How To Make A Wonky Half-Square Triangle Block


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Ever wish you could just sew and not have to worry about matching seams at every turn?

Well then… this Wonky Half-Square Triangle (HST) block is for you. A block made with different HST sizes. We all have them. Dog ears trimmed from the corners. Those Snowball block corners. Also corners trimmed from mitered strips for bindings. Many projects create left-over triangles or triangle-like scrap pieces.

Most of mine came from my Hugs and Kisses quilt.

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I had no idea what to do with all of them. But after tiring of looking at the overflowing bag, I started thinking of what to do without a whole lot of preparation. Minimal fuss.

That’s when I came up with the idea of using them AS IS. “Making them work”, as Tim Gunn from Project Runway would say. I would sew all the different HST’s together with no thought to size. With one exception. I would match up the center seam going down the block.

Want to make a few? OK. Here’s my 3 Step Preparation Process.

1. Go gather up any HST’s you have been collecting.

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2. Go through your scraps and pull out any pieces shaped like a triangle.

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3. And lastly, while sorting through your scraps, pull out any pieces large enough to cut a triangle.

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HOW TO MAKE ONE WONKY HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLE BLOCK

OK. Now. Cut your scraps into triangles. I cut mine between 2″ and 2 1/2″. Cut a matching white (or white-on-white) fabric. Right sides together. Sew triangles with 1/4″ seam. Chain piece to save time and thread. Sew one triangle after the other. Do not cut thread until all triangles are sewn.

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Cut thread chain. Press triangles open. Cut tips off the corners.

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Now you are ready to build your wonky block. You need 24 HST’s per block. Twenty to form the outside square and four for the center of the block.

Starting with the LEFT side. Select five (5) HST’s and line them up. Mix up the colors and patterns. No repeats in a block. (Refer to photos for placement.)

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TOP. Add five more HST’s.

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RIGHT SIDE. Add five more HST’s.

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BOTTOM. Add five more HST’s.

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CENTER. Add four HST’s.

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When all 24 HST’s are placed, your block should look like this.

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Next. Add White Filler Triangles along the sides.

Using white or white-on-white (WOW), cut strips of 2 1/2″ by WOF. Now cut the strips into 2 1/2″ squares. You will need a lot of these squares depending on how many blocks you make.

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Cut 2 1/2″ squares diagonally down the center.

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Place one white triangle in the empty slots along the block edges according to the photo. Eight per block.

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SEW HST’s TOGETHER

I like to pin each row so when I am sewing I don’t have to guess which direction the HST should face.

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Sew HST’s together by row. Press strips. Doesn’t matter which direction to press the seams since they probably won’t line up to abut anyway.

Trim strips using the “shortest” HST as your guide.

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Trim top and bottom of the strip.

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SEW ROWS TOGETHER.

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When sewing rows together, only be concerned with getting the center HST’s lined up. The rest won’t matter. They will be wonky if you used different sized HST and won’t line up with the adjoining rows. (They may look funny now but in the end, they will be ok.)


Now time to trim the sides of the sewn blocks.

Starting with the right side.

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This is the area you will trim first. See my pencils? That is your guide for ruler placement. Place your see-through ruler with the one inch marking on the edge of the “top” HST and one inch marking on the edge of the “last” HST in THAT SAME ROW. Don’t worry about any wonkiness. The one inch of white will balance it out and create a uniformity of white sashing throughout your quilt top. Go around the block and trim the four longest sides.

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You can also trim the shorter sides of the blocks. They shouldn’t be that much off. Just a tad.

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This is how your Wonky HST Block should look with all sides trimmed.

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One last thing to do to complete your wonky blocks. Add the corner triangles so blocks can be sewn together to form your quilt top.


ADDING FOUR TRIANGLE CORNERS

Select whichever fabric you wish for the four corners. I LOVE Polka Dots!! So that is what I used. Lots of colors.

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(Note: Depending on what size your block ended up, you may wish to experiment with ONE block first. Before you cut all the corners. Cut two. Pin them to your block. Finger press to make sure the corner triangle extends to the edge of your block. So you are NOT cutting into the block when trimming. I started with 4 1/2″ which proved too short. 4 3/4″ or 5″ would have been a better choice. BUT you experiment with one block to make sure your triangles are lined up with the block edges when sewn and pressed.)

Your corners will be added on the longer sides of the block. See my pencils.

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Sew and press corner triangles. Trim side edges as needed.

And DONE!! Repeat to make as many blocks as desired for your quilt top.


Arrange Wonky Blocks to your liking.

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As you can see, most of the wonkiness disappears and is not so noticeable when block is turned diagonally. Diamond shaped.

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This is my quilt top. It measures 56 1/2″ by 57″. I just need to quilt it.

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Hope you will make a few of these Wonky HST Blocks. And hope my tutorial was helpful. Thanks for following along. :D


Linking to…

http://www.conniekresin.com/2013/06/linky-tuesday_18.html

Quick Project: How To Make Quilted Valentine Headband


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Over the next week, I will show you the Valentine-themed projects I have been working on. They are quick and easy. Still time to make for yourself or as gifts for your loved ones for Valentine’s Day.

The first…

A Quilted Cotton Headband made with Valentine fabrics.


Supplies List

  • Fabric 1: Valentine-themed
  • Fabric 2: Valentine-themed
  • Fabric 3: Contrast fabric for binding
  • Cotton Batting
  • Large Button
  • Thin Elastic
  • Thread

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Directions to make one Headband

Cut Fabric

Top: Cut one strip 23″ by 2 1/4″ from Fabric 1. (If using scraps, piece together a strip measuring 24″ by 3″. Trim to 23″ by 2 1/4″)
Bottom: Repeat above from Fabric 2.
Batting: Cut one 24″ by 3″ strip.

Quilting

Sandwich fabrics and batting in this order. Fabric 1 face up, batting, Fabric 2 face down. Make sure fabric edges are aligned evenly. Hold up to the light to make sure edges match. Pin to secure the “sandwich” and begin quilting in your desired design. I used a heart design and loops.

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Trimming and Rounded Corners

Trim all sides. You should end up with a quilted strip of approximately 22″ by 2″.

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Now, round all corners. Use something round to mark the corners. Trim off excess.

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Binding (and adding Elastic Strip)

Cut one strip 58 by 2″. Or if using scraps, piece together with mitered corners.

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Go here if you are unsure how to miter. This site has excellent directions, very easy, anyone can do it. http://www.heatherbaileydesign.com/HB_QuiltBinding.pdf

Fold binding in half, press. Pin and sew on the binding. (Go to the above link for directions if you need help sewing on a binding.)

Add in the elastic strip (long enough to go around your button) on one end before completely sewing around the end. Elastic strip should be placed to the left of where you will be sewing. Backstitch several times to secure. I used a very thin black elastic.

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Button Closure

Fit headband around your head to determine placement of button. Sew on button.

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To prevent stitches from showing on the backside. Go in and out of the SAME area. Don’t cross over to the next hole. Will look neater from the back. (Or you could sew on a second button underneath to hide the stitches.)

And FINISHED. Enjoy!!

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What I used…

Valentine-themed fabric from Moda. Black polka dot fabric and heart button are from JoAnn’s. Warm and White cotton batting from JoAnn’s.

It is now in my Etsy Shop.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/92511187/valentine-quilted-cotton-headband-in-red


Linking to Crazymomquilts. Check out the Friday finishes.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/02/finish-it-up-friday-week-14.html

How I Made My Quilted Oven Mitts


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There are a lot of helpful tutorials and tips out there on the net to make Oven Mitts. I did my research, read probably about 30 “how to’s” and cherry-picked from those I liked.

When gathering up your fabric choices make sure you select 100% cotton for fire safety precautions. You will need a top fabric and a lining fabric plus batting and insulated lining.

MAKING OVEN MITT TEMPLATE

First I traced around an old oven mitt I bought years ago at the Dollar Store. Make it slightly larger than the actual mitt. Plain and simple shape. Nothing fancy. I bet you have something similar laying around your house.

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Use hard stock paper for tracing if you have any. You can cut out several templates to make cutting go faster.

CUTTING OVEN MITT PIECES

Cut two (2) mitts from the top fabric. Thumb facing left. One facing right.
Cut two (2) mitts from the lining fabric. Ditto above for left and right.
Cut two (2) mitts from the insulated lining (see bottom of post for what I used). Shiny side up. One thumb facing left. One right.
Cut two (2) mitts from your ALL COTTON batting.

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QUILTING

Pin in this order.

One top fabric and one Insul-Bright. Shiny side facing the WRONG side of top fabric.
One lining fabric and one batting. Batting facing the WRONG side of lining fabric.

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Quilt the above “sandwiches” in two steps. Just as you have them pinned. Top fabric and Insul-Bright. Then lining and batting.

For the top fabric, sew simple, slightly curved lines from top to bottom. And one arched line from inside of thumb “V” down along the thumb’s outside curve.

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You only need to match up one seam, if you wish. For the side thumb seam. Mark this spot so front and back seams will line up when sewn together.

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The rest of the quilting lines can be random. But if you make three lines on the front, as I have. Make the same on the back.

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Quilting on the lining/batting should also be simple, though I did add a few more vertical lines. To keep the inside from bunching when washed, I added two horizontal lines.

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Eyeball it and sew one about 3 inches down from the top and one about 3 inches from bottom of the mitt. Not too many since you don’t want the fabric to shrink from a lot of quilting.

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Repeat for the second set.

SEWING QUILT SANDWICHES TOGETHER

Sewing top and bottom sets together.

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Use your Walking Foot, if you have one, and set it to the default zig zag stitch. I didn’t adjust the stitch. Start anywhere along the edge. Go all around. Repeat for the second set.

Top fabric.

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Lining fabric.

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MAKING HANGING TAB

Cut a strip of matching or coordinating fabric 1 1/2″ by 5″. Fold in half along the longer side. Now fold the halves up toward center fold. Iron or finger press. Sew down the middle of strip. Set aside for later.

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SEWING TOP TO THE BOTTOM

Pin zig zagged sections together with lining fabric on outside, front and back.

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Insert hanging tab (folded) about 2″ up from the bottom on one side. I put mine on the straight side, not the thumb side.

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Begin sewing. Again using your Walking Foot and the zig zag stitch. Yes, you will be zig zagging on top of the zig zagging. Start on the bottom end of the mitt on one side. Go around and stop at the bottom end of the mitt on the other side. Do Not Sew The Bottom Opening. Leave it open.

TURN OVEN MITT INSIDE OUT (Main fabric will be on the outside)

Look over your mitt. Make sure you are happy with how you sewed the top to the bottom. If bunched in the thumb area, go back inside and clip in the “V” area, careful not to cut the stitches. If you are satisfied, turn mitt back to lining on outside. Now do the final sewing. Go back along the zig zag path with STRAIGHT STITCHES. Just to reinforce. Now, turn inside out. Main fabric will be on the outside. Use something stiff (not pointed) to push out the curves along the sewn edges of the mitt. Just using your fingers doesn’t push the fabric out. (This photo is showing two mitts.)

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FINISHING OFF BOTTOM OPENING

Binding, bias binding, cuff. Your choice.

I decided on a mock cuff. Cut a strip of 2 1/2″ by 12″.

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Pin cuff strip to the inside of the bottom opening. Right sides together. Stitch along the zig zag path, above it.

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I removed my tools case (I guess that is what it is called) from my sewing machine so I could fit the cuff onto the arm.

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Stop sewing before you get to the side seam of the mitt. Make a side seam in the cuff strip. Make sure it fits perfectly along the rim. Trim excess from seam. Finger press open. Continue sewing.

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Turn cuff fabric up. Turn edges down. Top stitch all around.

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And done!! Enjoy!!

These instructions will make one oven mitt. Repeat for a second one, if desired.

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This is the insulated lining I used. Insul-Bright. I got it on-line at Fabric.com. It comes with great tips on how to use it. Also has an oven mitt template on the packaging label which I plan to print out to use in the future.

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How To Make “Little Missy” Macrame Purse

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Many of you have asked “how do I close up the bottom of a macrame purse?” And though I do already have basic directions posted on how to do this, I thought I would do another tutorial and provide detailed illustrations to make the steps clearer.

And the best part…

You get the tutorial for the entire purse, not just closing up the bottom. Two for One.

This is the Little Missy Purse I have mentioned before. I have made and sold quite a few. Cute little purse for a precious little girl to carry her allowance in. Fast and easy to make.

I am doing mine in two different colors to illustrate the joining of sides and how to close up the bottom.

Ready? OK, let’s get started.

First, the supplies list.


Supplies/Tools Needed

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6mm braided macrame cord (I am using brown and cream)
two 3″ D shaped plastic Marbella rings
ruler/yardstick/tape measure
scissors
craft glue
macrame board (or covered ceiling tile)
T pins


Instructions: How to Make Little Missy Purse

Cut 12 cords 40″ long – brown.
Cut 12 cords 40″ long – cream.
Or 24 cords all one color.

Melt the cord ends slightly with lighter or matches to keep from fraying. Don’t hold fire to cord long. Just a nanosecond. Could burn cord. You can see in this photo the fraying that happens as you work with the cord, IF you do not melt the tips first.

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Find centers of six brown and six cream cords and pin to macrame board. (Set aside the balance of the cut cords for later.)

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Lark’s Head 6 brown cords to the 1st D ring.

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Notice the “knobs” formed on the backside. You will be working from the knobless side.

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You will now begin tying macrame knots. Mostly Square Knots (SK) will be used in this project.

Starting on the left, number cords from 1-12.

Row 1. Tie one Square Knot (SK) with cords 1-4, 5-8, 9-12.

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There are now 3 Square Knots in this row.

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Row 2. Tie a SK with cords 3-6 and 7-10.

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Find the center of one of the extra 40″ brown cords. These will be called the “add on” cords. Place it next to the FIRST cord on the left. Find the center of another 40″ brown cords. Place it next to the LAST cord on the right.

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Tie a Square Knot (SK) with the new cord just added and cords 1 and 2. (The new cord when folded in half becomes two cords to work with.)

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Pull down on the loop formed, smooth it out.

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Repeat this by tying a SK with the new cord added on the right plus cords 11 and 12.

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This row now has 4 Square Knots.

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Renumber cords 1-16.

Row 3. Tie SK’s with cords 3-6, 7-10, 11-14.

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Repeat the “add on” process. Same as you did for Row 2.

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This row now has 5 SK’s.

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Renumber cords 1-20.

Row 4. Tie SK’s with cords 3-6, 7-10, 11-14, 15-18.

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Repeat the “add on” process.

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This row now has 6 Square Knots. Renumber cords 1-24.

Set aside Side 1.


Now you will work Side 2. Repeat all steps to attach cords to the 2nd D ring. Do all steps up to the 6 SK’s in Row 4. Number cords 1-24.

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Now lay both sides side-by-side on macrame board to join the two.

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Tie SK with cords 23 and 24 from Side 1 plus cords 1 and 2 from Side 2.

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This one SK starts the next row. Row 5.

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Renumber cords 1-48.

Now, to finish Row 5, tie SK’s with cords 3-6, 7-10, 11-14, 15-18, 19-22 (skip 23-26, knot is already there), 27-30, 31-34, 35-38, 39-42, 43-46.

Row 5 now has 11 Square Knots (SK).

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Now join sides together to work purse in a tube, in the round. Unpin Side 1 from macrame board and place it next to Side 2.

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Tie one SK with the last two cords on the left and the first two cords on the right. See photo for assistance.

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This completes Row 5. It now has 12 SK’s.


Begin tying in the round.

Row 6. Starting with cords 1-4, tie one SK.

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Go all around, tying in the round. These are called Alternating Square Knots (ASK) since you are tying a knot with 2 cords from the above SK and 2 cords from the above adjacent SK. (12 SK’s)

Row 7. Tie one row of ASK’s. Go all around. Don’t tie with the same cords as in Row 6. (12 SK’s)

This is how your Little Missy purse should look after 7 rows.

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Row 8. Tie one row of ASK’s. Go all around. Don’t tie with the same cords as in Row 7. (12 SK’s)

Row 9. Tie one row of ASK’s. Go all around. Don’t tie with the same cords as in Row 8. (12 SK’s)

Row 10. Tie one row of ASK’s. Go all around. Don’t tie with the same cords as in Row 9. Make sure to tie each knot tight. (12 SK’s)

This is how your purse should look after 10 rows.

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Closing Up the Bottom of Purse

Turn purse inside out.

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The “knobs” up near the D rings will now be on the outside.

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Locate Cords 1 and 48. Tie an Overhand Knot on cord ends to identify later. Do the same with Cords 24 and 25.

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Turn purse sideways or fit between your knees. Divide cords into 24 and 24. Front and Back cords.

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Use the cords with Overhand Knots on the ends as your guide.

Tie a Square Knot with no filler cords with Cords 48 and 1. Just those two cords.

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Push cords out of your way. Tie a SK with the NEXT TWO CORDS FROM THE LEFT and THE NEXT TWO CORDS FROM THE RIGHT.

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Pull on the filler cords to tighten knot. Continue tying knots this way. Two from one side and two from the other until you reach the last 2 cords. They have Overhand Knots on the ends. Tie a Square Knot with no filler cords with just those two cords.

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All knot tying is now complete.

OK, let’s do a check of the closing knots. You should have one SK (no filler) in one corner, 11 SK along the bottom of the purse and one SK (no filler) in the other corner.

Here is a bottom view of the closing knots.

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And a flat view of the closing knots.

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Make sure you pulled down on all filler cords. So the bottom will look as smooth as possible.

Trim each cord to about an inch. Melt the cut ends with a lighter or match to prevent fraying. Touch cord lightly so not to burn.

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Turn purse inside out. “Knobs” along the top of the D ring should now be back on the inside.

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Apply craft glue to each knot from the inside of the purse. Allow to dry. Shape the bottom.

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Push down on the knots from the inside. Purse should be able to stand up on its own. (This is the craft glue I used.)

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Embellish, if desired, with buttons, bows, ribbon. You can even add a lining inside.

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You are finished!! Enjoy!!

Purse Measurements: 6 1/4″ length, 7 1/2″ height, 1 1/4″ width (at the widest point, the bottom)


Note: These instructions for closing up the bottom of a macrame purse will work with a large purse, too. You will just have more SK’s to tie.

Tutorials Have Moved

Tutorials can now be found over there ——-> in my Sidebar under PAGES. Go to the right side of my blog and scroll down a bit.

http://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/tutorials-tips-help-links/

I collected them all up, including some tips and help links for macrame, beading, crochet and sewing.

It should be easier for you to find what you are looking for with them all on one page.

Don’t forget to send me photos of things you made using my tutorials. I will add them to the “You Made It” photo gallery.

How To Make A Twisted Herringbone Bracelet

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Just finished this tutorial for a friend who is making lots of pretty bracelets and wanted to learn the Twisted Herringbone stitch.

So… I thought I would share it with you in case you have been wanting to learn too.

You start off with three rounds of the basic Tubular Herringbone stitch. If you don’t know how to make it, do a Google search or check YouTube.

I’ll begin my tutorial at the point the tube is formed and you start stitching the twisted part. And my tutorial shows you how to attach a store bought clasp. Nothing fancy (like mine) to scare you off. :D

To begin, here are the supplies you will need.


TWISTED HERRINGBONE BRACELET TUTORIAL

Supplies Needed

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Size 8/0 Seed Beads (SB)
Color 1 brown
Color 2 cream
Color 3 burgundy

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Beading thread. Fireline, Wildfire or Nymo
Beading needle size 10 (flexible is best)
Nipper tool
Ruler/tape measure/yard stick
Toggle clasp or clasp of your choice
Bead stopper


Getting started. Cut 4 yards of beading thread. Thread needle. Put a bead stopper on one end, leaving a 12″ tail (will be used to sew clasp). Do not knot either end. Will be using the entire length of thread.

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STEP A: TUBULAR HERRINGBONE STITCH

You will begin with 3 rounds of tubular herringbone stitch sewing counterclockwise. (If you don’t know how to make it, do a Google search or check YouTube.)

STEP B: TWISTED HERRINGBONE STITCH

Pull tightly on beadwork to form tube. Rest of bracelet will be worked in tube form.

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You should have three columns. One in each color. Stacks of 3 SB’s.


Round 1

Pick up two Color 1 (brown).

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Sew down into next single SB (brown) and UP through two SB’s IN THE NEXT COLUMN (cream column).

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Round 2

Pick up two Color 2 (cream).

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Sew down into next single SB (cream) and up through two SB’s in the next column (burgundy column).

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Round 3

Pick up two Color 3 (burgundy).

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Sew down into next single SB (burgundy).

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And now… IMPORTANT… to finish this row…

Go up through THREE SB’s in the next column (brown column).

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You have just completed one row of Twisted Herringbone.

Check your beadwork to make sure thread is where it should be and is tight.


STEP C: CONTINUE BEADING HERRINGBONE TUBE

Repeat Rounds 1 through 3 in STEP B until you reach your desired bracelet length. Allow 1 to 1 1/2″ for clasp. Beadwork should NOT reach tip to tip around your wrist.


Extra Notes and Tips

  • Needles:  Using a flexible needle is best. It will allow you to go “down and up” with one stroke.
  • Seed beads:  Select seed beads with the same size so column height will match up.
  • Around the 5th or 6th row, you will see beadwork begin to twist.

This is how it looks at the 2 inch mark.

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Step D: Adding Clasp To The LOOP Portion Of The Toggle

There are many ways to add a clasp. And many types of clasp. This is just a quick and easy way of doing it.

Pinch one end of the bracelet flat between your fingers.

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Line up the 6 SB’s. 3 to the front and 3 to the back. Thread should exit one of the center SB’s. Front or back, doesn’t matter.

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You will use four (4) size 8/0 seed beads for this step.

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A. Pick up one size 8/0 SB (color is your choice) and go through the round hole on the bottom of the “loop” half of the toggle.

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Continue to the OPPOSITE side. Match up with the center bead opposite you.

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Go down 4 SB’s in this stack.

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Do a “U” turn and come go UP 4 SB’s in the stack to the right of it. (Make sure thread is hidden between the beads, pull tight.)

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B. Pick up one SB (same color you selected in A).

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Go through the round hole on the bottom of the “loop” half of the toggle.

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Now go down 4 SB’s in the next column.

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Do a “U” and go UP 4 SB’s in the stack to the right of it.

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C. Pick up one SB (same color you selected in A).

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Go through the round hole on the bottom of the “loop” half of the toggle.

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Now go down 4 SB’s in the next column, do U turn to the stack to the right of it.

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Go up 4 SB’s.

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Now go through the round hole on the bottom of the “loop” half of the toggle.

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It may look messy but weave in and out around the area to tighten it up and “clean” it up. Add extra beads or, if desired, create a fringe with tiny seed beads to cover the “hole”.

That completes one half of the clasp.

Experiment with different clasps and different number of seed beads for different looks.


Step E: Adding Clasp To The BAR Portion Of The Toggle

Pinch the end of the bracelet flat between your fingers.

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Line up the 6 SB’s. 3 to the front and 3 to the back. Just as you did for the LOOP portion. Thread should exit one of the center SB’s. Front or back, doesn’t matter.

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You will use ten (10) size 8/0 seed beads for this step.

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D. Pick up 5 SB’s and go through the round hole on the bottom of the “bar” half of the toggle, and pick up 5 more SB’s.

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Continue on to the opposite side of this bead. Go down 4 SB’s in this stack.

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And wouldn’t you know it!! The last picture showing the “U” turn and back up to the top is blurred. But you know what to do. You’ve done it before. :-D

Tighten up the beads, add extra beads, add a fringe. Do whatever you wish to finish up.

Before doing too much weaving in and out, test the toggle to make sure the bar end smoothly goes through the loop end. You may have to add more than the 10 beads or use less. Try bracelet on BEFORE cutting thread.

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Thanks for making my bracelet.

THE END……


I like to make my own beaded clasp so for this bracelet I sewed two open triangles together. One triangle made with the three seed bead colors and a triangle for the back in solid brown. I added a button to the other end.

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How To Make A Beaded Toggle Bar

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Beaded toggle bars are easy to make. Even if you don’t know the peyote stitch that well.

One thing I suggest. Do resist the temptation to continue from your beadwork directly to the toggle bar. Always end your current thread. And start with a fresh thread to connect the toggle bar.

Reasons?

  • you make a mistake on placement and need to undo it
  • bar is too large or too small and you want to remake it
  • need to change the number of beads leading to the bar
  • etc, etc.

If you had continued with the same thread as your beadwork, you could possibly ruin your item trying to make these changes. Been there. Done that.

This is what works for me. And I have tried various combinations of seed beads/rows.

Using 8/0 seed beads, gauge how many you will need. I have tried 14, 16, 18 and 20 seed beads.  Peyote for 4 rows. Meaning when you count the beads at the top and bottom, you count 4.


Instructions for Beaded Toggle Bar

Step 1

String 20 seed beads. I used size 8/0. Add a bead stopper.

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Step 2

Beginning on the end opposite the bead stopper, working upward, start adding beads.

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Continue adding beads/rows until you have 4 beads at the top and 4 beads at the bottom.

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Step 3

Pinch the beadwork together between your fingers. I used a metal clip to illustrate the folding of the beads.

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Step 4

Begin to sew the sides together.

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Zip up the sides by sewing into ONLY the high beads. Those sticking out further. Go from one side to the other, going upward. I like to reinforce the beadwork by going up and down the entire length of the toggle bar with the working thread. Also going up and back down with the tail thread. Try to come out of the same seed bead with both threads. CUT BOTH THREADS.

This is how your beaded toggle bar should look after sewing the sides together.

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Step 5

Once finished, one last thing to do. Insert a piece of inexpensive wire. Artistic Wire, I think mine is called.

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Push it through the toggle bar almost to the end. Cut wire, file any burrs, now push the rest of the way. This extra step strengthens your toggle bar. The wire is in tight enough, no need to worry about it coming out. (You could sew a tiny 11/0 seed bead on the ends.)

Step 6

Connect toggle bar to your beadwork.

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You decide how many seed beads are needed to comfortably go through the other end of your clasp.

OK. Now go get your bead stash and try making this toggle bar. And pocket the money you would normally spend buying commercial clasps. Enjoy!!


Supplies/Tools Used

  • Fireline beading thread
  • size 10 or 12 beading needle
  • 8/0 seed beads
  • 2″ piece of 20 gauge Artistic Wire
  • bead stopper
  • wire cutter
  • ruler

If you need help with the peyote stitching part, see my blog’s sidebar under Tutorials. Lots of help links there.

How To Make Flat Spiral Stitch Earrings

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Here’s an easy project for you. I made the complete set. Necklace, bracelet and earrings.

To get you started… You can make just the earrings.


Supplies Needed To Make One Pair of Flat Spiral Stitch Earrings

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  • 11/0 seed beads (black, red, white)
  • 4mm black bicone crystals (6 per earring)
  • black round glass beads (5 per earring)
  • pair of ear wires
  • 3mm CLOSED jumprings (2)
  • Fireline beading thread
  • beading needle size 10 or 12

Step 1

Cut 1 1/2 yards of Fireline, leaving a 7″ tail. Add a bead stopper. Pick up two (2) round black beads. Drop beads down to the bead stopper.

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Step 2

Pick up 6 black seed beads, one 4mm black bicone, 6 red seed beads. Drop these down on top of the two black round beads added in Step 1.

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Take thread up through the 2 black round beads. Thread should exit the top one.

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Pull tight. This creates the “black/red arch”, working bottom up. Push arch to the left.

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Step 3

Pick up 6 black seed beads, one 4mm black bicone, 6 white seed beads. Drop these down on top of the black round beads. Take needle up through the two black round beads. Exit the top one.

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This completes one complete arch. Black/red on the left. Black/white on the right.

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Step 4

Add one black round bead. Slide it down to rest on top of your beadwork.

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Step 5

Pick up 6 black seed beads, one 4mm black bicone, 6 red seed beads. Drop these beads down on top of the black round bead you added in Step 4. Take needle up through the 2nd from bottom round black bead PLUS the one just added.

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Pull tight. Push “black/red arch” to the left. Thread should exit the top black round bead.

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Step 6

Pick up 6 black seed beads, one 4mm black bicone, 6 white seed beads. Repeat the same steps as used for the black/red arch.

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Now you should have two complete arches done.

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Step 7

Repeat Steps 4, 5 and 6 once more to add the 3rd complete arch. Start by adding one black round bead. Slide down.

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That completes the arches. Your beadwork should now look like this. Make sure the black/red is on the left and black/white is on the right. Pull tight.

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OK, now ready for the last step.

Step 8

Pick up two (2) black seed beads, one black round bead, one black seed bead, one 3mm CLOSED jumpring. Drop down.

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In reverse order. Go around the closed jump ring. And down through seed bead, round black bead, two seed beads. Continue down through the center of ALL black round beads. Exit bottom round bead.

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Make your way back up the center of the black round beads. Back up to the top to loop around the closed jump ring. To secure it. Do this a couple times. Pull thread tight. Do the same with the tail thread. Bury it up the center. Cut thread. Add ear wire.

And done!! Now create the 2nd earring.

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Enjoy!!


Here’s the necklace and bracelet.

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Another Way To Extend Cord On Your Macrame Project

If you run out of macrame cord in the middle of your project, here’s another way to extend the cord.

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And check out my blog post from last year. More ways.

http://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/how-to-extend-add-on-macrame-cord-ends/

How are you extending the cord when you run out? Let us all know. Thanks!!

Tuesday’s Tutorial: Stocking Stuffer For The Bookworm

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Today’s tutorial is a Macrame Bookmark perfect for a student or someone who loves to read or write. It has a Winter theme with snowflakes and Snowmen and would make a great Christmas stocking stuffer.


Supplies/Tools Needed to Make Bookmark

  • 6 yards of 2mm braided macrame cord
  • 4 medium sized buttons with 2 holes
  • 2 silver snowflakes
  • scissors
  • ruler/tape measure/yardstick
  • large hole metal tapestry needle

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Directions to Make Macrame Bookmark

Step 1.

Cut 1 cord 1 1/2 yards long. (Filler cord)
Cut 1 cord 4 1/2 yards long. (Tying cord)

Step 2 – Adding Buttons and Snowflake.

Find the center of the 1 1/2 yard cord.

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String one end of cord through the 1st button, silver snowflake and 2nd button. Center so cord ends measure evenly. (See photo)

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Pull cords tight so buttons fit tight against silver snowflake like a sandwich.

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Step 3 – Adding Tying Cord.

Find center of 4 1/2 yard cord and position it UNDER the filler cords. Tie one Square Knot (SK) with the tying cords, the longer cords. Slide knot up close to the buttons.

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Step 4 – Tying the top Square Knot Button.

Drop down 1/4″ and tie a Square Knot Button consisting of 7 square knots. In a row. This is called a Sinnet. SK Button will hold a pen or pencil.

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Take filler cords (the middle cords) and go up and through the holes created. Front to back. Pull down to form a Square Knot Button.

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Tie one SK under the SK Button to secure it.

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Step 5 – Tying Square Knot Sinnet.

Tie 12″ of square knots. In a row. One after the other.

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Step 6 – Tying the Bottom Square Knot Button.

Drop down 1/4″ and tie a Square Knot Button consisting of 7 square knots. Same as you did in Step 4.

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Tie TWO square knots under the SK Button.

That completes the knot tying and now you will bury all cords except ONE FILLER CORD. That cord will be used to string the last buttons and silver snowflake. Using the large hole metal needle, bury one cord at a time, from the back, going up through the knotwork. (See photo)

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Step 7 – Adding Bottom Buttons and Snowflake.

String cord through buttons and silver snowflake per the photo. Pull cords tight so buttons fit tight against the silver snowflake like a sandwich.

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Step 8.

To finish off cord end: Tie around base of the cord or hand sew together. Trim cord end.

All done. Finished and ready to enjoy for yourself or to give as a gift.

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Bookmark measures 14″.

Variations: Make longer or shorter by adjusting cord lengths. Use whatever buttons or decorations preferred. Omit bottom square knot button if wish.