Arts & Crafts
[Air Freshener gels] [Baskets] [Bath Salts] [Beading 101] [Bow Making] [Bracelets/Necklaces] [Brush Care]
[Candle Making] [Ceramics] [Clay Working Table] [Crochet] [Embroidery] [Fabric Cutting] [Finger Paints]
[Floral Arrangements] [Flower Pressing] [Homemade Glitter] [Hot Glue Guns] [Kilns] [Lamp Decoration]
[Luna Eye Pillow] [Matting] [Personal Stickers] [Photo Albums] [Photo Effects] [Picture Framing]
[Pine Cone Arrangements] [Posters] [Potpourri] [Pottery] [Preserved Flowers] [Antique Quilt Cleaning] [Quilting Tips]
[Rice Painting] [Sand Painting] [Scented Envelopes] [Wind Chimes] [Wish Bracelet]
Sewers Thimble Tip: If your thimble is a little too large for your finger, remove the thimble, lick your finger and put the thimble back on...your thimble will not fly off your finger again. Also, keep a small magnet handy, to pick up fallen needles. Do not keep near sewing maching, if it is a computer type, it could ruin it.
Walking Tip: If your sewing machine has a tendency to move while you are sewing, place a piece of thin (3/8") rug padding under it. Cut the piece the width of your machine plus 8". The extra pad space will provide for your scissors, bobbins, seam ripper, all close at hand.
grams of unflavored gelatin
Your selected fragrant or essential oil
In the English-speaking crochet world, the basic stitches have different names. The differences are usually referred to as UK/US or British/American. Examples of these differences and their usual abbreviations are:
Another terminological difference is known as tension (U.K.) and gauge (U.S.). Individual crocheters work yarn with a loose or a tight hold and, if unmeasured, these differences can lead to significant size changes in finished garments that have the same number of stitches. In order to control for this inconsistency, printed crochet instructions include a standard for the number of stitches across a standard swatch of fabric. An individual crocheter begins work by producing a test swatch and compensating for any discrepancy by changing to a smaller or larger hook. North Americans call this gauge, referring to the end result of these adjustments; British crocheter speak of tension, referring to the crafter's grip on the yarn while producing stitches. Try using a gallon size (freezer-style) zipper storage bags as your yarn holders. There is enough room for four 3 oz. skeins, this will also keep your yarn clean. Place a hole in the end, this way you will not have to take them out of the storage bag.
Double Pointed: (dp) needles have points at both ends. They are sold in sets of four and are sued for knitting in rounds and for working cables.
Place Marker on Needle: means to put a marker or paper clip on needle; slip it from left-to-right-hand needle as you work each row.
Gauge: Refers to the number of stitches (and sometimes rows) which make up 1" of the knitted or crocheted fabric. Each set of directions lists the gauge obtained by the designer when she worked the pattern with the yarn and needles specified, and is the gauge upon which the directions are based.
Knitting needles and crochet hooks come in a wide range of sizes. Since the sizing of needles and hooks is not the same in England and Canada as in the United States, a listing of comparative sizes is given in the conversions chart below.
Needles: U.S. to English or Canadian: 0=13; 1=12; 2=11; 3=10; 4=9; 5=8; 6=7; 7=6; 8=5; 9=4; 10=3; 11=2; 13=0; 15=000.
Hooks: U.S. to English or Canadian: 1=0; 2=1; 3=1 1/2; 4=2; 5=2 1/2; 6=3; 7=3 1/2; 8=4; 9=4 1/2; 10=5; 11=5 1/2; 12=6; 13=6 1/2; 14=7.
When purchasing your yarn, be sure to purchase enough of the same dye lot to finish your garment, checking numbers on the package, as dye could vary in the next batch.
More on needles, hooks, yarns and threads:
Knitting needles come in a variety of styles, each designed for a specific use. Straight needles are for knitting back and forth. Double pointed (dp) needles have points at both ends, are sold in sets of four, and are for knitting rounds; one alone may be used in making cables. A circular needle, pointed at both ends and flexible in center, is for knitting in rounds or back and forth on more stitches than could be conveniently worked on dp or straight needles.
Although we tend to associate wool yarns with knitting and cotton threads with crocheting, the yarn or thread used can, of course, be made of any fiber, natural or synthetic. The synthetics are often machine washable - a quality especially desirable in items that will need frequent washing, such as baby clothes. Today we have a great variety of textures from which to choose, form fluffy angoras and mohair's to smooth finishes and on to sparkling metallic-look threads and ribbons.
The weight to be used will be determined by the style of the garment you are making. Lighter-weight yarns or threads are usually called for then the finer needles or hooks are used for a delicate, soft effect, while heavier ones will be used with larger needles and hooks for a bulkier look. If at all possible, do not substitute other yarns for those called for in the directions, because those directions have been written specifically for the yarn named.
Preservation of your family photos is a consuming task. Although photography has become progressively easier and more convenient with the introduction of digital cameras and printers, people often fail to protect their photos by purchasing albums. Others simply don't wish to take the time.
You will need the following supplies, your album, fabric, ribbon, and a hot glue gun and other decorative bells and whistles you wish to add for your creative photo album..
Before you purchase your photo album, be sure and determine the sizes of the pictures that you want to store. If you have mostly 4x6 pictures, you do not need to buy an album that only has 3x5 pockets. Some albums will hold various size pictures. If you are making this photo album for a gift, you might want to consider purchasing one of these.
The various materials you use will depend on how creative you want to be. To construct a basic photo album, you will need enough material to cover the front and back of the album and the inside of the front and back covers. Open your photo album with the pages down, and measure the front, spine, and back to see how much material you will need. Cut your material to fit the outside of your photo album, but be sure to allow an extra inch all the way around your material.
Apply a thin bead of glue around the edges of the outside cover of your photo album, and then apply small beads of glue over the rest of the surface. As you work quickly, lay your material onto the cover. You will need to smooth the material across the cover. If your glue has started to harden before you have finished applying your material, you will need to add some more glue.
Once you have attached your material to the outside cover of your photo album, you will need to turn your album over. You can now apply a thin bead of glue along the edge of the inside cover. Pull your excess material over the edge of the album and press the material onto the glue.
If you are going to add cording, lace, fringe or some other type of embellishment around the edges of your album, you will need to do this now. Measure the amount of trim that is needed to cover the edges of the album. Cut your trim, but allow an extra inch of material. Apply another thin line of hot glue along the edge of the album and press your trim onto the glue.
