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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Quilt Block Pattern Recommendations on: July 22, 2018 09:49:12 AM
Hi everyone! So, I'm very much not new to sewing, and I'm confident that my skills will translate, and I've done some basic quilt-like things, like pinwheel potholders and such, but I've really never made a quilt. To be honest, I'm not sure I will be able to make the WHOLE quilt. But I bought some fabric yesterday, and well, I need block recommendations for a new quilter.

See, periodically I take advantage of good sales at Fabric Mart, and a while back they had precut "kits" that came with fabric and a pattern. This one is 1 3/4yd of the dark batik and 5/8yd of the lighter one, plus the pattern, for $3.

The pattern itself is quite interesting, and retailed for $19, but I like it in the drapey linen much better than the more structured batik. But the batik was beautiful colors, and all in all, it seemed like a no-brainer. Then I watched a bunch of videos featuring Edyta Sitar... Dangerous! So, I went to the fabric store yesterday with a 30% off total purchase of Keepsake Calicos fabrics (reg and sale priced) and the two batiks, and this happened:

Actually, all of them are Keepsake Calicos, the Keepsake Calicos were also on sale 40% off, AND the yellow tonal is the only one I got off the non-clearance rack. Everything else came from the dotted clearance rack at Joanns and were 50% off. As a result of how I bargain shop, I know these are somewhat disparate patterns. And I know that there isn't a really balanced mix of dark/light or large/small... I probably need to pick a solid or solid-like background fabric. The gray-background floral might be a binding or backing fabric... I bought the most of it. Plus, although the overall pattern on that one is fairly large-scale, used in small pieces for a quilt, it would work as a medium-sized print. But the thing is, I really just thought they all looked beautiful together somehow, even though they were all so all over the place as far as print-theme and etc. I know there are formulas out there for how to balance types and colors of print, and I'm dead sure I broke all the rules, but it's just pretty, is all. (Plus, I then stopped at the Goodwill before heading home, and found a new-in-package cotton blend full-sized quilt batting for $4. So I took that as a sign.)

So, really, I am just wondering if there are certain block patterns that would lend themselves better to me being careless with my pattern mixing. And possibly advice on maybe a final fabric or two to add in to balance it out?
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Just Another Star Wars Scarf on: July 17, 2018 08:44:47 AM
So, my sister married a man with half-grown twin sons. For their first Christmas with us, I wanted to give them something hand-made, but the wedding was in September, and I barely had time to make ANY hand-made gifts that year, going straight from wedding crafting to frantic Christmas crafting. But I DO have one of the Innovations knock-off circular knitting machines, which make super cozy scarves. The boys share everything, but aren't big fans of matching stuff, AND they are nerdbabies after my own heart, so I decided to make them a pair of Star Wars scarves, one Alliance and one Imperial, and they switch around as the mood strikes them.

Each scarf is just a little shorter than the boys are tall, so they should be wearable for many years. For the length and fringe they use about 1 1/3 skeins of (I THINK?) Vanna's Choice, just because it was on sale when I needed it, and then scraps of the contrast color, which was done in duplicate stitch after the main body was knitted. The Innovations machine isn't awesome (but I did get it NIB for $10 at a thrift store, so it works exactly as well as I paid for), and I don't have a great setup to be able to properly weight the knitting, but as long as one is careful, and maybe slower but steady, it's pretty easy to grab mistakes as they happen, and knitting a 5ft long scarf takes very little time.

I made up the charts for the symbols based on the gauge I got, which is a different aspect ratio than most handknitting, and with a couple of exceptions I think they turned out great. I don't really like white duplicate stitch on black; it just doesn't look as well as a dark on light. And I would adjust a stitch or two on the Alliance symbol; the outside curve just where the arms start is a little wonky.

15823079_10154968795602164_4365307807818707418_n by Melissa Rotert, on Flickr
15823646_10154973273217164_9060075620887514462_n by Melissa Rotert, on Flickr

3  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Re: Descent into madness: Small Mice on: July 05, 2018 09:25:26 AM

I have to admit, although I should be ashamed to do so, that every time I say "thormouse", I imagine myself making the Pun Husky face. I have considered making him a Mjolnir about the same size he is. I figure that if the Thormouse is worthy of wielding Mjolnir, it wouldn't matter what size it was, Thormouse would still be able to lift it, so why not make it just comically huge.
4  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Descent into madness: Small Mice on: July 05, 2018 07:50:18 AM
A couple of years ago I helped a LYS owner to get ride of some old stock of knitting machines and coned yarn, and consequently I have quite a few cones of basically baby/sport weight yarn. I got bored and was playing with some of it, and found this little pattern:


And then this happened:

I gave him to my kid, who named him Squabbles and pinned him to the shoulder of her brownie sprite costume for Ren Faire. (She has since been promoted to a full fairy, and Squabbles has retired to her fairy house.)

