Friday, November 11, 2011

Ornament Kits

My postings stopped for a bit because of massive computer problems. My computer is back to normal (hopefully it will stay that way), and now it's posting time! I have several posts to do, ranging from an easy art project to items for Christmas. First up are two ornament sets I designed.

I designed my pop bot ornament set using traditional ornament shapes and filling the shapes with prints from my pop bot collection (click the link to see the prints). Here is the complete set:

pop bot ornament set

The set includes 8 ornaments on a fat quarter of quilting cotton, and 10 ornaments on wider fabrics. It's also designed to print one ornament on a swatch sized piece of fabric. That ornament was entered in the Swatch Ornament Fabric of the Week Contest at Spoonflower, where it placed 60th out of 124 entries.

I decided to make this ornament 3-D, and filled it with polyfill. I hand stitched the ornament, and made sure to trim the seam allowance at the bottom point and at the top corners before turning it right side out and filling it with polyfill.

I think this ornament (and the others in the set) is a fun alternative to the normal holiday ornaments, and could even be used as non-holiday decor, too, for bunting or even sachets. Here it is finished on one side:

And here is the other side of the ornament:

I also made a holiday penguin ornament set featuring mini versions of my penguin stocking decked out in holiday accessories. I designed the layout for this set just like the pop bot ornament set. There is one ornament on a swatch of fabric, 8 ornaments on a fat quarter of quilting weight cotton, and 10 ornaments on wider fabrics such as linen-cotton canvas and upholstery weight twill.

holiday penguin ornaments

Here is the printed swatch (on quilting weight cotton):

For the penguin ornament, I decided to go the 2-D route, and used a double sided interfacing for it. You can find it at most fabric stores under the name Innerfuse. (It's available in medium and heavy weight; I used the medium weight for this project). Here is the ornament after ironing it to the Innerfuse:

I then sewed a satin stitch around the edges of the ornament with my sewing machine, but you could probably do a blanket stitch by hand instead. (I would trim just inside the dotted line to make sure it doesn't show when you do your stitching). I punched the ornament at the top of the hat with an awl to make a hole for the ribbon. Here is the finished penguin ornament:

You can also make a flat ornament by using batting instead of Innerfuse. I used it since I had some already,  and wanted to do an easy method with little sewing. Here is a bonus shot of both ornaments:

You can find the ornament sets by clicking on some of the links above, or by going here for the pop bot ornament set or here for the holiday penguin set. Both ornament sets have full instructions on them (for making 3-D ornaments). You may have to alter the instructions for flat ornaments, but can use the above penguin ornament as a guide. I plan on making the full sets of each soon. You can always click on the Fabric Shop tab at the top to go straight to my Spoonflower shop.

I am currently working on an entry for the advent calendar contest at Spoonflower. I will also be writing some more posts, and putting them up soon.

Past Contest Result
Root Vegetables: Sliced Dots : Earth : 60/181.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Root Vegetable Fabric

I have a confession. I like fruit so much more than vegetables. I'm not saying I hate vegetables, it's just I like fruit better. I do like some veggies (raw!), even though I'll admit I don't eat as many as I should. When I saw that the Fabric of the Week contest at Spoonflower was for Root Vegetable themed fabrics, I was a bit puzzled. How would I, someone not crazy about veggies, translate the theme into something graphic and fun? Luckily, some inspiring images popped up on search results and led to this print.

Sliced Dots : Earth

It's titled "Sliced Dots: Earth". You can click on the image above to see it in full repeat or click here. The print is made up of stylized carrot, turnip, golden beet, and red beet slices on an earthy brown background. The dots range in size from 1 to 2.5 inches. Here is a detailed image of the print:

I think this print would be perfect for a fun circle skirt. It would make fun clothing in general, as well as being used for crafting and decor. I also have it on a leafy green background:

Sliced Dots : Greens

I am waiting on my swatches of these fabrics (and more!) to come in. The green background on the one above actually prints a bit brighter, as a yellow green color. This was my first variation of the design, but felt the veggies popped better on the brown background.

You can vote for your favorite root vegetable fabrics here at Spoonflower until Wednesday. There are lots of different interpretations of the theme, and many different styles, so enjoy looking through the great entries!

Past contest results:
 Jack-O-Lantern Plushie/Pillow: "Posh Pumpkin Pillow" 62/65 (Not great at all, but the design was a bit out of the ordinary for me).

