Adorable Felt Bookmarks

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I know traditional books are becoming a dying medium, but there is something wonderful about them. The weight and age a book can carry isn’t something that can quite be replicated with e-readers yet. So if you’re like me and still read bound books, I have some super cute felt bookmarks to share with you today!

These adorable things are handmade and designed by Italian creative artist Alessandra Rossi from Lanatema. They’re designed to not only help you find where you left off, but make it super easy as well since they sit on the corner instead of by the binding. Bonus, this also helps keep the spine from being stretched out! She has many other adorable felt creations listed up on her shop like phone cases, key chains, ornaments and even some plush! I certainly recommend you take a look if you are a fan of cute things. ^_^


Dr Who Rug DIY

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Hi there Thursday readers!

I found a super cool, super easy DIY that I had to share with you. It’s also done on the cheap, as most of what you need can be purchased readily and cheaply at any craft store. I love Our Nerd Home, and this tutorial comes from there. You can find the full one here.

That’s right. It’s a Dr. Who runner rug. All made from a beige rug (beige is key since that’s a huge colour in the Tom Baker Dr. Who scarf) from a hardware store. For this project you will need: Light coloured runner carpet, paint – you can look at the photo above for suggested colour types: yellow, blue, green, red, purple, and brown but you can use any you like that speak to you of Tom Baker’s Dr. Who (this tutorial used a mixture of types – acrylic craft paint and latex paint samples). You will need textile or fabric medium (this is a substance that you add to paint to use it to paint fabric), sponge brushes, painter’s tape, a tiny crochet hook, a few shades of yarn, a ruler, and superglue.

Your first step is to use painter’s tape and mark off stripes on the carpet. Use your ruler to make sure they’re even – measure at both sides and at the middle.

Next, before you start painting, you’ll want to mix your fabric paint with the textile medium so that it won’t chip and can even be washed.When you paint the actual carpet, you want to stipple the paint rather than brush the paint on (like tapping the sponge onto the fibers to really get the paint in there)

The stripes will have to be done in a couple different stages, since many painted stripes are right next to each other. The first round of painting, it will be easiest to paint every other stripe. Pull off the tape, let it all dry for an hour or two, and then tape along the edge of the previously painted stripe so that you can paint the one next to it without it looking icky.

You can let it dry and stop there. Or if you feel the need for fringe, then you’ll need wool in colours that match your stripes. You can cut them as long as you want your tassels to be (but double it in length as you’ll be folding it in the middle). Then, just stick a small crochet hook right through the rubber backing on the runner to do a basic fringe (which is basically a slipknot). A little dab of superglue on each little fringe will keep it in place.

And that, my friends, is one of the coolest rugs ever.

Enjoy!

~ Megan


Van Gogh Cherrywood Challenge

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While in Houston I was lucky to be at the unveiling of the next Cherrywood Challenge, Van Gogh.

From the Cherrywood site:

Quilts are Due: August 1, 2017

$45 includes registration fee, shipping of fabric, return shipping of quilt, and one fat quarter each of black and three official VAN GOGH blues.

Goal: Use van Gogh’s paintings as inspiration to push yourself creatively, think outside the box and create new fiber art. You do NOT need to choose a painting and copy it inch for inch. Put a little bit of yourself into it. Take inspiration from WHAT he painted, HOW he painted, WHY he painted, WHERE he painted, etc…

Quilts must measure 20″ x 20″ and must be square.

The entire quilt top and binding must be made from Cherrywood Fabric. Backing is your choice of any fabric.

Most of (about 60-75%) of the quilt top must use the official VAN GOGH blues and black. The quilt should “read” blue. (We were pushed to list an actual percentage, but please do not get uptight over this number. The challenge is to use as much blue and black as possible.) Accent colors of Cherrywood may be added. White may be a different brand (we do not carry white).

Any technique or fabric manipulation is acceptable as long as it maintains the color and character of a textile quilt (if so much paint is applied that the original color of the fabric is not obvious, it may lead to disqualification). Embellishments may be added, with the exception of glitter, but must stay within the 20-inch size.

Finished quilt must have a top, a middle, and a backing. Maximum thickness: 1 inch. Note that the quilt will be packed and unpacked many times. No sleeve is required.

First Place – $700 Gift Card
Second Place – $200 Gift Card
Third Place – $100 Gift Card

Ever since I saw the Wicked challenge two years ago I have been wanting to participate in the Cherrywood Challenge.  I decided to take the plunge this year!  I purchased the basic Van Gogh pack.

