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How to Listen to Music, Watch and Stream Movies and TV right from your Sewing Machine

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Today I have a quick, easy and cheap hack for you – a way to watch movies, tutorials, stream tv shows and listen to music from your phone all with your phone mounted on your sewing machine, right in front of you.

Although I now have a gorgeous view to look out at while I sew -

pretty sewing studio space - fat quarter fabric storage craft storage tutorial how-to
My sewing area, left corner, work desk, Janome 6500 and home made fat quarter storage shelf (here's the how to post)

I *do* like to watch TV (usually Amazon or Hulu) or listen to music on my phone (usually Pandora or the like) while I sew – especially since I picked up these cheap folding wireless bluetooth headphones last year -
wireless bluetooth headphones
I picked up these folding bluetooth headphones for a good deal on Amazon last year
now I can get up and move around while I sew without having to worry about having my phone in my pocket (or wearing an item with pockets!), I don’t have to worry about sewing the headphones cable into a quilt (true [but stupid] story) and I still have the ability to hear what I’m trying to listen to.

Then I thought, there’s gotta be a way I can mount my phone on my machine with an unobtrusive mounting mechanism, so that I can actually see the screen to better watch my streaming content. Boom – enter this magnet/ball system I found (product link)*:
how to mount your cell phone on your sewing machine


how to mount your cell phone to your sewing machine - quick cheap and easy idea! Love this for my studio space
the phone can be spun almost 360°, and can sit in just about any orientation you like – portrait, landscape, you name it -
how to cheaply and easily mount your cell phone to your sewing machine to watch movies
Disclosure: Now this system is magnetic – or more specifically – the disc located on the rear of your phone is magnetic – and I have been using it on my phone and machine now for the better part of a year with no negative affects to either. Obviously if you decide to try this on your machine you do it at your own risk – that said – I’ve put the magnet part on the phone right up to my display screen on my machine and no issues. BUT – I would *not* mount this anywhere near your bobbin mechanism under your needle plate as many of the modern machines use magnetism to function.
how to mount your cell phone to your sewing machine to watch movies
I have the same ball-system in my car to mount my phone on my dash, as well.
One thing I was worried about was that this phone is in and out of my purse, close to my credit cards, and would they be demagnetized by the mount on the back of the phone? No issues so far 1 year in.

To note: These sticky pads don’t mount well to soft cases – I had to use super glue on my soft case, but on my hard shell case the mount stuck well. The ball sticks well to my car dash and my machine – no issues there.

I love it – it’s an easily-removable solution to my first-world problem. I watch my Outlander and Man in Highcastle and Americans now with ease! (Man, I love Outlander.)

Another bonus?

My phone sticks to anything ferrous. I can stick it to the side of the microwave or fridge up off the counter in the kitchen when I’m cooking; my spare house keys (which I shove in my pocket for walks and school drop offs) stick to the phone; it sticks to all sorts of handy-dandy surfaces.

Anyway! It was a hit at my last retreat – quite a few people came by my station to see how I had my phone floating on my machine and thought it so handy to have the bluetooth headphones!

Very convenient for small spaces where a t.v. wouldn’t work, or for me where I’m already staring out a window and don’t have anywhere to put a t.v. As well, I love the portability of this and the fact that it works to mount my phone in the car, too.

Both pieces (the ball and the magnet) are removable and not permanent, which is nice – but the pads they send are super sticky. I also like that they are relatively small and unobtrusive (ball measures 1.25" high and 1" wide, and the disc 0.75" wide and 0.125"deep).

I hope you enjoyed this little gadget hack, and, happy weekend, everyone!

Here’s the link to the product on Amazon* for your reference, which comes in all sorts of colors (gold, red, purple, and more).

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon at no additional cost to you. The small amount of affiliate income generated on this site helps to pay for domain fees and website maintenance, and to support free tutorials, tips and tricks and giveaways. For more information and for this blog’s advertising policies and disclosures statement, please click (here).

Nuts over English-inspired yarn dyes

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Whenever I’ve had a spare moment over the last few days I’ve stolen a minute or two in
the basement at my old Singer 201-2 with some gorgeous Bonnie and Camille out of print fabrics I’ve been hoarding for years -

Singer 201 sunk in an IKEA INGO dining room table, gorgeous sewing room studio space ideas


Last week I discovered something very dangerous: Fabric.com is now selling a large selection of their fabrics through Amazon (and perhaps this has been the case for a while, I know that Fabric.com is an Amazon* company, maybe I’m just late to the party here [and in that case that’s a very good thing]).

