• 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
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Quilt Festival 2009: My Final Round-up

As I showed already here, the quilts were fabulous at Festival.

But, of course, the shopping was also fantastic and I did my bit to help the world economy!  And I really mean world — look at these great fabrics I picked up at a vendor that came from Japan:

Japanese fabrics

They are designed by Keiko Goke for Yuwa Fabric according to the selvedge.  I remember a sign in the store explaining how this is her first line of fabric.  There were some other great pieces from this line in a quilt they had hanging, but they had already run out of a lot of it.  Thrilled to get these pieces though!

I had given myself a budget and did a pretty good job of staying in it, buying some fabric for specific projects and some just because I liked them.  I happened to stack them into warm and cool piles, and just look how great all these fabrics play together!

Pinks blacks & yellows

SO loved how these fabrics all mix and match!  I’m thinking I just might have to expand on this color grouping for a quilt.  (Definitely need more than just these — they are mainly fat quarters since I went for variety rather than bigger pieces of fabric this time around.)  I usually want to put my pinks with greens, but I think the yellows and blacks with the pinks is awesome!

And then most of the fabrics below were bought with a specific project in mind.  More details when I actually get started!  When checking through my stash recently for this project I noticed I barely had any of this bright blue, of which I need plenty for the quilt, so I worked on giving myself some variety!

Blues and greens

Finally, I found a snowflake print that would be great for the sashing of a snowman quilt I plan on making, so a full 2 yards of it:

Snowflake print

I so need to write myself a “finish *this year*” list so I can figure out what I want to do and what is actually realistic.  For instance, I would love to have the snowman quilt ready for Christmas.  However, I’ve been busy sewing clothes this past week instead – oops!

Other observations from Festival:

-They had a LOT fewer booths this year.  Our program this year stated “over 950 vendors.”  We checked out last year’s program — it said over 1100.  Still, LOTS of shopping to do and hopefully the economy will pick up and they’ll fill up completely again.

-We stayed at the Hilton Americas next door/connecting to the Convention Center.  Yes, my mom lives in Houston but it was fun getting to stay at a nice hotel, and great to just walk over and back whenever we wanted throughout the day with no stress.  We came back to the hotel for a late lunch on Saturday to watch some college football while we dined — great!  (yes, we’re both football junkies!)  And we sewed in our room both before and after Festival hours.

-If we do stay at the hotel again, though, we’ll bring a lot more of our own snacks.  The food was Expensive!

-I’ve never taken a class at Festival, but went and visited a friend at her class.  (Hi cia!  Thanks for giving us a peak!)  They really seem to have a great set-up and definitely tempted to take a class next time around.

-And one I know doesn’t interest most, but ahhh, it was so nice to be in Houston and be able to listen to Houston sports talk radio while I drove around.  Here in Austin it seems I can only listen to talk about the Dallas Cowboys (ugh) and the Texas Longhorns — loved hearing about my Houston Texans and University of Houston Cougars!


Ten on Tuesday

1.  Julia said “love you” for the first time last week!  Little stinker, though, it was to her Daddy instead of to me!

2.  Elena will become instant best friends with any other girl wearing a princess costume.  Lucky for her, we’ve been to a couple Halloween parties so far and there have been other Cinderellas at both.

3.  Julia LOVES her little hoodie jacket.  Me, not so much.  Why?  Because the hat falls off often, and she cries “AT!  AT!  AT!” until we get it back up on her head.   And did I say it falls off often?  Like when I’m driving, and she’s in the back??  And that she keeps. repeating. “AT! AT! AT!” until its back on??!

4.  Last Tuesday, I told Elena at bedtime that the next day she’d get to go to gymnastics.  She asked, very sincerely, “After gymnastics, Mommy, can we go get some clothes like all the other girls wear???”  😦  I’d been dressing her in shorts and shirts, but more and more of the girls have been showing up in leotards or dancewear.  I didn’t know Elena noticed!

