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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  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.

3  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!

4  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.
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / 3-D Glasses from Household Materials for Your Mars Viewing Pleasure on: June 03, 2008 05:04:30 PM
Thought I would post this one since it turned out to be rather a crafty escapade. 

We were looking at the latest photos on the NASA website coming back from Mars and the Phoenix Lander, and noticed that there were some available in red-blue 3-D.  We were commenting about how cool it would be to see Mars in 3-D.  Too bad we didn't have glasses, right. 

And then a lightbulb appeared over my head - "I bet I could make my own glasses by harnessing the magical powers of Sharpie!"

And so I did. 

And they work perfectly - we spent the next hour looking at all the different 3-D images on the NASA website (my favorites are the images of the sun, including the 3-D video with exploding sunspots...pretty awesome).

Materials include: 1 cereal box (for frames), plastic wrap (lenses), glue, Sharpie (lenses and frames). 

Nerd Joy!
6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Macro Challenge - "Rainbow in the Dark" OR "How Craftster Turned Me Into A Pyro" on: May 15, 2008 10:45:18 AM
After desperately searching about for suitable macro photo subjects (while trying to avoid the typically photogenic plants and insects) I finally thought to photograph a flame.  So I sat in the dark and took a few hundred photos, meaning I was watching fire alone in the dark for hours.  I started out a normal person who thought a flame might be pretty, but now I know it's beautiful.

Thanks Craftster, thanks for turning me into a pyro!

A larger version can be found here!
No Photoshop, just a photo.

Thanks for looking!
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Fused Plastic Guitar Purse and Glasses/Make-Up Case on: May 03, 2008 10:56:45 AM
So, my sister's birthday (24) was on Sunday.  We don't live near each other so I figured I had a good month or so before I actually saw her, during which time I could acquire a birthday present.  Not so!  I found out with about 15 hrs notice (including sleep time) that I would be seeing her for lunch on the day.  The stores were closing in minutes (not to mention the fact that I had no ideas or money). 

Oddly enough the first thing that came into my mind was a red and white polka dot makeup bag - yet I had nothing remotely resembling polka dots in the house.  But that doesn't matter, right!  And so my brain thought of crafster, and the tutorial I had read months ago about fused plastic bag bags that I had never tried, the tutorial that turned me on to this site in the first place.  I thought, wouldn't it be nice in this time of green-thinking economic recession to make a personalized birthday gift that was completely recycled and virtually free.  And so I took the idea and ran with it.   

I raided my skimpy plastic bag supply (we are heavy cloth bag users) and tried to waste as little as possible.  I've never made any kind of bag before, but I made my own patterns and pretended like I had experience.  It may not be clear in the picture, but both bags are design to be wider at the base and taper at the top slightly

The makeup/sun glasses case is composed of white plastic grocery bags, the center dots from a target bag, and clear veggie bags.  The guitar purse is the same white plastic grocery bags, a Guitar Center bag, and clear veggie bags as well. I tried to overlap the half-targets to create a pattern with the multiple layers (so it didnt just look like targets). 

I know the sewing is not perfect, but I broke a sewing machine needle (I made a turn that was too tight), and was super pressed for time.  I decided to leave them unlined in the spirit of only using recyclables (plus I like the water-proof, wipe it clean factor)

I love them.  It was sad to see them go after such a short time.  My sister adored the gift, incidentally!

Plus I'm so excited to finally get the nerve to post one of my projects!
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