Friday, February 25, 2011

A little baggie with silly doggies

Last summer I saw this fabric with absolutely ridiculous doggies on it, it was so cute and it instantly made me think of my fiance's mother (not because it was ridiculous - because of the cute doggies! :P). She's a lovely woman who runs a doggie daycare and grooming center at home. She's of the last few years also employing her husband, really awesome!  You can see their business homepage here, it's in Swedish though: http://fjakelmyrans.se/

Anyhow, this fabric made me think of her and I just had a to buy a small piece of it and it's mate with bones on it. And since then I've been thinking about what to make of it. It's a silly thing so it couldn't be anything she'd take seriously and I didn't have enough to make something like a doggy bed or so so I went ahead and made a little baggy of it, I figured she could always use it to store her threads in like I do with mine, or for dog treats or something =) I think I'm going to make a little bag of the leftovers...


Saturday, February 19, 2011

A gift for a friend - Ruffled Bracelet

I made one of my best friends a sami bracelet for her 25th birthday. She's a beautiful woman with a great sense of style (something I very much lack!) so I was terrified at the thought of getting her a gift. But after seeing a sami bracelet in a picture online I knew that was what similar to what I was going to make for my friend, it was very much her style I thought.


I auditioned leather colors and braids endlessly and after much internal debate I concluded that offwhite reindeer leather was the best choice in combination with a four strand braid with 3 strands of pewter threads. The ruffles was a battle and took many many tries but made the whole thing oh so feminine but still it felt very much like her with the skin and the pewter and the fact that you tie it instead of button it closed. She's from the north of Sweden and always working out - so she's no delicate flower and needs a little edge too ^^

I think she really liked it and it was given to her with the little pleated purse I made earlier.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sewing caddy done and in place

My hexagon sewing caddy is finally done *wipes sweat from forehead* it was a battle!


Let's just say that while I'm really glad I made it, I learned a ton about sewing by hand (can now stitch really nicely and invisibly when closing up stuff ^^) but it didn't turn out great. I think the main problem is the stuffing actually, it clumped no matter how much I fought and didn't fill it out nicely at all :( However, it's very practical and quite cute from a distance =)

You can make your own by following the tutorial here over at Penny's Hands: http://pennyshands.blogspot.com/2010/08/hexie-caddy-tutorial.html

I'm going to Sweden today so while I have a few posts prepared, it'll not be very frequent blogging for the next two weeks I don't think. However I might surprise myself ^^

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day = Kittycat Hearts

So we going home to Sweden on Wednesday and I'm getting a brand new sewing machine then! Yay! And I'll also be attending Syfestivalen, which is a fabric and crafting fair  (the largest?) in Sweden. I'm so excited as it will be my first fair! My shopping list is VERY long, luckily my fiance is not aware of this *lol*


Anyhow, I'm going home and I'm going to visit a dear friend (I'll be visiting many but you know) from my cat showing days in Sweden and since I haven't met her in a while and I've missed her and the other "cat ladies" so very, very much I'm trying to put together some small, homemade gifts.  So in the spirit of Valentines day I've been making fabric hearts with catnip in them =)

 I also tried my hand at making fabric fortune cookies for the kitties, a little tricky since the tension on my machine is very near completely broken but after the 4th try I got a decent enough zigzag around the edges. *sigh* However, everything I make right now gets all bumpy and weird because every 5-10 stitches my machine takes it starts chewing on the thread and jumps left and right XD

I can't wait to get my new Janome home! <3



Next year for Valentines day I absolutely have to have made myself one of these beautiful Valentines table runners:

It's my mothers very own design from a little versatile triangle block we learned at quilting camp, and I just love her use of it! I'll write more about my mother another day but she's an amazing quilter and seamstress and it's thanks to her I have my sewing skills. Even if my interest was limited growing up she thought me all the basics  and today she shares the "quilt bug" with me and it's her and me who are going to the fair together on Friday. I'm going to help her set up her own blog when I go to Sweden now so hopefully you'll be able to see more of her fantastic works online in the near future.

Happy Valentines Day! <3

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hollow cubes and empty brains after midnight

So after my disappointment with the cubes here, I decided that I'd have to test my own hypothesis that I could do "sooo much better now" and I decided to use the scraps I had left of the other cubes to try my hand at some hollow cubes. I'm a huge fan of 3D looking quilts so this was a step I've been both fearing (what if I still can't do it?) and looking forward to immensely as I have some major future plans for 3D quilts of my own. So I set to work earlier tonight and now at 02:41 at night I'm done with my three test blocks.