Once you have applied your trim, you will need to cover the inside of your album with material. Measure the inside of the front and back covers. Cut your material to fit the inside of the cover, but be sure to allow an extra inch. You will need to fold the excess material in towards the cover so that you won’t have any raw edges showing. You can iron your creases for a neater look.
Apply another thin line of hot glue along the edges of the inside and dot hot glue across the middle. You can now press your material onto the glue, but be sure your raw edges are folded in towards the cover.
You now have the basic photo album. If you purchased a small picture frame, you can cover it with the same material or contrasting material using your hot glue gun. Next, hot glue the frame to the front of the album. You can also trim the picture frame with matching cording, lace, or fringe. Think about using different colored ribbons between pages, similar to ribbon book marks.
If you want to be even more creative, you can write words such as “family photos”, “friends”, etc. using a fabric pen. Using a glue gun, you can add decorations, such as rhinestones, buttons, shells, etc. to the cover of your album
When traveling by air, and you cannot take sissors with you, use your dental floss container to cut your thread.
The Art of floral
arranging is one of pride in oneself, and the happiness it brings others.
It takes time to get used to all the possibilities and limitations when using silk florals. They are similar in use, but, artificial flowers are a different art form. The line, focal, filler technique is an excellent way to design artificial and dried flower arrangements.
For Horizonal arrangements:
-Using a relatively shallow container, anchor foam with a lot of glue or use anchor pins, and position sprays of line flowers to establish the shape of the design.
-Insert focal flowers in the middle so they gently droop
over the lip of the container on both sides, reach towards the line material
and extend on either side of the middle. Leave room for filler flowers.
Tip: Use a pill box (weekly size Sat-Sun) to hold your bobbins and other small items.
Chimes are also made of materials other than metal or wood and in shapes other than tubes or rods. Many people accept bamboo, stones, horseshoes, mechanics tools, PVC pipe, glass, seashells, old silverware, etc., as chimes. Every material makes a different sound. The sounds these make are not tunable to specific notes and range from pleasant tinkling to dull thuds. The idea seems to be that if it is moved by the wind and makes a noise, it is a wind chime.
The tone will depend on the material (steel, aluminum,
brass, the exact alloy, heat treatment and so on), whether you are using a
solid cylinder or a tube, and if a tube, the wall thickness. It may also
depend on the hanging method.
the specifics of precision tuned frequencies one can make or
purchase a wind chime in just about any size, ranging from tiny to really
large. They are great additions to any garden, patio, or porch, unique in,
that each one is difference in sound. They require minimal maintenance. You
can buy them off the shelf from inexpensive to barely affordable. Wind chimes
offer a delightful way to add to the theme of existing decorations and
plants. your homemade wind chimes can be especially clever, perhaps using
sentimental items, or those off the shelf. This will be your creation; from
whatever assorted items you wish to use.
Note: In the case of bamboo pipes, they are usually not
hollow. Perhaps this is why their sound is so unique.
Candle Wax Tip: To remove candle wax out of your candle cups, place in the freezer for a day and it will pop right out.
The eye pillow gently conforms to your face to apply light pressure while the aromatic herbs stimulate your senses. They can be heated in the microwave/over or chilled in the freezer for an extra soothing effect.
Choose lavender for its soothing and relaxing scent, used to relieve headaches and stress or eucalyptus to help heal sinuses.
You can also use rice, flax seed (Flaxseed is perfect for those that are sensitive to scent), buckwheat hulls etc. Make sure that whatever you use does not provide a displeasing smell or release fine powders because this will surely be annoying.
Your eye pillow
overall size should be 4" x 10" (10 x 25cm) which sufficiently
covers both eyes and gives enough weight to provide for gentle pressure. You
could make it a bit larger if you chose, but making it too large it will
probably be too heavy. Making it too small then it will fail to cover both
eyes and will be very lightweight.
Childs Picture frame
Hot Glue gun
Operation your Glue Gun:
-Plug the glue gun into an electrical outlet. Make sure it is placed in a secure place, away from flammable items. As the glue gun heats up, a little bit of glue might drip from the end so you won’t want to leave it on a wood table or on carpet.
-Insert a glue stick into the back of the glue gun. If the glue gun already has a glue stick in the chamber, keep a second one in reserve nearby.
-Gather the materials you want to glue together. Hot glue works exceptionally well on thick fabrics, dried flowers, Styrofoam, wood and plastics. Since it leaves a thicker residue, it is not the best choice for thin papers, fabrics and ceramics.
-Check to see if the glue in the gun has melted by squeezing the trigger slightly and touching the tip to a test piece of paper. If the glue comes out easily, the glue gun has heated up fully. If the trigger is hard to pull, wait a minute more for the gun to heat more completely.
-Pick up the glue gun and squeeze the trigger slightly while you draw a thin line on one side of the item to be glued.
-Immediately place the other object to be glued on the glue line, pressing firmly.
-Hold the two pieces together for about 15 seconds. Test to see if the item still holds when you remove one hand.
-Let the item set for a few minutes in order to “cure.” Once the glue has dried fully, use a fingernail to scrape away any of the excess glue.
Here are some other tips for using hot glue:
Tips and advice on ribbon embroidery from choosing the right materials for your ribbon embroidery project to threading the needle and handling some of the more complicated stitches.
100% silk is recommended.
Choosing your needles:
Threading the needle:
The following can be used for your Arts & Crafts fairs, children's arts, middle, high, college and university, as well as for executive presentations.
Readability is a measure of how easily the ideas flow from one item to the next. Text that has lots of grammatical problems, complex or passive sentence structure, and misspellings is "hard to read". A common error in poster presentations is the use of fonts that are too small to be read from 8 feet away, this is your typical distance a passerby will be reading your poster from.
Studies show that you have only 11 seconds to grab and retain your audience's attention so make your leading introduction prominent and brief. Most of your audience is going to absorb only the introduction.
Here are some ideas about how to get the most attention for your efforts.
Designing the poster panels deserves consideration. Most posters are most quickly made using some kind of computer software. A word processing program plus a few graphics’ packages (e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint, Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe PageMaker) are important tools. Of these, PowerPoint has the least sophisticated graphics options. If you have not tried computer graphics or are just starting out, find someone whose poster you like and ask them what they use and if they like it.
CHOOSING BETWEEN TWO POPULAR FORMATS:
a large format poster or
These are printed as a single large sheet.
a multiple panel poster.
These are composed of printed individually elements, predominantly 8.5X11 inches each, that get assembled into a poster on site.
