Monday, September 28, 2015

For a Swap: Disney Patches (G, H, I)

Finally DONE (and about to be mailed this week).

I dragged my feet on these for a while.  I'm like that.  I make a good go at a project then just stop on it (usually when I only have a few steps to go to be done).  What's that about?  That's where swaps help because I have deadlines.

Anyway. . .

These are for the next round of Disney theme patches (for letters G, H, and I).

I'm on an embroidery kick and I'm totally fine with it.

I had a deliberate Fantasia theme for these.

I love Fantasia.

I'm not going to show them off in alphabetical order. I'm going to show them off least to most fancy (in my opinion).

First up is for H.

This represents the ballerina Hippos from Fantasia.  I had an image of the hippo but it was really large and I already had a very large patch in this set so I decided to do a more symbolic patch for this (that and I didn't want to do crayon tinting again and the idea of fully stitching out the hippo made me bored and tired).

So you get a pair of toe shoes (in felt) with vintage ribbon ties and a wee little tu-tu in netting.  (Eugene totally tried to eat it, too.  I was sitting right at the table doing the pics and he jumped up and without missing a beat opened his mouth to give it a gnaw--so bad!  He did not bite it at all because I grabbed him and put him on the floor)

The back.  I knew I had to use this cute ballerina fabric for this patch.

Next up is for I.

Ice fairies from Fantasia.

I took a tiny bit of liberty on this since technically they are always referred to as "winter fairies".  But they are making ice as they skate, so they are ice fairies to me.

I used some winter fabric that had the shiny snowflakes printed on it then made some tiny little fairy type forms next to them (so the flakes look a bit like wings, though that fairy on the left looks kind of like the flake is crashing down on him, poor guy).  Then I added some little icy skate marks using some shiny floss.  I really like how this one turned out.  It's a little bit weird, which I really like.

The back (a different shiny snowflake fabric).

Last is my favorite of the group, it's for G.

The sultry goldfish from Fantasia.

This is pulled from a still from the movie (that I found online).  Not traced, though.  I cut the body of the fish from the image to get the body size/shape right for the felt body.  Then I freehanded the fins (with a disappearing fabric marker) then stitched them.

Varigated (too lazy to check that spelling) floss for the ends of the fins.

Close up time!

Free handed the face, too, which I think turned out REALLY well.  The eye is definitely sultry.  The lips aren't quite as puckery as the real fish, but still really good.

For the end of the body (where the tail begins) I took a metal bristle brush (yes, my cats brush but it was clean) and fuzzed out the felt to get the smudged color appearance.

The body is stitched down (versus glue--I used glue for the ballet shoes).

The back.  How freaking cute is that fabric?  Right!?  So perfect.

I have to admit, I'm really proud of my fabric stash for this set.  All the backing fabrics work perfectly with their subjects.

What am I up to next?  Well I have a few Halloween/fall themed swaps to do and then the next round of Disney patches (I only have an idea for one of them).  I also need to get caught up on Fluff sewing (I have a pile of in progress stuff I just need to finish, but I already discussed how that's my pattern).

Thursday, September 24, 2015

For Swaps: Patch and an Art Doll

Damn, I meant to post this sooner but all the sudden I have to WORK at my job (what?!) so I have next to no goof off time.  I decided to just make posting this one of my "to do" items so I'd get it done.

OK, here we go.

First up, a patch (for the monthly swap I do all the time)

Super simple.  My partner likes skeletons and all that, so I just trotted out some of my favorite fabric and added a tiny bit of embellishment.  The fabric is so cool I wanted to just let it speak for itself.

The back:

That was just a scrap from my scrap bin but it really works with the front fabric.  I swear, sometimes I spend more time figuring out the backing fabric than making the front!

Next up is the art doll I made for the HallowMuertes Art Doll swap.  For that swap you could make it halloween or dios de los muertos themed.

Hello Mr. Skeleton man!

He's mostly a Dios de los Muertos skeleton guy but he's not a mariachi or anything special like that.  Just a guy in a suit.  Kind of Jack Skellington but not.

