Sunday, April 05, 2020

Face masks

I decided I would experiment with some patterns for making face masks for going out in public.  I went on line to see what I could find for instructions.  I found this pattern at USA Today which is very similar to many I have seen on line with very clear and reasonable instructions so I decided to go ahead with this one.  For my first one I used a very soft tight weave fabric from a man's shirt and added a layer of flannel inside instead of the fusible interfacing which I do not have on hand.  I also made ties because there was no 1/4" elastic in my stash.  I found this other tutorial  on the Joann Fabric website which can be downloaded as a PDF which explains how to make ties.  I simply made the ties and substituted them into the original instructions.  I found that with flannel inside it made the sewing of the pleats on the sides quite thick.  I made the ties on the this one 18" and they are ample.  

For my next attempt, I decided to use quilting cotton and a single layer of white cotton for the inside layer.  I dug through my crafting supplies and found twill tape which was way quicker than making ties.  I used 14" for these ties which is enough for tying the mask into place over your ears and below your chin to the back of your head.  Very adjustable!!  It was easier to stitch the pleats on this one as well.  In the end, any protection is better than none.  I will be sending this one to my Mom this week along with instructions. She is a very experienced sewer and may be inspired to make some for the others in her building who might need them.   


Saturday, April 04, 2020

My second flannel quilt is finished

I have worked on this quilt for a couple of days and have now finished it!!  I have given it a green polyester/cotton backing and used a white polyester/cotton fabric as batting on the inside.  Due to a flaw in the green fabric I was unable to use my usual binding method of self binding because there was no extra that could be left.  I trimmed my quilt, batting and backing to the edge of the quilt and then investigated the process of using a sewn on binding.  My sister uses this method all the time and has found a good tutorial for it which you can find here at Craftsy.  I cut my binding 2.5" wide from my backing fabric scrap and used a quarter inch seam to attach it to my quilt before folding it over and stitching it from the front using the "stitch in the ditch" method.  She indicates that meticulous pinning brings more success in capturing the edge of the binding on the back side of the quilt.  I certainly agree.  I had about 5-6 areas on the back of the quilt where I failed to secure the binding.  
I handstitched them using a needle and thread to ensure a continuous line of stitches on the binding.  I will have to consider my options for next time.  This method provides a double layer of fabric on the binding which was not a problem with this fabric as it was a bit on the light side.  I am wondering if only one layer of the binding could be stitched to the front and then folded over and then stitched in the same manner.  I am also considering stitching on the binding instead of in the ditch on the front which would likely gain me better capture of the binding edge on the back of the quilt.  
This method yields a much narrower binding but still very neat and acceptable. My finished quilt measures 36" x 45" and has been ironed and folded.  It has joined the other two in waiting to find its way to its final home through the Linus Project.                       Therese

Christmas cards featuring a large Merry Christmas greeting, ribbon and glittery gift wrap backgrounds

Another set of Christmas cards for my stash using the same glittery pine cone gift wrap as I used for my last set.  These ones feature a large greeting I downloaded from Mom Junction which I sized, laser printed onto white cardstock and added a black line all the way around to give it some depth.  I watercoloured the  greeting and holly and then added some clear glitter in the stars and dots around the top, on the berries and all the way around the edges.  I added a strip of double sided tape on the right hand side and added short lengths of  coordinating ribbon then flagging their ends.  I mounted the trimmed backgrounds - glittery pine cone gift wrap which came wrapped around one of our gifts this past season - to red card fronts and then mounted the greetings to them using 3D foam tape.  As you can see I made a few angled a bit and two square and even.  I did these cards more assembly line style.  I did each step for all of them one at a time.  Trimmed all the images, added a black line to all of them, watercoloured them and then added ribbon to all of the greetings.  I glued all the backgrounds to the front and then mounted all the greetings to them.  It was easier to make them all the same when using this method of assembly.  Happy with these and they are headed for the bucket when they are finished being pressed.        Therese

Friday, April 03, 2020

Stained glass art in support of essential workers

 Wanting art that was a bit more interactive and would really work with the sun in the front window I decided to see if I could make some stained glass art.  After a bit of research I found a few places with tutorials on how to make stained glass art with tissue paper and wax crayons.  The wax crayon ones reminded me of the melting wax technique I have done in the past for decorative paper.  I decided to use bond paper instead of cardstock which I have used in the past which would make the art more transparent.

