Saturday, 20 April 2013

Felt Sun Pattern

I'd promised a bumble bee for today, but then found out that the theme for May's Le Challenge is wings! I think mister bee will want to be part of the fun, so he's staying out of the spotlight for a little while longer. Instead, sitting at my desk on a dark grey day and watching more snow fall outside, I decided to share some sun. Maybe this will encourage it to come out? It seems to be working so far!

Click HERE to download the free sun template!

This image can be resized to make anything from a tiny sun pin to a large sun stuffie. If you would prefer a PDF version of the pattern, it's available through Craftsy HERE.

I added a string for hanging my sun:

This is a really simple pattern, somewhat inspired by the Super Mario Sunshine sun. It's nice and cheery, and has a thousand potential uses. For example, it can be combined with my felt cloud and felt raindrop patterns to make a really cute mobile for littl'uns.

With a few simple modifications, I think this design could be turned into a black hole at the centre of a galaxy. I can't imagine that a sewing pattern for that exists yet, so I'll do my best to make it happen.

Here are some other sun inspired projects to light up your day:

Sew4home's bright and modern Here Comes the Sun throw pillow is the kind of thing you'd see on a home decor magazine cover shot, and the pattern looks really easy. (If any of my furniture matched, I'd consider making one of these to accent it.)

Wee Folk Art have designed templates for a Sunburst Applique and a Sun and Moon Applique Block, both of which look great in felt and would work just as well in a more traditional quilt.

For a smaller project, you can't go wrong with a sun ornament. Try this Happy Little Sun ornament with crocheted rays and embroidered features, or this Sun Child summer solstice ornament from Twig and Toadstool.

I'll be back next week with some spring bird craft info!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Felt Raindrop (and Fireball!) Pattern

So it turns out that there are no fireball crafts out there on the world wide internets. None that I could find! And as we know, when you discover that a craft hasn't yet been made, you have to create it and fill the gap. (Let's call this the Crafty Rules 34 & 35 of the internet - If it exists, there is a craft of it. No exceptions. If no craft is found, a craft of it will be made.)

In that spirit, I present you with my latest felt pattern, a raindrop, that is also a fireball! How cute is that fireball? I've added a small amount of stuffing and plan to wear it on a necklace.

Click HERE to download the free pattern.

I turned my raindrop into an ornament by adding a string for hanging. This raindrop can also be combined with last week's Felt Cloud Pattern to create one awesomely cool mobile!

For more raindrop craft inspiration, you might also want to check out this cute raindrop pin by A Morning Cup of Jo. For the knitters, I also recommend this knitted mustachioed raindrop, or this crochet amigirumi Water Sprite/Raindrop pattern.

Despite the fact that it's still snowing outside, next week's Felt Pattern Friday will feature more springtime cuteness. Perhaps a bumblebee? Stay tuned to find out!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Felt Cloud and Raindrops Pattern

Nothing says spring like a generous sprinkling of rain. Or so I seem to remember, since it's been snowing here for the last four days. Regardless, I bring you the first of my springtime felties!

This cloud and raindrop pattern includes two size options. The large size is perfect for a cloud stuffie or mobile, and the smaller size makes an ornament or a brooch. This pattern works stuffed, or unstuffed.

Click HERE to download the free pattern!

Cloud ornament (no stuffing)

Cloud brooch (with stuffing)

Here are some other crafty cloud resources you might find helpful:

The Bugs and Fishes blog has quite a few tutorials for cloud fans: first making a felt cloud mobile with sequins and buttons, or a felt rain cloud brooch using a similar technique, and more importantly, how to adapt this into a bleeding wound brooch for a costume!

Among the funky cloudy decorations for the home, my favourites are this Fabric Cloud Mobile using branches and beads, this Cloud Plushie cushion with rosy cheeks, and this fun cloud wall art frame.

Cloud brooches are super fun. I can't wait to wear mine. For some inspirational eye candy, check out these great brooches from A Morning Cup of Jo!

