Updated Stars and Stripes Wreath

My Stars and Stripes wreath had been hanging maybe ten days and I realized the stars needed some reinforcement. WreathStars 03

The stars, especially at the top, were starting to flop over. So, as I sort of expected, they needed the heavy craft stabilizer. Fortunately I had some on hand.

So I took the three floppiest stars off the wreath and laid them out on the stabilizer.

WreathStars 01

Once again, I put my Teflon pressing sheet on top of the stars and fused the stars to the stabilizer.

WreathStars 06

Then I cut them out with very sharp scissors.  I cut all the angles from point into the center because the stabilizer was too stiff to pivot the blades at that corner.

I also did my best to bevel the stabilizer, undercutting it so it would be less obvious from the front.

WreathStars 08

From the side, the thick white stabilizer is visible. A matching Sharpie could be used to make it less obvious.

And you can see what a difference it makes. The white fabric print and the blue and the red are the stars I reinforced. The red star on the left of the photo, and the blue star on the lower right. are still floppy. I didn’t have time to do all of them, mostly because, as casual as it looks, it’s takes time to mix and match the stars to look just right on the wreath.

WreathStars 10

Now that I know it does what I want it to, I’ll take time to apply it to all the stars.

WreathStars 09

With the sturdier stars they could easily be tacked to a ribbon or cord and become a garland. They could also be attached to a hair clip, headband or ponytail holder to brighten up a patriotic outfit.

I can think of at least a half-dozen ways to use a stack of red, white and blue stars. How would you use them?

Do you have plans for a holiday party or picnic?  How will you decorate for the event?

I don’t think I have anywhere to hang it, but I’d really like to make a stars and stripes garland.  I’ll let you know if I get it done.

Jan

PS – Looking forward to my next wreath, which I plan to get done by August.  Stay tuned.

Butterfly and Flower Hair Clips

Last week I spent the day with my nieces, Riley and Avery, and I made a couple of hair clips for them. We didn’t have a plan, but we did have some felt.

Felt Butterfly 10

I first drew a butterfly on a sheet of notebook paper and colored it with markers. Then I rough cut a few little pieces of felt and shaped them into butterfly wings. They aren’t exactly like the wings I drew but the girls thought they looked good so I didn’t fret over it.

I cut a few smaller pieces and then shaped the spots on the wings. I used hand quilting thread to stitch the spots to the wings. All purpose thread will work, but 100% cotton hand quilting thread is wax coated to reduce drag when the thread is pulled through the quilt layers. Which means it’s less likely to tangle. Yay!

Felt Butterfly 01

I stitched the top two wings together and then tacked on the pink spots. Then I did the same with the bottom wings and the orange spots. I layered the top wings over the bottom set and stitched them together, first on the back…

Felt Butterfly 03

…and then tacked it securely on the top. These stitches would be hidden by the body.

After the wings were connected I placed the yellow scallops on the top wings and I cut out a little blue body.

Felt Butterfly 04

Easy peasy.

Felt Butterfly 06

It would be fun to add sequins to the wings, but we didn’t have any. Instead, I outlined some of the parts with lavender (or is it lilac?) cotton thread.

Felt Butterfly 07

We decided it needed a head, so a tiny orange circle was added to the top of the body. Then I attached a clip to the back and Avery was delighted.

Felt Butterfly 08

With a few more scraps I took a circle of felt and folded it into quarters. I sliced it along each fold to create four petals. I rounded the corners of each petal. Then I did the same with second piece of felt. I used two different shades of pink.

I did it again with an orange circle. To change it up I put a slit in the middle of each petal to make eight. It still looked like an orange circle so I cut a “V” shape between each petal and shortened them by about 1/4 to 3/8 inch.

With a needle and thread I stacked the three layers and tacked them together.

I traced around a spool of thread to get an accurate circle out of yellow felt.  The purple thread was handy so I used it to hold it all together.

FeltFlower 01

Then the hair clip was added.

FeltFlower 02

Riley was happy to have this one.

