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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / how to cheat at quilting, aka turn a thrift store find into a quick stripy quilt on: July 28, 2015 02:37:39 PM
 I received a bundle of 5 FQ in a swap, they were all US flag themed fabrics. I have an american friend who lives nearby who will be returning from a holiday in the US soon, leaving her siblings behind and so she'll be homesick.

these two things were meant to be together. It is about a double bed size and lovely and soft.

I also scored this very good condition quilt-store bought, not handmade- in a thrift shop for 5euro,  appliques of sporting motifs are not my style, or that of anyone else I know. It got a good wash and line dry, so it smells glorious.



5FQ are not a lot of fabric, but I chopped them up into rectangles all of the rectangles were the same size, I basically trimmed all the fq so they were the same size and got the largest rectangles I could, 8 from each. plus a few from a smaller bit of fabric I had. I went for reasonable precision, without doing my nut over each millimeter

Sewed them together with some white banding, this was to echo the actual stars and stripes and because I didn't have enough fabric. I wanted to cover the original motifs, but leave the edge of each block, so it would look pieced. This was what I came up with


safety pinned it down, so it was all square. And did some quick quilting, across each set of blocks and in the ditch on the long sides, turning under the raw edges. Of course as these things inevitably go, they started square and ended up all askew. As you can see in this one.


There was no way I was ripping it off and starting again, because without tacking the whole lot down, it was only going to move again-the quilt underneath is not perfectly flat, so it was never going to be pucker free. Instead I embraced the chaos with a couple of appliqued hearts on the corners, to hopefully distract the eye from the lack of alignment!


all done..all in all it took about 4 hours. Including this..

don't do this my friends, it really doesn't help the progress

Comments and criticism most welcome
2  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / lino cut on fabric, all over repeat mushrooms.. on: July 13, 2015 12:54:01 PM
So it was time for another lino cutting session, I have done a bit of research and worked out how to plan an all over repeat, one that continues on all side of the block. I know how to do it, but the execution needs a little practice. However I am happy with how it turned out.

Normal people choose a simple design to workout the bugs. Nah..I choose a ridiculously complicated one and eyeballed the registration,

still I like it

The first one in plain black

the second was the mix of red and black above, with a little hand colouring of the tops of the mushrooms

the final one was just using up red ink, hence the fade out at the bottom corner.

These are speedball screen printing fabric paints on an old thrift store cotton sheet.

close up of the design

No idea what I will do with the fabric now.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / quick and dirty, make a new dress out of two small (thrift shop) ones-Tute on: June 19, 2015 07:30:49 AM
I have these two dresses in my stash, both I really like, neither of them fit, I knew they weren't going to fit when I bought them, I got them in a thrift shop for about a total of $10. So today I pulled out my stash of burda magazines as I had decided that I needed a new dress, but none of the patterns were exactly right. But I was going to modify one, then I spotted these and thought, *feck making a new one* do something with these.



so I did. I made this and while I was making it, I did a tutorial.

A few things to pay attention to while doing this, and it can be done for most dresses.
1-Make sure the fabrics are similar weights and similar stretchiness, for bonus points, similar fibre types.
2-If possible choose two dresses that have the same length side seam, this is not essential, but makes things go a lot faster.
3-you don't have to match patterns or colours exactly, if you use a dark solid colour, it will give the illusion of being slimmer, if that is what you want.

Steps to merge two dresses.
A-Decide which is going to be the main dress, which the sacrificial one. I love a wrap dress and the swirly one (great pattern for lumps and bumps) was my main one. I also like the blue one, but it was clearly made for a waif, so the amount of fabric I would have to put into the side seams would look odd.

B- cut off the side seams of the sacrificial dress (giving a nice clean edge to sew with) With this dress, there were a few darts, so pin them, to stop them opening up before you sew the side seams again.



C-You need to measure you and measure the main dress, to decide how much of the side of the sacrificial dress to add in. I matched the armholes and the hem and angled it out a bit (the tape measure shows the side seam on the blue dress), this meant that I didn't have to redo either (quick and dirty!) plus this is a stretch fabric, so very forgiving, you will have to measure more carefully in a non stretch fabric.


D. Cut the required piece out of the sacrificial dress, This can be a wedge as in my pix, as I wanted a fuller skirt, or it can be pretty much a rectangle, or even an hourglass shape, depending on your shape, measure bust, waist and hips of the main dress and you. I am lazy so I eyeballed it and cut down the side of the sacrificial dress (jersey is forgiving!) I Folded that piece over on itself and cut a second time, to give a wedge shaped piece. The blue dress that I sacrificed had a brown band, so I kept that in to define the waistline



E Pin and sew into the main dress.


Some things to remember as you sew

-if your sacrifical dress is shorter than the main dress, you will have to cut a panel from the back of the dress, remember to add half an inch or so to turn over at the armhole and the hem.

-Modern sewing machines wil stretch stitch on my machine, it means that the seams when sewn also have stretch, when you are sewing them, it helps to have a walking foot, But do not stretch the fabric as you are sewing, I push the fabric towards the needle so there is a little hill before it hits the needle. If you stretch as you sew, the seams will be distorted.

-The weight of the fabric off the table before it hits the needle can also distort the seams, so it helps to pin the sides together along the length and support as much of the fabric on the sewing table as possible.
4  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / how can I make bath bombs that equal lush in scent &power-mine are weak on: June 19, 2015 04:31:13 AM
Like many I am addicted to Lush..mostly when I am near a shop, I go in, use the testers and recoil in horror at the prices.

Last january, I was in their shop in Dublin and they had a huge box of bath bombs for half price. I talked myself into it and brought them home with glee. I adore a long hot bath at the end of the week, I stored the box outside of the bathroom because I was worried about humidity and the box was pretty, the hallway smelled glorious for months. I cut some in half to make them last longer, I divided the bubble bars in 3.

But now they are all gone. Sad

I have made bath bombs before, I have citric acid etc in the  house and a ton of essential oils. But I have never succeeded in making them smell as strongly as Lush, or colour the water as much (although that is less of an issue)

Has anyone succeeded, is the trick to use perfume oils as well as essential oils? I did a lot of experimentation trying to replicate their Karma soap blend a few years ago (recipe is on here somewhere) I made an amazing blend, but it still wasn't the same, then I looked closer at the package and saw 'perfume' . So is the answer to add some lush clone perfumes to my bath bombs? If so, where is a good supplier. I am Ireland and not everwhere delivers over here.
5  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / How to make a cheap pair of flipflops look pretty with beads..Tutorial on: June 18, 2015 03:59:27 PM
I was shopping today and saw very pretty beaded flipflops in Monsoon, for about 50euro (about $50) so I went to a cheap shoe shop and bought a pair of plain ones for 5..that and a handful of beads and about half an hour to make these.


this is how they looked to start. Just make sure that as well as cheap. they are comfortable!


So how to do it. Use dental floss, strong, cheap, no special trip to the craft store and you can knot it properly. First thing to do is take about a yard or so, double it up and thread both ends through a standard sewing needle-my flip flops had a softish rubber 'straps' so a regular sewing needle was fine, you might need something sturdier.

start at the end of one strap, working from the top, push the needle through, this will leave the double end of the thread at the top, bring the needle back up through the strap and pass it through the loop of the dental floss, pull tight. This will secure it without any knots.


then thread some beads on. Once you have beaded an inch or so, secure it by pushing the needle through the strap and back up again.
When you come back to the topside of the strap, pass the floss a second time through a bead that is already threaded, this will make it extra secure. Continue beading all around the band, use a nice big pretty bead at the aapex (ie at the bit that goes through your toes). Secure the beads every inch or so by stitching through the band.

Remember in general to use beads going from smaller at the sides to larger at the apex.

I added a second string of beads at the apex, as there was already a shiny plastic bead there and it needed something more, I also added a dangly charm.

When you have worked your way from the apex to the end of the strap, secure the last bead by going through the strap and back up again. Then take one of the threads out of the needle, bring that through either the band again, or a bead and tie a secure double knot with the other piece of floss. Cut the ends to about an inch, thread them through the beads to neaten.



I used a piece of sandpaper to rub off the printed size..Taking these to France with me Smiley

wear and enjoy
6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Terry Pratchett tribute swap GALLERY on: May 30, 2015 01:22:54 PM
Post your goodies here...

link to original thread. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=438988.0
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / finally finished my kaffe fasset (esque) shirt box quilt on: May 25, 2015 01:30:21 PM
I have seen this quilt a few places online and loved it, so I thrifted and bought a few shirts, not owning the book, so I was squinting at patterns online. I cut the triangles, sewed them together, discovered that triangles are a PITA because they wiggle. Anyway eventually I made this..it is only sorta like the original, his were all boxes, no crosses and even the tiny squares were boxes (life is too short to cut three inch squares into four triangles and sew them up again..

anyway it sat for a while, intimdating me as it definitely did not lay flat.

I asked for advice and in the end I had a go. Safety pins together with inch poly batting in the middle.

I pretty much sewed around each square and given that there is no real run of straight lines in this quilt..it has taken me hours and hours

Do NOT make this quilt if you value your back and sanity..

And there are some awful puckers, but happily mostly on the back..and even more happily the back is a fairly busy pattern, so it is actually hard to see the puckers.

A border of red to pick up some of the lines in the quilt and I have to say ..I really love it, It is fairly large, DD posing with it for scale, and there are many many mistakes, Areas on the top where I had to zig zag where seams drifted apart, many puckers as I said..but you know, I don't care. It has honesty in it's mistakes and it is definitely home made. I love that it is made with old shirts and with such a busy busy pattern, you really can't see the mistakes up close.
8  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / another 'how the feck do I quilt this?'...short arm only (Not mine, the machine) on: May 07, 2015 12:54:26 PM
So I had a bash at the kaffe fasset shirt box quilt. I do love it, don't have the book as I couldn't really afford to splash out on it, so I did a lot of squinting at completed ones online (remarkably few)

I discovered why I didn't find too many online, this is a tough quilt, OK it is probably not tough for you experienced, patient meticulous quilters out there...I am impatient and messy...and triangles...

triangles are evil

so I cut it out, laughing at the instructions (they used to be on googlebooks) he said I need about 14 shirts..ha! I cut enough from about 7..then I realised that half of those triangles make crosses when sewn together, not boxes...OK he won that point...but I decided to embrace the crosses..love crosses..

then he said to turn the small triangles into boxes..these would be about 3 inch square..seriously there is not enough time in the world for that...so decided to embrace lines too...love lines...

then the piecing..it is pieced like a lunatic during a full moon on acid seriously. I was cross-eyed, with eyestrain by the time I finished counting what went where..and in the end I fudged it..because seriously...quilting (in my world of impatience) should be about attaching straight pieces with straight lines, not attaching castle shaped pieces..

anyway it got done and I LOVE it!...sure there are loads of mistakes, pieces added in here and there because my measurement was a little off, but this type of quilt is very forgiving..

that is not a recommendation to make it!

anyway to my question, due to the wriggly triangle issue, it will never lay completely flat, am I mad to try just simple straight line piecing..it is about the size of a double bed quilt, so there is no way I am going to actually hand quilt it...and I am not a big fan of tied quilts..

I reckon my strategy of straight lines from the centre might not work...or will it...any tips would be really welcome.
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / portable (non-alcoholic) cocktail case on: April 30, 2015 10:25:18 AM
This was a project that took a little while to figure out, but when it came to putting it together, it had to go together in about 45 minutes as I was out of time, so therefore no  in-progress shots

My SO does not drink and when I lived in australia I was introduced to a drink suitable for non-drinkers (*caveat below) It is called Lemon, lime and bitters. to make you put a few drops of angostura bitters into a glass, a measure of lime cordial and top it up with 7up (branded or generic is fine) this is over ice and is very nice. A lot of soda is just two sweet, but this has a complex flavour and is very refreshing. A lot of bars in Australia have it premixed, on tap.