Next week, a raindrop with a bit more personality that makes a great ornament on its own, and combined with this cloud pattern would make quite a fun mobile.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Back to Quilting at Last... and a Crazy Idea

For the last few months, since I ran out of batting, I haven't had any progress to share for Free Motion Friday. I've been compensating by sewing twice as many blocks for my colour quilt, but it's not the same! I got tired of working on a long term project, and decided over the Easter long weekend to put together something small and self contained. I joined all of my batting scraps together into one large piece of frankenbatting, which determined the size of project I could make.

On Thursday I drew the design I wanted, and figured out the cutting and piecing instructions. Friday I picked out the fabric and cut out all of my pieces. Saturday I pieced the block. It's a robot!

(pattern will be made available for download eventually)

His heart is appliquéed by hand.

Sunday I added borders, basted the quilt using my scrappy batting, and started looking around the Free Motion Quilting Project for some robotic quilting designs. And wouldn't you know it, Leah had exactly the thing I was looking for! It's an echoing design called cogs. This is my sample block:

On Monday, I got to work filling the body of my robot with cogs. It took longer than I expected, but it's fun and whimsical. Here's what I've got so far:

The purple background will be filled with less visible circuit board stitching in black to emphasize the robot. I'm looking forward to working on that next weekend.

In the meantime, I've been thinking a lot about the Groove Quilt top I put together last summer. It's not like me to leave a project unfinished, and I had specifically planned to complete it over the winter so that we could use it this summer. The sheer size of this one has been overwhelming though.

Biggest thing I've ever sewn!

I haven't found a practical way to go about basting something of this size, and even if I did, I'm not all that confident that I would be able to quilt it on my small sewing machine. The largest quilt I've put through my little Kenmore was only a third this size, and it was a nightmare of thread breaks. If I started quilting something this big and realized the machine couldn't take it, I'd be stuck putting it aside indefinitely, or taking out all of the quilting in order to bring it to a long-arm quilter. (Which could potentially take longer than putting it together did in the first place, and would cost a lot.)

So here is my idea... I could cut it into six pieces, quilt the pieces individually, and then reassemble it. The joins would be visible, and probably wouldn't compliment the design, but at least it would be a usable blanket! I can't decide if it's a good idea, or a crazy thing to do to a project I care about...

Before I do anything drastic, I'm going to investigate whether it's possible to sew quilted pieces together with an invisible join (and not requiring any extra seam allowance, since this top has already been put together without any extra fabric). Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Blocks of the Month for March

Again, in March, I failed to make it out to the quilt shop for batting with which to quilt my colour blocks (or any other project for that matter). Instead, I continued on with my plan to get twice as much piecing done for this project in order to be ready when batting does arrive.

The first colour I tackled for the month was cyan. I used the Mood Block design from the Pile O'Fabric Skill Builder BOM. This is the second block I've made recently from the Pile O'Fabric series, and I love both! I don't think you could make a full quilt out of this block, but as a one-off, it's really modern and cool.

This block was made to accompany my cyan Colour My World Challenge block from last year, which was an experiment in image fracturing. I added some sashing to make it the right size.

I also worked with white this month. For this one, I combined some improvisational piecing with the red heart pillow template by Noodlehead. I found this pattern around Valentines Day, and wanted to try it as a test of my curve piecing skills. I usually find white to be a bit boring, so shifting the focus from the white fabric to the graphic cut-out design worked well for me.

This wasn't the most successful block, since the polka dot stripes on both sides ended up being in almost the same position, without quite lining up. This makes it look more like an alignment mistake than the fun improvisational mismatch I was aiming for. On the bright side, it does go well with its colour challenge companion block, a white improvised chevron, which got some sashing to match.

This brings the total of blocks ready for quilting to twelve, in six different colours. I plan to quilt them all individually using techniques from the Free Motion Quilting Project, as well as Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting a Sampler Craftsy course. Here is what they look like so far!

I am linking up my progress with Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.