Crafty Interview: Kristi of The Night Life of a Scientist

I'm super-excited because our next guest blogger is another crafty scientist! As you all know by now, I get pretty enthusiastic about other ladies out there who do the science-y thing AND have a creative side so I'm excited to introduce her to you guys (if you haven't discovered her and her blog already).... meet Kristi of The Night Life of a Scientist! Her interview is here today and you should check back tomorrow for an awesome tutorial on how to preserve some memories in a crafty way!

The Night Life of s Scientist

When and how did you start being crafty?
I’ve always liked creating and making things. I was an only child so I had to entertain myself. I was always creating something. In elementary school I remember making a “sewing machine” out of stones and sticks that I found on the playground.

When did you start blogging about your craftiness and why?
My craft and recipes ideas started taking over my family blog, and I was constantly emailing people recipes, that it seemed like a good idea to put it all in one place. I’m busy with my family and graduate school so I post when I can and it’s been a fun hobby for me.

What's your favorite project (of everything you've made)?
I really like my dinner menu board. It was super easy to make, turned out cute, and it’s useful because it inspires me to cook. 

What's your favorite crafty material or medium?
I like glue guns and anything that you can make out of free recycled stuff (like cardboard, paper, paint chips, jars, etc.)

What's the biggest challenge you face(d) in blogging?
Typing detailed instructions so that people can follow your tutorial and working out all the kinks before you post something. Also, getting pictures off my camera puts me behind. It just ends up taking so much longer than you think. I have lots of posts that are half done. L

How do you organize your craft supplies?
Lots of plastic boxes stored under and around my sewing table. I started out with one box and now they take over half of our guest room! Fortunately it has encouraged my husband to build me a fabulous craft room someday so that my stuff doesn’t take over the house J

How do you organize (remember, find) tutorials and posts online that you like?
Pinterest! (one of the best inventions ever ;))

What's your best tip for new bloggers?
There are lots of big name bloggers in the “blogging craft world” but they put a lot of time and work into it. If you’re just starting out, don’t feel intimidated or pressured. Just do it for yourself and it will always be fun.

What are some things you're loving right now (crafty or not)?
Reading books to my son and making whole wheat bread with my new white grinder. 

Are you married? A mom? To human or fur-babies or both? (Anything else?)
I’ve been married for almost 5 years now and we have a one year old boy. It’s really hard to be a parent, but he came out cuter than I ever imagined, so it makes it the best job ever!

What area of the country (or world) do you live in?

What question do you wish I asked (and please answer it)?!
What to you day dream about?
I’m a graduate student in the science field but while I’m pipetting I day dream about having my own catering and party planning business some day. 

Thank you so much to Kristi for answering the crafty questions today. Remember to check out her blog, The Night Life of a Scientist, and check back here tomorrow for her crafty tutorial!

Blog Resources You Should Explore

I don't usually think I'm particularly ahead of the curve on blog stuff... most of the time, I think I catch on way after everyone else. And I'm not totally sure if I actually discovered this sort of early on, but I think there's a chance I might have so I feel obligated to share this with you...

I was sad that BlogLovin' didn't let you see who was following you (so you could follow them back), but I liked how easy and fast it was to navigate and get updates from blogs you like. Linky Followers was nice because you could see who was following you, but it still wasn't that easy to follow people back and it was not easy to get updates (and it didn't update your blog automatically from an RSS feed). Enter HelloCotton. I seriously think it's AMAZING and I'm so excited to tell you about it if you haven't already discovered it.

It's sort of like a blogging social networking thing, but it allows you to follow others, see who follows you (and follow them back), read blogs you love, automatically update your blog, discover lots of other cool bloggers, quickly comment on and save posts you like, and more! I have my account set up and so I thought I'd show you some highlights...

