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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Fusible Interfacing Keeps "Gunking Up" Machine Surface on: November 22, 2009 05:54:21 PM
Please save me from insanity!

I am working on my first art quilt  - using a standard sewing machine without any special attachments other than a darning plate. 

I ended up having to stabilize the back (cotton) of the top using Pellon fusible interfacing (med-light weight).  I did freehand embroidery for about a half hour before the fabric became completely unwieldy and very difficult to move - the interfacing seemed to be sort of catching on the darning plate suddenly.  I thought the interfacing was not well-enough attached, and re-fused it.  Problem continued.  Turns out, some of the fusing gunk is getting on the surface of my sewing machine (regular plastic) and preventing the fabric from sliding.  So I cleaned it off with some spray cleaner, but in about a minute of embroidery the machine was gunked up again.  If the fabric won't slide, the machine is worthless at this point...

Is there some trick to preventing the fusible interfacing from sticking to my machine?  It's driving me insane!  Surprisingly, my needle is gunk free though...

I suppose I could baste on another layer of fabric, but it seems like this is something that should just not be happening at all.

I have half a mind to spray the machine down with PAM... 

Thanks for the help!
2  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / Re: costumes- not just for halloween anymore on: September 29, 2008 01:34:00 PM
Just wanted to add my vote for a costuming board. 

You know, now that I think of it... here's a little introspection...

I love Craftster, and it has inspired me to explore a whole host of crafts that I had either lost interest in or never tried before.  I used to be into costuming big time, but not so much in the last few years.  I think it is interesting that Craftster has re-inspired me to involve myself in all my 'lost interest' crafts, all except for costuming.  And I suspect it is because the other 'lost' crafts had boards (quilting, needleworking, etc.) but there was no repository for costuming that I could wade through to be inspired (clothing just doesn't cut it).  There is a lot of power in having one's own board to call home.  I think it would be a great service to the costuming community; and it would also allow crafters who are curious about an awesome costume in New Projects to be exposed to a whole community of costuming that they might not know even existed - now that's inspiring!

As for where to put it...  The most obvious spot for me would be the Clothing page.  However, the clothing page seems to have a massive number of subpages - still, this makes the most sense for me.  I would never think to look under Occasions and Holidays - most of our costumes are not associated with occasions (at least not occasions that the majority of people would recognize).  Misc Crafts would also work, but I think Clothing would be ideal.

[End Uber Long-Winded Post] Embarrassed Wink
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Corn dollies... Anyone ever heard of them? on: September 29, 2008 12:47:39 PM
Just a thought, but have you tried looking where they sell dried flowers for making flower arrangements.  It strikes me that wheat (corn) is often used as an accent in harvest themed arrangements and wreaths - so this is a good time of year to look.  Of course, this dried wheat could be a bit too brittle to be made into a doll (I don't do arrangements, so I have no tactile experience here), but if so, perhaps you could soak them a bit to soften them up first - like you would to prep for straw millinery or basket weaving.  I know it would be much more appropriate harvest-wise to get wheat at a farmer's market, but this might work if you don't have an alternative.
4  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 30 ENTRIES / Re: Knitted Mouse Cozy **Now with Pattern** on: September 07, 2008 11:58:10 AM
Here's the pattern...finally Embarrassed

Thanks for the interest! Grin
5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 30 ENTRIES / Re: Knitted Mouse Cozy on: September 04, 2008 09:43:30 AM

Yes, I can share the pattern.  I made a few tweaks after I finished this one, so I'll try out the new pattern tonight before I pass it along to you. 

What does the bottom look like?

The bottom is just open (more of a cover than an all-around cozy).  I originally planned to have the knit wrap around the bottom to help protect my laptop from being scratched by my mouse (its rather unsightly).  However, the knit was just thick enough to lift the IR sensor too far from the surface underneath and the mouse wouldn't work.  Alas...
6  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 30 ENTRIES / Knitted Mouse Cozy **Now with Pattern** on: September 03, 2008 09:10:45 AM
So I decided to knit a cozy for my mouse (the computer kind, that is).  At first it seemed rather silly, but over the past week, I have really grown to love my cozy. Its knitted out of kitchen cotton so it would be washable. And it is super tactile - I love holding my mouse.  I had never used kitchen cotton before and had no idea it would become so soft! Smiley

I was knit all in one piece and seamed on the wrist end so that the cozy envelops the butt of the mouse (what is the correct terminology for mouse parts?) securing the cozy in place.  The cord fits through the hole I created for the scroll, and this helps secure it as well. 

