Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wacky 9 Patch Quilt Blocks

Another swap DONE.

Set of wacky 9 patch blocks.

Two sets to trade, one for me.

The closeups are the ones I kept.

The pic doesn't do it justice.  The solid color is a tan but the woven looking print.  The dots on the purple fabric are about the same shade which pairs with the tan in the bigger dot print.

Again, the colors aren't popping due to my sad photography skills (and using my phone).  The rose print is a creamy shade which goes well with the book print (I used that one on a recent patch and pulls from the shiny gold accents in the music fabric.

All three of the fabrics on the music/books/roses block are from one of my more recent scrap pack purchases (perhaps the last one I got right before I went on my buying fast?  can't remember what store that one was from but the box was really good).

That's all I have today.

Tonight I start sewing on the pouches for this quarter's Hopeful Threads project.  I want to get that box out the door by the end of the week.  I grabbed up a big priority box when I was at the post office this morning, so I'll pack all the extras tonight and then just pop the pouches in as I finish them.  Can't wait to have that project DONE.

Then I have to work on an art doll and my multi-media curse project.  I know what I'm doing for my curse but the dolls is still up in the air.  We'll see what comes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

For Swaps: Three Things Finished!!

Got a lot of sewing done lately, which makes me happy.  All are for swaps.

First up, two dotees.

Night and Day Dotee

The challenge was to make a two sided dotee, one side day and one side night.

Day (full view)

Close up of the face.

I went very simple with this dotee.  I wanted to get back to a more classic look for this doll.  I also wanted to focus more on the colors (yellow for day, blue for night).  So I went really monochromatic for day.  The base fabric and the felt are very close in shade and I did all the details in a bright yellow, too.

Double tail.  I did deviate from the color scheme a tiny bit for the night tail.  I had three cute star beads so I just used them not worrying about the colors.

Night full shot.

Night close up.  Again, very simple.

I did try to make a double hanger, too, but because the white ribbon was so wide it mucked up the point on the diamond body shape and made the second loop (which was yellow) get all wonky.  So I was able to remove the yellow loop and I'm glad I did.  The hanger is still wonky but I kind of like it that way.

Next up:

March Unique Holiday Dotee

March 13th is Popcorn Lovers Day.  Mmmm, popcorn.

So why not make a box of felt popcorn to celebrate.

You can see, it's a pretty big dotee.  It's really pushing the size boundaries, but with these Unique Holiday swaps, it's kind of expected.  And the partner I have isn't all uptight.  She appreciates funky dotees like this.

I have to give a shout out to our dear friend the internet.  I got the box as a free printable (just print, cut out and fold up) and I found the tutorial for the popcorn kernels online, too.  Though I did have to do a bit of trial and error to get the kernels right, but the basics of what shape to use and how to sew them was from a tutorial I found (really, just google "felt popcorn" and you'll find all kinds of great stuff).

Don't spill my popcorn!!

Eh, it can't spill.  I stuffed the box with a bit of fiber fill and then made a cover for the top (just a square of felt that I did a running stitch on the edge so I could gather it a bit so it curved over the stuffing).  I ran the hanger up through the felt cap (and added a dab of glue to make sure it wouldn't pull out) and then hot glued the cap into the box (so it was just below the top edge of the box, so the kernels would have some space to sit down into the box).

Then I grabbed all the kernels (there are 12 of them) and just jammed them into the top of the box.  I fluffed them about a bit and then took them out (a few at a time) and glued them back in (I felt I'd be too anal and try to line them all up perfect if I just glued directly--jamming the handful in all random like that helped make it feel more natural).


All dotees need a face so I had to decide if the face was going on the box or the kernels.  I didn't like the idea of the face sticking up off the box (if I had stickers I could have drawn a face and it would have been more flush to the paper, but I didn't have stickers so it would have been a felt face which would add too much dimension).

But let's be honest, faces on the kernels is way more cute.

AND, I have some groovy new fabric pens so I was itching to try them out.

Smile, you're about to be eaten!

I can't remember now if there are three or four faces.  I think there are four.

Oh, all the kernels have "butter" on them, too.  I used the yellow marker in my new set to trace the pattern so I had a bit of yellow on the kernels to start.  Then I just brushed the maker over the felt a bit to even the color out.

Sidebar:  I love my new markers.  Their not super fancy, either.  They're just Rose Art fabric markers (a five color set).  But they don't run and. . AND. . .you don't have to heat set them.  I LOVE that.  It's hard to heat set on felt or on something like this project.

I'm super pleased with how this dotee turned out.  It wasn't that hard at all and the popcorn kernels really do look a lot like actual popcorn (they're a tiny bit bigger than real popcorn but not by much).  I was tempted to make caramel and cheese corn to go along with the butter (using colored felt) but I didn't have a nice caramel brown so I opted to just go classic butter.

NOW, last but not least:

Rag Doll.

This was for another swap.  You just had to make a doll that had some type of clothing on it (the clothing didn't have to be removable, but it just had to be there).

Two full body pics, one with the hair pushed back so you can see the arms.

If this doll looks familiar, you're not nuts.  It's the same pattern I used to make Jackie (the doll in the oil painting in the background of the banner pic for my blog).

I knew I was getting myself into some serious hand stitching work when I decided to do this pattern again.  But this time it wasn't as horrible as I remembered.  I think my improved sewing skills are to thank for that.

The body is wool blend felt sewn with three strand embroidery floss.  Nothing difficult there.

The face is buttons and an embroidered mouth and marker for the freckles and blush.  Not difficult (especially when you can hide the button stitching under the wig!)

The wig isn't hard, either.  Well, making it and sewing it onto the head isn't hard.  Styling it was annoying, though.  You just have to be patient to get the strips to lay right before you tie the pig tails down.  I didn't want to glue it, either (glue could have made it easier but I didn't want to run the risk of it messing up the head and having to re-make the whole head).

The dress, however, was tricky.  Not "hard" exactly, but tedious.

OH, wait one second.  Let me take back one little thing I said about the body.  Those little panties are a royal pain in the butt.  I think part of it is my altering the pattern (the original pattern has you use cotton for the body and you sew and turn the pieces--so I had to adjust the underwear to accommodate the smaller size of my doll because I was surface sewing, not turning).  I think I worked those undies three times before I got them right.  Not "hard" but frustrating.

Ok, back to the dress.  It was less annoying than the underwear and less annoying than I remembered.  I used the machine to sew the major seams (shoulders and down the sides) and the fold overs where the snaps go.  I hand stitched all the "hems" (around the collar, the arm holes, and the bottom hem).

Again, I had to alter the pattern a bit to make the dress longer because I had altered the body pattern a bit (my doll is longer in the torso so I have to make the dress bigger for modesty's sake!).

This dress is much improved over the original dress on Jackie.  Neater stitching and just proof that my skill set had improved.  It's also a little cuter, what with being polka dot.

I opted to not make the boots and handbag for this doll.  I just didn't want to, to be honest.  I also like the idea of this doll being a cute little tomboy who runs around barefoot in her little dress.  Jackie, on the other hand, thinks herself very fashion forward so she accessorizes with the latest items from the Pacy Derm line (she's a slave to the labels!).

I'm so happy to have all three of these done.  Now I just have to make two sets of Wacky 9 Patch blocks and I can take all of this stuff to the post office (a lot of these need to get in the mail by Friday--chop chop!).

Next up after that?

How's about a pile of poo.

Yeah, you read that right.

More details on that later.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fabriholics Anonymous Check In for February

Another month is almost over and I'm happy to report I have purchased NO FABRIC.

Not even one little bit.

That means my wish list is growing and growing.

But first, I have to brag.  I'm sewing up eight fabric pouches for my charity sewing and ALL of the fabric was from my stash.  Mega bust, I have it!

Current Fabric Wish List (in no particular order):

1.  Cat Nap:  I love this fabric and hope by the time the fast is over I'll be able to score it for a song.

2. Mini series by Timeless Treasures.  I love these beavers and they have cats and some other animals I like.

3.  Folklorico.  There are new prints in this line.  I like this one and there are some with other skeletons.

4.  Koi (collection by A E Nathan).  Found this one at Equilter and I WANT IT!  So pretty.  The other goldfish one is cute too (found it on the same search) but if I had to only pick one I'd go with the top image.  LOVE IT.

5.  Wee Wander, of course.  Adorable.  Just adorable.

6.  Goldfish (by Hoodie for Timeless Treasures).  HOLY FISHY, I want this so bad.  A-freaking-dorable.  I have a feeling this one won't be easy to find and will be out of my price range (never go on sale).  But as long as I get something with koi/goldfish I'll be ok.

7.  Hello Petal (Moda).  LOVE the cat print in this set.  The others don't do anything for me but I have a side collection of cat print fabrics and this one NEEDS to be in my kitty collection.  Meow!

8.  Sea (Timeless Treasures).  I love octopus print fabric.  This reminds me so much of Saltwater but I like how the octopi are floating/swimming not just static like Saltwater.

I don't know that I'd buy everything on that list (since I don't like to pay full price) but I'd love to have each and every one of those.  Cat Nap and Wee Wander, I'd like to a few of the prints in the set (LOVE the mice in the Cat Nap line--they're riding bikes!!).

Ok, enough fabric lusting, we're discussing how I'm being good and not buying fabric.  And I am being good.  VERY good.

I've been to Joanns multiple times and even pawed through the remnant bin and not grabbed up anything.  Ok, it helped that the remnant bin was sad and I didn't want any of it.  I didn't even go into the fabric area, lest I spy a super clearance rack and be too tempted and cave.

I have still been getting my buying fix by picking up non-fabric items here and there.  But even with notions buying I'm being conservative.  I don't buy just to buy.  I try to think of a few projects that something could work for before I get it OR just replace things I've used up.  I do indulge and get something just for fun if it's super cheap.  Like this pack of charms I got for FIFTY CENTS.  It's a dragon with some stars and I'm not sure what I'll use it for but for fifty cents I decided I could treat myself.

Shopping from my stash has been very satisfying, too.  I have to confess, I thought I had used up one print of fabric I had in my stash and was lamenting it being gone and then I got to digging and low and behold, there it was (in two different colorways).  For the record, I don't normally buy the same print in different colors but this was a print in a fat quarter bundle I scored at Tuesday Morning (for a song) so that's why I had so much of it.

I've also been entering giveaways but I've found I'm being more picky about what I enter.  I have to really like the fabric to enter the drawing.  I used to just enter any and everything.  So I'm definitely becoming less greedy, which is a GREAT thing.

I still need to clean up my craft room and get rid of some stuff.  But I'm so very lazy. . .

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

For a Swap: Octopus's Garden Patch

Finished this up last night.  It's for a swap (big surprise).

The theme was Beatles songs.

Octopus's Garden.

Two closeups.


And "in the shade".

I really like how this one turned out.  The ric-rac seaweed is just so fun.

I scored the octopus pendant this weekend.  I went to Joann's for their buy one get one free button sale (love that) hoping I'd find an octopus button but that was a wash.  Then I figured I could get an iron on octopus or even a charm.  The only iron on they had was a jelly fish.  It was SO CUTE but technically not right (if it had been on sale I would have bought it anyway but I only had one 40% off a full price item and that was ear marked for some fabric markers so. . .) so I had to keep looking.

I hit up the bead area (where there was some seriously marked down stuff--I got three different items for only 50 cents each--love that) and not an octopus was to be found.  WHAT?  I thought octopi had been all hipster (so they should totally be all over Joann's once they were no longer cool for hipsters).  I was about to give up the search (and go to plan B to just make a fabric octopus) when I saw some plastic containers full of random jewelry stuff near the register.  There was a lot of sea related items in there but on first pawing it appeared octopi were out of the question.  Then I spied it in all it's angry funky glory.

