Monday, July 25, 2016

Fluff Project UPDATE (finally got some stuff finished!)

I know, right?!

I've been so half assed with Fluff sewing this year.  I go in these crazy stops and starts but get very few completions under my belt.

Well, I finally got something done (over this past week. . .just took a bit to get it documented here).  Speaking of documenting things here I totally forgot to document the wiener dogs and ponies I finished for Fluff. . .more on that after I show off this patch of finished items.

Bowl of legs.  Mmmm.

I like this pattern because it's easy-ish.  Easy in that the actual sewing is straight forward.  Ish because there's a lot to do for each item (totally worth the work but still a lot of little things).  The body is pretty straight forward (the only "ish" part is dripping a bit of fray stop at two spots. . .totally not a big deal).  The bodies even stuff up fast, which is nice.  The legs aren't hard to do (they sew up easy and even turn/stuff well. . .nice "in front of the t.v." project).  The "ish" is with the buttons.  I sew them on before attaching the legs to the bodies.  Just a quick stitch (kind of like basting) but it's a time eater (not hard, just a time eater).  TOTALLY worth the effort, though.  Trying to attach the legs with loose buttons is a super pain in the butt.  Do. Not. Do. It.  Attaching the legs isn't hard either, just "ish".  Once I get the hang of it (usually takes two or three) it goes really smooth but those first few are annoying.

All that said, I don't want to make it sound like this pattern isn't worth it.  It's a GREAT pattern.  Hell, I wouldn't make it all the time if I hated it.  But if you're going to go to the "ish" of this pattern, you're better off to make a bunch of these at once so you can get the flow of the "ish" steps so they aren't as annoying.  (oh and I almost forgot to give everyone nostrils. . the whole time I felt like I was forgetting something and then I was looking at the pattern and BOOM, nostrils, duh!).

That there is a pyramid of TEN chameleons.  That's what I mean when I say do yourself a favor and just make a mess of these at once.  It's also fun because you get to pick out a mess of different fabrics which breaks up the monotony a bit.

This batch is ready for their closeups.


A pair of neon green twins.  This fabric was begging to be made into chameleons.  They aren't identical twins, though.  They have different buttons.  Similar, but different.  One has slightly lighter buttons but both have lighter colored base with darker stripes.

One orange batik and one funky geometric print.  Batik has a very basic button since she's so fabulous she doesn't need a flashy button.  Geometric (which I think is a cotton+steel print, if memory serves) has some fancier buttons.  They were kind of heavy, too.

Two more pairs.  Floral and fireworks.  The florals have different buttons.  One has a flower shaped button (so cute!) and the other has a light gray button.

Mugging for the camera!  The fireworks chameleons have different buttons, too.  One has a very basic semi-clear button and the other has a red rimmed button.  (and yes, they have nostrils you just can't see them)

Last but not least, the lone blue chameleon (I think that's a hand dyed fabric) with blue buttons and a very rare celery chameleon.  He has green legs because I didn't have enough celery fabric to make the legs.  I think it works but I'm not sold on mis-matched legs for every chameleon.  Bright yellow buttons for that fancy fellow.

What's next?

Well, I have two other patterns in progress right now.  First will be the cats.

I have ten of these (in different fabrics) about half done.  They are ready to have the limbs/tails turned and stuffed.  Then basted to the front body and the whole thing assembled.  Then turn and stuff the body (and close).  So I'd say that is about half done.

Then I have ten dogs that are a few steps behind that (they need faces added, then they'll be ready for final assembly, turning, stuffing, and closing.

THEN, I have a deer pattern picked out for the next item.  No steps have been done on them yet (just some preliminary fabric selections).

So what's the yearly count for Fluff?

5 Ewoks (documented here)
5 chameleons (documented here)
5 wiener dogs (need to share here)
5 ponies (need to share here)
Total:  20 items
Goal:  60 items

Time to get going.

But first I need to pause to finish a quilt I want to get done for the Pets on Quilts show.  Hoping to get that ready for final hand stitching on the binding before I go on vacation (next week).  That's a lofty goal but the show isn't until August (in the teens) so I still have time.  The top is done, the backing fabric selected (just have to piece it together, it's not wide enough) and then get my sandwich on.  The quilting will be straight line so it should go quickly.  Then I need to make the binding and put it on.  Ok, so when I see how much I still have to do I feel extra lazy for not even looking at it this weekend.  The heat had me just melted on my couch, snoozing away.  SO LAZY!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Quilts for Pulse Blocks

After the Pulse nightclub massacre (side note, that was a hate crime not some terrorism b.s.  I get so miffed when the news tries to make it into a "ooh, big bad brown terrorists!" thing when it was just a straight up homegrown hate crime. .. ok, mini rant over) the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for quilts/tops/blocks to make quilts for survivors, family members, first responders, and those affected.

Details HERE.

They wanted to keep a heart/rainbow theme and offer THIS pattern as a jumping off point for folks (they'll take any quilt/top/blocks that are heart/rainbow, though).  (they prefer the 10 inch size of that block)

Seeing how easy the block was AND that it could be made from scrap sizes of fabric, I was TOTALLY in.

