What The Hay

Crafty Hayseed Goodness!

Apple Pudding October 10, 2008

Filed under: recipes,Uncategorized — clothespin @ 11:08 am
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I have already written about this great recipe on this blog, but as it is turning cool here in Alabama, my thoughts again turn to this yummy and easy dessert. I was especially thinking about it after reading about apple recipes over at the blog Life as Mom – and her call for apple recipes. I hope that you enjoy the recipe!


Crib Sheet Tutorial October 8, 2008

Filed under: free pattern,projects,thrifted — clothespin @ 9:21 am
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Rosie’s Crib Sheet Tutorial

by Jeannie

Finished crib sheet in Rosie's bed

After finding out that we were pregnant with our first baby, I began the long and fun process of collecting all of the things that a new human needs to survive. First on the list? A CRIB of course! Beyond the crib (which we found at a consignment sale, along with the crib mattress) a baby needs crib sheets. Happily, Rosie has a talented grandma who was more than happy to provide her with many of the essentials of baby survival – a quilt (with strict instructions to USE it), a few totally cute outfits and 4 crib sheets.

Rosie’s Grandma is a sewing kind of lady and back when I was a kid, money was tight and so, well, she sewed. Beyond making nearly all of our clothes that weren’t hand-me-downs, she also devised a pattern for a crib sheet. Back in the day, people actually made their own sheets for their big beds, too, and she adapted this pattern from one of those patterns.

The pattern is easy, suitable for a beginning sewer, and takes about 1 hour, or several days if you already have a baby who doesn’t like to sleep. Not that I know anything about that at all… What you will need for equipment is a basic sewing machine capable of doing zig-zag and straight stitches, an iron and ironing board and a few basic sewing things, like pins and scissors. For fabric, you can buy new fabric from any fabric store OR do the environmentally correct (and infinitely cheaper!) thing and repurpose an old grown up sized bed sheet. (Or even more fun, take one of your old childhood sheets and make your baby a sheet out of that!) Flannel sheets for a crib could be wonderful, too, especially for winter babies!

Fabric from the store generally runs anywhere from $2-8/yard… If you’re going to Hobby Lobby, Joanns or Michaels, make sure you use one of their nifty coupons to get 40% off the fabric price. Walmart has fabric too, but in general, it’s thinner and won’t make as nice of a sheet. Of course, the best thing to do if buying new fabric is to support locally owned fabric shops!

Used bed sheets, on the other hand, can be free (from your own closet) or about $1 per sheet. I find them at thrift stores and garage sales… One hint on thrifted sheets – If, like at my Salvation Army thrift store, they fold the sheets up and tape them shut with masking tape – un-tape them and check out the middle. I’ve found several sheets that looked nice and pretty folded up only to be pretty ookey in the middle. Check out the chart in the instructions to see about how many crib sheets you can get out of an adult sized sheet.

Either way, PLEASE be sure to pre-wash and dry your fabric before making this for your baby! Wash in hot water and dry on hot to make sure that it shrinks as much as it is going to and to eliminate any excess dyes or cooties that might harm the baby. Cooties especially from thrifted sheets because, well, you know what happens on sheets, just saying…


  • Fabric from store – 2 yards


thrifted sheet

  • 3 yards (1 package) of ¼ inch stretch elastic, part cotton part rubber

  • thread to match the fabric

  • cardboard to make pattern, about 12 inches square (an old pizza box works great!)

  • scissors, yard stick…


For Store bought fabric:

Fold fabric in half lengthwise. It doesn’t matter if the fabric is wrong or right sides together – either will work fine. Lay the fabric rectangle out flat on your cutting surface (in my case, my kitchen table). Make sure edges are aligned, the selvages should be on the long edges.

Cut the fabric on the end so that this edge is straight, forming a 90 degree angle with the long edge. I use my rotary cutter, ruler and mat, but you can also line it up with something you know is square, like the tiles on your kitchen floor, and cut it with regular fabric scissors.

Measure the fabric on the short side using a yard stick or tape measure and double this – this is the width of your fabric. Find the width of your fabric in the chart below and note the length given below it. This is how long you will cut your fabric.

* All measurements below are in inches!

width – of fabric





length – of fabric





square size





Measure the fabric to the length indicated and again, cut the fabric so that it is square. For example, if my fabric is 43 inches wide, I will cut my fabric to a length of 68 inches.