To really simulate stained glass I decided to add some lines using a large permanent marker.  I just made a pattern of lines.  I plugged my griddle in and set it on low, added a layer of foil and then laid my sheet decorated bond paper over it.  To decorate the sheet I simply coloured in the pieces using wax crayons which melt immediately when they are in contact with the warm surface below.  It is totally fun!!!!!

As you can see from the stained glass sheet on the right the wax dissolved to some degree the permanent marker in the lines and ran into the spaces.  I just went with it and kept filling in the spaces until I was done.  I think it looks pretty interesting and the running of the colour gives it a bit of an antique  feeling.  To remove it, I simply lifted a corner and placed it on newspaper until it solidified which only takes a few minutes.
I made up these four though it was a conscious decision to not spend all day at it which I could easily have done!!!!!!  We did not need that many pieces of art.  I made the second heart with a thicker outline and only put blue all the way around which really helped to make the heart stand out.

To display them I simply taped them to the front window.  Two each on the side panels where they really look great.  They will be wonderful when the sun shines through.

I encourage you to make art to display in your windows in support of those who are putting themselves in harm's way to keep us safe.

Get the kids involved and make it an art day!!  With very little prompting the kids will come up with art that is meaningful in every way once they know what the cause is!!                Therese

Serendipity hearts in support of essential workers

Having seen other art in the neighbourhood I was encouraged to follow my inclination and make some art as well.  
I decided to make up a large sheet (11"x17") of red and gold serendipity collage.  It took several hours to get it made and overnight for it to dry completely.  So this morning I made a heart template from an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and cut two hearts from my sheet.  I laid them back to back and added a thread hanger and hung it in the front window above the blind.  That is where the snowflake goes at Christmas and the hook remains there all year round.  Perfect place for this little bit of art to support our essential workers and let everyone know that we are all in this together.   


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Cute little quote patches for my grocery shopping bags

I went grocery shopping this morning and decided that the grocery bags should be washed.  They needed it as well.  I have been wanting to add little patches to them since I acquired them second hand and with a bit of time on my hands I decided that today was the day!!! 


I ran across some little quote tags from a swap when I was looking for coordinating fabric and I remembered that a while back I had my sister inkjet print some for me onto fusible cotton.  I even remembered where they were so after finding the perfect fabrics for my little tags I got started.  I made them 1.5" x 4", ironed on the trimmed quotes and then folded over a little bit on each side so I could stitch them to the bags.  I stitched them on with white thread which highlights the stitching which I like.  After getting them all stitched on I thought they still needed a bit of something so I added faux stitching with a fine tip Sharpie marker all the way around the quotes.  That was definitely better!!!!!!!!!  I am very happy with my little project and love my embellished bags!!!             Therese

A few all occasion cards featuring stamped backgrounds, die cut elements and ribbon & brads

I am trading handmade cards for seeds!!!!!!!  I was really happy to be able to make a trade with my friend as getting seeds locally might be a challenge during this time of isolation.  She put them in her mailbox and picked them up and left the cards in their place.  
The top two cards were made with backgrounds from my stash which were debossed with a circle Nestibilities and stamped with the Worn background (SU) and green ink while masking the center of the circle.  I found the serendipity circles in my stash and they very nicely fit in the debossed circles on the backgrounds.  I added a watercoloured cross on one and a glittered butterfly on the other.  Layered them opposite in colour - lavender on green and green on purple.  

For the next two cards I used some clear embossed resist backgrounds which I made in preparation for this class in January.   After clear embossing I watercoloured the backgrounds with coordinating ink which provided nice contrast and highlighted the resist.  I layered them onto coordinating card fronts and then cut brown leaves (TH) for the brown one and blue wildflowers (TH) for the blue one.  I added a ribbon held in place on one end with a coordinating star brad on the brown one and mounted the blue ribbon all the way across and added the silver star brad to the right side.  I mounted the elements to the card fronts using white glue in a fine tip applicator and tucked them under the ribbon before pressing them into place.  
These are mostly all occasion cards which can be used for a variety of occasions from birthdays to sympathy.            Therese

All occasion card featuring a dragonfly, some pearly and clear dimensional paint and a little gold cording

