Tag Archives: gift

Make a Dalek, Make a Friend

There are some swaps you just can’t resist.

Instagram mini swaps have really taken off this year. I’ve seen the Disney Swap, the Unicorn Swap, a hundred general swaps, a rainbow swap (that was tempting) and I think I remember a kitty swap.

I try to not overburden my sewing list, but I had to join the Doctor Who swap.

Rae from Rae’s Making It organized it and I think it had something like 77 swappers. If you’re on Instagram (which you should be, it’s not all selfies and food porn) look up the hashtag #makeadalekmakeafriend to check out all of the awesome results.

I pretty much knew what I wanted to do right away, I was just hoping my partner’s interests matched it. I bought an LED light kit from Cheryl Sleboda at Muppin.com a loooong time ago and never got around to using it because I was too scared. My idea was to make a quilted sonic screwdriver that actually lit up. Luckily, my partner’s favorite Doctor was Ten, and my light was blue. (My favorite Doctor is Ten as well.)

I’ll spare you the progress pictures. They’re not that fascinating.  Here’s the finished product.

Doctor Who Mini Quilt

It says ”Allons-y” for those of you who can’t read Gallifreyan. And ”allons-y” means ”Let’s go” for those of you who don’t speak French. It’s the Tenth Doctor’s catchphrase.

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (1)

The hand quilting was done with metallic thread, which was a real pain in the ass, especially since I doubled it. The sonic was traced from the vinyl cut out I have on my machine (from this shop) and fused onto the background. Oh, and there’s a piece missing from it, but I bet  you didn’t notice.

The LED light was actually way easier to install than what I had imagined. Cheryl provides clear instructions when you purchase her kit.

I had a lot of fun with this, and if I ever come up with a weird idea for a project that needs to be lit up, I won’t wait a year between purchasing the light and actually getting around to it.

And if you’re wondering what I got, here’s my new Dalek friend, from my Instagram feed.

photo 2 (2)

I just love the idea of a Dalek wanting to be someone’s friend. It’s just so hilarious. His name is Dalek Bubbles. (I just now came up with that, btw, but it fits so well.)

The amazing Cath from Wombat Quilts made him.

Molto Bene!



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I’m a part of the Handmade Birthday Club going on on Instagram. My birthday is in December though, so I can’t share anything awesome that I’ve received… but I can share something awesome that I’ve made.

Kelly Bowser of Kelby Sews just randomly mentioned on a picture that she doesn’t like cats, but she wouldn’t mind a UniKitty mini quilt. (UniKitty is from the Lego Movie. I haven’t seen it.) Her birthday is in March and so I knew what my mission was.

I went over to the block design tool at Threadbias.com and made up a template. I knew I’d have to paper piece, since some of the pieces would have to be tiny. What I ended up doing was printing out my template four times and cutting out the pieces I needed.


Yeah, so picture! I only have the one I stole from Kelly’s Instagram, since I can’t find my camera…


UniKitty Mini made by Melissa of Tension Issues for Kelbysews

UniKitty Mini made by Melissa of Tension Issues for Kelbysews


I used felt and embroidery thread for her face. She’s about 9x 12, but I can’t remember.

Anyway! Kelly and I both had a ton of people asking for the pattern. I was going to offer it on craftsy for free, but I cannot for the life of me figure out my illustrator program. So you’ll have to be low tech like me. Here’s the template…



You should be able to just grab that picture from here and make it whatever size you want.

And here’s where I cut.


One sheet for the ears, (cut a quarter inch away from the lines) one for the horn (in blue), one for the middle of the horn (in pink) and one more for the bottom of the horn (in yellow). For the face and outline I didn’t paper piece I just measured out what I needed. I wish I had templates for the face pieces, but I was late for Kelly’s birthday and I didn’t make copies. Sorry. But they’re mostly circles and if I can do it, so can you!


I hope this helps all those people who wanted to make a UniKitty! Tag me on instagram @tensionissues if you make one.


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Blue and Orange Plus Quilt

It is so hard making surprise quilts nowadays. At least, for someone like me, who is on facebook practically 24/7. I have a problem, I know.

So, my cousin is pregnant. Of course, mom and I wanted to make her a quilt. So I oh-so-sneakily asked her what her colors are.

Screenshot at 2012-12-09 22:03:01

And there you go. Not suspicious at all.

Mom and I had both been wanting to make a plus sign quilt for a while, so we quickly decided on that. Mom made an unplanned trip to St. Louis one weekend and picked up some cute fox and hedgehog fabric at Jackman’s.  We got some solids in orange and blue, and decided on some teal stripes for contrast.

Then we had a marathon sew-fest. I cut all of the fabric at my house, then brought that and my machine to her house to put it all together.

Mom and Henry

I brought my helper.

We laid a felt backed tablecloth on her dining room table, and laid it all out. When we finally had it right, I took a picture and loaded it on her computer so we could refer to it if (when) we messed up.

plus quilt laid out

Then I set my machine on one end of the table, mom set her machine on the other and off we went!

Mom piecing

It took us two days.

Wine was had.


I got tired. (Don’t ask me what I was thinking, wearing that bra.)

I got tired

And here it is!

Blue and Orange Plus Sign Quilt Top

And here it is all quilted and bound. (With my helper, of course. He got all excited when I got the camera out.)
I did all the quilting and I should mention that I did most of the binding with a severely injured right index finger.
I shut my finger in a car door, and it was bad enough to go to the ER. I split the nail almost all the way across. I’ll
spare you the pictures.

Blue and Orange Plus Quilt

And I’m particularly proud of the back. I think it’s pretty awesome.

Blue and Orange Plus Back

I was finally able to give it to my cousin at her baby shower! Here she is, with her mother-in-law checking it out.

Baby Beck's quilt

So there it is! Caitie, I hope you like it and that Baby Beck gets many years of use from it.


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