Minion Pinion



A friend posted a picture of a minion in her Instagram feed, wondering if anyone had seen a pattern for one. She commented that she thought it would be great to have a minion in her sewing room with her.

I thought that if one were going to have a minion in one’s sewing room, the minion should do something. Like hold pins.

And I was thus inspired to make her a minion pin cushion: A PINION!


I used felt for the body and the hands and raw edge appliqué to add the overalls, goggles, and eyes.

IMG_1449 IMG_1450

I used a tight zig zag stitch on my sewing machine to add details: the goggle strap, the shoulder straps of the overalls, and the middle of the eyes.



Now I think *I* need a PINION to help out in my sewing room!

What to do when your quilt is attacked by a toddler wielding a dry erase marker

I had just finished my mini quilt for the Bee a {Modern} Swapper swap.

Patchwork and birds mini quilt

I had solved my conundrum over what to do about quilting around the bird in the middle of the quilt.


I had finished the quilting around the rest of the quilt.


The only think I had left to do was to attach the binding and send the quilt off to its new home.  I was pleased to be finished, so I brought the quilt downstairs to take a photo.  Before I could return my pretty mini quilt to the sewing room to add the finishing touches, disaster struck in the form of a 2-year-old who had gotten her hands on a dry erase marker.

The horror!!

Here’s a tip: dry erase marker is more or less permanent on fabric.  Do not ever allow a child to unleash her “creative additions” on your quilting project with dry erase marker.  At least give her a washable marker or an ink pen.  I’m sure those would come out easier than this, which, did not come out at all!

In case you were curious, here is the list of various cleaners and chemicals I used on the marker in an attempt to remove it.  Oxiclean MaxForce laundry stain remover, Resolve carpet cleaner, extended soak in oxyclean, Mr. Clean magic eraser, extra concentrated oxyclean, nail polish remover, pure acetone, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, bleach pen, mineral spirits, and Greased Lightning cleaner.  Hmmm … I think that’s all.  I received several other suggestions that I did not try (Murphy’s oil soap, hairspray, rotten milk), but really, I think I covered the spectrum of chemical reaction that could have removed it.

When it became clear that I would not be able to remove the marker, I made a plan to cover it.  I traced the edges of the various sections of the quilt and marked where the damage was.  When I had finished that, I drew out an appliqué pattern to cover it.

Then it was just a matter of creating the actual fabric appliqué.  To keep with the style I had already started in the center of my quilt and have a piece large enough to cover all the damage, I ended doing raw edge appliqué on two dozen little leaves, a large tree, a bird, and three flowers.  Phew!

But we’ll call it a success.

IMG_5507 There is one bit of marker left that I could have covered with a different arrangement of the leaves, but I’m leaving it uncovered as a remind of what I went through with this project.

IMG_5509I finished it off with some aqua Ta Dots for the binding.

IMG_5511You can see on the back where I added the appliqué after the quilt was already together, but since this is a wall hanging, you’ll never even notice.



Festival of Half Square Triangles: winter table runner

Today, at noon, is the final day to enter a project in the Festival of Half Square Triangles at Canoe Ridge Creations.  And here it is, nearly 10am and I am writing this little post about a project I just finished last night very early this morning, so that I can play, too.

Yes, there are some great prizes up for grabs, but with well over 100 entries already, I realize my chances of actually winning any of them are slim.  However, I still wanted to finish this up and link up over there because these sorts of “link parties” are really great for the community aspect of them; it’s tough to get that in the digital world.

I’m really glad that this festival is happening because it provided the motivation to finish a half square triangle project that I started (and had hoped to finish) way back in January.  I thought I was being all sneaky and clever posting a sneak peek of my completed half square triangles.  They looked lovely, and I thought I would unveil the final project shortly after that.  Um … yeah, that didn’t happen.

Earlier this week, the link party for the HST festival opened up and I didn’t think I would be able to finish this project in time.  I had something to strive for, though, and some time shortly after midnight this morning, I completed the binding of my winter table runner.  Hooray!!

I wanted this to be an obvious “winter” decor item without being holiday themed so I chose to use purple, navy, ice blue, gray and white.  I designed it so that the HSTs of the same color (purple) would form the background for some snowflake appliqués.

That background purple, which I also used in the binding, is great because it has some tone on tone variation so, in person, it really adds some great texture and dimension to the project.  It’s Kona dimensions purple.  In this next photo, you can also see a little bit of the sparkle in the snowflakes.  This white, which I used for the snowflakes and also the outer white border, is Michael Miller Fairy Frost glitz zirconium.

I knew that straight line quilting would be the way to go with this project, but when I was invited to a sew/play date (which I mentioned but never posted about) with Kim, Amy, and Katie, I sought their input and they agreed that some echo quilting following the lines of the chevrons would be lovely.

The back is just pieced with some of the leftover and a few extra half square triangles.

I’m really happy with how this project turned out, and it looks great on my dining table.  Too bad it’s not really appropriate decor for April!  Ha!  At least it will be ready to go when December rolls around!


A gift for Baby P

My friend Melissa asked me I would make a baby gift for some friends of hers.  She wasn’t completely sure what she wanted, so I gave her a few options.

My favorite blankets when my girls were little were double sided knit blankets.  They are nick and thick without being too heavy and the little bit of stretch is nice if you want to use the blanket to swaddle the baby.  This one has an appliqué “P” for the baby’s name.  I chose a sweet, fun fabric that was a little girly without being over-the-top pink and ruffle-y.

The back is nice, thick interlock knit in the same turquoise I used for the “P” appliqué, and I added some decorative stitching in pink to add some interested.

Melissa also asked for this double sided flannel/minky ribbon lovie.  It’s about 15-inches square, so it’s a great size to throw in a bag and carry around.  Babies love those little ribbons sticking off the sides!  One side is a nice fuzzy floral flannel.

And the other side is this incredibly soft, I-can’t-stop-petting-it, high-loft minky.  Ooh, it’s luxurious.

I added ribbons all the way around, and my top two favorite are the owl one and the double-layer dots.  Fun!

See the fuzziness?  I wish I could explain to you just how soft it is.  It’s like rabbit fur!  I’ll tell you what, though, this fabric is a bitch to work with.  Seriously, I cut into it and it has shed fuzz all over the room.  It’s getting all over my other projects.  And it’s slippery, so it’s a little tough to keep it going in a straight line while sewing.  So, so worth it though.  I have enough for a few more lovies, but I wish I had a whole pile of it.  I pile big enough that I could sleep with it.

Skill Builder Sampler catch up: appliqué blocks

Since June, I’ve been sewing along with the We Can Do It!  Skill Builder Sampler at Sewn.  I managed to a great job keeping up through the half-way point, and even won the half way done giveaway!  Then, life happened other projects took priority and I just wasn’t making time to complete the block that Leila put up on her blog.

I missed two entire months of skill building: appliqué and curves.  Good news: I’m nearly caught up.  I have just one more curves block to complete.  Bad news: one of my curves blocks turned up short because the template didn’t print to scale, and I fixed it by adding a border, but miscalculated so the finished block is too small.  So really, I have two more to complete before I’m caught up because that one is going to have to be un-sewn (read: seam ripper!) and then re-sewn.

However!  My appliqué blocks are done, done, done!

First up, was orange windows, using raw edge appliqué.  I’m actually quite familiar with raw edge appliqué as I’ve used it a bit in several mei tais I’ve made, so completing this block was pretty straight forward to me and I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Next up: Circles.  The instructions were to complete the circles trying out the different methods of appliqué featured in the post.  Leila presented four methods; I tried out three (I wasn’t really interested in the “needle-turn appliqué” because it’s all hand sewing and I tend to avoid “all hand sewing” when I can.  You know, like rewriting an entire tutorial because there was too much hand sewing!).  So from smallest to largest, I used a piece of interfacing to back the circle, a freezer paper circle ironed on to the fabric, and the gathered circle method (which was my favorite and involved a teensy bit of hand sewing.  So, you see, I don’t avoid all hand sewing.  I just avoid “all hand sewing”.).  Then I repeated those methods again.  Larger circles are easier.

The third and final appliqué block was in-y and out-y.  We were to choose whatever block we wanted and whatever method of appliqué was wanted as long as the appliqué featured indentations and points.

I decided to design my own Window Box Block.  I started by piecing the window and the window box for the background and then appliquéd the tulips on top.  I chose raw edge appliqué because that’s what I’m most comfortable with and I really love how this turned out.

Here’s a close-up of a few of the tulip appliqués.

And the base of the flowers with the fabric I used as the dirt in the window box.  It’s pretty much perfect and I just happened to have it already in my fabric stash.  Why I ended up with (or purchased for some reason) a fat quarter of fabric that looks like dirt, I don’t know or can’t remember, but it seems it was just waiting for this project.

Appliqué blocks all together: