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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Zoology Baby Quilt finished as the grand nephew was born! on: April 24, 2017 02:18:27 PM
I just finished a baby quilt in the nick of time. We fly in the morning to see the new grand baby. Well, he's the bonus, it's our annual trip to see Mom and cheer her up after a long hard winter.

The fabric was 10" pack of Robert Kauffman fabric. I love the colors and the fun. I still have lots left for fun projects to come. I only stitched in the ditch around the approx 8.5" squares, but it's warm and cuddly and I want it for me. I'll just have to make another.

2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Consolation puppy toy for older brother....or how to keep siblings happy. on: April 24, 2017 01:54:05 PM
I just was gifted with a new grand nephew. Well, my children are not repopulating the earth, so I take joy in my niece's boys. I do have one grandson and he's just about perfect!

We will be visiting the new little grand nephew in a few days and I made a baby quilt. So big brother had to have something as well. I made this little guy to go along with some picture books. It's based on my zipper critters pattern without the zipper, he's not quite 2, so zippers might be a bit much right now. https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=450749.0

Ha, with his collar, his belly looks like an apron. Awww...he's only 20 months.

3  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / CHALLENGE 118 ENTRIES / Rare Giant Firefly Captured! on: April 08, 2017 12:34:17 PM
Created for the current Assemblage Art Swap 2, the Giant Firefly is a rare find. Found deep in haunted woods and often used by witches and other deep forest dwellers to light the night, though the intermittent flashing can be distracting. Often mistaken for UFOs, fairy lights, or ghosts by easily frightened amateur film makers.
Original thread and gallery: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=451696.0

Inspiration: A burnt out lightbulb from the dining room chandelier (a fairly ordinary light fixture), a cigar box reject from my DW's cigar box ukes and guitar hobby, wire, beads, and YouTube fairy wing making instructions. I printed insect wings on a transparency, then used diamond glaze to fill in the open areas, avoiding (sort of) the darker connecting bits.

I borrowed a picture from rhinoceroses! She took her out to play!

4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Hogwarts school robes for the incoming class - large and small on: March 21, 2017 08:04:43 AM
We took my grandson to Universal Studios Harry Potter World last November. What fun. I love the detail and solidness they achieve for an amusement park. He and his dad (my rather tall broad son) got their interactive wands, but the DGS wanted a robe too. They are pricey at the park and was told no. After a meltdown was averted, he was 9 and settled down pretty fast, I promised I would make him a robe. Of course the tall one chimed in and wanted one too! My DS can be quite playful. Well, I got sick with the never ending cold/cough, then the holidays, then life, then procrastination. Well.....they are done!

I found no pattern that gave me what I wanted. Graduation gowns were too intricate, most the other patterns I found gave me only part. I did find one for the robe and sleeves. But I ended up modifying the sleeves. I used a girl's dress pattern for the smaller robe, again modified. I sure hope they fit, we don't live near enough for fittings.
Oh, and they wanted wand pockets and side pockets. Welt pockets are not as hard as they look, but I have to relearn how to do them every time. And of course special labels.
I tore out about half the seams in the large one, and redid the sleeves...they are pieced together to modify them. But they look great! I did purchase the emblems. The clasps came from the fabric store.

First the small:

Then the large:

5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Hoppin along - first attempt at paper piecing. Now with pattern link. on: February 13, 2017 02:32:11 PM
In the current mini quilt swap I made this 12 x 18" mini quilt She loved kangaroo, so why not try paper piecing for the first time with a kangaroo? Silly me, I could have picked something easier. I did double the size. I don't know how anyone does those little pieces. And who mentioned one inch squares? Crazy. But then that's quilters for you.

This was made entirely from my stash, backing and all. The back and binding were all donated fabrics. I never thought I'd use that orange dots, but it was perfect. What wasn't perfect was my straight diagonal lines that started curving, so I curved them more...she's running from the storm!

Here's a link to the pattern. She has some fun ones, I want to do the sewing machine. https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/patterns/kangaroo-paper-pieced/177191

And one bead for an eye.

6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Fund raising quilt squares on: January 31, 2017 07:28:10 AM

The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival ended in 2014. Sad times. But a group of dedicated womyn have come together to purchase the land. In the spirit of Michfest, several quilts are being made to help raise money. Below are the squares I've made for the quilts.

