Sew Your Own Dog Crate Cover

Meet Lucy!!

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Lucy Lou is our newest family member who is now a year old. A couple years ago I wrote about my Bailey, who we had to say good-bye to…seriously broke our hearts and I NEVER thought I’d get another dog again.

Well, Never Say Never! I guess we were ready and it sure felt lonely and incomplete without a family dog.

Out of the blue, I received a phone call from Bailey’s breeder that he may have another bull mastiff pup for us if we were interested. We thought about it and it sounded so nice to once again have a loving, loyal companion in the house. I had kept in touch with Bailey’s breeder over the years and he knew how much we loved her. So thankful he thought of us as another owner for one of his pups! But it almost didn’t happen!  There were a lot of people in line for her!

(Side note) When considering a pure bred puppy, it is IMPERATIVE that you get to know the breeder. A great breeder loves the dog and the breed and knows all of its qualities and is breeding for the love of the breed. They will take the time to get to know you and your family and your background and will not sell their puppies to just anyone. PLEASE-do not go out and buy a puppy from just anyone!


Lucy’s mama is from Guardian Angel Bullmastiffs and her daddy is Rudy G from Trugrit. She was meant to be a show dog, but that was never in our plan for a dog. We just wanted a bull mastiff puppy, to grow up with us and love us and be part of our family. Luckily for us, it all worked out and she came to be our girl.




Look at the size of her paws!

Lucy is so full of personality and intelligence and agility. You would not think such a big dog could be so agile, but she is! She moves with a lot of grace and power, one day I will post a video.  She is seriously one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen in person. (I don’t brag much on her, do I?) She’s also so sweet and loving and likes to snuggle right up to you.




Lucy kept growing…

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And growing….



And growing…




I’m a big believer in a dog having its own space. So enter the dog crate. Now, I have a very small living room and Lucy’s crate is right there, all big and metal and black. I had to think of something to kind of cover it up, blend it in a little bit. I decided to make a crate cover for her and I loosely based it on this tutorial for an ottoman. It’s actually very simple and any beginner sewer can do it.


I started by using an old full sized bedspread that we weren’t using and draped it over the crib. Make sure you have the inside of the cover facing you, and the outside (the part you want seen) of your finished project facing the crate. So in sewing terms…the right side down.

Then I pinned the corners like this….

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 Make sure you get the corners nice and tight.

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Then I cut off the excess at the corners, leaving the pins intact.


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Sew a straight seam connecting the two sides together. Do this for all four corners. I used a double stitch just to make sure it’s strong.

Turn your cover inside out and straighten it out over the crate- and there you have it!


I had to have Lucy pose for a picture…



And…in true to me form, I had to jazz it up a little.


I used my embroidery machine and embroidered an arrow, and used my silhouette cameo to cut out the letters. The letters were then ironed onto the front.

And as you can see from the picture, Lucy prefers the couch! 

On a little personal level, when we first got Lucy, I felt such joy-but I also felt a little guilty, like we were somehow replacing Bailey.  But over time, I have come to realize that the human heart has such a capacity to love. While Bailey has left her footprint on our hearts forever, there is also plenty of room to love and enjoy another dog. Has anyone else ever felt that way?


Lucy & Me

Linking up!


flamingo toes

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Pretty “Play” Pillow & Pandora or “The Four P’s”


Ode to a Cold & Rainy Day


Last week I spent the better part of my morning sewing and stitching.  Since it was a cold, gray, dreary day, I didn’t feel too bad about spending the morning in my warm sewing room, throwing in loads of laundry in between stitches and listening to Lionel Richie Radio on Pandora.  (Lionel Richie Radio? you ask. But, it was that kind of day…Singing along to songs that are mushy, lovey-dovey, and nostalgic.)


My vision was a patchwork pillow cover with a cute banner across it and I decided to use every crafty machine in my toolbox.  Hmmmmm….


Fire up the Cameo Silhouette!  I used a design that came free! with the purchase of the Cameo.



Then I edited it to the size I wanted the banner to be and used the Replicate window tool to add another row to cut out.  Cameos are sooooo cool.



At this point, I’m listening to “Oh No”, by The Commodores.  Such a heartbreaking song…

I want you

to want me,

I’m going crazy knowing he will be your lover tonight.

And when he comes, I’ll let you go,

I’ll just pretend as you walk out of the door.