This is the page you see when you log in, like a dashboard. The arrows point to some of my favorite features - the pink arrow shows where you get an update on how many new posts there are (and you can quickly click over to those). The blue arrow shows you where you can discover new blogs in some familiar categories. Above that, you can see how to get to your newsfeed and personal page. The yellow arrow indicates where you can go to keep an eye on certain topics you like... I like diy jewelry, so I have it set up so that I can see new posts that have that phrase in them!

This is what my page looks like. You can see the icon I uploaded and little bit about me I've written. The pink arrow points out one of my favorite features - I've set it up so that HelloCotton just goes and retrieves new posts without me having to manually update it. So everyone who follows me sees all the new stuff I've posted even when I forget or schedule something in advance. The orange arrow points to another key feature - the followers. You can quickly click and see who you follow and who follows you.

If you click on those followers, you'd see a page like this... I'm still new to these site so I only have 5 followers here, but you can see them easily! You can click on the tab over by the blue arrow and see who I'm following. And the green arrow shows you how easy it is to follow and unfollow people - you can just click a button so that you can follow your followers!

If you click on my newsfeed, this is what you'd see... posts from my favorite blogs. And it's super-easy to comment on posts, favorite them, share them, etc. (the orange arrow/circle shows you the stats for those actions and where you can click to make those happen).

And lastly, if you were to explore the Crafts & DIY feed, this is what you'd see. And that's a feed that exists for everyone - I didn't have to go and find crafty blogs somehow, the HelloCotton people did it for me (and you)!

Once again, I'm not getting paid at all for this, I just think it's a great new tool for bloggers and solves some of the issues I had with the Google Friend Connect replacements. If you check it out, feel free to check me out and follow me - I can easily follow you back! (And you can create your own little widget like this so people can easily follow you directly from your blog!)

And the second blog tool/resource you should know about is iPiccy. I recently discovered iPiccy and it's pretty awesome. Seriously. The talented Claire at a little something in the meantime put together this awesome tutorial to show you how to add image watermarks to pictures! It's even easier than PicMonkey for adding watermarks and Claire shows you how!

Have you discovered any great blog tools and resources? I'd love to hear about them - I feel like there are tons popping up every day!

New Advertising Options!

Posting Lindsay's blog design tips and hints this week started me thinking about my blog design. Then I also realized I had several emails from potential sponsors and people interested in advertising on the blog that I had neglected to answer. And I also happened to see this post on Nichelle's blog over at Vintage Wanna Bee about new advertising options.

And it hit me. I'm not a fan of dealing with the advertising stuff - it's a big headache and not very fun for me. I'm usually torn between wanting to make a little cash, but not wanting to deal with the hassle and trying to get paid by anyone (I mean, how does that happen? what do I do?) and I saw that Nichelle's awesome, clean advertising options were through Passionfruit Ads. I don't know much about the company other than I'm trying it out for now! Enter the newest advertising options for this blog...

I don't know if I'll stick with this forever, but for now, I'm pretty excited about the possibilities and think it could be awesome. (I'm absolutely not getting paid for this post or anything - I just really think the Passionfruit Ads system is pretty awesome and does exactly what I want.)

Check 'em out. Let me know if you think these are good prices and sizes. Seriously. I feel like I'm sort of feeling my way around in the dark and making this up as I go. But this wasn't too much effort and time up front so I figured I'd give it a go...

(You can also always find these options, links to purchase, etc. on my PR + Advertising page!)

Guest Post: Lindsay of Painting Lilies

I'm so excited to share Lindsay's guest post today - it's something I haven't shared much of at all, but I know people are crazy interested in it... blog design! Lindsay has an awesome blog called Painting Lilies and she designed herself with all kinds of other cool social media stuff that impresses me and makes me feel like I need to re-vamp this little blog and all my social media networking... and today she's here to help us all do just that! So here's Lindsay...

