Giving Thanks

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Hello Sunday readers!

This coming week includes one of my favorite US holidays, Thanksgiving! I’m quite food motivated so cooking and then eating a whole bunch of it with friends/family is just my style. Since I’m a pretty good cook as well, most folks are thankful when I bring a dish along. This got me to thinking about how to transport my tasty additions so that they would still be warm (oven space is limited at our destination) and not burn anyone’s lap in the car. Behold! The casserole carrier is a quick and easy DIY that may also make great holiday gifts in the coming month:

The best part is using fabric from the stash!

The best part is using fabric from the stash! My Legend of Zelda casserole carrier is going to rock!

I cruised a bunch of sites looking for this pattern because the others I’ve seen use dowels or the actual wooden spoons in the handle. As clumsy as I can be, I sure don’t want to wear the food if I don’t insert those just right. Cloth handles with reinforcement seem like the safest options. Now once we DO get to the cousin’s house, I want to make sure that we can get it out of the carrier without burns so how about some coordinating oven mitts, too:

I am going to have so many geeky patterned kitchen accessories!

I am going to have so many geeky patterned kitchen accessories! Should I use more LoZ fabric or the Doctor Who fabric?

I really liked that pattern because the grips or “thumbs” were on the bottom and not to the side. The link leads to a Danish site but I assure you that the pattern is in English! I would suggest using some sort of insulated lining fabric instead of regular batting (like Insul-Bright) to keep those hands safe. So since we are good guests and like to bring a host/hostess gift, what else would be quick and easy? Maybe a table runner in fun fall fabrics:

Or depending on your host/hostess we could add in some fun video game patterns, too.

Or depending on your host/hostess you could add in some fun video game patterns, too.

That one seems so simple, others may also be getting stash fabric table runners for gifts as well. Or if they are really special to you and they also like to cook a good apron is worth it’s weight in gold:

Again, the fabric possibilities are endless!

Again, the fabric possibilities are endless!

Ok so we’ve got the carrier, the mitts, and a gift but what about the most important thing about holiday meals? I’m talking LEFTOVERS. There are always leftovers and, as stated, I am a bit of a klutz so bobbling the big bowl of turkey and trimmings out of the microwave is one of my worst nightmares. What could possibly be done about this? I’m glad you asked! Behold! From the same site as the lovely carrier, a guest post containing a pattern for microwavable bowl holders:

Give the creator of these a medal, for they are my hero!

Give the creator of these a medal, for they are my hero!

What brilliance and insight! I shall be making a good dozen of these out of stash fabric in the near future.

On a last note, I would like to get a little mushy on you, folks. I must say that I am thankful for many things, not the least of which was our fearless leader taking a chance on me so that I could write about fun crafty things once a week. I’m thankful that I have money enough to own a stash of fabric. I’m thankful I have a family to fight for leftovers with. Most of all, I am thankful for the great crafting and convention communities I’ve been introduced to over the last couple of years. Without them, my life would be pretty sad and a lot less fun. So thank you to whoever may actually be reading our posts, we appreciate you!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


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

 


Quiltoni

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Return the favor she bestowed upon me a few weeks back, I want to talk a bit about the head of our site here: Toni.

Toni

Yup. Our fearless leader. ^_~

While we’ve only known each other for the past few years, Toni and I have so much in common that it feels like longer. And during that time, she has always been synonymous with quilting and quilts in my mind. I have family members that quilt of course, but Toni was the first person I saw do something with it that I would enjoy cause -let’s face it- most of the younger generations out there look at quilts a bit distastefully as their geometric designs and patterns don’t hold much appeal in our media saturated world. Thankfully, Toni agreed with the concept as not long after learning how to do it, she started making quilts that we didn’t even know we wanted until we saw them.

Mega Man Quilt

Totoro Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once she saw how much people enjoyed her work on forums like sprite stitch, Toni decided to put her degree to use and make a business out of it. She’s been making quality hand made quilts ever since really, and I’m always amazed by the beautifully complex designs and custom works she consistently turns out.

Star Trek Queen Sized Quilt

Kirby Dreamland Lap Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give her a shout out in the forums or even peruse her site if you have time. She’s a wonderful woman whose more than happy to talk to people about what she does. 🙂

~Nicole


Craft Hackers Quilt a Long

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Do you or anyone you know quilt?  Craft Hackers is going to hold a Quilt a Long through the forums.  It will be a block of the month format with a Halloween theme.  This is what the finished pattern is going to look like:

The list of materials is going to be posted August in the forums.  Each month a different block pattern will be posted and everyone will be encouraged to post their blocks which we will share here on the blog.  There are 12blocks in total and then the finished blocks will be assembled and quilted the last month.  The quilts will be finished just in time for Halloween 2015!

So tell all of the quilters you know and join us over in the forums in August.


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


Learn to Quilt Tutorial

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Many people don’t know I offer one on one quilting lessons through Skype to help design quilts, learn new quilting techniques, or help to finish off a quilt.  But most people don’t want to pay for private quilting lessons to just learn the basics of learning to quilt.  So I send them off to the internet to learn the basics first, then I help them refine those basics and learn more intermediate skills.  If you have ever been interested in quilting, then here are some of the videos and sites I recommend that have some great easy and basic patterns with step by step tutorials.

Basic Block quilt video with tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a2bN7NqoR0

Take classes at Joann Fabrics – This is where I learned the basics of quilting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lFpMu1aa-0

And then there is my favorite, favorite place for super easy to follow beginner patterns, quilt in a day.  This site and series of videos and books are fantastic to learn a lot of beginner techniques like which way to iron your seams.

http://www.quiltinaday.com/

So if you have ever thought of quilting, I hope this helps you get started!

-Toni


Free Craftsy Classes!

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I received an email from Joanns over the weekend about some awesome free Craftsy classes.  If you haven’t seen Craftsy, it is a really cool site that has on line classes (well, pre-recorded classes you watch at your own pace) for a ton of different crafts.  They have classes for cake decorating, jewelry, crocheting, knitting, paper crafting, quilting, home & garden, spinning, weaving, fine arts, photography, embroidery, food & cooking, and sewing.  Whew that is a long list.

They have some free mini classes that you can take to see how their classes are structured and see if it is right for you.  Every now and then they offer some of their main classes for free through some of their partners like Joanns.  The free classes Joanns have in the email are some great sewing classes that include:

Bag Making Basics

Basic Quiltmaking Skills

Sewing Machine Feet

So if you ever wanted to learn to sew, quilt, or know more about your sewing machine feet then head over to Craftsy and take one of these classes while they are still free!

-Toni

 


Oh Captain, My Captain!

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About a year ago I logged into Sprite Stitch to see some progress shots on a really cool looking quilt.

 

As a fellow quilter I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to see what this would turn into.  Not only do I love seeing patterns but I love seeing how people make their quilts.  I was in geeky heaven when I saw what this became.

Yes.  That is Captain Picard.  The quilt was created by Candy Coated Quilts.  Not only is that talent from a quilting standpoint, but the pattern she created is just amazing. After looking through her blog at http://candycoatedquilts.blogspot.ca/ I realized she has a talent for designing patterns and picking just the right fabric.

 

-Toni