Friday, October 30, 2015

For a swap: OTT Halloween/Fall theme

I love OTT swaps (that's one tiny thing).  You have to make one item that's 4 inches or smaller based on the theme.

Since it's Halloween season, I had to do a Halloween OTT.

Wooo-oooh!  Haunted graveyard!

I love this silly little thing (even though the fake turf has a smell to it, like tires but not overpowering)

Felt tombstones with embroidered RIP, lightly stuffed and sewn (by hand) to the fake grass.  I was surprised (and pleased) the grass was so easy to sew through.

Two tiny ghosts haunting the place.  They aren't attached (and I almost lost them while I was making this. . .and of course the cats were all about this project between that fake grass and wee little felt things, Gene was convinced this was for him, as all things should be).

The lawn is 4 inches square and the tombstones are around 1 inch high.  I machine stitched (with a zig zag) the grass to a piece of soft green fabric from my stash.  It's plushie-ish fabric that I've used for things before.  I just didn't want the ugly back of the grass showing (along with my stitches) and I thought the backing might help stabilize the grass where I had cut it.  It was fraying a tiny bit (and leaving rubbery crumbs).

If I would have thought about it a bit more (I got this one done last minute even though I had the idea for a good week or so) I would have gotten an old coaster or some cork for the backing and just hot glued the cork to the grass.  A backing really is a must to help the grass lay super flat.  It was a small roll I got in the dollar zone at Target and this is the first chance I've had to use it.  I think I might need to make a TM style patch with some of it now that I know what it's like to work with.  I think if I sewed it to the batting first, then attached embellishments through the grass/batting combo it would be plenty sturdy (not a lot of crumbs).

I also made an itty bitty (2 inches) ghost for another swap but forgot to get a pic of it. It wasn't super fancy but it was cute.  I love tiny plushies.

What's up next?  I have three Disney theme patches to churn out this weekend and then (finally) finish up some Fluff Project items.  I only have one more crab to close up and one more chameleon.  Then it's just attach legs to the chameleons and add their mouths/nostrils.  If my calculations are correct, the chameleons and crabs should have me all caught up so all I need to produce is my quota for December (5 items).  WOOT!

Speaking of charity sewing, I want to make a few things for the Mirabel Foundation.  I've heard of them before but they're in Australia so the cost of shipping something to them was just prohibitive.  BUT, Spoonflower is acting as a collection point for them (they are stateside) so I should be able to put together a few things to send to them.  Ooh, maybe I should double dip and make some bacon and eggs (and get tutorial pics while I do it).  Hey, hey, hey, that's a great idea.

Time to get sewing!

Friday, October 23, 2015

For swaps: Two stuffies!

These are both going to the same person.  I love when I can do that.

Fall/Halloween theme ninni

Candy corn ninni!

I was still in a candy corn state of mind when I made him.

Stars in your eyes?  NOPE!  Jack-o-lanterns!

Super simple ninni but I like the way he looks.  Simple doesn't automatically mean "cop out".

Next is the stuffie for the Day of the Dead Sugar Skull swap.

BAM!  Made that pic nice and big (yes I did).

Can I just say, I love this face.  It's cute but not overly cute.  It's also just a tiny bit wonky so it definitely has a handmade look to it (his nose is a bit off center. . .hell, everything is just a bit off center).

He's felt with embroidery, sequins, and beads.  The nose is fill stitch as are the pupils of the eyes (the yellow under the flower sequin).  The purple on the eyes is felt held down in the center with the fill stitch and then around the edges with looser stitches.  So the felt does curl and wave a bit which is what I wanted (I wanted the eyes to be very flower like).

And. . .the back.

I couldn't just leave it blank, now could I?

I'm not religious but for some reason I do like the burning heart of god imagery you find on sugar skulls and skeletons for Day of the Dead.  The heart is felt (stitched on) and the flames are all fill stitch.  I'm still getting the hang of getting the best direction when it comes to large swatches of fill stitch.  You can see the orange is a little goofy (on the left side).  Should have gone in the other direction (like the right side).  But I'm still super happy with how it turned out.  I went back and forth on adding something to the heart (you see thorns wrapped around them a lot and sometimes a crown) but I wasn't sure I could pull it off (and have it look like actual thorns) so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

The skull has blanket stitch around the edges and for the life of me I can never remember how to do it.  I have to look it up (sometimes multiple times) every time I do it.  Which isn't often (which is probably why I haven't committed it to memory).

The whole skull is 5-ish inches (bit wider at the widest spot, bit shorter along the narrow part of the jaw).

I think my partner will dig it.  I know I do.

What else am I up to?

Well, I'm traveling this weekend so I decided to drag my Fluff Project items along in the hopes I'll close them all up.  Then I just need to attach the legs to the chameleons and add their mouths and that whole pile will be DONE.  Then I need to work on some swaps that need to go out by Halloween.  Good times!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

For a swap: Merit Badge

This is going out in the mail tomorrow.

(and how duhr am I, I have to email my pics to myself from my phone and I was wondering why this email didn't arrive and it's because I sent it to my friend.  DUH!)

Ok, pic or it didn't happen.

It's another merit badge swap (this pic is so bad. . .lord, I just keep failing!).

My swap partner is a fan of Orange is the New Black so I decided to use a great quote from Red (one of my favorite characters).

It's true.  You can't do shit with "I"m sorry".

I love making these badges.  They're quick and turn out so well.

This one turned out even better than the last because I drew a "stitch to" line just inside the raw edge so I could keep the edge stitches more even.  The lettering stitches are a little wonky in places (the 't' in can't is kind of bad) but over all I like the look.  It does look like my printing (which shows me I have lousy penmanship!  so much for all those remedial writing classes I had to do in elementary school.  Come to think about those, I just realized what that really was.  It was trying to force me to write with my right hand, not my left.  Damn, elementary school effed up my chances at being ambidextrous.  So I'm working on that now.  I've been practicing printing with my left hand and I was surprised to see it's not as hard as I thought and pretty legible, too.  It's just weird to write and have your hand rub over the writing.  I thought I would have had more problem remembering to make the letter in the right direction, but my brain is totally ok on making things in the correct direction using my left hand.  SEE, I was meant to be a lefty.  Not surprised, my dad is a lefty)

Fluff Project: September Items DONE!

Yes, yes, it's now October but I didn't show off the September offerings for the Fluff Project.  Why?  Because I didn't have them totally done until last night.

True confession:  I don't enjoy ladder stitching toys closed.  It's not hard but I just don't like it.  More to the point, I don't like STARTING it.  I'm fine once I'm in the middle of closing up a bunch of stuff but getting started on that step is just a huge hurdle for me.  I probably have some kind of hang up about actually finishing a project or something but I don't feel like psycho analyzing it.  It's just how I am so I have to just live with it (and "force" myself to do the last step).

Blah, blah, blah, SHOW US THE FLUFF!!!

Candy corns, y'all!

NINE candy corns.  Woot!  I love going over my 5 fluff minimum requirement for the month.  These little buggers were easy (once I got the size of the strips all set and fiddled with the pattern so the corns weren't too pointy or sagged in along the sides--fatter is better on the pattern).

You'll notice one of the corns is not like the others.  He was a test corn that I deemed acceptable to donate but I didn't like that style so I re-worked the pattern to make a more stumpy corn.  It felt wrong to waste this corn just because he's a different shape.  I do not body shame my candy corns, thank you very much.

Orange ones and. . .

brown ones, just like the real thing.


Super simple "pattern", too.  I got the basic idea from the internet (shocking!).  Then I just had to figure out the size of each of the different colored strips for the size of the body template I ultimately decided on.  I had to draw the body shape a few times to get it the way I wanted.  If you plan to draw up one yourself, I recommend you make your body shape "fatter" than you think you want.  I noticed when I drew it exactly like I wanted the finished product, that finished product turned out with sunk in sides (like bowed in) which made the points all funky.  So make the sides a little more bowed out then you think will work and then you'll get a finished corn that's almost straight (to slightly bowed out) on the sides which is more like a candy corn.

Here's the kicker.  I think I may have lost the template I used (which had the strip sizes on it).  I don't think I tossed it, I bet it's just in the random pile of paper/cardboard templates I have.  I need to find it so I can officially make a nice pattern piece from cardboard for this (and write down the strip requirements right on the pattern).

I may make a few more of these once I get the chameleons and crabs done.  I have just a little bit of that yellow left so I'm tempted to make corns until I use it up.

What's up next?  Well, finishing those chameleons and crabs (that will be for October and November's offerings).  Then I want to make something Christmas themed.  I have an elf pattern I've been keen to try and a gingerbread man.  Maybe a couple of each of those.  Hmm, maybe christmas candy corn?  Who knows!