Sonntag, 23. Oktober 2011

Special thanks to...

... Harald Wittmaack for "quickly" designing a header for my blog :)

You can find his artwork HERE on his website.

He is a very talented and creative mind... and I could surely write a gazillion more things about him, but that's another story...

Pirates and Dinosaurs Memory

Hi everyone.

Today, I want to share with you the first tutorial on this blog:

How to make a "Memory"-game out of fabric.

First, think about what you want to use as the pictures on your game.

I used fabric that my kids had picked themselves: two different novelty prints with dinosaurs

and pirates.

For the backing, I went through my stash and found some really cute fabric that was once meant to be a backing for a baby quilt, but since the boys are getting taller now, it was'n enough fabric anyway: blue and green stripes on white background.

If you want the cards to be a bit thicker, you might want to use interfacing/batting as well.

I went for Vlieseline H640 (Vliene H640 as it's called in English). H640 is a fusible batting that's a few millimeters thick. It was nice to be able to actually iron it on before sewing the cards together so that I did not have to handle a slipping sew-in batting as well... but that's all up to
you, whatever you prefer.

That's what I started with: (oh, please don't care about the amount of backing-fabric and batting shown on the picture... since I live way off from any quiltshop, I tend to buy a bit more all the time so that I can start a non-planned project whenever I feel like it)

There you see:
Blue stripes, green stripes, dinosaur and pirate prints and batting. That's about it.
Yes, of course you need a sewing machine, matching thread, ironing board and iron, and a damp cloth for the iron-on batting if needed - but I guess that's stuff you have on hand anyway.
Now for the amount of fabric for each game:
  • One panel of your desired novelty print (approximately 30 cm or 1/3 yard)
  • Backing fabric depending on how many "pairs" you can get from your panel. Mine was 9 pairs, so I needed 18 squares of fabric, 10 x 10cm ( 4" x 4" ) each, so 20cm or 8" of backing fabric were enough.
  • Batting/interfacing: since batting/interfacing usually is not as wide as your fabric, you need to calculate a bit. My fusible batting was 90cm wide (1 yard). You don't need much, just think about how many cards you have in total (mine was 18) and you cut the batting/interfacing a bit smaller to reduce bulk anyway. For my project, 16 cm (~6,5") were enough.
I know that this is not what you are used to when it comes to "materials needed", but since I
guess that you will not use the same prints that I used, the amount of fabric will vary for each one of you.

If you don't want to use fabric with printed squares on it, you can always use every other fabric that you desire. Just keep in mind that your kids need to like it and that the objects on the fabric are small enough that you can fussy-cut them to use them as the motifs.
(This is yet another perfect way to use some of your I-Spy squares - just in case you have doubles)

Now, the tutorial:

Step 1: Cutting
Fussy-cut the panel of your "picture"-fabric. Make sure you have pairs.
Cut the backing-fabric in the matching size (10 x 10 cm or 4" x 4" should fit)
Cut the batting a bit smaller ( 8 x 8 cm or 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" )

You should have something like this now:

Step 2: Batting
Now it's time to iron the batting on the wrong sides of the picture-fabric.
I just eyeballed it, I must confess, that's why some of my cards came out a little bit wonky, but I think that it's no big deal at all since the pictures might be a bit too distorted to be ironed into right-angle-pictures anyway.

You can measure it or make a stencil that's as big as your fabric squares, with a cut-out frame for the batting right in the center of it - it's all up to you how many hours of work you want to put into this project ;)

It should look like this when you are done:

Step 3: Pin and sew
(Optional: iron the lower seam allowance of the "picture"-fabric towards the batting. This will help to have a nice seam later on after flipping the inside of the cards out after sewing.)

Just a little picture to show:

Now go and pin the picture-fabric and the backing fabric right sides together:

It's time to start sewing now.
Decide where you want to start (I chose the bottom to start with). Make sure to sew all the edges and leave open about 5 cm ( 2" ) to turn the whole thing later on.

(No need to explain how to do this I guess.......)

I do my corners a bit different than most of you I guess since I do NOT clip the edges off. I sew them in - but that's just because my boys love to chew ( yuck! ) on fabric-corners. (I don't have to tell you what their pillowcases look like, do I??)

Here is a pic where you can see/guess from how I do my edges. If you want a tutorial about this, just let me know and I'll put something together for you.

Step 4: turning and topstitching:
Now that's the part that I dislike the most: turning the inside out. Use whatever tool you like, use knitting needles, screwdrivers, fingernails to get nice corners. A needle might help to get out the last teenzy weenzy bit of fabric to make the corners look as neat as possible.

After you have turned everything, iron the cards flat and make sure to have the two fabrics on one line where your opening was. This is important to make it look neat in the end.

After having ironed everything: TOPSTITCH and FINISH it!
I used some sort on invisible thread for the picture side since I did not want any color to mess up the picture - but that's all up to you.

Step 5: Step back and take a look at what you have created
Here are two pictures of the finished games.
I really hope that my boys will enjoy playing this game when they will be back home after a weekend with their daddy in a little bit. I usually make something nice for them when they are away ( I guess they already expect me to do so )

Ok. This was my first tutorial ever. I hope you liked it :)

If you make something from this tutorial, please be so kind and show me what you did - in the blogging world, it's all about inspiring each other, isn't it?

You may sell things that you made from this tutorial, but please do not copy this tutorial and post it as your own one.
If you link up to my page, please let me know about it.

I'm linking up this post at Flamingo Toes today - let's see if I'll be featured :)

Freitag, 21. Oktober 2011

Excuses galore

Hello everyone.

Yeah, I know... I promised not to be absent for such a long period of time again, but I just could not get back to my blog, back to writing and so on.

I have been going through some hard times lately and they are still going on, but if I don't get myself to do something to clear mymind and to relax, I will never get back to my old creativity.

After realizing that something that I got hooked on will just not be, all my plans for the future are falling to pieces, actually all my life is falling to pieces. I really can't tell you about all the details, but let's just say that love and hope alone are never enough to keep things going.

But that's the point where I want to get back to blogging:

A few weeks ago, I found a really great quote on the internet (sorry folks, I can't remember where I found it...)

"When your life falls to pieces, try quilting."
And you know what? It's kinda true.
Whenever something seemed to fall apart, I started to sew again... all different things, not only clothes and home decoration, everything.

I haven't been quilting since the beginning of this year around May I think.
Then I read Care's blog and thought that I can do this too.

Said and done:I got started cutting itty bitty pieces of fabric and see what I have done with them:

Due to me not knowing techniques to sew a bit faster and to save time on cutting and sewing, I ended up cutting 768 tiny 2,5" squares out of my fabric and sewd them together again. Yes, I know: I coulkd have saved such a bunch of time by cutting strips, sewing two or three together and cutting them afterwards, but I just did not know.

Anyway: I really like it how the quilttop turned out (sorry for me being too lazy to iron the top before taking that last picture).

By now, the quilttop is still rolled up and lying on my closet. I fear to actually quilt itnsince I haven't quilted anything before.

I'm planning to try my quilting skills on some placemats and mug rugs before, but this is still in the "needs to be done" queue.

Before I left the blog for such a long time, I wrote that I have a tutorial ready to be written down and posted. I am working on that one now and I hope that I can post it later on this weekend, but you never know what happens, so I can't promise that.

Perhaps I'll just go and be a bit productive now, sew some small things that I could show you later on.

I'm aiming for at least one posting each week now. Hopefully I can reach that goal.

Thanks for reading my words here.


P.S.: Oh, and I would just *L*O*V*E* to hear your comments on my first quilttop.