Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and holiday! I did much relaxing and enjoyed every bit of it.
The felted poppy bag mentioned in my last blog was finished and sent off to my Mother with the felted wild rose needle keep along with a few other items. Tried linking up the photos for you to make it easier to see but I can't seem to be able to do that.
In any case, I decided to make a little something for my sister as well. She is a stitcher, quilter, and knitter, and now a painter and excels at all! I got her some hand made knitting needles and hope they are better than the metal ones. I got the needles from The Lismore Sheep Farm in Nova Scotia when we visited that area in October. There is a lovely little store on the farm with a host of things to buy. I would have loved a few sheep hide mattress pads, especially on a super cold and windy day like today! I especially liked that they had really small skeins of the more expensive yarns that they sold. These small skeins were around $3.50 and are great for us who like to experiment and hate spending $15 and $20 or more for a huge skein when a small bit is all we really need. They also had dryer balls and dusters and needle felting wool. I confess I'm not a fan of their needle felting wool. Its not merino wool and for what I do, it isn't quite fine enough. Great little shop though and their hand made knitting needles are wonderful!
Anyways, back to "making a little something" for my sister.
In the December 2012 issue of Quilter's World", there was an article on making a "Holly Bowl" using Inn-Spire Plus". I guess its best if I just show you the finished product.
Normally, when making fabric bowls, you had to cut out various pieces and sew them together to get the bowl effect. But with the Inn-Spire Plus, its so much easier! You cut out a rectangle from the ISP (Inn-Spire Plus) the size of your leaf pattern, and a rectangle in each of the two fabrics used for the top and the bottom of your bowl. Iron your top fabric to one side of the ISP then the bottom fabric on the other side of the ISP. Trace out the leaf pattern onto freezer paper, iron the freezer paper onto the top fabric of the 3 layers and then cut out your leaf pattern. I also traced the stem and side lines and did a zigzag stitch on the lines. So at this point, you have a flat holly leaf shape.
I then got a little plastic dish that I wanted to use to mold the leaf so that it would have a flat bottom. Obviously, it should be a good size for the size of the leaf. My plastic bowl is actually a clean dog food container.
In the above photo, I wanted the holly leaf pattern to be the top of the fabric bowl so I had to keep this in mind when making my bowl. I took my fabric layers to the ironing board and heated up the leaf with the iron. I then placed the green holly print fabric side down over the upside down bottom of my bowl centering the leaf over the bowl. I used my hands to gently fold the leaf over the bowl. The setting on my iron was a bit too hot so when I went to hold the fabric over the bowl, it was quite hot so i needed to find something to cover my hands so be careful! I held my hands there for a short time, until I could feel the Inn-Spire Plus hardening again, about half a minute or more. And voila, a fabic bowl!
I tried quite a few different angle shots with the camera but none showed that the inside of the fabric bowl is like the plastic container I used to mold it. But, the bottom of it is now flat and you can fill it with candies or goodies!
The only slightly negative thing I will say about the Inn-Spire Plus is really more of a concern that anything negative. The ISP is very very firm and sewing through it and the two layers of fabric made my machine a bit noisy. Sewing on the ISP is almost like sewing through two or three layers of bristol board or a layer of foam core board or something heavier. I used a denim needle on my sewing machine but may use the scraps left over after cutting out the leaf shape to see if a smaller needle is better. I will have to watch out for breakage though.
The instructions that come with the Inn-Spire Plus are easy to follow. As well, the Quilter's World article is very detailed in the steps they provide to make the Holly Bowls.
Though I don't have alot of photos to share, I have been busy. I rearranged my sewing room again as it just wasn't working the way I had it initially set up. Things are looking good now.
The two photos below are from yesterday. It snowed a bit in the morning and then the winds kicked up. This is what it looked like with the winds. And yes, this is when I chose to go for a walk up this road, when it was -20 C with the windchill.
But, this was this mornings sunrise. Glorious!
Whatever it is that you do, let it bring you much joy!