Wednesday, November 27, 2013

For a swap: Poochie bag

No, not like the awful Poochie character from The Simpsons.

Poochie like a cutesy word for boxed corners on a cute little gift bag.

See, cute little bag with a pocket on each side and boxed corners to make it "pooch" out.

(for the record, I don't much care for the word "pooch" since it was co-opted to mean the bulge of fat on a woman's abdomen--"pooch" is ok if you're using it to refer to a dog)

This bag isn't that exciting but I really wanted to document it here just as a CYA move.

You see, this is for a swap but there have already been issues with this swap.

First (and biggest) is it was listed as a USA only swap but. . .I got a partner in the UK.


Ok, I bucked up and didn't make a stink because it is what it is.

But then I was looking at my UK partner and they have some low ratings which should have set off a warning flag in the swap hosts brain but since the swap host clearly was too LAZY (yes, I said it) to check the members of the swap before assigning partners, she didn't notice the crap ratings just like she totally missed that the person was NOT IN THE U.S.

Yeah, the more I'm thinking about it the more it irks me.  Irks me because I shouldn't have been so nice about it.  But this was the first time I've had this happen so I was naive.

Grrr (at me).

And now the spiteful side of me kind of hopes this UK person flakes on the swap so the host gets burned and has to angel to someone.  That would be like karmic balance.  I got burned (but was good about it) so the burn has to go somewhere else and it should land square on the hostess.

But wishing a burn on someone is bad karma so. . .eh, I already admitted I thought it so that ship has sailed.

SO. . .I'm documenting this boring bag just to prove I made it and it was correct for the swap.  I also included (but did not photograph):

2 zippers (9 inch long--one white, one cranberry colored)
1 fat quarter of green batik-ish fabric
1 needle book (cardboard with felt inside and some needles and a threader)
1 packet of sequin trim (9 feet of purple sequin trim to be exact)

The requirements for the swap were to make a poochie bag and include (in a baggie) at least three (new) sewing items.  All my items are new (though the zippers aren't in retail packaging since I got them in bulk so they never had packaging).

Honestly, I hope this swap just goes smooth but at least I have documentation should it go pear shaped on me.

I will be mailing it out today as soon as the post office opens (and I'm glad to have it done).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

For a swap: Patch Christmas Ornaments

This swap was super fun.

Make TM style patches as christmas ornaments.  So you needed to keep the backs of the patches neat and clean, which is my style anyway.  And I got to trot out my christmas fabrics and jingle bells.


Two partners, two patches each.

The full set hanging on my cubicle wall at work.  There's just no natural light left once I get home from work and the lighting in my house is just ick.  So harsh overhead fluorescents it is.

As you can see, I made two that are basically the same (different ribbon).

A santa for each of my partners.  Hey, this fabric is so cute it's just begging to be made into ornaments and gift tags and the like (that's why I bought it!)

The backs are both this fabric.  Sparkly christmas trees.

Here's some more fabric I just love.  So I didn't have to do much.  I added some seed beads to the wreath and garland and did a bit of embroidery with floss and plain thread (and there's even a french knot in there!) then added jingle bells to the stitching when attaching the backing.

The backing fabric.  LOVE this fabric, too.  I guess I just really dig retro christmas stuff (and christmas fabric in general--heck, I love all seasonal fabrics).

Why yes, that's an anteater in a scarf.  Thank you for noticing.

This one's a little different.  I had to do a little applique for it.  The animals and gifts are all from some christmas fabric.  But that fabric has the animals in all different directions, so I needed to trim them out to get them directional.  Just cut them out and fuse them onto the base fabric (which is a fern print).  The tree is felt, glued on and then stitched on as I added the seed bead ornaments.  The star is a sequin with a seed bead.  Then a few christmas light charms on the one corner.  True confession, I wanted to space them out along the top but I botched that by clustering too many in the starting corner.  So I decided the animals only hung lights in one corner of their little world.

Backing fabric.  It's super busy and I think it goes well with the oddball animal christmas celebration on the front.

Monday, November 25, 2013

For a swap: Patches!

Finished up some patches for a swap.  Trying to get a few things finished up and out in the mail on Wednesday (before the holiday).

These were for the Teesha Moore Rainbow series of swaps.  This is a green set.

Full set.  I only had to make three but I ended up making four (since one of them isn't very "green").

Biggest of the bunch.  Octopus with a mustache.  Did a bit of embroidery on the corners to hold the fabric down and added some beads for the eyes.  I still love these mustache buttons.

Two smaller ones.  Yes, that's a monkey in a fez.  My swap partner's profile mentioned they collect monkey in fezes so. . .why not.  The gnome patch was the one I made to complete the required three green ones.  I made it after the others were done and it's really little.  I was happy to get to use some of the silver and green fabric (I wanted to use it in this set but didn't get to it until I made this little patch).

The backs.  More gnomes on the back of the fez monkey.  That fabric is cute, what can I say.

This patch is why I felt I needed to make one more truly green patch.  Originally I was going to back it with this fuzzy green fabric I had (that I used on the witch dotee a while back) but then I realized I had some sock monkey scraps and I couldn't resist using that fabric instead.  As I was cutting the backing, I snipped off a little bit and it curled up on itself and that's how the tail came about.  Again, I just couldn't resist.  I only did a bit of embroidery on the fabric (enhanced the red on some of the mouths and butts and a french knot on the one hat--I swear I can't make a set of patches without at least one french knot).  I've been dieing to use some of these cute beads I bought, so this was a good as a reason as any.  Sock monkeys taking a coffee and donut break.  Cute and yummy!

Next up are the christmas ornament patches.  I'm about done with them and they're turning out quite well.  Then I just need to make a poochie bag and I'll have everything I want to mail out done.  Busy busy busy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge: Hey, where's the giveaway?

Sorry, no giveaway this month.

BUT, the Sew Mama Sew big ole giveaway event is coming up shortly so I'm going to participate in that this year.  I think I'll have more than one prize, too (to make up for skipping this month's giveaway).

So stay tuned, I'll be giving away more stuff, don't you fret.

Hello Tokyo Panel Dolls (for the Fluff Project)

I got a surprise in the mail about a week ago.

Kristy (from Hopeful Threads) sent me a fabric gift.  Inside was the Hello Tokyo doll panel (and two cuts of fabric, one from the line and one from another line).


Not only have I been wanting to get and make these dolls for the Fluff Project but this month has really had its way with me so I hadn't even thought about what I was going to make (if anything) for the Fluff project this month and this fixed that problem.

I got sewed them up immediately but didn't finish them up until a day or so ago.  Then I had to wait a day or so to get some half way decent pics (natural light is so fleeting this time of year!).


I backed two with the ballerina fabric (which is really a light yellow/beige--this pic doesn't do it justice) and two with the blue fabric from the Hello Tokyo line.

I think the gal in the green is my favorite.

There are also cats on the panel (one is just a face, the other is a full body doll) but those are for ME.  I haven't sewn them up or anything yet.

I'm so dropping the ball on this month's sewing challenge.  It was blankets/quilts for kids and I just ran out of time.  Really, it's been a long time since I've had a month just whip by like this but November just disappeared in front of my eyes.  I do have a quilt I can donate (I won it and it's fabulous but I have never used it and it seems wasteful to keep it when I can give it to someone who will use it) so I don't feel super bad about crapping out on the quilt challenge.  I'm sure it will come up again.  NICUs will always need blankets for the bitty sproggen, so. . .

These cuties (along with the quilt) will go off in the mail (hopefully) next week.  I should have boxed them up last night to join the pile of stuff I'm mailing out this morning but I just didn't do it.  I was lazy last night and just had pizza and watched t.v. (and my cats chasing each other, they're so cute!).

Progress Report: Little Portraits

Oops, forgot to do this yesterday.

So here it is now.

I think this just might be on the way to being DONE.

I've just been blending and blending and futzing and. . .yeah, nothing super exciting.  Though looking at it now I think I need to clean up the line on the background.  It's looking kind of bowed instead of straight.

Now I just need to add the mouth (I'm nervous about that) and then add some of the wisps and threads on the surface of the felt (especially on the mask).

We signed up for two extra classes in December, so this little monster should be done then.

That means. . .oh no. . .I have to come up with a new idea!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crafty Day: Quilt Blocks Galore

Yesterday I took off work to burn a vacation day (they collect so fast, I get to the point I have to use em or lose em) and I got my sewing ON.

First, I cut up four yards of fabric into fat quarters.  But that's boring so no pics.

