Thursday, June 25, 2015

For a Swap: Adventure Time Swag

I loved this swap so much.  It was "craft your fandom" where you had to make three items (your choice) from your partner's chosen fandom.

I got lucky in two regards.  One, I got Suzanne who I love making things for (and getting things from) and she picked Adventure Time.  Originally she had listed "Lost" but she changed it before the swap closed.  I could have pulled off "Lost" but it wouldn't have been as easy as Adventure Time.  Granted, I've never watched even a second of Adventure Time (still haven't even after this) but I know (in a roundabout way) what it is and all that.  And, for crafting purposes, it's easy to do.  It's very 2D in its look which makes it easier to craft.  And there are a buttload of characters to pick from (bonus!).

That there is the whole shebang (and my cluttered ass work area--I have craft ADD and like a bit of mess around me when I'm working--same with my desk at work, too.  Piles are comforting!)

We had to make three items that took at least an hour each to make (so no slap dash junk).  Our partner couldn't chime in with their favorite character or request any particular thing.  Well, unless you were stumped and needed some help (because the fandom just wouldn't give you any ideas).

I decided to make a fabric shopping bag as an extra item mostly because I had a Joanne Fabric's coupon so the fabric was a steal.  And it's cute as hell (and those bags are so sinfully easy my lazy butt was all about it).

The other items took a bit longer to do.

Peppermint butler paper mache box, snail pin, and Shelby stuffie.

The box took the longest only because I had to put a ton of coats of paint on it.  Ok, not TONS but quite a few so that damn paper mache wouldn't show through.  But it was acrylic paint so it dried fast enough (but I had to stash the box in a cupboard so my cats wouldn't get up on the table and neb at it and get hair all stuck in the paint--that was really my biggest concern).

The white and blue are acrylic paint.  The red and black are oil based paint pens which made the whole process SO much easier.  Paint pens for the WIN!

Snail pin (in felt).

This was so easy once I just sat down to do it.  I just got an image from a google search and cut out each color section (body and shell) then added the embroidery to each part.  Sew a safety pin to the back of the backing felt, then glue the snail parts down to the backing.  No joke, this really did take only slightly longer than an hour.  I was doubly lucky because I had just the right colors in my stash (and the pin).  (I used single strand floss for the embroidery since this is a small piece)

I've had Shelby done FOREVER.  I whipped him up almost immediately after partners were assigned and I knew I was doing Adventure Time.  I just googled it to get pics of different characters (beyond the boy and the dog and the rainbow unicorn and that cloud that you see everywhere on all the merchandise).  The minute I saw Shelby I knew I was making a stuffie of him.  WITH his priest collar.

I was tempted to make him with a removable butt/brother but I didn't feel like I could make the arms/legs on the butt/brother come out right.  But I do love that Shelby got his butt cut off and it came to life.  That's my kind of humor right there.

Shelby is made from felt with a pipe cleaner inside the stuffing so he's mildly bendable (meaning he's still smooshy and you can't curl him up super tight).  His priest collar is embroidered onto his body ring (what is that called on an earthworm. . .hold on, I'm going to google it. . .clitellum, it's a clitellum and it's used to make mucous that protects eggs. . .gross but fascinating and it's not lost on me that "clit" is in the name of this reproductive organ, just saying).

I got an itty bitty Shelby, in my hand.  I got an itty, bitty Shelby, in my hand.  I got an itty, bitty Shelby, in my hand.  I got a Shelby in my hand!

I'm mailing this whole lot out tomorrow (because it looks raining right now and I don't want to deal with that) before I begin my VACATION.  Oh yeah, week of vacation.  Time to get my beach on.  Oh, and I have a new phone with a greatly improved camera so maybe. . .just maybe. . .my pics won't be quite as craptacular.  Know what that means?  I might just do a TUTORIAL. . .yeah, I got that stuck in my craw and I've wanted to do one for a while now but the "crappy pics" thing was really a deal breaker but now that's resolved so. . .yeah, when I'm back from vacation I think I'm going to work up a tutorial for the bacon and egg stuffies I made for the Fluff Project.  How's that grab you?

Ok, I'm done.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

For Swaps: Patch and Ninni

Showing off two swap items.

First up a patch (we do a monthly swap, this is June's offering).  You can make whatever you want for these swaps, so I just went with "texture" as my theme.  I really wanted to work with some fabrics I don't normally use for patches, so I chose fleece for the front and this semi-loose weave (almost burlap but not that loose) fabric for the back.

Then I just embellished it kind of randomly.

I have these felted balls in my stash so I added some seed beads to them (texture!) then after I did that I kind of got an outerspace vibe so. . .

This is kind of like a comet with some texture-tastic beads as a tail.

And this is like a little solar system.  Just some embroidered circles with beads at different spots (different sizes and one is bumpy. . .texture!).

The back just because I always show the back (the ruler's not their to show size, I just needed something to prop the patch up to take this crappy photo).

Next up is another Ninni.

I call him Bun-ninni.

The swap was "Ninni's gone animalistic" and the challenge was to take the ninni pattern and make your partner's choice of animal.  My partner wanted either a cat, dog, chimp, or rabbit.  Rabbit was the perfect mix of "easy" and fun.  (cat was too easy, dog bored me, and chimp was more of a challenge than I wanted--I wanted a quick and fun project for this one).

Look at that FACE!.

Felt features, embroidered mouth and floss whiskers.  Super simple but effective.

Of course, just changing the ears, slapping a bunny face (and tail, we'll see that in a minute) was TOO simple, so I had to add toes.

Felt hand pads with little stitched toes.

There's the tail!

And little feet on the back, too.

I was tempted to just glue the features on (especially the foot pads) but I wanted those suckers to really be on there so stitching it was.

I'm very pleased with both offerings.

Next up (probably show it off next week) is another swap, Research and Craft My Fandom.  It's all turning out REALLY well.  I just have to wrap up the second element and then make the third (have it planned, just have to execute).  Then get that bad boy in the mail by the end of the week (before my vacation).

Monday, June 8, 2015

For a Swap: QUILT (yes, a freaking quilt!)


I finally finished an entire quilt.  A REAL quilt, not some little decorative wall hanging dealie (made one of those before for a swap).  This is a real cover-yo-ass-sized quilt.

Ok, it's lap sized but still that's a "real" functional quilt and I'm pleased with my fancy self, oh yes I am.

Then I made my long suffering spouse go outside (in his pajamas--he was acting like going outside in a state of frumpy dress was out of character for him, the man who went out to help catch a neighbor's cat wearing only his underwear and a pair of shoes OR the time he was on the roof in just underwear and a t-shirt, cleaning the gutters in the rain. . .yeah, going outside in his pj bottoms and a t-shirt was a chore *eyeroll*) and hold the quilt so I could get all paparazzi on it

Did I mention I use my craptacular phone (and lack of skills) to take pics?  Can't you tell?

(look at hubs holding the quilt all dainty with just his fingertips--he knows I'm all crazy and have and will check the cleanliness of hands before they handle things, I've done it to him before, not that I think he's dirty but. . .well, sometimes he's dirty)

See, see!  That is a real sized quilt right there, folks.  A real sized quilt that I'M GOING TO TRADE.  Yes, my first "official" quilt isn't even going to be kept.  That's how I roll!

(oh and it looks super crooked in the photo but it's not that crooked at all--the wind was blowing it that's why it's really warped on the bottom edge)

I used this quilt as a bit of an excuse to buy some fabric.  I didn't have yardage to make long enough strips (we had to use the quilt as you go method demonstrated in one of the Missouri Quilt Co tutorials and our finished product had to be 36 x 48 before binding or if you did a border) so I had to get some.  So I decided to get some of the Cotton and Steel prints I liked so I could have the scraps for later.

Let me tell you, I didn't end up with much scrappage on the backing fabric.  And I thought I was rounding up a lot when I bought it but it was JUST enough (I had about an inch or so of usable scrap after I used some for the binding.

Then, after I had my fabric all purchased I realized the batting I was planning to use was too small.  It was the "craft" sized warm and natural pre-packaged stuff and I needed the "baby quilt" size.  *headdesk*  So I had to hit the ole amazon to get that (and I got a twin sized package and a pack of the super awesome clover clips which made binding this bad boy so much easier).

Speaking of binding, I failed at trying to totally bind it by machine.  Putting the first side on with machine was a breeze (did machine on the front side so it would look super crisp and tidy) but when I tried to machine the binding on the back. . .*sadtrombone*.  I had only done a little bit so I ripped it out and did the back binding by hand.  Which I kind of failed at again because I didn't realize you should use a ladder stitch for it (to make it neater) and I did a whip stitch.  It's a neat and clean whip stitch but in using a whip stitch I did get a tiny bit of a seam ridge.  Not ugly, but still there.  Personally I don't mind it (it's not distracting since I used neutral thread and did small stitches) but I guess technically it's "wrong".  BUT. . .I'm not being graded on right and wrong and technical skill.  The swap was just to make a quilt using the tutorial (in the size listed).  And I think my quilt turned out very well.  If someone sent me this quilt, I'd be super happy (especially with all the cotton and steel fabric).

Now I'm all excited to make another quilt.  I have two tops finished and padding big enough to use on either of them.  I think I'm going to hustle my butt to take this top:

and finish it.

I want to finish it in time to put it in the "pets on quilts" show over at Lily Pad Quilting.  The jelly roll I used for it I won in last year's contest (when Eugene and Ollie were on that little wall hanging cat themed quilt) and since Ollie died it would be super sweet to submit a pic of Eugene and Murray sitting on the quilt I made from the fabric Ollie helped me win.  I've already started referring to this quilt top as the Olive Green Memorial Quilt.  I think I want to make the back out of miscellaneous cat fabrics from my cat fabric stash.  Just need to get moving on it!

What else am I up to?

I have a ninni doll I'm finishing up for a swap (have it sewn, just need to stuff and embellish) and I need to finish up the "craft the fandom" swap (I have two items done, one in progress, and another in the wings) and make a patch (but that swap hasn't assigned yet so it's at the bottom of the to do list).

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fluff Project: May/June DONE!

Guess what?

I didn't make mermaids for May/June (like I thought I was going to).  So I've pushed them back to July.

BUT. . .I did get May/June done.

Bacon and eggs!

That's one big breakfast right there.

We need some portion control!   (sing that to the tune of Prince's "Pussy Control". ..aaah, portion con-trol!)

Cute little sets!

Or, if you're watching the waistline, a small breakfast?

Though who really eats only ONE strip of bacon?  I guess if it was as big as this bacon one would be plenty.  (bacon is roughly 12 inches long or so)

Both bacon and eggs are original patterns.  Super simple, too.

The eggs are just a circle (used a drinking glass to get a good circle) cut from yellow fleece.  Add a face (eyes are felt, mouth is embroidery).  Using the circle as a guide, free hand draw the egg white portion onto the back of the white fleece and cut out leaving a seam allowance around the drawn line.  Sew the yellow circle to the cut out white part (lightly stuffing as you go).  Then sew the cut white part down to another piece of fleece (right sides together).  Trim and turn the whole egg right side out.  Then top stitch the around the yellow circle and hand stitch the opening closed.

The bacon I had to make a template for (after I made one free hand and the fat stripes didn't line up like I wanted them too--but it still looked good but not how I wanted it to look).  From cardboard I cut a wavy line.  Then I used the cut off bit to make the same wave on the other side of the bacon.  Then I used the cut bit of cardboard to make a fat template (so the wave on the fat would match the wave on the meat).  Cut out two meat (red) and four fat (white) paying attention that you're cutting mirror images (so the waves line up properly).  Top stitch two fat stripes to each meat piece.  I did one side completely and then the other (so I could make sure the fats would line up as best I could).  When spacing the fats, make sure you don't put them too close to the edge of the meat (don't want the fats getting caught in the seam).  Pin a lot so the fats don't shift on you as you top stitch.  Cut out two felt eyes and sew them to one of the two meat/fat pieces (I just pick the nicest of the pair), making sure the eyes won't get caught in the side seams.  Add the mouth.  Put a face side and a blank side together (right sides together) and sew leaving an opening to turn (I left the opening at either the top or bottom between the fat lines).  Trim and turn right side out (making sure to roll the seams really well to get them as flat as possible so the wave shows).  Pin along the fats so they line up as best as possible then top stitch down both sides of each fat wave.  There will be a lot of bulk at the  ends, so you can stop before the thick seam bulk if you want.  Hand stitch the opening shut.

Fleece works GREAT for these.  Felt would be a bit too rough and stiff.  Fleece is also good price wise.  You can find decent pieces in the remnant bin but even if you have to buy it it's not expensive.  Felt (I like wool blend) would get pricey.  I'm sure fleece has a right and wrong side but for these I like having the fuzzier side of the fleece as the "right" side.  That light fuzziness adds to the cuteness a LOT.

The eggs are super fast to make.  The bacon takes a bit more time (to get the fats all lined up nicely) but they're not time consuming either.

I had a first making these, too.  I broke a needle.  Scared the crap out of me but didn't cause any issues (just turned my machine upside down and shook the piece out).

I'd love to make more kawaii food for the Fluff Project.  My sister says, "TOAST!".  That would be cute (with a little pat of butter on it that has the wee face!).  But toast would involve so odd sewing (sewing "walls" where you have to attach a long strip to a flat piece) which I'm not keen on fussing with right now.

I'll mail these out before I go on vacation and then I can get down to making the mermaids I said I'd make!