Halloween Celebration!

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Happy Halloween everyone! I know it’s on a boring old Tuesday this year, but make sure to have some fun with it in a small way. Be it taking kids trick or treating, enjoying a scary movie, or ya know, decorating your house elaborately for the Holiday.

No, it’s not that other guy, this is a light display done by Tracy, a California music school teacher set to one of the best Halloween songs ever: “This is Halloween”. A fun watch though, I think I’d go crazy if I lived near anyone that does these big light displays. Definitely invest in some black out curtains at the every least, lol.


Fall & Halloween-Themed Knits

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Happy Eve of All Hallow’s Eve, Hackers!

With this being my favorite season and tomorrow being my favorite holiday of the year, I decided to focus on some cute, themed knitting patterns for today’s post. (I am focusing my post on knit patterns since we have some other, more experienced posters to focus on crochet patterns.)

I may not have human children of my own (and my cat, Helo, isn’t thrilled about wearing things I knit for him) but I just love some of the adorable ideas that people come up with for babies and toddlers. For example, this pattern for a little fox hat and baby mitts is not only one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, it also is a fairly easy pattern. Both beginners and experts would have little to no difficulty following this pattern and this would be a fantastic shower gift for a baby due in the fall. You will need to have knowledge of your basic knit and purl stitches but you shouldn’t need to go in to the detail of increasing/decreasing stitches. The pattern is currently marked down in price but even at it’s regular price, it is pretty affordable.

This next pattern does have at least a little crocheting, however, you can adapt it with a knitted strand instead. This too-cute pumpkin hat for babies is simple and wouldn’t require a ton of your time. And with a little change here and there, you can make it for toddlers or even adults as well.

One of the things I am most obsessed with in the fall is that it’s the perfect time of year to wear shrugs and ponchos. And for those of you who are big-time Outlander fans, this pattern from Ravelry for a Claire-inspired shrug will give you that Sassenach look with little effort and time. Find the free pattern here. (This may be the next thing on my “to knit” list since I think it’s simple and elegant and because my office building is usually set to sub-arctic temperatures.) Depending on the type of yarn you choose and the pattern, shrugs and ponchos can be worn year-round as well.

Because the fall weather can be crisp, I wanted to share one more pattern to help keep you warm from head to toe: leg warmers. While this may bring some of you flashbacks to the days of Flashdance, these simple items are a great way to keep toasty in the brisk weather, whether going out on a blustery day or just bumming around you home with a mug of tea or cocoa. A lovely pattern for chunky yarn leg warmers can be found here.

The best part of fall is the crisp, clean weather, in my opinion. Knitting and crocheting provide stylish ways to keep warm and it’s a great skill to have and hone. And as usual with my posts, these items all make for great gift ideas too!

Keep warm, Hackers! And stay stylin’.

~Scribe Sarah~

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Last Minute Mania

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know most of the Halloween parties probably took place last night but there are still some purists that celebrate on the day itself or some of those that would like to have more attendees and wait for the following weekend. So if you or even the kiddos have been invited and you still haven’t figured out that perfect costume, maybe one of these will spark your creativity.

First up is one of my absolute favorites for a couple from Creating Really Awesome Fun Things (not just because the Art of Chill came out this year), Bob Ross with Happy Tree:

Complete with Peapod the squirrel!

A lot of this, save the squirrel and magnificent hair could come from your own closet, which I love. Simple, yet effective. Other accessories could include an easel and painting if you feel so inclined!

My second pick comes from another wonderful childhood memory (and not JUST because the memes on the subject have been fantastic), this DIY Arthur tutorial from LaurDIY:

I would definitely encourage some red Chuck Taylors and a backpack to complete the look.

A warning on that tutorial – she is VERY perky so I would recommend having at least one cup of coffee in you if you are watching early in the morning (not that I learned that from experience or anything). Ultimately it’s really a tutorial for the ears, which could be used for a variety of other possibilities as well.

