Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dotees!

Two dotees finished.


One is to angel for a swap I hosted and someone got screwed over.  Of course it was for the June and July Unique Holiday swap, so it was two dotees.  I don't mind at all making replacements but it annoys me that someone screwed someone else on a big swap.  It also irritates because the person who flaked had great potential.  It was nice to have a new person in the dotee swaps (especially international) but now I have to ban her from my future swaps.  Grrr.


So, the pink monster is to celebrate Pink Day (June 23).  I was just in the mood to do something simple and I love the patchwork dotees I make for the rainbow series so why not go with a pink one.

I haven't used that shape in a bit and I realized it needed a little refining.  I don't mind that it's uneven but I also do mind.  So after I made little Pink here, I trimmed the pattern a bit to even it out.

You might not be able to see it very well in the slightly overexposed pic, but Pink has two little buck teeth.  The pink pig on his/her head is a stick on.  I'm really hoping it stays on during shipping.  It's holding strong now but I worry.

I have one more dotee to make for this angel package.  I'm going to make a yellow pig for Yellow Pig day (July 17).  I have the pattern all picked out (it's from a book).  So it's going to be less a classic dotee and more a small stuffie with a hanger and tail.


Blue here is for the rainbow dotee series.  Obviously, he's the blue dotee.  Keeping with my theme, I did patchwork for him.  But it's very large patchwork and only on one side.  The back is just one piece of blue fabric.  It's toile on the back.  Well, a toile print cotton (not a heavy canvas).  I wanted the images to show a bit so I didn't cut up the toile scrap.  The front is three pieces.

I really like the eye lashes.  It's fun to do something different for a change, like using these beads.  I've had the string for bit and this dotee was perfect for them.  The balloon dog is a stick on.  Again, I hope it holds during mailing but even if it doesn't it can be stuck back on by the recipient.

The hanger is a change for me, too.  I made it from scrap.  I had a bit of blue ribbon but I wanted to do something different.  I might do this more often for dotees, I like it (and it's super simple).

The tail is different for me, too.  It's just an odd trimming/scrap of netting that I knotted in the center and then inserted into the stuffing opening.  I like the look.

For both dotees, I closed them using the machine.  Normally I hand sew the openings but I didn't feel like it this time.  It worked out well.

What else am I working on?

Well, the yellow pig (have all the supplies pulled).  And the Billy Joel patch (supplies pulled).  And a little tree stump (working on that).  The stump is turning out well and I'm excited to see how it turns out.  I'm glad I got something different for that swap (I'll get into that when I show off the tree stump).

I also have Fluff Project stuff on the table but it's pushed aside right now.  I want to do a mail run on Friday so I want to see if I can get at least one more package done to go out in that run (it will either be the stump or the yellow pig).

Monday, July 28, 2014

Snail!


Finished this little snail for a swap.  I love swaps where they offer a tutorial/pattern and you make one for someone else.

Pattern is HERE.  The tutorial is kind of hit or miss but it's a fairly straight forward project.

I did do two things different.  I traced my pieces (body and shell) then sewed on the drawn line versus cutting out two of each and then sewing.  I find with smaller items that's easier.

I also didn't bother with a basting stitch around the open end of the shell before attaching it.  Yes, I know I'm all about basting but this time it wasn't really necessary.  I just understuffed a bit so I could fold the fabric inside and then finger press it.  Then as I was attaching the shell to the body (and I sewed the body opening shut before attaching the shell--I think that's part of the original tutorial, though), I added stuffing as the opening got smaller.


Clearly I didn't make the face the same, either.

I know the knobs are supposed to be horns but I wanted eyes on stalks so that's what I did.  The crystals are some stick on ones I found in my stash and they are staying on really well.  Then I just added the trim around the shell/body joining and that was that.

Not that I really NEEDED to hide the joining seam.  It turned out very neat thanks to ladder stitching.  And the trim turned out very neat thanks to my filament thread (the clear stuff).  It's still a pain to work with but worth it, especially for decorating like this.

I also got two dotees done this weekend but don't have pics yet.  I'll get those once the weather is nicer.

What's next?

I have another dotee to make (for an angeling dealie) and then a patch and a little tree stump.  So not a ton, actually.  I'm also working on Fluff Project stuff and thinking about working on my postage stamp quilt.  I think I need to take another day off work just to sew.  I do enjoy sew days.

Crazy Cat Quilt: Now totally DONE.

I finished up the last details on the crazy cat quilt.


Squint!  Can you see the details on some of the blocks and along the edge?

Closeup time!



There's a kitty button at the top left corner and a tale of yarn.  The yarn goes down the side and along the bottom to a ball of yarn.

The yarn ball is a pom pom wrapped in yarn.

Then a few of the squares have decorations.