To my big happiness I'd not been lying to myself when I thought I could do much better now (only 7 or so months after my earlier try) and the cubes came out looking great in my eyes! I'm so happy with them and it's such a fun block to make as you can play with it endlessly! When I go to Sweden in few days I'll absolutely pick up much more matching fabrics for hollow cubes and other 3D looking stuff I want to try.

Anyhow, this time at night my brain is completely empty and I realize I shouldn't be making any major decisions so since I just can't decide which way should be up, I'll leave it to "mature" here on the blog overnight to see what I feel tomorrow.


Traditional hollow cubes have the light source coming from above, which is great for a quilt which will lie on a bed as I think it looks more natural that way.

However, since I'm making a little wall hanging I'm thinking It might look better having the light source coming from the top-right instead?

What do you think? Any input is much appreciated =)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Time to vote and WISP- Work In Slow Progress =)

Gen X Quilters

It's time to vote in Gen X Quilters Valentines Contest and there are so many AMAZING entries! I entered my Crazy Rainforest Quilt, contest blog entry can be found here. I'm number 7 in case anyone would want to vote for me, you vote in the poll in the right hand margin ^^

However, there are so many beautiful quilts in this contest so make sure you check them all before casting your vote, I can tell you it's no easy task the judges are in for in this case.


So while I was on my tutorial seeking spree  the other day I finally found the tutorial for the adorable hexagon sewing caddies I've been seeing here and there around blogland for a while, it's a creation by Penny's hands. That is my WISP, despite my hate for sewing by hand I knew I had to try and make one because I wanted it so badly! First, it took me about 30 minutes to empty any and all cardboard boxes I had in my home, since I don't eat pasta/cereal etc. it was a difficult task and I thought I wouldn't be able to make it but having to go to a friend to borrow some I realized that the box coffee filters came in could be used to make the final hexagons. And it's been so slow sewing every seam by hand! I have nothing but pure admiration for the somewhat insane incredibly patient people who make entire quilts this way. =)



I also have to show you just how lucky we are to live where we do, this is some pictures we took of beautiful Spinola Bay on our walk home from some dear friends yesterday.




Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pleated Pouch

So, one of my very best friends have just turned 25 and I've made her a special birthday gift (albeit the materials arrived a touch later then planned *insert cursing over MaltaPost here* so it's a while after her birthday now). I will post that after I've given it to her.

For this gift I of course wanted a suitable wrapping, and after some serious pondering I concluded that a little fabric pouch for it was cuter and more fun then any of the gift boxes I could buy at the store. So off I went finding a suitable baggy pattern and stumbled across this tutorial: Pleated Pouch Tutorial over at a place called "Skip to my Lou". I will have to admit I got stuck on that page for a while, so many cute things to do!

I had a serious fight with the zipper (I hate zippers, why don't the darn things ever go in nicely on the first try?), had to rip the seam, managed to tear my lining fabric, had to cut new lining fabric and so on but in the end it came out looking really nice for a first try I think!



My friend always carries a huge bag with her to work, maybe she can make use of this little bag to contain her small stuff in her large bag or something? I always keep tiny pouches in my purse for small stuff =)

I have to make more baggies, this was a lot of fun! <3

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tutorial - Simple Katarina Bracelet

I'm making a tutorial to teach you all how to make your own, simple Sami Bracelet, it's really not very difficult, mostly just requires a bit of patience ^^ This tutorial is perfect for use with my Macramé Braid Tutorial too =) If you make something with either of my tutorials, I'd LOVE to see it,  please send me an email or comment with a link to a picture and I'd be so happy!

This is what we'll be making, a Katarina Braid Bracelet without backing:
 

All materials you need can be bought from Luletråden.se. They also have kits for you with everything you need to make your first bracelet.

Making the Braid

Material:
* 1 strand of 1/4 inch thick leather
* 8 strands of pewter threads
* A small strand of synthetic sinew (split up the full fat strand into 4 or so thinner strands)
* Safety pin


Step 1:
First tie your pewter and leather strands together with the sinew, and attach it all to a safety pin that you pin into a pillow/your jeans or whatever you feel comfortable braiding from. Separate your strands into pairs of two and place two pairs on each side of the leather. Fold the leather strip out of the way in the middle.

 Step 2:
Take the right most pair of threads and place it over the other.

Step 3:
Take the left most strand and place it under the other one.
Step 4:
Place the left strand you just moved and cross it over the right strand we moved in step 2. Pull it together tightly. The tighter your braid is, the better and more even it will look (until a point where you start breaking the pewter strands and making stuff all edgy and weird looking of course).

Step 5:
Let down the leather strand and repeat the same process but on top of the leather, see below:




Repeat until you run out of leather or pewter, tie off the end with sinew. 



