cats christmas i made it machine embroidery quilts

Christmas: our house

When I was making snowflake ornaments, I thought a bit about the spiderweb ornament tradition. We have two small ones, and I thought Alice might like a bigger one because she likes Shelob from Lord of the Rings.

Alice likes a lot of the bad guys in Lord of the Rings, for whatever reason, and I had joked to her that we could have an Eye of Sauron tree topper. And then I made one out of paper as a surprise when she was out with Bill.
Eye of Sauron tree topper

And not LotR related: Alice was upset that the cats’ stocking didn’t have their names on it when the other three stockings for her, me, and Bill had our names on them. So I made a new stocking for the cats. (Then she got mad that I put their faces on it, not just their names, because she’s three.)
Cat stocking
Cat stocking

i made it quilts


The November meeting of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild featured a holiday or seasonal potholder swap. I thought, “I ain’t make a potholder.” And then I inherited some fabric from a family friend, and I was like, “This is perfect for a fall-themed potholder,” and then I found a tutorial on Craftsy, and suddenly I had two potholders.

Leaf potholders

After I posted them on the internet, two other people loved them so much that I made two more pairs and sent them off before Thanksgiving.

more leaf potholders

So “I won’t make a potholder” turned into making six potholders. Whoops.

i made it quilts

The Great Seal of the United States of Toxic Masculinity

Early in the summer I participated in a humorous AMERICUHHH themed swap and made this.. thing for my poor swap partner.

The Great Seal of the United States of Toxic Masculinity

The Great Seal of the United States of Toxic Masculinity

14×16″ or so
Fused applique, micron pen, acrylic ink, hand dyed and undyed cotton fabrics, free motion machine stitching, who knows

Dedicated to every bro I’ve ever yelled at on the internet. Could have used a fedora and a vape thing but whatever.

i made it in progress quilts

Halloweeny stripes UFO

I had a pile of small pieces of hand dyed fabrics, and I cut them into strips:
halloweeny stripes

Which I arranged and sewed like so:
halloweeny stripes

And then I hacked them all up and sewed them back together to get this:
halloweeny stripes

Another thing for the UFO pile, for now, I guess. Maybe it’ll end up being another tote bag, who knows? I’m bad at nonrepresentational quilting.

cats in progress quilts

Out of the scrap bin

Back in October I needed to do some mindless sewing to reset my brain. I dumped all my hand dyed scraps out of the bin onto the table and sorted them by size. Then I sewed and pressed and trimmed, all very rectangular (because all the pieces were already rectangular), not very inventive at all.

scrap block

Not much, not that interesting, but I did sort and press a whole lot of the scraps, so they’re ready to use for something else.

Oh, and of course I had help:

bags christmas i made it quilts

Quilted tote

Every year for Christmas my cousins draw names for gifts, and we’re not supposed to spend more than $20.. Well this was more than $20 of effort, but less than $20 in materials. Works for me.

I contacted the cousin whose name I got and asked if I could make her a bag, and what her favorite color was. She said yellow. I’m not super great at color picking when it comes to nonrepresentational use, and I’ve always had a hard time with yellow. I have a few yellow dyes but they don’t really go together very well? So I decided to do a greyscale to make the one shade of yellow really pop. (“Make it pop,” oh the color cliches!)

This bag is based on the Linus bag I made for myself in the fall, but it’s bigger and sturdier thanks to the addition of some canvas in between the layers.

gift tote - finished and washed

gift tote - interior

All of the fabrics are dyed by me, except the pink piping and the black bias tape around the top.

After doing this whole thing I realized I should have made really long yellow handles and just sewed them on top of the sides, rather than piecing the yellow vertical stripe and trying to match the handle ends. Duh. I made a few small mistakes, but 85% of a good job is good enough.

bags cats i made it quilts

Linus in Space tote bag

This summer, I finally got around to uploading Linus-themed designs to Spoonflower. I ordered a couple of fat quarters instead of the regular 8×8″ swatches. I wanted a new giant tote bag with a lot of pockets for myself, but I couldn’t find any patterns or tutorials online that had everything I wanted, so I just improvised off some rectangle shapes and things I had learned from making bags in the past. I used this zippered pocket tutorial for sewing the inside zipper pocket. There are things I would change a bit if I did it over again, but it’s pretty sturdy and I like it a lot!

Linus quilted tote bag, side one

Linus quilted tote bag, side two

The sides have panels of the Linus fabric in the middle, pieced bits of hand-dyed chartreuse and grey fabric around them.

Linus quilted tote bag, interior
The inside has five different-sized slip pockets (sunglasses, phone, pens, wad of Starbucks napkins), a zip pocket, and a key fob. The fabric is Star Jacks from Michael Miller Fabrics.

Linus quilted tote bag, end oneLinus quilted tote bag, end two
The ends and bottom feature some kind of bad FMQ of stars and spaceships and rockets. Wheeeeeeee

I couldn't convince him to get into the bag.
Linus himself was unimpressed and wouldn’t get inside the bag when I tried to tempt him. Thbbbppppp he says.

christmas i made it machine embroidery quilts

Christmas gifts 2013: Hayley portrait quilt

Hayley quilt - finished and mounted on canvas

For my brother and sister-in-law, I decided to make another quilt like the Linus one and the horse-vulture.. small portrait, framed by objects, and with an irregular edge. Hayley is surrounded by her favorite ball with feet, foster kittens, rawhide bones, and tennis balls. My FIL’s questions (“is it a patch for a jacket? is it a placemat?”) made me give in and mount it on a subtly-painted 18×18″ canvas.

cats i made it quilts

Linus quilt

Finished Linus quilt

I want to make one for Hugo now, but I can’t think of what he should be framed with. Maybe jewels and treasure.

I’m very interested in making quilts with irregular edges. This is only the second one, so maybe after I’ve made say fifty more odd-frame portraits I’ll be able to do it cleanly..

cats i made it quilts

Linus portrait quilt

I decided to start a Linus portrait quilt in the vein of the horse vulture from earlier this year.. Uh oh. My ham ornament template has been very useful here.

Linus portrait quilt - layout?