Monday, June 29, 2015

{Pinetop Pattern} HSR Tree Tutorial

Alright, now that we've made the Herringbone trees, let's move onto the HSR (Half Square Rectangle) trees!

First, cut out your rectangles for the top of your small HSR trees as instructed in the pattern. We're starting with the small trees because I find them a littler easier to manage than the medium or large HSR trees. The method will be the same for all sizes, just the measurements will vary. If you don't have the Pinetop Pattern you can purchase it HERE!

I know of two different methods for constructing HSR (half square rectangles) but this one is my favorite and, I think, the most foolproof. You'll take one background rectangle and one tree print and lay them side by side. You want the tree print on the left-hand side, wrong side-up and the background print/solid on the right, right side-up.

At first it might be confusing to tell which direction the half-triangle shape of the tree will be going in after pressing, but a small trick I use to remember which side of the tree I'm making is to look at the diagonal line on the background fabric (instructions on that in a minute...). Whatever direction that line is going in, will be the shape of your tree half. So right now we are making the right side of the tree because the diagonal line is going from top left to bottom right.

You will make your markings on these two rectangles as instructed in the pattern....they will look like this when you're finished.

Now you will pick up your tree print and rotate it counter-clockwise so that the lines you just drew match up. I will sometimes also draw a line on the right-side of the tree print going in the same direction as the wrong-side to help match up those lines better. It's an extra, kinda tedious step, but it greatly helps with accuracy when matching things up.

To keep the two rectangles in place without pinning, I will carefully lift up part of my tree print rectangle, glue baste along the line of the background rectangle (More info on glue basting HERE) that is exposed and slowly match up my tree print line with the line on the background rectangle as I lay it back down. I repeat with the other side of the line too.

Sew a 1/4" on either side of the line, then, using a ruler, cut along the drawn line with your rotary cutter. I then press the seams toward the darker fabric. In this case, that would be the tree print.

You now have two right sides of a HSR completed!

To make the left side of the tree, you will do everything the same, except draw your diagonal lines in the opposite direction and rotate the tree print in a clockwise direction on top of the background rectangle. And like I mentioned before, you know it's the left side of the tree based on the direction the diagonal line is going in on the the background rectangle.

Continue with the same steps above and your two left halves will look like reduce bulk in your seams, we recommend trimming off the "dog ears" on these blocks before sewing them together. Also, it is helpful to press these blocks the same as we did for the Herringbone Trees (refer to that post for further instruction).

Take one half of each side, then sew together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press that seam open and the top half of your tree is completed!

Piece the bottom part of the tree as instructed in the pattern, join the top of the tree to the bottom, and you're finished! Not too bad, right? :) I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions OR email me at!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

{Pinetop Pattern} Herringbone Tree Tutorial

Today I will be giving tips and tricks for constructing your Herringbone Tree from the Pinetop Pattern! The Half Square Rectangle Tree tutorial (say that ten times fast - ha) or HSR Tree Tutorial will be posted tomorrow.

Let's get started! First, cut out your "ZIG" and "ZAG" rectangles as instructed in the pattern. I highly recommend labeling your piles after they've been divided as shown below. I also recommend generously starching/pressing your fabrics before cutting. I find this greatly helps the accuracy of your cutting and piecing later. For the sake of time, I only cut enough pieces for one Herringbone Tree. **If you've bought the pattern before April 2015, there is one correction to take note of: You will need to cut (24) 3 1/2" x 9" rectangles from your background fabric. Proceed with the rest of the pattern as instructed**

We will start cutting the "ZIG" pile first (aka the left side of the tree). To cut these you will need an acrylic ruler with a 45 degree marking. Take two strips with the patterned fabric, stacked on top of each other with all four edges lined up (If you feel uncomfortable cutting two strips at once, cut one at a time instead). Take your ruler and line up the bottom edge with the 45 degree marking on the ruler, with the cutting edge of the ruler intersecting with the top corner of the strip, as shown below. 

Cut corner off with rotary cutter, slide ruler down to the left-hand side of the strip. Make sure the 45 degree marking still lines up straight with the bottom edge and that you have your bottom corner intersect with the cutting edge on the ruler also. Cut that corner off and you now have a parallelogram. 

Repeat with all your background "ZIG" strips...For your "ZAG" strips or right side of the tree, you will repeat the same process, EXCEPT you will cut the background and tree print with the WRONG side of the fabric facing UP. When you flip the parallelograms over, they will be mirror images of the ZIG parallelograms.

Now to piece your parallelograms together! To keep the left and right side of my Herringbone Tree as straight and with as little trimming as possible, this is the trick I use...It can be difficult to eyeball if you're overlapping your edges of the parallelograms EXACTLY 1/4", so to help make sure I'm overlapping them correctly, I will make a mark on the bottom parallelogram of the set I'm piecing. With a pencil or Frixon pen, I mark 1/4" away from the top edge on both sides. It's a faint marking in the picture, which is why I have the pencil pointing to it so it's easier to spot. You do not need to draw a  line all the way across this edge. Just a marking on both edges will be fine.

