Saturday, October 29, 2021

Baltimore Halloween Quilt- FINISHED!

Praise Cthulhu! I finished the dang Baltimore Halloween quilt.  I'm going to post the overall picture and a close-up of my favorite block, but to see the rest of the pictures you can click over to the Flickr set (to see additional descriptions) or click thru the slideshow at the end (without descriptions).

Here's the overall view:

Here's my favorite block, which I love because of the quilted ghost inside. Before I quilted it, this block was just "okay". When I took pictures, the sun was behind the quilt, hence the sparkly effect through the quilting):

Here's the full slide show:

This quilt was originally a BOM but I handled it in one big lump.  I loved the look of Baltimore Album quilts and doing it as a Halloween quilt was the perfect match.

YAY! Think how productive I'll be now that I'm not working on this anymore! I've already finished two small projects since taking the last stitch on this quilt.

Edited: At Tanesha's suggestion, I'm entering this into the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Friday, October 28, 2021

HtbaS: Episode 52

I have a cold, so I apologize in advance for the gravelly homage to Kathleen Turner. I talk about the basket class I took, finishing the Halloween quilt (YAY), and give a recipe I made up for Bacon Ranch Chicken Enchiladas.

I used It's a Wrap II as the guide for the bowl making class.  And here's my tiny bowl! (I finally figured out what to do with it: you put your weed in there! Callback to an old SNL skit):

Sunday, October 23, 2021

Halloween Helpering

The good news is I only need to do the black thread quilting on the center (and then the background and borders, but that's still progress).  The bad news is Zapper has other ideas of how I should be spending my time.

Friday, October 21, 2021

HtbaS - Episode 51

I talk about embroidery, landscape quilting, and how I finally learned how to properly use fusibles for applique. Whoops.

Friday, October 14, 2021

HtbaS: Episode 50!

Happy Podiversary to me! I reflect back on the last year in podcasting and quilting and speculate on the next one.

Friday, October 7, 2021

HtbaS: Episode 49

I talk about the Boo Bunting, decorating a fauxm (faux foam) pumpkin, and quilting the Halloween quilt.

Thursday, October 6, 2021

Flights of Pumpkin Fancy

This isn't really a quilting thing, but it's crafty and involved sewing, so here it is.  My kids' elementary school has a fall festival every year, and one of the most competitive parts is the Pumpkin Auction. Each class is responsible for contributing a pumpkin to the auction and it falls to one sucker parent to make it. For whatever reason, I volunteered to do it for my son's class this year. Probably because I wanted to get out of volunteering to work the booth.

As you might imagine, we're sort of fond of airplanes at our house. One of my son's friends from his kindergarten class is in the same class.  This is the same family we took with us to a 4th of July cookout at the airport my husband works at, so they are also a family of aviation enthusiasts. 
I made a pattern for the hat using my husband's actual leather and wool WWII aviator cap, and added about 3 inches to the center to accommodate the wideness of the pumpkin. For some reason the fleece interior fit fine, but the cotton leathery-looking fabric I had for the exterior didn't fit so well - I imagine it's something to do with stretch. After fiddling with it quite a bit, I just shrugged and said, "It's a hat for a pumpkin."

On the interior, I made the little pumpkins out of modeling foam the kids had but weren't using. The faces are drawn on using a Sharpie.  The light in the lower right is a battery-powered LED light so it won't burn it up.  You can see the fishing line that's hanging the airplane - that was a small model I got at the craft store, with a propeller made of a pipe cleaner. The ghosts are stickers, and the "grass" is a scrap of fleece I had that I hot glued to the interior and stuffed slightly with some poly batting. I think it's fair to say that there's an insane amount of hot glue on this whole project.

Hopefully since this is a change from the normal pumpkin-as-a-vase for a floral arrangement and UGA themed-pumpkin, it'll do pretty well in the bidding.

Some Days, It's Like This

All credit to Scott Adams.

