Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Making things for Children

I just learned today, (I'll admit I just gave up on trying to understand it) and well worth taking your time to read it. Sarah Faix of Bit  of Whimsey Dolls was the lovely lady to give the information to me.  Whimsical not prim at all, but I enjoyed making these dolls for our granddaughter and sold several locally when I was doing the Sunday Market at Discovery Green.

If you make items for children, you might think, well that is OLD NEWS, but perhaps you are like many of us, we make dolls as carefully for others as we would for our own grandchildren. I couldn't afford testing items that are basically one of a kind, so I quit making dolls for young children. Having seen kids reactions to some of my creations with Sarah's patterns, it was disappointing, but necessary.

I want to be sure that items I buy for our granddaughter are made with reasonable care. But dolls with rusty pins or rusted star garlands should clearly be for decorative purposes only. Parents and grandparents should chose things that are safe, and supervise their use. With infants and toddlers, most folks do just that. If you have a grandchild that loves dolls, younger than 12, please purchase appropriate items for their use.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chosing Fabric for a Quilt Top

This quilt was a gift for a baby girl whose nursery included deep purple and bright lime accent wall. I got to make it for her grandmother, without ever having seen the room.
  1. Find a focus fabric that includes as many of the colors you need as you can find. It should also be appropriate for the recipient. (The flowered border fabric would be okay for a baby's room but even better when she loves Princesses.) Polka dot fabrics add some whimsy and movement.
  2.  Select fabrics that include the major colors in the focus fabric in a variety of large, medium, and small scale. Choose a simple design. In this case half square triangles that combine the fabrics. The diagonal setting of the blocks made it look a lot more quilty, than a jumbled random order. In this case I added orange polka dots because of the orange flowers, and also make some blocks with the focus fabrics. Some of the actual blocks didn't look all that good, but work well in the quilt.
  3. A narrow inner border pulled out the green from the focus fabric to frame the diagonal rows. And contained them like a frame. The binding and back were the deep purple solid cotton(Kona).  The dark pink bar at the bottom, is just to prevent identity theft of personal information (the baby's name and birth date  from an online photo. The lettering was done in a dark chocolate brown to stand out from the outer border.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Clipping Corners

When you read patterns and they say "clip corners", how do you do it? Well my days of trying to clip teensy triangles with a little pair of scissors are long gone. A simple, easy and fast way is to use Pinking Shears! I use them to go around all the edges of my sewed pieces before turning and it works wonderful!! Now, if you're doing open doll fingers, depending on their size, get as far down between them as you can without snipping the stitches. Then use tiny shears to snip a line down closer.

Primitive Rusting

Remember those pre-primitive crafting days when it was rusty, ya tossed it out? Never more! Try this recipe for rusting your bells, safety pins, 'n such. Remember to always use cause with this and keep out of reach of children and wear rubber gloves.

1/2 c. white or cider vinegar
1/2 c. bleach or peroxide
1 t. salt (heaping)

Combine all ingredients in an old quart jar. Add items you want to rust (safety pins, bells, pins, needles, etc), and cover loosely. Tip: Leave those safety pins closed, trust me on this. You'll have a bugger of a time getting a rusty tip through material later. The silver looking safety pins work best, the gold/brass ones just turn pink

Place this is a SAFE spot away from children and pets! Let it sit 2 days. Due to the smell it emits, I highly suggest a safe outdoor spot. And don't hang your nose over this to watch the immediate reaction of the chemicals! You can ooooh and ahhhh looking through the side!

Now after watching your little concoction for 2 days, ya know ya can't help yourself.... line an old cookie sheet or tray with paper towels. Remove items from mixture.

Tip: A quick and easy way for me is to use an old strainer and pour mixture from one container to another, catching your items in the strainer. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, pour this mixture down your sink! Dispose of it where children and pets won't come in contact. Don't reuse.

Place your tray in the sun. They will begin to rust as they dry. Turn them over, to dry on all sides. Tip: I find it helpful to do a nice sized batch, or two jars.... for those times when the sun hides from us for awhile in winter.  If they aren't as rusty as you prefer, just repeat the procedure.

Ta-Da! You've made your first, of many, batches of primitive rusting goodies!!