Crayon Time! {with a how-to}

The past weeks have seen a lot of projects at my house and one I had to share is the crayons. The little shop up the road sold out of my crayon rolls this month! Whoo for me! They were easy to make using an awesome  tutorial from The Pleated Poppy. My rolls used up some silly kid print and vintage fabrics along with vintage buttons. They turned out really fun and vibrant, perfect for crayons!


I'll be busy whipping up some more in the near future and stocking the etsy shop as well as the local shops. My eco twist on the crayon roll was to use reclaimed crayons (ie thrift store finds). Not all the crayons I bought were suitable for the roll; some had been colored with! So the less than perfect crayons were melted down for recycled toddler crayons.


This was a lot of fun and really easy! I did them two ways - first I simply removed the paper from all the crayons (which took a lot of time and made the ol' wrists ache!), broke them into small pieces and melted them in a mini muffin tin at 280 degrees for about 3-5 minutes. Once they were melted I swirled them in the muffin tin with a tooth pick and let cool at room temp for 10 minutes or so. Once they were all solid I flipped the pan over a tapped them out. Ta-Da! New crayons perfect for the little hands in your life. 

I also made some with cute ice cube molds and melted the crayons by color and then poured the melted wax into the molds one at a time. This way worked well and produced cute star and heart shapes but was way more time consuming.

Both these crayon creations will be in the Etsy shop in the next couple of weeks. What a lazy shop owner I am; recently life is getting busy here with my little Baby J - whose not so much a baby anymore but rather a growing toddler who needs lots of mommy time -- which is what I am about first and foremost!

Till the next project comes around!
Cheers,
Kelly 

Bento Puzzle re-visited

{this is the guest post I did for Sew Happy Geek last month, I wanted to share it now in case you missed it, it has not been edited, enjoy!}

Hi everybody! It is pretty cool to do my first guest spot here at Sew Happy Geek! Jenna is such a fabulous web Mama she's always sharing tutorials, setting up swaps getting into all sorts of geeky goodness so I had to say yes and help out while her new bionic arm gets healed up!

Oh, I'm Kelly by the way. My blog is over at Blue Bird Sews were I like to hang out and share what I've got going on. Today I'm bringing over a quilt I just finished up. It's a Bento Puzzle and so easy to do, I'll show you how. 

The Bento is a really simple block constructed like a log cabin - but you only end up with a 1/4 of a log cabin block. That allows for a lot of playing around with the blocks to come up with all sorts of patterns. I didn't have a finished quilt in mind when I started but I did know what the blocks were going to look like. That's where my simple 1-2-3 Quilt program came in and helped me arrange the blocks and play with a pattern. Here's a couple examples I came up with along the design path...

 Screen shots of quilt possibilities. 

The quilt I chose to make has a 3-d quality to it don't you think. I like how the middle box jumps out.


I quilted this is in an all over free-motion meandering pattern, bound it in a primary colors stripe/dot and backed it with a vintage daisy sheet. All quilty goodness.



I used 16 - 12" (finished sized) bento blocks for this quilt. I played with the color placement to go from darkest in the middle to lightest on the outside. Even though the colors are different the gradient is there. To make one block cut out the following:
Darkest Color:
1 square: 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Darker Color:
1 square: 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"
1 strip: 3 1/2" x 6 1/2"
Light color:
1 strip 3 1/2" x 6 1/2"
1 strip 3 1/2" x  9 1/2"
Lightest Color: 
1 strip 3 1/2" x 9 1/2"
1 strip 3 1/2" x 12 1/1"


To construct start with the darkest color square and the dark color square and sew together. From there work back and forth to sew the pieces together along the edges. (Sorry I don't have a picture of that! But it's simple enough to figure out as each strip fits along one edge.)
Most Bento Block tutorials out there are simply constructed by sewing a big block together and cutting it into quarters and then mixing up the blocks and sewing them together. (like this FITF tutorial) I challenge you the next time to stretch beyond the simple and come up with your own Bento Puzzle!

Thanks for checking out my quilt; I hope you'll pop on over to Blue Bird Sews for a little bit of inspiration now and again. And here's to our friend getting better soon! Get Well Jenna!
Cheers!
Kelly 

WIP Wednesday

Another Shrinking Squares Variation, yum.


Not a whole lot to say except I've been sewing and crafting like a crazy person since last WIP, I've gotten so many quilts and loose projects done - 14 (that I can think of)! Quilts, notebook covers, crayon rolls, more quilts, pillow cases, Halloween costumes. Oh My it was a fun month! But with Christmas on the way I've got to keep my sewing table busy.



Are you getting ready for the holiday markets and bazaars? I'll be trying it out for the first time this year. Got any tips? I'd like the advice and wisdom please.




Are you making your gifts this year? Have you done the handmade pledge? I am not going all the way but there are a bunch of people getting my creations this year...and that's all I'll say about that ;o)!




Projects by the numbers: 
Finished!: 14
Needs Binding: Sampler
Needs Quilting: pinwheel sample
Needs Piecing: Small Nine Patch, Warm/Cool QAL, Kaleidoscopic, Crayon Rolls
Needs Cutting: Vintage Scraps String Quilt, Jason's Quilt, Frank's Shirts (actively sewing)
Needs Design: Baby J winter quilt 
New Projects: 3
Total Projects: 11






Now your turn to share, pop on over to Freshly Pieced for more WIP action.
Enjoy your day!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Cheers,
Kelly 




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