Tuesday Tutorials – No Sew Fleece Blanket Edging (Without Tying Knots!)

You often see the easy no-sew fleece blankets pop up every winter, usually with the edge strips tied in knots.  Tired of tying all those knots?  Grab a crochet hook and try out this very pretty and different edging technique!  This makes a more sophisticated edge worthy of any gifted blanket, all thanks to Nebraska Views.

 

Crochet Edging for Fleece Blanket

Step 1  I trimmed the selvages off and straightened the ends.  This part is not difficult as they don’t have to be perfect rectangles.  The fabric always is wiggly so who is going to know if it is a llittle off square one way or another.

 IMG_4536
 Step 2 – Cut 1” slits around the entire edge and a 2” square out of each corner.  The 1” cuts are 2” deep.  I stuck a piece of painters tape 2” in from the edges of the fleece, laid the straight edge of the fleece on one of the lines of my cutting mat then used the rotary cutter to eyeball cutting every inch.  If it did not come out even in 1” increments I eyeballed to the end of where I IMG_4537was cutting and either added a little to each 1” fringe or subtracted a little so I wouldn’t have a really skinny or really fat strip at the corners.  I did cut through 2 layers at a time and it was no problem to keep my cuts even.  The tape really helped and cutting into it a little at times didn’t dull the rotary cutter like hitting the edge of a ruler would.  I cut the corners out with a scissors to avoid overcutting into the side strips.
After this step is done the rest could be finished sitting in my favorite chair and watching TV,  listening to music or an audio book.  These fleece throws are so easy even kids can do the edge treatment but would do the fringe cutting for them to keep them safe from those sharp rotary blades.  How about making a Christmas gift for grandparents or in my case I have gifts for my family for Christmas….OK, now on to the finishing of the edge treatment.
IMG_4539
Step 3  Cut a small slit about 1/2” to 3/4” from the end of each strip with a scissors.  These small clips into the fleece are only about 3/8” long.  As you can see in the photo I just folded over the end and snipped to get the slit I needed.
IMG_4541
I had a large crochet hook to use for the next step.  It is a size N but the size isn’t important, just need something that it will go through the slits I cut and be able to grab the next strip and pull it through.  The original web page had them using a looped paper clip  or wire for this step.  Check out the photos on that page.
Step 4  Starting in the center of one long side the crochet hook is slipped through the slit of one strip and into the one next in line. ( I am a left handed person so I am working from left to right – if you are a right handed person you will be going from right to left.  If you can’t figure it out check out the photos from the blog I learned this from here.  I was going to photograph it for right handed people but decided no, I am always having to transpose everything for myself from right handed directions so this time right handers would have to transpose and  I would just show how I did it.  If it were a complicated procedure I would have made it easy but since it is really pretty simple and self explanatory through the photos it stays left handed.)
The second strip is pulled through the slit of the first one and now the second one is on the crochet hook.  Next put the crochet hook through the slit in the next strip and pull it through….keep doing this all around the throw until you only have one strip left.

IMG_4548Step 5 The corners are treated no differently than the sides.  As the strips are pulled through and around the corners you will get a rounding of the corner and can keep going along the next side.  No fancy stuff just the same thing you have been doing on the sides.
Step 6  The last strip is cut in half to make two smaller strips.  Cut a slit in the first strip close to the body of the throw and pull one of the half strips through that slit from the back then hook the other small strip and pull it through the last one you hooked as you worked around the throw.

  IMG_4549 IMG_4550

Tie the two smaller strips together in a double knot and try to hide it under the back if you can.  I had trouble with this part and decided if the knot showed a little that was OK.  The ending is the only place where you have a small knot.  If you have ever used those other kind of throws made with two layers and knotted fringe you know how uncomfortable it is to lay on those huge knots.  With this edge the only knot is small and hopefully pretty invisible and not lumpy to lay on.

IMG_4551 IMG_4554
Advertisements

Friday Features – Penelope of UniqueP Crochet

Friday Features are all about meeting the talented artists and creators of hand crafted goods to share their stories and bring to light the value and beauty found in handmade.

Today’s feature is all about Penelope from UniqueP Crochet on Etsy!

Tell me about yourself and your shop.   I love being silly for my little boys.  I also love to hunt fro the perfect gift for my beloveds and make unusual gift wraps for it.

How did you start, and why did you choose your craft? How much experience do you have so far?  I couldn’t imagine how creative crochet is (my aunt tried to teach me when I was a little girl, but was not successful). 3 years ago, a friend let me know about internet tutorials and the interesting designs on the net. Once I tried I was hooked and now I can’t stop.
Crocheted Shark slippers

What influences your work from your life or city? (or anything else that influences you)  I’m most inspired by my family, and especially my boys.  That’s why I have so many boy’s projects in my shop.  As you can see, my shop is a little of this and a little of that because I get bored easily and I like to create something new every time. Most of my patterns are something I needed personally (a toy for my boys, a gift for a friend’s baby etc).

What do you do when you need a little bit if inspiration?  Actually I do nothing because I can’t stop ideas popping out of my head.  Sometimes I go crazy because I have so many ideas but only two hands to accomplish them.
Funny Crocodile hat Eating your Head-Crochet pattern
What is your best achievement?  My best achievement…is everything I have made that has brought a smile to the face of the receiver of the gift.
What does handmade mean to you?  Creativity and diffusion of  tension. When I have to think or clear my mind I need to do something with my hands.
Do you also offer custom made items? Is it something you like to do?  I  love doing custom made items because it is a challenge for me. For now though I’m more concentrated on creating my patterns because I want to give others the chance to make precious, funny, or silly projects.
New Baby Gift Set crochet pattern-PDF-Permission to sell finished item
What plans do you have for the future of you business?  I hope people find my projects  interesting and give me a boost to continue coming up with unique patterns.
Any advice for others looking to sell their handmade items?  My only advice is if you believe in your crafts go for it and sooner or later people are going to appreciate your work. Be patient!

Many thanks to Penelope and be sure to check out the rest of her shop!

Stay tuned for more Friday Features, crafty tutorials, and other joyous posts!  If you’d like to stay up-to-date on happenings here at Homegrownjoy, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.  Thank you!

Friday Features – Jill Duke of Jillybeans Studio

Friday Features are all about meeting the talented artists and creators of hand crafted goods to share their stories and bring to light the value and beauty found in handmade.

Today’s feature is all about Jill from Jillybeans Studios on Etsy!

Tell me about your shop.
Hello! My name is Jill. I am a six year survivor of head and neck cancer. I had three fourths of my tongue removed. My speech is hindered and I live daily with chronic pain. I didn’t allow the “C” work to slow me down. I have taught myself to make jewelry, crochet, and paint. This has been my outlet and therapy for the physical chronic pain following cancer. And BONUS, I found love to do these things! When I’m not working on my Etsy crafts I also love a good cup of coffee and relaxing with a good book. I’m also a health nut. I love to run, work out, and eat a good clean diet. My husband and I have five children between us so our life is never boring!
By the Sea hand painted canvas 40X50
How did you start, and why did you choose your craft? How much experience do you have so far?
I started painting on canvas in 2005 to find some relief while undergoing chemo and radiation. While my family was sleeping and I couldn’t at 3 in the morning I would be found painting pictures of my children in my kitchen. I then learned I loved painting. Making jewelry and crocheting were something I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy but I tried both and loved them. Now, five years later I alternate my crafts so I don’t get bored with repetition of one craft.
Escape and Relax Starbucks inspired original 30X40 canvas
What influences your work from your life or city? (or anything else that influences you)
Relaxation is the key to a happy life. I love to relax in a coffee shop or library setting. I apply the same to my crafts. When I am painting I recreate the coffee shop setting in my home. I am a neat person so I start with a clean home. I play music that inspires my work, open blinds and allow the light to flow through our home, light candles, and make a fresh cup of cappuccino.  If I enjoy the time I spend crafting I find the customer is more satisfied with the finished product.
Hot Pink Princess sign and Granny Square afghan
What do you do when you need a little bit if inspiration?
I have a BIG imagination! I love to pin on Pinterest. It it the worlds biggest craft spot and one of my favorite things to do when I need some “me time” or down time from a hectic day. Having five children is also an excellent source of entertainment and ideas to paint and craft. They ask me to make things for them and their little ideas inspire me to paint and crochet.
Sock monkey canvas and 3X3 afghan gift set
What does handmade mean to you?
My best achievement was learning how to use therapy and my ability to create new things. I found I could no longer work in the real world after living with chronic pain. It is exciting making things and achieving new goals. If it weren’t for my ability to make handmade things I am not sure I would know how to overcome pain or find my purpose. Making handmade items has helped me to come to a good place in my life.
Blue and Green Boys Granny Square afghan
Do you also offer custom made items? Is it something you like to do?
I do offer custom made items. I offer this is a variety of my work. I can add a name or initials to any hand painted sign or canvas. I have painted many paintings to match children’s bedroom schemes. Some special orders have been made by painting by customer request his or her photo on canvas. I can recreate any afghan in the customer’s color requests. I love to make customer made orders! It’s a new opportunity to expand my creativity at the customer’s request.
What plans do you have for the future of you business?
I have found consistency brings the most from business. Most of my customers have been through word of mouth and friends at church or our community. My Etsy business is still a new baby business. By being consistent, creating the best quality work I can make, and by the help of bloggers like you I believe my store will grow in time.
Any advice for others looking to sell their handmade items?
Making something you love and selling is great therapy. I’ve found setting goals is the greatest way to feel great about your accomplishments. Make sure your having fun while creating. If you enjoy what you do you will make better quality items. Your customers will also enjoy taking advantage of your beautiful quality work. Good luck creating.

