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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Scrappy Coaster with Ric-Rac on: May 27, 2018 06:59:16 PM

I tend to keep a water glass in the bathroom, and the place where I usually keep it is on the top of a painted-wood cabinet. I have been using a paper towel as a coaster, so I decided it was time for an upgrade. I also wanted to practice the technique for string quilts, so I thought a coaster would be a nice small project to try it out on.

First, I went through a bag of fabric scraps that a friend had recently given me. I created 2 color schemes (one with blues and yellows, and the other with aquas and yellows), and decided to use them both, but on opposite sides of the coaster. I considered quilting the coaster, but then I decided that 4 layers of fabric was enough, and that ric-rac would look really cute around the edge.

I traced a coaster-sized circle on the muslin that I'd be using as a base. It helped me to make sure that my fabric pieces were long enough.

I stitched each piece down, trimming them to various widths as I went. I only had to redo three of them (one was face down instead of right side up, and the other two needed to be adjusted to make sure I had enough of a seam allowance around the edges.

Then, I trimmed them into the circle shape, giving myself about 1/4" of seam allowance.

I basted on the ric-rac (I used yellow thread, just in case my stitching showed later on). I didn't know how to start and end it, so I fudged it, which resulted in one ric-rac "bump" being much smaller than the rest...but it's a coaster for the bathroom, so it's good enough Smiley

Then, I sewed the 2 sides together, leaving an opening for turning. Then, I topstitched to close the opening, and it was finished! This shows the two sides:

I love how the ric-rac looks, and once I find out how to start and end it neatly, I'll be using it in more projects in the future!

2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Interactive Life Cycle of a Frog TM Patch on: May 01, 2018 03:35:38 PM
In the latest TM Patch Swap, my partner, Inselaeffchen, said she'd like a patch to help her girls learn science. I know that frog (and butterfly) life cycles are something that elementary kids learn about in the US, and since I love frogs, I figured that I'd make the frog version. And, so that her girls could practice putting the stages in the proper order, I made it interactive! I attached each piece to the patch with a snap, so they could be removed and played with.

I had found this really cool frog life cycle fabric on Etsy (it was printed by Spoonflower), and it was absolutely perfect!

I have a non-interactive version in the works for myself Smiley
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / "Git 'Er Done" Jars on: March 30, 2018 09:11:17 AM
My house is a bit of a wreck right now, and while I know that I need to tackle things, it is a bit overwhelming to know where to start. I recently downloaded an app that is essentially a timer, but it is set up so that you can tackle tasks in 25 minute (or more or less) chunks, with scheduled breaks in between. Could I have done it without paying $2 for an app? Sure, but the app also tracks the number of sessions, and graphs it all out... which makes my geek side happy.

But, I still needed to find a way to motivate myself to actually start. So, I set up a set of "Git 'Er Done" jars.

I used old Ball canning jars (since I can't use them for actual canning), and made 2 tags. I originally just wrote "Start" and "Finished" but then I thought "Git" and "Done" would be more fun. But, since I had already tied the tags on, I just flipped them over and wrote the new labels (hence the slightly wobbly writing). I didn't want to waste a lot of time on these.

I cut up a bunch of cardstock into little slips and then I went around the house and wrote down the things I needed to do. I know that, as I go along, I'll need to add to the stack of "Git" slips, but I have enough to keep me busy for a while! Some of the tasks will take less than 25 minutes, while others will take longer. But, they don't have to be done in any particular order, so I can pick out a slip at random and work on it until it's done. Then, I can pick a new task until my "productivity session" is done. If, at the end of a session, I am in the middle of a task, I can keep working or, depending on my mood and available time, I can save it to be finished in the next session. I'll probably just clip the incomplete slip to the "Git" tag, so I remember where I left off.

My goal is to do at least one session (4 25-minute chunks) a night for at least 3 nights a week after work, and at least two sessions on the weekend. The tasks don't include regular tasks like dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, etc. They are the other things that I haven't done that I have literally let pile up (sort the mail, tackle the bag full of unmatched socks, etc.)

And, since my first official task was "Make Task Jars," I already have one item completed Grin
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Bread Basket Liner on: February 28, 2018 04:04:40 PM
Back in October at a craft weekend, my friend was making bread basket liners (using her own pattern) for Christmas gifts. I thought it would be a great gift for one of my co-workers, so I traced her pattern and, the following week, I bought the fabric. And then I got sick, and got way too busy with stuff for school, so pretty much no Christmas crafting happened. And, then I misplaced the pattern and the fabric (and they werent even in the same place when I eventually found them).

It was pretty easy to make! I cut out the 1 piece from 2 different fabrics, and pinned them right sides together. I don't usually use pins, but with the curves, I figured that I'd better!

