Today I finished sewing together the blocks for my Somewhere quilt; here’s a pic of the layout before I made a few color/placement changes –
I didn’t photograph the finished rainbow quilt top because I was in a hurry to clean up my sewing room for tomorrow – July 1 – when the holiday countdown calendar madness starts anew! All the 1-25 number panels are embroidered and I’m ready to begin piecing the pockets.
I also found backing fabrics in my stash for nearly every one of the 56 calendars so I’ll need to start cutting backings and battings here soon as well... is 56 the right number? It might be the right number. I’ve can’t remember. I forget so much lately…
Plus, I continue to be surprised by how useful my stash has been during the Coronavirus lockdown. I only had to buy 2 additional yards of backing for the calendars, and that was to supplement a yard on hand. All the fabrics in Somewhere were from my fabric closet, too (though there isn’t enough backing for it, darn it.)
My hope is to be able to be post finished listings for the calendars in my Etsy store by the end of July, but I might end up needing another month. Which means the rainbow quilt, and the 4 other finished tops that need quilting!!!, probably won’t make it on the longarm until September. What I need is a countdown calendar to mark the days until then!
Every year I plan a number of new items for my Etsy store. Every year I complain – loudly and often (sorry, Hubs) – about how much work I have to do and how little time there is to do it.
This year, though, I may have finally broken myself… here are the FIFTY-EIGHT(!) quilted countdown calendars started for the 2020 holiday season at whimziequiltz.etsy.com!
The chances of me getting all these finished before November are pretty slim (I’ve still got some from last year that aren’t completely finished and that was a much smaller batch.)
But I’m so excited to see all the ideas I had in my head coming to life! The sports-themed ones and the princesses have been rattling around in there for quite some time. And I’ve been noodling on the three different dog treat designs since last year. Getting everything out of my brain – and onto fabric – is such a thrill.
There’s even a chance now that I have so many individual designs that I’ll open a second Etsy store just for countdown calendars. Or perhaps look for a craft faire opportunity once there’s a COVID-19 vaccine available. Yes, taking on so many projects during a pandemic lockdown has been stressful, but I’m cautiously optimistic, too.
Time to get back to work…
I’d hoped to write this post before 2019 was over; instead, I’m writing it in mid January and will backdate the post 2-3 weeks. In a way, it’s kind of fitting, because the whole point of the Whimzie Wrap Up is to touch on projects I forgot earlier in the year or ones I couldn’t mention earlier because they were custom gifts – everything covered below is already late, so a few more days doesn’t really matter!
This quilted checkerboard game was a request from returning customer DeVon D., a last minute Christmas gift. Since she needed it quickly, I offered her some fabric choices from my stash and I’m so glad she chose this adorable red and grey cat fabric!
I ended up offering the checkerboard as a gift with purchase for DeVon’s most recent custom quilt order – a lucky request, since she’s placed so many custom quilt orders with me, I had no idea what to make her as a thank you this time!
This cute checkerboard request came through Etsy back in June. Carol A. was making her daughter and son-in-law a care package, including a quilt, for their new RV. She didn’t have enough time to make anything else quilted, but wanted to include a game for them to play on the road…
I was really honored that a fellow quilter liked my work enough to ask me to step in. The funniest part was, while she didn’t request a specific fabric for her custom board, I ended up choosing the exact same fabric line she was using in their quilt!
Quilted Countdown Calendars
2019 was actually a big year for new quilted countdown calendar designs, including some colorful new characters…
and some on-trend designs.
Plus, I created this Tour de France race stage countdown calendar as a Christmas gift for my husband who’s really into cycling.
He really loved it! Which has got me thinking about other non-holiday countdown calendars I can add to my Etsy store – vacation countdown calendars, birthday calendars, end of the school year, … if you have an idea, please share it with me in the comments!
Quilted Mug Rug Sets
This was another gift with purchase for a long-time customer, Cynthia H. She asked for a bee-themed mug rug set that was classy, not cutesy, for her tea loving friend.
I especially had fun picking out a trim to add to the edges – it mimics the fancy stitching on the bee wings so beautifully!
I’m going to wrap up this wrap up with a When I‘m Not Quilting project from July. We’ve had this print for nearly 20 years (purchased at an art fair my then-finance/now-husband and I went to not long after we moved in together) and I’ve been looking for the perfect frame all this time. Saw this originally gold one while thrifting, but of course, I needed it a different color.
An internet search about how to silver age a frame turned me on to Rub’n’Buff. HOLY COW! That stuff is AMAZING! It totally lived up to everything mentioned in the marketing and I was thrilled with the outcome. Our print couldn’t have a better frame and it is finally, finally! hanging on the wall.
And this wrap up is finally, finally!, over, too! Thanks for sticking through to the end. Hope your 2019 was full of warmth and whimzie ~ here’s to an even better 2020 for all of us!
Welcome to another edition of Looking for a Good Home ~ my chance to show off some of the quilted items currently for sale in my Etsy shop. These posts are purely sales and marketing, without any custom quilt-y tidbits, so feel free to skip on by if you’re more interested in stories behind the quilts I create. If you do stick around, favorites and purchases are always appreciated ~ use the coupon code GOODHOME in store and save 10%!
The angels may have the phone box, but I’ve got several quilted Doctor Who items available at Whimzie Quiltz Etsy right now, all looking for a good home…
Halloween is my husband’s favorite holiday, so every year I try to add at least one crafty item to our decorations for him. Since he’s home more now, this year we were able to work together, and the result was three spooky cool projects…
Spider Web Halloween Countdown Calendar
While we have several candy holding countdown calendars around here (including this Count Von Count one I posted about earlier this year,) as we get older and, well, rounder, I’ve started looking for non-food options 😀 Which is why we decided to recreate a countdown calendar I originally saw on Pinterest ~ each day you add a toy spider to the web. No additional calories at all!
