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31  30 & Flirty! in Quilting: Completed Projects by grammardog on: March 29, 2009 08:39:23 AM
I made this quilt to mark the 30th birthday of a friend.  I gave it to her last night, and she was pleased as punch with it.  Huzzah!  I named it in homage to everybody's favourite guilty pleasure movie, "13 Going on Thirty" (DON'T TRY TO DENY IT OKAY).

This is the quilt pre-washing:

I was terrified to wash it because of the red binding.  Red is known for dye transference, and even though I had pre-washed everything, I was nervous.  As it turned out, I had good reason to be nervous... the dye did, indeed, run.  However, there are only a few small spots where that's evident, and they're not that noticeable.  Here is the post-washed quilt, with that bit of crinkle-shinkiness I love so much with the cotton battings:

Thanks for looking!
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32  Space-efficient earring holder made from stuff around the house! in Completed Projects by grammardog on: February 15, 2009 01:18:51 PM
I think I have this in the right category!  It doesn't seem to fit elsewhere.

I've had dozens of earrings just lying around the house, falling under the night table, getting knocked to the floor by the cat, never together in a pair, etc.  I have a tiny apartment and am very pressed for flat surfaces upon which to store things, so instead of getting a jewelry box, I wanted some kind of holder that would hang on the wall.  I decided to make something myself out of things I had lying around.

I took a bit of hardwood left over from a carpentry project, sawed it up into pieces and put together a rough, not-too-particular frame using some wood glue.  I then painted the frame the same green as my bedroom wall ("Shakespeare" from Glidden, in case you're wondering... someone always asks!) to make it blend in.  Then I took a piece of lace I had in my scrap bin and covered the frame tightly with it, stapling it often at the back to keep it taut.  Voila... almost-instant earring holder!  Most of the earrings will just poke easily into the holes in the lace, but I have one or two pairs without a "U" shaped hook, so I just used a safety pin to hold those pairs.  Easy, quick, purty, space-efficient, and I can see all of my earrings at once!

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33  "Sopranos"-inspired Guess Who game! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by grammardog on: December 09, 2008 07:27:01 PM
I finished a Christmas gift for a friend tonight that I am SO EXCITED ABOUT!  I converted a Guess Who game that I picked up from a thrift shop for two bucks into a Sopranos edition of the game!  (I realize that these products are copyrighted and all, but it's not for profit.)  I'm super proud not only because I think it looks sweet, but because it was one of those things where I bought the game months ago with this idea, and in the back of my mind I didn't really believe I'd ever get around to it.  But it's done!

Here is the whole game laid out:

I interneted the character photographs and resized them all to the size of the little flippy things on the game boards.  This was a huge pain for me, as I'm not very computer-savvy and had to do each one manually.  I'm sure there was an easier way, but I didn't know it.  Then I took the files to a print shop to have them printed on cardstock, since I don't have a printer myself.  I painstakingly cut each one out and wrote the name of the character on it.  Then, because I'm too cheap for lamination, I PAINSTAKINGLY covered each one in a layer of packing tape to protect them from Sally's grubby fingers. 

In retrospect, I wrote some of the names too low to the bottom of the face cards, so some of them are kind of hidden behind the little white frames.  But if you don't know the names of these dudes, your license to play is REVOKED.

I also printed an extra copy of each character photo for the cards, and covered the cards with tape, as well.  Another retrospective thought - I wish I had not used a Sharpie marker to write the character names on the cards, as it kind of bled through the cardstock, and if you really wanted to cheat, you could probably at least see the length of the name on your opponent's card.  If I get a chance, I might add an extra layer of cardstock, and then, I GUESS, have them laminated. 

The box is pretty much my favourite part of the whole craft.  I'm SURE most folks would know how to download a free font, but I definitely couldn't.  So instead I found a "mobster" font, went to the alphabet page, took a screen capture of the page, and manually enlarged the letters I needed in Photo House.  This made them all pixelated, but I just manually traced around the edges, and carefully handcut all the letters (check out that tiny gun "R" - it took forever!)  I freehanded the big gun (SNORT) based on the gun in the font, and covered that S.O.B. with silver glitter.  And seriously, folks, I am not generally a fan of gun motifs in crafting, but I am super proud of the way that one turned out.  Also, it's The Sopranos... a gun is necessary, obvz. 

The only addition I am hoping to make to the game is to find tiny little toy guns to use as score markers instead of the Battleship-type pegs that come with the game.  Score markers aren't necessary, but wouldn't that be fun?  The "barrel" of the gun would have to be super tiny in diameter, so I'm not holding my breath. 

Thanks for looking!
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34  Re: Knitted Bathmat - A Bedsheet Re-Purposed! in Knitting: Completed Projects by grammardog on: September 27, 2008 01:07:01 PM
Thanks!  I used HUGE needles... they say 35 on the end, but I don't know what kind of measurement that is.  Here is a picture of them, though, with cat for scale:

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35  Knitted Bathmat - A Bedsheet Re-Purposed! in Knitting: Completed Projects by grammardog on: September 21, 2008 06:04:49 AM
I used this awesome tutorial:


as the inspiration to make this item today. It's a former cotton bed sheet with a tear in it that I decided to recycle into something more useful... a quick-n-dirty knitted bathmat!

