NFL Crib Mobile Tutorial

nfl crib mobile tutorialThis NFL crib mobile tutorial is my contribution to this year’s Crafty Football Blog Hop! I’m generally known for my cross stitch and needlepoint projects but lately I’ve been noticing so many fun felt projects I wanted to give it a try. I also really enjoy the colors of the NFL teams – they’re bright and bold, perfect for crafting. Why not have felt and NFL colors join forces in three dimensions?

nfl crib mobile tutorial 2015 crafty football blog hop badgeThis 2015 hop, like the 2013 and 2014 hops, is a combination of participants in the Crafty Fantasy Football League (#CraftyFFL) and fellow crafty and inventive football fans. At the bottom of this post, check out the links to the other participants outstanding projects!

 

 

Things you’ll need:

  • felt
  • embroidery floss
  • an embroidery hoop (I used a 5″ x 9″ oval shaped hoop as it was close in appearance to the outline of a football)
  • paperclips
  • fabric scissors
  • paper scissors
  • pins
  • cotton batting or cotton balls (optional)
  • needles
  • ruler
  • small metal or wooden ring (optional)
  • glue (school glue is fine)

NFL Crib Mobile

You will need 16 colors of felt and 13 colors of embroidery floss. The embroidery floss I already had in my supplies, but I purchased the felt and the hoop from the incredibly helpful Deanna of the Etsy shop BusyLittleBird. She (and Mr. BusyLittleBird) went above and beyond when helping me get the correct colors of felt for this project and I can not thank her enough!

I recommend her listing for 20 sheets of 6″ x 9″ wool blend felt as that size sheet is big enough to accommodate all the cut pieces necessary of any color. I can also recommend her listing for the 5″ x 9″ oval hoop, and in addition, she sells DMC embroidery floss if you need to augment your collection.

nfl crib mobile tutorial legendThe legend at right shows the names of the felt colors (as they are listed at BusyLittleBird), the DMC floss numbers, and the team color combinations necessary for the mobile.

Note: It will take two whole skeins of floss to wrap the 5″ x 9″ hoop. Also, some of the colors in the photo above are different than the colors listed in the legend – a result of post-purchase consultations with BusyLittleBird. I recommend you go with the colors in the legend.

 

 

Cutting:

On the mobile, each of the 32 NFL teams are represented by a double-sided felt square. Each side consists of a big outer 1 1/2″ square and a small inner 3/4″ square.

Let’s use Denver (my fave team – Go Broncos!) as an example. The outer square is Ragtime Blue and the inner square is Sunburst. Therefore, for Denver’s double-sided square, you will need to cut two 1 1/2″ Ragtime Blue squares and two 3/4″ Sunburst squares. Repeat this for all the teams, and refer to the legend for all the color combinations.

I used fabric scissors to cut the squares, although a fabric cutting machine or a rotary fabric cutter probably would have worked much better at getting the edges of the squares at precise right angles.

Next up are the 4 pennants and the 4 footballs, and here is a template of those shapes for you to use.

For the footballs, cut out the eight paper templates and pin them to the Peat Moss felt. You may want to do a rough cut to separate the pieces from each other, and then go back and more carefully cut around the edge of the paper football template.
NFL Crib Mobile

For the pennants, cut four big triangles of Kelly Green felt and another four of Chartreuse felt. You may want to pin the big outer triangle templates to the green felt in the same manner as the footballs before you make your cuts. The eight small triangles can be cut from scraps of the other felt colors.

After all the cutting, you can unpin the templates from the felt and discard the paper. You may need to trim a few pieces to get them a little more correct.

When you have finished cutting, in total you will end up with 64 big squares, 64 little squares, 8 footballs, 8 big triangles and 8 small triangles.
NFL Crib Mobile

 

Sewing:

Use three strands of the six strand embroidery floss to sew the small inner squares to the middle of the big outer squares. Use the floss color that matches the bigger felt square. Refer to the legend once again to get your team color combinations correct. The photos below show Tampa Bay’s silver and red sewn with the silver floss.

Make a knot on the end of the floss, and come up from the back about 1/8″ from the corner of the inner square. Make a simple running stitch all the way around, and then tie off the floss with a knot on the back. Repeat this process for all 64 squares.
NFL Crib Mobile

Put the two halves together back to back, with the knots on the inside. This time use only one strand of that same bigger square floss color. Make a small knot at the end of the floss. Starting at the middle of the top, whip stitch the two pieces together. The photos below show the basics of the whip stitch, but here is another set of directions you might find useful.
NFL Crib Mobile

Stop whip stitching at the fourth corner, leaving half of the top unsewn and open as shown in the photo below. Leave roughly 4 – 5 inches of the single strand of floss so that you can finish whip stitching the top later. Repeat this process for all 32 squares.  NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileRepeat the same steps for the pennants. Sew the small triangles onto the big triangles with three strands of floss. Put the two pieces back to back, and whip stitch the pennants, again using one strand of floss. However this time, leave the entire top edge of the pennants open.

 

 

NFL Crib MobileUse three strands of white embroidery floss to sew laces on four of the eight footballs. Whip stitch one “laced” football to a plain football. This time, leave roughly 1 1/2 inch around the top center open and unsewn. At this point, you can stuff the footballs with cotton batting or even cotton balls to give them a little dimension.

 

When all of your pieces have been whip stitched, layout all the pieces into 8 columns of 5 pieces. Put one pennant or football in each string. Try to balance the position of brighter squares and darker squares, and try to avoid duplicate color combinations (I’m looking at you navy blue and red, for one) being adjacent to each other.
NFL Crib Mobile

One note, do not put a pennant at the bottom of a string like I have shown above. I found out that those little puppies won’t hang straight unless there is a square or football below them.

Assembling the Strings:

For this step, you will need another needle that is at least as long as the squares are tall – 1 1/2 inches. I alternated between the two green floss colors, DMC 699 and DMC 704, to make the strings. Cut pieces of floss 30″ – 36″ long and separate them into two three-strand groups. Thread your long needle with one of these three strand groups of floss.

You’re going to start from the bottom piece and work your way up each string of five pieces.

Double or triple tie a paperclip to the end of the floss. Trim the tail end of the floss quite close to the paperclip. Insert the paperclip into the unstiched gap in the square. Orient the paperclip vertically, and center the top of the paperclip and the floss at the top center of the square. Make sure that the tail end of the green floss is tucked inside the square.
NFL Crib Mobile
NFL Crib Mobile

Thread your smaller needle with the tail of the floss you used to whip stitch the two pieces together. Whip stitch the top of the square closed, making sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip.
NFL Crib Mobile

As this mobile isn’t meant for much handling, no knot is necessary. Just draw the thread out through an edge of the square between the two pieces of felt and trim it close.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a square or a football, insert the long needle through the bottom center between the two back-to-back pieces. Work the needle toward the top center, making sure you don’t accidentally pierce either of the two sides. Pull the long needle through the top of the piece.

 

NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a pennant, run the needle between the pieces roughly in the same location as the base of the small triangle.

 

 

 

Now you will want to look at the spacing between pieces on the string. In my example, I put about two inches between pieces. Tie another paperclip to the green floss where the top of the next piece will be. For example, if the next piece is a square, the knot on the paperclip would be 3 1/2 inches (2 inches spacing plus the 1 1/2 inch of the square) above the top of the piece below it. Using a ruler will definitely help your spacing.
NFL Crib Mobile

After you get your paperclip knotted in place, insert the paperclip into the unstitched gap and finish whip stitching the piece in the same manner as you did with the first piece on the string. Again, make sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip inside the piece.
NFL Crib Mobile

Repeat these steps until all five pieces are on a string, and all eight strings are assembled.

Assembling the mobile:

All you will use is the smaller, inner embroidery hoop. Mark 8 equidistant places on the hoop, and then tie the 8 strings to the hoop using secure knots. You can tie the eight strings all at the same height or stagger the heights as I did. You should have plenty of extra string – don’t trim the excess yet!

