Saturday, October 03, 2015

Rug hooking

I apologize that it has been so long since I last posted.  Work tends to supersede my crafting. However, today was an important day.  Jenny at The Bronze Wombat and I went to the textile museum along with our friend Chinburd.  We mainly went to see the prints of famous artists like Salvador Dali and Andy Worhol, but we came across the Canadian Rug Hooking exhibit.

We took some photos, but Chinburd took some rather interesting 'Action shots' of us figuring out how this whole rug hooking thing works.  It's really not difficult at all to do....just super time consuming.

It makes me tempted to chop all my quilting scraps into 1/8 inch strips, get some burlap, and start experimenting.

This is one of my favorite pictures because it shows what we were working on.  The blue row at the bottom is what I was working on, and Jenny was working on the next row up with green.

This is not to be confused with Latch hooking, which is a craft I learned how to do way back in grade school (I think I was in grade 6 or 7 when I learned latch hooking).  A link on how to latch hook through Wikihow can be found by clicking here.

for Rug hooking, a very good demonstrational tutorial can be found by following this link to youtube.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Unicorn Hoodie and Art Journals

First off, I wanted to start with a project I've been working on, but somehow got stalled in finishing.  But, I finished it today!  It started off as the base hoodie that you see, but it also came with a pair of pants.  Sadly the pair of pants had a hole in it, so I used the waistband which was blue, and the pant legs, which were the same grey, to make the ears and the horn, with a little bit of leftover flannelette I had.  Then out of other flannelette I made the mane.  I added glow in the dark braids to add that little something that makes me happy when I see glow in the dark stuff.

Secondly, I've been into Art Journals lately.  I had been looking at getting my own copy of Wreck This Journal for quite some time just to see what the fuss was about, since I saw it being referenced on Tumblr.  It's a huge help to get out of the artists block.  There's an entire series of books by the same author, Keri Smith, and I've added to that collection.

 The whole premise behind Wreck this Journal is to slowly work on pages to break you out of your comfort zone by wrecking the book, like it says on the front cover.

The book will get dirty, muddy, possibly set on fire, filled with glue, paint, and bizzare objects you might find.


( "The Spine" character is from Steam Powered Giraffe, I only used his likeness to do fan art on this page, which thankfully the band encourages.  I encourage you to listen to their music.)

I started in a "gentle" stage of going through the journal.  Doing some of the doodle type pages like this one above, and slowly started demolishing pages.  The first true wrecked page I did was giving the page that is labeled "bring the book into the shower" a bubble bath.  I coloured over it in Crayola markers because I knew they would run, and dunked it page first into the suds.

Eventually I started glueing things like tea and sparkles into the book, and I've had to re-tape some of the pages back in because the water damage from the initial dunking, and subsequent mud baths (and cracking the spine) was starting to wear and tear.

My first copy of Wreck this Journal which I started in late February is starting to get rather difficult to close these days. 

Wreck this Journal Everywhere is very similar.  It's smaller, but its designed for you to take it everywhere with you to encourage friends to wreck pages with you, get it dirty from nature, or just to doodle ideas.  Here is the cover untouched and fresh off the bookshelf at the store.  That is, before I started decorating the front cover.

The Pocket Scavanger is like a giant scavanger hunt in your everyday environment.  I'm working on this one with my husband since he comes up with some rather unique ideas even if he doesn't draw. It's also another book that is starting to not close properly given the giant seed pod we taped onto one of the pages last week.

F_nish Th_s B__k (Finish this book) instructs you to do each page one at a time and NOT skip ahead, unlike the other journals by Keri Smith.  This one stretches out your brain muscles to start thinking critically about things, and doing cool encryption puzzles.  I haven't done much in this book yet, but it looks like it will be interesting to complete.

This Is Not A Book.  This one is a strange addition to the book collection.  Much like Wreck this Journal, you can do any of the pages in any order, but it also gets you to think somewhat critically about what you are doing to each page.  You can do this one in any order. There are bonus pages on the website link posted inside the book, and you can discuss what happened to Page 42 on the website as well. 

Keri Smith has far more books than this that are on my "to pick up" list once I'm done with these ones. 

There's other books out there that are art journals similar to these.  The Anti-Journal by David Sinden looks interesting.  There's also adult colouring books to de-stress with by Richard Merritt.

