Crafting on the Go

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Happy Sunday, all!

Gen Con starts this week and we are super excited to be there again! I don’t know about you but I always have some kind of projects I am working on and many of them are small enough to tote along with me. The problem I often have, however, is how to best travel with everything I need but in the smallest possible space. Even when there are only two of us in the car, we are often gone for at least a week and that requires a lot of luggage so the crafts need to be condensable. I currently have a couple of specialty bags that travel with me for different purposes. The one for my embroidery/cross stitch has two large side pockets and a three ring style plastic organizer for floss bobbins in the center. It lays quite flat and I definitely have plenty of room for a couple of projects at once. I sometimes have to carry more so I’ve been looking for another to buy or make and in my searches have found the following…

This first one on Craftsy is everything you could wish for and more. It is quite a large tote with all kinds of pockets for pretty much anything you need to bring along and it seems pretty straight forward. I really like the optional shoulder strap and the variety of pocket and zipper options the pattern mentions so that you can completely personalize it to your needs.

   

This second one from the Embroidery Library looks like it may lie flatter, more like my current project bag and could be a great option if I want to use these for a different project a piece.

This last one from Handmadiya was just too cute for me to pass up and it is also incredibly small so it may be great to organize smaller items within one of the larger ones.

 

I’m honestly tempted to make the last one just because it is so adorable. In any case, next week we will have a look at some totes that may be better for yarn type projects on the go.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Beautiful Biscornu

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’ve been getting my crafty groove back lately and it’s inspired me to finally plot out something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. Make my own geeky biscornu! What is a biscornu, you ask? It’s essentially a fancy pin cushion but there are so many different ways to assemble and decorate them! The “traditional” style usually has 8 sides with a repeating pattern in some combination of cross stitch/black work/other embroidery and even some beads as embellishments:

Scrolling flowers, vines, and bees seem to be very popular choices.

There are plenty of tutorials out there for assembling your own and I quite like this one from Tiny Modernist:

Complete with lovely southwest style pattern!

But as you hopefully know if you read my posts on Sundays, I love things with a geeky theme so, of course, I am going to include pattern links for some! One of my favorite cross stitch pattern makers, Cloud’s Factory, has several for adorable biscornu, like this Alice in Wonderland:

Appropriately titled, “We’re All Mad Here” and I am definitely mad for it!

And one of our lovely Sprite Stitchers, Sirithre,  has some amazing biscornu patterns in her Etsy shop. One of my favorites is this Lord of the Rings pattern:

And you can stab the Eye of Sauron every time you stitch!

I have so many ideas for amazing biscornu designs! I’ll make sure to share when I put some into action. Until then, have a relaxing rest of your weekend.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


A Pumpkin a Day

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Hello Sunday readers!

I know I promised a wreath this week but unfortunately I find myself struck down by a terrible cold. So the wreath will have to happen next month but I still wanted to keep with the theme. Tomorrow is Halloween! What small crafts could I do while still resting in bed? Definitely not anything with glue or paint so I suppose we are back to our fiber crafts. I’m really feeling like pumpkins today so I went looking for some free patterns.

I’ve always fallen back on small cross stitch projects since my Mom taught me how to stitch so many years ago. This one is super cute and could still be completed before tomorrow:

It's positively boo-tiful.

It’s positively boo-tiful.

My newer go-to is definitely crochet as my skills continue to improve with every project I try. So how about some cute pumpkin coasters for the mugs of tea I’m dosing myself with:

Definitely an effective place to squash a mug onto.

Definitely an effective place to squash a mug onto.

Or perhaps I could learn something new and try out some knitting. Especially because this pumpkin tea cozy would be very useful for those gallons of tea:

A perfect warmer for those cold days.

A perfect warmer for those cold days.

While I attempt to recover, everyone else have a safe and happy Halloween!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


A Little Piece of Your Heart

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From our crafty hearts to yours, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Looking for love in all the right places?

Looking for love in all the right places? Have you checked Etsy?

In your search for that perfect representation of your love for that special someone, did you have difficulty finding just the right thing? Or were there so many options that you couldn’t decide? Well just in case it is the former, allow me to make a few suggestions. If you want to show Mr/Ms Right how much they set your heart to galloping, how about a heart shaped horseshoe?

It's a hunk of burning iron, aflame with passion!

It’s a hunk of burning iron, aflame with passion!

Or perhaps you are currently in a long distance relationship and want to remind them how special they are? Or better yet, make a not so subtle suggestion:

A carefully placed magnet could ensure it is always pointing toward you....

A carefully placed magnet could ensure it is always pointing toward you….

Or maybe you just want to remind them that they are in your heart all of the time?

Keeping all of those happy times in your heart...

Keeping all of those happy times in your heart has never been easier.

Or if you, like me, just don’t get all that mushy over the usual cartoony hearts and roses you can take things a bit more literally:

Ripped right out of my chest, just for you!

Ripped right out of my chest, just for you!

Even if you are currently in between relationships or happily single, do something nice for yourself today. Perhaps some online shopping?

A lovely, heartfelt crafty hug to you all!

~Laura

 


Baby Clothing Embroidery Tutorial

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My sister just had her first baby this week! 😀 In honor of this exciting occasion in my family, I’m gonna do a simple tutorial on how to embroider baby clothes. I’ve used a onesie/bodysuit in this tutorial, but the method can easily be applied to any fabric clothing. For this project you will need: Waste Canvas, Sewing Pins, Embroidery Floss, Tweezers, Embroidery Hoop, Baby Onesie, and a Sharp Pointed Sewing Needle (I was a gauge 14, but use the size that fits best for you.)

 

First thing you’ll want to do is decide what you will stitch and gather your materials. the pattern I’ve decided to make is a nice happy Kirby. I made this pattern in a free program called KG-Chart, but you can also use PC Stitch for a some enhanced color accuracy. If pattern making is not your thing, your lovely friends over on the sprite stitch forums are always happy to help make patterns for those in need. 🙂

KirbyNow that we have our pattern, we can see that it needs to be at least 26×26 stitches. I recommend adding another 4 stitches on as you’ll need this area to pin your waste canvas to your material.

051Where you place your embroidery is completely up to you, but make sure to leave at minimum an inch (3cm) between your design and edge. You’ll need this space free so you can place your embroidery hoop around the area. This will keep your design wrinkle free and somewhat tight while you work. I say somewhat because clothing will typically have some stretch/give -especially baby clothes- and if you pull it too tight, it will make the fabric pucker and keep your design from laying flat.

052Everything is set up and we are ready to stitch! Just like any other cross stitch project, you want to work from the inside out, and light colors to dark colors. This will keep your design at an even tension, while also making sure your dark strands don’t show through your light colors from behind. Unlike most other cross stitch projects, you’ll want to use 3 strands of floss as you work instead of 2. The extra strand assists in keeping the background material from showing through as it makes your design nice and dense. My last recommendation is for those who still use knots to start their strands. You cannot do that with baby clothes. Knots in general aren’t recommend, but if you try to use them on baby clothing it will make the back side bumpy and possibly irritable for infants. You’ll have to practice holing the starting tail underneath your work and then stitch over it, using the stitch tension to keep it in place.

 

Once you’ve got your piece all stitched up, it’s time to remove the waste canvas! I forgot to take a picture of this step, but the beauty of waste canvas is that it’s designed to come apart. Thoroughly wet your design and then take your tweezers to pull out each strand one by one. Tedious, I know, but the results are worth it. 🙂

050Wash and dry your finished piece like normal and, ta da! You now have a custom piece of baby clothing for that special infant in your life. 😀

~Nicole


Stitch N Clay

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The first person to expose me to clay charms for earrings and necklaces is Jackie from Stitch n Clay.  You can thank her for my obsession for little clay trinkets.  I absolutely love everything she makes and seeing her table at Con Bravo did not disappoint me.  I bought quite a few pairs of her earrings and can’t wait to wear them!  Take a look at some of her awesome creations.

