#swapaddict · 52 Quilts 2016 · Craft Swap · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 13 – Adventure Time Pixel Quilt

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I sent two swap packages last week, and this is the second one. The theme for this swap is Cartoons of our Time, which included a few main modern cartoons: Adventure Time, Futurama, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb and Steven Universe. My partner preferred Adventure time so while it took me forever to decide what to make, I finally decided on a pixel quilt.

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Unlike my last pixel quilt, this one was really trying to be a mini quilt, but it still didn’t work out quite mini. I used 1.5” squares to start, and increased the seam allowance to make the finished squares less than 1” each. All 6 characters started out the same size, but somehow got a little wonky so I improvised some sashing to even them out.

For the quilting I did a free-motion wave top to bottom which adds to the wonkyness. All in all I like how it ended up. I haven’t really ever watched Adventure time, so I had to consult with my husband about which characters I should include. I found peler bead patterns for 7-8 different ones and had him cull the selection. I suppose if I had scaled down to only 4 it could have ended up an actual mini quilt!

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For extras I included another Hour basket, made from the same fabric I used for the backing. I also made a little key fob, plus picked up a couple Adventure time Funko POP minis and a Mad-Libs book.

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Featured · Reviews · Sponsored Post

Just for Kids: Crayola Virtual Design Pro Review


A little departure from the usual crafty sewing posts to share this cool little thing we got in the mail recently. Long ago I was a contributor to hdydi.com, which is a blog for and by twin moms. I ended up on a list at Crayola and they sent these kits out to bloggers with kids. Here’s our little review. Full disclosure, I was not paid for my review, though Crayola did send a box with two different products for us. We received the Crayola Color Alive Star Wars Virtual Design Pro and Crayola Frozen Color Alive. (Affiliate links.)

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First of all, this kid would love ANYTHING Star Wars. I know, I have tested it. Soup? Yep. Cereal? Also Yep. Waxy mediocre Valentine chocolate hearts in a Storm Trooper tin? You Betcha! So of course as soon as he saw this he was ecstatic.

He set to work right away coloring and designing his ships. The general idea is you can color the ships and scan them into an app, which transfers your design and you can fly your vehicle through different levels.

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The Star Wars kit came with both markers and colored pencils, and I was happy to see the books had nice thick paper so markers didn’t bleed though to the back.

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When you’re done coloring, you scan your design into the Virtual Design App, which is a free download for iOS and Android devices. I really wish it worked on the boys’ Kindles, since I would love if I didn’t have to hand over my phone for them to play.

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Once scanned, you can see the details of your coloring, wrapped onto the ship you colored. My only real complaint about the whole process is in the scanning. You have to line up all four corners, there are squares you have to match and every time we got three of four and the fourth was tricky, and took a while and I think just dumb luck. I tried different lighting and flattening out the book and I didn’t notice much of a difference. I do know the kids couldn’t do it themselves, we had to help.

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You can see how cool the ships look in the game. The boys loved playing it and designing ships. If it were on their device instead of mine I think they would play with it all the time.

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The other thing in the box was the Frozen Color Alive set, which they weren’t as into as the Star Wars. I decided to try it out myself. I maybe should have picked a picture with more color, since while Olaf is cute, he’s pretty white. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I colored the castle and snowflakes, but they don’t really do anything for the app. You can see how my Olaf came to life. He was kind of weird though, he seemed to give me the stink eye at one point, or maybe it was my imagination. I think my kids would have been more interested in this one if they were into the characters more. They like Frozen OK, but aren’t huge fans like they are of Star Wars.

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Overall, I think both of the products are cool and I would definitely recommend them to people with kids. They add another level of fun to coloring and my boys liked experimenting with how things would look when they were scanned into the app. If they could use their Kindle Fire instead of my iPhone or iPad, that would be even better!

Thank you to Crayola for including our family!

#swapaddict · 52 Quilts 2016 · Craft Swap · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 12 – Mike Wazowski is on a quilt!

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“I’m on a Quilt!” – Mike Wazowski

This little quilt is number 12 in my 52 quilts project, made for a Pixar craft swap on Instagram. It is also one of my favorite things I have ever made. I am a huge fan of all things Pixar and Monsters Inc is one of my all-time favorites, so when my partner said Mike Wazowski was a favorite, I knew I would have fun. I didn’t anticipate I would have so much trouble giving this one up!

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I started with the Mike paper-piecing pattern from Fandominstitches.com which is just about the coolest resources ever for nerdy quilt patterns. The pattern was only 10×10 though, so I knew I needed to add something. At first I thought about using the monster fabric I had for the backing and doing a border, but it seemed like it needed something else. I had a little pile of solid scraps when I was sorting fabric and they just seemed perfect for the doors at the opening sequence of the movie. I pieced them all and then quilted little door patterns onto each one.

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The backing fabric I have had forever, one of those things I saw in a remnant bin or something and knew I had to have it at the time, but had no real plan for it. It was perfect for this project.

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Around Mike I did a little free-motion stippling to give it a little texture. I am still no expert at free motion quilting but I think I am getting better.

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This swap required not only one medium-sized craft, but also two smaller ones. I made this little fabric basket, based on the 1 Hour Basket from Kelby Sews. The bottle-cap and balloon fabric was inspired by the movie UP, which is another favorite of mine and my partner. I added some Pixar Postcards, lip balm and a key fob. I also had a little fun with pearler beads and made the house from UP into a little magnet.

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I am so glad that Mike with one Eye found a home that will love him as much as I do. He was so much fun to see come together. I love the details of the doors and even more I love when an idea ends up better than I imagined.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 11 – Lap Quilt

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Quilt 11 of 52 in 2016: Made by Jen at just-joshin.com

I finished this quilt a couple weekends ago, but I can finally share it. I made it as a special request from a dear friend. Her aunt was recently diagnosed with Cancer and she wanted to give her a quilt to comfort her during her treatment. We picked out the fabric, which is Kate Spain Paradiso. (affiliate link.)

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The lap quilt is about 50×70 and I wanted to do something that was relatively quick piecing, since it needed to be done in a weekend. I paired the Paradiso with Zen Chic Modern Background Paper by Moda. (affiliate link.) I love using text fabric as a neutral.

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My inspiration pattern was this baby quilt from craftbuds.com. It uses a half snowball block. I adapted the idea and increased the size of the blocks. I only had six fabrics plus the neutral so I tried to keep one of each pattern in each row. I love the way the little neutral blocks formed and the text and scribbles give it fun character. I did the piecing in a couple hours on a day off work.

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For quilting, I went with basic vertical lines, but made them wavy every few inches.

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The quilt made its way to its new owner this past week. I hope it brings her comfort during her treatments.


Geekified Tooth Fairy Pillows

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My twin boys are six years old and one has his first wiggly tooth. The dentist said it would be out really soon if he played with it. (Thankfully he is completely freaked out by it and won’t touch it so that bought me some time to actually made them tooth fairy pillows.) I asked them what they wanted, and one said Star Wars (Of course.) and the other said Godzilla.

I used my embroidery machine software to play around a little to create these. I can’t take credit for the idea of R2-DTooth, I saw it in a Silhouette Cameo group on Facebook.  I had a really cute R2-D2 design and I removed the body outline to keep just the top and the front controls. I embroidered onto white cotton fabric. I did a Google Image search for a tooth shape outline and cut around the appliqué in the shape of the tooth, added a backing and a hanging ribbon and stitched it right-sides together. I added a little fiber fill to make it pillow-like.

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On the back I just used Star Wars fabric, and a tiny scrap I had of this black space fabric. (Which was triangular so I optimized the pocket using the shape of the scrap, and did not notice until I took this photo that it looks like a tooth wearing space-themed underwear… I swear.)

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My other son has been really into Godzilla and monsters and dinosaurs, so I used a Valentine Dinosaur design (he was holding a heart.) and edited the file to add a tooth I had in a different file. Of course it had to be ALL BLUE.

