Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! This is my favorite holiday because, really, who doesn’t love free candy and the opportunity to dress however you want and not get quite as many weird looks. It’s super awesome. And has its basis in Christianity (not just Paganism like some uber-religious people think), though like all modern holidays, has changed heavily over the years.

I did actually get some quilting work done this weekend in between helping my roommate move in and getting the apartment prepared for the party tonight, but I was working on super secret projects so I can’t post pictures yet. However, I can tell you that Mystery Lap Quilt #1 is now finished! It took me about 8 months (depends on what you consider to be the start date) to finish it. I’m hoping I can do better on the next few lap quilts on the docket.


The other thing I did this weekend (last night really) is make a jack o’lantern. And that I can totally share pictures of. And will, because it’s adorable. Also, turns out my new roomie is a pretty awesome artist.  I’m excited. She’s the one who drew the design on the pumpkin. (apologies for the slightly blurry pictures)


With light!
Posted in Quilt

Plots and Mischief

My plan for this weekend includes helping my new roommate move in (and making sure the place is slightly less chaotically disorganized than it currently is), so I probably won’t have much time for crafty-fun-times. But hopefully I’ll be able to work some on my 2 mystery quilts (lap quilt #1 and baby quilt # 5). Possibly also get started cutting pieces for two mini-charm (candy) quilts I have planned (more on these later).


Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Posted in Other, Quilt

Sundry Sunday

In addition to the other projects I’ve written about this week, I have other projects  in various stages of beginning:

  • Mystery Lap Quilt #1 – Aside from a brief introductory foray into quilting a few years ago which produced 2 small wall hangings, 2 slightly larger wall hangings/very small lap quilts (pictures forthcoming eventually), and a dislike of applique, I’ve stayed in the relative safety of baby quilts. They’re fast, easy, and well-received by the mothers (the child in question tends to be too young to express pleasure/displeasure. But the first one I’ve made is still in frequent use 2 years later so she must like it). However, they are rather to small for my taller friends (I won’t do them the indignity of calling them older). So I decided to be adventurous and swim in slightly deeper waters and try making a lap quilt. This particular quilt is ~60” x 80” which you might notice is the size of a queen size mattress. I figured it was a good size for a versatile quilt (being large enough to use on a twin or a full and as an extra layer on a queen bed without being too unwieldy to use on a couch). I have since decided that future lap quilts will not be that big. The thing has taken me the better part of a year to finish (I don’t actually remember when I started but it was probably around this time last year). Granted I’ve done most of the quilting by hand and have worked on other projects as well in that time frame both of which slowed me down. But still, 1 lap quilt a year is sub-optimal. Also, it’s hardly a ‘lap’ quilt anymore. Future lap quilts will likely be 45”-60” per side. Also, I plan to work on learning better how to machine quilt so I can hopefully do the quilting part faster. This quilt is almost done (finally!).
  • Monster baby quilt – This one will get a full write up soon. Based on this pattern:

    MisforMonster.PNG but scaled down to the size I usually use for baby quilts.

  • Bicycle refurbishment – My poor bicycle sat outside fully exposed to the weather for the 7 years I was in college. It is not terribly surprising that the entire gear system was horribly dirty and possibly rusted and/or broken. I could have simply replaced it (as several people suggested I do) but where’s the fun in that? Besides, that’s no way to reward long years of loyal service. Also, it has a name. You can’t just get rid of something once you’ve named it. His name is Benji and he’s an ~10 year old Trek 700. I decided I would at least attempt to fix him myself and increase my knowledge of bike maintenance along the way so I could take better care of bike2.0 (either Benji refurbished or someone new) in the future. At this stage the bike is (almost) fully disassembled. (many many many thanks to the friends who helped me with that. Benji makes me feel like a weakling). I took Benji with me last time I cleaned my car (whose name is Crys) so, with the help of some simple green and quite a bit of elbow grease, now Benji is all nice and clean (one of the  rims still needs a bit more elbow grease but I had run out by that point so I’ll get to it soon-ish). The next step is to use aluminum-foil to scrub the tiny rust pockmarks off the frame and then wax it. After that it’s research time. I need to replace the gear system ( a bunch of the teeth on both the chainring and the cassette are either worn down or cracked but the derailleurs seem ok) and might decide to replace the handle bars while I’m at it. And the cables of course all need replacing. Also, the seat either needs a cover or to be replaced. I need to research the various types available and decide what will work best for my intended use.

    This project is a little more mechanical than most of my others but that’s good. I like mechanical and don’t do nearly enough of it.

