The Big and the Small of It

Working both the big and small sides of crafting today. With an image in my mind and 6 yrds of Kona Black and Snow colored fabric at my disposal, another new jumbo geometric quilt top is complete.

IMG_4835

In the jumbo crafting arena, I also finished the back for my Big Blue Quilt top and have sent it off to Emily Sessions for some custom quilting. (https://entropyalwayswinsblog.com/2014/01/02/big-blue/ ) I can’t wait to see what quilting she comes up with!

IMG_3924

I also was kindly invited to join a sew along for the Noodlehead Cargo Duffle (http://www.noodle-head.com/2013/10/cargo-duffle-pattern-for-robert-kaufman.html) being organized by Sophie (http://lescrapdesoph.blogspot.fr/2014/02/announcing-cargo-duffle-sew-along.html). I have never joined a sew-along before but with Sophie leading (her blog and crafts are so beautiful) and the Cargo Duffle as a goal, how could I refuse?! I have about three different versions of this duffle in consideration, one using some recycled leather. This is going to be fun!

On the small side of Crafting, I have been slowly working on a lace wrap using my Madelinetosh Prairie yarn. Though I have knit lace stitches before, I have never made a lace throw nor worked with lace weight yarn.

IMG_4823

Enjoying all of these projects, big and small. Wishing everyone a relaxing and inspired weekend.

Hillary

Sachet’s For the Underwear Drawer-A Tutorial

I think I have underwear on the brain. Not sure why, but making panty shaped sachet’s has been pushed front and center on my to do list. I have about three quilt tops to quilt and several projects midway done but after buying silk organza yesterday, all I can think about is sachets.

IMG_4745

And these have been so darn easy to make that it is hard for me to stop. Another bonus is that with each one, I have been trying out new to me decorative stitches on my Janome.

IMG_4734

IMG_4731

To be honest I am a great Do-er and not the best teacher but these guys were so easy I thought I would pass on the techniques I used.

Supplies: Sewing machine, silk organza, thread, small premade bows, a small funnel and lavender flowers. (I used white organza and grey thread to make the decorative stitching more noticeable and I bought my lavender in the bulk section of Whole Foods.)

Basic Instructions: Mark off with fabric marker a rectangle 5 inches by 7 inches and cut around these rectangles in the silk organza allowing a generous 1 inch border to make stitching easier.   Make symmetric diagonal cuts on the lower rectangle corners to make it into the shape of underwear.  Pin the two pieces of organza together in the middle of the rectangle to keep them together when sewing.   Using a decorative stitch, sew around the edges along your marked lines, leaving the bottom open. Using your funnel, fill the sachet with lavender. Finish the bottom with the same decorative stitching to seal the lavender in place.  Trim the edges of the organza on all sides close to the stitching.   Using some of your thread, hand sew one of the small bows in place in the top center and you are done!

I decided I needed a little bag to hold my sachets so I used some Laminated Cotton from Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane line and made an underwear shaped bag with frills to match my sachets.

IMG_4725

IMG_4737

IMG_4741

IMG_4740

Tshirts repurposed into a Cardigan with Fabric Flower

With the weather cooling down, I have been sorting through our drawers. I set aside a stack of old shirts and tshirts for the Goowill.  These shirts were too cute to give away, especially together so I decided to repurpose them into something new.

image

To start off, I picked an old striped shirt and made it into a cardigan by cutting down the middle and finishing the edges (I folded and pressed each edge in by 1/4 inch and folded again then straight stitched to finish.)

image

Next, I cut 1 to 2 inch sections from the sleeves of three different tshirts.

image

image

image

I then folded each in half and cut a scalloped pattern at the open edge to give the flower more depth.

image

To provide a base for the flower I ironed Misty Fuse onto a small piece of one of the tshirts and cut a two inch circle which I then ironed to the left corner of my new cardigan.

image

image

image

I then sewed down the center of each of the tshirt sleeve bands and pulled the loose stitches to gather them into a size that would fit in my two inch circular flower base.

image

image

Finally I pinned and stitched down the center of each gathered circle onto the flower base fitting each subsequent circle inside the next.

image

I cut all the loose stitches and within 30 minutes had a new cute cardigan for my daughter. 🙂

image

image

image

Although my girlie is getting a little tired of modeling for me (I have to pay in new books) I think she is genuinely pleased with the results.

African Christmas Bead Necklace/Bracelet

Whenever I travel, I like to 1. explore a new city’s independent coffee shops and 2. keep my hands busy creating.

image

This week my family and I have been in Spokane, Washington. While here, we discovered a fun shop downtown the kids love called Boo-Radleys.

image

It’s next door neighbor Atticus Finch is equally as cool and has a great cafe where we planted ourselves for a bit. (LOVE the To Kill a Mocking Bird theme!)

image

While the kids read their books, I pulled out some African Christmas beads and elastic thread I bought a few years ago in Seattle.

image

I have made several African Christmas Bead Necklace/bracelets as gifts in the past and they seem to be well received. (My sister in law was wearing hers from a few years ago when we left Spokane!)

image

They are really easy to make! All I do is cut a piece of Elastic Thread necklace length and tie a loose knot at the end to keep the beads from rolling off. I then thread as many beads as I want for my necklace/bracelet. When I have threaded all the beads, I untie the loose knot at one end and tie the two elastic threads together securing with several knots. This thread is slick and the knots like to come undone. To prevent this, I cut the threads close to the knots then dab a small amount of superglue on the knot and allow to dry.  Within 30 minutes, I have a colorful and fun necklace/bracelet!

image

image

Seedstitch Cowl/Wrap Pattern

I’ve been a tad bit obsessed with seed stitch lately.  With some lovely natural wool in my yarn stash, I knit up an extra long cowl that I can wear several ways.  This is a super easy pattern that is quick to knit up.

