Monthly Archives: September 2014

Sunday Stash - Panels and Blocks

I’m gearing up for my retreat in a week and a half, and have been busy assembling project groups and boxes and whatnot.  I think the most daunting is the collection of “stuff” for fabric postcards, but here’s hoping I remember to pack the different colored thread for it!

When I haven’t been making piles of stuff, I’ve been working on my Lonestar blocks from Kimberly Einmo’s class on Saturday. She’s a lovely, energetic teacher and I love her pattern writing.  I also about two books, a specialty ruler, AND a pressing gadget.  I rarely buy books and gadgets, so you know she’s good! I’ve managed to make the units for 6 out of 9 star blocks, but haven’t finalized my layout yet.

I also made a pillowcase and finished my 3rd panel quilt project (three more are going into the aforementioned postcard projects!) Woohoo!

  • Used this Week: 6.75 yards
    • 5 yd for Jim Shore Christmas Quilt
    • 1 yd for a pillowcase
    • 0.75 yd for sewing machine mat and a pouch
  • Used year to Date: 271.75 yards
  • Added this Week: 3.25 yards
    • 3.25 yd of jelly roll and binding fabric I forgot to log a few weeks ago
  • Net Used for 2014: 177 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 102.5 yards (38% of total used)

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 197

WIP Wednesday - Challenge Accepted

This week I’ve managed to finish a third quilt top as part of the AMQG panel challenge and get it sandwiched. It’s a more traditional Christmas panel with a Jim Shore Santa Claus print, but I only have a poorly lit picture of it. I think it will end up as a Christmas gift for a family member, but haven’t decided yet. Owly ImagesI’m hoping to get it mostly quilted by Thursday evening in time to show it at the ECQG guild meeting, but if I don’t make the deadline, the world won’t end AND I’ll have it to show in October.

Meanwhile, I have a day job, and Nina took advantage of the fall sunshine and machine down time while I worked.

Another Christmas PanelI’ve also been working on yet another Christmas panel with a little brighter, non-traditional palette. Here’s one of the sections framed up by some coordinating scraps. I like pulling squares or strips from my pre-cut scrap stash to frame these sorts of things up because it brings in some funky design elements and helps use up those scraps! I mentioned to Lynn I was making a 3rd and 4th panel as part of the challenge, and she was a bit flabbergasted, I think.

Nina also took it upon herself to “helper” with the scrap sorting.  Here she’s sorted herself as a jelly roll strip.

Nina has sorted herself as a jelly roll today,

Sunday Stash - Bag Lady

A couple finishes this week with the 5 pillowcases I had cut a few weeks ago and a yard and a half for the lining of a big old bag I’m doing  a pattern review on.  I’ll have pictures of that to show in October.

I also got Allison’s quilt top for the Twilter Round Robin, and knew exactly what I wanted to do, so I got that finished as well!

And then we had Saturday Sampler block pick up, so I knocked those out as well. And I picked up the sashing kit for Mum Medallion, so that added some yardage, but also some leaders and enders to piece together another top from a Christmas panel.

Bonnie & Camille Sampler - Block 4 Mum Medallion Block 9

  • Used this Week: 7.75 yards
    • 5.5 yd for 5 pillow cases
    • 1.5 yd for Great Getaway Bag
    • 0.75 Allison’s Twilter Round Robin quilt
  • Used year to Date: 265 yards
  • Added this Week: 2.25 yards
    • 0.25 yd of pet print from Judi, who insists giving me fabric to count against my numbers. Thanks, Judi!
    • 2 yd for sashing kit for Mum Medallion
  • Net Used for 2014: 173.5 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 101.5 yards (38% of total used)

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 196

Make a Minecraft Enderman Pumpkin

Every year for my kids’ elementary school Fall Festival, there is a pumpkin auction.  Each class suckers a parent in solicits a volunteer to make a pumpkin, and the money goes to fund various things like playground equipment or books or computer programs.  Because I am crafty, and also competitive, and also because it gets me out of working a shift at whatever game the class is responsible for running at the festival, I volunteer to do the pumpkin for each of my kids’ classes.

To me, a decorated pumpkin isn’t really Halloween or fall-worthy unless it lights up.  Last year, I did a Minecraft Creeper pumpkin and a Minion pumpkin.  This year, I’m re-visiting Minecraft with an Enderman pumpkin (and pumpkin yet to be revealed!). Here’s a little detail on how I did it.

Making a MInecraft Endermen PumpkinMaterials:

  • One big old fake carveable pumpkin
  • String of battery powered LED lights - I used purple.  Please use LED rather than traditional lights because LED lights don’t heat up and cause a fire hazard!
  • Black electrical tape
  • Black and white paint to make grey, or just use grey
  • Clear shrink film
  • Fine grit sandpaper (350 grit or higher)
  • Pink and purple colored pencils
  • Carving utensil
  • Clear gloss spray (optional)
  • Thumbtacks

Transparency statement - If you click the links above I get a little cred from Amazon. The links I’m providing are the actual products I used, so I do recommend them!

Step 1.  Paint your pumpkin black. I lucked out and got a black pumpkin so I could skip this step.  I then cut out two holes for the eyes.  According to the graphics I found, the eyes had a 1:3 ratio, so I made two holes 1″ x 3″, about 2″ apart. After the eyes were carved out, I used the graphics reference to freehand the grey markings for the face.  You could be official and tape off for super straight lines, but pumpkins are curved, so I just winged it. I did two coats of grey paint for the face, and also used black paint to darken the carved areas around the eyes.

Endermen Pumpkin

Step 1a (optional). After the grey paint was dry, I sprayed my pumpkin with two coats of glossy clear spray to seal in the paint. The original pumpkin was glossy and my grey paint was flat, so the clear coat evened out finish.

Step 2. Cut out two pieces of shrink film that measure around 7″ x 3.5″. Sand one side lightly with a fine grit sandpaper. Mark them into equal thirds with a light pink colored pencil, and color the middle section a purple, and the outside thirds in a pink or light purple.  Shrink them according to manufacturer instructions in the oven. Endermen PumpkinThey should end up measuring somewhere around 1.5″x 3.5″ with a more intense color (see picture).

Step 3. Take your string of 20 LED lights and organize them into two groups of 10 lights, about 3″ across.  Use the electrical tape to secure them in that arrangement, as in picture above. Take a minute to turn the lights on and off to annoy your children while they are trying to play Minecraft.

Endermen PumpkinStep 4. On the back of the pumpkin, carve a hole the exact size of the battery pack.  You’ll have to feed the grouped lights and the battery pack through that hole. Don’t push the battery pack all the way through! You want the pack to fit snuggly so it won’t fall out, but you need to be able to reach the switch to turn the lights on and off.

While you’re wielding the knife, cut a hole out of the bottom of the pumpkin large enough to fit your hand inside.

Step 5. Back the very edges of the eye pieces with electrical tape. The tape should cover about 1/8″ to 3/16″ on the edge of the pieces, and extend at least an inch on either side of the plastic. Slide the taped, plastic eye piece in place through the big hole in the bottom you just cut so they are centered behind one of the eyeholes. The tape will temporarily hold it in place, but it doesn’t stick well to the inside of the pumpkin. Use a thumbtack in each corner of the tape to hold it in place.  Do the same for the other eye.

Step 6. Use more thumbtacks to secure the LED groupings to the back of the pumpkin, about the same level as the eyeholes. The thumbtacks will go through the electrical tape holding the groupings together.

Endermen PumpkinStep 7. Put the piece you cut out of the bottom of the pumpkin back in place and secure it with the electrical tape.

Admire your handywork and annoy your children further by making them go in a dark room with you while you turn the lights on and off!


