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21  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Hoppin along - first attempt at paper piecing. Now with pattern link. on: February 13, 2017 02:32:11 PM
In the current mini quilt swap I made this 12 x 18" mini quilt She loved kangaroo, so why not try paper piecing for the first time with a kangaroo? Silly me, I could have picked something easier. I did double the size. I don't know how anyone does those little pieces. And who mentioned one inch squares? Crazy. But then that's quilters for you.

This was made entirely from my stash, backing and all. The back and binding were all donated fabrics. I never thought I'd use that orange dots, but it was perfect. What wasn't perfect was my straight diagonal lines that started curving, so I curved them more...she's running from the storm!

Here's a link to the pattern. She has some fun ones, I want to do the sewing machine. https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/patterns/kangaroo-paper-pieced/177191





And one bead for an eye.

22  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Fund raising quilt squares on: January 31, 2017 07:28:10 AM


The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival ended in 2014. Sad times. But a group of dedicated womyn have come together to purchase the land. In the spirit of Michfest, several quilts are being made to help raise money. Below are the squares I've made for the quilts.

First quilt - variations on previous squares i've done




Second quilt - variation on a prayer flag design

23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Pussy Hats for The Women's March on Washington D.C and Elsewhere w/mini TUT on: January 16, 2017 12:50:28 PM
I am going to Boston on Jan 21 for the Boston Women's March and I have friends that are going to D.C. or Hartford, CT too. I knit, but I don't have much time and I am not the fastest knitter, but with requests for Pussy Hats (https://www.pussyhatproject.com/), pink hats with cat ears, I came up with a faster method.

https://www.womensmarch.com/
http://bostonwomensmarchforamerica.org/
https://www.womensmarch.com/connecticut/

FLEECE. Wonderful, forgiving fleece. I bought 2 yards of pink fleece, one light one dark, on sale at JoAnns. 16 hats later I have made many women happy.



- Cut a piece of fleece 12" x 18".
- Turn up the short ends 3/4" and hem. I used a fancy stitch on my sewing machine, but a zig-zag would wurk. You want a bit of stretch. Or in a hurry? Fleece does not fray, so a nice straight raw edge works well, cut fleece to 12 x 16.5" if not hemming.
- Fold in half with right sides together and sew up the sides.
- Turn right side out and put on your head.
- Pinch the ears for a more cat like look.
- Go march or hold us all in your heart in solidarity.

Adjust width and length for larger or smaller heads.
24  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Easy Paper Ornaments for the Holidays - TUT on: December 21, 2016 08:11:10 AM
I've been making these easy holiday ornaments for a few years now and finally got around to taking pics of the process. I make them for gifts, for craft fairs, and just to have around for a quick thank you gift.



Supplies:
Decorative paper. Scrapbook paper is perfect, you can cut into 3 X 12 inch or 4 x 12 inch strips with no loss of paper. You do need to have paper that is 11 to 12 inches long. I have also glued wrapping paper and music scsores to a backing paper to have heavier paper to work with.
Scoring board or ruler and a scoring tool or something like a dull knife
Ruler
Paper cutter or Exacto knife
Buttons, ribbon, glitter, distressing ink as embellishments.

-I cut the paper to size. A 3 x 12 inch strip will give you a 3 inch ornament.
-Score the paper at 1/2 inch intervals. Test to see if scoring on the back or front of the paper works best. Scrapbook paper tends to crack, and scoring on the front seems to help. Don't press too hard, you may tear the paper.
-I use a scoring board...one of the best investments I have made. It also includes a diagonal for creating envelopes.
-Or use your ruler to mark 1/2 inch intervals and use a straight edge and dull knife or scoring tool to create the scores.
-Score down the center of the length.



-Fold in a fan fashion starting with a mountain fold, use your scoring tool or a flat edge to smooth the folds. Also fold in half lengthwise, then unfold. This is a good time to use distressing ink to give an aged look, or add glitter, or spritz with a mist of color.



-Fold the fan up and tie a string, floss, or florist wire, at the center. Keep it tight. Now fan out the folds and glue the edges together. I use binder clips to hold until the glue dries. Try to glue just the edges, but there will be some pull on these edges, so be thorough.





-When the glue dries, add embellishments. I take a big needle and embroidery floss and poke right through the paper in the center to sew on buttons, add lace or ribbon rosettes, and other do-dads. Tying a ribbon bow at the center works too. See below for another variation.
-Punch a hole or use your needle to add a hanging thread. Or use as bows on presents or make a garland!




25  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Zipper Critters...with tut. Very pic heavy on: November 11, 2016 11:40:30 AM
Every year I try to come up with something new for the sewing table at our church's fund raising Holiday craft fair. It's a very nice fair with lots of hand made and one of a kind items.

I felt the need to make cute little critters this year and these little guys can hold a special little treasure or note. I plan on filling the pouches with a treat before luring in prospective purchasers.

