@Home This Weekend: Ribbon Organizer

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This weekend, take your masses of unruly ribbon spools and organize them! OriginalYouth shares a great tutorial on how to make tidy stacks of ribbon out of the mess. Get inspired! It’s so much easier to craft when everything is visible and easily accessible. Plus, these colorful displays look great in the craft room. Happy weekend!

March 27, 2014 Featured Projects

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Every two weeks we pick our favorite 15 projects that Craftster readers have voted for with the “This Rocks!” button. Here are our latest picks which were lovingly and painstakingly chosen (so many amazing projects to choose from!), this time by kittykill. We hope you enjoy them!


Vintage Wool Suit Pic Heavy by pixidance

Dave the Minion and Cupcake by popsdemilk

Tiny bear by petskin

Pi quilt by bunny1kenobi

Victorian Netted Necklace by CraftyMamaBee

Cottage Teacosy by elderflower

Felty Teacup Succulents by cigarettesandvalentines

Painting with pink by andralynn

Hey Bert Hoopla by SonjaBoo

Disney’s Frozen Birthday Party – pic heavy by Sylwa

Weather Cloud by Phizzychick

Clay Flowers by Jenxx

Bunny bag (with link to tutorial) by teemaru

Birchbox to Birdbox by LimeRiot

How to Train Your Dragon: Toothless by Oath Keeper

Mr X Stitch Presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Sue Walton

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Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Sue Walton is a fibre artist from Suffolk, England.

Sue Walton - 'Victoria' felt sculpture under glass dome

“My passion as a textile artist is driven by the texture and tactile nature of the materials themselves and the seemingly limitless ways in which they can be worked.  With an underpinning of traditional techniques, I exploit the manipulative properties of fibres and combine them with unexpected and widely contrasting materials.

Sue Walton - 'Victoria' felt sculpture under glass dome

“Influenced by flora and carvings, I produce high relief works incorporating both hand and machine stitch. The manipulative properties of creating felt by hand, incorporating silks and synthetic fabrics within it, and introducing wire, glass, beads and unusual objects gives me control of the surface texture whilst still allowing an element of distortion in the stylized flower forms.  When necessary I dye the fabrics and threads, although I enjoy using a natural colour pallet to emphasize the surface texture. Glass as a form of containment adds an element of ‘preciousness’ to my work, producing a Victorian eclectic style with a contemporary twist.

Sue Walton - Central arrangement for Woodland Boudoir detail

“City and Guilds trained and having previously taught in Adult Education in Suffolk, I now devote my time to exhibiting, both nationally and internationally.  I am a member of the Suffolk Craft Society and I sell my work through shops and galleries.”

Sue Walton - Pink sorbet detail

I first came across Sue’s work at the 2012 Knitting & Stitching Show, where she had produced the Jabberwocky installation with Ann Small. Influenced by Lewis Carroll, but with a twist of Tim Burton, their stand was one of the stars of the show, with a magnificent range of pieces displaying with edgy style and gaudy grace.

Sue Walton - 'The table set' in the Jabberwocky installation

Sue’s work brings forth magical natural beings, plants that wouldn’t seem out of place in the world of Labyrinth (the film, not the musician) and I find them utterly enchanting. I bought one of Sue’s creations – a needle felted worm, created with a vintage fork and a massive glass bead – and it’s definitely one of the most original pieces in my collection.

Sue Walton - Central arrangement for Woodland Boudoir

Sue’s latest work, included as part of Yulia Badian’s Woodland Boudoir at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show, was another range of curious foliage and flower creations. It’s as though she has a portal to another world that she visits, collecting new plant forms to share with us. I think they are fantastic, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Sue Walton Woodland Boudoir - Fireplace

Connect with Sue via her website and enjoy her work! It’s beautiful.

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the must-have embroidered art book by Mr X Stitch !

