Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Fluff Project: DONE

Yesterday was a sew-cation from work (I routinely have to use a random vacay day or risk not accruing more vacay--can't be missing out on paid time off work now can I?)

So yesterday was earmarked to finish up the March Fluff Project sewing I'd been lingering over for some time (I swear, I cut these out at the beginning of the month and there they sat on my table until yesterday).

There they are, the catch of the day.

Three whales and three sharks.  I'm such a good fisherwoman!

Well, Jodie from Ric Rac (or jodiericrac on instagram--I'm all about the instagram lately) is the awesome fisherwoman.

She gave me a free copy of her latest (still not yet released) pattern.

She was showing it off over on instagram and I commented (to Kristy of Hopeful Threads) about how it looked like a great Fluff idea and didn't Jodie go and hook me up with a freebie when she heard what the Fluff project is.

How's that for being a super great person, huh?  Big giant THANK YOU to Jodie for a great pattern.

Since I'm talking about it I'll do a bit of a review of it.  First, it's definitely beginner friendly.  It explains how to the do the embroidery on the faces and all that (which you might not get on non-beginner patterns, they'd assume you knew how to do that).  The pattern is nice and big which is great for a beginner but it also works well if you shrink it a bit (print it scaled to the page instead of spread out over the page).  I showed off a shark I made using the smaller size and it turned out great (didn't do a smaller whale).

The only problem a beginner might have (and this would only be if they were a super "never sewed anything before" beginner) is with easing the curves.  The curves aren't severe, but there is a nice wavy one on the sharks side that you have to ease a bit so you don't get folded puckers.  And sewing the bottom of the whale to the top takes a bit of easing, too.  Again, not that big of a deal but if you were a totally raw beginner it could be frustrating.  I know I'm not a raw beginner and I find easing to be bothersome until I get the feel for it again (I have to do a practice one to get the feel then I'm good).

All easing aside, all my water loving friends turned out GREAT.

Whale PILE!

You can see these really are a good size.  Not huge but definitely a nice big size which makes them not only easier to sew but also super huggable.

I loved picking out the fabrics for these.  This is where having a decent stash paid off.  The only thing I had to buy for this project was some more safety eyes.  And that was only to make sure I didn't run out (so I bought extras to re-stock my eye stash).

This one is totally batik.  I didn't do a contrasting belly/under fins for this one and it looks really good.  I'm still not a huge batik fan but they have turned out to be very nice for stuffie projects.  Maybe someday I'll really love them but that day is not today.

Bad photo (dark) but this blue is lighter than it looks and the paisleys are dark.  On its own, this fabric was heinously ugly.  But used for a stuffie it works well.

This fabric is brighter than it looks here.  I had to do a pink mouth so it would show up!

Next, the sharks!

I stuck with gray/dark colors for all of them but I think for the next round (I do think I'm going to do another set of these for April for the Sew Mama Sew toy drive) I'll get more colorful.

Composition book cover fabric.  I really love that fabric.  I had a half yard of it and between this shark and the kitty I made with it, it's getting used down really well.  Who you gonna call?  Stash busters!

I did something weird when sewing this one (not sure what) so he has a bit of a pronounced nose.  I kind of like it.  It makes him look even cuter.

Stripes and polka dots, together at last!

I was bored of plain white for the bottoms so I had to mix it up a bit.  I used solid white on the composition book cover shark because it's a dingier shade (off white) so the polka dots didn't look right against it.  But the dots look great on the lighter gray sharks.

This fabric was MADE for sea loving critters.  This shark just looks so proud of himself.

SO. . .now I have a garbage bag full of fluff I need to mail off to Kristy.  I think I'll do that in the next week or so.  It makes sense to mail every three months or so, so critter aren't hanging out in my house tempting my cats to get hair on them.  (for the record, I use a lint roller on every toy before I pack it up and I store them in a sealed bag while they wait--but my white cat Murray sheds like he's getting paid by the hair to lose it, so hair does get on them a bit despite my best efforts).

What's next for Fluff?  Well, I need to pick out a pattern for April.  Hmm, I wonder what I haven't used yet. . .

Friday, March 20, 2015

Swap: LBOE In a bag #2 (and a random patch)

Last of the bombing of the blog for a bit.

I just mailed off all the swaps I recently posted about and this was among them.

LBOE:  It's in the bag #2.

For this swap you had to make (or buy) a bag of some type, make one stuffie, make two patches, and make (or buy) a profile based surprise.

The whole shebang right there.

Now the breakdown.  First, the patches.