First quilt - variations on previous squares i've done

Second quilt - variation on a prayer flag design

7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Pussy Hats for The Women's March on Washington D.C and Elsewhere w/mini TUT on: January 16, 2017 12:50:28 PM
I am going to Boston on Jan 21 for the Boston Women's March and I have friends that are going to D.C. or Hartford, CT too. I knit, but I don't have much time and I am not the fastest knitter, but with requests for Pussy Hats (https://www.pussyhatproject.com/), pink hats with cat ears, I came up with a faster method.


FLEECE. Wonderful, forgiving fleece. I bought 2 yards of pink fleece, one light one dark, on sale at JoAnns. 16 hats later I have made many women happy.

- Cut a piece of fleece 12" x 18".
- Turn up the short ends 3/4" and hem. I used a fancy stitch on my sewing machine, but a zig-zag would wurk. You want a bit of stretch. Or in a hurry? Fleece does not fray, so a nice straight raw edge works well, cut fleece to 12 x 16.5" if not hemming.
- Fold in half with right sides together and sew up the sides.
- Turn right side out and put on your head.
- Pinch the ears for a more cat like look.
- Go march or hold us all in your heart in solidarity.

Adjust width and length for larger or smaller heads.
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Easy Paper Ornaments for the Holidays - TUT on: December 21, 2016 08:11:10 AM
I've been making these easy holiday ornaments for a few years now and finally got around to taking pics of the process. I make them for gifts, for craft fairs, and just to have around for a quick thank you gift.

Decorative paper. Scrapbook paper is perfect, you can cut into 3 X 12 inch or 4 x 12 inch strips with no loss of paper. You do need to have paper that is 11 to 12 inches long. I have also glued wrapping paper and music scsores to a backing paper to have heavier paper to work with.
Scoring board or ruler and a scoring tool or something like a dull knife
Paper cutter or Exacto knife
Buttons, ribbon, glitter, distressing ink as embellishments.

-I cut the paper to size. A 3 x 12 inch strip will give you a 3 inch ornament.
-Score the paper at 1/2 inch intervals. Test to see if scoring on the back or front of the paper works best. Scrapbook paper tends to crack, and scoring on the front seems to help. Don't press too hard, you may tear the paper.
-I use a scoring board...one of the best investments I have made. It also includes a diagonal for creating envelopes.
-Or use your ruler to mark 1/2 inch intervals and use a straight edge and dull knife or scoring tool to create the scores.
-Score down the center of the length.

-Fold in a fan fashion starting with a mountain fold, use your scoring tool or a flat edge to smooth the folds. Also fold in half lengthwise, then unfold. This is a good time to use distressing ink to give an aged look, or add glitter, or spritz with a mist of color.

-Fold the fan up and tie a string, floss, or florist wire, at the center. Keep it tight. Now fan out the folds and glue the edges together. I use binder clips to hold until the glue dries. Try to glue just the edges, but there will be some pull on these edges, so be thorough.

-When the glue dries, add embellishments. I take a big needle and embroidery floss and poke right through the paper in the center to sew on buttons, add lace or ribbon rosettes, and other do-dads. Tying a ribbon bow at the center works too. See below for another variation.
-Punch a hole or use your needle to add a hanging thread. Or use as bows on presents or make a garland!

9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Zipper Critters...with tut. Very pic heavy on: November 11, 2016 11:40:30 AM
Every year I try to come up with something new for the sewing table at our church's fund raising Holiday craft fair. It's a very nice fair with lots of hand made and one of a kind items.

I felt the need to make cute little critters this year and these little guys can hold a special little treasure or note. I plan on filling the pouches with a treat before luring in prospective purchasers.

They have big eyes and a little pouch protected by big zipper teeth. Note: I added a photo at step 3.

I've made patterns for all the critters, but with a few modifications, they could become anything!
- Contrasting fabrics for the body and belly
- Contrasting lining
- Felt for eyes, noses, beaks, heart, etc.
- Sport zipper. 7"-9", I actually prefer the longer one. You will be cutting off part of the zipper. Any zipper will work in a pinch.
- Poly stuffing
- Goodies to hide in pouch

I don't normally cut out the bodies until I'm ready to assemble, then stitch around the complete body as one of the last steps. But if you prefer to cut out the bodies, remember to add a 1/4" seam allowance.