Tute Tuesday: Simple Bag Tutorial

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I have an obsession…purses! I love them. I would love to be able to have a purse for every outfit. Thanks to elizascs I can! This very easy to follow pattern for a Simple Purse allows you to create a one of a kind purse for you and your friends. I’m so excited to try this! Now I can match my purse to my shoes and outfit! It should be a sin to be this giddy!

Check out our other Purse Tutorials for your functional fashion needs.

Crafty Book Review: The Modern Applique Workbook

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appliqueworkbook250 Creative thoughts from Craftster Guest Blogger MareMare

Crafty Book Review: The Modern Applique Workbook

I was very eager to review The Modern Applique Workbook by Jennifer Dick, since my experience with applique has pretty much been limited to fusing and raw edge applique. The book is 135 pages long plus pull-out patterns in the back of the book.

The main methods used in this book are freezer paper applique to turn the edges, which the author prefers over a needle turned edge, and zigzag stitching with invisible polyester thread.

Although I was excited at the mention that scraps are great for applique, since as quilters pretty much all we do is create scraps, the later statement that applique fabric must be pre-washed quelled that excitement a bit. I’m a firm anti-pre-washer (mostly due to laziness), and washing scraps is not going to happen. It certainly makes more sense to use scraps if someone has already pre-washed all their fabric, though.

The beginning of the book starts out with an introduction, lists of tools needed and reasons for pre-washing fabrics. I was surprised when I got to the actual freezer paper tutorial; although I had a vague idea of how to applique with freezer paper, I didn’t realize that the shape was sewn on with the paper still in (which is later removed from the back)!

Besides using the aforementioned invisible zigzag stitch, the author also gives many examples of other ways to use both straight and decorative machine stitches to applique the pieces down.

Even before making it to the Projects section of the book, I was in love with the Mod quilt pattern that was featured on the inside cover. I felt that it was perhaps a better example of a “modern” pattern than the pattern chosen for the cover of the book.

I also was drawn to some of the simpler, more organic shapes used in some of the patterns, such as “Flame,”"Birds,” “Trees,” “Geese,” “Fall,” and “Fish.” I would definitely make these patterns and love the graceful curves shown in them.

A few patterns I was not as crazy about–the aforementioned cover pattern “Star Bright,” which is just a bit busy for me, “Kisses,” which I feel could easily be made with regular piecing, “Baskets,” which reminds me of my most disliked traditional pattern, and “Cascade,” which is made of simple circles and frankly, shows a lot of mistakes in both stitching and quilting in the picture.

Overall I think the technique described is one I would definitely go back to time and again, and there are more than enough projects I love in this book to make me want to own it.

Thanks to C&T Publishing and Stash Books for the chance to review this book.

To see related projects on Craftster, click the applique tag here.

Guest Blogger MareMare

Anthropologie DIY

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Anthropologie has such great merchandise. Much of the things they sell are so creative and wonderful, but unfortunately, can be very expensive. Leave it to clever Craftsters to get the same great looks for less; here are a few diy Anthropologie-inspired projects that look great and saved a lot of money.
 

It’s hard to believe that Chocolate_Jo made this gorgeous bedspread out of $30 worth of white tee-shirts! It is almost identical to the original. It’s perfect in this beautiful room (I really love her suitcase side table!)

shes_cleva couldn’t afford the Anthopologie version of this beaded bow necklace, so she made her own.
All it took to make these adorable drawer pulls (by NightOwl21) was some rubdown images and some lacquer.
redflags included the pattern to make her version of this lovely Anthro-inspired crochet collar. This is a great way to dress up any outfit.
kstaron used old jewelry, beads, and charms to make this wonderful one-of-a-kind charm necklace that’s rich with personal meaning.

If you can’t afford to buy it, make it yourself! Often, you’ll be surprised at the wonderful results. For more projects similar to these, click on the Craftster tag “Anthropologie“.

March 25th is Waffle Day!

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Stroopwafels- Dutch Caramel Filled Cookie How best to celebrate Waffle Day? By eating waffles! And there are tons of types of waffles out there, from trying the oft-seen pin of using canned cinnamon roll dough to make waffles (I did try that, they were okay but the waffle iron was a mess to clean, I’d rather just have the cinnamon rolls!) to regular waffles to Belgian waffles to… STROOPWAFELS! Seriously, don’t these look unbelievable delicious? Ezri_B was kind enough to provide the recipe and directions, so maybe add a new waffle to your waffle repertoire this waffle day?
Nyan Cat vs Waffle Cat

Maybe you like to foster a sense of competition, but don’t want an all-out syrup war to boil over between the well-known waffle restaurant and their pancake counterpart. There are other breakfast foods, and why not incorporate a touch of pop (tart) culture as well? Take, for instance, this great quilt of Nyan Cat and Waffle Cat by princesspimp81

Ice Cream Cone Earrings

So maybe actual waffles, in food or quilt form, just aren’t your thing. There’s plenty of other ways to honor the waffle – perhaps with a waffle cone of ice cream? Who doesn’t like ice cream? Besides vegans, and people who are lactose intolerant, and people for whom it is still very cold outside…. okay, okay, but these adorable clay earrings of waffle cone ice cream by beautifulpirate are lactose free, possible vegan (honestly I don’t know enough about clay, and I know some surprising things are not vegan!), and definitely calorie free!

Waffle Stitch Gloves

Fine, let’s veer into the world of figurative waffles, then. Here are a gorgeous pair of waffle stitch gloves knitted by by Sinjah. Also very handy (ha! handy!) for those where it’s too cold to eat ice cream right now. See? It all ties together!

On a final note, there’s a lot of WAFFLING that goes on in the Swap Boards. Do I join a swap? Do I not join a swap? Well, when in doubt… join! They are such a great deal of fun, so go check them out and get a piece of awesomeness from a fellow Craftster!

Meatless Monday: Sinus Soothing Cold Cucumber Melon Soup With Basil and Mint

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I have such a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I love the warmer temperatures and the flowers blooming…but my sinuses hate the pollen in the air. I’m so glad that TechnicolorAquahearts shared this yummy recipe for soothing my sinuses. Cold Cucumber Melon Soup with Basil and Mint are perfect for calming my sinuses down and lifting my spirits with a great taste and a wonderful smell.

This recipe would be great for a spring time brunch and it will keep your guests’ airways clear.

For more spring time recipes, check out our Cooking Board.

Spotlight On: Quilting

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Quilts. There as many patterns for quilts as there are people who make them. One thing is for sure though, we all know what it is like to be enveloped by the warmth of one on a cold night.

Quilts can be made out of any type of fabric. We have tshirt quilts, jean quilts, linen, cotton, etc.

The quilting section here on Craftster has a great tutorial selection. It is also chock full of inspiration and information.

Quilts can be traditional in design, like this trip around the world pattern:

Trip Around the World Quilt by Mistress Jennie

Or you can branch out into something that is truly unique. Like this quilt of Captain Picard.

Oh Captain, my Captain by semel

There are art quilts for just enjoying like this mermaid quilt.

Daydreaming Mermaid by patchyemm

You can even find mug rug quilts that are great for starter projects. Or you can check out this tutorial for a beginner’s quilt.

Just think if you start one now it will be ready in time for the cold weather in the fall and winter! Get busy quilting.

@Home This Weekend: Upcycle!

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This weekend, scout around for items you can upcycle! singersullivan made this great table out of the legs from a broken chair, and then planted a lovely fern in an unused drawer to make a wonderful indoor garden corner. It’s like a breath of spring for your home. Happy weekend!

Mr X Stitch Presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Melanie Fitzmaurice

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X Stitch

Melanie Fitzmaurice is a textile artist from Victoria, Australia.

Nightmare Landing, 2011-12 (Photo - Garry Smith)

I map my understanding of places, objects and experiences through sculpture. My artworks grow from a process of problem solving, where I apply a new logic to familiar objects. I draw on what I recognise and understand in an attempt to grasp what is new or challenging.

