Soft Fox Crafts: A Short Roundup

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers

My Internet feeds seem lately to be serving me with foxes left and right. Inspired by this serendipity, here’s a short roundup of soft fox crafts.

There’s so much personality in this Fancy Fox II quilting pattern by Elizabeth Hartman:

Elizabeth Hartman Fancy Fox II

Elizabeth Hartman / Oh, Fransson.

LOVE the fox with glasses!

Felt fox cup cosies made by Jaana at Hattaralandia:

Jaana Hattaralandia DIY joulu kettumukinsuojukset1

Jaana at Hattaralandia.

Jaana offers no tutorial, but there’s a second photo in her blog post that shows the fox sleeves spread out for additional details (NB. in Finnish only, and you have to scroll quite far to get to the foxes).

Knitted tea pot cosy pattern by Gina Michele:

GinaMichele Fox Tea Cosy Knitting Pattern

Gina Michele.

Looks so comforting, too, besides being full of awesome.

Finally, cute and awesome crochet pattern for fox slipper-socks – complete with a white tail tip!

Ravelry Divine Debris Meredith_Fox_Slippers_945x1000_medium2

Divine Debris / Ravelry.

Crochet pattern by Divine Debris at Ravelry. Is it finally time for me to dig up my crochet hook? (It’s been way too many years…) 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

My Con or Bust Donation for 2018

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

Here is my donation for Con or Bust‘s yearly online auction for 2018: a rainbow heart banner.

Rainbow Banner

Each heart measures approx. 3” / 7 cm, and there’s one of each color (purple, red, orange, yellow, green and blue). They have vibrant fronts made from a variety of cottons and cotton blends, and the backsides are made from a linen blend in a neutral greyish beige hue.

Rainbow Banner Back Fabric

All fabrics come from my scraps bin, which reduces waste, as does filling the hearts with clippings (thread and small waste fabric).

Rainbow Banner Hexagon

The hearts form an approx. 53” / 135 cm banner with the help of baker’s twine, with loops at both ends for hanging.

Because of the neutral backing, the banner looks best hung against a wall or other flat surface.

Rainbow Banner on Bookcase

However, as I strung it up for photos, I noticed that the hearts have a tendency to swivel, which would make a nice effect if hung somewhere where air currents can gently sway the banner.

Rainbow Banner on Door Frame

Bidding will start next Monday, April 09, 2018. Before that, you can have a look at the 2018 auction info, visit the Con or Bust website for more information or browse the 2018 auction tags.

Con or Bust, Inc., is a U.S.-based, tax-exempt not-for-profit organization that helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions. Con or Bust isn’t a scholarship and isn’t limited to the United States, to particular types of con-goers, or to specific cons; its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves. It is funded through donations and an online auction held annually.

As I’ve had firsthand experience of being on a miniature budget and having to limit my geeky hobbies accordingly, I decided to add Con or Bust to my list of things worthy of support. This is my third time donating.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

DIY Padded Book Sleeves for Traveling

Arts & Crafts, Books & Mags, DIY

Nicole Collins at The Yummy Muffin made these book sleeves for traveling:

The Yummy Muffin Nicole Collins Book Sleeves

Nicole Collins at The Yummy Muffin.

Nicole used ¼ inch (6 mm) thick flex foam for padding and lined the sleeves for good measure.

What a great idea – your books are padded but easily accessible. And the size, shape, opening (with or without closure) and materials are infinitely customizable.

Visit Nicole’s how-to for more!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Quick Tip: Bobbin Case Cleanup with a Makeup Brush

Arts & Crafts, Behind the Scenes, DIY

For a quick and dirty (pardon the pun!) bobbin case cleanup, I use a small makeup brush. A narrow-tip brush fits well into the crevices of the bobbin case as well as the sides and the back of the bobbin area. A wide-tip one (like for spreading blush) works really well for dusting the bobbin door.

Sewing Machine Bobbin Case Cleanup

I bought an inexpensive set of brushes specifically for the purpose. (The brushes should be good enough quality to not lose bristles inside the machine, though.)

This quick cleanup isn’t good enough to replace a thorough cleaning, of course, but it seems to tide my machine over quite well. Besides, it’s so fast and easy that I’m more likely to do it often. 🙂

Do you have any favorite tips for sewing machine care? Do share!

Latest Sewing Project: Heart Patch

Arts & Crafts, DIY

My latest personal sewing project involves repair. Apparently I have a habit of crossing my legs at exactly the same spot and wearing out the fabric. Since this pair of knit pants is for home use, I didn’t shy away from patching it with a heart cut from an old, ratty t-shirt.

Heart Patch Collage

Repairing is not as exciting as, say, making something useful and beautiful from scratch. However, I’ve truly come to appreciate being able to extend the life of an otherwise perfectly serviceable article with a minor adjustment or addition.

Heart Patch Done

This isn’t the first pair of pants I’ve mended, and I suspect it won’t be the last. 🙂

Multicolor Coordinating Bag Tassel

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

Do you ever make tassels? Back when I was playing with book bag prototypes, just on a whim I made a tassel for one of them:

Fuchsia Book Bag w Tassel Closeup

It’s attached to the top of the side seam, so it’s not really a bag charm.

Fuchsia Book Bag w Tassel

 

I made it with yarns that match the fabric colors, with fuchsia on the outside and pale yellow and two different greens on the inside.

I still like how the other shades peek through the hot pink. I’m just not sure how practical it is. Thoughts?

Colorful Book Bag Prototypes

Arts & Crafts, Colors, DIY

Some prototypes from a past sewing project:

Past Projects Book Bags

These small book bags / fold-away shopping bags all have slightly different construction or proportions. I kept changing details until I found a solution I was happy with.

The colors still make me smile. 🙂

Shop my book bags here.

A Magnificent Minecraft Quilt

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, Stunt Double

Quilter by the nickname Knittette made this fabulous Minecraft blanket:

Knittette Quilting Board Minecraft Quilt

Knittette at Quilting Board.

Wow. Really impressive piecing, especially since not all the basic squares are the same size. The math to make the finished blocks match must’ve been intense. I also love how closely the blocks resemble Minecraft icons. Very well done indeed – thanks for sharing!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

When Even the Waste Looks Good

Behind the Scenes, Colors, Fabrics & Materials

Recently I’ve worked on several small projects with colorful fabrics. One of the delights of working with bright colors is that even the littlest scraps look cheerful!

Colorful Clippings

It’s especially nice on grey days. This weekend’s forecast looks rainy; I’d better bring out my scraps bin again for more projects. 🙂