Are you frequently stuck about what color to use next? Or do you have trouble remembering what color you used last? Then you may need to make this low-cost, low-tech, quilter's wrist color fitness tracker which, although nearly useless, will at least entertain you and people around you.
I know it's entertaining because I wore mine to a quilt show (specifically, QuiltCon 2018), and people laughed at me. (OK, 3 people in a coffee line with me laughed. I don't actually know if they were laughing at me or with me). It's stitched to a stretch of vintage necktie, embedded with snaps:
It's constructed on a black felt background, with freehand cut silk scraps (that's why there are 7 divisions - I couldn't have achieved that if I'd measured!), and purple tulle on top. The zigzagging is metallic gold Superior thread. That's a tiny mother-of-pearl shank button in the center.
Unlike the annoyingly virtuous fitness trackers your health-conscious friends wear, this kind requires no technical skills. It's so low-tech that, now that I think of it, I probably got the idea from playing "Candy Land" in 1962, when I was a mere child of 46. (Just kidding, I was 5). If you're undecided about what color to use next, spin the spinner. Oh, right, there are two colors, the button and the background - well, you can choose between the two, or use them both!
Alternatively, AFTER you use a color, set the spinner to that color, and then when you have to walk the dog, and you're bored pleading with it to Do Its Business, and it occurs to you that you can't remember which fabric you cut last, just look at your wrist! Uselessly entertaining, right?
I had so much fun making that one - which is about 2" across - that I doubled the size for the next one. This time, I used necktie scraps:
It's Jerry Garcia o'clock! (I think the yellow fabric was one of his posthumously designed ties). At 4.25", it's too big to serve as a wrist tracker, unless you also declare it a corsage. This one can help you make a decision between polka dot, checkerboard, or floral print fabric. I constructed it on stiff double-sided interfacing, and backed it with more necktie silk.
Third is this extremely messy necktie scrap dial, which was part of a series of collages that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. It will help you choose a color only if you have a limited palette of baby blue, shiny black (vintage faceted glass beads), silver-blue, white or gold.
Wondering where I got the extremely cool clock hands? Maybe 10 years ago, I bought this package of "Game Spinners," designed by Tim Holtz for paper crafters. They come with tiny paper fasteners, but I think buttons are more durable (and cuter).
That arrow is wrapped once around the central button once. (It started out much longer). Alas, it doesn't spin as well as the professional spinners.
How to make you own tracker? Cut a circle of felt or stiff fusible interfacing. Cut 6-8 pieces of fabric and back them with fusible interfacing (if you're using felt) . Cut pie pieces out of fabric and overlap them on the backing. Press in position.
Cut everything flush with the backing. Option: Put a layer of tulle on top. Use a decorative thread to stitch over the raw edges between segments, and satin stitch the circumference.
I made necktie bands by cutting about 9 1/2" from the narrow end of a vintage tie (Oscar de la Renta in the case below). On the right end, I trimmed back the interior lining, then rolled the edge over twice and stitched it in place. I used a snap setter to insert a pearl-headed snap top on the left side, bottom half on the right side.