“My sculptures take the form of unlikely combinations of domestic or utilitarian objects and fragments of the human body. In adjusting these familiar forms, I work to construct metaphors that highlight the connections that I see between geographical expeditions and a more internalised experience of navigation.

Explorer's Twin Hooks, 2010 (Photo - Garry Smith)

“As a sculptor I am fascinated by the fundamental role that our bodies play in our understanding of space, movement, communication and identity. The figure appears throughout my work, or is referred to through objects, garments and helmets.

“The appeal of an entirely stitched surface also lies in its connection to the human body, which is consistently in contact with fabric of some sort. To me, the rhythmic act of sewing a taught skin over a form is intimate, meditative, and lends itself to the process of ‘learning by doing’.

Explorer's Case, 2010 (Photo - Garry Smith

“Often unified in grey, my objects’ fleece surface is easily mistaken for more conventional sculpture materials, such as stone or cast cement. These common objects are denatured beneath their new surface, making way for a new meaning.

“Comparisons between objects belonging to the domestic interior and the outdoors began to emerge in my making during my first international residency in Arbroath, a small fishing town on the east coast of Scotland in 2008. As a traveller I continue to reflect on the concept of locating oneself in transit; of moving forward and looking back. I consider themes such as orientation, disorientation, the familiar and the unknown.”

Explorer's Helmet, 2012 (Photo - Garry Smith)

I find Melanie’s work to be quite engaging. The greyness of all her work displaces it from reality and gives it a heightened sense of experimentation. The combination of hard objects and soft furnishings adds to the contrast of domestic objects and body parts, leaving us with pieces that may have been made by Dr Moreau’s interior designer. I like ‘em!

Tip of the Iceberg (Backpack), 2012 (Photo - Garry Smith)With smart construction and cool style, Melanie’s work is an interesting exploration of an idea and it’s worth visiting her website to see how this project is evolving.

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the must-have embroidered art book by Mr X Stitch !

 

Tute Tuesday: Puffy Clouds and Hearts

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Did I ever tell you that I wanted to be Sweets4ever when I grow up? Yep, it’s true! She is so talented and really is the sweetest person ever. I just absolutely love this Puffy Cloud and Hearts Mobile that she made. It is perfect for a baby’s room, or a photo prop or even just a pick me up in your craft room.

This is just one of our awesome tutorials! We have so many more, check out the Tutorial Tag and create something today.

Fanciful Bird Houses for Your Feathered Friends

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Spring is really trying hard to take hold near me, and every day I hear and see more birds. They’re all going to need somewhere to live, right? Here are some beautiful bird houses that will fill your garden with color.
 

What bird wouldn’t want to live in a beautiful mosaic house? schizo319 used tile, mirrors, and flat marbles to make this lovely home.

dragonflyducky’s feathered friends will sleep in cozy comfort in this lovely wet felted house that resembles a hanging fruit.
Anna D. enlarged the hole in the bottom of a flower pot and painted a lovely floral motif. She then attached it to a board to complete this creative house.
I love Jellybean313‘s sense of humor. She covered this glass-backed birdhouse with several different recipes for chicken dishes.
Oops Creations designed her bird house with a sense of humor as well; she painted it so that the entrance is in a cat’s mouth. It’s going to take a brave bird family to move in here!

Attract more beautiful birds to your yard by giving them what they need: shelter, feeders, and a good source of water. Happy Spring!

Meatless Monday: Herby Onion Bread

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Oh my goodness! Did I ever tell you I was a bread junkie? I just can’t help myself. Some yummy bread with a little bit of butter, and I am in heaven! Schnerby shares her delicious recipe for Herb Onion Bread which will make you drool like an old hound dog. This recipe would be perfect with stew on cold night or a spring brunch.

Check out our Bread tags for other recipes to satisfy your cravings.

CrafTATastic Crafty Tattoo

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Megzy818 and her sister decided to get matching tattoos of this hippo whisk. Every time she looks at him, it reminds her of her mother and sister who are cute yet fierce.

Do you have a crafty tattoo? Why not post it on our Crafty Tattoo thread and we may just feature you!