  • I have a couple of clothing projects that are in something of a holding pattern because something about them frustrates me. I’ll get around to finishing them eventually…
  • Gradient Baby Quilt: based on another pinterest find.
    Here’s the pattern. Obviously that one is for a tote so I scaled it up to make a baby blanket (my blocks are 6 7/8″ (finished to 6″) instead of 3″) but otherwise I didn’t change much. Except the color. I had leftover blues in various shades from other projects so I used those instead of the pretty turquoise-y colors. I’ve got  the pieces for 3 of the blues and 2 sets of white cut out but haven’t started sewing them together yet.
Posted in Uncategorized

Fancy Coat Friday

Happy Friday!

Aren’t you glad the weekend is almost here so you can get some real work done? :p

As I mentioned yesterday, I have another Tardis project in the works, although this one is still more in the planning/development stage.

I decided I wanted to do a Tardis cosplay. Because why not, really? I’ve made other cosplays (mostly for use at Halloween because when I go to conventions I’m usually volunteering and thus often have a dress code), which I will post pictures of at some later date when I track down decent pictures of them…

I toyed with titling this post ‘frock coat friday’ because it’s fun and alliterative but it is a bit misleading as frock coats were only for men. But the jacket is knee-length in back. And rather old-fashioned in appearance. So it’s sort of the women’s version of a frock coat. A very low cut version designed to show off the bustier, which is after all why I selected this pattern of the several rather awesome looking jacket patterns I could have used. This one offered the best ability to include the “police public call box” and windows as a separate piece from the rest of the jacket so I can use the jacket for other things as well. The Tardis is a very pretty shade of blue.

The pattern I will be using is Simplicity 2172:


It comes with a skirt but I’m not overly fond of that pattern. Although it might be interesting to do the top part blue and the bottom part something spacey, as if I was floating in space. That would look cool.

Here’s more or less what it will end up looking like (along with a few of my notes):

tardis cosplay.jpg

I’m thinking for the pants/skirt (I haven’t decided which yet) I might do something spacey or otherwise timey-wimey. But that’s for another post and a later date as is the bustier.

For the buttons, I saw some very cool steampunk-y clock buttons that would perfect if I can find them again…

I’ve been debating the merits of making the sleeves detachable. I have another pattern that I can use as a reference for the modifications required. And it would enable me to wear the jacket even on warm days (or in an over-crowded and thus overly warm convention room).


And of course I will need some kind of awesome hat to go along with it, possibly a fez 😉

Posted in Quilt

Time-and-Space Thursday


I think it is pretty much a given that if you quilt and are a geek (or related to a geek), you will at some point in your quilting career make a Tardis quilt. And really, why wouldn’t you; it’s just a bunch of rectangles. It will certainly be one of the easier pieced quilts you’ll ever do.


The Tardis has changed subtly over the years, so there is some flexibility in the relative dimensions (yes, pun intended). For my quilt I have decided on a twin-sized quilt based on the 9th Doctor’s Tardis. I wanted the tardis portion of the quilt to more or less fill up the entirety of the mattress without spilling over, and then have borders around it that would provide the drape. A standard twin sized mattress is 39” wide by 79” long, or a ratio of 1.948:1 (length: width). The 2005 Tardis has a ratio of 1.981:1 (as opposed to the 1969 Tardis which is 2.1573:1 or the 11th Doctor’s Tardis which is 2.069:1. There are of course other Tardises, but those were my 3 favorite from an exterior-design perspective), making it pretty much the perfect size for my envisioned quilt.

Now the real Tardis is more or less one color (accounting for the fact that is painted wood so there will be slight variations), but due to the lighting and whatnot, it usually appears as though there are 2 or more similar shades of blue going on. I decided, for simplicity’s sake, to go with 2. This provides me with some contrast between the door panels without being much extra work.

So basic design philosophy over with, here’s how this is actually going to look (I hope):


I’m toying with the idea of doing a 4th doctor scarf style border but I’m not sure I’m quite that insane. It would look cool.

