Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Angela Bag

I have been busy recently with making purses! I thought I had posted pictures of the purses and wallets I've made, but apparently, I haven't. I'll upload pictures in a minute, but right now, I am going to show you my most recent accomplishment, the Angela Bag!

This is a bag that my sister (Angela) requested. I asked what she wanted it to look like and she decided to leave it all up to me, with the caveat that it had short straps. Hurray! I love to have free creative rein. Here it is:

From Angela Bag
From Angela Bag

My mom had picked up a fat quarter pack for me a week earlier and, since fat quarters are my absolute favorite (how else can you get such a great variety of fabrics without having to buy yards and yards?) I decided to use that pack for this purse. I sketched up a quick Dresden plate for the stripwork and quilted them with the "stitch in the ditch" method. The top and handles are bias tape.

If you look at the picture of the innards closely, you'll notice that there are actually two fabrics for the lining! I didn't have enough of one fabric for the lining, so I used two. If I say that it's supposed to be that way, than will anyone know any different? Haha!

I hope my sissy loves this bag!

© 2012 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Continuous Bias Tape

I was really excited to hear about this! Traditionally, when you make bias tape, you have to piece multiple strips together to create a length of tape long enough for your purposes. However, I recently learned about a technique where you manipulate the fabric beforehand and create a continuous piece of bias tape! It's already pieced for you :) Oh joy.

It takes a little tinkering to get it right, but once you have the technique down, it goes really fast. Plus, it saves on all that sewing of little strips of fabric. Here's how it's done.

Take a perfectly square piece of fabric. Mine is 10x10. Cut the fabric along the long diagonal. This is the bias of the fabric. I will refer to these edges as the bias edges from this point on in the tutorial.

Then, put right sides together and align one of the short edges on each piece. You will sew along this edge. I usually do a 1/4" seam allowance. Afterwards, iron open the seam. This will set the stitches and reeduce bulk.

On the back of the fabric, place lines parallel to the bias edge and as wide as you need for your bias strips. I am making 1" bias tape, so my lines are 2" apart. I used a regular pencil for my lines. I always use a pencil.  It's cheaper than a seamstress pen and just as washable.

Here's the tricky part. You'll want to bring the bias edges together to create a square. Lining up the lines helps. Then, you need to offset the edges by the width of your lines and realign the lines. It's hard to explain in words. just tinker with it. Pin in place and then follow the lines with your fingers. You want to be able to trace completely around the tube of fabric from one end to the other without dead ending at your start point. Once you figured this out and you have it all nice and pinned, sew that edge. Again, I used a 1/4" seam allowance. Iron the edge open when you're finished.

If you did if right, and I'm sure you did, cut along your line (it's now one continuous line!) Carefully cut only through one layer of the fabric!

Yay! One long strip of bias fabric.

Finally, run that strip through your bias maker and make something fabulous with your bias tape!

© 2012 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ombre Birthday Cake

How do you make a six year old ecstatic?

You make her this birthday cake. gets better. Here are the innards.

I saw a picture of an ombre cake online, and was instantly inspired. I HAD to make one for my Cuppy Cake's sixth birthday. I was sure she'd flip for it. I was right.

I have a confession. I have never made a birthday cake before. Seriously. I don't like cake, so I don't make it. For my husband's birthday, I usually do a pineapple upside down cake (I guess that counts as cake) but I never decorate it. For Cuppy Cake's previous birthdays, my in-laws always picked up a cake on the way to the par-tay so I never had the chance to make one. But, after seeing an ombre cake, my mind was made up. I was going to make one for my Cuppy Cake. Besides, how hard could it be?

Normally, that would be followed by the line, "famous last words," but not this time! This cake was deceptively simple. Here's how to copy my technique.

First, turn on Pandora radio. I recommend Showtunes. Yes, there will be dancing. If there is no dancing, your cake will FAIL. Guaranteed.

Then, make the batter for your favorite 2 layered white cake. I obviously don't have a favorite, so I just used a generic recipe. After it's mixed, have puppy taste test it. Puppy gave her approval.

Separate the batter into 4 equal parts; I used soup crocks (and made a bit of a mess.) Then, use food coloring to tint each part of batter, starting with the lightest, and increase the amount of dye in each batch to create an ombre effect. I used 3 drops of red and 1 drop of blue in my starting batch.

Then, pour them into prepared cake pans and bake as directed. I only had 2 cake pans, so I could only do two layers at a time. The pans I used belonged to my grandma; they are old, but work great.

After your cake layers are cooked and cooled, stack them on top of each other. I did lightest on bottom and darkest on top. To hold the layers together, I used blackberry preserves instead of icing.

Finally, decorate as desired. My momma made the icing and I crumb coated the cake and then iced it. My icing technique needs a little more work, but I just sprinkle-bombed the entire thing, so no one could tell it was a little wonky.

Add candles, light, blow out, and serve!

(Little guy stealing a sprinkle!)

© 2012 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Silhouette Decorations

While I was making the Halloween Greetings stationary, I was struck with a brilliant idea. Why don't I make the same thing, but as a window silhouette?

Black cats

Victorian Steampunk Couple
You can tell they're steampunk, because I added gears and a compass and cool stuffage.

After washing my windows inside and out, I adhered them to the inside of the windows using Scotch tape.
I closed the blinds super tight, then placed tea lights behind them to back light them. Since I'm fairly certain construction paper is flammable, I used electric tea lights. In theory, when it's dark, the silhouettes should be backlit to stand out really well in the windows and should look pretty neat. Let's see if it worked...

It worked! It looks much better in real life, believe me.

This was super fun and super easy!

©2011 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hand Painted Halloween Shirts

After working on the Halloween Stationary, I still had an itch to do something crafty. I was planning on purchasing the kiddos Halloween shirts, but decided making them would be much more fun.

My chosen method was to hand paint their shirts. Since I am no Michealangelo (as we learned from my last post), I needed to keep it fairly simple and within the realm of my freehand drawing skills. So, I drew a simple black cat for big sissy (age 5) and a super simple spider for baby brother (age 3). I painted them with melted crayons and removed the wax when they were cool. Afterwards, I outlined them with a black marker.

Here's how they turned out:

Black Cat

The tail wraps around the shirt to the back.

Close-up of cat. I was trying to mimic cat hair with my brush strokes, but should probably have done them front to back vice top to bottom.

She looks calico! This was unintentional, as I was trying to get a vintage washed out look. I've also added splatters of purple crayon. This was to add some Halloween-y color and to cover up a few accidental splatters.


Close up of spider. Even though I painted it black, it is in fact a brown recluse. You can tell by the violin shape on his back! (When I said this to my husband, he accused me of being a dork.)

Detail of green and purple splatters for extra decoration (and to cover up a few accidents!)

A few things I learned:

1) Don't use cheap crayons. They bleed when you remove the wax from the shirt.

2) Melted crayons give off noxious fumes. Do this in a well ventilated area.

3) Don't use cheap paintbrushes. I bought some super cheap ones, figuring I would just throw them away rather than clean them. Those paintbrushes were the pits, and were the bane of this project.

I hope the kiddos love their new shirts :)

© 2011 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Greetings

Unfortunately, my sewing machine and crafting supplies are STILL in storage. My husband and I are temporarily at a duty station for less than a year, therefore, we decided to get a very small place. I thought I would be able to sew, but there simply isn't any room! No room to iron or cut material, no room to draft patterns, there isn't even room for an ironing board. We might as well be in a cardboard box :(

I refuse to give up crafting completely. I have a scarf I started last year, which I need to finish crocheting for my husband (tunisian entrelac - that was a mistake!), so I guess I could work on that. I was about to pull it out of whatever box it's in, in storage, when an entirely new project took over my little brain.

As you may have noticed, Halloween is approaching. I usually buy cards for my loved ones, but browsing the greeting card section of several stores, I found that most were...uninspiring. Plus, who wants to pay $3+ for a piece of cardboard that will most likely end up in the bin when the holiday is over?

So, I made my own.

I used simple construction paper vice expensive cardstock. A 40 page pack of various colors was $1.99 at Target. A hobby knife was $5.00 at Micheal's. My own imagination and rudimentary sketching skills were the only other things I needed. Here's what I came up with:

From Halloween Stationary

They're not very intricate, because I lack patience, as my loyal fans already know from past posts. I don't want to sit, cutting out tiny designs for an hour.

This last one is for my husband. He's seen it already, and I suppose I didn't do a great job on it because even with the words, he still didn't know what it was. Here's what it's supposed to be:

In my defense, I was only quickly sketching it. I was also watching a movie about the Salem Witch Trials, so I was a bit distracted. Oh well, I never claimed to be a Michealangelo :)

Here's a hint, score and fold the paper before you cut it. It's much easier to do it first, especially if you have some intricate cutwork. I folded my paper in thirds so that they'll fit into a business sized envelope for cheap mailing. Oversized or oddly sized envelopes cost more than 1 stamp, F.Y.I.

Feel free to snag my idea, just let others know about me!

© 2011 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quilt Drive for the Children Victims of Texas Wildfire

The wildfire of Bastrop County Texas (Central Texas, east of Austin) is still going strong. Hundreds of homes have been completely destroyed and thousands of people have been displaced. This hits home with me, as I used to live in central Texas and I still have dear friends in the area. I wish there was something I could do to help.

Every little act of kindness counts, and Heather of Modern Day Quilts has come up with the plan to give every child who lost their home in the fire a quilt to sleep under. I think this is an excellent idea. Will you participate?

Each quilt should be 45x60, and twin sized quilts are encouraged. Please mail your quilts to:

Valli & Kim Quilt Shop, Attn: Wildfire Quilts, 700 West Highway 290, Dripping Springs, TX 78620.

See Modern Day Quilt's blog post for information on where to direct questions.