Take three of the eight excess strings (I chose the strings at roughly the 12:00, 4:00 and 7:00 positions), and tie them together above the mobile so that the hoop will hang level. At this point you could attach a metal or wooden ring. I didn’t have one available, so I just made a second knot about an inch above the first knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileTrim the five other excess strings down to a length of about 1 1/2″ and then use a little glue to stick the floss ends to the inside of the hoop.

 

 

 

Now you’re ready to start wrapping your hoop. It will take two whole skeins of floss, using all six strands, to wrap a 5″ x 9″ hoop. Use a little more glue to stick the beginning of the skein to the hoop. Work your way over that beginning and continue wrapping the floss around the hoop. Take care that you don’t catch up the eight strings below or the three strings that go up to the knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

Tip: Holding the hoop with all the strings attached and bobbing around while you’re trying to wrap the floss is nearly impossible. On my table I used a couple of new rolls of paper towels standing on end to assist me in holding up the hoop. Putting a big rubber band around each roll helped as well.

NFL Crib MobileTo tie off a skein, thread a needle with the floss, pass it under as many wraps as possible on the inside of the hoop, and then closely trim off the extra. After you tie off, you may need to scoot and shift a couple of wraps to cover some small gaps that show the wood hoop.

Congratulations – your mobile is complete! Here is mine, hanging out with some aspen leaves.

 

 

 

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made this year!


Double Stitch Needlepoint Tutorial

couching doneDouble stitch needlepoint is very attractive for filling areas in both needlepoint and cross stitch projects. I’ve used it in two projects thus far, my fun (and free!) Denver Broncos cross stitch tutorial,

 

 



Compass Tile WIP #4aand again in my Compass Needlepoint project.

 

 

 

 

It’s a lovely stitch and it can be executed horizontally (as I will present below and as in the photos above) or vertically – it makes no difference as the stitches are worked the same. However, executing it presents some interesting challenges – challenges that this tutorial will address. Let’s start at the beginning…

In diagrams, you’ll see the basic instructions for the double stitch as follows:

double stitch needlepoint tutorial - figure 1Work the long cross stitches (in blue) first as shown in Figure 1b, up through the canvas at 1, down through the canvas at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc.

Then go back and fill in the small cross stitches (in pink) as shown in Figure 1c, again up at 1, down at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc.

 

fig2The second column will be worked from bottom to top, and the third column will be worked from top to bottom again. With that in mind, the first three columns of long cross stitches will be stitched in the order shown in Figure 2.

 

 

 

fig3Then the first three columns of small cross stitch will be stitched in the order shown in Figure 3.

 

 

 

 

 

In a square or rectangular area, there will be areas on the edges of the rows that will need coverage (shown in yellow).

fig4If it’s one stitch, depending on the weight of floss or wool used, these can be covered either with one stitch (in blue) in Figure 4a
or a small cross stitch in Figure 4b (in the diagrams that follow below, you’ll see that I chose to show the single stitch in Figure 4a purely for simplicity’s sake).

If the area on the edge that needs coverage is two stitches, create a two stitch long stitch as shown in Figure 4c.

The double stitch gets more challenging in areas that are not square or rectangular.

fig5Use the area in Figure 5 as an example. It’s similar to some of the areas in my Compass Tile project. I had a heck of a time wrapping my brain around how to tackle this, and I even put the project on hold for a while until I figured out this approach.

 

 

fig6On your pattern, draw the location of the small cross stitches as I did in pink in Figure 6. This will be an invaluable guide. Go ahead and stitch these small cross stitches using the same order of stitching as shown in Figure 3 above.

 

 

 

[What follows is especially important when the small cross stitch and long cross stitch are different colors.]

fig7From here, you need to consider the long stitches column by column, AND define what makes a column. With the double stitch, columns look like they do in Figure 7, shown in alternating in gold and gray. Essentially, the long stitches will play hopscotch over the existing small cross stitches while also filling in the extra one stitch and two stitch long stitches on the edges at the same time.

This will make more sense as you work through the next few Figures below.

fig8Let’s say we approach this area working from the left to the right. Then if we stitch the first column from top to bottom, the second column will be stitched from bottom to top, third column top to bottom, etc.

Starting from the left, the first column (gold) will only needs one stitch (in blue) as shown in Figure 8.

fig9The second column (gray), worked from bottom to top, will need a single stitch, two full long cross stitches and a two stitch long stitch as shown in Figure 9. Stitch the full long cross stitches and two stitch long stitch in the same order as they were shown above in Figure 2.

 

 

fig10The third (gold) column, worked from top to bottom, will need a single stitch, three full long cross stitches, and another single stitch as shown in Figure 10.

 

 

 

 

fig11The fourth (grey) column, worked from bottom to top, will need a single stitch, three full long cross stitches, and another single stitch as shown in Figure 11.

 

 

 

 

fig12Continue working your long stitches, serpentine-ing up and down as you work from left to right until your area is filled in as shown in Figure 12.

You’ll notice that the directions of the single stitches at the top and bottom and left and right are different. That’s just my preference – you could have them all go the same direction, or make them cross stitches as shown above in Figure 4b.

I hope this helps you use this beautiful double stitch in future needlepoint and cross stitch projects!

Variegated Floss Projects Part 5

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 5! In this six-part series I’m sharing a bunch of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. Part 3 explored variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking. Part 4 looked at variegated projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving, and this Part 5 will feature crochet, lace and tatting, and basketweaving!variegated floss projects part 5 - DMC 4120

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses and yarns are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Yarn Projects in Crochet

To start off, variegated yarns can present some interesting challenges. Jennifer at FiberFlux offers some great tips and techniques for working with these beautiful yarns, as well as a number of knit and crochet projects that look outstanding in variegated yarns.

 

 

 

 

There is more good information about what to do (and maybe more importantly what NOT to do) when working with variegated yarns in this post on About.com Crochet by Amy Solovay. This potholder is one of her examples of what NOT to do.

 

 

 

journbig 003There are a million blanket and afghan patterns that look great using variegated yarns. One of the more unique examples I found is this fun and scrappy granny square afghan by Robin Meade at LifeInColor.

 

 

Another unique design is in this octagonal blanket by Monika Rose. In an earlier post, she has more links to the pattern (by Red Heart) and information on the yarns she used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - basketweave crochet pillowMichael Sellick at TheCrochetCrowd has the pattern and video tutorials to make this fun basketweave pillow using two different types of variegated yarn.

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet hat and scarfJust like afghans, there are a million ways to use variegated yarn in hats and scarves. This free pattern available on About.com looks like a great place to get started with variegated yarn in crochet,

 

 

 

 

 

Precious_cowl__3_small2while this Precious Cowl pattern by Sophie Gelfi Designs on Ravelry, gorgeous in the variegated yarns you see here, is probably better suited for more experienced crafters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet potholder pastelUnlike her craft fail above, Amy Solovay has some successful potholder patterns out on About.com Crochet. This Shades of Spring is nice in pastels,

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet potholder watercolorand this Watercolor potholder pattern uses five different variegated yarns!

 

 

 

 

 

teacher giftsI just love these very fun washcloths that were made as part of a teacher thank you by Julie-K. This post on her Kundhi blog has the link to the free Ravelry pattern.

 

 

 

Who can resist these amazingly adorable crocodile baby booties? The ones seen here are from BumbleBeeDesigns, and links to patterns and tutorials to make your own (for babies, children, and adults!) can be found in this post on Examiner.com.

 

 

Granny Square Necklace - 3I have more examples of using variegated floss in crochet to make jewelry in the third post in this series, but I thought this cute granny square necklace on TheHookandI looked perfect right here.

