This was a LONG time coming. I honestly kept this blog only because it was a part of my Bio in the Zakka book I contributed a project to. As far as actually wanting to blog in the proper sense of the word, the last time was around the time we purchased our home. But I honestly never wanted to share personal things on the internet, and as much as I would have LOVED to be a "craft/sewing" blogger, my Etsy shops have me on a working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and my few hours, and days off, I just want to be with my amazing Mele, my four-legged kids and enjoy life.

I am still going to be around. Sort of. My Simbiosis shop FaceBook page will be updated, when there is something worth posting, and that will include when I do one of my fabric de-stashing sales ( which I have one coming up, next month ) and when I update the shop, or have a sale.

I have a instagram account that is fairly new, but I am pretty active on it, and have a little bit of what I love ( sewing / my kiddos / decoden / daily life ) posted.

I looked thru my post's, and easily deleted the majority of them. Maybe one day, I'll find a way to become the crafting/sewing blogger, I always wanted to be, but for now, I'll keep this silly post up, and the tutorials.



Easy Camera Strap Tutorial

Being in desperate need of a camera strap, for my trip to the quilt show this weekend, I not only finally used some of my precious (using golums voice) monsterz fabric, but I took it one step further, and decided to write up this tutorial as well.

Camera Strap Tutorial:
Sewing level: easy/beginer

Materials needed:

1- FQ of fabric or a quick dig thru your (or a friends, when they are not looking) scrap basket
1- Piece of Pellon 911FF Fusible Interfacing
2- 1" Swivel Hooks 

Measure your swivel hook! I used an approximately 1", so if you have a bigger or smaller one on hand, be sure and adjust the measurements to suit your needs.

Since I am using a FQ, and a print that goes in one direction, I cut out two, 2" wide x 21" long pieces of fabric.

Why this interfacing?

Because it is very flexible and has a nice thickness to it.

Iron interfacing to wrong side of fabric. 

 Trim off any extra.

Fold straps in half, and steam iron.

Since my print is one directional (yes, I already mentioned it) and if you use something along the same lines, stitch both pieces together, to make one long strap. (1/4" seam) 

Now, do a quick stitch along the bottom of both ends of the strap.


Back to the ironing board: Press open your top center seam. Now fold and press 1/4" along the entire length, on both sides. (see photo bellow) Then press the strap one more time (folds on the inside) while folded in half.

I know that there are funny looking, skinny metal doo-hickeys that one can use to turn fabric right side out, when your sewing a thin strap, but this method here, is how I make my thin straps. Mainly because once you turn the fabric right side out (with the doo-hickey) not only is it wrinkled, and starting to fray, but there is no way to press your seam open. My way is a bit faster (or it seems so to me, since I have been doing it for years) you seams stay nice and ironed, no fraying, and no metal doo-hickey contraption is required.

 And now we do the top stitch all along one side, and then the other.

Slip on your swivel hooks, then end is near!

Fold in about 1/2" over the hook, and stitch back and forth a few times, you want to make sure that sucker isn't going anywhere!



If you are using a all-over print fabric, cut one 2" x 44" length of fabric, and skip the center seam part of the tutorial.

Step-by-step instructions where given, because we all started sewing wanting to know in detail, how and why something is done.

My padded mat is almost done, and it looks so cute! All I need is to buy some binding this weekend, because those blanket stitches of mine, left alot to be desired.



Patchwork placemats / coasters ( a semi tutorial )

because i did not make a "proper" pattern, nor did i write anything down. but for those of u, that are like me ( aka sewing rebel ) and like to make something, just to see " what happens ", here is a step by step on a easy-peasy little set, that is also a scrap buster.

yes.. i know some of the fancy quilting blog lingo

pick your fabrics!

proper way: prewash everything, make sure they all match, and are what all the cool quilting kids are using.

julie way: have no patience to pre-wash, make sure they go together, and that they are not too girlie (for you know who).

