Tag Archives: Crafts

Kanzashi Flower (fabric flower) Tutorial

Last year, I went with a few friends to a class where we learned to make Kanzashi flowers, aka fabric flowers. It was easy to learn, and I love how they can adorn simple projects to give them some funk. Another bonus: they don’t take a lot of materials to make. I’ve been using them a lot lately.

So, here’s my attempt at a tutorial on how to make them in case you’d like to try.

Materials:

fabric (use scraps…you don’t need much)
rotary cutter and mat (or scissors and a ruler…but the mat and cutter make it much easier)
heavy duty thread
needle
straight pins
E-6000 glue
toothpicks
tweezers
paper towel/newspaper
beads, buttons (or something else you’d like to use for the center of the flower)

I’ll show you how I made the bright pink one pictured below.

Start by cutting fabric. I cut nine, two-inch squares with a rotary cutter and mat.

The first step is to start folding each individual piece. Step one: fold one fabric square in half, so it creates a triangle. Press the seam with your fingers.

Then, fold each side of the triangle in to meet at the top point of the triangle. You’ll now have two more folds. Press seams with your fingers.

Now, pick up the piece of fabric and fold it back in half. You’ll be exposing the side that was facing up.

Two more folds and you’re done with this piece. Take each flap that is currently pointing down, and fold it up so that it just crosses over the top of the fabric.

Insert a straight pin in the center of the piece, making sure to capture all of the fabric. Set aside, and fold the remaining pieces of fabric in the exact same way.

IMPORTANT: everyone will fold the fabric differently, but it’s important that you stay consistent with your method. Otherwise, your petals will look uneven.

Once you’ve folded each piece of fabric, you’ll need to cut off the excess fabric. NOTE: You’re cutting the rough edges, not the pointed edge. Before I start cutting, I usually make sure all of my petals are pointing the same direction, and I’m always cutting to the right of my straight pin. You’ll cut about 1/3 of the fabric off.

I always take care to insert my straight pins in the same spot on each petal. That way, I can cut in the same spot on each without having to make adjustments.

Now that all of your petals are cut, it’s time to thread them together. Thread a needle with heavy duty thread. It’s important that the thread is thick, because you’ll be doing some tugging on it, and you don’t want it to break. Another option is to double or quadruple your thread, if you don’t have heavy duty on hand.

You don’t need much thread. Maybe one arm’s length from wrist to elbow (or so). Once your needle is threaded, tie off the end to keep the loose ends in check.

Start threading each petal. IMPORTANT: again, make sure you use the exact same method with each petal. So, insert the needle in the same spot on each, and make sure all petals are facing the same direction.

Once you have all petals on your thread, we’ll be tying a surgeon’s knot to pull them together.

Pull TIGHT on each side of the thread, until you get a nice and snug circle of petals.

Keep it snug, and tie another knot to secure it in place.

You now have your basic flower shape. You’ll notice, though, that the petals may need some love for them to look uniform. This is when the glue, toothpicks and tweezers come in handy.

I usually put a dab of E-6000 glue in between each petal. Careful with E-6000. It’s super powerful (and better than hot glue…DO NOT use hot glue…it’ll come apart eventually). I typically dab a bit of the glue onto the toothpick, and use the toothpick to spread it on the fabric. I then hold the petal sides together with tweezers until it’s mostly dry. Meanwhile, I shape and fluff the petals as needed.

Here’s a couple pictures showing the gluing process on a different flower.

Once the petals look good, figure out how you want to finish the flower. I like using buttons for the center. You could also roll up a small strip of fabric. Beads work too. Sometimes I use scraps of fabric to give it more texture. Depending on what you decide, you’ll need to glue or sew it in place…or both.

And, you’re done!

To give you an idea for sizing: the larger green/yellow flower at the bottom left was made using 3″ squares. The three medium-sized flowers (beige w/ yellow center, bright pink and pink/beige pattern) were all made using 2″ squares. And, the smaller greenish flower (on the green hat) was made using 1″ squares.

My recommendation: start large. If you’re making your first flower, I’d make one with 3″ squares. It’s a lot easier to work with a larger piece of fabric.

This is just one style of kanzashi flowers (fabric flowers). It’s the only one I’ve mastered so far, and I’m looking forward to learning some others. Neat.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafty

My First Knitting Project: Complete

About a month ago (or so), I went with a friend to an Intro to Knitting class at Fabric Bliss. And, thus, my knitting addiction commenced.

Because I already knew how to crochet, I think it helped me pick up knitting quickly. It probably helps that Aurora (owner of Fabric Bliss) is a great instructor. I’d definitely recommend Fabric Bliss’ classes if you’re in Denver!

In class, we were given a pattern to make a scarf. I followed the pattern (mostly), but made a cowl instead. I didn’t really want to take the time to knit a sufficiently long scarf, and I didn’t want to buy more yarn on a project that was just for me. I also made a few minor adjustments to the pattern so I wouldn’t have to do that much purl-ing. My notes below.