Ditsy Prints: "Halloween Doodles: Green" 80/247. This one did way better than I thought it would! I'm waiting on the swatches to come in, before I can make it (and the other swatches) available for sale.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Doodles Fabric

This week's Fabric of the Week contest at Spoonflower called for ditsy fabric designs, which are small scale scatter prints. Typically, ditsy prints tend to be florals, but any small scale print that isn't in a defined pattern would be considered ditsy. I entered my Halloween Doodles Green fabric in the contest, just in time for Halloween.

Halloween Doodles Green

Click the image or click here to see the print in repeat. I hand drew all the wording, characters, and shapes on paper, and then traced them in pen. I scanned it in, cleaned up the image (which took forever because of the stray pixels), and added a background color. Bats, cats, witch's hats, monsters, ghosts, Jack-o-Lanterns, witch's brooms, ghost faces, pumpkins, tombstones, candy, bones, shrieking cats, candy corn, skulls, webs, spiders, broken hearts, text, lightning bolts, hearts and stars make up this design.

There is a design for everyone in this week's contest. It's another big contest, but the eye candy is fabulous. You can vote for your favorites here at Spoonflower until Wednesday. Be sure to check out the awesome designs in this week's contest!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Easy, Pretty, Slouchy Knit Cowl

I love fall and winter. I love the cooler temperatures after dealing with a hot and humid summer. I love the crispness of the air, the contrast between the sky and leaves, and later bare trees. I love being able to enjoy warm foods and drinks (hello hot chocolate!). However, I do not like scarves, which are an (almost) necessary accessory for winter. I do not like how restrictive and fussy they can be. I would prefer a cowl, but could never find exactly what I wanted, which wasn't anything extreme. (I have found that even if I want something REALLY basic, it's near impossible to find). So, I decided to make one. (If you can't find it, make it!)

First, I found the perfect yarn, or rather, it found me. Walking down the craft aisle, I spotted a yarn that I knew I had to use for something. It's color is named Plum Perfect, which is the perfect name for it. It's a dark purple that has just a little bit of red to it.

Next, I had to find a cowl pattern. I wanted something easy to knit but had some texture to it. I also wanted it to be slouchy. I found a great cowl online at KnitPicks. It's knit in the round, has ribbing at either end and the middle, and has diagonal stitching between the ribbing sections. The cowl, named "Meine Kalte Liebe Cowl," can be found here.

It was easy to knit, but it had been a while since I had knitted, so I make some mistakes. The cowl was (relatively) error free, until right before my last section of ribbing. I must have miscounted what row I was on for the diagonal stitching, because it didn't match up with the ribbing. Oops. The cowl still looks good though, and I'll wear it scrunched so the mistake won't be as visible.

The top in the picture was where I ended, so you can see where I made my mistake. I love how it looks though, and it is really warm. It will be great to wear as the weather gets cooler. Here's a close up of the ribbing and diagonal stitching of the cowl:

I will be posting a garment reconstruction project later, and maybe either a decor or Halloween project. I may save the Halloween project for next week, and have a week (or two) for spooky crafts and fabric.

Jack O' Lantern Pillow/Plushie

This week's Fabric of the Week contest at Spoonflower is for Jack O Lantern pillow and/or plushie kits. My first idea sounded so much better in my head than on paper. It ended up looking like a Medusa pumpkin alien pillow. Not exactly what I had in mind. Somehow, that bizarre idea led to my refined contest entry. Here is my "Posh Pumpkin Pillow and Cube Kit":

Posh Pumpkin Pillow and Cube Kit

You can view the kit by clicking the image above or clicking here. The kit includes an 18" pillow and two 4" cubes on one yard of quilting weight cotton. There is an extra 12" pillow on some of the wider fabrics. The pillow can be embellished with beading, French knots, or it can be tufted. The cubes can be used as decoration or toys. There are two different Jack O Lantern faces on the pillow, and six on the cubes (two of the cube faces are those on the pillow). The grey prints darker than pictured, and the orange prints as a burnt orange color.

It's hard to see the "stitched" detail on this kit, so I have some close ups of the faces on the pillow (and two cube sides). The first is a happy Jack O Lantern face:

The second is a happy vampire Jack O Lantern face:

You can vote for this week's fabric contest here at Spoonflower. There are not as many entries as the past few contests, but there are still a lot of great (and creative) kits. The contest unfortunately ends later today. I wanted to post this earlier, but life kind of got in the way a bit. (And fabric designs). To make up for that, there will be at least one more post today, and more this week.

Past contest result, Autumn contest: "Fall Flowers" placed 63/260. WOOHOO! Usually, my entries get lost in the big contests, and am happy to just place in the top half. I was really excited to see that number though. It's not top ten, but it's still the top 24%.

I talked about a knitting project last week that never got a post. It's happening today, after I take a picture I forgot about and upload them. Don't forget to vote for your favorite pumpkin pillow and plushie kits!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sew Simple Dress: Now & Later

Simplicity has a new line of patterns named Sew Simple that include a pattern for one item. I like the idea, since the patterns are cheap, and I don't have to mess with patterns for something I don't like. (I hate getting a pattern for one item I really like and not liking the rest of the included patterns). I tend to like dresses with a '60s feel, and fell for this dress because it looked comfortable and cute:

You can find the pattern here at Simplicity's website. My only concern with the dress, was that it appeared a little short for my liking. I thought it would be okay since dresses tend to be long on me, and I decided not to shorten this dress for my height (more on that later).

Next was finding the right fabric. The pattern called for cottons, silky fabrics, and lightweight linens. I knew I wanted a cotton, but was debating between a solid or print. Then I found THE fabric in the cotton/quiting section:

Swirly, stained glass perfection in various purples, greys, and black and white. I think the print was also available other colorways (I don't remember though!), but I had to get the purple. Here is a closer look at the fabric:

Like I said, geometric perfection on fabric. The dress sewed up fast and easy. It was great not hand sewing anything (I tend to top stitch hems rather than do it by hand unless I need to for the fabric type). The band didn't need to be interfaced, which was also another (small) plus. I made one mistake by sewing an armband at 3/4" instead of 5/8" (oops!) and had to seam rip it and deal with some small holes in the printed fabric.

The biggest surprise came when I went to try on the dress. It was very comfortable, and somehow didn't make me look huge even though it's a loose style, but it hit right below my knees! I thought the envelope illustration made it look longer than the model picture, but when I held the pattern up to me, it seemed that it would hit mid thigh when finished. I chopped 2" off the hem so it would hit right above my knees, still longer than pictured. I'm very okay with it being longer than pictured, because I was a little concerned with it being too short.

Right now it feels very much like fall (first day!), but it's supposed to heat up a tad later next week. So, for now when it's a bit warmer, I'll wear the dress with some cute flip flops:

Here's a closer look at the flip flops. They have bows!

Later, when it cools down a bit, I'll wear it with tights and my grey knee high boots:

I'll layer it more when it really cools down with a long sleeve top and maybe a sweater cardigan. This dress was a breeze to sew, and it will be fun to wear! I will be doing another post soon, for a knitting project perfect for fall (and winter) weather.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Is it fall yet?

As soon as I get excited about nice, cool, fall weather, the temperature mysteriously climbs up for a day or too. It's happened three times so far this year, so I hope fall will finally be here for good. I just finished a knitting project, perfect for cooler weather, that I will put in a post this week. I will do several posts this week to celebrate the start of fall.

This week's Spoonflower Fabric of the Week contest called for autumn inspired fabrics using no more than three colors plus white. It's another big contest, although not as large as last week's Bird themed contest. My entry is titled "Fall Flowers" (I couldn't think of anything else at the moment), and is a large scale repeating pattern.

Fall Flowers

My design is layers of giant flowers piled on top of each other. The flowers were originally stylized mum silhouettes of one color each. They needed more to them, so I gave the flowers some layers of their own. It's a bit different and busier than my usual designs, but I'm happy with the outcome. I think it would be perfect for a full circle skirt, coat or jacket lining, and pillows among other things. Here is a closer look at the design:

The current contest ends Wednesday evening and you can vote here at Spoonflower. I am actually working on doing a collection for this design, and having the designs in various seasonal colorways. I will release the current collections as soon as I have them complete and proofed and release the others later.

As I mentioned before, this week will have several posts perfect for fall. I have a sewing project, a knitting project, and a garment reconstruction project. I will also have some fun Halloween posts later, too.

Past contest result, Bird Contest: "Chic Birdie Bows" finished 214 out of 341.

