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11  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Spooky Skeleton Wreath on: October 16, 2011 07:04:42 PM

Skeleton Wreath by staarlight, on Flickr

We have been decorating our house for Halloween, and we were in need of something to one-up the guy down the street with awesome blinking eyes in his bushes. The bone wreath tutorial I had saved from last year turned out to be just the ticket.

The bones are from two "lawn skeletons.'" Basically, they're hollow plastic arms, legs, and a head that you poke into the ground to make it look like a skeleton is clawing its way out. The ones I bought were assembled at the joints with small screws, which were easy enough to remove.

Then I laid them out and glued it all together. Once I figured out the right glue to use -- high-temp hot glue -- it came together quickly. [I detailed my trials and tribulations with adhesives on my blog.] Add a fake black rose from the dollar store, and he's ready to spook trick or treaters!

If you want to make your own, I used this great tutorial from Meg at Mega Spooky. Happy Halloween, everyone!
12  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Harry Potter Themed Diaper Cake Baby Shower Gift on: August 09, 2011 09:02:27 AM
I have made a lot of diaper cakes over the years, but this one was by far the most fun! Behold, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter diaper cake, for a baby girl. Not the girliest thing in the world, but I think it's pretty awesome!

Usually I use mostly store-bought items to decorate cakes, but after a bit of searching I determined that HP-themed baby gear pretty much doesn't exist. Bring on the crafting!

On the front of the cake there's a stuffed Hedwig (purchased), a felt baby-sized student hat, and golden snitch rattle. The rattle is also felt. I used a tutorial online to make a ball shape, then freehanded the wings.

At the bottom I included bibs embroidered with 'Witch in Training' and 'Muggle Born'. Used my mom's Husqvarna Viking embroidery machine and a free font called 'Harry P'.

You can't see them in the picture above, but I also included a set of four onesies on the middle tier. They started out as plain Jane white Carter's onesies. I dyed them each with Rit dye and then appliqued on each house's initial. H for Hufflepuff, S for Slytherin... etc.

The cake also included store bought flannel receiving blankets, little socks with dragons on them, and a whole lot of Huggies organic diapers (around 60). I added a ribbon on Hedwig's neck to dress her up a bit before wrapping the whole thing to be gifted. Hope the recipient likes it!!

13  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Tetris + Quilt = QUILTRIS on: April 26, 2011 06:04:55 PM
I am a huge sucker for video game crafts. When I saw a Tetris quilt on my partner's wists for the Crafty Detective Round 7 swap, I knew I had to make it. It ended up taking much longer than I had anticipated, but after a few late nights I finished it just in time to ship.

Dimensions: approx 50 x 70
Pattern: Great tutorial from QuilterGeek
Fabrics: All calicos from JoAnn Fabrics

Just in case you're curious: there are 1,482 pieces in this quilt! (Each block has 13 pieces.) My rotary cutter was practically smoking by the time I was done.
14  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Plants vs. Zombies Plushes on: April 21, 2011 03:21:49 PM
I got my sister completely hooked on Plants vs. Zombies, so to apologize for her lost productivity, I thought I'd make her something PvZ related for Easter. I found arixystix's great felt plush patterns on Etsy and got to work. They came together really quickly, and I LOVE how they came out!

The wall-nut was very easy; the peashooter and sunflower were a bit more involved but a lot of fun to put together.

My hope is that she'll put these on her desk at work as a first line of defense against workplace zombie violence.

Supplies: felt, wire, fiberfill, terracotta pots
Patterns: from arixystix's Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/arixystix?ref=pr_shop)
15  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Summer Breeze Muskoka Quilt on: November 21, 2010 06:56:45 PM
Dimensions: 89" x 109" (twin bedspread)
Fabric: Fat quarter set available at JoAnn Fabrics
Pattern: 'Summer Breeze', QUILT Magazine, June/July 2010
Quilting: Free motion

Detail shot.

Embroidered label. (ASC Fairholm 2010)

These pictures were taken at lovely Valley Forge National Historic Park, PA.