They have big eyes and a little pouch protected by big zipper teeth. Note: I added a photo at step 3.




I've made patterns for all the critters, but with a few modifications, they could become anything!
Materials:
- Contrasting fabrics for the body and belly
- Contrasting lining
- Felt for eyes, noses, beaks, heart, etc.
- Sport zipper. 7"-9", I actually prefer the longer one. You will be cutting off part of the zipper. Any zipper will work in a pinch.
- Poly stuffing
- Goodies to hide in pouch

I don't normally cut out the bodies until I'm ready to assemble, then stitch around the complete body as one of the last steps. But if you prefer to cut out the bodies, remember to add a 1/4" seam allowance.

Step 1: Prepare the front
- Cut out and applique the eyes, nose/tooth/beak, belly, tongue (if any), and heart. I use a fancy stitch on my sewing machine (it looks like a row of plus signs), but any applique method would work. Iron on interfacing works as well. Cut the front in half on the zipper line.



Step 2: Install the zipper
-Cut an approximate 2" x 3" piece of fabric from the body color. Fold in half and place over the top end of the zipper to shorten it (see the pictures). Stitch on each side to anchor. Leave the pull on the outside end. We'll be slipping that under this piece later. This way you don't have to try to stitch neatly around that bulky pull.
- Cut a piece of contrasting lining to match the upper and lower pieces of the front.
- Right sides together, stitch the top of the bottom front pieces to the zipper as shown below. Don't stitch too close to the zipper or you won't be able to slip the zipper pull under the fabric stop. Fold the pieces down and press. Top stitch.
- Repeat with the upper half. Note: for the dog/bunny, I shortened the upper lining to just below the ears.
- Now slip the zipper pull to the other side of the fabric zipper stop and trim the zipper away to just inside the body stitching line.



Step 3: Prepare the back and inside lining.
- Cut out the back. Stitch the back seam and tail leaving an opening in the center back for turning. Trim. Clip all curved seams and above and below the tail. Turn the tail and press the back seam open.
- Cut a piece of lining the same size as the finished back. For the dog/bunny, I shortened the lining to just under the ears. Add the lining to the inside side of the front. For the dog/bunny, it sewed the tops of the lining together just below the ears. See picture below.
- Note: I just noticed there is no piece for the Kandy Korn back. Fold the front pattern in half to create the back. Sew the top two colors together first and then treat as one piece when assembling.




Step 4: Join the front and back
- Match the front and back, right sides facing. I cut out the front pattern piece and pinned to the back to use as a stitching line. If you cut the fabric with a 1/4" seam allowance, match up all sides. Stitch around the complete body.
- Trim and clip all curves. Turn the body inside out.
- For the dog only, press the ears and fold over to the front. Stitch across the ears to create a floppy ear effect. You will be stuffing up to this fold/stitch line. See top photo.
- Stuff the critter starting with the ears and tails. Don't over stuff you you won't be able to fit anything in the zipper pouch.



Pattern pieces: These were made to fit on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet. Enlarge or reduce for different size creatures. They are all about 6 - 7 inches tall when finished.  If you want a PDF of the patterns, PM me with your email and I will send you the set.

26  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Baba Yaga and her House on Chicken Legs - Where will she go next - Pic heavy on: November 04, 2016 10:06:50 AM
This year was the Second Annual Trick or Trunk at our church. It was so fun to see all the decorated trunks and decorated kids. They (and we) had so much fun.

I love witches, especially old folk tale witches and Baba Yaga and her house that runs around on chicken legs is a favorite. I was so impressed that more kids recognized me than adults.

Everything was from my stash or old clothes except for the cardboard display board that became the basis for the house. Creating from stash is so fun!



The house was the most fun. Finding the black cardboard display board made it so much easier. Boxes for roof, window/door trim, details. Paper bags for siding. A crow, a skull or two and a string of candy corn lights that I picked up a few years ago on a dollar table. And lots of paint. I have a Diehard battery pack for jumping my car that has outlets. That made lighting the car so easy.



And Chicken Legs...made from chicken wire and paper mache. Toes were courtesy of paper toilet cores.



The mask was formed over a wig head and with an eye mask attached. I just kept adding layers and bits of paper mache until she looked wicked. I must have put 20 layers of paint, crackle, paint, more texture, various aging and coloring techniques. Until I was happy with the results...and a few moles.

The Hair was various strands of white and gray yarn, some unraveled, sewed to a lace piece, covered with a head scarf. It worked out well and used up lots of bits of yarn.



The costume was made from:
- some rust colored corduroy for the skirt
- an old linen shirt for the apron
- another linen shirt for Baba's shirt minus the collar and cuffs
- another woven brown shirt for the stole plus some patchwork and fringe
- old hiking boots and thermal underwear (it was quite a nice night, cool, but calm and pleasant!)
- a twig broomstick. She rides around in a mortar, propelled by sweeping with a broomstick.



