Quilted Charm Necklace

What crafter/artist/sewing enthusiast, etc. doesn’t keep all kinds of bits and baubles in their stash? As creative thinkers, we are hesitant to discard of anything that might be used in some random project in the near or even not so distant near future. This is what inspired me to create my Quilted Charm Necklace.

Quilted Charm Necklace

To make the quilted charms, simply raid your fabric stash scraps for any light colored cotton or muslin. Cut them into 2-1/2″ squares. You will need two squares for each charm. Then grab some really tiny strips of fused cotton muslin, a stamp pad,and some inspiring stamps, and stamp words using StazOn ink. Heat set the ink with an iron. Then fuse the stamped phases to one of the fabric squares by peeling off the paper backing and using the iron to fuse the fabric in place.

Gather some tiny bits of printed fabrics, beads, and wool felt die cuts. I used my Sizzix BigShot die-cutting machine and smaller dies to die cut flowers, vines, and leaves.

Embellish each charm as desired. Use your imagination. Use your bits and baubles leftover from other projects or even old repurposed charms and other jewelry bits, vintage fabrics, flat-backed stones… the sky is the limit when you are creating this quilted charm necklace! Once you have embellished each square to your liking, use the sewing machine to stitch items in place, adding a cool mixed media feel to your necklace. Beads will have to be hand-stitched using strong thread and a beading needle. Beadalon is a great source for these materials.

Now you are ready to assemble your quilted charms. Cut 2-1/4″ squares of interfacing that will serve to give “body” to each of your charms. Sandwich the interfacing between the two fabric squares and sew the edges together. I used a heavy-duty hole punch to punch a hole at the top of each charm.

Use some jewelry chain, jump rings, and some assorted bits of beads and stones. Mine came from a pair of beaded sandals my aunt didn’t want to wear any longer. The lined crystals came from a favorite necklace that broke. Look around your stash of mis-matched earrings and broken jewelry stash and I will bet you will come up with all sorts of cool things for your Quilted Charm Necklace.

I hope this inspires you to think about unusual ways to mix mediums together and come up with some unique creations in 2014! I love quilting and I love jewelry so I thought of a way to marry the two. What do you love?

Live Life Creatively,

 

 

 

Melony Bradley (www.mel-designs.typepad.com)

 

Cloud Clay Embellished Cuff

Burlap is a very popular fabric to be working with right now. It’s got a very natural feel and inspires a lot of creative possibilities. I’ve been making a lot of things with burlap and today I’ve got a project that combines burlap with Cloud Clay!

Now these are two media that you may not consider combining in the same project but, in fact, they go quite well together. One of the features of Cloud Clay is its ability to stick to itself so for this project I wanted to apply the Cloud Clay to the fabric and the solution was to sandwich the fabric between two pieces of Cloud Clay.

As soon as two pieces of Cloud Clay are pressed together they’re only too happy to stick fast. Here’s how to use this feature to make a cute Cuff with Cloud Clay accents:

To complete the project you will need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay: White,  Red
  • Burlap
  • Felt in colors of your choice – I used grey and two shades of pink
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread

To begin, take a piece of burlap long enough to wrap around your wrist comfortably. Typically, you’ll want a little more than 8-9″ of burlap to start with. Pull some threads out of the burlap so the Cloud Clay can poke through the holes in the burlap and form a nice join with itself.

I pulled three long threads out of the middle of the burlap and then every eight threads on the short edge I pulled out another two threads. This gave me a nice even grid to work with. Depending on how coarse your burlap is, you may want to adjust the number of threads that you pull out. Basically, you need to make square holes smaller than the embellishments but large enough to get good adhesion for the clay.

Condition some White Cloud Clay so it is nice and pliable and then add a tiny piece of Red clay to it to make a pale pink color. Put some of this clay aside and add another small piece of Red Cloud Clay to the remaining pink clay and make a slightly darker pink clay. Continue until you have 3-4 shades of pink clay.

Pinch off small pea-size pieces of the colored Cloud Clay, roll them into small balls, and press them over the holes in the burlap, then flatten them slightly. Use a range of colors so you have a pattern of Cloud Clay pieces that go from light to dark and back again.

Now take some half pea-size pieces of Cloud Clay and roll them into balls. You’ll place these under the burlap directly under each of the Cloud Clay pieces and then press lightly to adhere them. Make sure the topmost flattened balls are nice and round as they’re the side that shows.

Because the Cloud Clay pieces are bigger than the holes in the burlap they won’t pull through it and the Cloud Clay pieces on the back will keep the pieces on the front in place and secure. Check that everything looks good and set aside to dry while you do the sewing.

