No Waste Quilting

Posted on

Keeping yesterday’s theme in mind, I wanted to show ways of quilting without getting any waste at all.  Why worry about what to do with those scraps when there are ways not to have any!

Kathryn Patterson from McCalls Quilting shows us how to make Flying Geese without waste.

Jenna from SewHappy Geek shows us how to make this great Granny Square block with no waste.


Finally, Quilting Hub shows us how to fussy cut without any waste.


I hope these tips help you quilt without any waste!  If you do have scraps, don’t forget you can turn them into a String Quilt.



String Quilts

Posted on

I have a LOT of scraps.  So many scraps I hate throwing them away and am considering selling them in bags.  I just hate to see all of that fabric go to waste! Something I have discovered lately is String Quilts.  Strings quilts are blocks made of strings of fabric that are often sewn to a permanent foundation such as muslin.


Angela Mitchell created this beautiful quilt using the traditional technique and describes it in her Craftsy article.

string3 also has a great step by step tutorial about how to make a String Quilt.


My favorite tutorial is the one by  Her tutorial uses a technique that without foundation piecing.  It is super simple and easy to follow!  Now to gather all of those strips of fabric.



Unique Little Book Purse, DIY Style!

Posted on

Good morning, Thursday Crafters!

Today I have a nice little tutorial for you that I thought was super cool. It is all about finding a great hardback book and turning it into a purse. How, you say? Well I’ll show you. This tutorial is from Instructables, and you can find the whole thing here, though there are many tutorials that float around online.

First you need to find a book that you like. There’s a few really good places to go to find unique, hardcover books. Thrift stores will be one of your best friends as well as antique and used book stores. A lot of them are pretty cheap too, so you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to get a super cool book to be the cover of your purse.

You will next need to remove the pages of your book. Use an exacto knife/box cutter to remove everything cleanly. If you selected a book with really cool images or you’d like to reuse your pages, there are several tutorials floating around (and maybe I’ll post another one next week) where you can use the pages as a crafting material. You will need to cut a piece of fabric of your choice in the same size as the book cover, fold the edges in 1/2 inch and iron the fold so it will stay.

Your next step (you can skip this if you’re planing on making a clutch) is to get your handles ready. At many fabric or craft stores you can buy purse handles separately. But keep in mind this isn’t your only choice. Keep your eye out in your closet for purses you don’t use anymore or you can even check out the second hand or vintage stores to see if there is anything you can easily take apart. Every set of handles is going to be different. You will basically need a way to attach your handles to your purse, so if you only have metal D rings or places for straps, you’ll need to get creative and buy/make your own (as seen above).

Glue your fabric strips to the book. You can use a glue gun, though I prefer stronger industrial adhesives (like E6000) for things like this.

You will also need to glue your fabric with the fold side down onto the cover, covering the handle straps.

Use a large piece (or a couple frankensteined small pieces, and tracet he cover of your book onto the paper, making sure to MARK both ends of the spine of the book on your paper.Measure the width of one side of the book, and draw a line that is that same length about 75 degrees from where you marked the beginning of the spine.  This angle controls how wide your purse will open.    The smaller the angle the wider your purse will open.

You will need a mirrored image on all the other sides, and you can do so by strategically cutting and folding at the centre lines so that you don’t need to keep finding angles. 🙂 When you’re finished, cut two pieces of lining fabric out of this stencil.

Next you will want to sew the angles that you made to the straight sides with the right sides facing each other. This will help to create a box-like shape for the inside of your purse.

Do the same with the second piece, and then when you’re finished, turn one of the pieces inside out (so you have a result like the photo above).

Put the right side out piece inside the wrong side out piece, and sew around the top edge.  You need leave a hole big enough for you to put hand though so that you can…

… turn it inside out! You will need to seal the hole you used to do this, so you can either slip stitch it by hand or do a neat little top stitch on your machine.

Sew some velcro into this section of the purse so you can close it (or you can improvise and glue a clasp or tie across the top of the book when it’s done… or both)

Your last step is to glue the inside pocket of your purse to your binding. And voila! You have just made a pretty cool book bag. Literally, a book that’s a bag. Love it.

Happy Crafting!


DIY: Pumpkin Earrings and Pendant

Posted on

Hello to all and happy Wednesday!

This is Kim, of Fantastical Menagerie. I am your guest blogger for today. I specialize in sculpted art, utilizing polymer clay and mixed media. you can find my art on Facebook (, Etsy ( or at a variety of Conventions and Art Shows on the East Coast.

Autumn is my very favorite season. There’s something about the cooler temperatures, changing leaves and earlier sunsets that bring to mind thoughts of sweaters, apple cider, and hay rides. I thought I would share a tutorial with you that, to me, epitomizes the spirit of fall. Pumpkin earrings and a matching pendant.

Your supply list for this project is quite small:

  • Premo brand polymer clay in Green Pearl, Pearl, and Orange. You will need approx 1/4 of a package of each color.
  • Three eye pins
  • Earring Hooks (2), and a silver necklace chain.
  • Optional- Pearl Ex Powders in Apple Green and Copper

Tools: Straight blade, Needle Point, and Blunt End Pointer Tool. You can find these in any craft store, in the Sculpey Brand.


Step One: Lay out your clay, and knead each color until soft. Separate out 1/4 of each color to use. It should be one scored section. Roll three balls with the orange clay.


Step Two: slightly flatten the top of the pumpkins. Using the needle ended tool, make lines from the bottom to the top, approximately 6 lines to create sections on the pumpkins.


Step Three: Roll three small balls of green clay, approximately 4-5 mm. put each one, flattened slightly, onto each pumpkin. It should cover any scored line ends. Utilizing the blunt ended pointed tool, make a hole in the top of each green ball after its in place on the pumpkin. Roll out three more pieces of green clay and insert them in the holes for stems.

kim6 kim5

Step Four: Roll 12 small pea sized balls of green clay. Pinch one end, and then flatten into a teardrop shape. Make a line in each teardrop, and then use the needle to form the leaf veins on either side of the main line.


Step Five: Roll out 8-9 clay ‘vines.’ Each one can be approx 1-1.5 inches long. about 1.5-2 mm wide. Twist the vines, and attach to the top of each pumpkin. Add 2-3 vines per pumpkin.


Step Six: Add the leaves. They should go near the vine tops.


Step Seven: Using the pearl colored clay, make approx 12 small balls, smaller then the pea sized ones for the leaves. Flatten them into flat disks. Add them to the pumpkins, covering any exposed ends on the vines and the tops of the leaves. Place them in tri-circle patterns.


Step Eight: Using the blunt tipped pointer tool, poke a hole in the center of each new flower. You can then use a bit of orange clay, rolled, to fill the holes and make the flower centers, or a contrasting color if you have one.

Optional: Use the Pearl Ex Powders to accent and provide shine to the pumpkins.


Step Nine: Using a clay adhesive such as polybonder or Bake n Bond, put the eye pins in the pumpkins. Bake at 260 Degrees for an hour in your oven. Check the temperature and lower appropriately if using a toaster oven- the clay can burn! Once cooled, you can add your earring wires and/or your necklace chain!

These make great gifts, or add a touch of whimsy to your fall wardrobe. You can change up the colors, try glow in the dark, or even tie-dye style pumpkins. I hope this small project gets you in the mood for Fall!


Whittling Art in Spoons

Posted on

UK based artist Giles Newman creates the most wonderfully detailed wooden spoons with centuries old techniques.

Using primarily oak for his starting base, Mr. Newman uses an axe and knife to whittle such beauty and detail into every piece he designs. He gets his wood from sustainable tree branches and coats each finished piece with tung oil; a natural nut based and food safe oil. Meaning these works of art are functional as well as beautiful. Not sure I could bring myself to do it, but they’d certainly make a nice decorative piece in any home or kitchen. You can find them here at his etsy store should you wish to see more. 🙂

DIY Shelves: Pro Edition

Posted on

Yup, I’m back with a final update in making your own display shelves for shows. For awhile now I’ve been wanting to ditch the foam cores I originally made over a year ago. As time has gone on I’m always in constant fear of them being crushed or broken due to their lightweight material. So, back in March I had the idea to instead make them out of wood. They could remain the same thickness (meaning no new math to figure out, yay!) and shape, but by being made out of wood I would have a more professional display piece that could hold up for years to come with only a small amount of care.


This is how mine they turned out in the end, and below I will walk you through step by step how I went about constructing my lovely new display shelves. PLEASE NOTE: Unlike working with foam core, working with wood involves at minimum a jigsaw and a sander. If you do not feel comfortable using these tools be sure to have a friend/family member who can help you.

Items you will need:

-1/2″ Thick wood (as much as your designs say)
– A Jigsaw (I used a hand one, but a standing one would also be lovely)
– A sander
– Pencil
– Measuring Tape/Ruler


– Wood Stain
– Sealent
– Paint Brush or Rag
– Drop Cloth

Since I had access to a jigsaw, I knew my first challenge would be having the big cuts I needed from my large piece of wood done. Thankfully, most hardware stores that sell such large pieces of wood will cut it for you into any size square or rectangle you like. I got my wood at Home Depot and after the first 2 cuts they charge $1 for each additional cut. I don’t remember how many cuts I needed in the end, but it was more than 10. Getting as many cuts as you can done will only save you time. It’s worth the extra charge as long as it’s done properly. Once you get your wood and get home, it’s time to once again get your pencil and ruler out to mark all your measurements for where you’ll be cutting your wood. As always: measure twice, cut once.


You can see on mine where I had issues with one. Yeah, the guy cut one board 1/4″ shorter then all the others for my support struts and it messed me up. Maybe have an eraser handy in case this happens to you when you’re measuring. Once everything is marked, bring your wood over to your cutting station and carefully cut out your design/pieces. You don’t want any crooked lines so take your time and do it right.


Now that you have all your pieces cut, it’s time to sand! Get your sander ready and start with a high grit paper like 80-100 for your first pass, working your way up in numbers to a finer grit and a smoother finish. Make sure you get all of your edges too to prevent and splintering or roughness. Last thing I want is to have a rough section when handling my display stands. This step will take awhile to do and that’s okay, cause if you want, you can stop after this step!

029You’ll have a fully finished display stand at this point (baring any gluing/drilling to add dowels like I do with mine) that you can simply take as is and use all you like. Personally I wanted mine to be a darker color so I opted to stain it ‘Dark Cherry’. Before you start brushing your stain on, you’ll want to prep your area by laying down a drop cloth, an old sheet, or even old towels. You’ll also want to wipe your display pieces down with a clean cloth to remove any fine particles that may be hanging around from sanding. Once that’s done, simply lay your pieces out on your work space and evenly coat your wood with stain.


This will take at least 2 rounds as you’ll need to flip your display to make sure you get all the sides. You can use a brush or an old rag to put your stain on. As long as it’s evenly applied you can choose whichever applicator works best for you. Knowing this is a several hour project overall, I also recommend getting a stain that is also a sealer to save some small amount of time. You don’t have to of course, but sealing is needed to make sure your stain retains it’s color/look for as long as possible.
034And there you have it! Once everything is dry and finished your new display is ready to use at your next show. It will be sure to impress the guests and other vendors as they all wonder where you got your great display shelves. 😉


Light Up Your Autumn

Posted on

Greetings Sunday readers!

As promised, even if the weather isn’t complying, I am going to continue hoping that autumn will burst forth with a riot of lovely colors and I will be ready to meet it with my crafts! Last week we had some great warm crafts and this week I’d like to continue the warmth idea with a few ideas for fall candles.

First I thought, what about the scent of autumn? The leaves, the crisp air, and most of all the spices! I would love to have a spicy pie scent permeating my home. So I found this lovely pumpkin pie a la mode DIY candle:



It looks and sounds like the perfect thing to put me in the autumn mood. But perhaps we could capture some of that glorious color just beginning right now? We may have to wait until the actual leaves start falling (or maybe substitute fake leaves if you can’t wait) to get this particular look:

So pretty, festive, and cheap!

So pretty, festive, and cheap!

It’s definitely a start but once the season really gets rolling, I’m going to want something more. If you, like me, have a love affair with fall gourds maybe this last one is right up your alley:

Yes, yet another use for those lovely gourds!

Yes, yet another use for those lovely gourds!

Despite the lingering summer weather here, this makes me feel a little more in the right mood for the calendar date. Just one more week until it’s official!

See you on the other side and remember to stay crafty!


When Quilts aren’t quite what you expected

Posted on

If you follow my personal Quiltoni site, you may have seen the post I made about the first Rainbow quilt I made for charity.  This was a quilt I was very excited to make and I think it turned out REALLY well.  It sold within a few days of announcing it so I was excited to get started on the next one.  After learning the basic Bargello technique I wanted to try something a little harder.  I found this great pattern on Craftsy by Becky Botello.

It looks amazing and I wanted to adapt the rainbow colors to this pattern.  I chose my fabrics.


Those colors looked amazing next to each other.  As Nicole called it, I grouped the saturated and unsaturated colors together.  I totally expected a quilt like the first one I made.  After I started stripping it even stated looking pretty cool.


But yesterday I pinned all of my quilts I had made and the quilt didn’t turn out quite like I expected.



I can’t tell if I like it or not.  It is an extra long twin size quilt and is VERY colorful.  I just can’t decide if anyone will like it or not.  This is what happens with quilting sometimes.  Bargellos are still new to me, so I am not too sure how the finished quilt will work.  I will keep working at it and keep trying new designs and new fabrics until I get it right!

So whatever you work on, even if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you expected, don’t give up!  Keep working at it and you will figure it out.

Now to decide if I want to sell it for charity or just give it away as a gift.



A Girl’s Best Friends…

Posted on

… Where the answer may often be diamonds, sometimes the answer is her bridesmaids. Last week I gave you a few links with some great DIY ideas for the men involved in a wedding, this week I’m going to post some ideas for the ladies in your wedding. It’s just as important to thank these tireless babes as they helped to make your big day special and stress free. After all – what are friends for? Now, one of my general rules of gift giving – especially for big events that tend to merit trinkets with dates etched into them or something else that you wouldn’t want to use, I follow my own personal rule of giving something consumable or useful. That way, the people who helped you on your big day can have a little enjoyment out of their gift rather than having something that sits in a cabinet.

1. My first offering, is from Lia Griffith who  has given a step by step tutorial, including printables for labels (if you are a member of their site) and recipes, for how to give a spa day in a box.

I love that this gift lets your lovely ladies open something fabulous, and the fact that this is all hand made is what makes this gift special. You can find most of the ingredients easily at a grocery store, and you can visit your local craft store for any containers that you may need to buy (you don’t need the roll tubes for your lip balm, think of some small jars instead). The other nice thing about this is you can really make all of this in bulk so that you can make one for all the ladies in your bridal party.

2. What about these delicious and unique cookie butters (that’s right, you read that right) from A Beautiful Mess?

There’s recipe and instructions for how to make a butter out of any kind of cookie, and the other supplies for the labels and the jars can be pretty nominal, depending on how to do them. But imagine a set of 4 different cookie butters for your bridesmaids to treat themselves with over a piece of toast or waffles!

3. For your ladies who love to cook there’s an amazing idea that can be applied to spoons and other wooden utensils, but also to bread boards, wooden trivets, and really anything else that’s wooden and living in the kitchen. I’d like to thank Design Mom for their lovely, design inspiration. All you need is a dremel and some creative gumption.

I think this is such a fabulous way to personalize some every day items and give them just a touch of class. Especially since you do these  by hand, they can be as intricate or simple as you’d like, and you don’t have to worry about getting food grade paint as you are just burning the designs in! Keep in mind if you’re going to do something more complex (like a full picture on a trivet, for example…), you may want to etch it with pencil first, as there are no takebacksies when it comes to wood burning.

4. And finally, my last offering in this little gift collage, is to give the gift of soap, with this tutorial provided by A Pumpkin and a Princess. She provides recipes for a few different flavours, too.


What I love about this, is that it’s simple, thoughtful, useful and can be made in large batches so that you can give multiple flavours of soap and you can gift to your ladies without breaking the bank. If you get some nice craft paper, or printed wrapping paper and some ribbon, you can make this simple thank you a very very beautiful one!


I hope that you enjoyed this as much as last weeks. And good luck!

Happy crafting,


Final Fantasy Crafts

Posted on


Let me take a moment to introduce myself! I’m Sherona, better known in the crafting world as blackmageheart. I’m a cross stitcher first and foremost, but I dabble in other arts and crafts occasionally!
Today I’m your guest blogger, and I’d like to share with you all a few of the wonderful and awesome Final Fantasy crafts I’ve seen on my online (and offline!) travels.

For those of you who may not know, Final Fantasy is a long-running video game series, with the eponymous first entry waaaay back in 1987. The series has come a long way since then, but with each new entry and story comes amazing new art and visuals. In-game sprites, Tetsuya Nomura’s character designs and the ethereal art of Yoshitaka Amano are just some of the many elements of Final Fantasy’s style that have inspired legions of artists and crafters to create beautiful homages.
Let’s take a look at some of my favourite FF crafts from around the interwebs!

FFVIII Squall cross stitch by “Anat”

FFVI Alexander perler bead sprite by “artemis251”

FFX Yuna vinyl silhouette by “ForNerdByNerd”

FFIX Vivi perler bead sprite by “ShampooTeacher”

FFVI Ultros amigurumi by “susanhiding”

Final Fantasy cross stitch by “rachael”
This is just a tiny sample of the FF crafts to be found – there are literally thousands of different and wonderful works of art! I do recommend taking some time to look at a few, because you will be amazed at the detail and work that fans put into their crafts. J

Thank you for letting me be your guest poster today, and for this shameless plug I’m about to do!
Check out my cross stitch work at:
and of course, don’t forget to visit the blog and forums at !

Bye for now, Craft Hackers! *blasts off with a Firaga*