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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / question about a type of string quilt or string block... on: July 22, 2006 12:19:40 PM
(... well at least that's what I 'think' it is...??)

Please keep in mind I sure wouldn't call myself a quilter, gee not even a fabrics crafter or a seamstress, lol...
even though some 15-20 yrs ago I did actually manage to make a smallish/lap-size quilt using the method I'm gonna tryyy to sorta-kinda explain...
so that maybe hopefully someone could tell me if it is a type of string quilting, or what else it might be called.
[[alas, about 12 or so yrs ago during a flood I lost the book that had the directions & have never seen anything like them since]].
Okay here goes...

First you'd cut a bunch of squares of the poofy-puffy quilt stuff (it's called quilt batting I think?) --- about 1/2 to 1" larger all around than the finished block size you want.

Then you'd cut any desired fabrics into various-width/various-length strips... basically, width would be less important than length, & the strips would only need to be long enough to cover each square "when laid diagonally across it".
('somewhat'-longer would be okay too though, since excess could be trimmed away afterward).

Also, the fabric strips themselves had to be cut on the diagonal -- or is that maybe called  on the bias? (please don't ask me why, just wuz as far as I can recall, lol) ....
or, I guess you could use existing scraps that fit the length requirements... except all the strips really were spozed to be diagonal/bias type scraps not just-any-old-cut type scraps.

Then you'd start sewing the strips diagonally, 'directly onto' each square of batting.
According to the directions I believe this could be done either by hand (a type of lap-quilting I guess?) or by machine, which is what I used.

Starting with a corner-length strip, you'd lay it 'rightside' up on the corner of a batting square --
then lay the next strip on top of the first except 'wrongside' up --
then connect the two strips by sewing right through the batting.
(i.e, you'd sew them together along the "long/non-corner" edges, about a quarter inch in from the raw edges -- as an 'allowance' I think it's called?).

Then you'd flip that 2nd strip to rightside up -- repeat the process with the 3rd strip -- & so on until the block of batting was entirely covered. Then cover next block of batting, etc.

Finally, you'd sew the diagonal-fabricstrip-covered blocks to each other & add a quilt backing.
Can't recall how(or if!) I bound or edged the thing.  Nor can I recall the various suggestions for tacking through blocks+backing, or for further quilting, etc etc...
but I thinnnk what I did for that part was -- on the underside of the quilt -- a sort of bartack-like (?) hand stitching in the middle of each side of each square.  Pretty much that was just to hold the backing in place.

Hope at least some of that made sense...
I guess maybe the somewhat-unusual aspect of it is the part about sewing the fabric strips directly-to the batting?  oh maybe also the part about the strips being cut on the diagonal or bias or whatever that's called?

Anyone ever heard of that kind of string-quilting (or whatever) before?

I do recall that it was VERY quick & easy to put together by machine.
The strips-cutting was the only somewhat time-consuming thing about it -- but I just churned that out as I found fabric remnants I liked.  And the finished item had a really pretty puffy-strippy look to it.
Main drawback, I suppose, would be those thick bumpy-ish seams after sewing the blocks together. 
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / possibility for ppl who need just toggle clasp BARS to make CUFFLINKS... on: January 16, 2006 05:16:21 PM
Can't find the original post right now to save my life, but, quite a while ago some cufflinks makers here mentioned they had to buy a toggle clasp "set" (both bar & circle) in order to get the bar to use for the push-through part of the link. [[what they did with the circle part I don't know though]]

Anyway, recently online I stumbled across 'just the bar', but at this place they're called "toggle buttons" ...

I was actually thinking of using them for something else & also needed them fairly large, but the smaller ones might be perfect for cufflinks.

Only thing I'm a bit concerned about is that I'm not seeing what these toggle buttons are made of (metal, or metallicized plastic, or...?) -- however, if anyone needs to be sure, at least there's a 1-800 tollfree phone number, probably also the usual email for questions.

Just thought I'd mention this for you cufflinks folks, in case buying just those bars would be less expensive than buying regular jewelry toggle-sets. And who knows, if those aren't the right material or color or whatever, maybe you could find others by using the search term toggle buttons.

[[ and, um, to me toggle buttons are big chunky solid-wood sorta-barrel-shaped things; they were almost exclusively used on the supercasual-knockaround longish jackets that were called "car coats" waybackintheday.]]
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / purse / bag makers, you might check this place for supplies ::: on: January 16, 2006 12:54:14 PM

For some standard & also maybe fairly-unusual supplies try

It's often also called UMX. I "think" that's the right home page URL, although I most often find numerous 'different parts' of the site via websearches for various specific things  [the actual place is in California 'I think' but of course there's a 1-800 tollfree phone number if you need it].

