Friday, July 20, 2012

Tetris Quilted Square Week 1




This was the first week in the Tetris Quilt-A-Long over at Happy Quilting. Melissa's Quilt-A-Long Theme is what inspired the Tetris Crochet-A-Long that we are doing each week right here at Smalltown Dreamz. This is a first for me in both the Quilt and Crochet-A-Longs. I am so excited to see both when they are finished. The game Tetris was a classic for both me and my Husband.

Head on over to Happy Quilting and check out everyone else's blocks. There is still plenty of time to get involved. There are some awesome prizes to be won each week and then at the end.

Over the weekend I had started sorting through my already made 6"x6" squares of fabric to pick my favorites for this event.




Here is my square for the Week 1 link up





         Happy Quilting

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Calling for Crochet Testers!!!

First I would like to share 2 of my new crown patterns. These patterns will be ready for sale in my shops in a couple weeks. 

 These are the first crowns that I attempted. 

I am looking for Crochet Testers to test our my patterns before they are put up for sale. If you are interested in becoming a pattern tester for Smalltown Dreamz please Email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com. Subject pattern tester. Please include a little background of your crocheting skills and what sizes you are most likely to be working with.

 I have a Facebook Group set up for all my testers so that you can bounce things off each other or pick up tips and tricks along the way. I hope to hear from some of you soon. 



Happy Crafting


Monday, July 16, 2012

Tetris Week 2 of 16



We are through the first week of the Tetris Themed Crochet-A-Long. Sign up for the Crochet-A-Long is at the Smalltown Dreamz Facebook Events Page. Sign-up is for the people who are participating so they can get the pattern for free and to be included in a pattern help group where my testers and myself can help you if need be. This pattern was designed by me and will be available to everyone after the Crochet-A-Long for a small fee.

Here is my first weeks square. 



There is still plenty of time to catch up. Every Monday you will find a PDF file for that weeks square. Then we will share all our finished squares each week with everyone right here on the blog. You would be amazed at how different everyones squares look even though its the same pattern.

If you have any questions about the Crochet-A-Long please email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com


Happy Crafting!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Summertime Highlights #4








The past couple weeks a lot of this country has been hitting record breaking temperatures with this heat wave. I know like most of you, my family has been doing whatever we can to stay cool. Well during my weekly link ups I found something that might give you the cool in cool down and still be able to enjoy the summer. 

Alyssa over at Kadydid Designs has an awesome tutorial on her site on how to make neck coolers using polymer water crystals. I have to admit she also won my heart with that adorable owl print. What a wonderful gift to all the girls at the girls camp to stay cool this summer. Alyssa has a wonderfully detailed tutorial on how to make these wonderful neck coolers for yourself. Best of all you can really use your scrap strips of fabric that you may have laying around. 


Thank you for taking the time to check out this weeks Saturday Summertime Highlights.
 If you have something that you made and you want to show it off email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com   Subject: Summertime Highlights. (Please Include a link to your blog or website, and either photos of your item or a link to your post on that item). If your item is chosen I will send you an email with the date you will be featured and the details for your feature spot. Go check out our past Summertime Highlights.




Happy Crafting

Friday, July 13, 2012

Finished Pink Pennant Banner





I have to start out by saying. I am very proud of this project. It was one of my first big projects that I had sewn that wasn't meant for myself or someone in my household. Although now that it's finished I am having a hard time parting with it. I got the photos back today and just wanted to share. I think the photos that my crafting partner and crime took turned out fabulous. She really does have an eye behind that camera.

You will notice that each picture is slightly different. That is because the pattern is slightly different on each side. On one side (photo on the bottom) I only used 3 different style fabrics where on the other side (Photo above) there is 5 different patterns of fabric. I honestly have not decided if this one is going to go up in my shop or not, but I can promise you that I will be making more of these in the future.



I know I had told you that I was also going to be previewing my Michael Miller Beach Bag that I am making however I fell ill over the week and wasn't able to finish it. I do promise though that I will show it as soon as its finished.

Just some updates before the weekend.

Saturday- We will be featuring Week 4 of the Saturday Summertime Highlights. Every Saturday I am featuring something that someone made. If you have something that you made and you want to show it off email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com   Subject: Summertime Highlights. (Please Include a link to your blog or website, and either photos of your item or a link to your post on that item). If your item is chosen I will send you an email with the date you will be featured and the details for your feature spot. Go check out our past Summertime Highlights.



Also for you yarn and crochet lovers out there. This week was the start of the Tetris Themed Crochet-A-Long. Sign-up is on our FB Events Page. Click on the Tetris Crochet-A-Long button the the right hand side panel for more details.

What are you going to be working on this weekend?


Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sewing with Plastic


First off I am so excited!! My Michael Miller Groovy Guitar and Disco Dot Fabric has arrived. This is my first real "designer fabric" that I get to work with. I bought it off a site called Yardseller. I have to say the site is pretty cool and you can get some amazing deals on there for fabric and yarn. 




The day I bought the fabric I knew right away what I wanted to do with it. I have been dying to make a great little beach bag for myself. I just loved this fabric and thought it would be perfect for what I wanted to do with it. 

After it arrived I just sat there sort of intimidated by it. I only had a half yard of each so I knew I didn't have much room at all for error. Knowing myself... this was going to be a challenge since I still have not mastered the art of being able to measure and cut everything to be exact just yet. However as I sat there and pondered exactly how I wanted it to look it dawned on me that I had a few yards of that clear heavy plastic in my stash that I got on clearance from our local Wal-mart. Then just like that I was picturing an amazing bag in my head. 

Now silly inexperienced me didn't realize that this plastic is not the easiest to work with. However before I even was able to go down that road I desperately needed to get all the tiny wrinkles out of this plastic. I called a couple people that I knew that sewed as a hobby and none of them had ever worked with this material and told me there was not much I could do other than to lay it flat and maybe lay some books on it over night to flatten it out. Well I knew there had to be a better way so I got out the iron. Yes I said the iron. 

I have to be honest I really didn't learn to use an iron until I started sewing.


 So anyway I turned the iron on 4 which on ours is a low to medium heat. I laid my plastic on top of my layer of fabric then laid 2 more fat quarters folded in half over that. (So I guess you could say I laid down 4 layers of fabric over the plastic.) I pressed firmly but didn't sit over one spot for very long. 

During the Ironing process I learned the best this work properly is to get every inch, then flip it over and do it again on the other side, then flip it over and do it on the other side one more time. After that I laid it on my cutting mat and used my fingers to press it flat and get all the bubbles out. When you do this you will feel that it is still warm to the touch. Stretch it out and lay it as flat as possible. Let it sit for about 5-10 min and let it cool off. You will notice it gains it firmness back very nicely and it’s FLAT!!!!

 I was so happy this worked and didn't ruin the iron. My Husband uses the iron a lot to iron his chef jackets and stuff so I was a little worried that I was going to ruin it during my little experiment. 












Here is the before and after of the plastic from the ironing.



Some of you might say why don't you just look it up on the Internet. Well I am one of those people that like to do things on my own and experiment with everything. Then if all else fails then I hit the computer and start looking of tips and tricks.

Now I was in my groove. That was until I went to go sew my plastic to my fabric. I dropped my foot, lengthened my stitch a bit so I wouldn't perforate the plastic, started sewing, and it just sat there.  I couldn't get it to move. I panicked for a bit. I knew I didn't have enough expertise to understand why when I sew with fabric it just glides through like butter and this I couldn't get to move at all. I dropped my teeth and still nothing. So I sat there and I must have had a look of defeat because my Husband walked over asking what the problem was. 

As I am explaining to him what is going on he is looking over all my steps to make sure I wasn't missing something. (For those that don't know my Husband was the one that taught me how to sew and I will be forever grateful that he did.) We sat there for couple minutes trying to think of something that would work, when out of know where he says use tissue paper. I know some of you might be going DUH! At the time I honestly didn't know whether it would work or not but I am always willing to try new things.


 






So we pulled out some tissue paper, some scrap material similar to what I was working with, and a scrap piece of my plastic. I lined everything up how I would be for my main project. Then I wrapped the tissue paper around the front and back of where I would be placing my stitches, lined it up, dropped my foot and started sewing. Just like that it went through the machine like butter. I was just thrilled. I stood up gave my husband a big hug, thanked him, and got back to work. After you are done sewing you can then just tear off the paper and it cleans up really nice. 

Now that I know how to use this material I think you will start seeing it in more of my projects. I think you can do a lot with it. I wanted to give this tutorial for those that have never worked with it because I think this is an easy and great way to get clean and precise lines with this hard to work with material.

I will show you the bag as soon as I am finished along with the rest of the tutorial. I am hoping to get it done by Friday for you. Also on Friday I will be showing the final photos of the Pink Pennant Banner. I am getting the photos back from the photographer tomorrow and I am more than thrilled to see how it turned out for her photo shoot. I am still undecided whether or not I am going to put the banner up for sale in my shop or not. I am so proud of it; part of me wants to keep it. 

