Felted Ornament Tutorial

Blogged under My College Craft Club,Sew Simple by Tammy on Saturday 27 September 2014 at 1:58 pm

So this is really rough and unedited, but I think you can get a fairly good idea of how to make this cute ginger bread man felted ornament.

Felt Ornament Prototype

Blogged under My College Craft Club,Sew Simple by Tammy on Thursday 11 September 2014 at 3:10 pm

My college craft club has been asking to sew, and honestly, we just don’t have the space and supplies to do any significant sewing. Plus, I probably don’t have the patience to teach it either, especially a group all at the same time. However, I think it is handy for everyone to know some basics when it comes to sewing like how to sew on a button, how to thread a needle, and how to do simple stitches like the running stitch, so I’ve been thinking about how to allow them to do some very basic sewing projects that won’t break our budget or drive me crazy either.

That’s when I came up with the idea of making felt ornaments. Felt is very inexpensive, and we just need some thread, needles, and notions to do this. After I came up with the idea, I checked out YouTube for some help with how to do this. There are (not surprisingly) a fair number of videos over there showing this technique, such as this one.

I gathered some supplies I had on hand to make a prototype, and I think it turned out pretty well considering I whipped it up pretty quickly. I used a cookie cutter and paper to make a template, and then pinned it to the felt and cut out two stars. I stitched a simple button in the center, and then held the two stars together and stitched around them. Before I closed it up, I added some scrap yarn at the top so it can be hung, and then I used extra scrap yarn to stuff it.

I’m sure my club members will come up with much fancier ornaments than this, but at least I have a method to show them. Then they can take it from there and experiment with different stitches. For those who aren’t interested in stitching, glue is also an option.

Blue Dog Do

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 15 March 2014 at 2:37 pm

The past two semesters have been busy yarn-wise for my college craft club. You never know who is going to join us, and of course, students graduate, so pretty much every fall we have to recruit new members. While we teach members how to crochet, some jump in and do great, and others are slower to grasp enough to make something more than a snuggle blanket or wash cloth. I lucked out the past few semesters and have had a small group stick with the club who not only learned how to crochet pretty quickly but have consistently worked at it that we have been able to make amigurumis.

Some we will sell with proceeds going to one of our charities, and some we will be donating to a local women and children’s shelter. Since we now have a few members who have the skills and also have been pretty good about making items for our charities, I splurged a little and got the club some Knit Picks Brava yarn. Yes, it is acrylic, but it is a nice change from the Red Heart Super Saver (most of which has been donated to us and we are very grateful for and use).

Here is one of the first items I made with our new stash yarn, a dog from the Fresh Stitches Valentine Dog pattern. The darker blue yarn is Brava in the denim colorway, and the lighter blue is some left over Lion Brand Baby Wool yarn. I try to make sure to make a range of toys so that both boys and girls have something to pick from. He turned out really nice, and it has been a welcomed break from RHHS!

Amigurumi Chimp of Sorts?

Blogged under amigurumi,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Sunday 8 September 2013 at 9:03 am

One of the charity organizations that my college craft club likes to help out is the Save the Chimps Sanctuary. We did a donation drive one year, and we have also made fleece blankets for them, an item always on the organization’s wish list since residents enjoy snuggling with them. We plan to make more blankets for them this semester. It is a very easy and fast project for us, and club members do not have to have advanced crafting skills to measure the fleece and cut it with scissors.

I got the idea that in addition to the blankets I could make an amigurumi chimp, and the club could raffle it off. I looked and looked and looked for a chimp pattern, only to find either lots of monkey patterns or some chimp patterns that just looked weird or were super small. Finally, I opted to turn an orangutang pattern I found in Crocheted Softies: 18 Adorable Animals from Around the World into a chimp by using different colored yarn.

I think he works, but I’m going to show him around to a few people before I put him up for the raffle. I will be so embarrassed if no one can figure out what he is supposed to be!

Crochet Wash Cloth Overload, Yeah!

Blogged under Charity Crafting,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Friday 26 April 2013 at 2:23 pm

Above is a photo of some of the bags my craft club is putting together. They include travel soaps we have been collecting as well as hand made cotton wash cloths made by both club members and the Yahoo Crochlist, who have sent a whooping 33 wash cloths already! We are even able to double up and add two cloths per bag, which is great. It looks like I will have about three boxes full of these bags by the end of the semester.

Along with the toiletry bags, we have made blank journals and coloring books. I picked up some boxes of crayons at the dollar store. Plus, of course, there are the amigurumi toys I’ve been make. I’m up to 15 so far. I may be able to squeeze out one or two more before I deliver everything. We may also be teaming up with another club who wants to donate children’s books to the shelter. So I will have one full car when I make the final delivery!

I’m on Fresh Stitches!

Blogged under Around the Web,My College Craft Club,My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 23 February 2013 at 11:02 am

I have been making amigurumi from Stacey Torck’s patterns for awhile now. I have taken one of her classes from Craftys.com, signed up for her Design a Monsters class over there, and have been following her blog Fresh Stitches as well. So when she sent out a call for guest bloggers, I knew right away that I wanted to participate. I had a few different topics in mind, but I ended up pitching a topic for how to start a craft club, which she agreed to (yeah!). You can find it published today: Tips for Starting a Craft Club. Thank you, Stacey, for giving me this opportunity!

Hacky Sack Experimenting

Blogged under Finished Projects,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 17 November 2012 at 5:10 pm

About a year ago, I purchased some yarn for the craft club in school colors thinking we could whip up some hats to sell. We did make hats, but it was about 80 degrees out, so they did not really sell and ended up being sent to a charity, which is fine. However, I’ve been trying to think of what we could make using this yarn that might actually sell at the craft show – maybe hacky sacks?

So far, I’ve made three, but I have had to rework a number of patterns to get the right size. Most of the patterns I found do not use worsted weight yarn, or if they do, the hacky sacks (IMHO) are too large. So I’m continuing to experiment and hope to get a pattern perfected as I make a few more of these.

I’m stuffing them with aquarium rocks that I first stick inside plastic wrap and then wrap closed with tape. They have a pretty good feel to them, so even if my stripes are off a tad, I think they are turning out pretty well.

Frog Eye Fixing

Blogged under amigurumi,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Wednesday 14 November 2012 at 9:28 am

To expand on the amigurumi animals my college craft club plans to sell at a local craft show – owls are cute but we need more than owls – I thought I would also make some frogs as well. Plus, someone donated a huge skein of green yarn to us. I have made a number of the Lion Brand frog patterns, which are basically a circle with legs, arms, and eyes. They are pretty easy to make, except the eyes. Those are fiddly, and so I thought I would use googlie eyes instead to streamline the process.

Yup, it streamlined it because I just had to glue on the eyes, but to me, this guy looks weird, not really like a frog. So before I opted for the entire eye the pattern calls for, I thought about it for awhile. Eventually, I decided to try just making a few small white yarn circles, stitching these to the face, and then gluing the googlie eyes to those.

Yes! Success! He looks like a frog now, and those extra white circles where not that big of a deal to make. And, of course, we also have a lot of white yarn that someone donated to the club, so it is another way to use up the yarn supply.

Hoot! Woot! Amigurumi Owls

Blogged under amigurumi,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 3 November 2012 at 9:11 am

The college craft club I advise is getting ready to participate in a holiday craft show that is run by another club at school, so of course, this means we are switching gears from making snuggles (our service project for this semester and a good way for members to learn to knit or crochet) and making items to sell at the show. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the same place we will give the snuggles, Domino’s House, a local no-kill cat shelter.

We received a huge donation of acrylic yarn (lots of Red Heart Super Saver), and so along with snuggles, we are now using it to make small amigurumi items for the show. In the past, I have hesitated to try to get members to attempt amigurumi because it required crocheting in the round, which is not that difficult, but it is also not that easy for someone who basically learned to crochet a few weeks ago. As it happens, however, this semester we have a group who is really into the yarn and are very eager to learn. A few have really taken off with it, so I think they are ready. Plus, I figure if I at least make the parts and pieces, those whose crochet skills are not up to it, can still help with finishing them such as gluing on noses, eyes, stuffing them, etc.

I am starting off with this adorable little owl pattern by Ana Clerc called Owls Two Ways because she has instructions for knitting or crocheting them. It is a free pattern available here through Ravelry.com. These are crazy easy and quick to make and take very little yarn. For my first finished one (pictured at top), I used buttons for the eyes, but I also have some googlie eyes we can use that you just glue on. I’m hoping that considering we are selling these at a college craft show, that owls will be kind of popular. I also plan to attempt some of these mini-amigurumi animals from a Lion Brand pattern.

Club Yarn Score

Blogged under My College Craft Club by Tammy on Friday 7 September 2012 at 10:39 am

This mountain of yarn is from one donation from a woman who is moving from the area and was thus forced to go through her crafting supplies. It is 6 bags of yarn! It is going to take some time to go through it all, but most of it looks like acrylic, which for our club is perfect. Our service projects, like making snuggles for animals and baby afghans, usually require using acrylic yarn. Plus, many of our members are learning to knit or crochet for the first time, so again, nothing better to use than inexpensive acrylic. Now I need to spend time digging out my office!

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