It's not just me, right?  That really is a kind of pissed off octopus.  It kind of reminds me of some of the elephants you see in Indian art (some of them are scowling like that).  I guess he just needed to get back into his garden so he could relax and put his tentacles up.

Chill, octopus.

And, the back.

Story time.  I knew I had this fabric but I couldn't find it and assumed I had used it (but deep in my mind I knew I hadn't).  I did a deep dig in my stash and there it was.  See, that proves I really need to go through my stash and organize it (by color, that would probably be the best) so I can see things better.  Come to find out, I have this print in two colorways (it was part of a fat quarter pack I scored at Tuesday Morning).

When I first was thinking about this patch (not knowing what kind of octopus I'd end up with) I was thinking about making a produce style garden for the octopus's garden.  I was *this close* to buying a little tractor button, too.  But once I found the disgruntled octopus pendant, the silly veggie garden idea didn't work anymore.  But it's perfect for the backing fabric.

(I'm so happy I found those fabrics--those veggies will make fun appliques for other stuff)

This patch will get mailed out maybe this week if I get some other swap stuff done to mail with it.  I hate making a trip to the post office with just one package.  I only do that when I have to get something mailed by the deadline (and the next deadline I have is February 28, so I have time to wait a bit if I want).  It's all packed and ready though.

Next up?

I still have to finish the little doll I started.  That's part of the reason I got the fabric markers.  I know once I sit down and just start working on it again I'll get into the groove but right now as I'm typing this it's not exciting me.  I also have to make two sets of Wacky 9 Patch blocks, two dotees, and a love themed doll (that's not due until March, though).  OH, and my cuss project.  I totally know what I'm doing for that but I need to get some other things off the list before I dive into it.  That one's going to be FUN.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

For a swap: Doll and Pattern

Another swap completed.

This one was for a swap to make a doll and include the pattern you used.  Of course, I went with one of the good ones from Nuno Life.

I modified the zebra pattern (once again) but this time without a rainbow shooting out the butt.

Oh, and no rainbow mane and tail.  Just red varigated floss.

This time I attached the hooves like the tutorial notes and it worked well (on the previous unicorn I didn't need to worry about it since I was sewing it down to a hat).

The mane is a little different, too.  I parted it down the back instead of just pulling it all to one side.  It's also a little bit shorter.  I really like it.

Both sides of the face.  I added a wee forelock because it was needed.

I think the horn is a little longer on this one and I like it.  Still made the same way, with a toothpick wrapped in floral wire/ribbon (that ribbon with the wire in it--this has two strips of wire with tinsel between them, kind of like a railroad track--I twisted it together to make one strand then wrapped it around the toothpick).

Seed bead eyes instead of sequins.  I like the smaller eyes a lot better.

I was tempted to add nostrils and/or a mouth but I think it would make the face too cluttered.  If this wasn't made with felt, I could have added them with fabric pen but I've found fabric pen tends to smear (and not get absorbed as fully) when I use it on felt (even the good wool blend felt, which this is).

This unicorn is between 4 and 5 inches tall (at the horn) and a bit longer (but not by much).  Super small and cute and not hard to put together at all (ok, the face gusset is a tiny bit fussy but not hard, you just need patience and to do it just about last).

I'm mailing this out tomorrow.  I hope it's well received.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift: For My Sister

I doubt she looks at my crafty blog so I feel safe this won't spoil the surprise (I'm mailing this today so she'll definitely get it by Friday).

It's a fabric card (well, sort of).  It's really a TM style patch but it's doubling as a Valentine's Day card from my sister's cats.

No, you're not seeing things.  Those are bungholes.  Bungholes made with tiny heart buttons (damn, I love that pack of buttons so much--no joke, I paid full price for another package of them and then traumatized the cashier girl at Joanne Fabrics when I mentioned I used them to make cat butts).

The cats are rough representations of my sister's cats.

Earl.  He's solid gray with bright orangey yellow eyes.  He's the younger of the two.

