Friday, February 25, 2011

Stick Weaving

I recently received the last of my Valentine's swap packages in the mail.  This one was from my actual Valentine's swap partner.  The others were from some of my online friends.  In the package were these sticks that looked like double pointed knitting needles.  However instead having two points, one side was flat with a hole in it.  I had no clue what they were, but lucky my swap partner sent instructions to go with them.  They are 6 weaving sticks.  I had never heard of weaving sticks before, which is weird since I have my degree in Textiles.  I did learn a long time ago that they (my college professors) did not teach all the different types of weaving that is out there, or the different kinds of looms that you can use.  
I picked up the yarn that she gave me and went about learning how to use these sticks today.  It is very easy.  I have woven a few inches already.  What I'm making I have no clue, but it is nice and relaxing.  I haven't put it to the test yet, but this just might be the most portable weaving project that I have ever worked on before.  It takes up about the same amount of space as my knitting and crocheting does.  
This could be a belt, an itouch cozy, a bookmark, a headband, or a change purse.  It could be joined with other strips and become a rug, a blanket, or a placemat.  Maybe it could also become a larger bag.  I'm sure that it will speak to me and let me know what it wants to be as I'm working on it.

These sticks are perfect for kids to learn how to weave with.  However the points are sharp, so you do want to make sure that the child is mature enough to use them first.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wayland Library in MA: Juice Pouch Notebook Class

Yesterday I taught a class at the Wayland Library in Wayland, MA.  It was a juice pouch notebook class for kids ages 8 an up.  With each class I teach, I learn a little bit more.  So for this class I added paper bead making to it so that they could make beads to add as tassels to their notebooks.  The pictures above are the bags that I packed for the class.
Here is my set up for teaching them how to make there own juice pouch notebooks.  I explained to the kids how to clean their own juice pouches at home.  Then they learned a fun book binding technique. 
Here are my examples.  You can see a paper bead tassel on the Wild Cherry notebook.  I had a nice turn out, and the kids seem to have enjoyed themselves.  Some of them even made two notebooks to take home.  It was a good idea to include the paper bead making for this class.  Next time I need to add needle threaders to my supplies.  Like I said, I learn something new with each class.
So for both of my classes this week we made paper beads.  They are really relaxing to make, so I have been making them both last night and today.  Basically what you do it cut triangles out of old magazines (or any kind of paper).  Starting with the base of the triangle, have the good side away from you, and start rolling the paper around the skewer.  When you have rolled all of it, add some glue and coat the whole bead with glue using your fingers.  I like to fill up two skewers.  After the 2nd skewer is filled, the beads on the 1st skewer are dry enough to remove.  I have seen bracelets, necklaces, earrings, tote bags, and other things made out of paper beads.  Also remember that they are paper, so you can cut them to a smaller size if you want and you need to keep them out of water (rain).  I plan on making a video tutorial soon.

I had a really great time at the Somerville and Wayland Libraries this week.  I am hoping that I can teach at both of them again in the future.  I really love teaching others how to make things, especially out of recycled materials.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Paper Bead Bracelet Class Tomorrow - Somerville, MA.

I should have been finished making these 3 reusable shopping bags by now, but I have other things that are higher priority on my crafting to do list at the moment.  However I still wanted you to see them.  I bought the fabric from the remnants section of the fabric store.
Tomorrow at 2 p.m. I will be teaching a paper bead bracelet class at the Somerville Public Library in MA.  So that meant that I got to cut up one of my husband's old photography magazines (with his permission).  
I also made a sample bracelet for the class since I could not find my original one.  Plus it is always good to do a little refresher just before teaching something, even if you can make it in your sleep.  Plus my original one is an anklet.
I tried to find as many green and blue pieces of paper that I could to make the beads.  I also used green thread to make it, because I wanted a bracelet that I could wear on St. Patrick's Day.  I'm trying out a different kind of clasp than I normally use (the kind that twists vs the claw one).  Sometimes the claw one is a little hard for the kids to use, and I remember using the twisting kind a lot as a kid.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Box Exchange Blocks

Tomorrow is my quilt guild meeting and I still had not worked on the box exchange blocks for it.  So today was about doing my quilting homework.  Above are the 6 paper pieced blocks that I made.  They are small blocks and really fun to make.  I got to dig in my scrap fabric bin for them.  
The next box contained all of the flannel fabric needed to make this block.  I've never made a quilt block out of flannel before.

What else have I been working on?  I'm still knitting a cabled cowl.  I've been sewing 3 reusable shopping bags.  However crafting has been 2nd next to reading for me this week.  I've read 2 books and have started a 3rd this past week.  Tomorrow I need to get ready for the two library classes that I am teaching this week (school vacation week).  One day I'll be teach how to make a paper bead bracelet and on another day I'll be teaching how to make juice pouch notebooks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pinwheels & Oven Pad

It took a few days to make, but I made 5 of the 4th pinwheel block this week.  It looks like a simple pattern, but there was a lot of work in making 5 of them.  There are 20 half square triangles in each block, multiply that by 5 and you have 100 half square triangles that needed to be cut, marked, sewn, ironed, recut/squared, sewn, ironed, sewn, ironed, and squared, etc.  I'm really happy that I finished it weeks before I need to turn it in to get the pattern for the 5th block.
I pieced four of them together like I did with the previous pinwheel blocks.  Its not perfect, but that is ok.  
I've been following a blog on making things out of fabric salvages.  So I've started saving my salvages separately from my other fabric scraps.  After saving 4 salvaged pieces, I made this oven pad / hot pad.  The two pictures show the front and the back of it.  I used some pink girlie skull ribbon for the hanger.  It seemed to fit with the color scheme.  Now I want to make another black and white quilt but with pink as my 3rd color.  The binding is far from perfect, however I am fine with that.