Winter Friend Pillows

I’m enjoying making other people’s projects these days! Like these Winter Friend Pillows!

I really love these little throw pillows. They were intended to be Christmas presents, but they were a little late. The green ones are staying at our house while the red ones found a new home. I’m calling them winter pillows, not holiday pillows. It’s still winter….

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As you probably know, I love this book! Pretty In Patchwork, Holidays by John Q Adams. I’ve made a few projects from it, like these teachers gifts.

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As much as I love this book, I did find a bit of an editing oversight. The project for these pillows in the book is called Greetings From Antarctica! I just want to clarify… There are no polar bears in the Antarctic. Penguins live in Antarctica, polar bears live in the Arctic. Things like this really bug me! Let’s be smart, people! Don’t dumb us down….

So I’m changing the name of the project to Winter Friends, as in they are all our friends. I don’t think polar bears and penguins would be friends.

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The directions called for applique eyes and button eyeballs. As much as I don’t like applique, I did do the eyes! By putting a white circle over black, the black showed through, so I added some betting to my circles, so you couldn’t see the black through the white. But I didn’t want buttons for eyes. And I didn’t want to applique anything smaller than the eyes. I also have those eyeballs you use for stuffed animals, but I realized they wouldn’t work on the pillow. It was my son who said, ‘I saw you had some other round things in your cabinet.’ He was talking about my box of rivets! Perfect!

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The polar bear actually had applique eyes (or was it buttons), but I added the diamond shaped eyes in the paper piecing pattern. I love how they turned out, but wonder if I had used rivets, would the pillows blend together better??

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I did also change the pattern of the hat to make the white band thinner. Then the poof was to be a button or applique as well. But I hand sewed on a little pompom!

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I did the same thing for the little penguins! just used smaller rivets and a smaller pompom. Also, for these little guys, I just reduced the size of the pattern when I made the copies. Next time, I’d like them a little larger!

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I chose a freehand wavy pattern to work with ‘sprinkles’ of white to look like the sprinkles were snow blowing in the wind. I think it works!

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The backs are BORING! But I’m ok with it, because the fronts are adorable!

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And the invisible zippers rock!

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I love my winter friends pillows! They make a great gift for penguin loving friends!

 

A Christmas Hedgehog Pillow

I’m all about the holiday animals! A halloween cat, Rudolph the reindeer, and a now Christmas hedgehog! (and there might be more to come…. )

This is another project I made last year, but haven’t shared yet.

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Do you like paper piecing? If you do, you should probably know Tartankiwi! I love her patterns! I have a few, but this is the only one I’ve made yet. I’ve been eyeballing her patterns for years. Then when I saw her hedgehog pattern in the issue 64 of Love Patchwork Quilting Magazine, I knew I had to make it. So I did!

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It’s a lot of pieces, obviously, but it’s a really quick sew. I needed something for the holiday swap for our SMQG Holiday pattern, so I decided to make this. But I loved it and my family loved it so much that it didn’t quite make it to the swap.

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And look how good it goes with this other pillow that I made years ago! It kinda had to stay here, right? (Back me up here… 🙂 )

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I love this Cotton and Steel Fabric, too. For this one I just made an envelope back. It was before my new obsession with invisible zippers.

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My plan was to post the presents I’m making, but then I realized, those receiving the gifts would see them and that kinda blew my plan… Luckily I had some holiday sewing projects saved from last year! Ha!

 

Be sure to check out Tartankiwi’s blog and you can get the hedgehog pattern on her etsy site or her payhip site.

 

Happy Holiday sewing!

 

 

 

Quilted Thanksgiving Placemats

Typically, I would post these before Thanksgiving to inspire readers to make some too… But I was up until 2am the night before Thanksgiving finishing these and rotating the tubs of cold water to thaw out my turkey that I forgot to thaw BEFORE the big turkey day….

My goal was to finish 5 because it’s how many people were having dinner at our house! I will finish the set. But not until next year! I pulled a stash of fabric for these placemats in fall colors. So the placemats (yes, if you go to flickr, I named all my photos Thanksgiving Napkins… Do not get confused. These are actually placemats… ha!) are not all the same, but they are all the same fabrics, so they coordinate!

