Category Archives: Crafts

Shrinky Dink Knitting Stitch Markers

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I’m getting ready to head up to the Stitches Texas conference for knitters, crocheters and other fiber artists.  As part of the planned fun, there are a bunch of us who will be participating in a stitch marker exchange.  So I’ve been busy making stitch markers for this.

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Yes, I’ve been making LOTS of stitch markers.  In fact, my group of knitting friends who are going to the conference have been meeting and working on our markers together, which is a load of fun, let me tell you.

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Our latest “workshop” involved making markers out of Shrinky Dinks paper.  It has been many, many years since I did anything with Shrinky Dinks and this proved to be lots of fun.  If you aren’t familiar with the process, here is roughly how to do it.

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You can buy Shrinky Dinks at most craft stores.  It comes in thin sheets of plastic-like material or heavy vinyl.  At the store I got mine from, they had matte, frosted, and white shrinky dinks paper.  In the picture above this one, the matte markers are the ones that are black and white.  The white markers were made from white shrinking paper.  And the frosted ones are the semi-transparent ones in a bit of color and black and white.  I found that, for the matte paper, I needed to take a green scrubber like you use for scrubbing a pan and lightly rough up one side of the paper so that I could easily draw on it.

OK, here is what you do.

1. For markers, find something circular, if you like that shape (i.e. the bottom of a pill bottle) and trace the circles onto the paper.  You might want to experiment with several sizes of circles and go through the whole process, including baking them so that you can see what size they will end up.

2.  Using Sharpie pens (or even Crayola-type coloring pencils/crayons), draw your design of choice on each circle.  I used a piece of paper to rest my hand on while drawing (starting at the top of my Shrinky Dinks page) so that the oils from my hands wouldn’t interfere with the ability of the pens to draw on the paper.

3.  Now cut out each circle.

4.  Using a hole punch, punch a hole at the top of each circle.  (NOTE:  You MUST punch any holes you want to make before you bake these otherwise you’ll be trying to drill a hole in a hard, small object.

5.  Now, put a sheet of parchment paper down on a cookie sheet (I used a jelly roll pan which is just a cooky sheet with a little lip all around it so that, if they “jumped” while baking, they wouldn’t accidentally slip off my sheet and gunk up my oven).  Place your shrinky dinks circles on the parchment paper.  NOTE:  I think I placed mine about 2 or so inches apart.

6.  Bake in a 350 degree oven.  At this point, you need to turn on your oven light and watch them.  First they will start to curl up until they look like little bowls.  Don’t panic.  This is normal.  They will gradually lay back down flat.  When they have flattened back down, you can take them out of the oven.  NOTE:  The whole procedure takes probably less than 5 minutes.

7.  Now, using a second sheet of parchment paper, lay that extra sheet of the paper on top of the baked shrinky dinks and use a flat spatula to press down briefly on each one.  This will just ensure that they are nice and flat.

8.  I then slide the baked shrinky dinks (which are much smaller than they were originally, plus thicker) onto another sheet of parchment paper on my counter and let them cool, which doesn’t take long.

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To finish making the markers, I open up a jump ring and insert it into the hole and then close up the jump ring.  There you have it.  You’ve made your own stitch markers.  If you aren’t familiar at all with jewelry making, you’ll probably want to get a few tools.

I particularly like the following:

Beadsmith Jump Ring Opening and Closing Tool

Beadsmith 1-Step Looper Pliers

A Crimper

A set of jewelry pliers like these, which are a nice size to throw into a bag when going off to work on markers with friends.

You’ll also need see-through containers for your beads, assorted jump rings, and 2 or 3-inch headpins for making the beaded markers shown at the top of this post.  But for shrinky dinks markers, it’s pretty simple:  jump rings, hole punch, and shrinky dinks paper (they DO make generic shrinking vinyl paper, if you want to save some bucks).

Now go pretend you’re a kid again and make some crafts.

