Finishes : The Halloween Edition

Hold up. How has it been a whole month since I've been in this space?!?! Whoa. The irony of that is that I've started over half a dozen posts... but haven't managed to complete one. In my defense... the change over from stay-at-home mama who designs during "naps" and nighttime to work-out-of-the-home mama has been ROUGH. On all of us. I'm hoping that some of the bumps smooth out as we settle into a routine with the sitter. (For the past three weeks we've been "patching together" childcare thanks to the generosity of our friends and neighbors who have helped me juggle it all... thank goodness for my little village! That said, we will all be doing a little happy dance once our sitter is here... starting Wednesday!) Now if only the cleaning fairy would start visiting our house...

Moving on... I realized that I need to at least post my finishes as they get wrapped up if I am going to meet my goal of 15 projects in '15! (I'm on pace to finish fifteen... the question is if I will be able to document it all.) 

So, while this is the last thing I should be doing given the fact that my kitchen floors and counters are sticky, there is dust a quarter of an inch thick upstairs, and the laundry... oh... let's not talk about the laundry.... I'm taking twenty minutes to focus on two Halloween-specific finishes I'm incredibly proud of.

First up... my first official mini swap! For those of you who don't know what I'm taking about (read: the majority of my audience) a swap is an online based event, usually through flickr or instagram. You fill out a form saying "I'm in!" and answering questions on your likes and dislikes to be sent along to your partner. Then everyone is given a partner to sew a mini for based on the preferences their partner listed. There is usually an overarching theme of the mini (like Halloween) and then it's up to you to create something based on your partner's input. (But they don't know who they are so there is usually a lot of IG-stalking going on! Ha!) Hopefully that makes sense... if not, don't worry... it doesn't really matter. The gist is I was making a wall hanging for someone else. 

My swap partner was so much younger/cooler/hipper than me that I was immediately intimidated. Add in that she sews her own clothes and... yeah... 

So, I started down one path with my mini and then decided it wasn't at all her style (Although, I actually felt that I different person I stalk on IG would have loved it. Go figure.) I scratched it all and designed my own mini based on the idea of a specimen shelf in a mad scientist's laboratory, and then figured out how to piece it all together. GO. ME. (No, seriously. I'm pretty impressed that I figured it out!) 

Next was the quilting which I wanted to keep pretty simple and "on theme." I stitched in the ditch around all the specimen jars and then "filled" the blank areas with cobwebs and spiderwebs. I added witty labels to the jars and called it almost done.

Lastly, I added a plain binding as not to distract from the mini design and a label on the back that fit the theme. (I think it does at least!) 

It was hard for me to pack this up and ship it off... I really do love it and after being so stressed over my first mini, thrilled with what I did. But ship it off I did... along with some treats for her pups, and some treats for her (yarn from our local alpaca farm, a decoration, and wash tape!)

I'm happy to report that my partner seemed thrilled with her mini (and goodies) which makes all the stress *totally* worth it. Now I get why people say swaps are addicting!

Project Details:
Pattern: "Specimen Jars," by me.
Fabric: Some stash, and some lines from last year... with some new ones mixed in. I should have made notes of what exactly they all were though. 
Pieced & Quilted: By Me! 
Finished Size: 18"x24"

At the beginning of this year, I set out a challenge for myself to complete 15 projects in 2015. This is project 5 of 15.

Next up is another Halloween project... TREAT BAGS! And still not for me! How does this happen?! These were a fun and quick project, finished in an afternoon. Not only that, but I was able to make them with just over a half yard of fabric for each print! While Spencer had a "mama made" Halloween sack, his brother did not. So when I saw fitting fabric from both of them, I decided to whip them both up some new bags. 

I based them off one of those "pouch" totes... you know the ones that fold up into a little packet? Like that... but not as squishable. Clearly. I also knew I wanted them to be fully lined for strength and stability as well as looks, to have seams at the bottom to make them have some width, and a pleat at the top to not only pull the handles closer together, but to make a larger "hole" when held open. (As the treat hander-outer, I find it frustrating to have to dig for the kiddo's pillowcase hole!) And the stars aligned and I got just that! I made the handles shorter than I would on a normal tote bag to [hopefully] eliminate them being dragged down the street in the rush to get to the next house. Lastly. these bags were also made using French seams so it came together quickly AND there are no raw edges, unlike the last bag I made Spencer. 

Not only am I super happy with them, both boys can't wait to use them in a couple of weeks. Win-win.

Project Details:
Pattern: None really... although you can find oodles on Pinterest
Fabric: All from JoAnn's Halloween section, inside and out. 
Finished Size: @ 13" wide x 20" tall 

At the beginning of this year, I set out a challenge for myself to complete 15 projects in 2015. This is project 6 of 15.

And for those of you who really come here to see the kiddos, a little something for you. 

Linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and Amanda Jean at crazy mom quilts this week.