Entries for the ‘crafting’ Category

Weekend Re-cap

Sunday, October 9th, 2016


This weekend was a balancing act between Pinners Conference, *new* house projects and being a wife/mother. The balancing act is starting to get old…I’m SO READY to be in our home and settled!  Six more days until we move…

I had a great time teaching embroidery and helping Bonnie with her class- but most of all I loved chatting and spending time with Stephanie and Bonnie. The older I get the more of a homebody I become, but I sure am glad I got out of the house and spent time with these inspiring ladies I call friends.


I decided to really take a break from everything today (well, I did spend a wee bit of time on craigslist looking for tables and couches for the new house….and maybe an hour combing through Stephanie’s archives for a picture I remember seeing once upon a time that I wanted to use as inspiration for the girls room). But that was it!  I cooked dinner for my family, something I haven’t done in what feels like ages, I made chicken tikka masala and brownie sundaes for dessert. I didn’t pack anything, I didn’t even visit the house today.

I’m grateful for the rest that honoring the Sabbath can bring from our daily struggles and busy-ness. When we got to church I was so tired I thought I might fall asleep, by the second hour of church I was feeling much more awake and I enjoyed a great Sunday School lesson and then a relief society lesson by one of my favorite teachers. It was about family and how we can strengthen and protect our families.  My role as mother is something I have been thinking a lot about in the last few months.  Back in August I introduced myself to someone new and unashamedly said I was “at home with my kids” when asked what I did for a living. That was the first time in my LIFE that I didn’t feel ashamed, or less-than for admitting that I am a SAHM (the person asking me was a working single mother). It took years for me to get to this point. I feel like I finally see and value my role in our family. I find it kind of funny that my husband has always seen and valued my role as a mother and wife at home, while I was blinded by voices and societal pressures around me.

This is not meant to add any fuel to the fire of women fighting against each other over who is a better mom. I think as women we demean ourselves when we play that game.  Its hard to be a mom, period. As women we need to stand by our sisters and support them in the choices they make and not tear each other down.

After my day of rest I feel ready to tackle my to-do list for the week…

Pinners Conference -Phoenix

Friday, August 12th, 2016


I feel like the last three weeks have been a whirl wind of back-to-school shopping, meet the teacher nights, last minute sports physicals and various other things.  My little sewing machine sits forlornly staring at me every time I walk into my bedroom. I’ve got a million and three projects I want to start, but I just can’t seem to find a chunk of time to start even one.

Last night I said “Enough, you must create!” While my girls were playing with the neighbors I stitched this sweet little strawberry up. It was gratifying just to start and FINISH a project in one sitting. I love that embroidery can be quick like that.  I’m thinking I’ll turn this little guy into an outside pocket on a skirt for my youngest.


If you’ve always wanted to learn hand embroidery and you live in the Phoenix area; I’ll be teaching this Arizona Sampler at the Pinners Conference in October.  My friends Bonnie and Heather are teaching along with so many other talented people.  You know you’ve got projects that have been sitting on your pin boards for just shy of forever- this is your chance to MAKE those projects and learn some skills.

If you use the PROMO code “HEATHERHALES” you can save 10% on your tickets. I’d love to see you at the conference and can’t wait to share my love of hand embroidery.

Fan Quilt

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

It’s finished!!!! 3years of working on it and it is washed, dried and ready for use!! #fan #quilt #quilting #scrappyquilt

A photo posted by Heather Hales (@heatherhalesdesigns) on

I finished it, FINALLY!  Yes, it really did take me 3 years to make this lap sized quilt.

up close

I started by hand cutting all of those wedges, I used pink, red and blue scraps left over from projects I’d made in the past. I love quilts where the fabrics tell a story (the red and pink striped fabric was from a dress I made my youngest as a baby, the pink Japanese print is from a messenger bag I made my middle daughter) Because I am a sucker for the old ways I hand stitched the wedges together into fans. Then I began hand appliqueing them to the 9″ white square. After 2 years nearly half the blocks were finished and I decided hand sewing was for the birds.  I machine stitched the rest and put together the sashing.

fan quilt
I wanted the quilt to be a little warmer than the others I’d made, so I used two layers of Warm and Natural batting. Have you ever tried to quilt a double layer of batting on a home sewing machine?!  This is the worst quilting job I have ever done- it was so thick and so hard to quilt. Thank heavens when I washed and dried it- the crinkle effect hid a lot of my mistakes.


The quilt has been added to my pile of slowly growing quilts!  Honestly, I’m kinda proud of myself for not giving up on this project.  It could have easily died a death in the back of my closet, but every summer I brought it out and did a little more work on it. I’ve already put it to use on the back of our couch.

Valentine Printables

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Looking for some fun last minute Valentines to print and share?  Here are a few of my favorites from years past.

valentines by heatherhalesdesigns.com

Cute as a button printable cards to affix your candy to (or sticker sheets).


Matchbook candy filled Valentines.


Need a Valentine that doesn’t require candy? Download these cuties HERE.

Pattern Review- Simplicity 8598

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Sunday afternoon I made my youngest a new dress.  I had found a yard and a 1/4 piece of Cloud 9 Wildwood Pretty Posies in coral at SAS for a steal and had been saving it for something for one of the girls. The fabric is still available at fabric.com, just click the picture.


The pattern, Simplicity 8598 I bought in college to make a dress for a friends daughter.  I haven’t used it since then, so it was like sewing it for the first time again.

It is a very simple and quick pattern to make, only 4 pieces to cut out + interfacing. I cut out a size 5 for my daughter and the sides were really big on her, like she couldn’t wear it without a tank top for modesty’s sake.  I took the sides in by and inch on each side, I probably should have cut the bodice width at a size 3.