I used a pattern someone sent me in a swap from years ago.  I've used this pattern before to make an art doll but I never painted a doll.  This guy is totally painted.

I made the body in scraps of cotton and muslin (which is technically cotton) and then gave them all a base coat with white paint mixed with fabric medium.  Then I put on the top coat of black (with no medium) then added the embellishments using paint pens.

Smile for the camera!

He has a cute face that's very simple in design.  I didn't want to mess it up so I kept it simple.

The black paint pen is just shiny enough that it stands out against the more matte acrylic black paint.  So I could use it to make the shaping of the coat.  I debated giving him lapels but there wasn't really enough room on the body to make them turn out well, so I decided against it.

His limbs are button joints and do move.  They also scrape against the body a bit so over time there should be some nice wear as the limbs rub the paint along the body.  I didn't seal the whole doll for two reasons.  One, I wasn't sure exactly the best product to use and I didn't want to mess up the doll after I had him all finished (sewing the limbs on was literally painful--my fingers were sore jabbing the needle through the painted fabric).  Second reason not to seal was I wanted the doll to show wear as it happened.  I could have distressed it before hand but I'm lazy and (well, that's mostly the reason) I like the idea of the doll showing natural wear, just like an olden days doll!

I LOVED making this dolls (except attaching the limbs, I put that step off for ever because I knew it would be boring and annoying--it wasn't as bad as I thought but it was boring as hell).

I love how he turned out and after working with this pattern again I think I could edit this pattern a bit to make different body shapes (I'd start by trimming those feet down a bit--this pattern was for an "acrobat" doll so I get why the feet are super huge and it's not bad for this dolls but smaller would be better).

Both of these are off to their new homes Friday.

What else am I up to?  I need to get my latest round of Disney patches done (they are going to turn out very nice) and get my Fluff sewing done (have a bunch of stuff started, very little finished. . .story of my life) and then some other swaps.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Let's Book It: September (and an item for a swap)

No, I didn't forget about the Let's Book It Challenge.  I just had to put it on the back burner because I didn't have time to make random things from books.  I need to be able to double dip for this challenge to work for me.

(wait, I just realized I have been double dipping with some of the Fluff Project stuff but. . .well, a lot of those are "books" but freebies I printed out from the internet so. . .eh, it doesn't matter).

THIS project was from an actual book I paid actual money for so it really fits the Book part of the Book It Challenge.  So I'm feeling all official n'at.

That's the aforementioned book.

Let me just pause to say it is one of the cutest things I have ever had the privilege to look upon.  And I look at tons of cute all the dang time, so that's saying something.  This book made my sister lament that she needed to learn to embroider.  Yeah, it's THAT kind of book.

And when they say "teeny tiny" they ain't blowing smoke up your skirt.

That's the embroidered merit badge I made for a swap next to the image I used (and edited) from the book.

I made my cat into a cool hoola hooping puss.  Because that's how I am.


That bad boy is a mere 2 inches in size.  TWO STINKING INCHES!!  See, that's teeny tiny.

The edge stitching is a little rough but I'll improve on that (this was the first time I ever made a badge like this).

What?  You have to wear it so it has to have a pin on the back.

The only downside of this book?  Now I want to embroider every thing in my life with teeny tiny animals.  EVERY THING!

For a Swap: Ninni w/a Costume

This is getting mailed out this week.

Ninni in a costume.

A very rare mer-ninni.

Naked ninni!

The tail is (as the pic shows) removable.

(oh and fun fact, these are fabrics left over from the very first giant squid I ever made--I love that sushi fabric so much!)

The tail is lined with linen to give it a bit more stability for all the scallop stitching (machine stitches for the win!).

I was going to attempt an elastic waist but after I got it almost done I realized it didn't need it (which was a relief).  I was also planning a bra top but the ninni's body is so squat there just simply wasn't room.

This was fun to figure out and not that frustrating.  I made a test one in linen first and I think that made all the difference.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Stuff for swaps: Stuffie and some patches

Showing off two swaps today.  I went right up to the last minute getting these done (the patches I finished last night and I mailed them out today, one day before the deadline. . .last minute for the win!).

