Friday, December 23, 2011

Music Monday (A Few Days Late)

I'm tired of Christmas carols. How about you? Let's hear an under-rated Bangles song!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Having a Crafty Day

Today was a good crafty day, which made up for my migraine day yesterday. I finished up a crocheted Hobbes for a friend of mine. This won't be a surprise or anything, since Doreen asked me to make him for her.

He's made out of Red  Heart super saver yarns and an H sized hook. I used Sukigirl's great free pattern, because Doreen had this one all picked out. Obviously, this is Hobbes in toy form because an adult (myself) is looking at him. Hobbes only came to life for Calvin when there were no adults around.

The stuffing came from an upcycled throw pillow from a local CHKD Thrift Store in Virginia Beach. The eyes, nose and two head stripes are actually iron on patches. I could have sworn that I still had black fleece, leftover from some drawstring pouches I made for my husband earlier this fall, but nope...it was all gone. I wanted to buy a little section of black felt for Hobbes, but when I got to the closest Wal-Mart, I realized that one didn't sell fabric, so I had to improvise because Hobbes was definitely getting done tonight!

The only things I wish I had done differently would be to not stuff his head quite so much, and then to position his white tummy a little more to one side, to better cover the beginning of my rows.

Tonight's selection of Christmas kitchen towels were actually a last minute gift. My husband mentioned finding out that we had a package on the way from some friends back home, so we need to get cracking on something for them!

The fabric came from Hancock's and is called "Christmas Traditions." It's small alternating squares of Christmas designs. The towels came from The Dollar Tree. I did buy some Christmas ribbon for the bottom edge, but it was kind of wide and I just wasn't feeling it for these towels. They were done the same way I did the towels for IHeartsTheArts in the Jim Henson Swap.

Wash the fabric and towels first on cold and then dry. You don't want anything to shrink once they are used and washed the first time after they are gifted to the recipient!

If you wanted to attach a length of ribbon, I would do that part first. Pick a ribbon that is fabric in design. Foil or satin ribbon will not last as well as fabric ribbon will on a kitchen towel. Cut off the length of ribbon you need for the width of the towel and add 1/2" to each edge so you can fold it over and have a clean edge. Pin the ribbon at least 1" from the bottom edge. Pick a short stitch on your sewing machine and sew the ribbon on, both along the top and bottom edges. 

Cut out what parts of the fabric you want to be on the towels, and then cut out some Heat & Bond Lite in the same shape as the fabric. Then, iron on the Heat & Bond to the backside of your fabric. Once it's cooled, peel off the paper.

I used two separate squares of fabric for each towel, so I positioned the bottom-most piece first. Since most kitchen towels are sold folded in thirds the long way and in half the other way, it makes it easy to have guides to help position your fabric within the middle third of the towel, if you use the fold lines. If you have ribbon on the bottom, place the fabric piece at least 1" above it. If there is no ribbon, then place it at least 1" above the bottom hem.

I ironed it to the towel first, and then used a decorative stitch on my sewing machine to embroider the edges and trimmed the loose ends. Then I repeated the embroidery on the second piece of fabric, by overlapping it over the bottom-most piece. You might not be able to tell from the photos, but the stitch I used is tiny triangles.