Then I got some quilt blocks sewn for a few swaps.

First up, a round of crazy 9 patch.  The swaps call for two blocks to two partners.  These are the ones I shipped out (each set makes three, I keep one set).

I really like both sets but the lighter colored one is my favorite.  It's so low volume and modern.  I really like these blocks in general, too.  They're fast and easy to make and make a nice finished product.  It also helps me use up some fabric I otherwise would have turned my nose up at.  Like the brown blocks.  I really didn't like the floral print or the checks but together with that pastoral print and they work.  And using them in these blocks just about used them all up, so it's a win/win for me.

Next up. . .

Polaroid blocks.

The swap was two partners, two blocks each.  But I made an extra one for each partner.  It's really not that big a deal to make an extra, and I liked all these fabrics and wanted to use them for polaroids.  (they look really crooked in the pic but that's just the way I have them siting on the table, they really aren't made poorly).

I really love the opossum one.  That fabric still makes me laugh.

I'm still not sure I'm making this block right/well.  They always seem a little warbly.  Not exactly crooked but just wavy at times.  I think it's a combination of the white strips stretching a tiny bit when sewing and my seams no being pressed quite right.  But the more I make them the better I get so that's good.

Yesterday I also pulled fabrics for a set of green Teesha patches (and started figuring out what I want to do with them) and finished up some panel dolls (I'll show those off in a separate post--it was too dark to get pics once I had them done yesterday).

What's next?

Well, the set of green teesha's and then I HAVE to get the Teesha comic at least started.  I think that swap is stumping all involved since the hostess decided to move the ship date out to January.  I have a good idea but I really need to plan it out so I do all the steps in the right order to get a nice finished product.

Sadly, I don't think I'll get a baby quilt sewn for Hopeful Threads challenge this month.  November just zoomed by.  BUT, I will have something for the Fluff Project and I have a quilt in my craft room that I can re-gift to this month's challenge (I've been looking for a new home for it and this is perfect).

I also need to decide if I'm going to make something for my sister this year or not.  I have an idea but I'm not sure I've committed to it just yet.  I need to think about it a bit more.

OH, and I won't be having a giveaway this month.  I just ran out of time.  But I will have one in December (and might even participate in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway thingy).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For a swap: Sock Hammerhead Shark

Oh yeah!

I've been wanting to make one of these for a while but since I didn't have a reason to make it, it just fell to the wayside.  But the minute I had a reason (in the form of a sock creature swap) it was ON.

Wait, first let me share the link to the pattern and tutorial.  HERE.

(I'm so putting the book that pattern comes from on my christmas list)

Basking on a towel on my porch.  It had snowed so I didn't wan him/her to get dirty (or cold!).

Jeepers creepers, where'd you get those peepers!

From Wheezies Cove (aka "the best thrift store ever").  They are perfect for this pattern.

Swimming in the air.  Is that technically called flying?  Wait, I thought this was a hammerhead shark not a flying fish?  Oh, the confusion!

You can see I added one little extra to my shark (that wasn't in the pattern).


The original pattern didn't have a mouth but COME ON.  Sharks (of all creatures) need mouths.  And it's super easy to just stitch one on at the very end.

I love this shark.  So much so, I almost don't want to give it away.  But I know I can make others and they'll be every bit as cute.

The pattern/tutorial isn't one of the best written I've ever seen.  It's not very beginner friendly.  It kind of assumes you know what you're doing or that you'll just figure some stuff out.  And it's not very clear or accurate in spots.  Like the step where you make the head you make it from the toe portion of the sock but there's not a lot of info about placement of the pattern piece or any of that.  It also has you cut out two pieces then sew them together but I've found that's a pain in the butt when working with really stretchy fabric like socks.  It's better to trace the shape onto the whole toe piece and then sew around the traced line instead of dealing with all the rolling that will happen if you cut each piece out and then sew them back together.

But all in all the tutorial worked because I got a great finished product.  But it would be better with a few asides with tips and tricks (like the trace and sew method).

I have a feeling I'll be making more of these.  It gives me an excuse to buy more knee socks (I just love buying them!).

For a swap: Christmas Tree Dotee

I was very productive yesterday (took a mental health day off work).  So I'm spamming the blog today to show it all off.

First up, the dotee doll I finished for a swap.

