Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It Came from the Scrap Bag

What's this?  OH, be very careful.  We have stumbled upon a very rare creature indeed.

It's an elusive scrap monster.  Legend has it that if you befriend one, you will have great creativity.

Legend also holds that scrap monsters love sweets, especially sweets purchased on deep clearance.

"Hey little guy.  Want a piece of this Christmas Kit Kat I got for 50% off at Target's after Christmas sale?"



Well, guess the legends are right.  But it is hard to resist a cheap Christmas Kit Kat, right buddy?

Oh, don't run away!  I thought we were friends.  I don't share discount chocolate with just anyone.

Darn, he's gone.  But I think I saw him smiling, so maybe we are friends.  Time will tell.


Ok, so the story behind this fella is. . .I was setting out to make a dotee doll and got completely side tracked and he just happened.  Yup, just like that.  The dotee was a "your favorite color" themed one and I was going to go more with my favorite texture/fabric (since I don't really have one top color I love more than others) so I got digging through my felted sweater scraps and fiddling about and low and behold when I spied the button holes on one of the scrap pieces they just had to be eyes (using some beads I bought a month or so ago and have been drooling to use).  I was going to make him into a dotee but he's just a bit too demonic for that.  I thought my swap partner might not appreciate that about him (even though he's a very lovely monster--no religious affiliation at all, really) and I just loved him so much I couldn't give him away.  Ever.

He's made from the bottom bit of a felted sweater, the waist area that included two button holes.  His arms are seams and I just used six strand embroidery floss for all the sewing.  Two bead eyes and a bit of poly fil and the cutest little demonic scrap monster EVER was born.

His eyes remind me of The Predator.  I kind of want to make him a dread lock wig now.

For Swaps: TM patches: Blue and Purple

These are hot off the presses (so to speak).  I just finished them up in the past two days.

Yup, more TM (Teesha Moore) style patches for some swaps.

There's a rainbow series and these are for the BLUE round and the PURPLE round.  (you have to make three patches for each round--all go to one partner).


The whole group, looking all fancy.


Puppies.  That dog is just loving on that bone.  And the one on the left there is filled, just filled with envy.  So much drama on one patch, it's just overwhelming.

Fun story.  That dog fabric came from this totally awful swap I received.  Yeah, I'm going to sound all bitchy right now (and I may have mentioned this before so if I did just be all polite and nod along).  On the last Crazy 9 Patch quilt block swap, one of my partners sent me straight up crap.  The blocks were made totally wrong and poorly and it was just a fabric train wreck.  Except for one thing.  That dog fabric.  That square there is from the center of one of the train wreck blocks.  How's THAT for lemonade from lemons, huh?

I want to be, under the sea.  In an octopuses garden. . .

I've had that fabric for a bit.  Got it in a swap and liked it but because of the texture on it (it's so not quilting cotton) I was kind of at a loss on what I'd ever use it for.  That was before I started making patches which aren't so picky about fabric types.  BAM, octopus patch with sequin and bead sucker and sequin and bead bubbles and. . .FABULOUS.

And boring patch is boring.  Hey, they can't all make you wet a little.  This one is very blue.  So very, very blue.  Nice and all but not that exciting.

And the back of them all.

Next up:


The whole set.


Sequin elephants in little bubbles.  I kind of wish I'd remembered I had these sequins for the pink round (has there been a pink round?).  Pink elephants makes me happy.  The backing on this one is flannel.

Black cat looking worried at a jack o lantern.  My partner's profile mentioned they liked Halloween and I love this kitty fabric (which isn't technically Halloween fabric) so why not make a little Halloween patch with a super cute button I scored (yeah, I went a bit hog wild when Joanne Fabrics had their buy one get one free button sale).

Bride with veil that lifts up.

I freaking love this patch and now I want to make a whole set of Day of the Dead patches using this fabric.  This bit was from a cat toy I was making but I sewed the fabric together wrong and didn't feel like pulling it apart so I just flung it into my scrap bag (to be resurrected as a patch).  I just added a bit of razz-ma-tazz to her jewelry (blinged it out, yo!) and did a tiny bit of embroidery detail (black sewing thread, filled in a few lines here and there--like her mouth) then added the lace as a veil when I was sewing up the edges.  The backing fabric is corduroy (and is actually purple even though it looks black in the pic).

And the backs of all three.  Again, one is flannel, one quilting cotton, one corduroy.

OK, we're on the home stretch now.  Just one more post to make and then my spamming is over.

Scrap Pack Review: Fabric Worm Japanese/Organic Neutral Pack

Since I'm going on a fabric buying ban for the first six months of 2014, I had to get one last purchase in before then (like hogging down on candy the day before you start that diet.. .what! it's not gross to eat three kit kat bars in one day, really, it isn't.. .)

