DIY Pattern Weights

IMG_1625.JPGPinterest strikes again!  I’ve been noticing lots of pins with instructions on how to make your own pattern weights.  Pattern weights have always been a frivolous tool that never really found a place in my sewing tool budget.  Then, I saw the extremely large washers from a hardware store that appeared in my Pinterest feed one day.

Wow, what a great idea!  I wish I had thought of it.  Those washers were giant and would make perfect pattern weights, but were they available locally?  They look like washers that would fit on a oil tanker or dump truck with a hauling capacity about the size of a small town.  My husband was recounting his latest trip to his favorite farm and home store when I remembered to ask him if he had seen any large washers.  “Yes,” he announced confidently, “I know exactly where they are. I can show you.”  So on our next outing, I followed him into the store and he pointed out the variety of washers to me.  Yes, they did indeed have some extremely large ones.  The box said 1″, $1.99.  I was shocked at the price until my husband rolled his eyes and informed me, “That’s a pound, silly.”  I quickly selected eight, which I thought to be a reasonable number.  The eight washers weighed a little under one-and-a-half pounds and cost me a grand total of $3.39.

The shiny surface of the washers seemed to be slick and I was concerned that they would slip around on fabric and pattern paper.  I never miss a chance to decorate mundane things so I quickly whipped out a crochet hook and scrap ball of yarn.  Deep in my crafting memory, I remembered crocheting around canning jar rubber gaskets.  The same technique could be used to decorate these washers and give them a personality.  After a quick search of Pinterest for crochet edgings, I felt confident I could “dress” my washers and turn them into pattern weights that would be useful as well as attractive.

Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. I created 8 different designs.  I’ve included some rough pattern instructions below. (Be kind. This is my first time writing my patterns down.)

INSTRUCTIONS:  Using an H crochet hook and a ball of sport-weight worsted yarn, I started with a beginning loop on my hook and single crocheted all the way around the washer with a slip stitch in the beginning single crochet to end the round.

Row 1: Single crochet around the washer until there are 40 single crochets.  Slip stitch to join.
Row 2:  Chain 2 for the first stitch and 4 double crochet in the same stitch.  Skip 1 stitch, single crochet in next stitch, skip 1 stitch. *5 double crochet in the next stitch, skip 1 stitch, single crochet in next stitch, skip 1 stitch. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 1 for beginning stitch, *single crochet in next 3 stitches, chain 4, skip 1 stitch. Repeat from * around. Join to the beginning of the row with a slip stitch in beginning chain.
Row 3: Chain 1, skip 1st stitch, *single crochet in next stitch, skip next stitch, 8 single crochet in chain-4 space, skip next stitch.  Repeat from * around.  Join with slip stitch.,

Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 2, 3 double crochet in first stitch; chain 1, skip 3 stitches then 3 double crochet in next stitch (cluster). Chain 1, skip 3 stitches and cluster 3 more times. Chain 3 and 3 double crotchets in same stitch (corner made). Repeat sequence 3 more times to create a square effect. (Refer to photo for assistance in this one). Join with slip stitch.

Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 2 for beginning stitch, *2 double crochet in next stitch, 1 double crochet in next stitch. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 2 for the beginning stitch, *double crochet in the next stitch, chain 2, skip next stitch.  Repeat from * around.  Join with slip stitch.

Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 1 for beginning stitch, single crochet in the next stitch, chain 3, slip stitch in the 1st chain made to create a picot, single crochet in the next two stitches. *Single crochet in the next 2 stitches, make a picot by chaining 3 and slip stitching in the first chain made then single crochet in the next 2 stitches.  Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

Row 1: Repeat row 1 from A.
Row 2: Chain 3 for beginning stitch, 6 triple crochets in the same stitch, skip *stitches.  *8 triple crochets in the next stitch, skip 2 stitches. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch.

Row 1: *Single crochet in washer, chain 2. Repeat from * around 9 times. 10 single crochets total.  Join with slip stitch.

A great dollar store find works as a holder.

The Big S (Finishing the Edges)

IMG_1948.JPGSo I came up with a finish for the big S’s edges. In a previous post, I was working on a giant papier-mâché letter. My fabric was not covering the edges. I rummaged around in my spare wedding decorations and found a spoil of matching ribbon. I used my Mod Podge to apply the ribbon but sound found the ribbon was too stiff to stay stuck on the square edges. I remedied this problem by creasing the ribbon before applying the glue. The ribbon still was not sticking well so I had to resort to using tiny bits of transparent tape to hold the ribbon in place until the glue dries.

TIP: Transparent tape will not stick to Mod Podge so be sure to place the tape in areas that are not oozing glue.

This should finish this table declaration. One down, twenty-gazillion to go.

The Big S

IMG_1895I succumbed to Pinterest’s siren song and purchased a large papier-mâché letter at my local craft store.  It was on sale and all of those Pinterest pins lulled me into a sense of confidence that I too could make a beautiful wall or door decoration out of some plain brown kraft paper glued onto a cardboard frame.  The fact that Dear Daughter is getting married in a month gave me a good excuse to satisfy both my crafting urge and my need for a decoration with visual impact for the wedding reception candy bar.

I selected a piece of fabric that matched the wedding theme and purchased a piece large enough to cover the large letter.  It should have its back side to the wall so there seemed no need to waste money and time on covering the back.  Mod Podge and foam brush in hand, I began adhering the fabric to the letter.  I soon found that I needed to work quickly and in small areas to keep my Mod Podge from drying too fast.

The front of the letter was quickly done and then it was time to tackle the sides of the letter.  Then it occurred to me.  All of my initials have always had straight sides.  It has always been easy to applique my letters or sew my initials because A’s, M’s, & L’s are straight in most fonts.  Dear Daughter is marrying an S.  I have never worked with curved letters before and suddenly it struck me that fabric does not fit around curves easily.  Using my best sewing skills, I whipped out a pair of scissors and proceeded to clip the curves.

IMG_1898I clipped and podged and folded around the entire edge of the letter.  Despite my best efforts, papier-mâché showed in the clipped curves.  I think that is unacceptable.  That will never do for Dear Daughter’s special event.  It is time to come up with another plan for the edges.


New Banners

Okay, so I didn’t make these myself, but I did use my hands to order them online. My church is hosting the Joint Thanksgiving service involving 5 Baptist churches so we decided to dress up the auditorium. Praise Banners had just delivered a holiday sale catalog in my mailbox so we made a choice, used a coupon, and I placed an order. A week later, these jewels arrived. And I think they look excellent. The gold satin background really glows from the lights of the chandelier.

Plans are underway for some banners for the first of the year and these will be all me.

New banners up for VBS

Finally got the banners changed this week. Easter has past and now is time to be thinking about upcoming events. I had this brilliant idea after lugging around the Lifeway Backpack of VBS material this year.

The theme is Outrigger Island and the basic images are outrigger canoes, hawaiian shirts, and this hawaiian hibiscus design. I instantly think of tropical things when I see it but that is just me. The DH said he just didn’t get what it was. I had to explain that the white parts were the flower and even had to show it to him on the backpack.

I have had several “beautiful” comments from church members. I got a thumb’s up from the pastor, but he didn’t get it either. Ho-hummmmmm……..must be thinking of something to hang for the summer.