Monday, October 3, 2021

Boo Bunting with Charm Squares

I wanted to have my Baltimore Halloween quilt done this week, so of course I stalled and worked on something else instead. I picked up a charm pack of a Moda Halloween fabric by Sanae a couple years ago (don't know the name anymore), and wanted to use it for something and finally decided on a bunting to hang above our fireplace in the living room.
Imagine how warm and toasty it is in front of our fake fireplace!

Here's a close-up of two of the flags.  The letters are fused on, but not stitched around. I figured since this isn't a "washing" project, I didn't need to do that extra bit.  The two pumpkins and ghost are not appliqued - they were done by sandwiching two pieces right sides together with a layer of batting, stitching around the shape, and turning it right side out.  Faces were put on using fusible, but again not stitched.

Here's the graph paper I used to figure out the layout. I arranged the three charm squares per the layout below: two on top, and one centered on the bottom in 100% scale on the graph paper. I then drew a line from the middle of the bottom square to the 1/4" inside. Now, I didn't use this as a template to cut the flags; instead I used it to figure out how big to make the letters. I figured out that the letters should be 4 1/2" tall for this size flag, which comes out to 8 1/4" wide and 8 1/2" tall.  I then used Microsoft Powerpoint (the presentation software) to get the letters I needed, and then reversed the image when printing.

So I bet you're saying to yourself, "There's no "L" in "BOO"." And you're right! Go have a cookie. I wanted this to be multi-purpose, so I made the other side Thanksgiving-themed

The Gobble side does not use charm squares, rather single cuts of the same fabric. Those measurements from above came in handy!  In total, this project used 18 charm squares and 1/4 yard of Thanksgiving-y fabric, plus the fabric for the letters.

To join the flags, I matched up the two sides wrong sides together (be careful since you're pairing the first flag of one with the last flag of the other side, otherwise you'll get a "BOO" side and a "ELBBOG" side), and stitched along the sides with a 3/8" seam allowance (I left the tops unstitched since they were sewn shut with the string part). I then used my pinking shears to trim the edges so they wouldn't ravel (you can see than in the close-up picture above).

To get them on the string, I measured a 67" length of bias tape, and folded it over so it would encase the tops of the flags.  On each end I folded it so it made a loop (this is hung on cuphooks screwed into the shelves under the TV - I am committed!), and started stitching to secure the loop and then across each of the flags to the other end. I went slowly to make sure I was catching both sides of the bias tape and the flags themselves, and then I turned around and went back the other direction about 1/8" apart from the first line of stitching.  Since it's bias tape I didn't want it stretching out, hence the double stitching.

I've got flags cut out for a Saint Patrick's bunting, and I'll pair it with an Easter theme on the other side. I haven't decided if I'll use letters on it or not - maybe "Lucky" for the St Paddy's day side? Not sure about Easter, but I can do yo-yo's in gold fabric to dress up the shamrocks, and for Easter I can do applique bunnies. I'll also have a birthday one, but am not sure what to put on the other side - maybe I'll do a girl birthday side and a boy birthday side.

Saturday Sampler - October Blocks

First! A random house I can't explain.  It was called "House of Mirrors", which I totally don't get because there are no mirrors.  I also changed it since the original block (seen here) had towers that looked like ears, so of course I wanted to complicate it instead and do a slanted roof.
Serene Cat has no time for this mirror nonsense.
And here is the Grandma's Garden block for October, called "Geranium Pot".
If you look closely (or click through to the Flickr site to zoom), you'll see the words "shut the door" coming off the bee's bottom. It's something I've said, my mom has said, but MIL is oblivious of. So not universally a grandmother's perspective, but close enough.
Here are the other blocks, which are now embroidered with other words of wisdom.  Apologies for the strange photography, but I had to enhance the contrast a bit to show the stitching.

From Grama Eddie ("eat chocolate"):

From my mom ("be happy"):

From me (in the future when I'm a grandma, "haters gonna hate"):
From Grama Eddie's mom (shortened from the original "It's okay to eat cookies for breakfast"):