The style you chose is a matter of cost and personal taste. What are the tradeoffs? Large format posters require access to a large format printer (Fedex/Kinko’s or other computer-based copying companies have these) and the latter can be done largely with tools in your office or lab. Both formats are portable although large format posters are awkward to carry without a good carrier tube with a shoulder strap. Both are affordable ($0.5 to 1.0 per inch versus about $50 for a multiple panel poster). In contrast to the multiple panel poster, you must reprint the whole large format poster if 1) the data change at the last minute or 2) the colors on printing turn out to be really ugly or 3) you spill a liquid on it (unless laminated they run badly if they get wet). If any of these factors are at issue, you may wish to consider a multiple panel poster: it is easy to reprint individual elements without having to make the whole thing over again. Although there is no question that it is easier to mount the large format poster once on site - 4 tacks and you are done - there is no way to rearrange the panels within your large format poster once it is printed. If you are going to two meetings and need a different sized poster for each, then you might consider a large format poster instead since unless you omit panels or change the spacing between them, the multiple panel poster is somewhat harder to change in size.
Present your message:
Keep it short and sweet and make this your title! Use the active voice (i.e., avoid "ing" on the ends of verbs) and avoid the verb "to be" whenever possible.
Regardless of poster format, lay out the space physically as well as on paper to double-check yourself. If you can, make the poster flexible enough to change the size by adding or omitting panels or elements. This flexibility is handy if you are going to more than one meeting, if the poster boards are not exactly the size advertised, if the meetings have different in size requirements for posters, or if you wish to update your data between meetings.
Your "preliminary" layout
Before you actually spend time making the final panels of the poster, take pieces of paper that are about the right size and see if you can actually make it all fit. This will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Given that the average poster gazer spends less than 10 minutes on your work and you have 11 seconds to trap your subject before they move on, only show data that adds to your central message. You do need a Title, Authors, Introduction, Results, and Conclusions. Some meetings require you to include the abstract also. Usually, omitting Materials & Methods is fine: most people will not read them anyway. If you wish, have a methods handout for those who ask for it. Although sometimes the method is essential to understand the data or the validity of the conclusions, most of the time, a short version here will do as well.
Consider making handouts that include the full poster in miniature on one face and then all that other material on the opposite side. Methods, references, detailed contact information, advertisement for a postdoctoral fellowship (to ask for or to give out one), or extra data are all good options for the flip side. Take from 50-400 handouts per a meeting and leave them as a stack under your poster. This is a great way to gauge the success of your poster.
People approach new information in a known spatial sequence: we track vertically from center to top to bottom, and horizontally from left to right. This means that you should put the most important message in the center top position followed by the top left, top right, bottom left, and finish in the bottom right corner. That's why the poster title should be your punch line because, in that position, the title and your name will be seen in the first 11 seconds that a person looks at the poster.
The overall format of a good poster is dictated by the way we assimilate information. For example, you would never put your first panel on the right and ask your reader to proceed to the left because we are not trained to read that way. Newspaper format, two vertical columns that are arranged so that you read the left one first and then the right one, is highly "readable" since the reader does not spend time figuring out which panel to read next. A left to right horizontal rows arrangement works too but is not as common. You can easily walk around any meeting and find lots of variation.
Space is important in a poster: without it, your reader has no visual pauses to think. Books leave space on the margins and by having chapters. Posters that are crammed with information are tiring to read and are seldom read in their entirety. Omit all extraneous text or visual distractions, including borders between related data and text, so the reader can assimilate your ideas easily.
Size of poster elements or the fonts in each panel can serve to emphasize the main points. For example, making your subheadings in all capitals and two font sizes larger than the rest of the text on the same panel will draw the reader's eye first, and so be emphasized. The use of multiple fonts in a poster can distract from the science.
You will lend the most power to your words if you spatially arrange the text in each panel of your poster following the same principles used for the poster layout as a whole. A common street sign reads "go children slow". Because the word "children" is in capitals larger than the other words and is in the center of the image, you read "Children, go slow" even though that is not the actual spatial arrangement of the words in the sign. This sign is powerful, succinct, and highly readable.
It takes time to make a great poster. Regardless of format, allow 2 to 3 days to assemble all the bits and pieces, such as photos etc., and then 1.5 to 2 days to assemble the poster. That last bit of data you rush around to get at the last moment will go completely unnoticed if your poster is messy and disorganized i.e. illegible and unreadable.
It costs roughly $50 to make a poster for either format. If you have poster made for you it can cost from $300 to $2,000 depending on how much of it you do yourself.
A great poster is easy to mount on site and can be flexible in assembly in case the poster space is smaller than advertised. If you cannot mount the poster by yourself or the poster is awkward for one person to mount on the materials provided, be sure you arrange for someone to help you. For example, when the poster boards are wobbly it can be hard to push the pins in without pushing over the poster board! Often the person next to you will be glad to exchange labor. If you opted for a multiple panel poster then a map of how the poster should look when it is done is handy when you need to work quickly, are distracted or nervous.
Font sizes need to be big to be effective. A good rule is to stand back from your own poster: if you, who are familiar with the material, cannot easily read it from 6 feet away, either can your audience.
Choose a basic fonts that open at all sizes and that is supported by your printer. Ariel, Bookman, Helvetica, and Geneva are examples of good choices. If your font is not supported by the printer, you will get ragged edges on all your letters.
Highlighting a few parts of the text is done easily with: emphasize using Capitals, bold, italics and occasionally (the distance one see's the poster from, is going to matter) shadows
A color border or background is a fast way to add color to a poster. Choosing colors that do not compete with your data, that look good once printed, and that color-blind people can see is wise.
If you opted for a multiple panel poster, then LaserFoil allows you to make your printed words from a laser printer come out in color. Available in mat, glossy, and "prism" finishes, LaserFoil can add pizzaz to a poster. Colored graphic tape or dots, and white arrows (Chartpak, Lettraset) can be quickly applied to poster elements to draw attention to the elements you wish to.
Proper contrast will reduce eye strain and make the poster more legible and interesting visually. Again, be careful that the color does not outclass the visual impact of your data: too much contrast is hard on the eyes and can distract the reader from your data.
Adding light color backgrounds to your figures can make the poster attractive. For example, using white lettering and lines on a blue background can make your poster eye-catching. Like a painting, poster elements can also be double matted physically or digitally to add interesting contrast.
