews!  Until then, Happy Sewing!



Sewing Half Square Triangles and Pinwheels

If you have done much quilting you know the value of half square triangles!  You can use them to create countless quilt designs just by rotating the blocks and using specific fabrics.  That is why I knew I needed to dedicate a Quilting Quicky video to them.

Check out my Half Square Triangle Quilting Quicky HERE!

I finished my half square triangles off as a pinwheel, but let your imagination run wild!  You can create a variety of quilt blocks, or even a quilt that is one large one-of-a-kind design.

If you like the pinwheel look check out how I quilt mine shown HERE!

What other quilting techniques would you like to see in a future Quilting Quicky tutorial??

Make sure to come back next Wednesday for another new tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!




How to Create Low Cost Plastic Sewing Pattern Templates

I have a few patterns I use over and over again.  Like my newsboy hat pattern and my fabric bunting pattern.  After using them a few times I quickly realized paper patterns weren’t going to last very long.  I started looking for a way to make my own longer lasting patterns…and I came up with a solution!

Dollar Tree carries flexible cutting mats (2/$1) that are perfect for copying sewing patterns onto.  I transfer all the pattern markings and info onto the cutting mats then cut each one out.  I also use a small hole punch to punch out any dots on the pattern that need to be marked.

See exactly how I make my plastic patterns HERE!

The plastic templates can then be used the same way as the paper patterns…only easier!

The newest pattern I transferred over to plastic is the memory bear pattern I’ve been using.  I love making these memory bears and know I’ll be making a lot of them, so I need pattern pieces that will stand up to all the use.

I will have a video coming soon with all my tips and tricks for making beautiful keepsake bears.  Make sure you are subscribed to Whitney Sews on youTube so you don’t miss that tutorial.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Rustic Fabric Ornaments | EASY DIY

This week I was working on a few keepsake ornaments for a friend and wanted to share this super simple DIY.  These ornaments in particular were made using the leftover denim and t-shirts from making a rag quilt.  But you can use any upcycled clothing or fabric you like.  They only take a few minutes to make, but save those precious memories for many many years.

Watch the full tutorial HERE!

Want some other ideas for repurposing denim??  Check out my playlist of ideas HERE!

Until next time, Merry Christmas and Happy Sewing!



DIY Neck Warmer – 30 Minute Project

Who doesn’t want to stay warm and be fashionable at the same time?!?  This week you can learn how to make a cute and cozy neck warmer that takes less than 30 minutes to make!  It’s very beginner friendly and great for last minute gifts for the men or women in your life.

I used a purple quilting cotton for the outside of mine and a ripple cuddle fabric for the lining.  It is so cozy!  I used a fun Star Wars print and flannel for my husband’s neck wrap.  He wanted his to just stop the wind, and not be as plush as mine.

Learn how to make your own using the step-by-step video tutorial HERE!

I used plastic snaps on my neck warmer because they are so easy to use, but you can definitely use some fun buttons and buttonholes as the closure on yours.  If you want to learn how to set snaps in a project like this, click HERE!

I’ll have another new tutorial next Wednesday, until then, Happy Sewing!



Paper Pieced Christmas Stocking | Holiday How to

Who is ready for a new holiday how to?!?  This week I’ll be showing how to sew a paper pieced Christmas stocking.  You can turn it into a mug rug or make several for a table runner or quilt.

I absolutely love paper piecing because it allows me to create designs that would be very complicated or even impossible to create with traditional piecing.  For this particular paper piecing pattern I made two mirror image versions so the stocking can point to the left or to the right.  Get your PDF stocking pattern HERE!

Learn how to sew your pattern together using my step-by-step video tutorial.   Click HERE to watch!

What other holiday how tos would you like to see on Whitney Sews??  I’ll be back next week with another tutorial to help you stay warm in the cold winter weather.  Until then, Happy Sewing!



Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2017

It’s that time of year again!  Time for my 6th annual Handmade Holiday Gift Guide!  Every year I share a video full of handmade items that would make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season.  For every idea shared there is a step-by-step tutorial already available on my channel for you to follow along with.  This year’s guide includes gift options for the kids, ladies, and men in your life.  Many of them are easy to make and great for sewing from your stash.

Click HERE to watch the 2017 Handmade Holiday Gift Guide!

Make sure to come back Wednesday for a new holiday how to and until then, Happy Sewing!