 

  

She also creates cute cross stitch creations.  If you would like to see more of her work her etsy can be found here and her facebook can be found here.

-Toni


Congratulations to BigDaddyWiz

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BigDaddyWiz won our first craft contest we held in the forums with his awesome cross stitching.  He included the following with his submission:

I recently have been playing Earthbound (originally for the SNES) on my WiiU. I always enjoyed the quirkiness of the game and when one becomes homesick you need to call Mom to feel better. This particular quote is received in a text box during a conversation with an NPC at the shopping center you visit. I thought it fit perfectly with the contest. I threw the main character Nes, his Mom, and a phone into the box and stitched it all up!

He won his very own t-shirt that will proclaim the world that he is a winner!  Want one of your own?  Make sure you enter our July/August challenge with something “summer” themed.  Your submission does not have to be a particular craft.  As long as you make it yourself within the time frame it is eligible.

Want some awesome Craft Hackers merchandise for yourself?  You can now purchase t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and tote bags of your very own that sport the Craft Hackers logo.  We are also updating the store with some great crafty items as well like this one:

So check out the store over at http://www.zazzle.com/crafthackers.

-Toni


Sunday Wrap Up

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We have had some fantastic projects shared with us on the forums.

Whitetree finished his Megaman Inlay Wall Hanging

BigDaddyWiz Did an amazing cross stitch of the Pumking logo.

Lexxi did this AMAZING Batman quilt that makes the panels look like they are movie strips.

And Eliste did this really well done Baby Quilt.

Remember, if you want to see your projects on the blog, you need to post them in the forums!

-Toni


The Nerdy Samplers

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Much like Dana, I started getting into cross-stitch as a hobby during my Middle School years. It was a great way to have some alone time while being surrounded by family as everyone always assumed I was concentrating very hard on something and should not be bothered. XD As an adult though, I don’t want to just pick up kits all the time and make pre-made patterns that, beyond looking beautiful, typically didn’t have much purpose after I’d finished as I didn’t typically want to use them as decoration. A few years back though when I joined the Sprite Stitch community, there was a suggestion of taking the traditional cross stitch teaching tool of making sampler piece…but having it be themed around your favorite video games. They even had a contest on designing one last year!

2013 Sampler by starrley

I was hooked and immediately designed my own, and every time I come across a new one it instantly captures my attention. It’s incredibly fun to design one, and I highly recommend taking a stab it for anyone who enjoys cross stitching and video games. 🙂

~Nicole


Nerdy stitching

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Ever since learning how to cross stitch in middle school, I have always kept an eye out for fun patterns. I’m a casual cross stitcher, I tend to do it when the mood strikes me, however after finding Nerdy Little Stitcher on etsy I might just pick it up more seriously. The patterns that she designs are fabulously fun. Lots of nerdy sayings, fun puns and adorable critters. I love that she’s taking cross stitching and making it more relatable for the pop culture masses. Sure you can find fun and cute cross stitch patterns at the fabric store or craft store but you won’t find these. There are so many to choose from it was hard for me to pick some examples!

Don't trust atoms. They make up everything: funny chemistry cross-stitch pattern

I scream: cute ice cream cone cross-stitch pattern

You spin me round: cute stand mixer cross-stitch pattern

And if those are too cute for you, she also makes some anatomy patterns that are unbelivably detailed!

Human abdominal muscles: cool anatomy cross-stitch pattern

Please go check her out, she sells the patterns on her etsy site and they’re reasonably priced in my opinion. I love the fun, spunky creative flair of these patterns and I look forward to acquiring a few patterns to do on my own.

Here’s a link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/nerdylittlestitcher

Dana 🙂