This quilt was made for an annual challenge between my mom and I. We pick a common thread (this year it was the pattern), then we each work on a quilt in secrecy. We then bring them up to our summer house for 'judging' by our extended family... and then they become property of the house. The prize for the winner is setting up the rules for the next year's challenge. We have very different styles, so it's always interesting... Smiley
16  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Leela the Pit's ZigZag Quilt on: January 09, 2010 10:35:29 AM
This quilt was supposed to be for a gift, but I accidentally used two colors of white for the sashing. Didn't realize until it was pretty much put together, so I finished it for our dog instead. Smiley

Finished dimensions: 29"x39", made with scraps, and free motion quilted.


And back.

It's just the right size to keep her warm while she dozes away the day. She sleeps on it from time to time, and hasn't tried to eat it yet, so I consider the project a smashing success!

17  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Home Grown Flea Market Fancy Sanibel Bag - with 'Lite' Instructions on: January 03, 2010 10:02:18 AM
Amy Butler's Sanibel bag is amazing. I love love love it, but couldn't justify the retail price -- $192! I used the pictures and dimensions I found online and Mini Laura's flickr tour to draft my own pattern. This was the perfect reason to make the difficult first cut into some Denyse Schmidt fabric I've been hoarding.

I modified the original dimensions (21" wide by 11" tall by 8" deep) to suit my preference -- this bag ended up 16.5" wide, 9" tall, and 6" deep. I also varied the pocket placement and depth somewhat to suit my needs.

Here's a shot of the back. Like the front, it has three pockets lined with lining fabric.

This is a neat feature that I wouldn't have known about had I not watched MiniLaura's Sanibel tour video: needle pockets concealed behind one of the regular back pockets. They're also great for scissors, crochet hooks, etc.

The sides have a neat snap feature, allowing the bag to be expanded and closed as needed. I think the original used magnetic snaps, but all I had lying around were regular ones. They do the job just fine.


Now for the inside. One the front lining, I made one big pocket on the inside like the original purse, but I used two snaps at the top to keep it from flopping open. It's a great size for patterns, etc.

You can also see the removable bottom insert panel used to keep the lining neat. It's basically a fabric envelope with a few pieces of heavy duty stabilizer inside to help keep the bag's shape.

You can also see the tab closure - just a magnetic snap from JoAnn's. I splurged and got one (they're $5 or something), because based on how often it will be open and closed, it's necessary.

On the back lining, I made a small zippered pocket (my first!), two gusseted pockets (for my cell and wallet, respectively), and three regular pockets.

And there you have it! A few hours of number crunching and a few days of intermittent sewing later, I have a new favorite handbag.

My approx. cost was $12, thanks to an amazing sale at Fabric.com a few months ago. I picked up the fabric (retail $12.99/yd) for an astonishing $2.99/yd. I used a little under a yard of each. Add in the different interfacings that I had on hand, and the magnetic snap closure, and this was still a very inexpensive project.

If you want to make your own, it's really not too hard. The purse is essentially a set of rectangles. Here are the cutting dimensions I used.

Front/back and front/back lining: 17 1/2" x 10" (cut 2 of outside, cut 2 of lining)
Sides and lining sides: 7" x 10" (cut 2 of outside, cut 2 of lining)
Front/back outside pockets: 17 1/2" x 7" (cut 2 of outside, cut 2 of lining)
Side pockets: 7" x 7" (cut 2 of outside, cut 2 of lining)
Handles: 6" x 36" (cut 2 of outside) Folded in half twice, then topstitched.
Needle pocket: 6 1/2" x 7 1/2" (cut 1 of outside, cut 1 of lining)
Bottom insert: 7" x 17 1/2" (cut 2 of lining)
Tab closure: Don't have measurements... wing it! Final dimensions around 3" x 3"
The internal pockets were done by the seat of my pants, so come up with what works for you.

1/2" seams all around. For the outside panels, cut fusible fleece panels to dimensions 1/2" less all around than the fabric pieces. Fuse, centering with 1/2" all around. Then cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same dimensions as the fabric, and fuse on top of the fleece. Use your iron to sandwich the fleece between the fabric and the interfacing. This is very important -- it gives strength to the bag but doesn't make the layers too thick to sew through.

Have fun! Let me know if you have questions and I'll try to answer.

