Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Keepsake Rag Quilt

What to do with keepsake clothing-namely old, well worn Tshirts from a loved one- rather than just let them stay squirreled away in the back of the closet with some other things.

Of all the clothing we kept when my husband passed, why the tank tops? Because that is what he wore all summer as soon as it was warm enough to put them on. They were tank tops that I had been making for close to 30 years. We couldn't find the shirts with pockets and he had to have pockets so I started making them for him. Every 2 or 3 years I made a trip through the fabric store to get more t-shirt knits and set in to make another slew of the designer wonders. There may be one or two of the originals in the stack. 

He was well known for the famous [infamous?] shirts that he wore everywhere. His golfing, bowling, fishing buddies chuckled at them-Do you think he cared? Not one bit. There are photos at almost every summer gathering of him in one or the other of his tank tops and he had to have a ball cap that matched almost exactly. Oh, yes, he was a fashion icon. 

Our grandson, Travis, asked a couple of months ago if he could have something made from his Papaw's things. Travis has been with us almost from the time he was born and though all of us have been affected greatly, Trav is the one most affected. His only father figure that has watched him all through his school events, his baseball/basketball/football games will not be in the stands any more for him. 

I got out the tank tops and other items the other day, bought some polar fleece in of all things-camouflage [Papaw also wore a lot of camouflage- we live in the country and the area squirrels are just now realizing the great white hunter is no longer stalking about] and began whacking away.

The first thought was to just cut out squares maybe 12" or 14" or 16" and back with matching polar fleece squares. I didn't have the time or patience for any in depth quilt project. One of those quick rag quilt things would do.   Some of the shirts were selected but if they were cut into the squares, a lot of fabric would be wasted so I just cut off the bottoms under the arm holes and left the rectangles whole. They measured about 16" by 22". There was a t-shirt from one of Trav's basketball tournaments that his Papaw had worn. [All us booster parents and grandparents ordered matching shirts for the tournaments]. The transfers from the front and back of the shirt were salvaged and set the tone for the whole rag quilt. Corresponding polar fleece blocks were cut for all the t-shirt pieces. 
Match t-shirt with polar fleece pieces-wrong sides facing. Pin blocks together with back sides together. Sew together with about 1" hem allowance. The hem allowance will be cut every 1/2 to give the ragged affect on the front of the quilt. 
Please, Please, Please!!! have a great pair of sharp scissors or snips for all that fringing/ragging. There are snips especially made for these rag quilts that are hand savers. I found a pair of Fiskars that I don't even remember buying that were great and ordered a couple of pairs from CutRateCrafts for my sister and me.They made the jobs so much easier and enjoyable.
The camouflage back

The whole thing turned out to be about 55" by 55".
I can't just make just one of these memory quilts of course. The cutting table is piled high with the shirts and polar fleece to make one for the rest of the grandchildren. Each will be different but each grandchild will have a Papaw quilt to cuddle in.  

Here is a step by step video for the whole process, children and teenagers especially love making these:

Have you checked out the fun, online classes available @ There are classes for everyone and at great prices for gift giving or for yourself. SOME ARE
FREE Classes! 
Creative Quilt Backs by Elizabeth Hartman
others start at only $9.99 but all are super sale priced-WOW!!
Scrap Quilting by Pepper Cory
Happy quilting, Happy crafting and God bless you.
Carolyn Wainscott

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hooded Girl's Cape Pattern from HANNAH'S CLOSET

It took a while but the girls' hooded cape pattern finally made it into pattern form. The doll pattern was available months ago but the girls pattern just kept being put off. 

It probably wouldn't have been done now if not for "Nancy" who contacted me a couple of weeks ago and wondered where was the girls pattern. She already had made the doll capes and wanted to make matching capes for her girls so I promised her it would be done so she could make them for Christmas and I did it! I had received other inquiries but couldn't get to the pattern before. 

It is available along with the doll pattern in My Pattern Store on


The cape is really quick and easy and I love the Victorian look of the gracefully falling hood on both doll and girl capes. The fleece, unlined Red Riding Hood cape is so fast to put together it is unreal. The lined cape doesn't take much longer-you are in essence making 2 capes and sewing together. 

Use 3 yards of 60" polar fleece for the unlined cape but it will take 5 yards each of 45" fabric for the cape and lining. Making the cape reversible is an option of course but look how beautiful it is. 

Here are the videos I did for the capes and yes, once again-they are that super simple to make:

AND-did you ever see a more beautiful child than my model, great, granddaughter, Maizin? 

If you make the capes, I would love to share them here. Nancy promised me she would send me photos when she takes them at Christmas. 

God bless you and happy crafting
Carolyn Wainscott

patterns for the capes are available in My Pattern Store along with my other designs for quilts, crafts and of course, my reversible, coordinating separates for American Girl Dolls @

QUEEN CHRISTINE-more Christmas ornament ideas from old jewelry

Had to share this one. Just got this picture from my sister.
Check out my post on making Heirloom Christmas ornaments from our mother's costume jewelry @ .
We had a blast at our get together and turned out some great things that will be cherished for a long time and we aren't anywhere near done. Mom had lots and lots of bling. 

I coerced my sister, Jackie, into demonstrating the method she came up with. This is the ornament she made for the camera and we joked about it looking like Cleopatra. Little Smarty Pants went ahead and added the features. What a brain-that is my baby sister-love her. 

Be sure to send us photos of your ornaments, we would love to see them.
God bless you and happy crafting
Carolyn Wainscott 

Recycling Lamps Into Gorgeous Candle Holders

The lead crystal lamp on the back wall shelf called to me but maybe not quite loud enough because I walked out of the Goodwill store without it.  It kind of whispered "Yoohoo! You can make me into a beautiful candle holder". But it kept calling to me even almost 100 miles away so I called my sister who had been with me and asked her to rush back and rescue the lamp for me. Not only did she get the lead crystal lamp, she also picked up another that looked interesting with a completely different feel. 

It took a couple of weeks for us to connect  and in that time I cruised through my local Goodwill [no, I don't live there] to maybe pick up some other lamps since I had hit that line of thinking. There were no more lamps of interest but there were some candy dishes and other little cut glass serving pieces that just might be usable.

In the utility room there were also 2 votive candle holders that had been purchased years ago at a yard sale that had been long forgotten but remembered just in time to bring out to be auditioned with the other pieces. 

The lamps have to be taken completely apart starting with cutting off the plug so the cord can be squirreled out from bottom to top. There will probably be some washers and such to unscrew along with the knob to turn the lamp on and off. All of this still only takes a few minutes so take another look at that lamp you are about to throw away and think of the possibilities.

Now the fun begins with building your candle holder-are any of the other pieces even going to look alright? Is there enough flat surface for a good bond?

A good, strong adhesive was used with a dab or two of hot glue for an instant hold til the adhesive took hold  and in a few minutes, VOILA-a beautiful candle holder. 

Since it had taken such a short time to make the lead crystal candle holder, I went ahead and took the other lamp apart to see what could be done with it. I decided to paint the wood piece white and further distress it since it was not in the best of condition. The original base was spray painted with a copper spray paint. 

The deep amber votive candle holder purchased with some other pieces seemed to suit the vintage feel of the candle holder to a "T". 
2 Goodwill lamps-BEFORE-


Here is a step by step video in the whole process

I think these would be very eye catching on the buffet of even the most formal gathering. What about in the entry? Each is a one of a kind that looks great alone or arranged among other items.

If you haven't checked out, let your fingers run, not walk to that haven for crafters.

The project room at Craftsy allows us to share our latest creation to an audience of thousands every day-kind of show and tell whether it be crocheted, sewn,  knitted, painted, beaded, quilted, etc. Each crafter's  own area has his or her handiwork displayed for others to view.

There are online classes offered by some of the top instructors in each field. Classes that can be taken at the convenience of the student. Think about that hard to buy for crafter that has everything or how about gifting yourself or telling Santa.

My Pattern Store @ makes available the opportunity for us designers to showcase our designs in pattern form. I don't know who came up with this idea but I am absolutely excited about it. While we are on that subject, check out my quick and easy patterns for American Girl and other 18" dolls and my quilt patterns @ I provide step by step videos to help the beginner sewist if needed.

Soooo-if you want to learn a new craft, show off your creations or just like to look at handcrafted  works of art, join us @ Craftsy.

God bless you and happy crafting.

If you decide to recycle a lamp into a candle holder or anything else, please come back and share with us. I would love to see it.
Happy crafting
Carolyn Wainscott

Monday, December 10, 2012

Remember The Christmas Sweaters? Let's Bring Them Back

Mom always had to have a Christmas sweater, or two or even three. Didn't everybody? I guess they didn't go away completely, just not so much on them. 