Hi, I'm Lindsay from Painting Lilies. I often tell people that I'm a 20 something year old with the hobbies of a 70 something year old. I love to make things from scratch. You can often find me in the kitchen kneading bread or on the couch knitting a blanket. I also read…a lot! When I'm not cooking or knitting, I can be found biking up mountains or skiing down them, so I guess I'm not all old lady.  ;-)

I blog about recipes, knitting and crochet patterns and my other crafty pursuits. My most popular posts are for knitting patterns I've created. You can find my patterns (free and paid) or sign up for my email newsletter to get a free copy of the Twin Leave Baby Blanket.

How to Design Your Blog

  One of my biggest online pet peeves are websites that look like they were built in 1997. Web design has come a long way and outdated websites make your blog or business look outdated.

 Let me start by saying that I'm not a graphic designer or a web developer. Even if you aren't a professional, you can still create your own beautiful blog. Below I'll cover some topics that you should think about when designing your blog.

  Step 1: Do your research

 One of the best ways to start is to surf other blogs to see what you like and what you don't. Think about the colors that draw you in, the layouts, the features, the fonts. Bookmark the ones you really love and start to figure out the style you want for your own site.

  Step 2: Decide what's most important

 You'll want to think about the purpose of the site you're creating because it will help you with the design and layout. Are you trying to get people to sign up for your email newsletter? Follow you on social media? Read your blog posts?

 Make sure it's easy for your readers to find the important elements of your site. Typically, you'll want the important elements to be "above the fold" which means that you can see it without scrolling down the page.

 One of the most important elements of my blog is my email newsletter. I use my mailing list to promote new knitting and crochet projects that I create and to provide special discounts, invitations and other useful information. You'll see it at the top of my site (created using

  Step 3: Draw it out

  Whenever I'm building a new website (whether it's a personal blog or for my business), I like to sketch out the layout on a blank sheet of paper. It helps me visualize where things will go and gives me a roadmap as I create different elements. I love online tools, but nothing can beat simple sketches with pen and paper.

  Step 4: Create clear navigation

 You want to make it really easy for people to find out more about you and navigate around your site. That's why it's really critical to create simple and easy to follow navigation bars. You'll see that I have two navigation bars on my site. The top bar contains my blog's core pages: About, Store, Contact Resources.

 These are the most visited pages of my blog. People want to know more about you, so create an about page to provide pictures and more information about who you are.

 Even though I have social media info in my sidebar on every page, I still find quite a few people getting in touch with me through my Contact page. Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to connect with you and do what you want them to, whether it's buying something from you or emailing you.

  Step 5: Eliminate the clutter

 I visit many blogs that have too much clutter. The sidebar is one of the guiltiest culprits for clutter. Stop putting every imaginable widget there and think back to Step #2 where you determined what's important.

 Visitors are overwhelmed with too many options, so keep in simple. The sidebar is a great place to put your social media links, email newsletter opt-in forms, and popular posts. If you cram too much in your sidebar, you'll find that people won't interact with any of your content there, so pick what's most important.

  Step 6: Be consistent

 Don't use 15 fonts and all the colors of the rainbow on your blog. Pick 1-2 fonts and stick with those throughout your site. It's also helpful to pick a color pallet for consistent design. My favorite site for colors is Kuler and Google Fonts has some unique fonts that work well for web design if you want to expand outside of Times New Roman and Arial.

  Step 7: Highlight what you do best

 If you're a writer and want to focus on your words, don't let other elements distract from your writing. If your blog is visual and you want to highlight your photos, infographics and graphics, don't let background colors clash with and hide your images.

 Learn more about my favorite blogging tools and resources here.

What do you love most about your blog's design? Share in the comments (don't forget a link) so we can all get inspiration from all the creative web design!

A BIG thanks to Lindsay who helped make this post possible even when Blogger tried to eat it. 12 times. Remember to check her out at her blog, Painting Lilies, and share your thoughts, tips, and tricks for blog design and blogging!

