Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Scrap Bag Challenge No. 1

So as most of you know I am in an extremely busy quilt group.  Our group makes baby quilts for a local pregnancy crisis center.  Since we mostly make baby quilts they go fairly quick so we produce over 100 donated quilts per year.

With that said we also produce an abundance of scraps.  Being the frugal quilter that I am I hate to see scraps go to waste so I am affectionately known as the "Scrap Queen".  Members of the group are always bringing me goody bags of scraps in all shapes and sizes.  While I was rearranging my sewing room (more about the big change later) I uncovered a lot (and I mean a lot) of scrap bags.

In order to fit all of my fabric jewels in my new space I need to do something with all these scrap bags.  Therefore I have set a challenge for myself.  I am going to take a bag and work on making a quilt or something else out of each bag as quickly as possible.  Of course for the first challenge I pulled out one of the smallest bags.  I don't want to frustrate myself to early or I will toss in the towel and they will fill my casket with all those scrap bags.

The rules of the challenge are simple: Use up everything in the bag!

Here is the first bag. I know it may not look like much but I could not turn it down.  The colors were bright and exciting and I am a sucker for small pieces.

The original "scrap bag"

Look at all of those colors!

With these 27 small 4" x 1.5" strips in a rainbow of colors I began to put my design skills to the test.  I decided they were the perfect size for a small keyhole block.  Digging around in my stash I found a music note fabric with all of the colors in the scrap bag.  Now we were making progress. The keyhole block measured approximately 3.5" x 6.5".  

Original keyhole block using the 1.5" scrap
and the focus fabric I pulled from my stash.

Well that was going to make a very, very small quilt.  So back to the design board.  Next I pulled out my personal bags of scraps.  Yes I have them divided into ziplock bags by color.

Using my scraps I created a larger keyhole block using the original as the center piece.  I matched the outside strips with the center 1.5" strip.  I was going for a very scrappy look using different fabrics on each side if necessary.  Below is the larger block.

Larger block with colored strips.

I was getting very excited about how this process was progressing.  The colors were vibrant and fun.  I made five rows of six blocks.  I did have to create 3 additional blocks from my stash to get the correct number of blocks.  

The rows are looking good!

Once those were complete the quilt was rather long and narrow.  I decided I needed to add a 6th row but did not want to make more of the same blocks.  I inserted a row comprised of the focus fabric with long pieces of the various colored scraps inserted in the middle.

The 6th row of focus fabric and long colored strips.

Here is the finished quilt top.  It turned out much more colorful and fun than I had pictured in my mind.  I am pleased with the result. 

The finished quilt top. 

And to think it all started with a small bag of scraps that were destined for the trash had my friend not thought of me.  So, what challenges and inspires you?  I am here to say that I believe my inspiration comes from taking the leftovers and creating something new.  Can't wait to see what scraps are waiting in my next bag. Sew on!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A New Glass - Ozark Trail

Being from Texas where summer temperatures can run from February - December we like our drinks to have lots of ice.

Working in a school I need a glass that will keep my drink cold all day.  I have used all kinds of cups in the past and they would keep the drink cold until about lunch time.  Finding ice can sometimes be an adventure so I would bring some in a bag and try to put it in my cup at lunch time.  Most of the time the ice was frozen into a large brick and would not fit into my glass.  What a pain.

This year I have a new glass. Hearing wonderful things about the Yeti cups but not wanting to spend that much on a glass I began a search for an alternative  My choice was the Walmart Ozark Trail glass. I have been thrilled that I can fill it with ice in the morning and still have ice left at bedtime. These glasses are amazing.

Now with my new glass in hand I began to seek out ideas on personalizing my glass.  I love owls so using my Cricut I cut an owl pattern in turquoise blue vinyl and put it on my cup.  Since I have an unusual name it is almost impossible to find an item with my name spelled correctly.  Once again using my Cricut I cut my name in pink vinyl and placed it over the owl.  The design turned out really cute and now my cup is complete.

A personalized cup that keeps my drink cold all day!

Here a a couple of tips about adding vinyl to a cup that I have learned along the way.
  1. I use sheet vinyl rather than the Cricut rolled vinyl.  In my craft store the sheet vinyl is with the scrapbook paper and is significantly less expensive.  It has worked well for the projects I have done.  The cost savings allows me to buy more colors.  To learn more about how to use this vinyl check out Vinyl Cups a Gift to Share.
  2. I use clear contact paper to aid in positioning my design.  There are several YouTube videos that show this method of design placement.  Just search positioning vinyl using clear contact paper.
  3. Hand wash your glass to ensure the vinyl does not peel off.
This was a fun and extremely useful project.  I encourage you to try using vinyl to personalize your favorite glass.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tennis Lovers Wreath

My neighbor loves to play tennis.  She plays several times a week and enjoys every moment. Therefore she has an abundance of used tennis balls.

