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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Why Was I So Afraid To Try Filet Crochet? I Did It! With My Own Pattern, Too! on: August 07, 2018 05:54:41 PM

For some reason, I have shied away from filet crochet. I could never seem to wrap my head around how to fill in the boxes compared to what was left empty. But, while searching for inspiration on a totally different project, I came across this tutorial from Whistle & Ivy, and when she said that the lines on the graph formed the boxes around the empty spaces, and that the filled in boxes were the space within that grid, it clicked. I don't what it was about that particular description (maybe it appealed to my science & math brain?) but, all of a sudden, I just got it.

I knew I wanted to make something that had words on it for my first project, but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. And, because I was making a dish cloth (or so I thought...), I wanted to make it have less mesh, and more solid boxes. So, when I came across a pattern for a bookmark that had a chart for the alphabet, I decided to start there. I grabbed a piece of graph paper and went to work.

I decided to check out another set of instructions to see if there were any additional tips. And, while this tutorial had the directions I had always found confusing in the past, it did make me realize that my planned dish cloth was going to be almost twice as wide as I originally thought. I had only counted the boxes on the grid when I counted my stitches, forgetting to also count the lines themselves. So, my dish cloth turned into a dish towel... a nice square one, but definitely too big for washing dishes.

Here it is against my 8.5" X 11" piece of graph paper:

It ended up being a 17" X 17" square. It's 61 stitches across by 31 rows up. And, instead of filling in each box with 2 stitches (like the second tutorial I looked at), I just used one (like the first tutorial). So each filled in box is made of 3 stitches instead of 4. If I had used 4, my dish towel would have been more rectangular.

Now that I have finally wrapped my head around how it all works, I'm thinking about starting a panel for the bottom of the curtain in my laundry room. It'll be done with #10 crochet cotton, I think, so it'll be a bit more fiddly to work with, but since the laundry room isn't finished, I expect to have plenty of time to make the panel!
2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Homemade Cheese (Ricotta & Mozzerella) & Spinach Ravioli on: August 01, 2018 08:03:39 PM
When a planned trip with my sister fell through, I thought it would be fun if we spent the day attempting to make cheese. My sister LOVES cheese, so I knew she'd be interested. I had ordered a dairy thermometer, but it seems to have gotten stolen from my mailbox, so instead, I picked up a cheese making kit because it had the thermometer in it. We had originally planned just to make ricotta, but the kit came with supplies for mozzarella, too, so we did both. Then, the next day, we made spinach pasta that we used to make ravioli (which we had for dinner with a mushroom Alfredo sauce).

I was surprised at how easy it was!

First, we made the ricotta, because all you had to do was heat the milk to between 160 and 185 (I think... the directions are at my sister's). Then, one tablespoon at a time, we added lemon juice (stirring after each addition), until the curds form (it took 7 tablespoons). We wrapped it in cheesecloth and pressed it while we worked on the mozzarella.

It was tasty, but we probably could have added a little salt to it.

Next was the mozzarella, which was also really easy! And, it's why we needed the dairy thermometer instead of the candy thermometer I thought we could use. We only needed to heat it to about 90 degrees (again, the directions are at my sisters... it may have been 105), and we used the citric acid and rennet tablets that came in the kit.

I think we added the rennet after we had let it set to make the curd (a big solid mass). Then, we cut that up and added the rennet (that may have been when we heated it to 105).

We had two options for the stretching, a stovetop method, or a method that used the microwave (which is what we did). After we melted it a bit in the microwave, my sister worked on stretching it...

And making faces with it...baby cheese!

Before finally pinching off little chunks (we didn't want to fuss with rolling them into nice round balls for our practice batch).

It was delicious!

The next day, we made spinach pasta and we used half of the batch to make ravioli using the ricotta (my sister has a ravioli making mold... or form).

We ate it for dinner with the mushroom Alfredo sauce, and it was one of the best meals I've ever made from scratch!

The rest of the pasta dough and cheese was destined for lasagna, but we were too tired to make it. The pasta and ravioli making took longer than we expected, and the dough kept breaking apart as we tried to roll it out (it was in the 90's that day, which may have been part of the problem). My sister had plans to make the lasagna the next night after work, but when she got home, she discovered that her fridge had stopped working, so all of the perishables, including the cheese and pasta, had to go into the trash Sad

But, we have plenty of supplies to make more cheese!
3  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / 2018 Raindrop Rundown Shirts on: August 01, 2018 12:32:31 PM
At my school, we've instituted an annual road race (1/2 mile down our school driveway, and 1/2 mile back up the hill), that is the spring version of the Turkey Trot we have right before Thanksgiving. It's sponsored by our Student Leadership Council, which I co-organize, and I decided to make shirts for the winners. Which turned out to be a pain in the butt because I'm always doing it last-minute before school ends in June (and the race is in April). But, now that I've started the tradition, I can't really give it up.

Here is this year's shirt, made with HTV. I made 6 in all (3 grades-6, 7, 8- and the first place girl and boy in each grade).

