Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The T-shirt Quilt Update

Tee shirts (4 to 36 = number depending on size of quilt), Interfacing (fusible, woven type), woven cotton fabric for sashing and borders, fabric for backing (woven cotton, flannel, or polarfleece) and batting if you choose to use it.
There are many brands of interfacing. Look for a woven type or a nonwoven that is not stretchy (don't use a knit interfacing). You are using the interfacing to make the knit tee fabric non-stretchy for ease in sewing. Some interfacing needs to be pre-shrunk with water to avoid bubbles on the surface after fusing so read the directions from the manufacturer and test on a plain piece of tee shirt knit fabric.
Cotton Fabrics
You'll be using woven cotton (ie. regular quilting cotton) for the sashing and borders of your quilt. You want the stability of a woven cotton, not stretch from a knit. Pick a fabric that will frame your tee blocks nicely. You don't need to use a sashing, you can sew the blocks directly to each other.
You may want to use batting. A polyester batting with loft is fun if you are going to tie your tee shirt quilt. A cotton batting or blend is better for a machine quilted project. If you want a thin style quilt you could leave the batting out completely.
You may want to use tee shirts pieced on both sides if you have a lot of them. If not, a plain cotton backing used with batting is good. Or a flannel or polarguard backing is cozy and you can leave out the batting with these, too.
Preparation & Techniques

Decide Layout
Assuming you have all your tee shirts out and have studied them and possible layouts so you know your block sizes (see the section here on Blocks and Quilt Layouts to help plan, also look at the Gallery page to see sample quilts).
Washing & Cutting
Wash all tee shirts, if not previously worn you may want to wash them twice. Take the side seams apart (or if they were knit in the round you can slice one side and remove sleeves. Remember to save all the image areas if you t-shirt has small logos on sleeves, etc.
Pre-shrink the fusible if needed. Cut the fusible interfacing about 2 inches larger than the size of your unsewn blocks. You may want to use a 1/2 inch seam allowance for your tee shirt blocks rather than the traditional 1/4" of quilting to make sturdier seams. Following fusible manufacturer's advice, fuse the interfacing to the tee shirt sections you plan to use.
Cutting the fused tee shirts
If all your blocks are to be the same size, you will find it convenient to make a template from cardboard, mat board or plastic template material. If you are a quilter with a rotary cutter, this is definitely the tool to use. Cut using a long acrylic rotary ruler and a mat. If using scissors, trace your template and cut. Cutting the sashing and borders: remember to leave 1/2 inch seam allowance if you choose to have extra. Thus a 3 inch sashing finished sewn size will mean you should cut a 4 inch wide strip.
Arranging blocks
If all your blocks are one size you can go directly to arranging their order. But, if you are using some smaller units of tee shirt images to make larger blocks (in a 4 patch block for instance) sew those first. Then clear off a place on the floor, a bed top or hang a big flannel sheet or batting on the wall to arrange your blocks.
Sew blocks in rows, either horizontal or vertical inserting sashing pieces (if desired) as you go. Then assemble rows and add the borders.
Layer top with backing and batting (or leave batting out if you choose) and quilt. You may want to finish this tee shirt quilt in the "reversed bag method" which is especially easy for a tied quilt. Layer the parts this way: put the top of the quilt right side UP and tape to the floor or tables with masking tape evenly around all edges, then put the backing fabric right side DOWN against the top (ie. the two right sides are together), then place the batting on top (if desired to have batting). Pin or baste to hold the edges together. Sew around 3 full sides and 2/3 of the 4th side leaving an opening with a 1/2 inch seam. Trim the batting close to the seam, but don't trim the fabrics and turn the whole quilt right side out. Hand sew the 1/3 opening on the 4th side. Tie closely every 4-5 inches or quilt the quilt

Pom Pom Tea Cozy The Pink Puff Ball

This knitted cosy is made from 25 pompoms to fit a three-cup teapot.
You will need
5 x 50g balls of 8-ply yarn, pink 4mm knitting needles Cardboard Scissors Darning needle
Using 4mm knitting needles and one strand of yarn, cast on 35 stitches for the front. Repeat with a second ball of yarn to make the back.
Knit every row until the sides measure to just above the spout and handle.
Decrease row 1: *K5, K2 tog*, repeat * to * to end.
Next and alternate rows: Knit.
Decrease row 3: *K4, K2 tog*, repeat * to * to end.
Decrease row 5: *K3, K2 tog*, repeat * to * to end.
Decrease row 7: *K2, K2 tog*, repeat * to * to end.
Decrease row 9: *K1, K2 tog*, repeat * to * to end.
Thread the yarn through the remaining 10 stitches, draw up tightly and darn to secure.
Make approximately 25 pompoms.
Cut out two cardboard circles, 5cm in diameter. Make a hole in the centre of each, 2cm in diameter.
Put the two circles together and use a darning needle to wind the yarn around the cardboard through the hole in the centre. Keep going until there is very little room left in the centre.
Slide the blade of the scissors between the two cardboard circles at the outer edge and cut the yarn all the way around.
Wrap a strand of yarn between the two cardboard circles twice, pull it tight and make a secure knot.
Slide the cardboard circles off the pompom and fluff it up to a nice round ball. Leave the ends of the tie yarn long enough to easily secure the pompom to the tea-cosy.
To finish
Sew the front and back of the tea-cosy together from the centre top down to the top of the spout and handle openings. Sew the side seams together underneath the spout and handle openings.
Use a crochet hook to pull the long tie yarns of the pompoms through the knitted cosy and tie the yarn in secure knots on the inside of the cosy.

CORNFLOUR PASTE Finger Paint Recipe


Add to ordinary paint or add food colouring to use as fingerpaint; use as an economical extender for paint; use as a paper glue or use in papier-mâché.

You will need:
3 parts water (3 cups)
1 part cornflour (1 cup)
food colouring
Step 1
Adult: bring the water to boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat.
Step 2
Adult: dissolve cornflour in a little cold water and add to hot water, stirring constantly. Boil until clear and thick (about one minute).
To make fingerpaint, add desired food colouring. This mixture will be very smooth. Offer it to the children while it is still warm to touch. A tablespoon of glycerine may be added to make it glossy. A ½ cup of Lux soap flakes may be added to give fingerpaint a lumpy texture.
Store in refrigerator as it spoils in hot weather.

Cake in 5 Minutes Crazy

The internet has had this crazy 5 minute cake running around for years but I actually tried it and it's not bad.
So here's the recipe and the instructions.
Would make a nice gift in a bag . Cute coffee
 cup and a nice sewn hand tied cloth bag.
 Big Ribbon and a sweet card with instructions. Wal-La Quick Gift


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)
spray mug with non stick spray like Pam

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake
at any time of the day or night!