Crafty Interview: Lindsay of Painting Lilies

Today we have an interview with Lindsay of Painting Lilies! Sometimes I don't really know all the super-cool bloggers and this might be one of those times... I only discovered Lindsay and her awesome blog recently (and technically, she found me). I'm not sure how I didn't know about her blog before, but it's awesome and her design is gorgeous! Read a little about Lindsay here, check out her blog, and then come back tomorrow for lessons from her on how to make your blog gorgeous!

When and how did you start being crafty?
I think I’ve always been crafty. As a kid, we were always making things out of household materials for school or fun. I’ve always loved visits to craft stores and getting inspiration from other creative people!

When did you start blogging about your craftiness and why?
I started my blog in September 2009. I wanted a place to share my crafty pursuits and interact with other crafty people. I had been really bored in my last corporate job, so during the down times I taught myself how to create and design a Wordpress blog. Initially, I thought only my friends would read my posts, but pretty soon the blog caught on and I love that I have a larger audience to read and comment now.

What's your favorite project (of everything you've made)?
I think my favorite project is the first knitting pattern I designed, called the Twin Leaf Baby Blanket. I wanted to start creating my own patterns and this one was made for one of my best friends and her baby girl that was born in June 2011.

What's your favorite crafty material or medium?
Yarn is my favorite, primarily for knitting, but also crochet.

What's the biggest challenge you face(d) in blogging?
Consistency! It can be hard to maintain a consistent presence and continually come up with new ideas for posts. I find that putting dates on my calendars for posts usually forces me to do it!

When you don't feel particularly crafty, what do you do to find inspiration?
Lately, Pinterest is a great inspiration source. I also like Craftgawker.

How do you organize your craft supplies?
Is lack of organization an option? Right now I have a few boxes under my bed stuffed with craft supplies and yarn and paper and glue. I dream of one day having a perfectly organized craft room!

How do you organize (remember, find) tutorials and posts online that you like?
Pinterest and Evernote are my current favorites. Ravelry can’t be beat for knitting and crochet projects, though.

What's your best tip for new bloggers?
If you haven’t started one yet, then just start! You’ll figure it out as you go and the best way to learn is to start.

What are some things you're loving right now (crafty or not)?
I’m loving the spring weather. I’m loving March in Colorado when I can bike and ski. And I’m excited about some of the new projects I’m cooking up in the crafty department of life.

What area of the country (or world) do you live in? 
Denver, Colorado

What question do you wish I asked (and please answer it)?!
What is my favorite color? Green. I love anything and everything green.

Thanks so much to Lindsay for answering the crafty questions and remember to come back and check out her awesome guide to blog design tomorrow!

How to Watermark Your Pics: A Blogging Tutorial

In the sad, sad days after Picnik, I've been scrambling to figure out how I'm going to edit my photos for the blog. You know, after I get my life back, start crafting, taking pictures, and uploading those pictures. Minor details like that...

After some exploring and playing with different options, I too am finding myself jumping on the PicMonkey bandwagon. At least for watermarking my photos.

There are a lot of tutorials out there for how to watermark your photos using Photoshop or text-only watermarks with online photo editing software/apps. However, I hadn't been able to find a way to watermark my photos with more than just text using something a little faster than GIMP or Photoshop. Because I like my little logo/watermark with the button. And I like to change up my watermarks - different colors and sizes, placement on the photo for different pictures. So I figured out how to do that with PicMonkey (which is FREE so anyone can do this!) and I didn't see any tutorials out there so I made my own... (The watermark is that little blue logo in the bottom right-hand side of this photo.)

Before you get started, you want to make sure you already have a watermark that you are going to add to your photos. I'll walk you through a bit of basic edits with PicMonkey, but you want to have the watermark ready somewhere you can find on your computer. Mine are in .png files. Once you have that done, you're ready to begin...

I'm pretty OCD and like the equivalent of a screencast, but all screenshots so that's what I made for you here. That means this may look long and complicated, but it's not. I'm just showing you every tiny piece of this process so there's no guessing - it's not really as difficult as it might seem from the length of this post, I promise!