It turned out great! Love the color. Love the length. It’s a perfect little cowl. And it’s done in perfect time for me to take advantage of wearing it during this really cold weather we’re having right now (ummm…high of 18 today. That’s Fahrenheit…). I might want to make 20 more in all different colors.

Here are a few pictures of the final result.

Using size 13 needles, I cast on 24 stitches.

I knit regularly for 10 rows.

Then I did four rows of knit, purl, knit, purl.

Back to 10 rows of knitting.

Then, again: knit, purl, knit, purl.

I followed that pattern for eight rotations.

Then I cast off, and sewed the ends together (with yarn).

I’m sure I could have finished it off more elegantly, but I was anxious to get it done so I could work on my other projects. It was really fun to learn to knit, and to finish something relatively quickly.

This cowl took less that one skein of Lion Brand’s Thick and Quick yarn – about $8. I used the citron color.

And, just because I took bump pictures after I took cowl pictures, you get a bonus baby bump photo. Taken right at the week 20 mark. Feeling large.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baby, Crafty

Add it to the list…

I found another project I want to tackle! Now that I know how to knit, I’d love to take the Lamb Shoppe’s top-down baby jacket class. I could make this:

Now, I need to find out when they’ll have this class next!

I stumbled upon this inspiration when looking at Laura’s blog…in case you want another Denver crafter to follow…

1 Comment

Filed under Baby, Crafty

H&M and Inspiration

On Wednesday, some lady friends and I went to the pre-grand opening of H&M Denver. Free drinks and apps, and the chance to FINALLY shop at an H&M in Denver. (Wow, with an Ikea AND H&M, I do believe we are complete!)

Here’s us in line (we only waited 20 minutes or so).

20111111-113058.jpg

Yes, that’s me holding a tree.

Oh, and here are some pictures of the event from the Denver Business Journal: click here. If you go to the slideshow, check out picture #30. Guess who………….?

So, I picked up a few things. How could you not? Everything was 25% off already low prices. I got some leggings and a long-sleeve shirt dress (aka preggo-friendly items). I also tried on a couple coats, but alas, couldn’t button them. My belly’s not huge, but it’s big enough. Sad face. Good news is they do have a maternity line when I’m ready to get big-bump clothes.

Here’s the dress I bought:

Dress

AND I found some inspiration for a future diy project…an oversized envelope clutch. Super excited! Here’s the one from H&M:

Bag

And here’s an online diy courtesy of SWELLMAYDE:

My list of projects adding up. I need to work less and craft more, I think. =)

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafty

Look who learned how to knit

I just learned how to knit. And I learned the purl stitch. Here’s the start of a scarf. Neat.

20111103-192018.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafty

The quilt that never ends

I started making a quilt in January, and I’m just now finally finishing the top. It’s taken me forever. It’s my first full-size, professional quilt, so I’ve been trying to do things right instead of quickly.

For instance, I’ve been following the directions on my pattern to the littlest detail. I’m following Amy Butler’s Sunshine (free) quilt pattern. The directions include instructions to print out paper patterns and to sew the fabric pieces together with the paper included. So what you end up with is a fabric front and a paper back.

Then, it tells you to remove the paper by “gently tearing all paper from the back of quilt top, being careful not to pull seams.” Wow. Really? This was a dumb idea. Granted, it was great during the sewing process, because I didn’t need to worry about stopping to measure, etc. HOWEVER, it was a huge pain to remove the paper.

It was a messy, messy process that left our living room in shambles for about a week (I’d work on it a bit every night…so no sense cleaning up in between). It drove Brady nuts. =)

Now I need to layer in the batting and the backing and start quilting, which is another reason the quilt will take forever. After consulting with my mother-in-law last week, I’ve decided I’m going to hand quilt it, rather than on the machine. I think it’ll turn out better and more handmade looking.

It’s going to be another looooong process, though! Oh well. You gotta do the first quilt right, right? Right?

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafty

Blanket Finished

Hip hip hooray! My very first large-scale crochet project is finished! Last night I put the finishing touches on the blanket I’ve been working on as a wedding gift.

Here are the stats:

60″ x 54″ – dimensions
Used 9 skeins of Patron’s Melody Quick an Cozy yarn in Racy Red. (85-yd, 3.5-oz skein)
Used 10 skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick yarn in Grey Marble. (106-yd, 6-oz skein)
Size N crochet hook
Single crochet ripple stitch
140+ stitches per row
6 rows per stripe
18 stripes

It took about three months to complete, but that doesn’t include all of the time it spent just sitting in my living room. Once I established the pattern, it was pretty easy to churn out a few rows per sitting (or more…I took it on a trip with me and got a few stripes done on each leg of the airplane ride).

This is a great project if you’re just beinning to crochet, or if you want to learn how. A friend introduced me to the single crochet stitch, and I learned the rest by watching YouTube videos. That’s all it takes! I’m happy to discuss pointers for beginner crocheters too…=)

Here are a few more pictures of the blanket. I’m excited to finally give this gift away! I hope they don’t mind that Lola made herself comfortable with the blanket…

 

1 Comment

Filed under Crafty