Happy Wednesday! I'm excited to share my next project made with the new Cricut Maker. Find my review of this machine from last week here.
This post is sponsored by Cricut, all opinions, images and text are my own. I've used affiliate links in this post, which means if you click through and buy something, I make a commission, at no extra cost to you.
After spending some time with the machine, I got to thinking how perfect it would be for working on English paper piecing (EPP) projects! I could have the machine cut both the paper templates and cut the fabric pieces to size. I know there are a lot of ready-made paper pieces available now, but I had a lot of fun coming up with my own design to make an iPad case a few years back (see that post here). The downside to making something unique is having to cut out all the pieces. Enter the Cricut Maker!
2. Using the Cricut Maker machine, cut out 30 paper diamonds. From two fabrics, cut 12 diamonds each. From the third fabric, cut 6 diamonds. (Here is the tool set I was using in the video.)
3. Baste diamonds using your preferred method. I hand stitch my fabrics in place, going through the paper. You could also use a glue pen!
4. Arrange your basted diamonds using the photo above as a guide.
5. Begin hand stitching your diamonds together. I use a simple whip stitch, but feel free to use whatever hand stitch you're comfortable with, just be sure not to stitch through the paper templates.
6. Press block well from both the front and back. Snip basting threads and gently remove papers. Give the block another good press.
7. Make more blocks for an entire quilt (with additional pieces in between motifs for filler, or applique block onto a bag, pillow, or even a dishtowel! My favorite attachment method is a simple top stitch along the outer edges of the block.
Here are a few ideas for what to make with your block:
I used my block to spruce up a simple Lined Drawstring Bag! This is the Artist size bag. (pattern)
I love using applique blocks on pouches, like this one I use for embroidery projects.
I'm excited to share my thoughts today about the new Cricut Maker machine.
This post is sponsored by Cricut, all opinions, images and text are my own. I've used affiliate links in this post, which means if you click through and buy something, I make a commission, at no extra cost to you.
I have vivid memories of walking into the craft store when I was in high school and seeing the Cricut personal electronic cutting machines. Back then they required different cartridges to cut shapes in paper. I never got very into scrap booking, but I've always loved paper. These machines seemed so cool and fancy! I remember thinking I might save up for one, but was already spending too much of my budget on fabric.
Fast forward to today, these machines have come a long way. The Cricut Maker machine can cut paper, just like previous Cricut machines, but it can also cut through vinyl, thin balsa wood, and fabric! Some models along the way have been able to cut through fabric that's been bonded to a stabilizer (this one can too), but what sets the Maker apart is that it can cut unbonded fabric with a special little rotary blade. That means cutting fabric is as simple as sticking it to the mat and cutting!
I don't know about you all, but I've always been a multi-crafter. I dabble in all kinds of different crafts. I still enjoy paper crafts and I also sew, quilt, knit, weave, dye, etc. Because I like to craft in so many different mediums, it's really nice when my tools or supplies can be used across multiple crafts. That's where the Maker fits in for me.
One of the big reasons I was interested in testing out the Maker is personal. (Let's be real, one of them is to fulfill my childhood dream of using such a fancy machine.) As you may or may not know, I have arthritis. My disease primarily affects my wrists and hands, which are pretty critical when you're making something. I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to do things in ways that minimize their impact on my body and health. In the last 5 years especially, I've had a lot of wrist problems. A task that really takes a toll on me is cutting.
Being able to use a machine to do some cutting for me is really appealing. I've used die cutting machines before, but they had to be cranked, which was still difficult. The Cricut Maker lets you get cutting with the touch of a button. I will still cut things traditionally, but I think this machine is going to be a great asset for me in managing my activity.
I've never used a Cricut machine before, so I decided to make a video of myself using it. Please excuse my video skills/set-up! I don't have a lot of experience shooting videos, but I felt it was the best way to show you the machine.
Cricut Maker Review - YouTube
I was intimidated at first, but it was easier to use than I expected. I'm excited to continue to learn everything this machine can do, and really take advantage of it. In the video, I walk through cutting pieces for a simple pincushion, including creating the shapes in the Cricut Design Space. The program allows you to create your own designs, upload images, and customize your projects. There are tons of ready made projects available too.
If you want to make a pincushion too, see the instructions below, or watch the video:
Materials: - (2) 8.25"x10" pieces of cotton fabric - (1) 5" piece of cotton fabric - Pincushion filling (I used crushed walnut shells) - Coordinating thread
1. Start a new project in the Cricut Design Space. Click the shape tool on the left hand side of Canvas, and click the Triangle shape. Once the shape pops up on your canvas, select it by clicking on it. Up in the top bar, change the height of the triangle to 2.5". (Or download the image of the triangle here.)