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet hobo bagCrochet bags and purses look terrific in variegated yarns! Examples include this free Hobo Bag pattern by Red Heart Yarn on FaveCrafts,

 

 

 

 

 

 

this granny square purse by Dawn Sparks,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this Dynamite Market Bag pattern by Jamie on CrochetDynamite,

 

 

 

 

 

and this Starling Handbag pattern by Alice at her FutureGirl blog.

 

 

 

 

Crochet Pattern - Big Crochet BasketWhile this basket pattern on ZoomYummy wasn’t crocheted in variegated yarns, I can only imagine how great it would look with some Noro yarns, perhaps?

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - crochet conch shellConnie at MiscFinds4U reviewed this free conch shell pattern from Joann.com. Her experience with the project was that she used a variegated yarn that complimented the shape, but she couldn’t get the stitches quite right (use this link to see the pattern on Joann.com). I think her project turned out great nonetheless!

 

Crocheted Layered flower with button centerThere’s a world of crochet flowers out there. I spied this lovely pattern that uses variegated yarn at CreativeJewishMom,

 

 

 

 

and this outstanding board on Pinterest, curated by Kay Kutchenriter, is full of all kinds of gorgeous crochet flowery goodness!variegated floss projects part 5 - pinterest crochet flower board

I like how Monika Rose used variegated yarns in this mandala project,

 

 

 

 

 

and I’m impressed with the variety of circular and mandala type projects that are available. This Pinterest board by Annoo Crochet is FULL of inspiration and patterns.

variegated floss projects part 5 - pinterest crochet mandalas

One of my most exciting finds for the this whole series is this most excellent “Light Carpet” as seen on dutchDZINE. It combines a flexible LED light string and a rope rug in such an ingenious way. Imagine this with some gorgeous variegated fibers in a rug, wall art, made into a basket – the possibilities are nearly endless!

Variegated Floss Projects in Lace and Tatting

Rainbow SnowflakeVariegated thread and tatting compliment each other so naturally. This snowflake project

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmark Exchangeand these bookmarks by Jeff Hamilton of Bridge City Tatting,

 

 

 

Tatted flower hair clipsas well as these hair clips

 

 

 

 

 

Shamrockand this subtly shaded shamrock pendant by Marilee Rockley of YarnPlayer are some great examples of how tatting and variegated threads can work together. As well as her own blog, YarnPlayer has some good links to tatting websites and dyeing websites, and her Flickr feed has many more gorgeous pieces of her tatting and her stunning hand-dyed threads.

 

Needle Lace Skeleton LeavesOne other really interesting link I found is a detailed tutorial on how to make these really lovely needle lace skeleton leaves by Kris on HowDidYouMakeThis? The tutorial calls for normal DMC six strand floss, and in these solid colors they’re beautiful. I imagine they would also be beautiful crafted from some variegated colors,

DMC Variegated 6 Strand Floss 4070 Autumn Leavespossibly DMC 4070 (Autumn Leaves)

 

 

 

 

DMC Variegated 6 Strand Floss 4122 Fall HarvestDMC 4122 (Fall Harvest)

 

 

 

 

DMC Variegated 6 Strand Floss 4020 Tropical Watersor even a non-earth tone like DMC 4020 (Tropical Waters)? Yummy…

 

 

 

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Basketweaving

Many basket weaving projects use solid color materials in order to achieve certain graphic patterns, but I was able to find a few examples of baskets that use variegated yarns. The first two come from the same source, the resourceful Adrianne at HappyHourProjects. This Woven Yarn basket tutorial has some solid instructions on how to make a coiled basket with simple supplies. In this example, you can see how the yarn colors pooled in interesting patterns.

Her Heart Shaped Yarn Basket is another great tutorial, and is a much quicker project than the one above. Once again, she gives the pattern and instructions to make this fun basket from very basic supplies. In this basket, you can see that the colors didn’t pool at all.

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 5 - variegated thread coiled basketFinally, I spied this post of coiled baskets made by a talented group of 7th and 8th graders. I’m partial to this one – what a fun combination of colors!

 

 

 

 

That wraps up this Variegated Floss Projects Part 5! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of crochet, lace and tatting, and basketweaving that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroideryPart 2 which had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-poms, Part 3 which had projects in jewelry and scrapbooking, and Part 4 which had projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving. Stay tuned for the finale of this series covering furniture, seasonal projects, string art, and home decor!

Update: Here is Part 6

Five Tutorials I Would Like to Try

link-love-icon250Following Diane and Tammy’s Link Love mission, today I’m sharing five tutorials I would like to try!

 

 

 

 

 

Chevron Scarf#1 Jody McKinley’s Chevron Scarf pattern on her JavaJem blog. I also featured this project in my recent post on variegated yarn projects. I just love how the six different colorways of Koigu combine so cheerfully. My biggest hesitation on this one is that I have never knit a single stitch. I’m thinking I’d have to tackle some much simpler scarves before attempting this beauty.

 

 

 

 

#2 This DIY Chevron Wall Art project by Emma of MyBojuLife. There’s lots of paint chip art out there, but this one grabbed my particular attention. I have a lot of leftover paint chips from when we remodeled one of our bathrooms, and this looks to be a quick and fun project.

 

 

#3 Rachel at LinesAcross has this tutorial on how to make beads from scraps of paper and leftover embroidery floss. This tutorial I also featured in a previous post on using flosses in jewelry. It’s a brilliant way to be creative and thrifty at the same time, and I think I have an idea of how to use these beads in projects other than jewelry…

 

 

 

#4 I love the concept behind this baby mobile by Alisa Burke guest posting at SewMamaSew. Once again, I featured this project in a fun previous post about water-themed crafts. With a minimum of planning and expense, she created this striking project. I don’t know any babies who are currently in need of a mobile, but I know some little boys who might like to help me make them a cool door curtain…

 

 

 

 

Picture of Rain Gutter Garden Planter Troughs#5 Last of the five tutorials I would like to try is some variation of this Rain Gutter Garden Planter tutorial on Instructables. Our house is on an incredibly tiny lot, and planters are our only option. Using rain gutters is an economical way to go vertical without creating too much weight. We’re thinking that some (shallow-rooted) herbs and lettuces might be a nice place to start!

My previous posts in the Link Love Mission include “Five Books I Made Something From,” “Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating” (note: from early in the history of this blog), “Five Favorite Projects for DIY Crafty Goodness,” and my favorite and most important: “Five Blogs that Make Me Laugh.”

Variegated Floss Projects Part 4

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! In this six-part series I’m sharing a bunch of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. Part 3 explored variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking, and this Part 4 will look at variegated projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving!

variegated floss projects part 4 - DMC 4030

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Yarn Projects in Knitting

Knitting with variegated yarns can present some choices and challenges, and Crystal at VivereNelColore talks about her experiences with them (like this darling Toddler Tee),

 

 

 

 

and at CrafterNews, a helpful guest post by Wendy D. Johnson explores the question “To Variegate or Not to Variegate?”

 

 

 

Slipped StitchLinda at PlanetShoup offers a list of “Practical Uses for Variegated Yarns and Threads,” and Sarah at IntrepidTulips has a list of “Knitting Stitches to Show Off Variegated Yarn.” The sock you see here is in slip stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - knit cowlNow on to some real, live, gorgeous projects that use variegated yarns. I have to say I adore the fantastic combination of color and texture in this cowl. The Weinstock pattern is by Kerrie James of dyod*Studio and available on Craftsy.

 

 

Then there are a world of scarf patterns out there. Some that lend themselves to variegated yarns include this Bennington pattern by Melissa Leapman on Better Homes and Gardens,

 

 

 

 

 

 

this easy and pretty garter-stitched scarf also on Better Homes and Gardens,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop_stitch_scarf_011106this bright and fun seafoam pattern by Christine at FrazzledKnits (with lots of clarification in the comments),

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chevron ScarfJody McKinley’s super colorful chevron pattern summer scarf,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this playful puppet scarf for kids (and fun adults) from Better Homes and Gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - socksVariegated yarn can also make some outstanding socks. Anne Hanson of knitspot has her pattern for these basketweave socks available on Craftsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some blankets and afghans look superb with variegated yarns, and I’ll just share a few favorites. One is this simple and elegant baby blanket by Jordan Reid on her RamshackleGlam blog.

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - windowpane afghanAnother is this Windowpane afghan on FreeKnitPatterns. Imagine these blocks in some various colorways of variegated yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - drops design over the rainbow projectThe Over the Rainbow blanket pattern by Drops Design is lovely and dramatic,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and I especially like this free pattern for the intriguing Honeycomb Waves blanket on MusingsofaYarnMom. The yarn used here is from Noro, which is so distinctive it really creates it’s own category of projects.

 

 

Beautiful Noro yarn projects can be seen in this Pinterest board by Sonja Sokol. There are some simply stunning pieces here.variegated floss projects part 4 - pinterest board of noro projects

POP blanket by Emily WesselOne of the most fun looking projects on Sonja’s board is this POP!! blanket tutorial by Emily Wessel at TinCanKnits. I love the fun of it and how it can use up some leftover yarns.

 

 

 

Another project that uses up leftovers is this fun blanket WIP by Barbara Delinsky (with a link to the pattern in the comments). It uses both leftover solid and variegated yarns to a bright and colorful result! Also note how she uses knitting as a way to relieve anxiety.

 

 

 

There are a host of good ideas for using up variegated yarn scraps in this post by Beth at SerenityKnits. One of my favorites is this precious treasure pouch she found on Ravelry,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and another favorite from her post are these variegated cotton ditty bags where the colors have pooled into curious shapes.

 

 

 

poolingPlanned pooling is it’s own art and science, as exemplified by this article by Karla Steubing on the TwistCollective blog. She combined her expertise as a professor and statistician and her love of yarn to study how variegated yarns can be manipulated into fascinating patterns such as in this shrug. She has instructions on how to plan your own patterns and co-admins a Pooled Knits group on Ravelry.

 

 

 

 

Variegated Yarn Projects in Spinning and Dyeing

This article on Squidoo is an amazing resource for various methods of spinning and dyeing yarns. Of particular interest is the list that starts about two-thirds down the page called “DIY Hand Dyed Yarn.” The techniques linked there involve crock pots, Kool-Aid ice cubes, handpainting, hot pouring, easter egg dyes, ombre-dyeing, and tie-dyeing, all to produce variegated yarns.

 

 

 

PB050069In addition to that, Stacey at FreshStitches has a tutorial on how to Kool-Aid dye yarns with long colorways, similar to those intriguing Noro yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, my green and teal skeinsWhen it comes to spinning variegated yarns, I’ve found a couple of articles of interest. In the first, SeaGreenandSapphire describes their experiment of spinning in two different methods and shows the results.

 

 

The second article is by Lisa D. Jacobs on EnneaCollective and it shares some interesting information on “impressionist color blending using variegated rovings.” The article compares using the colorway shown here vs. a more monochromatic colorway.

 

Variegated Yarn Projects in Weaving

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketConsidering the volume of examples of the more artistic use of variegated yarns in weaving, I’m going to concentrate more on the more crafty side of the genre. For example, this excellent tutorial by Marlene of Wovenflame on weaving using a nail loom. These easy and quick squares can easily be combined into a larger, and what I imagine would be an incredibly warm and sturdy blanket.

 

On a much smaller scale is this tutorial from Sister Diane of CraftyPod while guest posting on Dabbled. These adorable woven sachets perfectly utilize this variegated yarn!

 

 

 

 

This unique combination of handmade paper and weaving makes for great wall art. Victoria Gertenbach has some more information on her TheSillyBooDilly site.

 

 

 

 

Picture of Branch WeavingNext is this interesting branch weaving tutorial by wold360 on Instructables. This example creates a lot of visual interest through using some different weaving patterns. Although this particular example doesn’t use variegated yarns, it’s easy to see that they would look great in the mix!

 

 

crafting with kids 1024x682 Gods Eye Yarn WeavingA simpler version is the classic God’s eye project. This version by Lorelei at CraftsMumShip uses tree branches and variegated yarns,

 

 

where this version on CraftsbyAmanda uses good ol’ craft sticks. I think the button accents are a cute touch!

 

 

 

 

 

wall decor embroidery hoopJust check out this fun finger knitted art tutorial by Hani at Craftionary. It’s inexpensive and colorful – I wonder what a grouping of these on a wall would look like?

 

 

 

Woven Straw Stars Ornaments - Cardboard VersionFrom the ever-crafty and ever-thrifty Pam at GingerbreadSnowflakes comes this cereal box star ornament tutorial. Derived from similar straw ornaments that celebrate the stars, this example is a cheerful combination of solid and variegated yarns.

 

 

Lastly are two flower projects from Knitting-and that use a Clover 24-pin Hanaami loom. There’s a tutorial for six-petal version (that includes directions for making leaves) and a very cheerful eight-petal daisy tutorial.  Take a look!

That wraps up this Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of knitting, dyeing and spinning, and weaving that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery, Part 2 which had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-poms, and Part 3 which had projects in jewelry and scrapbooking. Stay tuned for the next two parts of this series covering crochet, wreath making, string art, lace and tatting, and a whole lot more!

Update: Here are Part 5 and Part 6

Variegated Floss Projects Part 2

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 2! In this six-part series I’m sharing a ton of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. This Part 2 will explore variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects.

variegated floss projects part 2 - DMC 4050

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Floss Projects in Plastic Canvas

082Making coasters is a perfect way to start crafting with plastic canvas, and this tutorial by Susan at HomeschoolingHeartsandMinds shows how variegated yarn and a simple pattern combine into a pretty and useful project.

 

 

PC Ornament TutorialA slightly more advanced project is the tutorial to make these awesome design-your-own ornaments from Diane at CraftyPod. As you can see, these are a great way to use up some variegated yarn scraps!

 

 

 

These intriguing Spirograph Necklace pendants by StealthandAces use the same plastic canvas rounds. In this photo you can see she used solid colors to produce a variegated effect, but why not see what happens with a variegated floss?

 

 

 

You might find some inspiration in this little PC purse made by Jenn at Clever, Crafty, Cookin’ Mama. It’s not a tutorial per se, but she gives enough information for others to attempt the same. I think the combination of the variegated yarn, the solids, and the stitches were a good choice for this cute project.

 

08.07.12 plastic canvas 13This little Christmas house on TheMakingBox is just darling, and I love how the speckled yarn used on the roof adds just the right amount of texture and character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, from Craftster is this clever Bob Dobbs plastic canvas cross stitch project. User Oddityblaze used variegated yarn to create, in my opinion, an ideal psychedelic background for the cult icon.

Variegated Floss Projects in Quilting

variegated threadsSuperiorThreads has a great rundown of the many types of variegated threads they offer for machine and hand quilting. The selection of colors seems nearly limitless!

 

 

free motion quilting with variegated threadAmy at FreeMotionQuiltingAdventures gives some great tips on working with variegated threads in machine quilting – when to use them, and maybe when not to use them.

 

 

 

var-flower-heart-quiltA great use of variegated thread is this wholecloth quilt by Susan at WildOnionStudio. As you can see, “for the heart, [she quilted] over the lines several times to make that baby pop” while using a more neutral thread for the background.

 

 

This wholecloth quilt by MarveLesArtStudios also uses variegated thread, but this time the cloth is a batik pattern. This makes the quilting less noticeable but it’s pretty, practical, and a great way to practice your skills without a lot of risk.

 

I have to admit it’s hard to see in the photos, but it’s easy to grasp how the variegated thread they used would add some nice visual interest to this bold and bright Anchor Quilt at PieceNQuilt.

 

 

I also like the use of the variegated threads to help convey a flowery impression on this modern LinesSpring quilt by EschHouseQuilts.

 

 

 

Detail 1 of Royal Crustacean - fractal art quiltVariegated threads are also used extensively in hand quilting. One example are the subtle colors in this elaborate fractal Royal Crustacean quilt by Rose Rushbrooke,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and another in this simple and cute 9″ x 9″ quilt square by Elizabeth at PiecefulLife.

 

 

 

 

Kathleen Murphy uses some hand dyed cotton floss and some variegated wool yarn as you can see below on her unique Embellish art quilt.

Stitch Around The Clock page Augustus for CQJP 2013.Some of the best examples of variegated floss in hand quilting can be seen in crazy quilts. This type of quilting is closer to embroidery than quilting per se, but crazy quilts are such a huge niche in the quilting arena that I like to give them special consideration. One need not go any further than the Flickr Photostream of Margreet from Holland for some outstanding uses of variegated floss in crazy quilts. In this example at right, she beautifully combines no fewer than four different variegated flosses (there may be more!).

Evelyn Chow has curated this outstanding Pinterest board of crazy quilt embroidery. It is truly worth the time to check these out!variegated floss projects part 2 - pinterest crazy quilt embroidery

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Felt

First up, Fiona Duthie gives some great instructions on a couple of different methods to create your own “variegated” felt using Kool-Aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little inspiration comes from this lovely combination of felt and variegated floss on these Easter eggs by Amy at InTheFold,

 

 

 

Felt Flowers - Crafty Staci 13and a little more inspiration is in these lovely felt lillies with their variegated floss accents by CraftyStaci.

 

 

 

Finally, there’s this project by Katie from DuoFireworks as a guest post on the WhipUp blog. She gives the pattern and more information on how she created these felt potholders by first knitting then felting with some Fingerwolle variegated pencil roving. So interesting!

Variegated Floss Projects in Sewing

Of course, most clothes are not made with variegated floss, however, why not have a little fun with your machine? Most sewing machines have some decorative stitches built in, and on SewMamaSew guest blogger Maggie Kertay has this great tutorial on how to show them off a bit!

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 2 - machine decorative stitchesAlthough the above photo doesn’t use variegated thread, as you can see here they look great in decorative stitches! Sew4Home has an in-depth post on decorative stitches, tips on making them work, and some uses for them.

 

 

Kristi at Addicted2Decorating used both decorative stitches and variegated yarn on these pillows. Her tutorial gives detailed instructions on how she made this fun and unique decor for her home.

 

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Pom-Poms!

I put an exclamation point at the end of “pom-poms” above as it’s incredibly hard to talk about pom-poms without some enthusiasm – they’re so fun! Take these for example. Cheryl at SewCanDo made these as part of a book review. She used embroidery floss, baker’s twine, standard yarn, and chunky variegated yarn to make these funky poms.

 

How To Make Giant Pom Poms Tutorial vintagerevivals.com-14Mandi at VintageRevivals has a fantastic post including some lessons learned and a tutorial on how to make these giant pom-poms and attach them to a throw blanket. Why not try it with a variegated yarn?

 

 

Pom pom flowers - by Craft & CreativityAs you can see in this cute arrangement, Helena at CraftandCreativity did create multi-colored pom-poms and crafted them into these flowers. Her post has some tips on her process. Very very cute!

There are a ton of tutorials and examples of crafting with pom-poms. So many, in fact, that I will leave you with just these examples. But I hope that these show how well variegated flosses and yarns can be used in all these pom-pom crafts!

 

 

That bright and cheerful note finishes this Variegated Floss Projects Part 2! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing or pom-poms that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. And stay tuned for the next FOUR parts of this series covering knitting, wreath making, string art, jewelry, and a whole lot more!

Update: Here are Part 3Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

Variegated Floss Projects Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of this six-part series on variegated floss projects! I’m going to share a ton of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Variegated flosses are beautiful and by their very nature, they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.variegated floss projects - DMC 4211

This first post on variegated floss projects is going to concentrate on three types of needlework: cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. These are probably the most popular ways of using variegated floss, and for good reason as you are about to see.

Before we get to the projects, Alison Murray at Dream a Little Big has this excellent tutorial on creating your own variegated floss, and in her part 2 she has a free pattern that you can use with your new floss!

 

 

 

All DMC Variegated FlossHowever, there are hundreds of beautiful variegated flosses available from a variety of companies and retailers. I’m proud to have all 76 colors of the DMC six-strand variegated flosses available in my Etsy shop. They’re gorgeous to look at and, with the consistent quality of DMC floss, they’re easy to work with.

Variegated Floss Projects in Cross Stitch

On About.com, Connie G. Barwick has a few things for newcomers to consider when working on variegated floss cross stitch projects, such as her free “Yummy Watermelon” pattern seen here.

Also on About.com, Connie shared some very helpful advanced tips on using variegated floss in cross stitch, including dyeing methods and how to achieve certain looks with specific techniques. Definitely worth the read.

variegated floss projects - cross stitch samplerThis pretty variegated floss sampler by Nancy Rossi through Better Homes and Gardens can be seen in a couple of places on the net. The pattern is not in print anymore, but you can still find it on Ebay.

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - floral borders bookThere is a ton of inspiration in this LeisureArts book of variegated border patterns. The different elements of these designs could be mixed and matched in a million different ways!

 

 

 

 

 

Tsmcs4blogIn a more modern vein is this great project by Elizabeth Hartman featured on her blog Oh, Fransson! She replicated the Tokyo subway map first for a quilt and then for this cross stitch. She changed floss colors every nine stitches, creating a variegated effect. I think variegated flosses would work very well in this project, with the added bonus of not having to tie off and start so darn much. Regardless, what a bright, colorful and fun project!

I love this little biscornu project by Lorraine at HippywitchCrafts. It uses variegated floss around the center and then again in the border. It’s just darling…

[Here’s a link to more information on biscornus]

 

 

This pretty bookmark is a free design from Lady Kell of Kincavel. As the pattern is relatively simple, the variegated floss nicely augments the design.

 

 

 

Image of AventailSome of the best cross stitch patterns that lend themselves to using variegated floss come from Tracy Horner of Ink Circles. Her designs range from this small “Aventail

 

 

 

 

Image of Turkish Delightto the more complex “Turkish Delight

 

 

 

 

 

Image of Baroqueand her popular “Baroque,” all of which look stunning executed in variegated floss. Take a leisurely look through her store and her latest news to see all her great projects that could be executed in variegated floss.

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - nordic needle itty bitty patternAnother great source for patterns is Nordic Needle. As well as carrying many of Tracy Horner’s Ink Circles designs, they feature other artists as well. This Itty Bitty’s design is a perfect way to try out lots of new variegated flosses,

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - nordic needle coffee patternwhile this coffee pattern would look terrific in a variegated floss. Might I be so bold to suggest DMC 4000 – Espresso?

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - nordic needle plum puddingI’d also like to share this pattern, called Plum Pudding. Here, in it’s original purples, it’s a gorgeous design.

 

 

 

 

Then Kristal, one of the employees at QuiltingAdventures, stitched it in different colors, and I must say, to a beautiful result. When you look at some of the detail photos, you can see where she used variegated flosses to add just a sparkle of visual interest to some of the backgrounds. She started this color scheme by picking out some flosses from her stash. What an amazing stash that must be!

Variegated Floss Projects in Needlepoint

variegated floss projects - hexagon needlepointThis hexagon pattern might appeal to those people new to variegated flosses and would like a fun project on which to try them, or those who may have existing stashes of variegated floss. This example comes from the CarolStitches blog.

 

 

 

hexipuff-with-groutThe project originated in Janet Perry’s May 2012 Stash-Busting Club. I believe it uses the mosaic stitch shown here to make a glasses case (I wish I had a link to more information about the project). What a great way to experiment with variegated floss while working with hexagons – currently one of the most popular shapes in crafts!

