Archive for January, 2006

* felt organizer prototype

Posted on January 31st, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

My craft desk drawer is a disaster area. I made this out of the thick felt I was looking for in a previous post. Anna from twelve22 came to the rescue with this felt she found for me. And here’s the big news: Anna is also the editor of a craft book project in the works! This is going to be my submission. Well, a better version anyway. This was mainly to test the structural properties of a box made of felt. It’s holding up well enough that I’m going to go ahead with the embellished version.


And another big announcement: tomorrow’s the launch for Whip Up, a new collaborative crafty blog. I’m as excited as anybody else since I can’t read the other contributers’ draft posts. I’m contributing a weekly-ish “Best Post Ever” where I find my favorite post on my favorite sites, plus I’ll throw in some other stuff here and there. I’m still reeling from being asked to be part of both of these projects since I don’t consider myself in the same league as most of the other contributers. Exciting!


* Denyse Schmidt Quilts and so can I

Posted on January 29th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

Here’s the finished quilt top. It’s not quite how I imagined it, but I’m still pretty satisfied. The colors are too contrasty for one thing (should’ve chosen a darker light blue) and the tan is drabber than I’d imagined. The size is all wrong too, since I oh-so-cleverly reduced the block size from 400% to 300%. This trick caused the seam allowances to also go off, which caused a cascade of size adjustments. The log cabin piecing really lets you get away with a lot, though, so I think I’m the only one who can tell just how screwed up it is. The not-square pattern also helps in this regard. I’m just praying it doesn’t come apart when I wash it.

The back is a nice chocolate brown heavier weight solid, and I haven’t decided about the binding yet. Depends on whether I have enough brown left at the end. Now, on to the quilting.


Does anyone else get really caught up in arranging the blocks? I’m thinking I might write a little program to help. It’s such a logic puzzle to alternate the colors and the values and make sure no block is the same as its neighbor, plus keeping it all balanced but asymmetrical. I didn’t think ahead when I decided which colors to make which blocks, so I think this particular quilt might not have a solution. For example, you can see that I have 2 dark greens and 2 light greens in the same column. This bothers me waaaaay more than it should.


* DSQ-Along

Posted on January 23rd, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I joined the Denyse Schmidt Quilt-Along over at Hip to Piece Squares. I’m making Ice Pops as a baby quilt, in solids of aqua, tan, light blue, dark blue, green, cream, and brown. I got all the fabrics this weekend, washed and ironed them, made the piecing templates, and cut out about half the pieces. So far so good. Hopefully I’ll get my first block pieced tomorrow. The due date of the baby is in May or something, so I should have plenty of time.


There are several free patterns from the book available at Chronicle Books, by the way.


* Drop stitch scarf

Posted on January 22nd, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Knitting.

I’ve had this variegated ribbony type yarn for a while now, but I haven’t been happy with any of the stitches I’ve tried. So, I finally just gave up and did a drop stitch. So fast, my kind of knitting.


Here’s the “pattern” if you can glorify it with that term: Using larger needles for your yarn than you would normally use, cast on 21 stitches (or more or less to make different widths, as long as it’s an odd number). Knit 6 rows. Knit one then yarn over twice (or once or 3 times depending on how long you want the drapy bits) over the entire row and ending with a knit. Knit next row, dropping the wraps off the needle as you go (forgot this step in my original post, lol). Knit 5 more rows. Etc. Add fringe as desired.


* Bazaar Bizarre

Posted on January 21st, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.

Got Bazaar Bizarre at the library this week. It’s a book spinoff from the Bazaar Bizarre craft fairs. I had high hopes for it, but ended up underwhelmed. Way too much hipster irony crafting going on in this book. Honestly, isn’t it getting a little old yet? Craft patterns can be modern without the whole “punk” act. OK, end rant.

If you can make it past the obnoxious writing, it’s not a bad book. Each section is devoted to a crafter and a project. The profiles are OK (what’s your favorite craft ever, etc). The broad range of projects are explained in depth. There’s a lot of detail, so even if you’ve never done that particular craft you could do it just from the chapter. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the projects, mainly because I’ve seen most of the ideas elsewhere already. Marble magnets? Are you kidding me?


* shoplinks update

Posted on January 17th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Random.

Massive update to the shop links page. I added almost 100 sites!

One other housekeeping thing I’ve been meaning to mention, I get tagged by people every now and again. I’m just not so into memes, so I hope you won’t mind if I don’t participate. Thanks for thinking of me though!


* kanzashi ring

Posted on January 16th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry.

First try at a kanzashi ring. The flower is about 3/4 inch in diameter, made with 3/4 inch squares of kimono fabric. I’m happy with it as a first attempt, but the design’s not quite there yet. The main problem is that it’s too tall. I glued the flower to a button, then to a ring I got for a quarter out of one of those machines at the grocery store. Also, normally, you fold under the excess fabric to keep everything flat, but I couldn’t get it to stay with the teeny petals. All together, it’s probably 1/2 inch tall, which looks a little funny. I’ve seen these rings that have a rimmed base to set stones or whatever in. I think if I used one of those, it would both take off some height and look neater. I might also be able to cut off some of the excess fabric. I couldn’t get the petals to look very even either, but I think that’s an artifact of the way I strung them together.



* links update

Posted on January 15th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Random.

I updated+reorganized my crafty blogs links page and the artists sections on the artists/shops page. New ones in bold.


* desk calendar

Posted on January 11th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Paper Crafts.

I generally use iCal on my Mac to keep track of stuff at lab. You have the calendar where you put the appointments, then there’s a sidebar to-do list. You can give the to-dos due dates, and then check them off when done. This has worked pretty well, but I’ve never been totally satisfied with it. For one thing, my to-do lists are not 1D, but instead are a set of to-dos over several days that all together make an experiment or task. I haven’t been able to find a program that’ll do this, so I’m back to good old analog.

For design inspiration, Fred Flare was selling these neat 8 days a week desk calendars by Bob’s Your Uncle. I like the design and the extra column for Someday. But, in addition to being sold out, it’s still an appointment calendar. I’m happy with iCal for my appointments; it’s the to-dos I need.

Sooo, I made my own. Here’s v1. I printed out enough of them to last a month, when I figure I’ll redesign it based on how I’m actually using it. It’s on 11×17 paper, which only fits in the black+white printer, so I colored in the headings with my new set of Sharpie highlighters. If I decide after a month that I’m going to stick with it, I’ll find a bigger color printer somewhere or go to a copy shop. The stack is taped at the bottom edge with some of my pretty paper lab tape. Then I can flip through to next week if I need to. This does have the disadvantage of requiring that I tape it down again every week after I remove the top sheet. v2 will definitely have a better desk-securing system.


Here’s v1.1 for anybody who might want to print/modify one for themselves: [Word file].



* scissors charm

Posted on January 10th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Wants.

I need this necklace. Spotted on Plain Mabel, made by Erica Weiner. The scissors actually open and close!




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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!