The above design consists of the following pieces:

  • blue 1:
    • (4x) 53 ”x 2.5” (the long strips)
    • (10x) 9.5” x 2.5” (the bits in between the door panels)
  • Blue 2:
    • (5x) 9.5” x 10.5” (the door panels)
    • (1x) 35.5” x 4” (the bottom bit)
    • (1x) 28.5” x 3” (the top mantle)
    • (1x) 27” x 3” (the bit above the top mantle)
    • (2x) 57.5” x 3” (the side posts)
    • (1x) 53” x 1”  (the strip in between the doors)
    • (1x) 3.5” x 2” (the top of the light)
  • Black:
    • (1x) 29” x 5” (the mantle)
    • (2x) 9” x 0.75” (horizontal window cross-bars)
    • (8x) 5” x 0.75” (vertical window cross-bars)
  • White:
    • (12x) 3.5” x 5.5” (the window panes)
    • (1x) 3.5” x 5.5” (the light on top)
    • Extra for the letters over the door
  • Printable fabric:
    • (1x) 9.5” x 10.5” (sign on the door). Since this is bigger than the printable fabric I’ve been able to find so far, I’ll probably have to add a border of the white fabric to make it big enough.
  • Background fabric: (something spacey probably).
    • (2x) 90.5” x 20” **
    • (1x) 35” x 14.5” **
    • (2x) 57.5″ x 1.75″
    • (2x) 3″ x 4″
    • (2x) 3″ x  3.5″
    • (2x) 10.5″ x 16″ **
    • (1x) 4.5″ x 3.5″ **
    • [** = These are approximate measurements. It will depend on how big I want the final quilt to be (aka how much drape do I want)]

The long pieces can be pieced together so you don’t have to waste fabric (not that quilting fabric is ever wasted. It’ll end up in a quilt…eventually). In my case, I’m combining this project with another Tardis-themed project (which I’ll talk more about tomorrow) so I’ll have at least one set of long strips that aren’t pieced. There’s nothing really wrong with piecing the long strips, but I prefer not to if economically feasible.

So far I have blue 1, black, and white (other than the letters) cut. I still need to cut blue 2 and print out the sign on the door and then I’ll start piecing. I will also, at some point, need to decide on a background fabric.

Posted in Quilt

Avenging Wednesday

Wednesday gets such a bad rap. I know it’s hump day for all us M-F folks, but that means the week is almost half over. That should be a good thing, right? Well maybe this will make your Wednesday a little better.

Remember this pin from yesterday?

I ran across this adorable little quilt block on Pinterest (I know, where else?) and a little while later I ran across this awesome quilt

and all I could think was A+B = Brilliance! Sheer and utter Brilliance! (hey, I never said I was humble). And it totally works. The Hulk is obviously green, Hawkeye is obviously purple. The others were a little harder: Cap could be either blue or red, Iron Man could be either yellow or red. Thor could be pretty much anything but yellow and red are the most common. There’s a lot of red on the team; I’d never noticed before. Black Widow, however, stole red away from the boys because red is completely her color. (and black. Let’s be honest here, this is a Black Widow and Hawkeye quilt with the rest of the team filling in to make the size and coloring work. :p ) Cap got blue since no one else really has blue. Thor and Iron Man are still duking it out over who gets yellow (Iron Man is currently winning but that’s subject to change right up until I actually assemble that part of the  quilt top).

So I set about designing the layout of the quilt topper. And came up with this:


Pretty basic design but that was kind of the idea.

The hardest part of this quilt is going to be the symbol blocks. I haven’t tried curved piecing or paper piecing yet, and I’m really pretty terrible at applique. But when have the Avengers ever backed down from a challenge? (even when they really probably should have). So I will be learning curved piecing and paper-piecing and hoping that the applique turns out okay.

The plan: start with the symbol blocks (aka: get the hard part out of the way first)

Supplies needed:

  • Black:
    •  12* 2.75” x 50.5” (includes ¼” sa).
    • extra as needed for the symbol blocks (max 10.5 x 10.5). Will need 2-3 full blocks (for Cap, Hulk, and possibly Thor if I go the applique route). The other blocks are pieced.
    •  binding. I usually use 2.5-3″ wide strips for the binding. for the purposes of buying fabric I’ll assume a 3″ binding.
    • backing: (see below for backing design and why I need black strips)
      •  2* 4.5” x 42.5” + 2* 4.5” x 14.5”
  • Each color: 6” wide (includes ¼” sa). In 2 pieces for everything except red and purple.
    • Red: 1 piece 50.5” long
    • Orange: 2 pieces, 10.5” and 40.5”
    • Yellow: 2 pieces: 20.5” and 30.5”
    • Green: 2 Pieces: 20.5” and 30.5”
    • Blue: 2 pieces: 10.5” and 40.5”
    • Purple: 1 piece 50.5”
  • Backing: I found this cute fabric for the backing (one of only 2 that had all 6 characters, which is kinda sad)
    avengers_kawaii-fabricSince it’s not wide enough to cover the back of the quilt without piecing, I decided to do a ‘gift box’ style for the back, something like this:
    avengers-quilt-backYippee, more paper piecing (for the A in the middle)! Fandominstitches has me covered again.
    Fabric requirements:

