Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coffee Filter Butterfly Tree

What we do with this branch we found in the garden never ceases to amaze me. In case you have missed the progression of our year long tree project check out the other trees we have made so far.

Swedish Easter Tree
Valentine Tree
Recycled Cherry Blossom Tree

This idea came to me as I was washing up looking out of the window and looking at butterflies flutter around the garden in the sunshine.

The colors in our butterfly tree are really amazing. 

As you can tell we made a lot of coffee filter butterflies for this tree (over 60!)

We decorated out coffee filters by various methods. The traditional markers & water, dipping the filters in liquid watercolors & glitter. 

 Folded & dipped in liquid water color. 

Water soluble markers & water. 

Dipping in liquid watercolors was by far the preferred method.

We had to hang washing lines all over the kitchen to dry all the filters. We also experimented about how we hung the filters to ensure we got lots of different results. 

Glitter glue added a magical sparkle and prevented the spread of the liquid water colors. Folding coffee filters and hanging them together or on top of each other gave different - but beautiful effects - colors leaking from all angles.

Even my 2 year old bunny enjoyed the activity.

Not very precise - although she really is trying - just look how carefully she is holding that filter. 

Our kitchen towels were soaked but ever so pretty once we had finished.

My eldest wanted to make butterflies with two filters at once. It was a genius idea - giving us some very large and full butterflies.

And we made some dragon flies too. 

You might be wondering what became of all those pretty tissue paper cherry blossoms. Well my girls loved gathering the 'fallen petals' and they are still playing with them. I'm thrilled - this tissue paper has had 3 uses so far - wrapping gifts to pretty tree blossoms to endless games of gathering, grouping and carrying around the pretty posies.

We left our little egg carton caterpillar on the tree - obviously one day he will turn into a butterfly too.

Happy butterfly spotting this summer!


Please do not forget about the charity I Spy quilt - we are still looking for fabric 4"x4"scrap donations. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

WIP: Kid Painted Quilt #2 - Throwing Paint

We enjoyed making the blocks for our first Kid Painted Quilt so much I wanted to do it again but produce the painted fabric for a quilt in a different way. We do quite a lot of 'sensory' play here (I like to just call it just plain messy play!) and as the summer made its way upon us I have become mildly obsessed with some kiddy play orientated blogs. When I saw this idea of throwing paint on Blog Me Mom I knew I would want to do it with the girls but use fabric instead.

For this project I used our of BioColor and the BioColor Fabric Medium. You will be surprised that pink and purple were again chosen - but I also included yellow & red as well. I used a 36"x45" piece of white muslin instead of paper. Again we went with the option of no clothes as this product stains fabric so badly.

Our balls are made from rolled up pieces of scrap towel secured with elastic bands. 

The girls were a bit confused & hesitant at first with their Mummy telling them to throw paint around. We do a lot of painting but 'throwing' the paint around has never ever been encouraged!

Then a few balls were thrown. 

And then it stayed like this for a while until .... 

... paint started flying ...

... everywhere ...

... my youngest was totally entranced by the action but took his job of being in charge of the hose seriously ... 

... and then things got a little silly - being given permission to throw paint - throwing bowls of water on top of the paint seemed only natural ... 

 ... we folded up the fabric ...

... as apparently dancing on it was also necessary!!!

I'm already impatient and mildly intrigued to see how this quilt turns out!

Our other kid painted fabric projects this summer have included:
Kid painted Quilt #3 - Spraying Paint
Kid painted Quilt #4 - Shaving Foam Rainbow Paint


Please do not forget about the charity I Spy quilt - we are still looking for scrap fabric donations. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Charity I-Spy Quilt

One of the problematic things I find about looking at other people's work so much is there are endless projects I come across that I want to make. When I saw this I Spy quilt at Blueberry Patch I knew I wanted to make one. Problem is - I have very few I Spy materials. Cathy (from Blueberry Patch) very kindly offered to send me some scraps to get me started which lit a small light bulb in my head ...

'what if lots of people sent me I Spy scraps 
and then we auctioned the quilt off for charity'

So this is my plan.
  • To make 2 quilts - one boy themed & one girl themed. 
  • The quilts will be bigger than a toddler but under a twin sized quilt. Suitable for either a toddler bed, twin bed or to use as a play mat on the floor or picnic blanket outside.
  • I will accept any donations of any scraps that are suitable for an I Spy blanket. Anyone who donates fabric to the project will be listed on each each post about this project & appropriate link to a blog if applicable.
  • I would like each square to have an identifiable object in them. Here is some fabric I quickly found today. Hopefully you will be able to spot the answers to the following questions:
  1. Can you spy the cow?
  2. Can you spy the green bird?
  3. Can you spy the red ladybugs?
  4. Can you spy the rabbit jumping over the moon?
  5. Can you spy the blue bird? 
  6. Can you spy three rabbits?
NOTE: If your square does not have an easy straight forward I Spy question and answer it might not be included on the front of the quilt but I will include it on the backing.
  • Squares should be cut exactly 4" x 4" with a ruler & rotary cutter. If you do not have a rotary cutter please cut your squares large and I will trim them down.
  • I would like to include a little list of everything that is on the quilt to help the new owners play I Spy with the quilt.
  • The quilts will be finished and auctioned off after Thanksgiving 2013. They will be packed & posted to the winners in December - just in time for Christmas. 
Please e-mail me at rachael_dorr@yahoo.com to be involved in this project and please help me spread the word.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kid Painted Quilt - Blotter Art

I managed to finish the quilt that Bunny #1 painted the blocks for. To recap this is how she painted each block herself. 

