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21  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Messy Messenger Bag on: April 20, 2010 05:43:28 PM
I needed a new big purse, so I decided a messenger bag was the way to go.  I didn't use a pattern, and I didn't do the appliques in a 'proper' way, but they stayed on and it turned out cute so I am happy!  The best part is, it turned out to be reversible!  It works because I left a lot of frayed edges and exposed seams, so it doesn't look unfinished at the bottom corners, it just looks like it all goes together.

Those are all showing the back of the purse.  This is the way I have used it the most, with this tan side outward.

The front, with the flap closed down.

The front, with the flap open and the inside gray liner showing.

The front again, with the liner being used as the outside (it is so hard to explain reversible bags without being confusing! lol)

The back, with the frog pocket showing.  I was just using up all the scraps I could find, which is how the3 frogs made it into this bag, but I really like them.

And some different views of the front the way I normally carry it.

This was the first time I have used metal rings on any of my bags, and actually, these are key rings that came out of a bag of findings I got at Walmart for just a few dollars.  I really like them, and the way the rings make the strap work for either side of the purse.

Also, for the strap, I used a decorative stitch and on one side it's red, on the other it's green.  I love the way it turned out!  Too bad I didn't remember to get a good shot of it up close.

I have been using this since I finished it, about a week now, and I still love it as much as I did the day I finished it.  Comments and all thoughts more than welcome!!   Grin
22  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Toothbrush rug? on: March 20, 2010 11:45:18 AM
I am making a toothbrush rug for my living room entry way from these vids and I love it so far.  Here's a pic:

Anyway, my question is, is this considered weaving?  Google says it is...but I'm not sure...I am just wondering where to post it when it's done!  Thanks for the info guys.   Grin
23  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Yummy, calorie free cupcake! on: March 14, 2010 12:38:53 AM
I have wanted to try cross stitch or embroidery for a really long time, but it's always really intimidated me.  Finally I decided to bite the bullet and go for it!

At first, when I was trying to come up with an idea, I was getting really freaked out because I am no good at following patterns of any kind, and this cross stitch/embroidery stuff looked really complicated.  Finally I just got a pencil and drew a cupcake on my canvas (I'm pretty sure that's what it is, it came as part of a cross stitch kit that I got at a yard sale).  Then I pretty much just colored it in with thread!  I used a basic back stitch to outline everything and then I filled everything in with solid rows of thread for the letters and the cupcake base.  For the frosting, I wanted some real texture so that it really stood out.  I ended up using random stitches all over and it turned out exactly the way I pictured it in my head!  First time EVER!!   Grin

It took roughly 12 hours or so, over the course of three or four days.  If I had known what I was doing, it probably wouldn't have taken half that amount of time, but it was worth it anyway!  Everything used came from my stash so it was free  Cheesy  And, it's going on my DD's wall, she wants a pink and orange room, and has been drooling over this project since I started it.  Ready to see pictures?  Good, cause I am ready to shut up!

Close up of the frosting texture, my favorite part!

The Y was the first thing I did.  I didn't fill it in all the way because I wanted it to look sort of cartoony, or scribbled in.  I still like it, but I like the other letters a lot better.

And, the finished product!

I will probably not be tackling another project like this for a long time, as I found that it got rather monotonous after a while, and I am more of a quilter/sewer.  But, I did learn a lot and feel like I will for sure be returning to this sort of thing.

Also, is this considered cross stitch or what?  I don't think I used a single 'formal' cross stitch stitch...lol...is it embroidery?  What kind of person am I to do a project when I don't even know what it's called??!!!???  lol!

C & C always much appreciated!!
24  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / I can doodle for hours :) on: March 10, 2010 09:39:15 AM
On Sunday I was really sick and didn't feel like doing much.  So I ended up spending about five or six hours doodling this picture.  In my head, I have been calling it Alice's Garden, because all the black and white checkers make me think of Alice in Wonderland, and the flowers...well, that would be a garden....lol.

After I was done I wanted to see what mountains would look like in the background.  I didn't want to ruin the original so I made a copy of it and added the mountains to the copy.  The differences in color kind of annoy me, I may try to work on it in PS to fix that, but for right now I'm happy enough with the way it turned out.

My living room is decorated in black and white so I think I am going to put these in frames and hang them up.

