Friday, November 23, 2012

Project Linus: Day 1

By Kaelyn Angelfoot

So we had our first Project Linus day. Things didn't seem to go quite as smoothly as last year, but we still made some great progress. Rune made a no-sew fleece blanket with teal on one side and a really nice owl print on the other side. And I started my crochet-edged fleece blanket and worked on finishing my log-cabin triangle quilt.

The log cabin quilt is already quilted (I kept it basic, just traced the outline on the hexagons) and only needs the binding put on, which will be the same cream color as the background fabric. 

The crochet edged quilt is proving to be tricky. I seem to have overlapped my holes on occasion, which makes me glad that I placed them 3/4" from the edge as it give the edges a little more strength. I'll have to figure out a way to cut the holes more accurately next time. The skip-stitch blade worked very well, but I think the dense pattern of the fleece is what lent to the difficulty in cutting the holes.

JoAnns has their fleece on sale this weekend, at 2.99 a yard, so I'm hoping to pick some up early tomorrow and be able to experiment with it more.

So, just a quick update. I'll post the finished projects when they are done!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Inspiration Board

By Kaelyn Angelfoot

Okay, again with the long delays between posts. The truth is, I still haven't quite recovered from my "I hate my job" crafting slump. Also, a lot of my crafting time has been spent (a) cleaning my house for the holidays (b) repairing our driveway, or (c) research! on crafty things.

Inspiration/Design board! (Not mine)
I have a million ideas and finally decided to make an inspiration board so that I don't forget any of them. First things first: supplies..... dum da dum dum!

Did some homework and found out that a lot of inspiration boards are made from cork boards. I didn't want to spend the money and lets be honest, we probably have enough junk around here that I shouldn't need to. When I went downstairs looking for foam board (we have at least a dozen sheets somewhere) I found ceiling tiles leftover from when Cynar graciously repaired our basement bathroom ceiling. Score!

Step 1: Cut to the correct size. I had one piece that was about a third of a tile and two full tiles. I cut one of the full tiles in half.
Step 2: Fabric. My sewing room is purple (its always a contest between purple and red for which color I like more but red makes a lousy craft room color as the pale version is pink. I don't particularly like pink.) So, I collected all my leftover purple fabric "scraps." Picked a piece and cut to size, leaving 3-4 extra inches on all sides.

Step 3: Put a thin layer of spray adhesive on the front of the ceiling tile. It just has to hold the fabric smooth while you staple, so it doesn't need to be gorilla glue grade.

Step 4: Iron fabric if necessary and lay over the board. Smooth out! Flip the board over carefully, fold the fabric over the edge and start stapling in place. I did one side at a time and checked to make sure the fabric was smooth before moving to the next.

I made three panels with three different fabrics. It looked a little bland when I was done, so I added some lavender lace (I have no idea where this lace came from. It just appeared in my stash one day.) And voila, a three panel inspiration board. I hung them up with 3M velcro sticky-tab thingies, but I'm not sure they will hold due to the fabric on the back. I also separated them slightly to achieve a modern art look, again, not sure I'll leave it like this. I think they may look better all squished together.

The center panel is covered with a crushed panne velvet in purple, the two outer panels are different shades of purple sateen leftover from the wedding fabrics. All for a cost of one hour of time and zero dollars.I may eventually want to add some sort of border to each panel, to give it a more finished look.

I plan on acquiring another desk for my computer at some point and putting it underneath my inspiration board. This is kitty-corner from my sewing table, so we'll have to see how things work out. I have a large closet right in the center of the back wall of my room, making furniture arrangements ... complicated.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Project Linus: More Easy Blankets

By Kaelyn Angelfoot

Okay, here we are again, with some more easy, quick, and cheap blankets for Project Linus.

Crochet Edged Fleece Blanket

This is a very simple blanket that requires a length of fleece, cut to the correct dimensions, a special rotary cutter or something to punch the holes, yarn, and a crochet hook. I'm approximating that this blanket will cost $10 to make, due to needing to purchase yarn and fleece. The complexity of the crochet along the edges if up to you, but I imagine this will be much easier than a traditional afghan because the fleece will give significant stability to the crochet stitch. I'm thinking about picking up the special rotary cutting blade for this project. Here is another blog (Handcrafting with Love) with more details. (My apologies to whomever I borrowed the above images from. I forgot to bookmark the site when I saved the pictures. Email me if they are yours, please).

Depending on the color combinations and the crochet stitch chosen, this can result in some pretty awesome looking blankets. This method can also be used to finish off the edges of a pieced fleece quilt. (Skip-Stitch Idea Page)

FYI, I did some research on the special Skip-Stitch rotary blade and if you want to purchase one, I would get it from the original manufacturer. All the knock-off blades I've found received very low user reviews.

Project Linus: "Simple Gifts" Striped Quilt

This quilt pattern is provided by Project Linus as an easy, any size quilt. It is great for beginners and requires minimal cutting and piecing. You don't have to take the time to quilt it, instead you can "tie" the quilt layers together with embroidery thread.

The patterns requires a couple yards of fabric and can easily be made from fabric you already have or can pick up in the clearance section at the fabric store. For quilts, a 100% cotton material is preferred. Material should be washed and dried before using. It requires only nine pieces to make this quilt and the color and pattern combinations are endless. An additional expense would be quilt batting, the inner warm layer of quilts.