Saturday, June 20, 2015

Crafting the Days Away...Just Not Reporting Them!

I really am crafting up a storm...It's just the time gets away from me before I think about sitting down and writing about what I'm doing....But here's the latest...A patriotic beaded barrette just in time for July 4th! I won't be wearing it, my hair's too short, but it will be in my shop, JeanBeanGifts.
It took a long time to make! The first one usually does. I plan to make more, however, as it turned out so nicely! The pattern/tutorial is from Beadiful Nights online--"Beaded Hair Barrette". In her materials list, she had slightly smaller numbers on some of the supplies. Again, the size of the bead and how tightly you wrap will change things just a tad, perhaps. The supplies I used for this patriotic barrette were:

31-- round red beads, approximate size 6mm, with a decent size hole for multiple passes of wire. This is your base. 
40-- bicone beads, 4 mm  Swarovski would be terrific to use, but that would really shoot up the cost of materials, so I just used crystal acrylic bicone beads. These are your flower petals along the  middle.
10-- small seed beads, royal blue, size 11/0....These are the centers for the "flowers" in the middle
1-- three inch barrette for an adult, for a child, a two inch one would work well, I would think
4-5 feet of stringing wire, size .012...nylon coated stainless steel beading wire
22-- size 6/0 royal blue seed beads--these are used to fill in the spaces of your base around the outside edges. In hindsight, I might try 8/0, a slightly smaller size for fitting in between the bases on the outside edge. It was a little tight getting wire through in wrapping the outside 6/0's between the base beads.
4-- size #1 crimps

The cost will depend on the quality of the beads you use. The materials for this project were approximately $10.00, with using acrylic and artificial beads, wire and barrette.

The tutorial is terrific...It goes very slowly, and you can pause or speed it up, depending on how fast you catch on. Some tips about this project--I ran out of wire even though four feet was the recommended amount. I'm not sure what happened, but my beads might have been a tiny bit larger, I didn't pull the wire tight enough, who knows? I suggest using 5 feet of wire for wrapping. You have to have a LOT of patience, as at first the long length of wire wants to kink as you wrap, so you have to go slowly. A pair of jewelry tweezers is really handy for the last part of the wrapping, on the outside edge. I really liked using the crimp beads to contain the wires at each end, and they "pop" down into the barrette holes away from your hair so no snags!

My next project I have finished is a tee shirt quilt for my oldest daughter. She wanted a tee shirt quilt made from all her running shirts. She's quite the runner! I had made one previously for a friend of hers, but my skills are lacking in some departments of quilting, so with some trepidation, I tackled another tee shirt quilt, especially since it was for her! There are books on how to make tee shirt quilts and instructions online, but when you have a different size logos and numbers of shirts going on, then you are kind of on your own. I must have a problem with 1) measuring, 2) cutting accurately, or 3) sewing accurately, as my blocks did not match up perfectly when I assembled them. Phooey!  Here are the fabrics I chose for Kelly's borders and backing. Very Floridian! :-)

In the big photo, you can't tell easily that the squares don't match up, but in person, it's pretty obvious. This is only my third quilt I've ever made in my lifetime of 65 years, so I really don't know how or where I goofed! How do you make one of these? You have to cut the arms and sleeves and back off a tee shirt, interface it with lightweight iron on interfacing, then attach strips and piece it together. It's a miracle I managed to not waste a lot of fabric figuring out how to piece the three section back with two different fabrics, as I am severely math challenged! But here's the front:

My second problem was quilting the top. I don't have a long arm quilting machine. I made this quilt on a little Brother Runway machine and it was a challenge with this relatively big quilt (55 X 66") and my little Brother machine. I was going to have the local shop quilt the top for me, (.20? per inch), but they have to have a LARGE 4-6" margin around the edges for their machine to get a good grip on the quilt. Wouldn't you know, I trimmed my edges WAY too much and didn't have enough surface for them to work with my quilt. Phooey! I even knew what stitch pattern I wanted them to do--a bunch of different sized circles all over the quilt. You know, like when you are "running around in circles"? Thought that was a cute idea. But, nope! Plan B. So-o-o-o, I stitched in the ditch of all the squares' border strips instead. 

BUT--I am terrific at doing bindings, and my binding turned out awesomely on this quilt! You don't have to be so precise on binding, you just have to have enough inches made up to wrap around the quilt. I found a tip online, for bringing the two binding strips together as you come to the finish. 

Sew your binding strips all the way around leaving about a 10" tail loose at each end. Take the quilt off the machine and overlap your two ending strips the exact measurement of the width of your binding, as you lay the remaining unsewn part of your binding flat against your quilt. If your binding is 2 1/2" wide, like mine was, then you overlap one end over the other by 2 1/2". Then cut away the excess from one end. Then the strips are pulled up away from the quilt, crossed in a cross pattern and you sew the diagonal seam to join them. You lay them flat back down on the quilt, and the binding lays flat with no bulky tell tale finish seam. For a great tutorial on this, check out the Missouri Quilt Company on YouTube for the "Ultimate Quilt Binding Tutorial." Nice, eh? If I do say so myself! :-)

I chose to hand sew my binding to the back. Hem hand stitching is very relaxing to me and it just turns out better than sewing the binding on the back, wrapping it around to the front and machine stitching. My machine stitching NEVER even all the way around, and it usually ends up not catching part of the binding in the final machine sew, so that's why I like a machine sewn seam on one side and then hand hem my binding on the other.

On to some more projects! Lately, I've been ladder hooking, a very vintage rug hooking method that I recently discovered and thought was really cool...I will share that with you next time...If you'd like a sneak peek of my first locker hooking project, check out my "Fiesta" trivet in my Etsy shop-- Until next time.....Happy crafting!