 

A quick project is this needlepoint and leather keychain on RedFlannelPantry, given to a 16 year old girl when she got her driver’s license. Variegated floss in the basketweave stitch is a great choice to create the background effect you see here.

 

 

This post by Laura at TwoHandedStitcher shows how different colors used with the same pattern can produce completely different end results. I like how she used variegated threads to create a little more visual interest, especially in this green and gold example.

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - chrysanthenums gardenInspiration and patterns for needlepoint projects that use variegated floss can be found all over the web. The Caron Collection has several including this pretty “Chrysanthemums Garden”

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - venetian glass stockingand this “Venetian Glass” stocking pattern. Clicking the link to this design will also show how vastly different the same project can look using different colors and stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - detail of jmd projectThere’s plenty of inspiration in this post by Janet M. Davies. She has quite a few smaller projects that use lots of variegated floss, including this detail from one of her fantastic creations,

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - summer logsand 123Stitch has lots of needlepoint patterns by a variety of designers. A great example is this Summer Logs pattern that uses no less than 18 different variegated flosses in an amazing array of different stitches. This fun sampler would never get boring!

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Embroidery

I’ll start with some machine embroidery inspirations as I have a really lovely story about hand embroidery that I will use to wrap up this post.

variegated floss projects - machine featherDesignsinStitches has quite a few patterns that call for variegated thread. One example is this feather pattern; one of a set of 10.

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects - machine embroidery butterflyEmbroideryDesigns has a series of four birds and this pretty butterfly,

 

 

 

 

 

Paisley Motifs Embroidery Designsand ABCEmbroideryDesigns has this cool Paisley Motifs set. This example is stitched in a rainbow variegated thread that suits the pattern perfectly.

 

 

 

 

And this is one of a set of 15 sea shells available through NeedlePassionEmbroidery. They are a really gorgeous collection!

 

 

 

 

I’ll start the hand embroidery with this lark of a project, embroidering patches for old jeans, from Charlotte on her Ta Da! blog. This little patch is a great way to experiment with different stitches and variegated floss.

 

 

Amy Friend at DuringQuietTime used a Sizzix to create the pattern for this lovely partridge Christmas ornament. She then used Cosmo variegated floss to stitch the embossed pattern to a very sweet result.

 

 

variegated floss projects - line embroideryI bet this pattern from Lady Kell of Kincavel would look great in variegated floss. It’s a bit of a flashback to a Rush laser show at the Planetarium, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

 

 

 

UntitledI love this simple but elegant idea from TheSmallestForest on using up leftover floss, and I love how she’s put some variegated strands in the mix. I think the variegated gives the piece just that little bit more randomness and visual interest than solid colors alone would produce.

 

 

Aqua Snowflake Embroidery PatternFrom Polka&Bloom, this fun and lighthearted Aqua Snowflake pattern, along with it’s siblings the Gold and Lilac Snowflakes, would look awesome in variegated flosses (if they’re not already). These three patterns are a lovely trio.

 

 

 

Stitch Around The Clock page Augustus for CQJP 2013.For some more beautiful inspiration and examples of embroidery stitches in variegated floss, you need go no further than the Flickr photostream of Margreet from Holland. On her crazy quilt blocks, she consistently produces embroidery of great quality. She uses a multitude of colors and types of stitches to achieve all kinds of textures and effects.

 

 

variegated floss projects - DMC 4235My last example is a story from Kim, one of my customers, who purchased skeins of DMC 4240 and 4235 (shown). As I love these flosses so much, I ask many of my customers how they use them. She replied: “I stitched a labyrinth in a hoop for my friend who lost her mom to ALS in October. Walking a labyrinth has meant a lot to her. I used the 4235 and my friend said the colors were just perfect.”

What a lovely way for Kim to support her friend! I’m really happy that I was able to provide Kim with the floss for her project.

If you would like to see the design, the labyrinth pattern she used is available from Jenny Hart’s Sublime Stitching, and it was featured in Jenny’s tutorial on the backstitch.

 

That rather touching note wraps up this first of six posts on variegated floss projects! Are there any projects in the crafty categories of cross stitch, needlepoint, or embroidery that you would like to add to the comments?

Stay tuned for more in knitting, quilting, scrapbooking, jewelry, decor, and a whole lot more!

Update: Here are Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

Water Themed Crafts Part 6

Welcome to healthy water themed crafts part 6, the finale of this series! This series of posts are all about crafts that encourage us to drink more water and that help us appreciate clean rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Parts 123, 4, and 5 covered crafts ranging from crochet to polymer clay, woodworking to scrapbooking, chainmaille to knitting and much more. Today, in this sixth post, I’m covering water themes in jewelry, candlemaking, wool dyeing, origami, flower arranging, and more!
Water

[Water by mbasie via Flickr]

Water Themed Crafts in Jewelry

First up is this ingenious way to keep track of your water intake. Contributor shazbraz at pinchingyourpennies.com created these bracelets. Every time she drinks a serving of water, she moves one bracelet from her left arm to her right. It’s simple, pretty, and an effective reminder!

The Nines Beading Pattern - Beaded Multistrand Bracelet Tutorial #1500Simple Bead Patterns has a tutorial for this wavy bracelet available in their Etsy shop,

 

 

 

 

Beach waves and sand knotted in cord and beads macrameI featured this project in Part 5 of this series, in the section on macramé, but as it is just so pretty and it really is a piece of jewelry, I feel like sharing it again here. Sherry at KnotJustMacrame shares this project which beautifully expresses an ocean beach. From her post: “When I added beads, I kept them random, again mimicking the colors of deeper water with highlights up through the foamy green and into the sand.” Sherry offers some tips and tricks on her blog, and has tutorials for sale on her Etsy shop if you like her micro-macrame.

I like this easy tutorial from Jordan at Picklee on how to make this casual and attractive hemp and sea glass bracelet. You could put this together in matter of minutes!

 

 

 

 

knock off braceletAnother quick and easy nautical-themed bracelet tutorial comes from HenryHappened. For less than $6 and 5 minutes time, she created this bracelet that also converts into a necklace!

 

 

Beading Tutorial - Beaded Barely Wavy BraceletOn Etsy, the Splendere shop offers lots of tutorials, one being this simple but elegant “Barely Wavy” bracelet,

 

 

 

 

 

and the LittleRock Etsy shop offers a tutorial on how to silversmith these fun and funky Wave Bangles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 6 - water bracelet inspirationSome creative inspiration can be found in this chunky aquamarine, turquoise, and silver bracelet entitled “Dream Big as the Ocean Blue” by Eni Oken,

 

 

 

and also inspiring is this unique and brilliant Beach Bracelet by TerahsClassicCreations. In the link, take a look at the bracelet when it’s unclasped and laying flat. Wow!

 

 

 

 

The WireWorkers Guild website has an interview with Louise Goodchild, who created this delicate and serene wire and beadwork pendant. She has other water-inspired pieces visible in the article as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Through the AlaskaJewelry website, artist Matt Bezak offers this unique and striking wave pendant with diamond accent.

 

 

 

 

The simple ocean-inspired bracelets and necklaces made from charms and beads are a great way to support the Crystal Cove State Park in California.

 

 

 

 

Ocean Mist BangleThe spiral peyote stitch has a natural wave-like form, and it can be used to make both bracelets and necklaces. This tutorial by Inspirational Beading is a great place to learn how to make this pattern.

 

 

 

On the PapernStitch blog, Jenny Hoople shares her tutorial on how to create this gorgeous Falling Water necklace. It beautifully combines pearls, semi-precious stones, and shell coins.

 

 

 

 

When Pearl at BeadingGem reviewed the book Irina’s Inspirations for Jewelry: From the Exotic to the Everyday, one of the projects she featured was this striking Shades of the Ocean necklace. It’s easy to see the progression of beach sand to deep water in this piece.