-pencil, paper, ruler
- cotton fabrics
-quilt batting
-rick rack
-hot cup of coffee

using legal size paper (i have no idea where it came from, but i have alot of it) i drew up what i wanted the placemats to look like.

normally, you figure out your seam allowance, and adjust measurements, so they all match up, perfectly.

i cut out 2 of each in my fabrics, and did not add seam allowance. i love to live on the edge :)

sewed them all together, trimmed of the little bit of excess i had, and pressed open my seams. i ended up with little placemats, rubbed my hands together, and did my evil laugh... the plan is working!

cut out some 2" strips of linen, added one of my printed fabrics to the end of each, and attached them on the outer edges of placemat.

ta dah!

i left the linen plain, but if ever i was to make more of these, i may add some hand stitching details using some embroidery floss, or maybe machine stitched lines, in different colored threads.

using the finished placemat, i cut 2 more out of linen ( backing ) and of course the center layer of quilt batting, because i had some handy, or else a fleece alternative would have worked nicely.

machine stiched some vintage jumbo rick-rack all around. i prefer to use vintage trim, since the new rick rack is stiff, and way too polyester looking for me.

once rick rack was sewn, i sewed the top part of placemat, to the backing ( right sides together ), and left a 3" opening, to turn it right side out, did one more machine top stitching around the edge, done!

ok, almost done.

for the coasters, used 3 each, of 2" wide strips sewn together. i made them round, using the lid of one of my old vintage cannisters as a template.

 make sure to press open your seams, or they will look icky!

quilt batting, rick rack and linen to finish them off, just like the placemats.


so pretty. so easy. and lots of fun to make, when you just wing it, and see what happens.

oh yeah, and the curtains i mentioned?

they are still, draped over one of my dining room chairs.

tsk.. tsk.. tsk..

fabrics in this little project came from here  ( omg... this quilt shop is utterly amazing, and i cannot believe i had never been there before ) and here.


Weekend project!

Hello there!

It is Friday, and it is a Winter Wonderland over here in my tiny corner of Oregon! It started snowing last night, and this morning everything is covered. The sun is out, and it is just so pretty. I am gonna grab my camera and I think Ziggy as well, and snap a few pictures before it melts away.

I mentioned a tutorial a few days ago, right? Well it is ready! So if you are looking for a cute, easy and economical little project to work on this weekend, may I recomend my  no-sew mushroom garland?

I used some plain ol' felt from my local craft store, and not to mention a glue gun, to make it, but you can always use wool felt, and simple stitches to give it a little more va-va-voom, if you like. The little garland is just so sweet. I used nothing but bright and warm colors, I have more felt cut out to make more, and I am so gonna whip a few up this weekend, and I was thinking of making a woodland themed one as well. I doodled a little something a few days ago, and all I need is a little help from my local copy shop, to get it done.

Complete instructions and more pictures are available on Chelsea's blog, so be sure to scoot on over and take a look!

Have a nice weekend, stay warm, and now I am off to get some warmer clothes on, and take some pictures of my little boy in the snow :)


My sewing machine! -revised

Isn't she cute?
OK, maybe not so much, she has seen better days. This is the first sewing machine that was my very own (thanks Mom!) she came into my life in High School, when my Mom enrolled me in a sewing academy, and I went to classes everyday after school, and she was by my side thru early days of crooked seams, when I went to FIDM, and up until about 3+ years ago, when she was replaced by my current machine. She has been in the garage since, I just could not bring myself to donate her, much less, throw her away.

So I decided to give her a makeover.

**I have been asked several times if the machine still works. It *does* work, as well as it did the last time I used it which was a few years ago, but not well enough for me to use on a daily basis anymore. I would like to make it perfectly clear, that I painted the machine, thinking it did NOT work, and I was OK with that, as it was done with the intention of being a sweet addition to the decor in my sewing room, so if you decide to do something similiar to your own machine, it is at your own risk. My only suggestion (and I am in no way, shape or form a expert) is that you do NOT spray paint a working machine, as it can easily get into the mechanism and motor.


I bathed her in nice, warm, soapy water.

A bit of spray paint.

A little dabble of paint here....

and there....

and, well, ah yes I know what I want to do now.....

hello! now we are getting somewhere....

what else? mushrooms of course!

lot's of them...

 a little house...

a couple of clouds....


Eeek!  I ♥ my sewing machine, more than I already did.

I wish I had another one to paint.

I am going to upload more pictures of it, from all angles on my Flickr page, if you want a closer look.

Have a great weekend, see ya!