Then, I turned it right side out, pressed it (I don't usually press things, either)...

 And then I  topstitched it around the edge, sewing the opening for turning closed. Pretty easy project- the hardest part was cutting out the fabric!

5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / A Pair of Mojo Bags (Bionic Essential Bags) on: February 26, 2018 08:17:15 PM
Over on the Sew Like a Rockstar site, there are projects that are called Weekend Warrior Projects. This one has been nicknamed the Mojo Bag, and it was pretty fun to make (my friend and I made 4 of them the other day). It has a frame in it to keep it open when it's unzipped. I also swapped out the zipper pulls to make it a little more fun (she explains a method that she came across that uses a fork to help with the installation of the new zipper pull), and you can just see the different color zipper pulls in the photo.

The two bags use the same 2 fabrics, but I reversed them.

The bags are the perfect size to hold the foot pedal and power cord for my sewing machine and serger (one bag for each machine). I have at least one more set of the frames, so I'll definitely be making more of these!

6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Narwhal T-Shirts on: February 26, 2018 08:09:49 PM
My new BIL loves narwhals, and since my sister had planned to make him some PJs with some narwhal print flannel, I figured I'd make him some shirts to go with them. The PJ pants didn't get made, so he can wear the shirts whenever he wants Smiley

I designed them using my Silhouette (I found some images and I traced them). For the second shirt, with the repeat pattern, I created the repeat by flipping the image and lining it up. I used HTV.

We had to reschedule our Christmas meet-up, so I haven't given them to him yet. But, I think he'll like them!
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Inspirational Kitchen Cart Update on: February 26, 2018 07:56:23 PM
 I have almost no counter space in my kitchen (about 2 feet total length), so my prep area is pretty much non-existent (because there is almost always something on the counter). I had purchased a kitchen cart to help remedy the situation, but it soon became another place to pile stuff. It was stained and looking pretty grim, so in an effort to clean it up and provide me with a daily reminder that will hopefully encourage me to cook more often, I gave it a make-over.

(It looks really crooked in the photo, but it's actually pretty straight- I measured Smiley ).

Here's what the top of the cart looked like before I started:

Then, I taped around the edges and gave it couple of coats of white, latex paint:

I almost left it plain white, but I decided that I needed to have a bit more fun with it, so I taped it off in a random pattern. I had visions of triangles in my head, but I ended up with some other polygons in there, too:

I picked up 6 colors (4 green, 2 grey) so I could try to avoid having 2 colors touch. I was mostly successful:

At this stage, I kind of hated it...

But then I peeled off all of the masking tape, and I liked it much better.

I still didn't love it, so I thought that if I put something on top of the pattern, it would help to subdue it a bit. So, I created my design in the Silhouette software and cut it out (and cut right through the vinyl backing... so imagine me swearing just a bit here... fortunately, I was able to salvage it!):

It was really hard to position it correctly! Those crazy lines were messing with my lines of sight, so I had to measure it. It's not off by more than 1/16", but it looks very crooked!

I put a few coats of polyurethane on it to protect it (I hope) and once it's cured (in 7 days), I can start to use it on a regular basis!
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Monogram for My Silhouette Machine on: February 26, 2018 07:40:43 PM
For Christmas, my sister and I got our mom a Silhouette. While looking for things to make, my mom saw that many people put a monogram on their machines, so we decided that we needed them too. My moms has a fairy on it (but I didn't take a picture of it) but I decided to just use a mandala.

I cut it out at my mom's in FL, weeded it, and applied the transfer tape before I traveled home so it wouldn't get ruined in my carry-on.

I picked the color to go with the cover that I had embellished a little while ago. I thought that it would also match the print on the cover of the Silhouette itself, but it doesn't. But, I'm okay with that Smiley

9  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Cute Little Kitty on: February 15, 2018 04:08:04 PM
This cute little amigurumi kitty was a free pattern from here and she also has a really neat way to tie in the tails after youve stitched them on, which I had never seen before (watch the video it makes it just a little easier to understand), and Ill be finishing all of my amigurumi projects using this technique!

I always forget how long it takes me to sew the parts together...the little pile of parts can be a bit daunting! Smiley

Over halfway done!

10  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Pool Warning Sign on: December 29, 2017 08:44:11 AM
Since my mom got a Silhouette for Christmas, along with free lessons while I visited, we decided to make a fun sign to hang on the wall in her pool area.

The lettering came from a file purchased from the Silhouette Design Store, and the picture was found online, and we transferred the outline to the painted board (using the tried and true "rub the pencil on the back and trace over it" method) , and my mom painted it.

Now, all we have to do is hang it up!
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