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11  Christmas cards -- fabric scraps and buttons in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by dink on: December 23, 2008 04:22:38 PM
Still trying to make a dent in my fabric stash.   And this year I inherited my grandmother's button collection.  There was only one solution...

Thanks for looking! Smiley
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12  A bit of computer art in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by dink on: September 18, 2008 04:43:47 AM
My husband is a computer artist (ie. his does most of his art on the computer.   These days he starts with a pencil sketch, scans it in, then goes crazy with it in Photoshop).  Here's his latest picture, currently my second favourite of all his work. Smiley

There's a bigger version here.  I wish I had half his talent as an artist.  I suppose I can content myself with the knowledge that he's terrible at sewing. Cheesy
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13  Birthday book in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by dink on: September 05, 2008 03:37:53 AM
I forgot a friend's birthday this year, because I didn't bother to transfer all last year's birthdates over to this year's diary.  The guilt I felt at missing her birthday prompted me to search for a little birthday book.  For some reason all the birthday books in the shops were marred with fairies and flowers and inspirational quotes etc.  I didn't want any of that -- I just wanted somewhere to keep track of people's birthdays every year, so I decided to make my own.

Then the project stalled for a month or two because I couldn't find a way to make the pages look neat and uncluttered -- my handwriting is not the neatest.  Anyway, it occurred to me yesterday that I could just print the calendars out on thick, coloured paper.  All I had to do was work out which half of which month would go on which half of which side of which piece of paper... and after that it was easy!

Here's August and April:

It's just 15 sheets of paper and one sheet of cardboard, folded across the middle and stapled together.  I left the last few pages blank for notes (in case I think of an amazing gift for someone when it's not near their birthday -- now I'll have somewhere to jot it down):

I used a blank blue sheet of paper to hide the messy parts were the cover's cover is stuck down:

And I covered it with some pretty Indian wrapping paper that I bought in Ikea last year:

I'm really pleased with how it turned out!  Hope you like it too. Smiley
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14  Skanky threadbare office chair transformed! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by dink on: September 05, 2008 02:58:36 AM
I have a habit of sitting with both my feet up on the office chair, cross-legged in a not-quite-lotus position.  This is comfortable for me, but disastrous for the chair:

It's been like that for two years!  But we've just re-organised the office (so that it's more like an office and less like a really big cupboard) and I decided to seize the moment and finally reupholster that tatty old chair.


I say "seize the moment" but it took a lot longer than a moment.  Unscrewing the seat was easy.  Stapling the fabric to the underside of the seat was easy.  Removing the back was not easy.  I spent a looong time searching on the internet for instructions on how to get the back off without breaking the chair.  All I could find were pictures of reupholstered chairs, and helpful comments like "take the back off" with no details on how to actually do it.  So, for anyone considering reupholstering an office chair, I offer the following advice:  to dismantle the back you have to jam a long screwdriver down in between the padded fabricky part and the plastic part, then prise the plastic part off with all your strength.  After a few seconds, the back will surprise you with a couple of loud "pop"s, and magically it will be in two separate pieces.  The end.

I really love how this chair looks now.  So smart!  So modern!  So pretty!  It's covered with an Ikea canvas fabric that I bought last year.  It was love at first sight, but I hadn't been able to find the right project for it, until now.

Now all I have to do is train myself not to sit with my feet up on the chair...
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15  lots and lots of tote/shopping/carrier bags in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by dink on: March 02, 2008 07:05:44 AM
I'm in the middle of Operation De-clutter 2008 and was horrified to discover a couple of hundred plastic bags stashed away in a cupboard.  We've been using the same two cardboard boxes for our regular supermarket shop for the last five years.  And I never accept plastic bags from shops if I already have one.  But still -- 250 plastic bags pointlessly stashed away.  And I calculate we've probably thrown away a further 600, because we use them to line the little waste-paper baskets around the house.  So that's nearly 1000 plastic bags in five years.

I was so ashamed of this that I decided to once-and-for-all stop using plastic bags.  And I decided to try and get my friends and family to do it too.

So here's some of what I made in the last few weeks:

There were others -- I made 30 altogether -- but I'd already given them away when I took that picture.

It was a great project!  I got to use up the last of my ratty old charity shop duvet covers:

and use up some of my most unusable fabrics:

and cut down some of my stash (which tied in nicely with Operation De-clutter 2008):

And it was fun, too.  I followed the morsbag pattern, which has lots of nifty little details.

Another photo of the bags en masse:

Finally, a less attractive photo, so you can see what 250 plastic bags look like when they're emptied out all over the floor:

Looking at that, I can't understand how I could ever have accepted a plastic bag.  They're so ugly, compared with fabric ones.

EDITED TO ADD:  I forgot to say, but I spent a whole morning sorting those plastic bags out.  I set aside all the ones that were torn (and later on threw them away, since the inefficient little rock that I call home has no facility for recycling plastic).  I removed all the receipts.  I divided them by size into small, medium and large.  I folded them up and squished them together with elastic bands.  And yesterday I took them all down to the local charity shop (where I bought the ratty duvet covers, actually) where the lady behind the counter seemed very pleased to receive them.  The End! Cheesy
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16  Flouncy green skirt from a ratty old duvet cover in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by dink on: February 24, 2008 08:53:34 AM
This is a bit wordy.  Feel free to scroll down to the pictures! Cheesy

I'd been keeping an eye out for a suitably retro duvet cover or sheet to appear in my local charity shop and, after six months of fruitless searching, one finally turned up!  It was still covering a disgusting, stained, old, nasty duvet, which obviously I did not want.  This led to a surreal bit of haggling.

