Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scrap Fabric Covered Books

I hope your Holidays were enjoyable. It's nice to relax after that mad crafting rush! When you are out searching for those post Christmas bargains, keep your eyes open for journal notebooks or address books on clearance with the wild patterned covers. I like to take the inexpensive journal / address / recipe books and recover them with scrap fabrics. I either give them to friends or use them myself as general notebooks for shopping lists, etc.

I open the book on a piece of fabric (wrong side up) and roughly trace about a 1 - 1.5" excess around the outside and cut the fabric. Depending on the thickness of the book, you may need to make it longer to accommodate the wrap around the binding when closed. I then wrap the journal book closed to determine how much is needed to cover the binding.

Optionally, you can glue a piece of batting on the front and back of the book to add softness before you wrap it in fabric. Just make sure you measure your fabric cut with both the book open and then closed with the fabric to make sure you have enough.

Start gluing down the sides of the fabric to the back cover about 3/4" - 1" folded seams. Don't worry about neatness of the edges, they'll be covered. Just try to make them flat. I rough cut a tail right where the book binding is. This allows me to glue down all sides to the back and front cover. Then, I just push the tail into the book binding.

To cover the front and back fabric edges, I'll use scrap fabric, card stock, or the inside of used Christmas cards to cover the fabric endings. The possibilities are endless.

My next one will use a scrap piece of fabric I embroidered initials on. If you would like more detailed instructions, or have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stars, Tying Threads & A Wink

Great Grandmother's Stars

I finally finished a quilt request for a friend. They wanted a photo quilt and wanted to add their great grandmother's blocks to the photo quilt. They had a bunch of these stars sitting around not being used and wanted to see two in a quilt. It was tough finding some type of match for all the different colors in the blocks. No two stars are alike. Here's what I ended up with. Family photos around the outside and center focus photo. This has kept me pretty busy the last couple of weeks. At least now two of the stars are not in storage and are being used. Not the best extract photo but...

Tying Threads

How do you finish your quilts? I think there has to be an easier way? I end up with so many threads after quilting starts and stops. I use one of those easy thread needles and pull all the threads to the back. Then I tie off each set of threads (bobbin + upper) and then I use the easy thread needle again and pull the tails into the backing and snip the excess to hide the knots. This is sooo time consuming. How do you finish your threads, do you just snip without tying? I'm looking for some time saving tips.

My own personal wink

While wrestling with the above quilt using my regular sewing machine, I came in contact with several pins on the quilt sandwich. When I was fixing my hair, I could not help but see my own personal winking smiley face on my arm in the mirror. You have to look carefully for the right eye dot. Who says quilting is not a dangerous hobby??

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stiffening Crochet Snowflakes

Murphy's Law of Computer issues

So I finally got my new PC setup up and running and got a post out on Sunday. After that, my Internet service went out. That has never happened in the years I've been with them. I contacted the cable company and they said, sorry there is an outage in your area. Go Figure!

Stiffened my crochet snowflakes.

They turned out great! It was so simple but a little sticky since I chose to use sugar. Here is what I did. I only had 8 snowflakes to stiffen and I took a guess at the amount and turned out right.

  1. 1/4 cup of sugar
  2. 1/4 cup of hot water or boiling water. I used the water out of our water cooler. Be careful not to burn your fingers!
  3. Mixed until sugar is dissolved. If water turns cooler before sugar dissolves, try 5 seconds at a time in the microwave.
  4. When temperature is tolerable (not to burn your fingers). Dip crochet items (snowflakes in this case) to completely soak them
  5. Squeeze off excess sugar water (try not to wring or extremely distort your item)
  6. I used a cookie sheet with wax paper on it. Not sure if this is good idea or not. Maybe someone can advise. Seemed to work for me without getting wax on the items. Placed the snowflakes on it and arranged out all the crocheted details.
  7. Let sit for at least 24 hours to dry. I went back overnight and they still weren't done, I thought I did it wrong. I flipped them so the other side could get air and then I left them to sit longer and the next time I came back, they were stiff as a board.
  8. Add a yarn or ribbon hanger through one of the openings and then hang on the tree or add to a gift box.

Thanks for stopping by