Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quilting for Non Quilters

I really love quilts.  I love the use of color to create beautiful designs.  But sadly, I just don't have the sewing skills y'all.  But I just came up with a cool way to make a quilt block using rolls of paper from catalogs, magazines, and gift wrap.  You can get all the details and instructions here on my Hubpages!

I wanted to share some simple ideas for basic quilt blocks that would be great for this project.  These are just simple sketches - I didn't measure anything out or make sure my lines were straight, but hopefully it will give you some ideas if you want to make your own rolled paper quilt block.  Each space or area could be filled with a different color of paper rolls to create a design like a quilt block.

This is just a simple 9 block square.  Each block could be filled with a different color.  The arrows can give you an idea of which direction to lay out your rolls of paper.

I'm not a quilting expert, but I think this design is called "Courthouse Stairs."

My lines aren't straight here, but this is a basic "Log Cabin" block design.

Or, you can use multiple blocks, and trace a letter on each to fill in with paper, and spell out words like "baby", "love", "peace", or "noel".

I even made a festive holiday wreath decorated with little gold beads.  This would be great as a holiday card or cut out and hung with ribbon on a Christmas tree.  Check out the tutorial for more ideas!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

{Friday Favorites}: Handmade Baskets

Handmade Basket by Eunice M. Hatley of Norwood, NC.

When my husband and I were dating, we'd often find arts & crafts fairs in the tri-state area and make a day of visiting a new town to see their arts festival.  It's a great way to check out a new place, see what's going on, try new restaurants, and see some wonderful handmade crafts.

This hobby of our's fell by the wayside when we bought our house and were working on our home and yard each weekend.  So last weekend, we were excited to go to the Mt. Mitchell Arts Festival in Burnsville, NC.

We had a great time, and while we were there I picked up this beautiful handmade basket by Eunice M. Hatley from Norwood, NC.  I particularly like the woven colored crosses in the pattern that remind me of knitting.  I'm just amazed at her craft and skill.

I had wanted to buy a basket for the bottom of our console table for a long time.  I picked up this beauty at the Goodwill store for $1.50.  The price was right and I love the basket, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  I assume it's handmade, but probably imported.

Goodwill bargin
Someday, I'd love to buy one of Clay Burnette's baskets.  I used to work with Clay and have seen a number of his woven baskets in person.  They are amazing!  More than baskets, they really are abstract sculptures.  I love his use of color and the fantastic shapes he's able to create using pine needles.  Check out Clay's blog to see more of his amazing baskets.

basket by Clay Burnette from

Sunday, August 3, 2014

{Favorites}: Building A Better Brooch

Sadly, I've been away from my crafting lately.  I started a full-time job a couple of months ago after a couple of years of working at home.  It's been a bit of a transition, and my crafting has suffered the worst of it (sad face).

But, I'm getting used to a new routine and have found time in my schedule to do a few craft projects here and there (though not as many as I'd like). Here's one of my latest projects:

I found these wonderful wooden shaped brooch and pendant bezels on Etsy at a store called artbase.  Marcos and Betty make these lovely bases that you can fill with whatever you want to make your own personal piece of jewelry.

You can see with this simple bird pin that I stacked some vintage buttons in the opening to make a colorful and cute little brooch.

To make this pin:  I found some of my favorite buttons that worked well together.  First, I chose a button that filled the entire opening as my first layer.  I superglued that large button into the circular opening.  Then I ran out of superglue.  I let that dry and used just basic white craft glue to adhere the dark purple button on the next layer.  Then as that dried, I just ran a few stitches through my littlest button in a complimentary thread color, tied it off, and glued it to the top of my button stack.

Once all my buttons were dry, I glued the pinback to the back of my brooch (artbase sends a pinback along with the brooch bezel).

I've bought a few of these empty bezels and have other plans for them.  I hope to share these ideas in the coming weeks:)