Here & There: Quilting Edition

 

This post was meant to have Florrie’s story about her hexagons, too… but temperamental internet has kept her from finishing.  She will post hers as soon as she can.  Trust me, you don’t want to miss her project.  Read on for my story –hex

Down at the Flat I was wandering through some few of my favorite blogs a few weeks back and I read about Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy starting work on some fabric hexagons. It jogged a memory of my mother, an avid quilter, making hexagons when I was a girl and carefully hand stitching them together into a quilt top.  Alicia’s hexagons were so pretty. Shades of pink and cream, green and blue.  The combination of nostalgia and the twitchy fingers of my craft mania meant that it wouldn’t be long before I started some of my own.

I’m an OK seamstress at best, but this seemed easy enough.  I did a little research on construction and Florrie ordered us a few sets of paper hexagons online.  We ended up with 1 1/2 inch and 2 inch paper hexagons.  I was to go up to the Croakery for a long weekend and we were set to get started.  While I was there we took a trip to JoAnn’s (which is extra exciting for me as we don’t have any of them down in the City) and we spent 20 minutes picking out fabrics. Initially I wanted aqua and browns, but the greens kept creeping in and the palette seemed to sort itself out. I bought a quarter of a yard of eight different fabrics, four green and four aqua of varying shades, patterns and intensities.

I knew I wanted to make a small project (a quilt seemed a bit daunting to start in case it turned out making hexagons made my teeth squeak) so I settled on a pillow cover.  Turns out making the hexagons is a quick, easy and pretty fun process. I cut out rough squares (why be fussy and cut a hexagon when you really don’t need to??) with my teeny Ginghers.  You just need to make sure that your fabric squares are big enough to comfortably wrap around the paper pieces. Basting the fabric to the paper was quick and easy, soon I had a decent sized stack and started the work of composing my layout. I settled on diagonal stripes of a dark and light of each color, and laid them out to alternate green/aqua/green and so on. I thought the flower motif might be a bit too twee for what I had in mind.

hexpillow2

Stitching the hexes together turned out to be a breeze. The instructions said to use a whip stitch, but I somehow fell into blanket stitch and it seemed to be fine.  I picked up a 20×13 inch pillow stuffer and got to work making my piece large enough to cover the front. I’m going to make the back with strips of the remaining fabric.

hexpillow

I haven’t decided if I want to fuss around with a zipper yet, or just make a flap. I do plan to line the inside with muslin to make sure no disasters occur while inserting/removing the pillow. Should I do a layer of thin batting for the cover and do a little bit of quilting, too? Decisions, decisions… Also, would anyone be interested in directions for the hexagon pillow? Let me know and I may be able to take the time to create a PDF.      -Marie

 

DIY: Easy Candy Corn Trick or Treat Tote

Done! The marker only looks pale on the left because of the light coming in from the window, its writes quite dark, and it doesn't belld, even on this thin cotton. Now you're ready to fill her up with candy! You can also stitch some scary black ribbon onto the handles if you wanted to....

What you’ll need:

Plain muslin tote

Freezer Paper

Pencil

Ex-acto knife

Iron

Paint brush

Fabric Paint in White, Yellow & Orange

Fabric marker in Black

halloween1

halloween2

Sketch out your design on the freezer paper. If you are making letters, numbers or words, make sure you’re drawing on the dull side of the paper.

I used a sharp Exacto knife to carefully cut it out.

I used a sharp Exacto knife to carefully cut it out.

Cut out and ready!

Cut out and ready!

Position it on your tote where you want it. I decided on the middle, tilted slightly in a jaunty fashion...

Making sure that the shiny side is down, position it on your tote where you want it. I decided on the middle, tilted slightly in a jaunty fashion. With a moderately warm iron, press the freezer paper onto the tote.

You don't need fancy brushes, I used these inexpensive sponge brushes to paint my fabric paint on the tote. I slipped an old magazine inside so that the colors wouldn't bleed through to the back side.

You don’t need fancy brushes, I used these inexpensive sponge brushes to paint my fabric paint on the tote. I slipped an old magazine inside so that the colors wouldn’t bleed through to the back side.

Once its dry, carefully peel the paper off and discard it.

Once the paint is completely dry, carefully peel the paper off and discard it.

So CUTE! Now you are ready to add some detail with your fabric marker.

So CUTE! Now you are ready to add some detail with your fabric marker.

Done! The marker only looks pale on the left because of the light coming in from the window, its writes quite dark, and it doesn't belld, even on this thin cotton. Now you're ready to fill her up with candy! You can also stitch some scary black ribbon onto the handles if you wanted to....

 

I hope you fill it up with loads of your favorite candy! -Marie

Gift wrap ideas

There are so many ways to cover gifts, buy reels and reels of wrapping paper soon adds up. You’ve gone to all that effort buying someone a gift so why not carry that effort over in to the wrapping? The extra step will surely touch the recipient.

Here is how we chose to wrap some of our gifts this Christmas;

Mini Tree Box

Get an assortment of beads

Put them onto a length of string

and glue them onto the box to look like garland

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Gingerbread Gift Box

Like the tree, this was purchased from Michael’s. Paint the both the inside and outside

Using ric rac or other skinny ribbon glue the trim to the box at the neck, arms and legs

Pain the top of the box with glue and pour over glitter

Tip off the excess and glue on some buttons of beads. You could also draw a face

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Santa Gift Box

I love craft boxes, they are so versatile. Paint it in any colours you fancy, this year my theme has developed into traditional red and white

it is Christmas after all, so I decided that some glitter was needed so added it around the bottom of the box

Cut out an image, I got this from D. Blümchen. They have great decoupage items and they are pre cut, so no tedious scissor work

I found these little sequins and glued some on for a finishing touch, they resemble snow flakes somewhat

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Personalised Photo Gift Wrap

Enlarge a photography on a photocopier. I copied this on a colour photocopier, prices start at 39 cents at staples

Wrap your gift

Paint glue onto certain areas, I chose the paint it over the white areas of this image. sprinkle with glitter

Tip off the excess

and there you have it, sparkly, personal gift wrap and no tag required. For added flair finish with a ribbon or bow

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Clothes Peg Tags

Paint a couple of wooden clothes pegs

Pine Cone Peg

Find a pine cone and along one side pull off some of the scales. You are trying to create a flatish surface for the peg to lay against.

Glue the pine cone to the peg and wait for it to dry.

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Jingle Bell Peg

A peg, some jingle bells, thread and a needle are all you need

I got a huge box off assorted sized jingle bells for $19.00 from Pottery Barn

Secure one bell at the end of your thread

Thread on another, in a different size

Thread more, until you have about four or five

Secure the thread around the top of the peg and tie off. To keep the bells close to the peg, pull some thread through the hole in the spring and wrap it over the string holding the bells, tie it in a knot.

All that’s left is to add it to a gift. Why not clip on a mini photo of the recipient

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GLITTER BOW BOX;

This bow could be used on any sized box and even on paper. If you’re putting this on paper, it is probably easier if you wrap the present first and then add the bow.

Grab your box, try getting some for free at a department store or I found mine at the dollar store. Three for a dollar.

Draw on a bow using pencil

Outline the bow so that none of the lines cross. You want there to be a white space between each section of bow so that it will be clearly visible when the glitter is on it.

Use any colour paint and glitter you like, I chose red as it makes a bold statement against the white of the box.

Working on one section at a time apply the paint quite thickly.

You want it all to still be wet when you tip on the glitter.

Sprinkle on liberally, I love seeing mounds of glitter

By leaving a white space you will have a clearly defined bow

Move onto the next section. Paint..

..Add the glitter and tip it off.

I find it easiest to work from left to right, that way there is less chance of me smudging the bow

In about 30 minutes and a cost of about $1.50, you have a sparkly. pretty gift box

Remember to continue down the sides of the box

Mini photo/sketch book

I’ve made these mini books for my family as stocking stuffers, I filled them with photos of The Tiny Terror. I use water colour paper so they would be perfect as a sketch or idea book for an artsy friend.

Gather these things and get making;

Large sheet of paper 20 x 30 inches, This will be enough for 5 books

Leather, suede or other fabric

1/8 inch wide ribbon

Eyelet punch

Eyelet setter

Eyelets

Ruler, Scissors, Craft knife, Spray glue, Hammer/mallet

Take your paper, mine got a bit beaten up in the basement

The paper needs to be 3 ½ inches wide

Measure it out and

cut the paper into strips

I like to have a production line on the go

Each page should be 2 ½ inches wide. I make a mark on both edges of the paper and

Score across the paper very very lightly with a craft knife before folding. Accordion fold the paper, use a bone folder to get crisper edges

The pages should look like this. Depending on the length of your original piece of paper there may be a page that isn’t 2 ½ inches wide, cut this one off. The first and last will be glued to the leather. In the photo above there are 5 pages (10 spaces) on the inside where you can put photos.

Put a small piece of tape along the spine of the book to keep it from springing open

Decide on the fabric you want to use to cover your book. I like leather or suede as it can be easily embossed or branded.

The fabric should measure 3¾ x 6¾ inches approximately. I measure across the front of the book, round the spine and across the back, then add an inch or so for the flap

Mark where the hole for the eyelet will be. With the fabric laying right side down, On the left side measure 2 7/8 inches up from the bottom and 1 inch in from the edge. On the right hand side measure 2 7/8 inches up from the bottom and 3/8 inch in from the edge. Punch out a hole the correct size for your eyelet

Place the eyelet through the hole, Going from the right side of the fabric to the wrong. Using the setting tool and a hammer set the eyelet into the hole with a few gentle bangs

Cut a length of ribbon 17 inches long, and thread it through the holes, so that the ends are on the outside (right side) of the book and the middle runs along the inside. Secure with a little piece of tape if you like.

Fold the cover around the book. Line up the edge of the book with the edge of the cover where the eyelet is set in 1 inch.

On the other edge of the cover where the fold over flap is put a length of tape so that the glue won’t get on it

Spay the  cover with glue and fold back around the pages again, this time lining the edge of the pages up with the tape. Press down firmly and smooth as you go

Trim the excess leather where  there is any. Fold over the flap and tie.

It’s pretty to make with coloured paper