A few months back I signed up for my very first mini quilt swap on instagram. It was a Heather Ross
themed swap. You make a mini quilt using Heather Ross fabrics, and send it off to a partner. I used Modern Handcraft’s free tutorial
for making modern hexies. I love the technique, it looks so cool once its quilted, and I think I need to make another one to keep. I decided to make a scrappy binding too (my first one!) I took some photos of my finished quilt that I will post soon, as well as photos of what I received which was an gorgeous mini with tons of handmade extras.
Last month I took part in the Vive La Lolligag show
at Woot Bear
in San Francisco. I decided to turn the Lolligag into Desdemona. I had to saw off the top of her head to accommodate her hat, but I think it worked out well.
I also sewed up a tiny cry-baby ghost, the smallest one yet! My custom sold, but there is still a lot of fun stuff at the link above.
Back in August I signed up for a modern postcard swap. You sew a little tiny quilt like postcard, and send it through the post with a regular letter stamp! While I have not received any postcards yet, I thought I’d share the postcards I shipped out about a month ago.
I used printable fabric that runs right through an inkjet printer to print the back side with addresses. I added a few of my illustrations since I was printing them out. For the post card fronts I made the little quilts and quilted them as I normally would, but with a thick stabilizer. Then I made a stack with the printed back fabric, another layer of thick stabilizer, and the quilted top layer. I used quilting spray glue to hold them all in place and then did a zigzag stitch around the outer edge to keep it all together. They worked up quickly!
They were so much fun to make that I think I need to make some more for my pen pals. The bee pattern is a free pattern by Badskirt which can be found here
Here is a little walk-through for the painted pumpkin ornaments I made. They are very easy, so I feel a little silly calling it a DIY, but maybe reading through the whole process will be helpful to some.
The main supply for this project is foam pumpkins and gourds. I found mine in the Fall section of Walmart. The small sizes were 97¢ each and the large one which I used as a tree topper was $5. I love all the various shapes and sizes they come in. I have seen foam pumpkins elsewhere, lots of craft supply shops carry them, and they are sometimes sold grouped in a bag. The noses came from Michael’s craft store. I found them in the aisle with some of their floral Christmas picks. I picked up two sizes but perfered the larger size. The small ones would be great if you have smaller foam pumpkins.
You’ll also need craft paint, paint brushes, and if you’d like them to be ornaments you’ll need string and a big needle. I used some black elastic I got on clearance at Joann Fabrics, but string will go through the rubbery stems a lot easier.
I think the key with painting these fellas is to just go for it. Free hand some various eye shapes and let them dry. Even though I used a high quality craft paint I still found I had to go over my eyes a second time. Once my eyes were dry I liked to go ahead and snip off a berry leaving a stem of wire that was about 1/2 inch long. Since the pumpkins are foam you can just push the nose in place with the wire, no need to even glue it there. The mouths only took one coat of paint, and then I added the blacks to the eyes.
Once all that paint has dried you can just dab on little teeth and highlights in the eyes. I didn’t worry so much about making any of the faces perfect, and even ones I didn’t like so much while painting look really great when they are all grouped together on the tree. So try not to stress about painting them. Most of all just enjoy yourself, and have fun! I especially liked painting the grumpy ones.
You can even add leaves and tendrils to the top of your pumpkins and gourds just by pushing the wired areas in the foam like the nose. My berries came with a few leaves so I used those. If you’d like to make a tree topper like I did, just paint the large pumpkin the same way and then use a knife to carve a small deep hole into the bottom. Since they are foam it cuts really easily. I then just pushed the pumpkin down onto the top of my tree and it stays put perfectly.