I won’t be making a pixel quilt (what I am known for), but want to challenge myself and make another art quilt.  I am definitely going to make it geeky!  I am starting the brainstorming process and hope to get started on it after Magfest.  August 1 may seem like it is a long way away, but it will be here before I know it.

Want to participate in the challenge?  You can buy the kits right from Cherrywood or from your local quilt shop that carries their fabric.  Let me know if you are participating!  I am creating a special Facebook group for everyone I know that is making a quilt so we can support each other and cheer each other on.

-Toni


Unique Little Book Purse, DIY Style!

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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!

~Megan


Camelot Fabrics Coloring Contest

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Coloring Books have shown to help with de-stressing, calmness, and overall wellness.  There have been some great coloring books being released lately aimed at adults.

Camelot Fabrics wants creative brains to have a little time to unwind.  So they have created their own free designer coloring book.  Each of the illustrations represents the diverse and modern styles of Camelot Fabrics.

coloring

In addition to giving you a free coloring book, they are holding a contest!  Follow them on Instagram and use the hashtag #cfcoloringbook when you post pictures of your colored pages.  On Friday August 19th, they will pick one lucky winner at random to receive a fat quarter bundle of their quilting cotton.

As of today, there haven’t been any submissions!  So get coloring and share your entry with us at Craft Hackers as well as on Instagram.

-Toni

 


Spring Fabrics

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Last week was Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.  Quilt Market is where all of the fabric manufacturers launch their new lines of fabric. This happens only twice a year.  One of my favorite fabric manufacturers, Camelot Fabrics released a lot of amazing fabrics I can’t wait to work with.  Their Licensed Collections are stunning.

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I am super excited about some of these free projects as well!  The best thing about their new line is the Frozen coloring fabric.

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The entire line of fabric lets you color it yourself!  There are a lot of choices of pens and markers that are permanent and can be washed.

I can’t wait to dive into these fabrics and create new quilts and pillows with them!

-Toni


Displaying and storing your fabric

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I posted my spring clean for #springcleanyourstudio on Wednesday.  The biggest question I received was “how do you display your fabric like that?”

After Bookcase

There are many ways you can choose to store your fabric:

  • Plastic storage totes or drawers
  • Collapsible Bins on storage shelving
  • Folded neatly on shelves
  • Boarded onto shelves

You need to take a few things into consideration when storing your fabric:

  • Will it be in direct sunlight?
  • Do I need to easily see what I have?
  • Do I organize by color, pattern, project, fabric line, or other method?

My space is in the basement out of direct sunlight and I need to quickly see every fabric I have.  So this led me to boarding it.  There are a few methods to boarding it including do it yourself with comic boards, cardboard, etc.  You can also purchase specially designed boards meant to wrap your fabric like Fabric Organizers or Polar Notions.  I have tried all of these methods for boarding my fabric and like the Polar Notions the best.

The problems I had with all other methods was the sliding of fabric down from the board or the board itself folding under the weight of the fabric.  Polar Notions has solved both of those problems.  The boards are strong and sturdy, holding the weight of all of my fabric.  They also have metal clips that when you fold the end of the bolt in and clip it, solves the problem of slippage.  It also allows the bolts to be put into and removed from the bookcase with greater ease without all of the loose fabric getting in the way.

How do I organize my fabric on the shelves?  I separate the high quality from the low quality fabric and then color code it.  It is easy for me to find and grab exactly what I need when I need it.  How do you organize your fabrics?  Share with us!

-Toni


The Art of the Covered Button

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Laura and I spent last Saturday learning the art of the covered button from Lorraine Torrence.  It was such a fun time learning a new skill.  Learning with a friend made it even better.

Lorraine didn’t just teach us to assemble buttons that can be used for a wide array of things.  She also taught us how to make fabric interesting by sewing on it, painting it, bleaching parts of it, and using discharge properly.  I didn’t realize that the button making itself was so simple it only took us about 20 minutes to learn!  The rest of the class was spent playing with fabrics and getting inspiration for how to use these fabrics.  Lorraine has a really cool 4 page booklet on what she taught us and ways to use buttons in interesting ways.

After playing with the fabrics and getting inspiration I wanted to see if I could apply her techniques to improve my business at conventions and offer something new I haven’t seen before.  So I went into my scrap stash to see if I could turn some of these character fabrics into buttons.  It was a success!

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Then I started thinking about what else I could do with these fabric buttons.  After a search on the internet I found all sorts of things!  Pins, Hair clips, etc.  Now I just need to decide on what I want to make.  I think I will start with pins first and then play with more as time goes on.

