Posted on

Love Stamp Quilt Block

Love Stamp Quilt Block by Elizabeth Ruffing, based on 2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeI was looking at Facebook this morning and I saw a familiar postage stamp go by on my feed. Erika, of Miss Sews-It-All, had featured Michael Osborne’s 2002 Love Stamp from the U.S. Post Office, on her blog, suggesting it would make a great quilt block. I immediately remembered that I had thought the same thing, and had made one, back in 2003. I went rummaging and found it. I thought it would be nice to share for Valentine’s Day.

2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeMy original pattern was more difficult to find, but at last it reappeared. I can’t even remember where now, but there were a bunch of quilt patterns I had drawn up with it. I put them all together for safe keeping. I will have to check the rest of them out another time. I saw a cute kitty quilt block in there too, which was based on a quilt my parents had.

Love Stamp Quilt Block Pattern by Elizabeth Ruffing, based on 2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeMichael Osborne’s Love Stamp design was more oblong than perfectly square, as I recall, and so I fiddled to make quilt blocks that would imitate the look of the stamp “letters”. This afternoon, I traced my pattern onto 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheets of paper, with one “letter” on each page, and made a PDF of my Love Stamp Quilt Block pattern that you can find and download here. Obviously, this pattern, or set of four patterns, is based on Michael Osborne’s copyrighted design, and so it is for personal, home use only. No selling it or anything made from it. Just open it, save it, and print it on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper. You’ll need four sheets of paper. The final quilt block is 12 by 12 inches square, once it is in a quilt.

2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeThe measurements listed in my instructions include a 1/4 inch seam allowance for all the square and rectangular pieces you’ll need to cut.

I used freezer paper for the appliqué shapes, the heart and the circle. I cut those two shapes to size, out of the freezer paper. I used an iron to temporarily attach the freezer paper shapes to the back of my fabric, and then cut them out adding a 1/4 of fabric all the way around, to turn under. Then I turned under the edges, and sewed them to my backgrounds by hand. Marcia from Quilter’s Cache, a wonderful resource for quilt blocks and directions, has a tutorial here on hand appliqué.

Alternately, you can cut the appliqué shapes to size, if you’d rather use machine raw-edge appliqué, fuse them to your background with WonderUnder, and then machine zig zag, blanket stitch, or satin stitch around the shapes. There are a lot of options for appliqué techniques out there. I have a tutorial for machine, raw-edge appliqué on fleece here. With cotton quilting fabric, you can use the cotton setting on your iron, and you don’t need a press cloth. No matter which technique you use, I find it is best to cut those background squares a little larger than necessary, and then trim them down to size after sewing the appliqués.

The rest is pretty standard piecing, which can be done by hand or by machine, and goes together easily.

Posted on

A baby shower slug, and some fun new sewing books

Medium Pink Fleece Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth Ruffing, with baby shower gift wrap and cardI had a rush order for a gift-wrapped baby shower slug last week. I think the whole package came together nicely. I’m thinking this is something I should have as an option for the smaller toys that will fit in gift bags, like the 9 inch Hug Me Slugs, and the Hug Me Toads. I may have some 7 inch slugs, from time to time, that would fit too. I needed a larger mailing box, and some extra postage, but it’s a good option for people who want to send a gift they can’t deliver in person.

Turquoise-blue Fleece Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth RuffingThis cheerful custom turquoise-blue guy went out on Monday. I kept debating over whether I should make him in the turquoise that was in the one photo in his listing, or the turquoise-blue that was in the other photo in his listing. I realize I’ve gotten so many colors that even I am not sure which is which. They are very much alike. I think, ultimately, I will sew up the miscellaneous colors I have into ready-made slugs, and list a smaller number of more easily distinguishable colors for custom slugs. I can leave the larger variety as heart-color options.

I received such a nice feedback this week on another turquoise Hug Me Slug named Sullivan, “We love Sullivan! Thanks so much for making him. My son lit up when we took him out of the package and has been bringing him with him while he tries to walk. Thanks.” I really enjoy these kinds of details, and I love the idea of a Hug Me Slug giving a boy moral support as he learns to walk. That’s so sweet. I’d love to see more photos of people with their toys too. That is great fun for me.