Flip your top parallelogram on top of the bottom one, RST (as instructed in the pattern), then line up the top parallelogram so that the right edge JUST meets up with the pencil marking. Repeat with the left edge as well. To make it even more accurate, I will glue baste the two pieces together instead of using pins. This prevents the pieces from moving around when sewing. If you're unfamiliar with glue basting, I highly recommend checking out Pile O' Fabric's tutorial on it. It's a life changer! She also sells the glue tips as well!

Sew a 1/4" away from the edge. The needle in  your sewing machine should intersect exactly where the point of the two parallelogram edges meet.

Tip for pressing! When pressing pieces with bias edges, it can be very easy to accidentally distort the blocks. To keep that from happening, here is how I press them: I first heat up the sewn edge of the piece I want to press toward. For example, I want to press all my seams toward the dark tree print, so I will have the dark tree print facing up when heating up my seam. I will let my iron sit on the seam for 5-10 seconds. You just want to warm up those stitches. Now I flip the top piece over and press in the direction I want the seam to go. Pressing very gently and without tugging. Because I generously starch my fabrics before even cutting them, I do not starch when I press. If you find it necessary, I recommend just very lightly starching during this step to further prevent distortion.

Piece both the left and right side of the tree as instructed in the pattern. Trim both sides as instructed too. They will look like the picture directly below when you're finished. It is very important to trim the top of the tree blocks right at the top point of the parallelograms and then 1/4" away from the bottom point of trees to account for seam allowance.

The rest of the constructing process is pretty simple...Piece the trunk to the right and left side of the tree. Trim off the excess trunk. Piece the bottom part of the tree and join with the top. You now have a completed Herringbone Tree!

Hope this tutorial was helpful! Come back tomorrow for the HSR Tree tutorial! If you have any questions on steps that need further explanation, feel free to comment below or email me at! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

[new news]

So my Stars and Stripes series has been temporarily interrupted because of an opportunity I was given recently....ETC aka my place of employment aka the most fun place to work asked if I would start doing weekly tutorials for their blog. Since tutorials/creating/photography are my favorite things, I immediately said yes. First tutorial will post this Tuesday! If you don't already, you can follow ETC HERE or become a fan of their Facebook page and see all the fun stuff I'll be posting on there.

I will be posting pics of my Fourth of July decorations all complete soon too. So happy with how they turned out! But in the meantime, check out a few of my favorite pictures I took recently of my kiddos. Impromptu photo shoots are my favorite <3

I am one blessed Mama <3

Oh, and one more thing! ETC also has their own Pinterest and Instagram [Follow us @ ETCAZ] accounts now! Stay updated/inspired with all things ETC!

<3 Lindsey

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[stars & stripes series] diy #3

This might be my favorite one of the bunch!

It's so quick, simple, and really cute. And involves one of my favorite things...embroidery!

Here it is!

[pssst...I'll have a tutorial for the quilt in the near future too!]

First, you upload/print the pattern below. Get a 9" embroidery hoop. Trace the map outline on a piece of fabric. (I backed my fabric with interfacing just to make it a little bit more sturdy. Not necessary though.) And I traced the pattern with a light box and, my all time favorite, a Frixion pen. Which you can buy at ETC! (YOU NEED ONE IN YOUR LIFE - fyi)

And don't forget to draw your little heart in your most favorite state!

Next, using some red embroidery floss, stitch along the outline. I used the split stitch, which is demonstrated in THIS adorable video. It's the first stitch shown, so no fast forwarding! And using blue thread, I stitched on the heart.

Now trim off your excess fabric, leaving about an inch along the edge. I then used hot glue along the inside of the embroidery frame to hide the raw edges.

If you used a Frixion pen, you'll want to take your project over to the iron and gently, using the heat from the iron, run it over the top to make the pen markings disappear.

And now you have the cutest Fourth of July decoration!

<3 Lindsey

Almost forgot the most important part! Your embroidery pattern! Here you go!

One more thing! When you print this out, print it in a 5x7 size for a 9" embroidery hoop. NOT a full page size (unless your embroidery hoop is big enough for it.) I print from Microsoft, select "Print", and then pick the 5x7 option on the right hand side. Should be able to print two 5x7's on one page that way. But like I said, you can adjust this pattern to the size of your hoop! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

[stars & stripes series] diy #2

Fourth of July craft numero dos!

So while perusing Pinterest for inspiration, I noticed there are like zero cute Fourth of July prints. Zero. So today's DIY is like a craft project and freebie all in one!

First, let's start with the craft...

Back story: I am loving all these Anthropology inspired "zinc" letters on Pinterest lately. 

[click on pic above for link]

Well, I wanted to add a frame to the Fourth of July decor. I was thinking stripes and then I saw these "zinc" letters and thought it would look so cool to do the stripes kinda subtle with the zinc color and white. So here is what I made!

Totally classy right?? ;) And I love that the frame is something that could be used year round, but with the printable it has a totally nautical/patriotic vibe to it. And the subtle metallic stripes turned out exactly how I hoped! 

Here's how you make it!

First you need all of what's below. I bought my 8.5" x 11" wood frame from Joann's. I used FolkArt metallic pearl white paint and a Martha Stewart navy blue paint (not pictured-oops). Oh and any white acrylic paint will work!