Please check out the Autumn fabric entries and vote for your favorites! Also, check out Spoonflower for fun fabrics for fall, Halloween, and Christmas. You can never craft too early!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bird Fabric Contest

The current Fabric of the Week contest at Spoonflower is Birds with a limited color palette. The colors that could have been used were black, white, Spoonflower aqua, and a fourth color of the designer's choosing. I thought that there would be the normal amount of contest entries due to the limited color palette, but there are over 300 entries! Most of the contests (excluding projects/kits) have around 100-150 entries. I guess designers are crazy about birds!

I am starting to make my contest entries coordinate with some of my designs, rather than have a bunch of unrelated designs. I like the added challenge, and want to build up collections of fabrics that can actually coordinate with each other. Here is my Birds contest entry in repeat, "Chic Birdie Bows":

Chic Birdie Bows

Bow detail.
The print features pretty bows connected by strands of pearls. The bows are made up of a stylized butterfly and two stylized birds. I chose a teal as my fourth color, so this print would coordinate with my Curves & Pearls Print shown below (in teal).

curves & pearls: teal

Both prints are also available in other colorways. "Chic Birdie Bows" is also on a white background and on a background of the Spoonflower aqua with white pearls instead. "Curves & Pearls" is also available on a background very close to the Spoonflower aqua with white swirls and spring green pearls.

You can vote for the Birds fabric contest here at Spoonflower. Fair warning though: there are 22 pages of entries to go through! There are lots of great designs (as usual) and it's interesting to see what fourth color designers chose. Many chose a teal color, but there are also unexpected color combinations that stand out. Take some time and vote for your favorites!

Bowling Fabric contest results: "Bowling Stripes Grey" placed 38th out of 110 fabrics. I ordered swatches of this fabric, along with my "Chic Birdie Bows" and other fabrics. I should receive them in a few days.

Next contest: Autumn themed fabrics. Next posts: some sewing/crafting projects, easy decor project, and Autumn fabric.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Super Penguin Plushie Project

This post is a little overdue, but I was working on a new fabric contest entry. A few weeks ago was the Plushie Fabric of the Week contest on Spoonflower. My penguin superhero finished 44th out of 130 fantastic entries. Here it is printed on a fat quarter of cotton sateen:

Plushie printed on fabric

Colors print wonderfully on the sateen, and the fabric gives the finished project a much better quality than the quilting cotton. I was going to stage a fun photoshoot with the superhero and sidekick saving the day, but sadly, I do not have the proper staging. (I have toys/figurines to use as villains and unsuspecting bystanders, though). Here is the crime-fighting duo, complete with cape and mask:

Penguin Plushie pair

Close up of sidekick:

Sidekick plushie

Back of the superhero's cape:

Back of Superhero's Cape

Peppermint discs to be used as weapons (these are just filled with fiberfill, but could be filled with rice):

Peppermint Discs

And a bracelet for owner of the crime fighting duo to wear:


This project was fun to design and make. For the mask, I used elastic cording to make it one piece rather than two lengths of ribbon tied together. Otherwise, the required materials I have on the printed project are what I used. This project may have inspired another penguin project for the holidays. I haven't started on it yet, but the gears are churning. This new holiday project probably will not be done for another month, so look for another penguin post in October (probably mid-late).

Upcoming posts: dress sewing project (from a commercial pattern) and new Fabric of the Week contest entry. These weekly contests are doing wonders for my creativity, and helping me create collections for my past designs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bowling Time! (And past contest results)

I love to bowl with friends or family. It's always fun, especially going to a cosmic bowling night. The silliness, the competition, the food, and the atmosphere all make for a great time. Changing friend's screen names to something silly is always fun too. It's amazing the kinds of pranks you can pull in a small space without anyone noticing.

This week's Fabric of the Week contest theme on Spoonflower is bowling. The range of designs in the contest is great, covering bowling shirts, spiffy bowling bags, the signage, pins, decor, and of course bowling balls. This is my entry for the contest, "Bowling Stripes Grey":

It features stripes with scored boxes, bowling pins, and bowling balls with a star print. I did a slightly retro colorway, since bowling is always associated with 1950s fun. This print can also coordinate with my Links print in some of the colorways. The above picture is my uploaded design, and shows the detail better. Here is what the print looks like in repeat:

Bowling Stripes Grey

You can vote for the Bowling fabric contest here. Voting for this contest ends Wednesday evening, so be sure to vote for your favorites, if you haven't already. I ordered a swatch of this fabric (among other designs) and can't wait to see how it prints up.

Past contest results: Super Penguin Plushie! finished 44/130 which isn't bad considering he faced competition with a super hero fox and pig.
Mod about the Circus finished 115/174 in the Circus contest. I still think it would make a great mini skirt.

I promise my next post will be the Super Penguin Plushie completed project. I have him done, but haven't done his photo shoot yet due to this weekend with family. I will also (eventually) post about my most recent personal sewing project. And the next fabric contest is for the birds (literally)!

Please vote for your favorite bowling fabrics at Spoonflower. Stay tuned for future posts, and maybe have a bowling night this week or weekend!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Twitter and Plushie Pattern!

I resisted the urge to set up a twitter until the other day. I thought it might be a good idea, since I do not have a Facebook fan page for my designs. You can click on the Twitter bird icon to the right to follow me (I'm @modgeekbykg). I will use Twitter to send updates on both of my blogs, my stores, and general announcements. I'm not going to get too crazy with it, because I have my personal Twitter (although I don't tweet much on it!).

The current Fabric of the Week contest at Spoonflower is a plushie pattern for a fat quarter (quarter of a yard). My entry is "Super Penguin Plushie!" and can be found here. I am waiting on my fabric to come in so I can sew it up. I will do a blog post as soon as it's sewn and photographed.

It's currently shown for quilting weight cotton at a fat quarter, but it's sized for wider fabrics such as the cotton sateen. The wider size includes more peppermint discs, a bracelet, and a sidekick plushie. The superhero penguin comes with a cape, mask, and peppermint discs to use as weapons. This penguin uses mind control to throw the discs! (I made that up due to the lack of wings on this guy. I'm sure a child would have the same logic, though!) Oh, and don't worry, the peppermint discs cause no actual harm to "bad guys". The discs just make the "bad guys" realize that they shouldn't be bad.

You can vote for my "Super Penguin Plushie!" and other fun plushie patterns here at Spoonflower. Voting for this contest ends tomorrow, so please vote for your favorites!

Next posts: Bowling fabric, dress sewn from commercial pattern, and (eventually) "Super Penguin Plushie!" sewn up.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fabric: When Geeks Attack!

First, I want to express my extreme jealousy at everyone who attended PAX this year. I've never attended a convention, but I know I want to go to PAX at some point (hopefully next year!). I may have to play some Mario Kart later.

Second: I've noticed a lot of sudden interest in my geek/video game tagged fabrics, which means that geeks are finally finding Spoonflower! I know I've been promoting my current contest entries, but I thought I would also promote some of my fabric collections. (Also, please bear with me and my post topics; my blog is still new, I'm still getting back into writing (oh how I've missed it!), and currently dealing with some issues completely out of my control, which is not fun).

For my Console Colors collection, I have two stripes, two plaids, and one dot in two colorways. If I've lost you, let me explain. I have two colorways; one is inspired by colors from NES games, and the other colorway is inspired by colors from one of my favorite SNES games, Super Mario World. Each colorway has two stripes, two plaids, and one dot.

 NES inspired:

SNES inspired:

I also have a stripe inspired by Pac-Man, which is currently available for purchase in two colorways.

Available for purchase here.

Available for purchase here.
I have more Pac-Man inspired prints, but they are for my use only, since I do not want to deal with copyright issues. I also do not want to get on Namco's (or Nintendo's) bad sides, since I love everything Pac-Man and Zelda (among other games). I will be doing another Pac-Man inspired stripe, but strictly in colors from the game (well, actually the colors will come from Ms. Pac-Man). 

Spoonflower offers a variety of fabric that can suit almost any project. For casual clothing, the knit would be great as a top or dress. There's also cotton silk, a new fabric, that is soft and shiny, and could be perfect for a pretty, but still geeky, dress. For crafting uses, the linen-cotton canvas or upholstery weight cotton twill could work well, depending on the project. The linen-cotton canvas is a little thinner than typical duck cloth, but is much softer and nicer. The canvas could also work for a casual jacket, if someone would want a geeky jacket.

Upcoming post: My current Fabric of the Week contest entry, and my entry for the next contest. Until then, please look at my video game inspired fabrics and check out other geek fabric on Spoonflower. Also, play some video games!