Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tooth Fairy Pillow Complete...

Tooth Fairy Pillow
and waiting for a tooth. 

I was at a retreat this weekend and was able to work on this little pillow which took far too long to complete. Leave it to me to make a rectangle shape pillow complicated! The corners ended up being too pointy and weird so I unstuffed it and slightly curved the corners and tried again. My mom is an expert stuffer after years of making dolls but I've never been able to stuff things to my satisfaction. I wish she'd been there to help me out (and to have fun sewing with). But I finally stitched it up and called it GOOD. If I make another, I'll round the corners more and maybe even try rounding out the sides a bit.
Tooth Fairy Pillow - Close
Both fabrics are Echino from Kokka which is a bit pricey but they were the perfect color and I wanted something special knowing she'd use it for a few years. She picked out the pony print over the bird, squirrel, bunny and flowers.

When I showed the finished pillow to Jenna she had this puzzled look on her face. She thought it would be tooth shaped. I was surprised because I didn't think she'd ever seen a tooth fairy pillow before. I showed her how the tooth would go in the pocket and that she could leave the fairy a note and a stick of gum in the pocket (which were her requirements) and she rolled with it.

When I taught first grade I had sweet little children wiggling their teeth for me on daily basis. I used to dream of my teeth falling out! So I just couldn't bring myself to go with the tooth shape. I'll make her a little tooth shaped note paper from cardstock to write a message to the Tooth Fairy so she'll have a touch of the tooth theme.
Pillow ribbon

We are still having gloomy, snowy, rainy weather so I had a hard time getting a good photo of the ribbon. I found it in my stash of scrapbook supplies and loved the color and the texture.

Now we're waiting for those first couple of teeth to wiggle out. I can't believe we're at that stage already. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were standing in my Mom and Dad's living room, getting ready to head back to Kansas and I felt her first tiny little tooth breaking through her gum. She was four months old!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is it Fate?

Glee's Signature Quilt

What a day! It's almost midnight but I had to sit down with a cup of tea and touch base with you all before I end my day since I said I'd be back. I had to say goodbye to my much loved but very old car today and find something new (to me) that won't leave us sitting on the side of the road. A few errands, picking up a friend's dog from the vet, soccer practice, dinner, dishes, more dishes...= no time for sewing. I'm smiling though after reading such kind comments from everyone at Stash Manicure and those who stopped by here today. Thank you!

I'll share a neat story about the antique quilt pictured above since I don't have any sewing to share.

We have a stack of quilts from my husband's grandmother. My husband's mother and I were looking at them at Thanksgiving and spent some time with this particular quilt. It's a signature quilt with signatures of family and friends from roughly 50 or 60 years ago. The signature you see in the photo is of my father-in-law. I also happens to be my first two initials and last name! What are the odds that quilt would end up with someone who has the same name and loves quilts even when they are worn and tattered. It must be fate :)

Don't you just love the hand quilting in the border?

Sew We Quilt @ Stash Manicure

I just wanted to say a quick hello to everyone visiting from Sew We Quilt @ Stash Manicure....Hello! 

I have a guest post there today about encouraging new quilters. If you've never been to visit go take a look. The blog is full of great advise on managing our stash and also has wonderful tutorials. A wealth of information!

I'll be back later today...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tooth Fairy Pillow

echino fabric

My girl has 4 loose teeth already! One is very loose and we really need to get prepared for the tooth fairy. So while she was at preschool today I stopped in at Sarah's and went on the hunt for purple fabric to make a tooth fairy pillow. I imagined a small pillow with a pocket to hang from Jenna's doorknob. I searched from the front of the store all the way to the register when I spotted this next to the cutting table with a large collection of other Echino fabrics. I didn't really know for sure what I was looking for but when I saw it, I knew it was perfection!

After I picked Jenna up from school, I showed her the fabric and thankfully she approved. She rattled off several suggestions for the design which I wasn't expecting (but I think is sweet). So it'll be a bit larger than I anticipated.

Jenna's stash

We were at Stitch On last night to pick up my retreat packet and she chose these for her own personal. My brain must have registered the color because it's a pretty close match to what I bought today.
trim options

I'm playing around with trim choices. I want to keep it pretty simple but considering just a touch of lace. We'll see what I come up with. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Little Green...

Green Hexagons

One last touch of green to wrap up this fabulous St. Patrick's Day. It feels like Spring is finally here. Yesterday morning, the birds were singing like crazy. The weather was perfect for two friends and all of our kids to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Lawrence. 

I'm thinking of camping, hikes, Spring Break, summer vacation, road trips and swim lessons. Which means I need to get my little hexie kit pulled together again. I cut another Hunky Dory charm pack the other day and actually got a few hexies sewn on the way to the zoo.

Does warm weather signal a change in your sewing?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


March Stack of Books
My sister and I had a long chat on the phone yesterday and we eventually got around to books. We both love fiction, cookbooks and sewing books and I can hardly wait until she comes to visit so we can flip through some of our recent favorites together.
March Stack of Books - close

I've always been a huge reader but lately my fiction reading has slowed waaaay down in favor of quilting blogs, magazines and books. This is just one of several growing stacks around my house.
Sticker Dolls

This series of books is a favorite lately for keeping little hands busy in the studio while I'm sewing.
Sticker Dolls Play

The sewing machine has been quiet for almost a week but I've been working through a stalled project (gathering information, asking questions). I have some chicken blocks on the agenda for tomorrow night. Yes, chicken blocks :)

I'd love to hear your suggestions for some good books to check out and activities to keep a 5 year old happily occupied.

Monday, March 14, 2011

No Prints Allowed Challenge

No Prints Allowed Challenge

Thursday night was the big reveal of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild's "No Prints Allowed Challenge." Robert Kaufman donated charm packs in every color grouping. Participants chose a charm pack, used each color in the pack, and added any fabric as long as it was prints allowed.

I had such a hard time deciding which direction to take with my Brights Charm Pack. I sketched out a ton of ideas and kept changing my mind. The only thing that really stuck was the idea to use a circle. I had seen Paula do the 6 Minute Circle in a demonstration at a guild meeting and have been thinking about circles ever since. But I kept coming back to layering them and decided to try applique. 
In the end I used this as my inspiration. It's a paper book cover from Target's dollar bin that I gave to Jenna to color. 
I used this fusible web to create the circles. I chose the size circle I wanted, stitched on the solid line, trimmed on the dotted line and then turned it inside out through the cuts in the middle. When I first started, I thought I would only use circles but after sewing about two blocks it already seemed a bit boring. 
So I just started throwing and stacking different shapes up on the design wall (squares, circles, and rectangles) choosing the layers and color instinctively. I decided to just play and see where it would lead. Starting with the bottom layers, I fused and appliqued the shapes onto the charm square. I worked my way up to the top. The only thing I changed was to add an extra small layer on some blocks to include more colors.
No Prints Allowed Challenge - Back & Binding
I was left with four charms and decided to try incorporating them into a scrappy binding with a couple scraps from my stash. I love the look and it was super easy. The back was also from my stash. I just finished up by quilting a grid along the seams. 

If I had to do a project like this again, I would go with a circle cutter to get a perfect circle and use Wonder Under underneath it rather than the method I chose. I think I'd end up with rounder circles.

It was such a fun and inspiring meeting! We had record attendance of about 91 people (I think because of the Kansas City Star article on modern quilting) and it was great to look out into the crowd and see people of every age from teenagers up to great (great?) grandmas (and grandpas!). A couple of people used this challenge as an opportunity to finish their first quilts and received a standing ovation. I know I say it every month but I'm just so amazed at the talent in this group, at their willingness to try something new no matter what level of experience they're at, and the warm, sincere encouragement they give to new quilters. Every meeting seems like a celebration!

If you'd like to see some great pictures of other quilts in the challenge, visit Carla at Lollyquiltz. She stood at the back and got some great shots.

I'll wrap this up by asking for suggestions on naming this little quilt. It's a bit over 18 inches square and will be a doll quilt for Jenna. I'm terrible at naming quilts! Help!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Should be cleaning...

I should be cleaning but a laptop sitting in my kitchen is not the best idea. I sat down to find a podcast...but then decided to check Google Reader...then that lead to a few new blogs....oh how about a quick blog post of my own? Then I'll get back to the cleaning...promise!

We spent a great family weekend together and even made it to the zoo on this beautiful warm weekend. Can you believe it's snowing right now?! That's weather in Kansas for you!

