A Totally Tipster Bias Tape Tip!

I am making A LOT of 1/4″ inch bias tape to use as vines for my Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt. Yes. You read that right. This bias tape finishes at 1/4″!

My, oh my that is teeny! But never fear. With the right tools it is easy to make bias tape is many different sizes.

I’m sure many of you have heard of or even own a bias tape maker. They are easy to come buy and work so well. They come in different sizes to make different widths of tape.

The picture above is my 1/4″ tape maker. I cut my green fabrics in 1/2″ strips along the bias. You don’t really have to cut on the bias, but I want these little vines to curve this way and that, so I definitely cut on the bias:)

The next step is to snip one end of a strip on an angle and push it into the metal.

On the bottom side is an opening that you can use a straight pin to drag the fabric out just a bit. You only want it a little way out because you want to be able to iron it as it come out.

If you place your tool with the flat side against your board and your iron right up against tip of the opening, you can pull the tool very slowly by the hook and move your iron slowly at the same time.

It works GREAT!

Just look at those cute perfectly folded little edges! It was easy to make a pile of tape in no time at all:)❤️

But how do I remember the size to cut my fabric the next time I want make 1/4″ tape and how can I store these handy tools?

Here is a Totally Tipster Tip for you— I mark my bias tape makers with a scrap piece of fabric!

On the back of the fabric I write the size of strip I need to cut and the finished size it will make. Then I cut a small slit in one end and thread the other end through the slit around the pull. PERFECT!

Now it is easy to know which bias maker to use for the width of tape I want to make.

I have attached sticky hooks to the inside of my cabinet to hang them on. They are easy to find and take up no room at all. Now that is Totally Tipster for sure!! In fact, I call it SWEET!❤️❤️

I hope this Tip is helpful to some of you. Thank you so much for dropping by today. Until tomorrow,

Learn to Quilt -Lesson #6 – Borders

It has been so fun watching this quilt come together.  I am absolutely LOVING it!  I hope you are too:)

Last time we ended with all of our blocks all sewn together. Those pinwheels are just the cutest things!

Today we are going to add a border all around.  Gather your leftover blue or color #2 fabric.  We are going to cut 3.5″ strips out of it.  At first I used the lighter blue as in the above picture, but took it out because it detracted from the pins.  So word of advice, keep your border dark or all the same color:)

You can cut your 3.5″ strips all from one color, or make your border scrappy by using what you have.  That’s what I did.  Cut 8 – 3.5″ strips if you are cutting the full width of the fabric, or about 300″ if you are using scraps .  Take them to your sewing area.

We are going to sew them all together into one long strip.  Sew them together by butting the ends together for a straight join.

Just sew the short end of two pieces right sides together, and press

Now we need to measure our quilt. — Please don’t ever skip the measuring part of adding a border.  If you just start sewing your long border strip around your quilt, you will end up with a wavy border and a wavy edged quilt.

Ok. The pictures I took of the folding of the fabric didn’t look like anything but a piece of fabric. So I will try to be clear with directions

  1. Fold your quilt in half.
  2. With a tape measure or your ruler measure the folded part of your quilt.  In other words, measure the length of the fold, this is the middle of the short side or the long side of your quilt.
  3. Cut two pieces of your long fabric strip to this size
  4. Fold one strip in half and place a pin to mark the center. Fold it in half again and place pins to mark those centers as well.  So… we are dividing our strip into quarters.  Do the same with the other strip.
  5. Now divide the edges of your quilt into quarters the same way.   Make sure you are working with the sides that you measured your strips for — long sides or short sides. Fold the edge your quilt in half and then in half again.  Mark  the quarters with a pin.
  6. Place your border strip on your quilt with the right sides together.
  7.  Pin them together where you marked the quarters.  This is VERY important!  If you don’t match these points, your edges will not match in the end.  Believe me, I know from experience, and then you have to become well acquainted with your seam ripper!
  8. Sew the pieces together using your 1/4″ foot.  Hold the pins and remove them just before they get to the foot.  You may need to pull slightly on the pin as you sew if your fabric is a little longer in the bottom than the top.   The feed dogs will do the work of taking up the extra ease.
  9. Press the border strip open and repeat for the other side.  Yea! Now we have two of our borders sewn on!
  10. Repeat steps 1-9 for the other sides of the quilt.


Woo hoo!!!  Our quilt top is finished!!!  Aren’t you proud of yourself?  You should be:)

I am excited for our quilting, binding, and grand finish next time along with a SWEET photo shoot!

