Free EEP Template: Hand pieced and decorated Jack-o-Lanterns

Free EEP Template: Hand pieced and decorated Jack-o-Lanterns

It probably comes as no surprise that I love all things Halloween. When there weren’t any Halloween swaps floating around this year, my good friend agreed to do a little mini swap. She seems to really dig handwork and makes some of the prettiest delicate things. I knew I couldn’t match her, but thought I’d at least try to work in a style more her taste than mine and manage to still be goofy. Here’s what I came up with: They are so silly right? These pumpkins and I… I swear, I bet I arranged them about 100 ways to Sunday. They will fit together in one solid sheet, but I when had 16 of them all together, it was a bit overwhelming. I ended up taking them apart, spreading them around and attaching them to burlap with a machine zig zag stitch. I turned them into a bag after coming up with about 100 other uses. You could use some of those ideas – embellish a costume or trick or treat bag, put them on art canvas, make a large pumpkin patch for a wall hanging, or use them for small gift sized candy bags.   The Template Download the printable template here in .pdf format! The pumpkins are done with English Paper piecing using a octagon and square shape. You get 16 from each sheet printed.  The process is exactly the same as the standard EEP hexagon. There are roughly 1 million tutorials and videos out there on how to do it, google “English Paper Piecing Hexagon Tutorial” to find one or two of them. I prefer...
Gamer’s Bag of Holding Embroidered Bag

Gamer’s Bag of Holding Embroidered Bag

I’ve seen everyone doing all these really fun looking swaps via Instragram and other social media and I’m always a bit jealous. I never join them for a variety of reasons mostly to do with my weirdness and the size and uncertainly of the swaps and swap-ees. I thought it might be fun to do one on a much much much smaller scale so I put a call out on Instagram for someone that might want to swap with me. Simple rules – any medium, less than six hours from start to finish, no extras, no stress. How lucky was I when Kristy from Please Excuse My Craftermath answered my call? Kristy is one of my favorite online people. I find her way smarter than me, fearless, and a bit nerdy birdy – all things I really admire in other people. I happen to have picked up that she’s a Pathfinder so I thought she might like a gamer’s bag to carry around dice, cards, figures etc. Since I can digitize – it seems like making it personalized is just a natural extension of what I do. I took notes along the way and saved the machine embroidery files in several formats should you want to make one for your gamer! Supply List Embroidery machine with 5″ x 7″ hoop space (files provided below in “The Embroidery Files” section. Formats are .pes, .jef, and .vp3. If you need another format, please drop me an email) Synthetic woven apparel weight suede (at least two pieces 11″ x 14″, I like a little larger) Bag lining (same size as suede) Pellon...
Susan’s Ultimate Guide to Pixel Piecing tutorial thing (with free bag pattern!)

Susan’s Ultimate Guide to Pixel Piecing tutorial thing (with free bag pattern!)

I wrote a tutorial (ok, it is huge, maybe an EBOOK) on my process for designing, preparing, and piecing pixel quilts. You’ll get my suggestions for choosing a design, the name and link of my favorite software for laying out and counting pixels, an inexpensive pixel paper piecing process guaranteed to create perfect points, and a free bonus pattern for this 8-bit Luigi and Shy Guy quilt bag. DOWNLOAD THE FREE TUTORIAL IN .PDF FORMAT! I won’t claim my way is the “best way ever”, but I will claim it is pretty darn good! I’ve pieced 15K – 20K pixels in all sizes with all sorts of techniques. Some have been OK, some barely passable, and some total disasters. Don’t believe me – check out all of the iterations of Shy Guy – Crazy combination of hand piecing (yes, hand!) and machine chain stitching. I don’t know why I thought hand piecing was the way to correct my issues with mismatch points. I guess inexperience – I had no idea HOW LONG hand work takes! Needless to say, I quickly figured out that hand piecing was not only slow, but not that much more accurate than the chain stitching by machine. A popular, but expensive method with water soluble sticky stabilizer. OMG. I so HATED this. It is a good idea until you actually try it. First, the stabilizer is really expensive. If I remember correctly, it was around $8/yard. Second, I found it nearly impossible to correct mistakes. Once I had missed a stitch or two, it was nearly impossible to remove the stitches and reset the pieces....
Sew Together Bag meets my new toy

Sew Together Bag meets my new toy

The New Toy So – I’m working on a quilt that I’m totally checked into and can’t wait for it to be far enough along to show you. I’ve been carrying around my drawings for this quilt since June 8, 2013. The whole time, I’ve been thinking about how to approach it.  It isn’t an easy quilt. It’s minimal enough that every seam matters and accuracy is paramount. Since the details are are going to make or break it, I’ve waited until I had some thoughts about how to deal with the most difficult parts. I saw a quilt at both AQS Charlotte and AQS Chattanooga that answered the last lingering problem. Life Everlasting from Ann Horton uses a combination of applique and embroidery in a super clever way. I suppose I’ve seen techniques like this before and knew it could be done, but this was the first time I thought I could do it too. My lingering quilt problem popped right in my head and I hardly made it home before I ordered my new embroidery machine! I didn’t buy anything super fancy. I wanted to learn the ropes, make sure it was what I really wanted and that it did, in fact, have the potential I think it does. For the last month or so I’ve worked on lots of projects to learn how it works, what accessories are really valuable, and how much effort it requires. I’ll be taking you along for the ride in October with lots of tips and tricks and techniques I learned from pure curiosity and experimentation. I have tinkered with a...
Dragon Con Survival Bag

Dragon Con Survival Bag

It’s time! It’s time! We’re on our way to Dragon Con! We’ll finish working with the schedule on the ride down. We’ve been to the store picked up plenty of hotel room meals and sundries in case something goes wrong. Never know when you’re going to need a band-aid or NyQuil! Pack a few good tshirts and make a pit stop plan and there’s nothing left to do but go! In the spirit of preparing, I made myself a Dragon Con themed survival bag. This bag and I went rounds. I never could get it exactly where I wanted it to go. You know how it is – you get an idea in your head then can’t find the right hardware? I added and removed handles a million times, broke two needles over the zipper, and cussed myself when I grabbed stabilizer instead of interfacing (yeah, must label scrap pieces!) At the end of the day, none of that really matters. It isn’t my grand vision, but does solve a lot of issues. I added velcro close pockets and umbrella straps on the inside. I wanted the velcro pockets to keep my phone/chapstick/bandaids/etc accessible, but also to keep them difficult to access. I know we’re mostly just a bunch of fun loving nerds that are there to celebrate whatever we love, but I can’t help being pragmatic. If I were a thief, it seems like a place where there are 60K+ people to bump would be an excellent place to pick up a few wallets. I added a zipper that closes to my front side and pulled the tabs...