But that all got me thinking, and then this happened:

And then, this:

At which point, I was honestly starting to wonder how my life had taken this turn and where I would wind up.

And then I learned.

It is a thormouse.

The fairy mice are all made with base colors from the knitting machine yarn, and wee wings and skirts from scraps and bits of leftover sock and baby yarns. Thormouse is made from a collection of KnitPicks Palette I bought a while back in a grab bag at Goodwill, that sort of obviously was leftovers from someone else making a plushie of some kind. Except the silver bits that hold on his cape, which are just some random metallic crochet thread of which I also had scraps.
5  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Iris Flower Skirt on: May 01, 2018 05:40:35 PM
Thank you! It's a labor of love, but honestly, it didn't take long, even including the failed attempt to wire the petals before I decided to use the Worbla. It was actually a successful attwmpt to wire the petals, I just didn't like the way it looked.
6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Iris Flower Skirt on: May 01, 2018 07:57:25 AM
My kid is a part of the fae cast at an area Ren Faire this year, and the costume is based around a Granny's Cloak moth and a purple/yellow bearded iris. The entire costume isn't yet finished (faire is a WHOLE FIVE DAYS AWAY...) but the skirt part is basically done, and I am really pleased with how it came out. The rest of the costume is a pair of yellow leggings cut off to just below the knee like a pair of breeches, a mid-purple jerkin/vest and a yellow blouse, wings made of custom-printed chiffon from Spoonflower, and a headpiece with custom-dyed ostrich feathers to look like moth feelers, and I will probably post it when finished.

Here it is from behind. The petals sit one over each hip and one like a bustle.

The front is open so as not to obstruct movement too much. Sitting will require a little getting used to, but shouldn't be too bad.

And here's a little bit about how I got there:
I started with plain white polyester satin because that's what was on sale. I got some RIT DyeMore Synthetic, in yellow and purple, and used a Crock Pot dye bath. (I then also set the color with an iron after thorough rinsing and light wash, but this piece isn't meant to be washed, really, so I also wasn't terribly worried about the dye being colorfast during laundering.

First dye bath was a dip-dye in the purple. (I also dyed a piece of fabric for the waistband and a jerkin/vest.)

Then, a dip-dye in yellow.

Next, I painted each petal with acrylic paint, allowed to dry for 24 hours, and set the paint with an iron. I did not use fabric medium. I wanted to add the bit of stiffness.

I created structures for the upper part of the petals out of Worbla and punched holes in them, sewed a piece of marabou down the center vein of each petal, then stitched the petal to the Worbla using buttons as anchors to prevent stress points.

Then I sewed the petals onto a waistband, again using the buttons as anchors, and the whole thing is further supported by a belt.

All in all, I think it looks quite strikingly realistic.
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Cross Stitch Shoes on: May 01, 2018 07:17:17 AM
These are so great! I'm so happy you did it!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: Leggings Set from Self-Designed Fabric on: March 17, 2018 10:39:23 AM
Cheesy This pattern is so simple and versatile. I almost made the gray shorts into a skirt with under shorts thing, but decided my scrap pieces weren't quite big enough. But yeah, I cut and sewed, including all the modifications, three pair in about 2 hours, and even though I don't have a serger, they are all good and sturdy. Definitely better than store bought.
9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: Leggings Set from Self-Designed Fabric on: March 17, 2018 10:05:45 AM
Thanks. Smiley I'm pretty used to getting dirty looks, or even just quizzical looks, for my sometimes-unconventional crafting (like, I am making kilt hose, yes they are for a man who wears a kilt,) but I didn't think putting stretch lace on the cuff of baby leggings would be quite as controversial as it seemed to the woman I asked...lol

Meanwhile: updated the first post with the rest of the leggings! I'm so happy with how I got three (plus a bonus) pretry different styles out of one pattern.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: Leggings Set from Self-Designed Fabric on: March 16, 2018 09:29:33 AM
Thanks! Cheesy I'm really happy with how the fabric came out, and my little grand-niece LOVES the purple alien. She's talking in that sort of shorthand way that toddlers have that really only their mothers understand with regularity, but she's been saying "A-een" since she got the first pair of leggings. Cheesy
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