These were done on regular copy paper with a black fountain pen in case anyone was curious.   Cheesy  Any thoughts?  C & C always appreciated!
25  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / My first real quilt, and a really long rambling note about it! on: March 02, 2010 12:15:27 AM
I've been working on this quilt for about a month now and it's finally, finally done!  This is the first time I've finished a quilt that is, in my mind, a "real" quilt - has real binding and a real pattern and a real batting inside, lol.  I learned how to hand sew the binding on, and that's the first time I have ever sewn anything by hand, anything at all.  So, I am really proud of this quilt!

Also, it's a project that I made with my mother in law in mind and close to my heart.  She is currently suffering from complications of lung cancer and the surgeries and treatments to get rid of it, so it has been very hard on her to stay hopeful and upbeat.  She is the one who taught me how to craft and much of the fabrics used in this quilt are scraps left from other projects the two of us did together, so this is in her honor.  I would give it to her, but she said she has too much stuff in her house and wants to know that my dd will be snuggled up under this thing, so it's staying with us!

Technical stuff - the method I used (yes, there is a method to the madness) was the basic string quilt method.  I sewed each scrap of fabric to a piece of computer paper, starting with a white scrap in the middle and building up from there.  Then I trimmed each square to the size of the paper, after pressing it, and ripped the paper off and ironed again.

The batting came from Walmart.  I got a queen size package because that's all they had that day.  I have some left over, but not a lot, so I don't think the full would have been enough.  Oh, and the quilt is roughly twin sized, I didn't measure it to be a specific size, just didn't want it too huge and wanted it to cover my feet.

The backing is a sheet I have had for about a year now.  It has been washed enough that I am pretty sure it's done shrinking.  I don't really know what it's made out of though - it's not flannel, and it's not t-shirt material.  Maybe cotton?  I don't remember.  The binding is cut from the leftovers of the sheet after I cut it down for the backing.

I didn't want much quilting in this baby, so I only did a line in between each color.  It was fun. 

Things I learned
- I LOVE hand stitching!  Even though I resisted it at every turn - which is why it took so long to get this quilt done, the top only took about a week of sewing here and there - it turned out to be my most favorite part if the whole process.  I used a ladder stitch and you can barely see it, even though I only had dark green thread that didn't match the back and really should have shown up.

Also, it is possible to finish a quilt without ever using your walking foot.  I have one but I am not very comfortable using it so I skipped it.  Everything worked just fine.

And finally, next time I will use a thicker binding strip.  I cut these a bit too thin, at just over 1.5 inches, and it was a bear in places.  The hand stitching made the skinnier binding work, but next time I will save myself the aggravation.

Okay, enough talking!  Here are the pics!

Just for a size reference.

She is trying to claim this as hers, and her way of doing that is wrapping up in it at ever opportunity!

The backing, where you can see the quilting lines.

Taken before the binding was added, but this one really is the truest to the real color.

Hope you guys like it, and C & C always appreciated!
26  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Binding help - what the heck am I doing wrong?!! on: February 21, 2010 08:36:40 PM
Okay, so I made a quilt...

I love every inch of it.  However, I am scared to death to bind it!  So I practiced on a mini art quilt to see what I need to work on.  I think I have mitered corners pretty much figured out (I mark 1/4 of an inch from each corner so I know where to stop sewing, and that has made getting the corners done much easier) but I seem to have another problem that I'm not sure how to fix, because I'm not sure why it's happening.

Do you see the problem right there on the sides?  It's got a weird pucker thing happening.


This is a little closer.

I think that what is happening is that my binding wasn't the same size all the way down (it was supposed to be a 2.5 inch strip, but since I dug it out of my stash, it may not be very accurate) but I am not exactly sure that's the problem.  Am I pulling too much? 

Also, what should my tension be on a project like this?  I have it set to the 'auto' selection but that may be part of the problem, I honestly don't know.

Any and all help and advice is very much appreciated!!
27  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My first hat EVER! on: February 18, 2010 10:55:45 PM
This is the first time I've made a hat of any kind at all, so I am super proud.

I made it on the kniffty knitter loom (the green one, so it's a little big, I really like it that way for my ponytails to fit under) and it took less than two hours, start to finish.  I was so stressed about how to finish it but that turned out to be the easiest part!

Okay, on with the pics.

