Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Quilty Goal: Half Square Triangles

Making some progress on practicing other types of blocks.

Buoyed by the success of my first stab at playing with half square triangles (that patch I made), I decided to give pinwheels a try.

Missouri Star Quilt Company's youtube channel is great for all the learnings.  They had a "cheater" way to make pinwheels and damn it all, it was SUPER EASY.

These are super scrappy.  I just grabbed up some charms from my big pile of 5 inchers.  I kind of tried to make them play nicely with each other but as you can see some definitely look more "pinwheel" than others.  Higher contrast between fabrics is better.

This one isn't very pinwheel.  The fabrics are both too low volume-ish for the blades to stand out.  But I was able to use up a charm that had a big ole cross on it so that was good.  I'm not a fan of super religious fabric (like with crosses and that).

This one is definitely very pinwheel.  My shitty lighting doesn't do the color justice (of course).  The purples are really deep and pretty.

I thought this one would be cuter since it was chipmunks and some tree print but it's a bit too choppy to really stand out as a classic pinwheel.

My favorite.  It's super patterned but there's good light/dark contrast so it looks very pinwheel.

If I may brag, my points all meet up damn well, too.

While the tutorial is super simple, I did find I had to pay super close attention when I was pressing the seams on each piece.  Had to make sure they went in opposite directions so the diagonal seams would nest when I joined them.

Now I want to hack up all my 5" charms and make a super fugly pinwheel quilt top.  I also kind of what to try making super tiny pinwheels using some of my 2.5" charms.  That might not work out, but I think I will try it once just for shits and giggles.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let's Book It: January: Button-Eyed Crocodile from "Toys to Sew" by Claire Garland

(I need to grab the button for this but I'm pressed for time right now, hopefully I'll remember to do that later.  This link to Vrooman's Quilts will have to do for now.)

Anyway. . .another January goal MET.

For January I made a project from this book:

And, and, and, I double dipped that mama-jamma.  I made this patchwork alligator for a stuffie swap.  The only rule for the swap was the stuffie had to be an animal.  Check and check!


Eugene signed off that this is indeed an animal and a stuffie and it was made using the book pictured above.  You can't argue with that.  (well, you could but it's crazy to argue with a cat, they always win)

Here's looking at YOU!

January Goals Met: Flimsy Finish and practice with HSTs.

I wasn't joking.  I sewed like a crazy woman yesterday.  I just got in the zone and wanted to get a ton of stuff done and I did it.  BAM, just like that.

My list of accomplishments included finishing the Briar Rose flimsy, one of the goals I had for January.

Murray approves.

All the pics are kind of craptacular but it was snowing like crazy yesterday so there was no way in hell I was going out there to take natural light pics.

So here it is in my dim-ass kitchen, hanging over the ironing board.  *yawn*

Then I spread it out on the couch to get a better idea how big it is (and get a bit more light on it, but then it was too much light and I'm an impatient photographer so then I just said screw it and put it on the cat and took his picture because cat pictures are always fun, even in poor lighting)

Some detail shots:

I used a Briar Rose layer cake and a free tutorial (Double Slice Layer Cake) from Missouri Star Quilt.

It was SUPER EASY.  If I wasn't so lazy I would have finished it a lot sooner. As it was, I made all the blocks and then let them sit for months before just putting them together.  Now I'm all obsessed with using pre-cuts to make quilt tops.  I have two jelly rolls that I want to get stitching now.

(oh, and this counts as finishing a UFO for my UFO challenge!  double woot!)

My long term goal for 2015 is to make this flimsy into a full quilt.  But I want to practice a bit more before I go for it on this because I like the fabric so much I don't want to ruin it by quilting it all crappy.

While I'm talking 2015 long term sewing goals, another one is to try my hand at more beginner block styles.  So far I've only played with basic 9-patch, wonky 9-patch, and log cabin.  I'm long over due to try half square triangles.

So these happened.  I guess they're not half square but quarter square?

I took 4 different prints and cut and sewed them back together in pairs and then cut those in the other direction and then sewed them back together.  SUPER EASY.  I don't know why I was so scared of these.  I think it's the math aspect of calculating them.  By using some pre-cut charms (and not caring what the finished size was) I got rid of the anxiety over them and they turned out super cute.

I used one on a patch and I'm not sure what I'll use these for.  Maybe I'll make some more and make practice sandwiches for free motion quilting practice (another of my long term 2015 goals).

Fluff Project: January Goal MET!

I got my minimum monthly Fluff Project goal finished yesterday.

What are you guys up to?

"Just helping our friend."

Helping him climb on my sewing machine?

"No, helping him POSE!"

"Look how CUTE I am!  You can't be mad at a face like this!"


It's true, this bunch might be trouble but they're cute trouble.


And I was able to just about use up that flannel fat quarter that came in my Craftsy mystery box.  WOOT!

Patches, patches, patches!

I'm bombing my blog today.  First up are all the patches I made for swaps lately.

First swap was for a pair of patches.  Then I did a RAK patch for the same person, so the total was up to 3.

There was no theme for the pair but the extra did have a theme.

Full set.

Now the weirdest of the group.

The teeth are totally reflecting off the fabric.  The face fabric is some funky vinyl my sister gave me after she made a domo costume (a few years ago).  I just wanted to use some different fabrics and try to make something "creepy".

I'm not sure how successful it is, but I do think it's kind of creepy.  The teeth are definitely kind of icky.  I bought those beads because they looked like pulled teeth.

Next in the set is far less icky.

I made it in the more classic Teesha Moore style (referred to as either "puffy" or "messy" or "rolled edge").

I got to double dip with this patch and do some free motion quilting practice with this one.  Playing with free motion is one of my 2015 goals so that was super sweet.  I've also been dieing to use one of the cool gnome buttons I have.

The back is definitely messy!

Last was the RAK/wish patch.  The recipient gave a list of patch themes they were looking for and mermaids was on the list.

 I love when mermaids are pictured riding sea horses.  Sea horses as beasts of burden makes me giddy. That would mean it's either one big ass sea horse or one teeny mermaid.  Either way, I like it.

I gave her super kissy lips with some embroidery floss.  MWAH!

The back (just because I feel obligated to show the backs).

Next up was a set of three patches for another swap.  There was no theme for these so I had to figure out what to do on my own.  I did consult my partner's profile to see what they HATED so I could avoid that as much as possible.

Did this one in the puffy/rolled style.  I really like how it turned out.

I machine stitched around a few of the keyholes and then added a key on a beaded string.  Put a few more bits of embroidery (hand) on it too, just to make it more puffy/lumpy.

The back (of course!).

Since my partner was very exact about things they didn't like, quite a few of which are things I adore (neon colors, glitter, hippy stuff, goofy/kiddy stuff) I went out of my way to try and find more refined themes.  No swag moose for this group (or kawaii poo!)

How's that for classy, huh?

That's from the Matisse inspired fabric I got in one of my last scrap pack purchases.  Just embellished it here and there and then made sure to use a brown backing fabric to get a real frame feel.  (this one is a flat/neat style)

See, brown back.

Last but not least for this group:

I was dieing to do some beading so I did.  There's just something about beading that's kind of relaxing.  But I need to read up on it a bit more to see the best method for beading a long line of beads.  I'm thinking (as I did with this patch) that you really shouldn't go longer than about 10 beads before stopping and doing another little length of ten.  More than that and it gets kind of droopy.

I love the feel of a totally beaded piece like this.  It has a heft to it but is still bendable and just so THERE.  This isn't perfect beading by any stretch, but it looks pretty damn good.

And the back.

Last of the recent patches was for a Valentine's themed patch.

OH YEAH.  Now that's my bag.

Silly and bright and goofy.  LOVE IT.

I really had no idea what I was going to do except I wanted to make some half square triangles (another 2015 sewing goal) so I took all the 5 inch v-day themed charms I had and then made quarter triangles.  Is that the right term?  Whatever the term, I have four different fabrics each in a wee triangle.  The five inch charms yielded four four inch block/charms each with one of the fabrics on it.

