Choly Knight

Sew Desu Ne?


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Mermaid Quilt Quilt-along! Week 2

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WEEK 2: Mermaid applique block #1!
In week 1 we covered the gathering and cutting your fabrics. This week we begin appliqueing all the blocks! Since there is so much to applique for this quilt, I’ve broken down exactly how I do it for this first week. Then you can just rinse and repeat for the following weeks 😀



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1. Print & trim the pattern. Print off the pattern for this week’s block by clicking off the icon below. Be sure to print at 100% scale so it’s true to the actual size of the project.
Once it’s printed, trim off any of the margins that didn’t get printed on. This will make the next step much easier.
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2. Tape the pages. Each block in this project is made up of two pages, so this part’s simple. Just align the two pages together so the A1-A2 segments align. The paper should overlap just a bit. You can double-check your work by making sure the gray corners at the bottom and top of the page line up as well. When everything’s aligned, tape the pages together.



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3. Trace the design. Layer your fusible web over the paper pattern with the adhesive (bumpy) side down. The smooth, paper side of the fusible web should now be facing up. With a pencil, trace the lines from the design onto the fusible web. If you have trouble seeing the lines, you can consider moving to a light box, over a window, or even just working off of a lighter-colored table can help.



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4. Trim around the outlines. Generally cut out the shapes from the paper. If your mermaid and cameo are to be different colors, be sure to cut them out separately.



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5. Iron the fusible web. Place your fusible web with the tracing onto the back of your chosen fabric, the adhesive side facing the wrong side of the fabric. Fuse it in place with your iron using a medium heat and moving the iron around every few seconds until you have a complete bond. Repeat with the cameo piece as well if you’re using a different fabric.



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6. Cut the shapes. Allow the piece to cool for about 5-10 minutes, then cut out the shape. This is the part that can take some time. The pieces are detailed, so take it slowly and carefully.



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7. Prepare your background block. Take one of your 15½” x 15½” (A) blocks from Week 1 and fold it in half lengthwise and widthwise, creasing the folds with your fingers or the light touch of an iron. This will make creases as shown that point out the center of the block.



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8. Place & fuse the applique. Lay your cameo frame first onto the background block, using the creases to center it up horizontally and vertically. You’ll see most of the cameo frames have details on the bottom and top that mark the center, such as the little flower shape in the photo here. Once you have the frame all centered, place the mermaid inside. Smooth everything out, then press it lightly with your iron – heat for a few seconds at a time, then lift and move to another area to avoid shifting the applique.



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9. Stitch the edges. Of course there are loads of ways to finish off an applique, but the way I’ve chosen for this quilt is to do a basic zigzag stitch around the edge. After washing, the edges will get a little fuzzy, but aside from that I feel this method creates a very unnoticeable finish.
I set my machine to a stitch length of about 2 and a stitch width of 2-2.5. If you have an applique foot, now would be a good time to break it out as you’ll see here. Sew the zigzag around the edge of the applique so the outside of the zigzag lands in the background fabric and the inside edge lands in the applique fabric. If you get to a tight corner, don’t hesitate to stop and pivot your work so you can manage the curves more carefully. Keep going like this until you’ve sewn entirely around both the mermaid and her cameo frame.



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10. Finish the block. This is what your finished block should look like 🙂 It helps to give it one final press, as all of that zigzagging can sometimes warp the fabric a little. When you finish the block should still be 15½” x 15½”, but you can trim it if you need to.

That completes the first week of actual sewing! Pat yourself on the back ^-^ Next week we’ll be tackling a much easier block, so that’ll make a nice break from all the details of this one.


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Mermaid Quilt Quilt-along! It Begins!

Mermaid Quilt

I made a new quilt this year! Specifically it was a birthday gift for my boyfriend’s co-worker’s daughter, a sweet little girl who is currently in love with mermaids! Since I just had a few weeks until her birthday, I thought I could make something simple out of some Disney Little Mermaid fabric. But sadly I couldn’t find any at my local Joann’s. So immediately I got an artistic itch and said that I would just draw my own mermaids! So here we have the result 😀 a simple and modern quilt made of 9 blocks: 5 of mermaids in their own unique cameo frames and 4 of different sea life.

Now that the quilt-along is over, you can download the whole pattern via .pdf here:

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New Freebie for May!

Hi everyone!
As usual I’ve been pretty nonexistent on the internet, but I still make time to provide updates for the Monthly Crafting Challenge! With any luck you should also be hearing from me again about a new giveaway and getting to see some of the projects I’ve been working on all this time I’ve been on semi-hiatus!

Here’s how my stats look – I’m extremely close to my next giveaway goal! Once I reach my 100k pageview kiriban (milestone) on DeviantArt, I’ll start up the next giveaway ^0^
DeviantArt pageviews: 97,778/100,000 = 98% (almost there!)
DeviantArt watchers: 3,619/4,000 = 90%
Facebook likes: 1,257/2,000 = 63%
Tumblr followers: 762/1,000 = 76%
Wordpress followers: 1,227/2,000 = 61%
I’m thinking at this rate I should be able to do another giveaway around June-ish, so be sure to check back into hear news about that 😀 However, you can always speed up the process by visiting my DeviantArt page if you haven’t already ^-^

On to the good stuff, though! The new Monthly Crafting Challenge prize for May is this chubby little Usagi Manju plush!

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I don’t know as much about these sweet buns as other Japanese foods, but I couldn’t resist making them because they’re so adorable! I haven’t seen them personally in any Japanese confection shops I’ve been to, but from what I can gather, they’re a steamed bun that’s typically filled with sweet red bean paste. The rabbit features are usually painted with natural food dyes or sculpted from other garnishes. The rabbit theme makes it popular for both moon viewing festivals and festivals during the Year of the Rabbit (which won’t be until 2023 :<). You’ll find this adorable shape not only in this particular kind of filled sweet, but in bread buns and other confections as well!

You can get the pattern for this plush by signing up for email updates (found in the submission box on the right side of the page below the search bar). If you have trouble signing up, you can check out more info at the main Monthly Crafting Challenge page, the FAQ, or by emailing me. Also, bonus! for today only I’m offering both this pattern and the one from April when you sign up. After today though, the prize is just this guy 🙂 Though you can also purchase the older pattern through my Etsy if you’re too late.

If you’ve already signed up for emails, that’s where the challenge comes in. You can get this pattern if you make one of the projects from this blog, my books, or my Etsy then email me or message the finished project to my Facebook where I have a really awesome collection going of your creations! Keep it up every month and you’ll get a new free pattern, so don’t forget to check back during June to see the newest creation!


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Freebie Friday! The Skeleton Tie

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More Halloween fun today! I’ve cooked up another accessory that hopefully will look good on just about everyone, from men to women to kids and adults. This time around it’s a tie that’s made up with some ribcage and spinal cord appliqué that’s perfect for topping off a simple costume or maybe a casual Friday bit of Halloween cheer. While ties are typically pretty easy, some parts can be a bit tricky because they’re made with silk cut on the bias and often involve a bit of hand sewing. I’ve simplified the process even further to make the pattern super quick to churn out, making it perfect for a costume tie. Of course you could use the same pattern and decorate it however you choose! Maybe a zombie or Frankenstein tie :B! Or even some well-placed blood splatters would be excellent for Halloween 😀 Either way, with only two weeks left until Halloween, hopefully this will be easy to pull off if you need a costume in a hurry.

The appliqué was placed specifically so it would look relatively anatomically correct on the average adult, but you could easily scoot the ribcage down and take off some of the lower vertebrae to make it fit all kinds of sizes.

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Freebie Friday! The Bot Bag

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Today is bringing back a bit of nostalgia x3! By that I mean the fabrics from this bag are the ones I used for projects from when I first started up my blog, both the Frayed Tote Bag and the Zipper Bucket Bag. That’s about as nostalgic as one can get from a blog that isn’t even 6 months old yet :B

With these leftover fabrics, I thought they had almost a mod-looking color scheme, and with some white leftover vinyl I thought a robot motif would look awfully cute! So I went all out with the bolt pattern through the whole bag 😀 The contrast top and bottom actually repeats in the lining as well, which is also done in two pieces. Then from the seam in the middle there’s a hidden pocket done with one of my favorite techniques!

This type of bag is actually just a flat one with no depth. That’s not usually my taste, but I think they’re nice once in a while, because they’re about the only kind of bag that’s good to hold books in. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I try to make trips to the library with bags that have depth they just flop around x3

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Etsy Store Update!

At the moment I’m preparing to attend an anime convention called Metrocon in July, for the next few weeks I’ll be working on making some products to sell there. Up until then I’ll have those new products on my Etsy store in case anyone in the net-o-sphere is interested :3



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First is a teal version of my Punk Bunny Hat, which got everyone’s attention on DeviantArt last year by being a daily Deviation XD of course everyone wanted one and I was in barely any position to make them as I was working on books at the time. I finally got around to making some more, albeit in a different color scheme, that way I could use up some scrap plaid fabric I had 😀



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Next is just a little Zombie Bunny (Zombunny) hat that I made with some extra olive green fleece I had :B It’s a very simple design without all the blood and guts of other zombies, but it’s one of my favorites nonetheless >w<



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Next is a very cute Fox Hoodie that I whipped up from scraps of orange and white fleece. Unfortunately I didn’t have much fabric so I could only make the one. It features black hand mitts, an adorable fox face, and attached ears.