WIP Wednesday: Lists

It’s been a busy week between fall break for school and two days in an actual office for work. I went back and reviewed my “to do” stream-of-consciousness list I typed out last week, and here’s where I’m at:

  • Twilter Round Robin - round #2. Finished and shipped! And now I got the next one so it feels like no progress. Gah.
  • Panel challenge project - finished!Burlap and Batik
  • Scrapitude Pieces - still in a pile, waiting to be cut
  • Overnight bag for pattern review in October - in process of sewing together. So many parts!
  • Fabric postcard - still in a pile
  • Pillowcases - finished!
  • Other panels to turn into a quilt top - still in a pile
  • Broken Lonestar quilting - still not sandwiched
  • New jelly roll quilt class next week - I bought fabric!

I ended up buying a jelly roll of a burlap print cotton from Robert Kaufman to use for my class next week.  We only need 40 strips for the project, but there are some duplicates in there, so I thought if I’m going for texture, I’ll mix it up with some additional texture with a couple batik strips from my stash in complementary colors.  Worst case, I get to class and they look horrible together and I just go with the burlap print!

I’ve also been working on the class pumpkins for my kids’ school which get auctioned off by the PTA.  I finished one this weekend, and am halfway through the other.  Pics up soon!

Sunday Stash - More Thread Than Fabric!

One finish to report this week as I just put the final binding stitch on my panel challenge entry! And a not-quite-finish as I log some usage for the Twilter Round Robin that I’m shipping out shortly.  I’ll have pictures of the panel challenge posted closer to my guild meeting (Oct 5), but if you attend the East Cobb Quilters Guild night meeting, you’ll get to see it then in a sneak peek!  I feel like with all the quilting in it, it would have logged more thread than fabric.  Thank goodness I’m not trying to track that!

Owly ImagesAlthough I just used one panel for a challenge, I got drawn into purchasing another panel at the AQS show in Chattanooga on Saturday.  One booth had a panel of cats pictures with a rescue theme, which is perfect for making fabric postcards for the Good Mews holiday market.  I also dove in and bought a FQ selection from Cherrywood fabrics because of the yummy colors.

The darker orange and tan on top are extra ones to round for a project the bundle is inspiring me to do. You’ll note, of course that this bundle matches: 1) my new purse which also matches a) Nina and b) my new kitchen color. So, yes, I’m in a turquoise & orange era. And I might be doing a Nina portrait quilt. And while I was planning this, I sort of got Lynn to get a bundle as well that matches her dog Josie.

And then I talked Lynn into getting a backpack pattern and kit. And we both talked each other into some patterns for various baskets and bags. And then I test drove some long-arms. More on that on the next podcast!

  • Used this Week: 2.5 yards
    • 2 yd for panel challenge
    • 0.5 yd for Twilter Round Robin
  • Used year to Date: 257.25 yards
  • Added this Week: 2.75 yards
    • 2.25 yd of Cherrywood hand-dyed fabric
    • 0.5 yd for Cat Rescue panel
  • Net Used for 2014: 168.25 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 96 yards (38% of total used)

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 195

WIP Wednesday - Piles

I feel like I have a million things in flight, which means I need to buckle down and finish something!  First up, the quilting on the panel challenge project. Last week I showed you the front of the sunflower, and now here’s the back. I’ve still got background fillers to do in two areas, and then the sashing, and then it will be ready for binding!

We also just got the cutting instructions for the Scrapitude “Scrap-in-a-Box” mystery quilt, and while we’ve got FOUR months to cut the pieces out, I immediately made a pile of what I’m pulling my scraps from.  This is going to be a gift for someone who’s favorite colors are red, black, and taupe, and save it from being a University of Georgia quilt, I’m pulling in a smidge of brown as well.  Since making my pile, I’ve swapped out my background to a single mottled beige, and am noodling on my medium value constant.

I’m also cutting out pieces for a new (to me) overnight bag pattern for a review in October, and a special project for Good Mews, and assembling some fabric postcard bits, and have some pillowcases cut out to sew, and I also may have cut up two other panels to make 2 tops since I found at least five more panels when I was going through my fabric stash. They are multiplying! And then I need to quilt the Broken Lonestar, and I have a class in two weeks to make a new jelly roll quilt.

Deep breath.