Pattern Release Day: Light Mage

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Tuesday was pattern release day for Quiltoni! We would like to introduce you to Light Mage.

Heal and Protect your comrades using White Magic with the Light Mage.

Basic Skills Necessary:
Use a Sewing Machine
Use a Fabric Cutter or Rotary Cutter and Straight Edge
1/4″ seam

Learn how to sew strips, nest seams, and piece efficiently to save time.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:
40″ by 50″

Materials:
1/4 Yard Tan
1/4 Yard Brown
3/4 Yard Black
1 1/4 Yard Light Blue
1/2 Yard Red
3/4 Yard White

You Will Also Need:
Sewing Machine & Preferred Thread
Rotary Cutter & Straight Edge
Pins
Scissors
Iron & Ironing Board

You do not need knowledge of making quilts, you just need to know how to use a sewing machine! So take a look at Light Mage and may your heals be beneficial to your party.


Pharerings by Pharewings

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Being a part of the Twitch world I get to meet some pretty amazing artists.  I had the pleasure of meeting Pharewings a few months ago and watched her create some pretty cool pieces of jewelry on her Twitch stream.  Take a look at these amazing pieces.

Three stands of stainless steel captured Swarovskis make up this lovely bracelet. Each crystal individually captured with no strings.
Hand wrapped hematite beads and drops grace the elegant line of this stainless steel chainmaille necklace. The necklace base its self is accented with a simple gradated effect. This necklace is 20 inches long with a small tail with a bead on it for an extra pop.
This is a made to order necklace made out of stainless steel. It is made out of a Japaneses weave to simulate lace and closes with a slide lock clasp. This necklace comes out to 18 inches long. It takes between two weeks to four weeks to make. The color of the swarovski drop can be changed upon request.
Made out of stainless steel this elegant headdress is accented with over 50 Swarovski crystals. Fome the crown top to the last crystals it is around 18 inches long. This was made live on Twich.tv/pharewings.
Speaking of Twitch, Pharewings is having a stream to benefit St Jude hospital tomorrow!
You check out Pharewings Etsy shop here and watch her live on Twitch while she raises money for St Jude here!

DIY: Rag Rug

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Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you today a tale as old as time… well. Maybe not quite that old, but it is something that’s been around for quite some time and I have to say, it makes me feel great that these things are still being made. Rag rugs. That’s right. I know people who had them, I used to make yarn rugs, and the process is similar. They’re easy to do, and the best part is you can use your fabric scraps and you can also customize the colours you want for whatever room they will be staying in.

As with many older crafts, there’s many places to find tutorials, and many different ways to do it. This one  has a few extra photos on the site and is from Craftaholics Anonymous.

This rug is super simple to make. You will need strips of your choice of fabric about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long, and you will need thousands. Lots and lots in the colours of your choice. I would personally recommend cotton (quilting or otherwise) as anything else would probably fray too much. The bottom of the rug is a non skid rug mat, which you might need to order, but also may find in home stores and possibly craft stores.

Basically, this tutorial doesn’t even tie the stips. They are just looped through the mat so that the centre of the strip hugs the rug mat. The rubber of the mat should hold it in place, but keep in mind, if you are going to be washing this mat, you will want to tie a knot or slipknot them like rug hooking. The tutorial also recommends that you skip some of the holes as the pieces are fluffy and big and having a piece of fabric on every part will make it overly fluffy. You can also use a latch hook like for rug hooking, if you would like. It’s simple, but it’s a great way to use your scraps and to make something that colour coordinates so easily with whatever your rooms are like.

 

Enjoy, and happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Holiday Decorations

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Keeping on with the Holiday theme, I have three small  projects that can give your decorations a personal touch.   This week, I am going to tell you how to make three different items that can be use anywhere but mostly on trees, garland, and wreaths during this season.  I like to surf the internet to get some ideas started and then I let my imagination fly while I stare into the area of my home with all of my craft supplies.  Then I hope I can make whatever crafts I have planned with as little as interference from my cats and bird as I can.   As you can imagine, that may be the most difficult part of crafting projects.

The first item I made this week was button garland for a tree.   It is so easy as long as you have the correct supplies.  First, you will need buttons.  This is a great way to temporarily or permanently reuse buttons that have fallen off clothes over the years and never sewn back on.  I collect mine because I rarely know which garment they go to until I put the garment on and realize I’m missing one.  However, if you don’t have enough around the home for the size project you are doing, I did find packages in my dollar store and then I found cheap larger packages at my fabric store.   In my case, I wanted to get certain colors as my tree is made out of bright green tinsel type material so certain colors would work because of clashing.  If you going with a certain color theme, this may require going to fabric stores that have more variety in colors and packaging.

Button Garland requires:

Lots of buttons
Thread or twine
Pair of scissors

One thing I am going to point out with this project- make sure your thread or twine is small enough to get through your button holes.   I had to get a bit creative for that.  Measure out the twine or thread ahead of time or use the spool to hold buttons on as you continue to thread the buttons. Then when you are ready, thread your buttons onto thread or twine until you have enough of the buttons to space how you’d like.  If you are using a pattern be sure to keep size or color of buttons piled in the order you are planning to thread them. Cut and tie it off with a knot large enough on both ends so buttons won’t slide off.  Then hang on the item you are decorating.

 The second craft for today is salt dough ornaments.   These are great to add personal and homemade touches for any celebration regardless if it is Christmas.   In my case, I wanted to create the best personal touch I could to my Chanukah and Christmas decorations for home and office.

 I, also, have thought about how I can make more for each of the holidays using fun shaped cutters. I stared at my Easter and kid’s toys themed cutters and got a bit excited about using them throughout the coming year to make decorations to hang.  One year, my parents left the tree up all year and decorated it for the year with the right colored lights and other random decorations.

 The Salt Dough Recipe

4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of table salt
1-½ cups hot water

Mix flour and salt until it is well mixed.  I would recommend putting them in the sifter and sift at the same time then mix around a few times.   Once you have it well mixed, slowly add the hot water and mix extremely well.  Then hand knead the dough and add flour or water until it works for you consistency wise.

Then flour a working station and rolling pin.  Tonight, I had to use a cutting board on top of my room temperature stove top because of space issues in my kitchen.  If you have a small kitchen that may work best. Once you have rolled your dough to ⅛ to ¼ inch thickness, go ahead and cut out the ornaments or decorations with cutters and/or knife.  I wanted to utilize the help of my “assistants” and standard biscuit shaped cutter in my home which is a measuring cup.   Keep in mind, you can use anything you have around as a guide for a shape.   What I did for the personal touch was a paw or foot/beak print of each of my animals.   My bird decided it wasn’t just his foot that was going to be imprinted.    Now, I’d preheat the oven to no warmer than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can do longer at a cooler temp but I recommend nothing lower than 250 degrees.

Once you have the shapes cut out, you can either use coloring to paint the cut outs then.  I didn’t do this first but rather cooked them first then will paint afterwards.  Be sure to add a hole big enough to add a piece of string or ribbon thread in it.  Once they are cooked which is about an hour (or longer if done at a lower temperature), you can also paint and varnish.   String them and hang once they have dried after the paint/varnish process.  However, I looked around and found that I can super glue a piece of ribbon to the back to be able to hang it.   Sometimes, you have to be creative about mishaps like this.


The last project for this week is animal themed ornaments.  In my example, I made a polar bear look but using a matte silver ornament bulb using white pom poms.  I have an issue with my hands today so I had to use more of the self- adhesive tape.  If you have another favorite animal, you can use your imagination.

 What you need for animal ornaments:
Solid color ornaments
Pom poms (of different sizes)
Super Glue and/or double-sided tape (if you are working with less time or small hands, use pre-cut squares of double-sided tape)
Self adhesive eyes

 
I was hoping to find white bulbs in three sizes so I can make snowmen with just using self sticking felt sheets cut out for the hat, buttons and carrot.  I know I have the least well rounded dollar stores where I live currently.  I used to live in an area with three chains of dollar stores and were well stocked with everything.   However, all the items as I made them were available at the local dollar store.  I even found super glue there if I needed it. Just glue pom poms in a way that takes shape of the animal then apply other details.  Just be sure to put it so it hangs from behind the animal’s head.

 
Now, as a friendly reminder, reuse or use leftover supplies around the home.  In my case I used scrap pieces of paper to make the face and some old bulbs until I saw that glitter bulbs will not work with double sided tape as I tried.  Another mishap I had was I thought I put a bag of eyes in my basket.  Apparently I saw them, and didn’t pick one up.  That is why I used scrap paper. You may see those silly posts about Pinterest failures.   I take what some would deem failures and get a bit creative to work around it.  If you really can’t salvage it, don’t get down and just try again. Don’t get discouraged and remember these projects are supposed to be fun!