Step 1: Prepare the front
- Cut out and applique the eyes, nose/tooth/beak, belly, tongue (if any), and heart. I use a fancy stitch on my sewing machine (it looks like a row of plus signs), but any applique method would work. Iron on interfacing works as well. Cut the front in half on the zipper line.

Step 2: Install the zipper
-Cut an approximate 2" x 3" piece of fabric from the body color. Fold in half and place over the top end of the zipper to shorten it (see the pictures). Stitch on each side to anchor. Leave the pull on the outside end. We'll be slipping that under this piece later. This way you don't have to try to stitch neatly around that bulky pull.
- Cut a piece of contrasting lining to match the upper and lower pieces of the front.
- Right sides together, stitch the top of the bottom front pieces to the zipper as shown below. Don't stitch too close to the zipper or you won't be able to slip the zipper pull under the fabric stop. Fold the pieces down and press. Top stitch.
- Repeat with the upper half. Note: for the dog/bunny, I shortened the upper lining to just below the ears.
- Now slip the zipper pull to the other side of the fabric zipper stop and trim the zipper away to just inside the body stitching line.

Step 3: Prepare the back and inside lining.
- Cut out the back. Stitch the back seam and tail leaving an opening in the center back for turning. Trim. Clip all curved seams and above and below the tail. Turn the tail and press the back seam open.
- Cut a piece of lining the same size as the finished back. For the dog/bunny, I shortened the lining to just under the ears. Add the lining to the inside side of the front. For the dog/bunny, it sewed the tops of the lining together just below the ears. See picture below.
- Note: I just noticed there is no piece for the Kandy Korn back. Fold the front pattern in half to create the back. Sew the top two colors together first and then treat as one piece when assembling.

Step 4: Join the front and back
- Match the front and back, right sides facing. I cut out the front pattern piece and pinned to the back to use as a stitching line. If you cut the fabric with a 1/4" seam allowance, match up all sides. Stitch around the complete body.
- Trim and clip all curves. Turn the body inside out.
- For the dog only, press the ears and fold over to the front. Stitch across the ears to create a floppy ear effect. You will be stuffing up to this fold/stitch line. See top photo.
- Stuff the critter starting with the ears and tails. Don't over stuff you you won't be able to fit anything in the zipper pouch.

Pattern pieces: These were made to fit on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet. Enlarge or reduce for different size creatures. They are all about 6 - 7 inches tall when finished.  If you want a PDF of the patterns, PM me with your email and I will send you the set.

10  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Baba Yaga and her House on Chicken Legs - Where will she go next - Pic heavy on: November 04, 2016 10:06:50 AM
This year was the Second Annual Trick or Trunk at our church. It was so fun to see all the decorated trunks and decorated kids. They (and we) had so much fun.

I love witches, especially old folk tale witches and Baba Yaga and her house that runs around on chicken legs is a favorite. I was so impressed that more kids recognized me than adults.

Everything was from my stash or old clothes except for the cardboard display board that became the basis for the house. Creating from stash is so fun!

The house was the most fun. Finding the black cardboard display board made it so much easier. Boxes for roof, window/door trim, details. Paper bags for siding. A crow, a skull or two and a string of candy corn lights that I picked up a few years ago on a dollar table. And lots of paint. I have a Diehard battery pack for jumping my car that has outlets. That made lighting the car so easy.

And Chicken Legs...made from chicken wire and paper mache. Toes were courtesy of paper toilet cores.

The mask was formed over a wig head and with an eye mask attached. I just kept adding layers and bits of paper mache until she looked wicked. I must have put 20 layers of paint, crackle, paint, more texture, various aging and coloring techniques. Until I was happy with the results...and a few moles.

The Hair was various strands of white and gray yarn, some unraveled, sewed to a lace piece, covered with a head scarf. It worked out well and used up lots of bits of yarn.

The costume was made from:
- some rust colored corduroy for the skirt
- an old linen shirt for the apron
- another linen shirt for Baba's shirt minus the collar and cuffs
- another woven brown shirt for the stole plus some patchwork and fringe
- old hiking boots and thermal underwear (it was quite a nice night, cool, but calm and pleasant!)
- a twig broomstick. She rides around in a mortar, propelled by sweeping with a broomstick.

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