Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lovely Jelly Rolls

These are sooo inspiring.  More of my packages from the other week were these Jelly Rolls.  The two on the left I'll be taking my folks when I go next week.  I'm going to make a simple Jelly Roll quilt top while I'm there. (I'm hoping anyways....)  I'm not sure yet what to do with the other.  I was suposed to receive a charm pack of that line and instead I got the jelly roll.  I asked her if she wanted me to ship it back and she told me that if I could use it, then we could call it even.  Wow!!!  I'll have to pay that forward somehow.

On the left is Simply Color by V & Co. for Moda.  The top is the ombre co-ordinates to the prints in the bottom one.

The one on the right is Cuzco by Kate Spain for Moda.  It's a yummy collection.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Felt Food Tutorials

In 2007 I posted a thread on Crafster that caused quite a stir.  It led to quite a few felt food sales a few online interviews or mentions as well as Crafsters Best of 2008 in the Toys, Dolls And Playthings category.  It's been 4 years and I still receive requests for more tutorials and ideas.  With my son turning 2 this last August, I pulled out our felt food collection.  He immediately got started putting things together.  It's amazing how he just knew what to do with it all.  Now my head is buzzing with ideas for new items to make for him.  All that being said I have decided to finally add my short but sweet tutorials that I had posted on Crafster here.  I'm going to update this as I have time to be more detailed.  My ultimate goal is to put it all together in a PDF format for easy viewing and saving.  I will also be scanning my existing patterns and posting them as I have time. Well... on with it already!

For pictures and more ideas just click here.  I'm working on a good gallery, it's just not ready yet.

General directions and materials for all foods.

I used my machine for about 75% of all the sewing.  Detail stitching was done with embroidery floss.  I used polyester stuffing for rounder shapes and some thin quilt batting in things like, peanut butter & jelly blobs, bread (stacked a few layers) spaghetti sauce, pancakes, etc.

Templates and patterns:
For the larger circles I use a mason jar lid, small plate, small bowls.... things like that.  And all non circled shapes were just free drawn into the desired shapes. Really it's all about just the general shape of something. Most things in natural are “organic” so really you can't go wrong. Just check out my pictures and you can get an idea of the shapes used for things. For round shapes I found some free fabric all templates and just used those. Or altered them slightly for other shapes.

Wool felt or acrylic felt? I use both. My local fabric store has a very limited collection of wool felts. I buy some only when they go on sale of if I have a coupon. Otherwise I just use cheapy acrylic felt. It comes in about 20 colors and a few times a year it goes on sale for $1.99 per yard. That's when I buy .5 – 1 yard of almost every color.
Basic Instructions For Some Items.

The bread is just two cream colored “bread” shapes. Rectangle about 5” long and rounded on the corners. Then I cut 1.5” stripes of light brown for the crust.  I then sewed down the strip on one side of the bread, then attached the other side leaving a space for turning. (I left about 4” open so I could lay in batting) I then layed in about 4 thin layers of batting to make them full and hand stitched the opening closed. Alternately you could use polyester stuffing or just add a few layers of felt and make your bread thinner.

Infinity Bread:  I've decided to keep this one a mystery for the time being. 

Meatballs & Hamburger Patti:  Two brown circles sewn together leaving an opening for turning and stuffing. Turn and stuffed to desired shape then sew opening closed.  I added some fabric paint to add detail.  (grill marks on patti and splotches on meatballs) You could also use embroidery floss for details if you wish.

Bacon:  Layer three free form cut pieces of felt into bacon shapes. (2 brown, 1 light brown)  Stitch “fat” blobs in center of bacon.  Cut out just the top layer of felt to reveal the light brown “fat” underneath. 

Eggs:  Cut two free form white egg shapes.  Cut one yellow circle.  Sew yolk to one white egg shape leaving a small opening to stuff. Add some stuffing and sew the opening closed.  Sew both egg whites together.

Bow Tie Noodles:
  Cut 1” wide strips of felt. Using either pinking shears of regular scissors cut them down to 1” x 1.5” rectangles.  Then I gathered the centers and ran them through my sewing machine. If you want one continuous length of noodles, dont' cut the thread between sewing them. Sew one , then sew a few stitches without any fabric, then insert your next noodle and make one long string of noodles. This will save you so much mess! They will all stay together and still look awesome in a bowl.

Three large circles (two cream one orange). Sandwich first the cream, then orange, than anther cream together. Sew all the way round.  Then using either your rotary cutter or scissors, cut the quesadilla into pie shapes like you would if cutting a pizza. Take each piece back to you sewing machine and stitch around the wedge. *Note that my kids used the quesadillas for pizza crusts. It worked great and makes one thing act like two!
Cucumbers were just two green circles and two smaller cream circles all sewn together and detail stitched.

Onion slices:  For these I cut out two large circles (maybe 5-6” round) and I cut the circles in half.  I then started sewing a kinda rainbow (kinda hard to describe) so that I could cut the pieces apart to make it look like a sliced onion.

Kiwis, Lemons & Limes, Cut one circle in appropriate color and fold in half. These have a bit of stuffing in them and were stitched closed.  I detail stitched where necessary.  The kiwis have an extra cream circle in the center and I added black seed beads as the seeds. For toddlers, feel free to makes the seeds with embroidery floss.

Apples & Oranges: These are made with two pieces.  The top “flesh” part  was a circle cut from a mason jar lid.  The rind was a pointed oval.  I used the machine to attach the pieces.  I won't do that next time as I think it distorted the shape.  I'll hand stitch them.  I used embroidery floss on the details in the center.

Strawberries: Cut out circles then cut the circles in half.  Machine stitched the flat side together to make a cone.  Stuff the insides with fabric scraps or any stuffing and gather up the top. I then used green yarn as the stem and attached it to a green square piece of felt.  Then I stitched freehand the green square to the gathered top.  After it was secure I cut off the access green felt into a wavy circle.  Then I stitched on the yellow seed beads. Again, you could use embroidery floss for the seeds for younger children.

Carrots:  For baby carrots cut two free form ovals (the more uneven the oval the better)  Sew ovals together leaving an opening.  Turn, stuff, hand stitch opening closed.  For whole carrots, cut a triangle and stitch up side.  Stuff and free stitch some green on top.

Flat Stuff Including:  Lunch Meat, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Pickles, Bananas, Pepperoni, Pancakes, Butter, Tea Bags, Cookies, Chips, Sauces....
- For these I cut out 2 layers of felt in the correct shape of that food.  For most of these I just used a fancy stitch on my machine (you could also use a zig zag) and stitched the two layers together.  Some needed additional detail stitching inside the piece.  The tomatoes and pickles I sewed the two layers together (leaving a small opening) and then turned them right side out.  Then I top stitched and did the detail stitching.  The pancakes, butter, and tea bags have one layer of batting inside.  Sauces are layered pieces of felt free stitched together.

Needle felted items:

The grapes
were needle felted into shape.  I then took a piece of hand spun yarn (any chunky yarn would do) and knotted up the yarn a bit then sewed the grapes onto the yarn.

The cherries
were needle felted circles.  It then used brown embroidery floss that I pulled through the whole cherry and then knotted up the stem.

The fruit snacks were needle felted into oval shapes and I made them felt bags.  The wool I used I had dyed using kool aid.

Massive Batts From Etsy

My mail lady delivered so many yummy packages this last week.  It's funny, but I received 4 packages from 4 different Etsy vendors on the same day.  All ordered at different times.  I'll post them all over the next few days.  But, I'm starting with these yummy batts.  I purchased one of these from Jahtsemer Serene To Extreme Fibers on Etsy.  I've wanted to purchase one of these forever, and with the free shipping it was the time!

My eldest daughter and I opened the package... she wanted to rip it all out, but I told her that we were going to pull one thing out at a time and savor the moment.  With a huff she agreed.

First out of the bag was this pink batt called "Pink Poodle" 4.4 oz with merino lamb, shetland, romney, cvm bamboo, faux mohair and angelina.  My daughter said "It's pretty but it's pink"  Hehe... she either hates pink or loves it.  Right now she is in love with super bright electric pink.  I think it's so pretty and soft.  In fact, it was the first I spun up too.  It made up 3 skeins as I couldn't fit all it's yummy goodness onto my small bobbin.  I think it's time for a jumbo bobbin.

Next out of the bag was was a sparkly purple batt called " Thai Bazzar" 3.9 oz SW Merino, cashmere, milk fiber, bamboo silk, puller sari silk, and glitz.  We both really oohed and ahhed over this one.  It's just so sparkly!
Next was a jumbo batt called " Mancala Mama" 5oz. SW Merino in top and cloud, banana fiber, faux angora, and faux cashmere.  I would never never pick these colors normally.  But, seeing them all together like this kinda makes me drool.  My daughter proclaimed it her favorite and she can't wait for me to spin this one up.
At this point I couldn't believe there was more in the bag.  My mouth was hanging open and my daughter was giggling.  My hubby was looking at both of us like we were crazy.  My hand went in the bag one last time and pulled out a batt called "Moody Blues" 3.5oz SW Merino, BFL, cashmere, mulberry silk, and faux mohair.  My daughter says this one looks like the ocean waves.  It totally does.  I'm spinning up this one next.  It reminds me of my parents who live at the beach.
So, in review of this Etsy store....Her fibers are amazing, she is crazy generous, and I would encourage anyone who is even remotely considering buying from her to go ahead and do it!  Don't walk... run! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's So Fluffyyyyyy!!!!

Piles of handspun goodness is covering my workspace.  I got the bug to spin last week and I just can't seem to stop.  And who would want to?  I mean, just look at that pile of yummyness. And, this isn't even all of it.  I've spun more since this picture was taken last weekend.  Below are all of them singly (except the bottom left two)
 First up are the two Icelandic skeins.  I dyed both of these ages ago.  The top darker green one was slightly felted from the dying process.  It actually spun up quite well as a bulky yarn with some slubby goodness.
Dark multi green Icelandic wool. Worsted - Bulky Wt. 86yrds. 2.5oz.
 Lime green Icelandic wool. Fingering - sport wt. 115 yrds. 1.4oz.

"Kitchen Sink" Skeins.  These are my first inclusion handspuns that are this crazy.  I literally went through all my sewing trims, yarn remnants, and misc. bits of wool and locks.  Then I picked a base fiber.  Then I just went to town spinning everything I could into these beauties.  I can't say how much I love them!  The white one is mostly sari silk, locks, and some commercial art type yarn pieces.
 Black "Kitchen Sink" skein.  Singles. 55yrds. 3.8oz. (Alaina loves this one and wants a hat)
 White "Kitchen Sink" skein.  Two ply with coils. 
Merino Tencel from a person on Ralvery.  I hated spinning this so I stopped about 1/4 of the way through my 4oz roving.  But, after letting it sit on the bobbin and then plying it, I'm actually really liking it and I think I'll spin up the rest of it.  Light Worsted Wt. 1.4oz and 115yrds.
OMG Tailspun.  My first and certainly not my last.  I had sooo much fun spinning this one up.  First I spun up the locks, then I plied it with some gold thread.  It's crazy soft and so colorful.  2.4oz and 38 yards.
 This one is from a roving that I got on Etsy.  100% Superwash BFL Worsted Wt. 4oz 225 yards.
 More to come later this week.  If I'm not to busy spinning!