Tag Archives: WIP’s

randomness…

TrinityI’ve been sewing for the past few weeks on all sorts of random things, so I thought I’d share a bit.  This onesie is TOTALLY out of my comfort zone. C’mon- garment sewing??! My sister-in-law asked me to make it for her brother’s daughter, who is set to be born in the next few weeks.  His favorite video game was Halo, so she wanted to incorporate that into something a little girl would wear. Anyways, I hacked apart a Garanimals onesie to see how it was put together & then cobbled together all kinds of different parts to make this garment.  All it lacks now are snaps & then I need to make a matching hat or headband and some shoes.  My embroidery could be MUCH better, but hopefully she won’t be too upset about it.  I didn’t want to use the preset fonts in my sewing machine, so I designed it on the PC and then thread painted the words. It’s not a smooth satin stitch & that’s my one regret… Here’s the back:

ruffles

It’s three rows of tulle ruffles, which are adorable!  I could sit here and fluff them for hours.

fluff fluff fluffThen next up was my entry for the Modern Quilt Guild’s Madrona Road Challenge:

Madrona Roach

It’s only about two feet high, so it didn’t take long.  It’s my first finish of 2013, so that’s something!

I’ve got several other projects sitting in the wings.  A Valentine’s quilt. Another Madrona Road mini quilt in the citrus colorway. A tote bag! Oh, the tote bag.  It’s going to be so awesome, I can’t stand it! There aren’t enough hours in the day… Well, thanks for reading!  & I’ll try to post more leading up to QuiltCon!  rebecca

 

 

 

 

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coming soon…

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a pattern… I think this little quilt is going to be my next project for PatternSpot.  Woot! -rebecca

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whoopi!

I finished my portrait of Whoopi the poodle last night! She finished at 11.5″x11″. You may remember her from this post and this post waaaayyyy last December.  She was supposed to be a Christmas gift(yikes!) for my Aunt Kim, but I missed the deadline and decided to finish it later.  But I had worked on it SO HARD that I felt burnt out and didn’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole.  So, Whoopi got put into a project box and placed on a shelf.  Not the actual Whoopi, mind you, she’s enormous and we couldn’t fit her on a shelf if we tried.  Here’s a gratuitous action shot:

But now that I’m in my new sewing room, I got her out and decided to finish what I started.  The original plan was to do a blue background with abstract piecing to mimic the original photograph, but it felt wrong when I took a good look at it on the design wall.  Whoopi is clearly the star of the show (as in real life!), so in the end, I just kept her background plain and finished the edges with a facing.  Here’s the original photo I got from my cousin Spencer:

He had put his aviator shades on her & she posed for him.  She dearly loves accessories, might I add, & has been known to wear pearls on special occasions…

ANYWAYS, to design this art quilt, I took the photo and deconstructed into five layers of color using Illustrator.  I then separated out each layer and printed them onto freezer paper so I could iron them onto the correct color of fabric.  Then I laid a piece of clear, dissolve away Sulky stabilizer over top of each layer and traced the pattern pieces with a fine Sharpie to create a placement map.  Once I had placement maps for each layer, I laid down my background fabric and lightly misted it with water.  Then I laid down my first layer of Sulky and it stuck in place to the dampened fabric.  Next, came the hard work of cutting out all those teensy tiny pieces of fabric and sticking them down to the placement guide.  Once I had the first layer down, I zigzagged over top of them to hold everything in place, and set the project in a water bath to dissolve away the Sulky.  Then I repeated it with the next layer.  Then the next until it was complete.  Some of the pieces were smaller than a grain of rice.  I was working with my best Tweezerman tweezers to hold on to everything and to rip off the freezer paper pattern from the top of the piece after it was placed correctly.  Whew.  I’m tired again just from writing that!  After that, I needed to add dimension to her through quilting and it proved very difficult due to the amount of threadwork on the piece.  Here’s a detail shot:

In order to get the appropriate loft for her features, I had to stack four layers of wool batting underneath.  FOUR LAYERS.  It was scary.  Almost like putting a couch cushion underneath your presser foot.  But Rory (my sewing machine) and I persevered and added just enough dimension to really make her stand out.  Here’s a side view to kind of show you what I’m talking about:

Pure craziness!  But this is one of my favorite pieces ever.  I love it to death!  She’ll be packed up tomorrow and be shipped off to Edmond, Oklahoma.  & I suppose this was as close as I’ll ever get to owning a dog!

I’m off to take care of more skeletons in my sewing closet!  Have a happy Sunday! -rebecca

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my love for target grows & grows

Here’s my latest addition to the sewing room- a little design wall for my miniatures and art quilts.  It’s made from signage that I scored back when I worked for Target.

Here’s two more of the signs:

 

I think they were from a Mother’s Day campaign about five years ago, maybe?  Anyways, I saw them and fell in love immediately.  My signing specialist told me he would put as many aside as he could when the next advertising campaign had to go up.  So, I have two square ones that are about 3 feet tall and two bigger ones that are about 3 feet by 4 feet.  They are all extremely lightweight!  I mean, who wants a heavy sign dropping on their head while waiting in the checkout lane, right?  Anyways, one of the larger ones was missing the cardboard in the center, so it wasn’t too stable & I used that one as my guinea pig design wall.  I cut a piece of modular foam insulation to fit the opening and wrapped it in the scrap batting from my old design wall.  Then I stapled the crap out of it! Then, I stapled the board to the sides of the frame create a more rigid structure:

 

I’ll hang it up opposite my gigantic design wall sometime tomorrow when it’s a more reasonable hour in the day to use power tools… Good night! -rebecca

 

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thar she blows!

Xerxes the whale

 

This is Xerxes the whale!  (I asked my sister to name it & the first name that popped out was Xerxes.  Such an odd child… But I remember naming one of my childhood cats “Thomas Cola”, so I guess what goes around comes around.) Anyways, I’ve been working on her for about a month now. I actually finished her Thursday for a zippered pouch exchange at my local modern quilt guild.  But there was some drama ’round these parts & I wasn’t able to go to my meeting.  She’s been hanging out on my cutting table ever since and I started noticing all the things that were bugging me about her- seam lines were off center, the tail was wonky, etc.  So , I totally ripped her apart again this morning.  But I digress!  She started about a month ago when I made a clay sculpture of a half whale…

 

I used Crayola air dry clay from Target.  Thank God for Back to School sales!  Anyways, while it was about 75% dry, I draped it with muslin and made pattern pieces to test out in paper…

 

When I was satisfied, I busted out my beloved stash of Mendocino fabric by Heather Ross.  I love this line of fabric so much that I’ve been too afraid to make anything out of it!  But Xerxes seemed to be calling out for the ocean, so I sucked it up and cut out my pattern pieces before I could think about what I was doing.  To make it stand up on its own, I used ByAnnie’s Soft & Stable and used polyfil stuffing in the tail.

 

There was much wrestling involved with that zipper, let me tell ya.  It required a buttload of pins and I still managed to break a needle from shifting fabric. Oy.

I’m working right now on finishing the rest of my QuiltCon Block Challenge entries.  I did the easy one first:

& now I’m working on another one to stick with the Texas theme.  So… That was my week so far!  Fun times… Happy quilting!  rebecca

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laziest. tutorial. evar. for bolt!

Hello! My Steven & I bought a new house (Yay!), so all of my sewing supplies are currently living sad little lives inside cardboard boxes.  In the interim, I am sitting here at my computer procrastinating because I DO NOT want to pack up yet another load of boxes in this sweltering Texas heat.  I was hoping that once the sun went down, the weather would be much more reasonable, but no.  It’s after 7pm and still feels like 102 degrees! So, whatevs, I’m going to put up this quick tutorial for my bolt quilt.  It’s more like a layout, tbh.  Here you go:

These here are your blocks.

The blocks are made of solid strips of fabric and half-square rectangles.  There’s an excellent tutorial here for HRT’s from the Modern Quilt Guild’s 100 Days of Quilts!  The tall HRT’s in bolt started their lives as 8.5″ long x 2.5″ wide strips and finished at 5.75″ x 2″.  The shorter ones were 4.5″ long and 2.5″ wide and finished at 3.25″x2″.  The solid strips were 5.75″ x 2″.  Feel free to experiment with sizes on your project.  Just make sure your triangle points end up a quarter inch away from the edge or the quilt police will get you…

this is your pattern layout

make some columns!

get the neighbors together for a party!

make it a block party!

done and done

Tips? I’d say you could press all your seams open to make it easy on yourself. Did I do that? Um, no.  I pressed them all to the background.  Then all the blocks in column one were pressed down and all the blocks in column two were pressed up and so on and so forth.  That way, each row nestled in with one another.  Secondly, pin like a beast!  And then pin some more!  A graphic pattern like this relies on precision piecing, so take your time and line EVERYTHING up.  The tops of the lightning bolts should be perfectly straight across…  Here’s bolt one more time:

A quilt top for Gabriel & Gadriel

It actually goes together quite quickly once you’ve figured out what color goes where.  I hope y’all try this quilt out.  Or at least make a pillow or something with it!  Have a good night!  I have storage totes calling out to me!  rebecca

 

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bolt!