That's just two of them.  I think I did 4 or 5 of the blocks.  Just with small buttons or silver fish/bones.  Nothing overly exciting.

I didn't want to do a ton of decorations because I like the way the plain quilt looks.  I was tempted to make a little felt kitty (on a pin back) but after I got the yarn kitty on there I think that is better.

See why I had to take the pic of my cats on it before it was 100% done?  They would have gone right after that yarn ball.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Work in Progress: Eugene Approved



Eugene approves of this work in progress.

Not to fret, I cover up my works in progress when I'm not around to supervise.  So there won't be a big ole ring of "I slept here" hair on anything.  Or, worse, pieces won't go missing.  Miss Olive did that just the other day when I was making Nessie.  I went outside to take photos and when I came back in herself was on the floor chewing at something on her foot.  It was a pattern piece, fully destroyed.  Good thing it was just cut from notebook paper.  That pattern took a big hit.  Between the two of them I lost the fin pattern pieces and they mutilated the body gusset piece (from the larger version).  SO BAD.


I got two of the large ghosts ready for the machine.  I'm going to make one of each face on each size.  I have the "dad" (mustache one) and "boy" (just regular eyes) ready for the machine.  I have the pieces cut for "mom" (has a purse!) and "daughter" (has a hair bow).  I'll try to get those ready for the machine tonight.

The one issue I'm having is the white fluff from the flannel pulling through when I stitch on the black face pieces.  I'm sure it's more annoying/noticeable to me then to anyone else but it's still bothersome.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fluff Project: Work in Progress Wednesday

After I finished my mini quilt yesterday (I did it start to finish and it was fabulous) I got down to some prep work for some Fluff Project items.


The cutting.  OH, the cutting!!

And it's not all done yet, either.  I still have all the face pieces to cut and the scarves for the reindeer.


Yes, I'm doing ghosts and reindeer.

I cut all the body pieces for 4 reindeer and 16 ghosts.  That's four of each size.


That is all that remains of the approximate 1.25 yards of white flannel I scored in the remnant bin.  I'm so glad I could not only use it all but that the totals came out even.

It was as I was pressing all the fabric that I realized I had picked the HOTTEST day of the year (almost 90 degrees) to cut corduroy and flannel.  Head, meet desk.

I still have a good bit of the corduroy (I got a yard of it for $2.50!) but I'm going to stitch up what I have cut already (20 items) then do another round of cutting.  I'm hoping the ghosts will go quickly since the faces can be as simple as two eyes and a mouth.  Of course, you know I'm going to makes at least two of the "dad" version that has a MUSTACHE!!!

I also have to stitch up some more swap items.  I have two open swaps on my dash right now and a few more will be assigning partners soon.


I Made a Quilt!!!

Holy crap, just like that I made a quilt.

Not a full sized one.  It's probably what would be considered a doll quilt.  I made it for an art quilt swap and the only real requirement (aside from it being cat themed) was a size min and max.  I think the min was 6 x 6 and the max was 15 x 15.  Mine came in right around the max (didn't get an exact measurement on it, just held it next to my 12.5 square ruler and it was at least an inch larger).


I'm not 100% done with it just yet.  I think I'm going to add a few cat buttons and/or some small felt cats (on pin backs).  But I was so happy to get the actual quilt part done I had to show it off now.


I put my fabric stash and my new walking foot to good use.

I deliberately stash cat fabrics because I like them and I want to make myself a full sized cat themed quilt.  In fact, seeing how cute this one is, I might just do the same for my scrappy kitty quilt (only larger).

I used 4 inch patches and just did a generic light/dark checkerboard arrangement.  It worked out well because I had four of each light and dark.  I had a few other fabrics but they didn't quite meet the requirements.  One was christmas themed and a few were too busy (wouldn't make for nice small patches) and some were pink/blue based.  I do have this super funky fabulous cat panel set and I was *this* close to using one of the panels but I was in love with the idea of making a "real" quilt so I'm saving the panels for my own use.  I think I'm going to take each panel and make a little art quilt with each of them.


Ok, technically the fabric there in the upper right corner is a super light yellow.  Probably the lightest yellow I've ever seen.  But the pattern was perfect for small fussy cutting.  And SO CUTE.  It's so much more cute than I originally thought (and I thought it was super cute or I wouldn't have bought it).

The black cats in the upper left has been featured here before.  I used it to make a pouch and a dotee doll before.  I love that fabric and bought a yard of it back in the day and don't regret it.

The bottom left fabric is so adorable it gives me pains.  The cats are all little doodles based on the fabric designer/artist's fingerprints.  There are so many cute images, like a cat licking its belly and one cat rolled over on its back and you can see it's wee little nips.  So effing cute (and makes me jealous that I can't make super cute doodles like that).