Third up is a truly terrifying costume…and by terrifying I mean if you are an animal lover and a Pixar fan. Because Amy from Amy Ever After has come up with a brilliant Darla from Finding Nemo costume, complete with tutorial:

The horror! Just don’t use a real fish, please.

I may honestly have to try that one in the future. Brings back fond memories of the year the husband and I went as Vanellope Von Schweetz and Wreck It Ralph:

Pardon the crappy lighting and Ralph trying to look grumpy.

I used this tutorial from The Lovebugs Blog for the tights and movie screen shots for reference on the other pieces. It was super fun to make and took only the bare minimum of sewing (for the bright pink yarn on the hoodie).

One of my most favorite things about Halloween costuming is the kiddos because, let’s face it, they are just too cute. Like this amazingly adorbs scuba diver costume for toddlers from Ali Schroeder:

OMG, the binkie attached to the “oxygen tank” and the tiny flippers. I can’t even, you guys.

Or this equally sweet, freaking darling snail costume from Oh Happy Day:

If you have any brown packing paper laying around from your last Amazon order, this is a great way to upcycle!

The last one I have to offer today literally made me giggle with delight. My fellow hackers, this Little Dude costume from Skirt As Top is something I keep in my heart as #parentlifegoals:

This is definitely my El Duderino of choice.

While it is not a full tutorial, she does make mention of the pattern used for the bathrobe (if you feel like doing a little bit of quick sewing) and the other pieces seem easy enough to find.

So there you have it, folks! I did sort through a ton of “last minute” lists in my search so there are plenty out there. Whatever you choose to dress up as, stay safe and have a wonderfully spooky Halloween!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


How to Cut on the Bias

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If you pick up a piece of fabric, you can stretch it in three ways, vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.  This diagonal stretch is the stretchiest and is the bias of the quilt.  You may need a cut of bias for hems, bindings, or may have a pattern that calls for this special stretch.  But cutting the bias may be something new to you.

The Dutch Label Shop is where I get my special labels for the backs of my quilts.  I love the quality of the labels and the way they look on my quilts.  In addition to making a great product, they periodically blog about important things sewers should know.  One of the blogs they ran was how to cut on the bias.

Reposted from The Dutch Label Shop:

First, you have to understand two other fabric terms: selvage and grain.

WHAT IS SELVAGE

Selvage is the name given to the self-finished edges of a piece of fabric. It keeps the fabric from unravelling and fraying. Often it serves the further purpose of providing information about the producer and designer, information that is printed directly onto the unpatterned area.

When a fabric store associate pulls down a bolt, rolls it out on their cutting table, and cuts you a portion of it, they will always cut perpendicular to the selvage. Each piece of fabric will therefore have two self-finished edges, top and bottom.

WHAT IS GRAIN

Just like wood or meat, fabric has a grain. In reference to fabric, the term “grain” indicates the way the fabric is knit or woven together. Take a close look at any piece of fabric. You will notice threads running parallel and perpendicular to the selvage. This is the grain of the fabric. Take your hands and place them on a perpendicular line and try pulling the fabric. There will be no give. Do the same on a parallel line. Again, the fabric will not stretch. Cutting along a parallel or perpendicular line is cutting “with the grain.”

WHAT IS BIAS

Now, back to bias. Take your hands and place them on the opposite selvage, diagonally across from each other, and pull. The fabric stretches! This is because you are pulling along the bias, against the grain. When a pattern calls for a bias cut, it is to take advantage of this stretchy quality. Bias is the thread line which cuts the grain at a 45 degree angle.

 

BIAS SEWING BASICS: HOW TO CUT ON THE BIAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO CUT ON THE BIAS

To easily measure this 45 degree angle, take the top corner of your fabric and fold it down to the bottom edge of the fabric, creating a diagonal fold. Cut along the fold, and voila! You’ve cut on the bias.

If you would like to see more posts by Dutch Label shop or check out their cool labels, you can find them here.


Twitch Con and Quilt Market

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We are now half way through my stretch of 4 conventions in 5 weeks!

I had such a great time at Twitch Con this past weekend.  It was my first time and it was everything I hoped it to be.  I even streamed on Twitch live from my booth every day!  Want to see what Twitch Con looked like without all the people?  I did a live stream Saturday morning.

Want to watch and interact live when I stream?  Follow my Twitch page!  Don’t want to interact but still want to watch the videos?  Subscribe to my You Tube page!

Next up is Quilt Market this weekend.  What is Quilt Market?

It is a credentialed quilt trade show.  This means you need to be a quilt shop owner, buyer, or industry professional (professional quilter, teacher, designer, or publisher).  The fabric manufacturers, wholesalers, and companies that we want to see will all be there.  This is the show where we get to see everything new coming out!  I have seen a few previews and am SUPER excited about the new fabrics I will be able to get.

I don’t have a booth so will be wandering the floor.  So make sure you find me if you want one of my collectors cards!

I will be doing a few giveaways again!!  I will only be doing a few of them on my Facebook page (not on Twitch).  So if you want to see when I go live for my Facebook Giveaways, make sure you follow me!

See you online!

-Toni


Customizable DIY Colouring Fabric.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

This isn’t quite a DIY but it is a neat little piece of info for those of you who are looking to make things that can be coloured. That’s right, fabric that can be coloured – for clutches, pillow cases, shirts… whatever you like. This is more of a step by step for how to order what you need, but I didn’t realize that this could even be done, so I thought I’d share. There’s a full tutorial on Damask Love, but this post will focus on the resources you need to get this fabric to you.

Your first step is to find a design that you like at a place like Creative Market. If you search the term “seamless” it will pull up all kinds of designs that are appropriate for a colouring item. Purchase your design and save it to an easy to find place in your computer.

Next, hop on over to Zazzle (which also has a Canadian site). On this site you can order all kinds of blank things that you can have images printed on. If you’re looking to make a tote or a pillow or clutch, I suggest searching for “twill” to order some plain fabric with your design printed on it. Note that you can also make other custom stuff, so of course, play around! All you have to do is upload the design, and fidget with the scale if you choose. Since the design is seamless, you won’t have to work with edges or things like that.

After you’ve chosen the design and the fabric, just order it and wait for it to arrive. See? Not so much a tutorial but until seeing this I had no idea that I could order colouring fabric (of course you’ll want to use fabric markers for the actual colouring), or that I could customize it, so I thought you guys needed to know too.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Designing an Embroidered Patch

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So not everyone has a fancy machine and software to whip out patches on a whim, including myself, but sometimes you want to have them for a family/business event or even to sell for your own company without having to learn an entire new vocation. Well my friends, that’s where the lovely people at Stadri Emblems come in.

They’ve created a great guide to get you started on not just what you need to know about patches, but what you need to think about when designing them. Stuff like, does your entire patch need to be made from thread or can some of it be a woven background? They also have a staff on artist on hand that get assigned to each customer so you can work one on one to get the patch you wanted, starting with a free image design and quote.

What if I’m not a designer or artist?

Don’t worry; all of our orders come with artwork set-up for free. Whether your design just needs some small tweaks or you only have a napkin drawing, we have you covered. If you don’t have finished art, here are a few tips for describing what you are envisioning to your artist:

 

1. Be as descriptive as possible! If there are any details that are important to you, let us know!

2. Feel free to send us photos or examples to help the artists know what you’d like.

3. Make a rough sketch, if possible. Even if it’s not very detailed, having a sketch can be really helpful to our artists.

If this is something you’ve considered at all getting done, I really recommend giving this company a look. They’re very straight forward and helpful with the work and the finished quality speaks for it’s self. Now if you’re looking to get into the field with your own machine then this likely isn’t he route for you, but they still offer good tips in their guide that you should take into consideration when working on your own designs. 🙂


Halloween-Themed Snacks

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Hello my Halloween-y Hackers!

One of my very favorite things to do each Halloween is to make yummy treats. Well, I like doing that year-round but it’s most fun at Halloween. To me, there’s something deeply satisfying about making a hot dog look like a bloody finger. So this week, I wanted to share some fun recipes and tips for making your Halloween party treats the talk of the night.

One thing I make every year (both at Halloween and Christmas) is soft sugar cookies with either a buttercream or royal icing. My recipe for the cookies is from my Hy-Vee Employee Cookbook (courtesy of the lovely Linda Myers of Mt. Ayr), included below, and the buttercream icing that I favor is Wilton’s recipe, found here. Royal icing can be whipped up from a box mix from the store (Michael’s will almost always carry it). This recipe is best for rolled & cut-out cookies. Decorate how every you like. A big tip though is that royal icing works best for cookies you’ll need to transport. Royal icing will harden and your designed cookies will not get destroyed in transit. Buttercream pairs with the soft sugar cookies better because the frosting does not harden. So really, it’s a choice for you which would work best for you and your situation.

Another fun and easy thing to put out for a party is a party mix. This is easy and inexpensive to make (or if you really have a time crunch, you can buy bags of pre-made Chex Mix). Then it’s as easy as adding a little Halloween themed candy to the mix. I prefer candy corn or the pumpkins but you can also use orange and brown M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces. Harvest Hash Chex Mix recipe on Pinterest can be found here.

Other fun finger foods to try out are Deviled eggs, Halloween pretzels, Rice Krispie treat pumpkins, and Ghost Strawberries.

If you are having a smaller soiree with a sit-down dinner, a wonderful dish to serve is Eyeball Pasta (recipe found here). You can also find some fun and frightful ideas for dinners here.

If you want something to set out that is of the healthier snack variety, a simple veggie tray can be set out and arranged in fun designs. There is a Jack’O’Lantern pattern found here and a lovely owl design found here.

As always, imagination is key in your food creations. See that can of black olives? So easy to turn it into black spiders that can be put on top of a pizza with just a few slices of a knife. Those pretzel sticks? A little white almond bark drizzled across them makes them mummy sticks. With that imagination, your Halloween party can be filled with feisty food and tantalizing treats.

~Scribe Sarah~

 

Soft Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 c. margarine

1 egg

1 c. sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c. thick sour cream

3 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Cream margarine, egg, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes. Add sour cream and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Do no chill; roll out and cut. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.


The Festive Portal

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s a little more than a week until the big day! Since I still live in a condo, my decorating capacity is rather limited so I tend to gravitate towards door and window décor, which might explain why I’m the one that posts the most about wreaths. Hopefully it comes as no surprise, then, that this week I found some door décor tutorials that I simply must try out! First up is something adorably creepy, this Monogram covered in googly eyes from Craft Cuts:

Now I finally have a use for my googly eye collection, besides putting them on random things and laughing.

While we are on the slightly creepy route, I quite like how all of these are also very cost effective to make, including this dollar store skeleton hands wreath from Tried and True:

A round of applause for this neat wreath!

If you’d like a little more elegance but still keep the spookiness, this tulle wreath from Our Best Bites is just the thing:

And if you feel like adding a spider instead of a raven, you do you!

Finally, because fandoms are kind of our thing on Craft Hackers, a little Nightmare Before Christmas action from Thrifty Fun:

This is DEFINITELY Halloween.

I don’t know which one it will be, but I will certainly be adding one to my personal collection (pending what the dollar store has to offer). Since the weekends before and after Halloween are usually reserved for parties, next week we’ll take a look at some great ideas for last minute costumes!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Free Halloween Tutorials!

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One of my favorite holidays is fast approaching!

I saw a cool free Mommy and Me circle skirt tutorial on Fabric.com a few days ago and wanted to check out Sweet Red Poppy, the designer.  There are so many tutorials and free patterns on her site I just had to share the Halloween ones!

If you would like to add Sweet Red Poppy to your blog lineup, you can find the blog here.

-Toni