Friday, August 28, 2015

Stuff for swaps: Stuffie and some patches

Showing off two swaps today.  I went right up to the last minute getting these done (the patches I finished last night and I mailed them out today, one day before the deadline. . .last minute for the win!).

First up. . .hmmm, lets go with the aforementioned patches.  These were for the Disney alphabet ongoing swap.  This swap was the D, E, and F group.

The whole group together (like I mentioned, I finished these last night so this pic is a bit dark, I tried to make the rest a bit better but I have little patience for pictures sometimes).

For the letter D:  Dumbo

At first I was going to embroider/crayon tint this super cute image I found of a sweet baby Dumbo in the bath.  But then I had another idea.

It's his magic feather!

This was such a simple idea I almost felt like I was cheating with it.  But I like doing at least one non-literal patch for each group (like the Cruella Deville patch from the first batch) and this was perfect.

Don't fret, it's a craft feather not one I found while out on my walks (I see a lot of feathers in the cemetery but I can only imagine what's crawling on them or how they'd smell. . .guh-ross)

The backing fabric even keeps with the theme.  Aww, mama and baby elephant.

Embarrassing fact:  Dumbo is the only movie that can make me cry just thinking or talking about it.  Not every time, but if I get really thinking about it tears will come.  And not just a simple welling up thing.  I can full out bawl just thinking about it.  And, Dumbo is the only movie I ever saw my father cry over.  That scene when they take away the mother (when she rocks baby Dumbo in her trunk. . .crap, I'm getting misty just typing about it). . .that's some hardcore Disney emotional manipulation right there.  That's the stuff that effs with you as a kid and you carry that for the rest of your damn life.  Disney is good for that, which is kind of dick move.

Phew, I need a second. . .excellent.  I didn't need to grab a tissue but I was very close.

Ok, next up.

For the letter E:  Evinrude the outboard dragonfly from The Rescuers.

(side note:  what is it with typing rescuers?  I want to add another 'er'.)

Anyway, Evinrude is awesome so I had to do him in full on embroidery.  Which led me to wonder why I don't do this more.  I was kind of intimidated by fill stitching but it's not that big a deal at all.

I used single strand for the majority of it (I did use double strand for some of the outline stitching but none of the fill if memory serves).

Varigated thread for the sweater because I didn't have a solid blue that was a close enough match to the pic I was using for reference.

I'm really over the moon about how it turned out.  Even the pupils look good.  I wasn't sure how to do them since they are so small and an outline stitch would make them look jaggy.  So I just freehand fill stitched them and they're not bad at all.

After stitching up Evinrude I was in a total embroidery mood.  But I was having problems deciding on what to do for F.

First I thought I was going to do Fifi, the feather duster from Beauty and the Beast.   True confession, I didn't realize she even had a name it's been so freaking long since I watched Beauty and the Beast.  But that idea was just kind of boring to me, mostly because there's not a lot of color variety on Fifi (all earth tones, *yawn*)

While I was trying to convince myself to just do Fifi and get it over with I started to get this word ringing in my head.  Ferdinand.  Ferdinand.  Ferdinand.  So I hit up google to see if there was something Disney that had the name Ferdinand.

BAM, there was.

F = Ferdinand the bull

This pic doesn't do him justice.  That's Ferdinand just having a sit and sniffing a flower.  He's crayon tinted with single strand outline.  The backing fabric was a scrap from the other swap I'm about to show off.

Guilty Pleasure swap

This swap was a partner's choice swap.  So you had to make something from the guilty pleasure (tv/movie) they listed.

My partner listed. . .well, I think you can guess.

*singing*  Who lives in a pineapple under the sea. . .

This was NOT what I had originally planned to make.  I was going to make an embroidered/crayon tinted (or maybe felt applique) patch of Gary the snail.  But then I got thinking that was kind of a cheap item to send when we had around a month to make this swap.  That coincided with a sudden obsession to make the pineapple house.  I blame Funky Friends Factory for that.  I've been checking out the patterns there and remember she had a pineapple.  And it was a freaking fabulous looking pineapple.  I knew I could probably rig up my own version of a pineapple but I knew it wouldn't be nearly as cool as the one at FFF, so. . .I had to get the pattern and make the pineapple house.

That lead to a whole debacle, too.  FFF is located in Australia.  Now even though I was only buying a PDF download (for a whopping $12.99) my bank shut down my debit card for fraud when they saw the charge.  While I appreciate them looking out for me (they are super on top of the fraud stuff) it did put me in a pickle when, after I bought the pattern in the morning, I went to Jimmy John's for a sub and my card wouldn't work.  I had just enough cash to cover my bill (so I was spared embarrassment) but then I did get embarrassed (a tiny bit) when my auto payment via paypal (to My Paper Crane for my plush of the month box) wouldn't go through and Heidi sent me a nice "oopsie, you no pay-ee" email.  But I got it all sorted out and no harm, no foul.