Fabric Worm was having a sale on their bundles a bit ago and I've been eyeballing their Japanese/Organic scrap bundles (which are slightly more expensive than the regular bundles) so I decided to get one (that and I had some money in my pay pal from that guinea pig I sold).

I chose the neutral pack (there is "girl" and "boy" and "neutral") and received eight lovely pieces of fabric in a range of sizes.  I didn't measure each piece but I'd say the smallest was about 1/4 yard (full WOF) and the biggest was probably 1/2 yard.

They all coordinated really nicely too.


I love the colors.  Fall colors (and browns/muted oranges in general) are some of my favorites.  I really like the multi color chevrons and the little lady bugs are adorable (and one of the bigger pieces!).

All were quilting cotton weight except the one. The trees (bottom fabric in the top pic) are a heavier weight of cotton.  Almost canvas/duck but not super stiff like that.  It reminds me a lot of the cotton/linen blends you get in the Japanese fabrics but the selvage says 100% cotton.  It's a pretty big piece so I'm tempted to use it to make a shopping bag (some of mine are looking a bit long in the tooth so it's time to upgrade to all handmade ones and let the cheapos fade, fade away).

Overall I'm very pleased with this purchase.  I got it for 20% off  which pretty much made it like getting free shipping (I also got a half yard of some super cute kitty fabric I'd been eyeing).  I can't remember if I've ever bought a Fabric Worm scrap pack before (I want to say I have but I really think I haven't) but I know I've never splurged for the Japanese/Organic pack.  I'm very happy with the fabric quality and quantity and I would splurge on one of these again.

Made for Christmas Gifts

So very behind on posting.  So I'll be spamming the blog today.

First up, the things I got done for Christmas gifts.

Pouches.  Oh the pouches.

One for my sister, one for my mother, and one for my father.  The ones for my mom and dad were to house the Nooks they received.  Perfect fit.

Star Trek for my dad (love Kirk's disapproving scowl).

Enterprise on the inside (love that fabric).

Black cats for my mom.  Love this fabric, too.

Fish bones on the inside.

Big Bang Theory for my sister (and one bad photo--the lighting in my house is horrendous).  This was the only pouch I put a little tab on.  Super easy addition, I just used some pre-packaged bias tape.  Leftovers from the. . .


Let me pause here to share with you my boobery (and hubris).  I thought "ooh, that will be so easy" which pretty much sealed my fate.  These mama-jammas were a pain in the butt.  Ok, not that bad but they had me scowling and reaching for the seam ripper.  The holder part was easy (though it proved to me I will want to get a walking foot for my machine if I plan to do a lot of actual quilting--fabric was going all over the place).  The binding was where I suddenly had head trauma and just could not figure out how to miter the corners.  Oh, I had tutorials with pics and the works but it just would not compute.  That's why they ended up with rounded corners.  A sign that I have given up.

Two different fabrics, on on each side.  Since the pics are so bad, I'll just tell you that one is trimmed in orange and the other in bright green.


(and yes, I do have a bit left over and I am going to make a Spock and Sheldon patch--after I get some more important sewing done).

All gifts were well received.


Friday, December 20, 2013

For a Swap: Holiday Dotee

Been a while since I've made a dotee.

I still love them but swaps (in general) are less this time of year so my dotee making has slowed, too.

This one was for a Holiday Dotee swap.  You just had to make a dotee that represented the holidays (to you).

I toyed with making a gingerbread man or a tray of little kawaii cookies (I almost went with with that idea but the thought of doing something so structured bored me--making the baking sheet would be boring sewing).  Then I started pawing through my mass of fabric and I was reminded of some great vintage Christmas fabrics I have.

So I had to take them and make some patchwork fabric.

See, those are some cute fabrics.

Then I had to figure out the face.  I started by making a felt/embroidered one but it just wasn't whimsical enough.  It was kind of scary/mean looking which was clearly not what I'm going for (though all my faces tend to look that way, what's that about?).  So I tucked it aside for some future project and in doing that I spied my pom poms and the rest is dotee history.

THAT face is what I wanted.  Cute and kind of silly and a bit wonky (the wonkiness was pure accident, the face went on a tiny bit crooked but once I saw it it worked with a little off center stitched mouth).

See, cute and kind of silly and a bit childlike.  And just covered with all things I think of when I think "holiday".  We have santa.  We have poinsettias.  We have ever green boughs and little berries.  We have toys.  And on the back is non-patchwork fabric that has a snowman and jingle bells and sleighs and snow and. . .yeah, holiday-a-rama.

