Tag Archives: quilting

Busy Bee

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Today I entered this Tuesday Brag Day on the Tip Junkie Blog… http://www.tipjunkie.com/homemade-projects-228/

Tip Junkie handmade projects

AND I also entered Wednesday’s Made By Me Linky Party on JAQS Studio… http://www.jaqsstudio.com/2012/02/made-by-me-20-linky-party.html

I have actually been very busy these days – got one project 3/4 of the way done, and have ordered fabric for two other projects – will post pictures ASAP!

Hope it has been Spring-like weather in your neck of the woods!

A hint of things to come:

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Family Treasures and Change in the Air

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Today is raining. Which is cool, we need the rain, fo shizzle! So I was going through a (small) craft box full of interesting things. Elastic, unopened (THAT’S where I put that! Just replaced it last month. Sigh) trim and edging. Some raffia, some round plastic canvas pieces. AND, a rich finding of booty! Not pirate’s treasure (and not that other bootie either,) but close. Pieces of Lace, Tatting and Embroidery belonging as far back as my great-grandmother – and who knows, now, maybe further!

Family Dresser Scarf Linen, with Embroidering & Tatting (Left and Right)

Next up… A lone Square for a Quilt project that is now defunct. I probably have others, enough for a few pillows, a scarf or something equally benign! I made this myself, one of my first forays into quilting, back in the late ’90s.  (below)

I found a pile of pieces of tatting, embroidery and lace, again, handed down from mother to daughter. My mother always used handkerchiefs, and her greatest treasures were the ones she inherited from her mother, often with little flowers embroidered on them, and hand-tatted edging.  What lovely projects will I be able to find to use these? I memorialized some of these in a gift to my sister Betty. I have asked her if she has a picture of it, or will take a picture of it, so I can share that process with you in a later posting.

Last but absolutely definitely not least,  I found a gorgeous piece  of crocheted tatting a square collar – so creamy in color, with nary a rip or tear in it, and with no visible stains either! I have a picture somewhere of my mother wearing it over a navy blue dress – simple elegance at its best. Will look for that picture (may have to tap my sisters on that one too!) Kind of got a pilgrim look about it, doesn’t it? Appropriate, since I am one of 35 million Mayflower descendants! 🙂

Now, for the news. I am working on creating a new webpage/blog for my craft pages – it will be a rather inclusive blog, with books for sale, crafts for sale occasionally, and craft products for sale (occasionally) as well as reviews of crafting books. My other blog (Readerwoman Redux) will stay where it is (click name to the left to reach) for the foreseeable future. And the Crafter’s Cafe will stay open – but stagnant, with past articles available, and such, with a link at the top to the new site. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you WILL HAVE TO RESUBSCRIBE to the new one! It may take me a month or so to get it up and open – so keep your eyes open and your fingers ready to click over to the new site! Thanks for all your support! I am moving my site so I can (1) sell things (2) have sponsors and (3) appropriate advertising (4) have almost everything in one place (5) save my sanity. (Oh. too late on that one. Oh well…)

Thanks for joining me today at The Crafter’s Cafe. The new site will be called (Tentatively) Crafts and Books and Stuff ~ Oh MY!

Til next time! Happy Trails!

The Year for Fabric Arts

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This year I am going to focus on FABRIC. I still crochet when I am watching TV, but I want to improve my applique and quilting skills.

So far this year, I have made an owl – stuffed one mounted on a lovely piece of driftwood I found…

And, today, I finished a pillow I have worked on for some time. The centerpiece is a square from a quilt my grandmother made me over 50 years ago. The quilt got so shabby and well-loved that I, oh-so-carefully, cut it apart to use as craft projects. I found an old chintz flowered fabric for the back, and since I wanted to use a 14 inch pillow form, I used that pansy fabric around the edges of the quilt block too. Each corner of the quilt block is accented with antique lace, made by my great-grandmother, and I added small dragonflies to the corners as well, since I love dragonflies.

I am so pleased with the way it came out. Next time I make my bed (!!) I will show you how it looks with the other pillows I have made. I had so much fun making this though, that I may sabotage the pillows I made before, to create other pillows with yet another family quilt that is too ratty to use anymore.

