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11  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A yo-yo tree grows on my door (pic heavy!) on: February 01, 2012 08:24:40 PM
Well actually it hangs on a hook but that's semantics. I hope this is the right forum to post this project in. Please, someone tell me if I ought to have put it elsewhere.

Anyway, here is a wall-hanging I've been working on for several months of a tree made of yo-yos, buttons, and beads.

Over 60 yo-yos of different sizes make up the canopy of the tree. I used the extra small, small, large, extra large, and jumbo round yo-yo makers by Clover. For that extra touch of summer sunshine I stitched on beads and buttons amongst the yo-yos.

I stitched the brown cotton tree trunk down to the pre-quilted foundation using embroidery. I really like the texture.

Tonight I finished the final touch of whimsy by adding butterfly beads to the flower garden growing at the base of the tree. If you look carefully you can also see my signature frog bead which I add to my wall hangings.

Hope you enjoy my yo-yo tree! Comments and criticisms are appreciated. Smiley

12  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Yo-yo Snowman Ornament Tutorial (image heavy) on: January 08, 2012 08:58:02 PM
I am a big fan of making Christmas ornaments out of yo-yos. I like experimenting with them every year. This year I devised a yo-yo snowman ornament that I think turned out to be my cutest yo-yo creation to date. Behold!

My yo-yo snowman ornament.

Supplies you will need include: three stuffed yo-yos (Clover jumbo, extra-large, and small made of white cotton, stuffed with poly-fiberfil), one extra-large sparkly button, one large sparkly button, one red button, a small jingle bell, a short length of holiday ribbon, fleece scraps (one thin and long and one thick rectangle that can wrap loosely around the large yo-yo), black embroidery floss, white hand-quilting thread, needles, scissors, and blue hand-quilting thread. Unfortunately, I am not a great one for measuring things so I guess-timated the fleece scrap size.

1) Sew the buttons on the yo-yos using white hand-quilting thread. Affix the extra-large button to the jumbo yo-yo, the large button to the extra-large yo-yo, and the red button to the large yo-yo

2. Using white hand-quilting thread, stitch the yo-yos together being careful to overlap them slightly. When sewing the top or head yo-yo on I also stitch the ribbon hanger on the back. See pictures below.

3. Embroider the eyes and smile onto the snowman head (the top large yo-yo). I can't say that I'm a particularly accomplished embroidery artist. I am not good with French knots so I just sort of do a cross-hatch for each eye using small stitches and I take small stitches under the red button to form a hopefully non-creepy smile. I think small seed beads would also look super cute. See picture.

4. Accessory time! The snowman looks cold so I add a hat and scarf set using small scraps of blue fleece. First, I make the hat by folding over the small rectangle of fleece and stitching up the side using blue hand-quilting thread. Then I gather the top of the hat using a running stitch and pulling it tight. Now, turn the hat right-side out. Stitch the jingle bell to the top of the hat like a pom-pom. I also like to fold the bottom up for that extra bit of stylish flair. See pictures below.

If you look carefully, you can see how the hat stitches have been gathered at the top. Knot threads tightly.

Finished snowman hat, complete with jingle bell

For the scarf, I like to snip the ends so it has a fringed look. Then I wrap it round the snowman's neck and stitch it down with a couple of tack stitches. I do the same for the hat. See pictures below.

Stitching on the scarf. I used the blue hand-quilting thread for adding the accessories.

A complete, all dressed up, yo-yo snowman ornament by E.A. Schneider
Just tie any last knots, snip the threads, and you're done with your beautiful yo-yo snowman ornament.

Here are some thumbnails of one I made for one of my grandmas-in-law.

On my blog I have pictures of other yo-yo ornaments I made this Christmas and in the past if you want to check it out: http://technicolorlilypond.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/deck-the-tree-with-yo-yos/
Hope you enjoy the tutorial! Any constructive comments would be great, this is the first one I've done for Craftster. I would love to see any pics of any yo-yo snowman you make.
13  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / NY, a wing & a prayer, and the galaxy: purses I just finished! Pic heavy on: December 29, 2011 11:03:12 PM
For Christmas this year I made some purses for some of my favorite women. I used fabrics from my stash that suited their interests.

First off, I modified the All People Quilt "sew simple purse," pattern featured here: http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/projects-ideas/bags-pillows/sew-simple-purse_1.html, using NY,NY themed fabric. Because I only had enough fabric to make a 19" square I did that rather than the 21" sq that the pattern calls for. I did a couple other things differently in the assembly process as well which resulted in a heavier duty feel to the bag. Here are some pictures:

I basted the handles to the purse body then I hand-stitched them in place using matching blue thread. I really like the finished look of the bag.
Here is a shot of the lining fabric:

This year I also tried something totally new for me. I made coin purses for a sister and a cousin. I've never done this before so there was a lot of trial and error. I used the pdf provided here: http://everythingmary.com/images/Videos/Downloads/Purse%20Frame%20Instructions.pdf
The pdf was basically a place to start. I wound up doing at least three layers of stitching around the purse frame to support the fabric tightly. I also hand stitched the sides up to the hinge part so it would look more finished.