First up. . .hmmm, lets go with the aforementioned patches.  These were for the Disney alphabet ongoing swap.  This swap was the D, E, and F group.

The whole group together (like I mentioned, I finished these last night so this pic is a bit dark, I tried to make the rest a bit better but I have little patience for pictures sometimes).

For the letter D:  Dumbo

At first I was going to embroider/crayon tint this super cute image I found of a sweet baby Dumbo in the bath.  But then I had another idea.

It's his magic feather!

This was such a simple idea I almost felt like I was cheating with it.  But I like doing at least one non-literal patch for each group (like the Cruella Deville patch from the first batch) and this was perfect.

Don't fret, it's a craft feather not one I found while out on my walks (I see a lot of feathers in the cemetery but I can only imagine what's crawling on them or how they'd smell. . .guh-ross)

The backing fabric even keeps with the theme.  Aww, mama and baby elephant.

Embarrassing fact:  Dumbo is the only movie that can make me cry just thinking or talking about it.  Not every time, but if I get really thinking about it tears will come.  And not just a simple welling up thing.  I can full out bawl just thinking about it.  And, Dumbo is the only movie I ever saw my father cry over.  That scene when they take away the mother (when she rocks baby Dumbo in her trunk. . .crap, I'm getting misty just typing about it). . .that's some hardcore Disney emotional manipulation right there.  That's the stuff that effs with you as a kid and you carry that for the rest of your damn life.  Disney is good for that, which is kind of dick move.

Phew, I need a second. . .excellent.  I didn't need to grab a tissue but I was very close.

Ok, next up.

For the letter E:  Evinrude the outboard dragonfly from The Rescuers.

(side note:  what is it with typing rescuers?  I want to add another 'er'.)

Anyway, Evinrude is awesome so I had to do him in full on embroidery.  Which led me to wonder why I don't do this more.  I was kind of intimidated by fill stitching but it's not that big a deal at all.

I used single strand for the majority of it (I did use double strand for some of the outline stitching but none of the fill if memory serves).

Varigated thread for the sweater because I didn't have a solid blue that was a close enough match to the pic I was using for reference.

I'm really over the moon about how it turned out.  Even the pupils look good.  I wasn't sure how to do them since they are so small and an outline stitch would make them look jaggy.  So I just freehand fill stitched them and they're not bad at all.

After stitching up Evinrude I was in a total embroidery mood.  But I was having problems deciding on what to do for F.

First I thought I was going to do Fifi, the feather duster from Beauty and the Beast.   True confession, I didn't realize she even had a name it's been so freaking long since I watched Beauty and the Beast.  But that idea was just kind of boring to me, mostly because there's not a lot of color variety on Fifi (all earth tones, *yawn*)

While I was trying to convince myself to just do Fifi and get it over with I started to get this word ringing in my head.  Ferdinand.  Ferdinand.  Ferdinand.  So I hit up google to see if there was something Disney that had the name Ferdinand.

BAM, there was.

F = Ferdinand the bull

This pic doesn't do him justice.  That's Ferdinand just having a sit and sniffing a flower.  He's crayon tinted with single strand outline.  The backing fabric was a scrap from the other swap I'm about to show off.

Guilty Pleasure swap

This swap was a partner's choice swap.  So you had to make something from the guilty pleasure (tv/movie) they listed.

My partner listed. . .well, I think you can guess.

*singing*  Who lives in a pineapple under the sea. . .

This was NOT what I had originally planned to make.  I was going to make an embroidered/crayon tinted (or maybe felt applique) patch of Gary the snail.  But then I got thinking that was kind of a cheap item to send when we had around a month to make this swap.  That coincided with a sudden obsession to make the pineapple house.  I blame Funky Friends Factory for that.  I've been checking out the patterns there and remember she had a pineapple.  And it was a freaking fabulous looking pineapple.  I knew I could probably rig up my own version of a pineapple but I knew it wouldn't be nearly as cool as the one at FFF, so. . .I had to get the pattern and make the pineapple house.

