Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tutorial - Simple Katarina Bracelet

I'm making a tutorial to teach you all how to make your own, simple, unbacked 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 want to learn how to make a full sami bracelet with leather backing, my Sami Jewellery - All The Basics Tutorial is a great place to start!

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

All materials you need can be bought from https://www.tnkreativt.com/. They also have lovely kits for you with everything you need to make your first bracelet. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just like their products.

Making the Braid

* 1 strand of 1/4 inch wide 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.

* 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 attach the leather piece to your braid with three stitches. These stitches should be in the same holes, and go around the leather and the braid on the backside. Make the stitch just slightly smaller than 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 (see the basics tutorial if you are uncertain), 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 each end 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. If you're uncertain about how to do this, see the basics tutorial.

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. Press down on the ends of the braid to get the glue all the way down to the edges and get a neat end. Clamp your ends closed with a clothespin, wonder clip or your fingers until it's somewhat dry - to get your loop nice and centered. 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 Facebook Group and thereby share it with me and the world so we all can enjoy it and be inspired by it!  And don't hesitate to tag me if you post on instagram @pink_pony_design.

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

* 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.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bows and flowers for my hair

I have such a hard time finding hair decorations that I like, so I decided to try my hand at making my own. Here's the resut of todays play, a simple black bow and a batik blue flower:

They're really easy to make too, I'm thinking I'll throw up a quickie tutorial...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

UFO - UnFinished Object

So I've had this half finished little top lying around with the cubes pinned in place since last summer...

However, while I loved it then, upon closer inspection later it doesn't really hold up to my current standards and I've not felt like finishing it. Both because I loved it so much and was so proud of it when I was making it and today it makes me feel like crying a little - but also because I know no matter what I do I will only see it's flaws. It's more then a little bumpy (hoping to be able to quilt out some...) and the blocks are not the same size, but tonight I figured I should at lest applique the block in place as I'd noticed that the pins had rusted into the fabric (the reason I ordered the Tack tool - Malta's humidity is death to pins) and it would be completely ruined if left to it's own devices much longer.

It is still the most advanced thing I've ever made, all those Y seams nearly killed me and I ripped every seam at least 2 times I think. =)

I'll put it a way a little again now to see if I can get back enough love for it to quilt it and finish it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Love Nest Quilt Contest

I'm entering the love nest quilt contest at Gen X Quilters.
I'm so very excited about this and I knew instantly I had to enter my Crazy Rainforest quilt. It's my biggest pride since it's very much my own when it comes to everything from it's happy, silly theme to bright and colorful fabrics and the, to my mind at least, imaginative backside. And not to say the least that it's my first real bed size quilt and my first try at applique =)

I'm supposed to tell you all the details so here goes, it will be long, sorry!

When I was at "quilt camp" in the forests of Sweden the summer of 2009 (I go every year, it's the BEST week of the year), Mia - the woman who hosts - it had gotten some amazing batik fabric and I was in love. I was standing there in front of that shelf every day, patting them, bringing them out, unrolling a meter or two, rolling it back up and so on. I felt I couldn't really justify buying some of them, they where so bright and didn't really go with anything we had at home but it went so far I even dreamed of them at night, I knew that I had to call my fiance and ask him. I called, so nervous I was nearly shaking (I'd already spent hundreds of euros on the trip in fabric costs and the camp itself), passionately explaining my love for the fabrics in question and he, being the awesome guy he is gave me permission to buy enough for a quilt! I first was determined to get a nicely color scaled quilt in blues and maybe purples but when I stood there I knew I just had to buy all my favorites, despite the fact that they clashed and didn't go together at all. So I picked and choose for 3 days, bringing out new colors/fabrics and keeping the bolts by me as I sewed on the quilt I was working on (you can see it in the background, my waterlilies quilt being basted):

I came home with this little pile of fabrics, Mia knew how in love I was with them and she packed them up so neatly for me that I loved it so much I didn't open it for 9 months, I just looked at it:

Then I finally got up the courage to cut it up when my fiance was away on a trip for 5 days and I got some peace and quiet to work on it. I knew I wanted to make the blocks that  many others had been sewing on during the camp and I got to work:

The technique was all new for me but the top came together really quickly and easily despite the triangles. 

When it came to layout I wanted something that at a first glance was random but when you really looked you knew it wasn't so I want with very other piece diagonally:

When looking at this photo with a friend is when I knew that I'd made a rainforest quilt, and I knew I'd have to incorporate a little appliqued poison dart frog somewhere (as you can see in my blog header) =) 
The quilt was made together with my beloved Norwegian Forest Cat boy Edward, and of course Diana too, but it means especially much for me that Edward was there and helped me bat at strips and "iron" blocks by lying on them as we lost him much to young to liver failure this fall. I always think of him when I see this quilt now as he loved it in it's finished version too.

But here the work halted for a few months as I had run out of fabric and I couldn't quilt on my machine so I had to wait for quilt camp 2010 to finish it. I made a little border out of the tiny scraps from the strips in the meantime. 

Once back at camp in Sweden one year later the leftover blocks became a contemporary backside, which I really love, it's like two quilts in one, one more serious side, and one silly frog side =) 

It's my favorite quilt I've made, it always makes me smile when I look at it. The quilting is made with a wavy seam on my mothers Husquarna and it's quilted with a rainbow thread.


In it's place in the spare bedroom, really cheers it up (I know it's a single bed quilt but I think it kind of works ^^)

I'm sorry for the massive post, but it said to tell everything and this quilt holds so much love for me I had to include it all =)

I did it! =D

My postage stamp quilt top is finished in time for the deadline of the quilt along! I'm so happy with it, the design is not something I would have tried on my own I think and it was so much fun (and just a teeny tiny bit frustrating ^^) to put it together. The Bliss line is so beautiful even if not my normal color scale. Now I just have to get the backing fabric and I'm ready to quilt it.

My sincerest thanks to the amazing Rachel of http://www.psiquilt.com/ for putting this together for us! It's been so much fun to participate. <3

Friday, January 28, 2011

I think I can do it!

First and foremost, surgery went well, very little trouble in and out in much less time then I'd expected and I also got away much cheaper then planned, excellent! =)

So I've been piecing and piecing like a madman last night and today, I really want to finish the quilt along quilt top before the time is up. After I took a short leg stretcher I realizes that my little workspace was adorably square today with the little pieces of Bliss everywhere so I had to snap a picture. And as I haven't shown off  my sewing area in the new apartment either I figured now would be an as good time as any: It's a corner of the living room with windows all around basically so I get tons of natural light during the day (now if I could only start quilting during the day and make good use of that ^^).

I don't know if you can see it in the picture but the seam ripper is there and has really been my friend today, I'm not 100% on top of things with the pains from the surgery and everything but I'm having to much fun to stop! As you can tell from me posting this as 00:35 at night when I got up at 5:00 this morning to go to the hospital for the surgery =D

The Postage Stamp Quilt Along is hosted by the amazing Rachel of p.s i quilt, and the flickr group with all the amazing participants can be found here: The Postage Stamp Quilt Along - Flickr.

I had no idea how much fun it would be to participate in a quilt along, the encouragement from other quilters, getting inspiration form the others work and ideas, it's fantastic! If you ever get a chance to participate on one, I highly recommend it =)