I'm on a tree roll lately.  First the autumn tree and now this Christmas tree.

How festive is this little tree?

Close up of the front.  It's all wool blend felt with some charms sewn on.  I've had these for a while.  I scored them on sale back in the summer knowing that Christmas themed dotees would be right around the corner.  The candy canes are embroidered using baker's twine.  I tried to make some using stiffy but they were pretty fragile even after totally drying and this looks good so I'm going with it.

The tail is just beads with a bell at the end and the hanger is three strands of ribbon (red, white, and green, each trimmed in gold glitter).

The back has more lights and some little jingle bells.

All in all it turned out very well.  I'm a little irked that the stump is not quite centered but I didn't notice it until I had stitched just far enough that I didn't want to pull out all the stitches and fix it.  Yeah, I'm lazy like that.

This little tree is all packed up and ready to head off to the Netherlands.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Upcycling: Human sweater to cat sweater

Yes, I'm officially one of "those" people.

The crazy people who make clothing for their pets.

I'm not even going to try to hide it because I'm not ashamed.  My cat needed a sweater.

I hear your eyes rolling.  "Cats don't *need* sweaters, they have fur!"

Well, smarty pants, my cat doesn't have fur.  *sticks out tongue*  Well, technically she does but it's super short and curled to her body so she has very little hair compared to other cats and she is always cold.  Always.

My cat, Olive, is a Devon Rex.

And now she has a sweater that I made for her because I love her and I'm a freaking nut.

She is a very tolerant cat, which is good or me because she has all her claws and very "grippy" toes (I swear, her toes are like little monkey paws, it's a Devon thing).

She's trying to pretend that I didn't just wrap her in what used to be the arm of a thrift store sweater and take her picture that I will share on the internet for everyone to laugh at.

But while her face says "Oh for god's sake." she didn't do the typical "it's crushing me!" thing cats normally do when you put something on them.  She sat there for a bit, giving me a range of looks from "disgruntled" to "pathetic".

Then Eugene photo bombed us.


That's Olive's older brother, Eugene.  (he's 2, she's 1, so they're both still very kittenish behavior wise).

Then she jumped down onto the floor.

Where Gene had to get up in her business (quite literally) again.  He definitely thought the sweater was odd but after sniffing it a bit (and Ollie's butt) he wandered off (lest I be able to get a good picture of him, the brat!).

Ollie then gave the chest strap a good biting which I reprimanded her for.

Which led to a bit of pouting behind the space heater.  I call this "toasting".  She likes to sit between the heater and wall, like she's in a toaster.

Once she was toasted, she took a few steps out but then had to sit again.  While she was walking normally in the sweater, she had to sit frequently (probably because it's made out of lead and crushing her delicate skeleton, dontcha know *eyeroll*).

The sweater is made from the sleeve of a felted wool/angora blend sweater I got for about $5 at the thrift store.  I used some of the super cool "all in one" velcro I got for the super hero cape project for the closures (the straps are the collar edge of the sweater).  I just eyeballed it for measuring and considering it was just a random one-of thing I made, it turned out pretty well.  And if she really does hate it, I can always use it for craft projects.

I think she might get used to it.  I don't leave it on her when I'm not around to supervise because I know she'll try to destroy it.  It is in her nature to destroy stuff (so says my tattered curtains and the spot of wallpaper behind the space heater that she is peeling off the wall).

"Gene, help me get this thing off!"

"I can't. . .she's right here. . .looking at me. . ."

HAH!  Finally got a decent pic of you, Eugene.  I swear, that cat never sits still (and for the record is every bit as destructive as Ollie. . . we got him one of those cardboard scratch boxes and it's half destroyed after only a few weeks--he LOVES tearing it up).

Linking up to Lily Pad Quilting.

Charity Sewing: Super hero dress up set

I'm totally tagging this with the FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge even though none of the fabric came from the scrap box.  Hell, none of it even came from my stash at all.

BUT. . . that doesn't mean I spent a ton to make this.  I was working with some other super charitable and fabulous folks (through the Regretsy forums) and they funded the fabric panel and I provided the notions and sewing time.  And I didn't fall into my normal trap of "oh, I'll buy extra for me".  I bought just what I needed (with a tiny bit of wiggle room).  Though that did mean I ended up with a butt load of elastic.  I couldn't find a tiny pack, so I have a few YARDS of elastic on hand now.  Guess that means I need to find uses for it now.

