domingo, 31 de maio de 2009

Odds and Ends Shade Pulls

Don't relegate that favorite thing to the back of a drawer; create a shade pull out of it. Use a bead or a seashell, wrap a plain metal washer with colored twine, or attach a screw eye to the top of an alphabet block. Use hot glue to attach ribbon to shell. Thread twine or ribbon through screw eye or hole in object; knot ends. Thread knot through grommet on bottom of shade so loop forms at back; feed attached object through loop; pull to tighten. If using wide ribbon or twine, there's no need to form loop. Thread strand through grommet hole; tie in large knot to secure.

domingo, 24 de maio de 2009

Handmade Patchwork Quilt

Have your eye on Joelle Hoverson's bedroom quilt, featured in Blueprint's May/June issue?

Why not try it yourself? "This quilt top is very easy to make, even if you're new to quilt making," Joelle says. "The design is created simply by sewing strips around a center piece to form concentric rectangles." Below are Joelle's step-by-step instructions.

Finished Measurements:Approximately 80 inches by 96 inches (fits a queen-size bed)

Tools and Materials
A combined total of approximately 7 to 8 yards of 45-inch-wide fabric in a pleasing color palette. For the quilt shown here, Joelle started with 3/4 to 1 yard each of 8 different fabrics in a range of light neutrals and pinks, some prints and some solids.

Patchwork Quilt How-To
1. Wash, dry, and iron all fabrics.

2. Using a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and a straightedge ruler, cut each piece of fabric into 45-inch-long strips (from one finished edge of the fabric to the other) of the following widths:
1.5 inches
2.5 inches
3.5 inches
4.5 inches
6.5 inches
Cut as many as you can from the fabric available, being sure to cut at least one of each width in each fabric.

3. Trim the selvages (the finished edges) from each strip, and organize them in piles by width.

4. Select one 6.5-inch-wide strip and cut it to create a rectangle for the center of your quilt. She cut hers into a 6.5-by-7.5 inch rectangle. Set the remainder aside for use in piecing the rest of the quilt.

5. Select your second strip, place it on top of the center rectangle with one edge aligned, right sides together. Pin it in place, then sew the pieces together along that edge, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. (You'll use 1/4-inch seams throughout.) Trim off the excess length of the strip.

6. Unfold the sewn rectangles and press the seam to one side.

7. Select your third strip and prepare to add it to the others. Each time you add a strip to the quilt, you will follow the same steps: Position the existing work right side up, with the most recently added piece on the left side. Place the new strip right side down along the top edge, pin it into place, and stitch it to the quilt. Trim off the newest strip's excess length, and press the seam to the side.

8. Rotate the existing work so that the newest strip is on the left side, and continue adding pieces in this way until the quilt is approximately 40-by-40-inches wide.

9. Once the quilt has reached this size, you'll need to piece some of your remaining strips together along their short sides before sewing them onto the quilt edges as described above. (As the quilt gets even larger, you may need to piece 3 strips together to measure the length of one side.)

10. Continue adding strips until the quilt is large enough to cover your bed.

11. Once you've finished piecing the top of the quilt, you will need to baste it, quilt it, and bind it.

quinta-feira, 14 de maio de 2009

quarta-feira, 13 de maio de 2009

Colorful Paper Vase Cover

Colorful Paper Vase Cover

Brighten up a simple floral arrangement by using a colorful paper lantern as a sleeve for a vase. Center the vase over the bottom opening of a cylindrical paper lantern (available at crafts stores), and trace around the base of the vase. Using scissors, cut along the traced line. (Use wire cutters to cut away any wire within the line.) Bind cut edge of lantern with masking tape to prevent fraying. Turn lantern right side up, and position the top over the vase so the metal hooks rest on the vase's lip. Extend the bottom of the lantern, and tape it to the underside of the vase. Carefully pour water into the vase, and arrange blooms or branches inside.

quinta-feira, 7 de maio de 2009

Teacup Lights

Antique teacups that have lost their saucers still make sweet gifts when fitted with candles.

Tools and Materials
Nested pans
Partially burned candles
Candy or candle thermometer
New wicking
Wick sustainers
Wooden skewers

Teacup Lights How-To
1. In a small pan set over a larger pan of simmering water, melt down old candles; clip the thermometer to the upper pot, and keep temperature at about 185 degrees. Remove old wicks with tongs.

2. Cut a piece of wicking to the cup's height plus 2 inches. Clamp one end to a wick sustainer; tie the other end around a skewer. Dip wicking and sustainer into melted wax to coat them. Remove and stick sustainer to cup's bottom.

3. Pour in the wax, stopping 1/2 inch below the cup's rim. Allow wax to set, about 1 hour. The candle will harden with a well in the center. To even it out, use another skewer to prick a circle of holes about 1/16 inch deep around the wick. Pour in melted wax until surface is 1/4 inch below rim. Cut wick.

sexta-feira, 1 de maio de 2009