Category: WINQ

Catification WINQ

juliusWe lost our crazy orange kitty to cancer earlier this year.

That’s him, not long after we got him, curled up in a Whimzie quilt. He loved to sit outside my sewing room in the afternoons. I like to think it was because he wanted to be around me, but, more likely, it was to be near as a reminder that he got fed at 3 o’clock every day. 😀 Either way, I miss him most when I’m working alone up there now.

It’s been a couple of months and I think we’re finally ready to adopt again. One thing that’s helped while we were grieving is working on this…


We had a carpet covered cat tree before, but felt that a new cat deserved a new home (a neighbor was super happy to take the old tree for her 5 cats.) And that’s how we ended up taking on this super cool catification project.

You probably won’t be surprised that most of the parts here are from IKEA – a couple of Kallax shelving units, some EKBY shelves and several items from their LURVIG pet line. But we added some other parts from Home Depot so there’s more play options (and the frame which has photos of both of our cats who have passed away along with a spot for a photo of who we adopt next.)

I’m planning to add a few more, but currently there are 5! cat beds in there. Three are foam and two are fiber stuffed. They aren’t quilted, but I sewed all of them with extra love for the furry friend we hope to bring home in January.

Can’t wait!


Better Not WINQ ~ Santa Claws is Coming to Town

A person cannot quilt 24/7/365. At the very least, you need to stop to eat and – briefly – sleep. And, I’ll admit it, I sometimes get a thrill out of cheating on my quilts with other crafts. I call them WINQ projects, or things to do When I‘m Not Quilting.

None of our nieces and nephews live in places near the coast, so when they do make it out to visit, we like to give them the full Southern California beach experience. The guest room they stay in has an entire wall mural of sand and surf, the seating is beach chairs and even the closet is decorated to look like a beach cabana.

Some of them are young enough that a night light is still a good idea, so, in keeping with the theme, last year we made this light-up crab to hang on the wall…


The wood crab itself came from Craftcuts but I’ve forgotten exactly where we picked up the lights. And it’s a little hard to see in the photo, but the blue paint is a metallic with fun sparkles that works really well with all the blues and greens in the room.

He debuted during a holiday visit last year – that’s why he’s wearing the little Santa hat. Which means I’ve actually had the photo in my queue to write about since November 2017! And, well, since holiday 2018 is rapidly coming to a close, I figured I better get Santa Claws here posted before the tide goes out again…

Whoville Tree Farm ~ My New WINQ!

A person cannot quilt 24/7/365. At the very least you need to stop to eat and – briefly – sleep. And, I’ll admit it, I sometimes get a thrill out of cheating on my quilts with other crafts. I call them WINQ projects, or things to do When I‘m Not Quilting.

Who knew dyeing your own bottle brush trees was so easy and fun? Well, EVERYONE, it seems.  Still, while I may be a little late to the bottle brush tree craze, but I can’t help but think that I’m taking it to a whole new level with this “Whoville Tree Farm” Christmas Countdown Calendar.


I started this project in the off-season, so it was a bit difficult to find 25 different sized trees. But as November 2018 starts, I’m seeing them everywhere so it shouldn’t be too hard to find some if you want to do something similar. I also purchased a variety of 25 wooden spools from various local and online craft stores.

Your Home Based Mom‘s tutorial for bleaching and dyeing bottle brush trees was super helpful. If I had it do over again, I would have taken my trees out a bit faster. I was trying for vibrant colors, so I left them in a bit too long. Shorter dips in the dye until I got the shade I needed would have worked better.


My spools are painted with white craft paint (the kind that comes in those little plastic bottles) and each number was printed on regular white copy paper. It took a few times to get the right size for each, but because it was just cheap copy paper, I didn’t mind needing a few tries. They are, of course, numbered 1-25, with the largest, grinch-y green, tree as “25”.


I picked up the wood plaque for the base from a craft store and used the same white paint on it. This particular red bow was left over from another project, but those are easy to make with any red ribbon you happen to have lying around.

The letters were drawn on ~ printing the words made it easy to get the font right and I used graphite pencil to transfer the outlines, then filled those in with a black marker. The addition of “-Open Daily-” to the label is perfect for the Advent calendar theme as every day in December I plan to add one of the trees to the “lot”.

I LOVE how this project turned out so far. In fact, this is how I was originally going to leave it. But today I had an additional idea! I’m going to include a couple of tall poles on each side and string either tiny LED lights or a banner between them to add to that real tree lot experience.

We have something like 5 traditional Christmas trees of various sizes, and when questioned about it, I always smile and say, “You can never have enough Christmas trees.” So, yeah, this “Whoville Tree Farm” Christmas Countdown Calendar ~ with it’s additional twenty-five dyed bottle brush trees! ~ fits right in at my home.

Happy counting, Grinches!