When we go out, it is easy to bring a bottle of wine for me, but too much faff to bring three bottles to make a drink for him, so channeling the victorian gentleman traveller, I thought of making a travelling lemon, lime and bitters kit. The pictures are the result. Of course not one to be simple, gussying it up seemed like a much better idea.

I started with a small cardboard 'case' which was already black with polka dots. I found lots of free printable steamer trunk stickers, printed them and stuck them all over the front with a glue stick..



For the inside, I took a piece of foam, this was a cheap gardeners kneeling mat from our equivalent of the dollar store, while I was there I also picked up three small dog collars. I chopped the mat to fit, with conveniently left me with the end that had a handle cut out, I glued the cut out piece on top of the large piece as this made a really convenient holder for the littlest bottle. Poked holes in for the dog collars, then used hot glue and stretchy red velvet and glued it over the whole thing, allowing it to wrinkle and bunch a little (chopped holes to take the dog collar ends) popped the foam into the box...

then glued on a few pieces of bias binding (Had no elastic!) to take the straws and the cocktail picks.

This whole thing took about 45 mins!! we were off to dinner with friends and I wanted to bring it with me.



There are three bottles, the tiny one is an unused essential oil bottle, that has the bitters. The largest kilner bottle has lime cordial and the third bottle has maraschino cherries (yum!) obviously 7 up can be bought anywhere and is carried separately. Again, not one to let things alone, I found some halloween printables online and stuck them onto the clean bottles with superglue..works great..gets all over your fingers!!

I also found these great paper straws in the shop (Tiger) that I got the box..



So we brought it to dinner and it was a hit.

I will eventually cover the whole thing with PVA to make the stickers waterproof, and replace the bias binding holding the straws with elastic. It would also be cool to add some drinks coasters, if I could find some cool ones.

* Angostura bitters caveat, it is alcoholic, very much so, being about 50% proof, but you literally use no more than about 7-8 drops per drink, so it is less than one liqueur chocolate. It is also surprisingly expensive to buy, a bottle costs about as much as a bottle of vodka, but seeing as you use it incredibly sparingly, it lasts forever!
10  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / The Terry Pratchett tribute Swap (SU 04/20-04/30; SO 05/30/15) on: April 20, 2015 04:11:21 AM
Gallery is here -->http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439481.0

Swap name: The Terry Pratchett tribute Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: EdelC
Sign-up date range: 04/20/2015-04/30/2015
Date to send item by: 05/30/2015

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
If so, which country?

Additional Age requirement? None

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions: Yes
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES


Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:

Do you love Sir Terry P, do you dream of witches, goblins and the night watch. Do you wish Sargent Angua was your best friend and that you had a gollem to do your work so you could spend more time crafting. Do fancy a sausage in a bun?

check out this pinterest search for inspiration
https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=discworld%20craft
This is the discussion thread.
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=438450.20
Gallery for the 2013 discworld swap
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=429444.0#axzz2mVYSxn5H

It is time to pour the love you have for the books and the discworld into something wonderful for your partner.

This is a 3 point swap, so you can do one large, or a med and a small, talk to your partner, so that you are on the same page with this. If you and your partner want to craft more, then that is fine as long as you have agreed. Just be awesome as Terry was.

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:

QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER:
Name of swap
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)
What is your favourite book;
what is your favourite character;
which character are you;
list three types things you would love to receive
1.
2.
3.
What crafts are you good at?
what can you make?
Anything you would NOT like to receive
What are you favourite colours
What colours do you not like
Any allergies
Any allergens in your home that could cause a problem
Have you a pinterest board
Any thing else the organiser or your partner should know


IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO ORGANIZER VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

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