More Crochet In Etsy Shop

1-DSCF3272Vintage-Inspired Mini Crocheted Bunnies

1-DSCF3260-001Crocheted Sunflower Appliques

I’ve been doing a lot of re-stocking in my Etsy shop lately. That has been one of my goals for 2015 and so far I have been able to keep up with it.

These listings just happen to be crochet items. Crochet just seems to draw me in when the weather is cold. Maybe it’s time to change it up a bit. Who knows, maybe a few projects using different mediums will cause the weather to shift toward spring. ;0

Enjoy!

Crocheted Teddy Bear

1-DSCF2929Crocheted Teddy Bear

Teddy is my newest crochet design, thanks to the cold snap we had. I say “had”, because the weather today is warm and beautiful and tomorrow is supposed to be even better. I have no doubt more cold weather is still to come, but for now I am taking the great days as they come.

5-DSCF2909To begin with I made six bears to convince myself the instructions I had come up with were consistently understandable.

Once I was happy with the crochet instructions it was time to give these little guys some personality.

6-DSCF2948I considered using French knots for the eyes, but the knots just got lost in the yarn stitches. I opted for black beads instead.

7-DSCF2949The stitches for the nose was also a bit challenging. Embroidered satin stitches on crocheted yarn stitches didn’t turn out the way I envisioned, but the more I did it the more I liked the scrappy vintage look of the stitches.

3-DSCF2923The heart was made using a pop can and a heart-shaped paper punch. I pierced the heart with a pin and attached it to Teddy’s chest using red floss.

4-DSCF2925The finishing touch on this little charmer was the blue and white bow made from homespun fabric.

2-DSCF2930I listed the finished teddy bears in my Etsy shop this morning.

Enjoy!

Cutter Quilt Knapsack

knapsack 7Cutter Quilt Knapsack

I made this project last year, but I never posted it on my blog. I had cut pieces to make a few more, but didn’t get around to finishing them. Since the weather has turned frigid again, it’s the perfect time to pull them out and complete them. That’s what I’m working on today.

Stitch up a shabby chic knapsack using an old worn quilt that is no longer useable as it was originally intended. This quick-to-sew project is designed with exposed seams, giving it a charming scrappy appearance. If you would like to give this project a shot, here is my tutorial.

Things You Will Need:

Old worn quilt
1/8 yard muslin
Measuring tape
Scissors
Sewing machine
Straight pins
40-inch cord of your choice
Bodkin or large safety pin
Button, velcro or snap

2-DSCF1107Cut knapsack pieces from an old cutter quilt:

Body-(2) 15-inch-tall by 17-inch-wide
Pocket and Flap-(1 each) 7-inch-square
Handle Loop-(1) 2-inch-wide by 8-inch-long
Straps-(2) 2-inch-wide by 36-inch-long

From muslin, cut one 4-inch-wide by 32-inch long strip for the drawstring casing.

Top stitch around all the cutter quilt pieces 1/4 inch from the edges. This will secure the layers of the quilt together.

knapsack 1Lay one body rectangle on your work surface with the right side facing up and the long edges running horizontal. This rectangle will be the front of the knapsack. The long edges are the top and bottom edges of your knapsack. Place the pocket square on the rectangle with the right side facing up. Position the bottom edge of the pocket 2 1/2 inches above the bottom edge of the rectangle. Center the sides of the pocket between the sides of the rectangle. Top stitch the sides and bottom of the pocket, 1/4 inch from the edge, connecting it to the rectangle. Note: The edges will be exposed throughout the project unless otherwise instructed.

Place the two body rectangles together with the right sides facing out. Align the edges. Cut a 3-inch square from both bottom corners, through all thicknesses. Pin the side and bottom edges. Do not pin the cut out square corners. Sew the pinned edges using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

knapsack 2Open a corner and diagonally squeeze the opening. Match the side seam with the bottom seam, with the right sides facing out. Pin the edges together. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. This creates a boxed corner. Repeat on the remaining bottom corner of the knapsack.

knapsack 3Lay the knapsack body on your work surface with the back facing up. Measure in 3/4 inch from one bottom corner. Place one end of a strap on the bottom seam at this measurement. Pin to hold. Pin an end of the remaining strap 3/4 inch in from the other bottom corner. Sew over the pinned ends using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

knapsack 4Lay the knapsack body on your work surface with the back facing up once again. Find the center of the top edge. Stack the unsecured ends of the straps together and pin to the top edge of the body back. Pin an end of the handle loop on each side of the stacked straps. Center one edge of the flap square over the pinned loop and straps with the flap facing wrong side up. Fold the muslin casing strip in half with the long edges matching. Find the center of the casing length and pin the raw edges to the top edge of the knapsack’s back through all thicknesses. Continue to pin the raw edges of the casing around the top edge of the knapsack. You will have a gap between the ends of the casing on the front of the knapsack. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Yes, all the layers make the back section quite thick, but it can be sewn through. A heavyduty (jean) needle is recommended.

knapsack 5Attach a bodkin or large safety pin to one end of a 40-inch length of cording. Thread the cording through the casing. Adjust the cording with an equal amount exposed from each opening of the casing. This is the drawstring closure for the knapsack.

knapsack 6Flip the flap over the top and to the front of the knapsack. Attach a button, velcro or snap to the front and flap of the knapsack to close.

knapsack 7(sigh) I love my machine and I used to love the buttonhole foot, but the finished one in the photo has a button/buttonhole closure. My sewing machine seems to have issues lately with making buttonholes, so the ones I am finishing today will have velcro closures with buttons for decoration. Since I’m sure Brother reads each and every one of my blogs with immense interest, Brother Sewing Machine company, I would be happy to test out new models. 😉 LOL! Just saying…

Enjoy!

Vintage Hankie Chicks

6-DSCF2810Vintage Hankie Chicks

I’ve got spring fever. Yep, I said it. I also knocked on wood just now in hopes that I don’t jinx it. We have had a few days of mild weather and I am excited. I shouldn’t be…it seems like a good portion of the country is bracing for a doozy of a winter storm. We’re bound to get some kind of trickle down from that. :(

8-DSCF2818Rather than dwell on what could happen, I am enjoying what we have now. I dug out my vintage hankie collection to make spring chicks. I think they will look cute for Easter and decorated spring vignettes.

2-DSCF2699I have lots of hankies to choose from. They’ve come from grandmas, aunts, yard sales, auctions and thrift stores. I pretty much collect them from every possible place they may be available.

01-DSCF2642I think the colors and designs are more interesting and unique than fabric by the yard, not to mention the memories or conversations they will evoke.

02-DSCF2644I was able to get three chicks from one hankie. I could have gotten more, but I focused my cut pieces on the best design areas on the hankies.

03-DSCF2650I used one pink hankie for the combs on all of my chicks, and I used a scrap of yellow fabric for the beaks.

7-DSCF2814The eyes were beads from old broken jewelry.

Enjoy!

Scrappy Quilt Bracelets

21-DSCF2694Scrappy Quilt Bracelets

16-DSCN4483You may remember my scrappy fabric tags I made a couple of years ago. I loved that idea.

02-DSCF2577I have been working on expanding on that idea by turning scrap cutter quilts into wearable art…more specifically I wanted to see if I couldn’t turn these scraps into bracelets.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that each step took a little bit of refining until I was able to get a consistent result with each one that I tried. I almost threw in the towel a few times, but the time wasted and each failed attempt just made me even more determined to make it work.

My first fail was cutting the strip for the bracelet. I didn’t take into account the quilting stitches on the quilt. Quilting stitches hold a top, middle and bottom layer together. When I cut a small strip, it basically peeled apart in large areas. Stitching on vintage quilts is also unreliable. There were areas where the seams came apart. AARGH!

01-DSCF2580My fix for those problems was to top stitch over the surface of a scrap of quilt. I emptied a spool of thread while meandering in a scribble design.

03-DSCF2586I was then able to cut my bracelet strips without them falling apart.

04-DSCF2601The next step was getting the words onto the strip. I decided to use my character stitches on my sewing machine. That worked the first couple of times and then…AARGH! Old quilts can be kinda lumpy and my machine didn’t want to stitch the tiny letters over the lumps. I finally tried stitching the words on muslin. Eureka!06-DSCF2608

I then stitched the the muslin to the strip in my favorite shabby way.

15-DSCF2673If you want to try this and you don’t have character stitches on your machine I also tried it with stamps as an alternative.

07-DSCF2616I embellished around the words with little pearl beads.

The next failure was the buttonhole. Yep, for the same reason the character stitches didn’t want to stitch…those !@#$% lumps. AARGH!

Deep breath. I was not going to let this project beat me!

17-DSCF2682Light bulb! I finally had good luck with a button/loop closure. Elastic cord formed the loop.

09-DSCF2625With the bracelet strip placed on canvas fabric and the knot of the loop inserted under one end, I stitched around the edges of the bracelet a couple of times. Just like the shabby tags, I didn’t stitch perfect lines.

13-DSCF2637After stitching the canvas backing to the bracelet I trimmed the excess away and added a button to complete the closure function.

14-DSCF2686And then like eating potato chips, I couldn’t stop at just one.

Enjoy!