Images do not stay the same between one medium and the next and this is especially true for color quality. Although it is efficient to use computer-generated color images as poster elements, you always lose some fidelity in doing so. For example, the edges of letters will blur slightly in going from a slide to a printed image or vice versa. Also, the colors you see on your monitor are usually not what comes out on the slide or on the final, printed poster element. You can "adjust" your monitor and check professional color books that show what the slide film recorders will print. However, it will not be an exact match from screen to print no matter what you do. Automatic film recorders used to print computer images also vary from model to model and from run to run just like photographic printing machines do. To keep the color "true", request custom printing. A good rule of thumb is to switch media as few times as possible
Do get a small print of your large format poster before you print the big one to check for all these color issues.
Have some people look over your poster before you consider it "done". If they are confused, then your audience will be, it is far better to fix it now than to lose people at your presentation. Make your points on your poster, but, do not provide more than necessary, to put your presentation across.
Displaying your finished work is a big accomplishment so take time to enjoy it and your interactions at your appointed presentation. Remember that enthusiasm is contagious.
How are candles made?
While modern candle-making processes vary, most candles are made through the timeless process of placing a cotton wick into wax which is then molded, dipped, extruded, pressed, rolled, drawn or filled into a desired shape and size.
What are the typical ingredients in a candle?
A candle consists primarily of wax and a wick. Many candles also contain dyes or pigments for color and fragrances for scent as well as other minor ingredients.
Does the industry have standards for candles?
Yes. Members of the National Candle Association have a long tradition of making high quality, long-lasting and safe candles. In addition, NCA works with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to develop voluntary standards for the candle industry. ASTM standards currently exist for the fire safety labeling of candles and the heat-resistance of glass candleholders. NCA continues to work with ASTM to develop additional standards for candles.
What should I know about using candles safely?
Candles are safe when burned properly, responsibly, and according to manufacturers' directions. When burning candles, consumers should always follow these basic safety rules:
What kind of label information is required to be placed on candles?
Currently there are no federal labeling requirements for candles, other than those required for consumer commodities under the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (manufacturer’s name, commodity weight, measurements, etc.). NCA members typically place safe-use instructions on their candles or the candle packaging. NCA spearheaded the drive for candle fire-safety labeling, working with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to create voluntary labeling standards for the industry.
What sort of chemical reaction is created by burning a candle?
When a candle burns, the flame "consumes" the wax to produce water vapor and carbon dioxide, the same harmless byproducts humans produce when exhaling. This is true for all types of candle waxes.
Are certain candle waxes better than others?
No. All types of quality candle waxes perform well, burning cleanly and safely when formulated and used properly. Candle manufacturers select waxes or blends of waxes based on their characteristics and their suitability for specific types of candles.
Do scented candles burn differently than unscented ones?
Not really. A well-made scented candle – like an unscented candle – produces harmless water vapor and carbon dioxide when burned. The only difference with a scented candle is that a fragrance is released as well. Reputable candle manufacturers carefully monitor the addition of fragrance to ensure a "clean" and proper burn. There is a maximum amount of fragrance that can be added to a candle before it will no longer burn cleanly or properly. There have been some reports of homemade candles containing too much fragrance, or fragrances not approved for candle use, which can cause improper burning.
What should I do if my candle smokes?
A well-made candle will create virtually no smoke when burning properly. However, noticeable smoking will occur whenever a candle’s flame is disturbed, which allows minute particles of unburned carbon (soot) to escape from the flame. Any candle, regardless of formulation or wax type, can be made to smoke by causing the flame to flicker.
To minimize candle flickering, trim the wick to 1/4 inch before lighting, and place burning candles away from vents, drafts and other strong air currents. If a candle continues to significantly flicker or noticeably smoke, it should be extinguished. Allow it to cool, trim the wick, check for drafts, and then re-light.
Do candles contain lead?
There is no lead in candle wax, and no member of the National Candle Association (which accounts for 90 percent of all candles made in the U.S.) uses lead wicks. NCA members voluntarily agreed more than 25 years ago not to use lead wicks.
Although some candles – primarily imports – reportedly contain lead wicks, the majority of wicks manufactured in the U.S. are made of 100% cotton or cotton-paper combinations. Although some U.S.-made candles contain metal wicks, these are typically zinc or tin wicks, which are known to be safe and non-toxic.
The National Candle Association strongly supports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in its effort to ban lead wicks from the U.S. market.
Candle Safety Tips
Candles are safe products, but may become hazardous when used improperly or in an unsafe manner. National fire safety agencies report that the bulk of candle fire incidents in the United States are due to consumer inattention to basic fire safety or to the misuse of candles. The National Candle Association recommends the following safety tips when burning candles:
Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.
Read and carefully follow all manufacturer instructions.
Trim candlewicks to 1/4 inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping.
Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax. Be sure the candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air currents. This will help prevent prevent rapid, uneven burning, smoking and excessive dripping. Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame where they could catch fire. Ceiling fans can cause drafts.
Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
Do not burn a candle for longer than the manufacturer recommends.
Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2inch if in a container). This will also help prevent possible heat damage to the counter/surface and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
Never touch or move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquid.
Extinguish pillar candles if the wax pool approaches the outer edge.
Candles should be placed at least three inches apart from one another. This is to be sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
One of the safest ways to extinguish a candle is to use a candle snuffer, which helps prevent hot wax from spattering.
Do not extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to spatter and can cause glass containers to break.
Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are much safer light sources than candles during a power failure.
Never use a candle as light when you go into a closet to look for things.
Never use a candle for light when fueling equipment such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
REPRINTED FROM NATIONAL CANDLE ASSOCIATION WEBSITE.
option for candle making is to purchase candles on the cheap, at the dollar
store. Shred and blend different colors together, to create your own color.
Melt as if you were making a craft candle above, place in your homemade mold,
add your wick and you’re on to your own new candle innovation.
Thread spool Tip: Drill small holes on the tip of the clear plastic (placing the spools on their side) lid, then pull up enough to grasp. You can do the same with spools of ribbon, this time using empty baby wipe or butter tub containers, only cut slits instead of holes.
Quilts are as much art form as functional, and they have existed for hundreds of years. They began in the lower classes, as thrifty peasant women used scraps of leftover material or pieces of worn out shirts or dresses to make blankets for their families. Gradually, quilts evolved into beautiful handcrafts, and since they are so large and labor-intensive, making them became a social event - the quilting bee. Neighbors or family members would gather at each other's homes, sit around a large wooden quilting frame, and assemble the quilts. In this way, they accomplished necessary work and were able to socialize, as well.
Quilts may be functional or purely decorative. Smaller quilts are often used as wall hangings, in the decorative sense, while a larger quilt may be neatly folded over antique quilt rack to give a country "Americana" look to the room. Functional quilts are used in the same way as bedspreads. They make the bed look neat, and also provide warmth. They come in every size, from tiny ones for a baby's crib, all the way to large quilts that cover a California king-sized bed.
Whether functional or decorative, what makes quilts famous for their beauty is their patterns. Some of these patterns’ pre-date the American Revolutionary War. One popular pattern is the double wedding ring, the familiar series of interlocking circles. The log cabin pattern is a series of blocks, with rectangular strips of fabric sewn at right angles to each other to form squares. Small octagonal pieces sewn together in groups form the flower garden pattern, and a five-pointed, stylized leaf forms the maple leaf pattern. Diamond shaped pieces sewn together can create the shooting star or lone star patterns. Some people prefer the arts and crafts look of the "crazy quilt," which is made of pieces of any scrap fabric sewn together in no particular pattern.
One specialized form of quilt emerged during the nineteenth century in America: the slave quilt. These quilts were functional as bed coverings, but also served another purpose: they gave directions that helped slaves escape north on the Underground Railroad. The quilts were sewn with various colors and symbols that represented the local roads, fields, plantations and streams. These quilts were on every plantation, hung on a clothesline or tree branch to give their messages. The orientation of the quilt as it hung changed the messages. These quilts also gave information about hiding places, food caches and safe houses to any who could read their language. They began appearing about 1835, when people from the north came to the plantations and taught the slaves how to make the quilts. The few slave quilts still in existence are in museums or are cherished family heirlooms.
If your sewing machine did not come with a quarter inch foot, you may be able to buy one for your machine or buy a generic one. It is well worth it. If you sew with the fabric just at the edge of the foot, and not beyond, maybe even a few threads closer to the needle than the edge of the foot, you should have a quarter inch seam.
Tip: When you reposition your hands when free motion quilting, take a stitch or two in place before you begin quilting again, to get oriented and avoid little squiggles.
Put a ruler under your needle and mark with masking tape where the quarter inch mark should be. If you use several layers of masking tape, it makes a little lip to work against. Electrical tape works well too. You can buy a magnet that will serve this purpose.
Do not use a magnet, if you're using a computerized sewing machine. Magnets demagnetize the computer; thus, your expensive unit is ruined!
Tip: When sewing a decorative machine stitch, set your machine to half speed and push your foot pedal all the way down. This will give you consistent even stitching.
Practice making an accurate 1/4" seam using scrap fabric until you are very good at it. Cut two pieces of fabric 2 1/4" wide; sew them together and iron, checking afterwards to see if they are 4" wide.
After washing your fabric use spray starch while ironing to replace the sizing. This makes it easier to get that accurate seam.
Tip: Use medium gray or taupe thread for all patchwork piecing, except for very light color fabric combinations.
Check each block after sewing to make sure it is right size, and make corrections before sewing them all together.
Unless your machine has an icon that appears to remind you when to oil it, a good rule of thumb is to clean and oil our machine after every second bobbin runs out!
Tip: Closely spaced quilting or stippling stitches are much more attractive when stitched with fine thread. Think about using silk thread on the top, a small machine needle, and lightweight bobbin thread.
Place your potpourri in a jam jar, and place a colored ribbon with bow around the neck. With or without the lid. If you opt for the lid, simply poke holes in it.
Dried flowers buds
5 pieces of felt (2 of the
*For a dried potpourri mixture, use whatever fragrances,
colors and textures you find aesthetically and aromatically pleasing.
Child Silhouette Tip:
Collect flowers from your garden
at bud stage or while in full bloom (don't use flowers that are beginning to
wilt). Flowers with a flat calyx will dry quicker than flowers with thicker
Flowers dried with silica gel will wilt when exposed to humidity greater than 68 percent. To prevent flowers from drooping, dip them in hot wax immediately. If flowers are not waxed, they must be stored in a room with a dehumidifier that keeps the humidity under 68 percent.
Dried flowers retain their vibrant original colors and may be arranged like fresh flowers.
Wall scene tip: Consider placing your art in a double mat. but, instead of placing your art in a frame, place it directly on the wall with double-face tape. Properly done, it will have considerable depth and appear as dimensional. This effect works best on a light colored wall, but not a necessity, as you can vary it by the color of mat..
There are three
main elements of picture framing; The picture, the mat and the frame.
Creating a well-balanced framed photograph requires the correct balance of
these three. Use too large of a mat and your picture disappears, use too thin
of a frame and the picture becomes understated.
When measuring for Custom Made frames:
in mind, that images, such as landscapes, abstracts and florals look
wonderful as oversized art.
(If possible, it is wise to provide your frame maker with the actual art work, doing this will provide for the best end results)
As you are spending quite a bit of money on these frames, it is imperative that you provide exact measurements. Measure the exact width and height of the outside dimensions (including the mat) of your artwork to the nearest 1/8". Use these dimensions for the size of your frame, acrylic and backing board.
Frames custom-cut to a fraction of an inch are priced to the next whole inch.
Note: For a stretched canvas, measure from wrapped corner to wrapped corner.
Measure the exact width and height of the outside dimensions (including the mat) of your artwork to the nearest 1/8". Use these dimensions for the size of your frame, acrylic and backing board.
FrameTac Professional Framer's Tape is probably the best. It comes off the roll ready to stick with no annoying liner to have to peel away, but it is only reversible with heat. Reversibility is the ability to release the adhesive bond, making it unsticky so it can be peeled away from the artwork without tearing it. If you have to put the mounted artwork in a heat press to reverse the bond, you cannot effectively release it unless you have a heat press. This is not easy reversibility. Nevertheless, if the artwork is relatively inexpensive, and you cannot not foresee the need to reverse the bond, and you just want a quick, easy way to mount it, the FrameTac Professional Framer's Tape would be a good choice.
This is an excellent art to keep young children and even preschoolers occupied. This is an art form used by the Navajo Indians in the America's in Healing ceremonies. The sprinkling of colored sands into designs made up conventionalized symbolic figures.
Inexpensive white play sand, Pencils, bowls, food colors (or egg carton), rubbing alcohol, construction paper (white or brown), paint brushes and Elmer's glue.
Golf tee frame- you’ll need are some golf tees, a bottle of craft glue and a plain (at least 1" wide ) picture frame. Then, just glue the tees onto the frame, and your project is complete. Note: To give the frame a bit of visual interest, use more than one color of tee and alternate the direction in which they are glued. (For a simple pattern glue one with the tip facing up, and the next with the tip facing down.) Now place your golfers picture in the frame.
