Perler Bead Update

Hello, everyone! First things first, I wanted to let you know that there will not be a blog post next week, since it is Independence Day and I’m currently unsure of if I will be starting to take a couple classes next week.

I posted a couple weeks ago about the list of perler beads that Sir Shmuzzy has asked me to make for him, so I wanted to give you all an update with how it has been going. When I made that post, I believe I was working on or just finishing up making the patterns for this project. Last week, I started working on actually making the characters.

It honestly has felt like more time has passed between when I finished drawing the patterns and when I started working on the characters, but when I checked how long it had been it had only been about 2 weeks! TWO WEEKS! Anyways… last week I started working on making them and I finished quite a few. At this point, I just have Yoshi, Little Mac, and the various Mario power-ups. I am hoping to make a few more this upcoming week, but I have one little thing that is slowing me down… I am almost running out of black perler beads! And they are in almost all of the characters! So after this week, I will be putting the perler beads on hold until I am able to get to a craft store!

19495770_1471098589613617_1379767506_o

19495881_1471098572946952_1594401573_o19495986_1471098596280283_1039142649_o19531575_1471098586280284_630171402_o19496233_1471098599613616_489969208_o.jpg19551479_1471098576280285_1982595648_o

Sewn Coasters

Hello everyone! Its that time of the week again! As some of you MIGHT know, I have been attending a quilt club at my local quilt shop every month. Originally I went because it gave me something to do, but the more I go, the more inspired I am to work on a variety of crafts, and eventually attempt my own quilt. Every time I go, I also come home with ideas about color schemes and the items that I could create. I’ll talk more about that in a different post later on though!

Anyways, at the beginning of this month, in addition to their regularly scheduled club, the local quilt shop hosted a trunk show (where a pattern creator brought in examples of quilt patterns she has made and discussed with us the basic concepts of how to make her quilts), and they promoted a quilt show that was just outside of town. I ended up going to both of these events (which I honestly was not planning on doing since family was in town, but my aunt and great aunt ended up going with me) and I really enjoyed it. The group hosting the quilt show was also selling a few items that they had made and some kits to make those items at home ourselves.

One of these items that also came in a kit- form was a set of coasters that resembled pinwheels. What baffled me most about these coasters was the fact that you could tuck your hand into the coaster, and I couldn’t quite figure out how they had done it. My aunt and I “ooohh”-ed and “aaahhh”-ed over these coasters for quite a while when one of the other women looking around told us that they were pretty easy to make, and that the pattern has been around for a long time. I asked her if she knew what the name of the pattern might be, because I wanted to look it up later on. She didn’t know the name of the pattern, but offered to show us how to make them instead! My aunt picked out a kit she was going to buy, and the woman opened it up and pulled out the pieces for one coaster. Each coaster apparently takes five squares of fabric, all the same size. (I made mine using 5″ squares.)

And here’s what we learned:

To make the top of the coaster, you fold and iron four squares of fabric in half so that they are triangles with the “right side” (aka the side of the fabric that the colors or images can be seen best on) are facing out. If you want to have the patterns be directional, make sure you check that they all go the same way before you press the fabric. These triangles will then be overlapped to form a square. (Notes: Each of the triangles has a 90 degree angle, that will be the corners of your square. Also keep in mind that once it is laid out, each triangle will be laying half on top of, and half below, another triangle.)

The fifth square is then placed on top of (or below, depending on your sewing preference) the four overlapping triangles with the right side of the fabric facing the triangles. Then, sew around the square leaving no spaces! There is NO HAND SEWING INVOLVED. After I am finished sewing, I flip it over to make sure I didn’t miss any edges of the fabric. To turn the project so that the right sides are all facing out (and to cover the stitches) just poke your fingers through the middle of the overlapping squares and pull the back out through there. Make sure all your corners are pushed out, and iron again.

And then you are done!

Part of what I love about this project is that I do not have to sew anything by hand after turning it inside out. I also love the fact that these are super quick and easy to make. For the first set of these that I had made, I used some pre-cut 5″ fabric squares, so all I had to do was iron, lay them out, and sew. The evening I did the ones with the pre-cut fabric, I did the ironing and laid out the combinations I wanted, and managed to sew up eight coasters in about 45 minutes! (My timer was one episode of my current binge-watching show on Netflix!)

Be warned, however, that the cutting can take a long time! My mom had suggested that I make some coasters in my cousin’s wedding colors to go with the rest of the gift for their shower this weekend. The colors they have weren’t in any of the pre-cut packages, however, so I had to cut them myself… And I discovered I am not good at cutting squares. (I am blaming this fact solely on my small cutting mat and the bad rotary cutter I attempted to use!) Thankfully, I had learned about a tool at quilt club that helped me to fix my wonky squares. And I’d say the coasters were a pretty good success. My cousin passed one of them around the circle for a bunch of people to look at and figure out how they were made, and a few people asked if they were fancy handkerchiefs for the wedding!

And here they are! Last week, I made 19 coasters, and one mini pot-holder (top right). The eight blue and gray coasters on the left and right of the picture were for my cousin, and the other coasters will either be for me or family and friends for Christmas. The pot-holder is really small, but it was mainly a test to see if an idea my mom had would actually work or not!

IMG_20170615_1947180_wm

Clay Questions

Hello, everyone! Recently, I have been talking about some of the things that I have sort of wanted to do since I started learning how to crochet. (Trust me, if you want so many ideas that you cannot possibly do them all, consider joining a Facebook group that features your favorite craft. Sooo many options!) One of these items that I have seen people use a lot is hooks that have been wrapped in clay to make them more ergonomic. There are many creators who sell their hooks online, but this is another item that I thought I would like to try doing myself.

As I started gathering the supplies to do this project, I was also thinking of making my own yarn bowl out of clay (this was before I had the opportunity to paint my own), so I had purchased a large block of air-dry clay. However, I couldn’t find much information about using this kind of clay for projects like the ones I had in mind. Because of that fact, I started compiling a list of questions I had in regards to this project. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I will be able to get myself some answers for these questions when I make my air dry clay hooks.

  1. How does air-dry clay compare to oven-dry clay for hooks?
  2. Can you color/ dye air-dry clay? (Because most air-dry clay only comes in white.)
  3. Will the air-dry clay hook crumble over time?
  4. Does air-dry clay feel dusty(?) when it dries?
  5. Will air-dry clay leave any kind of residue on my yarn?
  6. How do the clay hooks compare to the adjustable ergonomic handle that I have?

I made a set of oven-dried clay hooks a couple weeks ago. So far, I have not used them much because the one I have tried felt like I might have accidentally done the clay too close to the hook. (Granted, I did not take them on vacation with me.) BUT, make sure you keep an eye out for an update about my questions on the air-dry clay, and a more in depth view of how the oven-dried clay hooks are working out for me. These will be coming up in the next few weeks or so once I have had a chance to use those specific hooks a bit more!

Perler Beads

One thing that I have enjoyed doing since I was a kid is creating things out of perler beads. (If you don’t recognize the name “perler beads”, you might recognize them as “melty beads”.) Children often use perler beads to make colorful shapes (hearts, stars, circles, etc) and use an iron to melt the beads together. A few years ago, I rediscovered the glory of these meltable beads, and realized how much you can actually do with them! One of the things that I made was a large Repunzel for one of my friends’ birthday, which I finally found the pictures for—look at her and how pretty she is!

 Repunzel

I also had started a Mary Poppins, but did not end up finishing her, due to the fact that her umbrella had some stability issues. Then I took some of my perler beads off to college with me. That semester, I made a Chip (from Beauty and the Beast) and some other designs. And when I met Sir Shmuzzy (my boyfriend), I made him a set of things that are Star Wars related, later on I even made him some South Park characters.

Chip

 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Now I am breaking out my perler beads to make some other things for Sir Shmuzzy. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen the pictures of what was done to the first perler beads that I made for him (if you don’t know, he recently framed them to make them look fancy, a picture of them now is on my Facebook Page). Doing this gave him an idea for something that he would like for his future office/gaming room, so he asked if I could make a bunch of his favorite NES characters out of perler beads. All of the characters he wanted are the 8-bit versions, with specific poses. Here was his list:

  • From Super Mario Bros 3:
    • Small Mario
    • Bowser
    • Fire Mario
    • Peach
    • Super Luigi
    • Super Mario
    • Tunuki Mario
    • Raccoon Mario
    • Frog Mario
    • Hammer Mario
  • From Duck Hunt:
    • Dog
    • Duck
  • From Bubble Bobble
    • Bub

    • Bob
  • Others:
    • Kirby
    • Link
    • Scrooge McDuck
    • Seamus (in suit)
    • Little Mac
    • Excite Bike Guy (doing a wheelie)
    • Yoshi

I have a lot of work ahead of me on this project, and I have all the patterns figured out, but this week I am travelling with family, so I am hoping to start them next week or the week after!