Below is a closer look at the corners of the quilt square and of the back:

 

I really do love coming up with ideas to use the materials I have on hand – I have a serious problem with letting go of toilet paper rolls, meat trays, tin foil, old pictures, fabric scraps and much more. I honestly thought I was doing better – until I finally admitted that I was still keeping S**T, I was just HIDING it better! ROFL

What’s on your plate (or crochet hook, knitting needles, sewing machine etc.) for this year? Are you going to try any new crafts? Are you going to fine tune some old ones? Share!

Great Links and a Pattern!

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We leave Arizona to return home to California in 2-1/2 days. I should not be blogging. Yet here I am! It is called work avoidance. I indulge in it regularly, how about you?! I decided to take a break in the saying goodbye to new friends here, and getting ready to greet my old friends in California to share some links and project ideas with you. I haven’t jumped on the Halloween bandwagon because I simply don’t have time – maybe next year.! But these links will give you some fun ideas for gifts and for the upcoming holidays.

First up – click on this cute picture to go to the site where you can create your own Owl Calendar – FREE!

Owl Lover 2012 Calendar

Totally Kewl, Right?

Next – a quick picture of the last ruffle scarf I completed this week – an easy project, a variation on a pattern I found online.

Two shades of dusky blue…

Here is MY pattern

downloadable PDF

My first project (after unpacking and all the Crap that comes with doing that!) is to use this to make decoupage art.

and here is the map I want to use

http://www.donmeth.com What a strange mind! 🙂

I am waiting to hear back from Dan Meth on whether or not he will allow me to use this map… if not, I will go to the fabulously creative Karen over at The Graphics Fairy. EVERY day she posts printable graphics for decoration and creativity. Totally love her site, I have 127 graphics/pictures downloaded that I want to use!

A few other great links for blogs, designs and creative ideas that I have found in the last month or so:

Bugs and Fishes by Lupin has some fun felt projects – I am really into using felt right now! Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and all that jazz!

Stitched in Color has some great tutes – mostly quilting things – and I love her writing too – her blogs are always interesting and thoughtful.

Bits and Bobs is a family effort – I am going to try the Bobble Crochet Pillowcase Edging!

Do it Yourself Divas have a tute (for making your own decoupage glue!) I will be putting to good use when I get to decoupaging on my wonderful boards-find (as above…)

and the last one for the day:

I love this advent “calendar” on The Feminist Housewife   – this was published almost a year ago (this particular post) but she has much to offer and a fun outlook on her busy yet creative life.

That’s it for now – hope you enjoyed my notes – until sometime in November, I remain yours truly, the craft maven of The Crafter’s Cafe!

Trends in Crafting

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Crafters are as subject to trends as are those who follow fashion. I thought I would share a few of the finds I have come across online that seem to be making the news with crafters who want the latest goodies!

Plant Based Fibers are really hot right now. These include hemp, soy, silk and bamboo yarns and fibers for all kinds of craft projects. There are actually many pluses to using these fibers and yarns. They are “green” and sustainable in use, are generally softer than machine created acrylic blend yarns and fibers, and some are even very suited to wash and wear type use. (Not usually silk and soy – you’ll have to check the individual properties thereof, when you purchase!) There are spinners who sell their originally spun and dyed fibers on Etsy and Artfire. Of course organic cottons continue to enthrall me, and have for years. Now, though, they are more readily available and in a wonderful variety of earthy colors and textures. Check out Ravelry if you aren’t already a (free) member – they describe and explain  many yarn types on their site.) There ARE some drawbacks to be aware of though. Many plant fibers have zero elasticity. You may find that a cotton/hemp blend might give you more flexibility. Plant-based fibers can be really expensive. For example a 50gr (88 yard) skein of Pakucho brand yarn is around $9 online plus about $4 for shipping (per skein)

Stripes seem to be back in too – in fabric, jewelry and home decor. I have seen some zigzag striping too – which was a bit scary to me! But stripes are tricky when crafting.  One fun thing to do is to make simple plate/light switch covers with scraps of striped fabric or wallpaper. Striped fabric can be great for quilting, or for making slimline skirts for yourself or a favorite girl-child. An example of Quilting with Stripes can be found on Geta’s Quilting Studio Blog. This tutorial is great if you want to try something new in Quilting! I am looking forward to trying another project from 100 Pretty Little Projects to make some striped ornaments for the holidays.

