Studio Ghibli Craft Swap: The Totoro Pieces I Made

Studio Ghibli Swap: The Pieces I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}It’s that time again. Time for me to talk a whole bunch about the current swap I’m part of!

This last one was a Studio Ghibli themed craft swap. So it wasn’t just quilts, it was any type of craft. Well, almost any. The partner you are assigned does have a preference. I’m lucky mine likes mini quilts. If you are unfamiliar with anything Ghibli, then I recommend reading up on it a bit. Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio that has some of the best animated films out there (in my personal opinion, and apparently many others too). They created such films as Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, etc etc. I 100% recommend you go and watch every single film they’ve made, if you havent already.

Anyway, for this swap I focused mainly on the film My Neighbor Totoro. My partner listed it as one they loved, and it fit best with their favorite fabrics and colors. Even though this should have been an easy make for me, I struggled. I couldn’t pin down just one idea. I had TOO MANY IDEAS! I put off working on the quilt until I made up my mind. In the meantime I made a little soot sprite brooch that you can read about a few posts back. So I wasn’t slacking completely.

I went out of town twice late Feb and early March, and then came home to the entire family being sick. So there was no time for any making for three whole weeks. Once everything got back to normal I went into panic mode and quickly picked out one of the designs I had come up with. It was a simple applique design of leaves around a hole that Totoro could peek out of.

Studio Ghibli Swap: The Pieces I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}

To accomplish this look, I drew all the leaves by hand in a 5″ square. I then scanned in the doodle and enlarged it to 18″ square in illustrator. I also did a quick outline of Totoro and divided up all the pieces I’d need. I did this early in the morning before CT woke up, so instead of using my Silhouette CAMEO like usual, I decided to iron on the double sided fusible interfacing, print out templates, trace everything and cut out all the fabric by hand quietly. I miss doing that sometimes (not TOO often though).

The first part I pieced together was Totoro since that’s basically the bottom layer. I used a Corelle plate and traced a circle on the black and white fabric as my circle guide. I then did a reverse applique to get that perfect circle cut out (detailed instructions will have to wait until a later date) I made another circle 1/2″ bigger and attached my totoro applique to that. I then glue basted the two pieces together just so I could get a feel for the whole thing.

I pretty much just eyeballed the placement of the leaves, using my original sketch as a guide. I ironed them on in quadrants. Once they were all secured I attempted to hand embroider around all the edges. Lets just say it was the worst idea Ive had in a long time!! After a bunch of cussing and pulling out thread, I decided to do a machine blanket stitch around each piece using a dark mustard thread. Even though it was faster than by hand, it still took me a few hours to finish (broken up in two days of course).

Studio Ghibli Swap: The Pieces I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}Once all of the applique work was finished, I quilted it up using invisible thread on the front and the same mustard thread on the back. I did 45 degree angled stitches on each corner, so it overlapped on the middle sides. I then did a simple straight line stitch in the circle and then around the applique to permanently secure it. Can I just say how much I’m loving invisible thread for these projects? In certain light you can hardly see any stitches at all!! It’s awesome.

To finish the piece off I bound it in some black chambray and hand painted the eyes, whiskers and mouth (using fabric safe paint of course).

Studio Ghibli Swap: The Pieces I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}Since it was a swap, and all, I also added a few goodies in the package! A beautiful card I picked up at Disney World that would make a great framed print, the Soot Sprite brooch I made, some japanese sweets and a pile of Lizzy House fabric scraps (some from the new and yet to be released line).

I really loved working on this piece, and it really made me realize I LOVE making themed quilts. LOVE IT! If I sign up for anymore swaps (in addition to the other two im working on), they are going to be themed, period.

Whew, I think thats it! Everything was sent out two days ago, and it doesn’t look like my partner has received it yet. I’ll let you know what he/she thinks once they receive it. I also haven’t received my package yet, so expect another post talking all about that!!!!

 

Pin It

WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project

WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecingAbout 10 months ago I wrote a post talking about this new obsession I had with english paper pieced hexagons. I talked about making 1″ hexies and hand stitching them all together for a lap quilt.

Well, I’m only about 1/14th of the way there! This is turning into my forever project. That project that you just keep working on until the day you die. Seriously though, If I keep going at this speed, I wont be finished for at least 5 years. YEARS! I’m ok with that though. Since it’s mostly made from my own scraps, with a few donated by friends, I will be able to look back at each hexagon and think of the project I made or the friend that gave me the fabric. It’s basically my quilting scrapbook! Maybe I should rename it?!?

WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecing WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecing WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecingI have been trying to keep this project under control by making 18″ blocks first and then piecing them all together in the end. As you can see above, I’ve finished one block and have three almost there. Each of the semi finished blocks is from a different level of the house or a different bag. I have project bags or boxes everywhere so I am never short of hexies to piece. That one on the bottom right for example, I pieced all of that in the airport this past weekend and a little on the plane. I did it in three sections to keep it manageable (and to not bring attention to myself) and then pieced the sections together at home.

This system really seems to be working for me.

WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecing WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecingWIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecing WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecingAbove you can see one of the storage systems I have been using. Nicole over at Modern Handcraft originally posted about these a few months back on InstaGram. They are Sterilite divided bins from Target and they can only be found in store. The little bins inside come out so you don’t have to have this huge bin on top of your table or wherever you are working. This seems to work best for me when I’m sitting on the couch actually. For any other situation I have little zipper pouches.

WIP: An Update On My Crazy Scrap Busting Rainbow Hexie Project {an Art School Dropout's life} #epp #englishpaperpiecingI’m leaving for ANOTHER trip very soon and I’m thinking a pouch or two will be stashed away in my backpack, just in case I have free time, because I would love to finish this faster. It’s going to look so neat!!!!!

