Saturday, October 24, 2020

Tula Pink HomeMade Challenge: Put a Pin in It

Today I have a very special make, Put a Pin in It (which is a play on words highlighting the delays to plans this year has produced, as well as the literal pushpins scattered about). This interactive quilt, which is also my Homemade Challenge entry, brought forth an abundance of creative experimentation with techniques and mediums. 

How about an overall view? Ironically, I accidentally left in a safety pin from my domestic machine quilting. (Let's keep that between us.)

My blurb for the contest reads, "Put a Pin in It highlights shifting from homemaking to homeschooling during quarantine. I hope to foster a love of creating in my children. Interactive aspects include hydrochromic ink, thermal vinyl; flip sequins; solar, puff, and glow-in-the-dark paint; chalkboard fabric; Ultra-suede; pockets; squeaker; turnable pages; Aurifil 12 wt; and magnetism."

In the next couple blog posts, I'll share all the blocks and their special features, my free-motion designs, and my process. Today, I'll share all the fun gimmicks I incorporated so my kids will love it. 

The calculator features a thermo-sensitive vinyl screen, numbers stenciled with Shiva Oil Paintstiks and a Dollar Tree stencil, and a squeaker under the = button. 

To create realistic, larger-than-life paper, I painted hydrochromic water-reactive paint over solid black fabric. The paint has a gel-like consistency, and is best applied after being diluted with a bit of water. It becomes opaque white as it dries. A thicker application on fabric results in cracking and chipping. 

For the lines, I used 12 wt Aurifil thread. Then I applied eyelets for the paper holes. I covered over the back with the background fabric so my batting wouldn't escape through the holes.

For the watercolors, I used the hydrochromic paint as well, but added Dye-Na-Flo for color.

My glue stick gives the impression of twisting up and down using flip sequins. One side is purple, like the real glue stick; the other side is navy to blend into the background--as if it's vanished.

I annihilated a flip sequin Dollar Tree pillow to make this happen. My children may be a little scared from the destruction. But, never fear, I acquired more Dollar Tree mini pillows to compensate for the dramatic injury. I even found an argyle one that it the most fabulous thing I have ever seen. My rainbow-loving heart can't even...

Wait, what was I even talking about? Oh yes, the Put a Pin in It Quilt.

The glue bottle features chalkboard fabric. It's an upscaled version of my Quilt block Mania Back to School free pattern.

It's pieced with stitch and flip curves (similar to a cathedral window block) and paper piecing with fussy cutting. I love how Tula Pink prints provide such great opportunities for this. The glitter was created by applying fabric medium and actual glitter to black fabric. The lids were embellished with Aurifil 12 wt thread and eyelets using my Crop-a-Dile

The black sections are heat-sensitive vinyl that changes to yellow with heat. 

The solid sections of the crayons are painted with solar pigment that changes hue in sunlight

I added a secret panel (but I suppose the secret is out now) to my binding with a pencil I drew using fabric markers and a pigment pen. It says AMONG TWOS BE (where pencils usually say HB) 1 (where it usually says 2 on #2 pencils), as a reminder to viewers that it is good to know your own mind and not always fall in with the common crowd.

The paper-pieced stapler featuring ribbon candy free-motion resides near the HomeMade patch, which was attached with clear Aurifil.

My tape dispenser features some paper piecing, stitch and flip curves, reverse appliqué, turned-edge appliqué...
This block was a diva who thought it needed all the techniques. Since it was a bit extra anyhow, I went with pebbles and some lines on the tape portion to follow the direction of circular tape layers.

The acrylic paint tube block is embellished with oozing puff paint.

The cream, fussy-cut portions of the tubes is coated in glow-in-the-dark paint.

I did a rift on a Ball Jar, mimicking the font, but changing the letters from Ball MASON to Pink TULA. I used a hot glue gun to apply the letters to clear vinyl. Then I secured the edges with bias cut binding. The jar was attached to the quilt post-quilting, using clear Aurifil. The lid, made from Solarize (insulating thermal barrier fabric) on account of the metallic shininess, is pieced into the background. Pieced into the background is a hidden pocket to hold a battery pack for the Dollar Tree Christmas "candies". The gummy bears are actually pencil toppers.

My backpack block has a fully functional lined zipper pocket and straps. Strapping the quilt to yourself and running around would be pretty funny though. It's poshed out with the Tula Pink HomeMade enamel pin, a Bernina pin, and my Quilting Mod button. It thought it'd be fun to attach a Quilting Mod label where the backpack brand label would usually go. Some Cut Once Noon Blue Renaissance Ribbon serves as a top handle.

Drawing life is not complete without vibrant markers. My box needed even more pizzaz, so I added a magnetic sheet to the banner. The PINK is actually temporarily-attached magnets.

My book block isn't just made to look 3-D, you can really turn the pages.

The glitter contains are made from applying fabric medium mixed with glitter to black fabric. The tops feature 12 wt Aurifil and eyelets.

Erasers have a fun texture that I wanted to capture in my interactive quilt, so I used a few different shades of Ultrasuede due to its soft, grippy feel.

I'd like to give a shout out to the spools that made this quilt possible. So, thanks Aurifil, for providing every color under the sun.

Even more than my dearly loved threads, thank you, quilting friends, for joining me here to share in this project with me. I appreciate you so much! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Prime Day & Deal Days for Quilters

With so much commerce happening online this year, holiday deals are getting a jump start. I'm going to highlight a few of my quilting favorites early, because I suspect the deals are going to peak in the next couple days. There are some affiliate links, and some non-affiliate ones for really fun things I love.

I love my lightbox for paper-piecing, fussy cutting, and tracing.

You'll need a clear cutting mat to top it too:

During the extremely exploratory process of making my HomeMade Challenge quilt (more on that to come), I discovered thermal-sensitive vinyl. It's the coolest thing you never heard of before, and can be stitched into any project.

To keep your work space neat and tidy, the desktop organizer really helps. No more scouring the sewing room for the seam ripper and rotary cutter!

I'm a big fan of inexpensive shelving and baskets for storage of small projects. Pair Dollar Tree baskets with a shoe rack.

Pentel Gen Pens for Fabric are the best thing I've found for signature blocks. They don't bleed, and they show up better than pigment ink pens.

I love my Oliso iron. They're the best and the pop-up legs keep me from frying the board when I get distracted.

Let me introduce you to the most fun OttLite ever. It changes color and has a USB port to charge devices.

Best Press in a mist bottle is the way to starch.

Keep loose threads under wraps with spool huggers and bobbin clamps.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Half Yard Jam with Fat Quarter Shop

Today I get to share a really quick make of bed-size proportions (90" x 90" to be exact). The Half Yard Jam exercised my stitching fingers with a pre-cut that I haven't given as much attention as my go-to fat quarter stacks --- the half yard bundle.

Snatch up the free Shortcut Quilt pattern for Half Yard Jam, and procure 18 half yards. My bundle only had ten, so I doubled up. 

You could also combine a couple different bundles by the same designer, or with a coordinating theme or color scheme, if the bundle is short of 18.

Since this endeavor is big enough to top my king bed (though there isn't a ton of drape), I wanted something suitably masculine. I let my husband weigh in on this one.

However, I love fabrics designed by Bonnie Christine, and the luxurious drape and silky hand of Art Gallery fabrics anyhow. 

With these prints I can actually have bed bugs, and not be too disturbed about it. Though, I did have one night recently....
In the darkness I felt something like a small pinch on my arm. My automated response was to jerk my limb away. Wanting to reassure myself that it was all in my head, I turned on the lights. Then I caught sight of a green little one poised on my white comforter. Knowing that I didn't want to relive the experience, I scooped it into a cup, took a picture as photographic evidence should anyone doubt my story in the morning, and relocated the insect to the outside balcony. I have no idea how it made it all the way upstairs and into my bed, but I much prefer my bugs in fabric, than so up close and personal when I'm trying to doze.

I chose Capsules Terra Kotta Rippling Terrain for the binding. It picks up colors from the other prints, but has a nice topography or wood grain appearance visible even in a tiny visible sliver.

This was such a pleasant make. 

It'd be perfect for fabrics you can't hardly bring yourself to chop up, but would like to enjoy as a quilt, rather than a shelved stack. 

The process was straight-forward. Basically, you cut width of fabric strips, sew them into generously-sized strip sets, chop each in two,  sew into pairs, rotate alternating blocks 90 degrees, and piece the resulting blocks together like a colossal nine-patch.

I let my trusted professional long-armer, Tisha of Quilt Icing, take care of finishing my Half Yard Jam up with undulating curved lines. I wanted something subtle that didn't take away from how well the pattern highlights favorite prints.

Fat Quarter Shop has a kit featuring Homestead by April Rosenthal. You can also choose a bundle (or two) with 18 or more half yard cuts, or get really custom and self-select 18 fabrics to combine. I'd love to remake this with Tula's True Colors or Maureen's Cozy & Joyful.

Check out Fat Quarter Shop's blog post for even more details, and to see the other Half Yard Jam versions created by those quilting along.