Monday, February 22, 2016

For a Swap: Mystery Fabric

Finished this up yesterday so I can get it out in the mail this week.

The swap was a mystery fabric swap.  We were given a swatch of fabric (about 7 inches square?  I didn't measure it but it was less than 10 inches but more than 5 inches).

I checked out my partner's pinterest page to get an idea of what I could make and found a really cute pin cushion.  

Pretty cute.

I used just about every thread of the mystery fabric for the doll's body.

That's a better shot of the print.  It was a nice one.  I added the ribbon tie.  It's not part of the pattern but it was an easy addition that looks very cute (just sew a bit of ribbon into the seam when you sew up the doll. . .super simple).

I used a red scrap for the babushka and felt scraps for the face.

Found a great vintage button for the knot on the scarf.

But my favorite part. . .

Briar Rose fabrics for the apron and the base.

My doll came out a bit stubby (I think I left too much space at the bottom when doing the running (aka drawstring) stitch.  So you can't see the scallops on the apron very well which makes me glad I didn't embellish it a ton (I was toying with adding some beads).

The pattern calls for a 2" washer for the base (to make it flat and give it a bit of weight) so I had to take a little walk to my neighborhood Busy Beaver to get that (and it cost a whopping 27 cents, so I got two just in case I wanted to double it up to make it heavier, though I didn't need to).

The pattern also calls for hot glueing the base to the bottom which I didn't want to do but I did and it worked well.  You really do need to glue it down to make it really stay put.  Stitching only wouldn't be strong enough.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out, especially that I didn't mess it up since there was NO mystery fabric to spare (and I didn't make a practice one because I didn't want to have to deal with having a random pin cushion afterward. . .it's a cute pincushion but I don't want one. . .I have a cute shoe pincushion and the classic tomato and strawberry cushions).

What's up next?  Well, I have a few swaps to work on but I really need to do some Fluff sewing.  I've cut out a ton of stuff and then let it all sit.  I'm also working on a heart quilt top (it's a free pattern through Fat Quarter Shop. . I think that's where it's from).  I got all the red/pinks cut for four blocks (they use 5" charms) and enough white/low volume for one block.  I *might* have to break down and get a bit more super low volume prints.  I want all the background on this top to be super low volume.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Couponing for Charity: Super Score!

Something new I'm going to show off from time to time.

I like to try and spend some money each month (or pool it) on things I can donate to charity.  It fulfills my desire to hunt for good deals and my desire to just buy stuff (you know, sometimes you just want to buy something!) but it keeps me focused and I have an outlet for what I buy.

I have a futon in my workout room that I store it all on and when the futon gets full I make a donation.  Usually that takes a while since I really only focus on a few categories.

I like to buy more non-grocery items like school supplies, laundry soap, paper products, and HBA products.  (I also buy some toys and hats/socks/gloves).  Oh, and I buy pet food, too, but I don't store that on the futon (that is stored in my kitchen).  I have outlets for all of these categories so I'll never run into a hoarding situation.

SO. . .true confession time. . .my favorite deals to find are on feminine hygiene products.  That shit is so crazy expensive and when I can get it for pennies on the dollar it gives me JOY.  (another true confession, I had a hysterectomy years ago, so I don't even use the damn things anymore so it's ALL for charity).

I hit the MOTHER LOAD of fem hygiene last weekend.

That there is SIX boxes (three tampon, two pad, one liner).

How much did I pay (out of pocket)?


YES, you read that right.  I only had to produce $3.64 to take that all from Target.

How did I accomplish such a marvelous act?

First, I had really good coupons.  $2 off of EACH of the U by Kotex items.  $3 off of EACH of the Playtex items.  THEN, I had Cartwheel which took 20% off each of the black box U by Kotex.

So in discounts I saved $17.80.

(the Playtex items were $3.99 each, the white box was $5.49, and the black boxes were $6.99. . .none were on sale at all, those are full retail prices.  Full retail cost would have been:  $31.44)

$31.44 - 17.80 = 13.64

THEN, I paid using $10 in gift cards I received about a month ago.  I got the gift cards for buying cat food and cat litter, both of which were the brands my cats use (so I count those kinds of gift cards as truly "found" money).

SO, I only had to come up with $3.64 cash to pay for my fem hygiene.  That's only 60 cents per box!

AND. . .AND. . . Target was doing one of their "buy three, get a $5 gift card" on the U by Kotex branded items so I have a $5 gift card to use some other time.

I love the Target gift card racket.  I get them all the time from pet items and then I use them to buy charity stuff.

And in that same trip I gathered up some clearance kids hats (2 pack for $3.50) and women's stretch gloves ($1.75 each).  I hope those all get marked down again so I can grab up some more for even less.

For a swap: Disney Patches T, U, and V

Just mailed these out today so time to show them off while I have a minute.

The Disney patch swap is winding down.  This is the second to the last round.

T, U, and V!

T is for Timon.

I knew from the very beginning of this swap series that T would be Timon.  I did him with crayon tinting and embroidery.

U is for Under the Sea.  Yes, that earworm of a song from The Little Mermaid.  I thought about doing Ursula the sea witch but that would have meant another crayon tinted patch (most likely) and I wasn't into doing a full set of crayon tinted patches.  The fish on the right has a bit of a derpy Flounder face, too, so it worked well.  I used ric rac and some eyelash yarn to make the seaweed.  The background fabric is this great hand dyed (or maybe it just really looks hand dyed) fabric I got in one of my many scrap pack purchases.

V is for Violet (from The Incredibles).

I hemmed and hawed on this patch.  At first I was thinking I'd do a generic "villains" patch with some representational images of different villains.  I was going to try and avoid any villains I already did, so I was thinking about having an eye with a scar over it (Scar), some tentacles (Ursula), or maybe some wild hair (Hades).  But it just wasn't working for me so I went with the "easier" choice of Violet.