When I had finished the quilt I prepared her bed and took her upstairs. She was very excited - can you tell? 


The fabric I used is from Michael Miller's Fairy Frost line. I used 1 yard each of Dusty Rose, Orchid, Glitz Petal Pink & Azalea. The material is just perfect for a little girl who loves pink & purple. The glitter & shimmer in the fabrics is just fabulous. If I had endless supplies of cash I would be buying up the whole range. The backing is pink & swirly wide quilt backing.

Remember she wanted fancy pillows? I think they look like butterflies.

The pillows have a fancy frill & fancy border - I used the same sort of technique used when making a cathedral patchwork block - but I sewed down the curves down. Here you can see the pretty shimmer in the fabrics.

In the center of the quilt I joined two blocks together to make longer mirrored blocks.

In some ways I am quite glad Bunny #1 went to wild with paint - if we hadn't have had to blot up the gloo-globs of paint with a another square of fabric we wouldn't have such symmetry.

I have recently invested in a BSR foot. And I am having a bit of a love hate relationship with it (more hate really.) I am just so glad this quilt is for my daughter and not someone else. I used a flower pattern with a swirl inside as the stippling design. 20 minutes in I knew this was a bad move - but it was too late - I had to push on and finish.

The quilt measures under a technical twin quilt size - but it still fits nicely on her bed.

The little princess was a very happy girl. 

Things I would do differently next time - I would make the fabric squares she painted smaller and I would perhaps try and more complicated design/framing of the blocks. I would also like to make friends with that BSR foot ..........

Our other kid painted fabric projects this summer have included:
Kid painted Quilt #3 - Spraying Paint
Kid painted Quilt #4 - Shaving Foam Paint


Please do not forget about the charity I Spy quilt - we are still looking for scrap fabric donations. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kid Painted Teepee & Teepee Pattern

You can read about how we created the fabric to this Teepee here. The painting of this fabric was a LOT of fun.

To recap I used 3 2/3 yards (approx 11ft) of plain white 90" muslin - this is a nice weight of muslin - very white, close weave and not sheer.) But you could use anything for this project, old sheets, duvet covers, patchwork fabric together, blankets. Just about any material would make a cute teepee. Magic Cabin have some canvas teepee's ready to paint if you don't feel like sewing one together yourself.

I used:
- 3 2/3 yards of plain white 90" wide muslin
- BioColor paints with added fabric medium
- thread
- strips of cotton for borders (totally optional - I used approx 1 yard each in two different fabrics - total 2 yards)
- 6 x round wood 8ft poles - holes are drilled 11" from top
- ribbon scraps for ties inside teepee & window opening
- string to tie the teepee poles together (I wrapped one of our homemade play silks around the string to hide it and add more color)

Once I had laundered and dried our painted fabric I lay it out on the floor and cut out the following panels. The tops of the triangle panels are cut off so the top edge measures 3" and the bottom of your panel measures 42".

The two edge triangles will make your doors into the teepee. I'm sad that our door panels don't have a huge amount of paint on them. If I did this project again I might limit the color palette AND concentrate on getting the girls to paint the edges of the fabric more. A LOT of our painting action went on in the middle of the fabric.

I decided to frame my panels with additional bright material (selected by the small bunnies of course!) - but I must admit half way through adding the strips I wondered why I was doing it. Though I hope it adds something. It certainly adds heft and strength to the structure. I cut the strips at 1.75" wide and with the seams they now measure approx 1.25". I attached the strips using a straight stitch and then used a zig zag over the seams. In all I used up a little less than 2 additional yards of fabric from my stash just with the strips, door ties & window.

After I had sewn the panels together I also zigzagged down those seams too. I sadly discovered that using zigzag stitch liberally can use up a lot of thread! (eeeek) but oh how I have learned to love the zigzag - such an adaptable stitch - can be used for all sorts of purposes!

Once you have most of your seams together - apart from the two front panels. You should have something that looks like this.

This would be a good time to add any windows - should you want to enter into this madness. Our window is 12" square. I cut it 30" above the ground in the center of the panel.

I drew the lines first with water soluble pen. And attached some extra thick & strong interfacing that I found at JoAnn's (it is about the thickness of cardboard) around the 3 lines. Once I cut the flap I put a border around the flap. The border sticks out about 3/4" from the edge of the fabric. I used a fusible iron on adhesive to put all these bits together & then I sewed around the edges to prevent the fabric from fraying.

I also added additional ties to this panel of the teepee (four on each seam instead of three) so that the window panel would me a little more taut. Added some purple ribbon to tie the window up & voila.

A window (I was sternly told by my 4 year old that there should have been 7 windows. All the ribbon in this project - the window ties and the inside ties are made from ribbon I am still recycling from our Princess Tea Party!

The front two half triangle panels are sewn 1/3 of the way down from the top. I sewed a very thin seam on the inside with a straight stitch and then zigzagged down that stitch on the front side too.

Each panel seam has three ties on the inside of the teepee (apart from the aforementioned window panel that has four ties on the seams.) One at the top, middle and bottom. The door panels have tie backs that were sewed in at the same time as the side panel & door panel were sewn together. The tie backs are attached 1/3 of the way up the side seam.

The teepee also looks very colorful from inside.

No one can say that this teepee is boring.

I think Jackson Pollack would have certainly enjoyed having it in his yard.

I hope these notes help you put together a fun teepee of your own.