5.  Yes, with my little hurt heart, I got the girls out of the house early on Wednesday and Elena had her dancewear BEFORE gymnastics.  She was THRILLED.

6.  Julia calls herself the baby ALL the time.  I don’t think Elena was doing that so much at this age, but that’s probably because we were teaching Elena about the coming baby and calling her the Big Sister at the time.

7.  The girls and my husband were with me in Houston for a couple days during Festival week.  We planned a great fall day at the zoo.  We *did* have a great day at the zoo, but not really “fall” unless you think a weather report of “feels like 100 degrees” is fall weather.

The girls as groundhogs

(The girls are in the prairie dog exhibit here, but somehow we never actually get pictures of the prairie dogs, so the girls just look like…visitors on an alien planet??)

8.  We also ended up unexpectedly at the beach.  We didn’t bring bathing suits, but the girls still had fun seeing the Gulf and shells!

Julia and the sand

9.  I asked Elena what lived in the ocean, and she confidently exclaimed “Mermaids!!”

Elena and Daddy on the pier

10.  I’ll be showing off my Quilt Festival purchases soon!  Yummy fabric!

Ten on Tuesday: Houston International Quilt Festival edition

I must say that one of my biggest disappointments of blog-coverage of Quilt Market and Quilt Festival is that they leave out the whole “Quilt” aspect of it all.  You will see tons of pictures of the various booths, but none of the quilts hanging up just a few rows down the convention center.  I have been to Market before and the quilts are there!  You don’t know the winners, but you can still admire the workmanship, etc.

Of course, I’ve also read some of those bloggers also complain that the name of the event is “Quilt Market” since fabric is used for so much more than quilts.  I am a quilter at heart though and it is quilt market and I think the fabric choices we have out today are due in large part to the quilter!

::stepping off soapbox::

Anyway, I am using today to highlight just 10 of the quilts I enjoyed at Festival.  I took a ton of pictures, so these aren’t necessarily all my favorites, but 10 that looked great to me right now as I uploaded from my computer.

As I did last time, I took pictures of the info sheets too so you can get all the information on the maker & techniques, etc.  (well, maybe you can.  those pictures were often taken without me looking as I squeezed past people, and they’re definitely blurry.)

Enjoy! (In no particular order) CLICK ON PICTURES to see them bigger!

1.  Motherhood III:  I love the flow of this, and of course being a (fairly) young mother it just speaks to me.  This actually was not in the show but in a special exhibit called O Canada.

Motherhood III descriptionMotherhood III

2.  Can’t read the full title, but ____ Dots & Zydeco.  It is *very* hard to tell, even in person, but there are 3D ripples that come out all over this quilt!  That’s not the part that impresses me though (as I said, it was hard to tell).  I simply just LOVE the color sense and LOVE that all the fabrics are polkadots!  I need that stash!  I gave you some details so you too can admire the fabric selection.

Dots & Zydeco descriptionDots & Zydeco Dots & Zydeco close-upDots & Zydeco second close-up

3.  Tulip Mania: I have a partially-done quilt done in this same technique.  The technique?  a picture is broken into sections and then each person makes their section in any manner they choose.  I think the quilts are so cool and interesting, and this one is no exception!

Tulip Mania descriptionTulip Mania

4.  Santa Claus Has Come to Kinara’s Hometown: This was one of the big prizewinners.  The quilter is Japanese — I just love the Japanese aesthetic (at least the Japanese quilts that get juried in to the Houston show), and this quilt is no exception.  It is a fun quilt to inspect — check out the details!

Santa Claus descriptionSanta ClausSanta Claus close-up

5.  Clam Session by Karen Stone: another of the big prizewinners.  LOVE.  I always love her stuff, though, so no surprise.  Great color sense and great piecing.

Clam Session descriptionClam SessionClam Session detail

6.  Broken Dishes:  The description of this quilt totally got me at the heartstrings:

“I was inspired by the traditional block called Broken Dishes.  When I think of that quilt block name, I always imagine a loving, tender moment of forgiveness and acceptance between mother and daughter.”

And that’s when I noticed that the mom is holding piece of the broken dish.  LOVE.  I’d love to make a people quilt someday.  Ahhh, another quilt to add to my list.

Broken Dishes descriptionBroken Dishes

7.  Medea Escaping:  This quilt was HUGE and just stunning.  Truly stunning.

Medea Escaping descriptionMedea Escaping

8.  Just Sing…Sing a Song:  This quilt was done as some sort of scrap challenge.  The birds are just adorable!  Especially love the little bird balls that are looking straight on at you – check out the detail to see how cute!

Just Sing...Sing a Song descriptionJust Sing...Sing a SongJust Sing...Sing a Song detail

9. Rose Mandala I: Just an explosion of color!  Simply beautiful.

Rose Mandala I descriptionRose Mandala IRose Mandala I detail

10.  Burano:  This quilt was also not part of the Show per se, but part of the Tactile Architecture exhibit — always one of my fave exhibits.  It is also another group project completed in the same manner as the tulips above.  And ahhh, memories of my honeymoon…

Burano descriptionBurano

And that’s all for now!  Let me know your favorite of these, or at the show if you were lucky enough to attend!  I’m always amazed at what I miss even when I know I have seen *all* the quilts!

Halloween Costume Fun

Time for the Halloween costumes to continue!

For the second time now, I was lucky enough to get invited to and be able to attend a Halloween fundraiser.  I just had to donate some money and, in return, I received some great pictures of my daughters!

The cause this year was MD Anderson — a place that I know does fantastic things and that I could fully support.  One of the reasons I love Houston is that it has such great medical facilities.

This year I made both my girls costumes.

First, there was Cinderella:

2009-10-10 Elena small

Then, there was Cinderella’s little mouse friend:

2009-10-10 Julia small

Finally, there was Cinderella laughing at her little mouse friend’s discomfort in the too-small mouse hat:

2009-10-10 Elena & Julia small


You should definitely take a peak at the whole slideshow from the event.  It features more than 60 kids and can be found here.  It totally had me laughing!!

And Lyndsay from Life in Motion Photography is a great photographer!  Check out this blog entry where you can donate to MD Anderson yourself through her and you’ll be on the list to attend the Halloween fundraiser next year AND possibly win a mini session for yourself in a couple months!

I’ll give some more details on these costumes later on this month.  🙂  SO happy with how they turned out and they’re getting lots of play in our house already!

Ten on Tuesday

Don’t know if I’ll keep this up every Tuesday, but it at least works today because I haven’t shared much about my girls lately and it’s about time!

1.  Julia is starting to finally put two-word phrases together!  YAY!  She’s been close for a while, but wouldn’t really do it.  Instead, she needed verification after each word that we heard her.  “Tat! Tat! Tat!” Yes, Julia, Cat.  “Mean! Mean! Mean!”  Yes Julia, Mean Cat.  “Ba-Buh!”  Yes, we said bye-bye to the mean cat.

2.  Don’t take your children into any of the Halloween stores around town, or you might be hearing about the mean cat you said bye-bye to for 2.5 weeks and counting.

3.  My sewing room is easily the messiest room in the house at any time.  The girls love playing with my fabrics, and then also bring in every toy they own while I’m in there.  I could get annoyed (and admittedly sometimes do), but they are so gosh darn cute doing it!

Julia's great smile

4.  Julia is Brilliant!  We were reading a book, and when she came to this page she immediately started pointing to the left-hand-side cat and worriedly told us “UNGY!  UNGY!  UNGY!”  I didn’t even have to say anything, but she knew the little kitty was Hungry!  Brilliant I tell you!

Hungry Cat!

5.  Julia is a GREAT nose-blower.  She has her mommy’s allergies right now and she is excellent at blowing her nose, and hard, whenever we want.  Ha!

