Crafting: June 2012 Archives
For the 4th celebration I have revamped my Felt Play: Wand with Magic Streamers in mighty red, white and blue. This is a fun alternative for younger kids how want to join in the fun without all the pyrotechnics. The variegated yarn streamers swish through the air with all the splendor of sparklers with no danger for little hands. The new design features the honored stars and stripes in fun felt that will last all the days leading up to the 4th of July and for many weeks after while the euphoria lasts even after the banners come down. My little one, who is on the cusp of preschool age but still a toddler in our book loves swinging her wand around, delights over the streamers and the occasional whacking o' the dogs goes unnoticed by the victims. I stuffed my wand extra this time because a year after my original creation made its debut, I noticed it is slumping a bit. I almost doubled the stuffing and the wand is stiff and much easier to swing and twirl.
Here's how to make your own Kid Safe Sparkler with magic steamers:
2 sheets of 9x 12 in. felt in Crystal Blue, Red and White
1 skein or leftovers of skeins in many colors or variegated colors. I used cotton for durability.
Download and cut out the wand pattern from my downloadable Felt Wand with Magic Streamers post. Cut out the wand and wand end from the blue and then cut out various small stars from the white and small ¼- ½ in. wide stripes from the short ends of the red and white felt.
If you're like me, and you're scrambling to come up with a gift for your dad at the last minute, look no further than you fabric stash! If you've got a couple of 16" x 10.5" scraps, you can whip up an iPad sleeve your dad will treasure.
For your lining fabric, something ultra soft with a nap is best. Think velvet, velveteen and minky. For your exterior fabric, anything that fits your dad's personality is perfect. I went with a striped suiting remnant.
All seam allowances on this project are 1/4".
Once you've cut your rectangles, stitch your lining and your exterior fabric along the top long edge. To orient your napped fabric, lay it out in front of you so brushing downward is a smooth motion, with the fabric's fibers laying flat. With this orientation, the top edge of your fabric is the one you will join to your exterior fabric. This way, the iPad will slide into the sleeve easily, and the nap of the fabric will naturally remove any dust or debris from the screen when you pull it out.
I like to understitch the seam allowance to the lining fabric at this stage.
Next, fold your fabric into a long tube as shown below. You'll be stitching along the long edge, and then across the exterior fabric to the fold.
This is a good time to turn your project right side out and test for fit. Remember, iPads have buttons along the outside edges, so if your sleeve is too tight, it can end up depressing buttons and adjust settings like the volume when the unit is inserted into the sleeve. You want the sleeve snug enough to hold the iPad without it sliding around, but with enough ease that it's not a struggle to slide the iPad in or out. Because the thickness of napped fabrics varied greatly, you may need to make adjustments.
Once you've got your fit squared away, close up the bottom of your lining fabric. You can machine stitch it like I did, or use a whip stitch to close it by hand.
Your iPad sleeve is ready for prime time! And this project can of course be easily adapted for any other brand of tablet. Just measure the unit's dimensions and add about 1" -1.5" to those measurements to determine your cutting dimensions.
If you have a sewing machine that does simple lettering stitches, you can further customize your project by adding a special message or sentiment. You can also embellish with patches or other trim to perfectly match your gift to your dad's personality!
On my post last week in which I recreated some posh designer baby blankets, I used fabric markers to stamp my fabric to match the inspiration images on the original blankets. I used both Bold and Thin Marvy Uchida Marker sets in Bright. I loved playing with these markers. I think they are great for marking kids' clothes (perfect for camp wardrobes), decorating t-shirts, fancying up dishtowels for hostess gifts or adding the final touch to your new curtains. I really loved stamping with them. The key is to test match the color to the fabric. Certain colors show up better on certain colors, textures and fabrics.
For example, the bright green really glowed on the white batiste, while the purple popped on the thick texture of the ivory Hero Cotton of my baby blankets (shown above, the apple is stamped in purple and then colored in yellow-green and purple). Not only were these markers great for coloring the stamp but also coloring in the stamp. To recreate my stamped images I recommend rubber stamps. I used both the rubber (apple) and silicone (they are sticky backed that you can apply to acrylic blocks to create your own stamps). The rubber back soaked up the ink and transferred it better than the silicone (birds and owl). Run your markers over the stamp and get the ink on all the raised bits of the stamp. Try to do it as quick as possible or just run over the stamp several times to make sure you get it all. Then line up your stamp and press firmly but don't rock or wiggle your stamp- this will create thicker lines that look like shadows. If you would like your lines thicker or darker, take your thin markers and go over the stamped image or use the bold markers to color your stamped image. I tried tracing mine with a black sharpie marker and that worked for some images but not all- test first.
To create my apples, I used the bold markers to color the stamp and then colored the apple in with the bold and traced the outline with the thin fabric markers and outlined with a black sharpie. The blue apple is stamped in blue and then colored in blue and the leaf is in green. The yellow green apple is stamped in green and colored in yellow-green. My rose colored birds were created by coloring my silicone stamp with the bright red and then tracing and coloring it with the thin bright red fabric marker. I traced one with the black but the tip was too wide to really do the outline justice. I also tried one bird in just the black sharpie but it did not transfer very well. The lightest bird is just the stamping without tracing and coloring. It pops more on the gauze blanket.
My second sample is another silicone stamp (owl) in which I tried to determine which color showed up best on the natural colored linen of my test fabric. The purple was the winner with blue in second, then green and yellow (of course) last. You can see how I tried to improve the yellow with some black but again I needed a thinner tip for the black, next time I will use the Marvy Uchida Thin Black Tips but I didn't consider a black outline when planning this project The yellow really stands out when I just drew with it alone- no stamping, just free drawing (Sun). At the bottom you can see how each marker performs and its thickness. The thin tips are at the top and the bold tips are below. Each marker was made by drawing a line and then going over it twice (the colors are from left to right: red, yellow, blue, yellow-green, purple and green). The thin tips are really the perfect size for tracing or outline work (stencils and monograms) and the bold are just right for coloring and stamping.
Visit my Blog at www.gruenetree.com