Until then:)

If any of you are just joining us, you can find the previous lessons here:

Don’t forget to post pictures of your fabric and progress on Instagram #pinsandstripesqal I will be giving away a jelly roll to someone who posts a picture from all seven lessons and a picture of themselves with their new quilt by the end of July 2017!!

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No More Ugly Wipes!

img_1796-1I love a clean bathroom, but I hate the look of a big ugly cleaning wipe container on my counter.  I usually put the wipes under the sink, but very often forget to get them out and use them after I brush my teeth.  When I was asked to make a household item tutorial for the Facebook page “Stashbusting Sewalong 2016“, I knew immediately that I wanted to make a cover for these useful, but unsightly cleaning necessities:)

This is a really easy project that can be made with fabrics from your stash.  You can make one in less than an hour.  It would be a breeze to make several extra for wedding showers or Christmas presents.  So if you have a few creative minutes, here is the “recipe”–

Items Needed:

  • 3 fabrics from your stash -2 fat quarters and one 2×20″accent strip
  • cleaning wipes
  • 1/4″ elastic
  • large button or brooch

Directions:

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Cleaning wipes

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Fabric from your stash

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  • Measure around your wipes and +add 1″
  • Measure from the bottom of the lid to the bottom of the wipes and +add 3″

This is the measurement for your large, main piece of fabric.  Mine measured 13.5″x 7.5″.  So I cut my main fabric 14.5″ x 10.5″.  Easy so far!

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  • Finish all around the edges with a serger or a zig zag stitch.
  • Press the long edges up 1″ on both sides.

Piece of cake:)

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  • Fold your accent fabric diagonally and cut in half from the tip of the triangle down. This is shown in the middle picture.
  • After you have a nice straight edge, cut 4 or 5 strips 1.5″ wide.

This will give you bias strips that will not ravel.  Yea!

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  • Trim the selvedges off
  • Line the strips together as shown in the bottom left picture
  • Turn the pieces right sides together leaving 1/4″ dog ears on the top and side.  You may want to pin this if you are worried about it shifting.  Don’t worry.  It doesn’t have to be exact.  Just as close as you can.

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  • Sew the strips together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Try to hit the “V”s where the fabrics meet.  Sew them all together making one long strip.
  • Press the  seams open and trim the dog ears.
  • Set your sewing machine to the longest stitch with the tightest or highest #setting on the tension. (write your normal settings down so you don’t forget)
  • Sew down the middle of the bias strip to make a lightning face gathered ruffle!  YEA!!

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Now that’s what I’m talking about:)!

  • Set your stitch length and tension back to it’s normal setting.

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  • Pin your ruffles on your back ground fabric where you would like them.  2 or 3 or even 4 deep.  I chose to put 2 ruffles on my cover. You may want to draw a line to help you.
  • Leave enough extra on both ends  of the ruffles to fold under on itself.  Cut any extra so there is not a huge amount of fabric folded behind the ruffle.
  • Fold under leaving about an inch of background fabric free.  This is shown in the bottom right picture.
  • Sew the ruffle down with a straight or zig zag stitch making sure to take out the pins as you go.

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  • Fold your fabric in half matching the short ends
  • Sew the short ends closed making a tube.
  • Turn your tube right side out

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  • Cut two pieces of elastic 2″ shorter than the width of your container.  Mine measured 13.5″ so I cut my elastic 11.5″
  • Sew each elastic strip into a circle.  Secure the ends as in the picture on the top left.
  • Place the elastic inside of the fold on the main fabric.
  • Fold the fabric over the elastic circle as you sew, make sure not to sew into the elastic.  You are just encasing it.
  • Sew all the way around on both sides.

Fantastic!  You do not have to thread the elastic in.  It does it all by itself like magic!!

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Now we can add the optional bow–

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  • From the second accent fabric, cut a 2″x20″ strip.  This is not on the bias because we want it to fray a bit.
  • Sew the short ends together making a circle.
  • Thread a needle and make a large running stitch all the way around the circle.  It is very quick and easy.
  • Pull the thread tightly together and knot.
  • Sew a button to the center.  You could use decorative embroidery thread here if you want.
  • Sew the flower to the front of the cover.

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There you go!  That wasn’t hard at all:)  Now you have a SWEET cover for your wipes that can be thrown in the wash. These can be as fancy or as plain as you like.  I can see one made up with Christmas or Halloween fabric for the holidays.  Or you can leave off the ruffles and flower for a boys bathroom. (Maybe they will actually keep their bathroom clean now!)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will give it a try.  Let me know if you do.  I would love to hear from you!