First, here is a pic of the purse for my cousin. The wording on the fabric is a Lord's Prayer novelty fabric (my cousin is very religious and very fond of teal) I found some years ago.

I really like how the dove seems to fly up at you from the words.

Finally, here is a picture of the purse I made for my sister-in-law who is a big space buff.

I thought she deserved to have the galaxy in her pocket. Smiley

Hope you enjoy these! C&C are appreciated.
14  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Placemats for Grandma! Picture heavy on: December 29, 2011 10:42:34 PM
So this Christmas I undertook an extraordinary challenge. I decided to not only make homemade presents for everybody on my list but I also decided to make some homemade quilted placemats for my exacting crafter-and-homemaker-extraordinaire Grandma-in-law. She is a very special lady, she's needed some new placemats for ages, and I really love her. But she intimidates the heck out of me. She throws out batches of cookies if they are a shade of brown on the bottom. Eeeeep! Nevertheless, I did what any crafter should do: raided my stash, brewed some tea, and got to work.

I made up the design myself and kept it very simple. I had some panels of birds in ~8" squares and lots of blue fabric. Behold the resulting combo:

I made a set of six placemats using one of each bird design.

I kept the quilting simple. First, I outline quilted the bird. Then I quilted the outline of the square and finally the edge of the entire placemat. By doing a narrow edge I was able to catch the gap I left to turn the placemats right-side-out after initial assembly, thereby circumventing both having to hand-stitch and having to use binding. Mwahahahahaaha!  Grin

Here are some more close-ups:

And here is the backing fabric I used:

I assembled the placemats using chain-piecing which really expedited things.

I was so nervous when I took the box over. My in-laws were nervous too because they knew how long I'd been working on these and how  difficult Grandma can be about accepting presents. More breath was held than just my own on Christmas Eve when she opened the box. I am very happy to report that Grandma loved the placemats. Huzzzzzah!! She has been using them all week. Smiley

Comments and critiques would be appreciated; I hope you enjoy the placemats.

15  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / TARDIS Christmas Tree Ornaments. Fantastic! on: December 29, 2011 07:51:21 PM
I am singularly blessed to have three people in my life besides myself who love Doctor Who. Earlier this fall I discovered Spoonflower and on Spoonflower I discovered a wonderful array of Doctor Who fabrics. As a quilter and a sewer this resulted in lots of happy dancing. When some birthday money rolled my way I picked up some pieces to use in a Doctor Who quilt. Now, I haven't made the quilt yet BUT this Christmas I used some of this fabric: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/638622 to make Christmas ornaments for my fellow Who nerds.


That is the front. I used puff glow-in-the-dark paint on the light at the top so it glows in the dark.

The backing fabric is this great space fabric I got at Jo-Ann's a few years ago.

Here is a close-up of the front. You can see I fussy-cut the TARDIS design, used a space fabric for the sides, and then quilted it simply using blue thread. The batting is just some scraps of fusi-boo I had from another project.

Enjoy! Smiley
16  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Butterfly Sleeve for Laptop and Camera on: October 23, 2011 02:16:21 PM
Earlier this fall I got a new laptop. There was much rejoicing and rejoicing always calls for some crafty fun with fabric. In an effort to protect my new technological treasure I put together this laptop sleeve.

I didn't use a pattern. I didn't take pictures of the process, unfortunately, but I will describe for you what I did. All I did was measure the dimensions of my laptop, calculated the width and length of fabric strips necessary to cover it, and I added about half an inch to that measurement. I sewed the strips together to form the "front," or visible portion of the sleeve which looked like a giant rectangle. For the interior, I cut from a brown fabric remnant a rectangle about 2" bigger around than the front. I layered the two sides with fuss-boo batting (btw, I have had little success using fusi-boo as directed--it never fuses for me and I wind up using copious amounts of safety pins anyway. I probably won't buy it again) and quilted it. For quilting I did stitch in the ditch and outlined rough squares around certain butterflies so they have a stamp effect. After I folded over the brown interior fabric to cover the batting and bind off, the piece basically looked like a table runner---one long quilted rectangle with brown binding. I wrapped the quilted piece around my laptop and marked the folds to see where I wanted to stitch the side seams. Then, with the interior (brown in this case) fabric facing out, I sewed the side seams as I had marked them. I made sure to reinforce the corners. I turned the sleeve, which looks like an envelope, right-side out so I could see the butterflies and voila! It was almost done. I added self-adhesive velcro circles to the edge of the flap for closure plus buttons from my stash for decoration. Unfortunately, the adhesive prevented my hand sewing the velcro circles down (I ruined three needles trying) but it wasn't strong enough to last. I'm going to reinforce the circles with tacky glue. Hopefully that works. Even without the velcro, my laptop sleeve does the job of protecting my machine from insult & injury--plus it makes me smile, which is just as important.  Smiley

I liked the color combination so much that I used extra fabric strips to make a mini-version for my much loved and very beat up point-and-click digital camera.

I used the method described above basically. The camera sleeve is a little on the baggy side but that works great for carrying extra batteries and memory cards.

C&C welcome. Enjoy!
17  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Quillow Craziness with Lots o'pictures on: June 26, 2011 03:17:58 PM
In the past couple of weeks I finished several quillows for wedding and anniversary gifts. I cheat and use store-bought microfiber blankets instead of making a throw quilt, I just concentrate on making the quilted pockets but people seem to love them all the same. I just mailed some off and I have three more to finish for other people but until then I thought I would post some pics--I don't think the recipients are in danger of seeing the pictures here.

My friend and colleague, Whit, got married over Memorial Day weekend. She studies some adorable little turtles so of course I had to quilt her a set of turtles.

That is the first quillow I made. I made my own turtle pattern and pieced them together. I zig-zagged them down to the pieced foundation and top-stitched the pattern of the shell. I embroidered the eyes and nostrils using black embroidery floss. I outline quilted each turtle and the squares.

This is the backing I used for each quillow I made her.

This is the second quillow I made Whit. On this one I also outline quilted some of the animal designs in the other squares to give it more texture. In the background you can see the blue storage sack I made her to keep the pair in. It's basically a glorified pillowcase but I think it will come in handy for her.

Some turtle close-ups. :-)

Two of my friends eloped to New York, New York last year. For the wedding/one-year anniversary I made them a New York, New York quillow. It took me forever to choose the fabrics but I had fun making it.

Here is the quillow. I love how the couple in the center look reminiscent of my friends. The groom is tall, dark, and handsome and the bride actually got married in a black evening gown that was similar to the lady in the fabric--very old Hollywood and classic.

That's the backing I used. They both love old Hollywood and movies in general so this was perfect.

I had the "brilliant" idea of using all the other NY/movie fabrics I had to do fun applique shapes on the blanket side of the purple throw I bought them. This was a bad idea. I used glow-in-the-dark thread. This was an even worse idea. The thread raveled and kept snapping, the shapes moved and bunched so they don't look as polished as I wanted and overall I'm not sure I like the effect. Maybe that is just the effect of the cursing though...I lost patience with the glow thread and switched to nice rational white on the last three flowers.

I put a yo-yo in the center of each flower to make them look more like a flower and less like an irregular blob. The groom loves the Beetles so I thought the flowers would be cute. Lots of swearing involved but I think they look okay.

Finally, this is a quillow I made last year for my father-in-law for Father's Day and I finally got around to taking a picture of it.

He is a very enthusiastic fisherman. This was my first foray into outline quilting with the center fish. I think it turned out pretty sharp. The back of the quillow pocket is that blue fishing lure fabric that borders the fish. 

I hope you enjoyed the quillows! Cheesy
18  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Blue chair fairy fun flower pillow! (pic heavy!) on: June 03, 2011 06:36:45 PM
So this is a pillow I made using scraps from other projects and a piece of upholstery from my college dorm recliner which fell to pieces. I hope I'm putting this in the right forum. I finished the pillow a year ago after dragging the pieces, pins and all, around for 3+ years and I'm just now getting off my duff to post pictures. I wrote about the story behind this pillow on my blog http://technicolorlilypond.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/my-blue-chair-pillow-o-fun/
but basically I just used fusible web to iron all of the pieces down. Then I stitched each piece to the blue upholstery fabric foundation using a straight stitch on my sewing machine. I left all of the edges raw and for the grass I actually snipped it so it has a bit of a raw grassy fringe above the sewing line. I like the texture.  
The rest of the pillow is made of cotton duck from my stash. It raveled like crazy so I zig-zagged every edge and basted all of the pieces together by hand before stitching it on my machine.
Now for pictures! Smiley

Hope you enjoy! c&c always appreciated. Cheesy

19  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / April showers bring May Yo-yo flowers! on: May 11, 2011 08:53:25 PM
Hello! I wasn't sure where to put this project but it is a wall hanging I made using four different kinds of yo-yos. I've never posted a project here before but I've been lurking for years. Without further ado: My blooming flower basket of fun!

I basically hand sewed each yo-yo to the pre-quilted fabric in the arrangement you see. I machine sewed the ribbon binding but everything else is by hand. I stuffed the top of the basket with polyfiberfil and sewed it down using embroidery floss and a running stitch so the basket would have a 3-d effect. I put more details on my blog (http://technicolorlilypond.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/april-showers-bring-may-yo-yo-flowers/) but what you see is pretty much what you get with this project. I like how it turned out and I hope you do too. Comments and constructive criticism would be appreciated. Enjoy!  Smiley
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