In My Life, I've Loved Them All

Craft Month: Embroidery

Embroidery. It’s a simple textile art that has been around for, well, ever. Or at least since the invention of fabric and thread. It’s simple, and classic, and is helping me turn my store bought blank baby onesies into little works of art! Seriously, I have no use for onesies right now, but they are going to be hard to part with, their JUST so cute (pictures coming soon).

A great recourse for beginners is Sublime Stitching, by Jenny Hart in Austin Texas. Watch her interview with Threadbanger.

Embroidery is actually a lot of fun, because you can basically create any image you want. Take a pencil (or my favorite, the DISAPPEARING INK PEN!) and draw on some fabric, then outline and fill in with embroidery thread. I used the simple split-stitch to outline the appliqué pieces on my onesies… and the simple touch brings the piece to a whole different level!



Here are some Basic Steps to get you started:

Sublime Stitching in Austin Texasa) You have to select the fabric on which you want to make patterns. (An article of clothing, handkerchief, pillowcase, etc…)

b) Choose the type of threads according to your fabric. (Embroidery Thread is usually 6 small strands wound together… stitch with all 6 for a chunky look, or you can easily divide them into 2-3 strands for a finer look)

c) Select the color of your threads according to your design and color of your fabric.

d) Transfer the pattern on the fabric either with the help of carbon paper or any other method, which is convenient to you.

e) Select the needle according to your stitches (i.e. you don’t want a thick needle that will make a big hole in your fabric if you are using a fine thread.)

f) Fix the fabric in the hoop. Try to use smallest possible hoop for your design.
(Hoops aren’t mandatory, but they help hold the fabric taught like a drum, making the whole process of stitching a LOT easier.)

g) Start making designs with various stitches.

There are so many types of stitches to use, each with a specific purposes (i.e. outlining, filling in large areas, just decorative, etc…). Most are basic and repetitive; you just need to know where to start. The best “stitch school” I have found online is Primrose Design. The author has examples, directions, and large clear photos of the steps for each stitch.

Blanket Stitch ( (c) Primrose Designs)

So pick up a needle and thread and make something “store bought” your own with a little custom embroidery :D


Craft Month: New Life into Old T-Shirts

I have a million T-shirts. Shocking, I know… the collection just grows and grows, and it’s so hard to part with them… the little reminders of events I attended, projects I volunteered for, organizations I was a part of, and those clever saying ones I am probably to old to be wearing out in public :P Even though I’m not wearing 99% of them anymore, it’s just so hard to part with them…
SO here are some great ideas of things-to-do-with-Tshirts to breathe some new life into them!

Hat made out of a T-Shirt
Here are step by step instructions (with a TON of pictures) to make an AWESOME brimmed cap out of T shirt… custom fit for your head :D

hat out of T shirt!

Wall Art
Urban Outfitters sells the “T shirt Frames” for like $20, but you can get the same look with an acrylic frame and some tape for a couple bucks. Here’s how.

Frame Your Shirts

T Shirt Quilt
Making a quilt out of all my college/APO t-shirts is definitely on my craft to-do list… I have a basic diagram, but it seems like its going to be a monster of a task, but the result will something I can cherish for a long time! Here are some basic instructions (Google will give you a million more).

T Shirt Quilt

I have also seen cute baby onesies and tote bags made out of shirts. With a little bit of interfacing, you can turn those shirts into just about anything :)

Craft Month: Plastic Bag Yarn

What is this??

Ball of plastic bag yarn

It’s about 30 plastic grocery bags… that I turned into a ball of plastic-bag-yarn. There are many websites/tutorial out there on the different practical things you can make by knitting or crocheting with this stuff. Like this bag (not made by me, instructions here):

Crochet Plastic Bag

A combination of recycling and crafts, awesome!

And here is a little YouTube tutorial on how to make your own yarn, and some examples of what can be created:

Today’s Project: A special pan and Lemony Bites

Marline is one of the nicest neighbors you could possibly want… she has a crazy amazing craft room too (basically an entire 2nd floor above her garage!). And today is her BIRTHDAY! I’ll be filling up the pan with the Campbell/Trueba Family Lemony Bites (recipe below).

This is also my first attempt at etching on a colored dish, and I like the results very much!


Etched Blue Pyrex Dish


LEMONY BITES

DO NOT use cake mix with pudding already in the mix.
It is so much easier if you make a double batch of glaze so dipping goes more smoothly. Make sure you put wax paper down on counter before you dip and place on racks to dry…lemon juice in glaze can eat at your granite countertops.
Use mini muffin pans….spray really well with Pam..can’t use papers to line pan.
Dip right away…when they cool they don’t glaze as well.
When covered well they last a good week. I think they’re better the second day anyway.

1 yellow cake mix
1 – 3 1/2 oz package instant lemon pudding
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix all together with mixer. Fill mini muffin pans 1/2 full….any fuller and they overflow and don’t look so great. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Makes approx. 3 dozen.

Glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
3 T. vegetable oil
3 T. water

Mix everything together in large non-reactive bowl. You want one not to shallow, but big enough to dip lemon bites in easily.

When bites are done baking, remove them from pan immediately and dip in glaze as warm as you can handle. Place on rack to dry. I set them in glaze, push down with slotted spoon and then lift out. You will have a lot of glaze on wax paper.
When I make a double batch, I have been known to scoop up the glaze off the paper and use again.

Yum!

Craft Month: Quilted Postcards

My first try was the bright colored one below… then I decided to make a batch for valentines. Below are some of my favorites!



Basically, each is a 4”x6” quilt (machine pieced). I fused each quilt to a piece of thick, double sided interfacing (Pellon Peltex 72f) and machine “quilted” the top. (to get the straight lines, i drew on the backside with a pencil, and quilted upside down, so the stitching you see if from the bobbin thread.) Then I stitched a straight line down a piece of muslin and fused it to the back. I used a zig-zag stitch to seal up the edges all the way around.


Photobucket

These little postcards are great for using up small pieces of fabric, practice quilting techniques, and surprising your friends with a piece of art in their mailbox. These come out very light but sturdy, and only need the same amount of postage you’d use on a regular postcard. The only thing is that you should take them to the post office so they can be canceled by hand (instead of run through a machine).

Can’t wait to make my next batch :D


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