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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / recycled sweater quilt with some instructions on: November 20, 2017 05:43:10 AM
this is really a simple quilt to make, but if you put a lot of hand sewing, it can take time.

Cut squares, remember the fabric is stretchy and it will fight back.
 I like to keep pockets and other interesting features of the sweaters. I use about a 12 inch square.

Sew them together, in whatever colour pattern you like, just try to feed the fabric into the machine, as it will stretch a lot!

Abandon the notion of doing any machine quilting, unless you are a complete masochist. Lay the fabric on a fleecy blanket big enough to leave 1-2 inches on all sides. If you are clever (or very lucky) you will make your top so that it fits the underneath blanket, so you don't have any rough edges.

Using a big needle and some yarn, tie the sweater top to the bottom at the corners of each squares. ie literally poke the yarn through from the top, to the bottom, make a stitch about 1/2 inch and come back to the top, tie the two ends in a granny knot and cut off. I leave about 1/2-1 inch tails. This secures the whole lot

In the picture below you can see that I tie the quilt and have done a little bit of decorative running stitching here and there,

these are two different quilts, in the white bordered quilt. I tied at intervals and then hemmed the whole border to the face of the quilt.

This picture shows a pocket left into a white square. I added a patch because there was a hole in that sweater, plus the tied and hemmed border.

it is easy to do, and makes a super warm, heavy blanket, with the fleecy backing and the sweater top, there is no need for interlining

EDIT more detailed instructions,

1-wash your sweaters. I only do this before I sew up as I don't know how they will behave after. I like sweaters that feel nice, so I have used wool, cashmere wool mix, cotton and I think some acrylic. It makes things a little more difficult, but the weight of each sweater was vastly different, from cotton cables, to fine acrylics. It doesn't matter much what you use, honestly!

2-cut squares, I do about a 12 inch square, and try and keep pockets, ribs, raglan seams, cables, anything interesting, I've even kept on a button or two.

3-MACHINE sew all the squares together (I am not insane lol) Try as much as possible to not stretch when sewing and try and use a smallish stitch as it keeps all the yarn from unravelling, however it will stretch a bit, and curl and generally not want to behave. Remember who is boss

Do the next step in front of the TV as it does take a bit of time.

4-use a large fleece blanket. I have a notion you call it minky in the USA? or is that a finer fleece? It is the polyester soft throw/blankets/yardage that you get everywhere.

5-I don't use any interlining/batting. Get some help for this part. Lay your fleece down, good side to the floor. Center as much as possible your quilt top on the fleece, good side up. It should come around each side. I was really lucky with the white one, in that it was the perfect size, the white blanket already had a finished edge, which I didn't cut, so I was able to wrap it around and tie it off (and then a line of invisible hemming to hold it all down. Remember your top is stretchy, so it will distort, feel free to push/stretch to make it fit.

6-Start tie quilting here is a good instruction http://quiltingintherain.com/2010/11/how-to-tie-quilt.html Although I tie each stitch as I make it, . I always tie the intersections of the squares, this is where it is heaviest and I think where it is most likely to move and be strained. But looking at that link, you can also tie the middles. I work from the centre out, to each side, this keeps it from moving much.

7-Lastly I folded over the excess fleece to bring it to the front. I clipped off some of the corner fabric at this stage as it was all a bit bulky and just stitched under the raw edges at the corners. I did some ties all along the border, to hold it in place, but then realised it looked pretty. But the border was still a little too loose for my liking, so at this stage I could take the whole thing off the floor and onto my lap, where I used regular sewing thread to sew down the border to the quilt top all along.

8- You can do some more hand sewing to quilt, I have added another picture above, that shows some of the hearts and spirals I did on the quilt that I gave away. Also the edge of the first one was just a blanket stitch, I much prefer the second one, with the white edging as above, it is neater.
2  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Printing with regular stamps, flamingos, globes with a bonus of daleks and bees on: October 31, 2017 02:05:31 AM
I received this awesome layered flamingo stamp in a swap recently. So rather than stamp on paper, i thought I would have a go at stamping on some fabric that I had previously dyed. It worked really well. This is the final image. I used two different shades of pink and a brown. The stamp has three layers, I did alter it slightly as it had an other round dot for a cheek under the eye, which I didn't like,
 so I just chopped it out. I rolled out the ink all at the same time, which made the whole layering process pretty speedy.

Inspired by this I used a globe stamp that I had not even taken out of the packaging, and it worked great! TBH this was mostly to use up the ink because I had put so much out.

Then I started to think that it looked kinda cool and steampunky without the stand, so I inked each one carefully.

it all looked a bit timey wimey, so I busted out the dalek stamp that I cut ages ago (and then the bees) made a bit of trim and then spent ages cleaning up the unholy mess that I'd made.

3  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / please help me figure out how to make these. on: October 10, 2017 05:38:20 AM
I am munching on some chocolate cookies, they are small, about one inch in diameter, but really crunchy.

ingredients in order of amount (from the back of the packet!)
Glutenfree flours (maize, rice, potato tapioca, buckwheat)
veg margarine
concentrated fruit juice
raising agents (I can just use normal baking powder for this as I am not GF)
xanthan gum

Any ideas on this list. I guess the rice flour is giving the crunch? Or one of the others. I can sub in normal flour for all that.

I guess amounts, would be helpful if anyone has any thoughts. They are small, very chocolaty, but only 18cal a bite.

these are them

4  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Viking re-enactment costumes on: October 09, 2017 08:42:56 AM
I am a member of the SCA and we had a viking themed event at the weekend, I finally finished my viking garb.

There was a notable contribution by Roving Anarchist, she made the red apron dress and matching hat. and the tunic with battleaxe embroidery worn by my SO. Plus craftylittlemonkey made the pouch I am wearing and sent me some of the beads on my dress.