First, you want to go to PicMonkey. Easy URL to remember: You'll end up at a page that looks like this...
You want to click on the "Edit Your Photo" square above, the thing the yellow arrow points to. (Note that I've tried to watermark these photos in places that are in the background area so that you know when the watermark is being added in the tutorial v. present here so that if anyone copy/pastes my photos, the source is clear.)

After I selected this adorable picture of Mr. Maximus that I happened to have handy, this is what the screen looks like...
By default you're on the "Basic Edits" page. I used the orange circle and arrow to highlight the little button you can click on to get back to this page and these edits if you need and so you understand how to navigate a bit.

I usually start by hitting that "Auto Adjust" button at the top (there's the blue arrow up there directing you to it).

And now the photo is a little lighter... some people might think this looks a bit washed out, but I like how there's a bit more detail in Max's face now.

Now I'm going to crop the photo before I add the watermark and finish it up.
To crop the photo, just go up there to the "Crop" button (right under "Auto Adjust") with the pair of scissors.

This little square shows up and you just move it around to highlight the area of the photo you want to keep.

I wanted to keep Mr. Max, but less of the field and background area. So you can move the corners to adjust the size of the box or area you want to keep. And then you can move the box around to get it over the area of the photo you want to keep (arrow 1). Then you hit the "Apply" button highlighted by arrow 2 to actually apply that crop/cut to the photo.

Ta da! Max in action! Now we're ready to watermark the pic... 

To watermark, we want to go to that overlays section. The little yellow circle shows you how to get to that tab. Once you click over to that tab, you can add stickers and labels. Or a watermark! To add your own logo/watermark, you want to click that "Your Own" button. 

Then, your files will show up and you can pick your watermark/image file you want. I have all my watermarks in a file together. I made mine in GIMP so that's why a lot of the files are in .xcf. But you can easily save them as .png in GIMP and that file type works fine with PicMonkey. 

For this picture of Max, I went with the Dark Green watermark - clicked on that folder and then clicked the "Open" button in the bottom right-hand corner.

The watermark shows up in the middle of the photo right there. But then you can move it wherever you want.

I just dragged the green watermark to the bottom right-hand corner here on this photo (see the arrow). You can also adjust the box around the watermark to make it whatever size you want.

You can also mess with that watermark a bit and change its color (arrow a), make it almost see through by fading it more and moving the fade slider (arrow b), and you can play with the blend modes to make it the opposite color or almost an x-ray like effect. You're limited in colors you can change the watermark to in PicMonkey, but you can still alter them a bit. This light blue came from the dark green one I showed you.

Once you have a watermark you like, click save in that bottom left-hand corner (see the yellow arrow and circle).

Then you get this box that shows up and you can change the title of the photo and go ahead and click on "Save Photo." to your computer in a place you can find it.

Once I had that photo, I just uploaded from my computer to Photobucket. From Photobucket, I grab the URL and add to my blog post.

Obviously Picnik eliminated some of this uploading and downloading, but this is a way you can keep your pretty logo as a watermark!

If you have any questions or other suggestions for adding watermarks, please leave them in the comments - I'd love to hear your thoughts on blogging in the post-Picnik world!

Guest Post: Priscilla of Thrifty Crafty Girl

I'm super-excited to share Priscilla's tutorial with you all.... now that I'm doing embroidery, I think I might need one of these for finishing off my projects. And Priscilla had me doubled over with laughter so hopefully you all will appreciate her awesome post too! Without further ado, here's Priscilla...

Hi there Crafty Scientist readers! I'm Priscilla and I blog over at Thrifty Crafty Girl. I'm so excited to be guest posting over here today, because I assume that as a guest, I will be receiving some sort of gift basket. I will be in my dressing room, waiting for the gift basket.