We scoured thrift stores for the perfect gothic frame, which he cleaned and painted while I sourced and attached the numbers, web and spiders.
I’m showing a picture from earlier this month with just a few spiders, but as October goes on the weight of those cheap plastic arachnids is really stretching the web! We’ll need to solve that problem for next year.
Haunted Dollhouse Mansion
This is project that took the longest – we’d actually been biking to garage sales for over a year, hoping to find a dollhouse available for cheap. (Once, after seeing a dollhouse stored in an open garage during a ride, I almost knocked on the door to see if they’d sell it! I couldn’t go through with it, but that I even thought about doing something so brazen should tell you how determined I was to create a haunted dollhouse this year.)
We ended up lucking on this Calico Critters Cloverleaf Mansion at a thrift store one afternoon back in July – lots of missing pieces as you can see! I tried eBay for doors and porch, but they either weren’t available or people wanted exorbitant prices. So we made the missing parts ourselves…
Here it is glowing at night –
and a close up so the purple of the lights shows a bit better –
A LOT of work went into finishing this project, but I thought I’d just call out a few things if you are thinking about making one yourself.
One, Blick Art Materials (used to be called Dick Blick) has an AMAZING supply of spray paint in shades you just can’t find at the local hardware store. The main gray for the body of the dollhouse came from there – 3 cans! (This is a really big dollhouse :D)
Two, we tried several different ways to get the silhouettes in the windows, but what worked best was transparent overhead projector sheets. Given the ubiquity of PowerPoint these days, I hadn’t thought about overhead projectors in years, but going old school did the trick. (The silhouettes themselves are free printables created by Dave Lowe. He’s an illustrator as well as a set and prop designer and I’m combing the archive on his blog for other amazing Halloween decor ideas. Stay tuned!)
Three, there’s black foam core on the backside, trimmed to fit. Partly to clean it up, but also because the purple lights in the windows shine brighter with it there. The lights are just mini LEDs you can get almost anywhere, but ours came with remotes which makes turning the lights on and off so much easier than removing the foam core back ever day.
Cat Eye Chair Covers
Since these were sewing/embroidery, this was a project I did alone ~ but my husband did make it easier by being gone on a solo bike ride while I was working 😀
(The TRICK / TREAT quilted pillows are from 2013! Sometimes when I look up stuff like this to post, I can’t believe how long ago I made them; feels like just yesterday.)
Doing these Halloween projects together was a lot of fun and there’s plans for a (my favorite holiday) Christmas craft or two that take advantage of both our skill sets, as well. But time’s sure passing quickly ~ maybe we should add working together to build a time machine to our to-do list!
Have you ever have one of those projects that you just can’t make work no matter how hard you try? Welcome to my latest disaster…
Although I was originally on a wait list, I ended up getting a Funko Harry Potter Advent calendar when they were released last year. It was a lot of fun opening the doors each day during December. But, while the Pops themselves were nice quality, I worried that the cardboard box they came in would not hold up long term and I started looking for a different option.
Ultimately, I purchased a wooden Advent calendar that looked like a book ~ perfect for Harry Potter, am I right? ~ back in January and have been working to update it off and on for about nine months now.
I HATE it.
The paint is both too thick AND too thin (don’t ask me how).
The pearls look so cheesy.
And the hinges don’t line up.
I thought I found the ideal numbering system in the wax seals, but they aren’t coming across like I’d hoped.
The interior picture keeps coming loose in spots.
And to top it all off, the drawers themselves aren’t large enough to hold some of the Pops!
I’ve finally decided to give up.
I’m just tired of looking at it and fussing over it. I’m tired of spending money on it and I’m really tired of spending time on it.
So, for now, it’s off my to-do list. In a few months, I might come back to it… or I might throw it out.
It’s always disappointing when an idea in your head doesn’t come together like you hope. But, as much as I’d like to be, makers aren’t magicians. Sometimes, a project just fails.
Happy October 1st! It seems like the perfect day to share that, in addition to all the Halloween Advent calendars I made for sale, I snuck in a Sesame Street-themed one for myself ~
Today’s blog post has been brought to you by the letters W and Q and the number 31.
Last year, I created a Harry Potter / Quidditch themed advent calendar in Gryffindor colors. This year, I realized I need to give the other Hogwarts Houses a little love.
:: Accio Christmas Advent Calendars ::
Cast a summoning charm on the holidays with these quilted Harry Potter / Quidditch themed advent calendars and have a very merry – or is that “very Harry?” – Christmas.
each is 10.5″ x 21.5″ :: holds 25 small candies :: hanger included
150 points to Slytherin if you catch this Advent calendar by Dec 1!
150 points to Ravenclaw if you catch this Advent calendar by Dec 1!
150 points to Hufflepuff if you catch this Advent calendar by Dec 1!
I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really ~ Linus van Pelt
There’s lots to love about the Charlie Brown Christmas animated special, but the opening song “Christmas Time is Here” is especially charming. That’s why I chose the lyrics as the sentiment for this Peanuts Advent calendar. Features an embroidered Charlie Brown Christmas tree – all it needs is a little love.
10.5″ x 21.5″ :: holds 25 small candies :: hanger included
Here’s one way to make your holidays tree-mendous!
In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, do you often find yourself asking how many days are left until Christmas? Make sure you never lose track by counting down with this whimsical quilted Christmas tree Advent calendar. Features an adorable embroidered Christmas tree surrounded by cheery presents.
10.5″ x 21.5″ :: holds 25 small candies :: hanger included