EDIT: See this bag in different fabrics near the bottom of page 6! Smiley
18  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Scrappy Modern Spiderweb on: July 01, 2009 03:45:41 AM
Pattern: from a great tutorial on Quiltville (http://quiltville.com/spiderweb.shtml)
Finished size: 54 x 69" (lap quit)
Fabrics: Five fabrics from the 'fresh aire' collection, seven coordinating cottons purchased at JoAnn's. Used leftovers from another quilt (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=292662.0), and bought a few more 1/4 yds and 1/2 yds when I ran out of scraps.
Binding: Used a cute green on green Heidi Grace print from JoAnn's.

These blocks are intensely time consuming, so the quilt took a lot longer than I had anticipated. The finished product is so worth it, though. Free motion quilted, with only a few small folds on the back. The batting is 80/20. I put my quilt sandwich together using basting spray -- an approach I highly recommend. I pre wash all of my fabric, but not the batting. I find this gives a nice crinkly texture when the finished quilt is washed and dried.

I think the back turned out a little plain, but I am pretty happy with the label.

I embroidered a spiderweb using metallic floss, and them embroidered my name and the date on top. Then I cut it out as an octagonal medallion and appliqued it on to the center of the spiderweb block for the back. Quilting distorted it a bit, but oh, well!

19  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Flea Market Fancy Quilt on: February 17, 2009 05:12:05 AM
Pattern: Flea Market Fancy (http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/12/measurements-for-flea-market-fancy.html) from Crazy Mom Quilts
Finished size: 80 x 110" (twin bedspread)
Fabrics: Five fabrics from the 'fresh aire' collection, seven coordinating cottons purchased at JoAnn's. Used 1/2 yd of each.
Binding: Pieced from scraps of the 12 fabrics used.

The front. Each block is 10.5". Every other inner block is centered. The other ones are placed randomly. (Sorry for the wrinkles -- I was impatient to take pics! Will iron next time.)

The backing fabric that I had purchased shrank, so I had to improvise. I added a strip of blocks to the back, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I used the center of one of the blocks on the back as a label. Split stitch, hand embroidery.

This was my first project with free motion quilting. It was kind of a pain to get the hang of, but I love the effect. Now I'm hooked!
20  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Easy Fan Programs -- with Tutorial on: February 17, 2009 05:01:01 AM
I posted this to my personal blog, but thought some crafty brides might get some use out of it. Enjoy!

We went for fan programs, seeing as we had a summer wedding (Aug '08). On the front, I put the basics -- names and a few graphics. To jazz up the back, I came up with three little wedding related games for our guests to play while they waited for the ceremony to start: a Mad Lib, a fill-in-the-blank, and a word search.

I had the foresight to take some pictures while I was putting them together, so here's a tutorial if you'd like to make your own.

First, gather your supplies. You'll need:
- Golf pencils, pre-drilled with 1/4" holes
- Popsicle sticks, also pre-drilled
- Scissors
- Needle with a large eye
- Corner rounder punch
- Double stick tape
- Thin ribbon
- Cards pre-printed with program info (I used A2 sized)

To start, open up a card and put double stick tape on three sides.

Then put double stick tape on both sides of a popsicle stick, covering about half of the stick. Center on the card and press in place.

Close the card, pressing to seal the edges.

Using the corner rounder punch, carefully round all four corners.

Cut a piece of ribbon that when halved is long enough to reach from the end of the posicle stick to the end of the pencil, while still allowing enough slack to write. My scientific measurement was about an arm's length.

Thread the halved ribbon through the hole your husband-to-be very nicely drilled in a skajillion popsicle sticks.

Use a lark's head knot to secure.

Thread the other end through a golf pencil.

Knot the ends to secure, then trim.

Here's the back of a finished program. Word search, anyone?

And the finished stack of about 50 programs. I used green ribbon for half, and brown ribbon for the other half.

By all accounts, the guests loved them. I had people coming up to me during the reception to read me their wedding Mad Libs. One of my cousins found an (accidental) dirty word in the word search, and was sharing with the other guests all night. I got such a kick out of the reactions to these programs! I'm really glad I took the time to do them.

These were very easy to make, and cheap to boot! I can't remember the exact cost now, but it was under $20 for sure. Questions? Comments? If anyone makes programs from this tutorial, I'd be tickled if you'd post pictures!
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