*** Using the chart, select the correct pattern size to cut out. To make the pattern, on your pizza box, draw a square of the appropriate size (8 inches for a 43 inch wide fabric), then add the triangles to the corners. The triangle should be 1.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall. Refer to the picture below for reference.

Cut out the paper pattern and place it on one corner of your rectangle of fabric with the wings of the pattern along the edges of the fabric. The folded edge of the fabric should be at the top and the two open corners at the bottom. Use a pen that writes on fabric (any pen will do, even a sharpie) and trace around your pattern. Repeat this process at the other end of the fabric rectangle.

Cut out both layers of fabric following the traced lines. Save this scrap fabric for later craftiness.

Unfold your fabric – it should look like this with the four corners missing.


To maximize the number of crib sheets that you can get out of one adult sheet, you’re going to have to do a bit of layout vizualizing. I personally have made a large pattern using the back side of wrapping paper, but newspaper will work just as well. Then, I laid it out on the sheet before doing any actual cutting. To make a newspaper pattern, tape together sheets of paper and then meaure out a rectangle 43 by 68 inches. The 43 inch wide size is probably the better size as it allows for more fabric to fold under the crib mattress after the sheet is made, but if it doesn’t fit, try the 41 inches out, it works just as well.

Cut out the newspaper rectangles and place on your sheet (which is probably on the floor) and manuever around until you can maximize the number of crib sheets cut out. As sheets do vary a bit in size, it’s hard to give for sure estimate but… the chart below should give you an idea of how many crib sheets you might get out of an adult sheet (and this is an estimate, I havn’t tried all of the sheet sizes). Also, if there is any particular design that you want centered on the crib sheet (or stains that need to be avoided), now is the time to do so, just be sure to keep the edges all straight with the grain (edge) of the fabric. You can then pin the pattern to the sheet and cut out along the edge.

fitted – standard size

number of crib sheets from fitted

flat – standard size

number of crib sheets from flat


39 x 75


66 x 96


Twin XL

39 x 80


66 x 102



54 x 75


81 x 96



60 x 80


90 x 102



76 x 80


108 x 102


Cal King

72 x 84


102 x 110


* Fitted sheets are cut open at the corners and laid flat before cutting into crib sheets.

Once you have your sheet fabric rectangle cut out, fold it in half lengthwise and then follow the directions starting at *** for store bought fabric. Any leftover sheet fabric can be made into fab sheet shopping bags!


To turn this flat fabric into a sheet, first we have to make the corners. Take one corner of your fabric rectangle and fold WRONG SIDES together, matching the points of the triangle, A to A, B to B.

This is what it should look like folded after matching the points.

Using a straight stitch, sew a scant ¼ inch seam.

Repeat on the remaining 3 corners making sure that they are all wrong sides together.

Turn the corners inside out and iron with your steam iron.

Again, sew the same seam, this time with a full ¼ inch seam – the fabric will now be right sides together. There should now be a seam without any raw edges – so no fraying of the fabric!

You should now have what looks like a fitted sheet, just lacking the elastic.

Next, iron the edge of the sheet ¼ inch up all around.

Fold the fabric edge over again and sew with a straight stitch all around – again, resulting in no raw edges. At the corners, don’t worry if it looks a bit wonky – the elastic that will go here will cover it up and no one will ever see or notice (or care!).

Measure on the long side from each corner 15 inches and place a stick pin at this point. It doesn’t have to be exact, just a rough idea. You should have 4 pins in the sheet, two on each long side with a space in the middle.

Set your sewing machine to zigzag and have the stitch be wide and long (how to do this will depend on your machine, check the owners manual if you don’t know). Take the elastic, place it on the inside of the sheet at the top of the seam and zigzag it back and forth about ½ inch at the point of one pin, with the elastic going towards a corner (and not towards the middle of a long side). This will anchor the elastic to the fabric.

Pull the elastic fairly tight, hold it along the seam edge and zigzag sew the elastic onto the fabric. The fabric will scrunch up behind the stitching.

Sew around the corner and to the next pin. Sew back and forth a couple of times to anchor this end. Cut your thread and elastic and repeat at the other end.

Place your new sheet on a crib mattress to check for fit – this is a picture of my sheet upside down on the mattress.

Now, cross your fingers, wiggle your nose and hop three times on your right foot while singing a sweet lullaby and place your baby onto its new fab sheet – you just might get her to sleep!

Like this pattern? Download a PDF version of the pattern crib-sheet-tutorial!

