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Minecraft Block Patterns

Just a quick note – I have been getting emails asking about the Minecraft patterns that I previously had on Craftsy. I received an email from Craftsy stating that the Minecraft people contacted Craftsy and requested that the patterns be removed. I never received any money from the publication of these, I just wanted to share what I created for my son as I felt others may want to make the same.

I did post each block on my blog and each should state the colors used. You should be able to recreate them on your own just by looking at the blocks, and the colors used (all Kona solids). I know this is an extra step for you – but think of the end result!

4th of July Weekend Sale

Good morning and Happy Saturday! Just a quick note to let you know I have a sale in my Etsy shop through Monday. Save 17.76% on everything (I think it rounds up to 18%). I recently added some new items including some fun Crafty Merit Badges (get them individually or save on the complete set), and an Animal embroidery series. You may have seen these if you follow me on Instagram. I am working on several more embroidery lines that will be available soon – I am having so much fun making these. Soon my home will be covered in Hoop Art. I recently finished the Constellation series that I just need to hoop, hang and photograph. And I am working on an Ocean Series and an Outdoor Series for my son’s bathroom and bedroom – those will be available soon!

It will be a busy summer for me but I have a lot planned in the next few months, like finishing many projects I started a long time ago, and some new product ideas. I also need to keep the child entertained over the summer, and make sure he doesn’t lose everything he learned during the school year! I hope you all have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

Ombré Jelly Roll Sample Project

I had to make a quilt from a rail fence design recently, for a possible class, and instead of using the pattern suggested I went and made my own. Happy about that too – the pattern called for 15 blocks of 5 strips sewn together plus a thin and fat border. The preview of the finished quilt pattern was not calling to me, and when I mocked it up in Photoshop, it wasn’t working there either. Also based on the quantity of jelly roll strips I wanted to work from, I needed to change it up.

I had been holding on to 2 jelly rolls of ombré fabric from Marcus fabrics, not quite sure what to do with them, but hoping for a good project. Then when this came along I figured that was it; I used a warm and a cool jelly roll of the ombré tye dye fabrics, a total of 80 strips. I grouped my sets into 4’s instead of 5, and tried to group the strips by color. As usual some colors didn’t always group perfectly together, and I ended up with an extra brown or grey or neutral here and there, but for the most part I tried to keep it all grouped by color.

Once all 80 strips were sewn into groups of 4, it was time to cut. Here you can see edge to center of a grey group:

I cut all the squares from the strip sets, but I only needed 4 squares from each, even though I had enough to cut 5 squares from each set. When you look at the entire set above, you can see where the middle gets really light and the outer edge is much richer or darker for each color, but where the midtone separates from the dark isn’t always easy to see. I cut the center section first as I wanted all the light squares. Then I cut one of the dark ends for the dark blocks, then I went back and cut 2 middle sections for the midtone blocks. With this set of green you can see the light and dark blocks on the left, and the midtone blocks on the right. Once cut, it’s a lot easier to see the separation.

Once all the blocks were cut it was time to separate out light, medium and dark blocks, and figure out how to arrange it. I wanted to keep some semblance of color order since I had grouped the strips by color, but some were easier to figure out than others. I wanted the light blocks in the center, and work out to the dark blocks on the outer edges. I also had a separate plan for the center block. This was my final photo layout, but I think it may have changed by a block or two when I went to sew it together:

For the center block, I wanted to use the leftover dark edges for a focal point. I was playing around with color combinations and ended up with this, but later realized the strips were not wide enough when you factor in all the seam allowances.

Notice in the image below, the center block has a thin grey border around it, from leftover strips, to make it the same size as the other blocks. This is the finished quilt top, currently on a store display.

And that block from above that wasn’t quite big enough? I turned it into a colorful mug rug that now resides on my cutting table. I used an extra strip piece for the back and wrapped it around on top for binding. Quick and easy.