I saw a program several months ago where they had on the ugliest, most garish old sweaters they could find and had added more stuff like stuffed animals-hhhmmmm! They actually were kind of cute. Well, maybe not as large as some they had on. Then this morning on Good Morning America they mentioned competing in   the ugliest Christmas sweater competition. Shall we have one of those-show me your sweater!!!

I have been looking for something to wear special so decided to make my own. I used to paint/bead/fringe/applique more than I do now so I found a nice little sweater and wonder of all wonders, paid full price-it wasn't even on sale nor did I get it at a thrift store. It is a flat knit so it was easy to press the silk flowers onto. 

If you want to something a little special go through your sweatshirts or maybe you have a sweater that is suitable. My sweatshirts have been worn so much they are all decrepit and no sweater called to me either so I walked the aisles at Wally World til I found my little red gem with the nice buttons. It will only be worn once or twice probably before it is put away til next season. 

Find a silk flower that matches or coordinates and you will need a paper backed fusible webbing such as Heat & Bond. I also use the dimensional paints to outline the flowers-it adds a security to keep the edges from coming up and also adds sparkle. That is about it. Oh-you will need your iron to fuse the fusible web to the back of the flower and then the flower onto your sweater.

Take the flower off the stem, take it completely apart, lay face down onto non-stick pressing sheet, place fusible web onto back of flowers and fuse. Remove all fusible from edges of flowers so as not to get onto the sweater. Arrange flowers on sweater, cover with release paper that has no fusible on it and fuse. Run a line of dimensional paint all around flower edges. Add beads if desired or create beads with the dimensional paint. That is it. Makes a great gift for old gray headed ladies such as myself. 

Any questions? Here is a step by step video:

Happy Crafting, if you decide to create your own holiday sweater, be sure to come on back and share.  I would love to see it. Why, who knows, you could have a Valentine ensemble, or St. Patty's Day, Memorial Day, how about July 4th? There are all kinds of silk flowers out there and other appliques.

Oh, by the way, are you looking for a super different gift for a special person who crafts or wants to learn a new craft? Check out for all the classes available. They are all on sale and any crafter will appreciate your unique gift-an online crafting course they can use at their own convenience and no searching at crowded mall. Can't beat that, can you?
Not only will they be able to enjoy a great class, when the project is done, they can show it off in the project section for all to see along with other crafters' works of art.
God bless you
Carolyn Wainscott

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Heirloom Christmas Ornaments From Mom's Jewelry

 Mom loved her costume jewelry and was never completely dressed without it. Her closet door was covered with it so she could see it all the time-I guess you could say it was part of her decor.

When she passed a few months ago, that was one of her belongings that we wanted to do something special with since it was so precious to her. 

My sister, Jackie came up with the idea of creating Christmas ornaments for the family and it was agreed that nothing else could be more appropriate for all that bling. 

We decided on a Saturday to get together. I had a large bag of styrofoam balls that had been bought at a yard sale several years ago that we could use. They were sent home with Jackie to play around with to give us some ideas and show us how to put them together. 

My thought had been taking the jewelry completely apart and using the components but our beading guru came up with using the whole necklace as the hanger and as the tassel at the bottom. That was genius. Her samples were elegant and easy to do.

To make the ornaments we gathered: wire cutters, jewelry making tools, glue, chenille stems [pipe cleaners], hot glue guns, styrofoam balls, fabric, other trims and whatever came to mind that we might use. 

 Some of our children, grandchildren and great, grandchildren made their masterpieces and they are all beautiful. My grandson, Rob, brought his children, Jenna and Kendall. It is great to be able to get together with my sisters and have a good time and trust me, we do have a good time. 

Debbie [in green shirt], Shirley's daughter

 Michelle, Jackie's daughter

 Summer, Shirley's granddaughter

Here are some of the finished ornaments. 

I coerced Jackie to let me video a step by step demonstration to show how easy these eye catching ornaments are to make. 

Most of these are on display all year round, not just at Christmas time so Mom's bling is all over.

I hope this gives you some ideas and if you come up with more, please feel free to share them with us.
God bless you and happy crafting
Carolyn Wainscott
Here are some of my Christmas patterns available in My Craftsy Pattern Store @

there are video tutorials available for each of my patterns in case any extra help is needed