Cutting Small Pattern Pieces

At the recent Darling Harbour Craft show one of the workshops I attend was by Claire from Craft Schmaft. She gave a really good tip for cutting small pattern pieces. Instead of pinning the pattern piece to the fabric use sticky tape to hold the pattern piece in place.

Small Pattern Piece

In my latest project I thought I’d give it a go when I had to cut some small circles. The tape worked really well, it held the pattern to the felt and once cut the pattern and felt easily came apart. Claire said each layer of tape you put over the pattern laminates it. Using clear tape you just keep adding a layer every time you use it. The fabric wasn’t left sticky afterwards. I’ve also just tried it on another piece that was slightly larger than the circles and used a wider sticky tape I had however you could use your regular tape just over lap the layers until the piece is all covered.

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Superhero Capes

I love making Superhero Capes. They are simple they are quick and they make great gifts.

Cape I

I came across this cape pattern last year. This week I made 4 capes for Christmas presents. You could make them plain but I stitch on the child’s initial with felt. Previously I’ve done one with the batman logo and another with the child’s nickname in his football team colours. You could do any shape or symbol you like. You can also make the front and the back of the cape with 2 different fabrics if you don’t have enough fabric for the 2 sides. Bonus with that is you get a reversible cape. Up until now I’ve just used white or black velcro but I’ve just discovered coloured velcro so these capes have pink.

Cape L

Capes are a great item to make in batches. Making 4 doesn’t take much longer than making 1. You cut them all at once, stitch them all at once, iron them all at once. You could even make an adult version by enlarging the pattern.

Doll Blanket To Practise Your Skills

My crochet and knitting level is very basic. A simple way to practise it and at the same time feel like I’m actually making something is to make doll blankets.

Doll Blankets

These are just your basic Granny Square or Afghan pattern. You can make them any size with any yarn that you have. They are a great way to test out a pattern to see if you like it. I actually worked on one of the above blankets whilst at child’s birthday party. It was light and portable and didn’t matter if I had to put it down I easily picked up where I was up to.

Another good thing about doll or toy blankets is that the kids can never have enough blankets for their toys and they don’t care if you mess up the pattern.

Darling Harbour Craft Show 2013

This past weekend I was lucky enough to go to the Darling Harbour Craft & Quilt show for 2 days. I love going to craft shows. They are a great place to do classes, learn new skills, buy supplies and in general get inspiration.

I did 3 classes. The first was Tunisian Crochet. I really liked it. It was like a cross between crochet, knitting and weaving. We were taught 3 stitches which at first sounded hard but were very simple once you understood it. I’m now inspired to make myself a scarf using this technique. I brought the yarn I just have to do it now.

Tunisian Crochet

The second class I did was weaving a mug rug. The class was fun and I enjoyed it but you couldn’t keep the loom and the loop supplies we used you had to buy as well or make up your own loom and loops and I’m just to lazy to do that. I found the weaving of it all very relaxing.

The last class I did was using a Butterfly loom. At first it looked confusing but once you understood the concept it was really fun. It is basically just weaving and knotting. We got to keep the loom we used. I could see how this could be used in a practical way to make scarfs or doll blankets for gifts. I actually brought another 2 sizes of the looms. Lots of ideas ticking in my head after this class.

Butterfly Loom

I also went to a couple of workshops. Workshops are free talks given by different stall holders or designers. They are a great place to learn hints and tips or see what new products are on the market. I’ve been to heaps over the years and prefer the workshops where the presenter is teaching you more rather than just giving you a sales pitch about what they are selling. These workshops were really informative. I came away with a few more ideas for gifts and a few great hints.

There was a large number of quilts on display. I’ve made blankets before but I’m yet to finish a quilt. I would love to quilt. I started one for myself years ago and its sitting as a UFP in my garage. One day I’ll finish it. The most amazing quilt I saw this year looked so plain and simple, a Grandmothers Flower Garden that had over 8000 hexagons in it. Each was only about 1″ I’m a big fan of Grandmothers Flower Gardens and that blew my mind. It took the lady over 4 years to make.

The last thing about the show was the shopping. I may of done a bit of shopping. I only got 2 pieces of fabric. The other items I brought were patterns, sewing supplies and tools. Now just to use them all.

A Piece For Me

One day I’m going to make myself a 1000 pyramid quilt. It’s on my project bucket list.

I’m slowly building up my supply of triangles. Each time I use fabric in a project if the fabric is suitable I take a triangle piece from it. I’m trying to stick to 100% cotton. I have a zip bag in my scrap stash that contains all the cut pieces and a plastic template so I’ve got it on hand to add to it when I’m cleaning up after a project.

Triangles

As the majority of what I make gets given as gifts I like that concept that I’m still holding on to a memory of the gift in the form of the scrap fabric triangle. I only take one piece from each fabric no matter how many times I may use that fabric in different projects. Latest count is over 100 pieces so I still have a fair way to go if I want to get to 1000 pieces.

Snug As A Baby

I needed to make a gift for a newborn so I decided to make a set of burp cloths and a rattle.

Snug As A Baby

The rattle is part of the Baby Bug stitchery I mentioned in A Stitch or Two by Melly and Me. I didn’t make it the way the kit says too I decided to make it into a rectangle and used some of the surrounding fabric the stitchery was printed on as the back of the rattle. I also stitched it in a different colour combination.

On pinterest I found a burp cloth pattern. I opted to cut the fabric 10″ x 19″ I couldn’t buy toweling fabric so instead purchased a bath towel and cut it to size. I also slipped stitched closed the openings. The bug fabric is Where The Wind Blows also by Melly and Me. I like how it ties in with the rattle. The stripe fabric is just some fabric that I found in my stash that I thought matches in colour wise. There is a slight white floral print over the stripes that to me linked in with the butterfly and lady bug theme.

I used my walking foot to sew the burp cloths. Now that I actually got it working it was a lot easier to sew thicker fabrics. I’m also learning to leave a decent gap for turning the items right side out. My slip stitch is improving so I’m getting more confident to leave the wider gap.