Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween 2013!!!

Tomorrow I leave for Houston to attend the International Quilt Festival (woo hoo!!!!!!), so I have to write my annual Halloween post a bit early. While I am bummed I won't be at home to share in the festivities with my family, I am at the same time super excited to have the opportunity to go to Festival this year (woo hoo!!!!!!!).

In recent months, the hotness at our house has been a video game called Guacamelee! from Drinkbox Studios. My boys absolutely love this game. And truly, it is pretty darn awesome-- the art, the music (seriously, the music is incredible; we even bought the soundtrack!), the story, the mechanics, the different endings... way cool! So it was no surprise that when it came time to choose their costumes, Big Bear and Little Bear both wanted to be characters from the game. Big Bear wanted to be a yellow skeleton (because they're super fast!). Little Bear wanted to be a green skeleton (because they're green!).

I started by perusing eBay. There I found sombreros of appropriate hues (thank you, noveltwholesale!), as well as some gently used glow-in-the-dark skeleton pajamas. Then I got to work on the rest.

Guacamelee costumes, including sombrero, poncho, tattered pants, and red sash

I ended up making ponchos, tattered pants, and red sashes. I didn't use a pattern for the ponchos or sashes and just kind of winged it. For the pants, I used Kwik Sew pajama patterns, 3126 (toddler sizes; I made a T3) and 3604 (boys & girls sizes; I made a Medium).

green skeleton, side-by-side pics, game and costume

Above is a picture of the green skeleton from the game next to Little Bear's rendition.

Little Bear as the Green Skeleton

The ponchos are made of fleece, including the appliqued stripes. I decided on fleece because Halloween night around here is typically cold (and wet... but, as always, we are crossing our fingers for a dry evening!). The green poncho was a bit of a challenge, as there were angles involved. It made me glad that it was a small size as I could lay the whole thing out on the table.

yellow skeleton, side-by-side pics, game and costume

The yellow poncho was much more straightforward. I think it turned out pretty darn close to the look of the in-game version, which you can see in the image above. Since the sombreros came with ball trim on them, I decided to add some to the ponchos as well, to help tie the look together.

Big Bear as the Yellow Skeleton

My husband was concerned that the costumes be as "cosplay accurate" as possible. So I made the pants and sash. But I didn't have it in me to make shirts too... I mean, they'd just be completely covered up by the ponchos anyway, right? I feel a bit like a slacker, but really, the boys are both happy, and that's what really counts.

Skeleton boy duo action shot

When they put on their costumes, they immediately got into character and were very excited to show off all of their skeleton moves.

Skeleton boy duo

What a pair!

Happy Halloween 2013 from Crafty Musings

Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Fall 2013: "Short Circuit"

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013 button

For this season's Blogger's Quilt Festival, I'm entering "Short Circuit" in the Group/Bee Quilts category:

Short Circuit, front view

The design is inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's "Mod Mosaic Floor Pillow Tutorial." One of the mosaic blocks was made by me, and the other ten were made via a block exchange with some ladies in my quilt guild. (If you want to learn a little more about how the exchange worked, you can read about it here.)

Short Circuit, another front-ish view

The blocks were all completed a couple of years ago. It took me awhile to get around to putting them all together, but once I got going, I looked to Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial for making a floating blocks quilt. I also have to give thanks to Carrie P. and her Nothing But UFOs Challenge. The challenge really got inspired to work on this and get it done. The final stitches in the binding were finally completed last week. Yay!

Short Circuit, quilting detail

The fabrics are a mix of solids along with prints primarily from Michael Miller's Bot Camp collection. With that in mind, I decided on quilting inspired by a design in the book Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters, "Geometric Allover." The design made me think of circuit boards, which seemed like a good fit with all the robots. It is quilted using Aurifil 50/2 thread in Light Robin's Egg blue (#2710) over the whole quilt. You can't really tell in the pictures, but I actually quilted the design in a larger scale over the mosaic blocks and then more densely over the solid background (which, if you are curious, is a Kona solid, Ocean).

Short Circuit, back view

I really like how the pieced back worked out as well! It was a nice way to use up some of the extra bits from the front. The finished size of the quilt is 58" x 70".

Short Circuit, label

The label includes the name of each of the ladies who made a block for the quilt. But I've gone ahead and blurred all their names, just in case they don't want to be floating around on the interwebs.

