Monday, 23 December 2013

Mega Secret Santa

My office didn't do secret santa but Eric's did. His co-worker is very into Megaman so I made this pillow for him. Isn't it cute?? As usual, it's all Kona solids except the dark blue which was a middle-of-a-snowstorm walmart special. Luckily, this convinced Eric that I should have more fabrics on hand. I can't really argue with that.

In its new home

Monday, 16 December 2013

A Very Toad-y Christmas

So Shredder is on hold for a little bit while I work on a few items for Christmas. I have a couple of things that I'm knitting and one more small quilting project but this is the big one that took most of my time. A friend was looking for a unique gift to give her boyfriend so this was my suggestion. I have wanted to do a Mario type quilt for quite awhile and just haven't had a reason. So here it is. Toad in his Mario Kart. I somehow transposed the design so he is facing backwards but due to modern technology was able to fix the pic! Amazing, eh? (please excuse the little dog butt).

And here's the back  - I added a cute little banana peel to the back for a little excitement.

And for even more excitement, here's a picture of the husbeast with our black Lab, Jack. Please keep in mind that Jack is over 100lbs and thinks he's a lap dog. Isn't the white Christmas tree adorably tacky?

Thursday, 7 November 2013


I've been working on something new for the past few weeks that I was really excited to show you guys. The idea came about because my husband and his graphic designer friends are doing a gallery show based on 80's toys. They called it "Has Bros" for a little play on words for the classic toy comapny. It seems like they produced just about all of the awesome toys when I was a kid - Cabbage Patch Kids, Easy-bake Oven, GI Joe, Lite-Brite, My Little Pony, Mr Potato Head, etc etc. Now, the show is named Has Bros but art based on any 80's toys are acceptable. You can see the awesome poster Eric designed for the show above. Pretty cool, eh?

I was going to do a Shredder quilt because for some reason I loved the Ninja Turtles when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I ran into some snags and am not going to get it done in time. I probably could have pushed it but I would have ended up with something I wasn't happy with and therefore wouldn't want to hang in the gallery. If the guys end up doing another show in the spring, I will start something super early just in case. I'll show you the Shredder when I finally get it done. In the meantime, here's a screen cap to hold you over.


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Baby's first applique

Ok, so maybe I'm not a baby but somedays it feels like I am a baby in the quilting world. Anyway, I'm proud of myself for learning a new technique. The basic idea of applique is that you sew the design on top of the background fabric instead of piecing the top together. I was a little scared to start it but ended up really liking the process. It's pretty fast and not too hard once you get the hang of it. The most important thing is to cut your design out well since everything hinges on that.

So here's the quilt I did. It's king sized so I had to send it out to be quilted but it turned out very nice. This is the logo for a local comic book store. The owner's wife commissioned it for his birthday. Pretty cool, eh? You can get some very different shapes going with applique and do some neat stuff. I wanted to show you this close up of the face since it's not very visible on the other photo. It's built with layers and layers. For instance, the hair and outline of face is one big piece and then you put the white for the face on top and then put the features on top of that. For the mask, there are another 3 layers for the outline/eyebrows, the yellow mask and then the black eyes. There could theoretically have been another layer for the pupils but I used a fancy thing on my sewing machine to embroider them. 

Oh, forgot to mention this was my first real commission too! So I guess I'm open for business. Now, if only I could afford to do it full time instead of putting my pesky education to work.

Monday, 23 September 2013

General Geekery

This past weekend, I had the chance to finish up the Excitebike quilt I've been working on in my spare time for the past couple of months.  I played this game a lot when I was a kid but I seem to remember being terrible at it. I always wanted to go full out but you were supposed to slow down when you went over the bumps.

So I guess if you want to be metaphorical about this, I learned my lesson and went slow with this quilt. Painfully slow. I finished it up with a black binding that really pops. This is also my very first quilt that I will be putting up for sale. I've opened an Etsy shop and everything so drop on by! I'm really hoping to be able to add some things in there in time for Christmas. Perhaps a couple of pillows and maybe a mario quilt?

Next post will be about my first commission piece which turned out awesome. It was also the first time I have done applique and it was KING SIZED! Crazy big! I am also starting a new project as soon as my fabric comes in. This is a special piece that will be included in a gallery show. Big stuff happening in candy land haha.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Oh Captain, My Captain!