When I’m Not Quilting… I’m Biking? Yeah, I Never Thought That’d Happen Either

My husband has been a cyclist for years and recently he got me to try an electric bike. Turns out, road biking a lot more fun than I expected it to be and now we go out for joint rides a couple of times a week.

All summer, I was able to wear just my regular workout tees, but as the weather is turning cooler, I need some warmer layers. So I made a couple of long-sleeved shirts at Vistaprint that combine my old hobbies – quilting and crafting – and my new one – biking.

Can’t wait to zip around the bike path in these!


Getting LIT with the Grinch this Holiday Season

I can’t wait for the new animated Grinch movie coming from Universal this November!!!

The promotional movie poster was ridiculously inexpensive on eBay, which is a good thing, since making the marquee frame to display it was NOT cheap (or easy.)


But it was totally worth all the time and effort because I’m getting LIT with the Grinch this holiday season. 😀


Should you be interested in doing something similar, here’s some links for the various parts of this DIY project –

The Grinch Movie Poster on eBay

SnapeZo Movie Poster Frame on Amazon

20ct String Lights at Target

It’s a Funko Me! Custom Whimzie Quiltz Funko Pop


I love to collect things and my newest collection obsession is Funko Pops. They are just so cute!

While I purchased a few standard Pops – Wonder Woman, Leslie Knope, Allison from Orphan Black – the crafter in me started wanting to make custom versions. Especially a Funko me, or as I like to call her, Funko D.


arielfunkopopI started with a standard Ariel (the Disney princess) collectable because the hair was pretty close to the way I wear mine and the hands were in the perfect position to hold up a quilt. I don’t normally wear a corset and long skirt to work, but I have been known to quilt in my jammies, so let’s call it a nightgown. And while I don’t wear big bows in my hair usually, I am a child of the 80s, and I can’t say there’s never been an oversized hair bow among my beauty accessories.

After a few YouTube tutorials, I figured out how to remove the head for painting (a hair dryer to heat the glue) and the best paint to use (standard craft paint, watered down.)  It does take several coats of the paint to get a smooth look, but the new hair color matches real me’s perfectly and the pink and orange outfit works great with my Whimzie Quiltz colors.

I carefully cut the glasses off another Pop (Diane Nguyen from BoJack Horseman) and glued them to my now re-painted version. Zap a Gap glue turned out to be a godsend for adding the glasses and for putting the head and body back together. A couple coats of Matte Finish Rust-o-leum literally sealed the deal and made her look factory fresh.

I created the quilt using orange and pink scraps in my fabric stash and now I’m pretty positive I will never be a miniature quilt maker.  I’ve seen fantastically detailed miniature quilts online, and after making this rather simple quilt, I’m much more appreciative of all the work people put into those. But this one is great as a representative of what I make – bright and scrappy, warm and happy, “whimzical” quilts!


I am THRILLED with how Funko D turned out and already have some ideas in mind for more custom Pops. As I always say, it isn’t a true collection until the display case overflows! 😀



“Waste Not, Want Not” Times Three

A crafter never lets anything go to waste, right? I mean, that’s why my closet is bulging with scraps of fabric that might one day become a quilt. And the reason why when i open my craft supply cabinet, things fall on my head (no, really, happens every time!)

stikwoodSo when we had some Stikwood paneling left from a recent chimney remodel project, I knew there would eventually be a use for it. And there was! Three uses, actually…

Balanced by a Valance

Our chimney looked great wrapped with Stikwood, but that much wood on one side of the room needed balance.  The solution was wood paneled cornice boards for windows on the other side of the room.

We had 10-12 usable sized pieces of Stikwood left from the chimney project. Each valance used two of those panels, trimmed to cover maple backer board. The frames were miter cut from outside corner moulding to hide the edges and painted black to match the metal chimney trim.

We’d been wanting to replace our existing shades for better light control at night anyway and the new cornice boards were the perfect complement to the inside-mount honeycomb shades.


To Top it Off

A couple of years ago, Santa left a Singer sewing table under the tree. I loved it, but the traditional table top that came with it never really fit in with our decor. Besides, I do enjoy making things feel personalized, even vintage items.

We created a new top around the existing one by adding a black painted frame, then trimming a few extra Stikwood panels to fit inside. The more rustic look fits in so much better!


At Your Service

I’ve had this tray for a while; to be honest, I don’t even remember why I bought it. (Ha! I just realized it’s another craft supply item that I’ve kept around… lucky it didn’t fall on my head at some point 😀 )

With just a few tiny scraps of wood left, this was the perfect small project. The new white paint pops next to the Stikwood paneled bottom and the twine handles add a homey touch. It’s ready to serve any purpose now!


At this point, there are only 3 pieces of Stikwood remaining – one’s 9 inches, one’s 12 inches and one’s 20 inches. We’re keeping them around just in case, but even if they never get used, I definitely think we got our money’s worth out of this purchase so far!