Thursday, October 31, 2013

Listen up, maggots.

It's Halloween, and I thought I'd do a little bit of not-so-cutesy sewing. I tried something new and made something 3D, dolls from a Raggedy Ann and Andy pattern. But these aren't your grandma's ragdolls - I give you "Maggoty" Ann and Andy.

I also tried out batiks for the first time. I don't think I'd use a batik for a regular project, but look how amazing it works out for bruised and rotten skin tone.

Maggoty Ann wears a brown checked dress, gray striped tights, and a shredded apron. She has a worm in her empty eye socket and an arm hanging off her body by a string.


She also has a cracked open skull with an exposed brain made from pink yarn. (Pictured here before she got painted with blood.)


Both of these guys have white X-shaped buttons for eyes, and their blood is made from layers of fabric paint and brushed-on puffy paint.

 I don't have much to say about Maggoty Ann, because like Little Babe here, Maggoty Andy wins the day for me.

Andy much more closely matches my vision of this project. Maybe because I made Ann first and was still learning, or maybe because Ann's poky brain and missing eye are giving her a weird face altogether. This guy is super-cute.

A friend gave me the leftover yarn from the beautiful baby blanket she knitted for Little Babe. Otto was horrified that I used really nice, expensive, yarn-snob-approved yarn to make Andy's hair.

I get that traditional Raggedies are supposed to be children, but I don't like Raggedy Andy's little boy sailor suit. Living in a zombie infested hellscape will make a man out of the raggediest boy, so I decided that he needed cargo pants (with tiny faux pockets), a web belt, a t-shirt, and a baseball cap.

Andy has a ripped open cheek, exposed ribs, a shredded shirt, and a bitten-off leg.

These are going to Massachusetts, so I'm not able to check another state off the list.I'm mailing these off today - and since today is Halloween, and Christmas creep starts tomorrow, I hope the couple who receives them will love seeing them year-round.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Piping hot justice: a gift for John Hodgman

About a month ago, I promised that I'd be showing off a thank-you gift for John Hodgman, for hearing my case on his podcast and letting me pimp my blog during my appearance. He pretty much doubled my site traffic, since at least two more people have looked at it. It took longer than I'm proud of for me to sew two potholders, but here they are.

One for the Judge and one for his bailiff, Jesse Thorn. (Even though Jesse wasn't the bailiff at my trial, and I thought Monte Belmonte was great, I don't know enough about Monte to theme a potholder around him.)

Anyone who is a fan of the podcast will immediately recognize the Judge's logo, which I've spoofed here, giving him a chef's hat and tie and a fork and spoon instead of gavels, along with the words "piping hot justice." I embroidered some of the features, and the glasses ended up a little crooked. I hope it doesn't make him look too...derpy.

I wanted the back to reflect the Canadian House of Pizza and Garbage, but unable to find prints of Canada nor garbage, I went with a pizza print. The print is pretty busy, but if you look closely, you'll see that there's a hand-hole, making the potholder into a mitt for greater hand protection. 

Jesse's likeness was inspired by his digitized image in the "Jordan, Jesse, GO!" video game.

For the purposes of the potholder, he's holding up a slice of pie that's larger than his head, and the words say his bailiff catchphrase, "shut your piehole."

The back actually has a piehole, because it is made in the likeness of a pie, and has a hole to stick your hand in.

And since it's creepy to just mail off two potholders and nothing else, I'll be including a thank you card. Luckily, the genius Bro Hostile designed this one for me:

On the front:

On the inside:

Not that that has anything to do with John Hodgman. But who doesn't love a little bit of Tom Hanks to brighten up their day?

So there you have it. It's Columbus Day, so my mail place is closed, but I hope to get these sent off tomorrow. Next, a little bit of spooky Halloween sewing. Stay tuned to find out why I had to creep out a JoAnn's employee by asking her which shade of pink yarn looked more like brains.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Halfcomplishment Scraptacular

You know where this is going. You've known me long enough. No, there's no finished September quilt to show you. But that doesn't mean I haven't been sewing. Ain't I been sewing....

We attended an early Halloween event, so I was able to get together costumes for everyone.

There aren't many days when I look at my wardrobe, contemplating which outfit will make me look most like Rick Moranis.

There were a couple of people who understood what Little Babe was supposed to be. There was a lady who said to her husband "You know, like that movie? 'Eat me!'" Yeah...close. But nobody got that we were supposed to be a set. People waited for me to move out of the way to take her picture.  Here's a closeup of the hat, so I can get credit from you smart, nerdy folks:

Designed by my brother, who shall be known here on the blog as "Bro Hostile." He does graphic design as a hobby, and he creates brilliant things and mostly keeps them to himself. I guess he's my opposite in accomplishment, since I create mostly middle-of-the-road stuff and trumpet it all over the internet. We've been doing some writing together, which I will hopefully be able to show off here someday. He can bring the brilliance, I can bring the trumpeting.

For the early trick-or-treating, my older girls decided that they wanted to be Fix It Felix and Vanellope from "Wreck It Ralph." (Mr. Hostile wasn't home, so we didn't have a Ralph to match.) I was able to compile most of their costumes from store-bought items, but check out that brown skirt. Handmade, from the big dog right here. Bitch, pleats.

I'm actually surprised I was able to get Felix there into jeans. We almost had to create a gender-bending cosplay character of "Fix It Felicia," because she's strictly a skirts-and-tights kind of girl, and hates every off-the-rack pair of pants. "Youth Hostile" was named for her, because she's the OG hostile child. She hates pants...because she does. But winter is coming fast here in Alaska, and skirts aren't going to cut it for much longer. So this month, I began my journey into trying to make some pants for my older child.

I say "journey", because these pants were a semi-failure. There's a reason quilts makes sense to me - they're two-dimensional. I can fit my brain around sewing something that's meant to be draped over a flat surface. I made these from quilting cotton, because that's what I have the most of - if I can ever perfect a pattern, then I can get going with some denim and corduroy. So what I ended up with was a pair of perfectly adorable pajama pants that embody every complaint OG has about pants - they don't fit her in the back, and they feel too tight in the crotch. But I was able to turn this into a success by giving them to my middle child - who, with her tiny frame and complete lack of butt, is essentially a flat surface.

But that's not all I sewed this month. I started to fill up a bucket of flying geese units:

And I dug out every white, blue, and green scrap I had and made them into HST units:

If I'm sticking to my New Year's resolution of trying something new every month, I can say that I've never tried making so many multiple projects at once. The kids' school has a craft bazaar coming up in November, and I'm trying to decide if I'm brave enough to get a table. And even if I have the courage, I have to figure out whether I'll have enough stuff to populate a table.

But who are we fooling? Most of you are only here to see what I come up with as a thank-you gift for Judge John Hodgman. Well, I really wanted to have a finished product to show you, but that project has had lots of false starts and stops. I think it's coming along, and might be finished over the next couple of days. But here's a sneak preview...

My brief spot of podcasting fame also brought me in contact with a couple who is having a baby in January, and we've been brainstorming together to create a beautiful quilt for him. Hopefully, I'll be able to get started on that soon! I've decided that my 2014 New Year's resolution will be to complete my U.S. map:

(I remembered that I've sent things over the years to my husband's friends in his home state of Louisiana, so I've been able to fill that in since last time.) I've got firm leads for New York and Virginia, and some vague leads for Michigan, Idaho, South Carolina, and Georgia. Washington is filled in with a pillow, so I'll be including any sewn project of mine, be it pillows, potholders, placemats, cross-stitching, what have you. And I might skip even Hawaii, because if you're already living in paradise, why do you need a quilt from a weirdo on the internet?