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And up last is a bag that’s based off of one of the projects from Sewing Stylish Handbags. It’s arguably one of the most unusual projects from the book xB But in the book you can find a pattern for a reversible creature bag just like this. I modified the pattern to make one side of the bag into a Zombie Kitty and the reverse side into a Killer Rabbit (a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail). The bright red eyes and drooling mouths are particularly weird and creepy, so I suggest this bag is definitely not for the faint of heart or those with grown-up tastes XD The middle reversible zipper is both the opening for the bag and the mouth of your creature, and the straps clip on with hook rings so you can remove the them when you turn the bag right side out to reveal your new character.



That’s all I have to show off now! I’ll be getting back to work and hopefully have another update for you soon! 😀


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Freebie Friday: The Sakura Purse

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This purse came about because I was in one of those moods again like with the Pretty in Plaid Purse project ^-~ I saw this lavender printed canvas and had the urge to make a sweet, feminine little purse that had a darling shape. The word sakura is Japanese for cherry blossom, and it’s the first thing I think of when I see adorable springtime colors like this lavender. So I couldn’t help but want to adorn it with beautiful cherry blossom petals and flowers as if they were cascading down from the top of the purse. The purse is just big enough to hold the essentials, so it’s great for a casual date and would work perfectly in lots of different colors and patterns! I imagine a red and black version would look oh-so-sophisticated ^w^

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Freebie Friday! The Tiny Totoro Tote

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It’s Miyazaki again! I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself >w< I started out with this fun dotted print and thought it would look adorable with some white contrast bits. I was particularly excited about the idea of corner patch pockets on the tote, and while I was doing white contrasts, the idea to incorporate the chibi Totoro came to mind. While I love big Totoro like crazy, the Susuwatari and chibi Totoro are my favorite characters from My Neighbor Totoro I think x3 I actually have a plush of a chibi Totoro myself that I keep on my desk. So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put them on something. I think the finished tote is just the perfect size for a trip to the library or to the yarn store ^-^

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Happy White Day! Bonus Pattern: The Egg Bag

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So for most I know March 14th doesn’t mean much of anything, and for a select few nerdy types like me it means Pi Day. That’s all well and good – I love both kids of Pi/e :3 But for me, March 14th will always be White Day. In Japan and some other Asian countries Valentine’s Day is celebrated where girls give chocolates (either hand-made or store-bought – obviously hand-made is preferred) to the men in their lives, anyone from fathers, brothers, to sweethearts and coworkers, etc. While little store-bought chocolates are done out of social obligation, hand-made chocolates given to people close to you are obviously something to feel special about.

White Day comes in one month after, where the men are expected to return the favor by giving a gift to the women that thought of them. These gifts are also confections, like white chocolate or marshmallows. But they could also be other tokens that sometimes follow the white theme, depending on who the recipient is. Of course, this was invented by the confection companies decades ago to sell marshmallows, but I don’t sweat it 🙂 Basically White Day is a chance to reciprocate from Valentine’s Day, and for that reason I love it! ^0^

You see, my boyfriend and I aren’t big romantics when it comes to Valentine’s Day. We go all out for birthdays and anniversaries, but Valentine’s Day feels like kind of a forced holiday so we usually don’t do anything, especially if we know we want to save money and avoid spending crazy dollars on gifts. But every once in a while, we’ll agree to have a quiet Valentine’s Day, and BOOM! he gets me an awesome present. Of course I’m all confounded and happy but also frustrated because we agreed no gifts! But because of White Day, now I have a good excuse to reciprocate! So come March 14th, I’m like BLA-DOW! GIFT! and he gets to feel as kerfuffled as I did 😀

So why the egg bag then? Well, obviously it is white 😀 But when I think of White Day, I think of this adorable scene from the manga Cardcaptor Sakura. When Sakura gives hand-made chocolates to her father for Valentine’s Day, he reciprocates on White Day by giving her a handmade backpack that looks just like this.

Yes, her grown father sews. He’s just that cool.

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If you’ll pardon how long this diatribe on White Day has gotten, I just have to say it’s things like this that inspired me to keep on sewing through high school. Reading this manga and thinking “that bag is amazing – why can’t things like this exist in stores?” And that’s what made me go to my machine and make it happen. Any costume or other design — from the sweet and sophisticated to the elegant and elaborate — I thought they deserved to exist in real life and not just on paper. So I was inspired to make a bag just like the one in Cardcaptor Sakura, and, of course, Sakura calls it the “Egg Bag.” So for my White Day present to you, I give you this adorable little backpack! x3

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