Combined/Mixed Media continues to be popular – as do Recycled Crafts. One of the hot projects is “repurposing” wool sweaters in felting projects – yet another hot craft! Using old jewelry, combined with paint or even crochet makes for some interesting eye candy! I think we will see more and more steampunk, vintage, Victorian, and fantasy themes used creatively. Because of the economy, more and more of us are reusing, and finding new uses for old things such as curtains, sheets, and clothing. I have been saving old jeans for years, and in 2012 will be starting a mega quilting project for my king sized bed, using jeans, and fabric printed with books, adding embellishments and top stitching. I expect the project to take me at least a year, so I will try to share it with you as I go along! Not until we move back to California in 42 days 17 hours and 35 minutes though!

In crochet (and some knitting, I believe) Amigurumi patterns are continuing to be a popular form of crafting. Add this to the natural, organic yarns, and I bet you will see some really creative and adorable work. For those not familiar with some of the terms in this posting, check the bottom of it for some definitions and links.

Last up on my blog today on trends is personalized, handcrafted accessories. MP3 carrying cases made of fabric, covers for laptops and tablet computing devices, diary covers, crocheted or knitted holders for hooks and needles, even original cup huggers for your hot latte, complete with a pocket for sugar packets or your frequent buyer card! Many books and websites have great patterns for these kinds of projects, or you can really dealve into your creativity and design your own!

Definitions!

Amigurumi: the Japanese art of creating crocheted or knitted stuffed animals. The word comes from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. (Thanks WIki!) SEE PICTURE ABOVE RIGHT.

Steampunk: Refers to a time period when steam power was utilized – often thought of as Britain in Victorian times, although Steampunk is NOT Victorian in nature. It encompasses the elements of science fiction and early modern machinery (think blimps and Jules Verne for example) I think of it as alternative crafting!

This marvelous watch can be YOURS to make! Cutout and Keep has some wonderful steampunk crafts and how-tos.

Hope I gave you some ideas and inspiration for crafting!

A Belated Day THREE book review…

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Yesterday was a hectic day for me, and I didn’t get the Day THREE book review posted! Sorry! Here it is – hope you enjoy it.

I got this book from the library, but believe you me, it is going to the top of the buy-as-soon-as I-am-in-funds list! I know it is popular in certain circles to belittle or defame Martha Stewart. But true crafters appreciate her creativity, and despite the enormity of publications, products and media that she and her staff produces, she is well worth watching, reading and learning from.

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts (Basic techniques for sewing, applique, embroidery, quilting, dying, and printing, plus 150 inspired projects from A to Z) comes with a CD, which features print-at-home patterns and templates.  The projects are clever, and the explanation and pictures with each one are detailed and thorough. The templates are necessary, so I don’t suggest the book for those without a CD player on their computer – and a printer.

Some of the projects I intend to do include Washcloth Puppets (page 132) made with a terrycloth washcloth and washable felt. So clever, and so easy!

AND, the Mason-jar Sewing Kits (page 280) which will make wonderful gifts.

(NOTE: Please remember that these are copyrighted pictures/photos, the property of the authors, photographers and/or publisher, and as such are displayed for review purposes only. Please do NOT copy or distribute!)

Whether you are an accomplished seamstress/tailor, or a novice, you will really get a lot of knowledge from this book. It isn’t called an encyclopedia for nothin’! Right after Martha’s introduction, there are four separate sections in the “Getting Started” segment. These include – fabric glossary, thread glossary, setting up a sewing area and good things for sewing.

Last, but definitely not least, the end of the book brings the reader to:

  • tools and materials
  • tips and extra techniques
  • CD patterns and templates
  • sources
  • buyer’s guide
  • projects by technique

As always, should you do some projects from the book, please send me pictures to post on the blog!

It’s a GOOD THING! 🙂