Connect With Home Ec. With Mel

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Pixelated Quilt - A Labor of Love

About a year ago I took my first class on Craftsy.  It was a free class, I wasn't going to fork over money when I didn't know if I would like the classes.  It wasn't until a few months ago that I finally put that class to use.

My finished quilt at Shimmy 4 the Cure

The class is classed Pictures to Pixels, you'll need a Craftsy account but they are free.  The class was great!  My mind whirled and I finally realized what I wanted to make.  I would take one of my belly dance photos and turn it into a quilt.  I would then donate it to the annual breast cancer fundraiser to be raffled off.  

So let's talk about how to make one of these.  The first thing you really need to is take the class.  It's free and she gives you all of the info on how chart your quilt and how to figure how much fabric you need.  Follow her directions for picking a picture, this one was a little more involved than I would suggest doing.  Also the fact she has formulas for you to figure your yardage is a life saver.

My original photo

Now some things I learned from doing this.  When you start to group all of one color together so you don't have to cut a bunch of little squares be mindful of where your seams will go.  I didn't do this and ended up having to do some creative sewing.  I attempted to make as many big pieces as possible to save time sewing and fabric.  It's not worth it.  Take the time to set it up so you have easy seams to sew.  Next is how to cut your fabric, I had to rebuy three fabrics because I goofed.  You don't cut the fabric by cutting a strip off and then cutting that strip up.  What I ended up doing was graphing my cuts out.  I just took a piece of graph paper drew a rectangle the size of my fabric and drew each piece I would need.  You end up with very little fabric waste.  The big thing I learned, bigger isn't better.  This was an overwhelming project that took far longer than I ever imagined.  I was working on this on the way to the event.  I figured two weeks at most, not two months.

Now why did I do this?  One it was super creative and it also required lots of math.  I got to engage both sides of my brain and that makes me happy.  The main reason though was my mom.  She died from breast cancer.  She also made quilts for a living.  I couldn't think of a better way to pay tribute to two very important people.  My mother who instilled my love of all things creative and the woman in the photo.  This woman works tirelessly to raise money for breast cancer.  She lost her sister and like me is determined no one else ever feels our pain.  

Links are affiliate links.  Clicking on them does toss a few pennies my way.  If you would like to donate to help end breast cancer and support those fighting you can donate here if you would like to purchase an item of clothing from the event you may do so here all proceeds go to The American Cancer Society for breast cancer research and support.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I did the ice bucket challenge and in an effort to raise some extra bucks for ALS I'm donating all the money I make from Youtube on this video but you're going to have to share it to get it up in views high enough.  Also any income from the blog for the next two weeks will go to ALS as well.  I can't tell you how to help do that but I'm guessing most of you know what to do.  Please go to

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sewing Desk Makeover with a Surprising Twist

I've been working on updating my sewing and craft studio.  I'll be sharing lots of sewing room ideas with you as we go through the room.  The first project was a new sewing desk or table.  I was over sewing on a card table, I needed something more substantial.  I really wanted something I could upcyle or refurbish.  I also wanted to make sure that my sewing room furniture matched my personality.  Thank goodness I have the skills to refurbish furniture because unique furniture is very pricey.  I found the desk I ended up using for $2 at a garage sale.

I think it's a huge transformation don't you?  It was super simple to do.  Let's break it down so you can see what I really did.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ozeri Green Earth Textured Ceramic Frying Pan Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. For more information you can visit my disclosure tab.

I recently got an Ozeri Green Earth Textured Ceramic frying pan to review.  I'll be the first to admit I was a bit skeptical.  I've never had much luck with non-stick pans.  This one seems to be very different though.  I actually made an omelet that looked like an omelet.

So first off I love the color.  It comes with instructions which was nice.  You have to season the pan before each use.  That boils down to putting about a teaspoon of oil in the pan and wiping it back off.  I've never been able to make an omelet.  Doesn't matter what I do they never flip or fold right.  So that's what I used to test out this pan.  

So how did it do?  AMAZING!  I had a real omelet when I was done.  I was shocked.  It flipped, it didn't stick and the folding well that was my fault.  I can't blame the pan for that one.  It also cleaned up really easy.  Again the instructions tell you how to wash it and you have to follow them.  

In my box I also got a pan protector too.  It fits inside of the pan so that it doesn't get scratched up.  It's held up great.  

I said at the start that I've had bad luck with non stick pans.  It hasn't mattered if I had cheap ones or the more expensive hard anodized ones they all seem to warp on my glass top stove.  This pan has not warped!  I'm really happy about that.  I'm considering getting the other two sizes because of that.

Now, if you would like to purchase your own pan well I've got you covered. ;)  You can purchase them through Amazon and as you know any purchase on Amazon from one of my links gives me a couple of pennies.  I got the 8" pan and it's perfect for omelets or a couple of eggs but a little small for much else.  

Do you have one of these?  What do you think of them?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Craftsy's BIG Summer Sale

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Want to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one? Now is your chance! You can save up to 50% off on ALL online classes at Craftsy's BIG Summer Sale! Cooking, cake decorating, sewing, gardening and so much more... all up to 50% off, with some classes starting at just $9.99! This is a sale not to be missed, so make sure you hurry because it ends at 11:59pm MT on Monday, June 9th.


This is a great deal!!  Be sure to check it out.  I really have enjoyed the two tailoring classes from Angela Wolf.   

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Sewing Series: Project One - Magnetic Wrist Pin Cushion

It's time to start sewing.  I hope everyone picked up at least what was on the essentials list by now and you are ready to sew along with us.  Today, I did a video.  Since this is the first project I wanted you to actually see how to make it in almost real time.  This is a 30 minute craft.  Even with hand sewing!

I got my magnet at Harbor Freight.  There are two in each package for 69 cents!  They are some of the best craft magnets I have ever bought.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me.  You can leave a question here, on the video on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, or email me at craftingtodo at gmail dot com.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Extras of Sewing

So the other day we discussed the essential items you need to sew.  Today we are going to discuss some of the extras.  They are things that are helpful but not necessarily needed.  Most of these items I have gone the majority of my sewing life without so you certainly don't NEED them.  Once you've figured out this is for you though you might want to pick up a few of these items.

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