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This monster fabric I have had forever, I bought it on a whim years ago because I thought it was so cute but I never found anything to use it, until now. How perfect it is for this project! The tooth pocket on this is also a little scrap, also blue, of course.

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My kids love their Tooth Fairy Pillows, and we are actually prepared for the first-tooth-lost milestone. (Well, the pillows are ready, this mom sort of dreads the whole thing because I gag at the thought of teeth falling out of their tiny little heads and OMG my babies are growing up!) But R2-DTooth and Godzilla are ready for that little sprite when the time comes!

#swapaddict · 52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 10 – Skinny Mini Quilt Swap

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Quilt 10 of 52 Made by Jen at just-joshin.com

Every time I think I won’t sign up for more craft swaps, something shows up in my feed that just sounds like too much fun. This is one of those swaps. A lot of the swaps I have done are nerdy fandom inspired, but this was a simple concept with a fun name: Skinny Mini Quilt Swap.

The rules were just as simple: Make a mini quilt no wider than 8” and no taller than 24” and that’s it. I decided to try out Flying Geese pattern, which I hadn’t made before. I admit it’s not perfect, but I love the colors. I used a very light and subtle text fabric for the white and more of my ROYGBIV charms for the geese.

It came in at about 5”x20” so it’s definitely skinny and mini.

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There’s just something about a striped binding, I can’t get enough.

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I used a tall, skinny, super colorful scrap I had for the back and even tried to make a little label. (Something I definitely need to work on!)

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My recipient commented that she lives in a very small house so I tried to keep extras to a tiny, useful minimum. I included a mini-charm pack of fabric and Wonderclips (Affiliate Link)

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This was a fun, quick project I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to see my Skinny Mini in the mailbox soon!

#swapaddict · 52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 9 – Harry Potter Inspired Hazel Hedgehog

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February brought another Birthday for one of the members in my 2016 Birthday Fun Swap. Like last month’s, I made a mini quilt for the recipient. This month’s birthday girl is a HUGE Harry Potter fan, so her package was entirely HP-inspired. She mentioned she’d really like a critter quilt from one of Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns. I used the Hazel Hedgehog pattern and Harry Potter-ized it a little.

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This pattern is so cute and fun. I have seen hundreds of Hazels on instagram in every color scheme and they are just so cute. I just did one block and used Gryffindor stripes for the body part to make it look like Harry. I couldn’t find actual striped fabric, so I made my own. Yep, the stripes in the “scarf” and the binding are actually alternating 1” strips. It worked perfectly for the look but it’s kind of bulky due to all the seams.

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I added the glasses and iconic scar from heat-transfer vinyl, which I don’t think would hold up to repeated washing, but worked fine for a mini quilt. For the back I used some Harry Potter fabric I picked up a Joann fabrics last summer, assuming that I would need it for something sometime.

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I also made a cross-body bag using Chambray and another Harry Potter fabric I picked last summer. I rounded out the package with a Magical Creatures coloring book, a fleece Gryffindor scarf and a couple other small items, not pictured.

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The bag is Dog Under My Desk’s Two Zip Hipster pattern. I love this pattern. I think I have made it 5-6 times at least and it’s one of my favorite, most versatile bags.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 8 – Star Wars the Force Awakens

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(This is part 2 of 2 posts about the quilts I made for my sons.)

In my previous post, I showed off my son’s all-blue triangle quilt. Now here is my other son’s Star Wars quilt. I ordered a Fat Quarter bundle of Star Wars Force Awakens fabric way back at the end of the summer, without knowing much at all about the movie, but assuming he would love it. (He does. We took the kids twice in the theater in the first two weeks.) I got the bundle from Massdrop,(affiliate link) which is a newish social-driven shopping site. They have quilting supplies as well as some other things now. and the offerings vary daily. The more people buy in, the cheaper the price. Win-win.

I used the Hopscotch Pattern from Olive Tree, which I have made a few times before and found it works great with Fat Quarters. It’s sort of a disappearing 4-patch, which showcases larger prints.

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Like the other print, I sent this to Missouri Star Quilt Co for their quilting service. I decided on their service because they offered this pattern. It has TIE fighters and X-Wings in the swirls, which is perfect for this quilt.