A quilt top for Gabriel & Gadriel

I finally finished this quilt top! I told myself that I couldn’t put anything else up on my design wall until it was finished, so I guess that lit a fire under me.  It’s about 36×42-ish and after a quick quilting in the ditch will be headed to Oklahoma for my big brother’s twin boys.  Which I will drop a gratuitous photo of them into this post right now:

Gavin & Chasity's twin boys

I took that photo about three weeks ago when they turned two months old, so they are probably twice as big by now!  Too cute.  But I guess this means I better hurry up and finish their quilt before its too small… Happy Saturday!  -rebecca

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moms part two…

Laser cut felt illustration

This image should look familiar if you’ve read my blog from last Mother’s Day. I was inspired by a French art installation and created a piece that celebrated my moms.  It’s been two years since she passed away & it just doesn’t get any easier…

ANYWAYS, on my first version, I cut out each hole from a piece of fabric and turned the raw edges under to the back.  It was easy work with the big holes and not so much as they got progressively smaller.  My bamboo skewer gave way to a tooth pick and after a while, I had my fill of tediousness & put the piece aside.

Close up of laser cutting

So, this year, I decided to turn to my old friend, Ponoko.  It’s a website that can pretty much make anything you dream of into a reality.  You can upload designs to be laser cut or etched onto hundreds of different materials.  They can 3D print anything. If you don’t have any art or CAD skills, they can find you someone who will do it for you.  It’s like a magic dream rainbow factory!  & if you’re thinking, “Well, that doesn’t sound very quilty!” Then let me entice you with the power to create your own acrylic rotary cutting templates!  Can you imagine?  Er. I’ve strayed off topic!  So, I uploaded an Illustrator file to Ponoko and requested that it be laser cut from 2mm thick, cream colored felt.  Then I waited a couple of weeks for it to come back home to me.

When I opened the box, it had a slightly singed smell, but I was able to take care of that by rubbing it with a cucumber face wipe.  And I also had to remove all the little bits from each hole- see below!

crumb city!

I’m sure you can imagine how fun it was to have these little bits o’ felt scatter all up in your living room!  I found a few nestled in my hair & had to furiously keep the cat at bay so he wouldn’t try to eat them.

But now I’m not sure how to finish this little project.  I was thinking about quilting in cream colored thread to create more texture and detail to her hair, but that might spoil the whole spare aesthetic thing going on.  Or maybe work in some tulle or something?  Or chop it down and put it on the wall and be done with it! Who knows…

FYI- Here’s the photo I used to create this whole project. I pray you can see a resemblance in the felt piece! lol

my momma

Sigh.  I love you, moms.  I miss you everyday.  Love, rebecca

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cross eyed

20110628-063132.jpg

This puppy has been driving me crazy for weeks!!!! I’m normally a fan of curved piecing, but I feel like I’ve done nothing but wrestle fabric here lately. At first I said I would finish three blocks a day… Then it dropped to two… Then it dropped to one… Sigh. If I didn’t love this quilt so much already, it would be sitting on a shelf somewhere. I do love it, though, so I’ll keep going! It just might not end up as large as I had originally planned. Happy quilting! rebecca

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moms

moms art quilt
back view

Today is a difficult holiday for me because my momma passed away last year on April 6th. She was 55 years old. I COMPLETELY avoided Mother’s Day last year because it was just too painful. Everywhere you turn- in stores, on the TV, all over the internet- there are advertisements showing moms & daughters hugging & laughing & being happy… showing moments that I won’t ever experience again.

Anyways, I decided to make a memorial quilt in her honor. Inspired by some stencil art from France, I decided to create a small art piece that would be based on a photo of her. About three months after she had passed, I finally had the courage to sit down and look for the perfect photo for my project. Unfortunately, I lasted about 5 minutes before breaking down into tears! I had to put away the bags of photos and pull myself together. It was about another three months before I could make myself look through the photos again and I did manage to choose one. However, once I scanned it and started working in photoshop, the tears flowed again. I guess it was something about having to zoom in really closely & having her face fill up my computer screen life-sized that overwhelmed me. Anyways, gradually, every few months, I’ve been going back to it and taking care of a few steps. The holes will end up going through all three layers, so I’ve got a ways to go. I’m not one for fusing, so I’ve been turning under a seam allowance on each hole & they are getting harder & harder to do as the size dwindles down. I’m currently regretting the busy print, though. This might end up being the back side of the quilt, so I can put a solid or near solid fabric on the front. I’m thinking about using black tulle to create some more definition, as well. I’m not sure if this quilt will ever be finished, but something tells me that I’m not making it to be finished. I’m making it to heal…

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