Saturday, 5 April 2014

Seventh Doctor Embroidery

This is the seventh block of my Doctor Who quilt, as part of the Fandom in Stitches Doctor Who Sew Along. I designed this block to offer a different perspective on the seventh Doctor than the oft referenced image of him hanging by his umbrella.

I used this picture of Sylvester McCoy as a reference for the pattern. I think the design actually captures the posture pretty well, considering that it has no face. It looks like he's laying claim to that seven under his foot. Originally, his jacket was billowing in the wind, but that got vetoed in the final stages of the design process.

The pattern for this block can be downloaded HERE.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sixth Doctor Embroidery

Continuing right along with the Doctor Who quilt blocks, I present to you the sixth Doctor! This block is based on the Fandom in Stitches Doctor Who Stitch-Along block.

The intention behind this design is to show the Doctor's trademark coat in full. I used this picture of a Doctor action figure as a model. If you've been here before, you probably know that I'm really bad at following patterns. That's why I drew my own block in the first place. In this case, I took it up a level and didn't even end up following my own pattern.

The pattern for the sixth Doctor with jacket can be downloaded HERE. I warn you, however, that it's slightly different from the block I ended up making. I turned his head to the side at the last minute so that he would look more like the original stitch-along block.

The orange Architextures print is the loudest of all the fabrics I've chosen for this project. It was a fun background choice for this specific Doctor, since it does actually look a little bit like the plaids in his jacket. This particular fabric was so thick that even with optimal light it was very difficult to trace the design through it. This is great news in terms of the quality of Kaufman fabrics, but if you're tracing, be sure to check your fabric first to make sure you'll be able to see through it.

Monday, 31 March 2014

My Very Own House Hippo

If you grew up in Canada in the eighties, there's a good chance you'll remember the House Hippo. It was the subject of a memorable media literacy PSA that I encourage you to check out. (Second only to the War Amps PlaySafe PSA.)

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Henrietta Hippo pattern from 529MasonStreet in order to make my very own. The best thing about this little dude are his repositionable limbs. This leads to nearly endless action shot possibilities! Here is my hippo playing outside:

At this point you may be wondering why Mister hippo has a white butt... This is what happens when you try to mess with a pattern before knowing how it comes together. I thought it would be cute if he was all grey, with a white tummy (the bottom of his paws is also white), so I cut the part that I thought would correspond to the stomach out of white felt. Turns out I overestimated by a long shot, and the white patch goes all the way up his back. That's ok, no one here is judging.

House hippo likes to spend his days daydreaming on the windowsill and hanging out with his best bud Sigmund.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fifth Doctor Embroidery

Last fall, I posted my first four embroidered blocks for the Fandom in Stitches Doctor Who Sew Along, but have been taking forever to follow up with number five. That's because the fifth Doctor is the favourite around here, and due to design difficulties it ended up being the block I made last. I wanted to continue posting them in order, so I've had to wait until five was completed before sharing the others.

Here he is at last!

This block is inspired by the sew along block number 5, which I really like. My resident whovian pointed out, however, that the Doctor's very distinctive Panama hat was missing from the design, so I set about adding a hat onto the original block. It turns out to be rather difficult to position a natural-looking hat onto an image that didn't originally have one. All of my attempts looked strangely awkward.

Instead of pursuing that, I traced out a new design, based on this picture of the Doctor wearing a hat. I think he has turned out to be pretty recognizable. I have the pattern for this design somewhere, and will upload it when I find it (Update: pattern is now available HERE). In the meantime, there will be plenty of Doctor Who posts coming up, with blocks six through twelve that I've been waiting impatiently to share.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Exploring Modern: A New Sampler

In my early quilting days, I signed up for the Earthly Goods Primary Patchwork class (good times!) and made my first sampler quilt from traditional quilt blocks. Our instructor mentioned that this was likely to be the last time many of us made a sampler, as most quilt designs were composed of multiples of the same block.