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The back is Millennium Falcon print and a little topping of Force Awakens text fabric. I love the Millennium Falcon, so this backing fabric was an easy choice for me.

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I don’t know about you, but I think he likes it.

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When he was making his bed recently, he commented, “Geez this quilt is heavy, you must have put a LOT of LOVE into it!”

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Two happy little boys and their new, snuggly, made with LOTS of LOVE quilts.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 7 – All Blue

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This is part one of two posts on the biggest quilts I’ve made so far and the special little boys who own them.

The first two quilts I made, I did simultaneously in a quilting class I took when my boys had just turned 2 and moved into toddler beds. (Because when you’re a twin mom you do everything twice!) I used fabric I picked out when I was pregnant that never got made into quilts before they were born. Then a couple years later I thought I would make them twin-sized quilts before they moved into larger beds. I bought pirate fabric, then they sort of outgrew that before those quilts were made. For their 5th birthday they got twin-sized beds, but no quilts. By then I thought I’d do superheroes, but that didn’t happen either. They turned 6 in November, and still slept with their now-too-small toddler bed quilts. They love those toddler bed quilts. They called them “Snuggle Power” and believe they are imparted with love and snuggles from Mommy. My goal was to get them quilts done by their birthday, then by Christmas. You can see where this is going…

I asked each kid what he wanted and my son Joshua said, “Just Blue.” This kid LOVES blue, almost to obsession. Every coloring sheet from school comes back solid blue. Turkey? Blue. Gingerbread Man? Blue. Everything, always blue. So I went online and found at least a dozen different blue tonal fabrics, some with fun little things on them, some more subtle. There are jellyfish and whales, octopi, Japanese characters, feathers, polkadots, solids, swirls, and stripes. Each one a different shade of blue.

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Then, for some reason I decided on 5” squares made into half-square triangles. Which took forever. There are 300 squares. My goal to have the quilt tops done and ready to ship out for quilting by Halloween kept slipping further and further behind. I missed that goal, then they still weren’t done by Thanksgiving.

The good news is I did finish them over Thanksgiving and I sent them out to be quilted, but not in time to be done by Christmas. I was bummed, but my kids had plenty of other gifts for Christmas and here in Chicago it is cold for several months after the new year, so I knew they’d get plenty of use this year.

I sent them to Missouri Star Quilt Co, and they did an amazing job. I would definitely recommend their service. I haven’t outsourced quilting before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I know there is no way I could have done this beautiful work on my tiny home sewing machine. For this quilt I went with a stars and swirls design, which you can kind of see in this photo.

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The quilts arrived a couple weeks ago, I just haven’t had a chance to get decent photos of them. The lover of all things blue is thrilled with his All Blue quilt.

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And his brother is happy too. You can read more about his quilt in my next post.

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Disney Dudes Valentine Swap

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I am really bad at posting about the stuff I have sent for craft swaps, so I am going to try to be more on top of it. This is a package I sent at the beginning of February for the Disney Dudes craft swap, dedicated to all the men of Disney. My partner professed her love of Aladdin so I ran with it. I found this paper-piece pattern from Misha29 and apparently I got lucky to find the Aladdin-esque fabric on Etsy. (I later learned that it’s out of print and super hard to find.) It’s Lizzy House 1001 Peeps, which is delightful. I pulled the background color from the accent in the fabric.

Essentially I made this like a mini quilt but sewed it together with an envelope back and added a pillow form.

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Not bad for a street rat, right? His eyes were SO MANY tiny pieces. But totally worth it.

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One thing I really enjoy about swaps is finding little extras to include in the package. I recently got a Silhouette Cameo and decided to use that for small extras when I can. My partner included her favorite Aladdin quotes in her questionnaire so I put one on a mug with a little silhouette of the lamp. It turned out so cute.

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My most absurdly large extra ever was this Animator’s Collection doll, which is adorable but not exactly tiny. He was on sale when I was doing Christmas shopping at the Disney Store so I just could not resist him to go in the package too. My partner says she loved everything.

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