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I took a picture of the table before we set the table and before the food came out. And check out my Gee’s Bend hot pads up there in the corner! Love those too!

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A little confession… I have an addiction… To quilting and cross stitch magazines! I don’t design my own cross stitch patterns, but I do design my own quilts. So it’s weird that I love quilting magazines, right? Because I’m probably never going to make the quilts in them. They always have fun small projects in them, and they are super inspiring! So for this I went through my magazines and found some quilt blocks that I wanted to turn into placemats. This one is my favorite of the five!

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For this placement I used a block from the Retro Playlist BOM from Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. (Issue 31, block by Lynne Goldsworthy) I love this paper pieced block, even though it had Y seams! I’ve never seen a paper pieced pattern with Y seams. But they came together perfectly!

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I just love it!!! My placemats are 12×18 inches. So this block was a little too large, so I cut off the bottom and I think it works!

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My second favorite is this HST pattern! This is another one from Love Patchwork and Quilting. (Issue 78) This design is called Smoke and Shimmer and designed by Karen Lewis. This placemat is actually 13×18. I thought I had scaled the blocks small enough to hit the 12×18 size, but I didn’t! And then I could bring myself to cut that extra inch off.

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For this one I used my friend Debbie’s tutorial to make Big Batch HST’s. I went with the 9″ blocks and just trimmed more off the edges to end up with a 2 1/2″ HST, which ended up 2″ finished. My doing it this way, I only had to do one set for three sides. With that I had a couple of leftovers for each color. These came in handy when I decided to continue the brown side further out. 

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Check out my NOT straight line quilting! I’m trying to branch out a little from my overall straight lines! There was no marking. I just eyeballed it and kept on quilting with my walking foot. A lot of turning back and forth, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

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Another chance to see that quilting! ha!

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Moving on to placemat #3! This one is based off the blocks I designed for one of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Giving Committee quilts. I use the term designed loosely, as it’s basically a log cabin block, but with uneven sides. You can get the tutorial here.

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Number 4. Another A Quilter’s Table tutorial from my friend Debbie! For this one I used her Cross Cut Blocks tutorial. Technically, I didn’t actually go to her blog to use the tutorial, because I’ve participated in a couple of these quilts and kinda have it down! I did one for one of our Nurture Circle quilts and it seems like I’ve made more…

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This process includes making cross blocks, sewing them together and then cutting them in pieces and sewing the pieces back together! Sounds kinda silly, but it’s so fun!

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And last, but not least! Some maple leaves. Typically, maple leaves aren’t really my thing. (sorry, my Canadian friends!) But colorful leaves just scream fall and Thanksgiving to me, so I had to make some. For thsi one I didn’t follow a pattern. I googled maple leaf quilt block and a bunch of different versions of this block came up. I liked this one the best, so I just eyeballed it from the pictures online.

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For each one, I just made the HST a little bit smaller and a little bit smaller! For not being a big fan of maple leaf blocks, I’m pretty excited about how these turned out.

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For the back I did some stash busting! Actually this whole project was a stash buster. But the back used more stash that had been sitting on my shelves for years (literally).

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Remember how I mentioned (way back… this is a super long post!) that I stayed up to 2 am the night before Thanksgiving. Well, that didn’t leave much time for putting on the binding. I could have machine bound them, but I do like a hand stitched binding. So for thanksgiving, I glued the binding to the back. Now I’m going back in and hand stitching. I’ll finish that part sometime between now and next Thanksgiving! ha!

Do you ever make your own placemats? My last years new years resolution was to do one Christmas and one Halloween placemat a month. Did that happen… Um, no. Am I going to try again this year? You bet! I’ll let you know how it goes!

And now I’m moving on to CHRISTMAS! Yea!

A Mountain Pillow- Quick and Easy Handmade Gift!

Every year my office has a White Elephant gift exchange with a theme at our Holiday party. Last year the theme was High Low.

We never really tell each other who got what, so I’ve never actually made a gift for the exchange. This year, I had a little problem…

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I bought these beautiful beaded snowflakes from Blair at Wise Craft Handmade. They start high in the sky and end up low on the ground… Get it? High Low….

Well, the day of the party I decided I didn’t want to give up any of my ornaments and I needed to come up with something else to give at the party!

I’d been seeing a lot of these mountain pillows. I got the ornaments at our local handmade craft show. And at the craft show, there were a few people selling these mountain pillows. Most of them were made of beautiful felt and were way over my price range. But I kept being drawn to them! And then I had a great idea…. I’d make a new gift. I’d make a mountain pillow! High Peaks, Low Valleys… High Low!

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I just happened to have this grey fleece that looked kinda like the felt that all the others were made of. And I had this fluffy white fleece, which I totally think looks like fluffy snow!

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Although I didn’t actually made a tutorial, I’ll tell you how I made it! It was so easy and quick, I didn’t even have time to think about pictures! ha! I cut out the mountains, sewed on the snow on top. I made a front and back, with snow on both front and back sides. Next I sewed the front and back together, right sides together and then turned it right side out and Boom! A mountain pillow! SOOOOO easy!

And the pillow was stolen a couple of times, so it was a hit!

These were all adults that loved it, but they could be fun in kids rooms too! Adventure themed rooms… So many possibilities and such a quick make!

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A Halloween Cross Stitch!

Did you have a fun Halloween? We had a great night! Friends over for chili dinner before trick or treating and the rain held out! All week they were saying it was going to rain tonight, but it didn’t! Yippie!

And then the evening ends and the lights go off so those older kids don’t keep coming to the door while I’m in my pj’s and my son is running around in his oldies like a crazy kid from too much sugar!  That’s when you need a sign on the door that says Keep Away! or maybe, Sorry, We’re Closed…. Or even, Sorry, We’re Dead! Ha!

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Originally, that’s exactly why I bought this cross stitch pattern from Satsuma Street. I wanted to hang it on the door to tell people we’re done handing out candy. Only, there were a couple of flaws in my idea! I live on a hill, so it’s not like anyone would see it without climbing the stairs to my front porch anyway! And secondly, you can see that my from doors are glass doors, so once you get to my porch, you’ll see me and I’ll end up giving you candy anyway….

Like the monster wreaths? We made those 6 years ago and still put them on the front porch every year!

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So instead, I hung it on our art wall in the dining room!

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I may not be quite as old as my assistant, but my eyes aren’t what they used to be! so a little hint about working with black Aida fabric… I always put a white piece of fabric in my lap while I worked on it. It does really help see the holes in the fabric!

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There are many tutorials out there about how to finish the back. First, I layered a piece of black quilting cotton with the black Aida fabric. I then happened to have a piece of back foam core. S oI cut that the size of the inside of the inside hoop. I was planning o nincluding hot glue in this, but I didn’t end up needing hot glue. I put the design and the black quilting cotton in the embroidery hoop just as you would anytime. then I folded it over and put the black foam core inside the hoop, from the back. The foam core fit so nice and snugly, that it didn’t need hot glue!

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So, my husband took my white backdrop and used it in the decorations. I wasn’t sure how I would actually take pictures of all my Halloween projects. Then I saw my assistant in a whole new light! He can actually hold things! He’s more than just a pretty skeleton sitting on the porch!

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I hope everyone had a super fun Halloween! Now it’s on to Thanksgiving projects, a QuiltCon quilt and Christmas projects! What are you up to now that Halloween has passed?

 

A Halloween Pillow

Well, I had started a Halloween quilt back in January, I think… Despite the 10 months, I didn’t get it done….

No quilt, but I did get a pillow done! And I love it! I keep looking at it admiringly as I walk by the couch!

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I also like seeing it with the other pillows I’ve made over the years. I love seeing the different styles and fabrics I’m into over the years!

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For the pillow, I’m using a lot of the fabrics that I’m using my quilt. Or a different color way… Most of the fabrics are from the Cotton and Steel collections. I LOVE their holiday lines! LOVE them! Was this the best fabric to use for tiny piecing? I don’t know, really!