She decided she wanted to make a wreath using some of the old tennis balls.  This is where I enter the picture.  While describing what she wanted I ask the question, "Does the wreath have to be round?" Her reply was "no". We decided that we could get an old wooden tennis racket and use that as a base for the wreath.

So the hunt began.  I soon found a wooden racket at a garage sale for only $1.00.  I glued the tennis balls to the edge of the racket and made a big burlap bow for the bottom. Here is the finished wreath.

My neighbor was thrilled with the result.  So if you have a tennis lover in your house and don't know what to do with all those used tennis balls, grab an old racket, hot glue gun and get creative.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Badge Covers with a Twist

It seems like everyone who works has to have a badge of some kind.  From the fast food worker, teacher, to the top executive we all have a badge.  You can find a variety of lanyard type badge holders in almost every store.

I personally do not like a badge hanging around my neck.  It always gets caught in my long hair or gets in the way of my necklace.  So I prefer a clip badge holder that clips to my shirt.  There was just one problem.  Those badge holders are ugly.

During my search for the perfect badge holder I became very frustrated.  So I decided I would make my own.  I also had the idea that it would be nice if I could change the front of the badge holder.  That would allow for a different look during holidays or with a special outfit.  So here is what I created.

A variety allows for many unique looks.

The covers and the badge holder have Velcro dots.  This allows for easy switching of the cover without removing my badge each time.  Now when the mood strikes to support my favorite team, show some school spirit or celebrate a holiday it is an easy switch.  I also created some that were more like a piece of jewelry.

To see more designs check out my Etsy shop WebberWorks.   Don't be limited to just one style of your badge holder.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Heart Garland - Sewing Camp 2016

In Sewing Camp 2016 I wanted the students to sew something other than fabric.  I thought it would be fun to show them that sewing can be used to create all sorts of items.

Each student was given 20 paper punched hearts.  The hearts were made using discarded library books.  Check out these posts Book Pages to see more ideas using old discarded books.

The students colored each heart with crayons. Some expanded the craft by adding letters to their hearts to display a message.  Next we machine stitched the hearts together to create a garland. Adding a small piece of ribbon to each end for easy hanging of the garland.

I am always amazed at how one project can have so many variations.  Here are some of the garlands we created.

Another variation on the heart garland is to make them 3D.  Follow this post Instructables 3D Heart Garland to link to the instructions on how I made the 3D heart garland below. 

Click the link above to see more instructions.

Remember your sewing machine can be used for more than fabric.  Grab that discarded book, some punches and your machine to great a festive garland.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Sewing Camp 2016 - Doll Skirt

As I stated in the previous post Sewing Camp 2016 was a great success.  One of the more advanced projects we made was a wrap around doll skirt.  It is not only a wrap around skirt but it is reversible. This way you get two different looks for all your hard work.

My sample skirt.  A friend was kind enough to loan
me her daughters doll.

I found a simple pattern online. It has very clear directions and was easy to sew. American Girl Reversible Skirt Pattern.  The pattern is designed for 18" dolls but some girls made theirs for stuffed animals and they fit quite nicely.  The Velcro closure makes the skirt very versatile.

The girls were able to follow the pattern easily and they made some adorable skirts.  Here are a few of the finished projects.

One set of doll skirts.

Some very happy campers!

You can find all kinds of free patterns for 18" dolls online.  Most doll clothes can be made with a small amount of fabric like fat quarters.  I encouraged my students to find some patterns and continue to expand their sewing skills.  


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sewing Camp 2016

Sewing Camp 2016 was exciting and full of students and projects.  In my July camp I had three students and in August I had five students. Each group was unique and exciting to work with.

Working on assembling a pattern.

Supplies ready to go.

We made some simple projects to start off camp.  Again this year we learned to sew a button on our water bottle cover.  Sewing on a button is an important and useful skill.  Next we made a bag tag, needle keeper and pincushion.  Each project progressed the students hand sewing skills and introduced them to the sewing machine.

From these simple projects we ventured into projects that required more skill and patience.  I will post more about these projects in future posts.

Projects all set to show off at our Gallery Show

I like teaching sewing camps for lots of reasons.  First I enjoy sharing my love of sewing with the younger generation.  It is important that we share the talents and skills God has given us.  So I encourage each of you to share your creativity and talents with someone.  It doesn't have to be a big group or camp the one-on-one instruction works well.  Find someone today that you can teach and encourage.