Sunday, February 15, 2015

Creating Doodads

Creating doodads for Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts) gives me a variety of things ~ something productive ~ to do when I can’t be at the sewing machine or at the longarm machine. Although making small items - something I usually don't do anymore - but by using the different techniques naturally limits long time hand repetition – which is a bad thing for us all!

I’ve done a few already (have only quilted, hand washed & air dried, this first one)…

I kept mulling over what craft supplies I have on hand. Oh, so many! I’ve had so many “moods” and attempts…

Anyway, I went to my favorite place on the internet – of course – Pinterest! I first created a new board Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts). This is where I put all the great ideas I come across on the Internet for future reference! Yes!

I've search(ed) for ideas on each “type” of craft objects I have on hand. Some things I know how to do, others I’ve yet to learn. Lots of my “pins” are reminders. I want to share with you what I found:

Plastic canvas – Messing with plastic canvas was one of my “phases” of doing/creating things – years ago! But, I still have a bunch! When using, however, I'll make sure the edges are covered securely so not to scratch anyone.

Oh, my! I just saw a lovely pin of a heart (for Valentine’s Day)! I never thought about working to totally cover a canvas (albeit small!) with the yarn, then embroidery – say an outline of a heart – on top of it! Maybe add a few French Knots here and there! Cuteness!

I pinned a plastic canvas bookmark that has fringe on the bottom! That would work nicely on an Action Quilt!

What about adding beads (I have so many!!!) to the design? I bet that would look amazing!

Oh, and I just saw a clever way to evenly mark where stitches need to go when working on trimming felt or fabric! I Wanna Build A Memory blog shares how! She’s talking about faux stitches on paper (for scrapbooking), but I will apply to real stitches on fabric of some sort!

Which brings me to…
– yes, another phase that quickly went to the way-side – of course after I bought a lot of supplies! I realize I won’t be using the paper on the Action Quilts, but the trims I have may work. I’ll have to check them out. In the meantime, I’m searching Pinterest for the embellishment techniques. I can certainly incorporate them into doodads!

Flip photos – I have a fabric that has individual days of the week printed on it, it's really cute! I cut out the rectangles, then have wondered how/what to do … this pin gave me an idea to try! I’m excited!

Weaving – if using ribbon, it must be washable! Most of my ribbons are grosgrain, but some are poly satin (therefore, will go through a gentle hand wash). I just saw where someone weaved a beautiful piece using lace hem tape! All the finds will be suitable to use on an Action Quilt! I just need a variety of ideas to use up my stash. Of course, Pinterest has lots!

The different headband instructions would work nicely. I could also add beads to the 1/8” wide satin ribbons like they show when making bracelets.

I just saw a T-shirt with ribbon weaving done on the upper front area… evenly slicing the holes would be a challenge for me, but in small areas, I could do this! Felt should work beautifully as well!

Oh, and a small chain (made from material that won’t rust!) to weave the ribbon through and use the ribbon ends to stitch down on the Action Quilt!

Using folded, or unfolded fabric strips to weave a textured doodad – certainly! This is a great idea!

I never would have come up with weaving small ribbon through the edging loops of another ribbon! Yes! I saw it on Pinterest!

I need to come up with a small weaving loom. I found one on Pinterest made out of popsicle sticks. That may work since my projects will all be small. I thought about finding an old picture frame and carefully hammering evenly spaced nails along the top & bottom. Or, I’ve seen an embroidery hoop used. I’ll come up with something.

I used a piece of Styrofoam and a bunch of pins to make this one, but it was a pain to hand stitch the perimeter to get it off in one piece. 

I knew then the next one would have to have a “loom” of some sort. Once I stitch it down to a piece of fabric, I’ll remove my tacky hand stitching, and trim the ribbons to equal distance for someone to fiddle with.

Hand Embroidery is always an easy project to do while watching television! It’s one of my favorites, to embellish something by adding a bit of texture here and there. Needless to say, over the years, I’ve collected lots and lots of embroidery floss!

Thanks to My Arts Desire, there are many fabulous ideas in this one photo… even creating “notebook paper”!!! I never would have thought! I’m so thankful for Pinterest and the clever ideas others have and share!
Photo source: My Arts Desire 

Fabric (puff) Paint – not that I’m an artist like my Mother, but I can follow a drawn (traced) line! I don’t recall why I bought the paint, but I have a few and would like to use them, before they totally dry up!

Crayons – Since my nieces were toddlers (over 40 years ago), I’ve had crayons in my home! In fact, I think I still have their original crayons & their boxes! I remember when the step-grandsons came along, I got new ones… but they, too, are past the coloring phase. What to do? I’ve heard about using them on fabric, but haven’t yet tried. So, I went to Pinterest.

From the photos of pins I’ve seen I like the transparency that melted crayons give rather than the opaque coverage of paints. At least, it offers a different look for the Action Quilt user.

D-Rings ~ I have several in my supply stash. I’ve used a few already, but would like a few new/different doodads using D-Rings for using on future Action Quilts. I just saw one… I never thought about adding fringe on the curve side! That’s clever! Oh, well, I didn’t find many fresh ideas. I’m glad I don’t have all that many!

What else can I do with my collection of Yarn….

Fork pom poms! Yep! Using a fork makes teeny tiny pom poms! Keep them separate, individual, or string together!

Oh, I can make yarn dolls, or tassles, or maybe a small basket to stitch on to the Action Quilt.


Oh. My. Goodness… I have bags and bags filled with zippers! Momma also cleaned out her stash and gave them to me several years ago!

So many clever applications, especially when also incorporating felt!

Well, these should keep me busy (and from falling asleep in my recliner) at night while watching television! I'm thrilled beyond words to know what to do with all my various supplies I have on hand! It will be so nice to know ~ when my craft room is empty ~ that others will have found some comfort for their once busy hands.

I would love to know any ideas you have!

I also hope this has inspired you to create a gift of an Action Quilt for someone with Alzheimer's or Dementia. I'm told the caregivers sure could use something like this for their Loved One! We also need to take care of the caregivers!


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