I just mailed these 13 blocks out today.

You can get three of these blocks (the color part) from one FQ.  So there are three of each of these.  I did go and buy a bit of fabric for this project.  I don't have a lot of true white on white fabric (I have low volume but a lot of it is black on white or gray on white) and when I found a white heart on white background fabric at Equilter AND I got a $10 gift certificate for doing a survey I figured what the hell.  I only ended up paying 93 cents for a half yard of fabric.  Hell yes!  (and there was a 5 inch strip left that I can keep for me. .. yes, it always ends up being about me).

Used scraps for these three.  So I got one purple, two green, and one pink.  One of the greens has a different light fabric.  I didn't have enough of the two light fabrics I used (the heart print and this other print I bought to use in a cat themed quilt and/or have just to have some white on white fabric).  Again, I ended up still having a five inch strip left of the non-heart light fabric, which is perfect because the project I was thinking of using it for calls for five inch charms.  I love when things work out like that.

I only have one each of these.  The star fabric there just wasn't enough to make another block (which was a shame because that's sparkly and sparkly is the best) and the ostriches I didn't have enough of the heart/light fabric to make another (I have a bunch of that ostrich print because it's awesome).

Just had to enbiggen that there ostrich block to show it off a bit more.  I just love it!  You can see the heart print, too.  I think I have to get a bit more of that fabric the next time I shop.  See how easy this block was (the only tiny tricky bit is, if you're working with a directional print you have to pay attention that it's sewn on properly. .. but that applies pretty much any time you use a directional print) I kind of want to use it to make a cat themed quilt.  I already have a pattern to make a much larger heart (that's what I'm using to make my Pets on Quilts submission) but this would be cool, too.  And show off my funky cat fabrics a lot better since the heart uses more of each fabric (the other pattern uses 5 inch charms so each fabric has less space to pop).

That's what's up next, the Pets on Quilts submission.  I need to sash the blocks, get my backing fabric, and put it together.  Chop, chop.

For a Swap: Scallop Bag

Made this bag for a swap.  We all had to use THIS pattern.

My partner likes fall colors so I went hard core fall.

A few notes about the pattern.  I'm not a fan of how the bottom row of scallops get caught in the bottom seam.  It's designed that way but I just don't think I like the look that much (I don't hate it but it just feels "wrong" to have the scallops caught in the bottom seam, like you sewed it incorrectly).

This bag also takes a pretty good bit of fabric so it gets a wee bit bulky when sewing.  Nothing too crazy but just a note.  The biggest snag for me was the handles.  I wanted them to match the body fabric but they are WOF long.  I was working with a scrap of that body fabric so I simply did not have enough.  Had to make a special purchase to get more (no biggie).  Since I was getting more handle fabric, I splurged to get some perfect lining fabric, too.  I was tempted to make a patchwork lining using the scallop fabrics but when I spied that tree fabric I had to get it for the lining.

I do really like the top stitching along the top of the bag (you stitch the lining down along the top and it gives a great look and is super easy).  I also really like the way the handles look once attached but they were a tiny bit tricky to work on the machine.  But part of that could have been me being dumb (sometimes I have to do something ass backwards once to realize I'm doing it the "dumb way").

See, that fabric is the BOMB.  And you can see the top stitching.  I don't know what it is but that top stitching just looks more professional versus "homemade".  Yes, it's a simple bag that is meant to be more of a homemade look but that little touch just makes it look like you really put some effort into the bag.

I don't know that I'd make this pattern again just for no reason.  It requires larger cuts for the body/lining/handles and I don't have 1/2 yard cuts in my stash (as much as I have fat quarters) and it requires home decor weight for the outside body fabric.  You can use regular cotton (the bag I got from my partner was made that way and it was perfect) but the home decor/canvas does give it a more sturdy appearance.  There's no lining/stabilizing in this so it's a floppy bag.  It's also not super roomy for the amount of fabric you have to use to make it.  (I'm thinking for charity sewing it might not be a good choice unless you wanted to make more special bags versus churning out as many bags as possible with the fabric you have. . .that's why I prefer the Green Bag Lady pattern for making true work horse style grocery bags, you get the most bang for your fabric).  That said, these would be cute bags to make for girly girls.  They'd be so cute done in princess prints or some such cuteness (yes, I totally thought of making a cat themed one, it would rock as a crazy cat lady bag).

What's up next?

Well, I'm not doing as many swaps right now.  I need to focus on my Fluff Sewing (I'm so behind. . .some many "in progress" things but not much actually finished) and I want to make a quilt for the Pets on Quilt show (in August) and I'm getting my vacation on the first week of August so. . .yeah, I need to focus on non-swap stuff right now.  First will be to get that quilt done.  The top is very close to done (just have to add some sashing between the blocks).  Then I can buy the backing fabric (need to measure the top first) then just finish it up.  I also have chameleons, puppies, and cats in progress for Fluff (and Mirabel) and then want to whip up some deer.  And 2 more zipper pouches (I had three left over from another project so I'll just round that out to make 5 items for my monthly sewing goal).  Busy, busy, busy.