 

 

 

Instead of using real and often endangered coral, here’s a tutorial from Divya at JewelsofSayuri for a necklace and earrings using (non-endangered) epoxy clay,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Albina at AroundBeads offers a tutorial to make these pretty and delicate beaded coral tassels that can be made into earrings or pendants.

 

 

 

 

Natalie from NorthShore Days has a guest post on HappyHourProjects on how to make these quick and lovely wire wrapped sea glass earrings. She says that once you get a little experience, you can make lots of these earrings in very little time!

 

 

Copper Wave Wire Wrapped Ring TutorialThrough their Etsy shop, CrossedWiresJewelry offers a tutorial on creating this intriguing copper wave wire ring.

 

 

 

Skylight Jewelers of Boston have several wave-shaped bands in their repertoire, including this gorgeous two color ring.

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 6 - wave curl ringHetWestern offers this sterling silver ring that features a curl in the right break of the wave,

 

 

 

 

 

Titanium Wedding Ring by Exotica Jewelryand ExoticaJewelry has this striking Eastbourne ring with finely detailed waves and spray.

Water Themed Crafts in Candlemaking

ShamrockCandles has this DIY on how to make an oceanic candle with a sea shell plate. In addition, they have a host of other candle ideas and products with ocean themes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This candle was made with two layers, an inner core pillar candle about 1" smaller in diameter than an outer layer filled with shells and made with a higher melting temperature wax.EHow has this tutorial on creating these pretty shell-embedded candles that involves two layers of wax, the outer layer having a higher melting temperature.

Water Themed Crafts in Wool Dyeing

crock pot dyeingFirst up, I’ve found some interesting tutorials on using Kool-Aid to dye wool. The first method is from Leethal and uses a crock pot,

 

 

 

and the second method by Kerry at TalesofaNeedleandThread uses ice cubes and a sunny day. Both methods look like they could be a lot of fun, and they both produce gorgeous results!

Now, is it possible for those methods to produce anything as pretty as the following examples?

This variegated blue and green by RedRidingHoodYarns is just beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handspun Art Yarn - Blue Ocean 3.2 oz 174 yards Bulky WoolThis kinky and fun blue yarn by LenaBrownDesigns on Etsy already resembles ocean waves,

 

 

 

Handspun super bulky bubblewrap yarn - Beach Glassand this is the very aptly named “Beach Glass” yarn from GypseeArtSupplies also on Etsy. It’s so pretty!

 

 

 

Water Themed Crafts in Origami

healthy water themed crafts part 6 - wave origamiGilad Origami has a review of Peter Engel’s book Origami Odyssey. One of the patterns in the book appears to be this wave, folded by Gilad himself.

 

 

 

神奈川沖浪裏 - The Great Wave off KanagawaThe always brilliant blog AllThingsPaper featured this work by Andrea Russo, an Italian artist, titled “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”

Water Themed Crafts in Flower Arranging

The Dutchbaby website has a photo of this flower arrangement created to compliment a waterfall painting. The arrangement nicely captures the colors and shapes in the painting.

 

 

 

WeddingWire has this post of ocean-themed table centerpieces, most of which are simple and inexpensive while looking elegant.

Water Themed Crafts in Giftwrapping

Color Me Pretty:  Ocean BluesThe last photo in this post from Decor8 on ocean hues is this experiment in gift wrapping. It’s unique and so lovely!

Water Themed Crafts in Digital

Glass Bottle.pngMy last item for this post is from the world of Minecraft, and it’s how to make glass bottles which can then be used for holding water and then on for brewing potions. I wonder if beer is considered a potion?

 

 

 

That hopeful note finishes this healthy water themed crafts part 6, covering jewelry, candlemaking, wool dyeing, origami, flower arranging, giftwrapping, and a little diversion to Minecraft. Is there anything in these crafty categories that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you have checked out the previous posts of this series!

Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Tutorial

framed and complete

2013 crafty football blog hop

The idea for this Denver Broncos cross stitch project originated from the Fantasy Football League I’m in this season, the commissioner of which is none other than Diane of CraftyPod fame. Early in the season, we came up with the idea of a crafty football blog hop and invited others to join us. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see all the other fun projects that our group created. We’ve got knitters, multi-crafters, a tatter, and quilters in this mix of crafty participants. My contribution is this tutorial on how to create this cool Denver Broncos cross stitch!

materials

Materials:

  • A piece of 14 count Aida cloth measuring approximately 7 inches by 9 inches.
  • A skein each of DMC 6 strand floss in colors 820 (blue), 720 (orange), and White.
  • A needle for cross stitch – I use a #26 tapestry needle.

denver broncos cross stitch - broncos horse logoPattern: I designed this “D” pattern as the current team logo only has the word “Broncos” in their kick-butt font.

 

 

D chartI took parts of the letters in “Broncos” and rearranged them to make the “D” pattern you see (click to get the full page version).

This project uses the double stitch, and it combines a long cross stitch and a small cross stitch into a neat woven effect. The chart shows all the small cross stitches and how each row should begin and end (as some rows will end with partial stitches). I didn’t fill in all the long cross stitches on the chart as it just became too visually chaotic. You’ll understand when you take a closer look.

double stitch 1Stitching: Use two strands of your six strand floss. Start with the long cross stitches in blue, making sure you stitch over the tail of your floss on the back. Also, be careful that your top stitches are all in the same direction or your project will look uneven.

After creating this project, I recommend that you perform the long cross stitches in columns, not in rows as shown in the photo. It will make the orange short cross stitches much easier.

double stitch 2Very quickly you’ll see this groovy little pattern forming!

 

 

 

 

double stitch 3Stitch the long stitches first before filling in the orange short stitches.

 

 

 

 

double stitch 4After you finish the blue and orange stitches, you may want a little bit more texture in the background of the piece (I did). Continue the pattern of the orange small cross stitches in the background with the white floss. This is optional, but I think it greatly improves the appearance of the piece.

 

double stitch doneCouching: Double stitch done! Looks great, but there’s one more thing you may want to try: couching.

Like the stitching in the background, this too is optional. I had been wanting to try a couching stitch, so I thought this might be a good opportunity!

 

braidTo outline your “D” you will need to make about 18 inches of braid. Use all six strands of each of the three flosses. Knot each end to keep the braid from unraveling.

If you are considering outlining the inside of the “D” you will need about another 10 inches of braid.

 

couching 1The couching stitch is simple. Use a single strand of floss to secure the braid to the surface of the aida. I used the blue floss, but you could use the orange or the white – whichever you prefer.

Secure the blue floss on the back, then pass the needle up through the top left hole of the “D.” Bring the needle back down the same hole, securing the braid to the fabric.

couching 2Repeat this stitch every four holes around the perimeter of the “D,” keeping the braid flat and untwisted against the aida.

Take care that your couching stitches aren’t too tight as they may make the braid and even the fabric bulge and pucker.

When you get to the end of the couching, you will need to tie another knot in the braid and trim the ends of the braid to a length you like.

couching doneYou’re ready to mount and frame your “D”! About.com has some basic instructions on mounting cross stitch – it’s a good place to start.
Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Project Done

 GO BRONCOS!

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made!


Water Themed Crafts Part 3

Welcome to healthy water themed crafts part 3! This series is all about crafts that encourage us to drink more water and that help us appreciate clean rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Part 1 covered crochet, woodworking, quilling, lace and tatting, weaving and tapestry, and mosaic tile. Part 2 featured polymer clay, embroidery, scrapbooking, metalworking, ceramics, and stained glass. This is the third of my six posts covering everything from leatherwork to baking, beadwork to soapmaking and everything in between…
Tidal Pool Reflections

[Tidal Pool Reflections by Sherry Buck via Flickr]

Water Themed Crafts in Knitting

Knit_bottle_1_small2Here’s a few patterns for water bottle holders that (hopefully) will encourage us to drink more water, or at least make us look more fabulous carrying around a water bottle. First up is this pattern by Kelly Spenhof on Ravelry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

water bottle cozy carrierNext is this project on About.com Knitting that, as an added bonus, uses yarn that is made in part from recycled plastic bottles.

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - knit water bottle holder made with hemp yarnFinally is this pattern from LanaKnits that uses a relatively small amount of hemp yarn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Knit Ocean Waves Cowl - Hand Painted Blue Green Cowl -  Merino Wool Cowl - Chunky Yarn Infinity ScarfA little watery inspiration can be found in this chunky merino cowl offered by HandKnitPalette on Etsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Ravelry is this lovely Ocean Serenade shawl by Christine Burkhard

 

 

 

 

and Sandra Singh offers this Gentle Breezes pattern by HeartStrings. Despite the “airy” title, the breaking waves and ocean spray are easy to see in in this shawl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Lake Erie from Edgewater ParkThis post by Jeanne at LifeinCleveland describes her watery inspiration and the pattern source for this very attractive hat.

Water Themed Crafts in Paint

Chalkboard Nails: Summer nail art tutorialFirst up is a bit of a lark – I’m not sure if nail art counts as a craft, but here’s a tutorial for these nails by ChalkboardNails that certainly are cute and show an appreciation for clean oceans!

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - undersea mural stencilsFor kids (or fun adults!) there’s this undersea-themed stencil kit which is a great way for children to start learning about the importance of clean water.

 

 

 

 

Although there are other wave paint patterns out there, I found this pattern via Houzz particularly appealing. These waves could be in any number of color schemes and still convey a watery vibe.

 

 

 

From PureJoyEvents comes this tutorial for this really clever and inexpensive ocean-inspired ombre backdrop made of paint sticks.

 

 

 

DIY project jewelry-9653And from Seriously, I’m Thrifty, here’s a great DIY tutorial for painting this jewelry box. Nice to take a solid but dated looking piece and give it a modern and fresh look! If you were wanting a more ocean-y look, you might think about replacing the hardware with some fun glass or shell-shaped pieces.

Water Themed Crafts in Beadwork

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - beading water bottle sayingThis link to CafePress shows all the water bottles available that are “bead” related. So there are some references to Mardi Gras beads and some other things that aren’t crafty, but there are quite a few that definitely would appeal to crafters.  I have to say I’m partial to the saying on the right:

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - russell morton four seasons of water project detailFrom the Eugene Register-Guard and FireMountainGems are two articles about the same stunning project by Russell Morton. His “Four Seasons of Water” was created “as his effort to clean up the earth’s water in his lifetime.” And while he was beading, his “attention was completely focused on holding the thought of clean water.” A stunning and noble project.

More inspiration can be seen in this post by LissC of her fun underwater cuffs. Love her use of circles to represent the swirling water!

 

 

bead embroidery, BJP by Robin Atkins, AprilSome freshwater ideas may come from this waterfall piece by Robin Atkins via her Beadlust blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah Rosner offers this Hosukai Great Wave beading pattern through her Etsy shop, HannahRachel.

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - printed beading iphone coverIf you don’t want to make your own wave-pattern beaded iPhone case, you can always just purchase this printed one from Zazzle.

 

 

 

Lastly is this beautiful beaded valentine by Susan Elliott at PlaysWithNeedles. I encourage you to read the touching story behind this piece. The colors and textures used evoke sea and shore in a lovely way.

Water Themed Crafts in Leatherwork

healthy water crafts - leather wristletWe’ll start off with this cute wave wristlet bag by Susan Clark Designs via NausetSurfShop.

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - hokusai leather kindle coverThen there is this sophisticated handmade Hokusai Wave Kindle cover from OberonDesign.

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - wave leather beltI wish there was a tutorial for this belt! Love how the braided wave makes this belt (available on Amazon) a little more interesting.

 

 

 

 

Hand Painted Leather Wave Hair BarretteThis barrette by SarahsArtistry on Etsy is an interesting way to combine leather and paint to create a wave look.

 

 

 

Leather Single Fold Wallet with Hidden Pocket Hand Carved Waves Design Made in GA USAI really like this carved waves wallet by Peggy Broome in her Galeatherlady Etsy shop. The shapes and especially the colors make this leather gorgeous and distinctive. The pattern is also used on a fun hair barrette.

WIS Design’s Decades Chest of Drawers, Salone Satellite Milan 2008, WIS Designs furniture, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Inhabitat Salone 2008, Milan Italy 2008, Milan Furniture Fair, sustainable design Milan, reclaimed materials, WIS Design’s Decades Vanity Easy Chair detail at Salone SatelliteThis chair cover is a great idea – made from pieces of repurposed leather. The post on inhabitat calls them scales, but why not call them waves? Once again, there’s no tutorial on this, but what a great opportunity for a DIY project!

Water Themed Crafts in Chainmaille

There are a lot of chainmaille patterns that, with the right color rings, can be made to look like waves or like water. Here are three examples that are among the best. The first is this undulating pattern as seen on BlueBuddhaBoutique.

 

The second is a tutorial available on WolfstoneJewelry’s Etsy shop for this really attractive Japanese wave pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chainmaille Necklace Japanese Wave  (Multiple Colors Available)The last is this simple but elegant necklace as seen in MorganasDesigns Etsy shop. The beads used in the photo are good, but imagine this with some watery blues and greens!

 

Water Themed Crafts in Gardening

Water is, of course, of supreme importance when it comes to gardening. I’ve found a few good ideas about water gardens, collecting water, and using clean water in hydroponics. Before I delve into that, however, I thought I’d share this fun wave wall rack as seen on LawnandGarden Retailer for hanging plants. It would be a pretty way to divide areas in a garden!

 

Diy Bubble fountainJamie at ScatteredThoughtsofaCraftyMom has this excellent tutorial on how to make a bubble fountain in a pot. Bubble fountains are attractive and make soothing sounds, but to buy one already made from a garden store can be expensive! Jamie’s instructions will save you a lot of time and money.

 

 

 

 

 

02.07.09_WaterGarden_01.jpgFor those of you who would like a water garden but have limited space, ApartmentTherapy has a DIY to create this lovely planter.

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - cover of water gardeners bible bookThere are a ton of books on water gardens. Just type that phrase into a book search on Amazon and you’ll get a lot of good options. The first result on Amazon is the well-reviewed The Water Gardener’s Bible by Ben Helm and Kelly Billing.

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - rainwater collection barrelWhen it comes to conserving water, MotherEarthNews has some great instructions on how to make your own rainwater collection barrel. From possible ways to get a free container to how to keep mosquitoes out, this is definitely full of helpful info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a similar DIY on the Instructables site about a 275 gallon rainwater collection system. As an added bonus, there’s an update from EcoProjecteer in July 2013 that shows some of how they tripled the capacity, raised the containers, and managed to make them look nice!

 

healthy water crafts - hydroponic vegetable gardening setupThen there’s the rapidly growing topic of hydroponics. The information available can be overwhelming, but this article, also at Instructables, may be a good place to get started. It outlines the basics and has ideas for DIY systems while saving money over purchasing prepackaged systems.

 

This DIY by Dean at UrbanGreenSurvival details how he turned water bottles into a series of hydroponic mini green houses. This looks like a great way to use window space and repurpose otherwise wasted plastic bottles into an efficient hydroponic system.

 

That finishes finishes this healthy water themed crafts part 3, covering knitting, paint, beadwork, chainmaille, leatherwork, and gardening. Is there anything in these crafty categories that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you have checked out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series! And stay tuned for the next THREE installments, featuring jewelry, glass work, origami, felt, candlemaking, basket weaving, and a whole lot more!

[Update: Here are Part 4Part 5, and Part 6 in the series!]