Lowell.  He's black and white (white on his mouth and up his nose a bit and white socks on each foot) and green eyes (and white whiskers--yes, I looked at a picture of him to make sure I got his markings somewhat correct and that I got the whisker color right).

No, neither of them have heart shaped bungholes.  Lord knows if they did we'd all know about it seeing as cats love to put their arses in your face.

She has no idea this is on its way to her.  I also put a note on the envelope to open it carefully (so she'll think it's loaded with glitter--that way she'll be all miffed at first thinking I'm glitter bombing her, hee hee).

I think it'll make her laugh.  Who can't laugh at cat bungholes and word play puns (I love cheesy play on word/pun things like this).

For Swaps: Patches

I have two patch posts this morning.

First, the ones I made for swaps.

Swap:  Spring Patch.

Pastel and bright colors with bunnies and flowers (with seed beads).

The back.

Next was a set of three with the theme "rainbow".

All three of them together.

Baby unicorn with a rainbow.

Closeup.  I added the horn (from felt) and embroidered the blue onto the mane and tail.  Added a few of those super cute tiny heart buttons and a bit of rainbow ribbon.

I love that fabric.  I got it as a remnant and have used it a bit.  It's really just for fussy cutting.

Rainbow butterflies.

(over exposed) Closeup.  

The butterflies are sequins held on with a row of rainbow seed beads.

I didn't have much in the way of true rainbow fabric (either printed with rainbow images or tie dyed rainbow) so I had to get creative.  If the fabric featured a lot of colors I called it "rainbow".  Hence the purple striped fabric on this one.

Reading Rainbow.

It's book print fabric with rainbow beads and rainbow embroidery.  I really like this one a lot.  It's silly and weird and just suits me.

The backs of all three.  See, a rainbow of colors but nothing exactly "rainbow".  I finally cut into a bit of the purple batiks I have (and I still don't much care for batiks--guess I never will).  The truly tie dyed one was from my 5 inch charm stash.  I busted that out to use for some swaps (to swap just the fabric and to use some, hopefully, for some doll clothing).

I already mailed the spring patch and the rainbow ones are going out this morning.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What else have I been up to?

Well, over the weekend I got the guinea pigs done (finally!) but I also got a good start on a few other projects.

One is for the Hopeful Threads first quarter challenge, to make bags and pouches for kids in foster care (and fill them with personal hygiene items).

I grabbed up my handful of zippers (assorted colors) and headed up to the craft room to find coordinating fabrics.

Here's what I decided on:

(oops, that's technically upside down!)

The pics are bad, but that first one is light blue fabrics.  The outside is cotton/linen blend fabric (kokka for the win!) with toothpaste tubes.  I bought it on a lark about a year ago and this project is PERFECT for it (I had 1/2 yard, so I still have a nice fat quarter plus scraps for whatever else might come along).  The lining fabric is light blue with tiny polka dots (I think they're brown).

Gray with assorted colored elephants (with babies) and purple polka dot lining (that has different stripes of color--really nice fabric).  I got both of those through swaps.

Aqua Hello Tokyo print (that I got as a gift) line with pink (from a swap).

Simpsons print with blue leafy design lining.  I have a yard of this fabric and only ever used one little swatch so I might just make a grocery style bad from the rest (and donate it too--or maybe keep it for myself, we'll see).  When I was cutting the fabric I got to thinking about how dang OLD I am.  Would little kids even know who the Simpsons are?  Maybe teens would.  Then I thought maybe I should get some Family Guy fabric, since that's more what kids would recognize!

Orange/blue/assorted colors with animals and polka dot for lining.  I have half yard of each of these, so now I still have a FQ of each (plus scraps).  This was some more fabric I bought on a whim (on sale) and am just now getting a chance to use it.

