Category: Serious Quilt Fun

Tote-ally Awesome Quilting

DeVon D.’s email read,

“I am a runner.  I would really like some type of tote made from [all these race shirts and race bibs that are just sitting around.] Any thoughts? Feel like tackling this?”

13 years of custom quilting and I’d never made a quilted tote bag! But, hey, I love a challenge, so I said, “Sure!”

While waiting for her marathon shirts to arrive, I decided to do a trial bag.  That’s how I ended up with this ENORMOUS beach tote.  I mean, it’s big.  REALLY big.  Like “hide the pregnant actress’ belly because it’ll ruin her character’s storyline” big.

bigbeachbag

With a few adjustments, though, I felt ready to take on DeVon’s projects. She sent me enough shirts that I ended up quilting her both a beach tote and a book tote.

And, I threw in a quilted backpack, just for the fun of it.

backpack

These were definitely a fun little digression from regular quilting.  I liked having to figure out the math as I went along to get to a normal size on the bags and the instant gratification of finishing a small project is always nice.

And DeVon seems pretty happy with them, too.  She posted yesterday on the Whimzie Quiltz Facebook page,

“I knew you were the right person to hand that project over to. The totes are all great and I just adore the fun Jingle Bell Run back pack. Such creativity!”

Shrink Ray?!? No Way!

You say there’s an evil super villain with a shrink ray taking over the world? I’m not worried – I’ll just move into my new Altoid tin Whimzie Quiltz studio and keep right on quilting…

miniwqstudio

As you can see from the photos below, I tried to recreate my actual sewing studio as faithfully as possible.

Starting with the lid on the left, there’s the felt wall that I use to audition blocks and photograph quilts, a “sew fun” inspirational message and a teeny tiny copy of my book, A Quilter’s Christmas Carol (life-size versions still available in my Etsy store.)

On the right side, I used leftover pink wall paint for the background and hung a mini blind and three decorative “oversized” buttons, topping it off with miniaturized fabric banner just like the one hanging in my room.

In real life, I have a planter/vase shaped like a giant thimble where I keep scissors and pens – in the mini version, I included a Monopoly thimble (RIP). The tiny spools of thread came pre-wound with pink so they fit in nicely with no alterations and I used scraps of pink and orange fabrics from my stash for the bolts of fabric.

My real sewing machine is white – I painted the mini sewing machine white; my everyday scissors are orange – I painted two mini scissors orange.  The sewing cabinet in my room is finished in cherry wood grain laminate; it was easy to stain a small piece of balsa wood to represent that color finish in the tin.

One final tip if you want to create your own –  I cut the prongs off of 4 tiny brads (the kind you use for scrapbooking) and glued the heads on the right side of Altoid tin as feet. Without these, since the lid side is bigger, the tin leaned to the right when open for display.  Brad feet keep everything nice and level.

I found part of the fun of this project was making the Altoid tin match my actual sewing studio as closely as possible, but I could totally see creating the sewing room you’ve always wanted as a mini version, too.

If you do decide to make one, please share a photo with me as I’d love to “visit”… and that way we can all thumb our noses at shrink ray-wielding super villains!

Quilt Bucket List 4 – It’s a Party!

They say two’s company and three’s a crowd, but four?  Four’s a party! So grab a beer and let’s party down with my 4th annual Quilt Bucket List!

bucketbeers-copyEvery National Quilting Day, I revisit the quilts on my “bucket list” – those quilts I want to finish before I move on to the great sewing room in the sky.  The list keeps getting longer, so I suppose I won’t be going anywhere soon…

It’s a party and we’re here to have a good time, right? So let’s get the bad news out of the way – none of my bucket list quilts got finished during the last year. In fact, I didn’t do a single stitch on any of the quilts I mentioned in Quilt Bucket List III: Attack of the Seam Ripper.

Which means my Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quilt, my Monk-inspired quilt, my One in a Minion quilt and my Steven Tyler memorial quilt (Steven Tyler my cat, not the Steven Tyler the rockstar) are all still chillin’.

That’s not to say I didn’t make any quilts for myself in 2016; I did.  It’s just that those quilts weren’t even a gleam in my eye last National Quilting Day.  But sometimes you just need to go with the creative flow, resulting in the addition of these beauties to my personal collection –

Having a lot on my to-do list has never stopped me from adding more, though, so I’ve invited a few new quilt ideas to the “must make before I go” party.  Please give a big quilty welcome to

Made in March Quilt ~ For the past two basketball seasons, I’ve been working on a Kansas University Jayhawk quilt only during March Madness.  My hope is to finish it during the 2017 tournament – Rock Chalk! 

RIP TV Quilt ~ My modern, laugh-in-the-face-of-death take on the famous Kentucky graveyard quilt featuring favorite TV characters who have passed away (including all 4 of Lisa Simpson’s cats)

Sew Geeky Quilt ~ Pulling together my love for sci-fi television and my love for quilting, this one features a LOT of appliquéd pop culture /slash/ sewing puns (like Captain Picard’s classic, “Make it sew.”)

All three of these quilts are in progress, but who knows what I’ll actually finish this year?  Maybe a bunch of fabulous new quilt ideas will turn this little shindig into a surprise party for 2018, too. 😀

I’d love to know what’s on your quilt bucket list.  Please share in the comments; I respond to every one. And let’s leave this post with the slightly modified advice of blues – and party – legend Stevie Ray Vaughn…  

If this sewing machine is a rocking, don’t bother knocking – just come on in!

 

 

 

 

It’s a Tea Cozy on Steroids

I’ve had my long arm sewing machine since mid-2012.  That means for 4+ years I’ve been saying to myself, pretty much daily, “Hmm, it’d be nice to have a cover* for this to keep the dust out.” But, while I’d identified the problem long ago, I never did anything about it.  Until now…

contraptioncozy

I bought 2 yds of the seam ripper fabric for another project that never materialized (heh, heh – get it? the “fabric” project never “material”-ized. I crack myself up.)  Given the size of my long arm, I needed a minimum of 2.5 yds, so that’s how the orange got added.  Now I’m super happy I didn’t have enough to work with – that accent is the perfect touch!

An online search found directions from HandiQuilter to create a dust cover for a Avante 18 (my model) but they really weren’t that helpful, except as a jumping off point.  The Quilt Kisses tutorial for creating a sit down machine cover was great (many, many thanks for posting that!) though I still had to figure out my own measurements.

I’m calling it a tea cozy on steroids because it ended up so big.  I mean so big that it just sagged under it’s own weight when I first placed it on the long arm.  So, while you can’t see it, there’s actually a corrugated plastic support structure along the top to keep it from drooping (it’s held in place with Velcro dots.)

If I had to guess, I’ve probably spent 24 hrs of my life just cleaning dust off my long arm.  It might not sound like much in total, but every minute spent cleaning is one minute less quilting!  No more!  Now I can just whip the cover off and get to the fun stuff right away…

 

*I searched online occasionally to see if HandiQuilter sold a cover, but they never have.  Seems a missed opportunity.

My Newest Sewing Machine!

I have wanted a Lego sewing machine for years, ever since I saw Carrie Bloomston’s fantastic tutorial on the web.  Finally – finally! – I found the time to order the special Lego bricks required and my husband put it together for me last night.  I’m so excited!

legosewingmachine

I totally want to create a teeny-tiny mini quilt with the Whimzie Quiltz logo to display with my finished Lego sewing machine.  Wonder how many years that’ll take me 🙂