Art, No Matter the Medium

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For centuries, and especially during the last one, the question has been raised of ‘What is art?’. The Expressionist movement, started it in the early 20th century, with particular note to the Dadaist movement within it, were some of the first to really explore this question thru art and it’s something that has continued to be explored up to today with the post abstract modern art movement. It’s a fascinating mind think to ponder and define for yourself, as my art teachers have always been firm believers that art is in the eye of the beholder, and therefore can only be defined for that person’s tastes. The question I’m posing today branches off of this with ‘What can be used to make art?’.

For some people there are only a few mediums that are available to one who wants their work to be defined as art: paints, inks, wax, clay, and marble. The invention of Photoshop and it’s subsequent take over of the art world has often remained a strong contention point since its introduction in the late 80s as to whether or not a digital medium can be considered as skillful and praise worthy as working in something like oil paints. As someone whose gone thru formal training in the program I certainly believe it’s worthy of being considered a recognized art medium, but that’s not the program I wanted to show today.

No, today’s artist uses a medium that I highly doubt any artist would’ve thought to try right away; Microsoft Excel.

This video highlights the beautiful digital paintings created by Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi entirely in Excel. The 77-year old burgeoning artist decided he wanted to take up painting after retiring, but didn’t want to spend money on expensive paints or canvas, and decided to try the digital route. Not wanting to pay for an art program either if he could avoid it, he discovered Excel’s graphic abilities one day and started experimenting with them (not just filling cells with colors as some knitters are wont to do to design patterns). It’s truly amazing to see some of his finished work and it definitely makes you ponder the question I mentioned above. Since he only uses already available assets and manipulates them into images; ‘Is it art?’ Only you can define that for yourself.


Drinking your way through the Holidays

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Happy Monday, friendly crafty folks!

Whether you live in the frigid Midwest or the sunny LA coast, the Christmas season is one of the best seasons for tasty (and sometimes alcoholic!) beverages! From classic eggnog to German gluhwein worthy of Christkindlmarket, there are tons of options to imbibe throughout your December. Here are a few recipes I have either always wanted to try and make on my own (gluhwein) or are some of my holiday favorites.

Classic Gluhwein Recipe

Ingredients:

1 bottle of robust red wine

1 cup water

1 lemon peel

3 cinnamon sticks

10 cloves

Juice of 2 oranges

1 star anise

Dash of allspice

Directions: Combine all your ingredients in a large pot on the stove top. You can also do this in a crock pot on low/med heat (depending on your crock pot’s cooking temps). Heat all ingredients without boiling. Once warmed, simply strain and serve. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can add a dash of rum!

 

Homemade Healthy Eggnog (serves 4)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk

1/3 cup raw organic honey

3 egg whites

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger and/or cloves (optional)

Directions: Blend together all ingredients. Pour into a large pot and simmer (without boiling!) for 15 minutes. Serve in mugs with a cinnamon garnish.

Peppermint Cocoa

Ingredients:

Your hot cocoa of choice

Peppermint schnapps

Directions: This one’s super easy. Make your favorite hot cocoa. Add peppermint schnapps (to taste). Enjoy!

 

I hope that these yummy drink recipes keep you warm and happy throughout this holiday and winter season!

~Scribe Sarah~


Delicious Gifting

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week we started a journey into DIY edible gifts and this week I am continuing it. These ideas involve quite a bit of one of my favorite things: SCIENCE. I love the fact that baking/cooking is essentially chemistry in the guise of a fine art. You take all of these seemingly unrelated ingredients, add them together in the correct proportion, do something to change their composition (chopping/mixing/heating/cooling), and then add your own flourish to make it look good. It’s simply amazing to me and always has been. I assure you that none of these are very complicated and most do not involve any specialty items. First up is a tasty, tangy, citrus based treat that is fantastic when also dipped in chocolate: candied citrus peel.

Without the chocolate dip, they are simply like your favorite citrus gummies.