I’m thinking an all-over design for the quilt would be interesting since there are so many lines, but I don’t know what yet. Any ideas?


Project-In-Progress Labels

Sometimes when you are working on a project you need to cut and/or sort a lot of pieces, fabric, colors, etc. into piles before you can begin. In cases like this, project labels are very handy and you don’t need to worry about post-it notes that are attached, but may fly away from the “wind” of the fabric you just moved to iron or cut. Back when I started working on my Gravity quilt top, I embroidered project labels to help the process of Gravity, because for each block you would have 6 colors and multiple cuts for A, B, C, D, E and F. I used them back when working on Gravity, but I just finished them the other day.

I embroidered each letter and number onto thick canvas. I used the Typewriter Keys Alphabet from Urban Threads. The keys shown here are the 1.02″ size key, there are also three other sizes available (0.71″, 1.50″ and 2.01″). I took a large piece of canvas and drew erasable lines roughly 3″ apart, and noting the center of where I wanted each letter. With my embroidery machine I was able to say “start here” for each letter, which made it simpler for placement on a large piece of canvas, and then cut down to the 36 individual squares shown below. I also chose 36 different colors of Madeira embroidery thread plus white for the letter and outer border. Not required, I just wanted them to be colorful.

After each letter was embroidered, I cut the squares out to about 2.5″ individual squares, and cut 2″ plain canvas squares for the back. Using fabric glue, I glued the plain 2″ square to the center back of the letter, hiding the embroidery. After letting the fabric glue dry, I went back and sewed in a circle, one by one, each typewriter key to permanently connect the front and back together. Again not a requirement, just a more finished appearance for me, plus it’s a little more weighted. Finally, I took a small ruler and measured about 1/2″ off the edge of each letter, for a final 2″ square size, and used pinking shears to trim the front canvas square to about 2″ each. They even stack together nicely.

I know there is a paper version out there that would have been much quicker, but I really like how these turned out; I like the appearance of the typewriter key, and they are colorful with 36 different embroidery threads, and made out of durable canvas. If you would like to make your own, it will probably take a few hours for embroidery, and a few hours for cutting, gluing, sewing, and cutting again – each embroidered key is almost 2000 stitches, plus the other steps. But I think it’s totally worth it. And they will be used for many, many projects in the future.

80’s T-Shirt Quilt

My husband’s 80’s T-shirt Quilt is finally finished! I started this a long time ago, right after I started sewing again, and took a class to learn how best to make a t-shirt quilt. It started as a surprise for my husband, but when I revealed what I was working on, he was very helpful with input, and adding more shirts to the design to make it much bigger than I initially planned.

I believe I started with 16 shirts for a 4×4 layout. He kept finding other shirts he wanted to add to the quilt, so first it was 16, then 20, and now the final 25 in a 5×5 layout. Luckily I ordered extra fabric for the backing and binding and I had enough to make the back and binding with the larger size.

Some shirts I bought, some were donated from my t-shirt collection, a couple from my husbands, and a few new “old” designs were added at the end for the overall collection.

M*A*S*H is his all-time favorite show, so I knew I had to get a M*A*S*H shirt in there but knew better than to cut his up, or ask him to donate it. So I donated mine. But my shirt wasn’t big enough, so I had to create borders from the back of the shirt to make it big enough. Each shirt square is 15″. The owl POPS shirt was also mine. I had hoped to grab the Sam Eagle Los Angeles 1984 Olympics shirt and add to my Olympic shirt collection, but he loves that one right in the center.

For the back of the quilt he decided to be totally different and use the same fabric I used when making a neck pillow for him for sore muscles and headaches – the back and binding fabric is from the Princeton fabric line from Northcott fabrics. And he wanted the quilting to match the back, so I used a machine quilting pattern in a simple damask for overall quilting to blend in on the back, and hopefully disappear on the shirts on the front.

And now that it is completely finished, it is folded neatly, sitting on the chair in his office so no one can damage it in any way. At least he loves it.