Archive for November, 2008

* one quilt month 4

Posted on November 29th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


My latest block for one quilt. The theme was quarter log cabins/housetops, and write mama write sent some really pretty butter yellow linen, so I finally decided the more of that the better.

I used some of the same fabrics as for the last one

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* sewing machine sampler ornaments

Posted on November 27th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Holiday, Projects with Instructions.


I entered the annual ornament swap run by freshlyblended and cake & pie. It’s going through swap bot this year, which I am not a huge fan of, having done a couple of swaps through there. In one, someone accused me of purchasing the pinecone ornament I made, and in the other I was called “rude” for not replying to an email right away. The “rude” comment was even made using my last name, which is seriously not cool. Hopefully nicer people signed up for the ornament swap.

Anyway, my idea this year is machine embroidery on thick felt. My machine doesn’t have any of the fancy decorative stitches, but the weird useful stitches look pretty cool anyway. Here are the prototypes.

I think I like the band on the ball one better than the all over pattern of the long one, so I’ll probably do them all that way. Less is more. What’s awesome is that these are crazy easy to mass produce. In case anyone else wants to try them, here are instructions (though you can probably figure it out yourself).

  1. cut a strip of thick felt as tall as your ornament and as long as you want.  The beauty of this is you embroider them all at once and cut them apart at the end.  As for the felt, I just got a swatchpack from fitzfelt and they are awesome. They also sell precut rounds if you’re a perfectionist like that.  I also made a post on whipup a while back with thick felt suppliers.
  2. using contrasting thread, sew a straight stitch down the middle of the strip, longways. I did a tension test on a scrap first since the felt is so thick. For bonus reversibility, put a different color in the bobbin thread.
  3. sew decorative stitches on either side of the central stitch, keeping everything parallel as best you can. I made mine symmetrical above and below the equator, but you don’t have to. What with variations in stitch length, width, style, and spacing, there’s pretty much infinite combinations here.
  4. for the circles, I pressed a cookie cutter hard onto the felt to make a guide impression to cut around. For the long ones, I used a rotary cutter and eyeballed it. Once you’ve done one side, you can use the scrap as a template for the other side.
  5. Make an embroidery thread hanger.

The one thing I’m worried about is that the stitches aren’t secured and they might pull out. Since the ornaments won’t really be handled, I decided it probably won’t matter.

If instead of making your own, you’d like to swap me for one, send me an email (maitreya@craftlog.org). I love all my collected handmade ornaments from swaps. :D

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* bird embroidery panel

Posted on November 18th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Martha.


I was at the campus bookstore last week and for some reason the canvases were crazy on sale, so I got 2 little 6×6 inch linen ones to try embroidering on. They’re already stretched and everything, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. The patterns are bird stamps I got in a Martha Stewart kit for embossed velvet ornaments. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to wash out a transfer pencil, so I just stamped the pattern onto some tracing paper and embroidered over it. Every time I do that, I forget what a pain it is to pull out all the little bits of paper at the end. Ugh.

The embroidery was pretty annoying too. The wood stretchers were pretty wide and made it really difficult to embroider anywhere near the edges. On a larger canvas with a centered design, it would’ve been waaaay easier.

For the second one, I’m trying the punch embroidery tool thingy, which so far is working great in the center of the canvas.

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* fun with fabric stiffener

Posted on November 17th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday, Jewelry, Martha.


My favorite Martha Stewart issue of every year came this week. Yay, ornament crafts. There’s a pretty good spread on doily crafts, one of which is a bunch of doilies treated with fabric stiffener and strung in a garland. I wanted to recreate it, but I didn’t feel like getting doilies. Instead I used this funny pillowcase I bought at Ikea a few years ago. The pattern looks like papercut snowflakes. I cut out a bunch and saturated them with Stiffy (lol), blotted the excess, and let them dry on freezer paper. They wrinkled up a bit as they dried, so I ironed them afterward (between sheets of paper, because who knows what that junk would do to an iron). Strung them on sparkly crochet thread I had around, and what a cute garland for the front window. I think I will make a second one to go right next to it.

While I was laying them out, I could tell some of the little snowflakes were going to be too small for the garland and scrunched them out of the way. When they dried, they made these neat bell shapes that I thought would look cool as a necklace. I only had a few that turned out nice, so the last thread end is 2 dots also cut from the fabric pattern and glued back-to-back. While I was threading them onto the waxed twine, I realized the similarities to the blissen fabric flower necklaces. Now I feel bad about being a copy cat :/

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* wood stain sample card crafts

Posted on November 16th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Paper Crafts.


A while back I was looking at wood stains for a now-forgotten reason, and I picked up a bunch of sample cards. They’re like paint chips except with little pieces of stained wood veneer. Any other ideas for these, please comment with suggestions.

I did the first one with a hole puncher and glued it to some felt. It’s destined to be a necklace once I poke some monofilament between the layers. You can’t see it in the picture, but the backing layer of felt looks nice in profile.

Second one is a little matchbook-style notepad. The paper pad inside is old business cards (I have a zillion left from my old job) cut in half and glued together along the edge. I like the names for the colors, like “maple sugar.”

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* patchwork wall panel

Posted on November 8th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


I’ve had a fun time decorating my new office. So far I’ve got art by Lisa Solomon and Aurora Robson, Amy Ruppel, Wolfie and the Sneak, Matte Stephens, Xenia Taler, and my sister Ariel.  Oh, and an awesome Sami Hayek clock I got at Target.  There are 2 main spots left that still need something: the big blank space behind my door, and a sliver next to some of the other art. I think I’m going to find a wall decal for the behind-the-door spot. I’ve been wanting something fabric to break things up a bit, so this is going in the other spot. Linen + some patchwork strips, stapled around some stretcher bars. Somewhat inspired by the collected works of shimandsons.

It’s 6 inches x 24 inches. I should’ve probably made it slightly wider, which would’ve given me a little more leeway with the fabric strips, but whatever. It took longer to pick out the fabrics than it did to make. :P

I’m also looking for a cool lamp for my desk now that it’s starting to get all dark and rainy.  If you’ve got any recommendations, shoot me a comment. :)

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* Ca crafter-meets-craftlog post

Posted on November 5th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.


Becket posted some photos from her family’s trip to visit. :)

ps. There are fireworks going off in my neighborhood right now!

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