Might not have evvverything you want or need, of course... and might seem at first glance like a wholesale place. In some cases it is -- their bulk prices can be amazing but that's 'if' you buy in genyooooowine BULK, lol.

However, quite a few things can be bought singly or up to oh maybe 99 pieces for pretty good prices too. Better than most b&m stores I know of, anyway.  For one  example, I really like their twisty-shaped, solid-colored, 1/2" acrylic beads (they actually call them 'purse handle' beads, for some strange reason -- maybe that's what most of their real-bulk purchasers use them for)

or you can just go to this page:

Also check out what UMX calls BUTTON TOGGLES (actually in the buttons section).
The largest one they have -- a little over 1 1/2" long -- should make a wonderful 'bar-loop' type bag closure. 
Haven't actually tried this yet but only b/c I never could find any that large so it was only an idea I had. Before I saw UMX's I never knew what they were called of even if there WAS such a thing, lol.

Basically it's just the "bar" part of a "toggle bar clasp" ...!!!  Dunno if they sell the circle parts to match (didn't check) as I don't care about that myself, just needed the bar thingie, I wanted to make my own loop anyway.

Really need to remember to post this over at one of the Trinkets & Jewelry discussion-questions boards too.
Know some people there were needing these things for something or other at one time.  Whatever they were making, they were having to buy the usual jewelry type toggle "set" & just discard or not use the circle part...  which might get expensive (not to mention annoying) especially if one needs larger size toggle bars.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Beginners, machine-sewn clothing: 2 purchased pattern possibilities (tops) on: January 16, 2006 11:25:33 AM

Just a thought for beginners who'd like to start with a couple of simple tops...
[[ And -- anyone who's already tried one or more patterns in te line mentioned below *DO please* feel free to comment, good or bad!]]

Online recently I stumbled across a pattern line called Kwik Sew. Not sure if it's also sold in fabric stores or wallyworld type stores or what.
Even though they aren't the cheapest patterns I've ever seen, I kinda like the overall concept & noticed 2 patterns I actually like...

Overall concept of Kwik Sew patterns:

Pattern possibilities to consider (just my personal pick):

3302 ... (sounds extra-easy to sew) ...3161 similar but different slvs
I'm picturing this with a few added designs (or collar edge or sleeve edge outlining) in very simple beaded embroidery, or in jacquard or brocade trim, etc  -- i.e., boho/elegant look. [If you prefer a bit more fitted look, shouldn't be too tough to to taper- in the sides a little between under-bust & top of hips].

3308 - VIEW B/C in particular (tho I love A too) ...
Once I had a wonderful (but solid black, natch!) designer-type silk top that looked exactly like View B --
except the part that went around the neck was one of those round goldtone metal neckwires with the hook-loop type closure in back (I think those things are really more-commonly used just as necklaces, lol).
Assuming View B is made the way I think it is [i.e., if you could string virtually anything through that upper gathered part, which 'as-is' looks like it just has the usual fabric-covered tie-able cording through it] ---
then perhaps you could try substituting the metal neckwire ...
or some sort of considerably-more-decorative trim cord ...
or leather/suede cord or SoftFlex beading wire strung just like a necklace with any kind of appropriate-sized beads & a large easy-to-handle closure in back ...
& so on & so forth.
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / simple bag cut from leather or suede coat?? tips-info-ideas-links-etc, please? on: December 11, 2005 07:38:07 AM

Hi all! ...
I'm thinking very simple, unconstructed, no-zipper, slouchy-pouchy shoulderbag styles ...
also EASY lol ...
'simple&easy' mainly because I'm definitely NOT an experienced seamstress or craftsperson ... but also, it seems to me simple styles would readily lend themselves to many different decorative touches/ finishes/ etc etc --- at which I'm usually not-bad.   

~~ Any thoughts, ideas, tips, personal experiences, possibly-adaptable patterns, website links, tutorials, etc  ..??