That lead to a whole debacle, too.  FFF is located in Australia.  Now even though I was only buying a PDF download (for a whopping $12.99) my bank shut down my debit card for fraud when they saw the charge.  While I appreciate them looking out for me (they are super on top of the fraud stuff) it did put me in a pickle when, after I bought the pattern in the morning, I went to Jimmy John's for a sub and my card wouldn't work.  I had just enough cash to cover my bill (so I was spared embarrassment) but then I did get embarrassed (a tiny bit) when my auto payment via paypal (to My Paper Crane for my plush of the month box) wouldn't go through and Heidi sent me a nice "oopsie, you no pay-ee" email.  But I got it all sorted out and no harm, no foul.

Did I mention that I decided to get the pattern after I realized I had that fabric in my stash.  I thought I had something that looked "really pineapple" but I didn't want to bother buying the pattern if I didn't have fabric already on hand I wanted to use.  And it was just enough fabric, too.  It was slightly bigger than a fat quarter but since the print is directional I couldn't just cut mamby pampy like I'm want to do (minding the grain, of course).  I had just enough left over that I could have re-made only ONE piece should it get messed up.  Thankfully, I had no issues with any of the pineapple construction.  The details were easy, too.

The scale is kind of wonky (that door knob type contraption there is probably a bit big but it looks pretty cool so I'm ok with it.

All the details are felt and embroidery.

Porthole windows with french knot rivets and a little shine for visual interest.  I only put two window on the house because I couldn't get any good images of the back of the house to know if it had windows back there.  How many windows do you need in a pineapple anyway?  Exactly.

Chimney.  Again, the scale is a little wonky because the chimney is a bit largish but it works.  I noticed (when image searching) that Spongebob isn't super consistent even with something very static like the house.  I found images with only one window on the front and some shots of it were wonkier than other (guess that's because it is "under the sea". . .or the artists are just lazy which I can totally appreciate).

Oh, the chimney.  It has a pipe cleaner and bit of polyfil inside it and the top is deliberately wider than the bottom.  Eugene went nutso when I stole one of "his" pipe cleaners (because any and all pipe cleaners in the house are his, even if they have not yet been officially given to him to play with) for this project.  Cats aren't much into sharing which should shock no one.

I think my swap partner will dig it.  I know I dig it and that's usually a good sign.

I had to laugh when I saw the selvage on that green polka dot fabric.  It's Cotton + Steel.  I follow a lot of quilty blogs and all that and folks were popping boners over C+S and making these big ass quilts and fancy quilty things.  And here I'm using the lone FQ I had of it (which came in my "color of the month" FQ bundle I did for a year) to make leaves for a Sponge Bob house.  HAH!  But I really like good quality fabric and C+S is good quality.  I liked quite a few of the funky prints they had, too.  Not going to lie.  But if you've ever hung out around the hardcore quilty blogs a lot of the writers fancy themselves beyond frou-frou (and perfect) so this is probably far from a "worthy" project for the fabrics they shill.  Especially when it's paired with some no name ass fabrics I got in scrap bundles.  GASP!

What's next for me?  Well, I still need to do that bacon and eggs tutorial (no, I haven't forgotten about it).  First I need to make a Ninni in a Costume (for a swap) and figure out exactly what I'm making for my HallowMuertes doll swap.  But I'll probably finish up my practice chameleon first (just need to stuff and assemble him) and maybe get a few more Fluff items churned out.  I have jelly fish on the Fluff agenda and they're not that complicated.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

For a Swap: Two Patches

This pair of patches are for two different swaps.  One is a cat themed swap and the other is just the regular monthly patch swap.

I had some decent sized scraps after cutting this fabric (which I love) for the backing on the Ollie Memorial Quilt.  So I decided to double dip a bit and make two similar patches.  They weren't going to the same person (one is going to the Netherlands and the other to Australia) so why not.

I cut up the scraps and sewed the images back together to make a little four patch block that I then quilted (still had the walking foot on my machine!) to the batting and backing fabric.

I really love the funky eye beads I put on this one.  And the flower on the white cat.  But I love this fabric so much it hardly needed any embellishment.

Just a pair of pompoms and a fish on this one.

I was tempted to add more embellishment like some embroidery and all that but I realized I just wanted the fabric to shine for these.

I'm super thrilled that I could use the selvage as the best part of the embellishment.  Its selvages like this one that make me understand why folks save selvages.  I don't normally but this one was just too cute.  I wasn't sure what I'd ever use it for and then low and behold I used it right away.  I don't normally have much selvages to save, either.  I get a lot of fat quarters or smaller cuts and sometimes the cute part of the selvage isn't on the fabric I get.

I'm going to buy up some more of this print.  I like it that much.  I found it at this little online store that focuses on cat fabrics.  They have the blenders that go with it, too.  I'm trying not to buy just to hoard but I'm making a big ass exception for this fabric (it's called Prisma Cats by Moda and it's the cat's meow for sure).

What else am I up to?  I have a set of Disney theme patches in the works and the "guilty pleasure" swap.  Of course, I had one idea for the guilty pleasure swap and then it seemed kind of overly simple and just weak and now I have a new idea and if I don't make it I'll be pissed (just got a pattern for the base part, so I'm totally committed to this idea).

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pets on Quilts 2015: The Ollie Memorial Quilt

Getting this post up now while I have a few minutes (even though the link up isn't available yet).

2015 Pets on Quilts show is my second time participating and it's bittersweet.

Last year, I entered under the "cats on quilts" category (see it here) with a mini quilt that was much loved by my two cats, Eugene and Olive.  I was thrilled when I won a batik jelly roll from one of the random drawings.  That was the sweet.  Then came the bitter.  Olive died.  We only had her for one year and a week when FiP, a horrible disease, took her.

After she died, Eugene was just not enjoying life as an only cat so we checked the Humane Society (where we got Gene and Ollie) to find him a new companion.  Enter, Murray.  They were a great fit from moment one and things are very good now, though we still miss Ollie.

And I still had that jelly roll.  Months ago I discovered the jelly roll race "pattern" (in quotes because it's not so much a pattern as an event!) and decided it would be perfect for the Ollie jelly roll.  Hey, I needed to start actually making "real" quilts (not just small wall hangings) and that would be the easiest way to start that process.  So I made the top and it just hung out in my craft room.  Until the announcement for the 2015 Pets on Quilts show rolled around.  It was time to get that top made into a quilt.

But not without some feline supervision!

This was back when I had first finished the top.  I draped it all pretty like over the couch to get a pic and BAM, cat-ttaked.  No blanket in this house shall be without hair (their motto).

Fast forward to about a week ago when I finally got my butt in gear to finish the quilt.

(oh, by the way, I'm entering under the "cat on a quilt" category, or whatever category is close to that. . .any of these pics of my cats HAIRassing the quilt can be my entry since I couldn't get both of them to sit on the finished quilt for anything. . .that shouldn't surprise me, they're cats and they will do as they please and no they don't care what you think about it)

Ever so helpful, Eugene.  Just plop down on the quilt sandwich and have a bath why don't you.

"What?  Were you trying to do something?"

Could you get up so I can flip it over and get the backing fabric layered on?

*sigh*  "If I must. . .but there will be a price to pay for disturbing my beauty rest."

No joke.  You folks with cats can't be surprised by this at all.  I had to flip the top and batting over to get the backing all smoothed out on it and didn't Gene get right up on it and just go insane.  He was rolling around on it, squeaking and even pulling off a very odd backflip.  Then, to make sure there was plenty of hair on it he had a good scratch.  It was hilarious.  And I just couldn't care.  The quilt was for the family (which is me, my hubby and the cats) so why freak if there's hair on it while I'm making it.  It's going to get good and haired up over its life.  And Gene was having such a high old time (really, it was like there was nip in that fabric. . .I think he really likes batiks) I just had to enjoy it.  He was having so much fun with the Ollie quilt it was like she was there in spirit (showing us her bewbies!).

Eventually I did have to chase him off it so I could get to the sewing.  I went with a very easy straight quilting and it went really well.  Got the binding machine stitched on one side and then it was time to hand stitch the binding to the back.  Enter Murray.

"What are these, mom?  Cat toys?"


Murray really likes the binding clips.  He was particularly taken by the ones holding the corners all neat (of course).  I did have to fish one out of his mouth after he pulled it off and did start to crunch on it like it was a treat.  No, we shant be destroying my super cool clips (they are so wonderful for binding).

"Mom, you're no fun.  I just wanted to try and break off a tooth and ruin a clip or two.  Party pooper!"

I say it all the time and I'll say it again.  Good thing they are both so dang cute because they sure aren't well behaved (ok, they're not really "bad" but they do get into everything and Murray in particular sheds like it's his life's goal to coat the entire planet in a thin layer of white hair, and the hair is super soft so it's like trying to wipe off spider webs. . .tons and tons of spider webs).

Don't fret, I'm not going to forget to show off the quilt sans cat.

The front (it's a bit longer than pictured, I had it draped over the edge of the wall a bit to hold it down since my spouse was all "meh" when I asked him to come outside and hold it up. . .ha ha, he was replaced by a brick wall, you know I told him as much, too, and he still didn't care in fact he was pleased to hand the task off to a truly inanimate object).

The back (with its minor flaws. . .I was not going to point them out because to be honest they don't bother me, I really kind of like them because this quilt is about so much more than being "perfect" but I didn't want anyone to think I didn't know there were flaws.  They are there and I love each and every one of them).

I wanted the back to be all cat fabric.  I've been wanting to make a totally cat quilt but I keep putting it off (what? me procrastinate? well, maybe later) so this was the perfect opportunity to make the back all cats.  I was going to make it a totally pieced back but then I happened upon this cat batik fabric and I just had to have it.  It was SO PERFECT.  Batik to match the batik front but also cat so I could tie in some of the cat fabric I already have in my stash.

From a distance you can't really see the cats but up close they are fabulous!  This pic is washed out a bit, the fabric is a nice dark charcoal color which matched pretty well to the black in the Moda Prisma Cats fabric from my stash.  I love that fabric so much I went and found a shop that still has some so I can hoard a bit more of it (when it comes to cat fabrics, I allow buying just to stash).

The Prisma Cats fabric is super bright colors and so dang cute!  Oh, and even the binding is cat.  I had some light gray fabric with polka dots (and some of the dots were cat faces) and it worked so well for the binding.  It's light colored but still works with the kind of haphazard feel of the entire quilt.  (I forget what line it's from, but it's a fairly recent line that was cat themed)

If I could change only ONE things, I'd have used a darker thread for the quilting.  I used the natural color I tend to use for all my sewing and against the dark backing fabric it looks bright white.  I didn't want it to pop that much but I don't hate it or anything.  It just stands out more than I really wanted (and because of that you can see the flaws in the stitching. . .I was using a basic Singer sewing machine with a walking foot and the weight of the quilt sometimes pulled a bit and you can see it in the stitching--the stitching isn't "bad" but if you're really looking at it you can see it's uneven and I know that's why).

I'm really surprised how much emotion is in this simple quilt.  When it was done I was almost giddy.  I gathered it up and just hugged it.  So silly, but I was just so happy to have it done.  The sense of accomplishment was huge and it's just such a special quilt for me.  It's the first "real" quilt (meaning bigger sized--the only other size I've made was a lap sized but I traded that away) I've ever made JUST for me (well, and the family) and it's so freaking special and I just love it.  But now I'm worried it will just fall apart when I wash it (I know it won't, but I love it so much I have to find something to worry about so that has become the thing I'll worry about).

Thanks for checking out my crazy quilt and even crazier cats.  I can't wait to see what everyone else shares for the Pets on Quilts contest.  It's such a fun and great event!

NOW, go back to the linky party and check out what everyone else has been up to.  CLICK HERE, YOU NOSEY THING YOU!