Saturday, August 30, 2014

Building a bird house to sell.

Building an ornamental bird house.

I'm building another bird house much like the one I did for the guild raffle, only this time I'll post it for sell.  This bird house could be used outside to house blue birds that visit your yard however, why would you.  These things are so cute you'd want it to last a life time right?
Anyway, I decided I'd post some pictures of the progress so you can see how I built this one.

These three top pictures are of the parts cut out and sanded ready for assembly.  The middle part of the bird house consists of 4 pieces of wood while the sides are only 3 side because they attach at the sides of the middle or main house.

Cut list

Middle section
2 -  8 (which is about 7.5 inches actually) x 24 inch pieces that are mitered at the top at center of each board so that they stay 24 inches in length.  Cut two holes about 2 inch diameter and drill 1/2 inch holes under these holes going only half way through.  You will use the bottom holes to add the dowel perch. 
2 - 21x8 compound mitered at one end.
Side sections
4 - 8x 8 and 7/ 8 inch pieces compound mitered at one end
2 - 8x11 inch pieces  that are mitered at the top at center of each board so that they stay 11 inches in length  On each of these boards cut one hole about 2 inch diameter and drill 1/2 inch hole under this hole going only half way through.  You will use the bottom holes to add the dowel perch. 
Middle section roof
2 pieces cut at 7 and 7/8 x 6 and 1/2 inches with compound miter at one of the long ends so they stay at 6  and 1/2 inches in length. 
Side section roof.
4 pieces cut at 7 and 7/8 x 4 inches with compound miter at one of the long ends so they stay at 4 inches in length.
3 - 1/2 x 3 inch dowels to use as perches. 
Cut one stair spindle to 21 inches and then cut in half lengthwise using a band saw

Sand all pieces on all sides including the bottoms and tops of the boards.

Begin by gluing and nailing the two  8 x 8 and 7/8 inch pieces  that are compound mitered at one end to one of the 21 x 8 compound mitered at one end. as shown below.  Make sure when you assemble these that the compound miters on all sections are facing out.  I hope you can see this below or in one of the following pictures.  If you nail these up incorrectly your roof will not fit properly.

Do this to both of the 21 x 8 compound mitered at one end. as shown below.  Notice the compound miter direction of all these boards.

Now attach the two 24 inch front and back to these two side pieces you've made.  The front and back fit inside of the two sides not on top as shown in the picture below.

Now if you have placed the compound mitered boards facing the correct direction your roof should fit perfectly onto your 3 sections.   At the now using glue and nails.  Do not worry if there is a gap at the top.  You will fill this with caulking later, and you will be adding shingles that will hide this gap.

Now add the stair spindles to either side of the middle house covering the seam.  You will have to notch the spindles so that they will fit around the side roof on each side.   Notice my notches I cut out of the spindles.

Next you will counter sink all nails and using a wood filler you will fill all the holes.  You will use caulking to fill all the gaps around the roof and on the roof line and any seams that seem to not fit perfectly together. When you paint, the paint will not hide cracks so this is important.  Let this dry over night.  Then hand sand the excess away so that you don't have lumps.  Lumps can not be hidden with paint.

Adding shingles and staining them.

Decorate and paint as you wish.  Here is a picture of the one I made for the quilt show.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Learning to Paint watercolor, just dive in!

I'm really enjoying learning to use water color paint.  Mostly I have been doing ATC's which are the tiniest little paintings.  But since I've found watercolor canvas I've done a couple larger paintings.  I have many different mediums that I could use that would probably be much easier since there are tons of classes for acrylics and oils and pastels but no classes on water color that I've found in my area.
I just dove right in and am teaching myself how to use watercolor paint.  There are many techniques I have not tried yet but have heard of such as masking.  I will at some point give that a try.  Preserving white space is very difficult I agree.
Here is my second attempt at watercolor, while I'm not extremely pleased with it, I can see that I am getting better with practice.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gate fold cards

I'm really only posting this so I never loose it.  I love this card design.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ATC Dress Swap

You are probably tired of seeing my ATC's but I can't help myself.  I love these tiny pieces of art!  I wanted to share an ATC swap I've joined.  These are due in November but it's been on my mind to get them done.  I thought about drawing some dresses.... but then I though of those quilts people do with dresses on them and I though what a great idea to put tiny little dresses on ATC cards for the swap.  I hope you enjoy seeing my creations.  :)

And here are a few new hand drawn and painted ATC and my first canvas watercolor.

