Monday, November 17, 2014

Favorite Quilt Scraps Powder Puffs

You may not want to hear this, but it's officially 6 weeks before Christmas, and a week and half before Thanksgiving. The calendar turns whether we're in denial or not. Do you have a list of people expecting a gift from you? Are you interested in some quick projects that are fun to do, and will be one-of-a-kind because you make them? I'll share a few of my secrets with you this week. Let's make this Christmas a low-cost, low-volume holiday, and focus on homemade, which allows us to re-purpose or Upcycle.

What's Upcycling, you're wondering? Hipcycling is a great website that will both help you understand it, and sells some terrific products that are upcyled, but here it is briefly. When we recycle, we have to use energy to break something down , and then the material is turned into something else. Post-consumer paper is one, or using plastic bottles to manufacture carpet is another. Upcycling means we, you and I, use something we already have on hand, like braiding tee shirt strips to make a rug , or cutting off plastic milk jugs to protect our plants in the spring. That's 'upcycling'. There is no extra energy expended besides our own. A lot of my projects fall under upcycling, and parts of this project will today.

I love scented bath powder, but it's so darn expensive,and has chemicals in it I don't need. I've found a way around the expense, and it makes a perfect gift. I start with any generic cornstarch powder found in the baby aisle. I put it in a container, and add a few drops of essential oils. Tea tree, lemongrass, patchouli, and lavender are a few of my favorites. Choose one or two, or I've been known to mix them all in. 10 drops or so in all to about a third of a large container of powder. It smells heavenly, and you can create your own unique blend! The initial cost is in the oils, but our local health food store carries a nice supply, and it supports the store. You can find a wide supply on the internet, too. Package it in a recycled container or even a small canning jar is pretty. That's the first part. 

The second is the puff. I tore one apart once to see how it was made, and knew that I'd never buy one again. Start with any furry fabric you can find at your local craft and fabric store like Jo-Ann's. 
Trace a circle with a pencil onto the back of the fabric fur using a large sandwich plate or similar size. I used an Ikea planter.

Cut it out, and using your sewing machine or by hand, baste about a 1/4" from the outside. About a 4 mm stitch is good. Don't go too large. Pull up the outside 2 threads so you form a puff. Not too tight, but just so the edges come to the inside. It's not in the picture, but left over batting pieces will add puffiness inside here. I added about 3 circle layers.

Then choose a favorite fabric for the top piece. I pieced one here using scraps. Use a smaller circle for a pattern, and follow the same steps, basting 1/4" from the edge, and pulling up outside threads. Test it for size, and adjust as necessary. 

Iron the circle flat. Don't be too concerned about precision. Mistakes will be hidden when you're done. Just press it out until it is a fairly decent circle. Pin to the top of the puff, and handstitch on. That's it. 

Plus, you're using up scraps that you otherwise may have thrown away. So it's smart, too. You can put  together several of these within an hour, and with powder it makes a thoughtful present with little cost. I love getting things people have made with me in mind. It feels so personal.

The girls and I have been very busy today, and loved making these.
We have a little time left before bed, though, so...
Come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.

No comments: