Pattern Weights

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pattern weights are great to use with delicate fabrics when you don't want to make holes with pins or when you need to hold things down for a quick cut.

Commercial pattern weights are usually metal rings but anything that successfully holds the pattern down works. I've used drinking glasses, soup cans, and any knickknack close by and in reach. It was finally time to just get it done and make some.

I cut 3.5" fabric squares and sewed with a 1/4" seam allowance for a finished size of 3". Here's the twist -- I used small garden rocks leftover from a landscaping project to stuff the squares!

These are so handy and useful that I wish I had gotten around to making them years ago. I still will use a few pins on the grain line (old habits die hard) but mostly it's these pretty little things holding the pattern down while I cut.

Signature Quilt

Friday, October 21, 2016

This past spring my sister, brother and I gave a party to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday and I organized a signature memory quilt activity. Using the Siggy Block Tutorial, from the ps i quilt blog, I made a stack of blocks to take to the party.

I chose 8 colors of Fabrico Dual Tip fabric markers to write with and encouraged everyone to decorate a block with a birthday wish.

I love how this project turned out. I especially like the hex shape which is a very nice one for use as a wall hanging but it also works well as a lap quilt. I also like how I was able to include a few blank squares for friends and family who were unable to attend to sign later.

I am not an experienced quilter and there were a few Macgyver moments which I'm sure broke quilting rules (I have a page of notes for things to do differently the next time!) but my design vision was achieved and it is definitely a memory maker.

Dryer Balls

Monday, October 03, 2016

Felted wool balls can be used in your clothes dryer to hasten the drying time, prevent static cling and eliminate the use of chemicals from dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Actually, any kind of ball that holds up to the heat of a dryer can be used and there are heat resistant plastic balls made specifically for the purpose but the diy version is made with wool.

I was immediately intrigued with the idea of not having to use dryer sheets and the project was right up my diy crafting alley so I had to give it a try.

There are many ways to make dryer balls. I followed the Make Your Own Dryer Balls instructions from One Good Thing by Jillee and made four large balls from two skeins.

My experience? I'm not using them any more! I don't know if they reduced the drying time because the NOISE of them thumping and thumping in the dryer made it seem like an eternity. Also, for me, they did nothing to help with static cling. It was a fun little make-it project but I'm back to using dryer sheets and I'm looking for another way to use the felted balls.