IMG_3527

 
Supplies that I used:

6 Skeins of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica naturals in color 702

32 inch US size 17 circular knitting needle

crochet hook

IMG_3530

 
Pattern: Double up on the yarn so that you knit with two strands of yarn from two skeins at all times to make this an extra thick knit.  Cast on 155 stitches then follow the pattern knit one, purl one across the needle.  Place a marker.  Begin knitting in the round for the next row continuing the alternating knit one, purl one pattern.  Continue until the cowl measures 10 inches, then bind off the last row in the continued knit one, purl one pattern. Use the crochet hook to weave in the loose ends.

DONE!

This extra long cowl gives you many styling possiblities.  A couple that I like are shown below.

IMG_3475

 

IMG_3478

 

IMG_3479

Making Malas – A Tutorial

Malas are Tibetan Buddhist prayer beads strung with 108 beads.  The necklaces/bracelets are traditionally used to help keep count while reciting or repeating a mantra.  I am neither Buddhist nor Tibetan but I love the look of Malas and a few years ago started making them for myself and friends.

IMG_2820

As I start gearing up for the holidays and begin making presents for friends and family, I have pulled out all my beading supplies and thought I would share my Mala Making methods.

Recommended Materials:

108 beads (best if 5mm or less)

Bead Cord with a self threaded needle (I typically use No 10 in a color to match the tassel)

Needle nose tweezers

Embroidery thread to make a tassel or a premade purchased tassel

Needle

Scissors

IMG_3369

To begin your Mala, make a knot near the end of the Bead Cord and begin threading your beads.  In between each bead, tie a knot while using the tweezers to pinch at the top of the bead.  This will make the beads and knots fit tightly together

IMG_3370

When all 108 beads have been tied on the Bead Cord, tie the two ends together into a circle. You are almost done!

Next Decide if you want to make your own tassel or attach a premade tassel. I like to do it both ways. Over the year I have been collecting vintage Turkish Tassels and repurposing them on Malas.  I use a strong nylon thread to attach them to the beaded loop.

IMG_3384

If you choose to make a tassel, grab some embroidery thread and your beaded loop.

IMG_3371

Cut one looped end of the embroidery thread and tie it in the middle to the beaded loop using the left over Bead Cord.

IMG_3374

Grab one loose thread on the right side and wrap 5 times around all of the threads

IMG_3376

 

Using a needle pull the loose wrapped thread through the top of the tassel and pull down hard to tighten.

IMG_3377

 

Repeat the wrap and thread pull through with a loose thread from the left side of the tassel this time wrapping in the opposite direction.  Dampen the end of the embroidery thread and trim to desired length.

IMG_3380

 

Enjoy your Mala!

IMG_3381

 

IMG_3395 IMG_3390

 

 

 

Linen Rosebud Flower Tutorial

Several years ago I bought a linen flower from Emersonmade. Ever since I’ve been hooked on the idea of making linen flowers myself.  Emerson no longer produces the flowers though her company does make drool-worthy clothing and accessories.

IMG_2717

There have been a few tutorials on making these flowers on the internet. I used this tutorial, http://www.playingsublimely.com/2011/02/perfecting-emersons-flower-a-tutorial/ to guide me in making my first linen flower above. Since then I’ve been pondering other flower designs and wanted to share one I came up with that looks a little like a rosebud.

IMG_3212

Materials needed: 100% linen fabric, heavy starch or a commercial product called Terial Magic, a big bowl, an iron, felted wool, scissors, a circle form, needle, thread to match the linen and an attachment pin.

IMG_3190

IMG_3188

For the first step, fully soak your linen in a big bowl. Make sure all the fabric is saturated. Next, air dry the fabric until completely dry and then steam iron it. (I have used both the spray starch and the Terial Magic and they work equally well.)

IMG_3203

Next cut 10, 2 inch circular pieces of linen and 2, 2 inch circular pieces of the felted wool. (I tended with more attempts at this to trim the wool pieces a bit so they didn’t show through the side of the flower).

IMG_3206

Next fold each linen piece as shown and begin hand sewing to one of the felted wool pieces. Add additional petals in the same manner overlapping each piece.

IMG_3207

IMG_3209

IMG_3210

Continue to overlap the petals until there are two overlapping layers making sure to keep a center small circle of felt visible. In a short period of time you will end up with a linen rosebud.

IMG_3211

To complete the flower, attach a pin to the second piece of wool either by inserting it into the wool or by sewing it on and then use a glue gun to attach the second piece of felted wool to your flower.

IMG_3213

IMG_3221

I’m warning you, these flowers are pretty addictive partly because they are so darn easy to make. Enjoy!

 

IMG_3225