~~ Also, any suggestions & possible sources for appropriate tools & things? ... just for some examples: :
some special type of glue or adhesive?
scissors or other cutting tools?
punches, grommet makers? 
paint types, or wash techniques, or some type of coloring possibilities for leather or suede? (I don't mean to actually dye allover, just as decoration)

& so on

~~ I'm also wondering if there's some relatively simple-easy sewing method or thingie for leather/suede etc. Mainly I think I want to do lace-up or grommets -- for example, wherever two sides or two pieces might need to be joined -- but then again I'm guessing a little plain straight stitching might also be useful here & there.

[[[ Just in case anyone's interested, here's the situation:::

Have several old coats & jackets (the 'inherited' kind) that are either all leather or all suede --or-- a combo of leather or suede plus real fur (I know, I know; remember these are from a far different day than now) --or-- in the case of one jacket, all in that very flat/tightly-curly stuff, not sure if it's fur or hair or wool or what, but yes it's real.

The materials themselves are in great condition, but they're fairly small sizes & for some the styles are wayyy too out of date, I think.
And of course many people nowadays refuse to wear real fur, some even leather or suede too.
Also, this is a fairly warm-winter climate where one wouldn't actually 'need' things like lthr-suede-fur (real or otherwise).
Thus no consignment/donation/thrift shops will take this stuff --- maybe they would in some large northeastern or northwestern city like NY or Chicago, but not here.
Hate to just toss it all in the trash, but it occurred to me that maybe the materials could somehow be cut up & made into easy simple shoulder bags ... ? ]]]
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / a little 'Life Lesson' in craftiness&resourcefulness from 2 little girls... on: July 18, 2005 09:09:07 AM
 Hi everybody -- really sorry I have no pix to share but I just HAD to share with you a story (also a bit sad though  in that invention-is-the-mother-of-necessity way) about a bedroom that was adorably decorated by its 6-year-old occupant & her 10-year-old sister all by themselves -- well, of course with a tiny bit of help from adults here & there, mostly in driving them & their mom to buy or otherwise acquire the makings tho I think they might've 'deigned to accept' juuuust a few er 'pointers' from mom or someone else ... but otherwise they did indeed do it themselves.
[[the 'sad' part of the story is this sweet little family got dumped by the dad -- actually they're better off in at least one way, long-ugly story there I won't go into -- and are now practically destitute].

Anyway, somehow the two little girls hit upon the bright idea that they could actually use bedsheets for pretty much anything.
The bed they were trying to do something with is a single but at Salvation Army & similar thrift stores all they could find was a few individual but luckily reasonably-complementary solid & floral print kingsize sheets for like a dollar apiece or less.
Also they found what I think is probably a full-size blanket, and a bunch of assorted ribbons in colors similar to the sheet prints.  

Now neither these girls nor their mom knows how to sew & certainly have no machine.  I'm guessing someone they know might've had one, but the girls paid no attention to that, for some weird reason they really were bound & determined to this alllllll by themselves ...
so they used nothing but scissors & fabric glue ... ...! Can you just imagine these two kids with their heads together on the floor laboriously cutting everything to fit & 'gluing' it all together... ??  

Their mom said it took them forrrrevvver, lol, but yep they did it -- & a very neat precise job it was too.
A sort of 'duvet cover' for the blanket, with ribbon ties at the bottom ---- a  bedskirt out of one of the big sheets spread over the box springs, with a few ribbons here & there to tie it up in little drapes or pleats ---- & curtains with ribbon tie-ons (I thought these were especially cute as they'd used up most of the prints for the bed so the curtains were alternating solid & print panels).

They even cut out some tiny flowers & leaves from the prints & glued them on lengths of ribbon with big floppy bows on top as wall decorations (I'm tellin ya, no earthly way I'd have the patience for that, how could two kids manage to find it?!).   

What I thought was the absolute cutest though were the pillow covers, just openended 'tubes' of sheet fabric ribbon-tied at each end with fabric fluffed out -- sort of like a wrapped-candy or 'firecrracker' shape if you can picture that.

Someone had given the family an unfinished wood nightstand & chest of drawers so they let mom help 'a little' to spray the bottoms with white Krylon, but the girls used their own fingerpaints & other kid-type paints to create what I guess you could call a 'rainbow wash' on the top, very simple but very artistic and pretty.

And finally, what they themselves were most proud of was a little rag-type rug that someone showed them how to make out of the leftovers plus a few donated plain white sheets to fill in (I'm guessing the braids or whatever did have to be sewn together somehow, but I know zero-zilch about any kind of rugmaking!).