(Anyone remember the movie “The Last American Virgin”? from the ‘80s?  Poor Gary…Anyhoo, it’s a classic movie along the lines of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Valley Girl”. Not to be missed in any 1980’s adolescence.


Ok, back to 2013…

Did you know the Cameo can cut out fabric?  YES!   I used the fabric blade to cut out my design and it worked pretty well.  (But you must iron on the stabilizer first.  I learned that the hard way.)

My next step was to plan out the fabric for my pillow cover.  I wanted a 14×14 cover so I used some quilting squares I purchased way long ago in the hopes of making a quilt. (For the record, I don’t know how to quilt yet but a see a quilting class in my future AND I hope to have the knowledge and guidance of my good friend Amy because she makes beautiful quilts.  At least she did, before she had 3 boys…C’mon Amy…get quilting so I can learn from you!  So what if those boys need to eat!)

The squares I used were 5×5 and I layed out a design.


But what do we hear?


I’m all of out love,

I’m so lost without you…

I knew you were right, believing for so long.

Ahhhh, we’ve hit Air Supply.  C’mon…you know you know the words…


Starting with the first row, (and using my second crafty machine, AKA a sewing machine), I sewed each square together wrong sides facing using a 1/4” seam.

It’s important to iron each seam flat after sewing.  I found that out the hard way again.



And then you have a row!  Yay!


Wow, that’s green!


Better, I think.

At this point, it seems to be time for some Bee Gees.

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I wanna feel you in my arms again

Let me ask you,  “How Deep is YOUR love?”  (for this post?)

Once all three rows are sewn together, it’s time to sew the rows together.  That doesn’t make much sense, does it? 


Ok, look closely…Do you see my boo-boo which, once again, something I have now learned the hard way?  First one to see the mistake is AWESOME! (Hint…compare to original layout).

Hmmmm…..the song playing at this point seems perfect.

I did my best
But I guess my best wasn’t good enough
Cause here we are
Back where we were before
Seems nothin’ ever changes
We’re back to being strangers
Wondering if we ought to stay
Or head on out the door
Just once…

(Transported back to “The Last American Virgin” movie again…poor, poor Gary.)

Oh well, what are ya gonna do?  I just left it the way it was.

Now it’s time to add the banner cut from the lovely Silhouette.  I used the scraps as my template.



I placed the cut out banner triangles in place, used some applique spray adhesive and pinned them to the fabric.


And here comes REO Speedwagon….

You should’ve seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was somethin missin
You should’ve known by the tone of my voice, maybe
But you didn’t listen
You played dead
But you never bled
Instead you lay still in the grass
All coiled up and hissin
And though I know all about those men
Still I don’t remember
Cause it was us baby, way before then
And we’re still together
And I meant, every word I said
When I said that I love you I meant
That I love you forever
And I’m gonna keep on lovin you
Cause it’s the only thing I wanna do
I don’t wanna sleep
I just wanna keep on lovin you

OK, who doesn’t sing along with that one? (Don’t answer that.)

It’s time to sew the banner down.  I’m nervous about this because they are small little triangles and I feel like I could majorly screw this up if I sew it all crooked.


It’ll all be OK because Pandora is now playing “Too Much Heaven” by the Bee Gees.

Oh you and me girl
Got a lot of love in store
And it flows through you
And it flows through me
And I love you so much more
Then my life..I can see beyond forever
Ev’rything we are will never die
Loving’s such a beautiful thing
Oh you make my world.. a summer day
Are you just a dream to fade away


So here is how it looked with the banner sewed down.


I feel like it needs something.  A little contrast maybe.  So I sewed I line over the top of the triangles in brown thread so it would add a little pop of color.  Very slowly, as not to wreck what is turning out to be a pretty cute pillow.


A little better, right?

Now it’s time to move to yet another machine.  My beloved Embroidery Machine named Marie after my grandmother.

But first…

Thanks for the times
That you’ve given me
The memories are all in my mind
And now that we’ve come
To the end of our rainbow
There’s something
I must say out loud
You’re once, twice
Three times a lady
Yes you’re once twice
Three times a lady

Oh Lionel, sing it so!

I used my Embroidery Machine, AKA Marie, to design the word “play” to fit in.



To ensure I wouldn’t misplace the embroidery, I printed it out and made sure once my fabric was hooped, it was centered where I wanted it.  Nice little feature, Marie!