But I digress.

Show the pics for crying out loud!

Up, up, and away!!

It's the Riley Blake My Mind's Eye super hero cape set (in green).  It's a yard sized panel that includes the cape front (the horizontal stripe), mask, arm bands, belt, and the "decals".  Oh, and instructions printed on the fabric.

True confession, I love cut and sew panels like this.  They are a lazy person's DREAM.  Just buy the fabric, wash it up, cut and sew.  Yes, I pre-washed this because I figured if it's going to go to a kid it's going to get dirty and need to hit the laundry at least once.  Best to shrink it up a bit before hand so it will hopefully last a good while.

The only thing you need to provide is:  backing fabric if you want the cape to be reversible (you could just cut the cape out and serge the edges and move on with life but that would look cheap as hell), elastic (for the mask), velcro (for the belt and wrist bands).  Totally optional items:  batting (for bands, belt and mask) and fusible web.

You can totally make the set without fusible web but I had some light weight Heat and Bond on hand so I used that for the patch on both sides of the cape.  I didn't want to sew it down because it would leave stitches on the opposite side which would look bad.  I suppose I could have sewn the patches on before assembling the cape but I didn't think of that ahead of time and the instructions didn't mention it, either (for the record, the instructions are only "meh". . .but what do you want for instructions printed in the leftover space of a fabric panel?).

While I'm discussing the directions, they had typos in them which made me laugh but was also annoying.  They also had you make the bands and belt in a kind of dumb way.  They wanted you to attach the decals in the same spot where you put the velcro which would mean having ugly stitches on the decals.  Also, I think it would have been more wear on the decals.  If they're right at the fastener, I'd bet kids would pull on them to open the bands/belt which would lead to ripping (eventually).  So I put the decals opposite the fasteners so the stitching wouldn't be as ugly.

The instructions also fail to mention that if you're using a backing fabric or the cape (to make it reversible) you can use that same fabric to make a reversible (and matching) mask.  The mask pieces in the set are stripes on one side and black on the back (so technically could still be reversible but BORING).

I had to get something snazzy for my backing fabric so I went with green and shiny silver zig zag.  Not for the low profile hero, that's for sure.  Hell, I wanted to wear the mask just for shits and giggles (and I did model it for my hubby and I tried to get him to model it for the pics but it was cold out and football was on and he was not putting on pants for my crafty shenanigans--he did smirk at the set, which for him is big approval).

(oh, the instructions call for 5/8 yard backing fabric.  I upped it to 3/4 since I was going to pre-wash and it gave me plenty to make the mask back and left me with a bit of scrap which made me happy.  I love obnoxious shiny fabrics).

I decided to skip using bating on the belt/bands/mask (even though I had some on hand).  I was worried it would shrink and make everything get funky and I didn't want to wash the whole big piece I have (lazy!).  The items aren't as rigid as they would be with bating but they aren't droopy and cheap looking, either.  I had that mask on my face and it definitely hid my true identity.

OH. . .I also found THE BEST VELCRO.  I've only worked with velcro a tiny bit and from that limited experience I HATED IT.  You had to sew the loops onto on side and the hooks on the other and the hooks were always grabbing the thread and it was a big ole pain in the butt.  BUT. . .they have this version (velcro brand) that's hoops and hooks all in one.  The hooks are short and hidden below the hoops so you don't have two separate pieces and the thread doesn't get all caught up in it YET it still holds together great.  I used it on this project and on my cat's sweater (posting that next!).  Really, it was worth the price (it was a tiny it pricey but all velcro is. . .this was worth every penny).

Ok, so that's the super hero set.

Next up. . .my cat and her new sweater.

Review: eQuilter Scrap Pack

Ok, let me preface by saying I don't get any kind of compensation for any reviews I do.  If I did, I'd say so.  I do scrap pack reviews because I like doing them.

Now then, time for a new review.

Lord knows I don't need any more fabric but when eQuilter had their latest free shipping deal I was weak and had to treat myself (because I'm a spoiled brat).  So I grabbed up one of their three pound scrap packs.  The price was decent at $35.95 for three pounds (approximately 10 yards).  Unlike my last review, I didn't measure every piece in this one.  But I feel confident I wasn't ripped off at all.

