Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Summertime Highlights #2






  Kicking off our 2nd week of Summer Highlights is


Sarah


 The Kukla Dolls Quilt



The summer sun has shined down onto this beautiful quilt just in time to kick off summer. This piece just screamed summer when I first saw this quilt last week. 


 The bright oranges and yellow's, accented with a beautiful hue of blue just brings out the gorgeous summer colors and not to mention that the little Kukla Dolls are just so darn cute. 

 

This quilt also features a full panel of that lovely blue love bird print on the back panel



Sarah from Sarah Sews Quilting Blog was so kind to let us feature this stunning quilt. Last week when I was doing my daily link ups I came across Sarah's Blog and immediately became a follower. Sarah definitely has some talent when it comes to color combos and piecing things together to become a work of art.  



I wanted to make another cot sized quilt that was a complete departure from the usual colors I would go for (ie. girly pink, florals, blues, purples etc.) and so it was a nice change and a lot of fun using such vibrant colors.  I loved doing the bright orange hand quilting too.  Yes, I hand quilted the whole thing with diagonal lines; I must have too much time on my hands!  But I really like the effect so I think it was worth the time investment. 


I want to thank Sarah for letting me feature this beautiful quilt. If you like this piece you should go check out some of her other work. Here is a sneak peak at her latest creation, which was done with one of my favorite fabric collections " a walk in the woods"

Isn't it Beautiful!




I always love to hear from my readers. What is your favorite part of this Gorgeous Summery Quilt? 
If you have an item that you would like to see featured during our summer feature event then please email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com   Subject "Summertime Highlights"








Happy Crafting







Just a reminder for those that will be joining along in the Tetris Themed Crochet-A-Long...I have a Sign up list on our Facebook Page for the participants to be invited to a temporary group on Facebook so that you can talk with the other participants or myself about any questions you may have. Thank you

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pink Pennant Banner



So I have to admit I almost jumped at the chance to make one of these. My best friend and co-writer for the KiKi Love Creations blog told me that she had a photo shoot coming up with a newborn baby girl and that she wish she had a some sort of banner for her shoot.

Since she has a lot going on these next few weeks and crocheting a banner would take a while I offered to take a shot at it. I knew that I had a few pink girly type fabrics laying around and wanted to try something new on the sewing machine.


So the first thing I did was decide about how big I wanted the pennant pieces. The next thing I did was and its something that I like to do for multiple crafts is I cut out my triangle out of card stock and using it as a template. This way I can put it in my binder and can pull it out later for another project. My pennant measured at 8.5 in at it's widest point. and 11in high at it's longest point. 
Then I traced the card stock triangle onto the back of my fabric and then cut out the pieces. 










After all my pieces were cut I started pinning them together with the outer sides of the fabric facing inward,  making sure that they all lined up nicely together.







After I would get a set pinned I would  sew it together starting in the top right corner and worked my way down stopped at the corner turned worked my way back up stopped at the corner, then worked my way across. Once I got to about the center I skipped about an 1-1.5 inches and started again until I reached the point I started at. Once I finished this part I would flip them so they were no longer inside out.

 After I finished all the pieces and flipped them the right way I ironed the fabric to press the pieces flat.

Then I took my pennant pieces with a gold thread and 1/4 in from the edge sewed a strait line around the whole thing. I did this to make sure all the edges were secure.  I darkened the photo to the right so you can see the gold trim as it is a little hard to see with the flash on. 




To top this whole thing off and connect it all together. I took a shiny pink fabric cut it 3 in wide all the way across measuring 6 ft long. I pinned the edges together and sewing it about 1/2 in from the edge. When this was finished I took it and flipped it so that was no longer inside out. Since this is as far as I have gotten I will share with you what my next attempt at this piece is. Then after the photo shoot is finished I will share with you the finished piece as it will then be going up for sale in my ETSY Shop.