FeltFlower 06a

Pretty cute for a half-hours worth of stitching and a few scraps.

I wanted this to be a project for them to do, but I had no idea where I was headed when I picked up these felt scraps. Now that I figured out the sequence and the supplies needed, I can provide some simple patterns and they’ll be able to do it on their own.

These felt doo dads can be attached to a pony tail holder or a head band, either fabric or the hard plastic kind. Tack it to a tote bag or a t-shirt. Just make one or two or decorate with a whole garden full of flowers or a kaleidoscope of butterflies.

BTW: That is the real name of a bunch of butterflies; a kaleidoscope.  Sometimes they are called a swarm or a rabble. A swarm sounds scary to me, like bees.  And rabble sounds chaotic, and a rowdy rabble doesn’t make me think of butterflies.
Other websites ignore those names altogether and call a group of butterflies a flight or a flutter.

I tried to come up with a little bumble bee, but he needs some work.  A caterpillar would be easy, or a small bird.  And Avery wants a car.

Any other ideas for easy useful crafts for summertime?

Jan

 

Summertime Stars and Stripes Wreath

Ta da!

Here’s my Summertime Wreath. It’s to celebrate Memorial Day, National Flag Day (June 14) and the Fourth of July.

Patriotic Wreath 1

This is made on the same Styrofoam form I’ve been using since Valentine’s Day and  St. Patrick’s Day.

For this wreath I used quilty scraps of blue and red, patriotic strips, fusible fleece, Heat’n Bond Hem Tape, white muslin, ribbon, and straight pins.

I wanted a wreath full of stars, which is exactly how it turned out.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Fusible fleece is what keeps the stars from flopping over. I pressed fabric to the fleece before I cut out the stars.  I thought about using the cardboard-stiff craft stabilizer, but started with the lighter-weight Pellon 987F. This one-sided fusible fleece worked great.

I placed and fused the fabrics right next to each other so some stars are in one fabric and other stars are pieced, using two fabrics.

To start, I cut a star template out of a file folder.

Making Patriotic Wreath 03

Actually I made two, so I could interlock them and get the best use of my fabric.

I kind of winged it making the pattern and started with a pencil sketch on paper.  I erased and redrew the angles until I liked the look.

If you don’t want to wing it, search for Christmas star ornaments and find a star template you can print and copy.  Star size is up to you. You can go with a variety of sizes, but I was impatient to finish this so I stuck with one size star.

With the pattern cut out, I traced the stars on the fabric. I used a white fabric marking pencil on the dark fabric and an orange colored pencil, which just happened to be handy, on the white.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Don’t worry about being precise with the outlines. You’ll cut out the stars on the inside of the line so none of the pencil lines will show. You could use a regular pencil if that’s all you have.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

The raw edges were obvious on the pieced stars. I planned ahead and found my collection of red, white and blue ribbon to cover this. Literally.

Since I had decided this was a no-sew project, I used Heat’n Bond Hem Tape to fuse the ribbon over the join.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

At this stage, unless you’re very precise with an iron, you’ll want to use a piece of wax paper or parchment paper to keep from fusing the hem tape to your pressing surface or the face of your iron.

Or, this is when you would use your Fons & Porter handy-dandy Teflon pressing sheet. I have one, but hadn’t thought to use it until I realized I was about to fuse that sticky stuff to my ironing board and my iron.

I put the stars on the sheet, and then flipped the other end of the pressing sheet over the  top.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Worked like a charm.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Then I trimmed the ends off the ribbon from the backside.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

I had one little glitch with the first star. I accidentally scooched the ribbon off the mark just a smidge and the raw edge was exposed. So that star got two rows of ribbon.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

By the way, and this is VERY important, the stars on the red grosgrain ribbon are painted or printed on the ribbon, and they WILL MELT if you touch them with the hot iron. So, if you use this kind of ribbon, it’s essential you use a pressing sheet of some kind, even a scrap of leftover fabric will do.

If you touch a hot iron to the stars, they will melt onto the surface of the iron, and then streak or smear across the underlying fabric ruining your whole project. I’d show you what that looks like, but then I’d have to clean off my iron before I could use it again.

You can tell by looking at the ribbon, the stars are sitting on top of the ribbon and not embedded into the fibers. So pay attention to this detail.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Got it?  Good.

I didn’t plan the design or count my stars. I just made them until I thought I might have enough.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

To assemble the wreath, I first took apart my spring flower wreath. Then I wrapped the Styrofoam form with white fabric. Use anything you have since it shouldn’t show. It’s just to tidy up the background if it happens to peek through. I think I used a a six-inch strip of leftover muslin quilt backing.

Then I started attaching the stars.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

I matched the color of the pin heads to each star so they’re not obvious on the wreath. I roughly laid the stars out in batches of red, then white, then blue. I needed to alternate the colors so you can see the shape of the stars.

When I’d used all my stars, there seemed to be a few gaps so I added a couple of loops of ribbon here and there. In addition to a few short pieces of ribbon, I wrapped a whole spool of ribbon around the wreath pinning loops in places where I needed them.

Patriotic Wreath 1

What do you think?

If you don’t have a stash of red, white and blue scraps,  buy 1/8 – 1/4 of a yard of a few favorite prints, a couple of spools of ribbon, and about 3/8 yard of the fusible fleece.  It will only take about half of it to make a wreath this size.

By the way, the fabric doesn’t have to be stars and stripes. A collection of red, white and blue calicoes will also get the job done.

While choosing your fabric, pay attention to the color of “white” in your choices. I realized some of my favorites use an antique ivory-colored white that doesn’t go with the true white I used here. Those red, ivory, and blue fabrics will play nicely together in another project.

Anybody else making a patriotic wreath for the summer? I’d love to see what you come up with.

Jan

Springtime Crocheted Flowers

Awhile back I promised links to some of the crocheted flowers that made up my Springtime Garden Wreath. I can’t remember exactly which patterns I used to make this collection, but here are eight of the dozens of patterns I used to make this. There was the quick crocheted flower, a 5-petal flower, and a 7-petal flower, This is an excellent scrappy project for bits and pieces of leftover yarn.

SpringFlowers

Here’s the wreath as I was putting it together. The flowers are pinned on the foam base side-by-side. Here’s a double flower, and a floating flower I referenced even though I didn’t crochet any layered flowers. Some of them look like double flowers because I placed a small flower on top of a larger one. Here are some Teeny Tiny Flowers, I have used.

SpringFlowers 2

I used some of the long tails to stitch the flowers together with the same yarn.

SpringFlowers 5

Other times I used a contrasting yarn to make the attachment.

SpringFlowers 4

SpringFlowers 3

These “roses” were not made in the round, but rather in a strip that was wound up after I finished it.

SpringFlowers 1

Find one of the rose patterns here.  I think the variegated yarn makes it a lot more interesting than if I’d made them all out of solid colors.

SpringRoses 1

I needed some leaves to fill in the blanks, and they were easy to create after I followed a couple of patterns.

SpringLeaves

Here is one leaf I used, and here is another. It was fun to mix and match different greens in the leaves.

SpringRoses 2

And in case you’re wondering, it took several hours for me to weave in all the tails and get this tidy and ready to hang. I really need to do that as I go instead of waiting until I have to do them all at once.

Ugh!!! So tedious.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and I’d planned to have a patriotic wreath up by now, but, as usual, time slipped up on me.

It won’t be crocheted this time and if I have some of the heavy-weight fusible stabilizer handy I will get started tonight.

Thanks so much to all the crocheters out there who wrote the patterns I used to make this wreath.  I’m not a very good pattern-follower, but your instructions made it easy. After I figured out the techniques I was able to go off-script and make all these flowers without getting bored and abandoning the project.

Anybody else do that?

Have a great and safe holiday weekend.

Jan

Mystery Quilt Revealed

A week or so ago I posted some random quilt pieces I’d come across, curious if anyone recognized them.  Then a few days later someone gave mom some quilt books she was getting rid of and as I flipped through one of them I was delighted to recognize that curve.

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

Turns out I was trying to make something round, when the actual pattern is square. The curves go to the middle. I rough-cut the pieces and just scooched them into place so I could show what it’s supposed to look like.

Hands all around

And you can tell by the “hands” at each of the four corners, it utilizes the diamond shape too.

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

It’s called Hands All Around and here is a pretty red and white one and a vintage scrappy one.  Here’s another one with the blocks assembled on the diagonal with a vintage lady featured in the center. Here’s a pretty blue and white one.

This is one of the quilt blocks that’s used for Friendship Quilts. These quilts include a blank space for individuals to sign their names or record other information that’s then embroidered permanently on the block. They are also called Signature Quilts or Autograph Quilts.

The googling I did for Hands All Around didn’t turn up anyone who had made one recently and I saw comments that weren’t really excited about the curved lines in the block. Several of the quilt tops I saw had been hand-pieced.

I’ve already figured out a way to eliminate the corners, by making more triangles, it’s a technique I’ve seen on Fons and Porter and Eleanor Burns. But I don’t think there’s a way around the curves. I’ll just have to stitch slow.

I’ll make one Hands All Around block in the red, white and blue just to say I did.  Then  we’ll see if I want to make more or if it just becomes a pillow or maybe a tote bag. With just a few I could make a table runner or some placemats for the 4th of July.

What do you think? Would you color match it, or make it scrappy?

Crocheted Nested Baskets

Here are a couple of small baskets I crocheted recently.

Crcocheted Baskets on JanMadeIt

I work at JoAnn’s Fabric and Crafts and when our crochet and knitting teacher abruptly left we had students signed up for the beginning How-to class and I was drafted. I am by no means an expert, but I can teach you how to do it and then we can go from there.

I’ll be teaching these baskets on Tuesday. It’s a simple project, and I made the small basket in just a little over an hour.

Crocheted Baskets on JanMadeIt

The instructions (provided by JoAnn’s) call for a chunky yarn with a hook smaller than suggested for this yarn. The construction is very easy. After you get the base the size you want, crochet the next row in the back loop, then continue as usual until the basket is as tall as you want it. That back loop stitch is all it takes to make the turn and create the sides of the basket. If you’re new to this technique, I’d advise starting with a lighter yarn. It was hard to find the back loop on some stitches in this dark yarn.

The larger basket is about four inches tall and a little bit wider.  The smaller basket nests neatly inside.  It’s about three inches across.

One other suggestion for basket making.  Stitch markers.

If I don’t use them I make a basket that’s wider at the top than the bottom. When I put a stitch marker at the beginning of the row I was able to keep the sides straight.

Crocheted Baskets 3

That’s all there is to it. We’ll see how things go in class on Tuesday. I have some tan chunky yarn that will match these that I’ll use for my project in class. The class is three hours long, and we should be able to finish at least one basket.

There’s so much you can do with a crocheted basket when you get the technique down. It can be a basket, a pet bed, add a handle and it’s a bag, line it and make a little trash bag for the car… what else?

Anybody have other suggestions for crocheted basket making that I haven’t come up with yet? And what do you want to use it for?

Jan

 

Fabric Flowers

If you know me in person you know I frequently wear a flower pin on a plain t-shirt. It started a few years ago when I got a brand new bright yellow shirt that fit perfectly and was the perfect shade of yellow.

After I wore if a few times I noticed a tiny pinprick hole near the neckline binding on the left side. Arrgggghh! But I was determined to continue wearing it and I came across a scrap, a very small scrap of vintage yellow fabric with strawberries on it. After I mulled it over awhile I gathered it into a circle, topped it with some red, and found some vintage buttons to layer on the top.
Vintage Fabric Flower on JanMadeIt

Now that I describe the process, I really should take it apart and feature the vintage fabric that inspired me.

But a new hobby was born (like I needed another). Here’s how I used another very small scrap of vintage fabric. I stitched this one into little pleats to form the circle.

