Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More Patches

Just a couple more patches.

This one is for the May patch.  The only requirements on it are a max and min size.  I think this one is pushing the max size but I think I'll be ok.

Fun little gnome/fairy village with a beaded path.

I'm really getting into beading.  It's definitely a trend on my patches right now.

The back.  It's a nice brown color but my craptacular lighting doesn't do it justice (it was pouring rain or I would have done outdoor pics).

Next up is the second patch for the Crazy Patch swap (this patch will go with the google eyed parrots).

I really like this one.  It's silly and just very "me".  Which makes me worry the recipient will think it's just too freaking weird.

I was going to make a fart patch with this fabric.  One of the cats off to the right of the whispering pair is crouched down (ass higher than head) and I was going to put a budgie button on the crouching cat and then embroider a fart puff out of its butt.  The farting cat would be saying, "Do not get the budgie!".  BUT, I thought that might not go over well with my partner.  I didn't even look at their profile so I didn't want to run the risk that they were one of the religiousy types (there are some fairly conservative/religious older women on swapbot who are all nice and all but don't appreciate fart humor or stuff like that).

I think this still gets the silly feel but without any potty humor.

I just might make the fart patch for myself, though.  I have one budgie button left so I should use it for me.

And the back.  I wanted something dark so it wouldn't contrast too much with the dark front and this was good.

Those two patches went out with all the stuff I showed off yesterday.  I cleared a lot of swaps off my dash today and it feels GREAT.

Next up?  Well, I have two open swaps on my dash.  One is a plush sugar skull and the other is playing with clay.  I have some cute ideas for the clay (and the clay is just waiting for me to bust into it) so I need to get to work on those.

But first I need to spend some time with the Fluff Project.  The rest of the week I'll work on that.  Last night I cut out a test run for the puppy pattern.  The sewing looks like it will be pretty straight forward.  I just have to test the fabric I'm using for the face.  It's a thinner linen/muslin type fabric so I'm not sure if will hold up to having the felt features put on.  I'll work on the test face tonight (hopefully--I have painting so I might not get much done) and if it's a no-go I have a backup fabric at the ready.

I also want to do a test run of the dinosaur pattern but last night I didn't have the attention span to cut all the smaller bits that go into that pattern.  The dinosaur has limbs and the dog doesn't, so the dog won out.

Now I need to check when I have to have my stuffies mailed by.  The bunnies and the dolls are ready to go, I could always send them out and then send the dogs/dinos when I have them.  I don't think I'm going to make my 40 stuffed toy challenge goal.  Such is life.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Patch Bag!!

Yeah, I procrastinate.

This swap has been "live" for over a month but I waited until the last weekend before I needed to send it to get it done.  And I have ZERO REGRETS.  It turned out just like I wanted it to so. . .yeah, procrastinating isn't so bad, y'all.

That's a long shot (including my toes!!)  I just wanted to show the full size including the extra long handles.

See, I prefer a long handle on a bag.  These are long enough you can wear the bag cross body if you wanted.  But it's a firm cross body (the bag is very close to your body that way).  The straps are 4 inches by LOF (including the selvages--no need to trim them off since they weren't going to show).  I sewed the handles then turned them.  Then a quick press and two rows of top stitch and they were ready.  Super simple.

The basic bag design is based of the free pattern at Green Bag Lady.  I just sized the fabric down to my needs and did add a full lining.  I also made the straps way longer and I didn't square off the bottom (thought about it but then decided not to).

I attached all the patches onto the fabric before assembly.  One patch was hand sewn on but that was a huge pain in my ass so I machine stitched (roughly "in the ditch" where the borders of the patches are) the rest.  That went SUPER fast and there were no issues).

The bag body pieces were 15 inches square.  I folded the top down approximately 1/2 inch and ironed it then sewed the sides (making sure everything lined up nicely at the top).  Then (with the bad still inside out) I attached the handles roughly centering them and aligning them with the folded over bit at the top of the panels.  I did a full row of top stitching around the top of the bag, backstitching over the handles.

THEN, I made the lining (same size as the outer pieces) including the folded over bit at the top.  I pinned it inside the (turned right side out) bag and did another row of topstitching (along the top of the bag) again backstitching at the handles.

The lining is the same fabric as the body which is the rose print from the Briar Rose collection (that fabric I bought months ago and broke my fast, but I used just about all of it so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED).

OK, on to the patches.

The example bag offered was not made like my bag.  It was made by sewing the patches butt up against one another (like making patchwork fabric) and then assembled as a very boxy bag.  Not that I don't like that style (it looks good) but I didn't want to make that type of bag.  I wanted a very "baggy" bag and I also wanted to showcase the bag fabric, like mortar showing in a brick wall.


