25 December 2012

Merry Christmas from the Gremlins

...or that is what we are affectionately calling our 2 kittens these day!!!  

Napa (right) and Sonoma (left) get into everything, including my sewing supplies!!


Below is my first ever attempt at Cake Pops - it's a recipe from Skinnytaste.com.  100 ish calories apiece!  

And a sneak peek at one of the table runners I made for some very good friends this Christmas.  Lots more finished projects coming soon!!


Have a wonderful Christmas!!

07 December 2012

Mendocino giveaway winner and some great project links!!



And the winner is.......



Hueisei - who blogs over at love it, sew it!

You have won the two Mendocino fat quarters above!  Yikes - I think she lives in Malaysia!  : )


Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway!!  Thanks also to my wonderful existing and new followers.  And thanks to everyone for stopping by!!!  

In return, here are some great project ideas I discovered from all of your comments (and from some very nice commenters who emailed me back when I had questions!)

and wait until you see this:  Cork people



03 December 2012

Sew, Mama, Sew's giveaway day! (week)



GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED - WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED THIS EVENING - Dec 7!


Hi!  I decided to participate in Sew, Mama, Sew's giveaway day (week). This is a bi-annual event where lots of blogs giveaway a huge amount of supplies and finished crafts!

I decided to giveaway a couple of fat quarters from my very precious Mendocino line by Heather Ross!  I'm giving away a fat quarter of the fuchsia seahorses and the fuchsia giant octopus fabrics!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!

The giveaway!


Below is a doll quilt I made with some of my Mendocino line. I love the colors and the flowing prints of this line.



This giveaway will be open to anyone in the world (meaning I will ship internationally) and will close on December 7th at 5 PM Pacific Standard time.  The winner will be announced the evening of that same night here on my blog.

The winner will be chosen randomly.  Here's what you need to do to enter:

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!  WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED THIS EVENING (December 7th)

Just leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday gift project you're working on right now (or any project if you're keeping them all for yourself!)

That's it!  Do you want some new Mendocino fabric goodness to sew with?  Well, leave me a comment right away!  And then head over to Sew, Mama, Sew to check out and enter a bunch of other great giveaways!

And thanks to my followers and those who are new to my blog.  I hope you'll come back and visit soon!  Lily.









22 November 2012

Thanksgiving napkins!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Just a short post to say how nice it is to have a day off and to be able to whip up an easy craft for Thanksgiving!

Purlbee Thanksgiving napkins
I whipped these up in about an hour or so from the easy tutorial on Purlbee.com, the blog of Purlsoho.com.

I used Purl's citrus spectrum bundle of solids and some linen from Joann's that I had in my stash.  It will be a more colorful table today!  My in-laws are here from France and my son will be joining us too, so 5 napkins was enough - I made 6 for next time. :)

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!  Lily.

31 October 2012

I Spy Half Square Triangle Quilt for Brenna

Amy's Creative Side

Hi all!  It's time again for the blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side!  I'm just squeezing this one in at the last minute before the party closes!  Go over and take a look at all the great quilts on the festival!  

I'm showing my latest I SPY Quilt made for my cousin Amy's new baby Brenna.  Yes, Brenna is about 6 months old, but my now her Mom won't be receiving so many gifts right?  : ) So hopefully it will be appreciated even more!

I'm also introducing the newest members of our family on this post - Napa and Sonoma.  They are our newly adopted calico kittens!  

Sonoma on the finished quilt

I got the idea for the half square triangle version from Candace over at Salt Water Quilts.  This is my 2nd I Spy Quilt, and the first I Spy was made with simple squares.  The recipient loved it so much that I had to do another.  

Many squares already pieced!

I started with an 11x11 square pattern, added White Kona, and then added 2 borders.  Both the navy with flowers border and the red basket weave border are from Denyse Schmidt's recent Joann lines.



The binding is the red polka dot from Free Spirit Freckles line.  It's subtle but pretty.


The Quilt is 37 inches square or about a meter for those of you who think metric!  It's going in the mail soon, and I hope she finds all the different graphics interesting to look at, and later fun to identify!

Sonoma on the left and Napa on the right
As you can see it was very difficult to keep the kitties on the quilt!!

Sonoma looking at me, Napa leaving : )

I did straight line quilting on the diagonal of the squares all the way to the edge.  Then I added a small decorative machine stitch around the inside of the blue border, and stitched around the inside edge of the red border too.

Detail of the borders - here you can see the decorative stitch and the border dots


Finished! 



12 September 2012

Hexagons and Triathlons!

My husband and I have been running marathons and half marathons for while, but just did our first triathlon!  We've always biked a bit, and I started swimming 2 years ago during a running injury and fell in love with it.  (my overachiever husband started swimming again about a month or so ago!) So we decided to try a triathlon and we both LOVED it!  It's great to mix it up with the different sports and not so hard on your body than just running alone.  Stay tuned, there will be more!!

Sporting our medals!!

I started a Hexi quilt a couple months ago.  It's nice to have a travel project I can do by hand on airplanes and hotels, as I've seen WAY too many of those this year!  I was inspired by the Hexi MF quilt along on fatquarterly.com.  (Hexi MF is a play on words with the Prince song Sexy MF, so if you were wondering what MF stands for....)  : )

I'm using the new fabric line 1/2 yard bundle from Bari J. called Lillybelle in the warm color way.  I'm using 1.5" hexis.


After I hand stitched up a big pile of hexis, I started to try different centers to see what I liked.  The pink stands out, but I thought it was a bit much! So I tried white, but couldn't find the right white!  The ground color of Lillybelle is really a very creamy off white.


This one is too beige:


Really close!


I finally had to buy some non-discript creamy fabric at Jo-anns because none of the Kona solids worked!


But I was thinking......



Should I leave one of the hexi flowers with a pink center right in the middle of the quilt just for fun???! :)


23 August 2012

Heather Ross Prints - Print your OWN fabric with her prints!!

I am sooooo excited about this book!  How cool is it that this designer has published a book including a disk with HER art on it, ready to print at home on stationery etc., or upload to the internet to print your own Heather Ross fabric or wallpaper????


Front cover - unicorns!
Included at the beginning of the book is a section on how to use the book and art including web sites ready to print HR's designs on fabric and wall paper!

How-to section
Then there's a project section with everything from an apron, to a fabric covered tray, to wallhangings and more!

Project section

I mean really what little girl wouldn't LOVE orange unicorns on her bedroom walls, with HR's adorable art!

I want a room like this!

There's a shower curtain, and you can order this fabric right now from Spoonflower.com.  Mendocino anyone?  It's not only HTF (hard to find) on the internet, but very pricey!

Mermaids just seem perfect on a shower curtain, huh?

There of course had to be some princess and the pea art - used here on a an adorable wallhanging!

one of my favorites!

And then there's wrapping paper - which we all need to package those quilted gifts we're making all the  time!

wrapping paper - print at home!

The book ends with a section about how to start doing fabric designing on your own.....




Granted, I've collected just a bit of HR fabric (this is not all of it by any means), so it may be a while before I have to print some yardage....but the wallpaper is another story!!  : )

What do you think I should make first?? Lily :)

02 August 2012

Hexagon Tree Tote!

Hi! As I'm working on finishing my Medallion Quilt - it's basted and I'm just starting on the hand quilting - I decided to work a bit on one of the other hand stitched projects from the Stitched in Color class!

Hexi party

This is the hexagon tree tote and I love this pattern!  You can see the hexagons I cut out above to use for the tree leaves.  I used the paper piecing method and wrapped them around hexagon card stock to create the shapes.  They mostly have a sewing theme as I decided to use this tote to carry travel sewing projects.

Hexi placement


Above is a photo taken with my i-pad (while traveling in one of the countless hotel rooms I've been in lately!) so it's a bit blurry, but this is how I remembered the original placement of the "leaves" so that I could sew them on one by one.  The tree and branches are traced on using Rachel's template, and then embroidered with a backstitch.  I used a dark brown size 8 perle cotton.

Tote back and front

Then I hand stitched the hexagons on to the tree using a running stitch.  On the left is the back of the tote.  I introduced a daisy pattern and repeated the raindrop pattern from the leaves.  In this photo the front and back are already fused to the fusible fleece that will help cushion the bag and give it shape.

Detail of running stitch


So when I get bored with hand quilting my Medallion quilt or excited to use my machine again, I will put it all together with some straps and make it into a tote!


17 July 2012

Modern Medallion Quilt Part 3 - English Paper Piecing!

I am having so much fun learning a bunch of new quilting techniques in Stitched in Color's hand stitched class! Last week was English Paper Piecing.  It's all done by hand and it makes for very accurate points!  I have done a bit of this before with hexagons, but never with something this elaborate.  I repeated the 2 blocks below on the 4 corners of the quilt I'm making. 

Blue/Green Storm at Sea Block
I found the English paper piecing very easy. What was hard was choosing the fabrics and colors I was going to use!  I ended up using some special Flea Market Fancy fabric by Denyse Schmidt, even some of the very rare (not recently reprinted) pink tiles, blue barbells and green posies.  It's hard to cut the rare fabrics!!

Orange/Pink Storm at Sea Block

The corner blocks are surrounded by 2x2" patchwork in colors tying back to the quilt.  I chose pastels except for the brighter oranges and yellows.  I wanted to bring out those colors a bit more in the patchwork since the center section is very pink!

Patchwork attached! 

For my hand stitched classmates - when you are sewing the patchwork pieces to the storm at sea blocks, place your seam really close to the points on the blocks.  Sew the seam from the block side so that you can see how close you are to the points and stitch almost to the edge of them.  Otherwise the seam next to the point can open up.

It was difficult matching up the points to the seams of the checkerboard patchwork on each side.  There was definitely some ripping out that took place!  So as you're putting together your blocks, insure that the seams are the correct 2 1/4" from the raw edge of the smaller square, and 4 1/4" from the edge of the larger square.  And the center point of the larger diamond shape should be 2 1/4" from the edge of the block as well.  There's a bit of fudging you can do when you put it all together, after all, it's fabric!  Just try to keep all the seams uniformly 1/4".

Also, getting the patchwork squares to be exactly 2" wide after sewing was a feat.  I had to measure each one after sewing to make sure my seams were just right.  It's most important to make sure that the squares that will be adjacent to your storm at sea blocks are correct so that your seams will match the seams and points of the blocks.  I do have a 1/4" presser foot on my machine, but I still had to be careful.  With 9 seams, even a slight error can create a big variance!! 


Anyone see "baby's" paw at the left? : )

I had a little helper while I was taking photos.  You can see a little calico paw to the left of the quilt.  "Baby" was hiding underneath.  I can't believe she stayed under there for the photos!  


This is what the paw is attached to.....

The next part of the class starts this week when we'll be adding some additional appliqu├ęs and more patchwork.  Stay tuned for the next colorful round!  Lily : )


09 July 2012

Do you read in bed? : )

Hi!  I wanted to show you the bed caddy and Kindle cover I made for my Mom's birthday.  I sent her a great "12 days of Christmas Quilt" for Christmas, and she asked "where's my bed caddy?"  Demanding! : )  (well, she's my amazing Mom so she deserves it!)

The pattern is from the book One Yard wonders and you can find it here.  Don't tell my Mom, but it was super easy.  She loves humming birds, so the fabric was an easy choice!

Bedside Caddy - Arcadia fabric
Bed caddy for Mom's books


The kindle pattern makes all sizes of e-reader and tablet covers.  I have now made 4 of these - see earlier blog here about the rest.  The pattern is by birdfulstitches on Etsy and you can buy it here.

Kindle cover - Arcadia fabric
Kindle cover - like the placement of the orange Hummy? : )

Kindle cover - Arcadia fabric
Open - Gold Hummy about to attack the Kindle!

Let's see in the background you can see a bit of my messy studio and a color-wheel quilt to the left on the design wall....but here's the set.  She loved it (and the Kindle that went with it!)


Bedside Caddy - Arcadia fabric
The matching set : )

27 June 2012

Medallion Quilt Hand stitched Embroidery!


Have I mentioned how excited I am to be back in one of Rachel from Stitched in Color's classes?  I think I have! : )  We have moved on to the embroidery portion of the program!  I would say I'm about half done (the undone part is on the back of the chair : )  We are embroidering satin-stitch "jewels" and running stitch half square triangles.  

Embroidery so far!
I started the embroidery part of this project on a recent business trip to Europe, and it's a good thing I had so much time on airplanes because as Rachel said this is a looooooooong project.  I'm still hoping to get this part done in time to add the next section of the quilt next week!

close up of jewel

I have to say that the satin stitch jewels have been the most difficult and taken the longest.  The running stitch triangles are taking me about 15-20 minutes each.  The satin stitch jewels take about an hour each, but the 1st one took me 2 hours!  


I decided not to add the running stitches separating the corners of the jewel like you see in gray on the orange jewel in Rachel's embroidery below.  So I just created the mitered corners with the satin stitch. I also outlined them (in back stitch) in their satin stitch color instead of an alternate color like Rachel did. 

Rachel of Stitched in Color's Embroidery

I hope you'll be as anxious as I am to see the progress each week!  : )


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced