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

How To Add A Zipper To A Pouch… Donna Style


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Zippered pouches are the rage right now and tutorials are popping up all over the net. After trying a few with so-so results, I decided to figure out my own way of adding a zipper. I love how the above pouch turned out, so I thought I would share my process with you.

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My tutorial doesn’t instruct how to make a pouch. It BEGINS at the “add a zipper” stage. You will have already created and sewn the pouch front and back, plus the lining front and back. You can make your pouch any size. The process is the same.

Preparation: You will need a zipper and two fabric squares.

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Cut two 3″ fabric squares.

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Take one of the squares and fold up one end at 3/4″.

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Fold up again. And again. Finger press. When unfolded, you should have three creases. Leave unfolded.

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Now fold one flap to the center. Do same with other flap. Fold two sides together. Press flat.

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For a finished look, stitch along the long side where the folded edges meet. Stitch the other side.

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Repeat the above steps for the 2nd fabric square.

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Measuring and Alignment

Select a zipper that is from two to 3″ longer than the length (left to right) of the pouch. Lay the zipper flat near the top edge of the pouch. Center it across the pouch top edge.  Pin (or mark with chalk) where the pouch edges align with the centered zipper.

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Move zipper tab to open the zipper. Sew across zipper teeth on both left and right where you marked it. (If zipper has metal teeth, hand walk foot over the zipper to prevent needle breakage.) Reinforce stitching.

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Sewing Fabric Tabs To Zipper

Place fabric tabs about 1/2″ to 3/4″ from the left and right pouch edges.  Important: They will NOT be sewn into the side seams.

Begin stitching down the fabric tabs to the zipper. Both top and bottom. Both sides. Don’t stretch and pull on the tabs. Leave a tiny bit of wiggle room. I like to be able to insert my fingernail under the tab.

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At this stage, zipper has not yet been sewn to pouch. It is positioned near the top of the pouch for illustration purposes. So you can see how the stitched ends align with the pouch edges. Zipper is sewn to pouch in the next steps.

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Pinning Zipper to Pouch Front and Lining Front

Arrange pouch pieces and lining pieces how they will be sewn.

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Now, sandwich zipper between pouch front and lining front. Right sides together. Zipper facing down (and opened). See photo.

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Repeat for Pouch Back and Lining Back.

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Topstitching gives pouch a finished look. Do it now while the pouch is flat.

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Sewing Side Seams and Bottom (Insert strap before sewing up sides.)

Very carefully, begin sewing side seams, mindful of the zipper fabric tabs. DO NOT CATCH THEM IN THE SEAMS. Slowly sew over the zipper teeth. (If zipper has metal teeth, hand walk foot over the zipper to prevent needle breakage.) Reinforce by stitching over the teeth once more.

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Turn pouch inside out to check and make sure all is right. Are you happy with your work? If yes, trim zipper excess.

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Finish off bottom as you normally would.

And done!! Enjoy!!

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If you try this, let me know how your zipper turned out. Thanks!!


Linking to…

http://allthingsfee.blogspot.com/2012/06/calling-all-crafters-65th-edition.html

http://www.sewcando.com/2012/06/craftastic-monday-linky-winner.html

http://sewhappygeek.co.uk/index.php/manic-monday/

http://what-about.co/june-22-2012-show-friday-blog-hop/

Pattern To My Hexagon Crocheted Hot Pad Is Finished


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To everyone who posted a comment or e-mailed me inquiring… my hexagon hot pad pattern is hot off the press.

I finally just dropped everything and did it!! Feels great to have it off my back and off my To-Do List.

Sorry it took so long. I couldn’t find my instructions for the ones I made a couple years ago. So I had to start from scratch.

This rust one I made Friday.

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And I made the purple one yesterday totally from my pattern. Testing it out. Making sure it all made sense. And it did!!

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You can find it here.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/96058755/pattern-hexie-granny-crocheted-hot-pad

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

Instructions To Make “Little Missy” Macrame Purse


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This little macrame purse gets the most views and clicks than any other item on my blog. In red/pink and brown/cream.

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I bet you didn’t know I had the instructions on how to make it posted.

I had the title as How To Close Up A Macrame Purse. Duh!! Silly me!! If you didn’t read the whole post, then you missed my instructions.

Well, time to remedy that. I fixed my goof. I renamed the blog post so you could find it better during searches.

You can make it in any color. Solid, striped. Add buttons and bows.

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If you want to make one, go here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/how-to-make-little-missy-macrame-purse/

And let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!!

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 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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