My final step will be to take the now 1 inch wide pink strip and wrap it so that it is even on both sides of the top and then sew it in place about 1/8 from the bottom lip. Then space each piece about 3/4 -1 in apart. I hope that this final step works out for me since it will be the final step in what turned out to be a fairly easy project.

Keep an eye out for the viewing of the final project.


Since I am new to sewing I am sure that I go out of my way for certain steps and I am sure with time I will learn the great secrets of the trade. If you ever see anything obvious that I could be doing something easier or  that will help my in my skills please feel free to give your advice. I think you can always learn something new. Plus I just like to hear from my readers. Hope you all have a great week!

Just a few reminders. Starting the first week in July we are going to be starting our very first Crochet-A-Long.  Click on the button below to get more details. Final details will be coming hopefully by the end of this week or sometime throughout the weekend.




Also we kicked off our Saturday Summertime Highlights.... This means every Saturday I will be featuring one of you. Yup if you have something that is new or one of your favorite summertime creations and would like to see it featured on here.
Just email me smalltowndreamz@gmail.com     Subject   Summertime Highlights



If you missed this last Saturday's Highlight of the summer click on the button above. 

Happy Sewing







Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summertime Saturday Highlights #1





  To kick things off for my first Summer Feature Event I would like to present to you: 


Amy Jo

 It has been a long time since I have done a feature spot like this. If you are a longtime follower you might remember back over the winter when I had done my very first feature. I brought her back again to kick off the summer.  Amy Jo is a very dear friend of mine, who has just recently moved back to Wisconsin. I am so excited to have her so close to me again. She is such a beautiful and talented person with a heart bigger than Texas. She spends as much of her free time doing the things she loves and always with a smile on her face. I can't wait till the next time I get to spend some quality yarn time with her. 


I just love what she has done with this piece. Between the colors and the crisp lines I think anyone would love this afghan.





I used a simple corner to corner pattern and improvised a HDC/slip stich/ DC border. This is one of my favorite ways to work. With this pattern, you work to the middle and then its downhill work from there. I was using left over scraps and some full skeins of Vanna's Choice.  http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/vannaschoice.html  I found the yarn just ok to work with. A bit above the scratchy-ness of Red Heart Super Saver. It does offer a large variety of color choices decently priced for those on a budget. Mine I actually found at $1.50 to $2 on sale at a variety of places. With all of the purple, I intended it to be a more feminine blanket, but as I went along and with the color choices it also presented a masculinity, so its suitable (I think...) for any gender or for the parent who is not so fond of the pastel baby colors! It measures at about 28x28 inches and is machine wash and dryable. I don't have a particular inspiration sometimes when I work, just making something that I would be proud to share and with love and good intentions for the recipient, although I may not know at the time who it will belong to. 




This particular piece is available in my etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/people/HugsbyAmyJo?ref=pr_profile ) which I am getting back up and running. Although, summertime isn't exactly the time of year for 'winter wares'.  Next on the hooks, a summery star afghan out of Bernat Baby Sport which is nice and soft and light and perfect for summer crafting!




 Follow my progress at http://www.ravelry.com/people/AmyJoPeters.












I always love to hear from my readers. What is your favorite part of this beautiful afghan? 
If you have an item that you would like to see featured during our summer feature event then please email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com   Subject "Summertime Highlights"








Happy Crafting

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fun Upcoming Blog Events






I have some exciting news!!! Next month I will be joining along in my first quilt-a-long. There is no hiding that my family loves the classic video games. My first patterns that I started to design was  Mario Inspired Characters. Well Tetris would be another one of those beloved classics.



Melissa over at Happy Quilting is going to be running a Tetris Quilt-A-Long starting in mid July. You can find the link over in my blog hop buttons. I am so excited to be joining a long in this event. Like I said this will be my first quilt along, so I have to admit I am a bit nervous...... However that is not the only cool Tetris news I have to share.


Drum Roll Please........