And oddly (proudly?) enough, this of all things happens to be the first pattern I have ever written - so I'm pretty pleased with myself!  Wink

I think I'll be making more soon in different colors.


Knit in Lily Sugar N' Cream
Gauge on #8 needles: 4sts/inch, 5.5 rows/inch
Mouse dimensions: 2 1/8 at widest x 3 7/8 at longest

Abbreviation: ssp tbl = slip 2 knitwise, insert left needle as if to SSK, remove right needle, p2tog tbl. 

(sl 1st st every row whenever possible)

CO 10 sts

Row 1: k5, m1, k5, m1 (12 sts)

Row 2: p6, BO1, p5, m1 (12sts)

(be sure that the slipped sts at beginning of rows are not too loose because they can be very visible here)

Row 3: k6, place remaining 6 sts on holder

Row 4-9: st st

Following completion of Row 9, place these sts on holder (I just leave them on the right needle and ignore them - this works fine).  Break thread. 

Place the sts you placed on holder earlier on needles.  St st for 7 rows beginning with a knit row (equal to Rows 3-9).


Row 10: place all sts on needles.  p1, m1, p5, m1, p5, m1, p1 (15sts)

Rows 11-19: st st

(Stop slipping the first st of every row)

Row 20: BO1 (there will now be one st on Right needle), p2tog, p8, ssp tbl (12 sts)

Row 21: BO1 (there will now be one st on Right needle), ssk, k2, k2tog, k2, k2tog (8sts)

Row 22: p2tog, p4, ssp tbl (6sts)

Row 23: ssk, k2, k2tog (4sts)

Row 24: p4, m1 (5sts)

Row 25: k5, m2 (7sts)

Row 26: p7, m2 (9sts)

Row 27: k9, m1 (10sts)

Rows 28: BO


Sew up mouse butt flap.  Make sure when you sew this down that it wraps around the side a little - otherwise the cozy will not stay on.  If you find it is not staying you may have to sew it further along the side so that it cups the back end a bit tighter.

: Profile View

At the wheel end, run a thread along the edge (originally the CO sts) and drawstring it closed.  This will make sure that the front end stays on. 

The bottom of the mouse cozy is open:

Weave in ends. Close up any holes you see.  I get a giant loop at the top of the scroll wheel hole where I broke thread.  This disappears when I weave in the ends.

Thread the mouse cable through the scroll wheel hole (this helps hold it in place too) and mold the cozy around mouse. 

The cozy will feel a little slippery at first and may occasionally have to be encouraged to stay in place.  However, once you use it for a day or two, you will become used to it, and the cozy will have settled into place.  Essentially, as you use it you are essentially 'dry blocking' it into the right shape.

7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Reupholstered Recliner - a first try jump off the deep end *Pic Obese* on: August 20, 2008 10:12:12 AM
Thanks!  Grin

I don't think it would have been possible without having a digital camera and a sharpie.  I took a butt-load of photos as I dismantled the chair and made registration marks on everything.  Otherwise the chair would have died a very sad death...

8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Reupholstered Recliner - a first try jump off the deep end *Pic Obese* on: August 19, 2008 12:27:56 PM
So, a few years ago we rescued a Barcalounger abandoned by lazy college students by the side of the road.  I never liked the thing, but it was in decent condition, free and the bf liked it.  Fine.  Then we moved across the country, had a hell of a time moving it and it got all nicked up with paint marks and further uglified.  And it sat in our living room near a window, with the ugly bumpy-striped fabric fading for 3 years.  Eventually, the springs in the seat completely gave out (I didn't know this for months and the bf just suffered in silence because 'he's a dude' - I was told).  It needed to go. 