Suddenly I am transported back to 1985.  School Skating Party.  I’m in the 8th grade and I hear those words, both dreaded and anticipated all at the same time.

“Couples Only, Couples Only”  Oh please, please, please don’t let me be the only girl in my class NOT asked to skate during “Couples Only, Couples Only” like it’s some elite club I want to be part of.

Or wait…It’s doe-eyed Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker watching beautiful Jake Ryan dance with his perfect girlfriend, her heart breaking all over the place!  Stop staring, Molly!  Go blow out 16 Candles somewhere.  Just go buy yourself a cake, put some candles in it, make a wish and blow them all out.  Don’t forget to eat that cake all by yourself.

(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
So true
Funny how it seems
Always in time, but never in line for dreams
Head over heels when toe to toe
This is the sound of my soul
This is the sound
I bought a ticket to the world
But now I’ve come back again
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
Oh, I want the truth to be said
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true
(Ha-ha-ha, ha-ah-hi)
I know this much is true

Time to embroider and hold my breath it all works out.



Now to add the backing and zipper. 

Please, this post is so long I can’t do it anymore!  Just pretend I went through the backing and zipper installation.  Go to this awesome blog AKA Design Sponge, and copy theirs.  That’s what the hell I did!

                     The Finished Product



Is anyone still reading this?

So I leave you with this to ponder…

If we can’t solve any problems
And why do we lose so many tears?
So you go again when the leading man appears.
Always the same theme
Can’t you see
We’ve got ev’rything going on and on and on.
Ev’ry time you go away you take a piece of me with you.
Ev’ry time you go away you take a piece of me with you.

But wouldn’t it be so funny if the lyrics went, “Ev’ry time you go away

you take a piece of meat with you”?

Thank you for going on this journey with me!  You’ve been a trooper!


Peace and Lost in Love and I don’t know much,


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Anchor’s Away!!!



Cameo Silhouette


I was so excited to finally get a Cameo Silhouette that I felt like a little kid at Christmas waiting for it to arrive.  Seriously.

(If you don’t know what a Silhouette is, it’s a cutting machine for paper, vinyl, fabric…check it out on Pinterest and you will be blown away at all it can do for a crazy crafter like myself.)

In my mind I had all these cool projects I wanted to do…fabric appliques, vinyl lettering, stencils, signs, cards, geesh-the list goes on.

So much time I spent playing with it when I should’ve been doing laundry or mopping some floors or cooking or whatever, but it called to me…hee, hee.

“I’m here…waiting… make something.”

This machine takes some getting used to and some mistakes I have made…OK, a lot of mistakes, but that’s how you learn, right?

Still haven’t figured out the color and cut feature, almost threw the thing out the window trying to do that,  but there are plenty of tutorials out there.

Husband’s birthday was on the horizon…

Couldn’t let him get away without a handmade something or other.

I headed over to Home Depot and was going to have them cut some wood for me into planks for a sign and then I spotted this…


Bead board Wainscot!  There were six pieces in there for ~$12.00. And as the packaging says, “Primed and Ready to Paint.”  I figured I could piece some together for a sign…

They are tongue and groove so I took three of them, fit them together and used some Gorilla Glue to hold them tight.

I went to my Cameo program on my computer and found an anchor in the online store and bought it for $.99 and downloaded it.

Next I had to enlarge the anchor which is actually an easy process even for computer challenged peeps like myself.


I actually used clear Contact paper when cutting in the Silhouette because I had made so many mistakes with the more expensive vinyl that I needed a break from it.  The Contact paper worked great and it was even sticky on the backside so I used it as my stencil.



The next part was the hardest for me…I knew which quote I wanted to use, but couldn’t figure out the layout using the Cameo program.  I wanted different fonts and sizes and it wouldn’t all fit like I wanted it to so I ended up designing and cutting each line individually and hoping it would fit.  I am sure there is an easier, more practical way to do this, but I am not a Cameo pro…Yet.

Using vinyl, I cut out the phrase and transferred it over to the sign.

And here’s how it turned out…


Needs a few touch-ups here and there, but overall I was satisfied.

Stay tuned for more Silhouette projects.

And here’s a secret…shhhh!  I bought the machine USED from Amazon and saved some money there, too.  (Don’t tell anyone.)



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