    • 42.5″ x 42.5″
    • 2* 14.5″ x 42.5″
    • 14.5″ x 14.5″
  • Batting:  60” x 60” (plus a few inches on each dimension because quilting can shrink it down a bit)

I’ve rounded up most of the fabric I’ll need and started getting the black cut. Wish me luck…

Posted in Quilt

A Very Rainbow-Filled Tuesday

The next two baby quilts on the docket are different than the three I’ve done (or am working on) so far in that they don’t include a pre-printed panel. One is a mystery quilt and I’ll write more about it after I’ve made it and given it to the intended recipient. The other was inspired by this pin:


Originally designed as a quilt block, the person I pinned it from suggested it could be scaled up to a cute and easy baby quilt. That person was right. I actually made the quilt block itself a little while ago as a two-fold experiment; my first attempt at both machine-quilting and making a pot holder (which will probably be the fate of any block I mess up because at least it’s still functional).

My Rainbow Quilt Block


I didn’t do a very good job of lining things up correctly when I pieced the block together, nor did I stitch-in-the-ditch very well, but at least I learned a few things (like the fact that an open-toe walking foot would be preferred to a closed-toe since you could see when the fabric has shifted slightly off-line and that using black thread against a white colored block is not a wise choice if you don’t want the stitching to be obvious).

The baby-sized quilt turned out better (so far).  Piecing the top was quick and easy and only took me a few hours. I plan to machine quilt stitch-in-the-ditch along the line between colors and between the white and the colors. I’m debating doing some kind of quilting design inside the white blocks as well, a different design for each one.

I make baby quilts to the nominal dimensions of 36” x 44” (or the fabric width), so that means each of the 6 colors would be 6” wide finished and each white block would be 7.5” high and 6” wide finished. With ¼” seam allowances, that would yield the following measurements to cut:

  • White: 6* 6.5” x 8”
  • Red & Purple: 6.5” x 38”
  • Orange & Blue: 6.5” x 8” and 6.5” x 30.5”
  • Yellow & Green: 6.5” x 15.5” and 6.5” x 23”

I actually cut each colored piece slightly longer to make it a bit easier to square up. My finished (non-squared up) topper looks like this:

Baby-sized Rainbow Quilt topper


My local fabric store has an unfortunately small selection of greens and purples so if I make any more of these (since they’re so quick and easy), I’ll probably end up using the same green and maybe the same purple.

Now to find an appropriate backing fabric…

Along the same lines, I’m planning a holiday rainbow quilt, with each color representing a different holiday:

Red – Christmas
Orange – Thanksgiving
Yellow – Easter
Green – St. Paddy’s Day
Blue – 4th of July
Purple – Halloween

Something along these lines:

Rainbow Holiday Quilt idea


I was hoping they might conveniently be in chronological order but no such luck.


Not enough rainbows for you yet? Here, have another one.


Posted in Quilt

Monday Menagerie

Happy Monday! (I know, it never is. but I can hope)

In my first post I laid out a nice schedule and everything but I decided to ignore that this week and instead use this time to catch you up with the projects I’m currently working on. One post a day ought to do it.

This month’s baby quilt is one I am calling the Menagerie Panel quilt (officially it’s called ‘Swinging Safari’ but as it has an unfortunate lack of swings I’m not calling it that.). It has a bunch of zoo animals made to look as if they were appliqued. They’re pretty cute. Except the zebra. He is simply fabulous. All the other animals are jealous of how fabulous he is. I mean look at him


Is he not fabulous?

Here’s all the other animals looking not at all jealous.


Last month’s baby quilt is for my niece and is thus a mystery quilt until I get a chance to give it to her Mommy (hopefully this weekend). The one before that is also a mystery quilt until I get a chance to give it to the mother-to-be. I should hopefully be posting pictures of these two in the next month or two.

In the meantime have a picture of the quilt I made for my first niece.

As with all of the baby quilts I have done so far, it is a panel quilt. I will be branching out into more traditional quilts, but this was a good way to get started without too much frustration.


Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome to the Madness

Hello! Welcome to the Crafty Corkboard, a blog I started to track and document the various crafty things I do in my oh-so-copious free time. If you’ve read the About section, you already know that. If not, here’s an excerpt of the most relevant info:


“I have a corkboard in my apartment to help me keep track of all the projects I am working on or plan to be working on next. It is always full. It contains slips of paper with little more than the name (or very short description) of the project along with a list of supplies I have or need and maybe a short very high-level list of steps if I’m feeling froggy and still have room on the small piece of paper I use. And the thing is still full. In short: I have too many projects and no where near enough time in the day for them all. But that’s not going to stop me from trying. Since the board is already full with just the names and supplies needed, the details about how to do each project end up scattered all over: on my computer, in a notebook, on pieces of paper my cats knock off the counter and under the couch… In short: everywhere. And more often than not, I forget where I left my notes (or can’t find where the cats hid it) and start over from memory. I often end up with multiple versions of the plan for how to make something. I need a better version control (you’d think the computer would help but so far not so much).

Add to that the occasional requests I get after posting pictures of my latest project to ‘make me one please’ or ‘can you teach me how to make one?’ and I figured maybe I should just start a blog. It’ll be a convenient place to corral my notes, post progress pictures and lessons learned, and should work as an effective version control (since I can easily go back and see what my plan was on the date that I posted it). And I can point anyone who wants to learn how I made something to the blog and wish them luck.

This blog will be as much for me as for anything, so it will be highly informal and probably not updated regularly (writing blog posts takes precious time away from working on the actual project). It may or may not make sense to anyone who doesn’t live in my crazy brain so if you have questions please ask.”


All caught up? Great. Moving on…

As I said, this blog is mostly for me to keep track of stuff, but it’s also for you dear reader so if you have a question or a suggestion or a challenge (I love those), please do post a comment or contact me.

Most of the projects I do are sewing related. I occasionally branch out into other things too. Also, I am a massive geek so a lot of what I work on is geeky/nerdy. When I started out I mostly made little stuffed critters and Halloween costumes/cosplay. I have somewhat recently gotten into quilting and am currently on a quilting kick (mostly because a bunch of my friends/family members are at the age where they are having children and baby quilts make great gifts and are super easy. Plus some of the panels they make for baby quilts are really adorable. And it’s a good way to get comfortable and try out new techniques without committing to a huge project).

Rather frequently lately I’ve been doing a lot of ‘Mystery’ projects. What are mystery projects? Mystery projects are things I am making for a specific person that are intended to be a surprise. Just in case that person happens to have found this blog, I don’t want to ruin the surprise by posting in-progress pictures or too many details before I give it to them. So these projects will be classified as ‘Mystery’ and I will be extremely vague on the details. (I apologize in advance for any infuriation that may cause.) Since I’m currently on a quilting kick, most of my mystery projects are baby quilts. I plan to graduate to lap quilts soon (once the current baby boom has subsided and I’ve managed to make a few extra to put aside so I’m not caught off guard next time).

I rarely do requests, so if you really like something I’ve made I recommend making one yourself or begging some other seamstress to make you one. That’s why I’ll be posting my patterns/notes. Sometimes people manage to persuade me to make them something. Usually when I don’t have many other projects lined up. Usually cookies are involved. I like cookies.  I also like challenges. The difference between requests and challenges being requests are something I make for you. Challenges are something I make in general and post the pattern for and might give to you if I feel like it.


The Plot (Scheme/Plan/whatever) for how this blog is going to work:

I will try to post at least once a week. Work and life and stuff tend to interfere with that but I’ll do my best. I envision a schedule something like this:

  • Sunday evening status check: where am I at with my sundry projects? What did I get done over the weekend (if anything)?
  • Time-warp Tuesday: because I’m a rebel like that. And have a different plan for Thursdays. At least once a month I want to write-up a project I’ve done previously and this would be the day I would post it. Also a good day for posting pictures of the mystery projects whenever it’s safe to post them. (i.e. when they’ve been given out already)
  • Thursday Thor’s Bane (Plots and Mischief): basically just my plan for the next 7 days (most importantly the weekend). Not nearly as cool as it sounds.
  • Futuristic Fridays: the day when I look into the future… sort of. This will be the day I post ideas I have for future projects (i.e. ones I haven’t started yet). Some of which I might never get around to, but I’ll post my thoughts/designs and maybe someone else will be awesome and make one and send me a picture. Also known as Fantasy Fridays (as in, I fantasize about having time for all the projects I dream up).

As for the other days, I might post pictures of works-in-progress but Mondays and Wednesdays are my best fabric-cutting days and Saturdays I’m either diligently working on projects (lolz) or out and about having adventures and pretending to be social. Either way, not much time for blog-writing.

Hopefully all that made sense.

Welcome to the Madness!