. Beading is an art from throughout the ages. Beading
is a hobby, craft and an art form.
Beads are the oldest and most universal art form. this craft has been passed on from one generation to the next. It is also considered an economical craft work. They are fascinating and beautiful! They have functioned as currency, gifts, works of art, and symbols of high status. Glass beads are recorded as being created, traded, and worn by the earliest civilized societies, from Egyptians to Romans, Vikings to Indians. There are nearly as many types of glass beads as there are colors in the spectrum. More and more people are starting to collect beads every day. The wonder of beads, their infinite variety, and the stories are what is behind their explosive growth.
Beading Tip: Purchase an inexpensive 8X10 picture (you don't need the glass) frame from the Dollar store, place a piece of Bead matting (from the bead store) on it and your beads will not roll around. Great for travel beaders.
A few Bead terms to remember.
African Trade - African Trade beads are usually large, cylindrical, and colorful. Trade beads were old glass beads mostly made in Venice 200-400 years ago, used for trade in Africa and the Orient. African Trade Beads are among the hottest collectibles in the world today. They have become very popular and form the basis for a fast-growing number of bead collections.
Aventurine - Golden glitter due to copper crystals suspended in or pressed into the surface of other materials.
Cane Glass - Solid lengths of glass formed by drawing, then cut into the desired length particularly for decorative purposes. They can be different colors and patterns, displayed either on the side or in cross section.
Chevron - Chevrons are made of multiple layers of different colored glass in corrugated layers, so as to form a starburst pattern when viewed on end. Chevrons are created by building up layers of different colors, often successively molded in the process. They are next ground at the ends to display patterns.
Eye - Eye beads have a circle/dot mimicking an eye and intended to avert the evil eye. Perhaps the most common of amulets.
Foil - Transparent or translucent beads in which silver or gold foil has been trapped within the body or on the surface of the bead.
Lamp work - Lamp work beads are handmade by manipulating slender glass rods in front of a gas burner.
Luster - Colorless transparent coatings that give a very high gloss to the underlying surface of the bead.
Matte - Beads with a very low-luster, velvety, smooth surface. Also referred to as " frosted ".
Millefiori - Millefiori is Italian for "1000 flowers." Decoration consisting of slices of multicolored glass rods (canes), usually pressed smooth while hot into the surface of a core piece of glass.
Pony - Beads made of glass or plastic, typically slightly oval in shape, the shorter dimension being through the hole. Pony beads are larger than seed beads and smaller than crows.
Pressed - Pressed beads have a molded pattern which is consistent from bead to bead. Surface quality can range from very smooth and uniform with well-defined edges, to edges that are very rounded, and surfaces that have dips, flow marks, and other irregularities.
Seed Beads - Tiny type beads most often used in weaving
and embroidery. Seed beads are made of
Striated - Striated beads have an opaque, translucent, or transparent body with threads and swirls of other tones or colors on the surface or throughout.
White Heart- White Hearts have a white center under a translucent color. The light bouncing off the white center makes the bead look brighter and seems to sparkle.
2 scraps of heavy material or
leather – about 4" x 8" each
Glass Bead Jewelry
is quick and easy to make beautiful glass bead earrings to match all
your favorite outfits. Simply make two beaded pendants and attach ear
Glass Bead Key Chain
Mementos Tip: Take those ticket stubs out of the drawer, cut out pictures from the evenings program and place then in a picture frame, high-lighting your night(s) out, or take ticket stubs, newspaper clippings and other objects that you would like to display on your frame. Then, once you have your collection together, simply glue them onto the frame in an interesting arrangement. Note: To preserve the integrity of your keepsakes, be sure to use acid-free glue.
You can easily create realistic framing effects for your digital photo images, right down to including your choice of matting. You're not limited to what you might ordinarily find in real-life, however, as you can also play around with 1000+ design options to create your own unique edging effects
Craft Brush storage Tip: Use empty wide mouth bottles, such as gatoraid, to hold your paint brushes , with the bristle up, of course. Use drinking straws to hold the bristles in good form, thus, avoiding losing their shape.
Make your own personalized stickers! It is very easy - you can use your own photos, favorite clip-art, or make simply make up your own designs. Use any brand of sticker paper, such as Avery. There are numerous colors available, white, gold, silver, etc. Making your own custom stickers is easy! Simply set up a page (the best method is to use a blank white sticker page for your set-up, of whatever designs you want for your stickers, print them out on your colored sticker paper, let the ink (ideally 20-30 minutes) dry, and then cut apart, or peel as needed.. You peel away the back cover and you can apply them to anything. It is very rare that the ink will run, of so, a possible solution is to spray it with a "Fixative spray".
Spool Tip: Place several spools of thread for hand sewing in a large salt shaker with a snap-off tip. Run each thread tail though a hold in the top. Provides for quick access.
Measure 1/2 cup of Epsom salt into a jar with lid. Add a few drops of food color and shake. (More can be added to get the color you want) Open the jar and let the salts dry overnight. Add a couple of drops of perfume to the bath salts, shake, and pour into a decorative jar. Put on a lid and tie with your favorite colored ribbon.
Sticky Tip: If you get some glue on your metal tools such as scissors or probes, usually fingernail (deluted acetone) polish remover will remove it.
Never work on a wooden table surface. Polymer clay will damage a wooden table. Cover your wooden table with a canvas cover, as the clay will stick to plastic and wood.
If using food utensils in clay projects (spoons, cookie cutters, pasta machines) do not use for food preparation again.
If you have not
completed your project and want to work on it later, cover it with plastic,
so it will not dry out.
Location of your Studio:
Dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming are not
recommended for clay because these methods put dust into the air. Depending
on the heating and air conditioning system, dust might be circulated to other
areas as well.
Some people place "walk off" rugs at the doorways to try to get the clay from tracking to other areas. These rugs are impossible to clean in a safe way unless they can be rolled up and totally laundered in a large commercial facility. Vacuuming simply pulls the dust to the surface where it is picked up and spread by traffic. Consider that the smaller silica particles that pass through a vacuum filter will stay airborne for days. Use a piece of outdoor carpeting at the door studio. Hosing it down weekly to remover the dust.
The particular clay you are using is not an
issue. All dry pottery clay makes silica dust when walked on. Keep it wet to
Large wet sponges are essential to clean work tables, counters, wheels, and small floor areas. Use repeated sponging with washed out sponges to remove clay haze.