I'm so happy to finally be able to share my secret project from the past few months. I have given it to the newly married couple so it's safe to show it off now. First, a few stats:

Size: Queenish
Pixels: ~4500 2" squared
Subject: Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Timeline: Apr 6-Aug16

Playing around with a new app on my phone. Here you can see the back and front.
As I mentioned above, I started this in April and finished it with only enough time to drive to the wedding rehearsal (ok, I was 10 minutes late). Those last few hours were a little stressful and I don't think I have ever bound a quilt that quickly. My clover clips really came in handy on this one!

So, I pretty much followed the same process as with my Sheldon Quilt but used larger pieces of interfacing so that it was much quicker and easier. This also made the squares line up more cleanly. This was the first quilt that I free-motion quilted. I probably should have started on something smaller but it turned out pretty well in the end. I had originally planned to send Picard to a long-arm quilter but they weren't sure they would be able to get a good result because of the way it was put together. This was a good learning experience though and I will definitely continue free-motion quilting in the future.

For now, I'm resting my poor exhausted arms and mentally planning my first commission which is due to start about today. This will be my first real stab at a full-size applique quilt so wish me luck!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Quilting the days away!

Here is the correct-ish quilting. I LOVE the feel of it.

It's Monday. I'm happy to be back at work today. What?!? Yeah, that's because my arms are too tired to do any quilting right now. I spent the entire weekend quilting the secret project. This was my first stab at free-motion quilting and I'm thinking I should have started with a baby quilt rather than something queen sized. That'd be too smart though, right? I'm not one for taking the easy way out unless there are no other options. Here are a couple of pictures of the quilting. It's not bad for the first run but I'm learning as I go.
Here's the terrible messed up quilting - although I do kind of like the look of it, my tension was way off on this.

And Here's my adorable puppy. Well, he's 3 but with his haircut he looks like a puppy. He's peering out of the cargo netting we put on the back of the jeep to keep these two in there.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I'm not dead!

Hi all, just wanted to let you know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth (or died). May has been a crazy month in the Candy Coated household. We have worked a craft show for our other hobby, Dartmouth Clothing. We have taken a 2-day motorcycle course and now have our beginner's licenses although no motorcycle yet. And we took a trip to Ottawa to visit my Dad and his wife. ALSO IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Phew! I'm excited to relax and get down to work on Secret Quilt #2. It's killing me to have to keep this a secret but its receiver may read this and I want it to be a surprise. I've mentioned that it's in the same style as Sheldon so that narrows it down a bit. I've taken my own advice and am using the metered fusible interfacing which is MUCH faster. My only complaint is that the grid lines are very light yellow and are hard to see. I imagine this is so that they don't show through the finished product but it's very annoying!

In conclusion: I am not dead and I hope to have something interesting to show you soon. Excite Bike is not finished yet so maybe I'll do that just to have something interesting to say.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Excitebike 2

I've been working on the excitebike quilt more than the new secret project because I just felt like I needed to finish something and that's an easy win. Here's a pic of the finished top.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


Hi hi! As usual, long time between posts. I've been working hard on two different quilts. One is a secret so I can't say much about it except that if you liked the Sheldon one, you'll probably like this one. The other is this Excitebike quilt.

Almost done the quilt top. I think it's super cute. I'm loving the pixel quilting these days and the old NES games are a natural fit. I've had a few other thoughts for similar quilts including Duck Hunt, Dr Mario and I've had a request for Punch Out! even though I didn't play that one when I was a kid. I was awesome at Dr Mario and Tetris but my game was Mario 3 by far. Anyone else have any suggestions for pixel quilts?

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Hey all, just finished another quilt and wanted to show it off. This is a baby quilt for yet another person we know who is expecting. I like doing baby quilts because they're small and relatively quick. It also gives you a chance to try out new techniques without getting too deep into it. I've wanted to do these stars for awhile and it just so happens that my Go Baby has the dies needed to do them.

I actually think it looks better in person. I'm not sure why but in pictures, it looks like it has way more white space.

In other news, I used Sheldon to sleep with for the first time last night as my normal quilt is in the wash. You will be happy to hear that he is nice and warm. The interfacing softened up a fair amount making it fluffier than it had been. A couple more washes and it should be perfect.

Coming Soon: a new project that you will all be very excited about (or not, I don't know!). Just working through the fabrics to be used, etc. This one could be epic.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Make your own Sheldon!

Hi all! I've had a lot of questions about how I made my Sheldon Cooper quilt so I wanted to share my process. I'm not saying this is the best way to do it, but it worked for me (I have noted where I would make changes to my process).

