Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fabric Bookmarks

Back in Oct of 2010 I created some nifty bookmarks from fabric and vinyl. The bookmarks were really easy to make and one can make them using fabric scraps. They would make great additions for craft shows and art bazaars.

Materials Used:
cardstock or actual bookmark (comes in a pack of 10 or so)
Heat&Bond (ultra)...I wanted my bookmark as stiff as I could get them without using cardboard.
Iron-On Vinyl
fabric (go wild & crazy...or not)

1.Using cardstock cut whatever size you are comfortable with. Mines measures 2"x6". (I can't remember if I used an actual bookmark or cut my own.)

1A.When cutting fabric I cut my pieces a little bigger all around...1/4".

2.Cut heat&bond to size of cardstock and apply it to one side only...using appropriate iron temp. Let cool. Peel off paper lay fabric over, apply iron once again until fabric sticks. Let cool and cut excess fabric. Repeat process for the other side. Note: Read and understand manufacturer's directions for applying heat&bond.

Note: The iron-on vinyl can be a little awkward to work. I remember placing my bookmark down and then cutting another piece and laying in on top. Please follow manufacturer's directions for best application method.

3.I cut both pieces of vinyl about 1/4" wider all around because you want the sides to overlap and come together as in making a sandwich. The overlap edges will bond together when the iron is applied to it...forming a seal. Cut some of the excess vinyl leaving about a 1/8" edge all around.

Make a few of them first to get a feel for handling the ultra bond and especially the iron-on vinyl.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Knitting with Fabric...

I spent half of Thursday getting stuff together to donate to one of my favorite thrift/charity stores. While going through boxes I found some stretch rib knit fabric. I have had this fabric for about three years, never made anything out of it, did not think I ever would and wondered why the heck did I buy it in the first place.

Twice this fabric was tossed in the giveaway and twice it was taken out. Why was it so hard to decide whether it was a keeper or not? I could make a knit top and leggings with it...only at 50+ the thought of these added accessories would have looked quite foolish on me. Would have made me look shorter and a bit more chunkier than I already am. Would have made people wonder if I was going through my second childhood/teenage years. Although I truly don't care what others think of me...(just last month I left the house with an Aunt Bea a lot of looks for that one)...I don't purposely draw attention to myself. if I was not going to make clothing out of this material what would I use it for? I had it sitting on the table for the rest of the day not really thinking about it. Spent the rest of the day rummaging through hundreds of sewing patterns seeing if perhaps I could give some of these away. I happen to come upon one that has instructions for making fabric crochet baskets, rugs and placemats...great idea!

I chose knitting instead of crochet. I felt of the two that knitting would put less stress on my wrists because I have in the pass suffered from carpal tunnel (very painful!). My project is a simple rug and knitted in a basis knit stitch...nothing fancy.

The fabric is a stretch rib knit with horizontal stripes...great colors...reminds me of fall, candy corns, pumpkins, falling leaves and blue skies. I am knitting my rug on size 17 needles that are 14" long. I am knitting in the Continental style...yarning over and holding the "yarn" in my left hand while doing the actual knitting with my right hand. I have sort of anchored the left hand needle on my leg at a slant because the bigger the rug gets the heavier it becomes.

I have not cut the whole piece as it would eventually become a big tangled mess but have opt to cutting four to five continuous strips. Continuous strips...when I reach about an inch from the bottom I stop cutting and start another row. This method also leaves small tails which after I am finish I will go back and tuck them in with a crochet hook.

So far the rug measures 14" x 14" and it is only half finished. It will be square in shape.

A note about using knit fabric: I personally feel that because of the stretch it is more giving, easier to handle and is less stress on the wrists.

I think this would make for some really interesting placemats. Also one can crochet or knit these into many shapes (heart, oval or whatever).