Use wet sponges to immediately spot clean any drips around the wheels and pick up all crumbs before they get walked on. Train them to carry two clean sponges from the sink so the first sponge gets the mess and the second sponge removes the residue. This can significantly stretch the times between total cleaning.
It is never wise to use sandpaper. Allowing the dust to
escape, can eventually cause silicosis, which killed many a pottery working
years back. Never work on dry clay. Smooth it by sponging. If it is too dry,
spray it with water. It can be wrapped in plastic, and sprayed again until
wet enough. Do this gradually, but repeatedly to avoid expansion cracks
from the water. With a bit of practice, it is possible to completely
soften a piece with damp cloths inside the plastic wrapping.
Rubber Stamper Tip:
cutting strips of fabric with a rotary cutter and a ruler, more often than
not, your ruler will slip. Try taping down each end of the ruler with
painters (blue, 2" wide, works best) tape, so it will stay in place
while you are cutting, leaving a few inches free to tape to your cutting
None-Skid Tip: If you need a non-slip surface, simply take a automobile rubber floor mat and turn it over, using the smooth side up, the ribbing will keep it stationary.
· Always loosen off the embroidery hoop when not in use. This will prevent the fabric from being stretched or soiled.
· Always fold you embroidery inwards to prevent snagging and soiling.
· Use a number 10 or 12 crewel needle. These needles have a bigger eye which makes threading stranded embroidery thread easier.
To begin a new thread in an area that has been partially worked, run your needle through the backs of a few of the stitches that are nearby. Draw the thread through until the end of the tail just disappears under the stitch backs. Then proceed with your stitching.
The Loop Method, can be used when your project calls for an even number of strands. Separate half of the number of strands needed, i.e., if your project calls for two strands of floss separate out one strand of floss. Cut the strand(s) twice as long as desired for stitching, approximately 24"-30". Fold the strand(s) in half, and insert the cut ends in the eye of your needle. The folded end is at the opposite end of the strand(s). Come up through the fabric, leaving the loop on the underside. Make your first stitch. Bring the needle down through the loop in the folded end of the strand(s), and pull until loop lies flat against the fabric.
When ending a thread, run the needle through the backs of a few stitches. You do not want to create bumps or knots in back of work.
Where you begin to stitch will depend on the type of embroidery you are doing and the design you are executing. In counted cross-stitch, for example, it's usually recommended that you begin at the center of the fabric and design
Do not carry thread far on the back if you are going from one area of the design to another. Even the slightest pull will cause a pucker. To get from one area to another that is nearby, you can run your thread under stitches on the back for short distances, as long as the two yarn colors involved are similar. Otherwise, end off your thread and restart it at the new area. Never carry a very dark color when you are working on a light color fabric.
If your yarn becomes twisted or "kinked" as you work, just drop the needle and allow it to hang until the yarn untwists itself.
If you make a
mistake that involves only your last few stitches, carefully remove your
needle from the thread and, use the end with the eye, slide the needle under
the last stitch and pull up, taking out the thread. Continue to take the
stitches out one at a time until the error has been removed. If the mistake
is over a large area, you must carefully slide sharp embroidery scissors
under the stitches and snip, being careful not to cut the fabric.
SOAP SCRAPS: Use old panty hose or knee highs to keep soap scraps in them. Tie to the faucet of the shower or a hook. The soap never gets lost and it doesn't matter if it gets squeezed into shape. PLUS...the texture of the hose is a great way to gently scrub and revitalize your skin (especially face and arms)
Numerous cultures around the world practice basketry, providing for very beautiful examples of traditional baskets, found in many museums. Basketry is a craft which involves weaving or twining flexible materials together to create containers which are known as baskets. All sorts of materials may be used in basket weaving, although plant materials such as wicker, rushes, bark, bamboo, and grasses are probably the most common. Baskets can also be made from thread or wool, strips of hide, and metals.
Because baskets are made from materials which are subject to decay, no one is entirely sure how long humans have been making baskets. Evidence in the use of baskets date back at least 10,000 years, and possibly longer. A basic basket is relatively easy to make, and it can be used to store supplies such as grain and personal belongings, catch fish, and perform a number of other tasks, depending on how it is designed. As a result, most human cultures have a tradition of basketry, from Native Americans to African tribes. Throughout out Asia, Cane weaving is prominent. It appears that each Continent has produced a variation of weaving, each distinct, yet similar in construction.
Generally, baskets can be categorized into at least three primary descriptive classes, based on their construction and form, each exhibiting a wide range of variations. The three classes are:
Plaited basketry, construction elements are active and strips of material are woven into baskets by passing under and over each other usually at regular intervals. The continuous intersections of the plaited constructional elements provide a cohesive unit, so no additional stitching is usually required except, in some examples, to secure the edges. Of the three types of basketry classes, the coiled types were by far the most commonly produced in ancient Egypt.
Twined basketry is constructed by weaving horizontal fiber elements called wefts around a stationary vertical framework called warps. Many different knots and stitches can be employed for securing these elements. For twined basketry, one set of construction elements is active (the wefts) while the other is passive (the warps).
Coiled construction, a basket is
formed by spirally coiling a continuous foundation of tightly wrapped bundles
of fibers which creates a circular or oval base and walls. This coiled
foundation is then bound by stitching, which intersects and binds the
successive coils one to another. The stitching usually provides the products
unique look. In the Bee-skep technique of coiling, the stitches are spaced
widely apart without touching one another. The Furcate coil technique uses
the new stitch to split the stitch in the preceding coil.
Once the framework is done, the craftsperson can start weaving or twining construction materials around it. A basic basket may be very simply woven, but there are numerous schools and styles of basketry design which create intricately woven patterns which may be accented with the use of materials in different colors or textures. The end result can be a work of art as well as a functional household good.
People who want to learn basketry can get information about classes from local craft stores, which may also sell necessary supplies. Many sources of information pertaining to basket weaving are found on the internet.
There are as many different types of baskets as there are uses for them. Some are decorative, some are functional and some are used in recreation. A basket is really just a container that holds items.
Decorative baskets may be used simply for decoration or to hold other items. A decorative basket may be made of straw, rush, vine, wood or fabric, among many other materials.
Another kind of basket is functional. Perhaps one of the best known of this type is the picnic basket. These baskets are rather iconic, as they have featured in numerous movies, television shows and commercials depicting happy couples or families enjoying an afternoon outside. These baskets often have a double-hinged top so the contents can be easily accessed.