First, I made the pattern using the above photo and This is a cross stitch pattern maker but it works pretty well for a quilt pattern as well. You will have to play with the settings a little bit to get the image you want. Once I had my pattern, I purchased my Kona colors that roughly match the suggested thread colors.

Here are my squares all cut up. In the end, I had about 7500 1.5x1.5" squares.
So then, I basically followed Sew Mama Sew's instructions for how to "quick-piece tiny squares" Here's the link to that. My photo above will show you how I did it differently - I drew the grid directly on the interfacing which came in 8.5x11 sheets. Next time, I would definitely buy a pre-gridded interfacing that came in metres as this became quite expensive. This is supposed to be wash-away interfacing but I haven't tested that theory yet. After you go through all of those steps outlined by SMS, you will end up with something like this:

And then, once quilted and bound should turn into something like this:

You can then show off your handiwork to anyone who cares to listen. Honestly, the quilting was the worst part of this and I felt like I had to fight with it the whole time. I think partly this is due to the fact that this was the largest quilt I tried to finish on my modest little machine but also I think the interfacing I chose was to blame. It was much stiffer than expected but hopefully it will be a lot better once it's washed once or twice. I started cutting pieces for this quilt in July and finished the whole thing in January. That's a long time! I've learned a lot though and I'm sure the next one will be much faster - especially now that I have my Go! Baby cutter!

I'd love to see what you decide to make with this mini-tute. Please pass along a pic! And if anyone knows someone at CBS, I think this would look really good on TV!

Monday, 7 January 2013


I keep looking at the word "seussical" and it loses it's meaning (of which it had very little to begin with). However, I think it's the best word to describe the baby quilt that I just finished. I have to admit this was a quickie since we only just realized that the parents' due date was coming up soon and then they had the nerve to have the baby early! Obv they didn't think of me! Anyway, enough selfishness, here are the pics. The front is a big panel with all of the words to the Cat in The Hat book. I just put the borders around it. The back is one big piece of fabric with other pics from the book. I think it's super cute but it feels a bit like cheating.

The quilting was done following the red stripes between the mini panels which you can see in this photo. I also finally got quilt tags done up so you can see the first one attached here. It looks a bit jenky (eric's word) because I had to attach it by hand after the quilt was done since they only just arrived. Normally, I would machine sew it onto the back before I quilted it but I wasn't able to this time.

Here's another Sheldon update. He took a little break while I was working on the seuss quilt but now he's back at the top of the WIP (work-in-progress) pile. Hoping to finish up the top in the next couple of weeks and then I'll have to decide what to put on the back. I'm thinking I might do a quote but haven't decided.

Friday, 4 January 2013


Hi all! Hope you had a fantastic Christmas. I wanted to share with you a couple of the items that have made an appearance in my house over the break. My darling husband got me a new 40" TV for the living room upstairs. I previously had an old tube tv that was my Grandmothers. It was a great TV for what I used it for but it made weird noises when it turned on and sometimes a high pitched noise at random. Time for it to go! So now I have a lovely new Samsung with AppleTV which will be awesome as soon as I figure out how to use it for more than Netflix.

My other big-ish gift was from my MIL with some accessories from Eric. This is the Go Baby fabric cutter by Accuquilt. I've wanted one for quite a while because I'm terrible at cutting straight lines. I think this will really make quilting more enjoyable for me. Basically what you do is sandwich the fabric between a die (the green piece you see above) and the cutting mat (the white piece you see on top of the fabric above) and roll the whole thing through the machine using the turn crank. You can get all kinds of different dies but I just went with the 2.5" strip cutter and one multipurpose one that has squares and triangles. I think you can put up to 8 layers of fabric in there but I imagine the cuts would be less perfect the more you put in. Haven't had a lot of chances to play with this puppy but am very excited to really test it out.

The last item I wanted to tell you about is an awesome calendar that we picked up when we were in Boston in September. Above is the Jan picture. All of the months are super bright and colorful. Just the thing to put some excitement into a dull kitchen (although our kitchen is bright yellow so it's not really dull to begin with). The BEST part about this calendar is that the back of each page has a template for a different item. You can cut apart the pages and make pillow boxes, square boxes and notecards. Since I am an accountant I will more likely be using the file folder template the most. There's nothing more fun to jazz up some boring files! I love the idea of reusing the pictures since every year I get a beautiful calendar and feel terrible about throwing it out when it's used. If you want to get one for yourself, you can get it from

What'd you get for Christmas?