[Also make sure to get some masking tape & a foam paint brush if you don't already have one on hand]

So, step one: Paint two coats of white paint all over the frame. 

Next, after the paint dries, use <preferably> a clear acrylic ruler and using a pencil mark 2 7/8" increments along both sides of the long frame. And then draw a line from those markings across the frame. Then using the masking tape, mark off the areas where you'll be painting the metallic stripes.

I also taped around the outer edge of the frame. Just because I wanted the frame to be white around the outside. Just cause. 

And now paint 1-2 coats with your navy paint.

After that has dried completely, paint 3-4 coats of your metallic paint on top of the navy paint. The other zinc tutorials I found use a black paint as their base. I chose navy so the metallic color has a cooler hue to it. But the darker paint on the bottom is what gives the metallic paint it's depth and makes the stripes pop out more too!

Let it dry and remove your masking tape. Print out your free printable <woot-woot!> and you're finished!

And here is that free printable!

And because I'm super nice, I made an extra one!

<3 Lindsey

And in case you missed it, HERE is a link to the first DIY from the series! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

[stars & stripes series] diy #1

I have a fun series planned for the blog that is all about Fourth of July, in honor of my next class!

One thing that bums me out about Independence Day is all the cheesy decorations. They're everywhere.


Let's class up Independence Day <---- My personal mission this month.

So the first project I have planned is really easy and really cheap!


So back in December, I bought a huge pack of tinsel pipe cleaners for a Christmas craft project (bought them at Hobby Lobby fyi).

I ended up having quite a bit leftover, so I came up with this....

All you have to do is trace the star pattern with your pipe cleaner, wrapping the end of the pipe cleaner around the beginning to secure the two ends together & hot glue the star and another pipe cleaner together.

Easy as 1...



And done! I included the star file below to upload and print. Also has a "4" on it. That would be super cute to trace too! But I have bigger plans for the number 4...You'll see!

<3 Lindsey

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

[i am good enough] and gosh darn it people like me

So this post will totally deviate from my usual posts, but I felt it important to share.

I recently shared THIS on Facebook. Which is something I'm quietly passionate about. I know that sounds a little ironic... how can you be passionate about something without wanting to share it with everyone?

Well, because it's an awkward issue. I semi-sorta-shared it on here a few months ago.

Everyone has their hang ups. Whether it be physical or otherwise. It could be "my house isn't good enough" or "my clothes aren't good enough" etc etc. And I think in this image-overloaded-Instagram-filtered world, it can be super easy to be insecure.

I'd be lying if I said I never struggled with any of the above, but for the most part my biggest struggle is body or self image.

Like seriously struggled with it. I think like most girls do. And I can contribute it to many things...none of which I'm super comfortable sharing publicly. But even as an adult, I would take my criticisms towards my outward appearance to extremes. And every time I've tried to "resolve" my issues, I might have experienced happiness temporarily but it was never long term. It quickly faded and if anything made my self-hate worse.

For example, about four years ago I decided to train for a half marathon. In my very insecure head, I felt fat. I wasn't, but I thought if I lost a certain amount of weight or accomplished this huge goal that my life would be perfect. I for reals seriously believed that.

So I hardcore trained for 6 months and got in the best shape I've ever been in. Yes, I felt so great about myself periodically. And I was so proud of my accomplishment. But overall it was such a huge let down. My kids still fought and drove me crazy. My husband and I still fought and drove each other crazy. Ha! My house was still a mess. I still had bad hair days. My face still broke out like a 14 year old. My life was exactly the same, except I could finally rock a bikini.

I had a huge light bulb moment during that time. I was never going to be what I considered "perfect". The stars were not going to completely align in my life. EVER. There would always be something I deemed imperfect about it. I learned that I had to come to terms with who I was. Not only on the outside, but on the inside. Accept what I thought were flaws and learn to love them. Learn that those flaws are what makes me unique and different. Stop listening to people who told me differently. And start being a good example of self love to my impressionable young daughter.

It's awesome to want to be healthy. It's awesome if you're a girly-girl and love make-up and clothes or if you're happiest in your pj's. It's awesome if you love interior decorating or being crafty. Or if you could care less and love to write or read books. It's awesome if you're ADD like me and want to change your mind about what you love on a daily basis haha. But don't ever think that being in great shape, or having the best clothes, or cutest house is what will bring you ultimate joy in life. That's a journey and a process, a sometimes long and difficult one, and not something that will happen from a new <smaller> pair of pants, a new couch, wrinkle-erasing face cream, or a diet pill.

I work with a bunch of ladies and we are ALL hard on ourselves. Too hard. And I never agree with a coworker's criticism of themselves. I always think they are insane for believing something so depressing about themselves (what is usually an exaggeration of the truth) Because I, like most nice people, only see what makes them so great. And I have to remind myself that they most likely see the same about me. They don't focus on what I'm lacking in nearly to the same degree as I do. I hope that us as women can be kinder and more accepting of one another and, most importantly, of ourselves. That's all.

Perfection is perception, not reality.

<steps off soap box>

<3 Lindsey