This was right around the time of the seating re-craft challenge.  So I decided instead that I would make this chair happy again.  That was several months ago.  Reupholstering a recliner (granted this is a wood-sided one) is a bit of a process.  But I finally finished after a mega blitz this week. 

This is my first attempt at reupholstering.  And there is a lot going on in a recliner...

The entire seat back is sewed in one piece with something like 26 pieces.  I would never design construction like this - the Barcalounger people must be a little crazy. 

The 'wrinkles' on the back and headrest are darts that are part of the design (and the lines on the seat are from my vacuum). There's also a surprising number of fiddly bits and extra nonsense on the 'inside' of the recliner - I don't know who is expected to see these, my cat?

I was only willing to purchase new fabric (medium blue brushed cotton) and one small piece of foam to stuff behind the headrest (which had apparently fallen through the frame and was not offering any support).  Everything else was recycled including zipper, nail strips, and cardboard backing. 

I did not want to deal with the springs giving out again, so I instead covered the seat with 1/4 inch plywood cut to size at home depot - and it is quite comfortable.

Also, as it turned out, not only was this my first attempt at upholstery, and making a cushion, but somehow I had never inserted a zipper before - I suppose I have used every other type of closure...Well I didn't realize that the zipper shouldn't be the last thing you sew, but I came up with a backwards solution. 

I also sanded the paint chips off the wood, took the patina down on the rest of the wood to match, and oiled all the wood.

detail of part of crazy seat back construction

(please excuse the crafting blitz clutter)

I have to say, it was a scary moment when it was all lying in pieces in my kitchen, when it didn't look like I would be able to screw it all back together again.  But I am very pleased with the final product.  The chair is comfortable now, and the fabric does not bother me - and all my work on it has made me rather protective of what I once hated.  Its like a new chair.  The bf keeps looking at it in shock.  And I now know how exactly recliners work...hooray!

Thanks for reading my novel of a post!

9  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / Recent With Pics & Swaps on: June 07, 2008 09:41:58 AM
Let me preface this comment by saying that I absolutely love Craftster and especially love the convenience of the "Recent with Pics" button.  However one thing has been really starting to get to me. 

I am largely uninterested in swaps and it is really becoming a hassle to have to wade through all the swap posts on the Recent with Pics page.  While I know that the swaps often involve many great crafts, they are treated differently in the swap posts than they are in other forums - just 20 photos of swap swag and a thank you.  Very little detail is provided for those who have not been involved in the swap from the start.  This is fine, the swap lovers seem to be a happy bunch and I think the swaps are great.

It just becomes a bit frustrating to have to go through all the posts of the commercially produced fabric or yarn (etc.) that people have received when what I really care about is the crafts. 

I suppose a solution to this might be a separate "recent swap" section.

Or, glory of glories, if the "Recent with Pics" page could be organized like the "Hottest New Topics" page where the recent pics could be sorted by topic.  That would be fantastic.  Granted, this is essentially being done at the top of each forum page, but the wondrous ease of the "Recent with Pics" page is just superior.

Just my 2 cents...

P.S. I don't want to sound like a whinny newbie (which I may appear to be), but I was a long time lurker before I decided to join the community (if that makes it any better) Embarrassed.
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: 3-D Glasses from Household Materials for Your Mars Viewing Pleasure on: June 06, 2008 07:55:24 PM
I used plastic wrap for the lenses (you know, like Saran Wrap, cling film, etc. for wrapping food).  To get the lenses taut: I made a bead of glue around the lenses (I used GOOP, but whatever you use should be good and tacky before you add the lenses).  Then, I just kind of stretched the plastic wrap between my two thumbs and index fingers to make a window and placed the plastic wrap on the glue.  It may wrinkle in some places and you can just tighten up the plastic where the wrinkle is.  Worse case scenario, if there are wrinkles after everything has dried (and there should not be if you were careful before it dried) you can just bend the frames a bit (carefully) to stretch the plastic taut.  I had no real difficulties.  Most likely if you just wing it, it will just happen!
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