Most of these art journals can be found at your local book store (I got mine at Indigo/Chapters). sells most of these as well for those who don't have access to big book stores.  The best part is you don't need super fancy or expensive art supplies to finish these books.  You can use what you already have, use dollar store supplies (I've used glue sticks and mod podge for mine), or even simple supplies like Crayola products (I've used crayons and markers in my books). 

If you don't want to buy an art journal, you can always make your own.  There are turorials on how to make your own book, or you can buy a blank art book and start coming up with your own ideas on embellishing the pages, creatively using mixed mediums to make something new. 

***A word of caution: Be careful when using certain glues or paints due to toxicity.  Also be sure that if you plan on burning a page, that you do so with non-toxic materials on the page, and do it in a flame proof container, and be sure to have fire fighting equipment available in case things get out of hand.  The pages can burn quite easily and everyone should practice safe habits when working with anything hot, or on fire.  PLEASE be careful and responsible in your art journaling! Please be sure to take all nessessary precautions when working with hazerdous materials and use protective equipment when handling potentially toxic materials.***

*** Please note, the author of this journal entry on this blog is not responsible for any injuries, loss of limb, fire damage, or any bodily harm to those that take up art journaling as a hobby***

Friday, April 03, 2015

Deleted Quilt-a-long, and blog update

For those who are wondering, I decided to delete my secondary blog.  It was something I wasn't updating nearly as often as I update this blog, and why do I really need two seperate craft blogs?

If I had a craft blog for each separate hobby, I'd probably have about 50 or so blogs for each one.

So, instead, I will be posting all my quilting projects here.  I usually used to cross post them here anyways.

Also, as you might have noticed, I updated the blog a bit to accommodate for larger monitors, and give it a bit of a refresh.  I tried to keep it to a similar look to the previous layout.  I also clipped some of the dead links I had.


Knitting tips, tricks, and websites for beginners.

Some of these tips are some that I have come to realize over the years.  Some are recommended by knitters, some are mentioned on the very silly but practical Tumblr page called Knitpool (Deadpool spoof)



*  Take your time with learning new techniques.  You don't want to frustrate yourself.

* The internet is a wonderful tool, but if you get stuck, always ask another knitter.  Having someone show you versus reading the diagrams in a book or on a webpage is very helpful.

* is an amazing resource.  You can ask for help in your local groups, find local yarn stores or locally made fiber, tonnes of free patterns or amazing ones sold by other knitters....or engage in various discussions with people from across the world.   Personally, I don't know what I would do without it.

* There are different methods and styles of knitting. Every knitter has found their own method that works for them. Just because it looks different, doesn't mean it's wrong.  As long as you get the same results, its all gravy.

* crochet hooks and safety pins can be  invaluable tools when learning how to knit.  Especially to help count rows, pick up dropped stitches, or to help hold something in place. (I still use both)

* Stitch and row counters can be a lifesaver.

* Learn your core basic stitches to make learning other stitches and techniques easier.  Knit, purl, cast on, cast off, increase, decrease.  Once you learn these, you can make almost anything.

* There are all sorts of knitting needles out there.  Plastic, Wood, Bamboo, Metals.  Other knitters have insisted that bamboo helps with wrist problems.  Plastic can break if it gets cold cause it gets brittle (also with age), but this also depends on the manufacturer.  Aluminum is light, but I find in thinner gauges it can bend fairly easily. 

* It will take some time to get the tension right.  I used to knit super duper tight.  My sister knits so tight she chipped all the anodization off my needles.  Some people knit loose and it causes huge gaps.  Keep they say practice makes perfect.

* If you get frustrated, do something else for a little bit, then come back to it.

* Be careful how you store your projects and needles.  I've stabbed myself with my double pointed needles on multiple occasions.  Needle point protectors are wonderful things to have in your stash. (i have red and green sock shaped needle protectors in my collection of knitting tools)

*Setting goals for yourself is always a good thing.  Just make sure they are YOUR goals.


Websites: - Social site for knitting, crochet, and other fiber related activities.  Patterns, groups, yarn references, stash cataloging, needle cataloging tools, and yarny shopping.

The Anticraft - Knitting and Crafting for the dark and sinister.  Some NSFW topics or topics not safe for minors.  Wonderfully macabre ideas and patterns for knitting and sewing (and some recipes too). - Ezine for knitters with free patterns, and located right in the heart of Toronto, Ontario.  They feature quite a few local knitter's patterns. Published semi-quarterly - Lion Brand Yarn's website.  You have to make an account to get access to their patterns, but they also have an online row counter, as well as full pdf's for how to knit and crochet that you can print out for free.