Keep an eye out in the next few months for yet another update on this thing (hopefully), and in the meantime I have some other Hexagon projects in the works that I’m also excited to share with everyone!

Pin It

Ikea Rast Makeover for Silhouette America

Kids Dresser Makeover by Jessee M for Silhouette America {an Art School Dropout's life}Last week on the Silhouette America blog I talked about a quick and easy way to spruce up a set of Ikea Drawer Units using Silhouette Adhesive Vinyl!!

I explain what type of design files I used, the dimensions of these exact drawers and more. If you’d like to read more check out the post!

Pin It

A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon

A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life}Here we have the last two projects I made for QuiltCon. Woohoo! A drawstring bag and a patchwork lanyard. Both were made as part of the pin swap I’m taking part in.

A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life} A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life}

The bag was made to hold all of my Hexagon Pins and I used In Color Orders lined drawstring bag tutorial. I actually use this pattern quite often as reusable gift bags, project bags or toy bags for friends and family. They go together super fast and are beyond cute. The fabric I used is by two of my absolute favorite artist. The top Lllama fabric is by Meg Hunt and I bought it YEARS ago from her when she was having a destash sale. It can now be purchased from her Spoonflower shop. The bottom fabric is by Lisa Congdon from her line The Land that Never Was. I figured if I made it out of my favorite fabrics, I’d probably use it more later.
A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life} A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life}

The bag doesn’t hold all of the Hexagon pins, however it does hold enough for one day. That way I don’t give away all of my pins all at once!

A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life} A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life} A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life}

So this lanyard wasn’t really a necessity, since QuiltCon does provide a lanyard with your badge, but why going the boring route?

I used Procrasticraft’s lanyard tutorial and a bunch of random scraps to put this together. I lengthened it by about 1″, purely because I didn’t want to cut off one of the designs. Fashion over function anyone?!? I spent maybe a total of 30 minutes putting this together and the outcome looks like it took way longer. Those are always my favorite type of projects.

A Drawstring Bag and a Patchwork Lanyard for QuiltCon {an Art School Dropout's life}Are you guys tired of hearing about QuiltCon yet? Well don’t worry, if everything went as planned I should be on a plane en route to Austin when this blog post goes live . So all that’s left to talk about would be a recap, I think…

Pin It

Adventures in Casting: Promotional Hexagon Pins

Adventures in Casting: Promotional Hexagon Pins {an Art School Dropout's life} Hand Cast Plastic lapel pins for QuiltCon. #askmeaboutmyhexies #showmeyourhexiesQuiltCon is tomorrow, woohoo! I’m both excited and a little freaked out. I’m not use to traveling alone anymore and the weather isn’t the greatest in Maryland right now (winter hit us late!). For the first time ever I’m done all my projects and packed early. Who am I?!? I even properly photographed it all. What!?! Don’t get to use to this though, who knows how long this will last. Anyway…

There is this fun little tradition at QuiltCon I learned about, where people get 1″ buttons made with their name/business name/etc on them and they go around swapping with other people. They show them off on handmade lanyards or bags the whole trip. It’s a fun way of networking and helps break the ice when your meeting internet friends in real life for the first time. Absolutely brilliant!

I wanted to partake, and was about to go searching for my 1″ button machine, when the little light bulb over my head went off. Why not cast some pins? I had been trying to give myself some excuses to pour plastic again, because I really missed it. Perfect. I ordered some plastic and silicone and started making mock up designs. This was in early January.

Adventures in Casting: Promotional Hexagon Pins {an Art School Dropout's life} Hand Cast Plastic lapel pins for QuiltCon. #askmeaboutmyhexies #showmeyourhexiesI settled on a simple 1″ hexagon (because I REALLY love sewing hexagons) that I would just attach to my already designed business cards. I made a bunch of duplicate molds so I could cast a bunch of colors quickly. This was about the time that I also decided to make the quilty necklaces and soot sprites, because “why not? I already have the supplies”. If I had a quarter for every time I thought that…

Adventures in Casting: Promotional Hexagon Pins {an Art School Dropout's life} Hand Cast Plastic lapel pins for QuiltCon. #askmeaboutmyhexies #showmeyourhexiesI made around 200 of them, and will be bringing 150 with me to QuiltCon. The rest with be held on to for the shop and for myself. So if you’re not attending, keep an eye on this here blog for a shop update announcement.

I decided that it would be fun to make a little hashtag to go along with this project. So if you’re on Instagram or twitter, check out #askmeaboutmyhexies to see the process behind these pieces. Of course I had to go one step further and make myself a pin to go on my bags (shown above), and then one more step and start a contest…

For anyone going to QuiltCon who gets one of these pins: Take a photo of you, your bag, your pet, your friend or anyone else wearing one of these glittery hexies and tag me @jessee_artschooldropout with the hashtag #showmeyourglitterhexies for a chance to win a matching set of hexagon hairpins, necklace and ring! (I’ll have photos of the prize when I get home) I will take entries until the end of March, just to give everyone a chance.

Adventures in Casting: Promotional Hexagon Pins {an Art School Dropout's life} Hand Cast Plastic lapel pins for QuiltCon. #askmeaboutmyhexies #showmeyourhexies Adventures in Casting: Promotional Hexagon Pins {an Art School Dropout's life} Hand Cast Plastic lapel pins for QuiltCon. #askmeaboutmyhexies #showmeyourhexiesI’m really hoping this helps me be more social. Sometimes I get super anxious around a lot of people, and I really want to make the most of my trip. So if you see me walking around, please come say hi and “Ask Me About My Hexies”, no need to have pins to swap, saying hello is enough!

Pin It