I used an invisible zipper so I omitted the top stitching over the zipper as per the directions.  I simply folded under the lining on the inside and tacked it to the zipper tape.  I did top stitch the armholes and neck.


I cut the length at a size 7 because I wanted it to below the knee. Because this dress has a slight bell curve hem, I strongly suggest cutting the dress to exactly 1/2″ longer than you want it to be hemmed.  Use single fold bias tape sewn on and flipped up to hem, it will help you avoid a wrinkled up hem.


Overall, this is a great starter pattern for someone who is trying to learn garment sewing, and at only $4 on etsy its too good to pass up.  The smallest dress requires only a yard of fabric and the largest (a size 8) requires only a yard and a half.

Have a pattern you’d like me to review?  Just leave me a comment and let me know!


Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I just listed two oil cloth cosmetic bags in the shop, and will be adding more this week!  I still haven’t gotten the mini-bags ready for a giveaway…I have way more ambition than I do energy/free time these days. The small bags are $8 and the large bags are $10, they are super practical and can hold so much stuff


I’m also working on a Valentine tutorial.  I have it mostly written I just need to add photographs….tutorials always seem to take me forever to write, I just never know how detailed to be.  I swear it would be so much easier if everyone just came to my house and I walked you through the project!  Crossing my fingers I get it finished this week.




Saturday, November 29th, 2014

If you follow me on instagram you’ll see that I’m giving away one of my newest gift tags!


Winner picks color and letter. Head over to IG to enter before I pick a winner on Monday!

If you don’t want to wait, you can purchase a custom made tag in my etsy shop right now.


When the Well Runs Dry

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

I’ve been working on some sweet Holiday Gift Tags to list in the shop….I had such a good time making them, I fully admit that I listened to Christmas music as I stitched(!!!)  I knew I wanted to offer a personalized gift tag- made to order but I just couldn’t come up with a design that I liked.  I felt like I hit a creative wall, like I was trying too hard.  So I cleaned up the massive Christmas mess in my sewing room and walked away.


I visited a local antique mall looking for some inspiration, and some inexpensive treasures.  I bought a few items (vintage bias tape, a cookie cutter and a box of shiny brites), and photographed a few more that I liked but wasn’t going to buy.



I just adored this pillow…I could build my whole living room around this pillow and those colors.


I loved this color scheme too….I’m starting to collect random oil paintings that I find at second hand stores. One day I’d like to have a gallery wall of small floral oil paintings.  I kinda wish I had bought this..stupid family budget!


This 1976 wall calendar was so gaudy and over the top, but I am a sucker for sequins!  Nothing says vintage christmas to me like sequins. I think they were the embellishment of choice in the late 1950’s (apparently they had a revival in the 70’s too).

I still haven’t come up with a design for a personalized tag, but I know if I don’t obsess over it, it will come. In the meantime I have a few projects that I’m itching to start on.  The holiday tags pictured above are listed in the shop right now, and I will be adding more each week as we approach the holidays.

Halloween 2014

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

After all the praise and attention my youngest got last year as a ballerina, my oldest daughter decided she wanted to be a ballerina this year!  Of course no new modern pattern would do for me…I scoured ebay and etsy for vintage ballerina patterns. I’ll tell ya what, those things are NOT cheap (take this one for example)!  I finally found a pattern that was affordable and in my daughters size!

(isn’t it adorable?! How could I not want to sew it?)

heatherhalesdesigns-halloween 2014

I let her choose the color, and of course she went for shiny satin in bubble-gum pink!  The littlest asked to wear the ballerina outfit from last year again (who am I to say no, one less costume to worry about!)  My son, who usually doesn’t dress up, agreed that an old-time-y cartoon bank robber was cool.

The ballerina pattern was made in 1965…when leotards weren’t a thing?? The bodice and skirt are all attached, underneath is a pair of tap pants, complete with darts and a zipper!  I had expected it to be all one piece but nope, I suppose it will make going to the bathroom easier.

heatherhalesdesigns.com-ballerina costume

I learned that all tulle is not created equal.  The most common and easy to find tulle is soft, almost netting like with medium to small “holes” in the weave.  After making and attaching the first layer (there are THREE!) of tulle, I knew it wasn’t going to work. She had specifically requested that I make the tutu stick out, not fall flat. Back I went to the store where I found stiff large holed tulle- the stuff that sticks out!  Each layer of the tutu has 216″ inches of tulle….lots and lots of tulle.

I love sewing with vintage patterns…I love seeing they way things used to be constructed (before some of the modern tricks and gadgets we have today).  Have a favorite vintage pattern yourself?  Seen something that you’d like to see sewn?  Leave me a note in the comments and let me know- I’m game to give it a go for you!

Strawberry Hot Pad

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Through Instagram I joined a hot pad swap.  I was given a partner and was told what colors and styles she liked. It was a blind swap so she didn’t know I had her, and I have no idea who has my name!  After making a trial run hot pad and hemming and hawing and researching I finally came up with this sweet strawberry number.


I used Amy’s Pretty Little Pot Holder Tutorial for the pocket and basic shape, but drew my own pattern for the bowl of strawberries.  I’ve loaded the pdf pattern for the fruit and bowls right HERE, if you’d like to give it a go!

Lace Trim

I used Tanya Whelan’s Rosey- Paisley for my backing, linen and various scraps for the applique,  The striped binding is a Lake House Goods print.  Apply the applique to the linen piece before stitching it to the batting and back piece. Instead of adding a ruffle like Amy’s pattern calls for, I used a sweet piece of cotton lace and like the soft look it brings.

All the Goodies

I finished off my swap package by making some bias binding from a Lecien print I’ve been hoarding, some Tasha Noel FQ’s and a few of my Holiday Thank You cards.  I hope my partner is happy with it.