My coat is fully reversible and I made a plain white tee tunic to go underneath.

SO wears the tunic from RovingAnarchist with another plain white tunic and baggy pants.

Close up of the embroidery and beading detail (craftylittlemonkey sent me the gorgeous irregular blue beads on the bottom string)

then I travelled in time and wore flemish garb that I made some years ago.
A beaded chemise and a maroon underdress with a blue/yellow overdress. And removable sleeves (plus a fur stole from the thrift store)

5  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Book sleeve for my precious travel journal on: September 13, 2017 12:48:25 AM
So I have been on craftster for a while now, and quite a few years ago I was inspired by Phizzychicks travel journal, so I started one. As it happens in the first trip in that journal I met Phizzy, which was cool.

That journal lasted from 2008 until 2012, and included a big trip to the USA, a long road trip (6 weeks) across Europe and quite a few smaller trips. It finally filled up. In retrospect I would never have chosen that type of book as once it was filled, it bulges significantly and the metal spiral binding feels very fragile. I now make my own books for this kind of thing, with fabric covered board for the covers.

I had intended to make a book sleeve for it for ages and in a fit of gloom (aka craft something to cheer yourself up) I made this, it was a PITA, because I didn't measure properly, but it eventually came together . I covered it with some travel themed paper-badly, loads of wrinkles, but it protects the book, so I can live with it.

These are some book pages



Croatia (I have just realised that there are two Kali's in the book)

The protective book sleeve (with the book poking out-It does fit all the way in to protect all the tags and stuff)
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / cardboard shelving unit (with tute) cheap+easy on: September 04, 2017 02:48:05 AM
There are ton of great cardboard furniture tutes online, they are very precise and exact. I am more of a suck it and see type of crafter. I made a kind of hybrid cardboard/papier mache shelving unit to take some of the amazing shrines that I have received from craftster swaps in the past.

  • corrugated cardboard
  • masking tape
  • wallpaper paste/pva glue
  • newspaper
  • gesso-optional

Plan the dimensions of your shelving unit. I set out the things I wanted on the shelves and drew lines around them.

this back sheet remains uncut, you need the fronts of the shelves, I created a 'frame' for each opening of the shelves

Then decide the depth of the unit and cut cardboard strips to 'separate' the front from the back. You can use tape or hot glue to make the overall structure.
Each shelf is like a little box, so you need strips for the sides and the bottom of each shelf. This takes time!

Then the whole structure is covered with strips of newspaper dipped in glue, you can use wall paper paste or thinned PVA. This step makes the whole thing very wet and it will take a few days to dry.

I then painted a couple of coats of gesso on to to give a surface for painting, this is not necessary, you could build up a couple of layers of newsprint and use plain white copy paper for the top layer. but the gesso gives a nice textured surface.

Taking advantage of the surface roughness, I colour washed different shelves different colours.

7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Make me something inspired by my favourite poem(or song) on: August 29, 2017 11:37:29 AM
A disclaimer, I'm not much of a poetry person, but it might be cool to have a swap inspired by a favourite poem(or song) it would be so cool to see how it inspires someone else
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / The flamingos are escaping (new house number) and a flock in my bedroom on: April 27, 2017 02:26:43 PM
So I have a minor flamingo obsession, it started with lawn ones, because I like the kitschyness, mostly I have kept the rest of my collection to my bedroom. But these escaped

I live at number 8, but I haven't gotten around to getting a number, people are always moaning that they can't find the house. So in a fit of inspiration today, I free handed these. Crappy paints so I'll have to do something to protect them. But no-one is going to lose my house now!

I wasn't kidding about my bedroom. It's very small only about 10'x10' but there is a very substantial flamingo flock

9  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / arrghhhhhhh help. I may have used too much lye and water on: March 19, 2017 07:19:13 AM
Ok so I used a soap calculator for a mix of  olive oil and  shortening .

Unfortunately before I did this calculation I printed one where I estimated the amount of EVOO  and shortening to be 110,

I printed both and used the first amount of fats and the second amount of oils---ARRGH!  i am such an idiot.

It traced fine, I added in about a table spoon of honey, and about 3 teaspoons of essential oils.

I have basically added in 0.45oz of lye and 1.7oz of water too much. (I used 2.9oz lye and 8.14 of water) The weight of essential oils+ fats is about 20 oz

have I ruined it?Huh

other add ins included a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
10  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / recycled sweater quilt, tied, hand quilted on: February 23, 2017 02:20:05 AM
I made this for my partner in the geezer swap, she has received so I can post it now.

 There are a few in progress shots too. But the technique is fairly simple, lots of sweaters (I used about 6) cut them apart including the sleeves, I cut approx 10" squares, but I tried to keep interesting detail like shoulder decreases, or with cable sweaters, where the cables changed direction.

Sew together, this takes time as you do need to be a bit careful not to stretch the squares, Use a small stitch to prevent fraying.

When pieced it is heavy (this fits a queen bed) , And it didn't need any wadding, so I used two fleece blankets for the back.

Machine quilting was impossible as it would stretch too much. So I laid it flat on the floor, with the top facing up. Safetly pinned it together and then tied the corners of all the blocks (Using cotton knitting yarn and a darning needle)

laid out ready to trim the backing and hand quilt

I embellished it with lots of hand sewing, large running stitch to create quilting lines and a few motifs here and there.

The whole lot was finished with a blanket stitch around the edge, which I have to admit is not great stitching, but it looks honest and hand made.

It turned out way better than I thought part way through. It has incredible drapeablilty, it is heavy and so it is really cosy. I plan on making one for me next.
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