Shop lady:  That'll be 2.50 then.
Me:  Okay.  Oh, and I don't want the duvet itself, if that's all right.
Shop lady:  Oooh, in that case it's just 1.50.
Me:  2.50 is fine!
Shop lady:  I couldn't do that, no.  1.50, please.
Me:  But it's for charity!
Shop lady:  1.50.

Anyway, I took it home and washed it and pressed it and loved it and thought about it. And I used some of it to make four shopping bags.  But I still had some left over, and it occurred to me that I could make a skirt.

So I cut six elongated bell shapes out of newspaper, sellotaped them together, and tried the ensuing paper skirt on.  It looked like a big paper bell, which wasn't what I was going for.  So I trimmed it a bit and restuck it.  And trimmed it a bit more.  And so on, until I had something that looked like it might be nice if it wasn't made of paper.

And then I made the skirt!


I sewed some ribbon to the front panels, so that it'd look fancy and swanky and dressy and not totally like an old duvet:

I wrangled with the concealed zip until it just about worked, although the bottom of it is a little lumpy when it's fastened up:

Luckily, I already had a bright green button (which I'd bought for another project and failed to use, as is the case with nearly all the buttons in my stash):

And finally,  my favourite part of any home-made skirt:  the lovely contrast between the lining and the waistband:

I love it so much! Cheesy
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17  Re: Labyrinth Quilts -- 2 quilts! in Quilting: Completed Projects by dink on: February 22, 2008 04:23:00 PM
I had a PM from someone wanting to know a bit more about how I made the first labyrinth quilt, so here are a couple of hopefully helpful diagrams.

First, the various different kinds of patches needed, and how many of each to make.  The squares are based on a 5x5 grid so the first stripy one is just five 1-inch-wide strips, each 5 inches long (measurements not including the seam allowances), all sewn together:

Second, how the patches are put together:

The top two big corner chunks are the easiest, because they're just made of corners and stripes.  The top and middle centre strips are the next easiest to put together because it's pretty hard to get them wrong once you've sewn the first two together.  The bottom two big corner chunks are a bit more tricky because they've both got two irregular patches hidden in there.  And the bottom centre strip is the hardest bit of all...

And once those big chunks and strips are made, it's just a question of sewing them all together and hoping like crazy that the seams all match. Cheesy

Anyway, I hope that helps.  And thanks for the PM, Marty!  You've inspired to dig out the half-finished labyrinth that's lurking at the bottom of my WIP box.

If there's anything else you need to know, just let me know. Smiley

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18  Tudor rug for dolls' house -- cross-stitch in Needlework: Completed Projects by dink on: February 20, 2008 01:39:48 PM
My sister collects vintage dolls' houses and furniture, and was very gleeful about the Tudor-style furniture set she'd accumulated.  The massive fireplace has a shield on it that she thought would look very good as a wall-hanging or centrepiece to a rug.  I rather stupidly volunteered to make her a rug, so she went off and created a design that made me wish I'd never suggested doing it.  I had to fudge it a lot because five-petalled flowers are a bit tricky to render in a small grid, but I think it worked out all right.

Here it is in all its glory:

And here's a close-up of the corner, so you can see how dodgy the five-petalled flower is:

And the centre shield:

And here's the back, next to an orange so you can see how small it turned out:

And here's the fireplace, with the original shield design that inspired the whole thing:

Thanks for looking! Smiley
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19  silk squares in squares quilt, with bonus cushions! in Quilting: Completed Projects by dink on: August 29, 2007 11:30:15 AM
Here's a lap-quilt I made for my then-boyfriend (now husband!) a few years ago.  The colourful squares are all made from shot silks, but the navy-blue border is just plain cotton.  It's machine-pieced and machine-quilted.  Getting the points to match was a NIGHTMARE -- triangles are not my friends.  Not sure if you can tell, but I arranged the blocks so you'd see a red star and a burgundy star, if you knew to look for them.

Our central heating isn't great so we've had a lot of use out this little quilt!

(The colour is a little washed out in the picture.  The silks are a lovely, rich,  jewel tone in reality.)

I had some silk left over -- not enough for another quilt, though -- so I cut it up into little squares and told myself I'd make some cushions to match.  Two years later I came across the squares in a paper bag and remembered what it was I'd been planning to give him for Christmas all that time ago...  Anyway, I finally made them this year.  Machine-quilting cushions is sooooooo much easier than machine-quilting quilts!

(Click on the thumbnail to embiggen)

Hope you like them. Smiley
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20  quilted/patchworked cushion covers (IMAGE HEAVY) in Quilting: Completed Projects by dink on: August 04, 2007 11:34:14 AM

I wasn't sure where to put this, but since it's predominantly about patchworking, and since the project was inspired by a couple of things I've seen here in the quilting forum, this seems like the best place!

Here are a couple of cushion covers that I made for a friend last week.  She's just started a new job and moved house all at the same time and I thought she might need something cheering to keep her going through all the upheaval.  The pattern is inspired by a quilt I saw here that was inspired by a Denyse Schmidt quilt.  I chose the colours after seeing a couple of quilty projects here that used red and aqua/turquoise.

Anyway, here they are!  Click on the thumbnails to enlarge. Smiley

Here they are, roaming free in their natural habitat:


Some details on the zip and the (very simple) quilting:


The cushions, face on:


Not sure if you could see the labels sticking out of one corner on each cushion.  I wrote a little note on each one, just saying who they're for and who they're from. Smiley

Hope you like them, and thanks for the inspiration!
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