Eventually, I'll get my heat press set up, and these won't take me as long. Standing over the iron on a hot June evening is not my idea of a good time!
4  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Yet Another TM Patch Swap-The 10th Round Celebration!-SU Closed!; SO-9/1/18 on: July 07, 2018 10:42:34 AM

Patch made by craftADDchick

Swap Name:Yet Another TM Patch Swap-The 10th Round Celebration!
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Inselaeffchen & craftADDchick
Sign-up date range: July 7, 2018- July 23, 2018 (new ending date Smiley )
Date to send item by: Saturday, September 1, 2018

 Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No

 Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
 Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
 - Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
 - Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
 - Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
 - Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
 - Is at least 18 years old: YES

 Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
 - Has been a member for at least one month: YES
 - Has posted at least 15 times: YES
 - Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
 - Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
 - Does not have any negative feedback: YES
 - Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
 - If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
 - If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

 Details of swap:
 Do you love making Teesha Moore-style patches? Have you always admired them but haven't yet caught the TM bug? Well, this could be the swap for you!

In this round of the TM Patch Swap, you will be crafting for 1 or 2 partners (first time swappers will be limited to 1 partner) and from 1-3 patches (you and your partner should agree on the exact number).

Also, you will have the option of exchanging a TM Patch Supply kit with your partner (contents of kit may include: floss, fabric, embellishments {buttons, beads, ribbons, charms, etc}, poly-fil, etc.).

Let's keep this swap simple and limit it to the sending of patches and kits (if you love sending extra things, consider adding those as part of a kit Smiley ).

10th Round Celebration Challenge!- Because this is the 10th (and probably final round**) of the "Yet Another..." version of the TM Patch Swap, we thought it would be fun to celebrate in some way. So, here's your challenge- in at least one of your patches, you must incorporate the number 10 somehow. That doesn't mean that the actual number has to appear... you could use 10 colors, 10 beads, do something with the border, or anything else that you can do to commemorate the 10th round!

** Don't worry! Future TM Patch Swaps will be the "Return of the TM Patch Swap" version. Wink

There are lots of inspirational patches from previous swaps, so check out some of the galleries here:

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=454730.0 (Return of the TM Patch Swap- Rd 1)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=452654.0 (Round 9)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=451858.0 (Round 8 )

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=448165.0 (Round 7)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=445370.0 (Round 6)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439296.0 (Round 5)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=437989.0 (Round 4)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=436180.0 (Round 3)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=434712.0 (Round 2)

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=432695.0 (Round 1)




IF your are new to making patches, here are some links to Teesha Moore's own video tutorials showing you her techniques. You won't want to miss these.

And, here's a thread right here on Craftster that has some additional tips by your fellow Craftsters!


If you want to participate, information to send to organizers, Inselaeffchen & craftADDchick:

 Name of swap: Yet Another TM Patch Swap-The 10th Round Celebration!
 Craftster username:
 Email address:
 Your real name:
 Mailing address including the country (please put it in the proper format for mailing to your country):
 Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
 Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)
 Do you want one or two partners?
How many patches would you like to make for each partner (Organizer will attempt to match partners based on this information as much as possible)?
Do you also want to exchange a kit with your partner(s), in addition to the patches?
List at least four themes to inspire your partner: (Some themes from previous swaps were the beach, peace and love, buttons, rainbows, DOTD, trees and nature, literature, stripes and polkadots, craftster's choice.)
List preferred size range, if you have one:
Preferred colors, if any:
Are there any colors or themes you really don't want to receive?
Are odd shapes desirable, such as round or triangular patches?
Do you have a Pinterest, website, or another site that your partner can peruse for inspiration?
Do you have any allergies that could be a problem (please list)?
Do you have any allergens in your home (please list)?
Are you aware of the 10th Round Celebration Challenge (it's in the swap description above)?: Yes/No
Do you acknowledge that ALL communications (including the questionnaire) need to be sent to both Inselaeffchen and craftADDchick? Yes/No

Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

{**commented in thread}

1. craftADDchick**
2. LadybugsAndBumblebees**
3. curiousfae**
4. Quasior**
5. quaggy**
6. TAOJ**
7. veghorsegirl**
8. ale0059**
9. jenleahlynn**
10. endymion**
11. Inselaeffchen**
12. crafty-becky**
13. JoyfulClover**
14. Wulf**
15. goatgoddess**


ale0059 - joyfulclover & veghorsegirl
craftADDchick - Wulf
crafty-becky - Jenleahlynn
curiousfae - quasior & endymion
endymion - curiousfae & quaggy
goatgoddess - LadybugsAndBumblebees & TAOJ
Inselaeffchen - Quasior
jenleahlynn - crafty-becky
joyfulclover - LadybugsAnd Bumblebees & ale0059
LadybugsAndBumblebees - joyfulclover & goatgoddess
quaggy - TAOJ & endymion
Quasior - Inselaeffchen & curiousfae
TAOJ - quaggy & goatgoddess
veghorsegirl - ale0059
Wulf - craftADDchick

5  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!

6  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
7  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
8  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!

9  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!

10  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!
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