Did I mention that I decided to get the pattern after I realized I had that fabric in my stash.  I thought I had something that looked "really pineapple" but I didn't want to bother buying the pattern if I didn't have fabric already on hand I wanted to use.  And it was just enough fabric, too.  It was slightly bigger than a fat quarter but since the print is directional I couldn't just cut mamby pampy like I'm want to do (minding the grain, of course).  I had just enough left over that I could have re-made only ONE piece should it get messed up.  Thankfully, I had no issues with any of the pineapple construction.  The details were easy, too.

The scale is kind of wonky (that door knob type contraption there is probably a bit big but it looks pretty cool so I'm ok with it.

All the details are felt and embroidery.

Porthole windows with french knot rivets and a little shine for visual interest.  I only put two window on the house because I couldn't get any good images of the back of the house to know if it had windows back there.  How many windows do you need in a pineapple anyway?  Exactly.

Chimney.  Again, the scale is a little wonky because the chimney is a bit largish but it works.  I noticed (when image searching) that Spongebob isn't super consistent even with something very static like the house.  I found images with only one window on the front and some shots of it were wonkier than other (guess that's because it is "under the sea". . .or the artists are just lazy which I can totally appreciate).

Oh, the chimney.  It has a pipe cleaner and bit of polyfil inside it and the top is deliberately wider than the bottom.  Eugene went nutso when I stole one of "his" pipe cleaners (because any and all pipe cleaners in the house are his, even if they have not yet been officially given to him to play with) for this project.  Cats aren't much into sharing which should shock no one.

I think my swap partner will dig it.  I know I dig it and that's usually a good sign.

I had to laugh when I saw the selvage on that green polka dot fabric.  It's Cotton + Steel.  I follow a lot of quilty blogs and all that and folks were popping boners over C+S and making these big ass quilts and fancy quilty things.  And here I'm using the lone FQ I had of it (which came in my "color of the month" FQ bundle I did for a year) to make leaves for a Sponge Bob house.  HAH!  But I really like good quality fabric and C+S is good quality.  I liked quite a few of the funky prints they had, too.  Not going to lie.  But if you've ever hung out around the hardcore quilty blogs a lot of the writers fancy themselves beyond frou-frou (and perfect) so this is probably far from a "worthy" project for the fabrics they shill.  Especially when it's paired with some no name ass fabrics I got in scrap bundles.  GASP!

What's next for me?  Well, I still need to do that bacon and eggs tutorial (no, I haven't forgotten about it).  First I need to make a Ninni in a Costume (for a swap) and figure out exactly what I'm making for my HallowMuertes doll swap.  But I'll probably finish up my practice chameleon first (just need to stuff and assemble him) and maybe get a few more Fluff items churned out.  I have jelly fish on the Fluff agenda and they're not that complicated.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

For a Swap: Two Patches

This pair of patches are for two different swaps.  One is a cat themed swap and the other is just the regular monthly patch swap.

I had some decent sized scraps after cutting this fabric (which I love) for the backing on the Ollie Memorial Quilt.  So I decided to double dip a bit and make two similar patches.  They weren't going to the same person (one is going to the Netherlands and the other to Australia) so why not.

I cut up the scraps and sewed the images back together to make a little four patch block that I then quilted (still had the walking foot on my machine!) to the batting and backing fabric.

I really love the funky eye beads I put on this one.  And the flower on the white cat.  But I love this fabric so much it hardly needed any embellishment.

Just a pair of pompoms and a fish on this one.

I was tempted to add more embellishment like some embroidery and all that but I realized I just wanted the fabric to shine for these.

I'm super thrilled that I could use the selvage as the best part of the embellishment.  Its selvages like this one that make me understand why folks save selvages.  I don't normally but this one was just too cute.  I wasn't sure what I'd ever use it for and then low and behold I used it right away.  I don't normally have much selvages to save, either.  I get a lot of fat quarters or smaller cuts and sometimes the cute part of the selvage isn't on the fabric I get.

I'm going to buy up some more of this print.  I like it that much.  I found it at this little online store that focuses on cat fabrics.  They have the blenders that go with it, too.  I'm trying not to buy just to hoard but I'm making a big ass exception for this fabric (it's called Prisma Cats by Moda and it's the cat's meow for sure).