Many thanks to Jill and be sure to check out the rest of her shop!

Stay tuned for more Friday Features, crafty tutorials, and other joyous posts!  If you’d like to stay up-to-date on happenings here at Homegrownjoy, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.  Thank you!

Friday Feature – Melanie of My Creepy Critters

Friday Features are all about meeting the talented artists and creators of hand crafted goods to share their stories and bring to light the value and beauty found in handmade.

Today’s feature is all about Melanie from My Creepy Critters on Etsy!

Tell me about yourself and your shop.

I’m a tattooed girl that loves yarn, hockey, beer, and cats. When I’m not making things (and sometimes while I am) I’m either at Colorado Avalanche games or watching them on TV. I love living in Colorado. We have the most micro breweries per capita next to Germany. I enjoy drinking double IPA’s, wheat beers, pilsners and stouts. I also spend quite a bit of time hanging out with my kitties. I have two, 11 year old Meow Mix and 8 month old Scout. I make them toys to play with all the time.

I try to combine punk and hipster styles with everyday items. I really like bright colors and great patterns. I’m currently working on some new sweaters for the fall that combine everything I’m striving for.

How did you start, and why did you choose your craft? How much experience do you have so far?
I learned to crochet from my aunt when I was about 7-8 years old. I still have the first blanket I ever made. It’s horribly uneven and pale yellow. I learned how to sew around the same time from my ma and I taught myself how to knit using YouTube about 5 years ago. I think it’s safe to say I have a lot of experience.

It all started when I worked in a call center and read through all my books. I found a half crocheted blanket that I started for my Ma a couple years earlier. I finished that and decided to learn more about crochet. I started making stuffed animals.

My first critter was an Angry Bunny that showed my disdain for call center life. A coworker asked me what I was making and I said, “Oh, it’s just my creepy critter.” I told my mister about it and he said that was a great name.

Amigurumi Crochet Bunny, Angry Bunny

Amigurumi Crochet Bunny, Angry Bunny

What influences your work from your life or city?
I have an intrinsic drive to be different. I see cutesy stuff everywhere but it never really seems to represent who I am. I create things that I like that have pieces of me in them. I’d like to think that I’m not the only one looking for something completely different.

What do you do when you need a little bit if inspiration?
I usually make kitty toys. There’s nothing better for a dull day when I’m feeling uninspired than making a tiny stuffed lobster and seeing Scout carry it around and nap with it.

What is your best achievement?
I’d have to say my best achievement would be participating in the Drop Dead-Goregeous fashion show two years in a row. It’s a great charity fashion show that benefits the Turning Point youth center. www.turningpnt.org/

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade to me is something that’s I’ve created. It’s a lot of planning and ideas long before it gets to my hands though.

Amigurumi Crochet Fox, Fantastic Hipster Fox Made To Order

Amigurumi Crochet Fox, Fantastic Hipster Fox

Do you also offer custom made items? Is it something you like to do?
I do offer custom items. I make quite a few of them. It’s something that I really enjoy. I’ve come to the realization that my talent is not just in coming up with great ideas, but in the ability to create tangible items from other people’s great ideas.

What plans do you have for the future of you business?
I’d like to grow and expand my business to not only be about stuffed animals but about clothes and pet toys as well.

Any advice for others looking to sell their handmade items?
Patience is key. It takes a lot of hard work to create things and to put them out there. Advertising is hard and tiring work. It’s all worth it when people buy your items though. It’s important to stay positive and patient.

Many thanks to Melanie and be sure to check out the rest of her shop for more unique finds!

Stay tuned for more Friday Features, crafty tutorials, and other joyous posts!  If you’d like to stay up-to-date on happenings here at Homegrownjoy, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.  Thank you!