–Tracy:)

 

 

Dear Daughter -Chapter 3

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This quilt is coming along nicely.   I am having so much fun playing with colors and fabrics while learning a new technique or two.   It never ceases to amaze me how there is always something new to learn and try:)

In this chapter, I used three different appliqué techniques.  The top pink petals were done with the interfacing method I blogged about in chapter 1.  Here are a few pictures to remind you

I sewed around the petals in matching pink thread.   I stitched as close to the edge as I could with a straight stitch,

For the yellow wording I traced the mirrored words onto fusible web and ironed it to the back of my fabric, cut it out, peeled and ironed, and cut the shapes.  I pressed the words to the fabric and zigzagged around the whole thing.

Lastly, I set my Pfaff machine to a #3 zig zag stitch with the smallest width .5image

I used clear monofilament thread and started sewing around the petals having the inside part of my foot line up along the edge and BARELY grab a thread or two as it went around.image

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All stitched down with hardly a stitch in sight

This method is AMAZING!  I can hardly even see any stitching at all!!  IT is so easy that  feels a little like cheating, but hey, I don’t think I have any quilt police coming over anytime soon. I do wish I was a needle turn appliqué proficient, but until then I will use my machine and smile:)

SWEET!! –Tracy:)

Dear Daughter Quilt – Chapter 2

imageThis is such a fun quilt!  Each block is so colorful and bright.  The words are exactly how I feel.  It is a fantastic project that I know my daughter will snuggle under next year when she is spreading her wings and starting her own life adventure. You can join the fun at rebeccamaedesigns.com.

There were two repeat blocks in this chapter and three new ones.  I kind of wish she would have had me make all of the same block at the same time because then I could chain piece them together, but oh well, the completed chapter is a fun adventure.

I stitch and flipped the blue double point rectangles.  Here is how I did it:

  1. I cut the assorted blue fabrics into the specified size rectangles
  2. I stitched the specified size square to the rectangle from corner to corner. I chain stitched these one after another.image
  3. Press the square up making a beautiful triangle.
  4. repeat steps 2 & 3 for all 4 cornersimage
  5. Sew them together and then add the outside fabric strips

Such a pretty little block!

I then traced, ironed, cut, and sewed the lettering on the quote block using steam a seam.  There was a lot of zig zagging on this one!image

The final block was the pretty little butterfly block in its bright and happy colors.  I chose a light pink background to make it extra girlie:)imageimage

I just love that orange and purple!  It is so SWEET!  –Tracy:)image

 

 

Dr. Seuss Camp Quilt and Fringe Binding Tutorial

imageGood Morning!  The girls in my church are getting ready for girls camp next week, so I thought that this weeks Memorable Monday project should be this fantastic Dr.Seuss camp quilt that I made for a friend.

I visit with a wonderful lady each month who was asked to go to camp and help out.   Because the theme was Dr. Seuss, she bought a piece of Dr. Seuss fleece for a blanket. She asked me if I could tie the edges for her.  Well, I knew that I could do better than that:)image

-I used my 6.5″ and 4.5″ rulers and fussy cut around the motifs on the fabric.  There were 20 squares total.  Perfect!

– I added a black 1.5″ border around the big squares and a black 3.5″ border around the small squares so that each square was 7.5″.

– I cut 40  2.5″ and 12″ strips from some fun bright fabric.  I added a 2.5″ square that I stitched and flipped to one end of each large strip. (I am making this part sound a little easier than it is because it does take some planning to know which side you are going to stitch and flip the square so you get that cute little pin wheel.  Laying them out on the floor or a design wall is helpful here)

– I sewed the small strips to opposite sides and then added the large strips to the other sides making sure to have my flipped corners where I wanted them.  Then I  trimmed the squares to 11.5″. All of my quilts seem to end up with weird numbers!

– I sewed them all together and added a 3″ black and white polka dot border all around.  I added an orange fleece backing and quilted it on my home sewing machine.

Now for the fringe binding–image

-Cut  4″ strips and have enough to equal the length of each side.  No need to sew them together.  Just make sure you have enough length to go around the quilt.

-Cut the strips into fringe.   Cut 3″ in and 1/2″ apart all along the strips.

-Cut enough 2″ binding strips to go around your quilt and press in half.

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Here is the fringe sandwiched between the quilt and the binding

– Now sew the fringe  to the right side of your fabric and also sew the binding to the front of the fabric   This will sandwich the fringe between the quilt and the binding.   Leave an added inch of binding on each end.

-Flip the binding over to the back and sew down with matching thread.  Fold the extra edges on themselves to give a finished edge to the ends.

