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!

I'm linking up with: 


  1. Wow, Afton, this is an amazing quilt!! I love all the details and hope your kids do as well.

  2. So very clever and inventive!

  3. This is INCREDIBLE, Afton! The detail to each item was so much fun to read. I’d love to see and feel it in person.

  4. A really creative make. I love all the detail and would never though of half the things you made. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What fun. Fantastic interactive parts on quilt. Love the backpack

  6. You had far, far too much fun making this quilt. I thought it looked super cool before I knew all the nifty Easter eggs you put into it. This is excellent!

  7. Wow!!! This is just amazing - I think that your brain must have been on overload figuring all of this out - but what an amazing creation!!!

  8. Hi Afton, what an amazing quilt. Good luck with the contest! Thanks for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks! Take care.

  9. Amazing! I thought the notebook pages were 3D but woozier! They can be turned -- very nifty.

  10. OMG! This is absolutely fantastic! Thanks for linking up with me. Your amazing quilt will be featured this week.


  11. It is simply amazing, you did a great job. WOW, I love it. Thank you so much for sharing it on Put your foot down.

  12. Super cool! Love the creativity in this! Loved Tula so that's a doing bonus. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  13. Wowsa! Your quilt is fantastic! Love it and love the thought that went into it! Have a great day and thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Hi,
    What an awesome quilt!! You did a great job bringing
    this quilt to like...Congrats. Have a great day!

  15. Hi Afton! What an amazing quilt. I am immediately drawn to the calculator, but so many of the items are equally spectacular. That book!!! The glue stick and the glitter. What a creative mind and talent you have. Thank you so much for sharing and for linking up this week on Home Sewn By Us! And thank you for hanging in there this school year. I know the struggle is real. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  16. Hi, I want to say that I agree with what everyone has said so far. I adore this quilt and look forward to hopefully this pattern/BOM/or whatever you want it to be. I wish everyone on the internet could share our excitment over such a creative, think outside the box, kind of quilt it is and what a fantastic artist you are. :)

  17. Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to start. It seems like someone wrote down all the limitations in a traditional quilt and then chose to systematically address each one of them. For example - limited textural variety. Add suede. Quilts don't make a noise - add squeakers. Quilts don't glow in the dark - consider it done. And then there is more. This quilt is so apt for 2020 where our entire world became limited to our homes and our interactions were limited to our immediate family members. Absolutely fantastic, mind-blowing. Love it so much!!! Afton, I am going to go back and re-read every word and look carefully at every picture. I am still thinking about the oozing paint from the tubes.