2. Using the Cricut Maker, cut three triangles from each fabric for a total of six triangles. (Here is the tool set I was using in the video.)
3. Arrange your triangles into two rows. Piece two triangles together in each row. Press seams open. Attach the final triangle in each row. Press seams open.
4. Place rows right sides together, lining up the seam and the row ends. Place a pin through the points to match them up. Sew rows together.
5. Use your pincushion top as a template to cut a backing for it from the 5" square.
6. Place pincushion top and backing right sides together. Sew around all sides, leaving a small opening on one side for turning. Turn pincushion right sides out. Fill your pincushion with filling of choice, hand stitch the opening closed.
Next week I'll be sharing another project made with the Cricut Maker, so be on the look out for that! Happy Sewing!
Happy Monday! I'm excited to be a guest on Pat Sloan's podcast, American Patchwork & Quilting Radio, today! It will be live at 4:00pm EST (find your time zone here), and will be available to listen afterwards here. We'll be chatting about lots of crafty things, I hope you'll tune in.
If you're new to In Color Order, welcome! I hope you'll take a look around. Here are a few things we'll talk about in the episode and some reader favorites to get you started:
I was having a hard time picking a rug to use in my new sewing room, when I came across these TÅNUM runners at Ikea. They're made using leftover fabric (scraps!), from their bed linen collections. I loved the idea that they were made from scraps, and figured they'd be good at hiding threads and trimmings. Plus they're sort of low-volume! The only problem is the two available sizes (2'4"x5'x11" and 2'0"x2'11") were much too small for my room.
Then I remembered this idea I saw on Apartment Therapy a few years ago, where someone had taken smaller rugs and stitched them together to create one big rug. I decided to try that! I took some photos of how exactly I made my rug to share too.
1. Shop for your rugs. I used four runners to create a rug that is 5'11"x9'x4". It's pretty close to a 9'x6' standard size, which meant it was easy to find a rug pad that was a good fit.
Take a measuring tape with you when you shop and measure each one to ensure they are the same size. My first trip I bought four just based on the colors, and then realized they vary some in length. A few returns and another trip later and I ended up with four runners that were mostly the same size.
2. Place the two rugs you're joining right sides together. Clip the rugs together at each end. Find the center and place a clip. Continue to find the center between the clips until the whole length is clipped together. This allows you to slightly stretch the rugs and ease them together if one is a little longer than the other.
3. Cut a long length of cotton twine, knotting one end. Leave a tail around 5" long so that it can easily be woven in when you're finished.
4. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing the two rugs together along the edge. Don't pull the stitches too tight, you want the seam to be able to lay flat when you're finished. I found this method easier than trying to do it with both rugs flat.
5. When you run out of twine, make a knot and thread a new length. Continue stitching until you're done. Weave loose ends into the back of the rugs before trimming.
6. Pull the rugs flat and smooth with your hands. A good steam can also help relax the seams flat. I use this steamer, it's great for steaming wrinkles out of quilts too.
I'll admit, there a few spots where my seams are a bit lumpy, but I'm hopeful that they will relax with time. I'm really happy with the end result. I only spent $60 on the runners I used for this rug, which is pretty hard to beat considering the finished size of approx. 9'x6'! Happy Crafting!
Happy February! It's time for January's monthly report. See past reports here.
This month has really gotten away from me! How is it already the 12th? The month is almost half over already. Things have been busy over here, but for fun reasons. At the end of January we had some great friends visit for a weekend and then my Mom came to visit last week! That's pushed me to work on a few more house projects, but has kept me from my machine.
It was great to explore our new city a bit more. We ended up at Sleep Giant state park, and also checked out the New Haven beach and lighthouse.
I've slowly set up more of my sewing room, and have finally been reunited with my Janome 1600P. It took an unfortunate fall when I was packing up in Madison and needed a part replaced, plus a good cleaning and tune-up. I love sewing on my singer featherweight, but I'm glad my regular machine is back!
I did do some sewing last month! I stitched up this little drawstring bag to wrap up a gift. Total comfort sewing for me. (Fabrics are from Tsuru by Rashida Coleman-Hale, and my Geometric Bliss collection)
I also made some progress on my log cabin project I shared a few weeks ago. I love these fabrics and am hoping to continue to make progress on this last month. (Fabrics are Wonderland by Momo)
To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in January:
January Fabric Used up: 1.25 yards Brought in: 0 yards Net: -1.25 yards Year to date: -1.25 yards
January Yarn Used up: 0 yards Brought in: 218 yards Net: +218 yards Year to date: +218 yards
Only a little activity this month. I stitched up a drawstring bag and I also made a couple of draft stoppers for the exterior doors. Nothing fancy, but that's okay!
I have been checking out thrift stores when I come across them and have had a bit of luck! Here are the vintage sheets I've found so far. Was very excited about the red floral sheet (red is very hard to come by), and the second one from the bottom I found still in the package.
I had to share these super cute donut Tsum Tsums I picked up at Target. How cute?!
And last but not least, George bunny taking a bath! Have a great month!
Today I wanted to share that one of my quilts was featured in a new publication, Curated Quilts. It's a quarterly journal put out by Amy Ellis and Christine Ricks. Each issue is packed with content centered around an overarching theme.
The second issue was just released and the theme is Log Cabin. There is loads of inspiration in the gallery of featured quilts, the mini quilt challenge, in depth articles. There's even an article about working with thrifted materials (right up my alley!).
I have long been drawn to the log cabins and this issue has inspired me to pull out a very old work in progress. I started it in August 2011 (yikes). The pieces were stuffed in a couple ziploc bags all those years, so I spent some time yesterday ironing all the strips so that I can start working on it again.
Happy Friday! I'm back today to share my crafty goals for 2018.
This is really the first break I've taken from sewing since I started quilting in 2009. It's been primarily out of necessity (hard to sew in the middle of a big move), but I think I also needed the break. I'm still trying to process all the newness in our daily routines, new city, and the responsibilities that come along with owning a home. I'm on the verge of getting back to the machine, and while I don't feel like I'm brimming with ideas, I do feel a bit refreshed. It's a new beginning, a blank slate, and different surroundings that I hope will help kick start a productive year!
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
- Finish a shawl WIP (Briochealicious, Daybreak, Sundial or Hitchhiker).
- Start knitting another pair of colorwork mittens.
- Knit a softie or ornament(s)
George says HI!
I'm keeping my goal list a little shorter and simpler this year. I know I'm going to need to spend a lot of time just getting my sewing room up and running. Between that and work on projects around the house, I want to be realistic about what I can do. Hopefully setting myself up for success! See last year's monthly reports here. See last year's goals here. Happy 2018!
It's time for my year end review, a look back at all things crafty that happened in 2017. I'm moving a little slower this year so far, but I figure better late than never! I like to document what I made and how I did on my goals at the end of each year, but otherwise I'm not feeling super reflective.
The past year was really unusual in terms of all the change we saw in our day-to-day and honestly it was tough. I am a creature of habit and I love my routines, so I'm ready to get back to a sense of normalcy in the new year. The last few months I've had little to no time for crafting, and it's left me feeling ready to get back behind the machine. I think the little bit of a break from making will end up being good for my creativity. Now, on to the review!
And now, a look back at my 2017 goals to see how I did:
- Sew/knit with more yardage than I buy. I'm giving myself at A+ for both fabric and yarn. I was negative for fabric again this year, and I brought in 84 yards less than last year. Overall I was down a total of 295 yards! Very happy with that number. For yarn I was negative for the first time this year! I only bought three skeins of yarn over the course of the whole year, which is a huge feat for me! Overall I was down 6854.5 yards.
- Make sewing/knitting a daily habit. I did this in January, as I planned, but wasn't good about continuing it through the year. I made great progress on my projects when I made a daily commitment, so I'd like to try it again.
- Track my works in progress (WIPs), and end the year with fewer than I started with. I currently have 44 sewing/quilting, 5 knitting and 1 weaving. Success! I now have the following WIPs: 33 sewing/quilting, 4 knitting and no weaving.
- Make two Liberty churn dash blocks per month or a total of 24 this year. Made almost no progress on this quilt, I prepped blocks but that was it.
- Build up a small stash of baby quilts, ready for gifting. Aiming for 4-5. I made 3 baby quilts this year.
- Work on projects made exclusively from scraps. I started a scrap project, but it didn't get too far. I have been working with scraps for my Fantastic Quilt Voyage.
- Make a quilt from my vintage sheet stash, I'm thinking a pineapple logcabin quilt! I thought a lot about this over the year, but never landed on a project.
- Finish my double wedding ring quilt. 56 wedges to go. Made almost no progress on this quilt, unfortunately.
- Finish my indigo hand-dyed quilt. The top is already pieced. Was very happy to get this one finished, see it here.
- Finish up lingering quilt tops. Currently 6 tops waiting to be quilted. Cut this list down to 4! They're all still leftover from writing Patchwork Essentials, so they were not a huge priority.
- Continue to sew garments that I'll actually wear. Specific patterns I'd like to try for the first time this year: Beatrix Top, Derby Dress, Kelly Anorak, knit t-shirt (either Lark, Union St. tee, Plantain, or Hemlock), and the Hudson Pants. I didn't try out too many new patterns this year, but I did make a bunch of Plantain tees as well as a Hemlock and I made a shirt based on an existing top.
