Monday, August 26, 2013

Teesha Moore Style Patches

I'm about to mail these ones out, so it's time to show them off.

They're or a swap via a new blog (of a swap bot person).

The whole set.  The only rules were keep them square/rectangle and "family friendly".  Totally doable.

The biggest of the group is the picnic blanket.  Mmm, bacon cheeseburger, pie, and ice cream.  Crap!  Are those ANTS?  Of course, what picnic is complete without guests (be they invited or crashers).  The ants are sets of two and three french knots with little stitches next to them to resemble legs.  The food is attached with heat and bond.  The "stuffing" in the patch is a piece of acrylic felt.  I only used one layer so the patches aren't very puffy.  I prefer them that way because they're easier to work with.  I'm also pysched to be able to use up some of the acrylic felt I have in my stash.  This is a perfect use for it.  You don't need the highest quality felt if it's just being used as stuffing.  The backing fabric is a red/cream/brown plaid.

This was the first one I made for the set.  It's very simple and minimal.  I kind of like patches like that.  The strip of cars is a separate fabric that I hand stitched on to the striped fabric.  The backing fabric is blue polka dots/bubbles.  All the fabrics are leftovers from the pencil pouches I made.  I did a bit of embroidery on the patch, just random things here and there.  There are also two sets of beads on two of the cars (for the wheels).  Like I said, very minimalistic.

Another long rectangle patch.  This was the last patch I made for the set.  I was going to make a really small patch but I like the front fabric so much I had to make a little comic strip from it.  I did fill stitches in the top panel then fused some little hearts to the other panels (the hearts are from the same fabric).  I embroidered the edging line between the second and last panel just to help hold the fabric down as I stitched it all together.

I had to share a snap of the back fabric.  I love this print and it went well with the kind of over the top cartoony look of the front fabric.

Last but not least, my favorite of the group (really, I was so tempted to keep this one).

Holy shhhh.  Is that. . . we need a close up.

Aww, yeah, that's Spock.  Spock with a Superman S on his chest AND (for any Big Bang Theory geeks out there), lizards in the background.  The S was fused to Spock and then Spock to the lizards then the whole thing stitched together.  I embroidered a few of the background designs (those jaggy triangles) and then added some beads to the main lizard just to bling her up a bit.  The back fabric?

Why cake?  Well, cake is just. . .cake.  It needs no explaining.  (don't mind the few specks on the back, I'll get them off there before I send them out).

I hope they're a hit in the swap.  I also hope folks aren't put off by my take on the Teesha Moore style.  I'm not a fan of the way she makes her patches.  I find it cumbersome to stuff with polyfill (or fluffy stuffing like that) and then try to work with the patch.  If I wanted a really dimensional look to the finished project, I could deal with the weird feel when working with it.  But I like the way the flatter stuffing looks.  They kind of all look like little framed paintings.  I'm also kind of anal retentive about the edges.  I like the mitered corners if the patch is square/rectangle.  It's just neater.  That's not to say I dislike the look of non-mitered corners, but when I'm sewing mine I like the added challenge of trying to get the best miter I can get.  And I like using up my acrylic felt, which I can do since I make the flatter style patches.  (I also like a clean back to the patch--I don't like seeing all the embroidery stitches on the ones I make--it doesn't bother me on other folks' patches but on the ones I make I like them clean on the back).

WINNER: Winner of FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge Giveaway #1

Time to announce the winner of the very first FY14 Charity Challenge Giveaway.

According to the random number generator the winner is lucky number 13!


Missy Shay

Missy, I sent you and email so get me your address so I can get your winnings in the mail.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

I'll be having another giveaway at the end of the month, so keep your eyes peeled.

Quilt Blocks

I totally forgot to post this last week.

I'm in a recurring swap on swap bot where we swap Crazy 9 patch blocks.  I've been trying to use fabric from the 12 lb fabric remnant box.  Technically it's not "charity" sewing but I'm still counting it in the FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge.  (and for the record, charity sewing that I do out of my stash counts, too--but the focus really is to use that remnant box).

Ok, blah blah over, let's see the blocks.

The top block contains two stash fabrics and one remnant box fabric (the smaller dots are from the box).  The bottom block is all remnant box fabrics.

This set was for the second round of the swap.

This top block has two (I think) remnant box fabrics and the birds are from my stash.
The bottom block has one box fabric (I think the white is from the box) and two stash fabrics.

This set was for the first round of the swap (hence the fabrics that don't quite work--the animal/cowboy fabric one was the first I ever made of this type of block).

So, these represent round 1 and 2 of this swap.  Round three's fabrics have been chosen and cut and they're all from the box (and they coordinate really well).  I'll show them off once I have them sewn.

I just might have to include some of these fabrics in the next giveaway, huh?

Monday, August 19, 2013

GIVEAWAY!!!!!! FY14 Sewing Challenge Giveaway #1 (CLOSED)

I'm long over due to host a giveaway.

I've been toying with the idea ever since I started the FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge.  The kick in the pants I needed to get this part of the challenge underway was an incorrect item I received in my order.  They sent me the wrong thing (and are correcting the issue) and said I could keep it.  BUT. . .I don't really like the wrong item so it needs to go on to a new home.

Ok, enough blather.  Let's see some pics of what's up for grabs.

This is the item I received in error.  It's two pieces of cotton toile fabric approximately 26 x 19 inches in size.  It's nice enough fabric but just not my bag.  It is two odd ball cuts but there are some good images.  I've featured two of the best ones in the pic.  The background color is white (not off white as the crappy pic may suggest).

But that's not enough of a prize for a giveaway, right?

SO, here's where the FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge aspect of this giveaway comes into play.

I've decided every month I'm going to have a giveaway featuring some of the fabrics I used in the previous month's charity projects.

So this month features some of the fabrics I used to make last month's batik dinosaurs.  In fact, this is all the leftover fabric from the batik dinosaurs.

This is a scrap lot.  The lengths range from 3 inches to 20 inches.  The widths range from 11 inches to 44 inches.  Some are in strips that are cut a bit crooked (so will go from 3 inches and get a bit longer as the strip goes along).  Some are odd cuts where you can see where I cut out a pattern piece.  There will also be a scrappy scrap bag featuring very small scraps (useful for paper piecing, covering buttons, little projects like that).

I'm pretty sure two of these pieces were never used in the dinosaurs at all (the bright orange and the dark green next to it).  But I realized I don't really like batiks that much, so why keep two random pieces when they make a better addition to a giveaway prize than just taking up space in my stash.


Thank you to everyone who participated.

Hopeful Threads August Charity Project: Back to School Pencil Pouches : DONE!

YES, I'm getting the Hopeful Threads August Charity Project done (and mailed) EARLY this month.  Good thing, too.  I need to get back to the ongoing Fluff Project (poor abandoned mermaids!).

So, time to show off what I made.

First, let me start with my EPIC FAIL!!

What's wrong with that pouch, you ask?  It looks perfectly fine.


See that right there?  That's the zipper.  Sewn in BACKWARDS.  Well, only one half of it is backwards.  And (of course) I didn't notice it until I was turning the pouch right side out and feeling all proud that I had just finished the last of my three pouches and was trying to pat myself on the back and all that.


Now I could have torn the whole thing apart and fixed it but. . .well, I was just so annoyed at myself at that point that I just couldn't do it.  I couldn't go through the whole process of turning the pouch wrong side out, pulling out all the stitches holding the sides together to get to the zipper and then tearing the zipper side out and then having to re-sew it all.  I just COULD NOT.  And I couldn't just make another one since I didn't have any spare zippers.

BUT. . .never fear.  CATS TO THE RESCUE.

Yes, I said CATS to the rescue.

YES, cats make everything better.

I made this pouch months ago (when I was testing the pattern--it was a freebie I found on line) and I had used it one or two times.  Aside from the few wrinkles, you can't even tell it's been used (I used it to hold my cell phone and credit cards when I went shopping).  But once I've packed the pouch up for mailing, it's going to have more than one wrinkle.

So my personal kitty pouch rescued me!  I'm really happy to share that pouch, too.  I love the fabric and I think kids might get a giggle out of the cat butt on the one side (I know I giggle at it).  And I have more of that fabric so I can always make myself another one the next time I'm making pouches.

See, cats saved the day.

Here are the other two pouches for the group.

Cute Kokka car print fabric with bubbly dot lining.

Cute Kokka "back to school" print (in light pink) with bright pink/orange stripey fabric lining.

This fabric is so cute I had to take a shot of it without my finger in the way.

Closeup of the adorable little critters.  I love, love, love the elephant in her little dress.

Three pouches with a bit of the supplies, too.

I had enough supplies for each pouch to have:

1 pack pencils
1 pack pens
1 pack (24 count) crayons
1 pencil sharpener
1 eraser
1 glue stick

AND, and and. . .I found a box that held it all PERFECTLY.  I could pack all the supplies in (taking the wrapping off the glue, erasers, and sharpeners) and then roll the pouches together to fill up the last little bit of space.  I love when things work out like that.

The box is off to the post office this morning.

I'm so happy I got this project done (with minimal drama--that messed up pouch still irks me--but I'll just use it myself or I'll tear it apart and use the fabric for scrap projects and recycle the zipper).  Now I can focus on getting a minimum of 6 stuffed toys made for the Fluff Project.  Don't fret, mermaids, I haven't forgotten about you!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Charity Sewing: Work in Progress

First up, we need a link to this month's charity sewing project over a Hopeful Threads.  This month it's a Back to School theme.  Read all about it HERE.

So, the goal is to make some pencil pouches.  No problem-o.  I recently learned how to sew in zippers and have made a few pouches before.  Heck, the pouch I'm used to making would work great or a pencil pouch.

AND. . .I had exactly three zippers in my stash.

So that's how I set my goal:  Three handmade pencil pouches stuffed with supplies.

Last night I finally got around to selecting my fabrics.

From left to right:  Kokka fabric with cute animals (some riding buses).  The background is pink so I went with a striped pinky fabric for the lining.  Next:  Kokka fabric with blue cars (on a natural background).  The liner fabric is aqua/blue swirly dots.  Last but not least, punctuation fabric with green lining.  That green matches the green in the outer fabric really well.

The minute I saw pencil cases were our project, I thought of those Kokka fabrics.  I bought them on a lark (probably on a sale) and they've been in my stash for a good while.  It was long past time to get them out and use some of them.  They'll also work well for the outer fabric because they are a cotton/linen blend, so they're a little more sturdy than just cotton (but not rough/inflexible).  For the all cotton pouch, I'm going to try my hand at using medium weight fusible webbing to make it a tiny bit more sturdy.  Wish me luck on THAT.

I also have supplies to stuff each pouch with.  Each pouch will have a pack of pencils, pack of pens, 24 count crayons (crayola--it's all I'll buy), pencil sharpener, large eraser, and glue stick.

I may try to make more pouches, but I'm not making any promises.  My goal is to make JUST these three.  Once that's done, I'd have to get more zippers and I can't guarantee I'll get around to doing that.

SO, the goal is three (stuffed) pouches.  I'm doing my cutting tonight so hopefully I'll have these wrapped up by next week.

What else is on my crafty plate?

Well, I haven't forgotten about the ongoing Fluff Project.  Those mermaids are STILL waiting.  My goal is to send out three mermaids and three other toys (I'm thinking sea horses since they're fast to make).

I also have a doll to make for a swap (it's going to be a flying monkey).  Then there is the altered thrift store find for another swap.  I found some beanie style plush toys that are ripe for making over into some whimsical fuquerie.  I'm also in two Teesha Moore style patch swaps (one through swap bot, one independent).  And there are the wonky quilt blocks (that's an ongoing swap) and the fat quarter swaps (two different swaps that are ongoing).

SO. . .a lot going on.

But first, focus on the pouches.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dotee for a swap (replacement): Patchwork Dotee

Aww, sad news.  My original patchwork dotee (that cute kitty) was lost in the mail.  Oh no, stray kitty on the loose!  So I had to make a new patchwork dotee to make good on the swap.

Enter, this dapper gent.

He's just out for a walk with his canine companion.

Look out!  Your puppy is behind you!!

This was a super simple design for the body but I like it.  I like the fabric combo.  I think all the fabrics are organics, too.  The ribbon is some I got as an extra in a swap.  The bead is from my bargain bead bag.  I was worried the tail/bead looked dumb, but adding more beads took away from the "dog on a leash" look I was going for.

I'm happy with how this one turned out.  It's sad that the original kitty was lost but this dapper fellow should make up for it.

Here's hoping he arrives safely.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

For a swap: Teesha Moore Inspired Patches

Ok, the blog bombing is almost over.

It's time to show off the last thing I got done over my long weekend.

This was for a Teesha Moore inspired patch swap.  I'd never heard of Teesha Moore but when I saw the patches I thought they'd be fun to try out.  Also, this swap was for tiny patches (no bigger than 3 inches square) so I figured I could use some of my really small scraps for this.

How's that for an eclectic bunch?

Don't fret, they're supposed to look "rough" like that (with big stitches on the edges and kind of uneven).

Close up time!

Yeah, that one on the left is wild and crazy.  It was the last one I made of the set and I just had to use some fake fur and try my hand at some quilting.  It was also the only patch I made using the Teesha Moore technique.  Her technique is to sew two pieces of fabric together (wrong sides together), lightly stuff with polly fill, and then roll the edges over to make the frame.  It's a good technique but there was one major thing I don't like about it.  You can see the stitches on the BACK of the patch.  I understand how that's not a big deal for Teesha because she uses her patches to make book covers for art journals and to make bags, so you only need one "nice" side.  But all those visible stitches just irks me.  Not so much the quilting stitches but the embroidery stitches leave an ugly mess on the back which I dislike.  So for the fuzzy patch, I did do the tiny bit of embroidery (on the center bee) before I sewed the fabrics together.

The Kiss Me patch (and the others) were made with my take on the Teesha way.  I used felt as the padding and attached the front fabric to the felt so all the embroidery stitches were hidden inside the patch (and the felt helped stabilize the fabric.  Then I took the backing fabric (cut larger than the patch front) and folded the edges to make the frame, then sewed using big stitches (and contrasting thread).

The Kiss Me patch has the words embroidered and all the dots are done in french knots.  The back fabric is a modern print (squares).

The zombie patch was the first one I made of the set so I did it a little different.  I stitched the front fabric to some felt but the backing fabric I wanted to use wasn't big enough to cover all four edges, so I wrapped it on the sides (the yellow fabric) then added another top fabric to cover the top and bottom edges.  So there are some visible stitches on the back (along the edges).  I chain stitched to embellish a few of the letters, added french knots for the zombies' eyes, and added some stitching to one of their arms (and around one of the buildings).

The cat patch was the second I made so I had my technique down for it (the back fabric was big enough to do the full wrap around).  I added felt bits to the center of the ears, pom poms for the eyes, and thread for the whiskers.  so the whole thing looks dimensional.  The backing fabric?

Sushi of course.  I just love pairing cat fabrics with sushi fabrics.  It's cheesy and silly and I adore it.


The patches have been mailed out so we'll see how well they are received.  I think they look good but the fuzzy one might get a bit of a WTF reaction (it is kind of nutty).

I'm really liking making these patches.

Dotees for swaps: Siamese cats and Smores (oh and a baby)

Two great things that go great together.

Siamese cats and s'mores!

First up, for a private swap.  I had someone who wanted to join my Favorite Animal swap but the time frame didn't work for them so we did a private swap.


It's no secret, I love Siamese cats.  Well, I love all cats but Siamese are top of the kitty heap for me.

I used my basic cat/doll body shape and just thinned it down a bit at the head and hips.  Felt is very forgiving that way.  I attached the face and feet pieces with embroidery and then glued them down before stuffing.

Of course, there has to be a tail on the back.  That was just glued down.

But what is up with the dotee tail?  YES, that's a ball of yarn.  I took a bead from my dollar bargain bag.  It was one of those plastic ones with the three points and the hole in the center, the kind that will stack with others like them to make bracelets?  The kind little kids really dig for summer camp crafts (like pony beads).  I wrapped it with some chenile thread stuff (I think I got at Weezie's--gotta love Weezie's).  Then I just stitched through it once or twice to keep it from unraveling.  Then tied it on at the bottom.  Unfortunately, I didn't think about how the hangar is the same thread, so it kind of looks like the thread is passing through the poor cat (and it does look a bit like a butt in the back--that makes me giggle--totally unintentional but funny).

Next up, a tasty treat.