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Last month I took a paper piecing class with Giuseppe Ribaudo, aka Guicy Guice. I’m not sure why I did, since I’m pretty well versed in paper piecing. Honestly, when I signed up, I thought it was a small piecing class, not paper piecing. It never dawned on me that his small piecing was paper piecing! Ha! Anyway, I’m glad I did! He shared his Mini patterns with us and I picked Courthouse Step block. I almost didn’t go because I had so much birthday party stuff going on and the whole paper piecing thing. But I’m glad I did! he was super nice and a lot of fun. And I loved seeing what everyone else made from the patterns! And I love my block!

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Guicy Guice centers a lot of his minis in a neutral background so I thought this neon bat fabric would be great. And I did some matchstick quilting. I love doing matchstick quilting on small projects. One day I’ll do it on a larger project. maybe… ha!

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I loved this fabric so much that I bought it in two color ways!

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And if you know my pillows, I always do envelope backs because I’m kinda lazy that way… But this time I decided to put a zipper in it. I used to always put zippers in pillows. Especially when I was selling pillows. If I can do it when I’m selling them to other people,, why can’t I do it for myself? I did use Sew Katie Did’s tutorial to remind myself how to do it. Its’ not hard at all, but I used to be better at hiding the zipper than I did on this one. Luckily the fabric matches it!

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Have a Happy Halloween from my photo assistants!

A Quickie Halloween Decorating Upgrade

I looked at my blog and noticed that I’ve posted about 8 times since last Halloween! And I have about 4 Halloween posts for this year… That goes to show you how much I love Halloween! And how much I miss blogging more often! Anyway, here we go with more Halloween fun!

My sister in law also likes to do it up for Halloween and she posted a a picture of her mantle with these fanastic mirrored skulls! They were beautiful. They totally inspired this project!

 

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When I went to Value Village I found these pumpkins that I thought would be fantastic nice and shiny silver! They are a little too ‘country chic’ for my décor, but a little paint can change that in about ten minutes. So I grabbed them! Not only does Value Village have a ton of costumes, but there’s also a lot of fun décor to be found there.

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And I just happened to have this mirror spray paint at home. So I decided to use it for this project. Notice the bottle says ‘Looking Glass’…  Well, it’s meant for painting on glass…  But whatever, right? Why not give it a try. These aren’t fine heirlooms that I’m dealing with. Just some nice secondhand decorations that need a new life, so let’s give it a try!

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The first coat had the look of old glass that the spray paint is supposed to give, so I was having some high hopes that it would work. The second coat covered it and gave it a just a nice flat silver color. Not exactly the look I was going for, but I love them none the less!

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The experiment did not get me the fabulous mirror look that my sister in law’s décor has, but I do love my new pumpkins! And the more matte finish may even be just the right finish for my décor!

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I love them! What do you think? How many projects have you updated with a quick bit of spray paint? You check out others I’ve done, like Christmas reindeer and more reindeer, sea shells and Easter bunnies!

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

 

Halloween Decorating with Value Village

My husband always decorates the front porch for Halloween. For years we had this paper mache alien head that he would use for our ‘scary front porch friend.’ The last couple of years the head was getting damaged, and then it got so beat up that he went away…

So this year we needed new pieces to make our ‘scary front porch friend.’ Then I was contacted by Value Village to post about using the resources at their store for Halloween costumes or decorations. So I said, ‘yes,’ of course!

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So the whole family headed to Value Village to see what we could find! It’s always fun to try on masks! We love it! The store had a huge selection of new masks, but some of our favorites were the used ones!

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Tons of costumes! They have so many new costumes, but I wanted used. It took me a little while to figure out the difference between the new and used. Tons of everything else you need to make a scarecrow from just the normal everyday selection. And tons of heads! Mannequin heads. Why I wonder! Are they for Halloween? Or do they always have such a huge bin of Styrofoam heads?

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We came home with more than we needed, actually!

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We got the skeleton costume for $4. I thought it was going to great on the ‘scary front porch guy.’ I thought it would be cool to see the inside of our friend. Then we thought he’s wear the flannel. When we actually started stuffing him, we ended up going a little bit different route. But we did use the knife, the mannequin head and the creepy mask! Everything here is used except the knife. I almost didn’t get the knife because I thought I could find it cheaper somewhere else. I got it anyway and I’m glad I did. I haven’t seen another one at all and especially not one cheaper!

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We were going to use the flannel shirt for our friend, but thought the kiddos might get a kick out of seeing him in their school sweatshirt!