I've bought from eQuilter before (a few times) so I was confident the fabric would all be top quality.  I've even bought one of their food themed Booty Packs before (they do scrap packs by theme as well as the mystery 3 pound packs, the themed packs have smaller cuts but are really nice).

The cuts in the 3 lb pack were all very large.  All were width of fabric and the smallest was around 6 inches or so (again, I didn't measure) and the largest was just under a yard.  There were also a few panels.

Of course, I have pics!

Seven different prints in this pic (the one on the very right is a print, it just blends in to the background a bit--it's a large print in stone colors).  I really like all of these.  The bottom piece is books and the really white piece has bikes and a street scene.

Eight prints in this pic.  Again, I like them all.  The music themed one is a bit sparkly (which I always like) and the black/silver has the thick decal like printing on it (I'm sure there's a term for that, but I'm too lazy to figure it out right now).  The pink ballerinas are so cute they give me pains (and just beg to be fussy cut for little doll sized pillows).

One print there and two panels.  I LOVE the print.  A big ole piece of Moda is always welcome in my stash (and I have a weak place in my heart for olive shades of green).  The beach theme fabric is a set of 5 (or maybe 6?) panels.  It appears they're all fully intact, which is really nice.  Then there was a whole sheet of Flats fabric.  Flats are this line of fabric paper dolls.  This panel is all clothes, no dolls.  It also includes the instructions for making the clothes (you have to sew on some velcro and such).  I'm going to bet someone crafty could use the clothes to make their own felt doll if they didn't want to buy the doll panel.

In fact, I'm going to give someone crafty a chance to find out how creative they are when I give that Flats panel away in this month's giveaway (it's better to pass it along then to let it languish in my stash).

Overall I'm very pleased with this purchase.  I got the fun of getting mystery fabrics that were all high first run quality.  I haven't seen any marks or stains on any pieces and only one appeared "damaged" (it has a little hunk cut out of it along the selvage that just barely dips into the fabric--I'm sure that's how it ended up in the scrap and why it's a large piece).  All the fabrics are quilting weight cotton and all are nice sizes.

I would have no problem buying one of these again or recommending it to someone who likes scrap packs.  BUT, I'd say wait and get a free shipping deal (my deal was spend $40 and get free shipping, and I find that to be a fair deal--I easily found one stand alone fabric to make up the difference to get to the free shipping minimum).

eQuilter also has a great clearance section and they have all kinds of sales different times.  I've never had any issues with any of my purchases from them and have bought from them (I think) about four times now.

Now, I have two other posts to make so hold on to your butts, I'm spamming the blog today.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Progress Report: Little Portraits

Yes, I worked the green even more.  It looks extra washed out in this pic but in person it looks more like the true color (a chartreuse).  I like the shade in the before shot, but it's too bright and too cartoony looking.  So I'm almost there with the green.  Once I get the green just about set, I need to work the red the same way.  Then just make the background pop (based on the new body shades) and then add the fine details like the tiny fibers you can see on the surface of the whole doll.

I'm finally feeling like I'll see an end to this final Little Portrait.

Next week we have a live model so I probably won't work this painting at all, which is kind of good because I need to start thinking up a new idea but I'm kind of "meh" about the whole thing right now.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Buying Ban (or fabric fast)

Inspired by Jess at The Elven Garden, I'm joining in on her Fabriholics Anonymous goal to not buy any new fabric for 6 months (beginning January 1).

BUT. . .I have to make a few amendments to her list of exceptions (to make them better fit my needs).

But first, the rules as she set them for herself:

1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.   
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete them!
4) Exceptions
  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible.  However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable.
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric.  Notions acceptable too.
  • Swap Mama Fabric: if hosting a swap you are permitted to by fabric to execute swap duties, but you may not join a swap simply for the sake of being able to buy fabric!
  • Quilts for Publication: if you are making a quilt for a publication and need certain fabric to execute it correctly then that is a major exception - who can blame you?

I just need to amend the "exceptions" a tiny bit.

MY Exceptions:

--Backing:  still ok to buy but better not to if you can help it.
--Notions acceptable.  Includes beads and bobbles used for making toys/dolls (and stuffing).  (I don't buy books/mags much so that's not really applicable to me).
--Felt:  I don't stash a lot of felt, so if I need some to do a project that is an acceptable purchase.