Funny how kids can often teach adults -- even one as old as I am, lol -- a very valuable lesson: just a little creativity plus a little persistence plus a whole lot of spirit & heart can accomplish practically anything.  
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Ever heard of ClinkIt & Clipiola jewelry? some projects/ideas... on: February 17, 2005 02:59:49 AM

This could be a pretty old thing, judging from the dates & dead links on some of the web pages below, so it might have been discussed here long before I joined. But it's such an interesting and adaptable idea I thought others who are new might like it too.

In case you're wondering --
a Clipiola is a fairly large Italian-made metal paperclip (definitely not the usual kind, lol), and ClinkIt is a brand or line of flat, sometimes irregular-shaped, embossable colored-glass pieces.
Both brand names can be googled for sources, or you might find many other similar kinds of items in a local crafts store / art supplies shop / office supply shop.

The ideas and projects below are quite adaptable, though : you could substitute various other materials, and there are several easy-simple but useful wire-work techniques you could apply to  other jewelry-making projects.

~~ Clipiolas Changeable Pendant Necklace:

~~ Bitz Bracelet [apparently Bitz are just small glass 'tiles' made by ClickIt]  :

8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / making jewelry with wire : several links to projects,techniques,&-or info on: February 12, 2005 07:07:44 AM
>>> various WIRE PROJECTS by TYPE of jewelry...
Each of the about.com links below should take you to a *PROJECTS INDEX* . Please note that for a beginner, many of the projects may be too complicated, or may have have incomplete/too-vague instructions.  Nevertheless there's inspiration as well as 'some' good beginner stuff :::

~~ Wire EARRINGS Projects : http://jewelrymaking.about.com/library/blwear.htm

~~ Wire BRACELET Projects : http://jewelrymaking.about.com/library/blwbrac.htm

~~ Wire NECKLACE Projects : http://jewelrymaking.about.com/library/blwneck.htm

~~ Wire RING Projects :

just wire-no beads; intended as finger ring, could be toe ring

just wire-no beads; intended as toe ring, could be finger ring

wire bead-dangle type ring

wire ring to hold a focal bead or even perhaps a few smaller beads

Please be aware that a "metal ring mandrel" and a "rawhide hammer" might be very handy to have particularly for many wire RING projects. 
The projects above give wire gauge but not a particular wire 'hardness' (also called 'temper').  If possible, you might consider experimenting with both dead-soft and half-hard.

~~ & a couple more WIRE RING projects :
Even if you don't have a jig (such as the WigJig), those 2 nice "bead-holder" type ring tutorials can be helpful because they specify wire gauges/wire hardnesses/wire shapes to use, & also various basic jewelrymaking tools needed. If you're already fairly experienced at wirework without a jig, you could probably make these beadholding rings that way ... if not, well, they may inspire you to try one!

~~ wire TOGGLE CLASP :

~~ wire HOOK-EYE CLASP :

~~ wire S CLASP :
With both ends closed this could also make a useful "connector" loop or maybe even a nice "drop".

~~ wire CORD CLASP :
A type of hook-eye clasp specially intended to use with fabric cord (like rattail for example), leather or suede cord, etc. Clear pix, simple instructions. You create both the hook and the eye at the same time, then cut them apart.

~~ wire SPACER BARS :
Yep these spacer bars (2 styles) are made out of coiled wire; nice & useful.

~~ WIRE WRAPPED BEADS (pretty spirals on top, bottom, & across bead) :
Looks & reads rather long and complicated but once you actually try it step by step you'll get the idea quickly. The tutorial pictures don't show on the main page; to see them, click on the camera icon at the beginning of each step.
With this method you make the wire wrap first 'then' insert the bead.  Some people call this a "bead cage" instead of a bead wrap. If it seems like too much trouble, well, you can actually buy pre-made wire bead cages!

~~ WIRE-STRUNG BEAD BRANCHES (called 'jeweled wreath', for some reason, in the article below) :
The following tutorial is called Making Branched Fringe (apparently aka 'coraling'..?) & doesn't specifically refer to *wire*-strung beads --- however, experimenting with fine-enough wire & large-holed-enough seed beads this should look good too, although I'd guess wire would tend to make stiffer/less swingy-fringe-like 'branches' :

~~ CHAINMAIL (btw, when websearching for chainmail info or items, also try the spelling chainmaille) :
General-overall help with chainmail as well as how to construct a chainmail 'basket' -- just in case you need one!
Includes some general wire info & of course good, general 'making-wire-into-a-circle' info that might be helpful in other wire projects too.

~~ >>> Also...please see this post by our own original-&-inimitable Diane B. (thanks, D!!) :


>>> WHICH GAUGE WIRE TO USE for what? :
Handy useful quick-reference chart. At bottom of that page, check out the links for 'projects' & 'techniques.'  There aren't a whole lot but at least what's there is simple and clear. 

More info on choosing the right wire for what you want to make :
[[The capital G on that page stands for "gauge" as in wire gauge, i.e. wire thickness]]   
Also see, at bottom of that page, the other "Beginner's Jewelry Making" pages (39 & probably growing, lol) and the Jewelry Techniques & Dictionary of Terms section.
As I mentioned before, not every project at WigJig University *requires* a jig -- some can be done reasonably well with one or more jewelrymaking pliers -- so wigjig.com is always a good place to check for projects.
But, if you get heavily into wirework, I'd say a good quality jig would be a handy/hands-saving thing to invest in.

>>> WIRE GAUGE CONVERSIONS (gauge to mm) :
A chart showing  approximate diameter in milllimeters for the most commonly-available gauges (wire thickness) -- also notes some typical jewelrymaking uses for each wire gauge.
Also helpful if you already know or can measure the diameter of a particular bead-hole & need to know what wire gauge will go through it -- for example, in order to do a certain type of beadwrap, or to string your beads onto wire, & so on.

>>> BEAD CALCULATOR -- okay not about wireworking but kinda nifty anyway :
Not for beadweaving or beadstitching but for *stringing* on thread , cord , flexible beading wire with woven-stainless-steel-cable core , etc etc ... 
Type in your bead size in millimeters and your desired necklace or bracelet length  in inches -- then click 'with' or 'without' knots ('with knots' is mainly for pearls) -- then click Calculate ... and you get the total number of that size bead you'll need to make an item that long.

For a pretty close idea of the numbers if you want to use several different bead sizes :
Split up the finished length you want the item to have into 'roughly proportional' lengths per bead size [[ e.g. for a 16" necklace :: 8" of 4mm bds and  8" of 6mm bds --- or  3" of 8mm bds , 10" of 6mm , and  3" of 4mm bds --- and so on & so forth.]].  Beads can be any millimeter size, don't have to be "even" as in the examples above. Whatever their shape, use the millimeter length from bead hole to bead hole.

Of course the calculator doesn't take into account the length of your clasp. Depending on the size of all clasp parts - which could include necessary attachment items such as jumprings/knot cups/etc -- the length of the finished piece might possibly increase a good bit. So don't forget to take clasp+parts into account.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: I'm interested in Resin! Help?! on: January 15, 2005 06:37:13 PM
I haven't got the foggiest notion what resin is -- but do a Current Board search with just the word resin (the Current Board Search box is up there above your original question) -- there are several other threads that might possibly be helpful to you. 

I'm not sure if the following URL will post as a link or if you'll have to copy-paste it -- but it's for one of those resin discussions ::

10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / a bit more info for ribbon, organza necklaces on: December 10, 2004 03:14:13 AM
-- Vermeil & SS PINCH ENDS neat idea for velvet & similar ribbons although Im not sure how well theyd work with organza.  Pages have pretty good pix of finished necklaces using the Pinch Ends.  Btw, the sterling ones are a good deal more expensive than the vermeil. What *IS* it with sterling process lately anyway ??!!

Crimping Organza Ribbon & Creating and stringing with your Ribbon Needle
-- The ribbon needle is actually made from the organza ribbon itself -- honestly & truly I nevvver wouldve thought of this myself but its kinda obvious!

How To Use The Mighty Crimper with Organza and 3x3 crimp beads
-- Of course Beadshop sells this Mighty Crimper & also the larger-than-usual 3x3 crimp beads its used with.  However, on another page it also says the 3x3 crimp can be crimped flat with needlenose pliers.
-- Also says these larger crimp beads can be used when you want to crimp multiple strands of .014 or .019 SoftFlex into one crimp bead -- or any other beading wire made like SoftFlex, I assume  --  and with 8mm Elastoma or with 1mm Stretch Magic as well as with ribbons.  (Maybe even with thin-ish leather cords? Maybe other stuff too.)   

~~ The Beadshop website also has pix (illustrating two fee-only Beginners classes) that show 2 finished multi-strand beaded organza necklaces.  The ends of the organza ribbons appear to be strung into large-ish cones -- I guess the ribbons were looped & crimped onto or just tied onto a looped headpin?? Dunno. Take a look at the pix & see what yall think :
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