Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creativity Day 8 - Beaded Postcard and Padded Envelopes

Since it is the weekend I didn't want to take up my whole day working on something that was very hard or involved lots of time.  Last week I made some handcrafted envelopes for some fabric postcards but today I wanted to create padded envelopes that would protect a fabric post card with embellishments.

I did a quick Google search and found several websites offering tutorials for padded envelopes , the directions were easy to understand with some great visual instructions to follow.  I had everything I needed on hand, bubble wrap, double stick tape and cardstock.

After following the instructions I had my padded envelopes to pair with some Christmas Gift Tag/ Cards in my Etsy shop and a new listing for this beaded fabric Christmas card.  The envelopes are sturdy and ready to be addressed and sent off in the mail.

This was a fun envelope project and very simple to do with just a little bit of research involved and now I have some great new items to pair with some of my inventory.

What special things do you do when it comes to gift wrapping especially at Christmas time?  Please comment and share any thoughts or ideas.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Creativity Day 7 - Adding the Finishing Touches

Actually yesterday was supposed to be day 7 but sometimes the ideas just take a bit longer to actually turn into realities.

When I was sewing my paper pieced sections together it came to me that this would make a cute tote so as soon as I was done with the circle I took it apart and started working on my idea.

The little tote has a a lining with a double pocket on the inside, one open pocket and one with a zipper to secure valuables.  The tote itself has a magnetic closure so that everything says out of sight inside the purse.

This project has taken five days to complete but now I have some new found knowledge and inspiration for future projects.  I have learned that using my computer to design can be fun and inspiring and making a Mariner's Compass quilt block is no longer as intimidating as it used to be.

Tomorrow starts my second week of my Creativity Project and I hope my readers continue to drop in and comment or share ideas with me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creativity Day 6 - A New Listing

This morning I got going early and finished off the paper pieced compass and I was really thrilled how it came together. Unfortunately time is limited today and I was not able to do the project I wanted with the large quilt block.

I didn't want today to go without anything else getting done so I decided that a mini block was in order and would be easier to put into a finished piece.  I actually only used a 1/4th of a mini block for this cute little postcard.

This Mariner's Compass project has been so much fun and tomorrow I will continue to work on the larger block so that I can get it finished and share it with everyone.

Fabric postcards are fun to do and easy to put together once you get the hang of them and I love how this little bit of sunshine came out.  What is your favorite type of project?  What do you find that is easy to do?

Please share with us and comment on what kind of projects are your favorites or are a breeze for you to get done.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Creative Day 5 - Creating Your Own Patterns

"I never did a day's work in my life.  It was all fun."
Thomas Edison

After working all day yesterday on a design the only way to judge whether I had been successful or not was to actually make my quilt block.  I began the day by printing out a copy of my pattern cutting out the section that I would be using for paper piecing and then enlarging it to the size I wanted.  I actually ended up with a slightly larger block but this should be fine for a test run.

Making a test block is the only way to check out a pattern, and this one seems to be working out just fine.  This is only half done and when I finish the other half I will be able to see how the block will work out for use in a quilt.  Working on this block has been a great learning experience and lots of fun, now I am not afraid to try and create some different patterns for another Mariner's Compass block.

Taking the time to learn to use tools more efficiently or learning to use new tools is really worth the time and trouble.  I know that I am not going to stop here, there is so much more that I can do with my computer program I just need to take the time to learn how to create using a new tool.

If you drop in leave a comment and tell me what you think about this design.  Tomorrow I will be doing something creative using my finished block so drop in tomorrow evening and check out what I have planned.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Creative Day 4 - New Tools

"Progress is not created by contented people."
Frank Tyger
Creative Day 4 

Sometimes creativity is not just about making something but it is about learning something new.  As a quilter I have many tools that are used to create designs, rulers of all sizes, templates for cutting out shapes, books with patterns, sewing machines, quilting machines, and a computer.  I use most of these tools daily but the one I have not used very much is my computer, that is until today.  I decided to utilize my computer to create a paper pieced pattern that I have wanted to try for a long time but never had the courage to do before.

A Mariner's Compass Quilt Block has always seemed too difficult to do but I have always wanted to give one a try and I decided that learning to draft one was probably a good starting point.  I have Electric Quilt programs 6 and 7 and have used them occasionally to draft custom blocks for my memory quilts but never to create a mariner's compass. After a bit of research I found a great tutorial on-line to get me started, ,and after reviewing it I gave it a try.  It took me several attempts before I finally got a design that I was pleased with and that I could convert to the type of pattern I wanted.

After working on the computer most of the day I finally have a pattern for a 12 inch block that I can convert to paper piecing and start working on.  It is not an extremely complicated pattern but for my first try I think it is a good place to start.

Tools are very useful but sometimes the tools themselves can seem scary to use. We keep them around because the intentions are always there to learn more about them but we put off using them because of the time it will take to become comfortable with them.  Tools are by definition:  a device for doing work, a means to achieve something, something used in the course of somebody's everyday work, so today I learned how to use one of my many tools and really had fun doing it.

If you drop in please leave a comment and let us know what tools do you have that you have yet to make the most of or which tools are your favorite.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Creative Day 3 - A New Technique

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.
PSALMS 107:23-24

The last two days have inspired a postcard and an apron and potholder set which are really not new techniques to me.  Today I would like to try something new and see how it works out.

Paper piecing is a quilting technique that requires you to sew pieces of fabric onto a foundation of paper in a particular order and end up with a design. Here is what I designed today.

The paper pieced block was a 2 1/2 inch square for the sail boat, adding some extra sky on the top and sea on the bottom I was able to make it large enough to create another postcard.  The postcard can be framed as art or mailed in the handcrafted envelope I created to go along with it.

This project of paper piecing was quick and fun and turned out a mini block that I would never have been able to do using any other method of piecing.

If you drop in please leave a comment, I always love to hear from everyone.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Creative Day 2 - Breakfast Inspiration

After starting my creative journey yesterday I really had no idea what to create on day two. I went to bed uncertain of where the road to creativity would take me and decided that I would wait for the coming daylight to bring me some inspiration.

I woke up at 7:30 am, which is really late for me, with thoughts of making fresh coffee, waffles and bacon for breakfast.  The coffee, of course, came first and then I started frying bacon and anyone that has ever fried bacon will know, grease begins to spatter everywhere and this is where my inspiration came from today, an apron with a matching set of potholders was what I needed to create.

The fabric I chose is actually a cotton decorator fabric that is a bit heavier than regular cotton fabric, but for an apron it is the perfect weight.

First came the apron, a full size one with adjustable neck strap and ties that wrap around to the front making it easy to tie up.

The two potholders incorporate my quilting skills in this project.  One potholder is made with the matching apron fabric and quilted in an outline stitch on part of the fabric design, the other is a traditional quilt square in colors that compliment the apron and both have hanging loops.

Please feel free to leave a comment, idea or suggestion.  After warming up with two easy project I plan on doing something a bit more involved tomorrow, so please make sure you check back in to see what I am up to.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Daily Creativity

"Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality."
Arthur Koestler

This year has been a real downer for me and in an effort to revive my creative side I have started a daily creative journal.  One creative project per day for as long as I can keep it up, which I hope is a long time.

Creative Day 1

Keeping it simple and using only what I have on hand I made a simple fabric postcard, "Today is the Beginning", a reminder of things to come.

When I finished with the postcard I decided a handmade envelope would be a good way to complete today's creativity project.

The postcard can be hand cancelled at the post office but I rather put mine into an envelope to make sure that it doesn't get dirty and if any embellishments are added they won't get pulled off or damaged.

This is the first of what I hope to be many projects and I hope to focus on my quilting more than anything.  There are many techniques that I am anxious to try out and doing them in smaller projects will help me decided which ones I want to explore more deeply.
Please feel free to leave a comment, or give a suggestion as to any projects or techniques that might be fun and interesting to try out in a small project.