The bottom right fabric was a whim purchase and it turned out to be a really nice quality fabric.  I just liked the stylized look of the cats.  They remind me of the porcelain statues you find in vintage stores (right next to the ceramic poodles!).


Top left fabric (fat black cats) has been featured before too.  I used it on a patch and the more I use it the more I like it.  The only negative thing about it is it's so dark.  The purple is really deep.

Top right and bottom left were from the same cat fabric buying splurge I had months ago (yes, my whole order from fabric.com was totally cat fabrics).  I like the Japanese feel of the top right one and the bottom left one reminds me a bit of the Happy Drawing books/fabric line.  Same kind of style to them.

The bottom right fabric is also a halloween print.  It's all the same black cat doing crazy and sometimes sinister things (like harassing a rat or tossing a bird in the air or just scowling).  I don't think it's from the Ghastlies line but it sure reminds me of it.

I'm so happy with how the backing/binding fabric looks, too.  I had pulled two different fish bone print fabrics (one white with black bones, one black with gold bones) but the first fabric I thought of was this yarn print.  The bone prints were just too light/dark against the patchwork.  The yarn was a nice neutral but still super cute (and busy, I like busy).

I just quilted along the seams, nothing fancy.  The binding is wrapped around and (if I may brag) the mitered corners look excellent.  I have to say, all the patch making really helped me with this quilt.

For future quilts (bigger ones) I'm not sure I'd do wrap around binding.  I'm thinking I want to try quilt as you go.  I think I'll do that for my (never going to be done) postage stamp quilt.  That might encourage me to work on it again.  I could practice my free motion quilting on each little section AND use up some of my oddball fat quarters (some of the fug-o ones I have that I'm wondering what the hell I'll ever use them for).

But first, I want to stitch up some stuff for the Fluff Project.  I'll show that off in the next post.

Monday, July 21, 2014

For Swaps: Dotees and a Patch

I managed to get three items (all for swaps) done Sunday.

First up, the patch.


This was for a monthly swap where you can make anything you want (there are just size min/max to stay in).

Man, I had one of those "dare to be different" posters as a kid.  Mine was Dalmatians, with one covered in colorful spots (amid all the black and white).  I decided to give a nod to that cheesy poster and make a dare to be different zebra patch.  He is FABULOUS with all the color and some sparkly floss.  Shine on, you crazy star!


The back.  I just wanted polka dots to clash with the stripes.

Next up:  Paranormal Dotee.


Is it true?  Does he really exist!


YES, it's NESSIE!


Here you can see his whole self complete with ric rac tail.  Man, I was so worried it would look like a string of poo, you know, like when goldfish poo and it just hangs there from them.  Nasty.

The tail is just three strips of ric rac in different widths, sewed at the center.  Super easy and a nice break from all the boring beaded tails I normally do.  The hanger is just embroidery floss (I forgot to put something nicer into the seam when I was sewing).  And I had a bitch of a time with the hanger too.  I was trying to get it centered well but failed.  I didn't find the balance so Nessie pitches to the back a bit (which is better than when he was pitching forward).  Now he looks like he's launching himself up out of the water, which we all know he'd never do because he's coy and doesn't want folks seeing him.

Next up, August Unique Holiday dotee.


CUTE!!


Cute with a pom pom = fluffy cute!

But what on earth is it?

Well, August 2nd is ice cream sandwich day.


See, there's the ice cream!


Big thick ice cream sandwich with cookies that (given how warped they are) are clearly stale.  That's how ice cream sandwich cookies are best, when they bend when you bite them and they stick to your teeth and fingers and when you lick your fingers you have to scrape the residue off with your teeth.  Mmmm, ice cream sandwiches.

I got away from felt with this one and used flannel for the ice cream and some odd fuzzy fabric (the same I used for the turd!) for the cookies.  I stuffed the cookies with a layer of cheap acrylic felt to give them some stability (and I was too lazy to go get actual quilt batting, which would have worked too--though I think the cheap felt was a better choice, it was really stiff and only good for use as a stuffing--scratchy and icky).

The eyes are safety eyes and the pom pom came from some stuff my sister got me at the thrift store. Again, I wanted to do something different than just another *yawn* beaded tail.

The flannel came from the remnant bin at Joanne's.  I got it to make some ghosts for the Fluff Project but decided to use a tiny bit for this project.  I had some great scores from the remnant bin this weekend.  I went to the store to get the green floss for Nessie and to get some white flannel for the Fluff Project.  I scored about 1 1/3 yards of white flannel (two remnants both large sized) for around $4.  And I got a yard of small wale light brown corduroy (for use on reindeer, also for the Fluff Project) for $2.50.  OH YEAH.  That's th way to do it!

Next up?  I'm working on a Billy Joel patch and a mini cat themed quilt and the Fluff Project ghosts and reindeer.