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Another new purchase we made was this skeleton guy! We love him! He’s fully articulated and posable! He and ‘scary front porch friend’ are going to be great friends for years to come!!

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Do you love to decorate for Halloween? Halloween and Christmas are my favorites for decorating!  What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for?

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

A Fun Review Thanks to Style and Apply

Hello friends! Long time, no blogging! Today I want to share something that was very fun for the kiddo!

We were in the process of updating the kiddo’s room when Style and Apply contacted me to see if I was interested in checking out their product and writing a review. Of course I said yes, thinking this could be really fun. Then as soon as I saw the sorting hat, I knew it was perfect timing!

I guess you can tell from the name what it is. Right? They sell wall decals that are stylish and all you have to do is apply! They also have window decals! I went straight to the sorting hat of course, since the kiddo is totally into Harry Potter right now. But then I started thinking, what about something for me? They have some cute Christmas ones. (I love the Reindeer II) We love Bansky’s art and they have a bunch of his art. Kids, kids galore! I almost got a funky pattern for the play room. But we went back to getting something for the kiddo! Of course….

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The people at Style and Apply were very accommodating! You see how dark blue the walls are and I couldn’t tell which grey was the right one to go with . The sent me some samples and helped by narrow down the choice. We are transitioning from a green, blue and tan room, to a silver, blue and white room!

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And then it came! In this cute mailer! It took me a little while to get it up. I had grand plans (as usual) to finish quite a few other things I have planed for his room. Then finally, I faced the truth and realized that I don’t know when those are going to get down and it’s too cool to just wait around on those other projects!

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First step, we located exactly where we wanted it to go and marked the wall.

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Then you use the supplied card to go through and press the decal to the backing.

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You remove one layer of paper and then stick it to the wall. Then, very carefully, remove the second layer of paper. For this design, there were a lot of little pieces so it got a little tedious. Also, my walls are plaster and not smooth since we live in a little, old house! That made it a little more difficult to remove the paper. I had to take more time and really make sure the decal was adhering to the wall. No fault of the decal, just my reality!

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You can see the bumps! It took a little longer than a smooth wall, but it adhered all the same!

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Look how cool it is!

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Here’s the before….

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And the after! (in progress still, but getting closer!)

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And one happy kiddo! Thanks Style and Apply for making this kid even happier! We will be back!

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

Zeus on the Loose with Me!

It’s my turn!! Yeah!! Have you ever played Zeus on the Loose?? We love it! It’s basically a counting strategy game. That description doesn’t do much for it, but take my word for it. It’s fun!

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Originally I wanted to make a notebook cover for my son, but my Improv Lightening Bolts kept being too big, so it turned into a pillow! It was really hard to get it as small as I wanted it to be!

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I went through a few plans of projects to make this year. Usually I know exactly what I want to make. Not this year. Then I remembered our new favorite game. But what to make?? At first I got my Greek Gods confused and for a minute I was designing something with a trident… Um, hello, my to ‘I minored in Ancient History’ self…. Zeus and tridents do not go together. Lightening Bolt my friend!!!  Then I was all over it!

I’ll give you a super quick idea of how I made it! Since it’s improv, there are no dimensions or anything to go with! To make the Improv Lightening bolt is simple!

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First, cut out a ‘leaning’ triangle, then sew on a thin layer of the ‘bright light’ fabric and then a thicker layer of the background fabric. So that you end up with two ‘leaning’ triangles. And you want them to both be leaning in the same direction!

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Next, I folded over the top of the triangle to get an overlap. Once I liked where the overlap was, I ironed it flat. This ironed line is where I sew-ed it together.

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And then I trimmed a quarter inch seam. Repeat these last two steps over and over until you have each side of the lightening bolt how you like them. then sew the two halves together!

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Add in the rest of the background fabric for the shape you need for either a notebook cover, a pillow top or quilt blocks…. And quilt away!

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I thought it turned out pretty cool. And once I got my husbands seal of approval, I knew it was pretty cool! (yes, he’s very honest and has no qualms telling the truth about his feelings on my work! Usually he likes it, but not all the time!) I think it’s going to be loved, along with it’s inspiring game!

 

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!