Then I had to gussy the doll up so I added gold and silver and red and jingle bells and sparkle (tinsel hair?  yes please!).  I was *this close* to adding glitter but glitter is a hot button thing so I decided against it (I like it in rational amounts but some folks despise it and I get that so, I always err on the side of no glitter).

The fabric in the background is what I wrapped it in (and loosely tied it with a bit of the same gold ribbon I used for the hanger.

And last but not least, a little deer on the tail.  I've been wondering what I'd use this little cutie for and this was PERFECT.  You can't have "holiday" without a reindeer!  (and I finally used some ribbon I've had in my craft hoard for a long while, which is always a bonus).

I'm so happy how this one turned out.  It was such a refreshing change from what I've been working on.  Which is?  Potholders.  And last night those bad boys were giving me the business (hello seam ripper, my old friend) so doing this project first and having success kept me from having a tizzy of a tantrum when the pot holders got the better of me (well, the potholders themselves are fine, it's the bias tape binding that had me in less than a festive holiday spirit).

I'll show off the potholders (and some other christmas gift stuff I made) at a later date.  I need to get good pictures of it.  And I'm still not sure the potholders will make the gift cut.  I'm not totally happy with the one I finished so. . .we'll see!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway WINNERS

Sorry for the delay folks.

I was all planning to pick my winner Saturday but my home computer had other plans.  Plans like freaking out and just not working.  It has a long history of being a crotchety machine so I wasn't all that shocked that it decided to pull a stunt the ONE time I wanted to use it.

Yes, I could have tried doing all this using my phone but jeez that would have made me crazy and that's something none of us needs, trust me!

SO. . .blah blah blah. . .I picked my winners this morning (on my work computer) and congratulations go out to:

Comment #60 Hafza (for the international pack)

Comment # 95 OhioLori (for the domestic pack)

I have emailed both winners so I hope they reply with their addresses so I can get their packages out this week.

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaways and the folks who decided to follow my blog.  It's fun to know there are a few eyeballs out there checking out the wacky stuff I make.

Thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this every year.  It's fabulous.

(oh, and I won one of the giveaways I entered. . .I'll show that off in a separate post).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another Guinea Pig

I finally got back to working on the Fluff Project guinea pigs last night.

I wanted to pull one particular pig out of the poke and finish him/her up.

You see, I showed off the first guinea pig and someone asked if I'd sell one to them (wee, I do like a commission).  Of course I jumped on the idea and the colors they liked just happened to coincide with a piggie I already had cut out and half finished.

Piggie at the office!

So I finished this cutie up last night.  It took almost exactly one hour to finish.  I had to cut and add the eyes, turn and prep the ears and limbs (turn them, stuff limbs, baste all closed then baste to the front body), sew, turn, stuff, and close.  That time included winding a new bobbin and going up to my craft room to get more stuffing (so a bit of down time).

This little piggie turned out very well.  Though I'm still placing the one ear a little oddly.  It looks plenty cute but I want to get that left (when you look at the pic) ear a little lower.  I got a lot nicer of a close on the stuffing opening on this one.  It's very smooth which I like.  I had to free-hand the eyes since (despite my best efforts) I lost the eye pattern piece.  I could have traced it from the body pattern (which has the whole face drawn on it as a placement template) but to be honest I didn't think of that until right now.  Duhr!

If this color set doesn't work for the buyer, I'll make another in different colors.  But they said they liked icy/winter blues so I figured this one would fill the bill.

I still need to finish the rest of the piggie herd (7 toys not including the fuzzy one just incase it doesn't turn out well).  So I'll definitely have a total of 8 piggies for the Fluff Project.  I'll probably make two more just to have a nice round 10.  Ten little piggies!  Wee, wee!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: For the U.S. Folks: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED


It's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day (week!) again and this year I'm finally participating.

NOTE:  THIS IS FOR THE U.S. ONLY GIVEAWAY.  If you live outside the U.S. please go HERE for your giveaway.  If you are live in the U.S. please do not enter the international giveaway (or vice versa).  Thanks.

SO, what's up for grabs?

How does a big ole heap of fabric sound?  Sounds like I'm exaggerating, doesn't it?

I'm not.  Oh, I'm so not.

That's the stack, folks.  I didn't measure it but it's a tall stack.  But that pic just doesn't do it justice so lets paw through that stack and get a closer look.

First up is the bits and pieces I was going saving for one of my own FY14 giveaways but November kicked my butt and I couldn't get around to it.  So you have a panel of clothing for the Flats dolls.  A panel featuring cute kids at the beach (I think it has 5 different images), some scraps from the Hello Tokyo panel dolls I stitched up for my November Fluff Project box (no dolls, but some cute images like the little bird there).  And some scraps from other projects I made in the past month or so.  (those scraps are smaller pieces but not itsy bitsy--nice usable pieces).

