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Showing posts from 2010

A Productive Day

Trying to get in as much sewing and quilting as possible before returning to work next week.

Thanks, C., for coming over today for an old fashioned quilting bee and figuring out the best layout for the USC string baby quilt.

This one looks much better in person. The picture doesn't capture the subtleties of the different yellows and taking the picture at night in fluorescent lighting doesn't help. See that secondary square in the middle from the striped white/yellow fabrics? Her great eye caught that. Thanks, C.!

It was a productive day. Also finished

1) Upcycling some used clothing into two 16" throw pillows for my cousin who is a lifeguard with the Los Angeles County Fire Department:

I think they came out great. The two pillows are identical, and the picture shows the two sides. The white fabric used to be a polo shirt that was fussy cut to include the lifeguard patch. The red used to be a fleece jacket fussy cut to capture all of the embroidery on the back.

2) Upcycled a…

USC Baby Quilt

A co-worker's baby shower is in February so I'm taking advantage of the winter break to begin a string quilt in cardinal and gold. Each square is about 9" and the quilt should finish a little less than 36" square, which should be a good size for a stroller-friendly blanket.

All the schools who license their logos for fabric are genius. And all the schools that don't license their fabrics (cough, Cal) need to get with the program.

And after two months of promising, I finally made oven mitts for my mom.

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all had a great Christmas!

Just to keep track of what quilts went where this Christmas. Based on the list below, the boys were neglected this year and will likely be getting quilts next year. They'd probably prefer a swiss army knife.

I'm Blushing for my sister
Per her request using the I'm Blushing quilt pattern by Natalina Bonner of Piece N Quilt and using the Whimsy fabric line from Moda. The back was pieced using the remaining fat quarters and could be a quilt itself.

Autumn Comfort for my aunt
Using Gobble, Gobble line from Moda and fabric from my swap partner for Stash Manicure's Brown Bag Quilt challenge. The pattern is Nice Day by Carrie Nelson from her book Schnibbles Times Two.

Improv for another aunt
Using a bunch of brown and blue fat quarters from my stash to match her home decor and using the disappearing nine-patch block plus some improvisation to make the quilt large enough to be used as a throw quilt. Backed in plush brown fabric.

Flowers for Joanne

Work in Progress: Last-minute Christmas Quilt

My mom suggested earlier this week that since I finished my cousin's quilt that I should also make one for my aunt. Maybe because it would be a bit awkward at Christmas when my cousin opened her present and nothing similar was available for her mom.

So after some thought about my aunt's decorating scheme and colors she seemed to favor, I decided to focus on blues and browns.  The quilt also needed to be a quick design, but nothing too simple because then it would just be boring to piece and a chore to make.  The disappearing nine-patch block seemed a good compromise and the top came together quickly except that the finished size was too small: 36" x 36". Perfect for a baby quilt, not so perfect for a grown woman.

So I did what I always seem to end up doing whenever I make a quilt improvisationally, which is to say, get all the left over fabric and figure out something while munching potato chips for brain food. In this case that ended up being deciding to add a borde…

15 card cases

2(8"x5" piece of fabric) + 8"x5" piece of batting + 1 cool button = 1 quick and cute fabric card case

Over the past couple of nights, I made 15 of them using the Think It, Make It Pouch Tutorial as gifts for colleagues and friends. The most difficult part was finding just the right buttons to match the different  fabric linings and then hand sewing them to the pouch, which is to say not difficult at all.

The finished size is just right to hold a credit card or two or it can be used as an envelope for a gift card.  Or even as a tooth envelope for the tooth fairy. The possibilities are endless.

Finished! Flowers for Joanne quilt

Hooray! The quilt for my cousin is done. For fun, I wanted to try a new quilting design, so instead of the usual stippling, meandering flowers. Still needs a lot of practice and more forethought when actually quilting, but a nice change of pace.

But what really makes me happy is the back.

21 Headbands

A while back I made some reversible fabric headbands for E.  My sister liked them so much that she thought they would make great Christmas gifts and asked me to make 18 of them. That was months ago. Turning the buggers inside out tired my fingers so I procrastinated, but I found another tutorial online from The Long Thread that made making the headbands much easier. So here are the 21 that will soon tidy some little girls' hair in Utah.

To finish them off, I need to get some 1/2 inch elastic from Joann. Very convenient that the chain is having a major sale this weekend. So the headbands will be finished in time for gift giving after all.

This project is a great way to use up scraps that are at least 13" x 2.5". And they don't take long to make either, especially if you make them assembly-line style.

Some tips if you decide to make your own:
The tutorial in the Long Thread recommends that you fold each side of the headband and stitch wrong sides together so that you don…

A Happy Accident

Wanting to use up as much of the fabric as possible, I randomly sewed up whatever was leftover from making the quilt top and borders for my cousin's quilt.  Lo and behold that the pieces so cooperatively configured themselves into a "j" for the quilt backing. How convenient.

The quilt top is a lot of fun, but in this case, the quilt back promises to be even better.

Work in Progress: Flowers for Joanne

This post is actually for S. in NYC who wanted to know what new quilt I was working on. My cousin likes blue, but she'll be getting a much brighter quilt instead for Christmas. I hope she'll like it anyway.

The pattern is Sweet Pea by Heather Mulder Peterson for her Sanibel line. The quilt top came together fairly quickly. A marathon cutting and piecing session Saturday night got the basic blocks together. I've been sneaking in time in the mornings to machine applique the flowers.

Zakka Pen Wrap

Freshly inspired by all the adorable, yet functional, objects available in Taipei and Seoul, I decided to make a simple pen wrap so that instead of carrying a separate pencil pouch, I could just carry the notebook and pen together.  The design couldn't be simpler: simply adapt one of the many tutorial available out there for a coffee cup cozy and increase the size to fit around the cover of the notebook.

The project came together very quickly so I can see myself making a bunch of them. Plus, this project is a great way to use up some leftover scraps or strips.

Isn't travel great for all the wonderful ideas it can inspire?

Still quilting

Need to finish some quilts that will be Christmas gifts, so no posting of the finished products for a while. But in good news, I now have finished 5 of the 6 appliqued flowers for the Fanciful Flowers quilt. Perhaps I'll finish the final one next week.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Quilting mojo

I lost my quilting mojo for awhile. After returning from Barcelona, I was so jazzed to be sewing again that I ended up piecing my brown bag challenge quilt in a 8-hour sewing marathon. Then, the quilt top sat on my floor for a month taunting me. I responded by walking all over it as if it were a new rug.

There is always some aspect of making any quilt that drags for me. In this case, it was the actual quilting. It started out exciting enough. Practicing quilting leaves, vines and spirals free hand. Then the tension on the sewing machine was finicky causing eyelashing on the back (really annoying). Then I kept having to change the bobbin and because of how I had my machine set up for quilting, another minor annoyance. Enough whining.

It's finally finished: quilted and bound. I had thought I would be fancy and do some non-stipple quilting all over (the leaves, vines, and spirals), but the quilting got tiresome toward the end and I just wanted to finish. So rather than do some peacock…

New quilt in progress

I'm halfway done quilting my first ever autumn quilt, but lately it's been way too hot to wrestle the quilt through my sewing machine. The weather has to get cooler before I'll feel up to getting some quilting exercise. Who knew that quilting could make a person sweat?

Aside from the cream fabric, the fabrics in the close up shot are from my brown bag quilt exchange partner. She sent me lovely fall-inspired fabrics, which prompted me to want to finish a quilt in time for Thanksgiving.

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Jewels

Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side has been great about hosting a virtual quilt show on her blog. If you have a quilt that you would like to share with the rest of blog land, go ahead and sign up for the fall 2010 festival. It runs from October 29 - November 5.

The quilt that I'm sharing about is one that I made for my mom and took me approximately 1.5 years to finish and was my first (and probably last) king-sized quilt.  Not necessarily because the piecing was difficult, but more because I couldn't make up my mind about the layout design and then later, the actual quilting.

Roughly into my second year of quilting, my mom kind of jokingly asked when I was going to make her a quilt for her bed.  So I eventually came up with an initial design and bought a boatload of fabric in early 2009. However, during the course of the year I kept changing my mind about the quilt design because the fabric and the designs didn't work. I couldn't find the right fit between the fabric…

Quilt: Hidden Pinwheels

Naming things is not my forte, so for lack of a better name, here is a quilt, "Hidden Pinwheels", that I made for a co-worker's 1-year-old child as an upcoming Christmas gift. It's a belated "congratulations on your new baby" and "Merry Christmas gift" all in one.

The best part of the quilt is the label that is pieced into the back. Following a tutorial from Hazelruthe on how to print onto fabric using freezer paper and an inkjet printer, I used Adobe Illustrator to design a label and then had no problems making a custom fabric label.

Because I put so much effort into the front of the quilt, I usually get really lazy in making the back, but this one turned out just fine I think.

Barcelona's Visual Feast

Barcelona is a gorgeous city. I was so busy just looking that I did not take many pictures, but here are some highlights.