Making the Bracelet

We now have a pretty braid! Measure your wrist and cut the braid to 1/2 inch shorter if you want a tight bracelet, or 1/4-1/2 inch longer if you want it loose, hanging down. This measurement is including the tied off ends and little leftover pieces at the end.


Materials:
* 2 leather squares, twice the width of your braid and about 3/4 inch long.
* 1 1/16 inch wide and 5 inches long cut leather piece
* Synthetic sinew in suitable color
* All purpose glue
* Leather cutting needle 
* Button of your choice, for example a beautiful reindeer antler button


Step 1:
Place one of the lather squares on top of your braid, make sure you place it on the right side of your braid, not the underside.  Using one of the sinew threads you used to tie off your braid (or if they're too short attach a new, longer one by tying it over the old knot), thread your needle and with three stitches in the same holes around the leather and the braid on the backside. Make the stitch just slightly smaller then your braid, see below.



Step 2:
Tie it off carefully and tightly with a triple knot. Do this for the other side of the braid too.

Step 3:
Attach your button  in the normal way, also with one of the sinew threads to one side. Before you tie it off, stick your needle through between your button and the skin on the topside like the picture shows, spin the thread at least three times to elevate the button from the skin, making it easier to put the bracelet on and off.

Step 4:
End with a loop knot and bring the thread out on the underside.

Step 5:
Tie the thread with the other thread on the backside.

Step: 6
Now we're going to make the little loop for the button. Take your strand of leather, wet it thoroughly with water and ask a friend for help. Spin the thing in different directions.
  
Step 7:
Fold in half and when you let go of the folded end, it'll snap together nicely.


Step 8:
Tie it into a loop with a piece of sinew.

Step 9:
Tie it to the opposite end of the braid from the button, and make sure you tie it tightly because it'll take some strain.
  
Step 10:
Dab some glue on the whole thing and sew it closed.

  
Step 11:
When you come to the end, do a double stitch and stick it all the way through, this way it'll get glued in with everything and there's no risk of it coming undone.



Step 12:
Do the same thing to the button side, and press slightly with your fingers so you don't get a gaping hole at the end but a nice closed end like on the pictures above. And voila! You have a sami bracelet!



If you make your own Sami Bracelet or anything from a pattern or tutorial of mine - I'd love if you add it to my flickr group and thereby share it with me and the world so we all can enjoy it and be inspired by it: Not Only Quilts - Share Your Creations  <3

Monday, February 7, 2011

Three Tier Bracelet

I'm suddenly feeling like making sami-bracelets again, I think it's because it's nice to be able to make something that goes together a bit more quickly then a quilt, and because I really need some new jewelery ^^


So here's something new for me, a three tier bracelet, please excuse that it's a bit bumpy still, I've not worn it at all yet and the leather has therefor not shaped itself to the right form. =)

It's a regular Jenny Braid with two of the pewter threads exchanged for thin caribou leather thongs, creating this very loopy look to the pewter threads. As always it's made with highest quality pewter threads with 4% silver, reindeer leather in this case and the button is made from reindeer horn. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tutorial - Simple Blossom


Materials:
* Fabric - how much depends on how big you want your flower, I used about 4x5 inches.
* Paper & Pen for making petal template
* Thread and sewing needle
* All purpose glue
* Cover button, that you can cover with the fabric of your choice

Step 1:
Fold a piece of paper in half and draw half of your flower petal shape on it. Cut out the shape, so when the paper is unfolded you'll have a perfectly even flower petal.
Place it on your fabric which has been folded in half with right sides facing together, trace 5 shapes onto the folded fabric.

Step 2:
Place a pin in in each of the shapes before you cut them out to ensure the fabric don't slip. Cut out your shapes.

Step 3:
Sew your petals together, using a slightly smaller then normal seam allowance, I used about 1/8 of an inch or they'll get bulky.

Step 4:
Turn your flower petals inside out, this might cause the seam to come a bit undone, which is why I made my petals a touch longer then I wanted them, so I could now trim off a little bit to get them the appropriate length.


Step 5:
Thread your needle with thread, leaving it double throughout. Then thread your petals onto the thread, taking care to do a small stitch first, leave a bit more open, then then do another small stitch (hope this makes sense, please look at the picture) to ensure they all end up looking the same and getting that fold in the middle, making them look flower like.

Step 6:
Using the leftover pieces of your fabric, cut out a round circle according to the instructions on your button package and dress your button.

Step 7:
Pulling on both ends of your thread, tie your flower together in a pleasing manner. The place a dab of glue in the center of the flower, and place your button in place. Cut off the thread and glue a hairband to the back if your flower is to be used as a hair decoration - leave to dry.
  
Finished!