This is my cheeseball mini me modeling it.  She is also responsible for every picture from here on out, so don't judge the photographer too harshly, she's only 8.  Smiley

So in this one, the hat is on my head (duh) but what the heck are those things on my arms?  Well, they are the legwarmers I made the other day that match the hat.  Yes, they are on my arms in these pics, but they aren't attached to my shirt.

And that's enough of the funny faces and the camera! 

I have to admit, I may have a problem letting go of the loom and stepping away from the yarn from now on, but I will try to control myself! 
28  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Hi guys! Looking for some hints and tips on: February 06, 2010 10:53:36 PM
First off, I don't own an actual embroidery machine.  I have read all about free machine embroidery (one of the links I liked is here and am trying to get a better understanding.  And my new motto is, When in doubt, ask a Craftster to help you figure it out, so here I am!

Here's my questions:
1) Why do you need an embroidery hoop?  Does it make it a lot easier to do this? 

I printed a few words out in a big font and practiced going over them in a satin stitch on my machine without a hoop.  It was a bit time consuming, but all in all I liked the effect a lot, and it wasn't too hard.  I don't have a small enough hoop to work with (well, I don't think it's small enough anyway) so I don't really want to buy one, but if it makes it better than I am for sure going to get one.

2) what is an embroidery foot and is it absolutely vital?

Tonight I used the most commonly used presser foot that came with my machine.  It worked out okay.  I did notice that during turning I skipped a few stitches, but I'm pretty sure this is because I was rushing it.  Then i wondered if it had anything to do with using the wrong foot.  Any ideas?

3) Do you have to lower your feed dogs to do this?

Most of the information I've read has said you need to set your machine to where it isn't feeding the fabric through on it's own.  I tried this and got really confused, so I set the stitch length at 1 and that seemed to work a lot better.  I was finding it hard to feed my fabric though evenly on my own and it just felt really off, somewhat unnatural.

Okay, I think those are the most burning questions I have right now.  I will keep researching and if I find any answers I will post them here, but I am really looking forward to advice from someone who knows their stuff!   Grin
29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Oh for the love of scoodies! on: February 06, 2010 12:20:24 PM
I never, ever thought I'd want a scoodie.  Or make anything pink and black and white.  However, when I saw Vegbee's awesome tutorial, I knew right away that I had to have one!  As I am working very hard on stash-busting this year, I went to my craft room and came up with the fabrics used.  I am so in love with these colors now.  And, since this is a reversible scoodie, I am very happy that I like all the fabric.   Grin

And, before you see the pics, let me just complain one more time about my stupid camera and how hard it is to use by myself, in the house, in the stupid bathroom.  There.  I feel better after that rant.

You can't really see it in these pictures, or on the black and white side, but I used a cool top stitchng pattern around the entire thing.  Here's a close up.

I got a BRAND NEW SEWING MACHINE yesterday for my anniversary and have been on a sewing kick ever since, I even stayed up until 3 AM working on this!  My husband will NOT be giving me my present until AFTER the anniversary 'night' next year...lol!
Hope you like it, let me know if you do!
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Circle Scarf, almost a fail on: February 06, 2010 12:01:24 PM
Well I made this based on this awesome tut.  I am giving it it's own post even though I'm not very happy with the way it turned out.  I learned some things along the way which was well worth the experience, and my DD loves it, so it's all good!

Things I learned:  

1) when I attempt this again, for myself, I am going to increase the length and maybe decrease the width a little.  I am thinking more along the lines of 40 X 80.  I will see how it turns out.

2) be careful on your fabric choice.  Anything too heavy will feel suffocating.  I know, because I used a (somewhat) thin black stretch velvet that I tried on (doubled) in the store and it seemed to be perfect...but in reality, by the time this is all made up your fabric is folded over four times, not just doubled, so be selective.  The kiddo likes to feel snuggled in and cozy so it worked for her.  I felt like I was in a new and unusual form of a coffin and couldn't wait to rip it off!    Grin

Okay, now that I've enlightened you all with my discoveries, I will post the pictures.  Just be kind when you see them.  They were taken at night in the house and this camera I am having to use is not the best.

She really likes to wear it as a shawl.  She isn't as worried about protecting her hair as I am.   Wink

This other shots are rather blurry but you can kind of see how it looks...

I tried to crop and edit these pics but for some reason photobucket isn't saving the changes, ugh.  Sorry for the horribleness!  
Thanks for looking, C & C always appreciated!
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