Creative Commons License

Rosie’s Crib Sheet Tutorial by Jeannie Jessup is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


Crafty or Recycling? August 15, 2008

Filed under: funny stuff — clothespin @ 9:17 am

Occasionally, I get emails from pals with pictures of craziness attatched.  Usually, I laugh and then delete the email.  However, a  friend sent this picture to me today and well… it just had to go on my crafty blog!  The email says that the woman was seen wearing this outside of a Walmart in Alabama… Now, I live in Alabama and while there is a certain degree of redneckedness here, I’ve never seen anyone go this far.  I dunno, maybe I live in the upscale redneck land?

Recycling gone Wrong

And, I’m all for recycling, don’t get me wrong, but seriously, there HAS to be other sources of fabric to make a top out of.  I mean, it’s one thing to wear one’s underoos on one’s head when you’re 5 years old, but this lady is clearly older than that and these are not underoos!  My only thought is that the garment previously belonged to someone that she is dating or married to… the thought of those belonging to a stranger…ick!  Or, even more wrong, someone BUYING NEW to make these.  The only good thing… at least this person was wearing a top at all…


Rosie’s Room August 4, 2008

Filed under: Rosie — clothespin @ 1:12 pm


So, first, my appoligies for being gone for so long.  Babies tend to eat time.  We’re napping right now and really, aren’t naps the greatest thing ever?

Little Rosie was born mid-May via c-section.  Not exactly what we had planned, but the end result of a healthy baby and I was the main goal so…  As a result of the section, Rosie’s cord blood wasn’t saved (I had been warned that often they don’t have time during the surgery to do it), so while sad, again, we’re both healthy.

A comment was posted asking what I had made for Rosie’s room?  Nearly everything.  The room originally was a dark blue, not terrible, but too dark for a baby room.  The first thing I did was to paint it in a lighter shade.  This paint happens to be the no VOC paint that you can get at Home Depot.  I really really liked the paint!  It had the faintest of odors and was so nice to use.  Coated well and I didn’t need to wear a respirator to use it.

After that and once we had moved into the house, well… I got crafty.  I made the curtain valances to match the dust ruffle on the crib.

The lamp shade also is with the same fabric as are the little hearts on the wall shelf.  The shelf was originally in the house and so UGLY it was nuts… but some paint and fabric and now it’s a great place to stick all of the little things that babies tend to gather.

The shelf before I painted it…

Lamp was given to me by a friend… I then made a new shade to match Rosie’s room.

This was a clearance sale clock from Ross Dress For less… it was REALLY ugly to start.  I painted it to go with Rosie’s room.

Nearly everything in her room is either thrift store, garage sale, given to us, recycled, really cheap on sale (flowers on the walls) or made by me… The only new things are the rocking chair, made by a local craftsman, and the crib sheets that were made by my mom.  It was definitely fun putting the room together… I just hope that once she has an opinion, she actually likes it!


Cord Blood Donation March 4, 2008

Filed under: baby,environment,family — clothespin @ 6:22 pm

Read any current baby book or magazine these days and you’re sure to find adds and articles about the concept of cord blood donation.

What is it?  Blood from the umbilical cord and placenta is taken, after it is detached from mother and baby (so no pain), and then put into a publicly accessible storage bank for future use in people who need it.  Rich in stem cells, this is an ethical way of harvesting these cells with no harm to anyone and it is nearly always discarded as medical waste.  They are accessible to patients looking for donors to treat critical illnesses, like leukemia, brain cancer and a host of other diseases and is very similar to donated bone marrow cells.  Research is on-going so more applications for these cells may be available in the future.

Of course, you can save this blood for your child’s potential future use – at a substantial cost.  However, at least for hubby and I, finances and family history do not collude in this area.

There is a great amount of information at the website charity guide and has links to the  National Marrow Donor Program.

I was pleasantly surprised to see my hospital listed on the list served for public donations and intend to donate Rose’s cord blood after her delivery.

The only catch with doing this is – You have to plan ahead.  Just like with donating blood, the cord blood bank wants to know that the mother is healthy and won’t take it from people with diseases like HIV.  That said, their website states that if you don’t qualify for the bank, you can have the blood used for research – which is just as needed.

Another benefit of donating?  Some programs provide free screening for some infant diseases like PKU, CAH and others.

I’ll keep you posted on how the process goes…


Purple Grocery Bag February 28, 2008

Filed under: projects — clothespin @ 10:36 pm

I love grocery bags.   OK, I love tote bags in general, but specifically, I love grocery bags.

