Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Happy Hooper

 As a novice machine embroiderer, I have a had a heck of a time mastering the art of hooping.  Then I read somewhere to use a piece of kitchen shelf liner to help hold it steady.  It worked great but I didn't like leaving a piece of shelf liner just lying around.  (Ok, I'm obsessive compulsive...I like everything in it's place and a place for everything.)

So I took a small rotary cutting mat that I had, turned it over, and applied some spray adhesive to it, then placed the shelf liner over it and let it set.  After it dried, I trimmed up the edges and put a set of cross-hairs on it to help me line up my fabric when hooping.

It works great.  Not only does my hoop stay in place while hooping my stabilizer and fabric but when the mat is used for cutting, it stays steady as well.

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wine Glass Dresden Lamp Shade

There's a teeny little fabric store in our teeny little town that I was in recently to purchase an EZ Dresden template ($5.99) for an online quilting class I'm taking.  (Craftsy Block of the's free and it's fabulous if you are just learning to quilt.)  While I was standing in line waiting to pay for my purchase, I noticed they had a couple of teeny little shades to turn wine glasses into tealight lamps at the check-out table.  They were ok but kind of plain.  Still, it must have made an impression because the minute I got home and cut out a couple of Dresden blades, inspiration struck.  The best thing about this project is this is all stuff I had on hand. 

You'll need:
Rotary cutter and EZ Dresden template 
A small wine glass
A battery operated tealight candle (don't take a chance on a real tealight candle...I'm not sure how safe it is)
An assortment of scraps.

1. Cut 9 blades from scraps using the template at the 4-1/2" line.

2.  Fold each blade in half lengthwise, right sides together, and seam 1/4" across the wide edge.

3.  Pop point out by turning the seam right side out.  Gently push the point out with something that has a pointed end but isn't sharp enough to poke a hole through the fabric (i.e. chopstick, small crochet hook).

4.  Finger press and be sure the seam is centered in the middle of the blade.  Press flat.

5.  Stitch fan blades together by joining the matching points using a scant 1/4" seam.  (Don't worry about the narrower ends so much.)  Do NOT stitch the last blade to the first blade, keep the piece flat.

6.  Press the piece open and trim threads.  Finger press the inner edge in about a 1/4" and then iron.

7.  Edge stitch the inner edge.

8.  Press the entire piece.  Spray starch if you like for extra crispness.

9.  Sew the final seam and press open.  Place the shade on the wine glass, drop the tealight in, and you are done.  I didn't embellish mine but you could easily trim the top edge with rick-rack or whatever tickles your fancy. 

(Just noticed I was a little hap hazard putting the shade on the wine glass for the picture.  It does sit straight on the glass...but I was distracted by an Andy Griffith rerun on tv at the time.)