She's crayon tinted (no embroidery) and I put a piece of plastic over the top of the patch to make it look like she's putting up a force field.  I deliberately avoided putting embroidery on it because I wanted the whole patch to have a warped look to it (to add to the force field look).  (the plastic is cut from the packaging on my new ironing board cover. . .a cover I haven't yet put on my board because I am lazy).

And the backs of the whole set.

Of course I picked through my stash to find matchy-matchy fabrics and I pulled it off pretty well.  Bugs for Timon ("ooh, the little cream filled ones"), a mermaid for Under the Sea, and violet color for Violet (I put the stripes vertically to mimic her straight hair).

I think my partner will like them.  I've sent so many patches to her for this round it's CRAZY.  I wonder what she'll do with them?

Friday, February 5, 2016

For Swaps: Patches Galore!

Damn, I've been busy at work lately so I haven't posted my latest finishes.  One set of these patches I've had waiting to post for over a week!

Blah, blah, on to the patches.

First up are the latest batch of Disney patches.

Letters P, Q, R, and S.

P is for:

Pongo and Perdita.

This picture doesn't really capture the detail well since it's white embroidery on white fabric.  I outlined the dogs in white embroidery and the embroidered their collars.  Their black markings (and pupils) are heat set fabric marker.

Q is for:

Queen of Hearts.

I didn't want to use the actual Queen of Hearts from the Alice in Wonderland because I don't care for her so much (and I didn't want to do all crayon tinted patches for this set).  I was in the mood to do a more free-form type patch so a heart with a crown on it for the win.  The heart is wool blend felt applique (lightly stuffed).  The crown is just some trim I get at Target (of all places!).  Super simple but really cute (I think so at least).

R is for:


It's been a while since I've seen Monster's Inc. but how could I forget Roz.  She just might be my spirit animal (we do have a similar physique and attraction to cardigans).

Roz is crayon tinting with some embroidery in spots.

Her face has the most embroidery, done with double and single strands and a few well placed french knots (I'm quite fond of her french knot mole)

S is for:


From the start of this series there were certain letters I knew would be certain characters.  S was either going to be Si (but since I did Am for A, I didn't need to make another siamese cat) or Stitch.

Stitch is crayon tinting with some embroidery and heat set black fabric marker (for his eyes, to get a real pop of color).

I did his mouth bits in embroidery to give a little bit of texture and to really secure the top of the patch to the batting center.  It also helped make his teeth pop a bit, since they are white on a cream background.

The backs:

Even if you couldn't see the frames on the fronts, you can pretty much guess what back goes with what front.  I LOVE being able to include the backing/frame fabric into the theme (for theme patches).  It goes with preferring the flat style patches (to make) over the puffy.  I like the neatness of flat patches that are all theme-y.  (ok, not always, but for theme sets like this I love it so much to get them all "perfect").

Next up, something very far from "perfect".

This pair are for an Anything Goes patch swap so in the spirit of anything goes I tried to puffy style patches (aka more like Teesha Moore's actual style).  I don't dislike making this style but most of the folks I swap with prefer flat style and I like being able to be super neat and tidy when making flat style so flat has become my go-to style.

I digress.


I will admit, I love the warped edges of the puffy style patches.  It's fun when you're making them to see exactly how the fabric decides to curl and fold.  The only thing I make sure to have happen on the puffy style edges is I catch the corners on both sides (meaning I do a stitch on the long side and then make sure the next stitch is on the top. . .so the corn is nice and secured).  And I don't fold the corners or try to mitre them at all.  Just make sure I catch the fold two times.  Oh, I do try to make sure the backing fabric is dominant on the roll over, too. So I will trim back the top fabric if it's wider than the back (so it usually doesn't show through when the curl happens to make the edge).

Close up of that weird snarly looking thing on the patch.

It's a cut out.  I was obsessed with doing this again on a puffy patch so I did it with these circle.  It looks better in person.  I did some free motion stitching along the rings (every other ring) the cut out between them and re-attached the center with two little stitches.  It works but it could have worked better.  But I'm pleased with it since it's supposed to be a really scrappy patch.  Then I just added some beads and a bit of embroidery to get some puff to the patch.

This patch I really like.  I was in a beading mood.  Can you tell?

I did some free motion quilting on some of the fish fins then added beads to the bodies of the two main fish.  SUPER simple.

I used actual pearl cotton for the edges.  Usually I use three strand embroidery floss but someone sent me a thing of pearl cotton so why not try it out.  It's an anything goes patch swap so go crazy.

And. . .the backs:

I like how the backs actually have a look to them even though you're just "seeing the work".  I never want it to seem like I don't like puffy style patches.  I love them (making and receiving) but the up tight side of me just really likes keeping the backs of my patches clean (don't "show your work").  It's like a challenge to me to show as little work as possible.  So when I do puffy style I make sure to really show my work.  It's just a weird thing with me, eh, whatever.

What's up next?

I have a Junker Jane doll swap, a Teesha Bag swap (minions, YES!), and a cool "mystery fabric" swap where you have to use the piece of fabric you're given in the item you make.  That one is still stumping me but I know I'll come up with something good.

I'm also getting some Fluff sewing going.  A night ago I cut out TWENTY items.  Ok, they were super easy "baby" toys (meaning they won't have fancy faces or applique or any of that) but TWENTY items is kick ass.  I'm making ponies and puppies (simple pillow style, no detail ones that are super baby safe, hence my calling them "baby toys").  I also need to clean up some WIP Fluff items and the stuff I never made the assorted Bratlings (aka my hubby's nephews and niece).