Kickstarter Feature: Love Bug Studios

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We have talked about some of the amazing quilt a longs that Love Bug Studios have done, but now they are looking to do something new, their own line of fabric cutting dies!

From her Kickstarter:

I’m launching a line of fabric cutting dies with three shapes: Orange Peel (with arch), Key West (a more intricate Kaleidoscope block), and Sunburst (adds interest to plain blocks.) These dies are exclusive to me and will not be available anywhere else for now.

The dies will be compatible with machines that can accept 5/8″ tall dies (there’s a full list below in the “Die Format & Machine Compatibility” section.) If you don’t own a compatible machine, I can recommend one, and there’s a backer level that includes it.

I’m laying the foundation for more dies to expand on these and help you use other dies that may already be in your collection. Help me add our voices to the quilting industry and show them what we want!

There are a ton of great rewards! Patterns, fabric, instructional dvds, classes, and of course dies!!

If you want to see the dies and how you can help back this Kickstarter, check out the campaign!  I know I am going to help her get started on this amazing journey.


Gift of the Goddesses Quilt Pattern

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Monday was pattern release day!  Welcome the Gift of the Goddesses to our pattern line up.

This pattern is a little different then the others.  It is a smaller quilt (21-22 inches) than the rest.  It can be turned into a wall hanging, centerpiece for a table, or a part of a larger quilt.

The strips to create the quilt are different as well.  Instead of working with 3 1/2″ and 2″ strips you work with 2″ and 1 1/4″ strips.  The finished squares are only 3/4″!

Want one for yourself?  You can find the pattern on my Craftsy sitemy Etsy store, or if you would like a physical pattern or are a store and would like the wholesale price, visit my Quilt Exchange page.


DIY: Halloween Burlap Table Runner

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers.

I’m not sure about where you’re living, but where I’m living, a spectacularly hot few days have finally ended and we are into weather that is more appropriate for fall. This gets me thinking about jackets, hats, scarves and of course, Halloween. There’s something beautiful about Halloween decor that is not only season appropriate but also a beautiful addition to the home. It tickles something inside me and reminds me of my youth. I have a tutorial today for you to make a table runner which is highly customizable and looks so cool when it’s done.

You can find the full tutorial here, but I’ll be giving you the rundown. You will need a few supplies. Burlap, being one, and some form of cheap fabric to line the runner with – it can be unbleached cotton or muslin, but check out your remnants bin at your local craft store and see what’s there. You can either buy a section long enough for your runner, or you can sew a couple sections together if you’d like to be a little more economical. You’ll also need freezer paper, spray paint, some kind of cutter or exacto knife. I would say that instead of spray paint, you could also use some stenciling brushes and paint if you’re got some already at home, or there are colours you want to use. Just keep in mind washability. Since this is a seasonal item, I usually don’t worry too much about it, but you might want to get some fabric paint that you’ll be able to wash afterwards.

Your first step is to decide how long you’d like to make your runner. Make it long enough so it can hang nicely over the edges of your table. This tutorial had a finished size of 11″x88″, but it isn’t necessary for it to be that long. Next, cut your burlap wider than you’d like the actual runner to be. Burlap can fray very easily, so leave an inch and a quarter on each long side of your runner.  You will want to cut your lining material 1 inch wider than your finished runner.

Next, with the waxy side of your freezer paper facing down, cut out the design. You can either hand draw your design, or you can print it out on regular paper and use that as your negative design – just make sure that you attach the freezer paper to it so that your burlap is fully covered. Use the knife to cut out your design, and just be careful to have nice clean edges. To help you get cleaner edges, you can iron your freezer paper to the burlap with the wax side down so it will stick and give you some nice sharp edges.

You can  put designs anywhere you want, whether it`s just at the edges or along the centre as well. Just make sure that you cover any space you don`t want painted as if you’re using spray paint, you can have quite a wide spray radius.

 

 

Next, spray over the designs onto the burlap, or use your stencil brush and paint to fill in the negative space. Make sure your paint is even and when everything is dry, you can remove the paper.

You can now place the runner and the lining together, with right sides together and pin. The burlap is bigger than the lining, and that’s okay, remember, we wanted to account for any fraying. Stitch a half inch seam down both sides, leaving the end open. Trim off any excess burlap so that your seam allowances are even.

Turn the runner right side out and iron, design side down. Please put an old towel underneath your design so you don’t get any paint to stick in places you don’t want it to.  Fold the ends of the runner so that the raw edges are tucked in, and if you want to put some trim on the edge of your runner, cut a piece to fit and pin, then top stitch all the layers together – do this for both sides.
That’s all you need to make this beauty! I love that it works for us creative types that can’t actually draw, and so that makes me a happy lady.
Hope you enjoyed the DIY, and happy crafting!
~Megan

Tutorial- Polymer Clay Hearts

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Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday. This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. This week I have a simple clay tutorial for you. Its on creating a steampunk heart.

Supplies

  • Sculpey III in Dusty Rose
  • Sculpey III in Gold and Silver
  • Optional- Pearl X in Rose Gold

Tools

  • Mini Screwdriver
  • Needle Tool
  • Straight Blade
  • Pointer Tool
  • Clay Roller or Rolling Pin
  • Tweezers

Steps

  1. Condition your clay. You do this by kneading it in your hands. It needs to be soft and malleable.
  2. Pull off a piece of the Sculpey Dusty Rose Clay. You want a round ball the size of a quarter. Roll it into a teardrop shape, then flatten it.
  3. Use your blade or a wedge tool to divide it down towards the
    center. Gently shape to form the top lobes of your heart. Curl the tail of the heart.
  4. Make a hole in one lobe. This is for you to attach a jump ring in after the piece is baked.
  5. Run the gold clay through your clay roller. If you don’t have one, you can use an acrylic roller or a rolling pin. Cut out a rectangle, about 3/4 of an inch by 1/2 an inch, and another much smaller one.
  6. Gently place the patches on your heart.
  7. Now its time to add the screws! Make a handful of very small balls out of the Sculpey III silver clay. Place them around the hole for the jump ring, and one more on top of your patches. You can impress the screw shapes with the mini screwdriver, or a butter knife.
  8. Add more detail- small dots or texture to form a frame around the heart with a needle point.
  9. Optional- dust heart with Pearl X in Rose Gold.
  10. Use your straight blade to move your heart to a baking tray, and then bake at 275 Degrees for 30 minutes. Allow the heart to cool completely before adding your jump ring and chain.

Let me know how they turn out!


Vintage Sewing Resource

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With Halloween just around the corner, I know I’m not the only one with costumes on my mind. Half the problem though is looking for what you want as not all patterns are easily available or you have to flip through endless catalogs to find what you need. Well, if you are in need of something 25+ years old, have I got a resource for you.

This Wiki is without a doubt of the best resources for quickly looking through real manufactured patterns for your vintage needs, and they just uploaded over 83,000 this summer! :O I’ll let them tell you a bit about themselves:

We are working to create one location online where people can go to browse through vintage patterns starting from the year 1992 and older and share information about them, including:

  • Links to sellers who have particular patterns in stock
  • Reviews by people who have made the patterns (share photos!)
  • Links to blog posts about particular patterns
  • Wishlist of people who want to buy or trade particular patterns
  • Searchable ‘categories’ on patterns (like ‘cocktail’, ‘wrap dress’, ‘peter pan collar’ or whatever)

So yeah, really good stuff to be found here for the period accurate costumer. The pattern will likely not be free in the end, but at least it will be official as a majority of the patterns located on it come from many long standing brands such as McCalls and Serendipity. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been thinking of making a Linkle cosplay myself and I wonder if they have anything to help me make that cape of hers…


Beautiful and Spooky

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know I hinted at some fall décor in the next post but then something came across my feed that I simply HAD to share. These amazing little embroideries and artwork from French artist Petrichor are something that should be sought out and purchased immediately:

Not only does she hand embroider each of the delightful, dark images on the pins but many of her pieces of one of a kind. She also has an impressive line of lino-printed keepsake boxes:

So lovely and perfect for storing all of your precious bits and bobs.

Her main line of artwork is just as gorgeous, with more wonderfully witchy prints to be had:

These could arguably be considered fall décor but I’m more inclined to keep them up all year round.

If you fancy yourself some spooky items to adorn your walls or yourself, she can be found on her website, Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. Please note that she also does custom designs! Also note that she is based out of France so some of her pages are in French.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Meet the Hackers: FCCC

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Today is my local Comic Con! You can find me at Forest City Comic Con here in London, Ontario. I Am here with Megan of Absynthetika! You can find us at Booth 87.

I have some of my quilts and pillows and all of my patterns, kits, and dice bags! Megan had both her corsets and her Christmas stockings. Forest City Comic Con is an amazing combination of comics, anime, cosplay, gaming, and everything geeky! Their program and guests can be found here: http://forestcitycomicon.ca/schedule/.

If you are in the Ontario area, swing by and say hi!

 


DIY: Mosaic Tray

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a tutorial for you today from Sand and Sisal to make a sea glass mosaic serving tray. You can find the original post here.  What I love about this tutorial is that it’s a basic tutorial that doesn’t have to be applied to only sea glass. You can use tiles, flat stones, flat glass tiles, or broken plates. This process can be applied to anything you’d like to turn into a mosaic, which is possibly why I love being able to write about a process like this.

For this you do need some specific supplies, but they are things that you might have lying around, or they’re easy to find at any hardware store. You’ll need a wood serving tray (you can buy one new or you can check second hand and vintage stores to see what’s around), spray paint, enough sea glass or tile to cover the area of your tray, some ready to use tile adhesive, premixed grout, a toothed trowel, a pallet knife, a rubber tile float, and a sponge.

Your first step – if your tray has been finished, is to sand the tray with 100 grit sand paper to remove any shiny lacquer.

Your next step is to give the try a couple coats of the (wood suitable) spray paint in the colour of your choice.

With a toothed trowel, apply a thin coat of adhesive to a small part of the tray base and comb the teeth through the adhesive. If you’re using a large trowel, you can use a pallet knife to spread the adhesive into the small corners and edges, and then comb it afterwards.

For the best result, try to work in small sections. It’s important that the adhesive is applied in a thin layer. you don’t want it oozing over the tiles. Start pressing your sea glass (or other tiles) into the adhesive. The tile should sit about half way in the adhesive.  Follow the package directions for the adhesive to set up.

After you’ve placed all your tiles, you can pull out the grout. Put some grout on the float (the rubber scraper thing) and start pressing  and smearing it into the sea  glass so that it gets into all the crevasses and into the edges. Don’t worry about smearing it on top of the glass – it will be smoothed and wiped off the top later.

Once your tray is covered, scrape any excess grout off the top with your float.

Your last step is to clean up that mess! Use a wet sponge to clean up the edges of your tray and to remove the layer of grout from the top of the sea glass or tile. When it looks mostly clean, let it dry. When it’s dry, the glass will look a little dusty, and this is when you can take a clean, damp sponge and buff the glaze off the glass to let it shine.

Et, voila! Your tray is done and ready to be used, or gifted to some lucky friend.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Completing Custom Orders

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. Today I wanted to mention how to handle orders you receive both online and in person. We all get excited when others like what we make, and it translates into a sale. then the panic can set in. What next?

If its in person at a show, you make sure you get a full description of the order, and that the customer pays for both the item and the shipping. Make sure the shipping includes the cost of your time dropping it off at the post office, as well as the shipping boxes and wrap. This is called a handling charge. It would be a good idea to give them an estimate of when to expect their item, and discuss a way for them to approve it. I offer to email or text photos of them completed design. If this is an online order, make sure the listing specifies wait times. Give yourself enough time to complete the item, and if the customer is on a waiting list, they need to know this as well.

Once home, its a good idea to stick to the timeline you gave your customer. A good customer, satisfied with your service and quality of goods, is a repeat customer. If there is a delay, communicate it to them. Make sure you take well lit, accurate photos of the finished product for your own portfolio as well as for the customer’s approval of the project.

Once the project is completed and approved, you will need to wrap it securely, and mail it. I recommend purchasing postage online either through Paypal, or directly from the Post Office website. Both offer a discount from buying it in person, and will include tracking that you may have to pay extra for otherwise. Unless the item is small or not easily damaged, it is advisable to ship Priority if in the US. It provides included insurance up to $50, and an additional minimal amount for more expensive orders. You can use flat rate shipping, or use a small kitchen scale for shipping by weight. A digital scale is a small investment that will last a long time. My $20 Walmart purchase is more than six years old and still ticking!

Its not necessary, but adds to the overall appeal to make the wrapped package attractive and appealing. Our customers are buying handmade goods, and you want to make them feel as if they are getting a gift, and something with more meaning than a mass produced item. I once ordered a purse that arrived in a lovely clear bag, with ribbons, confetti, and a thank you card. It made such a big impression on me! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Bubble wrap, tissue paper, a business card/thank you card nicely wrapped can do the trick. I use ribbon and tissue, and then wrap the whole thing in bubble since my items are breakable. Some makers use cute stickers, or include a coupon code for a future order.

If the item is to be a gift, you can also include a small gift card for them to use. Vista Print and other online printers offer these in bulk, and they are a nice touch.

Once shipped, make sure if you have a tracking number you send it to the customer, and follow up to make sure it arrived. If you treat all your customers as if they are special, they will feel that way.


Wrist Exercises Take 2

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A few months ago I posted some great videos for stretching your wrist muscles and just generally helping them keep the more common wrist injuries at bay. Well today I’m back with some more, and they’re from an unlikely inspiration.

From Splatoon 2 enthusiast and Tumblr user comes a great reference guide to help the average person take care of their wrists before strenuous use. While they were inspired by long play session of Splatoon 2 for the Switch, these are really wonderful stretches that anyone can do. If you’re seeing a medical professional for an existing condition however, be sure to clear it with them first. Per the artist themselves:

I drew a quick chart about good wrist and finger exercise before playing Splatoon (or engaging in any other intense activity such as but not limited to gaming in general, programming, drawing, computer work etc.)
As with all stretching exercise, these should only be done in moderate speed. You only want to loosen up, not break your hands!!

Great advice, and I’d even recommend doing it at a very slow pace at first to help you get the feel of what the stretch should feel like and not hurt yourself. When done properly everyday, these stretches can definitely help the longevity of your very useful wrists. 🙂