Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stuff With Scraps #4

Still continuing my quest to complete half-done, orphaned projects into finished pieces...

The scrappy strips in the centre panel came from the cut-away backs of appliqued fan blocks. The chunks were too big to just chuck in the garbage in good conscience (and the fabrics were really really nice), so- a few long seams here, and some rotary strip-cutting there, and voila!

Pillow tops are a great place to try out some experimental, improvised machine quilting. I like the look of contrasting quilting threads, and I had such a good time on the top I totally quilted the backing, too. All that quilting makes the finished pillow very "tactile"- the kind of thing you want to just hold on your lap and pet...

Umm... that was too much information, wasn't it?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Yo-Yos for Misers...

Don't hate me because I'm thrifty... Did I just say "thrifty?"

Make that cheap.

I've had an idea lately for a project involving yo-yos of different sizes. Having made a few the traditional way (a bit tedious), I was eyeballing the yo-yo maker gadgets at Michaels. They have them in a few different sizes...

for twelve bucks each... HELLO!!

There must be a better, cheaper way, my friends, and I have found it!

So get out those plastic yogurt and margarine container lids, because I know you save your empties, right? Right! Here we go...

[For another project, I had used a compass to draw circles (2", 3", 4") on cardstock and cut them out. Yay! Headstart!]

I traced a circle onto the back of a yogurt tub lid with an Ultra Fine Sharpie marker.

Cut out the plastic circle.

Using a single hole punch, notch out little bites of plastic at north, south, east and west on your disk. Just eyeball it; it will be fine.

Now, make notches in between the ones you just made...

...then notch between those notches. What we're looking for is evenly spaced notches about 1/4" to 3/8" apart. For a larger circle, you might be dividing the space between notches into thirds.

Punch 3 or 4 holes into the centre of the disk (or as far into the disk as your punch will let you reach).

Take some little sharp scissors and trim off those tiny sharp points of the notches so they won't catch on your fabric.

Your yo-yo maker is finished!! Now let's make a yo-yo...

Pin through the holes to secure the fabric to the disk.

Trim seam allowance to about 1/4" to 3/8".

Fold the seam allowance over the notched edge of the disk with your thumb.

With a threaded, knotted needle, take a stitch through both layers of fabric in the space of one of the notches.

Skip to the next notch space, and take another stitch.

Continue around the disk, taking a stitch in each notch space, and end up taking another stitch in the notch space you started in.

Push the needle through the seam allowance once again so the thread is trailing from the right side of the fabric circle.

Put down your needle and ease the disk out of the fabric circle you just stitched.

Gently draw up the thread, gathering the edge of the circle into a darling little pouch.

Holding tight, take a couple tiny back stitches, pull them snug...

... and then push the needle back through to the inside of the yo-yo to hide the thread end. Snip the thread.

Push the gathers flat and shape the yo-yo with your fingers.

There you go! You made a yo-yo for free!! Wasn't that fun? Yahoo for yo-yos!!