For the patches, I knew I wanted to use this fairy fabric I bought along with a few random pieces of other fairy fabric I found in my stash.  So I made those patches first and based the quantity of patches and the basic sizing on that.

This patch is from that fairy fabric I bought.  I'm so happy I bought that fabric.  It's gorgeous and I'm excited to share some of the leftovers with my swap partner (ok, I'm not *that* nice, I gave them the scrappier piece and kept the "nicer" piece for myself--hey, I'm nice but I'm also selfish!--the piece I shared is roughly a fat quarter with just the two images I used on the bag missing--still tons of cute images left).

I found that little fairy charm in my postage stamp quilt charms.  It's 2.5 inches.  I didn't have to do much to it since it already has sparkle to it.  I just added a bit of embroidery and some beads.

Since that fairy patch was so small, I needed to make another small one to fill in the space.  I found that sock monkey charm at the craft store (for one measly buck, love that) and removed the clippy and just made a generic sock monkey fabric backing for it.  Super simple and not that exciting, really.

I LOVE this patch.  I'm sure a big part of it is because I LOVE that sock monkey image.  It's from a fat quarter I have had FOREVER.  It's a Heidi Kenney print (she sells her fabric on Spoonflower).  I appliqued the super cute sock monkey onto that groovy fabric and then stitched on pom pom balloons.  It's really so much freaking cuter in person.

Hmm, doesn't that sock monkey look familiar?  Only this time I made him some fairy wings.  I knew from day one I was going to make a patch like this using that sock monkey print.  It turned out very cute (mostly because the monkey is so freaking adorable, there's no way it couldn't be cute).

For the whole bag, I focused on purples and turquoise/aqua shades.  Turquoise is hard for me because I'm not entirely sure where turquoise ends and aqua begins so my colors may be a tiny bit off in that department.  I did the best I could with the colors I had in my stash.  (oh, and I chose the rose fabric because it was one of the things my partner likes, along with fairies, sock monkeys, purple, and turquoise).

The other side of the bag.

The guidelines were the bag had to be a minimum of 8 inches in size, have a strap, and contain at least 4 patches.  I met all requirements.

This was another patch I had a feeling I'd make for this.  I definitely wanted a few patches with actual scok monkey sock fabric on them and this one was a no brainer.  It came from my sock monkey scrap bag (yes, I keep all the bits when I make a monkey).  Fairly simple but very cute.  This is the patch I had to hand sew on.  I bet I could have machine stitched it but it was the first patch I put on the fabric and I thought I was going to have to hand sew them all but after I got it done (it was so TEDIOUS) I said "eff it" and stopped being so intimidated and just machine stitched the rest of the patches.  I was nervous I'd botch it up and ruin a patch and/or the fabric.  I didn't have enough fabric to botch it (well, I could if I didn't want rose print for the lining, too) and I didn't want to mess up any of the patches (especially any from one of a kind bits of fabric).  Thankfully, there were NO issues at all.

This was some random fabric I found in my collection.  It was just a small piece (this is all of it) and I have no idea where it came from (probably a swap).  It's kind of "meh" as far as the look but I liked having different representations of fairies.  On the other side there is the "baby" fairy and the monkey fairy and then the fairies from the same fabric so this was a nice addition.  I call these the Little House on the Prairie fairies (thanks to their very conservative dresses).  I just added some beads and embroidery to bling it up a bit.

This is another patch I knew I wanted to make.  Well, not exactly.  I knew I wanted to use that charm I had and those purple buttons but I didn't know they'd end up together on the same patch.

Oooh, and that damn charm!  I was getting ready to add it to the patch and didn't I drop it and hear it bing off the floor and when I went to find it it was GONE.  I was about to have a tizzy fit.  I'm normally really good about finding dropped stuff but I had prowled the floor on hands and knees and even got the broom out to get under the cupboard edges and all that and she just WOULD NOT appear.  Just as I was getting ready to give up, I moved a package of water and there she was.  Sneaky biotch!  I sewed her down post haste.  I was really worried I had lost her forever and  was disappointed I wouldn't have her for the bag.  CRISIS AVERTED!!

This was another patch I knew would be on the bag.  When I got this fabric the images were a bit larger than I anticipated but when I saw this image I KNEW she would make the bag.  The size was just perfect and I love the colors.  I just added some embroidery since the artwork really doesn't need any more.

There is one big image on that fabric that I'd love to make into a patch but it was just too big for this bag.  It's two fairies together holding a stem of flowers.  It would make a finished patch about 5x8 (at least) which was just too big for this project.  But I'm sure I'll get this same partner again and I can always make that patch for her later.  OR, make it for my own patch collection.

Speaking of my patch collection, I think I'm going to start sewing them to each other (butt up against one another) to make one big ass wall hanging for my craft room.  I also want to work on my Star Trek series again.  Hell, there's a lot of stuff I want to work on but first I need to finish up a few more swaps and do some Fluff Project sewing.

For Swaps: patches and dotee

I'm doing two posts today to show off all the stuff I finished lately (most over the long weekend).

First up is the miscellaneous stuff.


For the Yellow Dotee swap.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm doing patchwork for this series of swaps.  So, guess what?  This doll is patchwork.

I was surprised how much yellow I had in my scrap bin.  I think only one piece of this fabric was cut from a bigger piece (the measuring tape print).  The rest were from the scrap bucket.  WOOT!

The face reminds me of Mr. Burns in The Simpson's episode with X-Files?  Where the town thinks they have an alien but it's just Mr. Burns wandering the woods after his various procedures to keep him alive.

I wasn't thinking of that when I made it but, let's face it, The Simpsons pervades just about everything in my life (I can have entire conversations with my spouse using only Simpsons lines).

Details of the bee buttons I added.  I had them sitting around so why not use them!  That really goes with the theme of this series where I just use what's around.

Back, to show the patchwork.  I had a few prints I had to make sure made it into the doll.  The magnifying glasses were definitely one of them.

And this disgruntled looking chick.  "Whadda you lookin at?!"  

Next up, some patches.

These were to angel a swap.  The hostess needed a volunteer to angel so I said "why not".

It was for the purple color in the rainbow series going on.

Button flowers on some sparkly fabric.

Kitty looking at a sequin and bead butterfly.

Purple rain. . .puuuur-ple rain!!

The backs.

This next one is part of a set for a swap but I don't have the other one done yet.  But I figured I should show it off now while I'm thinking about it lest I forget.

And this patch NEEDS to be shown off.


Holy crap, how long did it take for me to find the sew on google eyes and now that I have them I LOVE THEM.  They were perfect for this patch.

The theme for this swap is Anything Goes (or crazy).  Google eyes = crazy!

Is that a. . .CRACKER!!!  Give it to US!!

I added some basic embroidery and a cute bead/button dealie but, let's face it, the google eyes steal the show.

The backing fabric.  I've been itching to use this and now that I have I don't think I like it.  Not on the patch, I mean I don't like working with that fabric.  It's very densely woven and I was having to really work to get a needle through it, especially when it was doubled over. I do like the feel of it and the bright colors but hand sewing it was annoying.  (I got it as an extra in a swap so I'm not sure what mix it is, but I don't think it's just cotton).

OK, now for a separate post to show off THE BAG!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Finished up a bunch of dotees on Tuesday.

Spoiler Alert (for my swap partners).  These will go in the mail Friday.

First up, for the Rainbow Dotee series.  The orange dotee.

Front and back.

I've decided to do patchwork for each doll in this series.  This guy is a little grumpy.  Maybe his neck ruffle is too tight?

Next up, Dotee with a Pocket.  The swap requirements were the doll had to have a pocket and the pocket had to have one removeable item inside it.

Mmm, fish!

I put the tail up through the pocket mouth but then I needed to make sure I met the "removable item" requirement (since I wrote the swap, I have to make sure I follow the rules!).

So I added four loose fish beads into the mouth for good measure.

I love these beads and have been itching to use them.  Same with the buttons on the eyes.  They're a little big/bulgy but still cute.

Next up is a set.  I run the Unique Holiday swaps now so I did a double month this round (since I vacation in June and wasn't sure I'd have time to host a stand alone swap that month).

So this is June and July Unique Holiday dotees.

June brings us Donut Day.  (too lazy to look up the exact date again)

This donut is so cute, I was really tempted to keep it.

Tiny coffee cup on the tail.  I love these beads, too.  I still have one donut and one cup left from the string.  I'm hoping to use them together on something.

And from the side to see the cake portion of the donut.

I found the template online but I could have free handed it if I wanted to.  Just trace a cup for the big circle and then trace a nickel for the hole and free hand the wavy icing.

I think I sewed this in a different order from the tutorial (which I didn't really look at).  I put the embellishments on the icing (and only did one layer for it) and then sewed the icing and both cake layers together at the hole (using pink floss).  Then I sewed the cake together (adding the hanger so it was neatly tucked inside the seam--I get fussy about that) stuffing as I sewed.  Then I tacked the icing down with small running stitches spaced pretty wide (stitches are small but spaced far apart).  It gave the icing a rippled look with I like.  Then I added the tail.

The donut is paired up with the July Unique holiday dotee:


Yup, July brings us NUDE DAY!

WOOT, take it off baby!!

I gotta a little naked man, in my hand!

I still love the bathroom door sign image which worked great for this doll.  Sequin on the naughty bits (and a seed bead).