Oh, and there is still time to order Valentine’s Day Hug Me Slugs, if anyone would like to express their love with a slug 🙂

Fa La La La Felt by Amanda Carestio, front coverI just recently ordered some new sewing and craft books that I really like, and wanted to share them. Fa La La La Felt: 45 Handmade Holiday Decorations by Amanda Carestio is on sale on Amazon.com. It’s a compilation of hand-sewn crafts by thirteen different designers, and there are lots of cute and charming ornaments, holiday decorations, and stockings inside. I was drawn in by the circular ornaments, like the one on the back cover below, with little animals on them, and the trees on the front cover, above. I want to try the ornaments out with my slugs and other characters, I think, and experiment with using fleece instead of felt. I remember having seen a photo of those trees in my blog browsing, years ago now, and was inspired to design my own crazy-looking Christmas-tree creatures. Mine was more like a hybrid with one of my slugs. Lots of inspiration inside this book.

Fa La La La Felt by Amanda Carestio, back coverI also ordered The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew by Abigail Patner Glassenberg, whose blog, While She Naps, I enjoy as well. This book is a wealth of information on designing and sewing all manner of birds. After seeing all the wonderfully creative birds in here, I will have to experiment some more with my own bird patterns. The love birds I made before were put on hold when my sewing machine that did the lettering for my hearts konked out. My Kenmore does lettering though, and I might give that another go. I’d like to tweak my pattern some more, and I think this book will give me lots of help.

The Artful Bird by Abigail Patner Glassenberg, front coverI actually went in to Sears this weekend, debating over getting a spare machine, because the model I have was, and still is, on sale again. I believe I ended up “selling” one to another lady who was also looking at them. It’s a good machine, in spite of my wishing it had adjustable presser foot pressure, but a walking foot can compensate for that in most cases. I think I “sold” that lady one of those too in a set of presser feet. I couldn’t make a decision between getting that model and another, and so I waited.  I might even go look at some more Janome‘s someday. They make that Kenmore.

The Artful Bird by Abigail Patner Glassenberg, back coverThe third book I ordered is Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love by Hillary Lang. Hillary Lang is the author of another blog, Wee Wonderfuls, I have fun visiting. Her projects are also adorable. Not surprisingly, I think my favorite in this book is Katie Kitty. She looks like these kitties on Flickr. In fact, anyone who loves toys will enjoy checking out Hillary Lang’s “toys and dolls” set on Flickr too. They aren’t all in this book, but there is certainly a happy selection from which to choose. I loved her “Make-a-long Story” featuring her dolls you can make on her web site as well, and you can find more of her toy patterns available there.

Wee Wonderfuls 24 Dolls to Sew and Love by Hillary Lang, front coverI’m happy with all three of these books. Sometimes sewing and craft books will have just one thing I’m excited about inside, but these were all put together with care and generosity. I think it’s so nice that these women all shared their creations and their knowledge.

Wee Wonderfuls 24 Dolls to Sew and Love by Hillary Lang, back coverI was brave today and finally plugged in my Wacom tablet! And I registered my Corel Painter 11! I am set to learn all kinds of things now. In truth, I get scared of things that cost more than a certain amount of dollars, and it was hard to take the first step. Nothing has blown up so far, and knock on wood, all is going fine. I think I need a book for Corel Painter 11 though. I can’t find anything in there. I like to have a book on my desk, rather than try to toggle between online manuals and my work in progress. I feel more secure that way. Plus, I can go read away from the computer, which I prefer. I had Painter Essentials installed, with a trial version, and things aren’t in the same places. I will get the hang of it with trial and error, I’m sure.

Posted on

New Ruffing’s Etsy Shop, and New Art Doll Photo Prints

Opal the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 1, White Turkish Angora Cat with Lavender-pink ChrysanthemumsOpal the Pixie Kitten, Version 1

We have just opened our new collective Ruffing’s Etsy shop, and we’ve just added a new photo prints of our original, one-of-a-kind art dolls to that shop. We made our very first sale from our new Etsy shop, and that order went on its way just this morning. Here are the first of the prints. They are made with the same archival cotton art paper and pigment inks as our other prints, and each comes in a protective cello sleeve. They are all made as they are ordered, one at a time, and are each hand signed.

We are in the process of moving the contents of A E Ruffing’s Etsy shop to the new Ruffing’s Etsy shop, along with our original one-of-a-kind art dolls, and we’re moving the prints and fine art from Elizabeth Ruffing’s Etsy shop there too. Elizabeth is going to keep her shop open for her handmade toys, and she will probably rename it something like “Hug Me Slugs and Friends”.

Please come have a look around. Most of our art dolls are already up, and we’re still adding more prints.

Opal the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 2, White Turkish Angora Cat with Lavender-pink ChrysanthemumsOpal the Pixie Kitten, Version 2

Opal the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 3, White Turkish Angora Cat with Lavender-pink ChrysanthemumsOpal the Pixie Kitten, Version 3

Celeste the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 1, Tabby Cat with Golden-yellow ChrysanthemumsCeleste the Pixie Kitten, Version 1

Celeste the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 2, Tabby Cat, with Golden-yellow ChrysanthemumsCeleste the Pixie Kitten, Version 2

Celeste the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 3, Tabby Cat, with Golden-yellow ChrysanthemumsCeleste the Pixie Kitten, Version 3

Luna the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 1, Siamese Cat with Blue-purple AgeratumsLuna the Pixie Kitten, Version 1

Luna the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 2, Siamese Cat with Blue-purple AgeratumsLuna the Pixie Kitten, Version 2

Luna the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 3, Siamese Cat with Blue-purple AgeratumsLuna the Pixie Kitten, Version 3

Three Little Kittens, Original, One-of-a-kind art dolls by Max Bailey, photo by Elizabeth Ruffing, Ginger Tabby Cat, Blue Persian Cat, and Calico Cat Original, One-of-a-kind Art DollsThree Little Kittens

Posted on

New Art Doll Photo Prints

Opal the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 1, White Turkish Angora Cat with Lavender-pink ChrysanthemumsOOpal the Pixie Kitten, Version 1

We just added a new category of photo prints of our original, one-of-a-kind art dolls to our new Ruffing’s Etsy shop, and made our very first sale from our new collective shop. That order went on its way just this morning. Here are the first of the prints. They are made with the same archival cotton art paper and pigment inks as our other prints, and each comes in a protective cello sleeve. They are all made as they are ordered, one at a time, and are each hand signed.

Opal the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 2, White Turkish Angora Cat with Lavender-pink ChrysanthemumsOpal the Pixie Kitten, Version 2

Opal the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 3, White Turkish Angora Cat with Lavender-pink ChrysanthemumsOpal the Pixie Kitten, Version 3

Celeste the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 1, Tabby Cat with Golden-yellow ChrysanthemumsCeleste the Pixie Kitten, Version 1

Celeste the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 2, Tabby Cat, with Golden-yellow ChrysanthemumsCeleste the Pixie Kitten, Version 2

Celeste the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 3, Tabby Cat, with Golden-yellow ChrysanthemumsCeleste the Pixie Kitten, Version 3

Luna the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 1, Siamese Cat with Blue-purple AgeratumsLuna the Pixie Kitten, Version 1

Luna the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 2, Siamese Cat with Blue-purple AgeratumsLuna the Pixie Kitten, Version 2

Luna the Pixie Kitten, Original, One-of-a-kind art doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing, version 3, Siamese Cat with Blue-purple AgeratumsLuna the Pixie Kitten, Version 3

Three Little Kittens, Original, One-of-a-kind art dolls by Max Bailey, photo by Elizabeth Ruffing, Ginger Tabby Cat, Blue Persian Cat, and Calico Cat Original, One-of-a-kind Art DollsThree Little Kittens