Free Pattern: Sailor Moon Compact Mini Quilt

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I didn't grow up watching Sailor Moon, but I've recently started watching the reboot. I made this little appliqued mini quilt for someone who's a huge Sailor Moon fan. I've been getting sparkly anime eyes over the Sailor Moon makeup products they've got in Japan, so I picked Crystal Star compact as my design.

The finished mini is 8.5" in diameter and uses applique to create the details. I used needle turn applique by hand, but you could do machine applique if you prefer. You'll need:

  • The PDF templates
  • (1) yellow fat quarter
  • (1) 9" square of pink fabric
  • (4) 1.25" square scraps for the jewels (red, green, blue, and yellow)
  • (1) 2" pink square for the large gem
  • (1) 10" square of fabric for backing
  • (1) 10" piece of batting (I used 2 layers)
  • Matching Thread
  • Freezer Paper 
  • Water soluble pen or Frixion pen
  • A little bit of stuffing (optional)
  • Paper-backed fusible web (if you're doing machine applique)


From your yellow fabric, cut 2.5" bias strips and sew together until you have a 30" long piece of bias binding. Then cut Templates A, B, C, and D out of your yellow fabric following the cutting instructions below.

Cut (4) Template E pieces from each of your 1.25" squares. Cut Template F from your 2" pink square.

Here's what you'll be cutting from your yellow fabric. 
For hand applique: Print out your templates, trace them onto your freezer paper, then cut them out (an x-acto knife helps!). Iron your freezer paper templates onto the right side of your fabric. Trace the shape of the templates onto your fabric with your pen. Add .25" seam allowance to all of your pieces before cutting them out.

For machine applique: Trace your templates onto the paper side of your fusible web instead of freezer paper. Stick the web to the wrong side of your fabric according to manufacturer's instructions and cut out your pieces without any extra seam allowance.


1. Applique Template A onto your 9" pink square. Only stitch around the inside circle. Simply baste the outside edge, leaving the raw edge exposed. This is your compact base!

2. Center Template C on top of Template B and applique it. Applique Template F in the space of Template C. I stuffed a tiny bit of cotton stuffing into Template F to make it more 3D.

3. Applique your Template E pieces onto the "nodes" of Template D. Make sure your color positioning is correct! Red is in the north socket, yellow in east, blue in south, and green in west. I put a little bit of stuffing in each of these jewels.

4. Applique template D onto your compact base.

5. Applique Template B onto your compact base, making sure it's centered. I filled mine with stuffing.

6. Trim your background pink square to the outer raw edge of Template A. Remove your pen markings.

7. Make a quilt sandwich and baste it. I used a double layer of batting for extra volume.

8. Quilt as desired. I used invisible thread on top and pink in the bobbin and stitched closely around the edges of Template D and A with my free motion foot.

9. Trim your quilt sandwich and bind with your bias binding!

Freebie: FPP Lipstick Pattern

Monday, April 18, 2016

I recently found myself in need of a cute travel-sized makeup bag with emphasis on "cute." Since I don't have any makeup print fabrics in my stash, I opted to make a little lipstick foundation paper piecing pattern to spice up the Open Wide Pouch (medium size).

This pattern is too cute to keep myself, so I'm sharing it with you all for free!

Each little lipstick measures 1" x 3" finished, but the free PDF pattern also includes a larger 2" x 6" size. Alternatively, you can scale the templates to your desired size, and redraw the seam allowances to .25".

Download the PDF pattern HERE.

Why I Don't Like Hearing "You Should Start an Etsy Shop"

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Every so often, I end up in a frustrating mental merry-go-round ride over a single sentence. It will start when I hear the third or fourth person express the same sentiment. I start seeing the sentence as a societal script that comes out almost like a verbal tic. I dissect it and analyze it in my head at length. I start parsing the literal words from the intended meaning. “Overthinking” is an understatement; I’m aware that the level I read into these statements would seem crazy to most people, but I can't help it.

All that to introduce the particular sentence that has been driving me up the walls: “You should start an Etsy shop!”

I know, I know. Of all the statements that have potential to offend and disgust, I picked the well-intentioned compliment people pay to those who make things. Even tumblr activists would have to huddle for a few minutes to find the ills of this comment. And yet, it makes my jaw clench as I force a smile and silently calculate if it's worth my breath to explain why I'm not going to do that.

This cues my disclaimers. I'm aware that this sentence is meant as a compliment. I'm aware that people who say it may not be aware of the maker’s specific industry or craft. I'm aware there is no intended malice in these words. I'm aware that the underlying message being conveyed is, “I think your creation is lovely and has value that others will easily recognize.” I get it. My goal is not to take a steaming dump on this verbal token of appreciation. I simply want to explain why I, and I alone, twitch when I hear or read this sentence.

For the record, I have had an Etsy shop since July 2011, but it's been effectively closed since January 2013. I stopped generating inventory because working as a one-woman sweatshop, cranking out the same products repeatedly, didn't feel creative for me.

For starters, this statement makes simplistic assumptions about the maker and their industry, the first being that the primary goal of the maker should be to profit financially. Guess what? Not everyone who makes things wants it to be their job! A lot of creatives pursue their craft as a hobby, purely for their own enjoyment. Additionally, some makers can't bear to part with their creations. When you labor so long on an object, it can be impossible to consider selling it. When I painstakingly make a quilt for myself with my favorite fabrics, it can be irksome for people to tell me I should sell it instead. Am I not a worthy owner of my own creation?

But what about professional makers? What's wrong with telling them to open an Etsy shop if their goal is to earn a living? The short answer: it's condescending. Paying the “Etsy compliment” to makers with professional aspirations has only two possible implications.

The first possible implication is that you're stating the obvious. The compliment assumes that business plan is to make a thing, sell that thing, rinse, and repeat. If that is the case, it seems pretty patronizing to tell the maker to do the obvious. People don't tell doctors, "You should practice medicine!" If you're in a STEM field, I'd wager there aren't a ton of people outside of your industry trying to give you career advice. But if you are a student of the humanities, the visual, or performing arts, you're obviously a dumb-dumb who needs someone with no working knowledge of your field to tell you how to earn a living. While creativity is easily praised, it's also easily dismissed as something innate to the maker. Yes, some people have natural talent, but that doesn't mean we makers pull this stuff out of our asses. We study, we practice, we research, we work hard, and we work many hours to get to the point when we can make badass things. Our creations don't happen by accident. Simply stated, we are not dummies. Realistically, I know that people who pay this compliment are not trying to call me stupid, but that's how it can feel when you hear it over and over.

The second possible implication of the Etsy compliment is that you're making incorrect assumptions about how the maker plans to monetize their creativity. Selling handmade items is not the only way for makers to generate revenue. There are tons of makers who earn a living through their work as designers, authors, educators, and bloggers, not as purveyors of handmade quilts or knitted scarves. It would be like telling a Julia Child to get a job as cook, when she's dreaming of writing cookbooks and hosting televised cooking shows that would teach consumers how cook for themselves. I'm no Julia Child, but when people keep telling me to start selling on Etsy, I wonder, "Is that all you think I'm capable of?"

So with all the ranting aired out, what would I prefer people to say instead? This is actually something I'm working on improving on a personal level: stop making assumptions and try asking questions. There are tons of things you ask that can spark meaningful conversations: Is this something you do for fun or would you like to pursue this as a profession? What would your ideal creative business look like? What is your favorite aspect of what you do? Who are your entrepreneurial inspirations?

So what do you guys think? Do you hear/read the Etsy compliment often? Does it bother you?