YouTube - There are so many free tutorials and how-to's on youtube. 

If any other casual knitters would like to suggest websites, please comment on this post. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bellydance Choli Pattern - By Annabella

Back when I was still dancing, I used a fantastic choli pattern made for stretch panne velvet that was made by an Australian dancer by name of Annabella.  She has graciously given me permission to post her choli pattern with instructions here.

In the photo above, this was one of my cholis that I had made using this same pattern.  The only difference is that I used a stretch cotton for this choli in the picture. (I also realize it's being slightly hidden by the decorative bra)

Her pattern will also be posted up on in the near future. 

I will be putting the pattern pieces at the bottom of this post so the instructions don't get squished.

I have added annotations for what I did to tweak for a better fit or adjustments, and each of my annotations will be easily spotted.  I have also added suggestions for needles, fabric suggestions, and other suggestions on how you might want to sew it for a better fit.  However, I have added a minor watermark overlay to the pattern pieces (with Annabella's permission), but I have not changed the pattern itself.  I also typed out the core instructions as they were written originally, with the exception of the annotations I added.

Please note that all choli pattern pieces, original pattern, and images on this post belong to  Annabella, and original owner of Turbans Tassels and Tattoos and Aussiebellydance,   This pattern is not for commercial use, and is not to be sold.  This is for personal use only.  Instructions, patterns, and images on this blog post are being used with her permission.

Thank you Annabella for allowing me to host your pattern on my blog!  

Before I get into the directions, a few things I wanted to mention:

Each square on the pattern is 1 inch.  So, you either need a lot of photocopies to blow it up to that size, or use a photo-editing tool to increase the size so each square is an inch for the sizes listed.

Secondly  You don't have to go full sleeve if you don't want to.  I made some with half sleeves that turned out just fine.

Thirdly: For any stretch fabric you decide to use, be certain to pick up a BALL NEEDLE for your machines.  Any needles labeled "sharps, leather, denim" will put holes in your stretch fabrics and make little runs like panty hose that has a hole in it.  Ball needles works itself into the weave without causing runs. I cannot stress this enough.  You don't want your choli to last only one gig before having to make another one.


Fabric!  It doesn't really specify how much to use per se on the pattern, but if you use the pattern layout guide in the photos provided, and double the amount (because you need 2 of each piece), this should help  Fabric recommendations on the pattern are for stretch panne velvet, but you could use anything that has a decent stretch, such as knitted cotton, or certain types of baithing suit material might even do well here.  Be careful with the see-thru-ness of your fabric.  If you are using bathing suit material, you are going to want to pick up a matching non-stretch cotton for the lower band because bathing suit material has often a 2 way stretch.  The reason for this is so that the bottom band of the choli doesn't stretch out, keeping it firm  and tight under your bust so you don't have a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of a performance.

Bias tape:  I think I used 1 inch width for this pattern, but there is one choli that I used some quilting cotton and my (i think) half inch bias tape maker to make the bias edging on this pattern.

Matching thread to your fabric


Paper: to either trace out, draft, or copy out this pattern.  I use artist rolls that you can get in the kids section at Ikea for their art stand.  there's lots of paper on it and its fairly inexpensive.

Basic sewing with a sewing machine is a must for this pattern.

And now, the directions:

 (retyped from the original instructions. Most of my annotations are in brackets. )

Sewing instructions for all sizes:

-Please note that 1/4" (6mm) seam allowances are already included on all your pattern pieces

-When I make my cholis, I use both regular sewing machine and a 4 thread overlocker (serger).  In these instructions I will refer to both machines, but you can of course just use a regular sewing machine.

(Kiera-oona's suggestions:  I tend to use a zig zag stitch on the sections where it recommends an overlocker to be used.  This will help prevent your stretch panne velvet from unraveling and make it a bit nicer to wear rather than having a bunch of seams rubbing in the wrong places)

-Panne velvet can be a bit floppy and curly to sew with.  Handle it gently and be careful not to stretch any of these seams as you sew.

-Band, Band ties, and neck ties:  These strips MUST be cut as shown on the cutting layout (if using stretch velvet) - That is running from top to bottom of the fabric.  That will make them non-stretch.  If you were to cut them across the width of the fabric, they will be far too stretchy and would not make for secure bands.  The last thing you need is a baggy choli coming loose at the wrong moment.

(Kiera-oona's suggestions:  For the neck ties and the bottom band of the choli, what works really nicely is a printed or solid color matching non-stretch tight woven cotton or quilting cotton.  That way it won't stretch and you can add a bit of personality to your choli.  I have done this in the past and it works really well)

Fabric layout for the pattern:

(this is the layout you should use if you are using stretch panne velvet)

(you can click on each picture to see it full sized)

1) Make darts in front.  Stitch the darts with the sewing machine and trim away spare fabric to reduce bulk.  Finish them neatly with the overlocker.

2) Sew back to front at shoulders. Sew using your machine or overlocker..

3) Sew in sleeves.  Pin sleeve to choli, matching the centre dot to the shoulder seam.  Sew using machine or overlocker, easing the fullness at the top.

4) Edge finish the sleeve using your overlocker or Zig Zag stitch on your machine.  Don't actually make the hem yet.  just neaten the edge of the fabric. *Note: I stretch this edge when sewing, so the end of the sleeve stays stretchy

5) sew underarm and side seam in one long continuous seam using machine or overlocker

6) Finish sleeve hem using your machine straight stitch.  I stretch the hem when sewing, so that the end of the sleeve stays stretchy.  Keeping the stitch means you can easily push the sleeve up when you are wearing your choli without it becoming too tight.

7) bias edging.  This gives a lovely smooth and neat finish to the neck of your choli

     -Take the right half of your choil,  Beginning at the bottom back edge, place your choli on the sewing machine with the right side up.
     -Open up one side of the bias tape, so that the inside is facing you.  Line up the outer opened edge of the bias tape with the edge of your choli.  Using a regular machine stitch (not a stretch stitch), begin to sew along the crease of the bias fold.  Be careful not to stretch either the fabric or the tape.  Be sure to keep them both nice and smooth.
     -Sew up the back, over the shoulder, and down to the center front.  Stitch to center front dot.  Cut off the bias binding, leaving a 1/2" (1.25 cm) tail.
     -Now, take the left half of your choli.  This time you begin to sew at the center front.  Leaving a 1/2" (1.25 cm) tail of bias binding when you begin.  Sew the crease of the binding as before, up the front, over the shoulder, and down the back to the bottom edge.
     -Take the left half of your choli again, beginning at the lower back edge, turn the sewn on bias tape out and over the wrong side of your choli, enclosing the seam.  Smooth it flat and pin in place.Place your choli on the machine with the wrong side up, and stitch close to the other edge of the bias tape.  Stitch up the back, over the shoulder, and down to the center front again.
     -Repeat wiht the other side, beginning at the lower back edge, and sewing down to the center front.

8) Sew centre front seam using the sewing machine (not the overlocker just yet).  Take the time to match the darts, the bottom edge, and the "V" perfectly (or it will annoy you forever!!!).  I use the sewing machine first to make SURE those darts are perfectly aligned. Then I edge finish with the overlocker.

9) Stabilize the bottom edge of the choli

     Cut the length of bias tape that matches your choli size:

     Your size:              Cut to this length
       32-34" A-B-C         20" (51 cm)
       34-36 B-C-D          21" (53 cm)
       36-38" C-D-DD      22" (56 cm)
       38-40" D-DD-E      23" (58 cm)
       40-42" D-DD-E      24" (61 cm)

Lay the choli, right side up on the machine
     -Open up one side of the bias tape so the inside is facing you.  Lining up the outer opened edge of the bias tape with the bottom edge of the choli, pin the center of the bias tape to the center seam of the choli.
     -Pin the ends of the bias tape to the edges of the choli, leaving a 1/2" (1.25cm) tail of binding at the beginning and end.
     -Using a regular machine stitch (not stretch stitch), sew along the crease of the bias fold.  Be careful not to stretch the fabric or the tape.
     -Now turn the sewn on bias tape out and over to the wrong side of your choli, enclosing the seam.  Place your choli on the sewing machine with the wrong side up, and stitch close to the other edge of the bias tape.

10) the lower band

     -Sew the two strips together, end on end, making one long strip.  Press the seam open
     -now, fold the long strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew down the long edge using an overlocker or machine.  Keep both ends open.  Turn right side out.  At each end, tuck 1" (2.5cm) inside to finish the end.  Roll the seam between your fingers to ease it flat.
     -Pin the band to the right side of the choli, matching the center front seam of the choli with center front seam of the band, with the folded edge of the band lined up with the bottom edge of the choli.  The band ties will hang at each side.
     - Place choli on the machine right side up.  The band will be on the top of the choli, with the bottom edge of the band sitting right on top of the edge of the choli.  Starting at the very end of the left tie, stitch close to the bottom edge of the tie, sewing towards the choli.  Continue sewing all the way across the bottom of the choli and down the end of the right tie.
      -When you are stitching this band, because of the way it was cut, you will find the nap will make stitching in one direction a bit difficult (because you are stitching against the nap of the fabric).  Just pull it a bit to help the machine along.  By the way, the effect of the nap gripping itself makes for really secure ties when you are wearing the choli!
     -Now, stitch close to the top edge of the tie you just finished on.  Sew towards the choli again. When you get to the choli itself, you want the band to lie flat and smooth on the choli with the center seams matching.  Continue sewing across the choli right to the end of the other tie.
     - Go to the part where the band meets the edge of the choli.  We want to reinforce this section.  See the stitching line that holds the bias tape in place along the choli back?  Using your sewing machine, continue that stitching line down across the band to the bottom edge.  Then sew backwards and forwards at least twice more to reinforce that section.

11) the neck ties

     -Fold each strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew a 3.16" (5mm) seam using the overlocker or machine. Sew one end closed.  Turn right side out (A knitting needle, a dowel, a chopstick, or that little tool to turn tubes of fabric inside out can be used for this).
     -Pin the open end of the tie to the inside of the back of your choli - About 1" down from the shoulder seam.  Position it so the open end is towards the edge of the choli, and the tie is hanging inside.  Sew the tie back and forth along the inner stitching line of the bias binding.
     -Now flip the tie out towards the outside, folding and pinning the tie flat over where you just stitched.  Stitch through all the layers over the tie along the outer stitching line of the bias binding.  This makes a neat and secure attachment.

12)  Now to Try on your choli!

I hope that it fits you well!  You may need to adjust the shoulder ties to get a better fit.  The tightness of tying the shoulder ties really does make a difference to show how your choli fits.  Play with it and adjust it till it sits nicely.

Once you've got the neck ties just right....DON'T undo them!!  Just slip the choli over your head.  (Its much easier to put on when the neck ties are done up anyways!)

Now its done!!

Pattern pieces

Click on each image to see the full size

Front pieces:

Back pieces:

Sleeve tops:

Sleeve extentions:

Enjoy and Happy Dancing!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Finally finished my temperature scarf!  Better late than never right?  There is some slight variation on some of the color of the yarns cause....I ran out of one type, so I had to switch to another.  I tried to make sure there was a distinction between colors for the temperatures though (especially the blues). 

It measures about 14 feet 6 inches in length, as you can see by the tape measure in the photo.  The top is the start of January 2013, and the bottom is December. 

I realize I haven't been posting as often, but with constantly working, it's rather difficult to find time or energy to get all my crafting and drawing in. 

With the finishing of a long project, here's hoping there will be more finished projects done in 2015!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kiera-oona's personal sock pattern

I know this pattern the way it's written might not make much sense, nor is it very fancy, but I have big feet.  These socks fit quite well, and I can't really complain much about how they turn out.  I do have to tweak it a bit still tho.

Considering most of the socks Ive made with this pattern have lasted over a year without getting holes in em, that makes me happy.

I'm also typing this down so that I don't loose the information if my travel pattern book ever goes missing or gets permanently damaged.

These are for size 10 ladies shoesize.

Basic pattern:

US 0, 2.00mm needles

Sisu Sandes Garn Superwash or Patons Kroy superwash yarn

(note slight modifiers between the two yarns.  Kroy is ever so slightly thicker)

Cast on 76 stitches

Rib stitch for 20 rows

Knit for 30 more rows (to row 50

Seperate 34 sts (17 sts on each side of your row marker)

K1, Sl1, k to end of row, turn
p1, sl1, k to end of row, turn

Repeat till you have 26 rows for heel so far

K1, sl1, k2tog, k to end of row, turn
P1, sl1, p2tog, k to end of row, turn

Do this till there's 16 sts left (8 on each side of the marker)

Pick up all your stitches, dec every 4 sts till you get to 68 sts  left on your needles  Best to do this over 2-3 rows.

From stitch pickup, knit for 60 rows, (which should be about 2 inches from end)

Dec on sides of toe for 1 inch (11 rows)every other row (I do k2tog, ssk for each side of the toe)
Dec every row on sides of toe for every row (11 rows)

Bind off, sew up toe. (whichever your prefered method is)

For the super long socks:

These ones come up to just under the knee.  Next pair I make I will probably make it a pinch longer.

I used Pattons Kroy yarn for this pair, US0, 2mm needles

Cast on 112 sts
rib sts for 10 rows, knit to row 50,
dec 1 stitch ever 11 sts on row 51
knit to row 55
dec 1 sts every 10 sts, on row 56
knit to row 60
dec 1 st every 9 sts on row 61
knit to row 65
dec 1 st every 8 sts on row 66
knit to row 70
row 71, dec 1 at beginning and end of row
knit row 72, and 73
row 74 dec1 at beginning and end of row,
knit to row 130
seperate 34 sts (for heel)

Follow the rest of the basic sock pattern (above)for the rest of the foot.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hallowe'en Quilt WIP

 I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything.  I have been crafting.  Just been busy with other life stuffs too.

This is just a current work in progress.  I have added to it since I took the photo, but this is a project I've been wanting to get started on for a while.

I've always loved Hallowe'en, and the spooky, nerdy motifs that go along with it.

This is going to be a star quilt.  This is just the middle of it.

I have also since tighened up the middle of it a bit.

In other crafting projects, I've been experimenting with a bit of craft felt needle felting.  I've also been knitting the odd project here and there.  I also haven't abandoned my temperature scarf.  I will get it done one of these days.

Other photos of other projects will come along soon.

X-posted to Quilt-a-Long

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Granny Square Jacket

I've been working on this jacket for a while.  All the little squares took quite a bit of time.  In this jacket there is several yarns that I hand spun, or hand dyed (food coloring).  Most of it is wool, and I decided to felt it a tidbit so that it shrank a smidge.  Before the felting it was a bit too long. I do plan on adding a belt to it for shape and snuggness (i do have belt loops on it).  I might even take it for a test run today for a walk since it is on the cooler side today.  I've had some friends comment that this reminded them of coats their mum used to make them when they were kids. 

The original plan is to use this for LARP so that I have something like a house coat to put on when the rest of my gear gets soaked and I need to get dry and warm in a hurry.  I'm not planning on using this outside of the building I sleep in.  There's lots of burrs out there at our game site, and I don't want this getting coated in them.

This jacket is also the largest crocheted project (That actually fits well).  I usually knit moreso than crochet, so this was a big accomplishment for me.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Crazy Quilt progress - Sandwiching by hand and finishing.

This is a follow up to the Crazy quilt tutorial I did quite some time ago.  People have been asking me how to sandwich a quilt together.  Please understand, dear viewers and interwebs, that I am doing a LOT of this by hand, and doing things by hand (while also holding down two jobs) takes time, and patience.

You can do this by machine but there are some things you have to remember when doing so, which i will explain further along in this pictorial tutorial.

I wanted a slightly thinner quilt this time around, so decided against putting batting in between the layers.  If you want a thick cushy quilt, by all means, feel free to add a layer of batting to yours.

There is no "right" or "wrong" way to quilt per se.....everyone has different techniques they use.  Some pros will give ideas on how to improve your quilt, but as long as you come out with a quilt that you are happy with in the end, that doesn't come apart at the seams, that is all that really matters.

In the first picture below, the first thing you want to do is make sure you have a base fabric that is as big as your quilt top  (the stripey fabric to the left is my bottom fabric).  If you are using batting, also make sure that its at least as big as your quilt top, or maybe slightly larger than your quilt top so you can square it up a bit later.  Be sure to have the layers facing the right sides out. I'm using a pre-purchased bed sheet for my bottom fabric.  I know some professional quilters will say this might be not the best idea because bed sheets can be quite stiff, and hard to sew through, but I'm using one because it will be the size I want in the end.

As you can see, there is some overlap between the quilt top and the edge of the bottom fabric.  I plan on adding more to square it up to the edge of the bottom fabric a bit later.  I'm working on this one from the middle of the quilt and going outwards.  This is different from what most people do, but I am also limited to space in terms of squaring up my projects, so this will work best for me.  For those of you out there who have a decent amount of floor space, I recommend finish your quilt top to the size you want, square it up (using rulers to make sure your quilt is straightened out, and your corners are 90 degrees)

Once you have your top squared up so you don't have uneven edges, you will want to centre your quilt top (and batting) on your bottom fabric, and safety pin the heck out of your quilt all over at about 5-10 inches apart depending on how secure you want it, as can be seen in the picture below.  This will stop your fabric from shifting all over the place and prevent bunching while you are sewing it.

Next, if you are hand sewing, or doing embroidery, or adding embellishments, A quilting hoop (also known as an embroidery hoop) is going to be your lifesaver.  I would recommend starting in the middle of your quilt and working your way outwards.  That way as you are quilting (sewing the layers together), it will prevent bottom fabric bunching, and make it easier for you to make sure your not sewing something you shouldn't be.

You can also use large quilting frames if you have the space (and funds) to support your quilt to work on it.

In this photo, you can see the bottom fabric, the hoop, and all the previous stitches I've already made in my quilt.  Make sure when you are doing your stitching, that you knot your thread really well.  You don't want loose threads or stitches coming undone from wear and tear when you start using your quilt.

When setting up your hoop, make sure all the layers are tight in the hoop and flattened, but not so tight you will rip your fabric.

In this next photo below, you can see all the different kinds of stitches and embellishments I've used.  If you want to stick to one type of stitch, that's ok.  If you want to add buttons, beads, little sewable trinkets, embroidered patches, that's ok too.  There's no right or wrong way to make a crazy quilt, just so long as you have enough stitching to hold all your layers together.

To learn how to do embroidery stitches, I highly recommend this website. Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials.  It's a site I've been using to figure out how to do some of my stitches.  

Once the hand sewing section of my quilt is done, I do plan on going over it in certain sections with my sewing machine and doing even more stitching.  This way it will make sure both layers are secured.  The tricky thing is with this quilt, is I do not have a "long arm" quilting machine.  I have a small-ish home sewing machine.  I have sewn some pretty large quilts with a small machine, but its tricky.  The key is to make sure you don't get bunching underneath. I have my own techniques for doing so, and some quilters think I'm crazy for doing the sandwiching on a smaller machine, but I have found ways that work for me.


For those who want to take a look at machine quilting, I am going to refer you to one of my favorite tutorial sites. The Free Motion Quilting Project.  She demonstrates sewing techniques on her machine with videos, and shows how to go over different quilting stitch patterns.

I have also found for you all a tutorial on how to sew large quilts on a standard sized machine (about the same size as the one i have, just a different model and make.)

As for finishing your quilt, I am going to refer you to a good binding tutorial that the Bronze Wombat recommended I follow (and have been referring to it since). This will show you how to put a final binding on your quilt.  Please view the video below for the binding tutorial.

That's all for now. Happy Quilting!

Themes and Tutorial Lables

acrylic along -a -thon alpaca animals announcement Appliqué Applique n' Patch Quilt art art journal auctions Australia autumn awareness baby basics beauty bellydance birthday blackout blog books Bronze Wombat by hand camping Canada carving case cat causes charity Christmas cleanup clothing computers cool cosplay costumes crafts crazy quilt Creativ Festival creepy crochet Curiosity cute dance DIY drawing DS dying Earth Day earth hour easter eco-awareness embroidery enviro-friendly environment errata fabric fall fibre Firefly fireworks flowers food for sale free fun funny furniture games garden gear geek general update gifts glass glitter glow in the dark h hair hallowe'en hand made happy Harry Potter henna herbs holidays home decor homemade hot injuries internet Jayne jewellery k kimono kit kitchen klutz knitting larp leather life thoughts makeup Mars medical mixed media movies music My Little Pony natural news Nintendo olympics painting paints paper piecing Patchwork Sanity pattern performance photos pink plant plants plastic canvas polymer clay preparedness presents public crafting announcment public saftey announcement quilting rant recipe re-cover recycle repairs re-purpose re-upholstry re-use s Science scraps selvedges Serenity sewing sheep shopping silk silly silly hats social sites socks Space sparkle special events spinning spoopy sports spring stash steampunk strange materials summer suprise tail tech difficulties thank you thoughts thrift tools Toronto Tour de Fleece toys trade show troupe TTC tutorial up-cycle updates vacation waste not weather weaving website links why? winter wonky star wool yarn