So that's the background fabric which I added a little felted heart to the middle can't tell, really).  Then I was kind of stumped what else to add until I got pawing through my buttons and noticed just one of the sock monkeys had a heart on him.

Then a sock monkey being carried off by two glittery dog balloons happened and I'm thrilled it did.  I've been dieing to use some of those dog balloon stick ons.  I had to add a piece of clear thread around the middle of the pink one because she just wouldn't stay stuck down.  Filament for the win (though it's still a pain in the ass to work with).

And. . .the back!

So, that's all the patches I've made lately.  Now time to show off the other stuff.

(no joke, I was off work yesterday and I sewed like a fiend)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Swap stuff : Clay and patch

Just showing off some more swap stuff.

First, the patch

This was for the monthly patch swap in one of the groups I'm in.  You can make anything you want, so I just kind of pawed around in my stuff and this is what came about.

How effing cute is that cat button?

There's this one company (who's name I forget and I'm too lazy to look it up right now) that makes all kinds of super cute novelty buttons like these cats.  They're a little bit expensive (up to $3 per package, sometimes a package only has 6 buttons) but they're perfect for crafty projects like patches.  Except when a pack has the flat backs which are horrible and useless (unless you can jab a hole in them).

The back of the patch.  I was too lazy to iron the fabric.  Shame on me, shame.

Next up is my foray into polymer clay.  I've always been interested in it but never played with it.  So for chrsitmas I got a big pack of multi colors so I could give it a go.  (and there was another Play with Clay swap--I used air drying paper clay for the first one).

Cute little hedgie!

I found a tutorial for this on youtube and I was very pleased at how easy it was to make and how it really did turn out quite well.

The two big flaws?  The mouth is crooked and it should be purple.  I made it with two shades of purple but after baking it was more like two shades of brown.  Apparently polymer clay does that if you use too high a heat.  So I'll have to play around and drop the temp and up the bake time to see if I can get the clay to retain its original color a bit better.  (I had the color issue with almost all of the items I made in my toaster/convection oven--I don't have a regular oven because it died).

I made the hedgie after I'd practiced with some other items and I did put a foil dome over it so there weren't any dark/singed areas.

Roll on over there and let me rub your belly!

See, the mouth is not centered very well.  Not the biggest deal but annoying to me.

I used oil paint pens for the details and I'm not totally in love with oil paint pens.

I didn't seal any of my items because I didn't have the correct sealant (I only have modge podge and I don't think it's the best thing for polymer clay).  If I end up making more things I might get some sealant but it wasn't necessary for this swap since it's a beginner clay swap.

I also made some fortune cookies.  I made them before the hedgie.  The shape came out great but they did get a tiny bit dark.  It looks ok on them since they are cookies but the darker shade looks more chocolate.

I used superglue to add the little felt tags.

The first thing I made (over christmas when I was at my parents' house) was:

I just had to add the faces and stems before I sent them.

When I made them I wasn't thinking apple and cherries.  Just an apple and smaller apples.  They really were just test items.  The color stayed nice on them and no dark areas.  But my mother's oven is good with the temp and all that, so that's probably why they turned out so well.  I just need to learn the ins and outs of my toaster oven dealie.

The cherries are sweet and sour, one with a smile and one with a kind of "meh" face.  The stems are braided craft string (thing embroidery floss but you can't separate the strands).  The apple's stem is ribbon.  I was going to add a wooden stem (using a toothpick) but it didn't work out.  So I scrapped it.

I used superglue for all the stems, which may or may not be the best thing to use on polymer clay.

Shiny happy apple looking cute!

(sing with me, to the tune of Shiny Happy People)

Shiny happy apple looking cu-uuu-ute.  Ap-le, happy apple!

"sour" cherry is not amused.  (or in very good focus--I suck at photography which is another thing that makes sour cherry annoyed)

Sweet cherry is amused by it all.

And last but not least, I made something I did not send in my swap.  I wasn't sure my swap partner would be as amused by it as I am (though I think she might, she's not uptight).


Poo fingers!

Tiny little poops with eyes are so effing cute I could. ..well. . .poop!

You know I want to make a toilet and toilet paper now, too.  I'm so juvenile.