What else am I up to?  I have a set of Disney theme patches in the works and the "guilty pleasure" swap.  Of course, I had one idea for the guilty pleasure swap and then it seemed kind of overly simple and just weak and now I have a new idea and if I don't make it I'll be pissed (just got a pattern for the base part, so I'm totally committed to this idea).

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pets on Quilts 2015: The Ollie Memorial Quilt

Getting this post up now while I have a few minutes (even though the link up isn't available yet).

2015 Pets on Quilts show is my second time participating and it's bittersweet.

Last year, I entered under the "cats on quilts" category (see it here) with a mini quilt that was much loved by my two cats, Eugene and Olive.  I was thrilled when I won a batik jelly roll from one of the random drawings.  That was the sweet.  Then came the bitter.  Olive died.  We only had her for one year and a week when FiP, a horrible disease, took her.

After she died, Eugene was just not enjoying life as an only cat so we checked the Humane Society (where we got Gene and Ollie) to find him a new companion.  Enter, Murray.  They were a great fit from moment one and things are very good now, though we still miss Ollie.

And I still had that jelly roll.  Months ago I discovered the jelly roll race "pattern" (in quotes because it's not so much a pattern as an event!) and decided it would be perfect for the Ollie jelly roll.  Hey, I needed to start actually making "real" quilts (not just small wall hangings) and that would be the easiest way to start that process.  So I made the top and it just hung out in my craft room.  Until the announcement for the 2015 Pets on Quilts show rolled around.  It was time to get that top made into a quilt.

But not without some feline supervision!

This was back when I had first finished the top.  I draped it all pretty like over the couch to get a pic and BAM, cat-ttaked.  No blanket in this house shall be without hair (their motto).

Fast forward to about a week ago when I finally got my butt in gear to finish the quilt.

(oh, by the way, I'm entering under the "cat on a quilt" category, or whatever category is close to that. . .any of these pics of my cats HAIRassing the quilt can be my entry since I couldn't get both of them to sit on the finished quilt for anything. . .that shouldn't surprise me, they're cats and they will do as they please and no they don't care what you think about it)

Ever so helpful, Eugene.  Just plop down on the quilt sandwich and have a bath why don't you.

"What?  Were you trying to do something?"

Could you get up so I can flip it over and get the backing fabric layered on?

*sigh*  "If I must. . .but there will be a price to pay for disturbing my beauty rest."

No joke.  You folks with cats can't be surprised by this at all.  I had to flip the top and batting over to get the backing all smoothed out on it and didn't Gene get right up on it and just go insane.  He was rolling around on it, squeaking and even pulling off a very odd backflip.  Then, to make sure there was plenty of hair on it he had a good scratch.  It was hilarious.  And I just couldn't care.  The quilt was for the family (which is me, my hubby and the cats) so why freak if there's hair on it while I'm making it.  It's going to get good and haired up over its life.  And Gene was having such a high old time (really, it was like there was nip in that fabric. . .I think he really likes batiks) I just had to enjoy it.  He was having so much fun with the Ollie quilt it was like she was there in spirit (showing us her bewbies!).

Eventually I did have to chase him off it so I could get to the sewing.  I went with a very easy straight quilting and it went really well.  Got the binding machine stitched on one side and then it was time to hand stitch the binding to the back.  Enter Murray.

"What are these, mom?  Cat toys?"


Murray really likes the binding clips.  He was particularly taken by the ones holding the corners all neat (of course).  I did have to fish one out of his mouth after he pulled it off and did start to crunch on it like it was a treat.  No, we shant be destroying my super cool clips (they are so wonderful for binding).

"Mom, you're no fun.  I just wanted to try and break off a tooth and ruin a clip or two.  Party pooper!"

I say it all the time and I'll say it again.  Good thing they are both so dang cute because they sure aren't well behaved (ok, they're not really "bad" but they do get into everything and Murray in particular sheds like it's his life's goal to coat the entire planet in a thin layer of white hair, and the hair is super soft so it's like trying to wipe off spider webs. . .tons and tons of spider webs).

Don't fret, I'm not going to forget to show off the quilt sans cat.

The front (it's a bit longer than pictured, I had it draped over the edge of the wall a bit to hold it down since my spouse was all "meh" when I asked him to come outside and hold it up. . .ha ha, he was replaced by a brick wall, you know I told him as much, too, and he still didn't care in fact he was pleased to hand the task off to a truly inanimate object).

The back (with its minor flaws. . .I was not going to point them out because to be honest they don't bother me, I really kind of like them because this quilt is about so much more than being "perfect" but I didn't want anyone to think I didn't know there were flaws.  They are there and I love each and every one of them).

I wanted the back to be all cat fabric.  I've been wanting to make a totally cat quilt but I keep putting it off (what? me procrastinate? well, maybe later) so this was the perfect opportunity to make the back all cats.  I was going to make it a totally pieced back but then I happened upon this cat batik fabric and I just had to have it.  It was SO PERFECT.  Batik to match the batik front but also cat so I could tie in some of the cat fabric I already have in my stash.

From a distance you can't really see the cats but up close they are fabulous!  This pic is washed out a bit, the fabric is a nice dark charcoal color which matched pretty well to the black in the Moda Prisma Cats fabric from my stash.  I love that fabric so much I went and found a shop that still has some so I can hoard a bit more of it (when it comes to cat fabrics, I allow buying just to stash).

The Prisma Cats fabric is super bright colors and so dang cute!  Oh, and even the binding is cat.  I had some light gray fabric with polka dots (and some of the dots were cat faces) and it worked so well for the binding.  It's light colored but still works with the kind of haphazard feel of the entire quilt.  (I forget what line it's from, but it's a fairly recent line that was cat themed)

If I could change only ONE things, I'd have used a darker thread for the quilting.  I used the natural color I tend to use for all my sewing and against the dark backing fabric it looks bright white.  I didn't want it to pop that much but I don't hate it or anything.  It just stands out more than I really wanted (and because of that you can see the flaws in the stitching. . .I was using a basic Singer sewing machine with a walking foot and the weight of the quilt sometimes pulled a bit and you can see it in the stitching--the stitching isn't "bad" but if you're really looking at it you can see it's uneven and I know that's why).

I'm really surprised how much emotion is in this simple quilt.  When it was done I was almost giddy.  I gathered it up and just hugged it.  So silly, but I was just so happy to have it done.  The sense of accomplishment was huge and it's just such a special quilt for me.  It's the first "real" quilt (meaning bigger sized--the only other size I've made was a lap sized but I traded that away) I've ever made JUST for me (well, and the family) and it's so freaking special and I just love it.  But now I'm worried it will just fall apart when I wash it (I know it won't, but I love it so much I have to find something to worry about so that has become the thing I'll worry about).

Thanks for checking out my crazy quilt and even crazier cats.  I can't wait to see what everyone else shares for the Pets on Quilts contest.  It's such a fun and great event!

NOW, go back to the linky party and check out what everyone else has been up to.  CLICK HERE, YOU NOSEY THING YOU!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fluff Project: July/August DONE

I did a double up on the Fluff Project again.  July and August together.

I made five mermaids and six snails.

Ladies first!

All the single ladies. . .all the single ladies!

(this is a free pattern from Blue Whimsy

Selfie time!

I wish I'd been brave enough to set the pony tail higher on more than just this blue haired gal.  It's a great look.  But maybe it is better that only Blue got it.  It makes her extra special.

Purple was the first mermaid I finished.  She's just so matchy/matchy.  Very prim and proper.

Green hair is bright and fun.  Her tail/body color just reminds me of goldfish.

Brown/red hair is super cute (I have a weakness for the redheads, I won't lie).  It's not just her reddish/brown hair, it's her body/tail fabric.

Peek-a-boo, I see you!  With just a bit of fussy cutting you get a walrus on your tail.  Koo-koo-ka-chu!

NARWHAL Y'all!  See why I really like my redhead girl?  (and what about that wee birdy on the back of her tail, too freaking cute).

Last but not least is the fanciest of the group, Blondie.

Yeah, her fabric is styling!  Look at that octopus peeking out on her tail!

There it is again on her back.  Blondie looks all sweet and innocent, but piss her off and she'll unleash the kracken.  LOOK OUT!

I really like this pattern.  It's fairly simple and makes a nice sized toy, not too big so you can use fat quarters to make it but not so small you get annoyed sewing it by machine.  My only problem (and it's mine, not the pattern) is with the light colored skin fabrics.  I think I need to put some stabilizer on the back at the face to help block out the stitching.  The really light fabrics show the floss tails (even when I keep the tails tiny).  Live and learn on that one.  (I'll have to try using a double layer of fabric or putting a stabilizer, next time)

Next up. . .snails.

Another free pattern.  I've made this pattern before for a swap, so I knew it was easy.  I wanted easy this time around (so I could mass produce).

These little buggers are small enough you can use scraps on them.  In fact, most of the fabrics here were from my scrap bucket.

Blue shell and love snail were from scraps.  The middle snail's shell was from the same fabric I used for the orange tail mermaid.  It was a large scale print that looked hand dyed (might have been) and had a lot of large patches of different colors.  I got it in a remnant/scrap box and it turned out to be perfect for a lot of projects.

Orange shell was from scraps (and the body was from the same fabric as green shell snail and orange tail mermaid).  Guitar snail (aka Slow Hand) was from scraps (body) and some gifted fabric from Kristy (who runs the Fluff Project).  Flower snail's body is scrap (yes, same as Slow Hand) and so is the shell.

It's actually two different floral prints.  I didn't have enough of either of them to make a full shell but they work very well together.  I was worried Flower snail would look too "old lady" but once I slapped the google eyes on that feeling was long gone.  Google eyes make everything fun and kiddie centric.  The original pattern has the face all on the body (with the nubs as horns) but forget that noise.  Snails need eyes on stalks.  End of discussion.  So, these snails are NOT baby safe but screw the babies.  They get everything.  Lets make toys for kids who know better than to gnaw on everything, right?  Right!  But if you're all about the babies (poo on them!) you could make this without any face at all and it would still be cute (but not as cute as google eyes, so take THAT, you spoiled "gonna choke on that!" babies).

Ok, enough baby bashing (for now).  What else am I up to?  I'm finishing up my quilt for the Pets on Quilts contest (my cats are "helping" a lot which means I have a very hairy quilt, not that I'm worried about it, it's going to get hairy no matter what if it's in my house).  Then I need to focus on some swap items (which includes an art doll where I just might paint on fabric--reading up on that process now) and then make some medical belts for my pops.  That's a super boring project (what? it is!) so I'm not super interested in it.  I know once I get into it I'll be interested but it's just not interesting in the beginning (and I have time sensitive items to get done first).  Then I need to start thinking about the next round of Fluff items.  I'm thinking candy corn and. . .crap, I forgot the other idea I had (good thing I wrote it down on my chalkboard at home).  And I promise I will get that bacon and egg tutorial up someday (maybe after the quilt and a few swaps. .. so maybe this month).

Thursday, August 6, 2015

For swap: Two stuffies

Two stuffie swaps out the door!

First up was a swap for an animal stuffie in a wild color.

Watermelon guinea pig!

It's a Dolls and Daydreams pattern I've used before for the Fluff Project

Happy coincidence, the ears ended up having green on the backs and pink inside.

Ice cream tummy!

Next up was a swap for a mythical creature stuffie.

Alien mermaid, y'all!

I couldn't decide if I wanted to make a mermaid (since I was already using this Blue Whimsy pattern to make mermaids for the Fluff Project) or something different.  So I just made an alien.

Just free-hand cut out some eyes and put a pair of french knots for nostrils and one stitch for a mouth and you got yourself an alien.

What else am I up to?  Well, I'm finishing up the last of my Fluff Project contributions for August (I think it's for July and August, I have to check on that) and then I'm going to get my quilt done for the Pets on Quilts show.  And I have a few more swaps to do and then start on the next Fluff Project contribution (have my idea all picked out, it should be good!).

Monday, August 3, 2015

Patches for a swap

Got a few more patches made for some swaps.

First up, the singleton for the Patch with a Pocket swap

Hee hee, it's the Lorax coming up out of a tree stump!

The stump is just a free hand drawing cut out from felt with a bit o' embroidered bark.

The grass is crinkled paper (upcycling, yo!).

The Lorax himself is just hand embroidery around the image (against a batting scrap).  Nothing fancy at all.

Next up is a set of three itty bitty patches:

Hmm, that picture is a bit blurry.  No problem, I always show off set individually, too.

Little fishy with some embroidery and beading.

Funky flowers with a bit of embroidery and beading.  (that fabric just doesn't read well on the photo, making it blurry)

Toadstool house with a bit of embroidery (no beading).  Beading and embroidery were on my mind when I did these.  The biggest of the set (the funky flowers) is about 2.5 inches.  The others are smaller.  So embroidery and beading were about all that could be put on them without them being overwhelmed.

What else am I up to?  Well, I have more patches to make (that Disney series is still going on) and I'm finishing up July/August Fluff toys along with a pair of other stuffies for swaps.  I think I'll have a closing ceremonies party tonight and close up all the stuffies (so. . .much. . .ladderstitch!).  AND, I want to get my quilt done for the Pets on Quilts show (coming up in a few weeks).  I have it all figured out so I just need to do some cutting and sewing and then I can assemble the quilt (which means cleaning off the junk on my dining room table. . boo!).  OH, and I haven't forgotten about the bacon and eggs stuffie tutorial.  I just want to get some other things done first.