Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Kanzashi 2013

Season's Greetings to all, and as usual, there's not much time to post today, but I thought I'd show you a couple new Christmas pieces that Helen has made for her Etsy shop.

First, one of Helen's many cross-cultural creations! A pair of kanzashi bobby pin flowers made from a small remnant of the vintage Liberty of London cotton print, "Ianthe". Helen had no idea that Liberty of London, or Liberty Tana Lawn, was A Thing, but it is. Helen showed the fabric to J9 over her Thanksgiving visit, and J9, a fabric connoisseur, got all excited. Here's the pattern, a very art nouveau looking thing....

.....and here are Helen's more abstract looking bobby pins, complete with vintage faux pearls....

Buy 'em here . Next, here are some snap clip flowers that Helen made from a small piece of Japanese linen that Suzanne C. gave to Helen. Very Christmassy!

Bigger pictures are here , where you can also buy them. There's another Christmassy sort of thing coming down the pike, but we need to reserve that one for another post!

Meanwhile, J9 convinced Helen to try a rotary cutter, which is fairly standard for kanzashi makers, but which Helen had resisted for years. The good things are that it can be a more accurate than shears and that it allows you to skip the step of marking your fabric. The down side is that Helen is having a little trouble getting the hang of it. We think that she has already managed to dull part of her blade, because of rubbing against her rulers, or something. The wheel seems to skip, and some fabric shredding is going on. Any tips from you more experienced rotary cutter users are much appreciated!


  1. Hi Helen
    Love the clips you have made and Liberty fabric is gorgeous.

    For my quilting I use a rotary cutter and had the same problem as you have of hitting the ruler at the start.....to overcome this, I begin cutting a tiny bit in from the beginning the fabric edge that I can feel and see the ruler edge against the blade. Before continuing to cut the fabric ... roll the cutter back to cut the tiny piece before continuing. It might help to practice on some spare pieces of fabric before trying it on your precious pieces. Does this make sense...:) it's so hard to put the details into words....:)
    There maybe a tutorial on You Tube on how to use rotary cutters, this could be helpful...
    Good luck
    I wish you a wonderful happy festive season.

  2. Hi Isabell! Thanks for the tips. I did find a good online tutorial for using a rotary cutter, and I now can see the error of my ways. What's helping me is to position the ruler so that it's pointing away from my body, and then to push the cutter alongside it, away from myself, instead of pulling it toward myself. That seems to help, for some reason. I also managed to destroy my little cutter by losing one of the parts, so I bought a larger one, and that's doing well, so far! Time will tell, as in all things. Meanwhile, have wonderful holidays!!!