Also just a reminder to those who like to crochet. I have a Crochet-A-Long that started this week and there is still plenty of time to get involved. Check it out it will be a lot of fun and will give you a chance to meet new yarn lovers. The pattern is a Tetris Themed pattern that was designed by me. Sign-up is on the Smalltown Dreamz Facebook Fan Page. Click on the Events Section.


As always I love to hear from my readers. Have you ever worked with this type of plastic? What have been your experiences?

Happy Sewing


Monday, July 9, 2012

Tetris Crochet-A-Long Week 1 of 16


The day is finally here!! It is kick off time fellow crocheters!!!!



This pattern is a private pattern that is being released for free only during this Crochet-A-Long and to the people that are participating in the event. 


The pattern will only be released to the individuals that sign up for the Crochet-A-long on the Smalltown Dreamz Facebook Events list. For those who sign-up I will be sending everyone  an invite to a special group that I made on Facebook in which every Monday a new section of the pattern will be released. 


In this group you will be able to ask questions if you get stuck or don't understand something. Myself or one of my helpers will be able to answer them for you plus you can interact with other participants.


Here is a quick link to the sign up page for the Crochet-A-Long


Also each week we will have a place where you can upload what you did the week before so that we can see everyone's individual work. 


Now doesn't this sound FUN!!!!! Make sure you spread the word to all your crocheting friends!!!




If you have any other questions please feel free to email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com

Happy Crocheting!!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Summertime Highlights #3





Oh my gosh it is definitely summer out there. Wisconsin has been hitting records all week with highs of 105 and 100% humidity. These are the days that I have to be grateful that I have air conditioners.


Speaking of HOT Temperatures my friend Heather over at Heather's Haven has on awesome idea for oven hot pads using nothing but scrap material. Oh and I might add look at these fiery summer colors. I met Heather through FB in one of my local FB Buy/Sell groups. I love the work that she does and she dabbles in many of the same things that I do.



This summer seems to be all about the bright and the bold and I am loving it. These bright colors are so cheerful and can always brighten up your day.  Make sure you go check out Heather's Blog to see what else she has been up to. 





On another note the first section of the Tetris Crochet-A-Long will be released this Monday 7/9/2012. Also make sure you are a fan of this blog on FB because I will be putting up a sign up sheet on my FB fan page so that everyone participating in the Crochet-A-Long can be added to the pattern help group. The sign-up sheet and the help group will remain open until the end of the Crochet-A-Long. If you have any further questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor please email me at smalltowndreamz@gmail.com

Thank you again for stopping by this week for Saturday Summertime Highlights. We will see you again next week. I always love to hear from my readers. What do you do with all your scrap fabric?
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






Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fireworks on the Lake












So I had to share a few photos of our night. We did a last minute change up from our normal 4th of July events and went north and to the lake. This summer in Wisconsin like most states has reached record highs. Last night was no different, however where we went it was 13 degrees cooler. After we left and started driving home within 10 miles the temperature had rose 10 degrees.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the night. I hope you enjoy.


We went to a Beach in Shyboygon,WI. They shot the fireworks off from the boat harbor. It truly made for a beautiful scene. I love this area of Lake Michigan and from Spring-Fall we take the 35 Min drive up Interstate 43 and enjoy the day.





























I hope you enjoyed the photos. I always love to hear from my readers. So what did you do for the 4th?


Happy Crafting!!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!!!

So this is a busy and big week for me. This weekend will launch our first week of the Tetris Themed Crochet-A-Long. However I did want to take a moment to recognize some beautiful work that I came across in my weekly link ups. I had to share this with you. I personally think its one of the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen in my whole life.


I would like to present to you Myra from She Taught Me to Love it...

She called this piece "Stars and Stripes"! With the beautiful patriotic colors. I think anyone would be proud to hang this on their wall. Didn't her friend to an awesome job with the LAQ!! I just think this quilt is stunning.



IMG_7179

IMG_7185I started this quilt, oh, about 4 years ago! No, it didn't take me so long to finish it because it was difficult (so easy!) it’s just that I got as far as putting on the border, and – didn’t. So it sat there all this time. I pulled it out a couple of months ago and realized how close I was to finishing it and thought to myself, “That was silly.” Anyway, here it is. I got it back from my favorite LAQ a couple of weeks ago, 

I sure hope you can see the amazing quilting that my friend did on this quilt. If you look closely at the blue area, you’ll see four eagles with their wings spread - their tails all in the center. Amazing!
Then in the white border, she quilted the words, “God Bless America” all around it… Beautiful!


IMG_7187IMG_7186
Then in the stripes, she did wavy lines and then in the red stripes, she also did stars.










I hope you enjoyed this special feature for the 4th of July. And please remember why it is that we have the freedom that we do! Hope everyone has a safe and fantastic holiday!