Here's my cat Bea Arthur giving it the once over.  He never misses a photo op:

Yep, he likes it... you can tell because of how he's about to knead the crap out of it.  NO, KITTY!

Here it is all rescued from the cat, wrapped up pretty, and ready to give away:

I just tore the bedsheet into thin strips, attached the strips together as described in the tutorial and went at it. It only took me four or five hours while chatting with a friend on my couch with margaritas. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first as it was knitting up, but now it's so squishy, soft, and purposeful that I just love it.   
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36  OW MY NECK in Quilting: Completed Projects by grammardog on: July 31, 2008 03:40:55 PM
Pre-trimming threads and ironing, but here is my most recent quilt, made for a friend's wedding on Saturday.  I have been cramming to get it done, and thus, the subject line above.

It's foundation pieced, took eight lifetimes to complete, and weighs six thousand pounds, which is why it is dragging on the grass from the clothesline in this photo.

I based the design on a lovely quilt I saw in New Zealand Quilter magazine... unfortunately I didn't copy down the artist's name.  Sorry, karma!  Also, I think hers was possibly about a woman's right to choose or something?  And mine is about... uh... pretty.

Thanks for looking!  I am pretty chuffed about this one, even though it's got its flaws.
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37  A dozen cotton shirts equals this. in Quilting: Completed Projects by grammardog on: July 08, 2008 09:24:26 PM
This is a commissioned quilt I (finally) finished a few weeks ago.  I was asked to make a quilt from the old shirts of a friend whose father had recently died.  All of the fabrics in the top are from his clothes except for the red.  I threw that in to break up the blues and greens, and also because I wanted to put something in the quilt that represented her life and her father always being with her. 

Some of the fabrics were really difficult to work with, so I expected a much shoddier product. I'm pleased with the result It's masculine and kind of homey and cozy, all things I think the recipient was hoping for.  She loved it!

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38  Twenty bucks + stacks of Vanity Fair magazines = New Faux Headboard/Artwork! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by grammardog on: May 18, 2008 11:25:52 AM
I've never had a headboard on my bed, and I hate that look... I feel like the bed looks unfinished, like you're staying there temporarily, or like you're in a college dorm.  Well, yesterday, since I have a quilt that has to be finished in four weeks and I'm nowhere near close, I decided to ignore that project altogether and finally make something that, although not a headboard, would give the illusion of being a part of the bed, and finishing the look. 

I saw a really cool project done with old magazines on the internerd a while back (it may have even been on Craftster?), so I took my inspiration from that.  Unfortunately I can't remember where I saw the project that inspired this one... if anyone knows who it was, please let me know as I would love to credit the artist with the original idea!  (EDIT:  Patricia Zapata had the idea originally!  Check out her awesome work:  http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2008/01/create_junk_mail_art_craft_vid.html)

I went to Michaels, got these awesome $8 frames (although if you get a really nice cashier, she'll let you buy one at a time and use the 50%-off-one-item coupon three times).  I also got three large sheets of textured white paper for a couple of bucks each.  I mixed in an Exacto knife, some hand-drawn stencils, a handful of old Vanity Fair magazines, so for about $20 and eight hours of The Golden Girls, I got these!

I made them by tearing out sheets from the magazines that were mostly purple, brown, and green.  I sliced them into strips and glued them onto a flat sheet of bristol board, alternating them with strips of plain text.  Then I cut the floral design into the textured paper.  The prints are not matted, but I cut the edges of the flowers flat so that they would look like they were matted.  Then I just taped the board with the strips on it to the underside of the stenciled paper and popped them into the frame.

I believe this brown one is very similar to the original design I saw online, although I believe the strips were multi-coloured in that one, and the flower a bit different:

I'm least excited about this green one... I feel like it doesn't quite fit in because it's not full enough, but was too tired of Exacto-ing to go back and re-do it.  I wonder if I tried putting in a couple of leaves?  Or would it just look crowded...

Purple hibiscus:

Here is a close-up.  I just noticed that there are at least two instances of the word "sex" in this one, which I hope brings good luck to my bed.  One of them has a question mark on the end, though... that might not bode well.

I'm so excited that I actually managed to finish these, and even hang them!  (It's absolutely true that I am most productive when I have a task that needs doing, but unfortunately what's produced is never related to the task that needs doing.)  Now I need to go pick up eight thousand tiny bits of Vanity Fair in my living room. 

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39  Scrappy quilty pillows! in Quilting: Completed Projects by grammardog on: January 27, 2008 07:42:56 PM
I made these pillows a while back for a friend out of scraps left over from other projects.  They were really fun to make after working on some labour intensive quilting projects... even the handstitching to close the sides was relaxing.  I am kind of proud of myself for finishing these, because usually when it comes to that last step where you have to do something by hand, I put projects in the closet where they sit for an as-yet-undetermined length of time.

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40  "Red Square" in Quilting: Completed Projects by grammardog on: August 12, 2007 06:34:55 PM
Here are some links to a wedding quilt I just finished for a friend... a far cry from my last very traditional, cottage-y quilt.  It's based on someone else's brilliant design.  I ended up tying this one instead of handquilting it as planned, because the wedding is fast approaching, and I was making slooooooow progress.  I'm so relieved it's finally done!

It looks quite wrinkly, especially at the edges, because I hung it on the clothesline after washing it and haven't pressed it yet.  So impatient.

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