Vintage Black and Bright Fabric Flower on JanMadeIt

The fabric had a looser weave, so I added a little blanket stitch to keep it from fraying too much. I don’t think the buttons are vintage, but they were the right size and color.

Since my wardrobe is primarily jeans and a t-shirt, I went a little nuts making these fabric flowers the last few years. This morning I took pictures of just the ones that are handy and ended up with over forty images.

I get lots of comments and questions about how I make them. I’ll just pick up a scrap, and grab a needle and thread and start doing something with it. I’m halfway done by the time I think to take a picture to show how I do it.

I wear them on a pin back, but they can easily be applied to a hair clip, a headband, ponytail holder, a hat… anywhere you want some embellishment.

This one is trimmed with baby rick rack, and centered with a scrap of lace and vintage buttons. Vintage Buttons and Lace on JanMadeIt

I made several with this same black and ivory calico.  Here’s another vintage button and some lace. I think this one went through the wash with the shirt I wore it on. The frayed edges are a little wrinkled.

Calico, vintage button and lace on JanMadeIt

Here I continued with the lace and twisted the black calico and a strip of ivory into this rosette. Looks like I need to clip some stray threads off this one.

Black and Ivory Calico Rosette on JanMadeItI think you get the idea. There are literally dozens more where these came from. I’ll try to share more of them in the coming weeks.

Anyone else out there make flowers?  Mine are all ad lib, but there are some really nice specific patterns and techniques I’d like to try. Let me know what you think.

Jan

What is this curved piece used for?

My mom participates in activities at the senior citizen’s center and it’s not unusual for some of the folks to bring in random things to share when they move or downsize. Lots of books, art supplies, plant cuttings, and fabrics make their way to the table out front. Not long ago mom brought home a stash of quilting leftovers. In amongst the scraps she found some already cut quilt pieces.

And there’s one we can’t figure out.

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

She’s already made two quilts (that I know of) from rescued already-cut quilt pieces. This blue and pink is twin sized. The solid blue and floral print rectangles were rescued and she pulled the pink out of her stash for the border.

Rescue Quilt Blue and Pink

This print fabric is from the 70s or 80s and coincidentally it’s a fabric she’d used before. She tracked down her own scraps to cut an extra piece or two. I think I suggested the saw tooth edge. It’s one of my favorite borders, but there wasn’t enough to go all the way around so it’s just on the sides.

More recently she took a pile of squares we found and came up with this.

Rescue Quilt on Jan Made It
These fabrics are more recent, maybe ten years ago?, and I had some of this collection in my stash. It’s a double size quilt.

But back to this recent find. There were stacks and stacks of diamonds in a variety of calicoes. And there was a smaller batch of a curved piece.

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

Now there are lots of things to do with a pile of diamonds: make stars, stitch them end to end into rows, assemble a V pattern make rows of chevron; but we’re having a hard time with the curved piece. We tried to fit the curved piece and the diamond together, but the angles and edges don’t fit together.

Any idea what quilt pattern this piece makes? Does it go together to make a circle? Or maybe every other one flips and makes a snake-like row? Is it all pieced together to make a block, or is it stitched to a block like an applique?

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

I’m sure Mom will come up with something great once she wraps her head around these curves. I’m the one who wants to know what it was cut for.  I haven’t found an index of quilt pieces and what they’re used for, but surely there’s a quilter out there who can help.

Any ideas? And what would you make out of it

Jan

A Springtime Garden Wreath

It’s taken me a few weeks to stitch up a pile of flowers, but here they are.  All bright and cheery on the front door.

Spring Wreath on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

There are roses, and daisies, and all sorts of generic ruffledy flowers, along with a collection of generic leaves in a variety of greens.

I covered a Styrofoam wreath with dark green felt, just using straight pins to hold it in place, and then used more pins to randomly attach the flowers. It was a little harder to be “random” than one would expect, but I think I managed to make the colors flow from one shade to the next in a pleasing way.

I took this picture at an angle to keep the fill flash from reflecting back at me and creating a hot spot on the glass. I just now noticed that angle exposed the green felt and the pins I used to assemble the wreath. Oops.  Guess I should have crocheted a few more leaves and flowers.