I've just been informed that there is no gift basket. There is also no dressing room. While I sob gently, I'll share a post from my blog... I hope you all like it!
On to today's project!  I got an iron for Christmas and it's amazing.  It's also bigger than my head, not sure why.  But I don't have an ironing board.  More importantly, I don't want an ironing board.  They are large, bulky and have to be put away which is always a production.  So I found something on Pinterest that I thought would work great.

I got some fabric in two patterns, a yard of each, and a yard of Insul-Batting.  I also got some magnets and puffy paint which I did not end up using.
I measured the top of my dryer and pinned the fabric together, right-side out.  I cut the fabric using the measurements, making sure to leave plenty on the sides.
Once I had the measurements right, I grabbed a fat square of fabric and laid out my magnets on it.
I folded the fabric over and cut it.  I pinned all the magnets in place for sewing.
I hand-stitched around the magnets.  I didn't want them to slide around, so I made sure they were pretty snug.

Once that was done, I stitched the magnet ensemble to the wrong side of my bottom fabric.  I made sure to place it so that it would stick to the sides of the dryer.

I tested it out before stitching, just to be sure it would fit OK...

Then I laid the batting on the bottom fabric...
And pinned the top fabric to it, tucking the ends in as I went.
I enlisted the help of my super-awesome Aunt Lois to sew up the sides because she's got a black belt in sewing machine.  Sewing up the edges took her about five minutes.
And then I took it home and tried it out.  It is too cute and works great!
In a project for one of these that I saw, they used puffy paint on the bottom to stop the mat from sliding around... the magnets I got must be super-strong because the mat doesn't slide at all.  And I can leave this up on the dryer if I want to, it's so pretty!

Oh, and the whole thing cost about $10... I love when pretty is thrifty too!

A huge thank you to Priscilla for sharing her post with us and I hope you all enjoyed it too! Remember to stop by and visit her (for more hilarity and adventures) at Thrifty Crafty Girl!

Crafty Interview: Priscilla of Thrifty Crafty Girl

I know I always say this, but it's still really true... I'm excited to introduce you all to Priscilla of Thrifty Crafty Girl. If you've never checked out her blog, you should - this gal is hilaaaarrious! (She told me the interview was like Barbara Walters and Angelina Jolie, only younger and hotter... LOVE it!)

When and how did you start being crafty?
I have been crafty since I was a little girl.  I can remember saving my money and going to the craft store to buy a cross-stitching kit… when I was six.  I’m always making something and I’m constantly thinking up other things to make while I’m in the middle of a project.  I’m slightly obsessed, to say the least.

When did you start blogging about your craftiness and why?
I started blogging at Thrifty CraftyGirl last summer.  I write as well as craft and thought a crafty blog was a perfect idea to blend both of those things.  So, I started documenting my projects and putting them online with a little sarcasm and humor thrown in there.

What's your favorite project (of everything you've made)?
The project that I love most (and has been the most useful) is the tutorial I’m showing you tomorrow.  It’s a DIY Ironing Pad and it’s so cute and useful, I leave it up all the time.

What's your favorite crafty material or medium?
I love fabric, but until recently I didn’t have a sewing machine… the hubs just bought me one and now sewing is my favorite pastime.  I love taking scraps of fabric, sewing them together, and making something pretty.

What's the biggest challenge you face(d) in blogging?
I still face this challenge: trying not to compare myself to other bloggers!  There are always other blogs that have better projects, more followers, better pictures… but I have to stop myself from feeling inadequate and remember that even the biggest bloggers had to start somewhere.

When you don't feel particularly crafty, what do you do to find inspiration?
There are often moments where I’m feeling uninspired.  The best medicine for me is to walk around my house and complain… I find places and spaces in rooms that I’m not happy with.  I ask myself (out loud, much to the confusion of my spouse and children) ‘what could make this better?’  And then, I start brainstorming.  I have found that I come up with other projects while working on projects, so as long as I keep working, I’ll have a limitless list of things to do!

