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41  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Mario Question Block Valentines on: February 14, 2013 08:17:26 AM
Happy Valentine's Day!  Smiley

Mario is really big in our house right now, so of course we had to make Mario inspired valentines!

I started with paper bags I collected from the local grocery store and cut them into 4 x 4 squares. I then drew the question block details and colored it in with washable markers. Then some stamping on the back and at least 2 hours of agonizing name writing by my three year old. Finally, I sewed up three of the four sides and slipped in some chocolate covered coins! The whole thing went into a paper bag envelope finished with a smiley face star!

I hope they are hit today at the party!

Thanks for the viewing love!  Wink
42  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Twisted Tree Art Quilt on: February 12, 2013 07:16:43 AM
I made this quilt for wdicwg in the Mini Art Quilt Swap Round 6. It's my first MAQ and I'm really happy with how it came out!

The artsy, filtered, thumbnail pic:

The tree is supposed to be inspired by Tim Burton, and the colors were specified by my partner (purple, lime green, and turquoise). I machine stitched the sky and the grass to a plain piece of muslin and used reverse applique for the tree.

I added hand-sewn embellishments to the sky and to give it a "stitched together" kind of look. Because I don't really know how to machine stitch, I embroidered a rolling landscape for the ground and then made the backing/binding one piece.

I added the loops using some cool tree branch buttons I got in a swap a while ago.

I had a lot of fun making this for the MAQ swap! Thanks for looking!
43  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Child Drawing Ornament Tutorial on: December 18, 2012 07:36:57 AM
If you're a last minute gift maker like me, here's a quick, easy, and personalized way to turn your kid's drawings into ornaments!

Materials Needed:

See-through top fabric (I used muslin)
Backing fabric
Fabric marker
~8 inches of ribbon
Kiddo's drawing

First, cut both your top fabric and backing fabric to about 4 in x 4 in:

Next, place the top fabric on top of the drawing and trace the image onto the fabric using a fabric pen:

Easy, peasy.

Next, layer the fabric pieces right sides together with the ribbon sandwiched in the middle. Make sure the ends of the ribbon are at the top of the drawing so it hangs right side up after sewing.

Sew around the edge, leaving about 2 inches open at the bottom for turning right side out:

Turn right side out:

Stuff with polyfill and hand sew the opening at the bottom:

You can personalize it by adding names, dates, drawing titles, whatever!

I'm sure there's a million things you could do with the drawing once you got it on fabric. I hope this inspires you this holiday season!!

Thanks for looking Smiley
44  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Na Na Na Na Batman! on: November 02, 2012 07:06:34 AM
It's the year of the superheros! My son chose Batman, and here's what we came up with!

We started with a plain gray shirt and pants bought at Target. I scored some wool felt in the remnants bin at JoAnns, and it became the Batman symbol, mask, and arm bands.

I really struggled with the head piece for Batman until I found this awesome pattern, and went with the mask instead. I think it's better for a three-year-old anyway!

I used this tutorial for the arm cuffs, just modified slightly to fit my little dude.

I made the belt by covering an existing belt with yellow duct tape and adding some velcro to help it stay on. The "buckle" is just a duct tape square with the batman symbol painted on it. I sewed up a couple pouches for the utility belt with some vinyl scraps I had lying around. It wasn't the right color, so we spray painted them yellow! I really love how the belt came out!

I made the boots using those duct tape boots tutorials floating around the Internet. I couldn't find a complete one, so I kinda did my own thing. I put a sock on an old pair of boots to use as a mold (rather than attempting to get my three-year-old to sit still for any length of time) and taped it up. I cut a slit up the back to remove the duct tape boot from the "mold" boot. Instead of re-taping my kiddo up in his boots, we left the back open and used a safety pin to close. It works pretty good and held up in the running test.

Lastly, the cape. Pretty self-explanatory. I used two fat quarters for this, and they were the perfect size. The symbol is two pieces of felt.

Some action shots!

Thanks for looking! Happy Halloween everyone! Smiley
45  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Recycled Tie-Dye Pants on: September 30, 2012 07:27:34 PM
For this challenge, I decided to dig into my stash of DJ's clothes that no longer fit him.I ended up digging up several old tie-dye onesies and t-shirts...

I cut them up into strips:

And refashioned the strips into a pair of pants!

Some action shots:

Thanks for looking!
46  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Ice Cube Tie-Dye Mini Tute on: September 21, 2012 09:34:07 AM
Inspiration for this post comes from Carol R. Eaton Designs and this blog post: http://carolreatondesigns.blogspot.com/2012/02/fabric-dye-ice-cubes-awesome.html

Once I saw her awesome effects of dyeing with ice cubes, I knew I had to give it a try. It was super fun and easy!

Here's what I did:

I used a big jersey knit sheet as my fabric and coiled about half in the bottom of a mop bucket. Since I used RIT to dye, I did not pre-soak my fabric. I then placed a layer of ice cubes on the fabric and covered with powdered RIT dye (about half a box). I coiled the second half of my sheet on top of the ice layer and repeated the ice/RIT layers. The end result is a fabric/ice/dye lasagna:

After 24 hours, the ice melts, leaving behind a splattering of color. The powder works especially well with this method as the dye component colors bleed out and together, giving really unique and unexpected results.

In my first round of this, I used brown, black, and teal in my powder layer:

Round two was black and blue:

I can't wait to try this with different colors!! I have some green just waiting for the perfect fabric!

