Saturday, May 29, 2010

A blend of crafts & quilts

I'm going to start off today with a sewing tip.  It's not a technique, but rather something I use.  Several years ago when I joined my Monday quilting group at church, one of the ladies gave me a lanyard she had made and with it a pair of blunt nose scissors.  She told me that I need to keep my clipping scissors handy.  The blunt nose is a safety issue, but for clipping, these little scissors do the trick.  Now I read a post on another blog the other day that showed a way to have your scissors on a lanyard attached to your machine.  That would not work for me.  I put my scissors on when I first walk into my sewing room, and quite often have them on when I am getting ready for bed.  Once I have them on, I don't have to look for them, they are literally always at my finger tips.  They come in handy for various other things besides sewing as I go through my day.  If I am going to be at home all day, you will almost always find me with my scissors on.  If I cannot find them at the start of my day, I'm almost in a tizzy looking for them.
Last week I decided I needed to replace my lanyard because the one Lillie gave me was getting very worn.  I had her show me back a few years ago how to make the lanyard so I could make some for others.  I used 1/8" ribbon for the new lanyard, but I wanted to see if it would look OK to make it with a wider ribbon, so I did a couple inches using 1/4" ribbon and I think it would be just as nice.  The significance of using this woven ribbon lanyard, mine was 54" before I tied the knot, is there is some give when you are clipping your threads and you have to stretch  because it is behind your machine.  If there is an interest in how the lanyard is woven/created, I would be willing to post a tutorial if you leave a comment to let me know.

Given a choice between crafts and quilting I have to tell you that I would choose quilting, but that is not to say that being crafty with something that isn't quilted can also be very enjoyable.  I recently made reference to a craft show that I will be a part of in November.  It was maybe a month or two ago that I made the decision to be a part of this event.  I have not participated in a craft show in a very long time because they have not previously been very beneficial to my efforts.  I have been to this show, and it is not like a typical "craft" show, so with some resistance at first, I said yes.  It is a big commitment of my time, but I am going to give it a good run for my money.  I will make an effort to share some of that journey with you here.  Once you are juried in to this show, you are not limited to what you can create... the sky is the limit.

One of the items that I was asked if I could make was stockings.  They have not had anyone making stockings in a couple years.  I have made a few in years gone by, so I got out my patterns, and compared them to those I found on the web.  The first question I came up with was the direction of the pointing of the toe.  I posed that question back a few weeks ago, and the general consensus was most point to the right.  I have made a few more than in this picture, but right now they all point to the right.  The two on the right here are from scraps of Christmas fabric.  The two on the left is a fabric that I bought already pieced with gold embossed patterns.  The scrappy stocking was from Moda Bakeshop .

I found a couple Christmas craft books that I liked in a quilt shop when I was recently in Florida.  One of the books had patterns for making silk tie ornaments.  These were patchwork ornaments, so I was able to stay in the quilting arena.  I have a tendency to start with a pattern, but not read all the directions because I think I have it figured... sometimes I need to go back and read to find out why my item didn't turn out just like the one in the book.  The heart and star were pretty easy... there was not much distortion with the bias of the silk ties, but there were a couple others that do not hang real smooth.  I guess I should have used a fusible interfacing.  The heart in the book had the buttons like the one I did, but I chose beads for the star tips in place of buttons.

I used the paper piece pattern with some of the satin fabric I had in my stash.  I embellished the heart with some beads, but the star really didn't need anything extra... one of the fabrics had sequins on it already. My background is varied, so my stash is not just fabric.  I have lots of ribbon and beads, so many of the projects I will be working on will not require much shopping.  Now I am always looking when I go to JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby for new beads, ribbon, fabric, etc.  One of the problems with a "craft" show is most people are not willing to pay the price you would need to charge if you used top quality fabric and other components.  I have a lot of really nice fabric in my stash that I will use for various items, but if I were going to make napkins for example, that use maybe a 1/2 yard of fabric, at close to $10 a yard for quality fabric, that means you would have to charge a minimum of $5 to cover the fabric... with nothing for your time.  I have a Christmas napkin that is pretty simple.  I can see people balking at paying $5 a napkin.... so I have to be careful what I pay for fabric I have to buy so I know I can get my output back plus something for my time.


  1. I would like a tutorial on the scissors lanyard. Looks interesting and I am always looking for my scissors to clip threads.

  2. Well, it has been years since I made a lanyard or participated in a craft show. I quit for the same reason you did--you just can't make any money. So, I would love to see a tutorial on the lanyard making.

  3. I'd love to learn how to make the lanyard! Tutorial Please! :)

  4. The lanyard is such a great idea. And what a nice thank-you to give a friend. I would love a tutorial.
    Thanks, Carolyn in Kerrville, EX