- Knit 1600 yards of sock or sport weight yarns. I knit 1312 yards of sock/sport yarns. I feel okay about this though because I didn't finish any knitting projects after June. If I had continued knitting the rest of the year I think I would have met my goal.
- Knit 1000 yards of DK or worsted weight yarns. I knit 795.5 yards of dk/worsted yarns. Ditto previous comment.
- Finish my Drachenfels shawl. Finished! See it here.
- Finish my Sunset weaving project. Finished! See it here.
- Knit a brioche project: Briochealicious or Sizzle Pop. Or both! I started Briochealicious and am loving it!
- Knit another sweater or destash my sweater quantities of yarn. I destashed one of my sweater quantities.
I definitely made less progress on my goals this year that I hoped I would. I'm glad I stuck to my stashing goals, that helped me still feel like I made some progress. Considering all the things that happened this year, I think I did pretty well. Between Michael defending his PhD, getting a new job and us moving to CT right before Christmas, there wasn't a lot of crafting time the second half of the year.
I love making goals for myself and I will be back soon (hopefully later this week) with my crafty goals for 2018. Goodbye 2017!
Happy January! It's time for December's monthly report. See past reports here.
This month's report is a bit of a formality, as I did zero crafting in December! We made our move from Wisconsin to our new state of Connecticut, with a few days spent with family in Ohio in between. I'm excited to share that we bought our first home! We're very happy to be leaving apartment living behind. We will look back fondly on our time in Madison (already miss it lots), but we were pretty tired of our living situation there.
We've already been painting and fixing things up, I'll share more soon! Michael has a few more days before he starts his new job, and we've been taking advantage of every moment to get as much done as we can!
One little corner that we got put together right away was in our living room. Having a space to relax in the evenings was a big milestone in the moving process for us! Most of my Pyrex and enamelware is in Ohio at my parent's house, so I'm decorating with my quilts in the meantime. I picked up this tall shelf from Ikea that fits perfectly in this spot by the TV.
I did manage to make a few Christmas gifts this year! One was a yoga bag for my Dad, which I forgot to get a photo of. I was able to use leftover waxed canvas and webbing from the duffle bag I made Michael a few years ago. I made my Mom a Singer Featherweight mini quilt for her craft room! The block is a free pattern from Artisania, you can find it here. It has a lot of pieces, but it does turn out super cute.
To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in December:
December Fabric Used up: 0 yards Brought in: 0 yards Net: 0 yards Year to date: -295 yards
December Yarn Used up: 0 yards Brought in: 0 yards Net: 0 yards Year to date: -6067.5 yards
I'll be back soon with my end-of-the-year wrap up post as well as thoughts and goals for the new year.
George the bun is very happy that he isn't in the car anymore. It's been extra cold lately (I think we brought Wisconsin winter with us), and he has enjoyed snuggling under a quilt. He's pretty much the cutest thing ever. Have a Great Month!
Happy December! It's time for November's monthly report. See past reports here.
Side note: I'm going to set realistic expectations for myself this month and go ahead and say this may be the only post you see from me until next year. I have a cool gifty post idea, but I'm just not sure if it will happen, so no promises. Moving around the holidays is no joke!
It's an abbreviated report this month, because we are moving this coming weekend! We're actually much further along in the packing than the first photo in this post shows. The apartment is pretty much in disarray, but we're in the home stretch.
As you might guess, I have a lot of quilts to move. I went back and forth about how to pack them, and ended up landing on these ziploc space bags. I'm really happy with how they worked out and there are 30 quilts in that photo above!!
While we were home at the beginning of November, I found another vintage sheet in the packaging. I've found a few this year! Bonus, I've actually never seen/had this stripe before.
To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in November:
November Fabric Used up: 118.75 yards Brought in: 2 yards Net: -116.75 yards Year to date: -295 yards
November Yarn Used up: 2336 yards Brought in: 0 yards Net: -2336 yards Year to date: -6067.5 yards
This is officially the lowest intake for fabric I've had since starting this challenge almost two years ago! Full-blown moving mode has made me really cut back on bring things home. The only fabric I bought this month was to use up a reward at a local shop here in Madison. I let a lot of fabric go in my destash sale (thank you, thank you!), and I destashed a bunch of yarn this month too. I am feeling good about my numbers this month, especially since I haven't been able to work towards my other goals.
Only a tiny bit of sewing happened this month and unfortunately I can't share any of it yet. There was some Christmas gift sewing and some work sewing for an upcoming issue of Quilts and More. I'm really behind on sharing those projects, hopefully I can get caught up in the new year.
George bunny definitely knows something weird is going on, but he has been doing great. We moved his play area into our bedroom so that we can stack up box in the main living space. Don't tell him that he has a few long car rides coming his way! Have a great month!
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