 

June Needlework

Chair Socks

Chair Socks

I’ve been working on several different projects this month.  Normally, I’m knitting away on a lot of different things but this month seems to be a crocheting month.  First my daughter sent me a picture from an Etsy listing for crocheted chair socks.  We’ve been having real problems with our travertine kitchen floors.  No matter what we put on the bottom of our kitchen chairs (pads, disks, etc.), they still make scrape marks on the soft tiles.

I had first tried some baby socks but it wasn’t long before the chairs put big holes in each sock from the daily friction.  When I saw the picture from my daughter, I figured that I’d check out Ravelry to see if there were any patterns up there for chair socks.  How hard could they be?  Turns out that they aren’t hard at all.  I found this free pattern on Plus 3 Crochet’s blog.  She made hers with stripes but I chose to crochet mine in a solid color.  The only tedious part was having to crochet sixteen of them.  So far they are working great.

Preschool Bear

Preschool Bear

The next order of business was to crochet a little bear for Sprout.  Someone donated this little bear to his daycare and he has grown quite attached to it.  In fact, he is SO attached to it that he keeps on insisting on bringing it home.  The next day, our daughter has to drag it back to the school.  She wanted me to try to duplicate it so he could have his very own bear.

Adipose Man?

Adipose Man?

There are a lot of teddy bear patterns on Ravelry so I perused them all until I settled on Sleepy Bear designed by Jennifer Olivarez.  I was working away at it and had finished the head shape and started on the body.  Hmmm, it seemed to me that it might be working up rather big.  Plus it currently had a strong resemblance to that Adipose Man on the old Dr. Who episode.

I texted my daughter and asked her, “How big is that bear that Sprout likes?”

“About 8-9 inches tall,” she answered.

Oh, oh.   I was guessing that this bear was going to be around 12-15 inches by the time he was finished.  I laid it aside and went in search of a smaller pattern.

Big Bean and Little Bean, the bears

Big Bean and Little Bean, the bears

I found this little guy called simply “Bear” designed by Andrea Laca.  So I found some different yarn and a smaller hook and started again.  This time, he was definitely smaller.

I texted a picture of the two in progress to my daughter and told her that my second attempt was working out much better.

“Sprout likes both of them.  In fact, he likes them just like that,” she said.

WHAT?  They looked like overgrown antenna toppers.  Looks like I’ll be finishing both bears.

Little Bean, in progress

Little Bean, in progress

To give my hands a break, I headed off to the kitchen to make a rum cake for the potluck with friends on the calendar for tomorrow.  When it came time to fix the glaze, I pulled the butter out of the fridge and did a double-take.  What in the world?  In my attempt to stay within budget, I had bypassed my favorite brand of butter the other day because the store brand was cheaper.

I always prefer Land o’ Lakes butter for that Minnesota vibe it gives off, you know….”From the Land of Sky-Blue waters….” Oh, wait….that’s Hamms beer.  I guess I’m thinking of “From the shores of Gitche Gummee…” and Hiawatha or is it “Land of 10,000 Lakes?”  Well, this is beside the point because, (oh, the horror), I spied the word “LIGHT” on the side of the butter box.

Light butter!  Seriously?  How could I possibly have grabbed fake butter off the shelves.  Just the very thought should be enough to make my dairy farmer grandfather roll over in his grave.  If it ain’t real, it ain’t butterin’ my biscuits.  Unfortunately, it was all I had on hand.  Hopefully a big dollop of whipped cream will nullify any culinary cooties it might be giving off.  And with that, it’s time to get back to working on a muzzle for Little Bean, the bear.

 

Teaching a Child to Crochet

Crocheting

I was thinking the other day that I might try teaching Sweet Pea how to crochet, instead of trying to concentrate on teaching her to knit right now.  I thought it might come easier to her to just have to manipulate one hook vs. two needles.  Also, even just learning to chain would give her enjoyment and something she could use for belts or necklaces or leashes for her dolls and stuffed animals.

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I was pleasantly surprised that she was so excited to try crocheting.  Holding the yarn with the right tension was the hardest for her as she worked to “catch” the yarn with the hook and then maneuver it back through the previous loop.  I showed her how you could pull up on the loop to make it looser.  I also showed her how easily you could slip a loop back onto your hook if it fell off.  She quickly grasped this point and carried on.

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After she had worked on her chain for a bit, I took over and showed her how quickly I could make a chain and emphasized that she would be able to chain that quickly with practice.  Then I suggested that we try a simple single crochet stitch to turn that chain into a little blanket for one of her toys.  I did the first row, explaining that the first row is always the hardest when you are making those first stitches in the chain but then I turned it over to her.  It didn’t take much for her to grasp where the hook was to be inserted for each stitch.  Holding the yarn was a little harder.  We compromised by me holding the yarn and Sweet Pea holding the swatch and the hook and doing the hooking and pulling through the loops.

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Sweet Pea did two rows of single crochet with a little help from Nana, but not much help.  Mainly I just reinforced the fact that she was doing it correctly and cheered for each stitch that she completed.

Crochet

As she neared completing the second row, I could sense she was getting tired and I wisely suggested that we take a break with the caveat that we could pick it up and continue on her next visit.  She was all smiles and had so much fun examining what she had done and telling me how she planned to use her crocheted swatch.  I actually had to walk away into the kitchen to get some kleenex to wipe my eyes.  I was all teared up just seeing the joy she was experiencing from trying a fiber craft that I enjoy.

Before the grandchildren left for home today, they were telling us about a “new” visitor to their home.  A cat has started to hang out around their house.  It was apparently starving so they have been feeding it and now it shows up whenever they step outside.

Our son told them, “We’re not going to adopt it, though.  Papa is allergic to cats so he wouldn’t feel very good if he came over to our house and the cat was inside.  Who would you rather have in our house, the cat or Papa?”

“The cat,” shouted the children.

The Commander and I chuckled.

“Yup, looks like ‘cute and fluffy’ will win out over ‘old and fuzzy’ every time,” I laughed.

 

Using Up Your Scrap Yarn

Scrap Blanket

Several posts ago, I mentioned that I was working on a crocheted blanket to use up my yarn remnants.  This was what it looked like at the time.  The pattern is called  “Scrap Yarn Blanket” and I found the tutorial for it over at the Keeping It Stepford blog.

Well, I’ve been working away at this blanket and boy, has it been eating up my stash of yarn leftovers.  I have been consistently using three strands of yarn held together as I work the pattern and, as I finish up one ball, I’ve just added another.  Since most of my yarn is wool, I’ve been able to “spit splice” and just keep on crocheting with a minimum of ends to weave in.

Lap robe3

At first I had no particular sequence of colors or combinations of yarns in mind.  I just was grabbing three balls of yarn that I thought didn’t clash terribly and was crocheting away.  However, my structured nature quickly began to try to assert itself and I quickly found myself trying to have more of a “plan” as to what colors I’d try next so that a striping effect began to emerge.

Lap Robe2

What I REALLY had to fight was the urge to go out and buy yarn in particular colors so that I could have striping sequences that fit more in line with my “vision.”  What would be the point of calling it a scrap blanket if I was not using what I had but instead going out and getting new yarn?

I also discovered that this blanket gets heavy and large quickly.  I had thought that I’d stuff it into a bag and take it to my knitting group to work on it there.  Well, within a week of working on it, it was beyond the point of being able to be stuffed into a bag.  The thing had become too bulky.  And my, was it ever nice and toasty.

Lap Robe

 

Today, I decided to take it upstairs and lay it out on the queen-sized bed in our guest room just so I could get some idea of what size it was at now.  Jeepers!  It has really grown.  I think I’ll do several more stripes and then bind it off.  I was just going to use it as a lap robe to keep myself warm when I watch TV but it’s a bit bigger than a mere lap robe now.  My husband is also lobbying to use it himself.  Perhaps it will make an appearance on the back of a sofa next winter.  It will certainly keep us nice and toasty when the gales of November turn into the bitter cold of winter.

All in all, it’s been a quick and fun project and I feel like I’ve really been successful in using up much of my oddball (no pun intended) collection of yarn remnants.  If you like to crochet and are looking for a simple project to use up yarn, this is definitely worth a look.

A Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Review

Flip Size

Truly Mobile AND Compact!

When I was at a scrapbooking retreat this past fall, I got a chance to see the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.  It intrigued me and the fact that the person who had it was giving it a glowing endorsement also made me sit up and take notice.  I have a flat-bed scanner but the thing is huge, heavy, and tethered to my computer desk and computer.  It isn’t going anywhere.  This little scanner, on the other hand, would be something that I could throw in my purse or bag and take with me on-the-go.  That’s why I put it on my Christmas list and the Commander, er, Santa, stuck it under our tree.  Whee!

First, let me confess that I was waiting for the Commander to help me set it up before I gave it a try.  Well, I got tired of waiting and decided to check out some YouTube videos and the company’s website to see if it would be easy enough for me to take out of the box and figure out on my own.  Let me assure you, it is EASY!  Now that I’ve scanned my first set of pictures, let me tell you what I think of it.

1.  The size and weight are a real plus.  In the picture above, I put a 4″ x 6″ notebook and a 2″ sticky pad next to it to give you an idea of just how big it is.  The scanner measures approximately 10″ long by 6 1/2″ wide.  It weighs about 1 pound, 8 oz.

2.  You can start scanning right out of the box.  The scanner comes with a 2 GB memory card (which is where the scans are stored until you put them on your computer), batteries, and a USB stick adapter that you can put the memory card into, in case your computer doesn’t have a SD card slot.

Scans show up in the Preview Window.

Scans show up in the Preview Window.

3.  A preview window lets you see the scan. The window is small but it’s not there for you to do editing.  It’s there just so you can see that the item was scanned.  There is also a battery level indicator (more on the batteries later) and a counter that shows you how many scans you have remaining that will fit on the SD card.  The stars on the right side indicate what dpi resolution setting you have it set at, either 300 or 600 dpi.

4.  The software program for processing the scans is included on the SD card.  You don’t have to do anything but stick the card into your computer, locate the files, make a few clicks, and the software will load.  If you should ever need to reload the software onto your computer, it’s easy to do at the Flip-Pal website.  Software updates are also made available at the website and registered owners are notified of new updates as they become available.

 

Typical flatbed scanning is a breeze.

Typical flatbed scanning is a breeze.

5.  Scanning pictures up to 4 x 6″ is fast.  I was pretty impressed with how quickly this little scanner scanned my snapshots.  You basically put the picture face-down on the scanning area, close the lid and press the green button on the side.  When the scan is completed, you’ll see the picture in the preview window.

Taking multiple scans of larger pictures.

Taking multiple scans of larger pictures.

6.  You can scan larger pictures and documents using the “Stitch” feature.  If you want to scan a larger document or picture, you pop the lid off and flip the scanner.  Then you start scanning overlapping segments of the picture, using etched guidelines around the edges of the screen to help you overlap your scanned areas.  I found this a tad tedious.  In the above picture, the photo that I was scanning was an 8″ x 10″ photo.  I took six scans to get it all down with proper overlaps.  I have to admit that I was skeptical about the software’s ability to put the whole thing back together again without obvious misalignments or gaps.

The scanned photo, after the software stitched it together.

The scanned photo, after the software stitched it together.

Well, here is the photo after the software did its magic.  Wow, it was pretty amazing.  Still, I think for just scanning around the house, I’d tend to use my large scanner for larger photos and documents.  It would be so much faster than taking multiple scans of one document.  However, I can see where you might be at a relative’s house and not have the luxury of having your large scanner available.  That’s when this Flip-Pal feature would really come in handy.  Or you might be at a library or research center and want to make a quick scan of a document.  Incidentally, the Library of Congress and the National Archives allow you to bring in a Flip-Pal scanner when doing your research.  It is sufficiently low-light that it won’t hurt their resources.  Other facilities are apparently on a case-by-case basis.  Some historical societies and research facilities will let you use this scanner and others won’t, so if you are planning to bring one, I’d call ahead to check on whether or not it will be allowed.

Cons:

1. Battery Life – the manufacturer says that the batteries will last for approximately 150 scans.  The good news is that you can use rechargeable batteries in the scanner.  That’s what I plan to do.  I use a Sanyo Ni-MH Battery Charger along with Eneloop batteries so I plan to always have some charged up and ready to go in my little Flip-Pal carry bag.

2.  Getting the Toolbox software to load is initially a little fiddly.  I’m not a computer genius and I’m afraid that my Windows Install Wizard has spoiled me.  I just figure that when I pop something into my computer or download something, an install window will pop up  that will start walking me through the steps to install.  That’s why, when I put the SD card into my computer, I waited for something to happen but nothing did.  I had to go get the Commander.  He had me follow some simple steps to find the file mentioned in the Quick Start Guide and then, once I did some clicking (can’t ever remember if I’m supposed to double-click or single-click so that’s why I get the Commander), things started happening and my scans showed up and my Toolbox window popped up and we were good to go.    I made the decision to “cut and paste” the scans into a folder in “My Pictures”  on the computer (except for the ones I needed to stitch together) and then I imported them into my Creative Memories Memory Manager program where I did final cropping, rotation, and color adjustment.  The Toolbox program DOES do color adjustment but I just happen to prefer my Memory Manager program.  By “cutting and pasting”, I deleted the scans from the SD card, keeping plenty of space available.

Bottom line is that this little scanner is another handy tool for the scrapbooker and genealogist.  You can take it with you to family gatherings and scan photos right on the spot.  You can scan photos that are in albums, without having to try to remove them and you don’t have to take off any protective plastic covering from the album pages, either.  I’m certainly glad that it showed up under my Christmas tree and am really looking forward to exploring even more of its capabilities in the months ahead.

 

 

The Christmas 2012 Pillowcase Collection

A Pittsburgh Steelers Pillowcase for a Steelers fan.

A Pittsburgh Steelers Pillowcase for a Steelers fan.

Every year I make custom pillowcases for my extended family.  It has become quite the tradition.  I try to find fabric that reflects their interests, hobbies, or peculiarities and then go from there.  It’s really become a fun part of our gift-giving experience and we always get a good laugh as we watch each other open our packages to see what will be revealed THIS year.

Now that we finally had the chance to celebrate a belated Christmas with our daughter and son-in-law, I can show you what I made for the crew this year.  Everyone has seen their pillowcase so no one will be tipped off ahead of time.

Without further ado, here is what I came up with for Christmas 2012:

Pillowcases(From upper left to right)  “So Many Bucks” collection – for my brother, the hunter; “The Better Luck Next Time, Tigers ” World Series collection – for my sister-in-law who is a Detroit Tigers fan; “The Army Proud, Army Strong” collection – for my nephew in the Army;  The “Be All That You Can Be” Army collection – for my nephew’s wife.

Pillowcases 2

 

(From left to right) “All Cars on Deck” collection – for my nephew’s son, who loves the movie, “Cars.”; “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” collection – for my nephew who loves to bicycle.

2012 Pillowcases

 

(starting in upper left corner) “The All Hands on Deck” collection – for my hubby, the Navy Commander; “The Vrooom, Vrooom” collection – for my son-in-law who races motorcycles; “The Big Ben” collection – for my daughter, the Steelers fan; (whoops, the next one is for next year); and finally the “Maraud and Pillage Collection” – for me, who is of Viking ancestry.

2012 Pillowcases -4

 

(From left to right) “The Love-All” collection – for my daughter-in-law’s father, who is a tennis nut; “The Stop and Smell the Flowers” collection – for my daughter-in-law’s mother, who loves lilacs.

2012 Pillowcases -3

 

(From top left, clockwise) “The Folkloric Collection” – for the sister of our daughter-in-law, currently living in Mexico; “The Giddy-up” Collection – for another sister of our daughter-in-law, who likes horses; “The Guitar Jam” collection – for her husband, who enjoys playing bass guitar; “The Jean Claude Killy Collection” – for our daughter-in-law’s grandfather – who enjoys skiing.

2012 Pillowcases -2

 

(from top left, clockwise) “The Thomas the Train” collection – for Sweet Pea, who adores Thomas the Train; “The Can I Get a ‘U’ with that ‘Q’ Collection” – for our daughter-in-law’s grandmother, who is a Scrabble wiz; “The Give Peace a Chance” collection – for our son, the pacifist; the “Toughest Job in the World” collection – for our daughter-in-law, mother to two preschoolers.

If you are looking for a fun, personalized gift to make for someone, I’d encourage you to give pillowcases a try, especially if you enjoy sewing.  They aren’t hard to make at all.  Just find a basic pattern, then go out and have fun picking that special combination of fabric to make a pillowcase that will be uniquely theirs.

Staging the Final Christmas Push

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busily working on finishing up my Christmas gifts.  I had to take a short detour to work on our annual Christmas letter.  Each year I wonder if I should reduce the number that I send out but then I look over my list and just don’t want to  cut anyone.

Our church sets up a little “mail box” in our church foyer each year for congregants to drop off Christmas greetings for each other.  We then donate the money we saved on postage to our denomination’s world missions offering.  The problem lies in the fact that it is hard to just give cards to a few in our church when we know so many.  I always feel that someone might feel left out or hurt that we didn’t include them.  Silly, I know, but I’m a “feeler,” what can I say?

Then I send cards to my mother’s friends and acquaintances in addition to my own relatives and friends.  When the final tally was taken this year, I sent out 148 Christmas newsletters.  For once, I didn’t bother with Christmas cards.  I just put in a newsletter of what our family had been up to in 2012 and included a family photo that I designed using my digital scrapbooking software.

Holiday Photo

I SO enjoy hearing what people have been doing over the year and I am always slightly disappointed when I just get a card with a signature.  I know that newsletters have gotten a “bum rap” over the years but I do try to always make mine as original and unique as possible.  Hopefully people don’t find them too boring.

Card 6

So I have finished my Christmas cards and they’ve either been delivered to church or put in the mail and now I’m on the last of the major Christmas projects…..making Christmas presents for all the staff who work on my mom’s wing of the nursing home.  I’m making card sets  for each one, using pictures of my mom from different stages of her life up to when she became a grandmother.  Oh, I might have snuck in a few pictures of my own toddler years and one of my children, too but they were classics.  I then did some tweaking of them in my scrapbooking software program, added some captions and am making greeting cards out of them, matting them and then mounting them on plain cards that I purchased separately.    I did something similar last year for the group and they really liked them.  The difference was that I didn’t include any sayings.  We’ll see if this year’s “collection” is as big a hit.  It is a big undertaking, though, because there are around 35 people to make these for and I try to work up about 6 cards per set.  Let’s see….doing the math, that means I have to make 210 cards.  Groan!

Guess I’d better get off the computer and back to work.  The “plus” to all of this is that I am getting to listen to lots of the podcasts that have been getting backlogged on my computer/smartphone.  What are your Christmas card traditions?

A Positive Bias

As a sewer and a quilter, there is nothing that I like more than finding a gadget that saves me time and makes things easier.  Right now I’m working on a baby quilt for my newest grandchild, little Luke.  Yesterday, I was ready to make some bias tape for the edging.  I like to make my own from whatever fabric I’ve chosen to complement the quilt top.  It can be a tedious process.  But this little gadget has simplified life immensely.

It’s a Clover Bias Tape Maker.  Clover makes these in a variety of sizes, depending on what width of bias tape you wish to make.  They are really simple little gadgets, too and inexpensive, ranging from $3 to $5 each.   You should be able to find them in any fabric/sewing store.  So how do they work?

