Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Colour Blocks of the Summer So Far

Well, it's been a busy summer, and if you've noticed that I've posted only small projects over the last couple of months, it's because I've been working on one major project since early spring. I haven't posted anything about this one yet, but it's about to become the largest quilt I've made to date. It's a modern take on the Bargello technique, and I'm looking forward to sharing it in the coming weeks if all goes according to plan. I did manage to sneak a few colour blocks in there as well, to share for Work in Progress Wednesday.

I gave my brown Bargello block from last June some additional borders to make it the right size for the colour blocks quilt I'll be making with my blocks of the month. Brown is one of the most hated quilt colours, but I'm a fan and really ended up liking this block a lot. It was my first try with this technique, and it worked out well enough to inspire the full sized quilt mentioned above.

To compliment the original brown block, I tried my hand at the Rolling Tides Improv Curves technique from Alyssa at Pile O'Fabric. The negative space in my previous set of colour blocks had turned out well, and I wanted to pursue that further in this block. First, I tried going the pinless curves route. I was careful, but it was a pretty big disaster anyway. Having learned my lesson, I took it apart and pinned it like crazy in order to achieve this little wave on the bottom here.

That was a lot of work for one curvy line! I was originally going to have a matching wave at the top of the brown strip, but I was completely over the whole curves idea by the time I'd finished the first seam. Instead I just left it as-is and attached the top with a straight seam. That way I didn't have to deal with any more puckers like this (I hope you can see them despite the dark fabric):

Lastly, I put together a second pink block. It's a half-size version of the Up From Here block from the 2013 Sew Mama Sew Modern BOM. I'm not sure if I really picked the right shades of pink for this one, but I'm sure it will look good with my original pink Crooked Rail Fence block regardless.

I haven't gotten around to sashing the original pink block that goes with it, mostly because I've been working with smaller and smaller bits of the background fabric and I've got to be very strategic about cutting order to avoid running out. I will probably use my scraps to make the two new blocks and hope there's enough left for sashing at the end.

Here's a mosaic of all the blocks for this quilt so far. Only 5 left to complete!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Dalek Embroidery + Pattern

I originally embroidered a small Dalek on felt last year to go with my TARDIS fabric and Doctor Penguin. I've now blown him up and made a pattern out of him as a complement to the twelve embroidered Doctor blocks from The Doctor Who Stitch Along (so far I've stitched six out of twelve). Daleks are probably the most recognizable of Doctor Who baddies, and I couldn't leave them out of this project.

Click HERE to download the pattern.

The pattern comes in two sizes: the small Dalek is 3.5" for easy stitching onto pretty much anything, and the large Dalek is just under 7" to match the Stitch Along blocks.

This small Dalek was done completely freehand. I didn't modify the design much when turning him into a pattern, but I did even out the lines and align the dots properly.

Here's a closer look at the completed Dalek quilt block from the pattern, with straight lines and even spherical dots :

For more Dalek quilt block options, check out the Fandom in Stitches Doctor Who page.

If cross-stitch is more your style, you might prefer this Dalek cross stitch pattern from Whitney Makes.

To make a cool Dalek appliqué (or an army of them) check out this post over at Just Another Crafting Blog to find out how.

Stay tuned for Doctor number five and some cybermen in the coming weeks! Also, a felt dinosaur in preparation for the dino-tastic Dinosaur Paleobiology class I've signed up for in September.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Sigmund on a Quilt

Welcome to another edition of the Pets on Quilts Show, hosted by Lily Pad Quilting! Sigmund looks forward to this event all year, and spends quite a bit of time honing his quilt adorning skills. Here he is practicing now:

As a quilt connaisseur, he takes his job very seriously. This lucky guy also has a clubhouse made from a quilt and sofa cushions, where he gets a lot of quality napping done. A sheet of paper (for the crinkle), and a mitten complete his clubhouse decor.

Sigmund helped test a dozen kitty sized blankets last year for donating to a local animal shelter through The Snuggles Project. My goal for this week: contact shelters to match up these blankets with kitties. Each donated blanket, or "Snuggle", provides comfort to a rescued cat or dog during their difficult time at the shelter, and will stay with them to ease the transition to their Forever Home. .

To see more adorable furry friends on quilts, head on over to the show!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Felt Robot Pattern

Robots never fail to capture the imagination, whether it's in a utopian world like The Jetsons' or an apocalyptic chaos like the world of Terminator. We humans really seem to love the idea of anthropomorphic machines walking among us. As an avid science-fiction reader, some of the robot representations that have really stuck with me throughout the years are Isaac Asimov's The Positronic Man, Kurt Vonnegut's Tralfamadorian from Sirens of Titan, Douglas Adams' depressed robot Marvin in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and most especially the robot animals in Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Do you have a favourite robot?

If you've ever wondered what robots will actually look like once we get there (soon!), check out the BBC Horizon documentary Where's My Robot? on YouTube.

I hadn't realized it until now, but I guess I'm actually kind of a robot geek. I've also had a longtime interest (though not necessarily belief) in The Singularity and, for completeness, I feel I must throw in a link to The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era by Vernor Vinge.

Ok, enough of that, on to the pattern:

This set of templates is for a very simple friendly robot that can be made into an ornament or brooch, or can be used as an appliqué on pretty much anything. I think he'd look especially cute on a bag or a zip pouch. He is very easy to customize. For example, use a hat or mustache instead of the heart, or make a wonky robot by positioning his limbs at a slight angle.

Click HERE to download the free pattern. 

This is an image file that can be shrunk or blown up to the desired size. It can be used to make anything from a lapel brooch to a cushion. If you prefer a PDF of the pattern, it is available through Craftsy HERE.

This little fellow was inspired by Sir Robot, a quilt block pattern that is available through Craftsy as well.

Here are some more awesome free robot projects that I found:

Have you ever wanted to make your own army of tiny robots? You can! Download and print the PDF templates from Next to Nicx to make your own army of tiny cardboard robots! (Well, ok, it's actually meant to be an advent calendar, but I can think of so many other uses for these lovable cardboard dudes.) The PDF template contains 24 foldable robots - 2 per page. Each robot's head is also a box for filling with tiny treats.Use them as a gift box, or fill them with nuts, bolts & gears to make them extra roboty.

I absolutely love this DIY Stuffed Robot tutorial by A Little Inspiration. Any geek would be proud to have one of these on display.

For a much simpler, but still satisfyingly geeky, project make a robot head pillow using this tutorial from Elite Cosplay. How can a rectangle and two circles be this awesomely cute? I can imagine myself losing control and making a sofa-full of these throw pillows

If you have old sweaters lying around, how about turning them into robots as well? This DIY Valentines robot tutorial from Bugheart includes a pattern and instructions for making a robot cushion from felted sweaters. For your leftover scraps of fabric, Instructables has a tutorial and pattern for a coffee cup cozy featuring their robot logo

This is not the last you will hear from me regarding robots! I've got some robot embroidery to talk about as part of this series as well. (Check him out down here on the bottom left.) A pattern for that little project is coming up soon.