One thing that I've discovered about myself since then is that I'm not one of those people who can make one block over and over. After I've made it once, I feel like I've learned what there was to learn and I'm ready to move on. For this reason, I've decided that my principal project for 2014 will be an updated take on the traditional sampler.

This is also an exploration of the MQG's "official" definition of modern quilting, which is something our guild has been discussing. In particular, I'm focusing on modern traditionalism with the use of greys, negative space, bold colours and solid fabrics.

This updated Ohio Star might be my favourite so far:

I made two variations on the traditional Jacob's Ladder block. The purple and pink one turned out to be especially modern, since I seem to have attached one of the corner squares upside down and didn't notice until pretty much right now. (I'm tempted to take it apart and fix it just as an excuse to realign the point that came out crooked, but that doesn't seem very modern of me, so I probably won't... Maybe?)

I also made the 2014 Sugar Block Club January block, which fit perfectly into my theme. I'm still on the fence regarding the February block.

The dark grey will be making more of an appearance in the next couple of blocks, and the light grey will continue to be the main background colour throughout the project, including setting squares and joining strips.

This sampler is a light, self-contained project to work on while I baste and quilt unfinished projects from last year. Things tend to get backed up at the basting stage (I really don't like basting) but over the past few weeks I've been getting it done, which has led to some cool FMQ progress. So much progress, in fact, that I've now run out of black thread and batting. Looking forward to more!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Felt Brain Slug (with Templates!)

If you're a Futurama fan, you may remember these Delta brainwave eating parasites. I've known since I first saw them that I wanted a Brain Slug of my very own. It took a few tries to work out the shape and size, but I got him ready just in time for Halloween last year.

This little guy is made entirely from Eco-Felt and attached to a headband, which makes him secure and easy to wear. His antennae are made from the metal wire inside a twist-tie. I'd meant to give him felt antennae, but forgot to attach them while I was assembling the slug. Metal wire was the only thing I found that was just thin enough to slip through the fibers of the felt, and pliable enough to be shaped into wonky antennae. It ended up being perfect for the job. I secured a tiny scrap of the green felt onto the ends to make them stand out.

Finding a plain headband similar to my hair colour was actually one of the more difficult aspects of this project (and the most expensive - all of the other materials together cost under a dollar). The accessory shops had walls full of glitter headbands and feathered headbands, but it took some work to find a plain one. Once that was dealt with, attaching the Brain Slug only required sewing through a tentacle on either side and looping thread around the headband a few times, as you can see here:

If you know about Brain Slugs and their politics, you won't be surprised to learn that once I put him on, I had the sudden urge to attach a Brain Slug to every Earth man, woman, and child. To this end, I've created a pattern... consider sponsoring a hungry Brain Slug by sharing your Delta Waves today!

Want to make your own Brain Slug?
Download the templates HERE.

Fellow Futurama geeks might also want to check out the Approved by #5 Futurama sewing project currently unfolding over at The Bored Zombie. The design for Leela has just been revealed, including templates and technique tips!

FYI - The recommended procedure to deal with a Brain Slug victim is to act natural and switch to a garlic shampoo. Helmets also work. (Source: Futurama Wiki)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sullivan Snowman Gift Bag

This is a small bag I put together for tonight's guild snow person/gift bag themed swap. The fabrics are from the Sinta Borland blogger's choice bundle, graciously provided by the Fat Quarter Shop, and the bag is based on the In Color Order lined drawstring bag tutorial. There was a bit of confusion regarding seam-pressing directions for the drawstring holes, so I'm not completely happy with this first bag attempt, but it's functional and cute, which is what really counts. I look forward to seeing which snow person bag comes home with me.

The snowman appliqué is a 1/4 size version of the Sullivan the Snowman pillow pattern from Connecting Threads. He's hand sewn out of eco-felt. I actually ended up making two snowmen for this project. The first was an improvised snowman with a bow-tie that was too tall to fit on the bag. (He will likely become an ornament. Look for him in an upcoming post.) This gave me an excuse to make little Sullivan instead. I really like this pattern and hope to make more. Here's a close-up: