• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me

Another Birthday Gift: Matching Cards

Cards & drawstring bag

Elena has one of those Memory games — you know the kind  —  matching pictures on cardboard cards.  She is enjoying learning how to play the game (although my goodness, it can be frustrating getting her to fully understand the rules!), and likes the pictures.

And Julia also loves the cards and the pictures.  Yay, right??!?  Problem is, Julia is still in the stage of putting everything in her mouth.  Well, everything that’s not food that is — silly girl just barely eats food but give her a non-food item and WHOOSH, into the mouth it goes!  EVERYTHING!  SO, Julia chews up the cardboard cards and there are several half-eaten ones strewn through-out the house.

So fabric to the rescue!

I had seen this tutorial back in December and I’ve been vaguely looking for a fabric to do it with since then.  And I decided on two — the Baby Geniuses panel and the Brown Bear panel!

The Baby Geniuses panel one is *almost* done, but my gosh, to get doubles it is 52 cards for the alphabet and 24 more for the numbers.  ‘Don’t worry, I’ll show it off when finished.

But I did rapidly finish the Brown Bear cards for a birthday gift this past weekend:

Matching Cards horse & cat

Unlike the tutorial, I did sew around all the edges.  I didn’t think it would last through the girls’  hard use (um, chewing) otherwise.  I did a tight satin stitch.  And My Goodness does it ever suck up the thread.  I went through 4 bobbins just for this project!

side view of cards

Luckily, I only needed one panel of the Brown Bear fabric and had enough for doubles of all the animals.  Unfortunately I neglected to take a picture of all the animals, but I do have 2 more panels just waiting for me to make more sets.  I didn’t use the wording on the panel because the blocks would have been 5.5″ that way.  Cutting inside the words gave me 4″ squares.  Perfect size!

Red Bird & Yellow Duck

I also made a drawstring bag, but did a simpler one than the one in the tutorial.  And I used a scrap from the edge of the panel for the drawstring!

Drawstring Bag

I did this all in one day (took some time to do all the satin stitching so I won’t say ‘a couple hours’ because that would be a lie) and had a great gift for a 1-year-old little girl!  It was at least a winner in our house — Elena didn’t want to give it away!

And it’s chewable!

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My 1st Signature Quilt

Sheesh!  I knew I’d be stopping posting every day but that was all of a sudden!  I was spending way too much time on the computer putting up new posts to get this blog started and going through the Online Quilt Show, so I had to take a little break to show my husband that I could live away from my computer screen.

And now that I’m back, I thought I’d show you the 1st signature quilt I made.  It seems I’ve gotten myself hooked on the concept!

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This is Elena’s signature quilt, hanging where it lives above her bed.

I told my Mom when I was pregnant with Elena that I’d love a signature quilt for my little baby.  My mom graciously cut into her own stash, cutting out about 100 3.5″ squares.  She then ironed them all onto freezer paper to provide a good writing surface.  AND she ironed on little “frames” 0.25″ wide of freezer paper on the good side around each square so people would not write in the seam allowances.  (I don’t even want to think about how long that must have taken!)

And then we took the squares to my baby showers for everyone to join the signing fun!

Mommy & Daddy blocks

I *knew* these were going to be at the baby shower, but I still freaked when it came my turn to write because I had NO idea what to write!  I mean the message would be there for her to see for (hopefully) ever!

This block is evidence of the 1st time I wrote “Mommy” on something from me to my children.  It felt SO strange to sign something, anything, with Mommy!  And you can totally tell that I didn’t feel comfortable with it because I had to write “your Mommy” instead of just “Mommy”!

I love that Elena always looks for my block.  I’d like to say it’s because it’s from me, but in truth it’s because she loves looking for the heart I drew on my block.

Also funny is that my parents signed as Grandma and Grandpa at the baby showers, however they are now called Grammy & Papa.

Here’s a picture where you can see the quilting better:

Bigger close-up

The quilting was exactly what I wanted, done by That Quilter.

The quilt wasn’t completed until Elena was well over a year old.  We had to wait for some of the blocks through the mail, and since there was no hard deadline, they were slow in coming.  And then of course was the debate on how to put the 3.5″ blocks together!

We finally decided to go simple & modern and just sashed them with 1.5″ finished strips, and thus had 6″ finished blocks and put it together for a 48″ x 54″ quilt.

3 generations helped piece this together: my Mom, me and Elena herself!:

Cool framed shot of Elena & sewing machine

Eek!  Look at those great chubby cheeks!  I forgot how much I miss them!  And skinnier me!  I know how much I miss that!

Elena sewingLooking at Grammy while sewingyum! Chewing on hand and sewing at same time!Sashings laid out

I just scanned in these photos — I guess Elena was around 4 or 5 months old in these pictures.

I also put this quilt in the Austin Area Quilt Guild show in September 2008 in a two-person category, but no prizes this time.  (I was robbed! hee!)  Elena was *very* upset at me taking the quilt off her wall and dropping it off at the show, but was thrilled to see it hanging with all the other “woogies” at the show:

Elena with her quilt

I obviously didn’t enforce the no-touching rule for her own quilt!

After doing this, I totally wished I had thought of a signature quilt for when I got married.  That would have been so much cooler than the never-looked-at guest book!

Bluebonnets and my girls

A few weeks ago I took the girls out to a bluebonnet field for some pictures.  The sun was HARSH that day, but here are a few pictures for your enjoyment!  I’ll soon show some more pictures of them in non-sunny bluebonnets taken on another day, but even with shadows, some of these are adorable!  How could they not be with my girls?!

I love Julia’s attitude in this picture – I almost wish Elena wasn’t in this picture mucking up Julia’s look:

Julia with some attitude

My husband was out helping me on this adventure, and decided to help me get the girls to smile in the bluebonnets.  So he became a monster…  And the girls DID smile as hoped, but they also became monsters!  Watch out, they’re going to get you!

Monsters are Going to Get You!!!

Laughing (crying?) at Daddy:

Laughing at Daddy

Yay flowers!

Yay flowers

What can I say, Julia was the star of this particular photoshoot:

Touching flowers

Inspecting flowers:

Inspecting

(let me tell you, this posting every day thing is HARD!  Don’t expect it to last long!)

Sneak Peak

A friend’s husband is battling colon cancer right now.  Several others have offered meals or lawn service or whatnot.  Um, I’m a bad cook, and I don’t even like doing my own lawn!  After just finishing my sister’s quilt, and knowing how much it meant to her and to everybody who signed a hand, I knew exactly what to offer the friend: their very own hand quilt!

I only just received all the hands this week and they are sewn onto their squares, but I’m not much further.  My due date for finishing the quilt is his surgery date at the end of May, so in the meantime I thought the family & friends who signed hands needed a sneak preview of all the hands!  The friend can’t put the sneak preview on her own blog because it is still a secret to her husband, but she said she could definitely point everyone in this direction.

So, WELCOME to Jon & MC’s family & friends!  This quilt is blue and brown, and the exact same size as my sister’s down below if you want to get an idea of the finished product.

OH, and before the showing of the hands, I thought you all should know that dear MC, who bugged you all about getting them to me ASAP, was the last to hand in her hand!

Without further adieu, here’s your hands in no particular order (minus MC’s).  Click on each hand to get it to show large enough for you to hopefully read (and apologies if I messed up any names):

Online Quilt Festival

WooHoo!  I am participating in the Online Quilt Festival hosted by Park City Girl.

To my new visitors from the Quilt Festival, Welcome!  As you can see, I am a very new blog but am busy trying to start off with lots of posts, so I hope you come back to see more!  My entry for the Quilt Festival is the post right below!

To my other visitors, feel free to click through to the Online Quilt Festival — I am sure there are going to be tons of great quilts!

The Quilt I Put My Heart Into

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On Christmas Eve Eve 2007, while I was at home taking care of my 9-day-old Julia, my little sister had a stroke.  Since my sister was only 30-years-old, it took a L O N G time to diagnose her.  Of course, I assume any time you are waiting for a diagnosis on a relative in distress, it seems like a long time.  It was Christmas Day they gave a final diagnosis and really started treating her.

To make a long story semi-short, 2 weeks in ICU and  2 more weeks in the hospital later, my sister was relatively back to normal.  She had 6 more months of meds and then was given a clean bill of health.  She doesn’t seem to have any outstanding  issues, except for some fear any time she has a headache.

I’d say the whole thing shook up my whole family – and definitely me.  The youngest of 7 is the one you’d least expect to end up in ICU.  And I felt quite helpless in another town with a newborn and being greatly discouraged from my daughter’s pediatrician and others from visiting my sister in the hospital.

