Archive for November, 2009

Bathroom Curtain

Monday, November 30th, 2009

by Ann

bathroom curtain

Tah dah!! The curtain for the newly redecorated bathroom at the Cute Little House has been completed and hung. I like it! (And this post comes just in time for the finish of NoBloPoMo.)

NaBloPoMo – End in Sight!

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

By Ann

Crackpots are probably aware that tomorrow is the last day of NaBloPoMo. So if we’re gonna post, now is the time! Also, Nancy, do we do any sort of evaluation of NaBloPoMo? Other than that it was lots of Crackpotty fun? I didn’t think so. (-:

Comments as Posts

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Posted by Ann

As some Crackpots are already aware, my most recent comments have not yet shown up in the blog because they are “awaiting moderation.” I think this glitch is related to my change of e-mail address some time ago. I will report it to our inestimable web mistress, but in the meantime, I will comment by posting.

1) Comment on Nancy’s post of Nov. 23 entitled “Progress Report:” I’m still in favor of a thin black inner border, but don’t let me interfere with your creativity. As for the outer border, how about a green border and black binding??

2) Comment on Nancy’s post of Nov. 21 entitled “Handmade Market Report:” I agree that this sounds very promising, Nancy! Also, I think your new line of crocheted edibles would be likely to sell well. Good luck!

Progress Report

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

by Nancy


I’ve finished the 9-patch blocks for Gabe’s quilt and have laid the blocks out around the focus print in an order that I like. Earlier I had thought I might need a thin black solid border between the focus fabric and the blocks to tone things down a little, but now it doesn’t seem as wild to me as it did at first. πŸ™‚ Maybe it’s just because I’ve been looking at it for a while and I’ve gotten used to it! I do think I’d like a fairly thin border outside the blocks, either black or the green which is in the focus print. Any input from other Crackpots?

That was easy!

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

by Nancy

Here are my first two fabric bags. I followed an instruction sheet that I had from Fields and kept it simple by not inserting a ribbon or other tie. They came together quite quickly, and I’m pleased with the results!


Handmade Market Report

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

by Nancy

This morning I went to the Handmade Market hosted by my town’s Art Center. I had never heard of it before, but it was advertised in the paper along with quite a few other Christmas craft shows. This one said it was focused on local artists and hand-made items, so it sounded promising. I was interested both in a little Christmas shopping and a chance to check it out as a possible place for Nancy’s Quilts for Kids to try again to sell some of its items. I have done very little with NQfK for quite some time after my two very disappointing craft shows, but I have been thinking about trying again, particularly as the boys are getting older and more independent and I have more time to dedicate to it. I’ve been working on getting up my courage (and my portfolio of my work) to approach the owner of an upscale children’s boutique located on the courthouse square about selling some of my things there. And pondering what other items smaller than a quilt (placemats, bibs, etc) might sell well. And my new-found interest in crochet has opened up some other possibilities for small children’s toys that might work.

I was very pleased with what I found at the Handmade Market. Lots of friendly, low-key, local people with pretty good stuff. There was much less “junk” than I’ve experienced at other craft shows. There were several knitters, a place selling soap, several places selling hand-made cards, etc. And there was quite a crowd shopping. So, I spoke to the woman in charge about participating in next year’s Market, and she took my email address to receive information about the next Market. Apparently they are thinking of doing one in June, and then they will do another one before Christmas. I think it might be a good place for me to have some success selling things, and I’m quite excited about it! (And I also got cool stocking stuffers for my kids and nephew!)


Friday, November 20th, 2009

by Ann
Since our new site engine, or whatever it is called, does not notify the author when someone comments on a post, and since I am posting comments on old posts to keep our NaBloPoMo stats up, I am hereby announcing that I have just commented on Nancy’s post of Oct. 27, “Progress.”

New Levels of Crackpottiness

Friday, November 20th, 2009

by Nancy

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more crackpotty, there’s a crochet pattern for making a Barack Obama finger puppet!!!

No, I’m not trying to make it! πŸ™‚

(In an effort to be bi-partisan, John McCain is available, too. )

You asked about gift bags?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

By Ann
Well, you could sign up for your mom’s gift bag making workshop at the historic site where she volunteers, but since it was scheduled for the day after tomorrow and no one else has signed up, that would be a bit silly.

So, instead, I suggest you go to www.crackpot and use the handy search box at the top of the home page to search for “gift bags.” You will find 6 posts, of which “Gift Bag Instructions” is the most useful and “Green for the Holidays” is the most hilarious. Two entries, both entitled “Gift Bags Galore,” showcase my past efforts.

To add a bit to Marty’s excellent instructions, it is not necessary to use two pieces of fabric each for the lining and the outside of the bag. You can use one rectangular piece for each, and fold it in half, producing the same result. Then you only have to sew one side seam and the bottom seam.

As for size, the gift bag pictured in Marty’s post, which is now in my possession, is approx. 12″x12″. To fit a bag to a particular gift, I like to get the actual gift or gifts that will be put into the bag and measure the distance around it/them. Then I measure the “height” of the gift as if it were placed in the bag and the bag were being held upright. I then make the bag about 2″ bigger than the circumference of the gift. You will want to make the height of the bag substantially greater that the height of the gift to allow for the bag to be gathered up when it is tied and possibly also for the top of the bag to be folded down so that the lining shows. If you don’t make the height big enough, do not despair. Try for an alternative closure, such as folding it over like an envelope flap, as seen in the butterfly fabric bag in one of the Gift Bag Galore posts, or use velcro inside the top edges to stick it shut. Or, if you are more confident of your button-hole ability than I am, try buttons.

There are lots of other variations on the general bag theme as described by Marty: lined or not lined, with or without a bottom gusset, and ribbon tie or drawstring, to name a few.

And of course, the bag itself can be pieced or appliqued, as in the bags pictured below, or embellished in numerous ways as described by Marty.

And don’t forget your own brilliant idea to skip the bag step completely and just wrap the gift in a length of fabric, giving the recipient all manner of options for recycling the gift wrap!

applique gift bags

Once you start…

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

by Nancy

…it’s hard to stop!


Why F and H, you ask? Well, because they are relatively easy letters (no curves), and they can be attached to Christmas gifts for Friedrich and Helene, of course. πŸ™‚

I’m now working on making a crochet cheeseburger for Nicholas – truly crackpotty! Photos of progress will be coming.