This one was made for the August Unique Holiday swap.

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE this swap series.  Some of my favorite dotees have been made for this swap series.

August 10 is National S'mores Day.

Don't you just want to take a big ole bite of this cutey!

Aww, he's too cute to eat.

He's made all of felt and inspired by a pattern in the book "Big Little Felt Universe".  There's a s'more in there but I didn't like the way they made the marshmallow.  It was too flat.  So I made mine taller.  And I didn't use as much felt for the crackers.  I think that pattern used three layers per cracker which was excessive.  They also filled the chocolate square with felt squares which I found wasteful.  I filled mine with three layers of low loft cotton batting.  Why waste usable felt when you're not going to see it?  (also, I wouldn't have had enough chocolate colored felt anyway).

The bead is one from my dollar bargain bag of beads.  That purchase is turning out to be a good one.  In fact, I was leaning toward making an ice cream sandwich for this swap, but when I saw that bead I knew I had to make a s'more.

The layers are attached with just a few stitches going up from the bottom of the stack and up to the top.  No glue at all, so you can spin the elements on the thread (if you so desired).  And, YES, the crackers have 25 french knots on EACH.  I had to make 50 damn french knots.  The good thing is, I'm getting better at them now.  And it looks super cute.

Last but not least on this post is a bitty little baby (made for a baby themed swap).

Shh, he's sleeping.  (ok, it could be a girl, but with all the blue I bet most folks will just call it a he).

This one is really simple.  Just an egg shape made to look like a baby is in swaddling clothes.  It was inspired by Mimi Kirchner's baby dolls.  But this little bundle of joy is WAY smaller and made with wool blend felt (not felted sweaters).

Lots of embroidery on this one.  I was in the mood to make stem stitches so I just put swirls all over the doll.  I didn't want to attach any beads or sequins because it didn't seem right to have choking hazards on a baby dotee.

The face is attached with the embroidery then glued around the edges.  The tail is just simple plastic beads.  I like the childish look they give.

The kitty and the baby are both off to their new homes.  The s'more will be mailed off shortly (don't have my partner assigned yet--I love working ahead).

Dotees for a Swap: Twins!

Brace yourself, I'm bombing my blog today.  I got so much stuff done over the weekend that it's time to share it all with you.

I had to make a stand alone post for this first set of dotee dolls.  These were made for a swap (of course) with the them of "twins".

Meet Imogene and Shirley.

Aren't they just fabulous!

They were inspired by Grey Gardens.  So think elder twin socialites who are just a wee bit nuts.

Imogene is, in a word, FABULOUS.  She rarely leaves the familial mansion, but when she does she's never without her fur wrap, tiara, and full face of makeup.

Her face is just drawn on with fabric markers but I really like how  it turned out.  The body fabric is tea dyed fabric from the 12 pound fabric scrap box.  Remember all that light celery green colored fabric?  Well, I tea dyed it and now it looks MUCH better.

Her hair is from a scarf I bought at the thrift store for one dollar.  It's it fabulous!  I was going to felt it but then decided that would make the fringe too corded and it would reduce the fuzziness of the fabric.

Her fur shawl is fully lined with hot pink polka dot cotton.  Her dress is a bit of fabric I got in a swap.  The button is a vintage shank button I got from Weezie's Cove (aka The Best Thrift Store in Erie, Pa).  The tail is made from some beads I received as an extra in a swap.

Next up is Shirley.

Shirley is quite the opposite of her fabulous sister.  In fact, she's rather understated, bordering on frumpy.  Like her sister, she rarely leaves the familial mansion but when she does she's never without her beloved fairy doll.

Again, the face is hand drawn.  Very similar to Imogene's but a little different.  They aren't identical twins.  No makeup.  Shirley hates it.

Shirley's hair is also from the same sweater.  Her babushka is a bit of lace.

Her dress is also a bit of fabric I got in a swap.  The flower bead on her tail is also a bonus I got in a swap.  So is the little fairy doll.  The fairy doll came all the way from Australia.

I absolutely LOVE these dolls.  I can hardly wait for them to arrive at their new home.  If memory serves, they're only going to Vermont so I'm hoping to get some feedback on them in about a week.  I just can't imagine the recipient wouldn't love them.