Years ago, I made a bunch of canvas shopping bags, way before it was cool or trendy and when everyone thought you were a tree hugging hippie dippie for wanting to do something so strange as *not choose paper OR plastic*  (freak!).  Back in the day, I was a first year grad student and desperately poor, I made 5 bags per person and gave them to my family as Christmas presents.  My design?  I basically took a brown paper bag, opened it up flat, added a 1/2 inch seam allowance to it, and sewed the cut fabric into bags.  I even went so far as to double stitch the seams to make sure that they wouldn’t pull out.  They are sturdy – and ugly, and took a long time to make.  I still use them and they are far superior to the freebee canvas bags that I have gathered in other places.  Those tend to shrink into a useless size once they go through the wash (as if groceries don’t leak occasionally?) and are even uglier than my homemade ones.

Lately, there have been lots of trendy designs out in blog land and in the enviro land.  Google comes up with 139,000 hits when you put in “reusable shopping bag” – very few of which come from recycled or even sustainable products.  Some are very trendy and expensive, like the “I’m not a plastic bag”, others are ugly while others are cheap and promote a specific grocery store.


Ultimately, I’m rather cheap while at the same time I’m environmentally proactive.  Sometimes it makes for a difficult combination… And sometimes, I’m downright obtuse when it comes to a simple design.   So, recently, I chanced on this bag pattern from Wisdom of the Moon… Simple, recycled, and with a flat (and easy!) bottom!

In the end, I changed a few simple parts of her design… First, for my first bag, I didn’t use a sheet.  I had garage saled a piece of fun fabric for probably 25 cents – upon measuring it, it turned out to be the requisite 18 x 42 inch size.  This is also about the same size (for all ye other math brainiacs out there besides me) of a 1/2 yard of 45 inch fabric, just in case you, too, covet yard sale yardage.  Second change – I knew my fabric would ravel as it is 100% cotton and I’m lazy and didn’t want to hem the giant rectangle like she suggested.  My solution?  Go stash diving and come up with extra wide bias tape and sew that over the raw edges at the same time as sewing them together.  Easy breezy and added an extra degree of stability to the sides.  Plus, I had somehow missed the hemming part in her directions the first time I read them.  =)  Third change – instead of adding canvas in the seam at the top where the handles go, I cut a 1 1/2 inch width of pellon iron on fabric stabilizer (in the stash) and then ironed that a 1/4 inch or so from the top of the bag on the wrong side.  I ironed the 1/4 inch edge over the top of the pellon, then folded the entire edge over at the bottom of the pellon – so stable and no raw edges.  My handles are also garage saled canvas and I have to say, were easy to make and comfy!


 End result?  Hubby thinks that the bag is too girly for him to use… But I love it.  Way more fun than the beige canvas.  I have gone stash diving and found more fabric, some fun canvas even, that will become bags.



I also thrift stored some fun fabric for a quarter that I’m trying to convince myself to use for bags and not a curtain in the new house.  We’ll see what happens…


License Tag Bird Feeder February 26, 2008

Filed under: projects — clothespin @ 10:53 am
Tags: ,

Hubby had a birthday recently. Being a born and raised Texan, I knew that he missed home a lot… And, as we had to get Alabama license tags for both of our vehicles, we had 4 Texas tags hanging out in the porch.

I had seen license tags on bird feeders before and decided that as part of his gift, I would try to make him one. Armed with a tag in hand, I marched off to a local big box home fix it store to see if a pre-made feeder would accommodate my tag. Happily, Lowes had one on the shelf, and for less than $10! This Cedar Bird Feeder has a roof that is the exact same width as my tag is… While wandering the store after finding the feeder, I stumbled upon two small wooden stars – like the Texas star – over by the screened door section of the store. I can’t seem to find them on line, but I’m sure that Hobby Lobby or other craft stores would have similar items.


So, I painted my stars red with indoor/outdoor paint and used Gorilla Glue and some clamps to attach them to the ends of the feeder. I put some waxed paper and then some folded paper towels between the painted surface and the clamp just to keep the paint looking nice. After those had dried for a day, I put more Gorilla Glue on the roof and clamped those down to dry for another day. One bit of caution – Gorilla Glue expands, so try to stay away from the bolt holes on the tag otherwise the glue might ooze out!

Texas Bird Feeder

The end product is cute and easy and total costs were less than $15. Part of a fun birthday package… Now, to put it to use in our new tree!