6.  Elena loves playing “Disney Store” now.  She’ll get all her princess stuff and line it all up and then we’ll go shopping.  My favorite part?  She buys up EVERYTHING in her store, and makes a point of telling us!  Don’t think we’ll be doing that for real anytime soon!

7.  Elena made up a new princess a week or two ago:  “Flowera.”  There needed to be a new princess she told us.  Even better, when we were at the toy store we did see dolls and dresses for the real new Disney princess coming out soon.  Elena was ECSTATIC — she totally thought it was Flowera.  And then was very disappointed that it wasn’t.  😦

8.  Elena is in gymnastics right now.  And loves it.  I’d totally love her to be able to do cartwheels some day, because I can’t.  Living vicariously through my children.

Elena showing her gymnastics skills

9.  Julia observes her sister at gymnastics, and is not about to be outdone.

Julia hanging around

10.  Yes, Elena still wears dresses every day.  We forced her into pants b/c it was wet outside.  And since we had her in pants, we put the girls in their matching shirts courtesy of their Aunt & Uncle.

Scratching Off the To Do List

Back when I first started this blog (I know, as if that was years ago), I posted about a Traveling Car Playmat that I made for a little boy’s birthday.  I had intended to immediately get busy and finish up the other three I had fabric for right away, but, um, yeah.

BUT, they are now done!  Of course push came to shove because one was for another little boy’s birthday two weeks ago, but I actually really did finish the other two also!

The one for the birthday has the little boy’s name on it, just like the first one I did.  The one with the pink handles is for my girls, and thus has the “Vroom!” because I didn’t want to personalize it for both of them.  And the third also has a “Vroom!” because it has no purpose right now — I am sure there will be another birthday party for another deserving child soon enough!  (Anyone I know want to call dibs?)

Something I did different than the first time around and really like the results:  instead of three pockets on the back, I made only two.  They are bigger and actually fit more cars and are just easier to use.  Sorry to little Julian for being stuck with my prototype!

For more information on how I made these, please go back to the 1st post here!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival!

Here I put a post up this morning already, and totally forgot it is the start of the Online Quilt Festival hosted by Park City Girl!  Two posts from me in one day is simply unheard of!

Welcome to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival attendees!

Anyway, so off I went scrounging through my pictures to see what oldie but goodie I haven’t posted yet, and this is my entry to this season’s show:

…And Everything Nice is my baby quilt for Elena.  (You know, Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice is what little girls are made of.)

I have made *many* a baby quilt for many a child, but making one for my own child had me stumped.  I really love the one I made for a goddaughter (haven’t had a chance to share yet — pre-digital camera age for me), but I very well couldn’t just repeat a quilt when it was for my very own daughter!   She needed something original!

At Houston’s Quilt Festival just a few months after she was born I found Cynthia Tomasewski’s pattern Tiny Bubbles and finally had my inspiration.  I paired it with this great candy line of fabric (from Lakehouse I believe), and I finally had something sweet for my sweet little girl.

You’ll notice I did change up the border from the pattern.  I wanted something much simpler.  And thank goodness for design boards — look at some of the others we tried out and rejected – ACK!:

One of my favorite parts of the quilt is the back.  Or, specifically, the labels:

“…And Everything Nice; A Quilt for Elena Rivers; Presented on Her 1st Birthday 08.24.06; Pieced by MOMMY (full name); Quilted by GRAMMY (full name); And also from DADDY(full name); All with LOVE”

And I also LOVE the circular custom quilting done by my Mom, which you can see pretty well on this picture from when we gave the quilt to Elena on her first birthday (Thanks Mom! and Eek! Bed Head!):

Thanks to everyone for looking!  I had so much fun participating in the last Online Quilt Festival and am happy to join again.  Last time I had *just* started my blog and couldn’t figure out how to respond to comments – I’ve got that down now so will try to do better this time around! (Although I am going out of town some next week for Houston’s International Quilt Festival.)

And feel free of course to explore — you can go directly to previous quilts I’ve made on the left sidebar.