Thursday, December 26, 2013

Yes, Virginia

I'll be filling Virginia in on my map very soon. The quilts I made for this month aren't quite done, but they're close enough for me to put up a few pictures.

I had a box of small scraps of the very rare Heather Ross' "Mendocino" fabric line that I bought on eBay a few years ago and have been jealously hoarding. I couldn't figure out what pattern would allow me to use tiny cuts but still show off the beautiful prints. And then, this summer, Red Pepper Quilts posted a tutorial for a square-in-a-square or "economy" block.

This block was perfect - my beloved scraps could share the stage with some great coordinating prints and beautiful solids. So I made enough for not one, but two baby blankets.

So many, in fact, that I was able to divide them up by color - one quilt would have more of the brown/peach blocks (with some blue, but hopefully not too much!)...

And the second would have more purple and yellow blocks.

My friend in Virginia chose the yellow and purple quilt, which will be backed with yellow minky and bordered with brown ruffles. The brown/peach quilt will go to another mom friend whose sons take karate with my girls. Both friends are having girls in January.

The brown/peach quilt was finished with an off-white minky backing and pale pink silky pleated edges.

They're so close to being done that I can taste it - but I need a few days to clean out my machine - the mental kind, and the literal giant sewing machine that makes all these quilts possible. This is probably the last post of 2014, but I'll be back in about a week to recap, and hopefully show off two quilts for two lovely 2014 babies.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Coming up Rosie.

In October, I changed up the standard pattern for a Raggedy Ann to create "Maggoty Ann." This month, I tried something similar, changing up the standard sock monkey pattern. 

Maggoty Ann and Andy went to go live in Massachusetts with my friend, Frankie Frain of Red Cow Entertainment. When he found out that I would be visiting his hometown, I was invited to come on his podcast, "How Ah We?" (I'll post links to that once the episodes come out.) 

As is polite, I wanted to take a gift to my host so that I'd be invited back sometime. As if the man needs more dolls, I thought I'd give Frankie a Red Cow reminiscent of his company name, as well as an A-Bo the Humonkey.

My girls named the Red Cow "Rosie." Someone forgot to teach them that you're not supposed to name livestock or you'll get your heart broken. She was made from a pair of women's red knee socks.  

To make Rosie, I more or less followed the sock monkey instructions, but changed up the ears and added horns. I gave her some embroidered details around the eyes, nostrils, and mouth, as well as a shortened tail. I added a bell and a ribbon, and she was ready to go.

The next project was meant to be slightly less adorable. A-Bo the Sock Humonkey was inspired by Frankie's second feature film, in which he plays the title character of A-Bo, short for "Ape Boy," a creature who is half ape, half human.

For the sock version of A-Bo, I used a pair of the famous Rockford Red Heel socks and followed the standard sock monkey directions for his body, skipping the tail. I used the heel of a brown men's sock to give him a brown snout, with embroidered detailing for his mouth and nostrils.

In the movie, A-Bo has a constantly running nose, and this was a detail I wanted to make sure to include. Having kids who pretend to go in for a hug but actually just want to wipe their noses on me, I feel like I'm an expert on this topic. I had to find just the right shade of puffy paint to approximate snot, and I settled on glow in the dark. By day, it's shiny, off-white, mostly opaque, and a little chunky. By night, it glows.

Other details for A-Bo included oversized ears, wispy yarn hair, one button eye, and lumps in the area where the second eye would be.

When I dressed A-Bo, I realized that his clothing was much more like a Raggedy Andy's than Maggoty Andy got to wear. And since he doesn't have a tail to anchor his pants, nor do sock monkeys have butts the way people do, A-Bo's pants ride up, looking a little like lederhosen. He has on brown shorts with some blue plaid boxers hanging out from the bottom. He has brown ribbon suspenders and a red shirt with a white collar. To match his glowing snotty face, I made the white collar from glow in the dark fabric. I was glad to get another chance to use my hoarded yardage - the last time I used glow in the dark fabric was the tiny scraps that went into the Thor potholder.

A-Bo wouldn't be A-Bo without his propeller beanie. I probably wouldn't have kept going on the project if I hadn't been able to find one. I was lucky to find a tiny propeller at a model plane shop, and I was able to attach it to his head with a brad, through the middle of a circle of yellow fabric.

For this picture, I put bows on A-Bo just like he wears in the last scene of the movie. One of my girls was happy to snuggle and pose with him - my older girl was horrified by him and wouldn't touch him. She didn't even want to eat her breakfast if he was on the kitchen counter facing her.

Frankie was pleased to have some new friends for the Maggoties, and plans to let A-Bo live in his office with the real mask from the movie.

There are lots of babies due in January - guess I'd better get back to quilting!