Monday, September 26, 2016

another set of literal quilt blocks

This time the set is for my friendy friend, Robyn, and the third color is coral instead of blue green. 

I packaged up this block set to her along with a paper HST birthday card and a guide sheet showing many of the possible combinations for the blocks. 

(If you are wondering about that excellent acorn/squirrel ribbon, it's designed by the ever willowy and affable  Jessica Jones  for  Renaissance Ribbons.)

The blocks are very relaxing to make, if you enjoy repetitive preciseness. You can totally zone out while painting and binge watching Gilmore Girls. (Unfortunately I've found I can't watch a Korean drama while painting – too hard to keep looking up at the subtitles.)

Beware: These just-for-fun quilty display pieces are real time suckers. It's addictive. 

And, as I mentioned before, if you are careful to paint each block the same way you will get two designs each time, one on the front and a different one on the back side. I like flipping the set over to see what I got. It's a surprise!

If you'd like to try making your own Literal Quilt Blocks I've included construction tips with the earlier post

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

another paper HST card

This paper HST card is for my beautiful mom! She's a September baby too. Have you guys seen a picture of my Mom?

Here she is with my super cute nephew and her grandbaby, my oldest. I think her inner beauty shines from her face. This lovely, godly and clever lady loves feeding her big family, sewing, soul stirring music, peanut butter and sparkly things. She does not love technology. Or things with motors. I adore you, Moms! Happy birthday from Atlanta!

(HST cards are easy to make with a square punch. See this post for more info.)

Friday, September 9, 2016

quilt blocks. like actual blocks.

Literal Quilt Blocks for my big sister Leigh for her birthday! I have had the idea for this gift (and also the supplies) for at least two years. Sorry, Leigh. Sometimes it takes a while for me to get to things. Your birthday rolled around again and it finally lit the fire under me. (But still too late for your actual day. Doh!)

I sent this block set to her along with the HST card I made and a handy chart with block layout suggestions:

The 4x4 set of painted blocks is just meant to be a fun, quilty coffee table display or to stand upright on a bookshelf. Leigh's a very talented quilter so I thought she'd have fun switching the designs of the blocks around to suit her mood.

I spent a very looooong time playing with this set. It's fun! See:

You get the idea! So many possible combos. You can make each design in only one color, two colors, or use all three. And if you are methodical when you paint the blocks and do each one the exact same way, each time you build a design on the front there's a different symmetrical design on the flip side.

I bought the precut 1.5 inch wood blocks on Etsy. Six sides to each block = three solid colors and three HSTs in the same colors. Any sides with unusually dark or flawed woodgrains got covered with a solid. I was pretty happy with the nice quality of the unfinished blocks. (Tip: Make sure your blocks are all nice and square before you paint.)

I debated greatly on the best way to get the color on the blocks. I thought about cut paper and Mod Podge first, but scrapped that idea (haha, quilt pun) and decided to paint them by hand with acrylic artist paint. Important: Use a good quality flat brush and a careful stroke to paint on the color if you don't want to drive yourself crazy getting paint over the edges. Mine aren't perfect but I decided that lends them handmade charm.

I used a spray clear sealant to finish the blocks. As a project bonus, the fumes gave me visions of heffalumps and woozles. Strong stuff. Definitely use it outside and don't bring the blocks in until they are dry.

And yes, the overspray got on my glass table^. Didn't realize that until I took away the cardboard and noticed it had a nice frosted glass effect around the edges. Soap, water and steel wool took care of the problem. Rookie mistake.

These blocks were a fun project! I'm planning to make at least one more set.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

hst card for Leigh

Handmade happy birthday card for my sister Leigh! It's made of half square triangles because
1) she's a fantastic quilter
2) my gift to her is also quilt themed
3) this just seemed like a fun thing to try in paper, right?

But I found it is totally not fun to make a card like this unless you go buy one of these:

Having a square paper punch makes this card a cinch. I picked this up at Michaels. Don't be fooled by the 1 1/2 inch label there. It punches squares slightly over an inch in size, but the size noted on the punch is measured on the diagonal from corner to corner. Weird. Maybe that's standard but it seems goofy to me. I measure squares along the sides.
So the finished card is 5 x 5 inches.

I planned my colors and then assembled the squares like this: whole square on bottom topped by a triangle, which I cut from the punched squares with scissors, just eyeballing it. Then the assembled HSTs were all glued together on a piece of paper by just lining them up end to end.

I used a Tacky Glue pen for the assembly and it was perfect to put just the right tiny amount of glue on the triangles.

Here's the card with the wrapped gift. It's winging its way to her now so I'll wait a few days to post what's inside the wrapping.

In a completely unrelated K-Drama note, guess what's now streaming on Netflix?

Yaaaaaaaaaay! In the middle of it now!

Monday, September 5, 2016

birthday mixtapes!

Another year, another birthday mixtape for each of my girls. I kinda thought they might be aging out of these because they are forming their own very definite tastes in music that inexplicably vary from mine. What could be cooler than MY taste in music? It's mystifying.

So I asked my oldest if she just wanted to get an iTunes gift card this year instead of a curated mixtape of music that she might not like. And she said no, she definitely wants the mixtape.

So, yay! That made me happy. Because these are fun to make. We'll take it a year at a time. My taste might be too lame by next year.

Thing 2 Turns 12!
My youngest's birthday was in May. This mixtape opens with an awesome song by Black Box Recorder that sounds like an English boarding school headmaster lecturing the kids, and ends with Summertime Summertime. Perfectly appropriate as her birthday happened to fall on our last day of school for the year.

Thing 1 Turns 14!
My oldest has a birthday in August. I just couldn't whittle this list down, so it's a bit long. I wanted to give her a bunch of songs I thought were cool when I was her age, plus some new ones (and new to her) she might like. I kept thinking of more as I went along. I like to start strong on track one with a hair-raising blast of sound because I play these CDs to wake them up on their birthdays. Have I mentioned how they love that? The Blur song was the perfect choice.

We'll see what goes next year. They both have quite a music collection from these mixtapes by now since I've been doing it for six years.