It was such a fun time on Saturday and I loved learning from Lorraine.  She has such an array of classes, books, and DVDs available.  Check out her website for more on Lorraine and everything she offers.

-Toni


Paint Your Quilt

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If you’ve been following Toni’s posts about her exploits at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago this week, I assure you that there is more to come! I had the very real pleasure of being (willingly) dragged along for the adventure.

A little wine and a lot of quilting! Tracey Mooney (left) of Sew Supportive was also there to join in the fun at the Iron Quilter Challenge.

A little wine and a lot of quilting! Tracey Mooney (left) of Sew Supportive was also there to join in the fun at the Iron Quilter Challenge.

I got to see a bit of everything fiber art! From the traditional to the modern, from the subtle to the colorful, from the textured to the full 3D, these quilters are simply phenomenal.

A lovely example of quilts to ogle at the fest, taken directly from the official Quilt Fest FB.

A lovely example of quilts to ogle at the fest, taken directly from the official International Quilt Fest FB.

IQF  is not JUST about staring in wonder and awe over the amazing creations, though. Of course there are also the rows upon rows of goodies for sale, events like the Iron Quilter Challenge, demos of new products and techniques but most importantly for newbies like me…the workshops! Toni and I were able to take a class called The Art of the Covered Button with Lorraine Torrence where we were introduced to new techniques in fabric manipulation. I’ll let Toni tell you more about the session (along with our fab results) later but I found myself drawn to a technique I’ve never witnessed before, using oil paint sticks specifically designed for fabric!

This particular example is care of Laura Murray, purveyor of fabric art products and amazing paint techniques.

This particular example is care of Laura Murray, purveyor of fabric art products and amazing paint techniques.

If you have not previously been introduced to paint sticks, allow me to offer my sincerest apologies to your pocket book. These oil based paints look like giant nubby crayons that produce the most lush colors on fabric that I have ever seen. The sticks themselves come in an array of colors and in order to use them, they need to be peeled of the thick “skin” they form after each use. The self healing nature of the sticks allow them to be stored for long periods of time in between uses and still retain their vibrancy. The demonstration we witnessed utilized rubber stamps combined with a metallic stick to create a rubbing of the underlying stamp giving the fabric an embossed look. The beauty of the paint sticks is that once the paint has time to cure and is heat set, the color stays vibrant and the fabric can be washed! Amazing, right?! Now that it’s all over, I simply had to cruise the craft sites for more information. I would definitely point you firstly to Laura Murray Designs (not just because she has a great first name) as her templates, stamps, and supplies were what we got to see in use at the show. She also has a newsletter AND tutorials for using paint sticks on her very handy website!

Stencils will also be your new best friend! You know there are stencil blanks out there to make your own designs, right?

Stencils will also be your new best friend! You know there are stencil blanks out there to make your own designs, right?

Secondly, I found this quick and easy tutorial on Craftsy that takes you through using them specifically on stencils. I can’t wait to try out paint sticks on all sorts of projects! It’s been quite a weekend so I think it’s time to kick back and relax before starting on the next craft adventure.

Enjoy your week, all!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Traveling while Crafting

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Last week I talked about travel accessories and bags you can use to travel with your crafts.  When traveling with crafts it is important to think about what you can and can’t take on an airplane.  The obvious one is don’t bring anything that is flammable or explosive.  There are some items you can check, but I always just leave all of that at home.  The biggest question I always get is sharp objects.  You CAN take your knitting needles and crochet hooks.  Scissors under 4 inches are also allowed.  For other sharp objects you can look at the TSA website in the states, or check the site of the country you are in or flying to before leaving for the airport.

There are a lot of great crafts that can travel easily.

Cross Stitch Kits

Stitch

Cross Stitch is a great craft to take with you when traveling.  I used to love to cross stitch and would take it with me everywhere.  Simplicity even has a line of kits that make it even easier to cross stitch on the go.

Crochet and Knitting

This seems to be the craft I see most of when I travel.  I personally can’t do either one, but Nicole always brings her yarn when she is traveling and is constantly working on something.  On the way to New Orleans she spent most of the car ride making Pokeballs!  The Little Mount Yarn Company wrote a great piece on how to travel with your yarn.

Hand Quilting

Finally, I am currently traveling with my hand quilting.  You may have seen me hand sewing at a convention and wonder what I am doing.  The Cathedral Window Quilt is a great project that is easy to bring with you.  This Instructable taught me everything I needed to make my Cathedral Window quilt.  I have it bookmarked on my phone, Ipad, and computer and pull it out every trip.

Traveling with crafts is easy, fun, and relieves a lot of anxiety you may feel!

-Toni