Saturday, November 17, 2018

butterflies continued...

Well, hello!  I can't believe I haven't posted in almost a whole year - since January.  Shame on me!

If you remember, back in 2016, I wrote a post about a butterfly quilt that I was making using hand applique.

Well, a few months ago, I finally had all the blocks finished and ready to put together.  Once a month I get together with some other ladies at a bobbin lace guild meeting in Fort Atkinson.  We meet in a good sized room at the local library, so I knew I'd have some floor space.  I took all my butterfly blocks and laid them out on the floor in rows.  Then I played with the positioning of the blocks, trying to separate like colors, so that I didn't have a glob of one color.  Of course, it helped to have input from the other lace members as well.  There really isn't a "perfect" layout, because it's a scrap quilt, so at some point, I just had to say "done" and go with it. 

As you can see, I must have been having so much fun making the blocks, that I have four extra.  Or when I was counting, the fabric stuck together, and I counted wrong.  Hmmm... the beginning of new project?

Once I was satisfied with the layout, I took a few pictures on my phone, and then pinned a block number on each block (A1, A2, etc.), so I would know what order to put them together (just in case they got dumped - gasp! and all out of order).  I removed all the pins after the blocks were sewn together. 

Here's a couple of pictures of it on a bed. 

The blocks are sewn together, but I haven't decided what to do for the antennae.  I may just do those as part of the quilting.  I may or may not add a narrow border around the outside.  And I have yet to choose some backing material and put the layers together. 

And here's a close up of a small portion. 

I want to hand quilt this, so I'm sure it will be years before it's finished.

The extra blocks may end up like these pillows.  The pillow casing overlaps in the back so the pillow can be slipped in.  The band just slips over the pillow.  You can change the bands for seasonal decorating, and it makes for easy laundering.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  

Monday, January 8, 2018

another doily

Hi friends,

Our Christmas celebration with my husband's family has been delayed until after the new year, so I had time to make another doily for my father-in-law's wife.  I chose a pattern that didn't look too difficult, and decided to use one of my older crochet hooks this time.  What a difference that made. 

Here is the pattern I used. 
I really love the two colors on this, but also know that takes longer when you need to switch colors and then weave in all those ends.  So, instead, I chose a variegated thread.  This one was started on a Saturday evening and finished by late afternoon on Monday.  I actually surprised myself that I was done so quickly. 

Here is the full doily.  I sure does look different in this thread.  This one is 15" across.  I simplified the final round. 
And here is a closeup bit. 
Thank you so much for stopping in to visit today. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas doily

Hi friends,

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and were able to spend time with friends and family.

I'm scheduling this post for after Christmas, because I'm going to show you a gift I made for my sister.  There are times when I just have to make a gift rather than browse the store aisles for something, especially when I don't know what to give.  I decided to crochet a doily, since I know she likes them.  I started this on December 7th... yes, THIS month!  It took me two weeks, working on it for a bit every day.  I actually crochet pretty fast, or I would not have gotten it done.  It measures about 21 inches across.

I pulled out some of my old crochet magazines and looked for a pattern that didn't look too difficult... in other words, no complicated stitches.  This one is mostly chains, single and double crochet, with a few treble crochet stitches.  Double crochet is actually the fastest for me, but I was using a new crochet hook, and I was having some comfort issues with it.  It's the same brand I always use, but it's slightly shorter, the shank (part above the thumb grip) is shorter, and the handle is longer and slightly thinner.  It just feels different.  I was probably half finished with the doily before I started to get used to it.  Here's a photo comparing my new one on the bottom and an older one above.  The differences are subtle, but I was not pleased with the new one. 

I also changed the size of the thread and hook from what the pattern called for.  The pattern listed size 40 thread and I was using size 10, which is thicker.  The pattern said about 500 yards.  I forgot to take that into consideration, and was a bit concerned that I would not have enough thread to finish.  That would mean trying to match the thread with another ball.  I bought this crochet thread at Good Will, and there was only one ball.  I 'may' have more that matches, but there are so many shades of ecru from one manufacturer to another, that it isn't easy to get a match unless you get the same brand and dye lot.  There was no label on this one, so it would have been totally guesswork.

Here's a small portion as a closeup.  

By the time I got to the final round, it was looking very likely that I would not have enough thread.  I did a couple of the points to see how much I was using, and knew I wasn't going to make it.  So... I had several options -- leave it without the points, try to match the thread, change the color completely on the last round, or change the design.  I opted for changing the design of the final round.  Instead of using treble crochet, I changed to double, and I left off the picot in the center of each point, thus using less thread.  And I made it all the way around -- just barely.  This is how much thread was left.

You can be sure I breathed a sigh of relief.

Thank you so much for joining me today.  I wish you all a happy and healthy new year.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

pop up cube card

Hi friends.  You may have noticed that I haven't posted anything in ages.  I think there are days (maybe weeks, even) that I completely forget that I have a blog.  Must be senior brain cells at work. 

Anyway, today I made a couple of birthday cards for the neighbor boy and girl across the street.  They have birthdays on consecutive days. 

I made a girlie girl card for her. 
The stamp is one of the Prima mixed media dolls by Julie Nutting.  I did paper piecing for the dress, shoes and crown, and colored the hair with watercolor pencils and blender pen.  I added some streamers, which were cut with deckle scissors, and added some rhinestones. 

Because he is very involved in baseball, I had to make some sort of baseball card of course.  Some time ago, I made a fun pop up cube box following this video.  It's really a fun card, but the thing I don't like about it is that it isn't flat, so it doesn't mail easily.  I did a little browsing online and found some ads showing more of a wrap than a box, so I decided to figure out how to use that instead of the box.  I did see a video that made a cube inside of a card, but the dimensions were smaller and the girl doing the video used a tool which I don't have, so I would need to refigure all the dimensions, and I really didn't have time to, if I wanted to get the card done today.  Instead, I realized that the 3" cube would fit inside a 3-5/8"x6-1/2" envelope, so I made the wrap 3-1/2"x6-1/4" to fit that, and the cube fits inside flat.  This is the front outside of the wrap. 
This is the back side.  I made a slit and a tab to fit in it, which holds the card closed.  My camera died last week, so I've been using my phone to photograph my cards.  I've no idea why this came out vertical. 
The paper is kraft, so I used a sponge dauber and white pigment ink to press and twist a bit to make the baseballs white.  I heat set them to make sure the ink was dry.  When you pull the tab out, the cube inside literally flies out - really fun.  I think it actually works better than in the box, because if you don't pull the box out quickly, you really don't get the pop.

Here is the card open.  

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

box with a secret drawer tutorial

Hi friends.  I have another tutorial for you.  I thought it would be fun to make a little box with a pull out drawer inside.  I started with a white one, and then added some pretty paper and a flower on the outside of the box.  I also made one from some heavy designer paper with a cream colored drawer inside.  The only tools you need are a ScorPal or other scoring tool, scissors, a 1/2" corner rounder & a 1/2" circle punch.

For the drawer, you need a 6-1/8"x7-7/8" piece of card stock.  Score each side at 7/8" and 1-3/4".  Marked in green on the diagram below.

On the short sides, cut on all 4 scores to the 2nd cross score.  On the long sides, cut on the outer scores to the 2nd cut; cut on the inner scores to the 1st cut.  This will remove the 3 corner squares, creating tabs.  Cuts are marked in black.  The highlighted areas are being cut away. 

The sides of the drawers will be double for added durability.  Cut the tabs and the outer sections at a slight angle.  It should look like this.

Valley fold all scores.  Bring the small tabs to the inside and glue them to the adjacent panels on the ends of the drawer.  Then glue all the remaining panels to the inside of the drawer.  The tabs will be hidden between the layers.  You can add pretty paper to the sides and inside bottom of the drawer, if desired. 

For the box, you need an 8-1/2"x7-1/2" piece of card stock.  On the long side, score at 1", 3-3/4", 4-3/4", and 7-1/2".

On the short side, score at 1", 5-1/2", and 6-1/2".

Referring to the diagram below, cut on the score lines as shown, creating tabs and removing highlighted areas.

Cut the small square tabs at a slight angle.  Valley fold all scores.  Use a 1/2" corner rounder to round the corners on the piece extending at the bottom of the diagram.  (I forgot to do that before taking a picture.) 

Fold the left edge in at the 1st score, add adhesive to that folded panel, bring the right side of box over to the edge and flatten to form a tube.  If you are decorating the outside of the box, it's better to do so before you glue the end closed.  However, it is possible to decorate after the box is all put together.  That's what I did. 

Glue the tabs to the outside of the end panel, and then glue the 2nd end panel over the tabs, hiding them between the panels.

On the open end where the flap tucks in, punch a half circle notch in the top panel.  This will make it easier to open the box and pull out the drawer.

I added a flower and leaves to the top of the box.

And here it is with the drawer tucked inside.

On the second one, I added the same paper to the inside and outside of the drawer.

Here they are closed.  When you open the box, finding a drawer inside is a fun surprise.  The dimensions of the box are 4-1/2"x2-3/4"x1".  The drawer is about 1/8" smaller in each direction. 

I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial and make lots of boxes with secret drawers inside.

Thank you so much for taking time to visit today. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

prism pop up tent card tutorial

Hi friends.  Would you believe I have another tutorial for you?  I saw this fun pop up card in an ad, and I just knew that I had to figure it out and make one, or two, or...  well, you know how that goes.  

There are a lot of photos, because I think it helps to explain things, and I don't have a clue how to make a video.  So, here we go.  

As I figured out the mechanism to make the card work, I also wanted to make sure that it would mail as an A2 card, so that is the basis for all the measurements.  

You will need: 
card stock for the prism part of the card: "x 8½" (1) - groovy guava used here
card stock for pull tab A: 5¼"x2-5/8" (1) - groovy guava used here
card stock for pull tab B: 5¾"x2-5/8" (1) - groovy guava used here
pattern paper for layers on pull tabs: 5"x2-3/8" (2) - dictionary pages used here
stamped card stock for layers on prism: 4"x2¼" (2) - dictionary pages used here
Fiskars cutting tool (or craft knife & mat)
corner rounder 

I made this one earlier in the week, posted it on Splitcoaststampers, and got a number of requests for instructions.  Hence, the tutorial. 
Place the prism piece on your ScorPal with the long side on top and score at 2-1/2", 5", and 7-1/2".  Mountain fold all scores and round the corners.  Although they will not show on the finished card, rounding the corners helps the mechanism work smoothly.  I used a 1/2" corner chomper.  I'm using white card stock for many of the photos, since it easier to see the folds.  I marked them with green. 

Place pull tab B on your ScorPal with the long side on top and score at 1/2". 

On the prism piece, at 1-1/4", 2-1/2", and 7-1/2", cut a slot from 3/4" to 3-1/2" (marked in black).  

Lay the prism piece so the smallest panel is on the right and the folds are valley (this is the inside of the prism).  Adhere the left end of pull tab A to the small panel of the prism, centering the edge along the slot.  For the mechanism to work properly, be sure everything is straight. 

Before attaching pull tab B, it helps if you fold over pull tab A and mark the edges where pull tab B will be placed.  (next 2 photos - note the green horizontal marks) 

With the 1/2" panel of pull tab B to the right, align the fold with the slotted fold on the left of the prism, again centering along the slot (if you marked as above, you will be placing the 1/2" panel between the marks).  Adhere the 1/2" panel to the right of the slot.  

This is what is should look like now.  

And standing up.  

Now is the time to add your layers to the pull tabs.  They will go on the sides that face the center.  Once the mechanism is in place, these will face the front of the card.  I stamped on a dictionary page, using branches and leaf lines (SU sets). 

Tuck pull tab B (left one) through the slot under pull tab A.  

Tuck pull tab A from the outside through the slot on the opposite end and back out the next slot.  

Turn the card over to the front.  You can now see the ends of the pull tabs.  Make sure any directional design is in the correct position when placing the front layers on the card. 

Add your stamped card stock layers to the front of the prism.  I stamped a Hero Arts image on a dictionary page and painted the image with Koi watercolor paints and a water brush.  

Pull both tabs to open the card and stand up the prism.  

This card will stand on its own.  

This is how it looks from the top and the back.  

After I got this far, I decided I wanted to sponge the edges with vintage photo distress ink, so I opened the card back up in order to do the edges of the pull tabs.  Here is my finished card. 

To close the card, you simply push the pull tabs back towards the center and the card will flatten to fit in an envelope.  

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and will try making this very fun, interactive card.  If you have any questions or confusion with the instructions, please feel free to email me. 

Thanks so much for taking time to visit today.