For the cuff, take three pieces of wool felt and cut them into the lengths to use for the cuff. The inner piece (grey in this case) needs to be wider and slightly shorter than the outer pieces. You need to make the cuff large enough so that you can pull the cuff on and off your wrist without requiring a clasp but not so large that it falls off!

Start by sewing the gray felt into a circle to make the base of the cuff. Over the top of this add a piece of dark pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the grey felt. Sew it to the grey felt using small stitches and coordinating color thread.

On top of that, add another layer of lighter pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the previous piece of pink felt. Sew it in place.

Once the Cloud Clay on the burlap layer is dry, you can add it. Use small stitches and make a stitch over each of the burlap threads to make sure that the burlap won’t fray any further and to affix it to the felt layers below.

The finished cuff is a quaint and unusual mix of Cloud Clay, felt and burlap, a little bit chunky, and a lot of fun!

You could take this design idea a step further and instead of using small balls of clay, make your own molded embellishments by pressing small pieces of Cloud Clay into a mold. Place the molded shape on top of the burlap and press another piece of Cloud Clay to the back of it to make your piece is secure.

You can make your own molds using a molding compound and buttons or other found objects or you may find small molds used for candy making that will have nice design elements you can use.

by Helen Bradley for AMACO (www.amaco.com)

Autumn Canvas

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Create an autumn-inspired mixed media canvas using My Favorite Things stencils, dies, and stamps.

Materials

  • Canvas, 6”x6”x1-1/4”
  • My Favorite Things Primitive Cream Cardstock
  • Advantus Tim Holtz idea-ology Old Dictionary Tissue Paper Wrap
  • Gold brad

Tools

  • Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Vagabond Die-Cutting System
  • My Favorite Things Die-namics Dies: LJD Fall Foliage, MPD Time Pieces, Layered Treat Tag
  • My Favorite Things Stamp Sets: LJD Fall Foliage, MPD Timeless
  • My Favorite Things MPD Houndstooth Stencil
  • Acrylic paints: DecoArt Traditions Quinacridone Gold, Ranger Claudine Hellmuth STUDIO Classic Teal
  • DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Medieval Gold Metallic Glaze
  • Ink pads: My Favorite Things ColorBox Premium Black Licorice; Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Inks Brushed Corduroy, Black Soot; Imagine Crafts Tsukineko VersaMark
  • Embossing powders: Hampton Art à la mode Gold, Stampendous! Fran-táge Aged Spice Enamel
  • Golden Heavy Gel Medium
  • Plaid Mod Podge Matte
  • Ranger Inkssentials Heat-It Craft Tool
  • Glue gun and Ad Tech Mini Size Glue Sticks

Basic Supplies

paintbrush, palette knife, sponge blending tool

Directions

Size

6”x6”x1-1/4”

Autumn Canvas

1. Tear tissue paper into assorted-size pieces and adhere randomly to all sides of canvas using Mod Podge; let dry.

2. Place stencil on front of canvas; apply even layer of gel medium using palette knife.

3. Remove stencil and allow gel medium to fully dry.

4. Apply assortment of paints and glaze to canvas. Let dry.

5. Add distressing by applying Black Soot Distress Ink to edges and front of the canvas.

6. Die cut two sets of leaves, sentiment strip, clock face, and clock hands.

7. Stamp clock face, hands, and sentiment using Black Licorice ink. Use sponge blending tool to apply Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink to edges.

8. Stamp leaves using VersaMark ink. Emboss one of each type of leaf using Gold embossing powder and remaining leaves using Aged Spice embossing enamel; use heat tool to set. Use sponge blending tool to apply Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink to edges.

9. Attach clock hands to clock face using gold brad. Adhere die-cut pieces to canvas as shown in photo.

Tip

  • Use decorated canvas as a unique photo display. Add a clip in the open area so you can change out seasonal family photos as often as desired.

by Mona Pendleton for My Favorite Things (www.mftstamps.com)

Fall Leaves Table Runner

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Tired of looking for just the right table runner to match your décor? Design your own using basic sewing instructions and stamping techniques. The possibilities are practically endless!

Materials

  • Fabrics, 2 yards each: unbleached muslin; cotton or poly-cotton, light green or color of choice
  • Sage cording, 4 yds.
  • Sage tassels, 3” long

Tools

  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • Stamps: ivy leaves, birch leaves
  • DecoArt Acrylic Paints: Terra Cotta, Antique Gold, Hauser Light Green, Dazzling Metallic Emperor’s Gold
  • Fabric pencil, or dressmaker’s chalk

Basic Supplies

scissors, yardstick, T-square, straight pins, iron, paintbrush, paper plate, paper towels, container with soap and water

Directions

Size

12”x60”

Table Runner

1. To sew top of table runner, use yardstick, T-square, and fabric pencil, to measure and mark a 13”x61” rectangle on muslin fabric; cut out. See Figure 1. To shape each end into a point, trim away corners as shown.

Figure 1

2. Using top as pattern, cut one backing from green fabric and one lining from muslin.

3. Place backing, right side up, on work surface. See Figure 2. Pin cording to edges of backing so cording faces inward, and cording overlaps at one edge. Pin one tassel, tassels facing inward, to each end. Using zipper foot, sew cording and tassels to backing.

Figure 2

4. Pin muslin layers to right side of backing. Use zipper foot to sew back and front together, leaving an 8” opening at one side for turning.

5. Turn table runner right side out. Whipstitch opening closed; press.

6. Use paintbrush to apply paint to leaf stamps. See Stamping Tips below. Apply paint in a thin, even layer. Practice stamping on fabric scrap until you are confident about the amount of paint and pressure to use. Stamp all leaves using the same paint color at one time. Wash stamp with mild soap and water and dry thoroughly before changing colors. Repeat stamping/cleaning/drying process until all paints have been used.

Tip

  • Instead of making a table runner from scratch, give an old one new life by embellishing with stamped designs, new tassels, or other trims.

Stamping Tips

  • If the stamps include more than one size leaf, apply paint to one leaf at a time, stamp design, then wash and dry stamp before changing leaf size or color.
  • Here’s an easy way to arrange your design. Paint three or four leaves, both birch and ivy, using each color of paint, onto paper. Cut out paper leaves and arrange on table runner. When satisfied with arrangement, pin leaves in place to use as a painting guide.
  • In case of a misplaced paint drop or slip of the stamp, change design slightly and add a leaf to cover the mistake.

by Connie Matricardi

Great Finds Friday: Fiskars Amplify Mixed Media Shears

Welcome to Great Finds Friday! Today, I’d like to introduce you to a brand-new product from Fiskars, maker of the famous orange-handled scissors we all know and love. Now, Fiskars has married innovative Amplify™ technology to their unique design to create an amazing new line of tools for mixed-media crafters.

Fiskars Brands, Inc., has one of the most enduring histories in the craft industry. Established in 1649, Fiskars is the oldest company in Finland. Yes, you read that correctly. . . 1649! To read more about their history, and their many modern achievements, visit their site. Learn how and why those famous handles got their color, too.

The “Original Orange-Handled Scissors” celebrated their 45th anniversary last year. First introduced in 1967, they provided the home seamstress and professional alike a lighter and more comfortable design.

In my home, and at Grandma’s house, they were known as “the good scissors” and were off-limits to the kids. I can’t tell you how grown-up I felt the first time I bought my own pair of orange-handled scissors. And I’ve guarded them with my life, just like Mom and Grandma.

I’m now the proud owner of several pairs of Fiskars scissors, including the new Amplify Mixed Media Shears. These premium shears are designed for cutting extra-thick mixed-media materials like chipboard, corkboard, canvas, vinyl, leather, magnet, and more.  They also cut fabric and ribbon, so I don’t have to switch scissors midway through a project.

Amplify Mixed Media Shears are available in three sizes for cutting in tight spaces (6”), all-purpose cutting (8”), and large-scale projects requiring long, clean cuts (10”). All shears include a sheath to protect the blades and all come with a lifetime warranty.

Here are photos of the 6” and 10” shears, as well as the protective sheath that comes with each pair. The sheath takes a little fine-motor coordination to remove, so little hands are less likely to come into contact with the blades, but they are very sharp and should be kept in a safe place.

Another thing that makes these shears so unique is that they sense blade separation as you’re cutting, and the design mechanism forces the blades back together to cut cleanly through thick materials. The tool does the work, saving strain on your hands and making every project more enjoyable to create.

Purchase Fiskars Amplify Shears at JoAnn Stores now, or on the Fiskars customer service page. Shears retail from $24.99 to $39.99 and come with a lifetime guarantee. If you’re a mixed-media crafter, you may never need to buy another pair of scissors.

Watch for more information about Fiskars Amplify shears, including an exciting announcement, in early September on the blog as we celebrate National Sewing Month.

Happy Crafting!

Dawn Gehring, Crafts ‘n things Editorial Staff