Saturday, August 25, 2012

August Free Motion Quilting Challenge

Here we are again! And I'm not even trying to squeeze something in before the end of the month! I actually took the time and just worked on it :)

For those of you stumbling on this, I'm participating in SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting challenge to learn how to better free motion quilt. I have to say I've had some communication on and off with Ms. SewCalGal and she is just a fantastic lady and I totally encourage you to check out her entire blog.

So, August's challenge! You know this one was neat, an excellent filler, but oh boy took me a long time to wrap my head around it! I took a picture of one doodle page, but it took lots of doodle pages to get the rhythm of the design.

So after I got the hang of this I took it to my machine. I did this one just as I went with no design transferred. I'm quite pleased! My 5 year old pointed out that I missed a spot, but you know, not too shabby. 

So after just doing it freestyle, I thought I would try actually tracing the pattern onto my fabric so I could avoid any gaps. Oh brother, then things went sideways. To begin, I don't like trying to follow a traced pattern on fabric because I spend more time trying to figure out where my pattern is going vs. concentrating on quilting. And then my thread went all crazy. It turns out my bobbin was not wound properly (I don't know how I missed this before). I don't know if you can tell by that picture, but the thread is not tight on the bobbin. The other pictures are of the mess it left. So I left well enough alone to avoid frustration, and am going with my original piece, which, as I said above, I'm happy with.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The R2D2 Project (tutorial)

Cardboard R2D2

My boy loves to do crafts with me. I think this awesome. I want the kids to grow up remember having done stuff like this with Mom. And when my boy throws the craft smack down at me, I do what I can to rise to the challenge. 

So about 3 months ago he asked if we could build an R2D2 out of cardboard, and I'll admit it took a bit to wrap my head around I was going to pull this off. I didn't even tell him I was thinking about it because it just took a while to figure it all out. And I didn't want to get his hopes up if I couldn't pull it off. 

Ha, even as I'm writing this he says "hey Mom, it wouldn't be too hard to build a cardboard C3P0. I laughed and said "yeah, we're not doing that".

Anyhow, 1st challenge - cardboard cylinder. A friend of mine suggested concrete forms from Home Depot, but that was more than I needed. My husband was the one who thought of using the TinkerToy bin. Perfect! I placed it upside down so that we can still open the lid (now at the bottom) if needed. 

Next challenge was the head. Yes I could use a bowl, but I needed something round on top. R2 not having a flat head. So we got a cheap plastic bowl from the dollar store and proceeded to have some fun with paper   mâché.  I have not used paper mâché  since I was a kid. I will be using it more. It was fun!! We did use an Elmers Mix from Michael's - I used a coupon. 
Tinker Toy bin and bowl

Glue the bowl on

Let it dry. We waited 24 hours. 

Paper   mâché  . We used news paper to make the top round. We did the final coat with paper  towel  was I read online it was easier to paint over. 
 Once that dried - we were busy so it dried for about 3 days - nice and hard - we brought it outside to spray paint a primer.  Note to self, even though it is in the grass, use a drop cloth next time.

I fashioned the legs out of cardboard.
Before primer

Quick picture with the artist. 


We had a major malfunction with a leg. After the paint dried I reapplied it with a heck of a lot more glue. It seems to be holding quite fine now.

Once that was done, it was time to paint him. I just used acrylic paints from the dollar store. We went with a basic design for the lines and colours - ie, he's not 100% accurate. Heck, he's not anyhow, but it's a 5 year olds project, so we're not getting too fussy.
Final product!! My boy and his R2D2.

I am linking this up to Skip to my Lou Made by you Monday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pets on Quilts

Lilypad Quilting is hosting this year's Pets on Quilts show. I wasn't around for last years, but when I heard about this I knew I had to get in on the action. I was actually saying to another quilter about 2 weeks ago it seems a lot of quilters are cat people.  I know many are dog people too, but I see more bloggy quilters who have help from their feline friends.

I am posting this a few days early to link up on the day of because I am so busy with my kids right now (not a bad thing!) that I wanted to make sure I got this done on time.

I have two things I am showing you here. One is of a cat on a quilt, but of note, the quilt is a cat themed quilt.

The cat, his name is Strider. He is an orange tabby and friendliest cat ever. He has been an awesome "introductory" pet for my two children as he is so accommodating with being patted, petted, snuggled, and backward pet (you know, when you start from the tail and pet up to the head). He's a funny animal and we love him dearly. We have another cat, Willow. She is very, very shy - she was a rescue. I like to think we're giving her a good comfortable home, but for all I know she hates it here. LOL!!

The quilt is one I made for my youngest brother (I have 3 older brothers). He's a single fellow, perpetually I fear, but hey, if he's happy, it's all good. But at the same time I felt he needed a quilt. Sean and I haven't always gotten along, (getting sappy here) but I love him, so this was my version of a peace offering. Hey, none of my other brothers have a quilt yet. I hope he likes it.

So just in case you can't really see, the gray, black and orange pattern are all small cats. I went with the  colour scheme to go with normal "cat colours". Also the beige coloured fabric says "meow" all over it.  It is the biggest quilt I have ever machine quilted.