Here's a completely random photo from my desktop. I can't tell you how long ago I bought this fabric and pattern. Maybe two summers ago? After I finish up a couple of projects, this will be on the agenda while Jenna still loves her sock monkey. And before she outgrows the pattern. I was just so nervous about clothes but now I'm thinking it will be a piece of cake.

I'm hoping to get some photos of my finished No Prints Allowed Challenge tomorrow. Maybe they'll be snow  pictures :) Now off to load the dishwasher and catch up on some laundry....But I need to find a podcast first!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Seeing {Pink} Squares

Well, here it is! I finally got to see it in person tonight when Shea handed it off to me at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild tonight. This is the pink version of the Seeing Squares quilt that I made for Jenna. You got to see a little peek here and it's so nice to be able to share it with you now.
Angela Walters quilted it in a beautiful flower design that's flowing and feminine. I've had fun hunting for the squares that she put a special little design in. I can't wait to wash it up and see it in all of it's wrinkly goodness.

It's 48″ x 56" and I think it will make a great sized quilt for Jenna to cover up with on chilly mornings while I make breakfast. I hope it will live in our family room for a while and add a touch of sunshine while we wait for spring to arrive. It'll be interesting to see if Jenna agrees with that idea.

Shea is featuring this little pink quilt on her blog today.  When you visit, make sure you take a look at the other three versions of the pattern. They are all very beautiful and yet unique in choices of fabric. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Seeing Squares

I'm so excited to introduce you to a new pattern that my friend Shea recently released. Shea was the first person that I met when I visited the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and her friendly, warm personality made me (and everyone else) feel right at home. 

I was just tickled when Shea asked me to test Seeing Squares. I found it to be very clear and concise, with helpful hints along the way. I suspect that Shea's experience as a teacher helped her communicate the directions in easy to understand illustrations and graphs. She's made whats looks like a complicated pattern into one that was so fun to put together. I'm amazed at the care she puts into creating her patterns before they are released.  Shea made the pattern twice. Paula made the gorgeous quilt on the cover and I made a small pink one that you'll see later this week. Shea even included measurements for a pieced back which is a huge time saver!

Shea's been sharing the different versions of this quilt this week on her blog and I know you'll love seeing them. Get started here and make sure to read through the past few days of posts. She'll feature my pink quilt tomorrow.

And I have to share a photo of her first pattern just because I think it's brilliant and adorable! This will be a perfect Christmas gift for a friend who has several little kiddos running around. No noise makers, provides hours of entertainment and can store easily when needed. 

Shea's offering FREE shipping on both patterns until St. Patrick's Day!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Little Stitcher

I got to sew on my challenge quilt a bit tonight and I like the way it's coming together so far. Once I start sewing, it's hard not to just go all night, into the wee hours of the morning. 
Needle in Action
Jenna likes to do everything related to a project in one sitting too. I love the little Chicken Socks books that Klutz Books publishes and I found this sewing one. She has been asking me to sew for a while now and I thought this looked like something she would enjoy.
Super Simple Sewing
With some guidance, she was able to put all of the little projects together pretty easily. 

First projects
The plastic needle that was included was very easy for her to use. I'm planning on taking some felt or cardstock and punching holes in it so she can make some other things.

If you have little ones, are they taking an interest in sewing? How are you finding ways to involve them?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Birdie Stitches BOM - Jan

Birdie Stitches BOM - Jan

I've been meaning to share this block for a while now. It's the Birdie Stitches BOM for January. I actually finished it in January but now I need to catch up February's block. 

Jan closeup

The embroidery goes together pretty fast. I'm not sure what I think of the stabilizer. I chose to use it because I don't want any threads from the back to show through the front but I don't like the wrinkly look it gives. I hope it will look better after it's washed.

Chilly Bird

I love this little bird! Especially the ear muffs.

Robert Kaufman No Prints Allowed Challenge Sneak Peek

No Prints Allowed Sneak Peek
I finally got moving on my Robert Kaufman No Prints Allowed Challenge. I've been sketching, planning, sorting, changing my mind over what to make. I had all these ideas but I think I got really hung up on feeling like I need to have a purpose and recipient for what I made. Tonight I let go of that and just decided to play with an idea I've had for a while. If I like it enough, I can always plan something bigger for the right person at the right time. So for now, it's just something for me to enjoy. 

It's coming together fairly quickly and I've had fun working on it tonight. But I'd better get myself to bed. The little preschooler will be awake before I know it!


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