I'm not entirely sure this goes here, but I'm putting it here anyway, temporarily.
I was in a butterfly swap last month, and made this death's head hawkmoth t-shirt for my partner:
(The circle above its head is from my camera, not part of the design. I had a hard time getting good pictures. In fact, my caterpillar picture is so messed up, I'm borrowing the picture my partner posted in the gallery). And on the front of the shirt, I painted its caterpillar:
I basically took an image of a death's head hawkmoth off the internet, printed it out, and drew a grid on it. Then I drew a (larger) grid on the t-shirt in either light colored pencil, and transferred the basic outline, then painted it in as best I could. I'm really proud of how it turned out, as it's the first time I've used the grid method and come up with something that looks decent.
A long, long time ago, I bookmarked the dragon dress tutorial ( this one ). I finally got around to drafting it, but I could not get the front bodice to turn out right. Part of the problem is that I wanted to be able to wear the dress to church, and our church is pretty conservative. So I redesigned the top piece and after a trial in fabric, I came up with this:
The altered pattern piece looks like this (the top one is the original drafted piece, complete with altered drafting lines from messing it up a few times, and the bottom one is the actual shape of that I used):
It's probably the strangest pattern piece I've seen, but it fits pretty well. The folded parts are folded up because it turned out to be a better shape, by the way.
And here's the trial I made up first. I originally bought this to cut out the cats and make a blanket for my daughter's bed, but as time went on, and I didn't get it done, her tastes changed, and the fabric became an addition to the regular stash. I've actually worn this dress when I'm working with kids. It won't be a daily dress, but it fits better than some of my other dresses:
My son and I went shopping for college, and his dorm room actually has a kitchen (not a big kitchen, but a stove, refrigerator, sink and cupboards is a kitchen). We went looking at various things for his kitchen, and hot pads are expensive ($3 for a 6" square of fabric is expensive). When we went to the dollar store, they had 1 hot pad. It was ugly, and had purple fabric. I told my son, "I will make you some hot pads."
I have insul-brite in my stash, and some warm and natural batting, so I told him to pick out some fabric from my stash for the outside, and I got to work. They don't have the binding that the store-bought ones have, but I think they turned out pretty well:
(The one on the right was later quilted, too. I discovered that hot pads are quilted for gripping ability as well as the usual reasons for quilting things). And here's a shot of the back. Believe it or not, the thread that looks dark in this picture is the same thread that looks too light on the other side):
I really liked this fabric when I bought it to make butterfly potholders for a personal swap (I guess it's just destined for potholders when I use it), but I like it even better when it's quilted along the pattern lines. The back, by the way, is cotton twill. So it's got a layer of twill, a layer of warm and natural batting, and a layer of insul-brite under the quilting cotton layer to help keep my son's fingers safe. I'm hoping he actually gets around to using them while he's there.
I was in the butterfly swap recently, and had some butterfly fabric that I thought my partner would like, but I was having a hard time figuring out what to make with it. At one point, I'd decided to send it as an extra, but then I received, and felt that my package didn't measure up to what I'd received. After much thought, I decided to make her an insulated bag. I bought insul-brite a few years ago to make window treatments, but complications arose (mostly, my daughter's window was big, and I didn't have enough to even do two windows, so I had leftovers sitting in the basement. Any my daughter claims it didn't really help). So I kept it until later, when I made placemats, and put the insul-brite in them to protect the table from hot plates. Then I found out that with two small children, placemats are just going to get incredibly dirty at every meal, so they ended up being put away.
So, I decided to pull out the insulated lining from my placemats (fortunately, I'd been lazy and didn't sew the insulation to the outside fabric, so technically, the placemats are still mostly intact), and make a bag out of it:
The green fabric is from my stash (green is her favorite color), as is the handle. The inside fabric is the butterfly fabric (I'm fairly sure I made a pocket for the inside, but I have no idea if I kept it or sewed it shut at the end), and it velcros shut. Originally, it was going to be green on the outside with embroidery, and butterfly fabric on the inside, but when I put the top flap together, I put the insulation the wrong way (sewing it to the fabric this time, naturally), so in order to have all the insulation reflecting the same way (to keep heat/cold in), I either could re-sew the flap, or put the butterfly fabric on the outside. I think I like it better this way (especially since the embroidery wasn't working out either, so it would have been plain green on the outside if I hadn't flipped the top flap). By the way, it's slightly larger than an average brown paper lunch bag, maybe a little bigger than the average fabric lunch boxes that stores sell.
So, for a project with various issues made fairly late in the swap process, I think it turned out pretty well.
I think I stumbled across it as a result of a quilting daily email (why I subscribed to the quilting daily email when I've never made a quilt is one of life's little mysteries). It has lots of options, but I'm not sure I would consider filler stitching "machine embroidery," unless you somehow made it the focus (contrasting colors?). Then again, I don't lurk on the machine embroidery board (too much temptation to get a machine), so I could be wrong about that.
I've quilted small things (including some neat looking potholders that are in my queue of things to post), but never a big quilt. I'm impressed when anyone finishes a big one! There are very few projects that I've done that require the kind of time that quilting does (there's a crochet lap rug, a cross stitched sweatshirt, a cross stitched tablecloth, a beaded cardinal, and a beaded amulet bag that took 15+ hours to make). Other than that, if it takes more than a week of my crafting time, it ends up in my "I'll finish it someday" pile that never gets smaller.