Thanks for looking!
47  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / "Fall in Love" Wall Hanging on: September 11, 2012 06:12:37 AM
A couple of my husband's and my good friends are getting married this weekend. We both wanted to contribute to a hand-made gift for them rather than than the usual registry list gift.

I made a wall hanging Teesha Moore style with an embroidered tree with their initials carved in the trunk and fall leaves to reflect the time of year they are getting married. I also added the date to the bottom.

My husband, de6w6it, made the metal hanger for the piece. He bent and welded metal rod to look like a tree branch with a heart.

I hope they love it.

Thanks for looking!
48  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / "Flower Power" Fabric Petal Jewelry on: August 29, 2012 01:43:27 PM
I made these for the most recent round of the Hippie Swap.

It's reconstructed because I started with a plain white t-shirt that I dyed LWI-style with teal RIT powder dye. I cut the petals out from a cardstock template and sewed them together with black thread on my sewing machine. I used the stitching to kind of draw in the petal details.

Action shot of bracelet:

Action shot of earrings:

Closer shot of necklace:

I think I want to make a set to look like leaves next. Maybe in fall colors?

Thanks for looking!
49  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Avatar: The Last Airbender Charm Bracelet on: August 23, 2012 11:17:12 AM
I made this bracelet for the most recent Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra Swap for my lovely partner,  IsikkahJai. She requested a charm bracelet, and though I'd never made one before, I knew I had enough beads and charms in my stash for an attempt. I drew inspiration from (who else?) the amazing jennieingram, who I also believe gave me every single charm I used in this bracelet, AND gave me awesome photography tips to help show off my creation. While these pics are still not the best, they are definitely better than round 1 with my camera and crappy lighting! The background isn't ideal, but I think it matches the "elemental" feel of the bracelet!

For those of you not familiar with Avatar: The Last Airbender, it is an amazing cartoon on Nickelodeon where characters can "bend" or manipulate the four elements (not including metal or spirit of course!) through movements of their body that mimic different styles of Chinese martial arts.

To embody the show in a bracelet, I knew that the four elements had to be central. I also used charms to represent not only the elements, but also certain characters, episodes, or items that carry meaning throughout the show.

Here's a closer look at "Earth":

Including lots of green and gold which are the colors of the Earth Kingdom, bare feet for the Earth Bender Toph, who is blind, but "sees" with her feet and her bending, a metal leaf (under Toph's feet) for Toph's metal bending ability, and a stone bead to literally represent earth and earth bending.

Here's "Air":

The Air Nomads are very peaceful and monk-like and their element (air) is very swirly and free. Their clothes are yellow and orange, but I felt that white represented them better for my purposes. There are lots of spirals and circles to represent the movement of air and Aang's air scooter that he invented. There's also a peace sign to represent Aang's commitment to peace. There is a flat circle bead with a garnet to represent Appa, Aang's sky bison.

Notice the heart between Air and Water to represent Aang and Katara's romance  Cheesy

Here's a close up of "Water":

Waterbenders are empowered by the moon, and both the Northern and Southern Water Tribes are deeply connected to the moon, so of course, there is a moon charm right in the center. There's also lots of blue to represent water and the colors of the tribes. There's a fish to represent Sokka, who is fishing when first introduced, as well as continually preoccupied with meat in any form throughout the show. Also there is a speckled blue stone to represent the meteor that Sokka uses to forge his space sword out of in Book 3. The blue charm with the wire wrapped around it represents the bottle of spirit water Katara carries with her and uses to heal Aang at the end of Book 2.


Fire was the most difficult for me, maybe because I did this section of the bracelet last. Obviously, there's lots of red for the Fire Nation and fire in general. The Chinese writing represents the scrolls that Zuko finds explaining who his grandfather was and helps him learn who he is and who he wants to become. The bead with the gold stripes is supposed to represent Zuko's scar. The key represents Zuko's trips to visit both Uncle Iroh and later his father in the Fire Nation prison.

And that's it! If you made it this far through the post thanks for your attention to detail!  Grin
50  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / SINGER 7442 on: June 08, 2012 08:45:39 AM

Brand: Singer

Model: 7442

Year: 2009

Cost: ~$350

How long have you had the machine? 3 years

Is it a basic sewing machine, serger, or embroidery machine? Basic sewing machine

What are your favorite features? The decorative stitches, the reverse stitch button (no presser foot necessary), and the top-loading bobbin.

What are some of the unique features it has? When reversing decorative stitches, the machine does 4 small tacking stitches to secure the stitch. When selecting decorative stitches and adjusting the stitch width and length accordingly, the machine beeps to tell you when the stitch length and width are ideally set for the chosen stitch.

How well does it run? It runs pretty well. When I first got it I thought it ran very smooth and quiet, but it is getting rougher and louder as time goes on (probably normal). The machine skips stitches when using certain fabrics (such as fleece) and does not handle several layers of fabric (especially heavier weight) very well.

Has it ever broken or needed maintenance you couldn't do yourself? A few broken needles, which were probably my fault. Other than that, basic maintenance has been very easy.

What are your least favorite features? The machine always ends stitches with the needle in the upright position. Even if your foot is off the presser foot, it will try to complete the stitch. This took a while to get used to and I broke quite a few needles this way. The machine will try to push through the fabric no matter what because it has to complete the stitch cycle to end with the needle in the up position. Skipped stitches are frequent and annoying.

Would you recommend this machine to a friend? Yes
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