 For this all occasion card I started with a dragonfly digital image from CLKER which I laser printed onto white cardstock and trimmed out of the letter sized sheet.  I watercoloured the sky and then the dragonfly using pearly paint so it would shimmer.  I tied the tiny gold to the right of the image and then layered it onto a green/gold metallic paper.  I left a bit of a border on the bottom which I trimmed with wavy scissors.  I paper pierced the wavy edge and then added a line of scoring above it using my Score tool.  I mounted my focal element to the front of a speckled navy card. I added clear dimensional paint to the wings of the dragonfly and left it to dry overnight.  It has turned out wonderfully!!         Therese

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Another small flannel quilt

I have finished up one of the flannel quilt tops I made up this past weekend!!  I filled it with layer of cotton fabric and backed it with a cotton/polyester floral fabric in coordinating pastel colours.  Really happy with how it worked out.  It measures 36" x 46.5" and is fairly light in weight because of the lightweight batting and backing.  I stitched up and down the columns beginning in the middle and moving to the edges rotating the quilt as I went to keep the quilt evenly quilted and not pulling in one direction because of the quilting seams.  I did a self binding by leaving about 1.5" of the backing fabric all the way around the quilt and then double folding it and stitching it down.  I used white thread to sew the top together and it worked very well for the quilting and binding seams as well.  I have added it to the little bright coloured one I made a while back.             Therese

All occasion card featuring a butterfly, sanded background and ribbon

Love how this one turned out!  I printed the butterfly digital from CLKER onto white cardstock and trimmed it out of the letter sized sheet.  I created the background by taping four pieces of cardstock with white/coloured cores together, embossing them with a swirly embossing folder (SX) and then sanding to reveal the texture.  I added a rainbow organza ribbon with a tiny white one overlaid and adhered their ends to the inside of the card using double sided tape.  I mounted it to a green card front. I watercoloured the laser printed butterfly in colours that coordinated with the background.  I distressed the edges, layered it with a gold/green metallic paper and then mounted it to my card front using 3D foam tape.           Therese

Monday, March 30, 2020

All occasion card featuring a beautiful butterfly, an embossed background and an embellished border

For this card I started with the butterfly image which I downloaded from Pixabay.  Once trimmed from the letter sized sheet of white cardstock I distressed its edges and then added a line of paper piercing using my pattern tracing wheel.  To highlight the yellow in the wings I layered it onto a light yellow piece of cardstock leaving a bit extra on the bottom for embellishing.  I punched it with the scallop border punch (SU), punched 1/16" holes in each one and then added two lines of embossing using my scoring tool  I really like all the texture on this piece.  I embossed a weathered brown cardstock with a swirly background, added a small strip of aqua over it and mounted this large element to an aqua card.  I mounted the large butterfly element over the strip using 3D foam tape to finish off my card.  Love the colours of this one!!  Appropriate for sympathy, get well, thinking of you or just as a note card to a friend!             Therese

Crumb quilting and two small flannel quilt tops

I have been working on cutting and piecing my flannel scraps and managed in the last couple of weeks to create two small quilt tops.  I originally had a top that was too long for its width so I removed one bright column and trimmed what I had left to 45.5" which gave me a top 36" x 45.5".  I trimmed the edge of my leftover and used scraps to fill in a couple of columns. I needed to add some length so I created a panel of crumb quilting with some of my pastel scraps - totally fun!!  I still needed some width so I stitched together three bright pieces - orange, bright stripes and aqua.  I stitched this strip to my original piece and then added my panel of crumb quilting.  Next, I added the bright strip which I originally removed to the top and bottom.  This gave me a quilt top 36" x 44".  So, I now have two small quilt tops which need batting and backers which I will work on next weekend.  I really enjoyed creating the crumb quilting panel and it was satisfying to use up even the little scraps!!      Therese

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Birthday card featuring a loon, a torn background, washi tape and a layered greeting

For this card I started with the loon image (CLKER) which I laser printed on white cardstock and trimmed out of a letter sized sheet.  I watercoloured the water and once it was dry I masked and sponged in a horizon and landscape beyond.  I added a row of paper piercing using my pattern tracing wheel on all four edges.  I tore a piece from the inside of an used bank envelope to create my background.  I glued it in place on my black card and then secured it with this fun washi tape which my son gave me for Christmas!!  The pattern is a subtle background with hashed lines in gray.  I mounted the loon image over the background and added the little layered greeting using 3D foam tape.    Therese