Yup, I totally added a butt crack on the reverse (and from this angle, there's a bit of a taint going on there--hee hee, taint!)

This guy has some serious Hank Hill ass.  He needs an or-thotic.  (man, I love King of the Hill)

I can't wait for my partner to get these.  I swap with her a lot (hi Suzanne!) and I think she'll get a kick out of the nudey guy.

They'll hit the mail Friday which means I only have one more swap to finish before I'm completely caught up.  I really need to get to work on the Teesha Patch bag.  I know once I sit down and start working it will come together well but I'm just kind of intimidated by it.  Perhaps a trip to the craft store this weekend (to look for fairy and sock monkey themed items) will help.

In Progress: Painting: Mermaids

I don't have a cutesy name for this one (yet!).

I started a new painting a few weeks ago but kept forgetting to post about it.

So now I'm remedying that.

The top pic isn't exactly what it looked like before last night's session.  I think that's from two week's ago.

The bottom pic is how it is right now.  I decided where the light source is and started darkening some areas.  I'm really liking it being very dark on that right side.  I can foresee a LOT of shading on this one.

For the background I'd like to make it kind of wavy/rippled. I'm also toying with blurring the edges on the figures so they look like they're under water.  That's going to be hard for me because I love crisp sharp edges.  It's good to challenge myself so I think blurry edges is a good idea.

Close up of the turquoise mermaid.  You can't really see it in the pic (it's subtle anyway) but I did start darkening the flesh color.  Clearly it's not enough!  But that's kind of how I work.  Slow and tedious.  The instructor even jokes that I'd get done faster if I'd use a bigger brush.  I use a pretty small brush (it's about as wide as your pinky fingernail) but last night I used one that was about a wide as a thumbnail.  I joked back that I felt like I was painting the side of a house with that GIANT brush.

This painting is loosely based on three mermaiden dolls I sewed for the Fluff Project.  I have a pic of them in the ivy in my backyard but (this was my hubby's idea) decided to change up their positioning and all that to make the painting more interesting (not just three dolls in a line).  So that's new for me, too.

New stuff is fun.

I'm going to be working on this bad boy for a while.  I'll have to post updates more often.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WINNER!!! Traveling stash winner

Congratulations to:


You were lucky number 3, the number the random number generator chose to get the Traveling Stash Box.

I'm emailing you now.

The faster you get me your address, the faster I can mail the box to you.

Thanks to all the folks who entered.

Stay tuned to my blog, I think I'll be having at least one giveaway for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Week (starts 5/12).

Monday, May 5, 2014

More Patches (for swaps)

I'll be taking these two out to the post office just as soon as I finish typing up this post.  They'll be in good company with a bunch of other stuff I finished recently (mostly patches).

First was a random patch.  There were no rules/challenges for the image or anything like that (just size max/min requirements).  So I could make anything I wanted.

So, naturally, I went for sweets.

Mmm, cupcake.

With giant bead sprinkles (and a touch of embroidery on the wrapper).

And what goes best with cake (well, aside from a big ole glass of milk)?

Ice cream, of course.

Next up was a patch with the theme "winter".  Nice and open ended (and part of a series where we made one for each season).

Let me pause to say, being on a fabric buying fast is a GOOD thing for me.  I went digging around in my stash and I found that cute girl fabric.  I had forgotten I even had it.  In  my defense, it was just a scrap piece (larger scrap, not in my bucket of itty bitty scraps) but it was PERFECT for the winter theme.  It kept me from going the easier route of using this cute snowman fabric I had (it was cute but this is cuter and less "christmasy").

Added a pom pom to the had and some sequin and bead snowflakes.  I was tempted to add another pom pom to the hat tail, but even my smallest poms were just too big for that little space and I didn't want to cover up any of that super cute squirrel.  Then I added a tiny bit of embroidery on the hat and coat (over the trim that's already printed).  It was just thread embroidery so it's very subtle but it helped make the fabric look a bit more quilted.

The backing fabric was easy for this.  I remembered I had this fabric so I picked it right up knowing it would end up in this patch somewhere.

So, what's up next?

I have to make a dotee with a pocket (I'm toying with doing a kangaroo--not very original but it should turn out cute) and two dotees for the Unique Holiday series (have both my ideas, just have to make them).  Then start working on the Teesha Bag.  I have a lot of stuff picked out for it (and ideas) I just have to get sewing.  Once I get started I think it will go pretty quick and easy.

Then I need to do some Fluffy Project work.  I have two patterns picked out and the patterns (paper) are cut I just have to do a test run on each to make sure they'll work well for assembly line production.

Oh, and I do have two quilt tops I could be working on.  Yeah, they get neglected more often than not.