It looks GREAT!  You can hardly even see the stitches and now you have this fun fringe Dr. Seuss worthy binding.  SWEET!!!image

Have a great and super SWEET week!-  Tracy:)

 

Piano Key Border Tutorial- Navajo Code Talkers Quilt

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This quilt just screamed for a beautiful piano key border.  All of the extra strips looked so pretty and seemed like they wanted to be a part of this quilt as well.  The thing about a piano key border is that it definitely looks best with a pretty mitered corner.  It isnt hard, but there are a few tricks to it.  Here is the way that I made this beautiful Piano Key Border:

  1.  Decide on the width of the border.   You can choose this based upon some of your shorter strip scraps so you waste less fabric.   I decided to cut all of my fabric strips to 5″ in length.
  2. Cut all of the left over or newly cut strips to your desired size.
  3. Once all of the fabrics are cut, then sew them together.  You can chain them 2×2, then 4×4, then 8×8 cutting them apart each time and starting the chaining process again.  Your piano keys will get longer and longer as you go.  Sew 4 lengths that are about 16″ longer than the side you are going to attach it to

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    Here is my handy “Cutting Gizmo” that I use for cutting my chain piecing. It works great! 
  4. Press your strips nice and flat as you go.
  5. Sew a stay stitch seam a little less than a 1/4″ from each side to keep the seams from openingimage
  6.  Leaving about an 8″ tail above  and below the quilt, sew the piano border to the quilt.  Start sewing about 3″ down and leave about 3″ at the end.
  7. Turn the quilt over so you can see where you are sewing, and sew the 3″ gap closed. Begin and end at 1/4″ from the quilt edge.
  8. Repeat  for the other sides. Be sure to move the previous border strip out of the way so you do not catch it in your stitching.  It is important to be quite exact on that 1/4″ start and stop at the beginning and ending  of your stitching.
  9. Press the border flat.  With the seams toward the border.
  10. While at the ironing board, straighten the border tails on top of each otherimage
  11. Fold the top strip back on itself at a 45 degree angle.  The edge will match the bottom strip and it will look like a pretty mitered angle.image
  12. Heavily press this fold.  You want a very strong fold mark.  CAREFULLY open the fabric back and pin in place so that it does not move at all.
  13. Gently take your quilt back to the sewing machine and  sew on the fold mark.  Start from the outer edge and end EXACTLY on the 1/4″ stitching line of the quilt.
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    Stitch on fold line
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    End at 1/4″ seam line

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    It should look like this
  14. Open and check to make sure that there are no puckers and it looks the way you like it. Then trim the seam and press it openimage
  15. Repeat this for all of the corners.

There you go!  Now you have a SWEET mitered border:). Yea!

–Tracy

DIY Dream Catchers

 

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Hello!  — when my daughter-in-law shared the idea of having dream catchers at her wedding, I was excited to see what she came up with. Well, she had a cute picture from Pinterest but that was about all.   She tried to buy already finished dream catchers, but to get them larger than 4″ in diameter was too pricey so..Momma Pursley was called to the rescue and I was happy to help out.

I bought the 4″ ones and then picked up my yarn and needle and crocheted some 8″  doilies.  They were so easy and fun! image I attached them to the hoops. Then my beautiful daughter, Tassy, put them together adding the pretty  lace and feathers making this fantastic arrangement! (She even got inspired and crocheted a few of the smaller ones herself!)image

If you know how to crochet at all, these really are not hard to make. Here is what you do:

  1.  Gather different sized embroidery hoops.  Mine ranged from 10-12″ in diameter.  Tassy used a 6″ one.
  2. Find a doily pattern that you like.  There are tons of free patterns online.  There were so many that I used a different pattern for each dream catcher, but you could make them all the same if you wanted to whip them out quickly. –another easy way is to buy them already made. They are really affordable on eBay and Amazon.
  3. The finished doily should be about 2″ smaller than the hoop you are using  because you want it to be tight when you attach it.
  4. cut a 4″ piece of thread and slip it around a point of the doily and then tie it to the hoop.  Repeat this on an opposite point all around the doily until it is tied all the way to the hoop.  There will be strings hanging out all around.
  5. Cut an arms length or 30″ or so piece of yarn to start wrapping the hoop with.  Lay about 3″ on the hoop with the end facing left if you are right handed.  Now start wrapping counter clockwise around the hoop covering all of the hanging threads and beginning yarn piece as you go.  It goes rather quickly and cleans up so pretty.  Cut more yarn as needed and repeat covering the ending and beginning threads as you go until the whole hoop is covered.
  6. At the end, leave a 6-8″ length of yarn to thread into a large eyed needle and sew  back under the previous stitches.  It should be very tight.
  7. Now all you have to do is tie them all together in a design that you like and add pretty ribbons and feathers to the bottom!

Yea!!   It turns out BEAUTIFUL!!image

 

 

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Good Luck and SWEET dreamzzzzz!

–Tracy:)

Stripping Cloth Diapers

I wanted my first blog post to be fun and sweet. Stripping my Toot Sweets cloth diapers was the obvious choice.

To strip a cloth diaper is to deep clean it in a way that removes the smell of ammonia. It is impossible to have a pleasant experience when you don’t strip your cloth diapers. Worse, if you don’t strip your cloth diapers, you run the risk of your child getting a rash or an infection.

I have been cloth-diapering since Quintin, my son, was 1 month old. My mother has spoiled me by outfitting my child with 30+ diapers. They all look adorable and work amazingly! But even the best cloth diapers will inevitably begin to smell like an amonia bomb. I tried so many different methods, mainly bleach and dawn dish soap which only seemed to work for a week and then would start to burn my poor little boys bottom! I HAD to figure something out. So after lots of late night searches I came across this website:

Cloth Diapers Stink? Could Be Ammonia!

Stefanie (aka The Monarch Mommy) is amazing. She has done a wonderful job of explaining ammonia buildup, so I won’t. But please, please, please check out her blog when you have finished here; it is worth the read. I want to show you my routine.

Here we go!

 

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I use my canning pot and fill it about 3/4ths of the way full. Then I set the stove to the hottest setting and add RLR first. I have only been able to find it on amazon . I bought a 10 pack for about $12. I use the whole package.

 

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Then I add a tablespoon of cloth diaper detergent. I made my own detergent. I’m not crazy about it though so I will let you know when I find a detergent that I do love.
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Now I just stick my already cleaned inserts in the pot. I don’t want to melt the buttons on the covers so I leave the covers in the washing machine sitting in the hot water.

 

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After that, I wait for the water to bubble and the inserts get puffy and bubbly. NOTE: If you haven’t noticed, I made sure to have the clock show in most of the shots so you can get my exact timing and how hot the water is.
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After about 10 minutes in the boiling water, I put both the inserts and the covers in the washing machine. I pour the boiling water in the washing machine and let that sit for another 10 minutes.

 

 

Then I run the diapers through one wash cycle and then dry them the way that works best for you. I usually let the covers air dry in the sun and put the inserts through the dryer so they are nice and fluffy for this little cutie to run and play in!

And that’s it. Please let me know if this worked for you!

xoxo

-Tassy

DIY Mason Jar Lanterns

What do you think?  I am gearing up for my son’s Arizona reception tomorrow and thought I would make a pretty, little DIY mason lantern to light the path up to our house.  It was so easy, cost me next to nothing to make and looks fantastic!

mason jar candle

I seem to be the beneficiary of old mason jars because of my love of canning food and decorating projects. Because of this I had plenty of pint size jars hanging around (lol no pun intended!)  I gathered 12 of them together and filled them with sand from the outside sand box.  I dropped some fresh flowers on top and added a flickering battery candle.  I am sure that I could have used a flame candle, but I want to be able to clean the jars and use them again.  I had the candles left over from many church activities and other receptions.  They are cheap and work extremely well for most events.
So.. these little beauties ended up costing me .. $.00.  Yep, thats right, absolutely NOTHING!  I am a firm believer of looking around your house and using what you have.  If I hadn’t of had mason jars, I am sure a nice glass cup would have looked fine.  No glass cup? how about a glass soda bottle?  It doesn’t matter.  Just make do.  Of course, it never hurts to go and buy some jars that can be used for free in future projects.  Here is the “recipe” for these beauties:
Glass Containers
Sand or dirt or small pebbles – bottom filler
Greenery – store bought or from your garden, the neighbors garden, or an almost gone bouquet that your sweetie bought you last week, like mine:)
A real or a battery operated candle
Wire – I used beading wire, but I am sure that greenery wire or your husbands bailing wire would work fine too.  Use what you have
Wire Cutters

    **Fill the bottom of the jar with your sand or filler.  Put the candle and the pretty stuff on top.  It looks so pretty!  Cut a piece of wire to about 18″ and wrap it around the mouth of the jar having one end with only about 3″ and the rest being about 15″.  Twist the 3″ around the longer piece until it is good and secure.  Probably 8 or 9 times.

Now here is the only even somewhat tricky part- Insert the long wire back in the circle part of the wire between the jar and the wire and then slide it around to the opposite side and twist it like the other side to make a handle for hanging.

    Here is a picture of me placing the wire in the circle part of the wire so I can pull it around.  It is really very very easy.FullSizeRender-2
    Now don’t these look fantastic?!  I just love how they look on the shepherds hooks:)  I am so ready for tomorrow night!
Until then, Life is too too SWEET! — Tracy
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