It’s as simple as boiling the peel to remove the bitterness from the pith and then simmering in a simple syrup to get these beautiful and tasty treats. Packaged in cutely decorated canning jars or even in holiday themed cellophane would make a great little stocking stuffer. Next up, let’s continue in the fruit flavored realm and whip up some homemade curd!

Though the tutorial specifies limes, this can be made in practically any flavor.

If you’ve never had some sort of fruit curd (most often sold as lemon or lime), I would highly recommend buying or making some. This delicious tart/sweet fruit butter-like confection is perfect on toast or as a component in other cookies and cakes. Once again, the simple ingredients are cooked together to get a silky smooth topping. Packaging it to look festive in cute little jars to go with our peel? Brilliant. Ok, so now that we’ve seen something akin to a fruit butter, how about a walk on the wild side? My father loves hot peppers and one year he decided to use some leftover jalapeños from the garden to make hot pepper jelly. Yes, you read that right, HOT PEPPER JELLY.

Spicy and satisfying.

What, you may ask, can hot pepper jelly be used for? Any number of things, foremost for us, though was spreading a thin layer of cream cheese in a shallow dish and slathering pepper jelly over it just to scoop it up on crackers. Soooooooooooo good! It’s already so festively colored, too. You can always dial up the color with a couple drops of food coloring for effect, too. The one ingredient you may need to seek out is pectin but most grocery stores carry it in the baking aisle. Alright, moving on to some of the sweeter side items, with that cocoa mix we put together in last week’s list how about some homemade marshmallows?

Light, fluffy, and oh so yummy!

These amazing little lumps of chewy flavor are just so neat to me. I never knew how easy it could be to make them from scratch in any flavor you want. It just takes  some gelatin and corn syrup to start the process (with a lot of powdered sugar added in, of course). It think some more of those cello bags or even in stacking jars with that cocoa mix would be perfect. Finally, last but certainly not least, is my current homemade obsession: caramel. In this case, creamy, chewy fleur de sel caramels:

Just so we are clear, the fleur de sel is really just a specialty salt.

I’ve been making lots of whiskey flavored caramel sauce to put in and on things and these little beauties feel like the next big step. Burning sugar is the height of coolness for me in terms of kitchen science. They are gorgeous and would be so cute just packaged in little twists of waxed paper, then strewn over the bottom of a big gift basket containing our other homemade goodies. I don’t know about you but I’m going to have to “test” a little bit of everything before it goes to it’s eventual owners just to make sure it’s good.

Well now that I’ve gone and made us all hungry, it’s time to say farewell until next week when we will start our annual romp through some holiday decorating ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Schmetz Needle Fact

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It is the beginning of the month so it is time for another Schmetz needle fact!

The Eye of the Needle

How important is that little piece of steel making your machine stitches?
German engineering designs, calculates, tests and inspects the SCHMETZ needle.
Take for instance the eye . . . did you know that needles have different eye shapes?


The most popular needle, Universal, has an eye that is 40% the width of the blade.
There are three other needles with larger eyes: Embroidery,
and the elongated eye of the Metallic and Topstitch needles


What Does a Larger Eye Mean?

There is less friction on the thread as it passes through the eye. Does your thread
break or tend to shred when sewing? The solution is to use a needle with a larger eye.
Use a needle with a large eye when using old or poor quality thread. The thread and
needle work hard and fast. Give them a helping hand by using a larger eye. 


Twitch!

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I am making some big changes to help my stream to benefit you and I need your help!

I am making the push to be a partner on Twitch.  This will allow me to do more for my viewers and encourage more people to quilt and sew.  I have met all of the requirements for Partner except I need an average of 75 people watching my stream over a 30 day period.

What are these changes?  More Giveaways!! Starting today I will be holding giveaways for every:

  • 5 new followers
  • 5 new subscribers
  • 30 people watching the stream (and then 40, 50, 60, and so on!)

What can you win if these things happen?  The winner has their choice of the following

  • A Quiltoni quilt pattern of your choice
  • A bag of scraps
  • A custom made dice bag!

So how can you help?

I am also looking for a community manager.  At this point it is not a paid position, but they will receive hand made goodies from me, invites to conventions, and if I make partner it will turn into a paid position!  What does the job entail?

  • Working on my social media to promote  my Twitch channel and keep in touch with other streamers.
  • Help monitor my streams to update goals for giveaways or make sure another moderator is present to do this.

If you or someone you know is interested, send them my way!