Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Blog location

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I wanted to bring to your attention that I’m transitioning the Blog from here to Blogger. Please resave bookmarks from this page to here:

http://8bithealey.blogspot.com/

Thank you for all your support!!

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How to order a quilt! Sailor Moon Edition

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I wanted to show you the process of this quilt design, so that people know what to expect when ordering from 8Bit Healey! Of course the EASIEST way is to go to out Etsy store and buy a pre-made designs! But a lot of people want a custom blanket and good news! I do that! Facebook is the fastest way to get my attention and discuss your dream projects. Through FB, a fan reached out and said she wanted a Sailor Moon blanket. So to get the project rolling, I looked up old video game sprites (I use http://www.spriters-resource.com/ and google image search for ideas). I grabbed sprites that I like and send customers a collage with price options.

Although she kind of liked these, none of them were what she had in mind, so I am always happy to keep digging with the more concise vision of the product. This cool lady wanted to see more Princess Serenity designs, so I went wishing for more inspiration.

I sent these screen grabs just to throw some ideas out there. She got very excited about this image:

I had to crop her smaller from the original because all quilts need to try and limit their design to 50 pixels(ish) or they become massive. This image is a sprite capture from the game Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, captured by sprite ripper Rocket!

So I get to work simplifying it so that it can be sewn into a quilt and get a first draft.

So this is the point where I try to translate it to a pattern, and the client needs to give me feedback on what they like and don’t like. The border was a bit heavy, so we went though a couple drafts of bg color and border colors.

And its ok to tell me its just not right. Sometimes I get stuck with an off design. So we decided no color changes would correct the heavy border. She suggested a different border of sparkles and flowers and I literally googled “sparkle pixels” and found this brush website. Their designs helped inspire this change.

The maybe final draft before production is this:

So tada! Thank you for walking through the design process with me! Hopefully this helps you understand how easy it is to order a quilt with me.

If you have a quilt design in mind, feel free to start the process with me, message me on facebook. I make designs for free and once we’ve agreed on a design, I put it up on Etsy and will begin production once paid the agreed amount! All quilts take about a week to make.

Quick dinner plan!

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I’m a huge fan of mindlessly walking around  grocery store. This all started in college, with my college sweetheart.  Something about ignoring the stress and wangst of college drama, we would wander the isles.  So its still a huge part of my daily routine to daily search for deals on grocery shelves. I’m proud of tonight’s haul!

I get frustrated when people say its cheaper to eat out. Me and C eat great and I don’t think the effort to find affordable food is too great.

How I make an 8Bit quilt… Finishing a project!

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I wanted to finish up this tutorial and project blog with what I do after I finish a quilt design. So with most of my quilts I finish the back with flannel.  Its for many reasons, but the main one is to keep down the cost of the quilts.  The fleece backing is a quick, soft and warm way to finish the quilt. I put the quilt piece face down and use the flatlock stitch almost all the way around the border and then pull it right side again and hand stitch the remaining hole shut. Here is a great tutorial on how to do an invisible stitch.

For this project I wanted the pillow to be firm and strong, so fleece is too stretchy and no good. I used batting and a back layer of extra fabric I have laying around. I have been working on my confidence on the top stitch of a quilt. I don’t have a lot of experience with freehand stitching the design that holds all the layers together and as for now, stick to straight lines. I did a uniform diagonal top stitch along the lilac background and I’m happy with how it came out.

This project took much longer then I had hoped. I was hoping I could quickly pump out an 8bit pillow in an hour and half so that I could sell it around $20, but as my ambitions grew, so did the time it take to complete.  I listed it on Etsy for $50, which hopefully once I get faster at producing, I can drop it down.

Check out the Etsy Listing!

How I make an 8Bit quilt.. Making it!

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Lets first detour back to how I used to do it back when I first started and didn’t have all the tools I have now.. I used to just use a cardboard square cut to the size I wanted my fabric pieces and I would cut each individual square out one at a time. Quilting Rulers are also easily purchased if you worry about cutting the cardboard the right shape. This method is NOT preferred because it easily takes a month alone to cut the squares and I find it very tedious to sew each square together one by one. I also used to lay the whole quilt out on the floor so I could easily visualize how to sew each piece together. Again, I don’t recommend it, but if you find it hard to compress the design into stacked rows and are making mistakes, this might be best at first.

OK, so back to the key design from the previous blog. I went and bought all the fabric like discussed.

Spent under $5 and part of the cost was extra lilac to finish with quilted piece into a pillow. I ended up buying a yard of lilac in case you were curious.

I use a self healing mat, a large quilting ruler and a rotary tool to cut the fabric into 1.75 inch strips of fabric. I sew the strips together to make a solid piece again. You get an accordion feel, see:

Once I sew the fabric all back together, I cut it in the opposite direction, again in 1.75 strips.

I sew the strips together in different numbers so I have variety for the quilt design. In a large blanket, I might have a pile of squares, two squares (sewn together already), three squares, ect. This allows for quickly sewing the design together instead of doing each block one at a time. I hope this isn’t confusing..

This design isn’t very big or complex so I just have a couple piles. And so I start piling all the squares together following the word document with the plan.

Row one has 16 purple squares. If you chose to cut each square out separately, you’d just stack 16 lilac squares and sew them together in a long strip. I chose to sew all my lilac together in groups of 8, so my pile just had 2 strips of 8 pieces each. Both ways add up t 16 squares.. so it doesn’t matter how you do it. Row 2 has 3 black squares, 10 lilac and another 3 black squares.Because my lilac are in strips of presewn in sets of 8 squares, I use a seam ripper to separate it into the needed set of 3.

I looked down and took a picture of my “helper.”  My pup max is always underfoot and trying to help when I’m crafting.

So I compile the design into rows that I place on large sheets of newsprint paper. It is low cost and I use it as scrap paper to write on or paint on top of. Its helpful in the quilt planning because I can stack pages of paper with quilt square on it and stay organized.

From right to left you can see Row 1, row 2, row 3, ect.. I just slowly lay out each square according to my word document plan of the design.

Now I go pile by pile in order and sew the stacks together in order, and then each strip of rows to the next to start bringing the quilt into being. In the second picture of the collage, you can see that I try to line up the rows to match at color changes, but I don’t stress too much about the rows matching up perfectly. You can see the small imperfections in the bottom picture. I used to try and force the lines to all line up, but I found that cause an unappealing pucker to the cloth and I decided I’d rather it lay flat, then appear rumbled.

An example of the puckers you might get if you try to make all the lines match perfectly square for square. I think it’s easier to try and line up the design with a little room for error, then aim for perfection.

So as I go, I usually compare the WIP to the computer design to make sure I’m not making any mistakes. Here is the finished product. It took me about 2.5 hours to sew it all together. I’m actually going to sew a little bit more lilac around the key to make it bigger and finish it into a pillow. I’ll post it once its all done!