I got some of the Dear Stella Dress Me Up fabric (the first prints, not the second set they did) and some of the clothes.  So I traced one of the cats and embroidered it.  I didn't want to cut into the yard of fabric I had (and the cat was in the center, of course).

Then I made a few outfits.

The clothes don't fit exactly.  I think the original animals were a tiny bit smaller than the second round.  Or by tracing it and embroidering it it turned out a tiny bit smaller.  Still cute but annoying (when I have a bit of perfectionism when it comes to stuff I'm trading, especially).

Then I made a pocket on the backing fabric to hold all the outfits.

The other patch is one of my favorites.

I just love this fabric so much.  The artwork it just so cute and pretty at the same time.  I have a half yard of this (it's Wee Wander) in white (I think) but then I got this aqua version in a scrap pack I treated myself to (when I bought the dress up fabric from Hawthorne Threads).  (the backing fabric was in the same scrap pack, it was a really good one but I forgot to review it and I already added it to my stash so too late now--but Hawthorn Threads' scrap packs are good quality especially when they're on sale).

I didn't want to do much to the fabric since it's just so great on it's own.  So I just embellished it a tiny bit with some embroidery using this satiny floss I got a while back.  Holy crap, using the satiny floss was so NICE.  No tangles at all.  Though when you pull the stitch through it likes to slip back out a bit so you have to pull it taught again right as you take the next stitch.  Then I added a few opalescent sequins (with french knots using silver satiny floss) to kind of look like fireflies.

Next up, the stuffies.

Got an itty bitty jackalope, in my hand!

I used the pattern from the book pictured and then took the antlers from the mini santa pattern at the Nuno Runo blog and just stitched them into the head as I was assembling this mighty mite.  Worked like a charm!

I was excited to make this and thrilled with how it came out BUT. . .the swap gave a size requirement on the stuffie and this wee fella was way under (it's only about 3 inches tall).

So that's why I added the shark in, too.

True confession, I had the shark made and just hanging out at my house.  It was my test run of a pattern gifted to me by Jodie (from Ric Rac).  She posted it on her instagram and I tagged Kristy (of Hopeful threads) so she could see it and it got mentioned that I sew for charity and Jodie gave me the pattern.  SO SWEET!  So this shark (in the full size not the smaller version I made when I printed the pattern out sized to a regular sheet of paper, not big like it should be) and the whale that is also in the pattern are March's Fluff Project items.  (I'm working on them now and will make a big ole official post about it and give more big fat thanks to Jodie then. . .also, I'm making some for the Sew Mama Sew charity thing going on right now, too. . .but again, more on that later).

So I tossed sharky into the swap, too.  I wanted to keep him for myself but then I realized I can make a zillion more for me any time I want and to be honest, I probably won't so that means I really don't adore it as much as I think I do.  It will be MORE loved given away then just gathering dust at my house.

Last but not least, the bags.

I only had to make one but. . .I couldn't decide which fabric to use and this bag is so freaking simple that I felt like I was cheating making it.  It's not even lined for crying out loud!  But it's a great bag for grocery shopping (shout out to Green Bag Lady, where you can get the free instructions).  So since I was going to iron and cut fabric for one bag, why not just make two.

Can I mention how much I love those fabrics?  And how freaking great the timing (for the character one) buying it was?

The ship pattern one I wanted since I first saw it but couldn't justify it since I'm not really a huge Star Wars fan.  I think the movies are annoying but I do like some of the characters and machines (Imperial Walker?  how freaking cool is that thing, right?).  I was in the Joanns (yes, I always say "the joanns" like an old lady) one day with my sister and I was talking about how much I loved that ship blueprint fabric (she agreed it was super cool) and then doesn't she find some in the remnant bin.  PER-freaking-FECT!  And it was just shy of a yard, too. So I got that for a song.

The character fabric I spied on Missouri Star Quilt's website when I treating myself to a shopping splurge (when they had a free shipping no matter what you spend deal).  I had to have that fabric because I love real photo images on fabric like that (like my Star Trek fabrics!).  And it had all the best characters (again, not the stupid cartoon versions you see all over the place or those newer movies which are shite).  I figured I'd use it for swaps or make something from it eventually.  I also got some super chicks fabric, too.  It has Wonder Woman and Super Girl and Bat Girl (can I mention how much I hate the "girl" thing for female superheros?  they should all be WOMEN, thanks and bye).  I'm a sucker for super broads! (I also got some wonder clips which are freaking awesome!).

I bought the fabric just because and then I got a swap partner who likes Star Wars so BAM, half a yard of my fabric found a great use.  Because, let's be honest, I don't really need that fabric at all let alone a whole damn yard (but Missouri Star only sells full yards--or maybe I was dumb and couldn't figure out how to order less, that's always a valid option with me).

So, I made two bags because it wasn't any more work than making one.

I'm not going to show the "surprise" item in any details because I want it to be a surprise.  But I always buy something (up to $10) for that so I had an excuse to make a trip to my local card store (shout out to Wild Card) and buy some fun stuff.  Of course I got some stuff for me, too (but I shared it with one of these big swaps because there was no way I'd use it all myself so better to share).

Damn, I got chatty there.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

For a swap: LBOE Pick 5 Swap

I have to show this one off separately because it has a lot of elements.

This is for the LBOE Pick 5 Swap.

For this swap there was this crazy ass long list of stuff you could pick from (handmade and supplies) and you just had to pick five things to send.

That's the whole shebang.

I chose to make a bag, a stuffie, a (larger sized) patch, a needlebook, and send some embroidery floss.  (and I added in a few other treats just because I could).

The bag turned out so freaking CUTE.  It's just the Poochie bag pattern done with some crazy cute cat fabric I had.  The cat print and the fish are from the same line.  The bones is a different line but works well as the liner (it would be too dark for the straps.

Yes, I do realize I didn't think about the direction of the print when I made the body of the bag.  I haven't made one of these in a while (in fact, I think the last time I made one may have been for a swap with the exact same partner!) so I forgot how the sizing of the pieces went.  It still looks cute as hell so I'm not overly concerned about it.

The needle book.

Oh yeah, I loves me some Bob's Burgers (so does my partner) and this just HAD to be made.  It was super simple to make.  I just traced an altoid tin (for the rough shape) onto felt and fabric and stitched them together.  That was after I put the white patch on the cover and did the embroidery (gots to hide my stitches, y'all).  Then I made another felt shape (trimmed smaller) for the pages and stitched it into the cover.  When it was folded over that made for two pages which was plenty.  Then I sewed the spine again (top stitched) so it would lay relatively flat.  Then add a few needles to one of the pages and you are ready to work your Tina Belcher!

If I ever make this again, I'll add a piece of ribbon on the back cover (catch it in the seam when I put the cover together) so the ribbon can pull over the cover to hold it shut (like those notebooks that have the elastic to pull over the cover).  I tried to add it to this after I had the cover done but it just didn't work.  It needs to be added into the seam so you can leave a nice long tail so the ribbon doesn't fray and pull out of the seam.  (but I was too lazy to make the whole book again when top stitching the spine made the book close just fine, which was what I was wanting anyway)

Stuffie TIME.

A stuffed stuffie, too.

Kawaii for the win!

Hi there little orange slice.

Let me share with you how lazy I am (ok this isn't so much lazy but more like double dipping).

I had this orange all cut out for another swap a few months ago (a kawaii stuffie swap, the one I made the jelly fish for) and then I realized the swap was for a kawaii animal so the orange wouldn't work.  Ooops.  So I just had to stitch this all up and use it for this swap.

It turned out so freaking cute.

I found the pattern/tutorial online (youtube, too lazy to look it up again right now) and just changed it one tiny bit.

I put faces on each of the segments instead of the skin.  I didn't want the stitches from the face to show on the inside of the stuffie and I didn't want to have to make a two ply skin (to hide the stitches).  So faces on the segments fixed that problem.  And it looks really cute.  I varied the eye/mouth colors a bit based on what bits of floss I had already cut.

Last but not least is the patch for this swap.  You could make one larger one (6x6) or two smaller.  I needed the bigger size to make what I wanted to make.

Burger of the day chalkboard!

Yes, more Bob's Burgers but something I hope is really unique for my partner.  I had roughly a fat quarter of this chalkboard fabric I had won a few years ago in the Sew Mama Sew giveaways.  I had to prep it up (scribbling and scribbling on it with chalk and washing it off).  Then I used a paint pen for the printing and added the backing.  It was super simple except for that fucking 'G'.  It looks wonky as hell but I had to just accept it because I was out of fabric.  I used one little bit for practice and then made one and it looked HORRIBLE so I re-did it (that's this one).  I also made one that has $5.95 at the bottom but it's not as big (so not as much space to write in).  So if my partner hates this I can make a patch from the smaller bit (with the price on it).  I'm keeping it for now incase a different swap person wants a patch like this.

I'm just so excited that you can actually write on it with chalk and wipe it off.  It really does work.  I tested it all out before I committed to the project.  I wasn't super convinced the fabric really would "work" but it does.  Perfect for this project but sewing with it was annoying.  It's super stiff (duh!) but not so bad you need to don a thimble, which is good thing because I don't have a thimble (I really should get one or two).

Phew, that's that.

Oh, what's in the little paper bag and drawstring bag?

Nothing is in the drawstring bag.  It's just to hold the needle book and floss.  I grabbed it from the dollar zone (I think it was on clearance in there) and my partner likes all kinds of bags and valentines so I knew it was perfect for her.  The paper bag?  It has something in it but I'll leave that as a surprise in case my partner caved and had to look (Hi Suzanne!).

Ok, NOW I'm done.

Patches for swaps: Two random and two Suess themed

Patches, patches, patches.

That random one and the one below are for the same monthly swap.  I made them in the fluffy style (which is considered the "true" teesha moore style) and just did random stuff with them.

The one above there was just some practice with free motion quilting.

This one started out random (well, I wanted to play with reverse applique) but then it morphed into a wacky face.

I blame the curly cue I free motion quilted in the top corner.  That made me think of a face (along with the netting along the right side--aka the hair).

It's creepy and kind of weird and I really like how it turned out.  I think it's really very much in the spirit of teesha moore patches.

The next pair were a themed swap.  Dr. Suess.

I happened to have some neutral Suess fabric in my stash (got it in a FQ swap at least a year ago).  So I just embellished that fabric.

I was in a bead mood so I went with that theme.  I didn't intend this to be a heart but after I played with it it just became a kind of heart.

It needed a bit more, so I added some elephant sequins and a bit of beaded fringe along the top.  There's also some random embroidery coming out of some of the trunks (and on some of the flag poles).

That's the back.  I bought this fabric (just a 1/4 yard) specifically for this swap thinking I'd fussy cut and fuse some of the images to make a patch but then I didn't want to.  I wanted to use the elephant fabric (which was my first idea).

Ok, this next one is one of the most fun things I've ever made (and I really like it).

Yes, those are truffula trees complete with wool roving fluffy tops.

Gaze in wonderment at my crazy creativity (and modesty!).

The trunks are just a zig zag stitch (on a short stitch length) twice over (so go over the line twice).  then I added the stripes with fabric pen.  SO FREAKING EASY and it looks pretty damn good.

The tops are bits of wool roving.  I pulled off a tuft and then fold/rolled it up on itself to make a loose ball (leaving one end free).  I sewed the loose ball to the patch and then folded the loose end/tuft over the stitching to hide it.  Little spot of glue and it kept the tufts down.  (though re-gluing might be necessary once it's received since the glue was just on the fibers so couldn't make a super tight bond--it seemed to hold really well on a few but one of them looked like it wanted to pull up).

I didn't want to actually needle felt them because I didn't want the poke marks showing on the tuft.  I could have probably gotten away with felting the ball part (that I stitched down) because it wouldn't be visible but (honesty alert) I was too lazy to go up to my craft room to get my needles so I didn't.  (so. lazy.)

The back.  Lorax fabric, of course.

Ok, I have a few more things to bomb with today (I think--maybe I'l wait until tomorrow, I have to check my pics and see what I've shown off already).

March Let's Book it Challenge! (and some swap stuff AND Fluff Project sneak peek!)

Oh yeah, I got my book it challenge done early this month so I'm posting it now.

I double dipped (twice?) for this.  I was making things to swap (that's why I'm done early) and I was using TWO books I've used before but I made different patterns.  So I'm counting the pair as one book it challenge completion.

Ok, enough blather.  PICS or it didn't happen.

I didn't use this book for the book it challenge before, but I have made the pig from it before (for a swap).

This time I made. . .

The rabbit with a slight modification.

I made a jackalope!

I used a pattern from the Nuno Runo blog (the santa and reindeer set) for the antlers and just tucked them into the head seam as I was sewing.

And, I'd like it noted, I used a blanket stitch for this whole damn jackalope.  I love the look of blanket stitch but it feels so SLOW when I'm doing it.

Also (for the record) this stuffie is only about 3 inches tall.  Which was too small for the swap requirements I was making it for *headdesk*.  So I included a second stuffie.

I'll show this shark off more when I show off the completed Fluff Project items for March but this is the sneak peek.

I was giving the pattern a test run and realized my version was significantly smaller thanks to my printing it to fit the page instead of full size.  I'm making full sized items for the Fluff Project (along with the whale that was part of this same pattern, but more on that later once I have all that done).

For the second book it challenge item, I made another project from the Sock it to Me book (the one I used last month).

This turned out so cute!

So SMUG but so cute!