I edited this post on 12/18 to reflect my new exceptions (which are much smaller).

I'm now linking this up and actively participating since my exceptions are more in line with the original exemptions.

I'm really going to focus on finishing up UFOs and destashing.  I really need to tidy up my craft room and I know there is at least one decent pile of fabric I can part with (meaning just take right to the thrift shop--it's stuff folks gave to me "because you sew" so it's nothing fancy).

This challenge ties in nicely with my FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge, too.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Quilt Blocks

The last thing I finished up (sort of) this weekend.

It started out as pre-working for a swap but. . .

I don't think I made these quite right and I just couldn't get them "crazy" enough.

The swap was for crazy quilt blocks made with foundation piecing.  I got the technique down but the sizing may not be quite right.  The block on the left is definitely too small.  The finished block was supposed to be 12.5 inches.  But I cut my foundation fabric to 12.5 so once I got all the piecing done the block was too small.

Ok, no problem.  That could just be a practice block.  I didn't embellish it at all and cut out new foundation fabric (about an inch larger) for the next block.

That's the second stab at the block.  The size was right but as I was embellishing it I realized. . .I'm not good at crazy embellishment.  I added some ribbon here and there and some random embroidery but I didn't really want to add all kinds of buttons and stuff.  Because I had used wild fabrics I didn't feel like hiding them under a bunch of junk.

Then it sunk in that maybe I wasn't ready to participate in a crazy quilt block swap.  So I dropped the swap before it assigned partners (the host was taking forever to assign, which was kind of a red flag, too--best to just cut my losses on that swap).

Not that these blocks are "losses".  I love how they turned out.  I love this technique for using up scraps.  On a smaller scale, you really could use up some scraps.  These larger ones tend to make a bit more scrap than I like.  That's always been my beef with paper piecing (which this pretty much is just without the paper--I found the paper aspect of paper piecing super annoying).  But if these blocks were smaller they would be practical for scrap busting.

See that chipmunk there in the center?  Yeah, I was all about that fabric this weekend.

OH, and while I was pawing through my scraps I found two fun pieces to use for some polaroid blocks.  Now those I'm really enjoying.

For a swap: Autumn Dotee

I finished this over the weekend, too.

A dotee for the Autumn dotee swap.

This one was super simple but I like how it turned out.  The top of the tree is fabric with batting inside and lightly quilted (around the edges and up the limbs).  The tree is felt with a felt face.  The hanger is just wine colored embroidery floss.  The tail is large seed beads and three feather/leave looking beads (they're not quite "fall" colored but I liked the look so I'm not complaining too hard).

The back of the tree.  I just had to use this chipmunk fabric.  I was kind of obsessed with it this weekend.

Just mailed this cutie off to the Netherlands.  I hope it will be well received.

For a swap: TM Patches YELLOW

I got a lot of projects wrapped up this weekend so I could mail them out this morning.

Among them was:

TM style patches for the rainbow series.  These are the yellow ones.

Close ups?  Ok.

"Flashy" chick.  I just love peeps/chicks and this was just a weird thing I did.  French knot for the eye and embroidered lines around it.  Once I got the embroidery on it all the sudden I thought "flashy" so I added that, too.  It was only after that I realized it was a "flashy chick" patch.  I thinks it's silly and fun.  I'd like something odd ball like this so I'm hoping my swap partner feels the same way.

Banana and patch on patch.  I needed to use that banana even if it was totally random like this.  Then I made a patch on a patch.  I'm trying to be more fancy and creative with my patches.  I tend to be very restrained so I need to stretch my creative legs a bit.  French knots on the flowers but not a lot more to talk about except the patch on a patch.

This was the one I did last and it's definitely more "flashy".  The patch itself is very basic, just some added beads and some embroidery.  Then I added beads on every stitch around the edge.  I like how almost obnoxious it turned out.  Ice cream should have bling.  Ice cream is fabulous.

The backs.  The celery is the back for the ice cream.  I like to put veggie with treats, kind of like a balanced diet thing.  Same with the candies.  They're opposite the banana.

I'm very pleased with this set of patches.  I'm really liking this series, too.  It's fun to dig through my stash looking for the designated color.  Blue and green are up next.  I tend to lean toward cool colors, so I should have tons to work with.