Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Halloween Pillow

You have to play to win...

I like that saying, play to win, I think it applies to more than just the lottery. It mean branching out, taking risks, and stepping out of your comfort zone. For me this year it meant entering the Creative Arts Competition for the Texas State Fair. A good friend of mine has entered many items in the past and encouraged me to enter too. I know I have decent sewing skills but with any new adventure the fear of failure often keeps me on the sidelines. I decide to overcome that fear and jump right into the deep end and enter three items into the fair. One of those items was a Halloween pillow.

Halloween, but not to Halloween

For my pillow I search the deep, dark corners of Pintrest and the web looking for the perfect pattern. I needed something clean, minimalist, and modern. My pillow, inspired by a mini-quilt I saw on Pintrest, fits the bill. 

My Process

I started out making a sketch on graph paper (I use a graph lined composition book). Once it was laid out on paper, I jumped to Illustrator to make a paper-piece pattern for the 90 degree triangle. 

I used an assortment of Spellbound by Cotton and Steel and Spooktacular Eve by Maude Asbury. The only trouble I ran into was making sure I flipped the pattern over when fussy cutting the fabric.

Lessons Learned

I knew I would need to mark my quilting lines to insure crisp lines. I took out my favorite marking pens, Pilots Frixion pens and marked quarter inch lines, then quilted along the marked lines with a light grey thread. Everything was going smoothly...or so I thought. 

Normally with a Frixion pen you take your fabric to the ironing board, iron over the line and then BOOM no more lines. But this time disaster struck. Instead of the lines disappearing they turned white and no amount of ironing would make them go away. It felt like I went from watching David Cooperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear, to a bad magician at a kids birthday party. I was devastated.

But there was light at the end of tunnel. After some Googleing, I soaked my quilted top in wool wash (all I had on hand), then scrubbed at the lines with a toothbrush. And Hallelujah it worked, the lines disappeared. I laid it out to dry and the next morning the lines had not come back. 

Moral of the story: Do not use Frixion pen to mark quilting lines, especially on dark fabric. In the words of Captain America "Son, just don't".


I'm a winner! My Halloween pillow received a second place ribbon in its category.  


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Craft Segment

Wow. Can we ignore the fact that I have not updated my blog in over a year. I think we all make excuses...I don't have time, I have too many things to do. And I guess to a certain extent they are all valid points; we all live busy lives sometimes. But, I need to find the time to do things I enjoy; I need to make the time.

Anyway...I have not stopped crafting. In fact, I do a weekly craft segment on TV! I started the segment back in September 2011. It started as an every other week segment on Monday's and is now a weekly segment. I have really enjoyed them. The segments are a mash up of creative ideas from all over. I don't claim all the ideas as my own, though I try to put my own twist on the ideas. I have a youtube channel that houses all the videos. Check them out!

Here is the most recent. Hopefully I will start posting them weekly. This video is an Easter Garland and Easter Egg Tree. Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Knitting like a mad woman!

Do you ever pick up a craft you haven't done in a while and forget how much you love it? I have rediscovered my love of knitting in the past couple months, partially due to the awesome knitting group I go to every Wednesday. I discovered it on Ravelry, and have been going for a month or two now. 

The first project I completed was the "Love Muff" from Knitting MochiMochi. It was a fun project, and a lot easier than I thought it would be. Sometimes I think we all find mental road blocks that stop us from doing things and getting over the road blocks is refreshing. The road block on this project was the color change. I didn't want to weave in all the ends. But I discovered you can carry the yarn up the stripes; just be careful to keep the carried yarn loose or it will pucker.

Next, I worked on a project for my dad, a Ron Weasley hat. This project was very intimidating; I thought color work would be impossible and i could never learn how to do it. But I did it! I have never been so proud of a project. I didn't come without trials though. The pattern called for size 6 needles for a woman's medium hat. Of course, I thought, surely my dad's head is much bigger so I should go up a size in needles (size nine to be exact). Wrong! It was way to big. I tried several different needles before I finally went with what the pattern called for. Lesson learned, gauge is important...use the right size needle.
Once the hat was done, the edge curled a bit so I knit a white liner for the inside. The liner also hid all the carried yarn. My dad loves the hat. I think this is a project Mrs. Weasley would be proud of.