Well, first you need to cut out your fabric strips and sew them together, end to end until you have as many connected as you wish.  I usually sew them all since I figure I can always find a use for the leftover binding I’ve made up.  Now to create the bias tape.  The hardest part is just getting the fabric strip started into the gadget.  To do that, I take one end of my fabric and fold it into thirds or fourths to make a firm section.  Then I push it through the widest part of this opening.  Once it pokes through on the other smaller end, I grab it and start pulling it through until I can open it up and straighten the fabric out to look like the picture.  I realize that I’ll lose a few inches at the beginning before things get adjusted but I usually have yards of bias tape made before I’m done so I’m not worried.

Now just grab that little silver handle in your left hand (if you are right-handed) and start pulling it slowly to your left as you steam-iron the resulting bias tape that comes out the other end.  Try to keep the center of the colored plastic insert on the device lined up with the center of the folded edges.  You might occasionally have to straighten out your fabric on the other end to keep things moving smoothly.

It really will seem like magic and before you know it, you’ll have a pile of lovely bias tape all ready to bind the edges of your quilt.  It’s easy as can be.  Don’t you just love it when that happens?
I’m providing a link to a review of another bias tape maker out there.  It looks interesting.  Don’t know how much it costs but nice to know you have options.

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© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

A Stitch in Time

Where’s My Quilt, Nana?

I am fast running out of time when it comes to finishing a quilt for my little pippin, Luke.  We’ll be heading off to visit him soon and I want to have it in hand when we go but it isn’t even pieced together yet.  Ah, over-achiever that I am, I seem to think that this is no problem.

Many Hands Make Light Work

I’ve collected as many family hand-prints as possible, either in person or begging via email.  I know that I’m missing some key ones but time has run out.  Therefore the quilt will be made without them and I can always add them later on pillowcases or later quilts.

Hmm, Which Fabric to Use?

I’ve picked out my fabrics and my pattern and now comes the fun part of matching hands to design elements and to fabric colors.

What’s a quilt without a few modifications?

I’ve had to come up with a few modifications for this quilt.  The original design called for the hand-prints to be made from fabric paint and then accented with things like rick-rack, buttons, etc.  However, I decided that fabric paint would dry too stiff and abrasive for a baby’s delicate skin and buttons would not be safe for such a young child.  I’ve decided to cut the hands out of fabric and to zig-zag around them by machine.  I’ll make “eyes” out of felt or fabric instead of buttons and attach them the same way – via zig-zag stitch.

Time to Fire Up the Sewing Machine!

I’m just about finished cutting hands out of fabric and attaching them to my blocks.  The next step is cutting out my quilt strips and sashing.  Then I need to assemble the quilt, layer it with batting and backing, begin zig-zagging around the hands, sew the accents on the blocks,and finish quilting the whole shebang before hand-sewing the binding around the edges.

Oh, did I tell you that this all has to be done in one and a half weeks?  No problemo!  Stoke me up with some creme-filled donuts and I’m good to go.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

Any Day Now

We’re in the final countdown until our second grandbaby arrives.  It’s the stage where we jump every time the phone rings.  Could this be it?  Are they on their way to the hospital? They don’t have to worry about finding someone to watch little Mika since her Texas grandparents are right there, as are several aunts.  The crib is assembled and a bag is semi-packed.  We’ve reminded them to take a camera.  So now we wait!

While we wait, I’ve been going through some boxes of old photographs.  Today I found my old baby book.  I had not been able to remember exactly how much I weighed when I was born when my son asked me the other day but this cleared up the mystery.

I had to chuckle as I looked through the book because it was not indicative of my mother’s over-achieving nature.  She had filled out very few pages.  In fact, I found some pages where it was pretty obvious that I had filled out my own pages back when I was about 12-years old.  How is this for an impressive life’s ambition?

There are plenty of pages that I could still fill out in my “Log o’ Life” book, which was cleverly designed to document a child’s life from birth to the grave.  There’s even a page set aside for “Old Age Photo.”  Boy, you wouldn’t dare market a baby book like this to Baby Boomers now.  I just read an article today that said we don’t even like to be called “Seniors.” 

Luckily, the newest little niblet due to arrive will have a Nana who loves to document life’s events in pictures and commentary.  With any luck, neither child will complain about a lack of documented memories sixty years from now. 

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Hot Flashed Funk

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