I found dozens of free patterns for crocheted flowers and leaves online and after I made a few of them I started winging it and making my own.

My plan is to go into more detail and about these flowers and provide links for the flowers I made, and directions on how I made the others. However, last night I made a list of the projects in progress just within sight of my bedside table and came up with 16 projects or parts of projects.

Today I checked off,

  • Finish Spring Wreath
  • Attach wire hanger to the back of the wreath
  • Hang wreath and photograph it
  • Post wreath online.

So I’ll do my best to keep my focus on these flowers for a few more days before I move onto the next thing.

By the way, this is the third wreath I’ve made this year with this same Styrofoam form and straight pins. I made one for Valentine’s Day and then took that apart and made another for St. Patrick’s Day.

Valentine's Wreath on JanMadeItSt. Patriock's Day Wreath on JanMadeItAfter I took the pictures, we added a few little stuffed hearts to hang inside the Valentine’s wreath. I used a collection of 4-inch squares intended for a pixelated heart quilt. These were spare parts for the little quilt that also needs to be on my list of things to finish.

The St. Pat’s wreath was wrapped with green tulle flocked with shamrocks. I paid $2 a yard on the clearance table at Joann’s. It was from the 2016 season. The green net with gold trim has been in my stash for years. I think it came from my grandmother. It was paired with matching gold trimmed red net in a box with Christmas decorations.  But the green was perfect for this wreath too.

Now the 4-inch squares are back in a box with my ready to assemble pixelated heart quilt; and the green tulle and trim is folded neatly in a gallon-size storage bag waiting for another project. As it gets closer to Memorial Day I’ll come up with a Patriotic sort of idea I can use through the 4th of July.

It’s so much trouble to make, or buy, and then store “regular” wreaths. I decided to use this same form all year. The parts are easily stored for another project or the same wreath next year.

So in a few months I’ll be looking for things that might need a crocheted flower or two. I’ll have plenty.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch

Here’s the green scarf I made using the Vintage Ripple Stitch pattern without the “V” design. This was super easy because I didn’t have to pay attention to turning the corner every three sets of stitches.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch 6

I used apple flavored Red Heart Gum Drop yarn. It was marked down and the only skein in the bin so if it wasn’t enough, I might have ended up ripping it out, but it turned out to be just the right amount for a scarf.

In case you missed it here is the scarf where I found this stitch pattern. , and this afghan pattern was also helpful in figuring it out.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch 7

I turned the first row after six sets of stitches and it ended up being about 5 1/2 inches wide, and 39 inches long. It’s not quite long enough to go around my neck twice as an infinity scarf, and not long enough to tie if I leave it flat. So I came up with Plan B.

Buttons.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch Scarf JanMadeIt

But I didn’t want to actually stitch the buttons to the scarf so I figured out another way to use them.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch 2

I liked these huge turquoise buttons, but they were too big to use without adding a button loop. So, I attached a smaller yellow button on the back which will fit through holes in the pattern of the scarf. It’s kind of a toggle button and works like a cufflink.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch 3

I used matching pearl cotton to stitch them together and slipped a crochet hook between them to leave space between the two buttons as I stitched them back to back.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch 5

Now I can slip the yellow button through the scarf to make an infinity scarf. If I want it high around my neck I can wrap it twice and then button it into place. I can criss-cross it across my throat and button it together in any number of ways.

The smaller yellow buttons look just as good on the backside as the large buttons do on the front.

Green Vintage Ripple Stitch Scarf on Jan Made It

I’ll track down a model and show you the variety of ways these two-sided toggle buttons will shape a scarf. I have a few other scarves that could have a whole new look with some toggle buttons. I’m on the prowl, especially in my own button stash, for other sets of buttons I could use on a variety of scarves.

Trouble is we’ve had a very mild winter here and my scarf-wearing days are about over for the season. But I’ll be ready when the next cold wind comes sweeping down the plains.  Which here in Oklahoma might be tomorrow or the next day.

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