My watercolor on canvas.... 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tiny Dolls and 3D ATC's

You are probably going to laugh at me, I know I'm laughing....  well, I've yet again picked up another fun hobby.  Well, not sure you can classify my fun as hobbies, maybe more hobby hopping.
Anyway so I have fallen in love with making tiny little dolls, bears, elephants etc....  I love sitting while I'm watching some show I love on TV such as True Blood  (<<<  one of my favorites) all the while hand stitching up these little cuties.  I started out by making my own patterns cause I had NO clue that there were so many patterns out there.  Well not so much this tiny but you can always shrink any pattern down to palm size if you like.   So with some shrinking I've got some 3D ATC Pocket pals and just plain old teddy bears.

Friday, June 27, 2014

How to add an envelope to the back of your quilts.

Since I made my nieces quilt I have had questions about how to add an envelope to the back of a quilt. This is a nice way to add information about the quilt you've made or to have a place to put a fabric letter for someone special. On the inside of the envelope I would also put a permanent label about your quilt just in case the fabric letter or information sheet gets lost over the years. You can see the picture below of this.
Here is the images of the quilt as I posted in a previous blog post.

On to the instructions for the envelope.  Mind you I made this envelope very quickly and you should take more time so that it is really special and made nicely.

So here is an envelope I found that I liked the size of.

I unfolded the envelope carefully so I could use it as a pattern

I gathered fabric that matched the back of the quilt however you can choose any fabric.  I folded the fabric right sides together and made sure once folded it would be large enough for my envelope pattern I made above.

I pinned down my pattern to the fabric and cut out my fabric envelope.  You will have two pattern pieces that will already be right sides together.

I then took the paper pattern piece off the top of the pattern and clipped curves and corners and pinned it together to be ready to sew.

Next, using my quarter seam quilt foot on my sewing machine, I sewed all the way around the envelope but left and opening at one flat (not curved) side that is about 1 and 1/2 inches so I will be able to turn it right side out.

Hemostats are a great tool for turning things right side out.  I placed the hemostats into the opening I left in the envelope and grabbed the corner of the envelope furthest away from the opening and clipped them shut.  I then pulled the hemostats back out of the envelope which caused the envelope to be turned right side out.

Using a stick or some blunt object like the one below and run it along the inside of the envelope to finish turning it completely right side out so that it looks just like your paper pattern.

As you can see, I left my opening at the end of one of the points because I decided for this point to be flat rather than pointed.  I will close the opening by using the foot you see here and with my needle all the way to the left so that when I stitch all the way around the envelope I will only be less than 1/8 inch away from the edge.  This is an edge stitch.

Now that you've sewn all the way around the envelope you will now iron the envelope by folding in one side of the envelope in at a time and ironing a crease.  Then fold the top and bottom of the envelope in and iron creases.  You will have an envelope with creases like in the image below when you have completed your ironing.  You will later use those creases to hand sew the envelope to the back of your quilt.  

Choose a button you love and measure it to see how large a button hole you will need to make.  I used my embroidery machine and made a decorative button hole.  If you have one you can too.

Mark your button hole placement on the top flap of your envelope as shown below.  I used a frixion pen for this as you can iron the mark off once you have completed the button hole.

You will sew the button to the bottom flap of the envelope leaving the side flaps free.  When the envelope is buttoned closed the side flaps will stay in place, there is no need to secure them unless you want to and then you would sew the button to all there flaps with the bottom flap on top of both side flaps.

To make your letter as I did in the image at the top.  You can use freezer paper that you've cut or purchased that is 8.5x11. 

 Starch your white or light colored fabric you intend on using for the letter very well then iron it onto the freezer paper using a wool setting.  Once it is ironed well to your freezer paper you can type up your letter in a word processing program on your computer and place the fabric with the freezer paper into your computer (generally fabric side facing down) and print your letter onto your fabric.
You can finish your letter the same way I did and that is cut another piece of fabric the same size as your letter (it can be decorative fabric) and right sides together sew these two together leaving a hole in one edge to turn it right side out.  Then as you did for the envelope edge stitch the letter all the way around closing the opening you used to turn the letter right side out.

Hope you enjoyed learning how to place a special letter on the back of a special quilt!