How do you organize your craft supplies?
I have some scrapbook cubes that I’ve turned into a desk… I use those to store fabric, scrapbook paper, felt, and anything else I need to use on a daily basis.  I also have a file cabinet with two drawers… one is for our family files and the other is for craft storage.

How do you organize (remember, find) tutorials and posts online that you like?
Pinterest.  It’s my only addiction.  Pinterest makes it easy to find great inspiration and keep it all organized.  I am also a compulsive list—maker, so I created a spreadsheet template for all my project ideas.  There are often more lists on my desk than projects in the works, but they keep me on track!

What's your best tip for new bloggers?
Blog often.  Get your blog enough content for people to stay awhile.  And be yourself… readers can tell when you’re phoning it in, and if you’re keeping it real, you will connect with readers who are so much like you, you would swear you were twins separated at birth.

What are some things you're loving right now (crafty or not)?
My new sewing machine… it’s amazing.  I had never even used a sewing machine before and now, I’m completely hooked.  The family thinks I’ve lost my mind but the sewing machine assures me that I’m quite sane. J

Are you married? A mom? To human or fur-babies or both?
I am married with two boys! I have a seven-year old who is as good as good gets and a two-year old who gives me enough trouble to make up for the seven-year old.

What area of the country (or world) do you live in?
I live in Mahomet, IL… there’s nothing but cornfields as far as the eye can see.

What question do you wish I asked (and please answer it)?!
I wish you would have asked me how I got so awesome.  I also wish I had an answer to that question. ;)

Hopefully you all are super-excited about Priscilla's guest post tomorrow - I know I am and can't wait to make myself one of these... so I can say good bye to that giant annoying ironing board! In the mean time, check out her blog at Thrifty Crafty Girl

Guest Post: Robin of Stamping Country

You read about her yesterday and today Robin of Stamping Country is back to share a very fun tutorial with us!


Hello friends!
I'm so excited to share with you today.  It's always fun to share crafts and card making ideas with others passionate about crafting.
Thanks, Mel, for letting me share on your wonderfully creative blog.
Quilted Rag Purse-Big Shot

Quilted Rag Purses are so fun and easy to make.  Fair warning though, they are additive. They are easy enough for a beginner to make and cute enough for the experienced seamtress to love.

Rag Purse
You will need  38 scallop squares for this project.

Big Shot-Scallop Square die
You will also need 19 (3-1/4") squares of batting.
Scallop Square Die
Cut various fabrics into 5" strips. Cotton would be a good choice, although both the Black & White Purse & the tan purse were made with upholstery fabric. 

Quilted Rag Purse

For quick cutting, fold your strip of fabric so that you can cut 8 thicknesses of cotton or 6 thicknesses of Upholstery fabric in one pass through the Big Shot die-cutting machine.  You will also need the Scallop Square die.
Scallop Square die
You"ll have your Scallop Squares cut quick as a wink. The trick is to stop when you have enough.  Warning, it's fun watching the patterned squares pop out the other side.
Rag Purse Scalloped Squares

Build your squares with a piece of cotton padding between 2 layers of fabric.
Rag Purse
Sew an x on each square to provide a quilted look.
Rag Purse
First, sew squares together horizontally forming strips. The middle strip is both the bottom and the sides. Next, sew together strips. Finally, attach sides to front and back.

Rag Purse
Don't sew the top together until after you have inserted the straps and closure strap. A corduroy button was the perfect compliment for this purse.

Rag Purse
After your purse is assembled, snip between scallops.

Quilted Rag Purse  
   Wash & dry your finished purse for a frayed look.
If you enjoy paper crafts, card making, scrapbooking and other crafts, stop by and visit me at

Have a fabulous day,

Thank you so much to Robin for guest posting here! I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did and please don't forget to show Robin some love at her blog, Stamping Country!
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