Short Circuit, folded up in an artsy fashion

And now it is all ready for some snuggling!

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out "Short Circuit" and I hope you have a great time as you continue to check out other entries on display in Blogger's Quilt Festival, Fall 2013! There is no shortage of inspiration and eye candy. And many thanks to Amy's Creative Side for hosting this fabulous event!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And another new project:

Way back in the Spring, I posted about this as a potential project... a little bit of daydreaming at the time. But it is for reals now!

True Blue, another 36 blocks in progress

The pattern is called "True Blue" and is from Miss Rosie's Qult Co. I decided I needed to do it in greens. Because I have lots of greens. And I'm loving it so far! (I also love that I was able to cut up 9.5 yards of bits and scraps and not-quite-fat-quarters and clear them from the stash!)

True Blue, 64 blocks complete

Last night I managed to finish up all of the main blocks-- there are 100 total (64 are pictured above... my design wall isn't big enough to hold all of them). Now it is time to set this one aside for a bit so I can focus on Halloween. Finishing the blocks may have pushed me to the procrastinating edge, but I'm so glad to have a sense of closure on them. Now I can clear my sewing area and not worry about losing any bits or pieces. There's a lot to be said for that.

Next up: ponchos!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stitchin' along...

It seems that blogging has again fallen by the wayside for me. But I have been busy! One thing I've been focusing on is keeping up with Wild Olive's Autumn Stitching Club.

I'm really enjoying the happy little stitcheries that arrive in my inbox each week.

Autumn Stitching Club in progress

I've even managed to hexify most of them so that they are ready for the next stage of the project.

Autumn Stitching Club, look at that cute little loaf of bread!

The project is designed to become a cushion cover, but I'm definitely leaning more toward a wallhanging right now.

Autumn Stitching Club, laid out in a pretty fashion

The cuteness is nearly too much. Nearly. But I am definitely having fun!

Speaking of autumn...

Pumpkin patch boys, 2013

Last weekend we made a fun trip the pumpkin patch. It is hard to believe that Halloween is next week. I gotta get crackin' on those costumes!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A belated gift...

I recently got to spend some time with a friend whom I hadn't seen in more than a year. Such a treat! Even better, it meant that I could finally give her a (very) belated birthday gift:

Sanctuary zip bag, front view

This happy little pouch is from Elizabeth Hartman of Oh! Fransson; it is the "Perfect Zip Bags" pattern. This is View C in the large size. I've actually made this view before, but this is the first time I tried the large size-- and it is BIG (you can see how I loaded it up below). Overall, it is a great pattern. But, there is one thing I didn't mention last time which would have been helpful for me as I completely forgot when I was making this one. This is a user error issue, not necessarily a problem with the pattern-- but definitely a problem for me (since I've done it twice now!).

For my bags, I've been using a canvas interlining to add stability (the canvas goes in-between the outer fabric and the lining, and is cut to size so as to not cause bulk at seams). It works really well. However, you need to be careful to make the topstitching along the the zipper far enough away such that the interlining is caught in the stitches as well. I topstitched about 1/8" away from the zipper; when I went to turn everything right-side-out, I realized that the interlining was not caught in the stitches (or it caught so close to the edge that it was starting to fray apart) because it had slipped a smidge in the whole zipper insertion/sewing process. The end result was a slightly loosey-goosey interlining at the top of the bag. It definitely wasn't horrible (certainly not enough to merit me doing a ton of unsewing and tearing out topstitching to fix it), and I don't think it will affect the shape or durability of the bag. But it bugs me-- especially since it is a simple fix: topstitch 3/8" to 1/4" away from the zipper, thus ensuring that the interlining will be caught as well. Had I noted this the first time, I might have remembered it and actually made the correction this time around. Sigh...

So. Now I have made a note. Listen-up self-- don't make this same mistake again! :)

Sanctuary zip bag, top zipper view

I used scraps from Patty Young's beautiful Sanctuary collection paired with Kona Coal. The lining is Kona Green Tea.

Sanctuary zip bag, shown with gifts to go inside

My friend enjoys a bit of wordsmithing at times, so I loaded it up with writing-related stuff-- like disposable fountain pens, a leather-bound journal, and some Haiku inspiration. And an amazon.com gift card. Just because.

Sanctuary zip bag, loaded up with gifty goodness

There is something about creating a holder and then filling it with special stuff that just makes me happy. Fortunately, it made her happy too! :)