#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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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.

#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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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 5 – JiJi Mini Quilt

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The third swap I shipped out last week was for an awesome Birthday Swap I am in all year. Each month has a birthday girl and all the people in the group send a package to that person. January’s recipient is a big Studio Ghibli fan so I made this little JiJi the cat mini quilt and some other fun Ghibli-inspired goodies.

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Jiji is the cat in Kiki’s Delivery Service, which is such a cute movie. I am a big Ghibli fan too, so I had a great time with this one.

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The pink background fabric reminded me of Japanese fans and the flowers on the back of Cherry Blossoms. They’re like hints of Japan without being overly Japanese I guess. I also really like the bright color contrasting with the black cat.

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As an additional project I used the Silhouette machine to cut vinyl and make this mug to look like the one in the movie. I think it is a pretty good homage to the movie. I added the outline of Kiki and Jiji on the broom to the back and couldn’t resist a little Soot Sprite on the bottom. (I made a couple extra Soot Sprites and now they’re on my sewing machine.)

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And finally, I made a Tortoro zip pouch. The fabric is from Spoonflower. I had some left from a Ghibli Swap last year, and I used the Noodlehead Wide Open Pouch tutorial, which makes a great little travel pouch. The bottom portion is navy linen and it is even lined.

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I rounded out the extras with a Totoro Polaroid block, since the birthday girl was also in the Polaroid swap I did a couple months ago, a Kiki’s Delivery service Key Fob and some birthday cake gum.

#swapaddict · 52 Quilts 2016 · Craft Swap · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 4 – Princess Peach Video Game Swap Quilt

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Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what I am going to do with a project but for the Video Game Craft Swap, I read my partner’s info and knew right away what I was going to do: Princess Peach Pixel Quilt. I found a pattern on Pinterest for a Perler bead pattern and used that to plan the quilt.

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The design has 700 squares, which I cut 2”x2” from mostly tonal fabrics I had in my stash. I did debate whether to make a mini quilt or a lap quilt, but I think the design would have lost something if I cut down the number or squares and if I just made them each 1” I might have gone insane.

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I used a shortcut method for the design. Once the squares were cut, I divided the pattern up into 20×20 pieces and arranged them onto fusible interfacing. After they were fused, I was able to fold each of the columns and stitch. It kept everything aligned and made stitching together 700 pieces much more manageable.

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I used this awesome Mario fabric for the back, which I made slightly wider with some fun polkadots on the edge and bound it with pink hearts.

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When I am starting a project, I usually have an idea of what the end product will be, but it’s not terribly often that the outcome is even better than I imagined. This one was really hard to send off, though I am confident it will be loved in its new home.

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I usually try to include a few extras with swap packages. Some of the swaps require them, others are optional. I think it is fun to find or create small things on the theme that the recipient will enjoy.

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I found the Mushroom and Question Block candies last month, and I did the Princess Peach decal with my new Silhouette Cameo machine. I made Pacman magnets with Perler beads and even made a little Pacman Keyfob.

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#swapaddict · 52 Quilts 2016 · Craft Swap · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 3 – Winning Love Rainbow Mini Quilt

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I actually finished this the first week in January but since I made this spectacularly rainbow-y mini quilt for a mini quilt swap I waited to share. Last year I signed up for my first (of many) craft swaps and I got crazy addicted to swaps. I have enjoyed swapping so much, I have made lots of virtual friends in this awesome swapping community on Instagram and had a lot of fun. I even hosted my own little swap, the ROYGBIV charm swap, where each participant sent in 56 five-inch squares of an assigned color and everyone got back a rainbow assortment. This little quilt is mostly made from those fabrics, they were perfect.

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The Winning Love Mini Swap is inspired by last year’s Marriage Equality ruling and it shipped during No Name Calling Week. It’s honestly a little intimidating making something for someone who is talented and creative. I enjoy the opportunity to try out things I might not make otherwise and I hope that my work is appreciated by the recipients.

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I love the colors and I hope my swap partner enjoys the mini quilt. I found this super colorful, rainbow swirly fabric last year and I knew it would be a perfect back for a rainbow quilt. I had a tiny bit of the rainbow stripes that I was thrilled was enough to bind it.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 2 – Batman Lap Quilt

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Would you believe I actually made two quilts in a week? I finished the first quilt as a last-minute baby gift and I decided that the newly minted big brother needed one too. It was sort of a cheater quilt, as I already had the fabric pulled for another project I didn’t end up doing. I only had a half yard of the Batman fabric, so I added in a yard of the dark blue polka dots. I think a lot of people don’t think polkadots are for boys, but I sort of love this combo for this quilt. It makes me think of the retro comic book effect. I used the superhero comic fabric for the back with all the “Pow” and “Zoom” bubbles.

The real secret to this quilt being done in a single day was it was quilt-as-you-go. To be honest, I have read tutorials about making table runners and the like with the quilt as you go technique, but I don’t know if I have ever seen it done with a lap-sized quilt. The backing is width-of-fabric by about a yard and a half. Then I cut strips, also width of fabric, from each of the other fabrics. My not-very-scientific plan was just take the measurement I had of the Batman fabric and divide it in thirds. Then I did 3” by WOF for the orange and actually did 9” by WOF for the dots, which I ended up cutting one strip in half to even out the pattern. Non-scientific indeed.

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If you haven’t done quilt-as-you-go, there are certainly no shortage of tutorials and videos online, but the gist is that you have the backing and batting already sandwiched, and as you’re piecing the front, you’re quilting it to the back. In this case, I arranged the stripes the way I wanted them then figured out the middle and started there. The middle-most fabric went wrong-side-down with the orange stripe that would be next to it right-sides-together. Then I stitched the width of the fabric with the 1/4” seam allowance, folded the orange strip up and pressed. I repeated with each strip until I reached the end then rotated it and started back at the middle and worked out toward the other end. Really, it’s only 9 sewn stripes the width of the fabric.

One thing I did to try to keep things lined up was lay out the backing and the batting, and then I basted around the edges so nothing got folded over or too wrinkly. I think that made a huge difference. Like I said, I have only really seen this done on a much smaller scale.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 1 – Baby Quilt

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I finished my first quilt for my 52 Quilts in 2016 Project, and it is already in the mail for its intended recipient. I wanted to do a quick quilt from fabric I had on hand as a baby gift. It’s a pretty basic 4-square design, I didn’t really follow a pattern, just did some quick math on squares and seam allowances. I added the construction vehicle with my embroidery machine after I had it all pieced, somehow that bright orange square really needed something. I used scraps from the rest of the quilt for the appliqué. The back is just the same orange, no piecing.

I just started doing free motion quilting and I admit I am not very skilled at it. I am trying to get it to be a little smoother and less jerky looking but I do love the texture it has when it’s washed.

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