27  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Little skulls all in a row...with tut on: October 01, 2016 03:21:17 PM
I needed a string of skull lights for Halloween decorations, but I can't find any this year. Eyeballs and pumpkins, but no skulls. I haven't really searched anywhere, I draw the line at 3 stops. I did find little skulls, but at a rather high price. I have a rule about Halloween costumes and deco....the cheaper the better and if I can make it, so much better and fun.

So I made some skulls.



I took two styrofoam balls, one about 2 1/2 inches and one smaller, maybe 1" I cut the smaller one in half to serve as the lower face/jaw and wrapped both in plastic wrap. I made two of these. I should have made more as waiting for the paper mache to dry slowed the process. After the first set, the second set stuck to the plastic, so I coated the form with a bit of vaseline. You could make larger ones with larger balls or balloons.



I made dents for the eyes. I used a 2-1 mix of Elmer's glue and water and newspaper torn into strips. I used about 3 layers of paper.

Then I trimmed and painted with a layer of black, some cracking with a layer of glue and graypaint, a touch up layer, eyes and details, then a coat or two of gloss gel. I used a sharpie to draw the features. I did not go for realism, but character. They are not lights, but hung with white christmas lights, it should work.



I'll post the complete display when finished.
28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Stash buster patchwork wrap skirt on: September 02, 2016 02:21:59 PM
I love wrap skirts...they grow and shrink with you. And so comfy.

I have a patchwork wrap skirt made by women in Africa out of sun washed recycled fabric in yellows and blues. It's wonderfully worn, faded and unfortunately, falling apart. The skirt was not made very well in the first place and the fabrics are now, after many washings, just too thin. I've patched and sewn and hoped. But now I need a new one.

This is 100% from stash and I wanted a partial rainbow effect, or ombre effect with the patches. It was a bear to figure out and there were a few rip-rips along the way. I miscalculated the hem patches and had to add pieces to fill in.

I also changed my mind on several fabric choices, had to scrounge more and cut way too many blues...no problem, they became the tie belt.

I just love it!





I made a chart, but it still was a lot of figuring out along the way to get the colors to fall in the right places...somewhat. Keep in mind that you want the waist to be able to wrap at least 1/3 to 1/2 the way around you. The front hangs a little flat, so I wrap to get the diagonals in front. Vary the size of the squares or add more to get the width and length you want.

29  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / I love NINNIs! on: August 26, 2016 06:48:36 AM
I love these little Ninni swaps. They are so cute and easy to make and fun. Simply fun. Here's the gallery https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=449843.0

My partner loves Nancy Drew, so what better than a Ninni Drew, Nancy's little sister. She has a few of her sister's books, and Nancy's old flashlight and magnifying glass.

The props were made out of paper clay and painted. The lens is a large flat glass marble thingy and the lens of the flashlight is a small jiggly eye. The books were simply printed out old covers.

The pleated skirt was the hardest. I had not made little pleats since my DD was just a little thing (she's in her 30's now). But I managed, it's a bit wonky, but looks good on Ninni. I made the back plain, no costume/embellishments...is that cheating? And the bag was repurposed from another doll I received in a swap. My friends niece co-opted the doll and the bag stayed behind. Sometimes you just have to let them find their own home.







30  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Oh baby, what happened to you? on: July 01, 2016 01:25:21 PM


I picked up a porcelain baby doll at a yard sale, ill fitting dress and minimal features. To me she was creepy. So what did I do? Make her even more creepy. Luckily, she is now living with WiccadWitch, who seems to love her more than I could. It's nice when your children are loved by someone else. Here she is in her innocent glory.



She hit the terrible twos and look at her now.



I used alcohol to clean the porcelain parts then coated her with several layers of gesso, sanding between coats. Then I painted her black. I used the tried and true "Elmer's glue cracked paint" technique to get the cracked look. You paint on Elmer's glue, medium thick, let it get a bit tacky (don't wait too long), then paint a to coat of acrylic paint. I used an off white craft paint. Let it dry. You don't have to cover the area completely with glue, in fact it looks a bit more realistic if you leave some areas uncracked. I wanted a very aged look, so I was a bit heavy handed.

The wounds were drawn/painted on, with a heavier white craft glue and left to dry. It left a raised area that I then painted with dark red blood and black stitches. I used black and brown pastels to create additional ageing, a coat of gloss gel, then more ageing with brown distressing ink. The ink runs a bit when you put a coat of gloss gel over it, but that actually worked well.



Her dress was made from an old cotton table runner. I made up the pattern as I went, lots of experience with doll clothes  here. And I wasn't too concerned if it fit her well, I wanted it a bit loose. Then I aged, ripped and bloodied it up.



She needed to travel safely, so I made a coffin packing case to fit inside the shipping box. That was fun, and ended up presenting her quite nicely. A spider web veil and she left in style. I truely could not keep her myself, my wife just could not bear to look at her! Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

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