I will also be holding my very first Crochet-A-Long Starting the first week of July. This Crochet-A-Long is going to be in the same Theme Tetris. Every week I will release a new section of the pattern. This will run as a 15 week event and will go as follows:


Week 1-12  each week we will make 1 -7 in by 7 in square for a total of 12 squares.
Weeks 13 & 14 we will work on the border edging and to finish catching up for anyone behind. 
Week 15 we will present our finished afghans in a Link-Up Gallery 


Also everyone that participates will receive the pattern for free as the sections are released. However if you do not participate then after the Crochet-A-Long you will then need to purchase the pattern in one of my shops. 


After the Crochet-A-Long is finished the links to the pattern will be deleted.


 I am very excited in doing both events. I know my family is excited to get both a quilted and a crocheted version of our beloved Tetris Game. If you would like to join in on the Tetris fun make sure you become a follower so that you can get updates when the first pattern will be released. 




I will be updating you on both events as they progress. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this crochet along please email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com 


I will be releasing the rest of the details as we get closer to the start of the event!




Here is the Linky Button to share on your page. 





<a href="  http://smalltowndreamz.blogspot.com/p/blog-events-2012.html  " target="_blank"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Whu0jbYqVm8/T-P-JRC8HXI/AAAAAAAAAgg/mPues3HyOIo/s320/tetrislogo1.png" alt="YSmalltowndreamz" width="143" height="200" /></a>



       Happy Crafting

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Decorating with ribbon

                                                                             

Today starts a photo challenge that my co-writer is doing on my sister site KiKi Love Creations. It sounds like it will be a neat photo experience. 

Also my readers are going to get a sneak peak today at Tomorrows post  which will also be found on my sister site. My Husband and I did a remodel on my crafting studio this week. I am so happy that it's finished. I love that all my stuff has a place and the flow over has containers. Everything is color coordinated and organized properly (at least for the time being.)


Today I am going to do a small tutorial and sneak peak at part of my studio.


Decorating with Ribbon


I am not a fan of ugly wood edges like this.





So what I like to do is jazz them up with ribbon or some sort of embellishment. The first thing is to make sure you measure ALL your ribbon to the length of your wood edges. I do this first to make sure I have enough ribbon to cover the whole project.

My table lengths measured to 54 in long and they were 1/2 of an inch thick. So I used 3/4 inch white ruffled ribbon and 1/4 in blue ribbon.
.


Next I used my Tacky Glue and squeezed a line of glue onto the back of the ribbon. Then I took the ribbon and placed it on the edge of the wood pressing firmly to get it laid out nice and smooth. I choose a ribbon that stuck out over both edges and 1/8th of an inch.



Then I did the same with my smaller ribbon gluing that to the center of my first ribbon. This makes a nice accent piece to bring out the colors that are on my fabric lined shelves. 
  




Last but not least I added some buttons as an extra added embellishment. I love buttons so it was only fitting that they were involved in this project. 






I hope that you join me in tomorrow's reveal of the entire studio on my sister site KiKi Love Creations. I always love to hear from my readers so let me know what was one of the ways you personalized your crafting area.


              Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mario Inspired Goomba Crochet Pattern



I would like to present to you pattern number 4 in the Mario Inspired Character Collection. That's right it's Goomba!! Since my very first pattern my Husband has been asking for a Goomba. I knew I had to finish him by father's day since the quilt I am making for him would not be finished in time. It took me nearly 9 hours from the design table to the finished product.

 I had a lot of fun while creating this guy. The morning after I finished him my son woke up and his jaw dropped to the floor in sheer joy. I think he was as excited as my husband was when he saw the finished product. I actually have to say that out of all 4 of my patterns so far this one was my favorite to design and create. 


I wanted to share with you how this whole process starts in my head. I understand that it may not be the most conventional way but it works for me. What I did was designed my own graph in Photoshop. After I merged all the graph layers together, then I go through and color in the individual squares with the paint bucket tool, changing them until I get an image that I like. Since I know the size of the image I have figured out that this graph is just big enough for me to lay out the design of just the face and then I color in around it to get a better idea of what it looks like. If I have a pattern that is more detailed I put 4 of these graphs together to make a bigger graph. 


After I am finished with the graph process I count everything out and figure out where it would lay best as a pattern. This is where those years of math in high school and collage that I loved so much came in handy. There is a lot of counting involved in designing a pattern along with making sure that your colors all line up.

I was asked once why don't I make it easier on myself and just attach the face features with felt or some sort of fabric. The reason is due to my son being a bit  rough with almost everything. I would think that he would either peel them off or damage them somehow. I feel much better knowing the details are built right in. 



I always love to hear from my readers so please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this guy. 


This Pattern is for sale in my shops listed below.

ETSY Shop - Buy Now
Raverly Shop - Buy now
Craftsy Shop - Buy Now



     Happy Crafting,









Also make sure you check my sister blog KiKi Love Creations 
for all our great Father's Day Gift and Crafting Ideas!



Thursday, June 14, 2012

National Monument Quilt!

In celebration of National History Day I wanted to share a quilt that I am making for my son.


One of my favorite things in the world are quilts. When I was young my grandmother made me a storybook quilt of a girl and her dog. She hand embroidered each picture and offset each picture block with a solid colored block. I dragged that quilt everywhere I went until it literally fell apart at the seams. I think there is something special about a quilt that can tell you a story. The other day we came across this single panel of fabric with all these great National Monuments on it. Better yet the panel was only 79 cents. I love a good deal when I can get one.  I could not wait to get home and start working on it. I knew from the minute I saw it what I was going to do with it. There are 2 squares that I will be going and changing a bit to personalize it more for a quilt since it was originally made to be formed into a fabric book. As cool as a fabric book would be, I just really thought this would make a great quilt that not only will keep my son warm but it will teach him something as well.  The night we bought the panel I started cutting away. 

So after cutting out my squares from the National Monument fabric I took out my fleece and started cutting that to size as well. I used Fleece because its one of my sons fabric types of fabric.

I actually cut the squares out of the fleece that are going to back the print fabric along with the fleece strips for the accent pieces in between each square. Since the panel squares where just about the same size as a piece of paper i used this 8x 10 piece of cardstock as a guide. There will be a total of 12 squares with each square measuring 7in by 9 in. However when I cut my piece I cut them so that I would have 1/2 in and each side for sewing my seam.


The Colors I am using for the block pieces on the back are red and blue fleece with a green fleece accent. Then on the front there will be black and red fleece accents to go with the print fabric. I used my Fiskers rotary cutter to cut all the fabric. I love that tool. I honestly can't remember a day when I don't use this tool for something. I save my blades and then use them for different types of material. Also when I cut the accent strips since they were cut for 3 inches I was able to use my Fiskers 3in by 18in ruler as a guide for cutting. This made measuring very easy.    

When starting to piece my squares together I used my stick pins to tack it down and secure it in place so that my fabric wouldn't shift while sewing. When ready to start piecing things together it is always good to make sure everything fits right so that you can fix thing before sewing them in place. For this project I place both square inside out and tacked them in place. I sewed along the border at 1/4 of an inch from the edge of the colored borders and leaving about an inch gap in the lower left hand corner so that you can pull your square so that it's the right way. I will go back to sew them shut later. 

After sewing all the main squares together and pulling them so they are no longer inside out. I placed them all on the floor so that I could make sure that I had the color pattern for the back correct. I wanted to keep bright colors for the back since this was a child's blanket. The blue and the red had a great contrast together along side the green accent pieces.

Now that all my squares are finished I will be going through and attaching the accent pieces in between each square. The process I will be taking is to sew each accent piece separately inside out just like the squares. After all the pieces are sewn together I will be using a thick decorative stitch to attach all the pieces together. When I finish this I will make a new post sharing the finished product along with the actual steps I took to finish this great history quilt.



Happy Quilting


Looking Forward.....

As I sit here and dust off the cobwebs to my tiny ghost town of a blog, I am excited to make a fresh start and slowly get back to what...