Many people choose baskets to hold an assortment of gifts or fruit. Another is Deli baskets.
Baskets are also used in recreation. One universal occasion that of the Easter basket, used to hold Easter eggs children collect at the Easter hunt.
Balloon gondolas are the largest of the recreational baskets, and they a true basket. They are usually woven of strong materials and must hold at least two humans comfortably.
Of late, the Internet has brought froth an accelerated quest after the elusive antique basket of our dreams have another option. Both information on the evaluation of an antique basket's qualities and the opportunity to buy old baskets is available from the comfort of our own home.
Many auction houses publish full color catalogs that can be a great source of information on historic baskets. You can purchase rare individual copies of past auction catalogs such as Sotheby's, Skinner, Christie's, Bonhams and Butterfield from vendors like Rare Catalogs, Bev's Books, Picky Weekly and The Auction Catalog Company.
When you have decided that you have a solid enough background in the type of basket you seek to collect, you can get down to the actual collecting process, or simply making your own.
The basic's, to begin basket weaving:
If you are thinking about Pottery making as a hobby,
consider trying your hand at in an inexpensive way, as do children at school.
Visit a craft store, Toys-R-Us or Wal-mart and pickup children’s non-firing
pottery clay. This is great for beginners to work with and doesn't need
to be fired. It air dries nicely on a table and doesn't require being baked
in an oven to complete the drying process. While picking up your clay, pick
up a few bottles of poster paints and a few brushes. Most of these
items can be purchased at the Dollar store.
you plan on using your creation for actual planting, you will need to coat
both the inside and bottom of the pot with some sort of waterproof sealer.
Visit your local arts and crafts store, check their bulletin board or ask employees for suggestions. You can also go to a local arts and crafts fair and ask the potters there if they teach classes or know where you can find a class. You want to have the valuable interaction with a teacher who can give you feedback as you work with the clay. Classes often run one or more times a week for several weeks, and also provide a studio with equipment you can use.
A great thing about the art of pottery making, you will never run out of thing to create and ways to do it, as there is always something new out there to help in improving your skill. There are numerous excellent books available to you, just for that purpose.
-Make sure the kiln is centered on the stand and that the stand is stable. Remove flammable materials from around the kiln.
-Vacuum the kiln with the brush nozzle of a vacuum. Remember to vacuum the brick grooves. If you have difficulty removing debris inside the grooves, use a narrow wand-type vacuum cleaner nozzle being careful not to scrape the brick walls.
-Vacuum around and under the kiln: floor, shelves, and walls. This keeps the kiln interior cleaner and adds life to the vent motor.
- Check the kiln wash on shelves and kiln bottom for cracks and bare spots in the coating. Remove any glaze drips. Re-apply kiln wash if needed.
-Check the power cord and outlet for heat damage. Has the cord touched the side of the kiln during firing? This will damage the cord insulation. Replace the cord set or wall outlet that shows signs of heat damage.
-Make sure elements are not bulging out of the grooves. Repair if necessary.
-Coat the inner lid surface and the top rim of firebrick with kiln coating cement after every few months of regular firing.
-Kiln Downdraft Vent: Check the aluminum vent duct for leaks.
-Digital kilns: Make sure the thermocouple extends far enough into kiln. (1/4” wide: 1”; 1/8” wide: 5/8”.)
Kiln Sitter Maintenance
-Use the Kiln Sitter firing gauge to calibrate the trigger every 20 firings. If you do not have a gauge, order one.
-Remove and examine the cone supports. Replace if warped.
-Apply kiln wash to the cone supports and end of the actuating rod.
-Move the actuating rod up and down. It must move freely inside the porcelain tube.
A few for properly loading and using a kiln.
By: Tracy Crowe
If you have just acquired an antique quilt, there are some things to watch for before you think about how to clean it. You need to look carefully at the quilt's age and condition. You also need to think carefully about whether you should wash a quilt. It is a good idea to seek the advice of a professional textile conservationist first. You can find one by contacting The American Institute for Conservation, 1717 K St. NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20006. It is true that no matter how careful you are, you may permanently damage a quilt by washing it. You should certainly never wash a damaged quilt before repairing it.
There might be stains on your quilt, since old quilts are made of natural fibers which absorb things like body oils, liquids, soils, and other organic substances easily and over time these invisible stains oxidize and become colored stains. That makes it difficult to know how to pretreat them. Often what we think of as blood stains are really the remains of a dead bug and these stains are nearly impossible to remove. Another problem is dye migration. Changes in temperatures will cause dye migration that results in brown stains in quilts folded and stored for years. Since, the dye has permanently stained adjoining quilt fabrics, most stains caused by dye migration can't be removed. You shouldn't even try because you can do even more damage by trying than they have already. In addition to these stains, your quilt might have damaged scattered spots known as foxing, which is caused by the growth of molds.
If your quilt is very stained, it may be a good idea to spot treat areas with sodium perborate, the active ingredient in Clorox 2, before washing the whole quilt. Another way to spot clean is to brush a paste of Biz, Ivory Snowflakes or Shaklee’s Nature Bright on the stained spot and then vacuum it well with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner after it dries. Be careful to have all portions of your quilt equally clean. Using lemon juice to bleach stains, or laying linens on the lawn stains is not a good idea as your fabric may be temporarily brightened, but this usually turns to yellow after a while.
If you are going to display your quilt folded over a rack, and there are no holes, rips, frayed seams, stains, delicate fabrics or embellishments etc. in it, you may be able to just simply air it outside on a nice warm day to remove dust and dirt and freshen the quilt. You can lay it on the lawn with a clean sheet underneath it and another on top of it for protection, especially from sunlight. If you don't have a lawn, you may hang it over a wide railing with a sheep protector.
You could also vacuum it with the brush attachment of a low powered vacuum cleaner, although you would need to put a clean fine mesh screen over your quilt first, to prevent threads and yarn from getting sucked away, if it had elaborate embellishments or damage. You want to vacuum gently, use a Dust-buster if you have one. Be careful not to pull loose material from your quilt. Hold the vacuum cleaner at least half an inch above your quilt, vacuum both sites, and repeat that if you need to. Never vacuum painted quilts since you may strip the paint off.
In summary, cleaning an antique quilt can be a challenge. A lot depends on the age and condition of your quilt, and whether it has delicate fabrics or embellishments on it. It is probably a good idea to avoid washing it if you can, although you do want to get rid of dust and dirt as much as possible. Always check with a professional textile conservationist first to see what they think about the advisability of washing it.
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