Purple Arabian Nights print (with sultans and genies and horses and this really cute monkey that makes me think of Aladdin and a funky little cat that I never noticed until I was cutting the fabric).  Liner fabric is from the same line and has appropriately themed buildings.  I had to fussy cut that FQ a tiny bit so I'd get buildings on each lining piece.  I've had these FQs for a while.  I got them in a mystery FQ pack I got a while ago and was hoping to find a project that would use both.  I almost gave them away a few times and I'm glad I didn't.  They work well with that purple zipper.

Lorax prints.  The brown tone will be the outside (it has the Lorax and some animals) and the green will be the lining.  I've had this fabric for few years.  I got it to make things for my sister (and did) but still have a lot left over (I think I bought a yard of the green and half yard of the other--this was when I thought I wanted to make my sister a quilt but I got freaked out so I only made her a zipper pouch using some coordinating panel fabric for the outer pieces and the green for lining).  I still have a lot of the green so I might make a grocery bag for myself (the Lorax is all about conservation, after all).

Girly print with polka dot lining.  I got that stylish/girly print in a swap.  I really like it but it's kind of a large print so I was wondering what I'd use it for (had a FQ of it).  I fussy cut it a bit so I'd have at least one full girl on each side (and not the same girl).  The zipper is bright yellow which matches well the yellows in the print.  The polka dots came from my FQ stash (I'm sure it was part of a mystery bundle I bought--I bought quite a few of those when I first started sewing).

I managed to get them all cut on Sunday (since the Super Bowl was so dang boring!).  I probably won't get back to them until this weekend.  I know they'll sew up fast once I get into the groove (using the zipper foot and all that).  I will have to trot out my black threaded bobbin for the one, so I'll probably do it first.

I scored a few great things to fill the bags, too.  I found some great socks on clearance at Target.  They're Prospirit low socks in really bright colors.  I got the last two packs on the clearance rack.  They were $3.25 each, so that came out to just over $1/pair of socks.  Excellent price for those socks (they're good quality, I wear them myself, only with a higher top).  I also got three packs of chapstick for $2 and change.  So less than $1 per chapstick.  So I have six pairs of socks and six chapsticks.  I couldn't remember if I was making six bags or eight (and there were only two packs of socks) so I just went with six.  Then I was looking in my medicine cabinet and I found an unopened package of hair ties.  My hair is way too short for them and they're brand new so into the donation pile they went (I'd totally use them if I had long hair, so they're definitely "good enough" for donating--I try not to donate things I wouldn't use myself or think are junky).

I'm aiming to fill them with things for teens (boy and girl).  I realized I know ZERO about babies and younger kids (what sizes and all that stuff) so teens it is.  I figure teens wear adult sized socks (and/or underwear if I happen to find a steal on them, I'd buy them) so that takes all the size issues out of the discussion.

I already have more than enough girly socks, so I'll get at least two pairs of "boy" socks and two more lip balms (maybe "girly" ones if I find Lipsmackers or something like that for a super good deal).  Then I was thinking a toothbrush and small toothpaste for each (including a cover for the toothbrush).  I was toying with deoderants, too, but they are kind of heavy so I might try and get lighter items just to keep my shipping down.  Unless I find them for a great price then I'd get them.

I'm planning to check out the dollar store near my house (for the toothbrushes and covers) and the Shop and Save, too.  You never know what random things you'll find at the grocery store.  This weekend I'm hoping to con my hubby into a trip to the craft store which will put me right next to a Five Below, so I can check them out for things, too (maybe something fun for each pack).

But first, I need to work on some stuff for swaps.

A doll and a unicorn (walk into a bar. . .wait, no, that didn't happen!).  The doll is coming along nicely.  We'll see if I'm still feeling the same way when I get to making the clothes (sewing tiny hems and attaching itty bitty snaps is always "fun").  I don't anticipate any drama with the unicorn, as long as I can remember how I made the horn.  I'm sure once I look at the toothpick and the ribbon again it will come back to me.  (I've made a unicorn from this zebra pattern before I as REALLY tempted to just give away that unicorn but it's farting a rainbow and I didn't want to remove the rainbow sewn to its butt so. . .time to make a new one).