Friday, November 18, 2011

Tea towel calendar

So "tea towels" are thin, mostly decorative cloths that are meant mostly to be hung up in kitchens, as I understand it. Around this time each year, Spoonflower has one of its contests to design a tea towel (to fit on a fat quarter) that has a whole year's calendar on it. I tried to think of what would be an interesting representation of each month of the year. Then I remembered...PIES. My mom makes the most wonderful pies. She always makes a cherry pie, a lemon meringue pie, and a chocolate (custard) pie every year at Christmas, and another cherry pie for my dad's birthday. One time, my dad was suggesting other pies that would go with other special occasions, and then had a sudden flash of inspiration - "What about a pie every month?" Being a kid, I took this joke and treated it as a serious suggestion to be enthusiastically endorsed. Mom, of course, quickly and laughingly shut us down. But the dream remained - the pie of the month club!

I decided to make my calendar design of twelve delicious pies laid out on a table. It was surprisingly hard to come up with twelve distinct pies! Then I had to come up with ways to create lighter backgrounds to put the actual calendar numbers over. Most pies I just heaped up with whipped cream or meringue, or topped with a cloud of steam as if they were fresh from the oven.

Anyway, the pie flavors are:
  • January: Key Lime
  • February: Boysenberry
  • March: Banana Cream
  • April: Strawberry Rhubarb
  • May: Peach
  • June: Lemon Meringue
  • July: Cherry
  • August: Blueberry Cream
  • September: Apple
  • October: Pumpkin
  • November: Pecan
  • December: Chocolate
I think it made for a very sweet design. There were a lot of really great calendars in this contest! It came in 103rd out of 146, with 93 votes.

2012 calendar fabric

By the way, the only pie I've made myself is cherry:
Cherry Pie for the 4th of July

Now that I know how much work it is, I can understand not wanting to make a different one every month!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Waterpolo puppies quilt finished
I finished the quilt for Cord! Even though I still have three more baby blankets to make, I feel like I'm back on track since the rest are for babies still well under a year old.
Waterpolo puppies quilt finished
I was debating how much of the outlines around the pool to quilt, and eventually decided I would be happiest if I did all of it. That includes the edge of the water and the pool, the grout lines, and the outline of the main frames of the goals.
Waterpolo puppies quilt finished
I printed out a tag for the back (including care instructions!) via Spoonflower as well. You can see the backing fabric through it, but I kind of like the effect. The backing fabric is a flannel that I bought from via Amazon. The batting is Quilter's Dream Cotton, in the "request" loft, which is the thinnest.
Waterpolo puppies quilt finished
For previous quilts, I've made the bias tape for the binding myself, but that's something that takes me awhile. I haven't ever had a space where it's easy to lay out those large squares and draw lines on them, plus I just can't seem to get it lined up correctly when sewing the initial cylinder. So in order to help things along, I shopped around for some bias tape on Etsy. I was hoping to find a grey tape with white polka dots, so I was really happy to find this! The seller (Beewise Goods) only had her tapes listed in packages of two yards each, but I needed about five to bind this quilt. So I messaged her, and happily she was able to sell me a package of six continuous yards! The only way it could have been more perfect is if it was double-fold, but it looks great, and most importantly, I was able to finish it!
Waterpolo puppies quilt finished
In the end, it took me just over a month from when I got all of the main components to finishing this up! I'm definitely a faster sewer than I used to be.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Military Fabric Design for Veteran's Day

This week's contest was for a military-inspired fabric, since today is Veteran's Day. My idea was to create stylized versions of uniforms - one for each of the five service branches. I made them geometric, almost as if they were pieced quilt patches. I learned that the uniforms of the US military are not really all that "uniform!" There are many different variations and options, especially when you take into account enlisted vs. officer. The Navy was the most challenging, as it seems they're in the middle of a uniform redesign, so it was hard to choose which one would be most recognizable. I also learned there are quite a few different shades of blue across all the uniforms! I tried to make them look more-or-less correct in relation to each other. This was a little extra challenging since they all tend to look lighter on screen than they print.

My design did pretty well - I came in 18th out of 83 with 216 votes!
Military Uniforms fabric

The uniforms are as follows:
  • Navy: khaki shirt, black pants, black belt with silver buckle
  • Coast Guard: Medium blue jacket, pants, & tie, light blue shirt, four silver buttons
  • Air Force: Dark blue jacket, pants, & tie, light blue shirt, three silver buttons
  • Army: Dark blue jacket, lighter pants, black tie, four gold buttons
  • Marines: Blue jacket with signature red piping and six gold buttons, lighter blue pants, white belt with gold buckle
I apologize for any mistakes! Hopefully they are accurate enough to be evocative of the real uniforms.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cameo fabric contest

This week's Spoonflower contest was for fabric inspired by cameos. I thought, what would be the least likely subject to portray in a sweet little cameo? Being a huge fan, I had to go with Daft Punk. This is the result! I based the colors on this palette:
Color by COLOURlovers

I wasn't the only one who added a touch of Sci Fi - I was pleased to see a Dr Who entry as well. Oddly, there were a large number of entries with cameos of dogs.

I came in 50 out of 167 with 120 votes. I got a couple nice comments on the fabric page too, so at least a few people liked my take on the idea. This was my best placement in a contest by far, relative to the number of entries!
Daft Punk Cameo swatch