I have a lot of fabric scraps. (Okay, that’s an understatement.) If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for ways to use them. And if you’re like me, you also know to never, ever throw textiles away!! (If you didn’t know that, I’m telling you now.) 😉 So what to do with those tiny pieces? These are a few suggestions, but the list could go on and on! 1. Piece strips into a striped fabric that can be used for small projects like zipper pouches. 2. Use tiny scraps and bits of lace for textile jewelry. 3. Make a crazy quilt. 4. Embellish accessories, like wrist cuffs. 5. Very tiny pieces of textile (like the trimmings that result from using a serger) can be saved for stuffing toys or art dolls. 6. Cotton scraps are great for English paper piecing. (EPP tutorial here.) 7. Use small bits of beautiful fabric to create buttons with the Dritz Craft Cover Button Kit or a similar kit. 8. Small pieces can be bonded to an adhesive (like Heat n Bond) to create appliques. Using the iron-on adhesive makes it easy to cut out small or intricate pieces, too. 9. Just tired of looking at the same old fabric? Organize a scrap swap with fellow crafters who might feel the same! 10. If the idea of acquiring even more fabric doesn’t sound like a good idea, gift your scraps instead of swapping them. 11. If you absolutely cannot think of what you’d like to do with your extra fabric, donate it to Goodwill. If it’s too small to sell, they will still send the fabric off to be recycled. What are some of your ideas for using scrap fabric? I’d love to hear!
Halloween is upon us!! Annnnnd…I only just started on my costume today. (Yikes!) I usually operate on a last minute basis anyway and usually don’t have too much trouble with things working themselves out, but I have been completely stuck on how to deal with my glasses. On rare occasions I will wear contacts, but I just didn’t feel like it this time.
This solution is so incredibly simple (and elegant, I think!) that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. But since I didn’t think of it sooner, I’m only just posting it now, and hope that any four-eyes in need will discover it in the nick of time! 😀
Lately, I’ve been finding my ol’ regular tomato pincushion to be a bit inconvenient. Don’t get me wrong–it’s useful and has its place, but I’ve been doing a lot of work where I need my pins to move with me. So, I made a pincushion I can wear on my wrist! Here’s how…
Gather your materials:
- Fabric: I used two kinds of linen (the Alice in Wonderland print was bought at Charlotte’s Sew Natural a few years back), but you can use just about any woven (non-stretch) material. And some stretch material might work too! The rectangle for your strap should be three inches wide, and the length should be that of your wrist circumference plus two and a half inches. The circle for the cushion should measure approximately three times the diameter of your plastic lid. The “topper” on the cushion should be the same size as your lid.
- Plastic lid: I wanted to put something hard at the bottom of the cushion, just in case I ever get too vigorous in the poking of my pins, hehe. A juice or milk cap works great.
- Velcro: about one inch of it.
- Thread and embroidery floss
- Stuffing: (Not shown below) polyester fiberfill, natural cotton, or bamboo stuffing works well.
First, fold your strap in half lengthwise with right sides together, and stitch along the edge with seam allowance of about 3/8″. Turn, then press.
Turn each end in about 1/2″, and press again.
Stitch your velcro to each end, catching the turned in end as you do so. You may want to try it on as you do this to get the perfect fit.
Place the large fabric circle in the center, and stitch down securely.
Using your embroidery floss, hand baste close to the edge of the circle, gathering it up as you go. Once you’ve made it all the way around, insert your lid, with the lip facing up like a cup.
Drawing the gathers up, stuff your cushion as tightly as you can, securing it with a knot.
Begin stitching on the topper, using any invisible or decorative stitch of your choice.
And there you have it! Insert pins and enjoy!
Sheesh! I know I haven’t exactly been on the ball…which explains why this post is a day late. But I digress!
We have less than one week until Christmas…are you ready?! Ordering gifts now online may be cutting it close, so why not make your own? If you’re stumped for ideas, here’s a list of how-tos to get you going.
- homemade lip gloss by cheeky kitchen
- faux leather zipper pouch by make it and love it
- ojo de dios by jay mohler
- quick mittens by anda lewis corrie
- velvet bookmarks by oh so crafty
- anthro knockoff bunting necklace by mandipity
- floor pouf/seat by brett bara
- ties by purl bee
- friendship bracelets by honestly…wtf
This is what I came up with–the Winter Wonderland Headband…here’s how to make your own!
What you’ll need:
- striped fabric for the top (I made my own by piecing strips together.)
- satin ribbon
- plastic headband
- needle and thread
- hot glue
- Christmas floral sprays/picks
- paper and pencil
The pencil and paper will be used to make the template for your base. It needn’t be complicated, an oblong shape (like mine above) will work. Mine measures approximately 9″ long and 3″ wide at the widest point. Try the template on your head to see what looks good before cutting out your fabric!
Place the template on top of your upper fabric and two layers of felt. Pin and cut out.
Pin all layers together and finish the edge with bias-cut fabric (I cut mine at about 1.75″ wide.) As you can see, the edge below was done a bit…poorly. I didn’t mind though because I knew the bad parts will be covered in the end. 😉
Choose your decoration! I had three larger sprays to choose from, plus a small cluster of berries I knew I would use. I chose the bird, of course.
To create the satin ribbon, I sewed two strips of satin together at each side and turned it. Don’t forget to press! Cut to the length necessary for your bow, turn the edges towards the inside, and hand stitch.
Fold the ribbon into a loop pattern (sort of the same shape as the “awareness” ribbons.) Run a basting stitch through the center of the bow to gather it.
Hot glue the first floral pick to the bottom. Bend the wire if necessary.
Now stitch the bow on over the area where you glued; you an also make a few loops around the wire stem to further secure the pick!
After attaching the bow, I decided it needed a button. (I chose a vintage one with glitter and a little rhinestone in the center.)
Decide where you will put your larger piece of decoration. You may need to bend the stem again. Stitch it on, looping around the stem. Reinforce with hot glue.
This is what the bottom should look like!
Try your plastic headband on, and place the felt base over it to determine where it should be attached. Carefully take it off of your head, holding the base and plastic headband together.
Stitch on and glue for reinforcement.
Enjoy!! Great for holiday parties and shopping! And honestly, I don’t see why you couldn’t even wear it to the grocery store. 🙂
Aside from meeting some very lovely, talented people and seeing what they do, I learned–courtesy of Sheri–how to English paper piece.
I had seen it before, and always thought it looked like something I’d like to try, but I never did until a few days ago. Now, after having actually tried it, I am in love!!
It is very easy and really relaxing. It is done completely by hand, so if you’re looking to get a project done fast, this probably isn’t what you’ll want. However, even with all the teeny, tiny whipstitches, (I think I’m averaging about 16 stitches per inch!) it moves along faster than you might think–mostly because it is so enjoyable! Another thing that I love so much about this is that it’s perfect for using up tiny scraps. I have TONS of pieces of fabric that I don’t want to throw away, but they are so small and irregularly-shaped, it would be a pain to line each one up and cut it with the rotary cutter. With EPP, the cutting part really doesn’t need to be terribly accurate (you’ll see why in a bit).
I thought I would provide a quick and dirty tutorial. If you want to learn more about it, there are tons of resources in books and online.
English Paper Piecing: A Basic Guide
1. Gather your supplies. You will need fabric, of course, and your paper templates! You can find templates to print online, they can be purchased online or in quilt shops, your you can make your own. If you are printing/cutting your own, be sure that you are very accurate with the shape of your paper. An uneven edge or the wrong angle could cause your patches top to not match up. (Common shapes are diamonds, hexagons, octagons, rectangles–I decided to go with hexagons!)
2. Cut your fabric pieces. And this is where you don’t have to worry about being accurate! There should be about 1/4″ overhang on all sides, but if there are a few crooked places, that’s okay. Since it’s so small, I do not pin the paper to the fabric, but simply hold it as I cut around.
3. Baste the fabric to paper. Again, I do not use a pin here. Hold the paper and fabric together, while folding down each edge and basting through paper and fabric. Don’t worry about making it too secure; this is just to keep everything in place until you get around to stitching them together.
4. Stitch pieces together. Take two basted pieces and hold them together, making sure that their edges line up. Then, whipstitch them together at the edge. Ideally your stitches should be very tiny and just catch the edge of the fabric. Be sure to go all the way to the corners! (The first piece I made at the MQG meeting was a little bit wonky because I didn’t go all the way to the corners.)
When you are ready to take out your paper pieces, simply clip the basting stitches and pull them out. Then you can open the fabric edges and remove the paper, so that it can be used again.
When I began knitting, and all I could produce the first day was garter stitch, which I didn’t care for. (The book I was learning from wasn’t very clear and not much was mentioned about purling in the beginning section.) But now, when applied appropriately, I love it. It just has such a cozy feel, and is perfect for this apple ornament.
This little darling is made from Sugar n Cream cotton yarn. It only takes a little bit, so it’s great for using up leftovers.
Garter Stitch Apple Ornament
CO = cast on
BO = bind off
sts/st = stitches/stitch
k = knit
p = purl
m1 = (make one): knit into front of the stitch as usual, keeping the original stitch on the left needle; then knit into the back of the stitch, and slide stitch off the needle.
ssk = (slip, slip, knit): slip one stitch knitwise, slip the next purlwise, then knit the two slipped stitches together.
k2tog = knit two stitches together
k3tog: knit three stitches together
CO 2 sts.
Row 1- 7: m1, k1 m1, k to end
Row 8, 9: knit.
Row 10: ssk, k to end
Row 11, 12: k to last 2 sts, k2tog
Row 13: knit.
Row 14 – 16: k to last 2 sts, k2tog
Row 17: knit.
Row 18: k3tog, CO 4 sts
Row 19: k5, CO 3 sts (8 sts)
Row 20, 21: knit.
Row 22: m1, k3, m1, k3
Row 23: k3, m1, k5, m1 (12 sts)
Row 24: knit.
Row 25: m1, k5, m1, k5
Row 26: m1, k6, m1, k6
Row 27: m1, k6, m1, k8
Row 28: m1, k4, m1, k4, m1, k7 (21 sts)
Row 29: m1, *k4, m1, repeat from *; end k5
Row 30: m1, *k3, m1, repeat from *; end k4
Row 31: *m1, k3, repeat from *; end k3
Row 32: knit.
Row 33: *m1, k2, m1, k3, repeat from *; end k3 (38 sts)
Row 34 – 44: knit.
Row 45: *k2tog, k 5, repeat from *.
Row 46: *k2tog, k4, repeat from *.
Row 47: *k2tog, k3, repeat from *.
Row 48: knit.
Row 49: *k2tog, k2, repeat from *.
Row 50: knit:
Row 51, 52: k2tog, repeat.
BO, leaving a tail long enough to stitch up the side of the apple.
Sew up halfway, leaving a hole for the stuffing; stuff with fiberfill and continue sewing to the top center of the apple.
The apple will have a point at the center; to invert this, run the needle and yarn through the middle to the bottom center of the apple. Pull until top dimpled and tie a knot at the bottom. Weave in ends.
Attach ribbon or lace and tie in a bow for a loop…
…and you’re done!