It took a while for me to figure it out, but I finally decided what I needed to do for my sister, even though by then she was well into her recovery.  I needed to make her a quilt celebrating her life and to be given on the 1st anniversary of her stroke!

Soon I sent out pieces of fabric to several family members and asked them to make an outline of their hand on the fabric and write messages to my sister.   I enjoyed seeing them come in and reading the messages:

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We decided not to give the quilt to her on her anniversary for logistical reasons, but instead on Christmas Day.  I couldn’t be there, but I understand that the minute she heard the whole family had a gift for her, she started crying.  (Would you believe nobody had a camera?!!!?  On Christmas?!?!  That was the only thing I expected — to see pictures of her opening it!)

When I did see her a couple days ago, she reenacted opening it, but since the tears weren’t flowing, one of my brothers started flicking water on her to create tears, so instead we have laughter:

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I love my sister, and I hope she cuddles in her quilt often and feels the warmth of all of our love.

A few notes on the making:

*I originally saw some hands quilts like this in Quilter’s Newsletter, if my memory serves, but I can’t find the actual issue.  So definitely inspired by that but I figured out the measurements and the sashings on my own.

*The hands are all batiks.  I find that the tight weave serves well for writing.  And, of course, I love batiks!  I also had ironed the fabric squares to freezer paper before mailing to make it easier for the contributers to draw and sign.

*The fabric pen I love most is the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric .  It creates a nice thick dark line and held up well in the wash when I tested it.  I found it at Hobby Lobby.

*Yes, those are dog prints in the bottom right corner!  I had my sister send me her dog’s prints without any explanation.  She bravely put some paint on her dog’s paws and stamped them on some paper and mailed them to me.  Her dog’s quote?  “Woof! Woof!”

*And here’s the back, made from scraps, including some I bought for possible use on the front but didn’t work:

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The Quilt of Which I’m Most Proud: Cosmic Spiral

I think it’s about time I show off a quilt on this blog of mine, especially considering my quilting is what got me really interested in writing a blog!

This is the quilt that makes me beam with pride:
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I started this 27″ square quilt in a workshop with Barbara Olson at my local quilt guild so many years ago. I really don’t even know how many years ago. I keep meaning to e-mail the guild historian so she can give me an idea.

I didn’t get very far in the workshop because I was determined I didn’t have the exact right fabric I wanted for a spot in the yellow section — um, right where you start sewing!

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My Mom also took the workshop, and she and I would periodically meet and spend F O R E V E R choosing each individual fabric, raiding each other’s stashes. And we would often find ourselves going backwards, “reverse sewing,” to take something out because we had found a new little snippet. Piecing was definitely the difficult part, but it was also the most fun! I loved the collaboration with my Mom.

Here’s a couple zingers I particularly like and enjoyed planning — the different color beams radiating from the center:

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And even after the spiral was pieced, it sat F O R E V E R again for me to put on the borders – I “fussy cut” those batik star triangles out of a huge piece of fabric (the holes are quite terrifying!) – and then it sat F O R E V E R for me to get brave enough to quilt it.

The only thing that made me get off my butt and finish it was that I wanted to enter it into the Austin Area Quilt Guild Quilt Show in September 2008. With some encouragement and quilting design advice from my Mom, I finally set quilting needle to fabric and quilted a bunch of spirals in it (view from the back):

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She actually calls this design more of her ‘knotty wood’ pattern, and it really is that but it also looks quite cosmic!  I put invisible thread on top and a beautiful variegated thread on bottom.

I finished the binding the night before entries were due, and then anxiously awaited the outcome of judging.

And LOOK! Honorable Mention!

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SO proud! My only negative comment by the judge was that she thought I should quilt the black & white areas some more. They do stick out as not-quilted (I stitched in the ditch of the seams), but I can’t really imagine filling it up, so I’m satisfied with the comment.

I even like my label a LOT, printed for me by That Quilter (my name deleted).:

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 OH, and you can see how I got around the not-knowing-when-I-started by just putting a ‘finished in’ date!

Anyway, this quilt has so much work in it as well as so many memories of quilting with my Mom. It also has batiks! I LOVE batiks and have 3 shelves FULL of them, but generally I am too scared to use them up and so they sit on the shelves. This quilt is a reminder to me to actually USE the fabric I love because I will no doubt love the results even more than a cluttered sewing room!