Tag Archives: thread

finished napkins

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 15 Napkins

As part of my Christmas table decorations, I made some homemade napkins. I consider myself a very amateur sewer. If it involves straight stitches, I can probably do it. These are nice and easy turned out really well.  I am very happy with them. I made them like the tutorial here. The only difference with mine was that I did two rounds of top stitching at the end.

finished napkins

Materials:

  • 14 fat quarters
  • 3 yards of fabric
  • coordinating thread
  • rotary cutter
  • sewing machine
  • pins

Following the tutorial linked above, I ironed all my fabric, cut out my pieces (I cut mine 21″ x 14″), and pinned them right sides together.

fabric all cut out
Fabric all cut with my rotary cutter.
napkins all pinned together
Fabric all pinned together and ready for sewing.

I sewed around each napkin leaving a 3″ space open to turn the napkins right-side out. Next, I cut the corners off, making sure not to cut the seam. After turning the napkins right-side out, I picked out the corners of the napkins with a large darning needle. The chopstick method the tutorial mentions works well too.

sewing topstitching
I did two rounds of top stitching.

I ironed the napkins and then sewed the top-stitching, closing up the hole in the process. I did sew two rounds of top stitching as I like the finished look it gives the napkins.

finished napkin

I did my happy dance when I got my first one finished and had to send a photo to my mother and sister.

finished napkins

I am really happy with the look of all the different colors. Pick your favorite color to use at dinner!

finished napkins in homemade napkin rings

The napkins look great in my homemade napkin rings. In the picture above, you can see the fabric I used for the backside of all the napkins. I wanted something to tie them all together as a set.

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

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Completed hotpad made from a washcloth and crochet

World’s Best Hot Pads – Made from Washcloths

Completed hotpad made from a washcloth and crochet

This is a very photo heavy how-to to make the best hot pads ever. I learned how to make these from my Aunt Harriet. She wasn’t really my Aunt, she was a friend of my Grandmother’s who the family adopted. Harriet Saine was a wonderful woman and is greatly missed.

Her hot pads are famous in our family. Every year at Christmas she would pull out this gigantic stack of hot pads and every woman (with a house or apartment) would get to pick two. Sometimes Harriet brought so many we would get to chose a third one. When Harriet passed away, I got her supplies for making these hot pads. In her supplies were her crochet hooks. There is one that is completely eroded down to a nub. I had no idea you could even do that to a metal crochet hook. I cannot even begin to create as many of these as Harriet was able to. I am amazed every year I am able to make these for the family that she was able to do this every year for as long as I can remember. This is my homage to Aunt Harriet.

Supplies for the hotpads

The supplies for these hot pads are very few:

Cheap washcloth (this means no embroidered stripes or thick edges)

Crochet thread

1″ plastic rings

Crochet hooks (size 4/2.00mm and size 8/1.50mm)

Pins (optional, though recommended)

Scissors

You really do need to use cheaper washcloths for this project. Cheaper washcloths do not have a high thread count and make it much easier to get the crochet hook through the fabric for the first round of stitching. You also are much better off using plain washcloths, the ones with no embroidered stripes or thick edges. The stripes are very difficult to get a crochet hook through. That is not to say impossible, but it will hurt your hands if you have to force the hook through these stripes very often. I have somehow managed to collect around 50 washcloths to make into hot pads. Eventually, I will have to stop buying them.

The crochet thread can be any sort. I now have a huge collection of thread from variegated, solid, metallic, to threads with differing thickness. I personally prefer the variegated for my hot pads. I really like the effect it makes. I currently have 2 Rubbermaid tubs of crochet thread, and like the washcloths, I may eventually have to stop buying new colors. (I have a bad habit of buying every new variegated skein I find.)

For the plastic rings, you can use any size you prefer, but I tend to buy 3/4″, 1″ or 1 1/4″. I just have to make sure that I grab two of the same size for the set of hot pads (I always make sets of 2).

I use a size 8/1.50mm crochet hook for the first round of stitching and a size 4/2.00mm crochet hook for the decorative round of stitching. The size 8 goes through the fabric of the washcloth much easier and I like a slightly larger hook to make the edging, this is just personal preference though.

To make:

You fold the washcloth in half  and pin it to hold it in place. As you stitch, it tends to drift and you will end up with a lopsided fold. Holding it with the fold closer to you, begin the first single crochet in the upper left hand corner, at the midpoint of the corner.

First single crochet stitches

Continue your single crochet stitching around the corner, the first short side, next full corner, and to the folded edge. Keep stitching along the fold, next full corner, and up the second short side of the washcloth. You stop your stitching at the midpoint of the upper right corner. At this point, you have single crocheted around three sides of the washcloth (1/4 of the way finished).

Single crochet around three sides.

Now you need to open up the washcloth and put the two midpoints together (be sure to remove your pins). This makes what in the origami world is called a balloon fold. You connect all four corners of the washcloth at the top of the hot pad and this creates 4 triangle shaped wings. The photo below shows this fold in a flattened view from the top. You can see the four corners of the washcloth stitched together, although in the photo, the edges are not yet completely stitched. Putting a couple of pins into the wings will again help keep your folds straight and prevent you from having a lopsided hot pad.

Start of second round of single crochet stitches

You stick your crochet hook through the two pieces of fabric at the midpoints of the corners and start single crocheting down the short side (from here on, all the sides are short sides). Continue around the washcloth (you will stitch over your first round of crochet as you go) until you are again back at the top. This should have closed all the sides and created the 4 wings and top and bottom points (1/2 way finished). You are now ready to start the decorative edging. You can also remove all the pins now.

Here the single crochet is finished and you are ready to start the decorative edging.

I switch hooks to the larger size 4/2.00mm hook and double crochet at this point. When I started making these hot pads, I used to make different types of edgings. You can experiment until you find one you like. I like this one and it is very easy and pretty. Single crochet twice and insert the hook under the first single crochet on the opposite wing of the hot pad. You will use this stitch as the post to stitch 3 more double crochet stitches around. Finish off with one single crochet. This completes one scallop. You will make one of these scallops in every other single crochet stitch from the first round.

dc in first sc, *dc around first dc 3 times, sc, skip single crochet and dc in next sc, continue from *

Double Crochet post stitch

First of the three DC stitches

Second of three DC stitches

Third of DC stitches

Decorative Edge Finished

Add Ring

When you finish the edging and are back at the top of the hot pad you will add your plastic ring. You don’t have to add a plastic ring, but so many people like to hang their hot pads from hooks. You can skip this part entirely if you don’t want to hang your hot pads. You single crochet around the ring making sure to completely cover the plastic ring. I finish the ring with one final single crochet back into the hot pad. I tie off the threads and pull the ends inside the hot pad with the crochet hook.

Finished Ring

You have now finished your first hot pad! As I said above, I always make these in pairs and would now start my second one. I can make one hot pad in about an hour (1 and 1/2  if I am interrupted a lot).

Pile of finished hot pads

I have tried to photo the whole process, but if you have any questions, or want another photo, just let me know. I hope you enjoy these hot pads as much as I and my family do!

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

Finished hot pad

Thread ball draped with glass seed beads sewn into ribbon.

Ornament Advent: Day 15 Beaded Ball

Gonna Go Back in Time!

Thread ball draped with seed beads

So, I was not feeling at all well this weekend and missed my Saturday post for the Ornament Advent. To make up for it, I decided to splurge and make a slightly more difficult ornament. For this ornament, I once again raided my temari ball stash and used one of the green balls for the base. It is around 3″ in diameter. I then wrapped the ribbon around the ball tacking it down first with pins and then with basting stitches.

Thread ball draped with glass seed beads sewn into ribbon.

The beads are from the giant spinner of seed beads that Mom and I bought to take with us when we went camping (yes, we like to craft while camping). I strung the beads and crossed under the ribbon, trying to make a slight draping effect while doing so. It was interesting how much heavier the ball got by the time I was finished. All those glass beads weigh more than you would think.

Green thread ball draped with stands of seed beads.

I then decided that I needed a bead topper and found a lovely smoky gray glass bead in my oddments and leftovers drawer that looks great. I made the hook and I was ready to go.

Green thread ball draped with seed beads.

I am really pleased with how this one turned out.

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Sequins and Pins

I just barely made it under the deadline for my ornament in our countdown. Cheri’s paper snowflakes were amazing!

This particular ornament is for me a sort of homage to some ornaments of my stepfather’s.They were popular in the 70’s to make. We have hung them on our Christmas tree for years and I have always loved them. Here is my version:

Red thread wrapped ornament with sequins and pins.

I have tons of styrofoam shapes from another craft project  that I used to do, temari balls (more on that one later), and used a 6″ egg as my base. I wrapped it in yards and yards of red thread and stitched the thread under other threads to end it. I then followed the steps for marking temari balls. The process is here, under How To, and then Dividing Hints and Help.and is a very easy process to do. This ensures that your pins are all the same distance apart from north to south.

Top view of red thread wrapped ornament with sequins and pins.

I did have a lot of fun purchasing the sequins and pins. I have never had a project that needed sequins, so now I have a selection if I ever need them in the future. The seed beads were already in my collection.

Bottom view of red thread wrapped ornament with sequins and pins.

Happy Holidays from Kristin!