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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Snowballs that won't melt!

 This is so much fun to do, if you don't mind a little mess! Well, actually it's a lot of mess.
Here are the finished snowballs, with some pines and lights. So let's get started making snowballs..
 I'm lucky to have a thrift store just down the street from where we live, and I was able to pick up a box of these ornaments 20 for $1.00.  So you will need them plus a scissors, and joint compound.
 These ornaments have a styrofoam ball on the inside of them.  If you want to use a styrofoam ball, you can, but I think they can be expensive.  But if you have a good source, where you can get these balls, for not a lot of money, go for it!
 So to use these ornaments, pop the hanger off the top and cut off the nylon stringy parts of the color.  I'm not sure this is nylon, but you'll see it reminds you of ribbons.  Once you get it started, it sort of peels off. And on the inside you will have a styrofoam ball.
 Now for more mess!  I didn't take a picture of this part, messy hands don't take pictures well!  I got this joint compound at Walmart for 2.97, so you can tell I don't have a lot of money tied up in this craft, just time and mess!  Smear this all around your styrofoam balls.  If you want your balls to be really smooth, you can smooth the joint compound out, I left my kind of bumpy.  But make it look how you like it.
 I put mine on waxed paper and put them on a cookie sheet.  They will air dry if you like, but I put mine in the oven and turned on the light.  I do have an electric oven, so I'm not sure how this would work in a gas oven.  If I were doing this again, now is when I would sprinkle them with glitter or mica.  I didn't mine, until they were totally dry and then I sprayed them with spray adhesive and then sprinkled it on .  So that part is up to you, or you can leave it all altogether if you like.
When they were dry, I put them in a treen trough and added some lights and greens.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Darts anyone? and not the kind you throw....

 This post is going to go through the techniques of sewing a dart in fabric.  This is going to be a pineapple, and the top and bottom have 7 darts sewn in to them.
 Here you see how the darts look when they are sewn on the one side.
 The pattern calls for sewing your darts 1 1/2" apart.  So from your last stitching to where you want to put a dart, measure 1 1/2" and place a pin here.  The darts are 1 3/4" long, and about 1/4" at the beginning of the dart.
Here is our pin at the 1 1/2" mark. Then we fold our fabric, on itself, right sides together.
 A pin was placed at the 1 3/4" mark, so this is where our dart will end.

 A third pin will mark your 1/4" at the top of the dart.  We've drawn it on paper so you can see what your sewing will look like. the dotted line is your sewing line.

 Taking your piece to the sewing machine, begin at the top and back stitch, to hold your stitches. You will be stitching a straight line, you can see that your fabric is at an angle.
 When you have sewn to your bottom pin, you will want to back stitch to hold the end of your stitching. You have completed your dart!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You're going to want to try this!

We all know how popular burlap is and you see it all over the place. Well, did you know that you can cut burlap using your Big Shot Sizzix die cutting machine?  Yup, just get ready for the mess and off you go.  Take it from one who knows, don't wear black when working with burlap,. There are just so many possibilities!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Re-tooled tools

These are the tools we are used to using when taking out stitching that needs to be removed.  I've had some of these 'bad boys' for years.  And I think every sewing machine you buys these days, has done that comes with it.  When we sisters turned 12, our mother purchased a sewing box, filled with sewing goodies for all of us. What a great idea!  I think I still have some of those tools, years later.

These certainly do the job when it comes to opening a seam.  But like everything else, there is something new and better!

And here it is!  What's so great about that?  you ask.  Well, it's not so much the seam ripper that is different- its the extra part on the end, that is going to be a life saver to you.  It is shaped like a honey comb and is plastic.  How it works, I can't tell you, no engineer here, just know it does.  When you are done opening your seams, you have all those extra threads, that need to be picked out of there, and this little end is there to help with that job.  If you move the plastic end over the threads, it picks them up, they end up sticking to this end for easy removal.  What a great idea.  So this may want to be the tool that you put in your daughter's sewing box!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fun toys for grown ups!

If  you are anything like me- about this time of year your family is asking for ideas of things to get you for Christmas.  There are not many things we need, so our gift list tends to consist of 'wants'   So here would be one thing to add on that list if you are a sewer/quilter that uses a rotary cutter a lot.  This is a sharpener that you would use when your blades on your rotary cutter are getting dull.  Love this!  I cut a bunch of fabric using a rotary cutter, including Temtex and nylon net.  Both of those fabrics can really do a number to blades, and blades aren't free!  So when you feel your blade could use sharpening, run it through this several times- going both ways, and you will have sharper blades.