Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crafty Giveaway #2 Closes Tonight!



So here are the two cutest babies! Mom and babies are doing wonderful. The baby on the left is going to be the recipient of the quilt that created this giveaway. I hope he likes it! Get your entry in by commenting on the giveaway post before 10pm est. I'll post the winner tomorrow. Baby #2's quilt giveaway will be up within the next few days.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Crafty Giveaway #2 - Closed

First of all, thank you to all who entered the first giveaway. I sent off Kimberly's prize last week and also the squares to those of you that requested them. I hope you all have had a chance to try at least one folded flower with the help of my tutorial. Feel free to pass on the link to others who might be interested in the directions. I've also started a flickr group so you can post photos of the projects (like the folded flowers) that are inspired by Crafty Giveaways. You can check it out and post here. On to the Giveaway!

This week's giveaway is in honor of my dear friend who is in the hospital having just delivered her two twin boys. (Cute baby pictures to be posted after I visit her.) I had a great time making quilts for them - but I overbought in the fabric department. (Surprise!)

My pattern for this first quilt included directions to make 12 blocks. As you can see, I only used 6 in the quilt, so I'm partially through the other 6. I am ready to move on to another project. So you can be the recipient of pre-cut, pre-pieced blocks. There is enough work left to do that you'll feel like this project is your own, but I've already done all of the cutting for you. You'll receive all of the fabric needed to finish piecing 6 different 14" star blocks, the red print sashing strips and some miscellaneous fabrics. You can see more detailed pictures of the fabrics here.

All you will need to add is the outer border fabric, backing, batting and binding. This giveaway gives you a jump on your next project. I will also include a copy of the original pattern instructions to finish the blocks. Of course, I am also available if you have any questions, but the pattern was really clear and easy to follow.


So here's the twist....if you mention my giveaway/blog and link to it in your blog, you will receive 3 entries in the giveaway. Just drop me a line or comment with the link to your mention. I'm still trying to get the word out about these giveaways. If you don't want to blog about me :( that's fine. You are still more than welcome to enter by leaving a comment. Tell us why you're interested in this giveaway. Is it the fabric? The challenge of those angles? The shear joy that someone else already cut the fabric out for you? Or just because? This giveaway will end on Thursday, July 31 at 10pm est. Spread the word!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Folded Flower Tutorial

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I did not come up with this technique. I am merely providing detailed, pictorial instructions on how to make a folded flower as shown by Rebecca Wat on an episode of Simply Quilts to promote her book "Fantastic Folded Flowers." That being said, many of you also saw that episode and were not quite sure you could reproduce what you saw. I have to say that the directions on the website are not as illustrated as they could be. Despite all your fears, this technique is REALLY easy! I had to do 40 flowers for my in-laws' anniversary wallhanging, and that never would have happened if it wasn't something I could master pretty quickly. I have tried to have a picture for every step. If you find something in the tutorial that doesn't make sense or could be clearer, please leave me a comment or email me directly at craftygiveaways (at) gmail (dot) com.

Start with a 6" square, wrong side up. Fold in half width-wise and finger press. Unfold. Fold in half length-wise and finger press. Unfold.


After the two folds you should have a well-defined "x" in the middle.



Take a corner and bring it up to meet the center. Finger press the fold. Repeat for all remaining corners.


This is how it should now look. The right side is showing on the corners that you just folded up.


Now flip the square over to the opposite side - like flipping a pancake. You should see your creases from the first step as an "X" from corner to corner.


Take one side and fold up to meet the "X" in the middle.


Fold up the opposite side, making sure you are centered.


Holding down the center meeting point, carefully (but firmly) finger press each folded side.


This should be what you see when it is opened up.


Now fold the two remaining sides, as in the previous step. You should have an "X" in the center with a square surrounding it.


Take two adjoining sides and bring them back to the center along the previous fold. Match them up so they are even and centered on each side, making a nice triangular "ear" that sticks up.


Using a needle and matching thread, tack the sides together where they adjoin, getting as close to the "bottom" of the ear as possible, but not too close. I usually stitch through 2 or 3 times. Do not cut or knot thread! Leave it attached.


Bring up the adjoining side to the left along the previous fold to meet the opposite side at the center creating another ear.


As before, make sure the triangle is lined up and symmetrical and tack in place. Continue this, folding up the last side and tacking the remaining 2 ears.


Now you should have four "ears" and your thread attached. Run the needle through the bottom of the first ear where you did your first tack to secure the fourth ear to the first ear.


Now take your needle, go down through the center of the ears into the fabric below. You should not actually go through any fabric but the single thickness of the "back" fabric. Your needle should come out through the "x" in the center (you can fudge and peek to make sure). Fasten off and clip thread.


Now you can unfold the back flaps of fabric and flatten them out.


Pinch / finger press one ear to make sure it's symmetrical and even. I also like to fold the ear to each side and lightly finger press it.


Insert your finger in to the center to hold the fabric that joins inside the ear together as you...


Fold down the tip of the ear to meet the center. If you have a "nice fabric" you can finger press this down and it will stay. If your fabric is stubborn, use an iron to keep it down. Continue for all four ears.


After you have folded all four ears down to meet the center, use an iron to steam them in place. Use alot of pressure and alot of steam. You don't want this to move. This should be what the front of your flower looks like.


This is the back / wrong side of your flower. Theoretically this should be a nice 3" square (if you're perfect). But if you're human, and it's a little wonky - that's okay. Just be careful with it and fudge as necessary when you sew it into your projects.


After sewing into your project and quilting as necessary (don't quilt over your folded flower!), open out your ears from the center to make your flower bloom. Tack the points of the petals to the adjoining fabric for security. Your petals will stick out farther than the block, so do not sew two blocks exactly side by side.

This is a great project to take with you on the road or sitting in front of the tv at night. You only need your squares, needle and thread and a thick, hardcover book. I used the book as my surface to fold and press on and then I would smoosh the flowers in the center of the book to keep the petals down until I could get home to steam press them.

I have started a flickr group called Crafty Giveaways Creations. It's so that you all can post photos of projects that you make that are inspired by or uses items you got from a crafty giveaway. I only ask that you list or link to (if you know how) the giveaway that inspired your project when you post to the group. Also, let me know if you post your project on your blog and I'll let others know about it here so they can check it out.

I hope you enjoy this. I had so much fun making this tutorial. You can click on the little envelope at the bottom of this post to pass it along to your friends - let's revive the folded flower! Press on, people!


Friday, July 18, 2008

We have a winner!


First of all, I wanted to say that in just one week of doing this I have had so much fun. I love reading your comments and checking out all these blogs. You all are so creative! From the wonderful ladies that entered, a winner was chosen at random.


You can see monkey no.4 (in a much better frame of mind than yesterday's post-and older) showing our winner.
Back to the business at hand....Congratulations Kimberly!! You are the proud owner of my leftover batiks. (Kimberly is moving overseas - and hording fabric to take with her.) I'm glad I can add to your collection. Make sure you send me your mailing address so I can get your stuff sent to you.

BUT WE'RE NOT DONE YET!!!

Since the tagline of this blog is "I'm cleaning out my stash and you win!", for this first giveaway everyone that participated can be a winner!

TELL THEM WHAT THEY'VE WON BOB!

So many of you commented that you had seen folded flowers and were eager to try it, or were worried that it was too hard, or had been inspired by the batiks, which you usually don't use. So, as I'm digging through my stash for fabric for my next project, I came across SOME MORE BATIKS! I lovingly cut out more squares. If you would like a square, email me (craftygiveaways AT gmail DOT com) with the name from your comment and your address. I'll send you a square in the mail.

THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS!!!

What are you going to do with your 6" square? Make a folded flower of course! And how are you going to do it? In the next few days I will post step by step directions with lots of pictures to show you just how easy it is. You'll be all set to start folding flowers when your batik square comes. And if you didn't enter this giveaway, I'm sure you have 6" of fabric laying around. ;-) You can fold right along with the rest of us. I'm doing this in the spirit of the "Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself" saying. I want you all to be able to make fabulous flowers and post them on our new
flickr group so we can all see what you've done. YEAH!!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Giveaway closes tonight!!


See what I have to deal with?! Oh, but I love every one of my five monkeys!


Just want to let everyone know that the giveaway closes tonight at 10:00pm est. For everyone who
enters by leaving a comment in the previous post there will be a special SURPRISE!!!! Remember to come back tomorrow for all the fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Crafty Giveaway #1 - CLOSED

flower1

There it is. Isn't it beautiful! This inaugural giveaway is related to my blog header. It is a photo of a wall hanging that I did for my in-laws 40th anniversary. This is a portion of the wall hanging showing the quilting.

folded flower quilt

You can see more photos of the wall hanging here.

I had seen an episode of Simply Quilts years ago featuring Rebecca Wat and her technique for folding fabric into flowers. She was promoting her book Fantastic Fabric Folding. I knew that I wanted to do that for my in-laws' anniversary. Well, I didn't get around to doing it for the 35th, but did make the 40th, using a flower to represent each year. I was too cheap/lazy to buy the book, so I got the directions for folding the flowers on the Simply Quilts archived page. This project may look hard, but as an intermediate quilter it was very easy. I was able to fold and tack the flower blocks while sitting and watching tv or waiting to pick the kids up in the carpool lane. It was a great take away project, and very addicting. After completing my wall hanging, this is what I have leftover for a lucky winner:

flower1

A collection of assorted batik and batik-like prints in wonderful jewel-tone colors.

flower2

Four pre-folded flowers ready to use in your project

flower3

Ten pre-cut 6" squares ready to fold into beautiful flowers

flower4

Eight assorted leftover pieces that can be cut into 6" squares and a couple of extra bits

flower5

Over 2/3 yard of green fabric and nine 2" strips in assorted batiks

If you are up for the fun of this project, then this giveaway is for you. I have enough leftover fabric to make 22 folded flowers and extra batiks and green to make something wonderful. You only have to supply the imagination.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling us what you would do with the fabric (maybe you don't want to fold flowers and that's okay), and/or who you would make it for. I'll keep it open until Thursday night when I pick a winner at random from the people that have left comments. Tell all your friends! Everyone loves free fabric!