Imagine my delight at being able to use my Amazon gift cards on some RK Essex Linen Yarn-Dyeds:

Pretty! Pairing Bonnie and Camille with coordinating Essex Yarn Dyeds (Robert Kaufman) and Aurifil || Sew at Home Mummy
I had some fun coordinating my fabrics up, and in person, the color matches are pretty darn close!
RK Essex Yard Dyeds in Red, Malibu and Charcoal
Aurifil in #2630, #1125, #2260
Not sure what yarn dyed is, or never heard of it? and how does it differ from other fabrics?

adjective: yarn-dyed
  1. (of fabric) dyed as yarn, before being woven.
So yarn-dyed fabrics have their strands of threads dyed before they’re woven together, much like yarn is, vs. piece dyed where the threads are woven into a white sheet of fabric and then passed through a vat of hot dye or strategically placing dye on already woven sheets of fabric in order to create a pattern.

This yarn-dying process allows for the great variations in the shades within the fabric. So cool – I love the visual interest it adds.

It’s my first time playing with yarn-dyeds AND linen-blends, and I like the hand for the projects I’m working on. It’s a heavier weight than a traditional quilting cotton, with a bit more heft to it, but not heavy enough to call it a medium weight.I'm interested to see how it frays with handling - more or less or the same as conventional quilting cotton? we'll see. In the meantime? Love.

And super excited to mix this up with my Bonnie and Camille prints Smile


“Sunday-Stash-with-Molli
I’m linking up today with the fabulous Molli Sparkles’ Stash Share party over on his blog – make sure to head on over there to see what everyone else is adding to their fabric piles this week (and he has some gorgeous silks he’s waving about today, lucky bugger!)

So let's hear it - have you added anything to your stash as of late? Seems like it's been a while since I purchased any fabrics for myself, this was a real treat.

Happy Sunday everyone, stay warm (for those of you not in hot places at the moment!)

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you - please see my policies in advertising and disclosures page for more information.

Playing with color

Friday, January 6, 2017

I spent the morning running around in 0F weather with two toddlers in tow, effectively wearing both them (they are successfully napping for the first time in weeks! YIPPEE!) and myself out.

While I should be in the basement working on one of my many DIY projects I have on the go or hey, how about sewing something?, I decided I should try to get warm (I have been home an hour and I still can’t feel my hands) and answer a few emails and start planning my next quilt project.

This project will be a solids-only one, so I’ve been having fun playing around with some color palettes. I have really been drawn to navy lately, and since I hope to pad out this quilt to be a king sized for our master bedroom (resolution 1 for 2017: for heaven sakes, sew something, anything, for yourself, woman!). Off to Pinterest I went – (I even have a board specifically for color palette pinning, heehee):

…and again, really drawn to navy – and mostly drawn to the rich, saturated colors that accompany it in a lot of the palettes I found:
color palettes blues navy blue winter themed collage by Sew at Home Mummy
images courtesy of In color balance and Design Seeds, as watermarked
I’m really leaning toward the bottom left palette and the top left. What are your thoughts?

How do you decide on colors for your quilts, especially when you’re only working with solids and no prints to ‘go off of’ for starting points or inspiration?

The Fat Quarter Shop and Sew at Home Mummy - Cooking up Shenanigans, Once Again:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Good morning my Quilty friends!

Super excited to welcome the Fat Quarter Shop back as an advertiser here on Sew at Home Mummy for 2017!


If you've never heard of FQS, here's a bit about them -

The Fat Quarter Shop was founded in 2003 by Kimberly Jolly. An avid quilter, Kimberly began her shop as a side business while still working a corporate position, cutting, packing and shipping right out of her house during evenings and weekends. From the very beginning, she was committed to delivering top-notch service for every single order and customer. The Fat Quarter Shop continues to branch out with the best fabrics, exclusive kits, quilt clubs, BOMs, and more.

They offer same-day shipping, free YouTube video tutorials, the Jolly Jabber blog, all the newest collections and free shipping in the US on orders over $80. And they will always be driven by the passion that Kimberly founded the store upon, which is always giving you the best products and service!

The Fat Quarter Shop has their Designer Mystery Block of the Month starting up in January

- they have all of the key players in the fabric designing game playing along, including Bonnie and Camille and Kate Spain! Click {here} for more information on their BOM - it's sure to be a lot of fun.



I really like their Flash Sale section.

I've been known to pick up a thing or two there! It updates ever day at 10am, which is a great time for me to be checking (one kid is in school and the other is snacking at this time, so I'm a little less out numbered).

Make sure to check out their HUGE sale section (right now it's sitting at 59 pages long) as they celebrate their end of the year sales on fabrics, notions and threads.

Stay tuned for some fun featuring the Fat Quarter Shop and Sew at Home Mummy - there will be a sew along team up in the future!

Special thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for advertising with this quilter's site - I'm honored to be working with such a fantastic female-centered business!

To shop at the Fat Quarter Shop, click {here}! ✴

Build a Custom Vintage Mail Sorter-Inspired Cubby Shelf for Fat Quarter and Craft Storage

Friday, December 30, 2016

While in the process of putting my basement back together after a very long and drawn out basement renovation, my mom decided I most definitely needed more storage space for my fat quarters and miscellaneous crafting gear. My solution was a custom built 32” x 55” x 7” wall cubby shelf with 7”x7” cubby slots, perfect for fat quarter bundle storage:
easy cubby shelf fat quarter fabric storage ideas
Once I had measured up and sketched out my plan, it was off to the hardware store for a bit of lumber (and a positive attitude in tow never hurts).
super easy to build custom fat quarter fabric notions craft supplies scrapbooking storage ideas wall shelf || Sew at Home Mummy
Powder blue UFO power bar from Amazon  ||  Pink fox mouse from Logitech  || Task lamp from Stella || desk drawer unit from IKEA || Gold circle shelf from Target.com
The shelving unit turned out really well; I gained inspiration for it from products I found online and a tutorial I found for a shoe storage cubby shelf, of which was a hack itself, so in essence, I hacked a hack (of a hack)?

You can see in my photos that the backside of my cubby unit is open – if you wanted a closed back shelf, this would be easily rectified with a single sheet of 1/4” plywood cut-to-size. I liked that open look – for some reason being able to see the wall behind makes the wall shelf seem less over-bearing to me - how to store fat quarter fabric shelf craft storage aurifil and thread storage! perfect size || sew at home mummyThe largest factory wrapped fat quarter bundles from Moda fit really well (perfectly, in fact! I designed it that way…), and because there are 28 cubbies, there is plenty of room for miscellaneous craft storage and display (including some of my pretty Aurifil and the vintage crafting and sewing notions I’ve collected over the years)
custom fat quarter fabric craft wall storage cubby shelf || sew at home mummy
this post contains affiliate links for your reference and at no additional cost to you. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page.


Background/Inspiration:

Like I said above – my mom helped me to put my sewing room back together after our basement renovation. As she was re-folding all of the fabric we had hastily shoved into storage bins before the reno started, she kept mentioning how great it would be to have some sort of shelf that would fit and display all of the fabric.

I went to work researching and measuring, researching and measuring. I initially wanted to put shallow 12" kitchen cabinet uppers on the wall, but was worried that even with the shallow 12" depth it wouldn't be shallow enough - that they would protrude too much, especially in my 'head space' above the workspace area of my office desk. Plus – these cabinet uppers were going to cost a fortune and I didn’t want to spend the next year saving for them.


I started looking for storage alternatives and what I fell in love with was this rustic-looking mail sorter cubby from Target -
make your own fat quarter craft storage cubby shelf ideas || sew at home mummy
image from Target.com
numbered cubby wall shelf

...but I estimated that I'd need quite a few of these shelves to make a dent in the storage I needed. The numbers on the front are really cute though, right?

I also considered this shoe storage unit:
make your own fat quarter craft storage cubby shelf ideas || sew at home mummy
from Amazon.com
19.4" x 24.3" x 11.6"



but I was worried about how sturdily I would be able to attach it to the wall given that it is made of mdf, and that it is almost 12" deep so would protrude off the wall quite a bit. On the floor or up on short legs, this would be a great storage system. It'd even work well up on a desk... but for me in that space that 12” depth was the deal breaker.
I would need to make something on my own.

Inspired by this post at Remodaholic I drafted and sketched up my own, custom, made-to-fit fat quarter bundle sized wall-mounted cubby shelf. The shelf finishes in at 32" x 55", with each cubby being 7"x7" square, perfect for storing fat quarter bundles:
easy diy fabric stash organization - how to store your fabric, fat quarters, craft and scrapbooking supplies  || Sew at Home Mummy

✴ NOTE: ✴
Always DIY safely (wear safety glasses!) and at your own risk.

CUTTING LIST
(24) x 7" pieces
(5) x 53.5" pieces
(2) x 32" pieces

TOOLS LIST
with links to Amazon* for products I have and used for your reference:
🔨 Mitre Saw, 12" (if you don't have the hardware store cut for you - we rented one for about $22)
🔨 Hammer

SUPPLIES LIST
with links to Amazon* for products I used for your reference:
🔨 Brad Nails, 2" (fit specific to your nailer)
🔨 Wood Filler and/or (paintable!) Caulk (I like both, see below)
🔨 Sand paper (I like this multipack)
🔨 Primer (I used this KILZ) and Paint (I used a high gloss interior enamel in bright white) OR
🔨 stain and sealer (I'd recommend Minwax brand)
🔨 painting supplies like foam rollers and brushes (tip: check the dollar store for these supplies!)

Assembly Instructions:


1. Start by marking your first long board - starting at one edge, measure 7" and draw a line. This is where your first 7" divider board piece will sit, and each board will have 7" between, like so:
how to make perfect sized fat quarter storage shelf  || Sew at Home Mummy


how to make your own fat quarter craft storage cubby shelf ideas || sew at home mummy
turn the bottom board on its side, apply a thin bead of wood glue on the 7" piece of divider board which will make contact with the bottom board and from the underside of the bottom board and aligning the edge of the 7" board with the mark you made, nail in place.

Continue nailing your first row of sides in place until all 6 first-row dividers are in place.



Sew at Home Mummy Tip:
make sure to wipe away any excess glue that seeps out from under your divider boards as you go - keep a paper towel or rag handy to wipe away the goop before it dries.




2. Apply a bead of glue to the tops of each of the divider boards you just nailed in place. Nail your next long board on, making sure to check that each side board is level before nailing through the top of the long board into the divider boards below. Ensure the long board edges are flush on either side before nailing.

3. Toenail (i.e. - shoot those nails in on about a 45 degree angle) your next row of side boards in place,

how to make your own fat quarter craft storage cubby shelf ideas || sew at home mummy

again placing them every 7". Make sure you keep checking that your boards are level and square with the ones below them (as much as possible - I had some warped boards so I did the best I could).

You can't really see my spirit level here very well (well, it's just a yellow blur) - so you'll have to use your imagination a bit - but check that each divider board is level as you go before you nail from the top down:

how to make your own fat quarter craft storage cubby shelf ideas || sew at home mummy
the yellow blur to the right of my right hand and under my left hand is my spirit level
that's my 'don't bug me, I'm concentrating' look...

4. Keep going! Lather rinse repeat - measure out your 7", mark, bead of glue, toenail, wipe excess glue away. Repeat all the way across, repeat the process with the long boards until you're done all four rows of cubbies.

5. Apply your sides using the same process - beads of glue along each point of contact, then nail in place.

6. For extra support, I added 2 screws at each divider contact point all the way around the perimeter of the cubby shelving unit, first drilling pilot holes with a pilot bit smaller than my wood screws, and then screwing the wood screws in just under flush or countersinking them slightly (so that I could fill the recess with wood filler and you wouldn't know there was ever a screw there)

fat quarter storage cubby


7) Using wood filler and caulk, fill all of the screws, knots, cracks, imperfections, and corner joints (caulk is best for these seams between the dividers and long boards; a thin coat of fill over dark knots will help paint and primer to cover the dark color better).

**If you’re planning on staining, fill imperfections and screws with a stainable wood filler, like this one, and make sure to color match your filler to the type of wood you’ve used. Don’t use caulk.**
fat quarter cubby shelf

fat quarter storage system
8) After letting your filler dry, sand to smooth, repeating the process as needed. Clean all surfaces of dust and debris with a dry cloth.

9) Apply primer and paint, or stain and sealer, according to manufacturers instructions.



Sew at Home Mummy Tip:
consider checking your local dollar store for paint supplies like foam rollers, brushes and trays.
for less finicky projects like this I use cheaper painting products that I can just throw out – easier than worrying about cleaning them when I’m done!


Hanging Instructions:

10) Apply French cleat wall hanging system according to enclosed instructions, making sure to first drill pilot holes in your self unit before screwing nails to ensure the wood doesn’t split.
20161221_125943
make sure to pre-drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the screws you'll use before attaching the French cleat!
drill is Black and Decker's MATRIX
11) I ended up using several more screws to attach the cleat system to the wall and shelf than were included – total overkill, but I wanted to be sure there weren’t any issues with it *ever* coming down – and you’ll notice in the picture below that this French cleat system comes with a built in level system so that you can make sure that whatever you’re hanging is perfectly level:
gorgeous sewing room and fabric storage ideas - diy sewing machine table and how to build your own fabric shelf
12) You’ll notice because I have an open back on the shelf you can see the French cleat – easily hidden with a strategically placed fat quarter bundle!
gorgeous sewing room and fabric storage ideas - diy sewing machine table and how to build your own fabric shelf
I’d love to see pictures of your fat quarter storage in the comments – what do you use? and if you make this project, make sure to leave a comment with a picture or a link to a photo of yours, I’d love to see it.
gorgeous sewing room and fabric storage ideas - diy sewing machine table and how to build your own fabric shelf
UFO power bar from Amazon || desk drawer unit from IKEA || task lighting from Amazon || Gold circle shelf from Target
...and, a wider angle of some of my sewing space - and here's the tutorial on how I made two sewing machine tables, one of which in the picture below (for less than $80 each) - 
gorgeous sewing room and fabric storage ideas - diy sewing machine table and how to build your own fabric shelf
Gold circle shelf from Target.com  ||  Desk and drawer unit from Ikea  ||  Task lamp by Stella  ||  MC6500P Janome Sewing Machine || sewing table tutorial is {here}  || pink cutting mat from Amazon
Happy DIY'ing!