BUT WAIT. . .there's more!

Fat quarters!!

14 of them (if my count it right).  Yes, 14 fat quarters.  This is a motley crew.  You have some novelties, some blenders, a few holiday, and two batiks (true confession--I don't much like batiks so I'm super happy to get rid of these two stragglers!).  They're all quilting cottons and nice but I simply don't want them.  (another true confession--I have way more fabric than I like to admit to so I really need to just cull the herd--this is part of the culling process so you're doing me a favor by taking this lot off my hands).

OH, but there is a little bit more!

Last but not least, some odd cuts/scraps.  (oh and one more fat quarter--that berry print there in the lower left is a fat quarter but I didn't realize it until after I had the nice neat fat quarter pic taken and I was too lazy to re-do the fat quarter pic--so that brings the FQ total to 15!).

Most of the pieces in that pic are good sized.  The smallest is probably 6 inches square (or so).  You have floral prints, civil war reproduction (that coordinate very well), some bright colors, a few novelties (that are country themed) and one piece that's a very large print (almost a panel but not really).

All of the fabric is new and unwashed.  Most of it came to me via scrap packs and I've used what I want and now want to send the leftovers on their way (another true confession, I don't much like civil war reproduction stuff so I made a few blocks from it just to have them and now I'm tired of the fabric so it needs a new home).


1.  Leave a comment on this post and INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENT.

2.  One entry per email address.  Duplicates will be deleted.

That's it.  One comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  Yes, I'm doing that because I'm lazy.  I hate having to hunt down a way to notify winners (and then having to pick a second winner when the first one has no contact info).  So do a lazy gal a favor and leave your email address the "no spam" way (  email at whatever dot com  ).  (this way also makes it easier for absolutely everyone to participate--so anon folks come on and enter!).

Giveaway will be open until 5 p.m. Friday December 13.  Winner will be drawn Sunday December 15 and notified via email and in a separate post here on my blog (and I'll edit this post to note the winner).


Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: For the International Folks: CLOSED

It's GIVEAWAY DAY!!!!!   (ok, week but day sounds better).

I'm so excited to finally be participating and offering some fun stuff up for folks during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.


I have a separate post for you U.S. folks.  Please do not enter for the international if you're a U.S. person (and vice versa).  I deliberately separated them because the international prize is a little smaller to keep my shipping costs lower.

OK?  Cool.

So, what can all you international folks enter to win?

It's a scrap fabric bundle.

When I say "scrap" I don't mean teeny tiny bits, either.  The majority of these pieces are good sized.  The smallest bits are there on the top (and are awkward sizes).  The rest are pretty uniform (square/rectangle) and are probably at least 5 inches square (most are a lot wider than they are long--some even WOF).

There is quite a bit of civil war reproduction fabric here (the dark colors) but also some nice bright pinks, a crazy bright orange, and some cute novelties (the ballerinas there on top and the bottom two pieces of fabric have some cute birds).

All fabrics are new and unwashed.


CONGRATULATIONS TO (comment #60) Hafza

1.  Leave a comment on this post.  INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT.

2.  One entry per email address.  Duplicates will be deleted.

That's it.  One comment that includes your email address.  If you'd like, mention what country you live in (just because I'm nosey like that).

Please note:  I need your email address in the comment so I can contact you.  You can type it the "no spam" way (  email at whatever dot com  ).  Yes, I'm doing it this way because I'm lazy and don't want to have to hunt down a way to contact you if you win.  And this way any and all can enter (bring on the anon folks!).

Giveaway will be open until 5 p.m. Friday December 13.  Winner will be drawn Sunday December 15 and notified via email and in a separate post here (and I'll edit this post to note the winner).


What I'm working on: December Fluff Project Items

Sunday I sewed just about all day.


Sunday I cut out fabric almost all day (then finally got a bit of sewing done).

I kind of hate that you have to do all the prep before you can actually sew.  But at least this round of cutting out wasn't too annoying.

What is all that mess?

Well, that there is a mess o' guinea pigs in various states of being sewn up.

The one in the foreground is the only fuzzy one of the set.  I'm not entirely sure it will turn out so I'm not guaranteeing it will make the final December Fluff Project box.  Last night (after I took this pic) I did get the face and belly attached and all the limbs and ears put together and turned.  So far, so good.  But when I get ready to attach the limbs and sew the beastie together I'm not sure how the seams might come out (super bulking seams could spell bad things--though I've worked with fat seams before and it worked out so. . .here's hoping this guinea pig turns out well).

OH and to be brutally honest, if the fuzzy one is a pain in the butt to sew but turns out super cute I might just keep him for myself.  I reserve that right.

The pile in the right back corner have all the front body embellishments (sans eyes) attached and all limbs/ears sewn together and trimmed with pinking shears.  The left corner pile are ready for that step.  Then everyone will get eyes (I cut them as I put them on so I can pick the best color and so they don't get lost--I can just bet my cats would love to carry off a guinea pig eye).  Then stuff and baste closed all the limbs and baste them to the bodies.  Then pin fronts and backs together and sew up.  Then turn, stuff, and close.  Then squeal like a little guinea pig over how effing cute they all are (and wave them in my hubbies face asking him repeatedly if he thinks they are super cute--he'll just roll his eyes which means he does but won't say so lest I get the satisfaction).

I did get one little piggie completely finished.  I did that on Saturday.  I like to do a full run through with a new pattern (this is a Dolls and Daydreams pattern I got on sale--so happy!) before I decide to mass produce it.

This pattern is perfect for assembly line production.  There are a few futzy pieces about it (the wee little felt eyes and the embroidered nose/lips) but for the most part the pattern pieces are easy and straight forward and cut and sew up fast.  Especially if you're using cottons.  The thicker fabrics are more laborious (ooh, I forgot I wanted to try this pattern with corduroy--I have both wide and small wale in brown--but I need to get this herd o' piggies done first).

For being a first go with a pattern this little piggie turned out VERY well.  His one ear is a little crooked (but it looks cute) and he could use a second set of stitches on his belly bib (I started doing that on the others) but there were no issues at all making him.  All the limbs attached easy peasy and everything lined up well.  OH, his stuffing hole sew job it a little wonky.  It's always tricky when the stuffing hole is on a curve, so I need to pay a tiny bit better attention on future ones (but the sew job is good, just kind of indented a tiny bit--something I totally notice but others might not).

And once again I'm reminded of a sewing truth.  Basting is necessary.  Baste the limbs closed and then baste them to the front body before putting the front and back together.  It's totally worth the few extra steps/minutes to not have to deal with pins while putting the body together (that's the one critique I have of the pattern--it has you pinning the limbs in without basting and then dealing with pins when you turn the item--holy hassle batman, not to mention the blood letting that could occur!).

I'd love to fill an entire box with these cuties but for now I do have at least 9 to give (not officially counting fuzzy yet).  I think I will cut out a corduroy one tonight to make sure I have a nice round 10 to give (and plan to just keep fuzzy no matter how he turns out).

The only bad thing?  I'm running out of Heat and Bond!  I had more than enough to make the piggies (and still have a nice piece leftover) but it's going fast.  The good thing is you don't have to do the double belly layer.  You can just use plain felt and it looks every bit as cute (in fact, one of the pigs in my current herd has a single layer belly because it just looked better that way--and fuzzy has a single layer since I used fleece for fuzzy's belly).

What else am I up to?

I need to get some christmas sewing done once one of my supplies arrives (I'm making some pot holders and had to get the heat resistant stuff) and a two zipper pouches.  Then I'll whip up some blue Teesha patches and a dotee (for swaps).

I want to give the other Dolls and Daydreams pattern I got (during the sale) a try but I don't have time right now (and I don't think I have the right fabrics).  It's a super cute gingerbread man doll with rufflie icing accents.  But first, the piggie herd.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Progress Report: Little Portraits

Before and after (top and bottom).

Look who finally has a mouth!  I also cleaned up the background to get the line more straight.  I'm officially calling the background DONE.

I also worked at "fuzzing" the whole thing.  I need to add in some little fibers here and there to give the whole thing more texture.  You can see it a tiny bit around the edges of his head and you can see how much lighter the mask is.  I need to do a few more layers (some dark, some light) and then give some shadow/light to the mouth (it was wet so I need it to dry a bit before I play with it more.

I'm feeling confident I'll get this painting DONE next (and final) class.  At long freaking last.

But that means. . .oh no!. . .I have to come up with a new painting idea.  Right now I'm kind of toying with just doing the weekly still life offerings the instructor puts up at the front of the class.  It will help me work on my drawing skills and will force me to work a LOT faster if I want to get any type of finished product.  I could also play with making more abstract works.

I was all inspired by that idea, so I took this pic.  I just enjoy painting clutter and this one shows all the paint stuff and the photo I'm working from along with the photo my hubby is working from (he's doing a self-portrait. . .you'll be hard pressed to find me doing that, that's for sure).

Ok, enough painting talk.